I think we all know the foundation to every great animated video is a great script. A strong script will get your message across properly, delivering a clear message to your target audience, but unless you can deliver interesting and relevant visuals then your video can still be a failure; even with a good script.
I was reading through a script the other day, wondering about the best way to visualize some of the key points of the video I was making. Depending on how well you know the subject matter this can be a tough call. It can be a straight forward process, but at other times it can really be challenging, especially when you want your animated video to look original and stand out from the mass of videoscribes, powtoon or whiteboard animations that have recently flooded the internet.
There is an entire skill set related to this, and becoming good at this type of communication takes practice.
I usually brain storm several ideas. Discuss these with my script writer, and my wife (who is an integral part of this process) and then I do some preliminary sketches before I show the client.
Anyone who wants to create an engaging videoscribe, whiteboard animation or powtoon, will be working from a script, and attempting to represent each part of the script in the most interesting and engaging way.
I think it would be really useful if there was a website or app dedicated to this. You would just enter a line of the script and the clever AI would present a series of images that represent the phrase or idea. You can already do this to a certain extent just by doing a google search, but the AI is not aimed at delivering this kind of information and if often not particularly helpful. This new website or service would also use community feedback on which images or ideas worked best – so it would need a voting system to allow users to give their input on what works best for a given keyword, phrase or sentence. The feedback part of what works and what works and what doesn’t would not happen over night, but I think as it grew it would become a really useful tool. (This would also be a valuable asset for any A.I. system to have, as being able to understand a range of both simple and complex textual concepts and express them visually is an important life skill.)
Your search would return a series of images relating to your keyword phrase or line of script that would give you useful ideas. The search results could be made up of licenced and licence free images that would give the user constructive ideas about how to illustrate his script, but it could also compliment Sparkol’s Community exchange of images by showing any relevant images and giving you the option to buy anything you needed.
Where do we stand at the moment,
At the moment, no software or website exists that I know of that would give useful ideas.
I am gradually learning the art of storyboarding, but for these shorter videoscribe and whiteboard animations the most successful visuals are often a little more abstract than a storyboard created for traditional animations. Yesterday I went for my usual swim, and by the time I had completed a few laps I had some new ideas about the latest storyboard I am working on. Just taking a break can really help. Find a scrap of paper and a pencil and just start scribbling and doodling on it. The ideas will come, and you will improve each time you do it.
Some of my clients want to take a really active part in this process, and it can get really interesting. In situations like this, just remember to keep it fairly simple, and that you should have the final say, as you are the specialist.
Please let me know in the comments how you create your storyboards for your videoscribe, powtoon or whiteboard animation, and how you work out how you will visualize it.
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