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Create an Animated Video Using PowToon

What can I use an animated video for?

  • Promote something 
  • Describe a procedure / process
  • Define a concept
  • Present facts
  • Provide an overview
  • And more!

How do I get started?

Before you begin creating your animated video:

  • Review your assignment.
  • Establish the goal of your video. 
  • Identify your audience(s). 
  • Plan out your video by creating a storyboard and script.
  • Get feedback, review and revise.

Best Practices for Creating an Animated Video

  1. Shorter is better
    • Generally, we recommend keeping your video short, under three minutes is best
  2. Select a theme and stick with it
    • Identify colours, fonts, and style of video and try to stay with it throughout while playing with movement, size and juxtaposition to create interest and engage viewers. 
    • See the Graphic Design Guide for more information 
  3. Less is more
    • Don’t overwhelm the audience with too much text or graphic elements. 
    • Create focal points and identify key phrases to help the audience stay connected to the message
  4. Create Movement
    • Your video should move every 3-5 seconds. Think about different ways to create movement.
      • What is appearing or disappearing? 
      • When is there a new slide?
      • Did you add transitions between your slides?  
  5. Don’t be afraid to play
    • Experiment with scale 
    • Try layering different objects or shapes to create a different look 
    • How can you personalize the video to make it more your own? 

Steps for Creating an Animated Video

After you have finalized the details of your script and storyboard, you can start creating your video in PowToon.

  1. Record your audio.
    • Make sure to practice reading your script before you record it. If you make a mistake while you’re recording, just take a breath and say it again. You can edit out any mistakes. 
    • When recording, it is best to use a microphone (USB mic or separate audio recorder) to record your audio. 
    • Use an audio editor, like Audacity or GarageBand, to edit your audio. You can remove background noise, ensure vocal volumes are even and collage together segments, music and sound effects. 
    • Export the file as an MP3. 
  2. Upload your audio to PowToon and explore 
    • Make sure to record your audio before you start putting together your visuals. This will save you time. If you have your audio track loaded into PowToon, you can set the timings of the visuals to your audio track. 
  3. Select your style of video
    • Thinking back to the goals of your video, and your audience, select a style and theme for your video. Colour choice, font and imagery all add to the tone of the video and help convey your messaging. 
  4. Build and compile the visuals 
    • Use the library of images, objects, characters and other graphics to create your video.
    • Add personal touches by uploading your own media. 
  5. Review video to assure that content and audio flow
    • Don’t forget to add transitions and play with timings to ensure that there is enough variation to maintain interest.  
  6. Provide attribution
    • Create a closing credits slide to provide attribution to media that you uploaded and were created by others. This could be for the music, sound effects, images or video.  
    • Be careful about copyright. Be sure to check what type of attribution is required for use.
    • Try to include both verbal and written (in the description of the video).
    • Example: This video uses these sounds from [site name]:
      • sound1 by user1
      • sound2, sound3 by user2
  7. Publish and share
    • Export as an MP4 and upload the video to YouTube or other sharing tool 

Find Sound Effects and Music

Be careful about copyright. Be sure to check what type of attribution is required for use.

Try to include both verbal and written (in the description of the video).

Example: This video uses these sounds from [site name]:
sound1 by user1
sound2, sound3 by user2

Resources to Help with Creating an Animated Video

Link to Guide: Make an Animated VideoLink to Guide: Record Audio with AudacityLink to Guide: Find audio and images for remixing

Resources to Help with Scripting

Link to Guide: Create a scriptGuide: Write Clearly: StyleLink to Guide: Create a Storyboard

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.