How to create a whiteboard animation video in 10 simple steps

So you want to create a whiteboard animation video … smart thinking! Whiteboard animation videos are proven to be 20X more engaging than traditional videos–making them ideal for entertainment, education, and that “Holy Grail” of marketing–conversions.

However, before you create your whiteboard animation video, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place i.e. to know which steps need to occur and in what order.

That’s what this blog post is all about. In it, we’ll give you an easy, step-by-step process for creating a whiteboard animation video.

So, let’s get right to it!

Step 1 – Create Your Video Script (Optional)

Before creating your whiteboard animation video, you’ll first want to create a video script, should you choose to use one. Much like GPS helps you arrive at a destination, your script will determine how your video should unfold.

Identify the Video’s Objectives

To create your video script, you’ll first want to consider the objectives of your video. You can do that by answering the following:

  • What do you want your video to accomplish?
  • Who should your video persuade, entertain, or convert?
  • Which action do you want viewers to take after watching your video?
animated sketch of a man with brainstorming for his video marketing objectives

Once you’ve thought through the answers to these questions, you’ll have a good understanding of who your video is supposed to reach and what it’s supposed to accomplish.

Decide How You’ll Create Your Script

After you’ve determined your video’s objectives, you’ll want to get started on your video script.

You have a few different options when it comes time to create it:

  1. Write It Yourself: Writing the video script yourself is the cheapest option, so this is a great choice if you’re working on a budget and comfortable with your writing skills.

    To point you in the right direction, we suggest checking out what your competitors are doing, as well as viewing some successful whiteboard animation videos. These activities can serve as inspiration when you sit down to brainstorm your own script.

    Now, if this process strikes you as intimidating, don’t worry. You have two other great options for creating your video script.
  2. Hire a Writer: Nervous at the thought of creating your script? Or alternatively, are you confident you could write a good script but want to save time and effort on this step? In either case, turning this task over to a professional copywriter might be your best bet.

    A good copywriter will know how to write a video script that grabs the audience’s attention, focuses on the benefits of your solution, and drives conversions.

    If all that sounds appealing, you may be wondering how much a copywriter charges. The answer is, “It depends.”

    Fees tend to vary a lot among copywriters. However, it’s reasonable to expect to spend $50-$250 for a 1-minute video script, depending on the writer’s reputation and experience.
  3. Use Copywriting Software: If you don’t want to create your video script yourself–and don’t like the thought of paying copywriters’ fees–copywriting software like Automatic Script is a great happy medium.

    With Automatic Script, you just answer a few quick questions about your brand, and the software will instantly create a video script for you, using a high-converting, proven copywriting formula.

    The beauty of this option is that not only can you use Automatic Script to create multiple whiteboard animation video scripts, but you can also use it to generate email campaigns and Facebook ads to promote those videos!

So, now that you know the main methods for creating your script, you should choose the one you like best, based on your budget and comfort level.

Once you come up with a video script you like, you’re ready to move on to the next step in creating a whiteboard animation video–storyboarding!

Step 2 – Storyboard Your Video

Storyboarding is the process of sketching out your video, to indicate which scenes should appear alongside the words in your script. A storyboard may also include camera directions, like pan left, zoom in, etc.

Typically, storyboards look something like this:

Why Storyboard?

While storyboarding may seem unnecessary, it’s crucial to a good video. That’s because once you start storyboarding, you’ll have the opportunity to see how well the scenes you’re envisioning go with the script you’re using.

For instance, do you want to start your whiteboard video by depicting an elaborate background? That’ll take a bit of time for the hand to draw, so that beginning scene should comprise a larger portion of your script.

Alternatively, does your script mention 10 benefits of your solution? If so, you’ll probably want to use simple images that can be drawn relatively quickly for each benefit, so you don’t have to add lengthy pauses to your voiceover … while you wait for the hand to finish drawing.

Now, keep in mind that Doodly does allow you to specify how long it takes to draw every single object in your video–so if you want to spend just 2 seconds drawing a house, you can.

However, generally speaking, your video will look more professional if the images aren’t drawn way too fast or way too slow. Video pacing is important which is one reason it’s beneficial for you to storyboard before you begin animating your video.

Another advantage of storyboarding is that it gives you the opportunity to put your ideas on paper, so your teammates can visualize what you’re picturing, rather than merely imagining how the final video might look.

