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Your video marketing strategy needs the best tools to create branded animated explainers.
Some of the best explainer video software include Visme, Animaker, Powtoon, RawShorts, Vyond, Biteable, VideoScribe, Wideo, Adobe Spark, GoAnimate, Moovly, MySimpleShow and Renderforest.
In this list, we’re going to review each of these explainer video tools.
We’re examining things like:
We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started.
Visme is drag and drop animation software, and it’s also a visual content creation workshop. With Visme, you can create animated explainers with customizable animated characters. Pulse, there’s also plenty of backgrounds, elements and animation effects to add visual richness.
Easily create branded animated explainer videos using your Brand Kit. Make sure all the typography and color themes in your explainer video are true to your brand.
Visme is user-friendly and has a low learning curve. The team is continuously improving the user experience and design features to make your visual content creation easier.
If you need help with design and layout, the Visme Blog has lots of articles and tutorials on creating better content. All you need is your imagination.
There aren’t any cons we can think of about Visme. But we might be biased!
The video template library in Visme is varied and full of options. Some options are more animation based while others have video backgrounds with text effect overlays.
All templates are easy to customize and personalize for your brand.
As an online tool, Visme is super versatile when it comes to content creation. Not only can you create videos, but you can also design documents, social media graphics, infographics, data visualizations, interactive content and much more.
Visme now has a desktop app for MAC as a free download which you can use separately from any browser.
Visme is perfect for pretty much anyone, but it’s ideal for teams. You can create animated explainers together with the collaboration features. Send each other comments and edits so you can make the perfect animated explainer video.
The free accounts on Visme have everything you need to get started with video creation, plus many other content types. All under the same price point.
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Animaker is a tool that offers mainly animation visuals for your video marketing. You can make any type of video with Animaker, including explainer videos. The Animaker editor works with scenes which you can edit separately. This system helps minimize the overwhelm of the timeline editor in professional video editing software.
Animaker’s custom character builder is an excellent tool for explainer videos. You can customize pretty much everything about the character, except the body size.
There are many editing tools inside Animaker to help create elaborate explainer videos with lots of information and animated visuals. There are also animated transitions to add between scenes.
The custom characters don’t have an option to change body size. This missing feature can be off-putting for many people.
When editing a video, the available scenes are in many different styles. It’s challenging to create a balanced video in a unified visual style.
The overall style of the templates and scenes is casual. There are some business-oriented designs but it’s not the majority.
The Animaker characters are front and center in the explainer video category. The ones that don’t have a character are mostly simple and not very elaborate. The templates are easy to customize and all elements can be animated in many different ways.
Animaker offers additional tools like Animaker Voice, a Character Builder, VMaker and Gif Maker. All these are external tools from the editor but are integrated easily.
Animaker is the right tool for small business owners and marketers that prefer a casual animated look to their explainer videos. Startups can also get plenty of value from this tool as long as they manage to establish their visual strategy into the templates.
The free Animaker plan is enough to get to know the tool and all it has to offer. You can download five projects with a watermark and a few other things. Paid plans have much better options.
Powtoon is a constantly improving animated video software. Creating an explainer video with Powtoon is easy and straightforward. Simply choose a style and search the templates to get started.
The best part about Powtoon is the choice of styles. You have the option to choose between Modern Edge, Whiteboard, Cartoon, Infographic, and Real. Once inside the editor, the software helps you stay within the style to balance your video’s overall look.
Inside the editor, you can choose between editing a template or creating the video with the template as a base. The fact that you can switch from one to the other is unique. If you need to use your explainer video on other platforms, it’s easy to change the video’s size and proportion.
The character builder has branding features that other tools don’t offer. Also, they’re working on providing more body types which is a great thing.
There isn’t much about Powtoon, which can be considered a con. But many users in online review sites say that there is a high learning curve to achieve visually balanced animations of the elements on a scene.
Explainer video templates in Powtoon are available in all five styles, Modern Edge, Whiteboard, Cartoon, Infographic, and Real. Each type has its value, suited for different business purposes and styles.
There’s a template for everyone.
From the time of writing this article, Powtoon has recently added many extensions and additional capabilities. Their PowerPoint import feature is in Beta. There’s also a neat Photoshop CC extension that lets you export artboards as scenes. Then once in Powtoon, you can animate the objects.
