Turning static into dynamic is always spellbinding. After all, starting from the first movement, it is already impossible to predict what will happen next. It remains only to observe.
From hand-drawn legendary projects of the last century to cutting-edge CGI technologies, animation invariably captures our attention with its liveliness, immediacy, and proximity to reality. The brightest animated characters and stories remain in our memory for many years, charming and leaving an unforgettable emotional aftertaste.
But let’s leave empty talk. The reason we meet here is more specific.
So, you are looking for a decent 3D animation studio that will not only take on your project but also shape it and bring it to the fore in the animation space. You are in the right place.
We are ready to point you in the right direction and provide you with all the knowledge you need to choose a great animation provider. What’s more, we’ve got a fresh list of top 3D animation companies that won’t cost you a fortune, but whose talent and cutting-edge approach are definitely worth giving a shot. Well, let’s dive in!
Digital, interactive, VR … Where else will the classification of 3D animation types take us?Learn more
Choosing a Decent 3D Animation Studio: Nuts and Bolts
When it comes to 3D animation, there is a lot of analytical work to be done. Look for the right balance of skill and creativity. Very often it leans to one side at the expense of the other.
Think for yourself. Great tech-savvy teams with no creative flair and no art direction expertise are unlikely to produce a satisfying result. And given the high cost of 3D animation compared to 2D or motion graphics, trial and error is definitely not the best method. And in conditions of a limited budget (and this is the most likely option), there can be only one attempt.
After we have scared and upset you, it makes sense to let you relax. Grab key tips to help you get in the analytical mood and choose a worthy studio.
1. Look at Portfolio for Longer Than 10 Seconds
The first insider tip comes down to the need to be careful and thoughtful, and not quickly flip through the pages of interest to you.
Studying the portfolio is, of course, the first thing. Here everything happens according to the principle of a showcase. You see the best and brightest works of the studio, reflecting its skill and creativity. A company can show animation both in isolation and integrated into the game for which it was created.
But simply skimming through previous projects is not enough. See how they relate to your current request, how they meet the quality requirements, how well the main idea is conveyed. Evaluate the animation through the eyes of the viewer – does the video move smoothly? Are there any rough edges that spoil the perception and overall impression?
To understand all this, you need to spend some time studying the portfolio of the studio. An excellent option would be to request more information from a company in the field of 3D animation that interests you. Perhaps they have more to show. For example, it could be a cool showcase of 3D animation projects.
Remember, the more completed projects a company has, the more impressive its experience appears, which is of paramount importance for choosing a 3D animation studio. This is also a good sign in terms of potential collaborations, as you can already see how many other clients have chosen this studio.
Approach this task creatively, be open to artistic perception and appreciation of aesthetic combinations. In the next stages, everything will be much more mundane and rational.
2. Ask About the Tools Used
The software that a company uses to create 3D animation is very important as it directly affects the quality. It’s best to use Autodesk tools like Maya or 3ds Max. This is the industry standard for high-quality animation. However, the cost of this software is quite high, and not everyone wants to fork out.
Using free or cheap software can negatively affect the result. In addition, their functionality is much poorer and does not allow animators to customize programs to suit their needs.
3. Clarify the Styles in Which the Company Operates
There are two main stylistic directions in which animators work – cartoonish and realistic. At the same time, they can be standard or custom, that is, fully designed and implemented according to the individual order of the client. If you are interested in standard animation, then it is enough to make sure that the team has already worked in this style by looking at the portfolio. If you need custom animation, be sure to ask the company if they can provide such a service.
4. Request Information on Team Composition
Before starting cooperation, you need to understand who will work on your project and how the team is formed. Perhaps the company has a static set of animation specialists, or it can customize the selection of them depending on the task at hand. It is good if the animation company has separate specialists in different types of animation. The best option is if the composition of the team is described down to the smallest detail of the duties of each member.
5. Learn More About Processes and Communications
Each studio has internal schemes for working and building communications. It is important for you to understand how well it all works. You can ask the following questions:
- How does communication work?
- Is it possible to change the composition of the team?
