You need to go beyond boring images and text if you want to create exciting content. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and when you add motion, you make it even better. Thanks to tech, you don’t need to study video editing to create videos. We have plenty of online tools to help you create great videos. A particular one that caught my attention is Powtoon.
When you want to make animated videos, this is the best tool for you. What makes it even better is that you can use your images or choose their free resources to make videos. You don’t need to start from scratch to create videos. Powtoon has a few free templates that you can use to make things easy. The tool is quite easy to use, and if you get stuck along the way, you will get plenty of help.
What is Powtoon?
Powtoon is an online app that is used to make animated videos instead of slideshows. It is easy to use and does not need tech skills when making videos. It is an interesting productivity app but among the alternatives to the slideshow software. What makes Powtoon a brilliant video making tool is the outcome when you are done. That is why 25 million+ people around the world use it. It is also used by 96% of the Fortune 500 companies.
These brands use Powtoon for marketing, training, HR, and more. It is a video creating tool to engage you, visitors. The software was first launched in 2012 and had proliferated since then. They now have offices in London, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Ukraine, and the Philippines.
If you can use PowerPoint, you will find Powtoon animation software easy to use. This video maker has all the features needed to amuse your visitors. It is quite cheap, and you don’t need to hire video experts to do it for you.
Powtoon’s Main Benefits
- Anyone with computer skills can use it since it is quite intuitive.
- Drag and Drop editor.
- It allows users to insert graphs and charts in their videos for more info.
- One can download videos in HD quality or export them to PPT or PDF format.
- Make all kinds of videos freely.
What is the Powtoon Slides?
Back in 2015, Powtoon developers released Powtoon Slides. This is a hybrid software that doubles up as a web-based slideshow presentation tool. Users can use this tool to add scenes, links, videos, and images, using their browsers. The stand-alone tool was later merged in the Powtoon package as one of the inbuilt tools. You can access Powtoon Slides under Presentation in the dashboard.
Powtoon Key Features
With Powtoon’s straightforward interface and users can create videos and slides with ease since it doesn’t have a steep learning curve. It has all the features of a pro video making software and helps users along the way if they get stuck. Whenever you use it for the first time, you can easily dismiss its features. What makes it unique is simplicity and power.
Premade Drag & Drop Templates
Powtoon animation software makes it easy for newbies who don’t have the skills to use animation software to create videos. It does this by offering premade templates for creating different kinds of videos. You can pick templates for making videos, infographic videos, ad videos, corporate videos, and many more. Users can create videos for all kinds of niche sectors. From business, lifestyle, HR, to IT, and more, with these drag and drop templates.
What gives marketers a hard time when creating videos is storytelling. If you can perfect the art of storytelling, you will succeed in all that you set your mind to. That is the power of storytelling in video making. To help you tell your story well, Powtoon has a feature called Storyboard. This feature allows users to layout their story visually by breaking them down into step:
- Call to Action
The outline will depend on the kind of video you want to create.
With Powtoon animation software, users get five different styles to center their videos around, and they include:
- Modern Edge
You can mix and match different styles per video, and you don’t need to use only one method. We often use two or more forms in our videos.
This is where the magic happens. Everything is centered on the Timeline feature. A set of slides make up a video just as it is shown in the above image. Each video can last up to 20 seconds.
When content is added to your slide, it appears at the bottom in your timeline. This is where choose when the material looks and disappears in your slide.
Here is an example; you can see that the microphone icon is set to appear at the 6.5-second mark. The headphone icon is set at the 10-second mark. This is the visual outline of the slide.
Graphics and icons
Generic stock photos were so last century. Nowadays, we use vector icons and emoji.
With Powtoon, users get thousands of graphics and icons to pick from. You can pick tech, people, food, nature, and many more things. Most of these icons and emoji even come with their videos.
Unlimited Royalty-Free Music
The wow factor is further enhanced in videos with music and voiceovers. Powtoon has the most extensive collection of pre-built music libraries and royalty-free music ever seen in any app. There are hundreds of music tracks and clips. These music clips are available in many genres too. When using Powtoon, it is straightforward to add soundtracks to your videos.
The video maker allows you to use your music by uploading or pick one from the built-in Library. To do this, you just have to click the Use button. After doing this, you will display where you can add a recording or voiceover and adjust the volume of the music.
