By: Sparkol Inc
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Whiteboard animation has become one of the more preferred categories of content creators who put out explainer videos. It seems that viewers prefer the drawing-hand animations over regular images and written content. VideoScribe is a whiteboard animation tool which focuses specifically on these whiteboard animation videos. The tool comes with a range of features which help one create excellent videos with ease.
Have you noticed that books meant for kids have more illustrations as compared to the ones for grown-ups? Why do you think publishers feel the need to show more images to kids and none for adults?
Well, the answer is quite simple. Kids are usually curious, and it is very easy for them to get distracted if the thing before them is not interesting enough. If you put a book filled only with text in front of a kid, it is highly likely that he would not find the premise very interesting.
When there are images along with the text, kids find it easier to comprehend what’s written and can absorb information in a much better way.
When it comes to books made for adults, publishers know that the person reading the book would already be interested in the subjects, and therefore, there is no need to make extra efforts to make the book even more graphic.
Most of us on the internet are like these kids. We are curious about things but have very short attention spans. If the written content on the screen seems lifeless in any way possible, most readers would just scroll away from the content.
There is also a significant portion of users who would not even bother to look at the information only because it is in the form of written content.
The way content creators deal with this issue is the same way publishers try to make kids’ book more interesting. However, it turns out that content consumers these days are more difficult to tackle than 4-5-year-old kids. Therefore, mere images don’t cut the deal and it is videos which help grab user’s attention.
There is a lot of data to support the fact that netizens are much more interested in videos as compared to written text or just images.
Since the fact is out in the open, more videos are being created than ever before. So, if you are planning of putting out some video content, you should know that the landscape is more competitive than ever.
Video making comes with a set of challenges depending on the kind of video you want to create. If you're going to create animated videos, you need to be a good artist or need the services of a good artist.
If you want to create one with real people and real locations, you may have to spend a lot on better equipment, good actors, beautiful locations, etc. And on top of that you need to be skilled enough to use all these to create a great video, otherwise, need to hire someone who can do the job for you.
Lately, whiteboard animations have also gotten very popular on the internet. You must have seen those videos where a hand draws images, and there is narration going on in the background.
You can try to create such a video yourself using your artistic abilities, or you can take help of one of the video creation software available in the market.
VideoScribe is one such video making tool which specializes in whiteboard animations. The tool has been around for quite some while now and enjoys a healthy userbase.
In this review, we will go through depths and details of this video making tool to find how good it as at helping users create video making tools. We will see if they utilized time to take care of some of the possible initial flaws in the product or to make sure that the product is better than before.
By the end of this review, you will not only know if VideoScribe is a sensible choice for your video creation needs, but we may also be able to enlighten you a bit on whiteboard animations.
A lot of video making tools are web-based. It makes things easier for the user when on the go, and one doesn’t need to carry the device along with them all the time.
However, you can log in into a different device using your account information if the software is already installed on that device. So, the fact that VideoScribe is a desktop application should not be a deal-breaker.
It is difficult for robust applications to function properly as a cloud-based client. We are hoping that this platform turns out to be a robust one too.
There is nothing much to the whole process of starting with the tool. You need to download the suitable application depending upon the specifications of your device and install it.
Once you have the application installed, you can start working on projects.
When it comes to image and video making tools, the editor is always at the core of things. It is the editor where you get to create the content, modify it, and personalize it.
VideoScribe is quite different from other video makers. It is more like a series of images, that are being continuously drawn, and the canvas is being moved, and there is some audio in the background.
Unlike other video creation tools, the elements within the canvas won’t move much. Instead, it will be the canvas which moves in this case.
We can’t expect the tool to have a lot of features, such as motion paths, expressions, etc. But we will focus on lot of other features which we usually ignore while reviewing other video making tools.
Continuing with the editor, we tend to judge an editor based on three different parameters. We believe that these parameters can help cover each and every aspect of the editor. So, let’s begin with the first parameter.
It may seem a bit counterintuitive to discuss flexibility for an editor which can create only whiteboard animations. But there can be a lot for one to do with whiteboard animations, as well.
Most people think that whiteboard animations work well only for explainer videos. The videos in which there is a narration in the background and some images appear on the canvas.
In our opinion, whiteboard animations can be used for anything you want. Sometimes you need the images to move to have a convincing video.
One can create slideshows, advertisements, promos, and much more. There is no need for a narration in the background at all times. Music and dialogs can also find their way in whiteboard animations.
VideoScribe does not put any limitations on the way you create animations. In fact, this has to be the most versatile video creation tool when it comes to whiteboard animations.
