Whiteboard Animation

It’s a technique that goes by many names – whiteboard video, RSA-style, video scribing, fast draw, and sketchboard animation, among them – but there’s no doubt about its popularity. And it isn’t hard to figure why people love it, either: watching a hand draw an illustration – so that the art is revealed as it is created – is a hypnotizing experience, and a hard-to-beat way of (literally) drawing out a concept.

Whiteboard animation 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. They created animated clips to accompany the audio of their talks.  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.


Some studios sketch out all the drawings first and then film the hand erasing these lines with an empty marker; they then run the film in reverse to create the drawing effect. At IdeaRocket, we do whiteboard animation differently: the sketches are created digitally on a Cintiq, then a green-screened hand is added by compositing it over the drawing. This allows us to create more polished and professional illustrations, implement client revisions at any time in the process, and add animations that bring variety and interest to the video.

Case Study: Show Open for Weeds

Technique: Whiteboard Animation
Objective: Create a show-open to summarize the first 7 seasons of the show
Project Details: Showtime’s Weeds had a show-open for its early seasons. During the mid-life of the show, they chose to create a new title graphic for each episode. But for the 8th and final season, they wanted to create a show-open that took the viewer through the previous 7-season odyssey of Nancy Botwin. They chose IdeaRocket to create the video, using splashes of color to accentuate the story. The resulting piece was embraced by the show’s fans and nominated for Best Title Design at the SXSW Film Festival.


Case Study: KNOW Better Bread

Technique: Whiteboard Animation
Objective: Introduce KNOW BETTER BREAD as a healthy, bread alternative for consumers
Project Details: KNOW Foods brought together experts in the culinary arts and nutrition to build a healthy, GMO-free alternative to bread. To help bring this new product to market, they sought to create a whiteboard explainer video that educated viewers on the dangers of traditional bread, and positioned KNOW Foods as the healthy, delicious and long-overdue solution. To address these dual purposes and keep the video entertaining, we told the story through a central character: the Earl of Sandwich. Using the Earl as a tour guide through KNOW Foods’ mission and message, we were able to deliver a video that relayed all the pertinent information while remaining upbeat, entertaining and accessible.


"IdeaRocket really brought our product's benefits to life with imagination and humor. We are very proud of the results!"

- Steve Hanley, CEO, Know Better Bread

Visit our portfolio to see more samples.

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