How to Storyboard

There are a couple different ways to storyboard:

a hand drawing a storyboard with a pen
  1. Sketch By Hand: You can storyboard by simply grabbing pencil and paper, and drawing your ideas out scene by scene. Just create a square to represent each scene, rough sketch the images you want to appear in it, and at the bottom, write down the voiceover text that you want used in the scene. Simple!
  2. Use Storyboarding Software: Your other option is to use storyboard software. While software isn’t strictly necessary, it can be useful if you need to formally present your video concept to other stakeholders.

    With storyboard software, you can create quick illustrations, enter your voiceover dialogue, and even include scene specifics, such as how long the scene should last.

    If you opt to go this route, there are a number of free and inexpensive storyboard software programs you can choose from, including Storyboarder and Plot.

Step 3 – Record Your Script

Once you’ve written and storyboarded your script, it’s time to record it! Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to create a great voiceover for your video:

  1. Record It Yourself: The beauty of reading your own script is that unlike the other options, this one is completely free. Additionally, you can record your voiceover whenever you like, so there’s no need to go through the hassle of hiring a voice actor … and then waiting on them to get back to you.

    However, there’s one important caveat that should be mentioned here–most people aren’t great at reading scripts.

    Typically, they lack voice modulation training, so they don’t get the tone, pitch, and inflection right in their voiceovers. That’s important, because these vocal attributes will make a big difference in the overall quality of your video–which is why this is something worth considering when it comes time to record your script.
  2. Hire a Voice Actor: If you can afford it, a voice actor will give your voiceover a more professional feel–which has the potential to translate into more clicks, likes, shares, and sales.

    So, how much does a voice actor cost? Well, you can typically expect to spend about $100-$250 for a 1-minute voiceover with full commercial rights.

    Although this option offers the best audio quality, like all of our other recommendations, we suggest letting your budget dictate how you proceed.

    And don’t worry–even if you have a shoestring budget, you can still create a high-quality, professional video with Doodly.
  3. Use Text-to-Speech Software: The final option you have for creating a voiceover is to use text-to-speech software. Text-to-speech software allows you to paste or type your text onto a screen, select the voice you want to use, and then create your voiceover just by clicking a button.

    While text-to-speech software doesn’t sound quite as lifelike as human speech, it’s come a long way in the last few years. As such, most video viewers probably won’t realize they’re listening to an artificially generated voice.

    If you opt to go this route, we recommend Talkia, Bryxen’s text-to-speech software that lets you choose from 65 different voices with the Standard membership and 329 with the Enterprise membership.

    With tons of voices to choose from, it’s easy to test different voices out, then select the highest-converting one for your video. You can also use Talkia to create voiceovers in other languages, which is a helpful feature if you ever want to venture into untapped markets by advertising overseas.

Step 4 – Choose Your Video Background

Although you’ve already decided that you want to create a whiteboard animation video, did you know that there are multiple different whiteboard backgrounds you can choose from?

For instance, Doodly offers four background styles: whiteboard, blackboard, glassboard, and custom.

Whiteboard

This is the most popular background style. It features a regular whiteboard … just like the kind you might find in an office.

Here’s an example of a Doodly whiteboard video:

Blackboard/Greenboard

These backgrounds, also known as chalkboard, are reminiscent of a teacher presenting a classroom lesson … as you can see in this Doodly video:

Glassboard

While glassboard looks very similar to whiteboard, there’s one critical difference. With glassboard, the objects on the screen are transparent, and the hand appears behind the drawing … which is why you can see the hand through the images in this Doodly video!

Custom

Doodly also allows you to create custom backgrounds for your animated videos. For instance, you can choose between chalk or marker as your drawing tool. You can also use either a custom color or a custom image as your background.

The Doodly video below shows a marker on a custom blue background.

And in this Doodly video, we uploaded a checkerboard pattern as our Doodly background, then chose a marker as our drawing tool!

Step 5 – Adjust Your Video Settings

Once you’ve chosen your video background, you’ll want to adjust your video settings, so your video turns out exactly how you want it to. Fortunately, Doodly offers a number of different video settings, and in this next section, we’ll take a look at them.

Hand Style

Do you want to use a real hand, cartoon hand, or none at all? And if you do opt to use a hand, would you rather it be a left hand or a right hand?

With Doodly, you have tons of different male and female hands to choose from in a variety of ethnicities, so you have full control over your drawing.

Doodly hand style feature options

Scene Settings

Doodly also lets you select the transitions in your video. For instance, you can choose to stop the video when the animation ends OR to let it play until the animation and the audio end.

