Whiteboard animation, also known as RSA animate, was first popularized by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), a British non-profit dedicated to promoting enlightened thinking. These clips proved to be enormously popular on YouTube, with one video in particular, a talk by Dan Pink, receiving more than seven million views.

The technique goes by many names – whiteboard animation, RSA-style, video scribing, fast draw, or sketchboard animation – but there’s no doubt about its popularity. And it isn’t hard to figure why: watching an illustration materialize as it is created is a hypnotizing experience and a hard-to-beat way of (literally) drawing out a concept.

Some studios sketch out all the drawings first and then film the hand erasing these lines; they can then run the film in reverse to create the drawing effect. At IdeaRocket, we do whiteboard animation differently: the sketches are created digitally, then a green-screened hand is added by compositing it over the drawing. This allows us to implement client revisions at any time in the process. Not only is this workflow more convenient, it also allows us to add animation that brings variety and interest to the video.

Case Study – Weeds

When the TV show Weeds was looking for an animation studio to provide a show-open in the Whiteboard Animation style for their eighth and last season, they considered their options and chose IdeaRocket to create the title sequence. This piece was nominated for Best Title Design at the SXSW Film Festival.

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