In case you don’t know, Explaindio is software that allows you to create video presentations incorporating HD video, animated slides and whiteboard animation, all from one dashboard.
I must admit to not being particularly impressed with the first version of the software, which was released more than two years ago.
I thought it was a bit ‘clunky’ and the videos it produced looked a little ‘amateurish’.
However, version 2 was a huge improvement.
The base product was essentially re-written to increase performance and make the user interface more intuitive.
It also came with a lot of new features, such as ‘sketch to video’, animation points, dynamic zoom, solid text sketching and object rotation.
Now version 3 has arrived and it comes with a host of new and very ambitious features.
This video gives you a good overview of the features Explaindio 3 offers. I will then review them in detail…
Now let’s run through the principal new features in Explaindio 3…
Explaindio 3 comes with 180 pre-set text animations and 140 pre-set video, image and sketch animations to use as the starting point for your projects.
For example, some of the animations included are slide in, zoom, bounce, skew, rotate, jump, spring, float and many more.
You apply these by simply selecting the object (image or text) and clicking on the animation you want.
The software allows you to add an entry animation and an exit animation for each object and control when these happen in the project and the speed of the animation.
You can also ‘fine-tune’ all aspects of an animation, such as how high a ‘bounce’ is.
The addition of these pre-sets makes the creation of projects so much simpler and quicker.
Most software of this type is ‘sequential’ i.e. you can only have one object being animated at any one time.
Multi-timeline editing in Explaindio 3 changes that and it is a very significant enhancement to the software.
Each object (text, image or video) that you add to the canvas has its own entry on the ‘timeline’.
If you have used video editing software, such as Camtasia, you will be very familiar with this concept.
You can edit each object on the timeline individually, to determine when it enters and exits the canvas and how long any animation takes to complete.
This means that you can ‘overlap’ the animation of objects.
For example, you could have a business name being written at the same time as a logo image is introduced.
Or you could have one image appearing on the canvas at the same time as another one is leaving it to demonstrate a ‘before and after’ situation.
Or (and this is big) you could introduce an object (image or text), leave it on-screen while multiple other objects are added and then have it exit the canvas.
This opens up huge potential for creating very sophisticated animation effects. Imagine having multiple images coming onto or leaving the canvas at the same time.
Key frame animation
I really like this one!
In essence, it allows you to create a very close approximation to ‘true’ animation of objects.
Here’s how it works…
You add an object to the canvas. Let’s say it’s a background image of a cloudy sky.
You select the object and click the ‘add frame’ button.
This creates a duplicate of the object – called a ‘key frame’ – which you can then move around the canvas.
Here, we could move the cloudy background slightly to the right of the original.
The software creates a ‘path’ between the two versions of the object.
When ‘play’ is pressed, Explaindio will ‘move’ the object from its initial position to the key frame position you have added.
In this case, the cloudy sky image will move to the right, giving the impression of clouds moving across the sky.
You can create multiple key frames for an object.
For example, we could add the image of an eagle on top of our cloudy sky background, initially off the canvas to the right.
We can then create multiple key frames for our eagle at various points across the canvas, finishing with one off the canvas to the left.
When we press ‘play’, the eagle will appear to fly in from the right, move across the canvas from key frame to key frame and fly out on the right.
Utilising the multi-timeline feature, we can have these two animations happening at the same time, so that the eagle flies in and out while the clouds are moving in the background.
As well as simply moving an object, you can also make changes to it at each key frame.
For example, we could re-size our eagle to make it slightly bigger at each key frame.
This would make it look like the eagle was flying from the left towards the viewer before disappearing to the right.
This is very impressive, but you can take it further.
Explaindio supports GIF files.
If you don’t know, GIF files are simple, very short, animated image files.
For example, we could import a GIF of an eagle flapping its wings.
Activating the GIF in the software means that our eagle now flaps its wings as it moves across the canvas.
The result is something akin to true animation.
The possibilities for this feature, combined with multi-timeline editing, are as exciting as they are endless.
As just one example, you could combine these features to have an object appear on the canvas then, at some future point, have it move to another point (or multiple points) on the canvas and finally, at another future point, have it exit the canvas.
Very, very cool!
‘Morphing’ is where you specify two objects, such as images and text, and the software creates an animation whereby the first object ‘morphs’ into the second one.
