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Discover video styles and tools

When effectively designed and strategically implemented, videos can do much more than capture learners' attention—they can motivate and support them to master objectives. The variety of video styles and the array of tools available for creating videos offer endless opportunities for innovation and creativity.

Through this lesson, you will explore some of the most popular video styles and tools that are used in the learning industry.

AI Avatar videos

AI avatar videos are a cutting-edge form of digital media where artificial intelligence generates or manipulates digital representations of humans or characters, creating lifelike videos without the need for traditional video production methods. These avatars can mimic human expressions, gestures, and voices, offering a personalized and engaging experience for viewers. Learn how this can be done using tools like Synthesia through this YouTube video here.

This technology is increasingly used in various sectors, including education, customer service, and entertainment, to create interactive and accessible content. By leveraging AI, these videos can be tailored to deliver specific messages, teach complex concepts, or provide customer support, making them a versatile tool for enhancing digital communication and learning experiences.

When writing scripts for AI avatar videos, consider the following tips:

  • Keep it concise and focused: Aim for scripts that are straightforward and avoid unnecessary complexity to maintain viewer interest.

  • Use natural language: Write conversationally to make the AI avatar appear more relatable and human-like.

  • Incorporate visual and verbal cues: Plan how the AI avatar can use gestures and visual elements to enhance the message.

  • Engage emotionally: Use storytelling, humor, or relatable scenarios to connect emotionally with viewers.

  • Include calls to action: Clearly articulate the next steps for the audience, guiding them on what to do after watching the video.

  • Ensure cultural and ethical sensitivity: Write with a consideration for cultural nuances and ethical standards to appeal to a wide and diverse audience.

Designers have a variety of tools at their disposal to produce AI avatar videos for training purposes, each offering unique features to create engaging and effective educational content. Here's a list of some key tools:

  • Synthesia: An AI video generation platform that allows users to create videos with virtual avatars. It offers a large library of customizable avatars and languages, making it suitable for diverse training needs.

  • Colossyan: An AI video generation platform that aims for high realism in its video output. It offers detailed customization of avatars and scenarios.

  • A tool that focuses on creating personalized AI videos at scale. It's useful for training videos that require a more personalized touch, allowing for customization of avatars and scripts.

Explainer videos

When designers need to share complex information in a simple, engaging way, they often turn to explainer videos. This video style often includes illustrations, animated characters, screen text, and voiceovers. View sample explainer videos on Youtube here.

Best practices for creating explainer videos include the following:

  • Keep the videos short and focused, ideally between 1 to 3 minutes.

  • Use clear and concise language to convey the key points effectively.

  • Utilize visuals, animations, and graphics to enhance understanding.

  • Incorporate storytelling techniques to maintain interest.

  • Ensure a conversational and friendly tone to connect with the audience.

To produce explainer videos, designers and animators use a variety of software tools, each offering different features and capabilities. Here's an overview of common software used in the creation of explainer videos:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro: For video editing and production, Premiere Pro is a go-to software. It's used for editing video clips, integrating audio, and adding transitions to create seamless explainer videos. Its compatibility with After Effects enhances its functionality for explainer video production.

  • Vyond: Vyond is a web-based tool that's user-friendly and specifically designed for creating animated explainer videos. It offers a wide range of pre-made characters, backgrounds, and animations, allowing users to create videos without deep technical knowledge of animation.

  • Animaker: Animaker is another web-based animation tool that provides a drag-and-drop interface, making it easy to create explainer videos. It offers various templates, characters, and scenes, suitable for creating simple to complex animations.

  • Powtoon: Powtoon is a popular tool for creating animated videos and presentations. It features a straightforward interface with a focus on creating engaging, animated explainer videos. With a range of styles, including cartoon and infographic, it caters to different aesthetic preferences.

  • Blender: Blender is a free and open-source 3D creation suite. It supports all aspects of 3D creation, including modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, and motion tracking. While it has a steeper learning curve, Blender is powerful for creating 3D animated explainer videos.

  • Moovly: Moovly is an online platform that enables users to create animated videos using a library of stock media, including video clips, sounds, and images. It's designed to be accessible, with no need for advanced video editing or animation skills.

