If you just recently purchased Doodly, I’m sure you want to immediately jump in and check out its features, interface, and function. It is always fun to play around with a new software but if you are about to create your first Doodly project, you may want to consider avoiding some beginner mistakes.

These beginner mistakes often lead to frustrations which usually occur when you try to learn the software on your own. It is highly recommended for you to watch the tutorial videos first so you can learn the basics and maximize your Doodly experience. 

Having said that, let’s go ahead and look at the top 8 most common beginner mistakes in Doodly.

#1 – Using the first built-in scene.

Oftentimes, new users would pick the very first built-in scene they see when creating their first Doodly project. The first scene seems convenient to use and since beginners don’t have much experience with the software yet, they build their ideas on the first built-in scene they see. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you want a standout and unique presentation, you would want to explore your scene options or, if you really want to use the first built-in scene, it would be best to customize it so your presentation won’t look generic since it’s a common scene used by beginners. 

Here are some ideas on how you can customize the first built-in scene:

  • CHANGE THE FONT

In changing the font, it is important to consider the theme of your presentation. We don’t want handwriting style or scary font style for formal video presentations so choose your fonts wisely. You can choose from the long list of available fonts under the Text asset or, import your preferred font.

To change the font, simply drag the new font and drop it on top of the existing font in your scene.

You will see the prompt, “Are you going to replace the font?” and you will be given two options: “No, Add” if you wish to add it as a new font, or “Yes, Replace” if you wish to just replace the existing font. Choose the latter option.

  • USE WORD WRAP

If you have a long sentence or couple of words in your scene, you may want to have those words nicely fitted in your screen by doing a word wrap. This will make your texts look clean and presentable instead of just having a long sentence across your scene.

Word wrap is enabled by double-clicking your text and ticking the box where it says ‘Word Wrap’. Don’t forget to hit Done.

  • MAXIMIZE / MINIMIZE TEXT

Making your texts bigger provides emphasis on your message. You can adjust the size of your text by dragging any of the 8 square dots that would appear right after you click the text in your scene.  Also, you can move your text around to wherever you want to place it in your scene. You don’t need to just keep it at the center just because the default scene is placed it there.

 If you want to adjust the size along with the rest of the other assets in your scene, you can press Ctrl + A on your keyboard (Windows) or Command + A (Mac), then drag the inverted triangle icon either inward or outward. 

To move all assets together, you press the same keys on the keyboard but this time, just hover your cursor in the middle of the text until you see the cross arrow icon, then click and drag the assets to your desired location. 

You will notice that whatever asset is selected in your scene, it is also highlighted in the Layers menu. This will give you an idea on which asset is currently selected and being modified.

  • CHANGE ALIGNMENT

You can also change the alignment of your text. For the below example, we align the texts at the center.

  • CHANGE COLOR OF THE ASSET

We can change the color of assets too by clicking the gear icon from the menu that would appear right after you click the asset on your scene.

For our example, we changed the color of rays to gray so we can give more emphasis on the text rather than the background asset. You can apply the same concept with your other scenes. 

We have also repositioned the assets and placed them on the upper left side of the scene. We don’t always need to put it at the center.

  • ADD A CHARACTER

When you add a character to your scene, do not be scared to make it bigger.

Let’s look at the side by side comparison of the unmodified vs modified built-in scene:

The modified built-in scene looks way better. You don’t have to settle on what the built-in scene offers. They are great but remember that these scenes can be modified so don’t be scared to change it a bit.

Remember, when modifying the built-in scene, do not limit yourself to just changing the font. You can customize it to however you like. Don’t be afraid to add props, upload characters and apply colors to it. Be as creative as you can.

#2 – Drawing everything.

When you select our built-in scenes, you will notice that by default, ALL assets in each scene are being drawn. If you have too many characters and props in one scene, it takes too much time before it transitions to the next scene. If that happens, your viewers might get bored waiting for all the assets to be drawn and they might not give their full attention to your presentation.

In our example scene, it has a school building, trees, clouds, and a bus and as we preview it, you will see that the hand is drawing everything.

It takes quite a while to get to the main point of this slide and maybe the main point on this particular scene is that the bus is going to drop off the kids at school. Drawing everything is not really necessary.  It is highly recommended that you don’t just accept all these default drawings. 

To correct this, we need to turn the drawing duration to zero on most of the props and since we want the bus to be the main point in this scene, we will keep the default duration for hand drawing which is 3 seconds. We will also move the bus to the end of the asset under the Layers menu so it can be drawn last.

Let’s preview the scene now that we have adjusted its drawing duration:

3 – Very fast scene transition.

Sometimes the voiceover or narration that you have for your scene is longer than the duration of your scene’s drawing. While you can always extend the drawing duration of the last asset in your scene to give way to your voiceover, we can also just have the scene pause after it has been drawn and have the narration play.

Also, we do not want an abrupt scene transition. That will make our video look like it is being rushed. To address that, we need to add extra time at the end of our scene. 

To do that, we have to go to Scene Settings and adjust the default .05 seconds extra time in the end.

In our example below, we placed 3 seconds extra time in the end, so there is going to be a 3 seconds pause before the 1st scene transitions to the 2nd scene.

