Have you ever wanted to create a whiteboard video? You may think that creating these animations requires some crazy design skills. Well, you’re wrong. Anyone can create one!
Creating a whiteboard video has never been easier through the help of specialised software.
In this post, I will explain how you can create a whiteboard video without actually drawing it yourself.
What is a whiteboard video?
A whiteboard video, or a whiteboard animation, is generally a short time-lapse video of an author/artist physically drawing on a whiteboard.
While drawing, a voiceover is commonly added to complement the visual content.
Whiteboard videos are becoming increasingly popular, especially when it comes to online teaching.
I’ve create numerous whiteboard videos for my YouTube channel, you can check out an example here.
Do you want to learn how I create whiteboard videos?
Hopefully, the answer to that question is – yes! Let me show you how I did it.
5 steps to creating a whiteboard video
Now we have clarified what a whiteboard video actually is, let’s move on to how you can create one.
Below are the 5 main steps I use to create my videos…
- Write a script
- Record the voiceover
- Create the whiteboard animation
- Render the whiteboard animation
- Edit and export the final video
I’ll go over each step in more detail below, but first, let me quickly share with you the things you will need to make a whiteboard video through this tutorial.
Things you will need
So here is what I use to create my videos.
Note, some of these requirements are optional since I use them to fine-tune my videos and are not necessarily required to create a whiteboard animation.
- Word processing software – I use good old Microsoft Word for this.
- Microphone – I use the Snowball iCE.
- Audio capture software [optional] – I actually use Camtasia for this, but you can use any software that can capture audio. Audacity is a popular, free choice.
- Whiteboard video software – This is the secret! I use Doodly – more on this below.
- Video editing software [optional] – Again, I use Camtasia for editing video and audio. If you’re after a free alternative, I recommend the Free plan of DaVinci Resolve.
Step 1: Write a script
The first thing you should do is create a script.
The script contains everything that you are going to say during the voiceover – word for word.
I like to bullet my script so that it is easier to read while I speak. You can see a screenshot below for part of my script that I used for my whiteboard animation.
The script should have three basic sections…
In the beginning, you want to introduce what it is the viewer will learn in the video. Don’t go over the top here, just a few sentences will do.
Next comes the main bulk of the script – content. This is where you describe the main aspect of the video.
Finally, include a brief recap at the end to reiterate to the viewer what they have just learnt.
When you are happy with the script, read it out aloud. Your aim is to create a script that is natural.
Step 2: Record the voiceover
Now you have your script, it is time to record the voiceover.
How to record the voiceover
To record the voice over, you want to be in a quiet room.
Avoid large rooms with a lot of echo. Room features such as hard flooring and minimal furnishings can create too much echo when you record in them – avoid them!
Try and use a room that is carpeted, with multiple soft furnishings, to dampen down any echo.
Have your script printed out or open on the screen in front of you.
Then, simply hit the record button and read aloud your script.
– Clear your throat before you start
– Have a glass of water to hand – speaking is thirsty work!
– Don’t speak too fast
– Speak clearly
– Try to relax
The trick is to avoid making the voice over sound automated. It can be quite easy to tell that someone is reading from a script.
So, try and add some personality to your voice over.
Don’t worry if you make a mistake during the recording. This will happen a lot!
Simply leave a pause (don’t talk) and go again. You can easily chop this part out during the editing phase.
Finally; practise, practise, practise!
Editing the voiceover
Before saving the voice over, give it a good edit.
You want to remove all of those outtakes and any unwanted background noise.
I was surprised to see how many times I cleared my throat or coughed. Nobody wants to hear this on your video – yuk!
Camtasia is great for this since you simply highlight the section you don’t want and perform a ripple delete (Ctrl + Delete). A ripple delete will remove the highlighted audio and will then join the before and after clips together.
When you are done editing, you can now save and export the audio file.
If you are using Camtasia, then save the voice over as an m4a file. If you are using different software, such as Audacity, then export the file as an MP3.
