- Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox
10 years ago, my company Common Craft started producing short, animated videos that were designed to explain technology and other subjects. They caught on in a big way, earning over 50 million views, and are now known as the first "explainer" videos of the YouTube era. Along with the videos, we became known as professional explainers.
Throughout that time, Common Craft videos have had a consitent look and feel which has become known as "Common Craft Style" and has inspired educators and video producers all over the world. Here are the basics:
Today, our goal is to help promote the use of "Common Craft Style" as a simple and effective way for professionals to create animated explainer videos.
This course is packed with know-how and resources (like script writing templates and visuals) that make DIY video production easier than ever. And it's all based on over a decade of experience.
Here's a simple question to consider: are you ready to shake up how you think about communicating and try something new?
This course is for people who are ready to solve problems. Now more than ever, clear communication matters. Long articles and policy documents are easy to ignore. You can do better. Animated explainer videos are a resource that accomplishes a few powerful goals:
Efficient Communication - Short explainer videos can pack a more effective punch that text or a presentation.
Attractive Presentation - Common Craft Style videos offer an attractive and professional resource that people find interesting and remarkable.
Shareability - Short explainer videos can go places you can't. Let them do the heavy lifting.
When you don't have tens of thousands in the budget for explainer videos, you still have a great option to create compelling and useful explainer videos. Today, it's possible to use common and affordable tools like PowerPoint and screencasting software to turn your ideas into quality do-it-yourself animated videos.
With years of experience creating professional explainer videos, we wanted to make it easy for anyone to create their own - and have them look professional. We've spent over a year developing and refining a step-by-step methodology for producing DIY animated explainer videos with quality results.
Whether you're a professional who is:
• Introducing a new project
• Presenting research to a group
• Changing a company policy
• Making your case for funding
• Training colleagues or customers
• Demonstrating a product
• Or even requesting a new position
Carefully crafted explanations and explainer videos will help you make the most of these opportunities. Your ability to build support, respect and attention depends on others understanding your ideas.
Lee LeFever has been a professional explainer for over 10 years.
He is the founder of Common Craft, an international keynote speaker and author of The Art of Explanation (Wiley, 2012). He is also credited with inspiring the online "explainer" video industry. In his work, he's helped companies such as Google, Intel, LEGO and Ford to explain their products. His explainer videos have been viewed over 50 million times and licensed to professionals and organizations in over 50 countries.
The DIY Media Maker Course walks you through the six skills of animated video production with a focus on clarity and understanding. The skills below follow our tested methodology for creating DIY animated videos.
Write Your Script. Transform your ideas into a script that will become the narration for your video.
Create Your Storyboard. Develop your ideas for each visual scene.
Find or Create Visuals. Learn to create DIY visuals for your video or find ready-made visuals online.
Record Your Voiceover. Record and edit your narration.
Animate Visuals. Use PowerPoint animation features to make your visuals move on the screen.
Produce Your Video. Use screencasting software to record and edit your video.
- Boris Mann, Founder, SCALE
This course is a multimedia experience. You'll learn and practice explanation and media creation skills with a variety of media and tools:
Grasp concepts via explanations, stories and anecdotes in friendly, readable writing.
Develop animation and production skills quickly via 20+ short videos.
See ideas come to life through original hand-drawn visuals throughout the course.
Test and evaluate your progress with quizzes and exercises designed to make it productive and fun.
Download multiple guides and templates to take with you.
Practice creating DIY explainer videos! Exercises in each chapter focus on preparing for and producing videos you can put to work immediately.
Download a free pack of 100 Common Craft Cut-outs you can use for visuals in your video.
- Kalpita Kothary, Co-owner & Engineer, Minky
We make it a priority to use common, affordable and easy-to-use software.
PowerPoint - for creating storyboards, simple visuals and on-screen animations
External Microphone - for higher quality audio (built-in microphone can be used, but is not recommended)
Camtasia or Screenflow - screencasting software for recording and editing audio and video animations
Audacity (free) - for audio editing
Access to ready-made visuals
Note that our tutorial videos use PowerPoint for Mac (version 15.19.1) and Camtasia 2, and features used are similar in other versions. We also provide tutorial videos that cover similar skills using Camtasia Studio.