- Animated videos can extend your work’s reach
I have been helping some colleagues think through how they communicate their work, beyond the traditional (and, frankly, restrictive) means of journal papers and academic conferences. I use my 6 steps guide to take them from creating an online but static online presence, to using the medium for engagement.
Animated videos are a great way to extend the reach of a researcher’s work, because:
- They are usually published on open platforms, meaning that anyone who does not have access to expensive journal subscriptions or conference proceedings can still have access to the work;
- People can get the gist of a project’s findings in just a few minutes, which is a lot less time consuming than reading a paper;
- These materials are (or should be!) usually produced in very accessible language (as compared to the technical language of an academic or conference paper), which makes it easier to understand the message;
- People can easily forward or share the link with others, thus expanding the reach of the findings;
- People can use the videos to add variety to their classes, talks or presentations, which, again, expands the reach and the impact of the work.
- Tools to create your own animated video
The video mentioned in the previous point looks great, but uses a fairly elaborate and expensive process that is not accessible to many: hand-drawing, frame recording, editing… An alternative is to use software that creates animations for you. For instance, Adobe Animate is a software that allows you to create animated videos in your computer. It is quite powerful and user friendly, but you do need to have a licence.
There are also a variety of free tools online. Not only are they free, but they offer a variety of templates, which really speed up the process of producing your own videos. The disadvantages are that you are a bit constrained in terms of options, there may be a watermark / company logo and, usually, you can not download the video (meaning that, to use it, you need to be online; plus it leaves you vulnerable to the company erasing your files, just like what happened with MySpace). If you want to give this option a go, here are a couple of options:
- How To Guide
Interested in trying your hand at creating an animated video for your project? Then, check this how to guide. It offers valuable advice on how to go from idea to final product, and including tips on disseminating your video.
The tips covered in the guide are:
- Don’t leave it to the last minute
- Define your audience
- Ask your audience what they want
- Write the script first, then illustrate
- Be playful and experimental
- Don’t forget the sound design
- Create a strategy for dissemination
Have you produced your own video? Please share your experience and tips.