Whiteboard Explainer Video: Make Your Own Guide (Plus Resources)

Video Effects August 21, 2020 5 min read

Whiteboard videos are a trendy and popular style of content for explainer and tutorial videos, but are they as complicated as they look? There are plenty of apps available to create this effect digitally, but we still think that the practical effect of real live illustration gives the best results. So, we created this handy how to make a whiteboard explainer video from scratch guide to show you how.

Part 1: What is a Whiteboard Explainer Video and Why They are Effective

Whiteboard videos are a particular format and style of content, created from filmed shots of real hand illustration. Usually, a whiteboard animation will include music and voice over to reinforce the messaging.

Whiteboard videos are a great way of simplifying complex topics to create learning and educational tools. Once set up, whiteboard videos are easy to produce and can help engage your viewers with challenging information.

Whiteboard videos can be a single color ink on white, but can also include full coloring and additional digital effects for more depth. You can even download some impressive premade assets for your whiteboard videos, as you’ll see later in this guide.

The best thing about whiteboard videos is they suit almost every topic you can think of and are easy to keep on brand.

Part 2: How to Make Your Own Whiteboard Explainer Video

Creating a professional-looking whiteboard video requires a bit of setting up, so don’t grab your board pens straight away. Here’s what you’ll need to get started;

  • Whiteboard
  • Whiteboard Markers and Eraser
  • Camera and Tripod
  • Lighting
  • Weights or clamps
  • Clear space to set up

It is essential to make sure you have plenty of white light available for the filming and to avoid tungsten lighting where possible. Make sure you give your whiteboard a clean before getting started.

Step 1: Place the whiteboard on a flat surface such as a table or the floor – you need to be comfortable drawing on the whiteboard.

Step 2: Using the weights or clamps, make sure your Whiteboard is secure – this will prevent it from moving around when you draw or erase the board.

Step 3: Set up your camera and tripod directly above the board, pointing straight down on top of it. Play around with the camera settings and position until you are happy with the shot. Step 4: At this stage, it can be helpful to mark the edges of the shot on the Whiteboard, so you know the area you have to draw in.

Step 5: Set up your lamps, making sure you avoid light glare on the board, or massive shadows when you begin drawing. This can be a little tricky to work out, and often requires several lamps. Try not to rely on daylight, as the color and shadows on your board will change as the time passes.

Step 6: Before you start recording your video, film a quick test shot that you can check in your editing software to make sure you are happy with the look.

Now your camera is set up! You can jump straight into filming your frames.

Part 3: Common Mistakes You Should Avoid

As with all forms of video content, there are common mistakes that can be easy to make in the process. 

You Need a Hand!

You can create whiteboard videos digitally using a wealth of apps or After Effects. These can be great but are a different type of video. In whiteboard videos, the hand connects the audience to the video style – without it, it can look like a messy animation.

Stick to a Style

It can be tempting to use a range of visual styles – especially if you are not the most confident of artists. This can make your video a little inconsistent, so try to use a similar style throughout.

Do Not Try to Be Too Original

It can be tempting to change the whiteboard video format, but it is this style that engages with viewers. Make the message and illustrations your own, but don’t stray too far from this tried and tested format.

Do Not Skimp on the Illustration

If you want to create a video with just text elements, you can save yourself the time setting up and create a typography video. A lot of the fun of whiteboard videos sees the illustrations drawn in front of your eyes; don’t skimp on them.

Use it for the Right Messaging

The whiteboard style is great for creating explainer videos and training resources, as this is what audiences expect. However, you should avoid using them for showreel or promotional videos, unless you are promoting your Whiteboard Video Production services, of course.

Part 4: Resources to Inspire You for Your Next Project

1. Hand Drawn Elements 

This awesome hand-drawn pack contains enough elements for you to avoid filming your own altogether. With 38 objects, including keys, currency symbols, arrows, and speech bubbles, this pack is an excellent asset for your Whiteboard Library.

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2. Doodles Pack 

The animated Doodles Pack for Premiere Pro contacts 2 different styles and 8 different categories of assets, including business, social media, and Emotions. This animated pack will work perfectly in your Whiteboard videos but is also a great asset for any digital content creator.

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3. Alphabet Elements 

The Alphabet Elements pack contains the whole Alphabet, numbers, and punctuation, along with several cool icon designs. The design is simple and fun, great for creating whiteboard titles or adding animated flourishes to your project.

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4. Scribble Elements

Scribble Elements is a pack of 10 Alpha Elements, ready to use in any editing software. The fun and dynamically animated scribble designs would be ideal for Whiteboard animation flourishes, as well as creating cool transitions from one illustration to the next.

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5. Back to School 

Back to School contains a massive 76 hand-drawn elements and 17 full-screen title animations. The design is simple and almost childlike, with a considerable range from shooting stars to books, from science equipment to a panda on a skateboard.

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6. Business Icons 

The Business Icons pack contains 14 simple animated elements, including a pie and graph chart, arrows, and a lightbulb. While these elements may be limiting the story they can tell, the pack is a useful addition for those animation flourishes.

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7. Grunge Scribbles 

This pack contains a massive 61 animated scribble elements, including lines, arrows, swirls, and hearts. The small alpha layers are perfect for adding a cute animated flourish to your whiteboard or motion graphics videos and can be layered up to create awesome video frames.

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8. Hand Drawn Elements 

The Hand Drawn Elements pack is a must-have for any Whiteboard animator. With 61 hand-drawn elements such as lines, arrows, and speech bubbles, this pack is versatile and can be used across a range of whiteboard projects.

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Whiteboard videos are a fantastic way to explain complex information to your viewer. This style of video is engaging and trendy, and a great skill to have for filmmakers. So, now you know how to set up and film your whiteboard videos, why not see what you can create.