What is a whiteboard animation?
You’ve probably used a dry-erase whiteboard to sketch ideas out during a meeting, illustrate a problem in math class, or keep track of your grocery list. But you can also use a whiteboard to create animated videos.
Since the style lends itself well to illustrating complex ideas in a visual way, most whiteboard animations are created as marketing videos or educational explainer videos. The combination of bright, graphic illustrations with an engaging and interesting story instantly grabs attention and can keep both customers and students engaged.
“Whiteboard animation is traditionally done on a dry-erase whiteboard with simple pens. There’s no shading, and it’s usually made with very quick line drawings,” explains animator and illustrator Mark Wooding. The videos are often accompanied by a voice-over, explaining the content or narrating the scene.
How to make a great whiteboard video.
1. Make an outline for your whiteboard animation video.
The key to a great video is a great script. “The video will only be as successful as the story is. If you want to make a really compelling video, it has to begin with a great script,” says animator and illustrator William Warren. Before jumping in with your pens, focus on the content of your video, what you want to say, and how you want to say it.
Most whiteboard videos explain a topic or tell a story. But remember, even dull educational topics can be engaging when presented in the right way. “There’s always a compelling story to tell. It doesn’t matter what your topic is, you can always communicate it well with principles of good storytelling,” explains Warren.
Keep your visuals in mind as you write your whiteboard animation video script. Planning one symbol or illustration for each sentence is a good cadence to keep. “You don’t want to do three drawings in one sentence because that’s too much for the viewer to handle. But you also don’t want one drawing for a paragraph, because then the viewer is left waiting for the next thing,” explains Wooding. Be sure to read your script out loud as you write. This can help you plan the pace and tone of your story and make sure the flow feels natural for the final video animation.