Photos and images
Since Powtoon works with Flickr, the software offers users plenty of royalty-free images to pick from. They are unique photos that people have taken and uploaded on Flickr and not those generic stock pictures.
Powtoon integrates several apps and services, such as:
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Export and Share
Video creation in Powtoon can be presented in three ways:
- Direct upload to Facebook or Hosted in My Powtoons, YouTube, Vimeo or SlideShare
- Exported as an MP4, PDF or PPT file format
- Shared via Email, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn
How to Use Powtoon to Create Animated Videos in Easy Steps
Starting from scratch or with a template
Before you can start creating your own video, the first thing you need to do is sign up for a free account. This can also be done through Gmail or Facebook. You will be directed to the dashboard once you are done with the signup process. If there are any videos you’ve made, you will see them there. You will see a button to create your first video if it’s your first time using Powtoon animation software. You will be given a long list of templates once you click on the Create button. You can also select Start from Scratch.
Let’s choose Start from Scratch from the purpose of this guide. This will allow us to get the full idea of how its features work. Once you pick the Start from Scratch, the design tool will be seen on the screen. The thumbnail of your canvas will display on the left column. You can toggle between Movie and Slideshow mode on top. Ensure you have set to Movie mode if you want to create.
A blank canvas will display in the middle area, which gives you space to design your video. You will see a text field that allows you to name the video. Pick any name that relates to what you are creating. You will also see Undo and Redo buttons beside it. These buttons are used to revert or reapply any changes made. On the right column, you will be provided with different elements and resources for creating your video.
Customizing your video
Switching to Customize mode will allow you to use all the features of this tool. The Customize Mode is found on the top of the right pane. You will see an area on the left pane labeled Picto while in this mode. It is the default style for items under Objects and Library. Once you click on Picto, you will be given a list of several other methods, such as Work-Life, Soho Style, Marker Style, and more. The styles allow you to complement the items that you have picked from the Library and Objects icons.
Now, click on any of the icons, once you’ve chosen a style found on the far right edge. These icons include Layout, Background, Text, Library, Object, Graphs, Sound, and Media. Check if there are any predefined styles you would like to use when you pick your layout. The text, color, and Style of any layout design can be edited. Click on the Text button if you want to add some styled text. Once you do that, pick from the many maps that show in the gallery on the right pane. To add basic text, click on Add Title, Add Subtitle, or Add Body Text. The book is edited from the canvas. You can also add videos by clicking on the T icon that shows when text is clicked.
The Library icon has many characters, props, and objects that can be added to the canvas. The Library will be shown the elements from that specific Style depending on what you picked. If you chose the Marker style, you would see hand-drawn objects, as you can see below. The elements are usually animated.
Shapes and lines are other elements that you can add from the Objects library, graphs, sound, image, and files. Here is an example where the user has uploaded her avatar to use as a character for the video.
Organizing the timeline
You need to first place the red arrow in the timeline below the canvas to create a video. The seconds in that video are indicated by the numbers in that timeline. The red indicator will be on zero by default. Once you add an element, an icon will be added below the calendar. A T icon will be added below the timetable when you add a text. This shows that it’s now part of the video. When you click on the image below the timeline, you will assign the length of time that an element shows. The darkened portion will indicate the running time of that element. The playing time of a component is changed by adjusting the bars on the start to change the playing duration of an item.
Provided the elements are in the right order in the timeline, you can add as much as you want. The big play button on the bottom left will allow you to preview the video to see how it will look like if some elements appear or disappear to soon use its icon below the timeline to adjust its playtime. You can do the same if it stays longer than expected. By default, each movie is 10 seconds long.
But you can increase this time by clicking on the plus icon found on one end of the timeline. A second is added for each click on the plus sign in the video. Click on the Export button that is seen on top once you are through. The free account allows you to save the video in your Powtoon account so that you can upload to YouTube, Vimeo, or download the file as PDF.
Below we have listed a few examples of what can make on Powtoon. We will also give you ideas that will inspire you.
- “What is Google Voice?” This and explainer video made by Google’s voice. Google has perfected the art of making animated videos. This is clearly seen by how they have balanced between visuals and text. They have also used great voiceover and script.
