Types of Explainer Videos

Explainer Video News   •   Aug 14, 2019

Explainer Video Options

Types of Explainer Videos

In broad terms there are 3 main types of explainer videos;

  • Whiteboard video
  • Motion graphic explainer video
  • Character based explainers video

Within this article I aim to give. Brief overview of each, to help give a better understanding of the work involved within each. This should hopefully help you when deciding which style of explainer video you are looking to have produced. Each style comes with it’s own costs, some styles are cheaper than other, so it is worth making sure you understand each explainer video style.

Whiteboard Video

Whiteboard videos are possibly one of the most popular styles for creating simple engaging informative explainer videos. The whiteboard animation style is very popular, as it tends to be quite cost-effective to produce. Whiteboard videos are where you see a hand holding a pen draw out an image on the screen. Usually, this is sped up so the drawings appear quite quickly. Within the animation industry, these can sometimes be referred to as video scribes or drawing videos.

Whiteboard videos are a style of explainer video that some do see as being ‘cheap’ to create. Whilst this can be true to a certain extent, it is surprising how much work can sometimes go into creating a whiteboard video. The storyboarding and visual process is very similar to a more complex explainer video. You still need to understand the script and creating a visual storyboard.

The main difference is the next stage, instead of creating detailed art for the explainer video, we instead trace over the rough visual storyboard board, creating neater more polished line work. This line work is done in Adobe Illustrator, which creates a vector line for each line that has been drawn. The technology with Adobe Illustrator records each stroke and gives it a number, so it know which order the lines are drawn in.

Once the artwork has been fully created in Adobe illustrator, this is then imported into Videoscribe software to be animated. This software looks at the data contained within he Illustrator file and animates the line onto the screen in the same order as drawn. This is done at speed along with a hand overplayed and gives a very real illusion that the hand is actually drawing the artwork.

Whilst typically whiteboard explainer videos tend to be just black lines on a white background, this is certainly the cheapest option. Intermixed with this can be elements of colour and even motion graphic animation. For example the hand could draw in a map of the UK, but we then use motion graphic animation to overlay little locations popping into view. This is particularly useful when you have a lot of information to show, as we can call this into the page quicker than a hand drawing it, which can come slow and repetitive.

For examples of whiteboard videos we have created, visit our dedicated whiteboard video page.

Motion Graphic Explainer Video

Motion graphic explainer videos tend to be far more colourful and visually more creative. Unlike whiteboard videos which tend to look a bit rougher, which is fine as the hand drawing style tends to lean towards this asa style. With motion graphic explainer videos there really is no limit to the how the artwork can look.

Typically within he concept stage an arts style is established, this can be simple, clean through to highly detailed artwork with textures and many moving parts. Motion graphic explainer videos, because of the many ways it can be approached tend to vary in costs quite a bit. For example a simple explainer video with only a few assets, or animated parts can look visually stunning but be reasonably cheap to produce as time is not being spent on art or animation. Taking this to another extreme, if there are many many assets that need to be created, and each has many moving parts, this can be hugely time consuming and leas to an expensive explainer video.

So usually within the early concept stage we ensure that the budge for the explain video meets expectations in terms of what can be visually done and animated within the budget. There are so many subtle things that can change the cost and work involved, this is why an early consultations to discuss expectation is so important, and also why we tend not to publish prices, as every explainer is very different.

Especially as we do not use clip art, this is something of a sensitive subject, that whilst there is nothing wrong with using clip art. We tend to never use stock imagery, we prefer to create our own and make sure that every video we create is totally unique to the client. We feel this helps the video stand out form the crowd, plus ensures we don’t cut any corners in terms of quality and making sure the explainer video fits the brand, is consistent and engages with the audience.

For examples of motion graphic explainer videos we have created, visit our dedicated explainer video page.

Character based Explainer Videos

Character animated explainer videos tend to be one of the most time consuming and therefore expensive styles of explainer video. They are very similar in term s of produce as motion graphic explainer videos, but with one crucial exception. During the early concept stage it is important to establish how the characters will look, and how many characters are required along with how much actual ‘movement’ is required for each character. These factors effect the cost massively, so it’s important to get right.

For example some character animations can be kept to a minimum with just eye movement and the odd hand waving around, this is simple and would sit at the lower end of the cost spectrum. If you look at a more extreme scenario,, where the character needs to walk onto the screen and interact with another character, this can take days to create, so in turn costs jump up.