Animated Explainer Video Styles
The explainer video industry is moving fast. Animated short visual content can be found in many places including the TV, News, Social Media like: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
There are different styles of explainer videos out there, but only a few of them will be effective for your business. That is why it is important to know about all of them. This can be a difficult if you don’t know what are you choosing from.
Global companies use different Animated Explanatory Videos Styles to tell their stories; they can benefit various industries and cover different topics such as health, insurance, finance, travel, tech and science, fashion, food, film etc. This is why Explainers content are being used frequently today. A user can advertise and explain almost anything on the web by using them!
Understanding the available options for your business, service or product is essential. So we gathered a list of the Animated Explanatory Video styles possible that have been used by many brands and businesses around the world, which have proven to be effective, if executed properly.
Whether you are a startup or a large company, it is important to know the best style for your video and ask the following questions: What are my goals? Who my target group? What is my budget? Which messages do I want to send? The answers will get you closer to what you need and will help you to find out the proper style.
They are also a good educational media due to its catching visuals, snappy animations, and narrative audio. This is making them an obvious center of attention that are hard to skip or miss. Explainers provide amazing result when it comes to showing viewers’ pain and immediately offer a solution to it. Add all of those up and you will get the perfect marketing tool to build your business marketing strategy.
There are different types of explainer video productions out there, but only a few are effective for your company business.
Once you have decided on making a Animated Explanatory Video to tell your company story in an engaging way, to increase conversions, to maximize your business exposure and to boost sales, it is time to think about which kind of animated video you will choose.
A user stays on a website for around 10 to 20 seconds only. It is extremely difficult to convince your customer or the visitor, even if you are relying on explainer videos. The animation industry is expanding rapidly and animators and creative directors are experimenting with various styles of explainer videos today.
The History of Explainer Video Animation Styles
As the industry grows, new video production companies started popping up everywhere, which causes a strong marketing and creativity competition. The rise of animated marketing video content in various industries is also causing demand for explainer animations as a tool to increase brand awareness.
Each company tries their best to come up with own Animated Explanatory Video styles and new animation styles to build a signature for their creations. Animated explainer video productions are a form of art in the era of social media and online media. They are bound to have signature looks and a useful content to watch for a company and its target customers. That means if your company thinks about creating an explainer video, there is a long list of video styles available to choose from.
There are people who find it harder to choose between that many options. A quick search on YouTube will show you that there are more than hundred of Explainer styles which range from short ones (10-30 seconds) to longer ones (>5 minutes).
One minute of an explainer video has usually between 160 and 180 words.
Our clients are already familiar with our animated styles. Most of the times they call us knowing exactly what they want.
After many years of experience as animated explainer video agency, our team tried out a lots of styles from top-level production companies.
Some of them we love, others are a little out of our taste. Some require advanced techniques, some can be done more easily.
We came to many different styles and each of them requires different animation technique which you can explore. That what we want to share with you right here.
Whiteboard Animation - Explainer Video
A a traditional definition of explainer video content. It is a simplest form of a 2d animation.
This style is all about illustrations and mostly done in black and white. You will see the hand of the illustrator drawing image after image on a white surface to explain a concept for you. Whiteboards are by far the best budget video style for corporate purposes.
Whiteboard animations are known as the most effective type of explainer video animation because of its minimalistic design. It allows viewers to concentrate on the content. They are also great for video series. You should definitely consider that approach.
They are one of the most popular and preferred styles for B2C and B2B companies. Whiteboard videos are perfect for diving a bit deeper into a product, service or process explanation. This style consists of drawing simple black and white illustrations on a whiteboard and explain a concept.
The whole story just pops up right in front of your eyes and out of thin air, so you are drawn into it from the start. Besides, whiteboard animations have that simplistic feel I have mentioned when talking about 2D character animations which offers the benefit of being straightforward and to-the-point.
Motion Graphic Animation
Just as the name suggests, this video animation style conveys an explanation through simple animated graphics. Since there is always constant movement, this style is designed to be engaging and easy to follow.
