How to Choose an Animation Studio: Portfolio Assessment Tool
Reviewing animation portfolios is the best way to choose an animation studio that is the right fit for your project. By looking at the studio's previous work, you can get a sense of their style and quality. But how do you know what to look for?
Choose the Best Animation Technique for Video
You know you want to make an animated explainer video but you’re not sure which animation technique to choose. Your unique goals, audience, and plans for the video will dictate which animated technique is best.
Two Kinds of Walk Cycles
Usually when I teach the walk cycle I have the highest point of the arm swing come at the heel-toe position. I recently took a look at Richard Williams, however, and I noticed that he has the highest point of the arm swing come at the landing position.
After Effects Templates: 7 Free Or Low-Cost Stock Video Sites
Adobe After Effects templates are pre-built project files designers can use to add and enhance their own video projects. These files are built to allow freedom and flexibility for video producers to customize elements to fit different project needs.
13 Explainer Video Examples To Inspire Your Next Project
Explainer videos can turn big ideas into bite-size pieces, and boil complex processes down into simple steps. When done right, they can also capture the essence of your brand in a unique, yet professional, manner.
Making Your First Animated Explainer Video: A 10 Question Checklist
Animated explainer videos are one of the most effective ways to promote your business. Big name brands like Dropbox, and Venmo, and startups like Crazy Egg catapulted themselves from obscurity to household names with little more than a 60-second video. But the path to explainer video stardom isn't easy. A great animated explainer video doesn't just happen. You need to think about your objective, your budget, your target audience, and how you're going to use this awesome new sales marketing resource before you even think about making your first explainer video.
How to Make Your First Animated Explainer Video: Tips from DeerPro
For many companies, there’s nothing more nerve-wracking than making your first explainer video. It’s a big investment and you probably have a lot of questions. Should the video be live-action or animation? Do you want a short informative video or can it be more narrative with characters, branding, and a memorable story arc? Which video style should you use (motion graphics, whiteboard animation, etc)? What do you do once you actually make the video? There’s a lot to consider. To help you answer a few of these questions, we talked with one of our most recent clients, Sean McNamara, at DeerPro, about making and launching their first animated explainer video.
Your Ultimate Explainer Video CTA Guide
Video marketing without a clear CTA is like fishing without bait. Or a hook. Or a rod. In the desert. You can’t catch fish without the right bait. If you’re lucky enough to grab people’s attention with your high quality explainer video, you have to immediately direct that interest toward the next step in the process — conversion — with a strong, clear call-to-action (CTA) that gets results. Make better videos and get better results with our complete video CTA guide with 7 simple steps to create an effective video CTA, 3 different types of video CTAs, and 5 common call-to-action mistakes to avoid.
How to Spot Professional Animation: A Guide to Articulation and Key Frames
While it might look like magic, the best professional animation is really just meticulous attention to detail. When animators care about every single frame and master Disney’s classic 12 Principles of Animation, the results are smooth, realistic animation that people live. The most convincing animated videos use techniques ranging from “squash and stretch” and “arcs” all the way to character appeal. However, this post will take a closer look at one of the most basic yet overlooked aspects of animation — articulation and key frames and how they affect the timing and smoothness of the animation. Don't panic. It's not that technical.
“What’s Your Hook?” A Video Marketing Guide
Hands down, the best way to reach people online is with video. People love video because video is easy to watch, engaging as all heck, helpful (hopefully), and most importantly—you can watch it on the go. Video is perfectly positioned for mobile devices, and make no mistake—buyers have gone mobile. Mobile users don't have time for massive blocks of text. If you're not there with a video to answer their concerns, you're not part of the conversation. There are plenty of fish in this new digital sea, but to catch the right ones you need the right hook. Explainer video is your hook.
