How Whiteboard Animation Works

Whiteboard animation

Whiteboard animation is an important tool in corporate video production. You’ve probably seen the format that looks like a disembodied hand creating pictures on a white background. It’s a clever way of making images appear as if they’re being drawn as you watch the story unfold.

A Little History

Whiteboard animation is a type of stop-motion illustration at its core. The original format uses a camera positioned overhead while an illustrator draws on a whiteboard. Pictures are taken at regular intervals and then stitched together to show the illustrations flowing smoothly and quickly. Most contemporary whiteboards used in corporate video production call on software to make this process a lot less time-consuming and more affordable.

Whiteboard Animation Software

How Whiteboard Animation Works
Characters can be hand-drawn and inserted into whiteboard animation

Don’t let the use of software fool you—the illustrations in whiteboard are first hand-drawn by an artist. There may also be some clip art involved, but there is actually drawing required. At Key West Video, our lead animator draws images digitally in Illustrator and then uses VideoScribe to animate the hand-drawing. As a hand flows across the page, you see her illustrations appear as if she’s drawn them in real time.

There’s also an editing component to whiteboards. The animator uses transitions, zooms, fades and other effects to progress from scene to scene.  We use Adobe After Effects to time out the video and add these effects. Then the voice-over, music and sound effects are added to round out the video.

Whiteboard Advantages

Using any kind of animation for a corporate video has its advantages, and whiteboard animation is a real crowd pleaser! The constantly changing visuals hold a viewer’s attention and there’s a casual, fun vibe that lends warmth to the piece. This type of illustration is generally straightforward and easy to digest, too.

Because a whiteboard animation is shown from a first-person perspective, it makes the viewer feel involved; almost as if they’re doing the drawing themselves. The same technique is used in popular cooking videos such as those made by Tasty.


Whiteboard animation also works because your mind intuitively wants to see what’s being drawn. You crave that completion. Your brain is trying to anticipate the outcome because we have active, predictive brains.

A Great Option

Whiteboard animations are a great introduction to corporate video. If you need a tool to quickly and easily explain your product or service, this is the way to go. Call us today for a free quote.

Case Study: Toronto Real Estate Board

Case Study: Toronto Real Estate Board

Key West Video was recently asked to make a short promotional video for the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). The client requested a very fast turnaround, so we suggested using stock footage. In this post, we take a look at how we created a targetted video completely in-house.

Case Study: Toronto Real Estate Board

Step One: Scripting

Starting with a script gave us the framework for our video. Our in-house scripter wanted to connect with the viewer emotionally by evoking the idea that a house is very personal. The script begins with the notion that every house is structurally similar and then segues into how a home is something more. Once the warm feelings of home ownership are established, the pitch has been set up and we can promote the client’s services. As always, we end the script with a Call to Action.

Stock Footage Versatility

Case Study: Toronto Real Estate Board
Stock footage made our tight turnaround possible

The amount and diversity of stock footage makes it possible to find shots of almost anything. Using this tool gives us the ability to fill holes or produce entire videos without a single shoot day. Because the TREB video is only thirty-four seconds long, and more than half of that is graphics and animation, there wasn’t a lot of time for live action shots. In fact, the pacing meant only three shots were needed. The client liked the idea of showing young couples since they’re selling the idea of a home being a “long-term investment”. It was easy to find a selection of happy couples and excited young families to use in this video.

Quick Draw

Case Study: Toronto Real Estate Board
Animation adds to the story

After the client saw the first version of their video, they asked to include a brief animation intro. They sent an example of a house being drawn. To mimic the effect, our animator used whiteboard animation to trace the outline of the building. This approach helped reinforce the idea of a standard home being constructed and then becoming a family home with the transition to live footage.

Home Decorating

Once our home video was built, we needed to do a little decorating to really bring it to life. That meant adding music that’s light and cheerful, even hopeful. We also added some panel transitions for visual interest. Finally, we  included the client’s contact information as part of the CTA. The video ends with the TREB logo and some legalese.

Making Something Out of Nothing

At Key West Video, we can create a winning video even with tight deadlines and no original footage. There are always options to make a piece that reaches your target audience on time and on budget. Call us today for a free quote.