Are you thinking about creating an animated video? Well, I’ve worked with video production companies before. Although I was mostly in the recording studio, one thing I learned, which is the same with creating online videos, is that you should have a process flow.
This will give you a clearer picture of how the video will turn up like and what direction or message you want the video to have. Plus, it just saves you a whole lot of time.
#1 : Write your script
Your video script depends on the type of video you are creating. If for example, you are creating an explainer video about your product, then the script must showcase your product in the best way to viewers. If you are creating an introduction video about your company, then the script must match how you want people to view you like. Make sure your script carries the message that you want people to hear. Below are a few other notes to consider when writing your script:
#2 : Create your storyboard
Based on the script that you just made, you now can create a storyboard with it. I actually still love using pen and paper for my storyboard before moving them onto the computer, but you can create them straight on your computer if you like.
Having your set of graphics ready will be a good practice when creating your storyboard. Putting up the characters and other graphics on your storyboard will show you how it will all match up in the video later on.
To keep your storyboard as clear as possible, use only 1-2 lines from your script on each storyboard frame. Write down the notes you might have on each individual frame (like what animation should happen or sound to include on that frame), example:
Note: You can tweak your script to suit the storyboard better and vice versa. It’s ok, we all do it!
#3 : Animate your video
Once you are happy with your storyboard (which will be the video flow), the video script (matches the storyboard nicely) and the graphics that you’ll be using for your video, it’s time to create your animated video.
So how do we do this?
Well, fortunately for us, there are so many software out there that we can use to create our own animated videos. There are free software and paid ones. There are easy to use software and complicated ones. Each of them has different functions and can help you create different types of effects for your videos.
Of course each of these software has it’s own pros and cons too, and since I’m a self-taught animation and video creator myself, I would advice you to use whatever that works for you. Meaning, if you are really keen on creating advance video animation works, you might want to use a more advanced (possibly a bit more complicated) software. But if you just want to create videos for your business (like explainer videos or welcome videos), there are some pretty good and less complicated software that will do wonders for you (seriously!).
Ok, so let’s take a look at some of our options. Please note that I’m only highlighting these few software that I personally have used myself (they all come with a free trial period or money back guarantee). So I would say try it and choose the one that works best for you :
After Effects – This is professional animation software. Many professional animators use it for their projects. It’s a little bit expensive but it’s able to perform some very cool animation works. There’s a quite a learning curve if you really want to master and utilize this software, but it’s definitely worth it for serious animation works.
PowToon – This is a web-based animation software which means that you don’t need to download any software on your computer – all your video works will be edited and stored in your online account. This software is quite easy to understand and use. Furthermore, thousands of people are already using it, so it’s pretty reliable. Anyone can sign up for a free account and use this software. However, there are some limitations with the free account such as you can’t remove the Powtoon watermark on your video. It can easily be removed if you decide to upgrade your account and the upgraded account will also give you much more options and flexibility in your video creation. Powtoon also keeps a copy of all your videos on their server, so if you ever lost you video file, you can always retrieve it back from them.
VideoScribe – This software allows you to create whiteboard animation videos, which is very popular these days (there’s actually a few hundred thousands of VideoScribe users already). It is a system-based software, which works with Mac and PC. You can take advantage of their 7 days free trial and create as many videos as you like, all with their huge collection of graphics and music files made available in their system. They do offer a monthly, yearly and also a one-off payment plan. What’s cool is that if you only need to create videos for some project (say you want to make only 2 videos – an explainer and a welcome video), you can sign up for their monthly plan and unsubscribe once your video is done. When you need to create new videos later on (say a promo video), then simply reactivate your subscription (these guys are cool with that). The software is pretty easy to use, so it’s really possible to have your videos created in a nick of time.
Explandio 2.0 – It’s a system-based software that you need to download on your Mac or PC. With Explaindio 2.0, you can create Animated, Doodle Sketch, Whiteboard and Motion Videos. The software comes with a ready collection of animated graphics, motion videos, stock images and more. It even has a ‘Green Screen’ feature, a ‘Dynamic Zoom’ feature (where you can make the effect of selected parts in video zoomed in or out) and a ‘Dynamic Rotation’ feature (like your video appears tilted), which makes it an even more awesome tool. Currently, Explaindio 2.0 offers a very low yearly subscription fee. And it comes with a 30 day money back guarantee too.
Note: I normally render my videos once I’m happy with the visuals without any music background attached to it. Rendering is a process where you send the video output to a video format (like mp4 or Mov). I will then use this video file as guide for recording my voiceover and music background. I’ll explain why below.
#4 : Record your voice over, music & sound effects
You can record your own voiceover directly on your computer. I normally use Garageband (on Mac) and Audacity (a free software) works well on PCs too. Both of them comes with a sound editing tool that allows you to add multi tracks and tweak the sound files as well.
From my experience, it is better to put in the voiceover, music and sound effects after you’re animated video is actually ready. This is because you can sync the voiceover to match the video timing better for example the voiceover actually starts when your character animation appears.
You can then insert your sound effects (if you have) at the correct timing that suits the video animation.
Once you are satisfied, choose a music background that suits the video style and matches voiceover and sound effects too. Make sure your music background sound level is not too loud, so that it doesn’t overpower the voiceover and sound effects. Then save the output of this sound file to an audio format (say an mp3 format)
Now go back to your video editing software and insert the audio file and render your video. Else, you can also attach the audio file (mp3) to the ready rendered video file (mp4) using iMovie on Mac or Windows Movie Maker on PC.
Note: If you are using a professional voiceover service, then send them the script and rendered video file (mp4) without the music background, so they can sync the voiceover with the video. It would be advisable if you can find someone who can record the voiceover with some music background and also attach it to the video for you (they do offer this service, sometimes complimentary). So when you get back the video file back from them, it’s already ready for use – this sure saves a lot of time and hassle.
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