Whiteboard Animation

Whiteboard Animation: Learn Physics

Shawn 01.09.2014

From RSA style whiteboard animation to motion graphics, some of the best animated explainer videos out there aren’t for a product or business – they’re for an idea. Enjoy these great examples from the likes of National Geographic, novelist Amy Rosenthal, physicist Henry Reich, and something about money.

Is it Better to Walk or Run in the Rain? – Minute Physics

Minute Physics has settled many bar debates through clear whiteboard animation and RSA-style explainers. No question is too bizarre, and no physics quandary too complicated. Funnily enough, this one’s been making the rounds. Who knew over 5 million people were this interested in the weather?

Seven Billion: Are You Typical? – National Geographic

These thought provoking motion graphic shrugs voiceover for a song that will get stuck in your head. Arresting stats appear in iconic Nat Geo yellow slowly revealing tidbits about the world’s “most typical human.” We learn that he (yes it’s a “he”) is right-handed, 28 years-old, Chinese, owns a cell phone, but doesn’t have a bank account. Follow the yellow-brick motion graphic road and learn the rest  about your “typical” fellow human. The composite image at the end is fantastic.

One Trillion Dollars Visualized – Mint.com

Ask someone what a brief case full of hundred dollar bills looks like and they’ll have a pretty good idea. Tell that same person to visualize $1 trillion – $1,000,000,000,000 – and they’ll count zeroes in the air in front of them (I just did) with no clue what that literal mountain of money looks like, let alone what it can do. Sometimes it takes animation to get a message across.

The clean graphics of this video, combined with tangible concepts – both big – the military budget of every NATO nation – and small – a $3 latte everyday for 900 million years – drive home the value of what $1 trillion can buy. An excellent marriage of a great script, compelling content, and clear delivery.

Kindness Thought Bubble – Amy Krouse Rosenthal/Thought Cafe

Amy starts slowly, and the 4:02 run time is a little long, but she gathers steam at 0:45, and the anecdotal story telling style, references to Confucian “Jen” philosophy, and quirky theme draw you in.

The animation and story arc give it a short film feel, but Amy includes all the elements of great explainer video, namely:

  • Clear definitions
  • Strong Value Statement
  • Information on Complicated Topics
  • A Conclusion

This is a great example of the less conventional long form explanation video, and is well worth watching. Spoiler alert: You might say, “Huh,” at the end. And mean it.

Shawn

Born in Southern California, Shawn grew up surfing, eating In-N-Out, and growing his hair long. After graduating with a Liberal Arts degree from CSU Long Beach in 2005 he left the crowded freeways behind and spent the better part of a decade traveling the world living for stretches in Rome, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Brooklyn. He writes novels as well as copy, loves learning keyboard shortcuts, and plays his grandpa’s old lap steel guitar. You can hear his band at ponieswillbiteyou.com

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