As a solo 3D Blender user, I’ve been wondering if it was a good idea to just animate 1 minute animations. The other choice was start a series, which is risky and time consuming. I don’t really have a team, so animations are very rough and challenging to do alone. What would you recommend?
Unless a client specifically asks you for 1 minute of footage then you animate regardless of time and get whatever it is looking correct.
60 seconds of animation can take you 3 weeks or 10 minutes depending on the complexity of the job.
For Youtube, If you create small but effective animations, e.g. 10 seconds long then you should probably pad it with in intro so it isn’t over so fast. Loop it 2 or 3 times (in post) and add an outro. You could also render it out at 60fps and show a slowed down version in one of the loops which will look a lot smoother due to the high frame rate, this is good for highly detailed but short animations. e.g. explosions.
But I would not constrain yourself to fixed length animations.
Most of my client animations are 20 to 45 seconds long as rendered frames but in post production I add all the other bits like pauses, cross fades, intro’s, outro’s, text overlays etc. The final animation could be 2 minutes long.
If this is for a showreel then again, same thing applies. A really good 15 second animation is superior to an animation that has been padded out with fluff and unnecessary long shots. String those 3 second, 10 second, 15 second animations together to make the reel and only show your best work. If your demo reel of 6 animations turns out to be 40 seconds long, that’s fine.