- “Bus System.” This is also a great animated video that shows how the bus system can be reformed. It was created by a Powtoon user in the Philippines in English. You will enjoy how the user mixed characters and styles along with the perfect soundtrack.
Powtoon Chrome Extension
If you want to make your video in less than 10 minutes and for free, then what you need is the Chrome extension of Powtoon. The problem is that you won’t get as many features as you would in the paid version. It also has a few objects and characters.
You can download from here..
Powtoon Pricing and Plans
Powtoon has several payment plans:
These plans are what most people hook up with and is what you probably choose. There is one trick that Powtoon uses in its pricing. They lean so much on their annual subscription instead of monthly.
- Free Plan = FREE FOREVER
- Pro Plan = $27/month annually OR $89/month monthly
- Pro+ Plan $37/month annually OR $197/month monthly
- Agency Plan = $97/month annually (no monthly option)
They want people to subscribe annually; that is why monthly subscriptions are quite high compared to annual.
Here’s what we suggest:
If you want to taste the waters first to see what they offer, subscribe to the monthly package for one month. If you are happy with the services that they are offering, you can then go ahead and pay for the entire year.
This package is meant for schools. Powtoon allows learning institutions to buy Powtoon in bulk for their students.
- Student Plan = $4/month ($48/Billed Yearly)
- Teacher Plan = $6/month ($72/Billed Yearly)
- Classroom Plan $10/month ($120/Billed Yearly)
You can still go for the free plan; just know that you are going to get limited options.
With the business plan, you will get great features such as:
- 50GB/User to 1TB/User Unlimited Premium Exports
- Access to Advanced
- Corporate Training
- Full Animation Studio
- Admin Features
- Full Admin Capabilities
- Private Domain with 2FA & SSO
- Success Assurance
- Expense Allocation
- Free Org Admin License
To subscribe to the Business plan, you will have to contact them directly for a price quote. They also provide a free demo if you want.
You will know a good company with the help they offer to their customers. The problem with Powtoon is that they don’t provide direct calls in their favor.
The video maker has a vast library of tutorials and Help Desk content—these help in guiding you whenever you run into issues.
- Creating Powtoons
- Advanced Editing Tips
- Exporting Powtoons
- Account Management
- And more
Most of the questions that we had for them were answered through their Help Desk.
I will tell you straight that this is one place where Powtoon has failed their clients. In this modern era, where everyone expects a lightning first response to address pressing issues, Powtoon only offers email. Don’t expect phone support, chat, Twitter. You will have to submit a ticket then wait for them to respond. Luckily, they don’t long to respond to your email when you submit your ticket.
- Allows non-experts to easily make animated videos
- An alternative to slide decks
- Useful interface tool for adding custom images and voiceovers
- Many features
- Plenty of ready-made templates
- Easy to use
- Videos can be shared with the public
- The offline version of the animated video can be saved
- Cluttered Interface
- Limited collaboration features
- No snapping guidelines for aligning, centering
- Small watermarks in preparations
- It takes time to view presentation due to slow loading time
- If there are premium objects in your performance, you can’t export to your computer
Checkout quick video review on Powtoon
Source:- Jen Jonson
Conclusion: Powtoon Review
Powtoon has won the heart of many people despite the cons mentioned above. I think we love it because it’s fun making videos with it and your presentation will stand out. With this animated presentation plugin for WordPress, anyone can make video videos instead of using the old tiresome slide decks presentations. It does not require an expert to edit the videos even though this product is expensive. Powtoon is the best tool option for those looking to create using premade templates. They also offer a whole gallery of images making it easy to create videos. We hope that this Powtoon review has shade some light on the app.
Is Powtoon really free?
Powtoon has a free version, but its features are quite limited. This is the case with many other similar software.
Do you have any Powtoon examples I can see?
There are a few examples we have mentioned above that will be quite useful.
Does Powtoon have a mobile app?
At the moment, they don’t since it would be hard to do advanced editing mobile devices.
Do I have to download Powtoon?
No. Powtoon is wholly hosted online, meaning that you just have to sign up and start using it.
Does Powtoon have a free trial?
Since they offer a free version, there is no free trial. You can use the free version until you are sure you want to subscribe to get access to their advanced features.
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