In this VideoScribe review, I will give you all the information you need to know about the software, as well as my honest opinion, so you can decide if it is the best option for you.
So, let’s begin!
Table of Contents
What is VideoScribe?
VideoScribe is a popular whiteboard animation software that helps you effortlessly create quirky whiteboard videos.
I’m a massive fan of whiteboard animations. I think they are an excellent style of video content that captures and maintains audience attention.
You have probably already seen a few examples where an artist doodles away while a voice over is playing.
VideoScribe let’s you create these videos without the need for an expensive artist and voice over actor. In fact, I create whiteboard videos all the time for my educational YouTube channel and my audience love them!
In 2022, VideoScribe updated their pricing plans, so now they’re only two options:
- Monthly Plan – $39 per month (monthly billing)
- Annual Plan – $14 per month (annual billing)
So, if you’re not sure if VideoScribe is for you in the long-term, you can opt for their Monthly Plan. This way, you can cancel anytime, but you will have to pay more per month, compared with their Yearly Plan.
If you’re going to use VideoScribe a lot throughout the year, then their Annual plan is probably the best option. This will save you a lot more money over their Monthly plan.
For example, over a 12-month period, the Annual Plan will cost $168, compared with $468 with the Monthly Plan – that’s a saving of $300!
Team licence options give you the ability to buy bulk plans, so the more users you buy for, the greater the discount.
Is there a free trial of VideoScribe?
The good news is, yes, VideoScribe offer a 7-day, completely free trial of their software.
As well as being on a time limit, the trial version will apply a watermark on all exported videos.
No credit card or payment details are required to sign up for the trial. So, sign-up today and give it a whirl yourself!
VideoScribe Desktop vs VideoScribe Browser
When it comes to using VideoScribe, you will have two options to pick from:
- Desktop – Standalone software
- Browser – No download required – work directly from your web browser
I have summarized the main differences between the two versions in the table below.
|Library of >11,000 doodles and GIFs||✔||✔|
|Unlimited image/GIF uploads||✔||✔|
|Image/text animation options||✔||Coming soon|
|Upload custom drawing hand||✔||Coming soon|
|Royalty-free music||✔||Coming soon|
|Video export options||WMV, AVI, MOV, MP4, JPEG/PNG sequence||MP4 and GIF|
|Video export sizes||16:9||16:9, 1:1, 9:16|
|Save projects to your device||✔||Coming soon|
|Save projects online||✔||✔|
|Use on multiple devices||✔||✔|
As expected, VideoScribe Desktop has the most features and video export options.
A big attraction for going with Desktop over Browser, in my opinion, is the use of the infinite canvas type. This gives the illusion of a large whiteboard, rather than having separate scenes.
Despite the current limitations of VideoScribe Browser, it’s nice to see a whiteboard animation software that doesn’t require a direct download. The guys at VideoScribe are also working hard to implement more features for their Browser version, such as better animation options and royalty-free music – so watch this space!
Finally, it’s worth noting that you cannot use the Browser and Desktop versions interchangeably. If you start a video project in VideoScribe Browser, you need to finish it there (and the same goes for VideoScribe Desktop).
Since VideoScribe Desktop has the more complete features, I’ll now focus the rest of this review on that version, starting with the main features.
- 9 different background textures
- 336 different hands styles
- >11,000 images and GIFS
- Image customisation
- Create 3 different charts
- 84 different text fonts
- Record voice over
- 192 royalty-free audio tracks
- Export video in high definition
Different background textures
VideoScribe has 9 different background textures to choose from. These subtle textures look like different types of paper, such as rough card and smooth paper.
There is the option to change the color of the texture by using the color palette.
You can also choose to add a soft or hard vignette to add a degree of shading to the background. I quite like the soft vignette effect.
The image below shows how the different vignette options look on the standard white background.
Different hand styles
The guys at VideoScribe have really done an awesome job with their collection of hand styles.
Hand styles are grouped into 15 different categories, with a good spread of sexes and ethnicities. In total, I counted 336 individual hand styles to pick from!
After selecting the person you like, you then pick the hand style. There are slight hand variations for each person. For example, they may hold a different pen.
Note, that you cannot define if a person is left- or right-handed, which is a bit disappointing.
A funny feature I found was their Seasonal hand styles, which contain a collection of monster hands. Creepy, but cool!
If you don’t like the look of the default hand styles, you can actually create your own!
To do this, you can upload two image files, one for each hand. Files have to be in PNG format. You can also select to show the hand behind glass, meaning it will appear to write on a glassboard.
Large image library
VideoScribe comes with a huge library – over 11,000 images and GIFs!
And best of all, colored images come at no extra cost.
Images are sorted into categories. At the time of writing this VideoScribe review, there are 41 different image categories.
