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Pam Jones

animated video cost

How Much Do Animated Videos Cost?

How Much Do Animated Videos Cost? 560 315 Pam Jones

Like any new purchase, one of the first questions which people want to ask about animated videos is: How much does an animated video cost?

Video production is a very detailed and skilled process. Graphics, voiceover, music and effects all have to be designed, created and synchronised together to the nearest hundredth second. And synchronised to precision.

There are three types of video that can be created

Here at Eight Interactive we charge for every 30 seconds of video that needs to be produced for each type of video.

1. Scripted video where we write the script

This video uses a professional voiceover narration over the video. The narration might be telling a story, explaining how something works, promoting an offer etc. This type of video costs from £495 (ex VAT) per 30 seconds[1] of video. For this cost we do all the hard work for you where we:

  • Outline your video requirements
  • Write/refine the voiceover script
  • Create a maximum of 3 versions of a storyboard 
  • Create bespoke graphics, moving text, video effects
  • Record script using professional voiceover artist
  • Add background music
  • Include animated  company logo at start and end of video
  • Provide final video in format required

The main factor which may change this cost is the technical nature of graphics. The more technical the image, the more work this will involve. However, you may have graphics which have been created for other materials (e.g. brochures, PDFs) which we can use for the animation. That’s a good start for us as long as the image is supplied in a vector format. We can the use the vector image and work our animation magic on it.

2. Scripted video where you write the script

This video also uses a professional voiceover, but you write the script to a set formula which we provide. This type of video costs £295 (ex VAT) per 30 seconds[1] of video. For this cost we’ll:

  • Review the script and ask you to amend it if we feel it’s too long
  • Create 1 version of the storyboard
  • Use graphics from video software library
  • Add simple animation effects
  • Add background music
  • Include static  company logo at start and end of video
  • Provide final video in format required

3. Unscripted video

This type of video does not need a script. Instead, key messages are designed with animated text, photos and simple graphics. Video effects add extra punch to the message and help to engage the audience.

As with scripted video, we work with our clients closely to do all the above (excluding any script writing and voiceover recording).

This type of video costs £75 (ex VAT) per 30 seconds[1] of video.

There are software packages that can be used to create animated videos yourself. These packages provide a library of graphics, templates and music you can use and you can add your own.

Animated video software packages tend to be marketed with messages like “Create videos quickly and easily”. However, like any software, it does take time to learn how to use the features of the software. So that ease and speed of use is not immediate.

It’s also important to note that producing the video is only one part of the video creation process. You still need to complete the rest of tasks that animated video software does not give you. For example:

  • Script planning and writing
  • Finding and paying for a professional voiceover artist
  • Sourcing music tracks
  • What about when you can’t find the right image in the video software’s library? In this case, you’re left trying to find a suitable image from another image library, or finding a designer to create it for you.

Our clients want a one-stop service to create an exclusive video for their business. And we provide that all-inclusive service so clients don’t have to worry about doing any part of the video production themselves.

If you have any other questions about the cost of animated videos, do get in touch.


[1] 2020 rates


To learn more about how to use video in your business, check our online course for video tips, ideas and examples.

 

learners attention

6 Tried And Tested Ways To Capture Your Learners’ Attention In An Animated Video

6 Tried And Tested Ways To Capture Your Learners’ Attention In An Animated Video 560 315 Pam Jones

All great stories start with a strong opening line in the first few words. It might be the opening words of a book, film or even a song. Whatever the medium, the opening words or dialogue play a vital role in drawing the audience in so they keep, reading, watching or listening.

The epic series ‘Star Wars’ opens with the narrative: “In a galaxy far far away….”

“In a galaxy far far away….”

The viewer is taken deep into their imagination wondering “What’s about to unfold?” “What’s this story about?”

The 1994 film ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ opens up with a murder scene. A few minutes later, the first dialogue spoken after the murder has happened is:

“Mr Dufrense, describe the confrontation you had with your wife the night she was murdered.”

