How To Add Animation To Video
Are you creating a video and want to figure out how to add animation to your video? In this article, we explain several ways you can create animations and motion graphics that you can add to your live action video.
If you have a question about creating and adding animation to a video that isn’t answered in this article, you can use our contact form to ask your question or click the image below to schedule a call with a member of our production team:
Reasons to add animation to your video?
Some things can’t be filmed
Is your video explaining a process, a software capability or some other form of technology that can’t be filmed? Instead of watching a video of someone talking on camera, explaining what is happening, it’s more effective, from an educational perspective, to add animation to your video. Develop an animated infographic or flow diagram to show how the process works. Create an animated sequence to show how your software benefits the people who use it. Are you trying to explain something inside the human body or at the atomic or molecular level? Animation is going to do a much better job of showing and explaining to your viewers what is going on.
Makes it easier to understand and remember new complicated information
New concepts and ideas are often difficult to understand. Static images can do a lot to help people understand what someone is saying. Putting those images into motion takes things to the next level because you can explain better while saying less. It doesn’t matter whether you’re explaining new company policies, or the historical events that changed the borders of different countries. Adding animation to your video will help people improve their comprehension and retention of new information.
Keeps viewers focused and interested
Watching a CEO talk for 5 minutes on camera is boooooring! But if you add in some motion graphics, animation and stock footage to illustrate what he is saying, it’s going to be easier for your viewers to pay attention and form a deeper understanding of what is being said (compared to just watching a straight shot of the CEO talking).
Examples of Animation Added to A Video
How to add animation to a video?
Creating and adding animated sequences to your video(s) is a multi-step process. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Figure out what animations/motion graphics you want to create
Before you pick a producer to create animations for your video, you should figure out what animated visuals you want to add to your video. This will inform the type of animated video production company you should use for your project. You may need to find a 2D animator, a 3D animator, or an animation studio that can produce both!
Ideally, you would have an outline of all the animated clips you want to produce for your video before you engage with a producer. You don’t need to create the script or storyboard for the clips – although that would help you speed up production and get a better price quote from your animation producer. At a minimum, include:
- a brief description of what you want to show/explain in each clip
- the approximate length of each clip
Pick a producer
Now that you have an idea of what you want to create, you can reach out to animation companies to get quotes for your project. The more information you can provide them about your project specifications, the more accurate your production quote is going to be.
Depending on the type of animation or motion graphics you want to create for your video, you may be able to save some money on your production budget by creating them yourself using pre-existing stock animations that you can customize for your video.
For specific tips on finding an animator to help with your project, scroll down to the section titled, “How to find an animator to create animated clips for your video?”
Make your animations and motion graphics
After you’ve picked out an animator to create the clips for your video, it’s time to dive into the production process. Each animator has their own nuanced approach to the production process.
In general, it looks something like this:
- Jump on a call or fill out a questionnaire to describe the animations you want someone to create.
- Develop the script for your animation
- Create the storyboard for your animated clips
- Record a voiceover (if not already provided)
- Pick a soundtrack (optional)
- Create illustrations
- Animate your video
For a more detailed overview of the production process, scroll down to the section titled, “How to create animations to add to your video?”
Insert the animations
Once production has wrapped up on your animated clips, it’s time to add them to your video. Provide the files to your video producer so they can splice them into your video or overlay them on top of scenes in your video.
How to find an animator to create animated clips for your video?
First off, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to create the animations or if you’re going to hire someone to create them for you.
Creating them yourself
Simple animations like animated diagrams and visual overlays are something you could create yourself.
Presentation programs like PowerPoint and Keynote can be used to lay out your diagram and add transitions to make each new piece of your diagram animate into view. These programs also enable you to export your animated presentations as video files which your video editor can add into your video.
Looking to create some visual overlays to highlight specific details or display a speaker’s name and position? You can use services like Flixier to create customizable animated overlays and add them to your video. You can also buy templated motion graphics video overlays from sites like Motion Array that your video editor can customize and add to your video.
Hiring an animator
If the animations for your video are more complicated and detailed, we recommend hiring an animator to create them so that you end up with beautifully polished animations that will enhance your video.
Here are some resources to help you find the right animated video production company to produce your animation’s ideal visual style, on time and within your budget:
- 9 Things to Look For When Hiring An Animator to create an animation.
- How do you outsource an animated video project?
- How do you hire an animator?
- Pros and Cons of Different Animation Styles
- What goes into production cost of an animated video?
- Learn the different types of online animated video makers.
- Interested in 3D animation? Read about 3D animation makers.
- What’s the difference between hiring an animation studio, a freelance animator and Video Igniter?
- What is Video Igniter Animation?
- Need your video fast? Learn about rush delivery.
How to create animations to add to your video?
There are four main ways you can create animations for your video:
- Create your animations using a presentation software like PowerPoint or Keynote and export your animated presentation as a video file.
- Buy motion graphics templates, customize them for your video and render out the video files to include them in your video project.
- Use a service like Canva or Flixier to create animations online and add them to your video.
- Hire an animator, Video Igniter or an animation studio to create custom animated video clips and add them to your video.
Here, we’ll focus on #4 so that you have a better understanding of what the production process is like if you hire someone to create your animated clips for you. Let’s dive in:
Production typically starts with a questionnaire or a phone call to get a detailed understanding of exactly what it is you want the animator to create. This is the perfect opportunity to explain what you want to communicate in each scene, how you envision the visuals for each animated clip and who your target audience is – so that the designers can create art that is appropriate for the content being presented.
