eLearning videos are effective learning tools that organisations across different markets and functions can use, especially in fast-paced work environments that do not allow much time for organisation staff members to go through scheduled training sessions.
High-quality visuals deliver a positive image and enhance an organisation’s branding and brand message. In eLearning, when done right, learners tend to pay more attention and can better digest the information or message it is attempting to deliver. And with the increasing myriad of learning content that modern learners have to go through, their expectations of the quality of content they consume have also gone up.
In this article, we will talk about the 8 different video styles that are commonly used in eLearning and how to best use them for your next eLearning project.
#1 Whiteboard Animation
Whiteboard animation is a form of creative visual storytelling where an artist records the artwork creation process while narrating the story/content.
Most often, this is done on a whiteboard with a marker, black or coloured. The visuals can be as simple as stick figures or complex, colourful visuals. It is most often used to deliver content in a flow that is clear, concise and easy to digest.
Best use for:
- Idea presentation.
- Product or service presentation.
- Narrating statistically heavy presentations.
#2 Comic Style Animation
A motion comic (or animated comic) combines the elements of print comic books and animation. The individual panels are expanded into a full shot with added sound effects, voice acting, and visual movements. Other typical elements used in comics, such as text boxes, speech bubbles, are removed to feature the original comic art.
Best use for:
- Guided storytelling with characters in sequence.
- Explaining a process. This method is most effective when used as a form of storytelling of how a process works or on a subject that affects people.
#3 2D Animation
2D animation is an animation style that creates the movement of objects and characters in a two-dimensional space that focuses only on length and width. This movement is depicted using traditional drawings or digital illustration that show the change in the object’s position in a sequence, which creates the illusion of fluid movement.
Best use for:
- Showcasing the details of a product or service.
- Demonstrating a concept or presenting an idea.
#4 3D Animation
3D animation is where 3D models are generated along with their movement using a specialised software application. 3D animation requires more attention to model, rig, and deal with various nuances and rendering challenges.
Best use for:
- Showcasing the all-around, intricate details of a product.
- Visualisation of high technological or scientific content.
- 3D simulations of products in extreme conditions.
#5 Collage Style Animation
An animation style built from a mix of photographs and illustrations. Cut-out photos and images are combined and mixed, usually with audio elements assembled in animation software.
Best use for:
- Storytelling in a unique style.
- Presenting a concept or idea.
#6 Kinetic Typography Animation
Some viewers respond more to visual elements, while some respond better to words. This form of animation caters to the two learners’ profiles by blending animation and words to express ideas or a story.
Seeing words in motion along with the right audio cues can even evoke sensations of sound and weight. For instance, large, thick, vibrating words can seem loud and heavy, while small, thin, flowing words can seem soft and effortless.
When done correctly, kinetic typography is a great way to grab the attention of viewers!
Best use for:
- Sharing a straightforward concept, story or emotion.
- Product or service launch.
#7 Stop Motion Video
“Stop motion” is where the animation is built frame by frame by making minute changes to the subjects and the scene’s environment physically. The shots are then assembled into one complete sequence.
Many terms describe this form of animation, including “Claymation” and “Stop Action Movies”, but they all follow the same principle – creating the illusion of movement through physical actions, frame by frame.
Best Use for:
- Demonstrating a process.
- Relaying a concept or idea.
#8 Screencast Videos
A screencast is a digital screen recording of what is happening on a computer display. Usually, it is accompanied by a voice-over narrating the process.
It is a no-frills method of teaching, regularly employed by tech businesses to showcase a software product. Screencasts take viewers through the exact procedure, so all they need to do is follow along and do what they see.
Best use for:
- Teaching a technique.
- Demonstrating the usage of the software.
- Creating an explainer video of a software function or feature.
How do you gauge the budget for video production?
So you are ready to jump onto the animation bandwagon, but how? Certain types of videos are more expensive than others due to the time and effort required. Some will require specialised skills, talent or even software to fulfil.
One of the factors that contribute to the success of a video project is having the proper budget. Adequate funding allows you to plan and allocate the appropriate internal and, if necessary, external resources to ensure the success of your project.
It is possible to produce a video with a low budget; with the advancements of technologies, you can even create a decent video using a smartphone. However, it is essential to understand that the type of resources allocated would significantly impact the quality of the final output.
Is the style Important?
Yes, it is, but it shouldn’t take precedence over the story and script. A lousy story or writing with the best animation will not work as people will see it, take notice, and then forget it. The retention value will be low, thus reducing the chances of motivating your viewers towards your goals.
An intelligent script combined with good animation will capture your audience’s attention, leave a lasting memory, and even motivate them towards goals and actions that you have set out to achieve, ultimately benefitting your organisation.
To help you get started, here is a template to help you along; we hope it will be helpful and may you start your creative journey right!
So, where do you start? Here are starting points to help you along.
Begin with providing accurate information for the project specifications. This will allow the project to begin on the right foot. We recommend getting the following information ready for the production team.
- Video objectives. What do you need to achieve with the video? Is there a matrix to measure and gauge if the video has achieved its goals?
- Target audience. Who are the viewers, and what will motivate them to want to view the video? What is their profile or demographic? Knowing this will help tremendously in the identification of the best way to deliver the content.
- Duration, or the length of the video. Note that you are creating a feature-length movie, so keep it short, sharp and concise.
- Content/script. If you don’t have any at this point in time, an outline will do. The production team would need to be aware of the video content and context.
- Complexity. The complexity of the subject matter to be delivered and the medium of delivery (type of animation) will significantly impact the kind of resources that need to be acquired for the project.
- Timeline. This dictates when the final delivery of the project needs to happen. This has a significant impact on what can be created for the project.
Start your discussion with the production team with the above information, and it will set the project on a good foundation for success.
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Building Engaging eLearning Experience
At Visuer, we always believe that learning should be practical, engaging and fun. If you are looking for a reliable eLearning partner who can help raise your corporate learning experience, drop us an email at [email protected] or click here to get started.
Visuer Lab focuses on helping organisations and enterprises elevate the digital learning experience by developing high-quality interactive and bespoke eLearning course. Other services include translation and localisation, video animation, and gamification.