Having seen the murder scene, this opening line keeps you glued to the screen waiting and longing to hear what Andy Dufrense has to say about what happened on the night of the murder.

The difference with films, songs and even books is that there are other factors which entice the audience to watch, read, or listen to the song on repeat. For example, a famous author’s book will sell out immediately because of how much it was promoted before it was released. Critics will have given their honest reviews. Fans will be raving about the latest blockbuster featuring their favourite leading actors.

OK so here at Eight Interactive we make animated explainer videos for elearning and not blockbuster films or fictional books.

Even so, the opening words of the video’s script matters – just like it does in films and books.

The video’s script tells a story. How can you seize your learners’ attention through the video’s script so they keep watching?

Here are six tried and tested approaches that have worked extremely well for the animated videos we have created.

1.     Imagine…

Imagine is one of my favourite words. The word ‘imagine’ on its own has special qualities. It’s a word that engages you the moment you utter it. Start your video script with the word ‘Imagine…’and see where it takes the script.  For example:

Imagine you are the Finance Minister of a country and responsible for running the economy. You’re about to make a speech about the latest fiscal and monetary decisions you’ve made. What will you tell your audience?

This was the start of a video script for a complex economics topic. It absorbs you from the outset and the scenario places the learner in the imagined scenario to get them thinking.

2.     Think + 1 or 2 Personal Questions

This approach gets your learner thinking about the situation immediately. Make the questions personal so your learners instantly relate to the question and hold the questions in their mind as they continue to watch the video. For example in an animated video about managing job appraisals, we wrote the script to start like this:

“Think back to your last appraisal. Do you think it was fair?”

3.     Questions Learners’ Experience

How about starting your script immediately with two or three opening questions which ask learners about their own experience on the video’s topic? These questions, then flow into the video’s key story. For example, the script below was about how groups are formed. The opening questions are asked. The rest of the video explains stages of how groups formed, whilst learners reflect on their own experience of working in groups.

“Have you ever been involved in working in a group? How do you feel the group worked together?

4.     If…

Ask your learners what they would do in a situation using the “If…” approach. Starting the script in this way has a reflective impact on your learners. It gets them wondering about the question they’re being asked. It gives them opportunity to check what they already know, or don’t know, about the video’s topic. For example:

“If someone asked you what causes inflation – what would you tell them?“

The video then guides learners through the causes of inflation in an easy to understand visual way. A complex topic, explained simply.

5.     Question Best Practice

Have you got a learning point where you need to teach your learners about best practice approaches? Then, start a script by acknowledging the best practice and then question why that’s good practice. For example, the script below was about good leadership skills. This opening line concedes that the majority of people may have come across a good leader but asks why they were good a leader.

“Most of us can think of examples of a good boss, but what made them a good leader?”

6.     Introduce A Character and Situation

Using characters in animated videos work extremely well. Build a story around the character and allow learners see what happens to the character. Like all good stories, start your script by introducing the character and its’ situation. For example, the script below used the well-known STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result)  approach of storytelling. Once the situation is presented, the video moves on to TAR (Task, Action, Result) .

This is Paradise Café, a popular beach front restaurant. The owner, Tomas, has grown the restaurant from a small ice cream kiosk….to a 100 seat restaurant. Recently the business’ profits have declined considerably. But why?

What Did You Learn From This Post?

All these methods share one thing in common. At some point they’re asking questions. Remember Who, What, When, How, Where and Why. Use at least one of these in your script, if not more. They’ll capture your learner’s interest at the start. Then use the rest of the script to answer the questions to retain their interest.

The End.


This article was first written for the eLearning industry.

Image: Julia Tim/Shutterstock Image ID: 496650973


To learn more about how to use video in your business, check our online course for video tips, ideas and examples.

how to make storyboard

How Do You Make A Storyboard For An Animated Video?

How Do You Make A Storyboard For An Animated Video? 560 315 Pam Jones

If someone asked you what’s a storyboard what would you tell them? Have you seen one, or know how to make a storyboard?

