16th October 2013

Explaining Concepts with Simple Animation

Today we are going to talk about video in a different way. Typically our blogs offer our viewers tips and advice on all the tools necessary to create a stellar video. Not today! Have you ever wondered  why animated explainer videos use basic cartoon characters? Let’s show you why simple animation is a vital part of our explainer videos.

First, let’s start off with the whole purpose of an explainer video. It’s used to break down complicated concepts that most of us wouldn’t generally understand. By incorporating visuals, music, and/or cartoon characters, we are able to ease our minds and follow along with the content in order to grasp a better understanding of what the video is about.

This is how animation came to play for explainer videos in the first place. Back, let’s say six years ago, most websites, if they had video at all, used presenter style videos. A real person who would tell you about the product, almost like a QVC infomercial. That’s the problem, you just feel like someone is selling you another product. By using animation to tell your product’s story, people don’t feel so sold to with cartoons, and if anything, they appreciate the entertainment.


Now that we know we can engage users with animation, the next component to animation in an explainer video is to gauge how difficult the content is. When a business product or service is  complicated to explain, such as cloud-based applications and software, we tend to incorporate the least amount of detail into the video. Why’s that? Well, since the content is a vital component to how people will understand the process, we use only the most simplistic whiteboard animation to guide users a step-by-step guide to the product.  Read more on how whiteboard animation is very useful for cloud-based applications.

Here’s an example of how we used whiteboard animation for InterResolve…..Do you think you would have understood that without our animation?!

This concept also goes for our cartoon animations, we again don’t want to over distract the viewers’ eyes. So you guessed it, we use simple lines and colors to keep it simple. If we were to add a tremendous amount of details and fine lines, it would only make the message appear more serious and visually intricate, when all we want is to make things simple.

cartoon animation

So if you are making your own animated explainer videos then remember our rule of thumb: Go Simple or Go Home!

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About the Author

Anish hails from London and holds a degree in software engineering from the University of Manchester. Following his education, he worked for several years in the financial industry as a platform administrator before founding Revolution Productions in 2008. In addition to over seven years of video production, Anish is seen as an industry professional, adding his insight in publications such as VentureBeat, ReelSEO and Wistia.

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