15 Video Transitions for Animated Video (and why they matter)
A truly great animated video is all about persuasion. You want to persuade people to click on your link with an enticing thumbnail. Then you want to convince them to watch the video long enough to click, subscribe, like, share, or whatever CTA you attach to the animated explainer about your company. The success of your video is all about getting viewers to believe what you say about your company in the short time you have their attention, and persuading them to take further action. And while a great script, compelling character design, and a professional look and feel are all essential to a great video, the way your video transitions from shot to shot during your 60-second explainer video might be the most persuasive element in your entire video.
Explain it Like I’m a Kid: Santa Monica Explainer Video
Everyone knows that whiteboard animation and explainer videos are great for explaining complicated topics. It’s in the name. Animated TED Talks, RSA-style animation, and tech startup videos showing off the newest features of flashy apps are the norm. But a great explainer video doesn’t have to look like it just stepped out of a corporate synergy business meeting. In fact, some of the best explainer videos look like they were made by a kid.
How to Find the Perfect Voiceover Artist for Your Video
While videos without a voiceover are becoming more and more popular, videos with a voiceover will always be with us. Why? Because by presenting complementary information on the visual and aural channels, narrated videos can provide a lot more information density, and they can do so with the matchless appeal of the human voice.
How Long Should Your Video Be: Optimal Video Length
Length matters, especially when it comes to online video. The optimal video length varies from video to video. Different hosts (YouTube vs. Facebook), and unique video marketing objectives mean that the ideal length for your video will fluctuate—but not by all that much. No matter who you are or what you're selling, the hard, fast answer to, "How long should your video be?" is, "Short."
Should Your Video Sell the Problem or the Solution: It Depends
Should you sell the problem or the solution? This seemingly straightforward question has plagued salesmen since the dawn of time. Is the best way to market yourself and your product by making consumers hyper aware of the problems they face via explaining the “pain point,” or will you make your mark by standing out from the crowd with a brand new solution? What’s the difference between selling the problem and selling the solution?
Whiteboard Animation: The 12 Best Whiteboard Videos from 2007-2017
When whiteboard animation burst onto the scene over ten years ago, most people thought it was a fad. Yet even in the digital age of 3D animation, CGI, VR, and even augmented reality, the unmistakeable clarity and simplicity of whiteboard videos continues to engage millions of viewers, year after year. We've been making explainer videos for over a decade, and whiteboard videos are still popular for one simple reason—they work. So to help you better understand the power of whiteboard animation, here are our favorite picks for the best whiteboard animation from the past 10 years.
Vertical Video Guide: Facebook, Snapchat, Aspect Ratios & More
If you’re an online video purist, you probably hate vertical video. For years, portrait mode videos have been a sign of low quality production, but that’s quickly changing. In 2017, mobile devices surpassed desktops as the main way people watch online video, and mobile viewers want more vertical aspect videos. Thanks to user generated content and quality branded videos on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, vertical video has gone from an unforgivable sin to mainstream media staple practically overnight. Embrace the madness and learn how to make vertical video—and mobile video—work for you with this complete vertical video guide.
Why Professional Explainer Video Matters
Most of our potential clients are fairly far along in the research process of the buyer’s journey before we ever speak with them. They have a good sense of the animation look and style they want, at least to some degree. It's not hard to Google “whiteboard video” or “CGI explainer videos” and look at some pretty impressive professional explainer video portfolios. Heck, here’s our animation reel to save you some time.
How Much Does a DIY Explainer Video Really Cost?
Professional animated explainer videos can cost thousands of dollars. That's a fact. This intimidating price tag can make cheaper video options—like DIY explainer video and freelance animators—look appealing. But this isn’t a chili-dog deal from Groupon—this animated explainer video is going to be a huge part of your business' sales and marketing strategy, and lead generation tool. You explainer video is a big deal, and you get what you pay for. Before you settle for a DIY explainer video or budget animation studio, take a look at some of the hidden costs of making a budget explainer video. If you're not careful your "cheap" video might cost you more time, money, and future income than you think.
Micro Video Content: The Future of Online Video
The future of marketing really is video. Video results already encompass more than half of all internet searches, and mobile video views overtook desktop devices in 2017 as the dominant form of online video. People want video on the go, which means they want micro content. Transform your video marketing strategy with micro video content and catapult your brand into the future.
