10 Simple Steps To Making A Kick Ass Explanation Video For Free!

Since Seconds is currently self funded, we have a pretty tight budget when it comes to PR and media exposure. But thankfully we have a “make your own for free… and pretty soon others will come around to make it for you later” mentality.

So when it came time to get a basic explanation video up on our site, we decided to do it ourselves rather spending money on a contracted specialist or video generating sites like broadcast2world.com.

Problem was, we really didn’t know where to start. That is where the creativity of Seconds team member Brent Crocker came in. He used Keynote to animate  and produce it, and while not the greatest App to animate a video with it got the job done. Basic image overlaying works great!

Judge for yourself, the video is at the end of the post. Here’s how he did it!

First get a solid script:

1: Determine what points do you want to make and write them down.

2: Think of a way to explain those points to your audience in a concise way.

3: have someone else on your team read through it, ask people if they understand it! This should be at least the start of your script…

Then Make the recording

5. I find that almost every major change to the script happened while I was making recordings… its something about hearing yourself in the recording.

note : I actually use the mic in the Apple headphones to do all my recording, so don’t make the excuse that you don’t have the right equipment! Record short sections of the script and pieced them together, its better to have short recordings to play with!

Determine what animation or imagery will go with the script:

6: Now is when you should be making the visual aspect of you film, after you know what you’re trying to say and how long it takes to say it!

7. With little time you should be able to make some kind of scene with an image editor, I used PixelMator, but anything that can create a clear background will work. Basically, if you can draw it, you can make it this way…

note: Try and figure out what best tells your audience what you’re saying with an image or animation.

Create some simple animations

8. For most scenes you will need a background and something to orient you (like a desk, building, or I even used a couch), but don’t make the scene too busy. Overlay your orienting image over some kind of basic background, black, white, textured, clouds… it up to you.

9. To create an image, grab a texture image like paper, cloth, or rock in the color you want (you can also adjust the color in the image editor). Then cut it to the shape you want. Make sure the image has a transparent background so you can overlay it on other images.

note: you can choose to make it look slightly 3D, but if you want to get through it quickly keeping to 2D animations works the best.

10. Most animations can be done in a program like Keynote/PowerPoint, along with scene changes. Moving images onto the screen and resizing as they come in to give the idea its getting closer. This gives your video some great movement so you can bring to focus the points you are trying to make. You don’t need to make fancy animations to get your point across, just use the animations to move through your points.

note:  focus on creating images that look good, but aren’t too hard to make.  This whole process should take you a week at the most.

Set the recording over your video and get the timing tuned in and you’re ready to post!


Add yours →

  1. it looks great!


  2. Thanks for the pointers.


  3. For a new startup without great funds, cost cutting is crucial, and since explanation video is the best way to help people understand the product, they’er too costly but they should do it anyway. Your tips are surely going to help those many new startups cut costs and make videos help their customers.


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