To create any video you want, there will be a need for appropriate resources. VideoScribe has been updating its content library ever since it came into existence. The kind of images, characters, and scenes they provide are suitable for whiteboard animations.
There are illustrations from various artists, which means you get to pick one from different style options. One can also have multiple styles in a single animation to have more diversity.
If you are an artist yourself, or if you have some branding related compulsions, then you can easily include images yourself in the video.
The tool provides the sketching animations for these images just the same way it is available for other images on the application.
Even though VideoScribe is a desktop app, its resource library stays connected to the internet. It allows the user to stay updated with all the new content which is continuously added to VideoScribe’s content library.
Moving forward with flexibility, you would be surprised to see the number of variations you can have for the drawing hand animation. You change the hand drawing the images, you can change what it is holding, you can change the way it moves, and you can remove the hand entirely and make something else draw the images.
The number of customization options associated with the hand is a good indicator of how detailed is VideoScribe.
Coming to the audio section, the editor allows you to record the voiceover, choose background music from the gallery, upload audio yourself, etc.
You can have the audio just the way you want, and VideoScribe will only assist you along the way.
The camera movements and zooming in and out of the images are what add the dynamic element to the videos created on VideoScribe.
The kind of camera motions and zooming options available in this case allow the user to create good enough cinematographic effects. You can emphasize on the elements you want, show the bigger picture to the viewer, get deeper and deeper into details, etc.
If we compare whiteboard animations with other prevalent forms, then it is obvious that whiteboard animations may fall behind on animations and movements. But VideoScribe ensures that user can tinker with these animations as much as possible.
Some video making tools get caught in the race of flexing so much that they end up making it difficult for the user to create a video. The service providers would cluster the dashboard and editor so much that it becomes hard to keep a note of what’s happening.
A neat editor or user panel not only enhances the aesthetic part of the software, it also makes it much easier to use.
The easier it is for the user to locate tools and navigate across the interface, the less time it takes for one to get used to the tool and get to the business end of things.
The makers of VideoScribe did a great job of keeping the tool free of unnecessary noise and icons. All the necessary tools and features are still available on the panel, but they are subtle and easily accessible.
The cleaner look of the interface definitely helps in staying focussed on the job at hand. The layout on VideoScribe goes something like this; there is a top panel with group of tools at right and left side, then comes the canvas where you get to interact with images and elements you add in the video, and down at the bottom is a timeline showcasing the arrangement of different elements.
On the left side of the top panel there are save, cut, copy, and paste buttons to help with the respective functions. The other side of the top panel consists of buttons for specialized tools such as the ones to take care of audio, voiceover, hand animation, background, playback, etc.
Canvas is where you get to interact with elements directly. You can take care of relative position, size, and other visual aspects. The canvas also contains buttons to zoom in and out and to move across the canvas.
The timeline at the bottom will show you the time at which an element comes into play, and when does the animation moves to another element. When you select an item from the timeline, you get to access customizations options related to it.
The customization options include everything ranging from graphic filters to drawing hand. The timeline icons allow the user to take care of camera frames, as well.
It is the bottom panel from where you can add new images, text, and graphs into the canvas.
At first look, it may seem as if VideoScribe hasn’t got a lot of customization options to offer. But as you start exploring various sections of the editor, you will realize that there are tons of customization options.
The tools have been arranged so that one gets to see the related features on choosing the relevant field. This method paved the way to keep the interface neat and organized.
When you are using a tool with a lot of features and capabilities, the last thing you would want from it would be the tool not being able to handle a combination of some complex features.
A lot of users, especially the creative ones, try to push the envelope whenever possible. Since most people using the tool would try to have something which stands out from the rest of the content on the internet, there are bound to be a lot of experiments.
We have experienced that quite a lot of web-based applications, including video makers, do not fare well when users go all guns blazing on them. You may encounter lags, jarringness, software crashing, etc.
Since VideoScribe is a desktop-based application instead of being cloud-based, you can easily bypass a lot of flaws on web applications. But it does not mean that it is free from all sorts of potential issues.
One of the biggest fears of any content creator is the fear of losing all the content because of some random software or device crash.
VideoScribe comes with autosave feature which would save most, if not all, of the hard work of the user. You can customize the feature to automatically save all the progress at a regular time interval.
VideoScribe is not very demanding when it comes to desktop specifications. If you are not using an ancient device, then there should not be many issues with you installing and using this video maker on your device.
