A friend of mine is starting his own hand made cat furniture business. You know how it goes, budget on a shoestring, no time to create graphics for his business (web, Facebook, etc.) no money to hire new staff or hire a designer … . And he is desperate to move his marketing efforts forward.
As much as I was able to help him in the past, due to some new projects and tough deadlines I am not able to help him with this any longer. Especially that I know close to nothing when it comes to animations. So we knew we need to find a long-term, sustainable solution for his problem.
And this is how it started:
- He wanted to be able to create various marketing materials for web (static and animated) and print in the course of one month
- He did not have Photoshop or AfterEffects (I assume this does not apply to most of you. Especially when it comes to Photoshop.)
- He had a basic knowledge of Photoshop, no knowledge on AfterEffects
- He could not afford to spend more than 80$ on this
- He could not afford to spend more than 30 minutes of his time for the creation of his promo materials
- For starters, he wants to have a short animation and a good looking banner for his website and Facebook
- He wants to be able to create a large number of various promo materials in the course of one month
Mission impossible? Maybe. Maybe not.
So, here is what we came up with:
- Adobe Creative Cloud 30 days trial (free)
- InkSpiration bundle by InkyDeals. Price: $69.00 (includes 1000+ of various graphic resources including animation templates, commercial license)
- 30 minutes of work (that’s for a newbie, if you have some basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and/or AfterEffects it will take much less)
Now, I can already hear some of you thinking of Fiverr. “You can have this for 5 bucks.” Well, this is not entirely true and here are some of the reasons why:
- Once you order your “gig” with Fiverr – than that’s it. It is a one-time job, no modifications are included in the price and you pay $5 even if you are unhappy with the outcome in which case you did not throw just $5, but also the time needed to find the gig and explain what you want, which leads me to reason No. 2
- “Fiverr” will not fit into 30 minutes time-frame to get it done. It may take 30 minutes just to find the right “gig” not to mention the time needed to write down and explain exactly what you want.
- One of the conditions was to have the ability to create unlimited amount of graphics/animations in the course of one month.
- Last but not the least, when you get someone from Fiverr to make a “gig” for you, you learn nothing, in our solution, you get to learn and do something within 30 minutes
Now, let’s go back to our case. On day one he wanted to have a short animation (for his web and Facebook page) and a good looking banner made within 30 minutes.
In order to do that he needed to have:
- Good looking fonts (w/commercial license)
- Graphic design elements (w/ commercial license)
- Easy to modify animation template
We got the Inkspiration bundle (our choice for the case study) and purposely we did not want to spend more than 5 minutes searching for the best animation. We just picked the first one we thought is good for our needs. In this case it was a, believe it or not, a Thanks Giving Day animation template, but it seemed perfect for our needs. This is what the template looks like:
[click on the thumbnail to start/stop animation]
[WPGP gif_id=”13160″ width=”600″]
and after less than 6 minutes of adapting the template we got this:
[WPGP gif_id=”13148″ width=”600″]
Here is a screen capture video showing how it’s done. This video contains no audio but shows the whole process. From opening the animation template in AfterEffects to exporting the finished animation from Photoshop to a animated gif file.
If you are unfamiliar with AfterEffects, no worries, layers system is the same as in Photoshop and the shortcuts like “V” and “T” are the same and you get to move objects on layers around just like in Photoshop. You will see, at one point how I add vignetting effect by finding it under “Effects and Presets” and double-clicking on it. All in all, as I said, if you know your way around Photoshop, at list the basics, picking this video tutorial up should be easy.
You noticed that the length of the video is 5 minutes and 28 seconds. So, it’s quite below 10 minutes. However, let’s say, if you are taking your time with it, it may take up to 10 minutes.
Now, finally, I picked the InkyDeals Inkspiration bundle because it has all it takes for my friends needs as he is working towards promotion of his new business and it is really cheap (it contains Vector Clip Art Elements, Illustrations, Typography Presets, Texture Overlays, PS Actions, Fonts, Lightroom Presets, Stock Photos, After Effects Animations and Stock Footage). You can check it out here.