Animated explainer videos consist of three parts:
2. Video creation
3. Voice over
All three have some barriers of entry, but video creation stands out as the highest.
Animation was never just a skill you could pick up.
It required a background in art, years of training with an animation studio and maybe, just maybe, you could produce your own video.
If you pitched it right.
I love animated videos and I would love to be an animator.
So, why choose to use I Go Animate (now called Vyond).
No Training or Experience Needed
GoAnimate (Vyond) is made for people who have no experience in animation.
I’ve dabbled with After Effects. I’ve even signed up for a course, but learning custom animations requires a time investment. Learning Adobe is an investment into my future, but it isn’t paying the bills now.
Vyond took me about 2 days to fully explore and bam! I was ready to start making videos.
Ease of Use
Vyond is incredibly easy to use. People cringe at the idea of a template video, but I see it more like a library of assets.
The features that make this program easy to use are:
• pre-made templates with assets you can just switch out
• A range of backgrounds
• A search function, so you can type in what you’re looking for and see what’s available.
• Audio uploader that attaches a file to a specific scene. This makes it a breeze to sync your narration.
• A library of royalty-free music available (who has time to go searching? Not me, thank you)
• Pre-animated motions for characters
If you’re familiar with adding animations in PowerPoint, you’ll do fine with Vyond.
If you’re familiar with adding animations in PowerPoint, you’ll find animations easy to control and time in Vyond.
You can also add camera functions, like zooming in and out. This is handy because sometimes you’ve gotta change up the angles. Or cut out parts of a scene to give the illusion that something is happening.
I crop the scenes whenever I need characters to do a motion that isn’t available. A good example of this is when I want a character to write with a top-down view.
I use a hand to show this and crop the edges so no one sees a floating arm.
If you’ve ever watched a badly dubbed film, you know it’s hard to take the message seriously. I can’t anyway.
So, the lip sync function is great in my book. You just assign an audio file to a character in a scene and Vyond takes care of the lip sync. It isn’t perfect, but it’s not awful either.
As a new freelancer, I am a team of one with a budget to match. And starting out, you gotta work with what you’ve got.
With GoAnimate, I pay around $600 USD a year for a license.
There is a cheaper option, but you can’t remove the logo with that option. I personally think a company using a video with another company’s logo is a bit tacky.
And bad branding. It also makes me question how “startup” a company is.
Don’t get me wrong. I fully support working with new businesses and freelancers, but I have serious doubts when their branding isn’t even their own.
Because GoAnimate is basically a library of props, backgrounds and animations, making videos is quick. I can make a 2 min video from scratch in about 5-7 hours.
Custom animations might take me 5-7 hours for 5 seconds of screen time.
By using GoAnimate, I save time which ultimate means a faster delivery date for my clients. Instead of waiting 2-5 weeks for a video, I can write the script, make the video, and add the voice over within 7 days.
Not a bad turn around if I say so myself.
Question: How can your videos be creative if you don’t make your own animations?
I’ve seen job posts on freelance sites that specifically state they do not want GoAnimate or similar SaaS tool videos because they want something creative.
I think of GoAnimate like one animator. Animators have their own style and you will see some similarities in their work between projects.
With GoAnimate, there are templates, pre-made characters, and backdrops. But the scenes can be customized, and you can even customize characters if you want.
You can also upload your own images to turn into props or backdrops, which gives you even more ability to customize the video. If I can’t find something I’m looking for in the library of options, I just upload an image.
I saw a Whiteboard-style GoAnimate video for a home furnishing store. They added images of their products, room set-up and patterns. The only similarity I noticed between this video and other GoAnimate whiteboard videos was the hand that wrote the information in the beginning.
And let’s face it, that hand is in custom-made videos too because that’s the style.
The videos are as creative as the creator.
Question: Would a Vyond video work for me and my business?
It depends on how you’re using them. Vyond videos can be used as social media ads, in email marketing, or even embedded into your blog posts!
Home page videos are worth splurging on because they will become part of your branding; however, if a custom made video isn’t in your budget (yet), you can still use Vyond and scale up.
Companies say that “template videos” hurt branding, but they are customizable meaning they can match your brand.
Then, when you do have the budget, you can invest in a custom animation video.
Another factor to consider would be what you’re trying to explain. For example, if you need specific physical movement for say, an exercise, you might Vyond doesn’t have the range of motion you need.
In that case, the animations would compromise the purpose of the video, which means you need custom graphics.
Overall, Vyond made sense for where I’m at. Platforms like this fit my own goals and the budgets of similar startups. They ultimately make animation more accessible.