Whiteboard Video Production Process
Whiteboard animations are excellent at explaining complex topics in a simple and engaging format. I’m always eager to chat about ideas for videos, however on average I’m booked two to three months in advance for video productions.
Check out the Whiteboard Video tab on my Services page to view samples of previous work.
At first glance, a well-paced whiteboard video seems to flow easily from one idea to the next, but there is significant planning that goes into producing an engaging whiteboard animation! There are common elements to creating any video — it’s a linear process that ensures we’re on the same page every step of the way:
1. Initial Consultation – We’ll talk about what you’re looking for in a video, who the target audience is and the best way to engage them, and any desired branding or illustration styles. Understanding your goals allows us to brainstorm creative techniques to authentically tell your story. This is also when we’ll identify the best way to ensure you get the most longevity out of the video — we want the video to be relevant for as long as possible!
2. Script Writing – Once we’ve got a good sense of your audience, goals, and desired approach, the next step is developing a script. We can work from a draft that you provide, or I can write a draft from scratch. During rounds of revision, you provide edits to the script until it tells your story in a succinct and powerful way. Usually a 2:00 – 3:00 minute video (or shorter!) is ideal for maintaining audience engagement — if it’s too long, viewership declines. Sometimes longer videos are required, but these tend to be educational — for example, explaining a chronic disease, steps in a process for online training, etc.
The first 5-10 seconds of a video is your opportunity to “hook” your viewers to ensure they keep watching. For example, rather than introducing your organization at the start with a logo and title, it’s better to begin a video with a quirky scene or unexpected opening to catch a viewer’s attention.
Example excerpt of script (blue text indicates what is shown onscreen):
3. Storyboard – When you’ve approved the final script, the storyboard is assembled. Each scene is illustrated and matched with its corresponding section of script. I take a more detailed approach to storyboarding than most animators; the storyboards are detailed and polished illustrations (not rough sketches) so you can see exactly what will be animated. As with the script, the storyboard is refined over a series of revisions until it looks just right.
First two pages of a storyboard (click to enlarge):
4. Animation – Now for the fun part! Once the storyboard has final approval, the illustrations are animated and edited with the voice over, sound effects, and music (if desired). Voice over options include:
- Drawing Out Ideas provides voice over;
- Hire a voice over talent (I have a list of of contacts);
- Or recording your own voice over (I can provide tips for achieving a solid recording)
The videos I produce are all created digitally, which allows for the greatest flexibility in edits (as nothing is erased as it is on a physical whiteboard!) and the digital images can be used in other materials as stand-alone images. This is great for keeping messaging cohesive and making effective use of the work we put into visualizing your concepts, especially if the whiteboard animation is part of a broader campaign.
The finished product: