People who are unfamiliar with animated explainer videos frequently believe that they are simple to produce. This is primarily because a typical animated video is timely and uncomplicated.
The truth is entirely different; creating an explainer video is a really difficult task.
It will always take time to produce high-quality content, even if you’ve been running a video production company for several years and have a fantastic animation roster. After managing our own explainer video company for over a decade, we hope that you will find this step-by-step guide about the animated explainer video process helpful.
What is an Explainer Video?
In simple terms, an explainer video is a brief, instructional video (usually around 30 seconds to 2 minutes long) that visually, creatively, and engagingly illustrates a concept. Animated explainer videos are, as the name suggests, explainer videos created in the animation style rather than being live-action.
For the sake of not being total hypocrites, here’s an animated explainer video we created to explain what an animated explainer video is and why videos are taking over:
The Animated Explainer Video Process – How We Do it
Animation is the practice of creating the illusion of movement by using static images in a two-dimensional setting. The storyboards, avatars, and backdrops all feature customized visuals.
We have developed and enhanced a tried-and-true animated explainer video production process over the years, which has resulted in the production of excellent video material. Owing to our overarching philosophy, which places the client at the core of every stage of production, they would be able to remain informed throughout the whole process.
Even though each animation video project we work on is distinct, they consistently pass through these 7 crucial stages:
Understanding the client
Understanding the client’s business and the project is the cornerstone of a successful animated explainer video process of production. In order to successfully explain the idea or product at hand, we need to fully understand the brand and its values. The information we compile includes elements like the objective of the video, product characteristics, advantages they want to emphasize, etc.
Analyzing their target audience
Before creating an animated explainer video, it is important that we understand the business’s target audience. This will help us determine exactly what type of video will best appeal to them and how to communicate the message in a way that resonates with them. Additionally, understanding the target audience will help us gauge the overall tone and style of the video at hand. Not every demographic watches the same types of videos, and not every type of video works in sending the message to every person out there.
Agreeing on the script and concept
The third step of the animated explainer video process is agreeing on the video’s script and overall concept. At this point, we develop an idea for the video using the aforementioned specifications as a guide in addition to our own research. The concept might be philosophical, character-driven, emotionally stirring, or conversational, whichever best fits the video production for our client. Crafting the script is not as easy of a process as it seems. Experienced scriptwriters start writing a clear and engaging script that then goes through stages of experimentation to decide on the best final version.
Recording the voiceover
You should be mindful that a video’s main driver is the voiceover. Because the voiceover can either make or break a video’s success, our animated explainer video process entails handpicking the speaker to make sure that they’re able to convey the message in the appropriate tone of voice. We also keep in mind the type and topic of the video at hand when choosing the voiceover artist. Some videos require charismatic and engaged voices while others require calm and soothing voices. To ensure the best voice result, we record in isolated spaces to eliminate echoes and use high-quality gear such as noise-canceling microphones and pop shields.
Constructing the storyboard
Storyboards are essentially a graphic depiction of your video screenplay. This step of the animated explainer video process consists of a collection of sketches that show what your video will look like. A storyboard also includes short explanations in addition to these boxes with graphics, giving them the appearance of a comic book page. The description entails dialogue, narrations, and thorough details about how the scene will play out.
Designing the visual elements
A visual style is developed at this step of the animated explainer video process using our client’s brand guidelines. It can also be referred to as a colorful storyboard. These are unique, full-color renderings that depict how the finished video will appear. They comprise text, background color, icons, eye-catching graphics, and character customization.
We typically develop different visual style alternatives from which the client can pick. We convert the preliminary sketches into finished, colored images based on the client’s choice. It takes a lot of effort and ingenuity to complete this step in the animation process. We use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to complete this step.
Creating the animation
The animated explainer video begins to take shape at this stage of the animated explainer video process! Here, our animators give the established visual style the appearance of life. Additionally, it is timed correctly and has a quality narration to create a fascinating animated explainer video. This is done using Adobe After Effects.
Patience is essential when animating because it takes a long time. After the storyboard has been approved, we start producing the video. We discuss any changes you may have made after sharing the initial draft. After that, we present the finished product for your review.
Adding the music
Now that the ambiance of the video has been established, we can add the ideal soundtrack and sound effects. This final stage of the animated explainer video process is crucial for bringing the video to life and giving it a little extra energy. Although it sounds like an easy task, it’s not. Choosing music that both fit the video and is not subjected to copyrights is an art our production team has!