Powtoon is for creators that have a good knowledge of animation and how to use it. It’s perfect for marketers, startup founders and small to medium business owners. Since you can create explainer videos in five different styles, Powtoon is suitable for any business.
The free Powtoon subscription offers complete access to the editing features and elements but limited downloading—all with a Powtoon watermark.
Paid plans have many more options.
RawShorts is a different type of explainer video maker. Users can create in four different ways, with Artificial Intelligence options to help any style of creator.
The biggest pro to RawShorts is its brand features to create videos from text and the storyboard wizard. Using only text, you can create an explainer video in minutes. Additionally, you can use pre-made templates or design from scratch.
Elements in RawShorts are already animated but aren’t customizable either in terms of color or movement. This is limiting if you’re looking for personalization.
Even if there are plenty of editing systems, there’s a lack of visual resources in the software.
RawShorts is on the expensive side for what it offers.
Pre-made templates are available in three sizes; horizontal, square and vertical. Pre-designed templates are available in four formats, full explainer templates, individual scene library, whiteboard templates and scenes.
To use the text to video AI, you input text content or the URL of a published blog post. The software will create a video automatically. You can then edit it as you wish.
To use the Storyboard feature, choose the type of video you want to create and the wizard will open up with a progression of slide topics. You then select from a slide library and fill up the storyboard before launching the editor to customize the content.
You can add a voice-over or audio to videos quite easily. There are also unique-looking frames that most other tools don’t have.
RawShorts is for people who need to create explainer videos from existing content without worrying about the editing. These can be small business owners or solopreneurs.
RawShorts offers a free trial, so you can test out the software.
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Vyond is the new look for the GoAnimate video editing tool. It’s one of the most versatile tools on the list. Similar to Powtoon when it comes to characters and animation.
The custom characters are highly customizable, from facial expressions to skin color, outfits, and movement. But it's still missing body type customization.
All the elements can be animated to create highly animated explainer videos. The editor includes an easy-to-use timeline feature at the bottom of the screen. Quickly customize props and characters inside the scene.
Add additional cameras to each scene with unique movements, creating a richer visual animated experience.
Vyond doesn’t have much in the con department. The character animation doesn’t have enough movement options and expressions and not enough customization for different human types.
Vyond videos will look like all other Vyond videos. It’s challenging to create something genuinely different.
There are three styles of templates in Vyond;
Vyond suggests that the best style for explainer videos is Business Friendly. But don’t let that stop you from trying the other styles as well.
With Vyond you can create any type of video, not only explainer videos. The templates cover subjects from education to informational and can be used for many purposes.
Vyond offers the usual music and voiceover features plus a library of sound effects that other tools don’t have when it comes to audio capabilities.
Vyond is the perfect tool for marketers and startup founders looking to create an animated explainer.
Vyond only offers yearly plans and no monthly plans. There’s a free trial that includes most of the features to get a good idea of the tool. To download videos without watermark, you’ll need a paid plan.
Biteable is an online video creator with enough features for creating animated explainers. They have different animation styles to suit any type of business or idea, but in general, the designs are clean and straightforward.
The pre-made templates are easy to customize, separated into scenes along a timeline in the bottom of the screen. You can personalize the video scene-by-scene and add any new scenes wherever you want.
When adding a new scene to a pre-made template, you can choose from many available styles, making it challenging to create a visually balanced explainer video.
The available templates for explainer videos are mostly a flat color background with text and a few animated elements. There are a few video background templates mixed in with animated text effects.
It would be nice to see more variety of styles in the template gallery.
Apart from explainer videos, Biteable is also suitable for creating social media videos, ads and blog content.
There are some music soundtracks to choose from and add easily.
Biteable is for content creators looking to create explainer videos with unique animation styles.
Free Biteable plans offer as many videos as you want, but they’ll have a Biteable watermark and will be of low quality.
VideoScribe is a whiteboard animation maker perfectly suited for explainer videos. It’s desktop software, available online. It’s considered one of the best whiteboard animation tools apart from Powtoon and Vyond.
VideoScribe is available offline. It’s downloadable desktop software. It’s practical for creators that prefer working while not being connected to the internet or have a slow internet connection.
There are more tools and features under the hood than what you can see at first sight. The animation controls are varied and it’s easy to create detailed animated explainers.
