Animated videos

make animated videos

Can I Make Animated Videos Myself?

Can I Make Animated Videos Myself? 560 315 Pam Jones

Yes! You absolutely can make animated videos yourself. There are many software packages like PowToon, Animoto, Vyond, to name a few, that you can use to make your own. Animated video software packages tend to be marketed with messages like “Create videos quickly and easily”.

However, in my opinion, it’s not as simple to make your own animated videos. Like any software, it will take you time to:

  • Learn how to use the animation video software
  • Familiarise yourself with the software’s library of graphics, templates and music tracks

So that “ease and speed” of making your animated video is not immediate. It can be a steep learning curve.

I recommend asking yourself the following questions to help you decide whether you should make animated videos yourself:

  1. Have you created videos before?
  2. Do you new learn software quickly?
  3. Have you really got the time to learn the video software?
  4. Do you actually want to learn the software or do just want to get high quality animated videos created quickly?
  5. Is it worth investing that time learning the software when you may only need a few videos creating for your business?
  6. Do you have experience of writing video scripts? It’s a very different style of writing to writing for the screen or print.

It’s also important to know that producing animated videos is only one part of the process. You still need to complete other tasks which the animated video software will not do for you. For example:

  • Script planning and writing
  • Finding and paying for a professional voiceover artist to record your script
  • What about when you can’t find the right image in the video software’s library? It can happen and has happened to me. In this case, you’ll have to trawl through another image library to find a suitable image. Or, find a designer to create a new graphic for you.

Taking all this into account, the question IS NOT:

Can I make animated videos myself?.

The question IS:

Should I make animated videos myself?

If you’re serious about using animated videos in your business, then I strongly advise using a professional video production company. And you should definitely NOT be making your animated video if you answered “No” to any of the above 6 questions.

A DIY job could result in poor quality and frankly – a crap video!

We work closely with all our clients and take them through every step of the video production process. We do all the hard work for them which includes:

  • Writing and refining the video script
  • Creating a storyboard
  • Recording the voiceover using a professional voiceover actor
  • Producing the whole video

Clients are involved at key review stages so input into the video process. It’s through this process that we have received feedback like this from our clients:

My first impression is that I love it!!  I think it looks great and I love the way the videos work. Everyone is very impressed.

Managing Director, Training Company

Are you planning to use animated videos for your business? Get in touch to let us know what you’re planning – we’d love to hear from you and may be able to help.


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

Why use animated videos

7 Reasons Why You Should Use Animated Explainer Videos

7 Reasons Why You Should Use Animated Explainer Videos 560 315 Pam Jones

In previous posts, we’ve spoken about the cost of animated videos and given examples of animated videos we’ve created. But why use animated videos?

In my experience and opinion, there are seven key reasons why you should use animated explainer videos.

1. The data speaks for itself

There is a lot of research to support how powerful videos are in engaging your audience and getting your message out there. A 2017 article by Invisia, listed some powerful statistics about why you should use videos in your business. Here are the first three statistics:

  • In 2017, online video accounted for 74% of all online traffic
  • 55% of people watch videos online every day
  • 65% of video viewers watch more than ¾ of a video

You cannot afford to ignore statistics like these. If you do, you risk losing some BIG opportunities to reach, engage and connect with your audience – whether they’re learners, customers, prospects or staff.

2. Animated videos are more effective at getting your audience’s attention

Use animated videos to go beyond just text. Graphics, video effects, voiceover and music are all used to create a highly engaging and visually rich experience for your audience.

Remember the phrase “A picture paints a thousand words”? Then think about the power of a moving, highly visual, audio-driven video.

In an information overload society, your audience does not have the time to read dense paragraphs of text. Use animated videos to cut through the text density and get your message across quickly and easily.

3. Create multiple animated videos

Do you need more than one video creating? Perhaps you need different videos to market different products and services? It’s easier and cheaper to achieve this by having a series of animated videos created, than using filmed video. You can reuse graphics and visuals in multiple videos. This saves production time. In other words, create more animated videos for less cost.

4. Animated videos are cheaper and quicker to produce than filmed video

Unlike filmed videos which need real people and locations, for animated videos you don’t need to pay for:

  • Equipment
  • Actors
  • Studios
  • Locations
  • Props
  • Film crew

Filmed video also takes longer to produce. You have to plan ahead and book locations, actors and any studio times. All this planning means filmed video can take a few months to produce.

Animated videos don’t need any of the above so can be created in a matter of weeks. In fact, we have scripted and produced a video in less than one week for a client who had a very tight deadline.

5. People enjoy watching animated videos

Let’s face it – everyone loves video. Think about your social media feeds. Would you rather watch a video or read a detailed paragraph about the same thing?

Because people love to watch videos, they’re more likely to click the play button when they see your animated video on your website or social media channels. And that means you’ve connected and engaged with them.

6. It’s easier and quicker to update animated videos

If you need to update your video, then it’s easier to update an animated video than a video which has been filmed.  For example, you may have rebranded your business so need to update the video with your new logo, fonts and colours. Or perhaps you’ve launched a new service and want to add some extra scenes to the video.

7. You don’t have to worry about being in front of the camera

Some businesses have filmed videos of key team members promoting their organisation’s products/ services. But, not everyone likes being in front of the camera. It can be a nerve-wracking experience. Animated videos don’t need people so no-one in your business needs to worry about being in front of the camera. Just get creative and enjoy the process of making a fun, eye-catching, engaging video for your business.

Hope this has been helpful in understanding why you can/should use animated videos.


Are you planning to use animated videos for your business? Get in touch to let us know what you’re planning – we may be able to help.

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

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.

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