Have you ever wondered how to make an interesting and compelling explainer video on a topic you’re passionate about? Look no further. Whiteboard animation has dramatically increased in popularity following the explosion of shareable video platforms like Youtube, Facebook and Instagram.
While whiteboard animation videos are frequently used in formal settings, such as educational platforms like online schools or in corporate settings, you can also use whiteboard videos to tell your personal story to build your brand and channel.
There are various types of whiteboard videos, ranging from hand-drawn to fully animated. In addition to writing a precise yet straightforward script and choosing visually appealing animation, using the right software is essential. If chosen correctly, the software can be your greatest ally.
Choosing the right whiteboard animation software
There’s a variety of software available on the market. First, however, you need to be mindful of your technical specs and limitations. It would help if you chose software that works for your budget, as well as your level of technological know-how. In choosing your software, turn-around-time should also be a consideration. Some programs are more intuitive and holistic, while others will require a bit more educational finesse and precision.
In general, it’s important to choose software that gives you the level of control needed, with tools that compliment your current knowledge level. Choose software that allows you to create whiteboard animation that is interesting, easy to view and enjoyable to watch. One common technique involves hooking the viewer with a question that is relatable. For example, “Do you wish you could get just a few more hours of sleep each night?” or “What if there was a way to lead a truly fulfilling life?”
Choose software that allows you to create whiteboard animation that is interesting, easy to view and enjoyable to watch.
The question needs to relate directly to the subject covered in your video. In most cases, the focus of your video should provide a solution to whatever major question you pose to the viewer.
Professional motion graphics software
Adobe After Effects
Adobe After Effects is a popular choice for whiteboard animation software. This powerful suite allows you to design a variety of motion graphics. Adobe After Effects is commonly used within film and television. Some highlights include data-driven animation, a virtual reality converter and advanced puppet tools. However, it’s worth noting that there can be a substantial learning curve if you’re a first-timer.
A word of caution: some users have reported difficulty with After Effects’ composting software. Yet, Adobe After Effects is still widely considered an industry standard, which provides added value beyond whiteboard animation and video creation.
A monthly subscription to Adobe After Effects is available for $20.99 per month. While Adobe After Effects will give you a high level of creative control, you’ll need some time to adapt to these controls. That said, if you’re considering producing multiple whiteboard videos, learning Adobe After Effects will be more than worth your time.
Apple Motion 5 is a powerful software tool for Mac operating systems. It is generally more intuitive than Adobe After Effects, which makes it a great choice for beginners. Best of all, you can layer and combine your motion graphics to create something with a unique look and feel. With Apple Motion, there’s the added bonus of the ability to create in 2D, 3D and 360. Plus, it has color grading tools built-in.
Apple Motion can be used without Final Cut Pro X and is available for $49.99.
Video Scribe is another popular software tool, with a monthly subscription of $35 a month. There are plenty of illustrations within the platform that you can use in your animation. Plus, Video Scribe allows you to import your own illustrations in just a few clicks. It has an easy five-step process for video creation.
Another popular feature allows you to download Internet images and illustrations (just be aware of copyright limitations). Another plus is the ability to use your own custom fonts. Video Scribe is available for Mac and Windows alike.
Doodly recently updated their software in 2020. In addition to the more traditional whiteboard animation software features, Doodly now has a glass board feature. There’s a variety of scenes, props and characters available. Doodly also includes pre-licensed soundtracks, which can help you stay within your budget: no drawing or coding needed.
Best of all, Doodly has its own marketplace where you can purchase entire bundles. The only downside is that you’ll likely need to buy the Rainbow add on to add color to your animations. The Rainbow feature will cost $67 in addition to whatever subscription option you choose, the cheapest being $39 a month.
Explaindio is another popular whiteboard animation program. While this program is slightly less intuitive than the others, you can seamlessly create whiteboard animations layered on top of videos and GIFs. Plus, you can create videos in HD using Explandio. Many creators find the whiteboard sketch feature useful. Explaindio costs $57 per month.
Whiteboard animation pro tips
One of the challenges of whiteboard animation is making it look real. No one wants to see an unmoving fist sprout intricate animations like a low-budget Houdini. So, be sure to choose professional-grade software and always select the appropriate resolution.
Keep it short
Another pro tip involves considering viewers’ attention spans. Videos need to be clear and understandable, so it’s best to keep things short and sweet. Start strong and finish strong. Make sure your video has a simple script and be sure that the voice-over is clear, professional and easy to understand. Break your script down into key points and don’t stray from these highlights. There’s no need to break from your topic or veer into random political diatribes. Keep it short, simple, and stay on track.
Choose your music carefully
Additionally, it’s important to remember that background music can be distracting. So, be sure to choose a background track that complements your video without detracting from the message. No one wants to listen to an explainer video on 17th-century literature while hearing the Mario Bros soundtrack blast in the background. Don’t make your viewers compete with the video’s message against the background track: the two should fit seamlessly together.
Graphics are key
Additionally, think of your graphics as the visual touchstones of your video. Your graphics will keep your viewers interested and engaged. Thus, make sure that the graphics appear at an appropriate pace. Remember, your goal is to captivate your viewer–not bombard them with nonsensical images and warp-speed, or move so slowly that they lose interest. Pay attention to the way you feel while watching your whiteboard animation. Do you feel as though it drags on? Are there parts during which you lose interest? Pay close attention to the internal and external details.
Lastly, choose a voice-over artist that is neutral and clear. Avoid voices that mumble or that listeners might have difficulty in understanding. You’ll want to select a voice that sounds friendly, yet reasonably authoritative. Also, make sure you caption your whiteboard animation. Studies have shown over and over again, that captioned videos almost always get more views.
All in all, it’s easy to make professional whiteboard animations. With the right tools, anything is possible.