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Whiteboard Videos -- Anyone?

video whiteboard presentation

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#1 socialwebcafe


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Posted 07 April 2014 - 12:26 PM

Hello new friends,


Yes, I've been a bit MIA and thank you for extending your patience ;) 

That said, I want to be here for you for any video questions that you may have, so please ask away.  And, if I don't answer, feel free to get right up in my face, ok? :D


So, for this topic, I'm curious.  Does anyone have any experience with whiteboard videos?
Does anyone *want* to have experience with whiteboard videos?
Does anyone wonder what whiteboard videos are, or, why it should be worth mentioning?

Ok, in search of one of the whiteboard videos I made, I came up with this one.
Disclaimer:  Most of the whiteboard videos have been for clients, but this is one I made for the "fun of it."  It is an affiliate video, so please feel free to ignore that.  The only reason it is here is to demonstrate what a whiteboard video is...


This is probably better described as "part" whiteboard: 


For those of you interested in trying it out yourself, I used http://www.sparkol.com/ for the whiteboard components in that video.  And, Sparkol is not paying me in anyway.  I do not benefit in any way by recommending them :)

So, do you think whiteboard videos would be helpful on your web site, your client's web site... And, if so, for what purpose (i.e. training, sales, article enhancement...)?



P.S.  The thumbnail design was in adherance to the affiliate program graphics and is a little "busier" than normal.  What do you think?  Is there a time to be "busy" in design?

#2 DonnaFontenot


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Posted 07 April 2014 - 02:27 PM

Very interested in this. Always wondered how this could be accomplished, but didn't know where to start to find out. Now I know the various names used for this technique include:


  • Whiteboard animation
  • Explainer videos
  • Fast Drawing
  • Scribing videos

I'm always looking for things that are more engaging for the user and that have the "pop" or "zing" factor.... things that "stand out" and hold a visitor's attention. 


One thing I like about these kinds of videos is that they seem to inherently make a topic easier to understand. Maybe I've just been lucky to have watched good ones in the past that were well-composed, but I believe it's more of an inherent thing. The act of watching things drawn somehow seems to help take a complex instruction and break it down into something the mind can better wrap itself around. I might be wrong about that ...that's just how it "feels" to me. If true, then that's a very, very good thing to use to explain a concept or process to people.


Deborah, is this something that you can do "on your own" with the Sparkol service? Or did they have to do it for you? The only places I saw in my search this morning that do this kind of thing were services that did it for you. The Sparkol service seemed to be more DIY oriented, but I'm not sure about that. I like DIY options because it's fun, and usually cheaper, than hiring someone to do it for me. Of course, their version is probably better in the end, but I'm a little stubborn in that I like to at least try it on my own first if at all possible.

#3 socialwebcafe


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Posted 13 April 2014 - 02:54 AM

Hi Donna,


First, thank you for your patience in my extremely delayed response.  I am definitely a work in progress on that.


Thank you for your response.. got me thinking :)


Your list of alternate names is great!  I forget sometimes that there are phrases like "Explainer Videos."  I keep calling them whiteboard videos and then I get lazy and call it whiteboarding which sounds more like something one would do at the beach.  Great to have the list, so thanks for putting that out there for us, Donna.


Yes, I'm like you.  I like to add something that has zing.  I like to do it more than I do it, but that is more of a time limitation.  That is where tools like slideshare or even embedding an instagram or pin are helpful, just to get something, even a fizzled zing in there.  (Yes, and I say that I am writing a post that is zingless.  lol.)

So, for your question, yes, Sparkol is something that you can do yourself.  Though, I didn't find that it was instantly intuitive.  It isn't like I signed up and all of a sudden was producing masterpieces.  There is definitely a learning curve.  But, I think, as with all things, once you get the hang of it, you can spit out videos quicker.  Sparkol does have some how-to videos and my recommendation is to watch those and watch them a couple times to really get the hang of it.  Then, give yourself some slack and allow yourself to mess some up :)


BTW - I agree, I do feel like watching whiteboards that are well done help to drive the info home for me.


The whiteboard, above, is not all Sparkol.  I made a whiteboard via Sparkol and then brought it into Final Cut Pro and enhanced it.  That certainly isn't a requirement and is more of a case where I am so comfortable using Final Cut Pro that it was like breathing to just add a few things like flares, music, transitions, etc.  However, Sparkol does offer these things so that you do not need any other programs.  There is the availability for music and different options for your transitions, too.


Here are some tips, off the top of my head, for whiteboard videos, no matter what tool you use to make them:

  • Keep them relatively short, or modular (like under 3 min) ... unless it is meant to be a full length teaching session or something.
  • Keep a variety.  For example, use the hand to write out part, and then slide in the next part.
  • Keep it moving.  If it is too slow, people will stop watching it and leave.
  • Use the spacers (watch the instruction videos for how-to), to create a pause after the text is added.  This gives viewer time to read it.
  • If you are inserting an image, lower the timing from the default 30 seconds to 7 seconds.  What will happen is the drawing will start slow and then all of a sudden instantly finish.  That is ok.  The viewer will be intrigued by the first part, but you won't lose them by it taking 30 seconds for the full picture.

Some of the tips above hit on some things that have worked really well for us in the video business.  The process of illusion.  Just because you *can* let every image be hand-drawn for 30 seconds each doesn't mean you should.  Do you want to watch a video move at a non-engaging snail speed?  No, if it bores you it is going to bore your viewers too, so keep that thing hopping.  Adding music, change of color, change of image, anything to keep it going. You can give the illusion that the viewer is watching the entire cat being drawn without actually waiting for the entire cat to be drawn.  As long as the full kitty is shown at the end of that piece, you have successfully provided an engaging moment with the illusion of the full drawing process.


Til next time,


#4 evolvor


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Posted Today, 12:34 PM

I'm doing videos with on-camera talent (our CEO and other members) giving tips and techniques that incorporate "hand-drawn" text and other graphics, all very professional and done with ease (after some initial investment in a camera and lighting). They are doing WONDERS for our brand and perception of it.


I just want to add that your little "countdown" intro lost me - it's best to get right to the video as soon as possible. 

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