Steal This Script: Free Video Script Template Download
Staring at a blank page sucks. Trying to cram all the great features of your product or service into a 60-second video, complete with captivating images and smooth animation is worse. We get it. That's why we’ve taken some of the work out of the animated video process by giving you an easy to use, free download of our A/V script template to help you get the ball rolling on your next video project. Seriously, steal our script template. We want you to.
New Jobs, Animated Video Tools & Tutorials: The Friday Roundup
Wacom is releasing a bigger, better Cintiq tablet, Guillermo Del Toro has made a movie about a CGI mermaid in a secret facility, and you can learn how to make realistic whiteboard animation effects in After Effects with our simple video tutorial. Animated video is getting better all the time.
A Guide to Translating Video Content
Companies today have not only a globally distributed customer base but a globally distributed workforce too. With such a broad swath of demographics to cover, it can be hard for businesses to reach an audience with so many different backgrounds and keep the same level of engagement. With only 27% of web users speaking English, translating your video content into another language – or multiple – is a smart way to reach a more global audience and stand out from the competition.
How to Create Whiteboard Animation in After Effects [Video Tutorial]
Whiteboard animation comes in all shapes and sizes, but there really is a difference between budget whiteboard animation effects and quality animation. The devil is in the details, and to demonstrate just a hint of the meticulous care that goes into smooth seamless whiteboard animation, we asked one of our top animators, Scott Strong to break down two fundamental whiteboard animation effects in Adobe After Effects.
Animated Video that Inspires: The Friday Animation Roundup
Animated video is powerful. From a 2-minute short story that makes you want to run outside and live your best life, to the “ah-ha” moments of professional animators still learning something new everyday. Animation is a never-ending wheel of innovation, history, and reinvention that keeps churning out online video that people just want to watch.
Animation and Comics: Interview w/ Mike Cavallaro
Animation and comics have a lot of crossover. Animated video and graphic novels are both driven by compelling characters, meticulous narrative pacing, and grueling serialized production schedules while still maintaining room for artists, designers, create incredible, creative work. The rise of digital production, new media, and changing roles for artists and animators is still transforming the way that we create and consume animation and comic illustration. To get a handle on the current state of both fields—and the crossover between the two—we talked with comic book artist, illustrator, writer, and animator, Mike Cavallaro.
4 Great Animated Explainer Videos About America
In honor of Independence Day, we’re featuring some of the best animated explainer videos about government, politics, and ‘Murica. There’s a lot going on in the US right now, so hopefully you can learn a thing or two about how it all works and why it matters from these four great animated explainer videos about America. Enjoy and Happy Independence Day, America!
Animation is in the Details: The Friday Animation Roundup
Success is all about the details. This week’s animated video roundup focuses on the nitty gritty—the nuts and bolts— in animation. Learn how to develop a compelling story for your video. Master the ins and outs of trademark law. Understand why you need to upload your video in 16:9 aspect ratio so people don’t see those dang black bars on the side of your YouTube video.
Understanding Aspect Ratio: A Quick Guide to Online Video Formats
Aspect ratios might seem confusing—4:3, 16:9, 2.76, 1.78, 2.35—all that math starts to blur into technical gobbledygook pretty quickly. How do you know which aspect ratio is right for your video? How do you decide between all the different resolutions? What is the default aspect ratio on YouTube and Vimeo? When it comes to video aspect ratios, there are a lot of technical questions. Luckily, choosing the right aspect ratio for your video is really simple once you understand a few things about video formatting.
Four Elements of a Great Video Narrative
The phrase “video narrative” is intimidating. It conjures up Shakespearean drama, and script meeting anxiety, but the deep dark secret of corporate video production is that a narrative can be as simple as you want. “Jack and Jill went up the hill...” is a 10-part mini-series rife with drama just waiting to happen.
