A lot of animators paint programs like Vyond or Powtoon as being “cheesy”, but these template programs are a powerful tool. Think about it. The average person can make an entire animated video in a few hours with minimal training.
Compared to the days when animation was something you only saw from Disney, animation capabilities have come a long way. No longer is animation only for people with an arts background. It’s now in your hands and you can have a full video in hours (not months).
This post breaks down how to make a complete video in Vyond Studio, plus some “hacks” I use to make quality videos (no cheese allowed).
Start with the Script
You can kiss any returns on your video goodbye if you have a mediocre script (no matter how cool the visuals are).
That means the first step in video production is to write a killer script. This is because the script is your visual plan. Without it, you’re in for extra hours of work and extra confusion.
An effective script plans both the narration and the visuals. I recommend the AV video script format for marketing videos because it’s easy to use.
Check out my post on how to write a video script for a comprehensive guide on scriptwriting. Once your script is sorted, it’s time to start making your video.
Choose Your Animation Style in Vyond Studio
Ideally, you’ll think about the style while you’re writing the script. Vyond offers three video styles: Contemporary, Business Friendly and Whiteboard Animation.
I use the Contemporary and Business Friendly style most for marketing videos. The Whiteboard style is better for informative videos in my opinion. But! I have seen a promotional video using the Whiteboard style. You can also mix and match the styles within the video. I do this a lot with the Business Friendly and Contemporary style because Business Friendly has more assets.
Once you choose your style, you’ll move into the video maker.
Each video starts with a pre-made scene, but you can get rid of this. You can add new scenes by clicking on the + button in the timeline. These new scenes can be one of the templates, you can continue the last scene or add a blank scene (so you can build your own scenes).
I build about 80% of my scenes and use the pre-made templates for the remaining 20%.
This is an example of a scene I built because I wanted the food items to look they they were moving through this intestine shape. Vyond has a lot of template scenes–this one was not one of them sadly. So, a custom scene it had to be!
Building Custom Scenes in Vyond
I see Vyond as a library of assets rather than a template-video maker. Basically, Vyond is like Canva; a tool in your creative kit. You can do a lot with both programs, and the quality of the output depends on the skill and creativity of the creator.
You have a ton of assets at your disposal to build a scene.
These are, well, the backgrounds of your scenes. Vyond has two types of backgrounds: locations and patterns. I use a mix of both types in my videos. For more abstract concepts, I’ll use patterns and try to build the scenes. Scenarios and locations are more concrete, so I’ll use location backgrounds. A lot of the time, you can find the scenarios you need as a template scene and customise it to fit your video.
The secret to a beautiful-looking video is in the props. Rather the detail that the props bring to a scene. In video, you want to “show, not tell” as much as you can. The props you use in your scenes will help carry your visual message and reinforce the verbal message.
The Business Friendly style has the most props in it’s library, and I often pull from this style when I use the Contemporary style. I get frustrated with the props sometimes because basic things will be missing, the angles are wrong, or one style has something but the others don’t. For example, I needed a pen from a horizontal viewpoint.
Nope, could not have this without the pen being attached to some paper. Another time I needed an owl in the Business Friendly style. There is no owl in this style, but the Contemporary style has one.
When the assets I need aren’t available (or they’re not quite right), I pull out my Vyond “hacks”.
Vyond “Hacks” to Get the Visuals You Need
These “hacks” make the asset appear to be a certain way. I’ll crop the camera lens so only the part I want is showing, or I’ll add shapes to cover some parts.
I once made a video where the characters had amputated legs. One scene called for showing a person in a wheelchair and their leg propped up (without the leg on). Creating this was a tall order for a Vyond video.
To create the illusion of an amputated leg, I cropped the camera so it didn’t show the character’s full body. Then, I added some shapes to create the stump board.
I also used this “shape hack” to create different levels of amputations for the same video. Vyond only has an above-knee leg, but the video called for some below-knee amputations. So, I used some shapes to cover the top of the leg, matched them to the character’s pant color, then added another shape to change the point of attachment.
Uploading Your Own Assets
The worst kept secret in Vyond is that you can (and should) upload your own assets. Basic things like logos are a given, but you can add your own vectors too.
I have a subscription to Adobe Stock photos and I pull vectors from there, or I draw (very) basic things in Illustrator. One video I made was set in Africa, and the women needed to wear capulana. Vyond definitely does not have this, so I drew one in Illustrator and layered it over the characters in Vyond. Worked like a charm!
Adding Animations into a Scene
Vyond makes it super easy to animate–they have a lot of controls similar to Powerpoint effects. You can add animation into your scenes through:
- Camera Len: You can change how much of the scene is visible here and make the camera pull in or out.
- Scene Transition: Similar to Powerpoint, this is the transition between scenes. I use “Dissolve” or “fade” usually to keep the transition simple.
- Object Animation: This allows you to control the movement of individual objects.
- Character Movement: You can control the character’s motion and their facial expression. While there are a lot of movement options, Vyond doesn’t make it easy to have complex movements.
You can control all of these from the right side of the top tool bar.
Voice Over Narration
Chances are you have a narration for your video. The easiest way to add a voice over for Vyond videos is to upload the .wav or .mp3 file into Vyond using the ‘Upload” option on the toolbar.
I highly recommend cutting up the audio file into chunks and then matching the files to the scenes or characters. This will give you more control over the pace of the video. Plus, sometimes the VO file might be too big if the video is long. So, you’d have to cut it up anyway.
You can add the audio file to a scene by clicking on the scene first, then clicking on the audio file. After that, you can control/tweak it positioning using the timeline at the bottom of the video maker.
You can also add a music track or sound effects to your video by selecting the music symbol on the toolbar. Vyond has a decent range of instrumental tracks to choose from, and you can always add your own if you want.
Just click on the first scene to have the music track start at the beginning of your video.
Controlling Sounds Levels Or Adding Character Voices
You can adjust the settings of your audio by right-clicking on the file and navigating to “Settings”. Here you can change the sound level and even assign the file to a character so they lip sync your dialogue).
I keep the narration at 100% and the music track between 6%-8%. The music can overpower the narration, which you don’t want.
A fade at the beginning and end of the track is automatic, but if you use more than one music track, you can manually add a fade.
Exporting a Video
When you’re done animating the video, it’s time to export the file. At the very top, you’ll see the download icon, and then you can download the video in HD or Full HD.
And that’s how you make a Vyond video start to finish.