What do you do when everyone's screaming for motion videos and you have neither the skills nor the resources to make them? You cheat, of course!
There’s a reason why motion video is now so popular among communicators.
Motion videos are great for bringing stories to life. They make messages very clear and easy to understand (provided they’re scripted and produced well). They can be played across a multitude of different channels. And, importantly, they ‘lock in’ a story by ensuring everyone sees and hears exactly the same version.
Sadly, this popularity has created an issue. Given the expense and specialist skills required for video production, how can your standard communication team possibly meet the demand?
The answer is to do what any self-respecting communicator would do.
These days, there’s an incredible array of digital tools out there that will help you produce motion videos relatively simply and cheaply. Will they be of a standard provided by the big houses? In most cases, no. Will they be more than good enough for many (particularly internal) projects? Absolutely.
So, with that in mind, here’s three cheats you can start using today, together with 'how-to' videos from their makers.
Adobe Voice is a brand new tablet app that was only released in May. It’s an incredibly simple, quick product that makes the production of basic (but attractive) motion videos using voice, music, images and icons a breeze.
As the video shows, all you do (once you’ve developed a script) is:
- Pick a template and work out what you will say for each ‘slide’ of the video.
- Record your voice.
- On each slide, find and place icons and/or images using Adobe Voice’s very simple in-built search engine
- Pick a background tune (or keep the one that’s automatically provided).
That’s pretty much it. The functionality is a bit limited, but it's still good. And, if past experience with other design apps is anything to go by, it will get more sophisticated as time goes on.
In the end, though, the real value of Adobe Voice is that anyone can make a motion video really quickly. And, for that, it gets a big thumbs up.
According to the Powtoon website, almost 4m ‘Powtoons’ have been created since its inception a couple of years ago. Powtoon actually pitches itself as an alternative to Powerpoint, which is kind of strange because, in reality, it's much, much more.
Powtoon is basically a cartoon-based production system that allows you to make (quite easily) either cartoon or photography based motion videos. Here's how it works…
Powtoon comes complete with a fairly extensive range of animated cartoon figures, shapes, fonts, tunes and backgrounds. You can also upload your own images, music or voice-over.
All you do is drag and drop each item onto your page, select your music and/or voice-over and then use a slider to set the timing and animation for everything. Job done!
Powtoon is a freemium app available for PCs. The basic free service contains a reduced library of images and music etc, doesn’t allow downloads and incorporates a watermark in the finished product. But it’s a good way to test whether Powtoon is for you before upgrading to the not-too-expensive Pro or Agency versions.
Are you keen on those ‘hand drawn’ whiteboard videos you often see about? As you probably know, those things take hours, and a lot of skill to make.
That's where VideoScribe comes in.
VideoScribe is a whiteboard video app for PC, iPad and Android. It lets you create whiteboard videos using their extensive library of images, photography, music and fonts. You can also import or draw your own.
VideoScribe works on a subscription model that offers monthly, yearly or lifetime options. If you just want to dip your toes in the water, however, you can take up their seven day free trial.
P.S. What about Powerpoint and Keynote?
If you're feeling adventurous, you might also like to try making motion videos in either Powerpoint or Keynote. Doing so, however, requires the inevitable trade-off between sophistication and simplicity. That is, you can do far more sophisticated work using these presentation tools, but it's a lot harder to do. You really need to be pretty skilled at them.
One piece of advice worth noting here. Both Powerpoint and Keynote are capable of producing good motion videos, but Powerpoint's video conversion engine leaves a bit to be desired. You'll end up with a better quality finished product using Keynote.
So, start cheating!
So, that’s it. Three simple ways to make motion videos a part of your communications portfolio.
If you know of any others, please let us know. We’d love to hear about (and, of course, try) them.