Skip to main content

How to Get the Best Out of PowToon

PowToon and other similar drag'n'drop animation sites can be quite challenging to get good results from, for your animated business explainer video, when you're restricted to using just the characters, props and backgrounds available in their site's theme libraries.

You won't get an animated explainer video that looks exceptional if you simply launch PowToon's editor and start dragging and dropping without a plan. How do I know? Case in point. Watch the unfinished video below that I started work on as described above.

I wanted to make an explainer video advertising my Animation 4 Business services. I had the script ready and went straight to the studio.  Keep in mind, I've been making animated explainer videos professionally with GoAnimate for three years to this point.



As you can see it starts out okay and probably would've been an okay video if I'd had kept at it but to me it lacked energy and looked too much like I was settling for whatever I could find. Not too mention it was taking forever just to drag together each slide as I tried to find suitable components.

Then I had a minor epiphany. I should storyboard my animation independently of PowToon, with no consideration as to whether the site even had the graphics I needed to make it happen. Instead of trying to make my script fit what PowToon has to offer I should work towards making PowToon fit the vision I had for my script.

I will add a slight disclaimer to this approach. You do need to have at least had a look through all PowToon's theme libraries to see what's there. It'll help later on when you're trying to build scenes that have no obvious props available.

So I went away and, using Springboard, storyboarded my script which you can see below.


If you compare it to my finished video below you'll see the key scenes are pretty much what was in the storyboard. The real challenge was bringing them to life with the backgrounds and props available.

For example if you look at the first frame of my storyboard you can see I planned a front on mid shot of a young business woman sitting in front of her laptop computer.

In the final video this scene is more of a three quarter view of an older business woman because PowToon didn't have any front views of characters in the theme I chose to use.

I also went for a completely different character to what I had in mind in the storyboard because a week or so earlier I read an article outlining actress, Gina Davis, plan to increase the number of good female roles in movies, simply by replacing male characters with females and not changing anything else.

Taking Gina's concept I thought, why not apply it to my animation and choose a character that I might not have thought about otherwise. I really liked the look of the business woman I chose and I feel she gives the role I put her in some credibility whilst still being a fun character.

I won't go through every frame of my storyboard. The key point you should take from this article is to plan your scenes for what you want to see in them, then try to realize each scene using what's available in PowToon's library. If you can't find exactly what you need then see if you can come up with a compromise (such as my first scene described above).

Don't stick to one theme either. Choose one theme that you like for your main look and try to create your storyboard as much as possible with that. This will give your animation a uniform style through out. Search other themes when you can't find what you need in your main theme.



I think you'll agree my finished video is much better right from the get go than my initial unfinished version that I first showed you.

I'm guilty of going directly into site's like PowToon and storyboarding with the actual content that will become the final animation. It is something of a trap though. Sure you'll get okay results but you may find you do better work by actually planning your storyboard completely away from PowToon altogether.

Comments

  1. When I first watched this over in FB I really enjoyed the character you used, so it was cool to learn here why you decided to use a women. Fun article! I also liked reading the narration in your storyboard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gina Davis approach makes a lot of sense, not just for increasing the number of female roles but also is a good way to look at any character type you've chosen and ask "Would the character be more interesting if I made them a ________ and didn't change anything else?"

      Reading through my article again I should have highlighted panel 14 in my storyboard as it's probably the most different to what appears in the final video. However the compromise I went with, I feel, is actually better than the original plan.

      Delete
  2. Professionally I am an SEO and entrepreneur. I love to create explainer videos but due to my limited skills on animation and video making I tried couple of websites for the same. Indeed, Powtoon is one of the good site to start and create engaging animated videos.

    ReplyDelete
  3. thank u i love creating and learning animation. thank u very much for your useful info.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi,
    Do you happen to know, how I can make my character walk? It walks but does not move from one point to another. I hope you know what I mean.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As near as I can tell there is no way to make a character walk from one point to another within the same scene. I'd recommend reworking your scene so that seeing the character walk is not essential to the scene.

      Delete
  5. I have been looking for this article for a very long time. And finally, I found it. Best I have ever read about blog commenting. Multimedia Technical Boot Camp in Chennai | Best Vacation Class in Guindy

    ReplyDelete
  6. IEEE Projects in Chennai provides best class career oriented & real time Final year projects in Chennai for 2018 students of ieee mini projects in chennai. We help students in completing the realtime projects in chennai with detailed explanation on Project development. Training will be provided for final year projects in chennai,college projects in chennai we help students in complete the project explanation.

    ReplyDelete
  7. And indeed, I’m just always astounded concerning the remarkable things served by you. Some four facts on this page are undeniably the most effective I’ve had.
    health and safety courses in chennai

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Eric W. Schwartz: Cartoonist, Animator and Amiga Die Hard

American Cartoonist, Eric W. Schwartz, (whose unofficial Amiga Icon, Amy the Squirrel, is pictured on the July 92 edition of CU Amiga cover on the right) is my only real animation hero. Sure there are the big names like Disney, Chuck Jones, Tex Avery and even Preston Blair whose influences can all be seen in my own cartoons but Eric did what none of the others could. He showed that really great 2D computer animation was within my reach with little more than an Amiga Computer, a copy of Deluxe Paint and Moviesetter.

