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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
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