Revamp your video presentations with animation

Have you ever asked yourself questions during a video course, and not so surprisingly never gotten any answer? Well, not the learners of this course!

Context

I worked with 2 subject-matter experts of a web agency to modernize their video presentations of the company and the work they do. The course was intended for all new employees, but also their existing clients. It had to be accessible, reflect their personality, and be available within a short deadline.

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted confidential information in this case study.

Tools used for this project: Articulate Storyline 3, Adobe Character Animator, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator.

illustrated-character-face-animated
The new character of the video

My role: Create a fun, accessible video course in no time

Sort out what is already available, and build on it

I knew existing videos were available. But it didn’t mean the learning goals hadn’t change between the time they were made and the present. So we first identified the desired outcome of the course and if it needed an evaluation before discussing potential ways to reach it. We then decided on a solution, and started sorting through the videos to find usable content.

Learners’ feedback can make you change your plans, for the better

To create a more personalized experience, I asked learners to watch the selected videos, and tell me what they were thinking and when. After 8 sessions, I ended up with several recurring questions and remarks. Because we wanted the video to be tailored to the learners’ needs, we decided to tweak our original plan and incorporate all these questions directly in the video through a character asking them.

When there’s a will, there’s a way

We knew creating an animated character was the best solution. I could draw and animate it, and organize and edit the videos. But we still needed a voice actor, for whom we had no budget. We then decided to look for in-house voice talents who would be willing to bring our character to life. We ended up finding the perfect voice for our character, giving even more personality to the video. Two testing sessions and a few edits later, the video was ready to go!

mouth-shapes-real-lips-movements
Three of the eleven mouth shapes created to mimic real lips’ movements

What I learned

  1. Learning definitely doesn’t have to be serious to be effective.
  2. The more you involve learners in the process, the more they care. But they can be too polite, and tell you what you want to hear. Being both kind and neutral is no easy task.
  3. Existing material doesn't necessarily need to be in the same style to be used in a new course.