YouTube Pre-Roll Ad CTA Guide
YouTube pre-roll ads might seem like traditional video marketing—they’re certainly disruptive enough—but YouTube is not television. While advertising on the largest video platform in the world can raise awareness, the cost-per-view (CPV) of premium targeting options and intense competition for viewers’ attention prohibit many startups and smaller companies from making effective pre-roll ads just for the sake of “awareness.” Get immediate ROI on your YouTube pre-roll by defining measurable objectives with a CTA that funnels viewers exactly where you want them to go.
The 10 Best Explanatory Videos of All Time
Explanatory videos have become a necessary asset for many companies. They engage potential costumers in a way that gets across vital information in a brief time. They can also capture the essence of your brand and message in a fun yet professional manner.
Your Guide to Video Captions… And Why You Need Them
Captions aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a great video, but they’re more important than you think. As more people switch to mobile video the dependence on voiceover and sound is diminishing. If your video isn’t optimized for the social feed, you’re leaving potential leads on the table instead of adding them to your sales funnel. But video captions aren’t just about crushing it on Facebook.
How Whiteboard Animation Changed Online Video: A Brief History
Even if you’re not in sales, marketing, or the startup world, you’ve seen at least one whiteboard animation. These hand drawn animated videos are everywhere—and for good reason. Whiteboard animation is an amazing way to explain complicated topics, state of the art products, and disruptive services in just a few minutes. Even better—people actually like watching whiteboard videos.
The Best DIY Whiteboard Animation Software: Our Definitive Review
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.
Gorillaz: The Future of Animated Video
Animated video is just flat out engaging in ways that live action simply can’t match. And animation is coming to media in ways that you can’t imagine. Case in point, the new album, Humanz, from animated super band Gorillaz.
Animated Video Around the World: The Friday Roundup
Here at IdeaRocket, we talk about the next big thing in animated video a lot. AI, CGI, new rendering tools—animation is changing all the time and we’re excited for what’s next. It’s easy to assume that the next big thing in animation will come from big name studios like Disney, Pixar, or Studio Ghibli—or even top animation schools like CalArts and Gobelins, but animated video is a lot more than the next blockbuster Disney film.
4 Examples of Great B2B Video (and how to make your own)
I know the phrase “corporate video” sounds about as exciting as a homeopathic root canal, but it doesn’t have to be that way. B2B video can be fresh, innovative, and engaging. In fact, B2B videos have gotten down right awesome over the past years, raising the bar for what corporate video marketing can do. Engage and persuade your clients and potential leads with high quality animated explainer videos. To prove it, here are 6 of our favorite corporate videos, and some guidelines for what makes a great B2B video.
7 Great Explainer Videos that Don’t Say a Word
We love explainer video voiceover. The right accent, inflection, and tone add trust, brand awareness, and persuasive power to any animated explainer video. However, sometimes the best explanations don't require a single word. Shifting viewership habits and the rise of mobile video has created a new breed of explainer videos without words. Here's how to make a great silent explainer video and 7 examples of great explainer videos that don't say a word.
How to Build Brand Awareness with an Animated Explainer Video
One of the best ways to launch a new product or jump start your business is with a high quality animated explainer video. Animated video helps your website rank better in Google search, keeps customers on your site for longer, streamlines the sales and pitch process, but the one thing animated video does better than anything else is build brand awareness.
How to Choose the Style for Your Animated Explainer Video
An animated explainer video is one of the most effective ways to raise brand awareness, increase engagement, supercharge your SEO, and increase conversions. People just plain like animation, and explainer videos are getting more popular every year. However, there’s a lot more to animation than just cartoons—especially when it comes to your business.
Why 4 Big Name Brands Use Animated Videos
Animated videos are everywhere. More and more viewers are going mobile, attention spans are shrinking, and startups and advertisers have less and less time to make an impression. The solution to this trend? Businesses are turning to animated video for a number of video marketing campaigns.
