How To Create An Explainer Video? The Cleverclip Way
Natalie Ediger, February 26, 2020· Cleverclip
Ever wished to look behind the scenes of a professional explainer video agency? Well then… welcome! Today we take you on an exclusive journey through the most important production steps of our explainer video! From brainstorming and the first notes and sketches to the magical final product, enter the colourful explainer world and learn how we create our explainer video. Entry for free!
The Cleveclip Atelier: How we create an explainer video
The path to the perfect explainer video is both exciting and challenging. It involves many steps and a tremendous amount of creative work. But it is precisely this challenge that we love and live for. In order to illustrate the individual steps a little more clearly, we work with a video that we created for Dectris.
The start-up company Dectris focuses on the development and production of high quality and powerful X-ray detectors for scientific and individual applications. Our task was to illustrate the novel hybrid pixel X-ray detectors in an explainer video. But before we go into too much detail, let’s start at the beginning of our production process.
Steps to create the perfect explainer video
The Creative Workshop
Each of our projects starts with an in-depth workshop or, depending on the topic and the information already available, a shorter briefing. This is one of the most important processes, as we discuss all important issues with the customer. At this point, we work with the canvas shown below.
It is based on the Business Model Canvas and allows a more precise analysis of the target group and the topic to be explained. The aim is to obtain details on the following points:
A detailed picture of the target group
What are the pain points, the presenting problem of the target group?
What are the Pain Killers, i.e. the solution to the problem?
What interests, wishes and fears does it have ?
To set a focus for the video
Here it is important to clarify the “Big Question”, i.e. a single core question that the video should answer.
A deep understanding of the what, how and why of the topic to be explained.
As you can see in the example of Dectris, the canvas takes on a very detailed form.
Canvas for Dectris with important notes
Extract 1 of the canvas for Dectris
Extract 2 of the canvas for Dectris
We develop so-called “personas“, i.e. a fictitious representation of the customer, in order to understand the needs of the target group. In the case of Dectris, we have developed two ideal target group characters, John and Mark:
Personas for Dectris
Once all key questions have been clarified, the project manager summarizes the findings of the workshop in detail for the entire team. Then it’s time for brainstorming – the creative ideas have to come up! Each team member collects possible solutions to explain the topic at hand in the best possible way.
Together, the team selects three concept proposals that are presented to the customer. In the end, the customer decides which of the suggestions will be implemented…
Now, off to the studio…
The script is the first step in the actual production and also the heart of a good explainer video. Not an easy task for the copywriter, because the script must summarize the most relevant information in a short and precise way. Even complex topics must be easy for a layperson to understand and captivate the viewer from the very first seconds. Our project manager ensures that all the information discussed is included in the script.
Sketches and storyboard
The next step is to support what is said with pictures. As you can see in the following excerpt, our visual artists draw first sketches based on the script. The sketches are kept simple and should only give the customer an idea of how the video could look like in the end.
After that we already start with the actual storyboard. Finally, the graphics combined with words must convey a clear message. Visual artists upload the sketches, the copywriter adds the text, everyone gives feedback until the team is satisfied with the result. In order to give the client a good idea of how the spoken text and the images work together from the beginning, the project manager creates a video prototype of the storyboard.
To ensure that we really convey the topic to the target group in the best possible way, we test this prototype on 5 people and then ask the following questions:
What was the central message of the video?
Is the content understandable?
Are there any errors?
Is the topic visually comprehensible?
Are there any points that stand out in particular?
Based on the feedback of the target group, we make appropriate corrections on the storyboard.
As soon as the customer is satisfied with the storyboard sketches, the visual artist and motion designer create an individual style taking into account the corporate identity as well as the feedback from the style suggestion:
The voiceover is enormously important in order to make more complex messages in particular comprehensible. Of course, we work exclusively with professional speakers, who we choose according to the topic, the target group and the corporate image. At Dectris, inserted hashtags support the speaker’s technical vocabulary and make the content easier to understand.
Music and sound effects
What would a movie be without the right sound…? Music makes it possible to emphasize the central message and to build a stronger emotional bond with the audience. At the same time, sounds make certain sequences seem more real. Our sound designer first creates a draft that supports the motion designer during the animation. As soon as the animation is finished, the final sound design is created.
In one of the last steps the video is finally brought to life. Explainer videos offer a range of possibilities regarding animation styles, from classic whiteboard animation, 2D and 3D, stop motion, typography and much more. The Dectris video impresses with a very complex and impressive composition of geometric elements. In the following you can see what came out of our Dectris project.
Animation check! Sound design check! Final touches check!… Now we provide the video to the customer and hope that everyone is satisfied with the result. But it is not done with the delivery of the video. The customer feedback is our top priority and we always want to improve. We review the whole work process and discuss possible suggestions for improvement, but also positive aspects that should be emphasized. At this point, we of course highly value honest customer opinions in order to be able to implement them in future projects.