- And many, many more!
You can see an example of some of these images in the Science category below.
You can also use the search bar to find an image according to text – this is super handy given there are a lot of images to work with.
There is the option to upload your own images to VideoScribe. This can be uploaded from a location on your computer, or from an online source by entering the web address.
Supported image file types are:
Flexible image customization options
A really nice feature VideoScribe has is the freedom to control what the images look like. Within the image properties, you can define the graphic filters, drawing options and drawing hand.
Each image can have some filters applied to them. It’s possible to change the blur, glow, brightness, saturation and contrast levels.
You can also apply a drop shadow, inner shadow and bevel. Selecting these will open up further dialogues that you can tweak to really make the images stand out.
There are 4 ways to animate images in VideoScribe, these are:
- Move in
- Fade in
Draw is the standard animation and is the one you most associate with a whiteboard animation software. This is where the image is slowly drawn.
Move in is where the image slides into view. You can set the angle for where the image should move in from and the type of animation (smooth, overshoot, bounce or uniform).
Fade in, as the name suggests, is where the image slowly fades into view.
Morph is where you can apply an animation so one images morphs into another. If you’ve ever used the Morph feature in Microsoft PowerPoint, then you will be familiar with this.
The next set of options that can be changed in the Drawing Options are the color of the image.
If a VideoScribe library image permits, you can change the colors in the image. You know if you can edit the color of an image as it will display a slider icon in the top-left.
For example, I can change the primary and secondary colors of this rocket from orange and grey to red and black.
Colors can be entered as a HEX number or selected from a palette. This gives you greater control over the look and feel of the images.
Images do not need to be shown in color too. You can also show them as an outline, in grayscale or as a silhouette
Each option has their own settings. For example, when selecting Outline, you can change the color of the outline, this doesn’t have to be black.
And finally, you can easily set the time of the animation, pause and transition effects by using the box at the bottom of the Image Properties window.
If the Draw option is set as the animation, you can choose the drawing hand for that image.
What’s cool is that this is set per image. So, each image in the same file can have a different drawing hand if you wanted. You are not limited to one style of hand for the video.
As an online educator who uses whiteboard animations to create videos related to maths, I was super pleased to see a basic chart creation tool in VideoScribe.
This tool allows you to create bar, pie or line charts. Simply enter the labels and data values and the software will do the rest.
You can see an example of each of the charts available in VideoScribe below.
Despite this promising feature, it is very basic. For example, there is no way of changing the color for each group and there is no option to change the font size for the labels.
A characteristic of whiteboard animations is the illusion of drawing on a very large area, which allows the camera to follow the images as they are drawn.
VideoScribe has an excellent camera panning approach to create an expansive whiteboard. In fact, the whiteboard area is pretty much infinite (unless you are using VideoScribe Browser, which works on a scene-by-scene basis).
You can define where the images are on the whiteboard and set the camera to a certain position. VideoScribe will then do the rest.
If I’m being honest, I found this rather tricky to set up. But that’s probably because I didn’t watch their tutorial beforehand!
Once mastered, the panning is super smooth and gives a really nice effect.
When it comes to adding text onto your whiteboard animations, VideoScribe let’s you select from 84 different Google Fonts.
Sadly, there is no option to upload your own font style.
If you want to use a certain font for a specific language, the VideoScribe will also notify you on the available language sets for that font.
When adding your text, you can change the color (from palette or HEX value), alignment (left, center or right) and style (bold, regular etc).
Record voice over
For those wanting to apply a voice over to the whiteboard animation, you will be happy to hear that VideoScribe has an integrated voice over recording feature.
Again, this is a basic feature. Simply select your microphone connected to your device and hit the record button. There is the option to play the animation as you record, which is essential in my eyes.
If you already have a voice over recording, you can also import an MP3 file from your device or add a web address to an MP3 file to use.
Strangely, there is no audio track to display the voice over. It’s just there.
If you want to add an audio track behind your voice over, or simply just have a track playing, VideoScribe also has a large collection of royalty-free audio tracks to pick from.
At the time of writing this VideoScribe review, there are 192 audio tracks to choose from.
Tracks can be sorted based on their genre, length and tempo.
Examples of the genres include:
Where possible, there is an option to loop the tracks so that there is no time limit on them.
If you want to import your own audio, you can. MP3 files can be directly uploaded from the device or from a web address.
The volume can be adjusted, but that is about it in terms of audio editing features. There is no option to add a fade-in or fade-out effect.
Various video export options
When exporting videos in VideoScribe, there are 4 option to pick from:
- Download Video
- Get Share Link or Embed Code
- Download as PPT
Perhaps the most common export option is the Download Video, which will save a copy to your device.
Videos can be rendered as Quicktime MOV, Windows WMV, AVI, or image sequence (PNG or JPG) file types.
