The Best DIY Whiteboard Animation Software: Our Definitive ReviewShawn 05.24.2017
Obviously, we here at IdeaRocket think that the best way to engage potential clients and spread the word about your business is with a quality animated explainer video. But we also understand that not every company has the budget for professional whiteboard animation. And that’s ok. DIY whiteboard animation software has come a long way in the last few years, and a DIY explainer video could be just what your boot-strapped operation needs to get off the ground, but only if it looks good.
A poorly made whiteboard won’t “save you money” if it hurts your brand and drives away customers. So to help you get started with animation for your company, we took a look at some of the most popular DIY whiteboard animation tools on the market.
Some are good, some are bad, and some are just downright ugly. Here’s your updated review (2017 version) of the best DIY whiteboard animation software for any budget.
DIY Whiteboard Animation Software Review
VideoScribe — $29/month
Best Use: Education / FAQ section
When it comes to DIY whiteboard animation tools, you get what you pay for. A lot of “free” video tools are garbage (more on that below), so even though it’s tempting to make a video for $0, remember that this is a marketing tool that represents your brand. If you’re not willing to pay $30 for what will quickly become a keystone piece of content, maybe you need to rethink your business model.
The video interface is easy to use, if a little simple, and will produce passable whiteboard animation for a variety of uses. Choose from a library of stock images, set your animation points and timing, add voiceover and/or a soundtrack, and you’re all set. VideoScribe is great for education and simple technical explanations, but lacks the flexibility for creating impactful sales tools and branding videos. It’s great for specific explanations, but definitely not something you want to build your marketing strategy around.
Here’s a user-created video from Healthy Habits Champions:
I actually like parts of this video. The color palette is appealing and whimsical, and the art style is warm and friendly. It’s a great effort, and a lovely video. But that isn’t enough to make it a great marketing video. This video doesn’t make me want to learn more about the brand, which is the whole point of making a video.
The problem with DIY whiteboard videos isn’t the quality of the animation (or at least not entirely). No, the problem is that DIY videos often lack a clear objective, point of view, and call to action. Because of those flaws, they rarely produce the same results as a studio production.
Technical Problems with DIY Whiteboard Animation
While the video from Healthy Habits has a lot of good things going for it, the sluggish introduction, long pauses, poor audio, and lack of transitions make this video subtly uncomfortable to watch. If they’d simply added a no-frills soundtrack to the voiceover, the video would be 10x more engaging!
The art direction is cluttered. Castles, forests, rainbows, coloring, swing sets, ice cream, and a host of other random childhood icons overload the viewer. In the same vein, while there are tons of characters, we never see a protagonist. We don’t get someone to root for; someone to follow. The viewer (aka your target audience), isn’t present in this animated video.
Even “nice looking” DIY whiteboard animation just lacks all the tiny details and professional precision that today’s viewers expect from online video. If your video doesn’t meet viewers’ expectations, you’ll lose their attention. And that’s not ok.
DIY Whiteboard Animation Software Review: TruScribe
VideoScribe is fine if you need to explain something in a very simple way. However, this isn’t a brand building tool. You can try VideoScribe free for 7 days, and pay a $29/month to create as many videos as you want. You do have to pay for some of the premium images in the templates, so be aware of that. Make a bunch of videos and cancel after one month, (they even say it on their website) or sign up for a whole year—the flexible payment options is another great feature.
- Simple, technical explanations (not sales oriented)
Not Recommended For:
- Brand Building
- High-End Products
- Convention Presentations
Best Use: Time sensitive event landing page
Raw Shorts is another DIY whiteboard animation company with decent looking videos. Here’s a sample called Whiteboard Template for Accountants:
The animation is a little hokey, but passable, and the color palette is pleasing to the eye. This video is closer to branding purposes, which is saying a lot. However, watch the video for longer than 15 seconds and you’ll start to feel your attention drifting. It’s because this video simply isn’t engaging. It has all the necessary pieces of a good explainer video, but lacks the professional storytelling touch that makes it actually engaging. This animation is animation for the sake of having a video. It’s not an actual marketing tool that you can use with confidence.
This video is good for what it is, but it’s still obviously a template. And you never forget that. The generic slogans, vague statements, and stock animation footage just drone on. Accounting isn’t exciting stuff, but this video doesn’t provide any reason to keep watching, and that’s a problem.
DIY Whiteboard Animation Software Review: Raw Shorts
If you want a simple paint-by-numbers animated explanation of your business, the list of pre-made templates is a great option for adding some video content to your website. It’s easy to use, smooth, and will look just fine. If however, you’re looking to take your business to the next level, this DIY animation software comes up a little short.
The free plan includes a Raw Shorts watermark and outro, so you’ll want to upgrade to remove that. The free plan also only includes YouTube uploads, so you’ll only be able to link to that YouTube page. If you want to download the raw video file to use for your website or other marketing materials you have to upgrade to the premium plans.
- Time sensitive or product landing page
- Company Overview
- Brand Building
Easy Sketch Pro 3.0 — $37 one time fee
Best Use: Pyramid Scheme Presentations / Spam
I hate giving negative reviews, but there is nothing redeeming about Easy Sketch Pro 3.0 DIY whiteboard animation software. The animation is slapped together and choppy. The image library is tiny, cliche, and flat. Even the marketing attached to this product reads like a bad get-rich quick scheme from a trashy novel. The website is just one long scrolling page with crazy clicking and scrolling that jumps you around. I deleted my cookies after clicking around this website for a while.
Everything about this product screams “bad,” from it’s yacht owning creator, to it’s long, pointless how-to video:
You can use your own images and formatting third-party .png is tedious according to actual Easy Sketch Pro 3.0 users. The animation is cookie-cutter at best, and simply creates more marketing white noise that people will not even notice. Your brand will suffer from using this product.
DIY Whiteboard Animation Review: Easy Sketch Pro 3.0:
Save your $37.
TTS Sketchmaker — $37 one time fee
Apparently every company that makes terrible DIY whiteboard animation software decided that $37 was the magic number they could get from gullible creators. TTS Sketchmaker DIY whiteboard software is hilarious. They rely solely on Text to Speech audio tools, so every video sounds like it’s narrated by a stuttering robot. Do yourself a favor and watch a few. They’re awesome…ly bad.
DIY Whiteboard Animation Software Review: TTS Sketchmaker
TTS Sketchmaker is not a professional whiteboard video maker. Period.
DIY Whiteboard Animation Software: Use at Your Own Risk
Whiteboard animation is a great way to make your brand stand out, but make sure you stand out for the right reasons. A quality explainer video will drive engagement, social shares, and brand awareness. A poor whiteboard video will scare off potential customers and degrade your business. Identify why you want to make your whiteboard video, then move forward with the right tools that fit your budget.
Don’t sell yourself short with whiteboard video software that will cost your company new leads and more business in the long run.
If you’re interested in producing whiteboard animation, check out our portfolio and see what can be done with a customized approach.