Here’s how it looks like now that we added a 3 second extra time at the end of the 1st scene:

4 – Using stock images only.

Don’t get me wrong, assets within Doodly are great. You can make lots of wonderful videos with it but maximizing Doodly’s features and functions will be great too, just like uploading and using your own images. 

With our example a while ago, we can change the lady in our 1st scene to mickey mouse or to whatever character you wish to import. 

You can add your own images by clicking Characters from the assets tab, then click the “+” sign at the bottom to locate and upload your own image.

#5 – Using the default scribble effects.

Another common mistake is leaving the imported image with a scribble drawing effect.

Some images are drawn in detail while others are being drawn with just an up and down stroke and as a beginner, you might think that it’s okay. Well, I guess it’s not a big deal but if you want a professional-looking presentation that would really capture your viewer’s attention, you would want to have those images drawn correctly.

How? Actually, you can create your own draw paths, and here’s how:

From your scene, click the imported image and select the pencil icon, which is the first icon from the menu that would appear on top of your image.

This launches the Edit Asset screen. Start placing the draw paths by putting the blue dots on each stroke. 

The Live Preview screen will play the draw paths that you applied in real-time.

You can increase your draw paths by adjusting the Path Size. This is done in order for your draw path to fully cover the lines of your drawing so when it is drawn, it can capture the entire stroke in your drawing. 

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of an image with a modified draw path versus an unmodified one.

#6 – Uploaded images have a different color.

In the past, some imported images changed their color when added to your scene. This is because Doodly inverted those colors to adjust image visibility when you’re using a chalkboard. This will less likely occur now since we have already updated the chalkboard feature.

In the event that this happens, all you need to do is TURN OFF the “Invert” color menu if it is ON or TURN it ON if it is OFF.

#7 – Tracks are ending abruptly.

When you add music or a sound effect in your presentation, most of the time it doesn’t match the duration of your video. To address this issue, we need to shorten the track.

The common mistake of beginners is leaving the added track ending abruptly which makes your video ending sounding and looking bad. To avoid this from happening, we can apply a fade-out effect at the end of the track. All you have to do is right-click the end of the track then choose Fade Out.

When the Fade Out option is applied, you will see an arrow pointing to the right appear. You can hover your mouse to it and drag the vertical line to the left if you wish the sound to fade slowly as it ends.

Here’s a video showing the process on how to shorten the audio track and apply the fade-out effect:

#8 – Leaving music volume setting at default.

Another common audio mistake that beginners make is leaving the music setting at its default which makes your audio way too loud. By default, your music’s volume is at 100%. The same applies to voiceover. When you add music and a voiceover in your video, chances are, you can’t hear your voiceover well because it is playing at the same volume level as your music. 

To adjust your audio’s volume, you have to click the speaker icon within the timeline. Usually, 12% – 19% volume level is good enough to have a clear voiceover but you can always play with it and get a good feel of what volume level works best with your music and voiceover.

In a nutshell…

  • Built-in scenes are convenient to use, it makes our editing fast but let’s not forget that these scenes can also be modified. You can change the font, reposition your asset, change the alignment, add color, and import characters. The possibilities are endless!
  • All props and characters within pre-built scenes need not be drawn. You can have the background like walls and small props immediately appear on your scene and not sketched by the hand since drawing everything will take so much time. Select only the important props and characters that you want the hand to draw.
  • Remember that you can add extra time at the end of every scene. This is to give way to your voiceover, making sure it is in sync with the animation in your scene. This also makes your transition look nice and not rushed.
  • Upload your own characters. You can use gif, png, jpg, and svg files. Even if you only have a standard Doodly package, you can still have colored images so go on, have fun and upload those images.
  • Creating draw paths for your imported images really pays off. It makes your drawing animation consistent with the rest of the assets. The drawing is more realistic if you add some draw paths to your images rather than an up and down scribble hand stroke to it.
  • If your images tend to have different color after it has been added to your scene, you may need to invert its color. This usually happens when you’re using a chalkboard as your background. This feature has already been updated so we won’t be seeing this issue much but in case it happens, just enable or disable the “Invert” color feature within the asset settings.
  • Apply fade-out effects in your audio tracks to prevent your music from ending so abruptly. Lastly, do not leave your audio volume at default. Balance the volume of your music and voiceover, making sure that your voiceover is louder than your music so you can send your presentation’s message clearly.

Insights

There’s nothing wrong with learning the software on your own but knowing the basics of Doodly will definitely help make your Doodly experience easier. You can finish your animation faster and get everything done hassle-free.

Apart from Doodly’s tutorial videos, we also have our support page to help you with your how-to questions.

We hope you enjoy our blog today. Until next time!

Get Doodly Now!

30-Day, 100% Money Back Guarantee

Doodly is backed by a full 30-day money-back guarantee. Try Doodly for up to 30 days and if, for any reason at all, you’re not happy with your purchase, just contact [email protected] for a full refund. Our refund rate is a super-low, 2% (compared to the 15% industry average), so we’re confident you’ll absolutely love what Doodly can do for you.