Many of my clients have questions about whiteboard animation. Maybe they’ve seen this striking, memorable video style, and they want to know how it works. Or maybe they’re looking for an unusual, quirky video style that’ll get their viewers’ attention.
What Is Whiteboard Animation?
Most people have seen a whiteboard animation video, online or in an advertisement. It’s a style of animation where an artist draws pictures on a whiteboard to demonstrate ideas, usually in an approachable, cartoon-y style. The video’s filmed from above and is usually sped up considerably so viewers can watch the artist’s hand as they work.
As the video continues, the artist may erase all or part of the board. Or they may hop to a different section of the board to create a large, comprehensive picture, which is often showcased at the very end of the video.
How Whiteboard Animation Works Best
Whiteboard animation has several strengths over other animation styles. For instance:
- It’s quirky and charming (so viewers will remember it)
- It works well for education and explainer videos (due to the traditional associations between whiteboards and classrooms)
- It showcases a video’s high production values
Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of whiteboard animation, especially for animation and explainer videos, is the symbolism of it. The video literally starts from nothing — a blank whiteboard. The (unnamed, impersonal) artist takes a marker and starts drawing, literally building these ideas from nothing. Over the course of the video, they use art to link these ideas together and build them up into a single, coherent picture, all while the viewer watches.
What Whiteboard Animation Needs
As mentioned, whiteboard animation requires high production values. When I film whiteboard animation, I need a single camera set over the whiteboard. (Most whiteboard animation takes place in one or a few very long shots, with minimal visible editing.) I also need excellent lighting to minimize shadows cast by the artist, their hand and the pen. I also need a skilled artist, who’ll be able to draw everything requested of them with few mistakes (again: The video takes place in only one or a few shots).
There are several programs that mimic whiteboard animation. But these are clearly distinguishable from actual whiteboard animation and lack the quirky, fun touch of having a real artist working. Companies should save themselves headaches: Whiteboard animation is best done with a professional video company.
Whiteboard animation is a charming video style that’s taken the internet by storm. It’s best used for explainer videos and other educational pieces. By choosing a whiteboard video, a company will make a real splash with its audience.