Since you’re adding animation to video, it’s possible that the script for your animation has already been established by the voiceover or person speaking in your video. If that’s the case, get a written and audio copy of the voiceover for each animated clip that’s going to be created.
If the animation(s) being created are new content that will be inserted between existing video footage, your production team will help develop the script (if you haven’t created it already). You will get an opportunity to review the script and request revisions before approving it for production.
The storyboard is the blueprint for your animation. It tells the illustrators and animators exactly what they are supposed to create for each clip of your video. Every page of your storyboard includes:
- A sentence from your script
- A rough mockup or sketch of the scene
- A description of the animation that happens in the scene
- A list of the assets needed to create the scene
You can create the storyboard yourself to save some money on your production budget or you can hire your production team to create it for you. If you hire someone to create it for you, they will give you an opportunity to review the storyboard and request revisions before approving the storyboard for production. Make sure your storyboard has clear ‘breaks’ or indications within it so that the production team can tell when one animated clip ends and the next one begins.
If the animations you are creating will be added on top of videos of people speaking, the voiceover is already taken care of for your project. Just ensure your animation team has access to the video or an audio recording of it so that they can animate your video in sync with the timing of the voiceover.
On the other hand, if you need to procure a voiceover for a new clip that’s being inserted in between other videos of people speaking, your production team can help. They will audition 1-3 voices and let you choose your favorite. Then, they’ll get the full voiceover recorded and you get an opportunity to preview it and request revisions before approving it for production.
Sometimes your animated video producer will help you select a soundtrack to enhance the presentation of your animations. However, in this particular case, where you are adding animation to a video, it’s possible that your video editor has already selected background music for your video.
On the off chance you still need to get a soundtrack selected, your production team will select a handful of options they feel will compliment your video. Let them know which one you prefer (or if you want them to pick some new options). Once you’re satisfied with the selection, tell the production team so that they can purchase the license to use the music in your video.
After the storyboard is approved, the production team will begin developing illustrations for all the animated clips to add to your video. The illustration process starts with the creation of concept art. This is an important step because it establishes the visual style before all of the illustrations are created; without this step, all the illustrations for your various clips will look different.
The art director will review your branding, aspects of your video (if available to preview) and any style references you provided. Then, they will select a key scene from your storyboard and use it to create one or more pieces of concept art.
Review the concepts and let the art director know which option you prefer and if you want to make any visual refinements to the concept art before approving it for production.
Once the visual style is locked in, the illustrators will create all of the remaining illustrations for your animated video.
You get an opportunity to review the illustrations and request edits before approving the art for production.
Now that everything is approved, it’s time to animate! Animation takes about one week for each minute of animation that’s being created. If you have a lot of animation being created, your production team will add additional animators to the project to speed up production. When the first draft is ready, give it a review with your internal team. Collect everyone’s feedback and share it with your animation production team so they can revise it and render the final draft.
In some cases, the production team will add sound effects to enhance the presentation of certain moments in your animated clips. This phase of production typically happens before the first or second draft of your animation is shared with you. SFX are added later in the process so that they line up with the (nearly finalized) timing of your animation.
Check out this companion article for tips on how to review and provide feedback on your animated video assets.
What does it cost to add animation to a video?
Depends on the length and style of the animated content you are producing. Most animators charge by the # of minutes of content that’s being created. If you’re making over 5-10 minutes of animated content, they may offer you a production discount. If you are producing under 60 seconds of content, the rate will go down a little but not in a linear fashion – for example 30 seconds of content would cost a little more than half of the price for a 60 second video. This is because there are various setup and project management costs associated with each animation that’s created that don’t scale down for smaller projects.
After your animated clip(s) are created, you’ll need to pay your video editor to add them to your video. U.S. based video editors charge between $40-$125/hour.
Check out this companion article for a detailed breakdown on animated video pricing.
How long does it take to add animation to video?
It takes about 2-5 weeks to create short animated 2D videos (under 60 seconds). 3D animated videos take 2-3x more time to produce. Once the animated clip(s) are finalized, your video editor can add the animation to your video. The process of adding animation to video depends on the number of clips being added. For most projects, it only takes a few hours or days to add animation to video.
How do I save money when adding animation to my video?
- You can write the script for your video clips.
- You can create the storyboard for your video clips.
- You can use free (legal) music for your video soundtrack.
- You can record the voiceover for your animated video(s).
- Consider using stock assets.
For more tips on affordable animation and how to keep your production budget as low as possible, check out this companion article:
Still have questions about adding animation to video?
Do you have a question about creating animated clips to add to your video that wasn’t included in this FAQ? Use this form to contact us with your question. We will follow up with an answer and then we’ll post the question and answer to this page.
What is Video Igniter Animation?
Video Igniter Animation is an online animated video production service. By working with our team online, you can get your custom animated video produced faster and for less than hiring a brick and mortar animation studio.
We can help you create any kind of 2D animation or 3D video you can imagine. Check out our animation portfolio!
Watch our explainer video to learn more about how we can help you create an animated video for your business:
Looking For An Animation Production Company In The U.S.A.?
Video Igniter is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
Success Stories & Testimonials
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