Whiteboard video production

We produce whiteboard videos for a wide variety of uses but mainly education and information. A whiteboard video is made by recording an artist or illustrator while they draw a series of cartoon images that depict the voice over narrative.

Essentially this is the same technique that teachers have used in schools for centuries. The difference is that a professional artist is employed and the drawing process is sped up. Also post production 2d animation can be used bring the finished drawings to life or add effects such as smoke or explosions.

So why is such a basic form of visual communication still effective in the world of tech media? We enjoy watching things being made and want the ‘pay off’ of seeing what the finished drawing, curiosity. Much like a Youtube ‘unboxing video’ or a ‘maker video’. From around 2010 there has been a trend for handmade or hand drawn graphics as a backlash against the uniformity and anonimity of polished Computer Generated Images.

 

Where did Whiteboard videos come from?

The undisputed kings of Whiteboard video are RSA Animate. In 2011 they gained 46 million youtube views of their first 14 animated videos. This catapulted the whiteboard style into the main stream media and spawned an industry.The 2019 RSA video opposite shows technological advances on the basic whiteboard drawing technique while still keeping a strongly cohesive video that delivers it’s core message.

How we produce a bespoke whiteboard video

In 2011 we were commissioned to produce an educational video to be shown in schools. The purpose of this was to explain the United Nations Charter on the Rights of the Child. We were given the example of the RSA Animate video style and asked to produce a similar video. As we prefer to originate rather than imitate our concept was to have a scroll of parchment rather than a plain whiteboard. We used an interactive whiteboard also known as a smart board to video capture the drawings without the artists hand being visible. There is discussion as to whether it is distracting or not to see the hand in the videos.

How we make a boring video interesting

Following on the sucess of our United Nations video we were asked to produce another video for Gower College. We decided to go for a cleaner visual style with filmed drawing footage rather than digital screen capture. We had several versions of our lighting and camera rig to get the best results. Also the artist was inking over rough pencil sketches of the illustrations. These were remove these from the final video edit with color keying.

Script writing and voice over artists

We have worked with many professional voice over artists in the last 15 years. This helps us understand how to direct the best performance from them.

A whiteboard video may seem like a visually very simple format. But without a professional script writer, direction and voice over actor, your message is unlikely to reach your target audience. We have studied screen writing and understand how to direct video from a 20 second commercial to a 30 minute documentary.

How to make a cheap and easy whiteboard video

The sucess of whiteboard video in the early 2010’s has led to more businesses wanting to use this cheap and effective style of video. However to make a DIY whiteboard video from scratch isn’t as easy or cheap as it may look.

Various online automated methods have emerged in the last 10 years of cutting corners in whiteboard video production speed and cost.

The DIY online options include-Animaker, Videoscribe and Renderforest which use a large library of pre-drawn illustrations. However this drag and drop approach can look decidedly generic, average or unprofessional. But there are also more professional template options for Adobe After Effects which can speed up production while still using bespoke drawings. The issue here is that After Effects is a professional program which takes years to learn, requires a video workstation computer and costs £248.00 per year.

The problem with DIY online video makers is that we are accustomed to seeing professionally produced video. When we are presented with a less than professional video we know right away that something is wrong. Online automated animation may be technically very good but without the ability to tell a story it will fall flat every time.