Boosting the sales of the product and services your company offers should be your primary goal while planning a new online marketing campaign. Hence, you must put a special emphasis on the type and the quality of the content you will be using to promote your company. Animated explainer videos are probably among the most efficient web marketing tools as they enable you to tell the story you want in a fun and engaging way. In fact, you don’t even need a huge budget to create your own animated explainer video, because you can do it all by yourself even if you don’t have any previous experience as an animator. So in this article, we are going to show you how to create animated explainer videos by taking you through each step of the process.
How to Make Your First Animated Explainer Video?
Before you decide to make an explainer video, you should take a moment to think about your ideal customers and the story that is the most likely to attract their attention. This will give you a pretty good idea about what your explainer video must contain and more importantly, it will give you a sense of direction. Let’s take a look at the actual steps you need to take in order to create an animated explainer video.
The Preparation Stage
Every product or service is different, which means that each explainer video you create has to reflect the product’s selling points perfectly. The important thing is to keep things short and concise because the audience’s attention span is often quite limited. So, where do you start?
1. Do Your Research in Advance
Research is a natural starting point of all video production processes, regardless of the purpose for which a video is created. You need to know everything there is to know about a product or a service your animated video is about in order to be able to plan the production of that video from start to finish. At this point, you should decide if the animated explainer video is the best option for the product you’re promoting, since a live-action video may be a better option if you need to show the audience what the product can do. If the animated explainer video is the best choice for you, then you should create a list of all the things you’re going to need to create such a video.
2. Make a Script
Each word you say in your video matters, so you must choose your words wisely. Writing the entire voiceover before you actually record it will enable you to always know what to say next. In case you decide to hire a voice actor to read the narration for you, a well-written script is simply a must as the person you hire has no way of knowing which information your voiceover should contain. A script also helps you define the visual identity of the animated explainer video, which can save you a lot of time while you’re looking for animated stock footage you’re going to use in the video.
3. Record the Voiceover
The narration for the explainer video often serves as a guideline for the process of selecting the animated stock footage. However, recording a voiceover requires you to have access to a video editing software like Filmora that lets you record your own voice and a directional microphone that doesn’t pick up background noises easily. Don’t try to do too much in one take, but rather work slowly and meticulously until you’re perfectly happy with the recording you’ve created.
4. Get Stock Animation Footage
All visual segments of an animated explainer video should match the voiceover, because any discrepancies between the video and audio can confuse viewers and stop them from watching the entire video. That’s why the segment in which you’re talking about going on vacation, for instance, can’t be paired with the footage of a person entering an office. You don’t even have to animate the footage yourself since you can just download the pre-animated stock footage from a website like Videoplasty that offers hundreds of pre-animated scenes, vector graphics, and sound effects. However, you can’t download the content from this website for free, which is why you need at least a modest budget to create a professional-looking animated explainer video on your own.
Explainer Video Postproduction Stage
Though there are many explainer video editing software available and we also picked some of the best solutions, most of them are professionals and too complicated to use for beginners. As we’ve said at the beginning, we want to share with you about how to make animated videos even you don’t have any prior animated video editing experience. So, here we will demonstrate with the easy to use video editing software Filmora. YouTuber Eduard Stinga has made a video tutorial about how to make Explainer video animation in Filmora step by step, you can check the video below and download Filmora to try. You can also follow the detailed steps in case you prefer to check the details step by step.
Gather all the materials you’re going to need during the video editing process at one place and then proceed the create a new project in Filmora. Once the new project loads, you can set its resolution, frame rate, and aspect ratio by selecting the Project Settings option from the File menu.
1. Import Media Assets into Filmora
Head over to the Media panel, click on the Import drop-down menu and either select the Import Media Files option if you want to add media assets to the project separately or Import Media Folder option if all of your materials are located in the same folder.
2. Create a Soundtrack
Place the voiceover audio file onto one of the audio tracks on Filmora’s timeline and then add the file that contains the background music. The Wondershare’s video editor features a huge library of royalty-free songs from various genres, and you can just drag the song you’d like to use in your animated explainer video from the Audio tab and drop it to the timeline.
3. Add Animated Elements
Play the voiceover from the beginning and start adding the pre-animated media assets to the video track of the editor’s timeline. Which scenes you’re going to include in the video depends on the voiceover, but the opening clip should set the tone and the atmosphere of the explainer video. Continue doing this until you cover the entire length of the narration with animated footage and make sure to adjust the duration of each clip you add to the timeline by dragging one of its ends left or right until it matches the corresponding segment of the voiceover.
4. Choose the Background
The majority of pre-animated content you can download from Videoplasty and similar websites has transparent backgrounds. This means that after you add them to the timeline in Filmora, their background is going to appear black because the default color of the video editor’s preview window is black. The quickest solution is to utilize the color properties of the Filmora’s text feature to create a monochrome background for your animated explainer video. Alternatively, you can use any photo editing software product to create a monochrome image file you can import into your project and use it as a background for all animated elements you add to the video.
5. Apply Transitions
This is by no means a mandatory step of the process of creating an explainer video, but if the cuts between animations are too hard you can add a transition to make a cut smoother. The Filmora’s Transition tab contains several different categories of transitions so you can choose the one that best fits the style of the project you’re working on. Once you select the transition you want to apply between two video clips simply drag it to a specific location on the timeline and drop it. You can adjust the transition’s duration by dragging one of its ends in an inward or outward direction and you can preview the results by hitting the Space button on your keyboard.
6. Export the Project
When all pieces of the footage are in place you can click on the Export button. The Export window will pop up on the screen and you can choose the format of the video file, pick a destination folder on the computer’s hard drive or export the file directly to your YouTube or Vimeo channel. The duration of the rendering process depends on the length of your video as well as the computer’s processing power.
Making engaging, entertaining and informative animated explainer videos no longer requires enormous budgets and entire teams of animators. In fact, with a bit of imagination, the right animation elements you can download from the Internet and a video editing software like Filmora you can create an animated explainer video even if you don’t have any experience as an animator or video editor. Did you find this guide helpful? Leave a comment and let us know how your first animated explainer video turned out.
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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