Building Your Own Whiteboard Animation Studio? Read This.

Whiteboard Animation

Whiteboard Animation is trending for corporate and industrial videos. I’m not surprised; their fun, engaging and memorable. Now, there are a plethora of people who think they can create their own whiteboard animation studio.

Can they?
Well anyone can try.

But a quality production is extremely difficult. In my estimation, building the studio itself is only 15% of what is needed to create a quality video.

So, let’s get into those pieces of the puzzle, since a lot of people ask about it.

So, for those of you looking to kick some time around, I have some recommendations to build your own whiteboard animation studio. But if your business looking to invest in whiteboard animation, I must tell you working with professionals will best represent your company.

Having a tool shed full of the best gear does not mean you can construct a solid home, right?

Basic Whiteboard Animation Studios require four things:

1. Lighting.

Lighting is imperative for any good whiteboard animation production. First things first, shut out any light that will interfere with your lighting set-up. For instance, exterior light from the sun will change direction throughout the day. Make sure the sunlight from any open windows and doors are actually blocked out from your whiteboard animation studio. If you don’t have drapes, tape up curtains that are dark enough to block the light out. Beware of what kind of tape you use on the walls (so you don’t damage your paint).

Next, make sure your talent and whiteboards are going to be evenly lit. Turn on your overhead lighting, but it’s essential to use a softbox lighting kit that will aim towards the white. Both types of lighting are important to achieve that “even” look. I recommend using diffusers for your lights, which you can create using translucent paper and magnets.

Be careful—lights get hot! Save yourself the hassle of a minor burn by wearing the appropriate gloves or wait until the lights cool off to touch them. If you’re seeing shadows against the wall in which you’ll be filming, chances are your lights are set-up in the wrong direction. Also, avoid glares against the whiteboard, because that will reflect back into the camera.

2. Camera. In an era of selfies and Instagram, camera work seems easy, but it is not as simple as a “point and shoot” technique. Your whiteboard animation studio should use a camera that shoots at least 1080p and has camera features to help with aperture, ISO, white balance, and exposure.

 Exposure: I recommend creating a “grey card” instead of a “white balance” card so that you can get even lighting throughout your production. Make sure to take a still photo of the grey card before you start filming, just in case you need it as a reference. Again, make sure your talent’s hand isn’t over-exposed.
 Aperture: Your aperture should be set as low as possible because your whiteboard should be so well lit, that the lens is able to pick up the light you set up! I recommend staying under 400 ISO. Anything above that risks blowing out the lighting on your talent’s hand and will pose a challenge to their animation he or she is drawing.
 Color: Not all whiteboards are created equal. There might be some slight discoloration, but in my opinion, it should not exceed over four small areas. If you’re using a used whiteboard that was not properly cleaned in the past, consider buying a new whiteboard for your project.

3. Filming
Help your talent out—tape a frame around the portion of the wall that matches the camera’s frame. That way, they’ll know what area they can utilize for their art. Take another photo of your grey card to compare lighting before you go.

And then… draw!

Well, it’s not that easy, is it? Only a professional grade artist can have a lot of fun doing whiteboard animation, and make your company look good.

4. “Post”
If you’ve ever heard a film crew member say “we’ll fix that in ‘post’,” they mean “post-production.” AKA after the production is over.

There are many options to use for editing in post, but some well-known affordable options are Final Cut Pro or Adobe After Effects. You’ll utilize these programs to help determine the strength of your colors—make sure your black appears every dark next to your grey card. From there, you can determine your white exposure level.

Does it end there? Nope. Most hand-drawn telestrations have a lot of animation added to keep the viewers’ attention. Our team liberally uses animation to augment and accentuate portions of the story and keep the visual story matched up to the script.

Timing is everything. When something is said, it should be shown at the same moment. Think of telling a joke, and delaying or forgetting the punchline for an extra second…ever happen to you? Sure, it happens to everyone. So, you know you lost the moment. This is a can’t-do in video production.

How about sound? Does your whiteboard video want to have music in production’s background, a narrator’s voice, or both? Sure, it depends on the project, but chances are you’ll want both.

Make sure the music matches the tone of the piece, so your viewers aren’t distracted. And it’s important to cast the right voice for your whiteboard animation story.

There is also a variety of audio-editing software (which you can research), should you be committed to professional grade sound (without a lot of busy room tone or distance between your subject and the microphone). Sound effects and matching the music to the moment are also imperative.

A Corporate Video Should Be Professional-Grade
While people are not too forgiving when it comes to marketing videos, your business is promoting itself and should not settle for less than professional quality.

I always like to say that the most expensive video is the one that doesn’t work for you. Companies must put their best foot forward when it comes to video marketing strategies.

So, the moral of the story is: work with professionals like Rip Media Group for your corporate video.

If you would like help producing your video, our production team would love to help reach out to us at www.ripmediagroup.com.

We love producing motion graphic animation, live action video, whiteboard animation/speed drawing animation, and helping people like you reach your goals.

Just start with a creative brief: https://ripmediagroup.com/creative-brief.

Remember, your story starts here!

This is where you start...