Filmmaking Technology

6 Ways to Make Animated Videos on the Cheap and Easy

How to make animated videos
Written by L. Scott Harrell

The latest trends in video marketing and visual storytelling have clearly shown a definite trend toward using animated videos – especially when it comes to making explainer videos. With their eye-catching visuals, interesting themes, and reality defying action, animated videos can easily grab the attention of online video viewers and convey a message or a complex idea in the easiest and simplest way. Animated videos help businesses to brand and market their products easily; they are second to none in creating a significant brand identity and ensuring an influential marketing mix.

Most importantly, digitally animated videos have made video production both affordable and attainable to the average small business owner.

Video entrepreneurs are increasingly finding their niche creating simple but effective animated videos for SMBs and making a lot of money.

What are animated videos?

Animation was traditionally a set of static drawings or images that, when shown in rapid succession, created the illusion of movement; think of the simple flipbook animations where you fanned through a series of pages, each with an image, that appeared to create a sense of movement. Today, it seems that anything not shot directly on film or video depicting real people, physical objects or nature is being classified as an animation. So in that sense, there are many, many different methods of animated video production but, generally speaking, the most popular styles are:

  • Traditional, Hand-Drawn Animation
  • Motion Graphics
  • Kinetic Typography
  • Cartoons
  • Whiteboard Videos
  • Stop Motion
  • Screen Capture

The 6 Types of How-To and Explainer Videos Most Popular Right Now

Stop motion is generally considered the method requiring the most time to produce videos and digital motion graphics the most technical. An illustrator or animator might use desktop software like Flash, Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Motion, Maya, Adobe After Effects or Adobe Voice to create 2D and 3D animations. Increasingly, however, creators are using online animation services due to the level of complexity, ease of use and number of excellent features these animation services can focus on and provide at a very low (or reasonable) cost.

Let me start by saying that the easiest and most professional way to get excellent results is to hire a freelance animator from video production marketplace like VideoToOrder.com. However, if you are committed to doing it yourself, here are six popular websites that help freelance video creators, video-based entrepreneurs and others create animated videos online:

Animatron

Animatron is an easy-to-use and powerful online animation maker that enables users to create stunning animations and videos right in the browser. It is cloud based: no installations and no plugins needed. It’s built on the newest and safest HTML5 technology which allows for the universal playback, both on desktop computers and mobile devices.

Animatron is the online animator we’re using to create some of our own explainer videos over at VideoToOrder.com right now. Here’s why…

Animatron – The Online Animation Maker Toolkit for Animators

Devolver

This website makes the animation process a quick and effective six-step multiple-choice project. Here animators get a liberty to choose background, select characters and use one of the four plots. You can have animated movie by typing dialog, choosing music and applying some visual effects. Although it offers some limited options for customization, but the cartoons are impressive and good-looking, too.

GoAnimate

GoAnimate is a cloud-based platform for making animated business videos. Just hit a record button, instead of handing over actions to characters via a drop-down menu. For any movement users need to drop and drag the images. Animators can amass multiple scenes and use different features of these moving images to make a complete story.

Nawmal

Formerly Xtranormal, this website is highly impressive for its high quality visuals and offers do-it-yourself animation software. The workspace is a bit different from the other animation sites. Animators can directly add sound bytes, character movements, gestures and postures directly into the script. But unfortunately, free options are less than the other animation sites. It is slower and needs more preview load-times.

Voki

This website is very easy to use. On it, though you can create animated speaking-avatar, but you cannot create enough story. You can choose a character base, select a voice and fix the background and color to create an impressive animation work.

When you finish work, you can embed the code in your e-mail or website.

Zimmer Twins

Like Voki, this popular animation site utilizes the same concept to short cartoons. It is a Canadian animated series created and developed by Jason Krogh and Aaron Leighton (artist) respectively. It is highly acclaimed across the globe for its unique format, which includes online broadcast delivery and online participation.

Have we missed your favorite online animation app? Do you have a favorite feature about one of the services we mentioned in our list? Maybe a favorite business-related animation? Tell us about them in the comments below!

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About the author

L. Scott Harrell

L. Scott Harrell is the Executive Editor of Vtrep.com. He is also a serial entrepreneur and top tier business development professional who speaks leadership, startups and digital media masterfully. Scott can be reached via email: editor@vtrep.com

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