When creating learning and other informational materials, two of the most important things to consider is viewer attention and engagement. While looking for software to use in creating explainer videos, I came across several. The ones that I decided to explore were Vyond and Animaker. These two applications can be used for many purposes, most notably training, e-Learning, marketing, and human resources. In this post, I discuss characteristics of the two. I will go over what I consider to be Pros and Cons of each application. Also, there will be a brief discussion on the learning curve for each. Note that I used the free trial version of Vyond in order to explore its offerings.
There are many nice features of both Vyond and Animaker. Both programs allow the user to record voiceovers or input text-to-speech. Vyond goes a little further with this feature by lip-syncing the characters to match the audio. The result is quite impressive. I have created two videos- one using Vyond and one using Animaker- to demonstrate this feature. They are inserted below. When you view the videos, you will see the difference in character lip movement.
Both programs also contain several character actions. Vyond does have more actions available. Vyond also allows the user to easily change a character’s facial expressions and movements. Both programs contain convenient templates, as well as the option to create a blank project.
Pros that are specific to Animaker include a familiar layout, less time for completing a video, and easy editing. The layout is similar to Power Point in that there is a filmstrip on the left side of the screen that contains slides. I was also able to select a template for an animated infographic, customize it, edit it, and deploy it in just a few hours. The exporting and downloading of the .mp4 files are very straightforward and simple. Even though I am a new user, I was still able to make edits quickly and easily.
Pros that are specific to Vyond include a few more characteristics than Animaker. Vyond permits adjusting the timing of scene transitions (e.g. fading in and out). Also, you can create custom characters, as well as copy a character from your library. To continue a scene, simply right click on the scene thumbnail in the timeline and copy/paste it. After pasting, you can go in and make the changes you want for your next scene. An example would be if you want to change the expression of a character from frustrated to happy. In the first scene on the timeline, you would configure the character to have a frustrated expression. To change the expression, copy the scene and paste it to the right of the original scene on the timeline. Then, in the scene that you have pasted, select a happy facial expression for the character. The final “pro” specific to Vyond that I would like to mention is that you are able to change the colors of a template background. In this way, you are able to easily customize a preset background.
While Animaker is a bit more limited in creating custom animated videos, it offers more flexible payment options for a single user than Vyond. Vyond does, however, offer heavily discounted prices for annual payment plans versus monthly plans. Also, even though you pay for the software, the lowest priced plan still includes a watermark on all videos. You would need to purchase the single user Premium plan to create videos that are published without a watermark. This can get expensive, especially if you’re a college student. Vyond does have a free trial version available, so you can tinker around with it a bit before you decide on whether or not you want to purchase it.
On the other hand, Animaker offers more flexibility in payment options than Vyond. The highest-level plan (a business subscription) is about the same cost as the Premium single user Vyond plan. These aspects of Animaker make it more feasible for the budget-conscious consumer.
I found it easy to learn the interfaces of both Vyond and Animaker. Vyond might take a little more time to learn since it does offer more customization options than Animaker. Nonetheless, I found them both easy to navigate and discover the customizations and features available.
Why I selected Animaker
I fall into the category of budget-conscious consumers. It is solely the pricing differences that swayed me to choose Animaker. I enjoy using the software and am pleased with the videos I have created using it. In the future, I hope to learn more about Vyond and possibly become a long-term user. But for now, I am completely satisfied with Animaker and find it has all the features I need.