Sometimes we have a subject that we want to get across that can be tricky to make interesting. Giving students (or indeed anyone) some text, audio or PowerPoint slides can often mean that interest in the subject matter is quickly lost and information is not properly taken in. Studies have shown that students tend to find information in the form of videos far easier to absorb, and when this comes in the form of a snappy, animated video it instantly becomes dynamic and engaging.
As we know, hiring a videographer is an expensive and time consuming business, so I decided to look for a viable alternative. Previously, I have used a variety of online animation tools, that although they were easy to use and, most importantly, free, I felt that we could do better. I wanted to find a tool that was not only cost effective, but could easily create a professional looking video. I had a look in my mind already as to the type of animation tool I was looking for, I wanted these videos to look contemporary and fun so that we could apply the tool to a variety of subjects and engage viewers of different backgrounds, and levels of study. I didn’t want to disengage a viewer immediately by having a video look too ‘cartoony’. Eventually, I came across Vyond.
What is Vyond?
Vyond (previously known as GoAnimate) is a cloud based video platform that anyone can use to create visually engaging, animated videos. Vyond provides the user with thousands of pre-made templates and props royalty free-music and characters which you can use to create dynamic content that keeps your viewers attention.
How can using Vyond help me?
As I mentioned earlier, studies have shown that using a short, animated videos can increase students in higher education capability of understanding difficult subject matter, whilst staying engaged with the content provided. Vyond provides many different tools to assist you with making a fantastic looking video, whether it be purely for information or to get a particular subject matter across.
- Resources – Use Vyond’s asset bank of thousands of pre-made props, templates and characters to enrich your video.
- Animation – You can animate pretty much everything in Vyond, to the way a character looks, to how a slide exits the scene. It all comes down to your creativity!
- Adding a voice – Upload an audio file that you have recorded to either add a voiceover or character dialogue. If you give a character a voice, you can also have the character lip sync to the track!
- Music and sound effects – Vyond offers lots of royalty-free music and sound effects for you to use, but you can still upload your own if you wish.
- Exporting and sharing – Once you’re ready to share your video, you can either download it and upload it somwhere (for instance YouTube), embed it or simply use the shareable link provided.
Tips for making a great video
Creating a video with Vyond is easy (honestly!), but you still need to put some thought into your project. Here are three tips to get you started…
- Start off by creating a storyboard – You should already have a relatively good idea of what you want your video to look like and the message you need to get across. Start off by putting those ideas down on paper, either by brainstorming or making a storyboard.
- Try and keep videos no longer than 5 minutes – Viewers are more likely to retain information when videos are short and concise. The perfect time has been shown to be no longer than 2 minutes, however if you need a bit longer then try not to go over 5 minutes! This can be tricky, but it’s also where step one comes in handy, so you can plan your video and make it more concise.
- Take the time to record your narrative – Creating a colourful, animated video means that trying to provide dialogue via on screen text can be really distracting and overwhelming. Of course we need to include captions for accessibility, but try and take the time to record your script and then add text only at key points of the video.
Here’s one I made earlier!
I made the below video for our TEL advent calendar to showcase what Vyond can do, so take a look!
How can I try it out?
Anyone can sign up for a two week trial via Vyond’s website and try it out themselves. After that you will be required to purchase a license. You can find out more about the packages available on Vyond’s site.
Already using Vyond or something similar – let us know!
We would love to hear from you if you are already using Vyond or a similar tool to create animations. You can feedback to us in the comment box below.
Image credit: Photo created using character templates within Vyond’s asset bank – https://www.vyond.com/