VideoScribe’s editor is capable enough of allowing you to make the videos more engaging and exciting for users. It comes with all the tools you need to have your plans come in action.
Even though the editor gives you more control over creating videos on this platform, it is not the most valuable asset of this tool.
The most vital ingredient of any good whiteboard animation is the animations. It is the animations which captivate the interest of viewers and make the content more engaging.
The art styles, color schemes, etc. have a significant role to play in the overall success of an animation.
VideoScribe’s content library is enormous in this regard. Not only they have a vast collection of images, but they also keep updating in regularly.
The animations take care of almost all the possible scenarios based on which a user may create a video. A lot of the available images allow for customizations. You can adjust colors to ensure that the image goes well with the theme of your video or just because you like the other color much better.
One can either search for images by name or browse through the different categories in the image gallery. The different types of images are incredibly detailed and help the user look at right places.
Some of the image categories are buildings, scenery, vehicle, characters, arrows, etc. Most of the classes are filled with choices and options.
If you want to have a textual presentation, you can apply one of the backgrounds from images, and if the animation is to narrate an incident then the characters section may be of more help. Most of the things you need to create beautiful animations will be present in the gallery.
The gallery contains images from various artist, which gives it a lot of diversity. So, when you type in ‘dog’ in the search menu, you will not get just one or two images of dogs, there will be a wide array of choices with different styles and influences.
If the images come from different categories, then you get to filter them accordingly. It is not just the categories though, you can also choose the preferred image size, style, gender (if applicable), etc.
Apparently, a better subscription plan will give you more choices when it comes to images.
One can also upload an image or directly browse websites from which she wants to download images.
It is not just the images which make up a whiteboard animation. We know you are thinking of audio in your head, but it comes a little later in our priority chart.
The next more important thing can be the text. Even though the video and graphic content is taking over most of the consumer content, words still have some charm left in them.
Seasoned animators use text on whiteboard animations to emphasize on subjects, add emotions, relay the message more clearly, etc. When we talk of text, it is not the plain old simple words, one needs to be creative and smart with the formatting.
You will find enough formatting options on VideoScribe. You can change color, fonts, alignment, etc. There aren’t a lot of font options in the beginning, but the platform allows you to download the fonts you want.
It helps the user have only the needed font options and the freedom to download any font option as the need may arise. If one wants to stick to a specific theme for options, then a bare font gallery can be of some great help.
The image gallery contains charts and graph images of various kinds. But since it’s an animation, it doesn’t mean that one needs to throw in some random charts at users.
There is a graph section where you can have custom graphs and charts with all the right values and correct indicators. This is not a regular feature on whiteboard animations.
If you want to showcase a presentation at school or work, the graph section might come in handy for you.
You can create three kinds of charts on VideoScribe; bar, line, and pie. For entries and values, you can fill the data in respective columns with commas separating individual fields. Apart from this, you can choose the font, decide if you want to show the values or not, label locations, border thickness, etc.
VideoScribe will give you enough options for graphics, text, and infographics such that you never run out of ways to present the information in a unique manner.
So far, we saw how VideoScribe takes care of visual senses, let us now move onto the auditory ones. This tool allows for two way for the user to add audio to the animations.
The first way is by adding music files. You can use the music available in VideoScribe’s library, import MP3 files from the device, and directly download MP3 files from the internet.
If you need some background music to set the done for animation, then this video making software has got you covered. There are plenty of audio files available in the library with varying tempo, length, and mood among other things.
They allow the user to get a preview of the audio file before adding it to the animation. You can set the audio such that it is on a loop and take care of its amplitude so that it is subtle in the background and does not end up overpowering the narration.
The only drawback with the audio section is that you cannot have precise control over the audio. Means you can’t change its intensity as the video progresses. You can’t have an audio file play from somewhere in between the audio or add sound effects the way most video editors allow the user to.
If you are adding an audio file with the animation, it will play the way it is supposed to, and you can’t use the editor to synchronize it with the animation.
The other way of adding audio to the animation is by recording over a microphone. There are two ways for this, as well.
You can either record the audio along with the scribe to make sure the voiceover is in tune with the animations. You will have the animations and effects right in front of you, which makes it easier to decide the pace of recording.
Voiceovers and narrations are among the most critical aspects of whiteboard animations. Explainer videos, tutorials, guides, and all the other forms of whiteboard animations can benefit a lot from an excellent narration.
The other way is to simply record stuff on the mic and then integrate it with the video.
One can always use the voiceover method to record sound effects which are in sync with the video, but it would have been much better if there was some provision on the editor to take care of the audio.