Each of these tools caters to different aspects of explainer video production, from scripting and storyboard creation to animation and final editing. The choice of software depends on the specific needs of the project, including the complexity of the animation, the preferred style, and the creator's expertise. Together, these tools enable designers and animators to bring complex concepts to life, engaging audiences through compelling explainer videos.

Software demonstrations

Software demonstrations showcase the functionalities and effective use of specific tools or software applications. When new users are introduced to a software, a well-structured demonstration can significantly ease the learning curve, providing a visual and interactive guide to navigating the interface and utilizing the tool's features. For existing users, demonstrations of feature updates or advanced functionalities can enhance their understanding and encourage the adoption of new capabilities.

When creating software demonstration videos, remember to:

  • Plan the demonstration in advance, outlining key features or tasks to cover.

  • Use screencasting software to capture the screen and record audio narration.

  • Break down complex processes into smaller, manageable steps.

  • Highlight important features and provide explanations along the way.

  • Include captions or annotations to draw attention to specific areas of interest.

Designers use a variety of tools for crafting software demonstration videos, each offering specialized features to meet different presentation and instructional needs. Here are a few popular tools to consider:

  • Camtasia: This tool is renowned for its robust screen recording and video editing features, making it ideal for detailed software demonstrations and tutorials. Camtasia's offerings like cursor effects, annotations, and quizzes enable the creation of interactive and educational videos.

  • Adobe Captivate: Adobe Captivate stands out for its ability to create interactive and responsive eLearning content, including software simulations, quizzes, and virtual reality (VR) projects. It's particularly effective for software tutorials that benefit from interactive elements, offering a highly engaging way to mimic software environments and integrate with Learning Management Systems (LMS) through SCORM and xAPI formats.

  • ScreenFlow: Available exclusively for macOS, ScreenFlow is a comprehensive screen recording and video editing application perfect for creating software demos. It offers intuitive editing features, callouts, annotations, and the capability to record from connected iOS devices, enhancing demonstrations for mobile apps or software.

These tools cater to a wide range of needs, from simple screencasts to complex, interactive software tutorials, enabling designers to effectively showcase and teach software applications.

Kinetic typography

Kinetic typography involves animating text and visuals to create visually appealing and dynamic videos. Take a look at these sample kinetic typography videos on YouTube here.

When creating kinetic typography videos, remember to:

  • Choose a suitable font and color scheme that aligns with the content and target audience.

  • Time the text animations in sync with the voiceover or audio.

  • Use visual effects, transitions, and movements to enhance engagement.

  • Maintain a balance between text and visuals to avoid overwhelming the viewer.

  • Ensure that the text remains readable and legible throughout the video.

Kinetic typography videos, where text is animated in ways that express the content's emotion, timing, and tone, are a dynamic way to engage audiences. Designers looking to create such videos have a range of tools at their disposal, each offering unique features and capabilities:

  • Adobe After Effects: The go-to software for motion graphics and visual effects, Adobe After Effects offers powerful features for creating complex and visually engaging kinetic typography videos. Its wide range of animation capabilities and plugins allows for highly creative text animations.

  • Final Cut Pro X: Apple's professional video editing software includes motion graphics features that can be used for kinetic typography. It's known for its user-friendly interface and efficient workflow, making it a good choice for Mac users.

  • Canva: For designers looking for a more straightforward, web-based option, Canva offers basic animation features that can be used to create simple kinetic typography videos. It's user-friendly and suitable for quick projects or those without access to more advanced software.

Each of these tools caters to different levels of expertise and project needs, from simple text animations to complex, narrative-driven kinetic typography videos.

Video interviews/testimonials

Video interviews and testimonials are powerful tools in the instructional design toolkit, often featuring real people sharing their experiences, insights, or expertise on a particular topic. They are particularly useful for providing authentic learning experiences, where learners can connect with the material on a personal level through real-world applications and stories. Whether it's a testimonial from a satisfied customer demonstrating the impact of a service or an expert interview providing in-depth knowledge on a subject, these video formats help to bring content to life, fostering engagement and deepening the understanding of learners.

Best practices for creating video interviews/testimonials include:

  • Prepare a list of questions or talking points to guide the conversation.

  • Ensure good lighting, clear audio, and a visually appealing backdrop.