A motion graphics animated video explainer is incredibly fluid in various ways — you almost can’t go wrong with it, whatever the case may be. That is why motion graphics explainers are always in high demand (at least for us).
Do you want to engage the audience? Make an interactive video — it has the dynamics. If you want to pitch your brilliant ideas to investors or create a character for your brand, motion graphic looks awesome and can get them in awe. In our company culture, we think that motion graphics are designed to be both entertainment, communication, and marketing content.
Although a sharp set of skill and a lot of special training is required to draw and animate one of these videos. Every movement in motion graphic videos needs a tremendous amount of attention to detail and method to execute, especially the transition between frames and movement of small objects. That is why most of the times motion graphics take a bigger chunk of animators time (and therefore your budget) compared to other styles.
2D Motion Graphics Animation - Explainer Video Style
It is characterized for being engaging and straightforward. The style is ideal for companies that have a complicated product or service to explain or that want to bring trust and buzz to their brand. Graphics are used to show how a product or service works and how the customer can benefit from it.
Animated 2D motion graphics videos look fresh, colorful and dynamic. All of those characteristics serve as catching features. They will hook your audience from the first second. Given the complexity of the products or services that use this style, that is definitely beneficial.
Experts use graphic elements like different styles, patterns and colors to explain abstract or complex product and service. Animators can mix motion graphics with other styles, giving the human touch on the characters. Detailing is essential for the transition between movements or frames. Generally there are fewer characters involved in these types of video. The main focus is on the shapes and transformations.
Kinetic Typography Animation
The idea is to deliver a message through words. This type of video is common on the Internet. If you search for ‘kinetic typography’ on Google, you will see what I mean.
As the name suggests, this type of animated explainer video style relies on text and numbers. Combined with relevant animation and accompanied by music that matches the feel you are going for in an ad. Kinetic typography has the power to inspire someone, express an idea and way of thinking, and move peoples feelings.
The style is based on the animation of fonts to express an idea. If the proper fonts are used, the video can use the right format to underline certain passages and make them stick in your memory of your audience.
Using color and movement combined with the music and voiceover, can have an unexpected rhythm that will keep your audience watching. This style is very affordable in cost and has shorter production times.
Cutout Animation - Digital Cutout Animation
It is really simple in terms of look and movement, which is either its main strength or weakness. Cut Out animation features characters and objects that are cut out of paper, hence the name.
Since it is not demanding on the eyes it has no fancy animation. The audience can really concentrate on listening and grabbing the message.
That is why it will work for me, when I view it. On the other hand the video might also come across as plain or boring for those who are attracted to color and movement.
Collage & Cut Out
Collage and cut-out style include a small portion of different materials like stiff photographs and cardboards for producing animation. Experts use vector graphics or scanned images in the whole process. And the best part is that you can develop complex figures smoothly in cut-out animation for explainer videos. They are very engaging and good for B2C companies to create a strong connection between brand and customer.
Isometric Style Animation
Isometric is common in the gaming world. Animators use this technique for 2D animation to create a 3D illusion. In this style of video, characters usually look much like blocks. 2D graphics are used to represent a 3D environment. There is a human touch to these cool and playful video style.
Cartoons are not only for kids!
This style can go for a more fun and adventurous Explainer Video Production. Many agencies use colors and humorous bits combined with sound effects, expressive characters and detailed environmental elements. Some video production companies even add composed music to empower the story and make it more engaging. Other production companies avoid background music to put more emphasis on the narration.
Minimalistic Vector Animation for Explainer Video Production
The technique is used to create cleaner and smoother animations. The motion is controlled not by pixels, but by vectors in this method. The graphic appearance of videos created by minimalistic vector technique. It is clearer compared to other animated styles.
Silhouette Animation - Explainer Video
A silhouette animation style works in a way that shows the character in the Animated Explanatory Video only as a silhouette. Do not be afraid that the silhouette character may come off as a little scary. You can play up the expressions, or use colors instead of the usual basic color.
