Creating animated videos: How to impact your story with animation

Table of content
  1. Introduction
  2. The challenges of creating iconic animation
  3. 1. Concept development
  4. 2. Previsualize
  5. 3. Choose a tagline
  6. 4. Tone, plot, and theme
  7. 5. Story structure
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90 Seconds
8 years ago・5 min read

You know, video really engages your audiences. Now you simply have to figure out which of its many mediums will help you tell your story the most effectively. Animated video production could be the answer. But if you’re smart, you won’t take its potential for granted.

The challenges of creating iconic animation

Animated presentations are known for providing boundless storytelling platforms. Whether you want to imbue your presentation with an air of the fantastical, take people to otherworldly planes. Or give rise to futuristic environments that feature your products, whiteboard animation, and similar techniques let you exceed the limitations of most media.

Of course, this doesn’t mean anything goes. Creating a stunning animation that people can’t stop talking about is imperative. But it’s also critical to keep sight of the narratives that support your business mission.

Effective visual storytelling always derives from a plan. Ideally, your planning will remain hidden behind the scenes where audiences never see it. But you can’t forego it just because nobody’s looking.

Decide what you’re trying to portray. Determine how you want it to appear. And define the underlying message you want to share. Only then can you embark on the five-step journey to successful animated video production.

1. Concept development

Balanced storytelling is no easy task. But it’s an essential one. Include insufficient detail. And you’ll rarely capture people’s interest. Focus on minutiae, and you’ll lose any engagement you’ve already accumulated.

All memorable stories employ clarity as a communication technique. The early concept-development stage is the ideal time to ask yourself what your video is really about. You also ought to think about:

  • What must the final product entail?
  • Who is this whiteboard video speaking to, and how long must it hold their attention?
  • What’s the objective of this animated video production?
  • When should the video be completed and published?

Refining Your Idea

Visual brainstorming is a helpful planning tactic. Break down a potentially-complex video concept by writing down anything and everything the main idea brings to mind.

Associated words, images, and even emotions can help you zero in on concrete thoughts that translate to a more cohesive animated presentation.

Once you’ve written at least three things for each main idea, circle the items that strike you as the most compelling. These individual points will become key stepping stones you can traverse in telling your tale.

Why make connections?

Our brains come hard-wired for believable stories. Some cognitive psychologists even suggest that narrative experiences are so closely tied to being human that they play a role in the development of our conscious awareness.

It’s also a well-established fact that human minds hunt for images where there are none, such as people finding religious inspiration in their toast.

These common quests for something recognizable aren’t limited to social behaviors or the breakfast table.

Identifying your idea’s fundamental connections from the start helps you create an animated presentation that caters to people’s addiction to storytelling.

2. Previsualize

Previsualization, or previs, is all about defining the look and feel of your production. For instance, trying an animation style, sketching your ideas and storyboarding all let you play around and paint a clearer image of where you’re headed.

How to stay flexible

Having a hard time letting go and simply guiding your idea along with as it develops? Remember that trying to control every detail before they’re actually implemented is a sure way to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Even if you somehow blunder into an engaging 3D animated video, you’ll neither know why nor how to replicate it.

At the previs stage, nothing should be locked in. Corporate animated videos are composed of numerous parts. Resist the urge to get married to any particular font, character or mood-setting background texture.

Until you combine everything, you won’t know whether the details will mesh harmoniously enough to avoid distracting viewers from the message, so keep an open mind.

Alternate between designing and refining your concept. If something doesn’t feel right, set it aside temporarily, and work on another part.

3. Choose a tagline

Disconnect from your notes, sketches, Pinterest, and Instagram feeds for a moment. Seek inspiration on a walk, during your daily commute, or elsewhere.
This isn’t some new-age stress-reduction technique. You’re looking for ideas and images that resound with meaning.

Just focus on getting no more than five concepts that communicate your message down on paper. Let the ideas already you came up with percolate until the strongest concepts come bubbling to the top. Consider the following:

  • Should your tagline clue viewers in on how they’ll feel after watching your video?
  • Taglines are shareable. How do you want people to describe your content?
  • How can you communicate your tone succinctly?

Learning from others

There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from peers or competitors, and it’s important to differentiate your content. Remember, however, that brevity reigns supreme. Taglines don’t have much room for fancy wordplay. Here are some animation and whiteboard video samples that found a happy medium:

4. Tone, plot, and theme

With your theme in mind, consider your video’s subject. Reclassify it to tell the story without actually telling the story. For instance, yours may be an epic account of human vulnerability, the power of gratitude, fear of the unknown or the permanence of nature.

Now combine your tagline, plot, and theme to come up with a short description that touches on all three.

For instance, your animated presentation might be: A thrilling exposition (tone) of how small-town corruption caused a water crisis (plot) that pitted common people against their elected officials (theme).

5. Story structure

Finally, transform your narrative into a well-ordered chain of events. You can usually accomplish this in three easy steps:

1. Set up characters and conflicts

Define who your character is and what they’re up against. Making a point of the fact that the problem isn’t trivial can really get your viewers invested in what comes next.

2. Work towards a solution

Demonstrate that your character is truly committed to the problem. Use the character traits you established earlier, like distinguishing features, passions, motivations, and fears, as you highlight organic roadblocks that they can solve with these features.

3. Achieve a big resolution

Don’t leave loyal viewers hanging. Conclude by showing how your character eventually overcame the obstructions that threatened to make their goals impossible. This is an opportune moment to reveal how your product or service figured into such solutions.

By following and adopting these basic steps to your corporate animated videos, you can tell a complex story in a way that retains the clarity of vision and inspires the imagination.

Get started with 90 Seconds whiteboard video services to realize your lofty animation goals.