Explainer Videos

Click on the image to view the demo

Thank goodness for digital assets!

Why? There are so many reasons!

This demo was an exercise in producing a “Common Craft” style explainer video as part of the Articulate e-Learning Heroes weekly challenge #170 – Create and Share Your Own Hand-Crafted Explainer Video

The reasoning behind this challenge was the proposition that it’s easy for designers to “neglect the scriptwriting process and lose time with the course visuals and presentation design”, but if you focus on the script writing process and storyboard, rather than the graphics you can “begin to craft more meaningful learning experiences”.

So, this is my attempt at creating one of those!

The Challenge

The challenge was to “create an explainer video or interaction using hand-drawn graphics, paper, and video”. I like to abide by the challenge criteria as closely as I can, so was pleased to see that digitisation of hand-drawn graphics was permitted!

The Process and the Design

Choosing a topic and sourcing/writing a script was easy. Way back in a previous challenge #41 – Hand Drawn e-Learning Courses I used a similar process to design a course on bush fire safety – so I revisited the resources I used and developed for this challenge.

So, my drawing skills aren’t great – so to give me a kick start, I looked at images of the objects I needed to draw. This is the resource I started with – raw script and example images.


We all know how the next part of this process goes – draw, colour, cut out, scan and work with the images a little to improve them (all part of digitising). I scanned the hand drawn images with a black background so I could easily use “remove background” in PowerPoint.


I added background shadows (because this is what I like to do!) – and saved each image out separately.


I originally thought I might use Camtasia to produce a video, but ended up using Articulate Storyline. I set this up with no interactive navigation, just triggers on each slide to move on when the timeline ended. In line with the Common Craft style I didn’t use any fancy animation, but I did place the images along the timeline to synch with the narration.

There’s really not much more to this – yes, that’s me narrating, with a pretty bad cold! I haven’t done a lot of narration recently – I prefer to leave this to those who sound like they should be narrators!

The Result

A more meaningful learning experience? I’d be interested to hear what others think!

Click on the image at the top of the post to view the demo.

UPDATE: I’m very happy to have inspired the team at Callouts Creative Assets through this post to produce a Camtasia Templates Explainer Video Paper Cutouts download. Check this out here.

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