- How often do approvals and feedback sessions take place?
- What principles and standards does the team follow?
- How is quality assessed?
At Kevuru Games, we can highlight the following procedural features:
- Advanced project management. Each project is assigned a separate project manager, who ensures timely communication with clients and the exchange of all necessary information between them and the team. Each project also has its own account manager, who additionally controls the fulfillment of all the company’s obligations to each client.
- Full supervision of the project life cycle. Thanks to double control, the team works as an autonomous system and does not need additional control from the client. We provide planning, estimates, setting tasks for performers, ideas for optimizing work and improving the project.
- High-capacity recruiting model. The client can change the direction of work at any time, and if we do not have the necessary in-house specialists, then we undertake to find and hire them for this project at the right time in the required quantity.
- Strong internal control. All artists up to senior specialists are supervised and checked by the art director, who guarantees the impeccable quality of work in accordance with the wishes and needs of the client.
- Flexible team selection model. We form a team depending on the characteristics of the project. We have dedicated specialists for realistic and stylized types of animation who are best guided by their specifics and can represent them in accordance with the highest standards and current trends.
- Effective project development methodology. We work according to the Scrum method. On a weekly call, the team gives a report to the client about the work done for the sprint, accepts changes, and talks about further plans. Thanks to this, the work goes consistently and smoothly, the client sees all intermediate results and has full control over the process.
6. Read Reviews From Real Customers
Real clients are not a slip of the tongue or even prioritization. This means reality, existence in nature – oddly enough, but everything is simple.
But the fact is that, unfortunately, there is the practice of falsifying reviews in the name of a perfect company image. They are ordered from third parties or written by company’s employees themselves.
Some statistics: according to BrightLocal research, 82% of consumers have experienced fake reviews in the last year. And although circumstances often try to convince us that everything in this world is bought and sold, let’s not lose heart and get down to business. More precisely, let’s start recognizing fake reviews.
Here is a small but essentially powerful list of signs of a fake review:
|A similar writing style for several reviews in a row||Text style, characteristic phrases, presentation, and word order – if you have any doubts when reading the next review, then most likely this is not the first “essay” of the same person. Pay attention to excessive artistry, an abundance of comparisons and metaphors, this is also not typical for real reviews. After all, they are written by customer representatives, not writers.|
|General phrases and lack of specificity||“Great job, keep it up!” – this is the standard option for rating work on platforms such as ArtStation or Behance, but not for the feedback section on the 3D animation studio’s website. Even if a real customer had initially opted for discouraging brevity, the company would likely have insisted on more detailed comments for the website.|
|Feedback from a non-existent company||It’s an amazingly impudent trick, but quite real. There is an immense number of companies in the world, and not everyone will go to Google to check another name that doesn’t tell you much. It is unlikely that the studio will allow itself an invented review on behalf of famous giants – it can get caught red-handed on this. But it can come up with an imaginary client and write an enthusiastic comment – why not.|
An honest review always includes the client’s company name and the name and title of the person who left the review. Such a presentation shows that the company has nothing to hide – you can check if the author of the review actually exists, and if necessary, even contact him or her.
And one more thing – check out additional websites that may have company reviews and are harder to fake. It can be Clutch, The Manifest, DesignRush, and others. Methodically study all the information about reviews about the company that you can reach. And with the power of the Internet, you can get to almost anything, you know.
7. Seek Passion for Animation
As trivial and technophobic as this advice sounds, don’t be in a hurry to roll your eyes. Enthusiasm is the main driving force of any project, especially a creative one, which can only be achieved with sincere, genuine passion for your work.
The most memorable authentic things are created by people who love their job. The ideal animation studio team you are looking for is proactive, driven artists who believe in themselves and their skills, grasp project ideas on the fly, and are great at teamwork. And this is not a utopian picture, such teams exist.
Try to make sure that the studio you choose is eager to bring your project to life and not sluggishly considers it another plus in the portfolio. The recommendation sounds rather vague, but there is no formula for determining the presence of passion, this can only be understood on an intuitive level. Don’t be afraid, you will definitely feel if the enthusiasm comes from the team. This is partly visible in the portfolio, in the questions that you are asked, in the presence of counter offers and proposals. etc.
