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

    ReplyDelete
  3. 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
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Six D.I.Y. Video Animation Tools

Can't draw or animate to save your life but want to create cartoons or explainer videos? Here's a list of six do it yourself animation sites/tools that are worth a look and you can try for free - no drawing skills required.

Before we start I will admit I've barely used any of these sites except for GoAnimate, so don't expect in depth reviews. The best I can do is give you my initial impression, ask you to watch their video and then go and try them all for yourself. I may do proper reviews at a future date.

GoAnimate I'm a big supporter of GoAnimate which has been around since 2008 and allows you t create short, 2D cartoon animations using their library of thousands of characters, props, backgrounds and more. It's the leading site in its field and is being continuously refined with improvements.

What makes GoAnimate stand out from the competition is that it can keep up with your growth as an animator and film maker. You can get some very professional looking res…

Make Disney/Pixar Style Characters with Reallusion's Character Creator and Toon Figure Bases

I've talked before how I've wanted to get into 3D Disney/Pixar style character animation since I first saw the animated cutscenes for the very first Tomb Raider game back in 1996.

It's why I initially bought Reallusion's iClone 3D studio app as soon as I could afford a computer that would run it.

But then Reallusion released their 3D Character Creator (CC) for iClone and I wanted to create my characters with that (and I did try with Bat Storm). But the focus of CC was realism, even with ToKoMotion's stylised body morphs.

Now with Reallusion's Cartoon Designer bundle for CC3 which features two packs, Toon Figures, and Toon Hair, designing Disney/Pixar style 3D characters just got a whole lot quicker.



The two packs are the bare essentials for creating Toon style characters. Five body morphs (2 male, 2 female, and one adolescent body morph that works as both a male or female pre teen), eleven hair style bases, with thirteen hair additions for further variation.

T…

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 …

Should You Buy or Upgrade to MOHO 13? *Spoiler* Yes. Yes You Should!

Smith Micro released MOHO 13, their all in one, 2D animation studio, this week. The question is should you buy or upgrade to the latest version? Obviously I've already spoiled this in the title, so the actual question is why do I think you should buy or upgrade?

To be clear, I'm only talking about MOHO 13 Pro. If you're considering MOHO 13 Debut be aware that you're missing out on some of the new features, and a lot of existing features that are only available in the Pro version. Debut is fine if the budget doesn't stretch to Pro, but, if you never want to be disappointed about not having a feature, it's Pro or nothing!

The other thing I need to be transparent about is I'm not, by any stretch, a frequent MOHO user/animator. However I took the time to learn MOHO 12 Pro fairly extensively, blogging about my process and sorting out 104 free MOHO training videos into a logical viewing order in the process. I think I have more than enough insight to let you kno…

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.

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…