You can also determine what occurs between scenes–whether the hand should swipe scenes out of the frame and in which direction, or not at all.

Finally, you can select the erase mode Doodly should use when images overlap each other–either erasing automatically (using Doodly’s default Smart Mode), erasing with a finger, erasing with an actual eraser, or not at all.

With Doodly, you have tons of different male and female hands to choose from in a variety of ethnicities, so you have full control over your drawing.

doodly scene exit animation feature options

Video Resolution

Finally, Doodly’s video settings allow you to adjust the resolution of your video–selecting from 480p -1080p, as well as custom. If you want, you can even skip right to the chase and select the resolution that’ll work best on Facebook and Instagram.

Step 6 – Upload Your Voiceover

After you’ve chosen your video settings, it’s time to upload your voiceover. Fortunately, this step is easy.

Simply click on the blue Plus button at the bottom of the Sounds tab, then navigate to your voiceover file. Once you’ve found it, enter a title, then click the Continue button. Going forward, you’ll be able to access that voiceover whenever you want in your Doodly music library.

doodly voiceover feature options

You also have the option of recording your voiceover right inside Doodly, should you have skipped that step earlier.

Once your voiceover is in the Doodly library, you can drag it to the video timeline below, so the voiceover plays correctly in your video.

doodly voiceover library timeline options

If you want, you can even choose one of Doodly’s 100+ music files to play along with your voiceover–at a reduced volume, of course. Not only will this make your video more engaging, but it’ll also give it a more professional feel.

Step 7 – Animate Your Video

You’ve reached the fun part of video creation–animation! This is where you choose the assets from Doodly’s massive library that you want to include in your video. Just drag and drop them onto your screen–once you do, the hand will already know how to draw them.

There are tons of images to choose from, including …

Scenes

Don’t want to create an entire scene from scratch? No problem! Doodly has dozens of backgrounds that work for any industry that’ll help you get the look you want–FAST.

doodly background feature options

Characters

Doodly Standard membership comes with over 1,000 characters (3,959 with Doodly Enterprise), representing virtually every profession, age, and ethnicity you can think of.

Even better, these characters are engaged in a variety of different activities, so any Doodler is sure to find the perfect images for their video.

Doodly image library character categories

Props

Props give your videos extra flavor and texture. Fortunately, Doodly gives you over a thousand different props to choose from.

Doodly image library Props categories

Custom

You’re also welcome to upload your own images to the Doodly library. With Doodly’s patented SmartDraw technology™, you can “teach” the hand how to draw them, so your animation turns out perfectly!

Step 8 – Adjust the Video Timeline

You may find that once you’ve created the scenes for your animation video, the images are being drawn too slow or too fast … so they don’t correspond to your voiceover.

This is an easy fix. Simply use the timeline’s slider to speed up or slow down the scenes in question. For instance, the video timeline below shows the thumbnail of a scene that’s four seconds long (as you can see from the ruler image above it).

adjusting sound on doodly

However, you can drag the right edge of the scene in your timeline, so the hand draws that scene faster or slower. That’s what we did below, making the scene 10 seconds long, rather than 4.

adjusting sound on doodly

Step 9 – Preview Your Video

When you’ve finished making adjustments to the timeline, you’ll want to preview your video to see how it looks.

With Doodly, that process is simple, and you have two preview options–to preview just one scene or to preview your entire video. If you want to preview a specific scene, just right-click on it in the timeline and select the Preview option.

video preview on doodly

To preview your entire video, click the blue Preview button in the upper right corner of the Doodly window.

Step 10 – Save & Export Your Video

Once you’re satisfied with your whiteboard video, you’ll want to save and export it. Just click the Save button in the upper right corner of your screen, and save your video the same way you would any other file.

video export preview on Doodly

After saving your video, click the Export button. From the Export menu, you’ll be presented with a variety of options:

video exporting options in doodly

For instance, you can choose the destination of your exported video, its file format, resolution, and quality. When you’re finished selecting your export settings, click the Continue button.

And That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know to create a professional whiteboard animation video you can use to wow prospects, educate clients, entertain friends and family … and much, much more.

By the way, should you run into any issues as you’re going through this process, it’s easy to get help … you can view tutorials on the Doodly YouTube channel, pose questions in our Doodly Facebook group, start a live Doodly chat session, or open a ticket with the Doodly Support Desk.

As you can see, not only is Doodly incredibly easy-to-use, but it’s also simple to get help should you need any along the way.

So, don’t wait–start creating your first animated whiteboard video today with Doodly!