Converting the voice over file (optional step)
The voice over audio file must be in the form of an MP3 file. This is because the whiteboard animation software I am using (Doodly) accepts MP3 files.
If your file is already in an MP3 format, you can skip this section of the tutorial.
If you are using Camtasia like me, then the voice over file will be in a different format (m4a). So next, I need to convert the voice over file to an MP3 file.
To do this, I simply upload the file to CloudConvert and select to convert to an MP3 format.
Step 3: Create the whiteboard animation
Now it’s time to create the whiteboard animation. To do this, I use Doodly.
There is no need to be an amazing doodler and purchase an expensive overhead camera to record your whiteboard video. Doodly makes creating whiteboard animations so much easier!
Import the voice over into Doodly
After starting a new project inside of Doodly, I find it useful to firstly import the voice over file into Doodly.
It is worth noting that you can actually record a voice over directly within Doodly if you so wish. I do not do this since I am not a fan of the audio editing within Doodly (maybe it will improve in the future).
Create the whiteboard animation
Now it is time to add the doodles to the video.
Doodly works in scenes. So each time you want to create a new page, you need to create a new scene. You can think of scenes as a slide in PowerPoint.
By using the content of the script as a guide, go through and add some doodles and text that relate to the desired content of the video.
The great thing about Doodly is that there are hundreds of ready-made doodles for use. Simply drag and drop them onto the scene.
So, for example, if your script mentions dogs, then simply search for a dog doodle to add.
These doodles are great since they already have their design paths attached. This means that when you view the video, the hand will draw the doodle in a logical way – making the effect more realistic!
As you add doodles and text onto the canvas, you can adjust their timings and the order they are drawn by using the right-hand window.
The doodles that appear at the top of the items list will be drawn first. If you want to change their order, then click and drag on the item icon in the right window.
Once you have completed a scene, preview it and see how it looks.
You will then get an idea on what needs adjusting. This will require a lot of trial and error by tweaking the delay and duration timings to match the voice over.
Another thing that you may want to do when you create a whiteboard video with Doodly is to change the appearance of the hand drawing the doodles.
To do this, you can either change the settings of one scene, or you can change the settings for the whole video.
In the settings, you can change the following:
- hand style
- scene transition
Have a play around with these settings to see what works best for your video.
Then, once you are happy, add a new scene and repeat the whole process. Do this until all of the content from the voice over is in the video.
Step 4: Render the whiteboard animation
Once you have created your whiteboard video, it’s now time to render or export the video so you can do a final polish within the video editor.
Before I do this, I actually delete the voice over from within Doodly. This is because I perform a final video edit inside of Camtasia. If you don’t want to do this, however, then do not remove the voice over.
To render the video in Doodly, click the Export button in the top-right corner.
There are many export options in Doodly.
Depending upon the quality and the length of the video, the rendering can take a while. With my preferred settings (1080p, 30 FPS and maximum quality) the whiteboard video took approximately 30 minutes to render.
Step 5: Edit and export the final video
We are nearly there!
This final (optional) step is there to tweak the timings of the video so that the animation and the voice over are completely synchronized.
For the video editor, I use Camtasia again.
So, back into Camtasia with the file containing the voice over open, I import the whiteboard video by drag and dropping the MP4 file into the software.
Place the video on a new track, with the previously created voice over audio file in a separate track.
Now, work along and ensure the voice over matches the animation on screen. You may need to move bits of the video and/or audio around so this is perfect.
If you’re still unhappy with aspects of the voice over, it is also possible to re-record bits of the audio by going to the Narration mode in Camtasia. I do this sometimes to ensure everything is in line.
I also like to add an intro and outro screen to match the branding of my other YouTube videos.
Once you’re happy, now it’s time to do a final export of the video by clicking on the Share button.
And that’s it! That is how you can create a whiteboard animation video.
So now you know how to create a whiteboard video. All that you need is a microphone and a whiteboard animation software.
Have you created a whiteboard video before? If so, let me know in the comments below how you did it. I’m interested to hear other ways to create these videos.