VideoScribe is not available online. Many people prefer cloud-based software to work. It takes time to finish a video on VideoScribe.
There aren’t any branding features. You can add color to the scenes but can’t steer away too far from whiteboard-style designs. Technically you can import any design and the program will create the drawing feature. This feature doesn’t always work perfectly.
VideoScribe has a minimal variety of templates to choose from. Creating from scratch will probably be better for an explainer video, but it can take time. As for animated explainers, there are very few available templates.
VideoScribe offers creative services with Sparkol Studio. You can hire them to create a video for you using VideoScribe, perfect if you’re short on time and want an animated whiteboard explainer video.
This is the ideal tool for marketers and business owners that prefer to create offline. Videoscribe is the software of choice if you’re looking to create a whiteboard animated explainer for any industry.
The free trial for VideoScribe lasts seven days and is enough to get a good feel of what is possible. The free download is automatic, but you’ll need a paid plan to access the editor. To use VideoScribe for business purposes, you’ll need a paid plan.
Wideo is a cloud-based software for creating videos. It’s best suited for creators with some video editing and animation knowledge to really get value from their timeline editor.
The animation features are granular and help create complex movement and motion for elements. Editing is done scene by scene, so the timeline feature doesn’t feel overwhelming.
You can choose between the edit or create features in the canvas. If all you want to do is edit a template, then click on “edit.” If you’re going to add new elements or scenes, choose “create.”
There aren’t any customizable characters in Wideo. Although some characters have minimal personalization for color, that’s about it.
Even though the animation features help get good results, they’re challenging to master, especially for newbies.
There are no available video clips inside the editor.
Explainer video templates are available in three formats; square, vertical and horizontal. The variety of templates for explainer videos is small for free and low-tier subscriptions. Higher-tier subscriptions get many more templates.
Apart from video editing, Wideo also offers a few other features. You can do a screen recording, turn text into audio, generate a storyboard and create a color palette from an image.
Wideo is for marketers and startup founders looking to create unique and fun animated explainer videos. This tool is more suited for creators that understand how to animate with a timeline and keyframe controls.
The free Wideo plan is minimal. You can’t do very much apart from test out how the editor works.
Adobe Spark is the easy content creator from the Adobe Creative Cloud. Creating an explainer video with Adobe Spark is easy but not as versatile as other tools on this list.
The image search option shows results from all over the web as long as it has a free license. Apart from that, you can upload your own images from Dropbox and Google Drive or Photos.
The scene editor is simple and straightforward.
The only way to add a video to a project is by uploading. There are no stock video options available.
There are limitations as to where you can place text. The AI has set locations for text and will move your text to them when you move it.
Even though you can upload images from Dropbox and Google Drive, you can’t do the same with video. You can only upload from your computer.
There are no animation options for text or elements. The only animation you get is from the transitions.
To create a video with Adobe Spark, you choose the “Slideshow” category on the main page.
The templates in Adobe Spark are a bit different. There aren’t any explainer video templates but rather an outline for you to work over. These are called story templates and you choose one before you start with a video.
Once inside the editor, you can choose from a selection of color and font themes or change the size to square.
Videos aren’t the only type of content you can create with Adobe Spark; you’re able to create static or animated graphics for social media, websites and more.
Apart from the cloud version of Adobe Spark, you also have the option of Adobe Spark Video. There’s an iOS app for iPad and iPhone to create videos quickly.
Adobe Spark is not the best choice for complex explainer videos. It’s more suited for slideshow-type and short explainers that don't need much animation or special features.
This software is more suited for students that need to explain simple concepts or small in-house projects.
Adobe Spark is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud but you can also buy it on its own. The free plan has minimal features but does give a good idea of what’s possible.
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Toonly is a self-proclaimed the best tool for creating animated explainer videos, even if you’re not a designer. This tool is quite versatile but does have a particular cartoon style. It’s also a desktop tool; it’s not in the cloud.
It’s easy to create videos fast with pre-designed backdrops and scenes. All visual content is unique to Toonly without any stock images or video.
The drag and drop functionality for the characters and props makes it super easy to get a scene together in no time. There’s a timeline feature for each scene in the video, making it easier to keep things in order.