At the start of a new project, clients are taken through a storyboard and why it’s needed. In my experience most people have not worked with a storyboard – it’s a special kind of document. It takes skill to make a storyboard and skill to be able to work with one so you visualise what the storyboard is communicating.

At Eight Interactive we use storyboards for the following types of content we create:

  1. Animated Explainer Videos
  2. Software demo video production

Let’s take a closer at how to make a storyboard for animated videos.

The fundamental reason for making a storyboard for an animated video is to plan the various elements of the content. The visuals, audio script and animations. All these help you to visualise the what the video will look like and how it will work.

The storyboard allows clients, developers, and other stakeholders to guide the video development process. This ensures the whole team work to the same end result.

The best way to make a storyboard for an animated video is to ensure it includes the following 4 elements as shown in this example:

1.     Scene number

A video is split into scenes so it’s important to number them so you can talk about the storyboard easily when making changes. For example, a client can say “In scene 4 can we change X.”

2.     Visuals

This part of the storyboard shows a rough image / sketch of the visuals which will be on the screen to support the voiceover script. In this example you can see that the visuals include:

  • A fictitious firm called SPORTISH (the video is about new sports energy bar)
  • Two characters wearing sporting clothing, each using one piece of sports equipment

At review stages the visuals can be changed – it’s easier and costs less to make the changes at this stage than later at video production stage when the graphics have been created.

3.      Voiceover script

The voiceover script is the exact words which will be narrated by a voiceover artist. Typically one scene is no more than a couple of sentences. Again at review stages, clients can edit the script until the storyboard is signed off. The script is then sent to a professional voiceover artist to record.  If the script needs to be changed after it has been recorded, then this can cost extra. So the aim of the video’s storyboard is to have everything signed off before recording.

Dotted throughout the script are numbers. These numbers relate to the animation notes and show which visuals need to move in time with the script (more about this below).

4.     Animation order / notes

An animated video should include a lot of movement (a.k.a animation). The animation plays a big role in engage people watching the video. So this part of the storyboard details two key things:

  • Which part of the scene should move and how
  • When the movement should happen in time with the voiceover

In the example:

  • Animation note 1 is saying that the SPORTISH building should appear first when the voiceover starts.
  • Animation note 2 is saying that the two characters should appear and do some fitness moves when the voiceover says “sports and fitness”.

Here’s the storyboard scene example brought to life in the video.


To see a full animated video example, watch this video.

 Video copyright: Eight Interactive

 

 


To learn more about how to use video in your business, check our online course for video tips, ideas and examples.

voiceover tips

Tips On Choosing the Right Voiceover For Your Video

Tips On Choosing the Right Voiceover For Your Video 560 315 Pam Jones

When using a voiceover artist in a video project, does it matter which voiceover artist you use? Whether it’s a male or female voice, is spoken well, and recording sounds clear, then you can use any voiceover artist, right? Well apparently not – as I learnt recently.

Picture this. A short video is being produced for a new client. The storyboard has been completed. It includes the visuals and video’s script. It’s been reviewed and signed off by the client. So far, so good.

We’re about to go into video production phase and the conversation goes like this:

Me: “Would you like to choose a voiceover artist or shall I select an artist to record the script?”

Client: “There’s no need to send through a voice sample, I have no strong feelings on gender or accents.”

I think: OK. Great. That’ll speed up the process.”

So we go ahead and select a male voiceover artist. We know him well and have used him on other video projects. He’s got a professional voice, completes recordings quickly and most importantly, the recording is top quality.

The recording comes in. It sounds great. There are no errors. So we go ahead and use it for the video.

A few days later, version 1 of the video is passed on to the client for review. A week later we receive client feedback.

Client: Overall we’re pleased with the video. It looks slick and professional. The main point of division was the voice. We felt that it could have been less formal and a female voice was also requested. How easy is this to change?

So what sounded like a good voice to use from our perspective, divided the team at the client’s end. Thankfully, it was a short video so the script could be recorded easily, quickly and at a low cost.

This time, we send the client some female voice samples to choose from. Version 1 of the recording also sent to client to approve before updating the video.

