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How to Make a Whiteboard Animation in a Day

Posted by Steve Day

How to WB in a day

We sincerely hope, Dear Reader, that you’re not under the kind of pressure that the title of this blog implies.  However, if you are faced with a tight turnaround like we describe here, don’t panic!  Instead, make yourself a cup of the beverage of your choice, take a breath, and formulate a plan.  By adhering to the following steps, you’ll be able to deliver your whiteboard animation on deadline, wow your boss, and save the company—all within a timespan of 24 hours.  Impressive, right?
1. Know Your Story

It sounds like a no-brainer, but so much of the headache around completing a project like a whiteboard animation hinges on knowing exactly what it is you want to express to your audience.  If you’re addressing colleagues in the same workplace, then you have a solid starting point since they’ll already be familiar with the context, acronyms and players.  If you’re addressing an outside audience, just assume that they know nothing about what you’re communicating.  In either case, be sure to adhere to the K.I.S.S. rule - “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”  Communicate only the most essential information to avoid clutter and confusion.  Quick tip:  One great way to sidestep this whole issue is to simply write out the voiceover you’ll want - as you do so, the key points of the story will take shape and you’ll realize what needs clarification.

2. Take Stock

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.  Chances are, someone somewhere has already created the kinds of elements you’re in need of to tell the story you’ve formulated.  Mind you, we’re not suggesting purloining anything.  Rather, take a look at Stock Images or wesites like Creative Commons where all manner of creative people have shared their work for free use.  These elements might not have the exact look you’d hoped for—maybe some of them are photographs rather than straightforward illustrations, but they’ll still be effective in showing the key elements of your story—and that’s what matters.

3. Adopt, Adapt, Improve
Dozens—if not hundereds–of whiteboard animations are made every day, and a great many of these are either on YouTube or available to watch on the websites of the companies that produced them.  Even thought the animation you have in mind might seem unique and difficult to you, there’s a good chance that another video has been made addressing a similar subject.  You can use animations like these as a starting point to figure out what to do with yours.  This step in particular will make it a snap to determine what visuals to include and how you might improve them slightly to fit your storyline.

4. Consider asking for help
This might include reaching out to colleagues for assistance with steps 1 through 5… or just giving us a call!  We’re not afraid of deadlines, and we’ll assemble the video of your dreams while you’re free to enjoy that beverage we mentioned earlier. Call us at 929-397-2893 to get started.

5. Download FREE software. 

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Adobe After Effects is the best software for animation and that includes whiteboard animation. It is the software used to make national commercials. It’s the software our team uses. If you want the best, Adobe After Effects is it. Adobe offers a free trial at this link

Videoscribe is a template-driven whiteboard animation software. You can also upload your own images that it will “draw” for you. If you need to make an animation fast this is the software for you. Unfortunately everyone can use this software, so the videos you will make will be moderately impressive. You will also need Photoshop and other software to run the program. Here is their free-trial link

Doodly is also a template driven software and they offered a free trial at one time.

If you’d rather not learn new software and you have the budget to hire professionals give us a call at 929-397-2893. We’re ready and eager to help!

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