The Building Blocks to handmade visuals for explainer videos

11 Reasons Why You Need An Explainer Video For Your Business
14 October 2016
8 Important Tips to Make a Great Explainer Video
28 October 2016

The Building Blocks to handmade visuals for explainer videos

When you see a visual in an explainer video on a big companies website, it looks so well put together and straightforward, but when you try creating it yourself, it turns out it's not as easy as it looks. With this blog, I'll break it down for you. Implement these tips and your well on your way to creating amazing handmade visuals!

Be Literal
Don't make you idea behind the visual to complicated. This is opposite what many designers and artists (including me) learned during college. With visuals for video marketing, it's best to keep it clear, keep it simple and dare I say it: literal. You want as many people as possible to understand the message of your image and as quickly as possible. So keep the elaborate concepts for artwork or for personal projects.

Have A Clear Subject
Okay, you have an idea for your visual, now make sure you have a subject. The key to a great photograph is a clear subject. This is where the eye is drawn to, where the focus lies. In movies, there's always a leading character, the subject. The movie centers around this character and the story it brings with it. It's the same with images. Each image should have a lead character, around which the image is created. Bear in mind that the subject can be anything. A person, an animal, an item, icon, text, anything.

Coherent Color Palette
The colors and combination of colors you use for your images are extremely important to the attractiveness and mood of the end result. Colors invoke emotions and associations, think carefully which you want them to be. Clashing colors can remind of the eighties, dark colors can remind of night, pastel colors give a feminine feel. Ask yourself: who am I making the images for and what is the mood I want to bring across?

Depth and Shadow
A handmade three dimensional images needs depth and shadow. If you make your image flat and you're stacking layers of paper on top of each other without space between the layers, you will end up with a visually much less interesting image. Chances are that people won't even see it's handmade. Which would be a shame and a waste of your time, don't you think?

With handmade images you have the great advantage that you can create beautiful shadows (which is a lot harder to recreate digitally). Using spacers between layers and having props further away and closer to create depth, will draw the viewer into the image and make it far more interesting.

The devil is in the details, right? Attention to detail can elevate your image from amateuristic to full blown professional. Giving your character little drops of sweat on his brow to enhance the story, positioning every leaf so they aren't in each others way, removing specks of dust, adding tiny sprinkles to your paper donuts or retouching all the little errors with photoshop after production. All these little things make a huge difference in the end result.

Quality must always come before quantity. If you have a tight deadline, go back to the core of your idea and delete everything that is not an absolute necessity to the message of your image. In this case 'less is more' is very true. It's better to have a few items done very right, than a lot of items that are kind of missing it's mark.

The balance in an image can make or break it. Make sure the layout of all your props is well divided. If you have just one big subject, put it dead center. Do you have multiple subjects, spread them over the entire scene or make clusters. Good composition will feed the story of the image.

I have a question for you:

Which of the tips will make the biggest difference for you? Or which are you struggling with the most?

I’d love to hear from you in the comment field below.

Is the current thought in your head: well, that's great, Nicole, but I have no desire to do this myself. That's where we come in. We're here to help you get an amazingly goodlooking and effective explainer video.

We now have an amazing, free, value packed try-out for you. All you have to do is fill out this questionnaire and you'll get a custom concept, clear sketches and video style examples, all for free! We want you to stop missing out on potential customers and have the perfect sales pitch, always. Click here to go to the try-out and we'll take care of it.

Talk soon!


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