Animated Video Production: The Collaboration Tools We Love
Collaboration is essential to making a great explainer video. Working together on something as involved, creative, and nuanced as an animated video production for your business takes weeks of emails, meetings, comments, notes, drafts, animatics, and renders. Successful explainer videos don’t happen in a vacuum. Here’s are the online collaboration tools and productivity apps we use to create animated videos that take your business to the next level.
How Much Does an Explainer Video Cost?
You're thinking about making an explainer video, so naturally your initial concern is about explainer video price. "How much does an explainer video cost?" you ask. Good question. We won't beat around the bush:
The price for a high quality explainer video is between $5,000–$35,000 per minute.
A Quick Guide to Animated Character Design
You've finally decided to make an animated explainer video. Congrats! Now that you're thinking about production, one of the first steps is creating an interesting, targeted, engaging lead character for your video. Sound overwhelming, and maybe even a little scary? Don't panic. Animated character design is tough, but there are a few great options to choose from to narrow your search for the perfect video star.
Animated Explainer Video Process: The Process from A-Z
Making an animated explainer video is different from other productions. Not because it's tough to get the look and feel you want, but because it's easy to get any look and any style you want. 2D, 3D, CGI, whiteboard animation, RSA style, traditional cell animation, stop-motion, claymation—there are dozens of animation options. But it goes beyond the look of the explainer video. Everything is negotiable in animation.
Making Your First Animated Explainer Video: National Quality Forum
For many project managers, there’s nothing more nerve-wracking than producing your first explainer video. You have to decide on a style, a message, a script, and about a thousand other things. To help you prepare for your first explainer video, we talked with producer, SaraJane Askildsen, and a recent client about the production process for NQF’s first animated explainer video.
The Animation Process: How a Video Is Made
Sometimes, you don’t want to know how the sausage gets made. An insider look at a process can be less than appealing. When it comes to animation, though, the process is integral, fascinating, and fun. Here’s exactly how we carefully craft our animated videos.
NYCFC Animated Video Production: Collaboration & Creativity
A quick chat with director Doug Karr, and IdeaRocket Creative Director, Will Gadea about animated video production, the collaboration process, animatics and live action, and fleeting moments of creative clarity during a big project.
What Makes a Great Animated Training Video?
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll probably daydream, steal glances at his smartphone, and try not to yawn while you explain the intricacies of tying an arbor knot to the reel.
The lesson: training people is hard. Even in the workplace—perhaps especially in the workplace—it’s difficult to walk someone through something totally new. It’s unfamiliar, discombobulating, and often a bit boring.
The Friday Animation Roundup: Why Do Cartoons Wear Gloves?
The gloves are coming off (literally) in this week's Friday Animation Roundup as we look at new trends in VR animation, examine the impact of animated shorts at the Oscars, and finally explore why so many of your favorite cartoons wear the same pair of white gloves. Animation is full of subtle influences, tropes, and trade secrets that are all part of why we love animation so much.
4 Explainer Videos Hidden in Major Hollywood Movies
Explainer videos—particularly animated explainers—are such an effective way to communicate a lot of information in a short time that they're practically a staple of big budget Hollywood's films. Don’t believe me? Here are just four examples of animated explainer videos that are essential to the success of some of the biggest movies of the past three decades.
Animated Explainer Video: Not Just Cartoons
A lot of companies are afraid an animated explainer video won't strike the right tone for their product, service, or business. It’s a common concern, especially with new video marketing clients and startups, and it’s an understandable fear. Cartoons can seem like they're not “serious” enough for your company.
Explainer Video Best Practices: Trade Show, Sales Pitch, Conventions and More
Animated explainer videos are a fantastic way to hook new viewers, explain a complicated product, or build hype for your startup (sometimes all three!), but not all explainers are meant to live on your website or YouTube channel. Video can be a simple, powerful real-world tool for everything from pumping up an industry crowd at a trade show to priming a boardroom of executives for your next sales pitch—you just have to know the rules for using explainers in the the real world.
8 Surprising Ways to Use Whiteboard Animation
When you think of whiteboard animation, you probably think of a hand illustrating a complicated series of ideas as a soothing voiceover explains particle physics or the psychology of social media. Odds are, you’ve seen a whiteboard video in the past few years because online education content has exploded in the past decade, and whiteboard animation is kind of perfect for explaining things.
