3 Tools to Get You the Animated Explainer Vid You Always Wanted

DIY

A hot trend in the marketplace is the animated explainer video—where animations are used to convey a particular message or brand strategy—and it’s been replacing the average instructive video or presentation that companies usually use. But, hiring a professional to create an animated video can be very costly. Pricing for a 60-second video can range from $2,500 to $10,000.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional animator to create professional looking, cartoon-style videos. New tools are emerging that allow you to create awesome animated videos without needing professional experience.

Here are sites and tools that will help you create animated videos on a DIY budget:

1. Sites for DIY video software

a. PowToon allows you to create cartoon-style videos from within your browser. If you've ever used PowerPoint, you'll find PowToon's editor has a similar feel.

PowToon

b. Go!Animate also allows you to create cartoon-style videos from within your browser with a myriad of features like character creator and text-to-speech.

GO!Animate

c. VideoScribe allows you to create "hand-drawn" videos (often called whiteboard videos, sketch videos, scribble videos, or video scribing). You'll need to download and install their software onto your computer. It's available for both Mac and PC.

VideoScribe2. Tools for adding professional voice-over narration

One of the most important aspects of a quality video is having professional sounding audio narration. Instead of trying to record the audio on your own, you might give your script to a professional voice actor instead. With services like VoiceBunny or Voices.com you can choose from hundreds of voice personalities to find the right fit for your video. Many voice actors will even send you a short sample using the exact words from your script. This will give you a better idea of how their voice fits with your video. You'll often receive your professionally recorded audio track within 24 to 48 hours.

If paying for a voice actor is not an option, you might want to invest in a high-quality USB microphone. Two of the best USB microphones are the Rode Podcaster and the Blue Yeti.

As a last resort, you could also try using your smartphone to record your audio. Here's a great video on how to record great voice-overs with your iPhone.

3. Tools for finding royalty-free background music

Royalty-free music allows you to use professional audio in your videos without paying recurring licensing fees. The phrase "royalty-free" does not necessarily mean "free to use." Most royalty-free music tracks typically cost between $10-$100 each.

Here are three great places to look for royalty-free music:

a. AudioJungle
Music tracks on AudioJungle typically cost between $10-$20 each.

b. iStockphoto
Music tracks on iStockphoto typically cost between $10-$45 each.

c. Premiumbeat
Music tracks on Premiumbeat cost $40 each.

Paying for a custom explainer video

If the DIY way is not for you, then try posting your project on video production marketplaces such as Video Brewery or SmartShoot. You'll receive bids within your specified budget from professional freelancers and video production companies.

If you’ve made a really cool animated explainer video, we want to see! Post the link below.

Matthew Averkamp

Matthew Averkamp is the founder of TopAlternatives, a free resource for finding the best tools, software, and web apps for your website.