Ten Years on the Market vs One-Year-Old Novice
Very often the question arises, who is better to turn to – a seasoned veteran of the animation industry with an impressive number of years of professional experience or a budding newcomer who is still in full swing. The question is reasonable, and there is something to think about. However, for the most part, all reflections, most likely, converge on the analysis of the 7 points indicated above.
Most likely, given the portfolio, clients and passion, the newcomer will be the best in terms of passion. This is the most obvious option, because the studio needs to expand its portfolio and attract clients, which is only possible on its enthusiasm. For the time being.
The sadness of the situation is that passion, even for a beginner, is not at all a predetermined state. It is possible that the guys came to the market just to make a quick money – after all, animation requires a lot of resources and therefore is an expensive pleasure – and they are not very interested in the idea, mission, goals, and even their image as such.
On the other hand, worldly-wise old-timers with an immense portfolio and well-known clients who once collaborated with them (the uncertainty of the time frame is important here) can also either retain maintain enthusiasm for the next anniversary or lose it along the way.
Thus, we observe a double-edged sword. That is why, at the very beginning, we have talked about the need to find a reasonable balance of skills and creativity. Of course, years of professional experience are an indisputable trump card in the aspect of mastery improvement. But they should not be a decisive factor in your final choice of the best professional 3D product animation studio. Choose it guided by a set of criteria, and if they are all equally balanced, then everything will work out.
5 Top Picks of 2023: The Best 3D Animation Companies to Hire
Well, now it’s time to move on to our super bonus – a magical list of cool 3D animation companies, experts of reasonable price-quality ratio, and gurus of putting a wide variety of ideas into effect.
Pixune describes itself as a combination of game and 3D animation studios. 12 out of 18 animation projects received prizes in various categories. A small but passionate Polish team follows all modern gaming and animation trends, keeping up with the times and all current industry achievements. Despite its young age, the studio has already managed to work with many clients and create an impressive portfolio.
It is an experienced Indian studio providing a wide range of gaming services including 3D animation. Thanks to a large team and experience, Zatun was able to work on 3D animation of characters, vehicles, various objects, and environments. You can find a lot in their portfolio. At the same time, the prices remain very attractive and affordable, and the quality is at its best.
The Spanish company Starloop is very fond of bright colors and prefers a creative approach to all tasks – this corresponds to the temperament and worldview of its founders. In 3D animation, the company specializes in characters. Breathing life into knights errant, robots, soldiers and athletes, the Starloop animation team puts a piece of themselves into each project, making the result alive and juicy.
A confident player in the web development market, iByte Infomatics invites you to take a look at their 3D animation skills. They have the necessary resources and capabilities to create various types of 3D animation for a wide variety of industries, not just limited to games. At the same time, their game 3D animation is at a high level, because they always clearly follow the wishes of customers and focus on the goal that needs to be achieved.
This is a Ukrainian company that proves that it is possible and necessary to create beyond the limits. Having been developing games and producing game art for 11 years,, Kevuru Games is well-versed in 3D animation. Its portfolio includes many projects related to the most complex kind of this field – 3D character animation. Creativity combined with technical prowess has earned the studio the trust of game industry giants such as EA, Epic Games, and Lucasfilm.
The Best 3D Animation Services Close at Hand
Each animation project is a separate and unique story, which must have a colorful visual interpretation that reflects all its details and nuances. The one who sees only the terms of reference, who has long forgotten the words initiative and enthusiasm, who only follows a well-defined plan, and indifferently presents the result to the client, will not be able to become a good animation storyteller.
At Kevuru Games, we are used to being story driven. This helps to achieve results that far exceed customer expectations and remain in memory for a long time. This is our mission, and we are glad that we managed to reach this level. You can view our portfolio and, of course, feel free to drop us a line about your project – we will be happy to delve into it and share with you our thoughts, initial estimates, and counter-proposals.