11 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Mobile Video
In 2016 mobile video accounted for more than 50% of all online video views. Half of your potential leads likely encountered your brand for the very first time on their phone—probably while they were doing something else. Mobile viewership of everything from micro-content to longform documentaries is on the rise, and even “paired viewing” (watching video on desktop and mobile devices simultaneously) has become the norm. Is your video optimized for this massive audience to create the most engagement, hook the most leads, and get the biggest possible ROI?
5 Jaw-Dropping Animated Shorts From Gobelins in 2016
Certain schools tower above the rest. Every art has its Everest—an institution that consistently attracts and develops top-tier talent that shapes the industry at large. Music has Juilliard, engineering has MIT, the visual arts have RISD. And animation, particularly animated shorts? Animation has Gobelins. Haven’t heard of the famed L’École de L’Image? This tiny Parisian school has culled the crème de la crème for the past 30 years, admitting just 25 students into its animation department out of over 850 applicants.
What’s the Best Length for a Video?
Infographics have long been a popular way to impart information. They're usually made with vectorized graphics. At IdeaRocket, however, we're big fans of the comic book form -- nearly all of our staff and freelancers are current or past practitioners, and I think it's fair to say that all of us are fans. So we thought... why not use the comic book form to impart information in a graphic way? What we came up with is what we might call a Toongraphic, the first example of which you can see below. This one is written by me and designed by our Associate Creative Director, Robert Kopecky.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Invisible (CGI 3D Animated Short)
Finding love is hard enough. But when you're a shy chameleon—who vanishes from visibility whenever you get nervous—it can be downright brutal. Is there any hope? Animators Michael Trikosko and Andrew Wilson aim to answer this question in their charming animated short Invisible, which we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
The Framework of Multicultural Animation
As digital distribution changes the way that we can reach (and target) consumers, thinking about a multicultural audience has never been more important. This is one reason why animation—with its potential for global accessibility—has become an increasingly effective means of corporate communication.
Instagram in Stop Motion: Rachel Ryle Interview
When Rachel Ryle posted her first stop motion video on Instagram in 2013, she never expected the circus that followed. Named the "Most Creative Instagram Account of 2013” by Buzzfeed, featured by The Huffington Post, NextWeb, and scores of others, and adored by her over 200k ardent fans—animator Rachel Ryle takes a moment away from her stop motion success to share the secret of her rise to fame. Her advice to fellow animators is simple: “Put your art out there. Don’t think about it, do it.”
Interview With Designer/Animator Jacques Khouri
Our friend and collaborator Jacques Khouri is an artist of many talents. I spoke with him recently about his blog ijotalot.com, which features Jacques own book cover designs based on classic works of literature.
Vine at The TriBeCa Film Festival
Chances are you’ve heard of Vine, the new mobile application that enables users to create and share six-second videos. Since its January release, users have harnessed the app’s creative potential. With an intuitive touch-based interface, Vine puts stop-motion and live-action techniques at the user’s fingertips.
Interview With Artist Gideon Kendall
Gideon Kendall is one multi-talented artist/illustrator/cartoonist, and the designer behind many IdeaRocket videos. I recently interviewed him about his new comic WHATZIT. It’s a wild ride… imaginative, dark, and richly detailed.
My post on Arnold Bread inspired a surprising amount of blogosphere commentary, as well as a long series of comments here (many of them containing a puzzling sense of affront – no, I do not want to regulate bread varieties!) Here’s Tyler Cowen, Jim Manzi, Don Boudreaux, and Russ Roberts.
Co-working Spaces: The Capitalist Commune
At IdeaRocket we’re in a time of change and expansion, so we’ve been evaluating office rental options. We considered the traditional route of contacting a broker and signing a 12-month lease for an office space of our own, but it quickly became apparent that co-working spaces, a growing trend in commercial real estate, would be a better option.