Cel & Frame by Frame - Animation
A animator draws or paints various objects on it to create a traditional animation. Cel is a transparent sheet. Cel and frame by frame together, it is the style where an animator draws each frame of the scenes in the animation by hand. It is one of the most expensive and time-consuming options. It is more like the cartoons you have grown up watching.
Animated Music Video
It i pretty much the same as the usual music video we see on MTV. It might have an animated character instead of a real live singer. Music is open minded and the animation that represents it should be too. Many music video creators have tried using 3d animation style but some still stick to 2d.
In music videos it is very common to mixe up with some kinetic typography for the lyrics for viewers to sing along.
Live Action + Animation - Explainer Video
When a single style of video gets boring for your topic, we should mix both live action and animation to gives you the best of both worlds. You can be personal and build trust with the live action. Also be entertaining and illustrative with the animation part.
Live Action - Explainer Video
In live action videos, everything is recorded using a good camera. It is a good option for production companies to build a personal relationship between the business, product or service and a potential customer by showing real people in real scenes.
In a live action video, you could put your employees, your customers or even yourself before the eyes of the audience to explain or build trust your product or service. People trust in brands that aren’t afraid to show their human side. They often use testimonials. This style can work in explainer videos because of their power to engage with the audience.
This type of video humanizes a company highlighting its major aspects and business culture. Live action video features real people expressing real human emotions. It also gives a personality to your corporate enterprise, ensures authenticity, improves your viewer is knowledge. It builds a personal relationship with your target group. A sense of humor works really well too. Brands such as “Dollar Shave Club” transforming from zero to hero using this approach.
Live Action With Track Elements - Animation Production
Here we use a live video footage integrated with 3D elements that are tracked to the video. It brings a idea of real interaction with a more immersive feel. The added elements also provide a more dynamic look. Rhythm is making the journey all more enjoyable for the audience.
The combination of graphic with live video offer great benefits. There is the ‘human side’ for great engagement. There is the graphics to add a new layer that you can rely on and to strengthen the explanation.
Pen and Ink - Explainer Video
In the Pen and Ink video style, the objects are a little rough, sketchy and loose. Most importantly, the objects in Pen & Ink animation are drawn by hand and look stellar.
Stop Motion Animation - Explainer Video
Do you know Wallace and Gromit? That is the perfect example of stop-motion animation.
You draw a character, then take photos, change an element of that image and then take another one. When you are done with drawing and taking a picture routine, stack the pictures together and you will have a stop-motion style video production. Not to mention that a hundred pictures can result in a video that is only a few seconds long. Stop-motion animations are the least complex between these styles and it involves a tedious process of taking pictures and it goes frame by frame.
In stop motion, an object is manipulated physically in small increments and then photographed. The photographer captures 1 frame at a time. When you play the frames in a sequence, the object appears to be moving. Here, the medium can be anything, including clay, puppet, graphic and even silhouette. Extremely fun to watch, these are ideal for companies intending to leave a long lasting impression with their introduction. Producing stop motion videos, require a vast amount of production time and it is generally a very tedious process. So expect to receive high quotes when enquiring about such videos.
It is an animation technique that consists of photographing an object as it is moved in small amounts creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames are played as a sequence. You have probably seen short films and movies that use this technique for a truly unique effect.
That unique effect is probably the best benefit you can get out of stop motion videos. But, this technique is expensive and also if you have to make a change, it is possible that you can’t or it might take a lot of time and money.
Outline / Dope Art - Animated Explainer Video
Dope art - explainer videos are extremely attractive, fun-filled and effective. It uses simple outlined characters and objects. With this style you can convey complex messages without confusing your audience with complex graphics.
Animation & Images
It is an effective method to feature the actual image of products without being a boring slideshow. This type of video production is best executed when it is accompanied by upbeat motion graphics with animation. Keep the audience engaged while showcasing the product images one by one with visually motion graphics.
