Create Animated Visuals with these Quick & Easy Tools

The ability to create animated visuals has become an important skill for marketers, with short video becoming more important on just about every newsfeed.  

In this post I show you 4 quick and easy tools to help you create animated visuals in no time at all!

Vintage Filmstrip by Melinda Nagy on Shutterstock

Whether you are posting content on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter (or even LinkedIn), video has become hugely important to catch attention and drive engagement on newsfeeds.

  • Facebook is giving huge reach to video.
  • Instagram gives you multiple opportunities to showcase video on the newsfeed and in stories
  • Twitter has always been a great place to share video.
  • With square video, you have the chance to take up more space on the newsfeed, especially on Twitter and Facebook. And now, we have vertical video that works well on Instagram Stories and even Facebook’s newsfeed.

It’s no surprise that it’s predicted that by 2021, 80% of all Consumer IP traffic will be video. Especially when not so long ago we had it predicted that 80% of internet traffic will be video by 2019.

I think we can concede that video traffic is going to be high (80% perhaps!).

But as important as video is for capturing attention, reach and engagement, video production can be intimidating for many business owners.

I see so many business owners avoiding video altogether because it’s all too hard.  A great stepping stone that will help you get started is to create animated visuals.

These are short snippets of video up to about 3- 30 seconds that grab attention on the newsfeed (even up to a minute). I’s not too long to lose our attention.

Animated visuals can also be less intimidating to create than video. Animation is really about combining drawings, photographs, text, or computer graphics together into moving pictures.

And don’t worry – you don’t have to be Walt Disney. I am not talking about full length animated features.  This is about short snippets of video. I wrote about animated GIFs previously. But for this post, I wanted to focus on tools that produce MP4 or MOV animated video files.

And the good news is that many of the tools that allow you to do this don’t require you to do “face to camera” or extensive editing.  They are easy to create and easy to share.

Let’s take a look at a few of the tools to easily and quickly create animated visuals.

4 Tools to Easily and Quickly Create Animated Visuals

1  Adobe Spark Post

Adobe Spark Post is a great place to start as it’s one of the easiest tools to use, if you want to get started with creating animated visuals.

Just bear in mind, you can’t do animations on the desktop version, only the app, so it’s more for creating quick animations on the fly – when you want a simple, basic animation. Adobe Spark Post is available on your browser as well as mobile, but the animation function is available only on the iOS mobile app.

It’s as simple as creating an image and then choosing the animation function.  Once you create your image in Adobe Spark Post then you can choose an animation style by clicking the “Animation” image on the bottom right, as follows:

How to animate images using adobe spark - Create Animated Visuals with These Quick and Easy ToolsHere’s an example of a completed animated image:

There are only a few animation styles to choose from, but to me that keeps it simple – and simple is what you want if you want to produce animated visuals, easily and quickly.

2  Ripl

Ripl is another basic tool for creating animated images.  It’s available on iOS and Android and lets you create animated visuals that are longer in length than Adobe Spark Post.

You can choose from a large selection of designer templates to create slideshows, collages and more (without any design skills).

It’s easy to add photos, choose a font, and select music to suit your brand.  Then you simply create a slideshow that the app will convert into a video.

You can also:

  • Get recommendations targeted to your particular business in the recommendations tab.
  • Share in one click to post to your social media accounts.
  • Get real-time analytics to track engagement of Ripl posts and other social posts.

You can also:

  • Get recommendations targeted to your particular business in the recommendations tab.
  • Share in one click to post to your social media accounts.
  • Get real-time analytics to track engagement of Ripl posts and other social posts.

Here’s an example:

The resulting videos are optimized for Facebook and Instagram and the square format is perfect for taking up real estate on the newsfeed.   Some of the templates just allow you to animate one image and text, whereas others allow you to modify the text on every slide, adding multiple slides.

You can showcase your business, take us on a tour,  go behind the scenes, give a tip, or highlight your products and services:

 

Ripl offers a range of templates and if you want more features, you can upgrade to Pro for $9.99/month (paid annually).