This was at a time when computer based animation was in its infancy (outside of computer game animation) and Flash was something that lights did.

There were many great Amiga artists but Eric was really the only one consistently making very funny, traditional style animations. His humor and drawing style is heavily influenced by classic Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons but he managed to build on this, creating something that was recognizably Eric's own style.

I've…

Review: CrazyTalk Animator 3 vs Moho Studio Pro 12

Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 3 or Smith Micro's Moho Studio Pro 12. Which of these 2D animation applications is right for you?

Regular readers of this blog will know I'm a strong supporter, and fairly proficient user of CrazyTalk Animator since version 1. It's a great piece of software for producing 2D animations from purchased content quickly and, with version 3, is easier than ever to create animations from your own art.

Lesser known is that I first purchased Moho Studio Pro 12 (then known as Anime Studio Pro 9) back in October of 2012 and have been upgrading it to the latest version ever since because I believed in it as an application for creating great 2D animation to TV quality standard. As such, it's a much more complex application than CTA3 that I only got around to learning properly late last year. I'm still in the process of blogging my progress.

Despite this I feel I've learned enough of Moho to compare it to CTA3 to help you determine which …

Voice All Your Own Animated Characters with Voice Changer

Voice Changer by AVSoft is real time voice manipulation software that can be used for a wide range of purposes including (according to their website); Voice-over and voice dubbing for audio/video clips, presentations, narrations, voice messages, voice mails, E-greeting cards, broadcasting, etc.; mimic the voice of any person, create animal sounds, change/replace/remove voices in songs, videos,etc.

I bought it for the specific purpose of changing my own voice, to extend my vocal range, for voicing characters in my own animations.
I was fortunate enough to get this software at a significant discount that made it difficult to refuse, given that I'd never tried it, or even heard of it before. I'm not sure if I would have bought it at the full price given that much of what it can do (for my needs) can also be done with the freeware audio program, Audacity.
Voice Changer is relatively easy to install and set up. Once installed simply change you default microphone to the installed AV…

Cartoon Animator 4 Tutorial - Secondary Animation - Jelly Bees and Elastic Motions

If you've bought Reallusion's Spongy Moves, Elastic Motions and Jelly Bees Emotion Props Combo Pack for CrazyTalk Animator 3/Cartoon Animator 4 you may be wondering how those little Jelly Bees are making their little bubble top knots bounce around like they do in the promo video?

Well grab your copy of CrazyTalk Animator 3 or Cartoon Animator 4 and follow along with my video tutorial below for how to make those bubble top knots bounce!



The secondary animation in my tutorial is should not be confused with the principle of animation known as 'Secondary Action' - which is a second action that supports the main action a character is performing.

The principle my tutorial demonstrates is actually known as 'Follow Through and Overlapping Action'. Actions that are caused by the main action dragging something else along with it, that then follows through and continues to move momentarily after the main action has stopped.

An obvious example is if a long haired characte…

Learn Moho Pro 12 Free Using SmithMicro's Own 104 Video Tutorials Sorted into a Logical Order of Progression

So you've bought Smith Micro's Moho Pro 12 along with the Moho, 10 hour, 104 Video Tutorials Add On pack so you can get learning right away... only you can't. For whatever reason, the video tutorials aren't sorted into any logical order of progression making them hard to follow.

Yeah, I've been there, only I've done what Smith Micro should have done and sorted all the video tutorials into a logical order of natural progression for you. That is, each tutorial builds upon what you learned in previous videos and you won't suddenly come up against some feature you've never used before, unless that feature is what the video tutorial is about.

The Ultimate Independent Animator's App and Resource List 2019 - Animation and Video Life

Being an independent animator is not like a studio animation job. There's so much more to do that is indirectly related to the actual task of animating. Over the years I've sought out many apps, tools, and services that can help me achieve that one single task, expressing myself through animation.

Below is my Ultimate Independent Animator's Resource List for 2019. It started out as a list of free or low cost apps that could help you in every stage of producing either 2D or 3D animation, and then just kind of grew from there.

You may not have been looking for a Time Management App as much as you needed something to get you started in 3D animation but when those commissioned projects start coming in you'll have a head start on maximizing your time.

All the apps and services on this list had to meet two main criteria:

They had to be useful and relevant to an Indy Animator/artist.The base app/service had to be US$200.00 or less.
(In the case of a subscription service that&…

Water Valet - Funny, Animated Short About Robots, AI, and the Future of Office Automation.

Back in 1987 I saw English Actor/Comedian Kenneth Williams on television make a quote about medical specialists that has stuck with me ever since as an idea for comedy.
It's frightening to think with modern medicine and all the techniques available to them... they can't really help you. In the old days, you know, you were better off because nowadays, they are all specialists. Everyone's becoming better and better at less and less... Eventually someone's going to be superb... at nothing. - Kenneth Williams, Aspel & Co 1987
In consumer robotics it's a very relevant concept that appears to be working in reverse. We're seeing more and more consumer robots released that perform one task really well (robot vacuum cleaners for example) but we're kind of working towards the robot butler/maid/assistant, a single robot that can perform many different tasks.

An early example is the AI used in home speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home where you can automate a…