  • Conduct the interview in a comfortable and relaxed setting.

  • Encourage interviewees to speak naturally and authentically.

  • Edit the video to remove any unnecessary pauses or distractions.

Instructional designers often rely on a variety of tools to create engaging and effective learning materials, including testimonial and interview videos. While many tools can serve this purpose, some are more favored in the instructional design community for their ease of use, versatility, and powerful editing features. Here are the tools most commonly used by instructional designers for creating testimonial/interview videos:

  • Camtasia: Known for its robust screen recording and video editing capabilities, Camtasia is widely used by instructional designers for producing professional-quality testimonial and interview videos. Its user-friendly interface and extensive range of editing tools make it ideal for combining interview footage with additional visual elements like text, images, and interactive quizzes.

  • Adobe Premiere Rush: Designed for quick and easy video editing, Adobe Premiere Rush is a great option for instructional designers who need to produce testimonial and interview videos on the go. Available on both desktop and mobile devices, it provides essential editing tools and easy sharing options, making it suitable for creating content directly from smartphones or tablets.

  • Adobe Premiere Pro: As part of Adobe Creative Cloud, Premiere Pro offers advanced video editing features that are perfect for creating polished testimonial and interview videos. Its comprehensive toolset allows for detailed editing, color grading, and audio mixing, making it a go-to for instructional designers looking for high-quality production values.

These tools cater to a range of skill levels and production needs, from basic editing to advanced video production, enabling instructional designers to effectively create testimonial and interview videos that enhance learning experiences and provide real-world perspectives to their educational content.

Interactive videos

Interactive videos represent a dynamic approach to learning, enabling learners to actively engage with content through interactive elements like quizzes, clickable links, or decision-making scenarios. These features transform the passive viewing experience into an active learning journey, where learners can test their knowledge, explore additional resources, or navigate through branching scenarios based on their choices. Interactive videos facilitate a more personalized and engaging learning environment, encouraging learners to take control of their learning process and apply their knowledge in practical, real-world contexts.

When creating interactive videos, remember to:

  • Design clear navigation and interaction options for seamless user experience.

  • Incorporate branching scenarios to provide personalized learning paths.

  • Use interactive elements strategically to reinforce key concepts or assess learning.

  • Test the interactivity thoroughly to ensure functionality across different devices.

  • Provide clear instructions and feedback for learners to navigate through the interactions effectively.

Instructional designers have access to a range of tools designed to create interactive videos, enhancing the learning experience with engagement-driven elements. Here are some commonly used tools:

  • PlayPosit: Specializing in making existing video content interactive, PlayPosit enables designers to overlay interactive elements onto videos. These elements can include multiple-choice questions, open response prompts, and discussion points, transforming passive video watching into an engaging, active learning opportunity.

  • H5P: An open-source platform that allows for the creation of interactive content, including videos. H5P lets users embed quizzes, clickable hotspots, and dialogue cards directly within videos, making it a versatile tool for enhancing engagement in video-based learning.

  • Adobe Captivate: This tool stands out for its capability to produce responsive, interactive videos. With features that allow for the addition of quizzes, branching scenarios, and gamification elements, Adobe Captivate is tailored for creating advanced interactive learning experiences.

  • Camtasia: Known for screen recording and video editing, Camtasia also includes features to add quizzes and clickable links within videos. This functionality makes it suitable for instructional designers aiming to create interactive tutorial videos with assessment capabilities.

These tools provide a foundation for instructional designers to create interactive videos, supporting a range of learning activities from basic knowledge checks to complex decision-making exercises. By integrating interactivity directly into video content, these platforms help create more immersive and engaging learning experiences.

Summary and next steps

Throughout this lesson, you explored a diverse mix of video styles and the tools that instructional designers commonly use, ranging from AI avatars and software demonstrations to kinetic typography. With the insights and examples provided, you're now equipped with a rich source of inspiration for crafting your next learning video. Remember, the ideas shared here represent just a small sampling of the vast possibilities at your disposal for creating engaging and effective learning experiences. Let inspiration be your guide!

Now that you are familiar with video styles and tools, continue to the next lesson in LXD Factory’s Develop series: Develop performance support tools.


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