We get asked about animated explainer videos and animation styles by some of our clients, and animation can be a great way to convey certain types of information if done well.
For videos of apps or software, animation is particularly useful if you want to explain a new or complex concept that viewers aren’t familiar with. A classic example of this is Dropbox: when they first launched, they needed to introduce people to the very idea of personal cloud storage. Most potential customers hadn’t ever heard of the concept before, so an animated video was a great choice:
Do you have a complicated product you’re considering introducing or explaining with animation? Here’s an overview of the most common animation styles:
Motion graphics is probably the most common 2D animation style you’ll see today. It involves taking computer-generated graphic drawings, text or logos (and sometimes even photographs) and animating them in various creative ways. A very eye-catching style of motion graphics involves the computer “morphing” or “blending” from one image to the next. Motion graphics videos tend to be much more simplistic than full animation, so an audio track that complements the animation is essential.
Character animation involves one or more cartoon characters moving around and acting out some sort of narrative as a means of conveying meaning and information. There is often some sort of detailed background – like a cityscape or the inside of an office – in which the characters move and interact. There is almost always an audio track of some kind – sometimes the audio may consist solely of a musical soundtrack.
Kinetic text can be considered a type of motion graphics with a very specific focus. Whereas animation uses character and story to communicate ideas, and motion graphics has drawings and photos along with text, kinetic text is primarily focused on the animation and manipulation of typography, color, and space.
You’ll see two different styles of this popular type of animation. In one, you can see the hand that is “drawing” the images and text that appears on the “whiteboard” surface of the video. In the other, there is no hand, and the images appear to be drawn by some invisible pen. As with motion graphics, an audio track providing the explanation for the drawings is essential. This type of animation works best for explanatory and teaching videos, where you need to break down a subject or topic into smaller, easy-to-understand pieces.
Considering investing in an animated video? Thinking about a traditional demo video instead? Talk to us, and we’ll help you decide which style of animation is best for the message you want to convey, and we’ll work with you during the entire process to make sure your finished animated video exactly meets your needs.