So to answer the question at the start of this post….Yes, having the right voiceover artist does matter for a project. Like all the other elements (text, images) used in an elearning project, it’s important for the client approve the actual voice which will be used to record any scripts. What I thought would save us time, did not.

Top 5 Voiceover Tips

Here are my top tips on making sure you have the right voice for your elearning and video projects:

  1. Ask yourself what tone and style of voice you would like. Formal? Conversational?
  2. Ask for a selection of male and female voices to provide sample recording you can choose from. If you don’t have any opinions on an actual voice style, hearing some voices will probably help you decide
  3. Ask the voiceover artist to record a sample script from the actual project so you can hear what the voice will sound – most artists will happily provide this
  4. Check version 1 recording yourself against the signed off script. Then ask someone else involved in the project to also check it – they may pick up on errors or points to change which you didn’t
  5. Make voice approval an essential part of your process for script recording.

We hope these voiceover tips will save you time and money and ensure everyone is happy with the voice. A valuable, and thankfully not too expensive lesson learnt for us.

 

 


To learn more about how to use video in your business, check our online course for video tips, ideas and examples.

Why Are We Called Eight Interactive?

Why Are We Called Eight Interactive? 150 150 Pam Jones

One of the first things people wonder about when they work with us is the company name. They ask “Why are you called Eight Interactive?” More specifically, they want to know more about why the number eight.

One thing that doesn’t change for us is our passion for learning and how we help clients achieve their goals through elearning and video production.  So here’s an insight into the ethos behind our name and how this translates into what we do, how we work with clients and what sets us apart.

We are Eight Interactive.

Eight

The number eight means different things to different people.  To many Asian cultures it is a lucky number.  In Hinduism it is the number of wealth and abundance.  In the middle ages 8 was the number of “unmoving” stars in the sky, and symbolized the perfection of incoming planetary energy.  We like that, but to us:

eight = 4 simple characteristics that define our approach (our USPs) + our 4 stage process for delivering effective engaging e-learning & videos.

Our Four USPs

  1. Creativity – we aim to engage and inspire learners through our work.  Dull content presented as dull text does not achieve this.  We design creative and visual elearning and videos that the learner can connect with.
  2. Simplicity – ‘complex’ should not mean ‘confusing’.  We have a knack of taking complex ideas and subject matter, and simplifying them.
  3. Focus – we use a focused approach in designing learning content and video. Focus on the end learner, learning objectives and business goals.  If we do not maintain a focus on these areas, then any amount of innovative design and simplicity will not create effective learning.
  4. Fun – learning should not be dull!  We enjoy what we do and if we’re having fun creating digital content and videos we know that our creativity, simplicity and focus will shine through, resulting in  videos that everyone wants to watch.

Our Four Stage Process

Our four USPs are ingrained in the four stages of the process we adopt: Define; Design; Develop/Produce; Deliver.

  1. Define – fundamental to each video project we work on is an exploratory phase to understand the client requirements and the end audience. We work with you to understand the purpose of the video and help you write the perfect script.
  2. Design – next we design the storyboard for your message and audience.
  3. Develop/Produce – the next step is to take the video’s storyboard and produce a video with any voiceover script, video effects, music and graphics. In both cases the storyboard is finally brought to life.
  4. Deliver – After detailed reviews  video is delivered to the client and…ultimately the audience.

The four USPs and four stages of the process comprise our “eight interactive principles of effective learning.”

Interactive

A simple dictionary definition of interactive is:

(of two people or things) influencing each other.

allowing a two-way flow of information between a computer and a computer-user; responding to a user’s input.

The interactive element of our name permeates everything we do:  our interaction with clients, the interaction between each stage of the process and the interaction that is enabled between what we create and the audience experiencing it.

At every stage of the process we interact with various people – subject matter experts, designers, voiceover artists, the client, and other members of the team – to ensure that the  video we create always demonstrates our four USPs.

We hope this has given an insight as to why we’re called Eight Interactive.

 


To learn more about how to use video in your business, check our online course for video tips, ideas and examples.

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