With Pro you get some added features like:

  • 200+ premium designs (compared to 10 designs)
  • ability to upload more personal photos into the app
  • 140+ additional fonts
  • 250+ music tracks
  • ability to use your own music
  • ability to upload your own logo
  • ability to schedule posts in one click

For quick, easy to create (on your mobile) social images, Ripl can be a handy tool in your toolkit.

3 Crello Animation Maker

Crello Animation Maker is great for making easy animated designs that take very little effort (without design skills). It’s a step up from Adobe Spark Post and Ripl in terms of creative functionality, and you can check it out here.

Here’s a quick overview of how it works:

You can use templates that are already animated, but it also features animated objects. You can search on dozens of them, switch these out of templates, or create your own animation from scratch, adding text to finish it off.

Here’s what you can do with Animation Maker:

  • add animated objects to photos and animated templates
  • combine animated backgrounds with photos
  • resize your video designs (square and landscape)
  • choose between animated formats – Full HD (Facebook Ad size), square animation or Facebook Cover
  • create custom animated templates by adding and moving elements in your design

It’s a handy tool for creating eye-catching short video posts that stand out on the timeline!  It costs $9.99 per month to get creative with this animation tool!

4  Animatron Lite (From Animatron Studio)

Before we talk about Animatron Lite I want to mention Animatron Studio itself which is part of the package when you purchase Animatron Studio.

Animatron Studio is a powerful tool that helps you to create HTML5 and video animations – from explainer videos to whiteboard-style animations to HTML5 banners and animations and stunning presentations.

Here’s a quick overview of Animatron Studio:

You can do a free trial here and it starts at $15 per month billed annually, including the full Animatron Studio and Animatron Lite mode. It features:

  • thousands of free, pre-animated characters, backgrounds and props.
  • several professionally designed and themed infographics, icons and animated sets to help you build “scenes” quickly and easily.
  • the ability to import, place and edit your own graphics, photos, audio and video content.
  • easy annotations – you can annotate, splice, combine or overlay all of your media right on to the canvas.
  • Animated text and branding elements can be added in a flash.
  • Extensive customisation possibilities – you can change basic shapes or fully-animated characters.. reshape, recolor or edit any piece of content from the marketplace assets. It’s even possible to change the animations!

Animatron is used by professionals and novices alike. However, Animatron saw a need for making it easier for those of us that are more at the novice end of the scale vs the professional end…

Enter Animatron Lite.

Animatron Lite is designed to be an easier, quicker way of using Animatron – perfect for newbies like me! As I said, it’s part of your subscription to Animatron Studio.

Here’s an overview of how it works:

As you can see, there are some key differences in Animatron Lite that makes it a great jumping-in point for Animatron Studio if you have no experience. It’s also a quick option for professionals looking to use a simple option for creating animations quickly:

  • Create animations with drag-and-drop
  • Large Marketplace filled with free content
  • Professional looking animations in just 10 min
  • Engaging animated videos and presentations

Lite mode is straightforward and easy to work with.The marketplace has just about every theme you could think of, so you can create animated videos on any topic. Just like Animatron you can also add your own images, audio, video as well as logos and files.

You can share your content directly on social media or download as a GIF or video file to wow your audience.

Animatron Lite is a great option if you want to get started with Animation and is probably the most comprehensive tool for creating animated visuals in this list – as it makes full animated videos (even explainer videos) vs just animated images. Of course you can create short snippet videos if you want to!

However, the best part about Animatron Lite is that you can easily start with the basics and then later access the full Animatron machine to do more – your subscription includes both!  

Over to You

Now that you have these easy-to-use tools to play with, you can create visual content for social media posts in a snap. 

Tell me, are you creating animated visuals for your social media? What tools are you using? 

Create Animated Visuals with these Quick & Easy Tools

Your Turn

Ready to create some animated visuals?  

What tools are you already using to create animated visuals?

Let me know in the comments below. 

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, winner of Best Business Blog in Australia 2014 and a Top 10 Social Media Blog for Social Media Examiner, 2015-2017. She helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.