It can be a matter of debate if hand animations are worth discussing in a separate section. But VideoScribe deals in whiteboard animations only, and for these kinds of videos, the drawing animation is an important part.
Most video making tools which offer whiteboard animations offer only kind of hand animation, but VideoScribe is no ordinary whiteboard animation creator. There are not only options for more drawing animations, you can also customize them to great extent.
Let us explore some of the choices available in this section.
You can choose the orientation of the hand. It can be a left hand or a right hand in the animations. You can even have a hand coming in from the side. It was slightly weird for us to have the side hand animation, but if it’s your thing, then it’s your thing.
The next kind of variation is based on what the hand is holding. You can have it hold a marker, a pen, different colors of pen, pointing a finger, holding an eraser, etc. There are just so many options to play with.
The hand animation section comes with a sorting option under which you can choose the hand animation of various characters. Each character has some unique traits. For instance, they are either left-handed or right-handed, some may have a ring on a finger, some can be masculine others can be feminine, etc.
For each character hand, you will get various options such as the character holding makers of different colors, pointing with a finger, holding an eraser, etc. It allows the animation to be so detailed that you can have the colors match on marker and the image.
There are a few options in this section which do not involve a hand at all. You can have just a pen or some other object from the options to appear for the choice of weapon.
VideoScribe allows the user to control the duration of the animation. You can speed it up or slow it down depending on the script. You can control the way hand animation moves over the image. It can either move over the lines or sketch the image.
One can control the hand animation for individual images. You can omit it for backgrounds or other similar stuff.
Some of you might be exhausted reading the long list of features available for drawing animation, but there is one more left. And it is the coolest one, in our opinion.
If you prefer to add an extremely personal touch to your whiteboard animation, then you can add a hand image on your own. You will need to add two images, that is, one for the moving hand and another one for the static position.
One can get creative with this part and upload images of not just hands but other objects too. The options are plenty, it’s up to the user to apply them smartly.
Nothing is perfect. Same goes for video making tools. We also feel that one can always strive for perfection but never achieve it. Because if something becomes perfect, there won’t be any room left for improvement, and we have always been advocates of progress.
VideoScribe did well on so many sections, but there are a few areas which could have been improved. Since this tool deals only in whiteboard animations, it would be unfair to expect it to have the features available in other categories of video makers.
However, if another category of video making software can do what VideoScribe can do along with other tasks, then the future may not be so bright for this tool.
For instance, Vyond is a video making tool which offers various animation styles. One of the styles is whiteboard animation. The animations on Vyond are much more dynamic when compared with what you may get on VideoScribe.
However, there is a significant price gap between Vyond and VideoScribe. So significant, that it is good enough to make the user go VideoScribe without much of a second thought.
Having said that, makers of VideoScribe should make efforts to make this platform much more dynamic. Moving images look much better than static ones, and therefore, there should be some provisions for them.
Another area of improvement can be the audio section. The user has almost no control over the soundtrack. You will have to upload an edited version of audio which fits right in with the animation.
Otherwise, there are no tools whatsoever to edit the audio. Most video creation software have a sound editing bar right below the timeline of the video. This allows the user to have the perfect sync between audio and the video.
The fact that the feature is present on a majority of the competitive products makes it even more desirable on this platform.
When you offer your services in a specific niche, you must be one of the best if not the absolute best in that category. VideoScribe is a tool made only for whiteboard animations, and they made sure they fall in the top tier of the group.
Some of the qualities which make them one of the preferred tools are ease of use, rich images library, multiple customization options, and the highly competitive pricing.
They did a fantastic job with the editor. They ensured it was free of unnecessary panels and buttons. This led to neat and clean design. The fact that it takes a tiny amount of time to learn using this tool, helps the case, as well.
The image library of VideoScribe is like a dream come true for a whiteboard animator. The wide variety of categories, the styles, and the sheer volume of content are enough to have anyone drooling.
The number of choices for the hand animations is also more than what anyone would have expected. The wide variety of choices and options indicate that a lot of thought and effort was put into making this product.
We are not completely satisfied with the audio management options on this platform, but it isn’t something which can’t be fixed. We certainly hope they will provide the user with more cutting and chopping abilities for the audio section.
We don’t have many complains with VideoScribe, and it did much better than we expected in a lot of sections. There is a free trial version available for this tool.
We would encourage our readers to try the tool once by themselves to get a better idea of how good this video maker is.
Company Name: Sparkol Inc
Address: 1 Temple Way, Old Market, Bristol BS2 0BY, UK