The snippets you can see above are taken from our behind-the-scenes production process for an animated explainer video we created for Entrepreneur about tricks to make you look smarter (you’re welcome). Here’s the final result:
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The Animated Explainer Video Process – Duration and Price
A typical animated explainer video requires around 3 to 4 weeks to be completed, and this includes all the aforementioned video production process steps. Why? Well, “what comes easy won’t last,” right? We consider ourselves to be quite the perfectionists, which is at once a very positive trait to have and the bane of our existence (cue laughter).
This perfectionism of ours has made it possible for us to collaborate with some of the most important companies, nongovernmental organizations, and even governmental bodies in Canada and on a worldwide scale, most notably Hershey’s, Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services, Bonnie Crombie (the Mayor of the City of Mississauga), and many others.
As for the pricing, we typically charge around 4,000 USD for a 60-second animated explainer video. After quite some deliberation, market research, and comparison between different animated explainer video companies, we found that this price is the most competitive seeing as many charge up to 50,000 USD for a 60-second video!
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However, the duration of production and the video’s pricing depend on several factors that might make the process either longer or shorter and the price either lower or higher. These factors are:
The animation style that you choose will affect the duration of production and the video’s pricing. If you want a 2D animation video, it will take less time to produce than if you want a 3D animation video. The revisions and edits will also affect the duration of production and the video’s pricing. If you need more revisions and edits, it will take longer to produce the video than if you need fewer revisions and edits.
The video runtime will also affect the duration of production and the video’s pricing. Logically, if you want a shorter video, it will take less time to produce than if you want a longer video. The longer your video, the more animation, voice-over, effects, and images it will need.
The topic complexity will also affect the duration of production and the video’s pricing. If you want a video about a complex topic, it will take longer to produce. For example, flying saucers and aliens will definitely be harder to create than simple human figures walking on the street. The simpler the topic, and the less your attention to detail, the faster and cheaper your video will be.
The due date will also affect the duration of production and the video’s pricing. If you need the video sooner, it will take the team more effort to produce it on time. If you can wait longer for the video, then the company can have more time to focus on your video. Therefore, always make sure you request your animated explainer video a good while before your publishing date.
Client feedback time
The client feedback time largely affects the duration of production and the video’s pricing. If you can give feedback quickly, it will take less time to produce the video than if you take longer to give feedback. Add to that, if the client requests additions, then the pricing will have to increase as well.
Revisions and edits
As you’d expect, the more edits required, the more time the end product will take to be ready!
What Are Animated Explainer Videos Used for?
Animated explainer videos are among the most versatile things in existence. They can be used for the different inbound marketing stages (attract, engage, close, and delight), for marketing and sales, customer service, tutorials, demos, and pretty much any goal you have in mind.
An animated explainer video, which is an umbrella term for the different animated styles of videos, can take the form of whiteboard animations, infographics, motion graphics…
What makes animated explainer videos even more priceless is their adaptability to different industries’ needs; they can be used in the educational sector, in the healthcare industry, in NGOs, and even in government agencies, to name a few.
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The animated explainer video process is a lengthy procedure that requires several interactions and advanced planning. Both the client and the video production company must be involved in the animated explainer video process, because success requires active client and company involvement and conversation.
In order to ensure that the end result is exactly what our client (and, more crucially, our client’s targets) would like to see and will connect with, we prefer to do our thorough research. Making the decision to include an animated video in your company’s marketing efforts can be difficult and frightening, but the benefits it reaps outweigh the fears tenfold.
| RELATED: How Explainer Videos Help Businesses
Did you know that when companies deployed animated explainer videos to describe their offerings, they witnessed around an 80% increase in sales? This is due to the fact that practically all consumers find explainer videos to be highly beneficial in explaining what a product or service is, what its benefits are, and how it works.
Some other benefits are:
- Provide a solution to a problem
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase website traffic and time spent on website
- Boost SEO and ranking
Why Verve Videos? Creating videos is, to us, much more than a mere profession. Our team of creatives found their calling in video production and nothing makes our family happier than seeing the look of ecstasy on our clients’ faces once they have the final product within their grasp — this makes the hard work we put in worth every minute of the 3 to 4 weeks it takes to bring an idea to life.
If you’re considering investing in an animated explainer video but don’t know where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out! We look forward to hearing from you.