Undoubtedly some of the best animations LottieFiles hosts on the LottieFiles Marketplace are by IconsX, a team of incredibly talented designers based in Kiev. We got chatting with Andrey Popov, founder and CEO of IconsX to get to know about the team and their work better.
So tell us, who are IconsX?
Simply put, we are a team of people who love to create digital products. IconsX is one small area that makes elements to make life easier for designers. Our base is located in Ukraine, there is no specific city because there are a lot of people in the team who work from different cities.
My name is Andrey Popov, and I am the founder and CEO of IconsX.
IconsX all started because I was getting tired of doing work to order. I've always loved videos and everything related to it. I have experience in directing large advertisements, organizing conferences and film festivals. At the same time, I have always loved to do animation, since I have experience in managing people and animation skills, I was invited to create an animation department in one IT and design company Daviann.
Check out the company's showreel - it was made entirely by my animation team.
How did you come across LottieFiles?
I worked in an IT company in the position of Lead animation Department and we mainly made videos for advertising and presentations, but we often received requests to create animations in an application or website. But there was a problem, we didn't know how to do it.
At some point, I decided to Google what's new in the world and found a way to create SVG animation on YouTube. I was amazed at the quality and size of the file, I quickly implemented it in the company and later we found we were constantly making animations with Lottie.
Did working with Lottie animations change how the IconsX team did things?
Yes, the approach to work has changed significantly, because Lottie requires a lot of manual work without additional plugins. This has increased the cost of animation production and creation time, but I believe it will pay off in the long run.
Here's is an interesting thing we noticed when we started using Lottie, after implementing an adaptation of animation as a Lottie, the quality of the animation improved greatly. Before we had to use a plugin to create smoother movement to our animations, but with Lottie all our animations moved so much better. This has helped grow our animation skills and given us a great feeling of personal pride knowing that "yes! I did it as good as a plugin!"
What makes you choose GIF, MP4 or Lottie?
I think the GIF format is not optimal. Who is using GIF? MP4 is still holding, it's a good format in some instances. It works well for video, animation, but not for the web or applications (of course there are exceptions). For example, look at this site, the owner of this company told me that they wanted to make an animated backdrop using Lottie, but the file came out very heavy at 50MB and resource-intensive, so in a case like this MP4 will do its job better, but the interface and not big animation are only Lottie! By the way, these guys are Lottie ambassadors, I was on their interface animation course.
In the near future, MP4 won't be going anywhere, I think for a long time you can experiment with mixing MP4 (or other video formats) with Lottie.
How do you decide what kind of animations to make/design for Marketplace?
I look at what's in trend now, what people ask me, and on this information we make designs.
World trends outpace the market by about 1-2 years. Therefore, if you want to make money on Lottie animations, you need to focus on this indicator. That is, what is popular now will be popular in the market in 1-2 years.
For example, isometry was very popular 2 years ago, I remember when I worked in a company we drew and animated a lot of isometrics. Now the popularity has subsided, but has risen in the animation marketplace.
What's hot on the web right now? Look at the Dribbble recommendations, and I bet we'll see it on Lottie in a year.
I am inspired by the people that need my product. I could say that peace, friendship and etc inspires me, but I really love making products. My goal is finding and solving problems for motion designers, and in the future, for ordinary people too.
What type of animations do you find are the most popular on the Marketplace?
Nowadays people are looking for a lot of illustrations/animations that represent their product or service. In 90% of cases, this is usually to do around themes of teamwork, success, finance, conversion, and other words that denote benefit to everyone.
Stylistics is really secondary. If you asked me "what is the best style for selling?" then I'd tell you "neutral with classic color combinations".
At the moment, what people appear to need are flat\isometric concepts, but the Lottie animation market is so new that maybe we have not yet truly found what people really need.
Tell us, what is the process for the team from designing to making your Lottie animation before selling on Marketplace?
Firstly, we focus on what people are looking for, that is, on search queries. The second thing we do is look at what other top sellers or designers out there are doing. This research helps us come to a conclusion on what we should then work on next. Then, we draw out the storyboards and the illustrators ask me how best to prepare the files for animation.
Attention illustrators, here's some important advice for you if you're designing for animation: always ask how to prepare files for animation, as sometimes it is very difficult for us animators to do this :)
In general, after drawing the illustration, we decide on if it's beautiful enough to animate and make into a Lottie (as sometimes some of our designs are best just as illustrations). After deciding to proceed with animation, we start thinking about how we are going to animate to ensure that the animation is optimally optimized for size and CPU load. And finally, we get animating!