Making animated videos is an amazing skill to add to your resume for new instructional designers. If you’re trying to land an instructional design job, video development skills are a huge plus for employers!
It’s no secret how much I love video-based learning. All great training meets learners where they are. And the truth is, most learners are absorbing tons of video content (for fun and to learn)!
That’s why I was so excited to learn more about making animated videos with Vyond. First, we’ll go through some examples where an animated video can be a fantastic asset to training. Then, I’ve got some great Vyond-specific tips that are perfect for beginners. You can also check out my sit-down with a Vyond expert for a step-by-step guide to creating your first video.
Making Animated Videos with Vyond
Why Making Animated Videos is a Valuable Skill for Instructional Designers
Depending on what type of instructional designer you want to be, you might be thinking about different development skills you can add to your repertoire. For example, video development is a skill that not all instructional designers have. So, it’s a skill you might want to consider to help you stand out when it comes to competitive instructional design jobs.
When it comes to making animated videos, many companies hire outside developers. Others may use an in-house creative team. Both of these can be great options, and as an instructional designer, you should be prepared to collaborate with video editors and developers.
On the other hand, having an instructional designer who doubles as a video developer is a huge plus even with those options. So, is creating videos something you want to add to your resume? Let’s find out!
Are You an Instructional Designer/Video Maven?
It’s totally normal for new instructional designers to be unsure of which bonus skills are right for them. There are a handful of these ‘bonus skills’ to choose from (using eLearning authoring software, xAPI and HTML5, graphic design, and audio editing are some other popular choices).
My one piece of advice? Pick just one to focus on at first. So, how do you know if video editing and development is the right skill for you to pick up? First, take a look at the following statements:
- I watch explainer videos when I’m trying to figure out how to perform a task.
- Spatial awareness is my forte.
- I have patience when it comes to applying detail to a project.
- Creating characters like Bitmoji is something I love to do.
- I prefer to work with images over text-heavy projects.
- My visual imagination is top-notch. I enjoy making project visions come to life.
Did more than one of those statements speak to you? If so, you might want to try your hand at making animated videos.
Using Vyond for Easy Animated Videos
There are a lot of different tools available for making animated videos. We’re focusing on Vyond today, but there’s no reason you have to limit yourself to one resource. Once you’ve experimented with one application, chances are, it will be easier for you to pick up others.
Check out this video created using Vyond to get an idea of what you can make.
Benefits of Vyond
Here are some of the reasons we like using Vyond:
- Easy to learn using free tutorials
- Built-in templates and backgrounds make setting up scenes quick and easy
- Upload options allow users to import their graphics and audio for better customization and brand compliance
- User-friendly workspace with intuitive buttons for adding and editing details
- Actions, masking, and lip-sync are easy to add and give videos a more professional look without spending hours editing the movements yourself.
- A huge library of visual and audio assets is included, or import your own
Commonly Asked Questions
I know how important it is for new instructional designers to get the lowdown on pricing for a fun new tool. There’s no shame in budgeting and making the most of free trials when you’re just starting.
You can grab a free trial of Vyond for 14 days. But, unfortunately, you won’t be able to download anything you create with the trial version.
There are different subscription levels if you want to purchase Vyond. You can check out the full rundown on Vyond’s pricing page. A basic membership costs $49 a month, and subscribers have access to anything they create even after the membership ends.
Jumpstart a Vyond Project
I sat down with Vyond-expert, Star Peterson, to get all their best tips for using Vyond. If you’d rather watch the walkthrough (or just want to see a project in action), you can watch it here.
Here are some simple steps to get you started on your first video.
1. Create a character
Characters in Vyond are highly customizable. You could easily spend an hour on this fun first step. The good news is that you can save and reuse your characters after you spend time making them!
When you start from scratch with a character, you can choose from different faces, hair, mouth, ears, eyes, eyebrows, noses, eyewear, outfits, and accessories.
Pay close attention to the mouth and eyebrows you pick. This will be your character’s neutral expression. Eyebrow and mouth shapes can make a character look angry, sad, or confused in a neutral state. Then, if you try to change the expression during your video, you may not get the desired effect.
We also highly recommend using an eyedropper extension to choose colors for your character’s skin tone and hair. Again, there are a bunch to choose from, but I like this one.
Of course, you can always choose a premade character from Vyond’s library!
