2nd March 2012

Whiteboard Animation: Meet the Inventor of Whiteboard Animation

Whiteboard animation is a growing trend that combines a simple whiteboard background and a (hopefully) creative story. The illustrator or web video presenter will draw on the whiteboard, telling the viewer a narrative, creating a detailed, fun way to explain a product or service.

A little history – don’t fall asleep! When you think about the history of whiteboard animation, you probably don’t think back far enough. The true origins of this wonderful concept dates back to the cavemen era. Those cavemen (and cavewomen!) would draw on the walls to illustrate points.

inventor of Whiteboard Animation

And then, we just kept on drawing. Cavemen used to write on walls to explain concepts or tell stories , well now we write on white boards…and film it….and edit it….to pretty much do exactly the same thing.

So why have these been so successful? Well, let’s face it: We all love pictures. No one is too old or mature to appreciate some cartoons, pictures and videos. While we don’t scream like a giddy seven year old girl when we see Mickey Mouse anymore, we respond more to pictures and as children we were taught using a whiteboard. If you watch that video, you probably learned something, as we typically learn better while watching visuals. This method has been used throughout time, as our ancestors communicated when they couldn’t talk, and has remained effective as it appeals to our inner child. Whiteboard animation is just another option for those seeking to create a web video.

A great example of whiteboard animation is UPS. They make great use of their online video content:

And, these videos had such an impact that Saturday Night Live made a skit about them:

When someone does a SNL skit about you… you know you’ve really made it.

Drawing on caves, walls, whiteboards is something that has been done for centuries. Only now we have the tools and skills to actually make these concepts come to life. While the cavemen got their point across back then, in this day and age having a dreary storyline or poor editing can diminish the quality of your video. So if you do chose to go with whiteboard editing, don’t skimp! Because you could always end up like UPS…with a SNL skit mocking your presenter. And isn’t that what we all want?

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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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