Toolbox Tip: Creating Whiteboard Videos With VideoScribe

Monday, March 10, 2014

In last month’s blog, Tanya Seidel explored the pros and cons of tools for creating and editing video, including whiteboard video.  We’ve adopted one of them (VideoScribe) for our client work and have really enjoyed working with it.  I can say this with special emphasis because, not too long ago, I created a whiteboard video by taking a video of me physically drawing on an actual whiteboard.  What a painstaking and unforgiving process!

I thought I’d walk you through the VideoScribe process and show you one of our first movies.

Movies from tools like VideoScribe look like someone is drawing on a whiteboard.  However, there is no actual drawing involved.  You don’t even have to be able to draw a straight line to make these movies.  Instead, the system uses an animated hand holding a Sharpie and edge detection software to recreate the text and images to make it look like they are being hand-drawn.

You start with a big white canvas and place text boxes, images from VideoScribe’s library, or your own imported images on the canvas. Using the Timeline function, you indicate when the various items should appear and how much time the drawing should take.  For example, if drawing a globe, will you opt for a 2-second sketch or a more meticulous 10-second drawing.


To add further interest, you can zoom and pan around the canvas, focusing in on details or moving out to see the big picture.  You also can add an audio track and adjust all the timings to specific sounds. When everything is in place to your specifications, you render the project to create the finished movie.

What I like most about VideoScribe is that you can change your mind.  If you need to fix a typo, add an image, or make a text edit for the client, you just make the change and re-render the video.  You don’t have to start from scratch.

One word of caution:  VideoScribe is fun and easy, but it isn’t necessarily quick. You can spend several hours choosing all the images, layout, and timing to get everything just right.

Here’s a draft of a VideoScribe movie we are currently creating for a client.

VideoScribe costs about $25 per month.

About the Author

Diane Elkins is the president of Artisan E-Learning, a custom e-learning development company specializing in Articulate Studio, Storyline, Lectora, and Captivate. She has built a reputation as a national e-learning expert by being a frequent speaker at major industry events such as ATD's International Conference & Exposition, ATD TechKnowledge, DevLearn, and Learning Solutions. She is also the co-author of the popular E-Learning Uncovered book series as well as E-Learning Fundamentals: A Practical Guide from ATD Press. She is a past president of the Northeast Florida and Metro DC chapters of ATD.

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