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What is a whiteboard animation?

02nd Feb 2016, author: Eve Myhill

Whiteboard animation was made popular a few years back by the RSA animates series. They’re comparable to Ted talks, but an animated version. Illustrated through either by hand or computer.


Its an extremely flexible style that can be applied to almost any type of message. Here we have used it compliment video, replacing where footage was not available to demonstrate the Same Learning model. This style was created by drawing the assets in after effects then animating them on afterwards. In contrast we created a real time hand-drawn whiteboard animation for Citywest to bring their Welcome video to life and offer some consistency in the induction process.

The computer animated process usually takes around – 6 – 8 weeks to produce for a minute video as a storyboard and all the assets will be created first. A live drawn sequence, provided you have a good experienced artist and a 4k camera crew , will be quicker and could be produced in as little 3 weeks including the pre production process.

There’s a reason it has become so popular, and that’s because it’s a clever, creative way to tell a story quickly and can be adapted into many different styles. Here are a few of my favourites. You’ll be able to tell the different between the live action and computer animated ones in the most but some are just too darn good.

The Gnoodle Top 10 Whiteboard Animations

  1. Weird Al Yankovich – Missions Statement
  2. Why Adobe Echo Sign
  3. The Marker Maker
  4. Midsize Sedan Technology by the 2016 Toyota Camry
  5. Financial Services – Bowne Road
  6. Science of persuasion 
  7. Income.com  
  8. Where good ideas come from 
  9. Content 2020 by Coca Cola
  10. Wrigley infographic chalkboard 

My top tips for making a whiteboard Animation.

  1. If your writing a script first, then try to incorporate visual metaphor eg: your house is your castle, break the bank, bull in china shop etc – I think you see where I’m going with this.
  2. Combine drawing an animation. So if you draw a house, then animated the smoke to transition you to the next image. It create a sense oif intricacy and thought through development.
  3. Don’t copy someone else. Write your own , make the drawings unique and try something new. Here ‘s our very own chalkboard animation for astrazeneca https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLtnwKe-Y88
  4. Always incorporate sound effects to bring your animation to life
  5. Plan, plan, plan. Don’t just make it up as you go along. Do storyboard and revise until its perfect – this is an artpiece that you want people to share because they think its good.

In our next blog we’ll be looking at some of the auotamtoed do-it-yourself animation softeware including for whiteboard animation and comparing it to getting it done by an animation company.

If your looking for animation or video get in touch production@gnufilms.co.uk or give us a call 01604 779079

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