Anyone who loves graphic design and feels a particular draw towards the creative manipulation of text may be well suited as a freelance text animator.
As part of the video after effects team, text animators ease transitions from one video segment to another and highlight key pieces of information with interesting text in motion that compels viewers to carefully keep up with the message.
Numerous types of video directors may wish to integrate text animation into their finished products; freelancers may create these effects on television commercials, music videos, documentaries and more.
Get some experience
Text animators must be able to display the best examples of their talent to secure work and long term clients. Creating a website that includes a selection of showreels is the best way to obtain this goal.
Select a music video, commercial clip or any other video that does not already contain text animation as the base on which to display your best work. You can also create your own videos on which to add text animation after effects.
Write (or type) out the text messages you plan to animate and note the precise points of synchronization with the video at hand. You’ll need to note the exact spacing rate at which the text should move in order to achieve the desired effect.
Use the most appropriate software program to embed the animated text into your video base. Be highly selective when choosing the patterns of motion, fonts, colors, sizes and more, as you want to be sure your website highlights only your very best pieces of work.
Play to your strengths
Freelance text animators must posses numerous skills and display particular traits such as:
Proficiency in different types of software animation programs to produce the specific effects required by each client.
3D modeling programs and vector-based graphical programs can create a virtually unlimited number of special effects and patterns that allow you to display your talent and creativity to meet the needs of all types of clients.
The ability to meet deadlines and interpret the director’s needs. Freelance text animators will have deadlines to meet to allow the entire video production to remain on schedule.
You’ll also be required to translate the verbal or written requests of a video director into the appropriate text animation which creates the effects intended by the director, even when working at great distances from one another.
Honing your skills as a text animator is a process that involves lots of practice and experimentation to determine which types of animations produce the best effects.
Some choose to attend an institute of higher learning such as one of the nation’s top graphic design schools, but others prefer to study independently, learning from software tutorials, websites, forums, blogs and more.
Animation Mentor, ANIMSchool, and The Virtual Instructor all allow you to study animation online; although these sites focus on character animation, much can be learned to promote a career in text animation as well.
Obtaining enough freelance work strictly as a text animator can be difficult. By expanding your skill sets into other areas of graphic design, you’re far more likely to land interesting gigs on a consistent basis.
Cartoon animation, character animation and motion graphics all require the use of graphics software; adding these skills to your resume increases your attractiveness to future clients and is highly likely to gain you additional work.
Keep enhancing your website with terrific examples of your best text animation work to gain more clients in this area, but utilize your other skills to make ends meet in the interim periods.