Their team has created an extensive series of how-to tutorials to help you create unforgettable animated explainers.
Toonly doesn’t have a free trial, so you have to pay upfront to try out the tool.
There’s only one visual style.
There aren’t any pre-designed video templates in Toonly, only pre-created scenes. Toonly is vocal about not offering full-scale templates so users can have more freedom over creating their animated videos.
With one Toonly account, you can download the software to several different computers.
Toonly is anyone who needs to create an animated explainer video in a cartoon style with flat illustrations. Especially for content creators that don’t have design, animation, or video editing experience.
Toonly has two paid subscriptions. There’s no free plan or free trial, but they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee though.
Moovly is a versatile software for video production. With many high-quality options in their canvas, there’s a lot you can do with Moovly.
To create an explainer video using a template, you can either quickly edit or copy the template to customize it completely. This feature makes it easy to create videos in minutes by not digging too deep and simply changing the content on the template.
The video editor itself is advanced and has many editing options that resemble professional video editing software. Each scene appears on the timeline with a dropdown menu showing all the objects in it.
You can move scenes and elements around the timeline freely, giving lots of freedom to how you put together the video.
For users with no video editing skills, the editor can take a bit of getting used to. You can’t download a video unless you have a paid subscription.
When you search for explainer video templates on Moovly, you have two different types of results. The first selection are templates created with iStock-based footage. These are free to edit, but you’ll have to pay for the stock footage to download.
The second set of template results is created with footage and graphic elements available inside Moovly.
It looks like templates are covering different explainer video styles. There’s one as whiteboard animation, another with live-action video footage, others with characters and cartoon-style animations. All templates are horizontal; there are no square or vertical options.
Moovly offers a selection of green screen graphics to use inside a video with different uses. The Moovly studio opens in its own browser window that can’t be shared with other tabs, helping you focus.
There’s also an option to add subtitles in the language of the video audio or even a translation.
Moovly is for marketers, business owners, and startup founders looking to create great professional-looking videos. The option to quickly edit or fully customize widens the options for who can get value from this software. It’s an efficient tool for animated explainer videos.
The free version is enough to get to know the editor and resources. For advanced features, you’ll need a paid plan.
SimpleShow, also known as MySimpleShow is a uniquely different way of creating animated explainer videos. There’s a specific style of a hand pushing an illustration onto the canvas and two hands clearing the scene that you can’t veer away from.
The process of video creation with SimpleShow is unique. The software takes you through a wizard with illustrations and choices on creating the storyline for your video. You can’t make a video until you’ve got the script written up. This saves time from doing this on another document tool or software.
When you’re about to start, you can upload a PowerPoint file instead of going through the storyline wizard.
There is an order to follow when creating a video, but once you go through it the first time, you can navigate to any step to edit the content in there.
There are no pre-designed templates to create from. The automated text to audio feature is not that good, and it seems like you can’t not use it.
You can only use the illustrations in one color throughout. These aren’t precisely whiteboard explainer videos, but more like illustration cutout layout explainers.
The only thing you can customize about the hand animation is the skin color and if it’s cartoonish or live-action.
This animation software is a bit expensive.
The explainer video templates in SimpleShow are different from what a standard template looks like. When you’re going through the storyline wizard, you can select three main options; professional, personal or educational.
Then you choose a storyline template and enter the storyline editor. You have to fill in the text; otherwise you don’t progress to the visuals.
Once you’re done with the storyline, the AI will pull illustrations using the text’s words. The editor will open up and have all the scenes displayed with a selection of illustrations. Only then can you start personalizing.
There’s an integrated text to voice feature, but it’s limited. In the end, you can choose a different voice from the default, but it still sounds tinny.
You can add subtitles to the video; it pulls the exact text you wrote up at the beginning.
The editor has a seven illustration limit per scene, helping you create balanced videos.
My SimpleShow is for video creators looking to create a clean, simple style of animated explainer video. The main directive for My SimpleShow is the explainer video, so this tool is for any business person, individual, or educator who wants to create one. Especially the ones that don’t know how to make animations.
The free plan on My SimpleShow is only enough to try out the tool and not much else.
Renderforest is a creative branding suite with many options to create visual content for your business. One of the tools is a video editor that’s perfect for creating animated explainers.
After choosing a style pack to create a video with and adding your content text, the AI will select the scenes for you.