Animated Stick Figures - Explainer Video Style
Everything will be drawn in stick figures. It is very simple and playful but not overwhelming. This animation style brings life into the drawing of your 5-year old son. It is a simplicity at its finest. There are many popular animated stick figure animaed explainer videos around the world.
Parallax With Images - Animation
A popular explainer video style where the foreground content of images and the background content image move at different speed. This effects makes the videos extremely pronounced and subtle.
Animated Infographic - Explainer Video Style
Animated Infographic is a motion graphic video that aims to explain and educate based on a script. Infographic videos rely heavily on upon information. Animation is packed with a lot of facts, data, numbers, charts, and statistics. Having all this data animated is very helpful in avoiding putting the viewer to sleep while reading through the data.
Stock Footage & Overlays
Stock footages are video footages which have already been captured and can be used again in any new production. Usually, these (royalty-free footages) are moving images of wildlife, people, birds, landmarks, vehicles, etc. Additionally, using overlay, one screen is animated on top of the other to create maximum effect of the messages in the video.
Screen Capture & Screencast - Training Video Tutorial
This is the best style to use in explaining digital products, a website, software or an app. Most of the time it is an animated version of your website or mobile app, showing the viewer how to use the site step-by-step.
A screencast is the digital recording of a screen capture containing audio narration. It is one of the low cost alternatives to making a video. Several startups rely on it when it comes to tutorials. It will work for your explainer video but it depends on what you are offering.
This type of video is very helpful to improve customers’ experience in using your product service. It therefore increase, or at least maintain revenue at a steady level. Most videos that intend to become a tutorial or a how-to video. You would want to use animated screencaps to make it easy to understand.
Is your product is a complex software or platform? If yes, you can benefit from this style to showcase how it works. It can be real time demonstration of its capabilities. It might be what you need to show to keep your audience is interest.
2.5D with 3D elements - Explainer Video Style
The animator will create 2D animation in 3D space. He will using different techniques with some 3D elements, use tricks of shadow to make the 2D look like 3D and customize the video according to the viewers’ interests.
This animation technique simulates a 3D environment. It has all the benefits of a motion graphics animation video. It is quite an interesting way to have a professional and engaging result without the hassle and time and money consuming afford of 3D animation.
It uses object layering, makes the whole video appear sophisticated and fluid. 2.5D Animation is like looking to cutouts moving in a 3D-like space. But when all of the elements are designed in 2D. 2.5D Animation is a great alternative for companies with a limited budget and but can’t afford the price that comes with 3D techniques.
2D Character Animation - Explainer Video Style
2D Character animation is one of the most popular and broadly used techniques. It is a style in which characters and scenes are created in a 2D space using perspective in order to recreate the illusion of depth. 2D Character Animation is a great choice for either B2C or B2B companies since it is emotional and appeals directly to the audience. 2D Character Animation i making it an ideal form of content for people to share.
Don’t be suspicious about its simplistic look. 2D images and figures can be simple but for a good reason. They avoid overwhelming your audience and put the focus on your message.
3D Animation - Explainer Video Style
The 3D animation technique has endless possibilities. It is mostly used for commercial purposes because of its high quality and for its state-of-the-art feel. 3D can make your brand be noticed in an instant. It has the ability to rotate and zoom into all the elements in the video and makes the viewer feel immersed in what is being shown.
The production of 3D animations can be quite expensive. It is not a suitable option if you have a small budget and also production times tend to be longer, simply because any changes or adjustments take more effort than with other video styles.
This style creates a virtual world rather than narrating stories. It is using realistic lighting, materials and objects. It is one of the most expensive explainer video style options available.
It is the most advanced form of animation and offers incredible opportunities to both animators and businesses. Animators use high-end and complex software to sweep the viewers through rich and dimensional imagery in full 3D explainer videos.
Conclusion - To sum up - Explainer Video Style
Keeping all these points in mind will assure that your video production gives great results to your company and business strategy. Understanding these useful animation styles is essential in making a killer animated explainer video that is effective enough to strengthen your business and promote your brand value. You should analyze the best option according to your needs. Be ready to make your conversion rate grow.