Creating an animated video is a great option for teams that can’t meet in person to film a scene together.

Here are some resources to help you make one!

Animation Styles

Stop Motion

This is a style of animation where objects are physically moved in small increments. A picture is taken after each movement, and when all those pictures are put together, you see the objects in motion.

What you'll need:
  • Camera, smartphone or tablet to take photos
  • Stop motion program to animate photos
Recommended programs:

Computer Illustrated

Computer animation apps let you draw objects directly in the program or select from pre-made illustrated objects. Then, you can manipulate how those objects change or where they are located in the frame to create animation.

What you'll need:
  • Animation program
Recommended programs:*

*These programs may require a purchase or subscription to unlock certain features. Before choosing a program, please do your own independent review to confirm it will meet your needs.

White Board

This style of animation is done by filming live drawing on a white board (or paper). The drawing process takes a long time, so the video is played back at a much faster speed to give it an animated feel. This style can also be accomplished digitally by using the same type of programs used for computer illustrated animations.

What you'll need:
  • Camera, smart phone or tablet to take video
  • Simple video editor to change the playback speed of your video recording
Recommended programs:

Static Image

This simple style of animation is done by displaying still images and playing recordings of dialog or narration. Using a video editor you can combine images with your audio recordings. This style can also be accomplished digitally by using the same type of programs used for computer illustrated animations.

What you'll need:
  • Camera, smart phone or tablet to take pictures
  • Simple video editor to combine images with audio recordings
Recommended programs:
Tips for Creating a Good Animated Video

Create a storyboard.

Before you start writing your script or creating your animation, you should plan what is going to happen in each scene with our storyboard template. If you aren’t meeting in person, this is a great way to make sure everyone agrees on what is going to happen in each part of the video.

Watch past submissions.

Watching other videos is a great way to help you decide specific elements you want to incorporate (or avoid) in your video. The Math Video Challenge Video Spotlight includes a number of animated submissions from past years, as does our Animated Video Spotlight

Record dialogue multiple times.

Recording multiple takes of each line of dialogue will give you more options to work with when you are editing your video together. This is especially important if team members are each independently recording their own parts of dialogue.

Make sure your audio is clear.

One advantage of making an animated video is having more control over the audio quality since you can record dialogue wherever you want. Pick somewhere quiet, turn off anything that makes noise and make a test recording. Listen to the test recording to see if there are any adjustments you need to make to your recording equipment or environment, and then start your real recording.

Don't be afraid to keep it short.

It can take more time to create an animated video than a filmed one. Although 5 minutes is the maximum length for video submissions, there is no minimum length. Some of the best animated submissions have only been 3 or 4 minutes long.

This resource is also available as a download.