Animation Studio Resources

Below is an array of resources we use at our studio and recommend for those looking to start their animation careers and studios. 
These tools allow you to run a more efficient animation business, leading to increased skills, sales, productivity and profits. We've also included a few special Start A Studio offers, and some of the below items include an affiliate link. So if you follow the link and go on to purchase a product, we may get a slight kickback, which helps us keep the lights on and produce more helpful content for you, your studio, and others worldwide.
Please only purchase the products or services below if you think they're the perfect fit; of course, we believe many of them will be.

Animation Studio Business Tools

StartAStudio - Animation Studio Business Plan Template

We appreciate that not everyone has the time or inclination to enrol in our award-winning studio startup course.  (*Which includes a 10 page business plan template).

So to help offer an alternative, you can purchase the bespoke animation studio business plan template on its own. The custom built 10 page template is a MS Word Doc (with forms and formulas), plus opens in Google Docs and also in the free version of MS Word online. Purchase here.

PandaDoc - Animation Quotes / Proposals / Contracts

This is our own animation studios goto tool for creating quick, very high quality professional quotes, proposals, style frame presentations and contracts that lead to increased conversions and save us weeks if not months of time each year. 

With video embedding, client view time analytics, e-signatures and integration with our CRM, it's been a very worth while investment. Try it out here.

HubSpot - Manage animation client enquires & sales

Over the years we've tried out a variety of different CRMs (Customer relationship managers) for our animation business.

Ultimately we found Hubspot to be far and away the best, offering ease of use, scalability and superb design and integration. Find out more here.

ConvertKit - Our goto business email marketing tool

Throughout the years of running our own studio, as well as StartAStudio we've tried out a variety email marketing tools. From the cheap but disappointingly, to the pricey and overly complex ('ahem Mailchimp').

ConvertKit is a ray of light in the email marketing world. With superbly designed UI and processes to have you running an effective email marketing in no time. Start with a free account today.

WPengine - Professional webhosti with great support

Our animation studio site is built with the worlds most widely (no-code) web design software Wordpress. Combined with a professional page builder and a few plugins we're able to present a professional image and manage the website entirely inhouse.

To ensure the site loads quickly and with 100% up time. We use WPengine as our goto host. With excellent live chat support, daily site backups, plus a space to test new page designs before going live it's the perfect home for our studios website. It is more expensive than other web hosts, though quality of service and security is ideal for such an important part of our business. Learn more here.

Slack - Collabroate & chat with studio designers & animators

Popular around the world. Our animation studio team use slack every day to enable instant text chat with any remote working designers, animators, writers and producers. Using both the desktop sand mobile apps.

The ability to quickly chat, share images/videos plus create a Zoom call just by writing '/zoom' is perfect. Plus being able to send animated gifs to celebrate or moan is perfect for any small animation studio startup, or larger team. It provides an essential tool for easy collaboration and banter as if we were all in the studio together. Check it out here.

Grammarly - Write much better website copy & email text

I think I'm reasonably good at spelling and grammar; however, I'm now pretty sure I make small mistakes in at least every paragraph. Every typo or piece of poor grammar that shows up on our animation studios website, emails, marketing copy and animation scripts makes us look unprofessional.

Step in Grammarly to change our world. Chances are you've seen the adverts on Youtube and TV. But this is a tool worth integrating into your day to day. It makes spellcheck in MS Word look a chump.

The way it integrates with so many online and desktop tools is fantastic. Plus, whilst, yes, we do pay for it. The free version is seriously worthwhile. Check it out here and level up your studio's spelling and grammar instantly.

Animation Studio Production Tools

Boords - Cloud based storyboard / animatic tool

Any creative animation studio will be producing storyboards very regularly. In the past we used to simply drop images into a table in MS Word, but it never looked that smart and was incredinbly time consuming to update and reorder.

Boords makes it a job to create storyboards. Re-order, add notes, export scripts, create animatics, shareable links and produce stunning animation studio branded PDFs for clients to review. It saves us countless hours of production time every month. Check it out here.

Adobe Creative Suite - Industry leading animation tools

The one app we use more than any other to enable us to earn an income at our own studio is Adobe After Effects. A powerhouse of 2D and 3D animation (*with 3rd party plugin support).

With bespoke assets and characters created using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Videos edited perfectly and professionally using Premiere and voiceovers balanced and refined using Audition. The Adobe Creative Suite is very much our goto for the core daily production at our studio.