2. Choose a template
This is the best, time-saving tip for making animated videos in Vyond. Vyond has a vast library of premade scenes that you can use.
The scenes already have characters positioned, props, and actions. All you have to do is customize the scene to fit your needs.
If you have a character created, you can easily replace a character from the template with your own. However, while you can delete characters and other objects from the scene, placing your new objects in the correct layer can be tricky. Using the replace feature is an easy way around this problem!
3. Insert audio
Now’s a great time to pull your voiceover files into your project. You’ll want to match your character’s action to audio cues. Use the lip-sync feature to match your character’s mouth movements to the audio, or simply use audio signals so that your character’s actions make sense for the story.
4. Plan your character’s actions
Once you’ve set the scene, you’ve got to add some movement. What is your character doing in the scene? For example, you might want your character to walk in as the scene begins, take a sip of a drink, or sit down. Vyond has many situation-specific actions for you to choose from.
Feel free to go crazy with all these actions while you’re experimenting. The best advice I can give you is to play around with all your options. That way, if and when you’re using the tool to develop training, you’ll be more familiar with what’s available to you.
Of course, when you begin using the tool to create training, you’ll want to be thoughtful with the actions you include. Ensure they complement the information you’re trying to convey and add engagement. Not enough movement would make for a boring video. But, too much activity can distract from your content.
5. Insert camera movement
Now that most of your scene is ready to go, you can add camera movement like zooms, pans, tilts, and more.
Camera movement helps draw the learner’s focus to a specific area of the screen and also helps to keep your video interesting without adding distracting actions.
Star has some great tips for using camera movement to show a dialog. Skip to 23:40 to see this feature in action!
Did you think you were finished after just five steps? Here’s where you’ll need to have patience, a bit of stamina, and great attention to detail.
Even short videos are made up of multiple scenes. For example, each piece of dialog or camera movement may require its own scene.
Luckily, Vyond makes it easy to copy and paste scenes, change scene order, and continue actions from one scene to the next. This is another part of Star’s presentation that you’ve got to see for yourself.
Extra Resources for Making Animated Videos
If video editing and development are skills you’d like to add to your resume, I’ve got a ton of valuable resources you can check out.
The Instructional Design Company has a fantastic guide to making instructional videos you can read for free.
Speaking of free, you can access a whole library of tutorials on Vyond’s Youtube channel. Use these videos to inspire your project or dive deeper into Vyond’s different features.
Check out this website for royalty-free music when you’re ready to add audio to your video project. If you need professional-sounding narration but don’t have the budget for a voiceover artist, here are a few options that won’t break the bank. Send your script to Narrator Files for affordable voice-over in less than a week. I’ve also used a subscription to WellSaid Labs in video projects that I know will have a lot of edits.
Finally, be sure to check out Star’s Facebook group, Vyond for eLearning, for more tips and to get feedback on your video projects.
Wrapping it Up
We’ll have even more from Star in a later post, but until then, what questions do you have about video-based training? Does making animated videos interest you?
Bring all your questions to The Hangout, a community for new and aspiring instructional designers.
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I have searched for the last few years to find some suitable career change where I wouldn’t have to earn another degree and where I could use the talents and skills I already have as a teacher. When I came across the Instructional Design Accelerator course, I loved the fact that Shawntay was a former teacher and could relate to a teacher’s need to transition from the classroom. This was what sold the course for me. Her experiences are invaluable especially when translating teacher duties to instructional designer duties. I would (and have) recommended this program to other teachers I know who are looking to transition out of the classroom. I do appreciate ALL of her feedback on my projects!
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I am really enjoying this program! It’s prerfect for someone who is thinking about a career shift to Instructional Design and does not have a lot of experience. This is my first real introduction to Instructional Design and it’s been the perfect beginner course to help me get my feet wet. The modules are broken down well and it’s great to go at your own pace and at your own time. The modules themselves are very comprehensive and you learn a lot from all of them. I really like how each one build upon each other and you’re working towards the bigger project of designing your first training course from scratch. I’m learning so much from going through this course! I was provided great feedback from Katie and Shawntay through the process via Trello Boards, comments on the Google documents, and Facebook group. This course has been well worth the time and effort and I appreciate the fact that I will always have the resources available to me after I complete the training (just in case I’m not quite ready to transition yet).
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