Note, you cannot directly save an MP4 file to your device from VideoScribe Desktop (more on this below).
Supported resolutions are 360p, 640p, 720p and 1080p. There is not an option to enter your own resolution.
It’s also possible to specify the frames per second (FPS). The options are 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 45, 50 FPS.
Get Share Link or Embed Code
There is also the option to upload your video to VideoScribe’s hosting platform Sho.co.
You will recieve a sharable link and a piece of code that you can use to directly embed the video on a website.
Once the video is uploaded to Sho.co, there is an option to download it as an MP4 file. So, this is a workaround for getting MP4 files.
Download as PPT
A cool option is the ability to download the video as a PPT. Here, a PowerPoint file will be created, with the video placed on a slide.
This is useful if you are planning on adding whiteboard animations to a PowerPoint Presentation.
So, if you decide to go with VideoScribe, what level of support will you receive?
Quite a lot actually.
There are 5 video tutorials that you can watch. These are short but give you all the essentials to create your very own awesome whiteboard animation.
On the VideoScribe website, you will also find a useful Instant Answers area. These are a collection of written tutorials covering all aspects of the software’s capabilities.
If you’re still struggling with the software, there is a support ticket system in place for individual enquiries.
Lastly, there is a community forum so that you can interact with fellow VideoScribe users, and even request features you would like to see in the software.
3 things I like about VideoScribe
So, this is the part of my VideoScribe review where I share my 3 likes and dislikes about the software.
Let’s start with the good news.
Awesome image library
I’m going to say straight up that I believe VideoScribe has the best image library of any whiteboard animation software.
The library is packed with beautiful images, most of which are in color at no additional cost.
The level of control, in terms of adding effects and customizing colors, is far superior to VideoScribe’s competitors.
The library itself is nicely organised and has a really useful search tool.
Another aspect I really like about VideoScribe is their flexible pricing system.
It’s easy to understand and each price plan comes with the same features. The only difference is how you pay for it.
You can pay monthly if you’re a sporadic user of the software, or pay yearly to save yourself a lot of money.
Range of hand styles
The selection of hand styles in VideoScribe is also amazing.
After selecting the hand style associated with a person, you can select from a range of different variations. This includes those that have different pens or are writing at a different angle.
And having the ability to upload your own (not actually your own, but you get what I mean) hands is also a super nice touch. This doesn’t actually have to be a hand, it can be any image you want!
3 things I don’t like about VideoScribe
So, this wouldn’t be a VideoScribe review if I didn’t share my pet hates about the software. Hate is probably a strong word, more like things I am not fond of.
No direct MP4 support
I was quite shocked to learn that there is no option to directly export whiteboard animations in MP4 format in VideoScribe Desktop.
If you want MP4, you first have to share the video to their online hosting platform – Sho.co – then download it from there as an MP4.
Yes, it’s possible. But, if I’m paying for the software, I expect this to be a standard option built within the software.
No fine-tuning for custom images
Like most whiteboard animation software, VideoScribe supports custom images.
However, you have no control over the draw paths for these images. This can results in some unrealistic reveals of the image if they are drawn as an animation.
To take this to the next level, it would be nice to have custom draw path support, like in Doodly.
Weak audio control
An area where I feel VideoScribe doesn’t shine is the audio control.
There is no audio timeline for you to see tracks attached to the video, such as voice overs and background audio.
The only control you have is the ability to change the volume on the audio. Having audio effects, such as fade-in and -out as well as audio trimming, would be a welcomed addition.
But, remembering this is a whiteboard software and not a video editing software, I may be wishing for too much here.
If you’re convinced that VideoScribe is not for you (make sure you give their free trial a go before deciding), then have a look at these VideoScribe alternatives:
- Doodly (also check out my Doodly review and Doodly vs VideoScribe post to learn more)
- Animaker (has a free option!)
So, let me link back this concluding VideoScribe review section to the title: is it any good?
Heck, yeah it is!
VideoScribe is an awesome whiteboard software. It’s competitively priced and you get a lot of features for the little money you pay.
Are you thinking of purchasing VideoScribe? If so, let me know in the comments if you would like to know more about the program.
Remember though, there is a 7-day completely free trial of VideoScribe available. So, don’t just take my word for it, have a go yourself. And after you do, let me know in the comments what you think.
Further reading on SideHustleTeach.com
I’ve put together a step-by-step guide on creating a whiteboard video. This is based on using Doodly as opposed to VideoScribe, but the same process is used for each, so it’s worth checking out.
Speaking of Doodly, you can read my Doodly vs VideoScribe post to see a head-to-head comparison of the two.
Also, check out my list of the best whiteboard animation software around, there are some free alternatives in there too.