There are many styles to choose from, making it easy to create any type of explainer video.
The process of creating and customizing a video can be a bit cumbersome.
Once you choose a style pack, you can select the pack options, but you can’t change packs and keep the content.
The explainer video templates in Renderforest are different from others. You can use style packs to create videos instead of using pre-designed templates with placeholder content.
What makes Renderforest unique is the 3D animation explainer pack. There are also whiteboard animation packs, line illustration packs and modern infographics packs, amongst others.
RenderForest is a lot more than just an animated explainer video software. You can also create logos, mockups and websites. The tool will give the option when you start.
This is an animation software for creators looking for lots of choices when creating explainer videos. Anyone that needs an animated explainer video will find value from Renderforest because there isn’t just one style to choose from.
The pricing on Renderforest is a bit different from other tools on this list. You can either pay for all the tools in one subscription, with access to all, or pay per product. It does come out to be more expensive when you pay per product, though.
The most versatile is the complete subscription plan. The free tier has limited features but enough to get to know all the tools in the suite.
Have you chosen your favorite animated explainer video maker yet? All the tools on the list except for one will let you try the software before committing. We think you shouldn’t skip Visme when trying out the editors.
With Visme's video maker, you can create much more than just an animated explainer video. Visme is so versatile that it gives you the option to create countless types of visual content. That’s why it’s easily your best choice on this list – at least in our opinion.
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You might still have some questions. We’ll try to answer them!
An explainer video pretty much describes itself in its name. But for the sake of clarity, let’s elaborate. An explainer video is a video that explains something to the audience. This “something” can be a process of how something is done, a showcase of how a product works, the way a system or service works or helps the consumer or a step-by-step exploration of a particular issue.
What an explainer video isn’t is a sales pitch. These videos are not meant to sell, they’re meant to inform and inspire. Animated explainers are a type of explainer video with more value than a static slideshow. These sometimes include animated characters and scenes, voice-overs and animated objects, timelines or flowcharts.
To make an explainer video, first, you need a goal and an objective. Without these, your explainer video will never get off the ground. You’ll need a video editing tool or software to create the video. You can choose from any on the list above, but we suggest you try Visme.
These are the steps to follow to create an animated explainer video:
Yes, good animated explainer videos are effective. Of course, they need to be easy to follow, pleasing to the eye and not confusing. Explainer videos can easily fall into a type of “Death by PowerPoint” category if it isn’t visually balanced or the storyline is difficult to follow.
For a more effective explainer video, invite the viewer to find out more by linking to a relevant landing page, social media channel or other top of the funnel content. Don’t sell, invite and inspire.
For an explainer to be considered “good,” it has to tick a few important things off the list. Here are the most critical aspects for a good animated explainer:
The explainer video shouldn’t be too long. Experts say that the best length is between 60 and 90 seconds.
If you want to know more about the perfect length for your videos, check out our guide on video length.
An explainer can be free or cost thousands of dollars to create. It all depends on what your goal is and how you go about making it.
If you choose to go the DIY route, you can create an animated explainer for free or very little. If you want to hire animators to make your video, then you’ll have to pay more. Some of the tools on this list offer on-demand video creation services.
You can create an explainer video for free with a Visme free plan. But if you want to get the most out of the tool, you’ll be better off getting a paid subscription. The best part is that you can create any other type of visual content under the same subscription once you’re done with the explainer video.
Create documents, infographics, presentations, social media GIFs, invitations, certificates, flyers, tickets, and many more. Unlike many of the tools on this list that ONLY lets you create videos with their subscription, with Visme you can do a lot more.
The best explainer video software is the one that does what you need. Many of the tools on this list concentrate on certain styles, which might be fine for what you need.
If you want to create a whiteboard explainer, go for Powtoon, Toonly, Vyond or VideoScribe. But if you’re looking for a uniquely professional explainer video maker, choose Visme.
With Visme you can create an explainer video using your Brand Kit, making it easier to stay on brand! The more you create with Visme, the easier it gets to make even more content. Did you create a social media graphic that you loved? Duplicate it and turn it into a video or presentation slide! It’s that simple.
If you don’t have a Visme account, it’s easy to get started. Visit our site and sign up with your email. Get started straight away and create your next great animated explainer.
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