For example, we could take our eagle image from above and add, say, an image of a man.
Then, instead of flying off-canvas, the eagle could fly in and transform into a man.
Or it could fly in and transform into text, such as ‘Eagle Investments’.
Also very, very cool, especially combined with key frames and multi-timeline editing.
Support for genuine 3D animation
This is very impressive, since 3D animation software is usually very specialised and, hence, very expensive.
3D ‘presenter’ characters have been catching on recently and have become popular in mainstream marketing, mainly because they are ‘new’.
You are not able to create 3D characters and objects from inside Explaindio, but you can import them from other sources and incorporate them into you videos.
There is a ‘but’ here.
Explaindio will only accept 3D objects in something called ZF3D format, restricting the ones you can use.
(One of the upsells is a piece of software that will convert other 3D file formats into ZF3D format.)
You can select from a library of PowerPoint-style transitions (e.g. wipe, dissolve) to move from one scene in your project to the next.
Import video clips in a wide variety of formats
You can now video import files in AVI, WMV, FLV, MOV and MP4 formats. Previously, only MP4 was an option.
Full Pixabay and Youzign integration
You can now search and pull in images from Pixabay.com, which is a huge source of free stock photos.
Youzign is a very popular (paid-for) graphics editor. The images you create there can now be pulled directly into Explaindio.
Whilst you could do this manually, it is a nice little extra convenience.
Other enhancements in Explaindio 3 include undo and redo buttons, the ability to import any MP4 files (previously had to be 24fps) and more ‘realistic’ hand sketching (previously looked a bit ‘wooden’).
During the launch window, you can pick up Explaindio 3 for $57 a year for personal use.
If you want to create videos for other people as part of your business, you can instead opt for the developer license for $69 a year.
This is very good value since most software only offers developer rights as a significant upsell.
Now I know that a lot of people (me included) prefer to pay a one-off fee for software, rather than a subscription.
However, this is one case where I believe the subscription model is justified.
If software is going to be supported and developed over the long-term, the money has to come from somewhere.
Too much software is released onto the market at a low one-off fee with the aim of making a lot of money quickly.
Once that money is pocketed, there is nothing left for taking the product forward in the future.
Explaindio version 1 was released for a one-off fee.
However, to their credit, the owners realised this was not a sustainable business model if the software was going to survive and thrive.
Hence, version 2 was available by subscription only.
And the pay-off can be seen in the scale of the enhancements in this version 3, which are truly ground-breaking.
I didn’t like Explaindio 1.
I thought Explaindio 2 was much better, but probably didn’t quite justify the annual subscription.
I love Explaindio 3.
To my mind, the new multi-timeline, key frame animation and morphing features put Explaindio streets ahead of any other software in a similar price bracket.
Indeed, I think it’s an absolute bargain at the launch price of $57 a year.
What about the inevitable upsells?
There are 4 but all are genuinely optional.
The first is the ‘Template Club’
This provides a new batch of background scenes, sketch images, stock video clips and stock images each month.
You can pay $19 a month or buy blocks of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months of membership at increasing discounts.
Whether you go for this will depend on how many videos you create and whether you intend to create videos for clients with varying requirements.
The second upsell is the 3D file converter I mentioned previously for $47 a year.
This essentially takes 3D files in any format and converts them into the ZF3D format required by Explaindio.
Of course, this is only worth getting if you intend to make a lot of use of 3D animations.
The third upsell is 200+ 3D video intros and outros for $97 or (as a downsell) 100+ for $47.
I have seen a small sample of these and they do look very impressive.
However, whether you get them will depend on your requirements and whether you want to impress paying clients with them.
The final upsell is 700 scene transitions for $97 or (as a downsell) 350 for $47.
A selection of transitions is included in the base product so I think this will mainly be of interest to people who want to maximise the portfolio they can offer to clients.
I really like this new Explaindio.
I am already having a lot of fun playing around with all the things it can now do and I will certainly be using it in my video projects going forward.
If you create videos as part of your business, it is a worthy addition to your toolbox.
Bonus 1: 1,000+ Vector Image Pack
This huge bundle of vector images is ideal for use in whiteboard animation.
The images come in both SVG (vector) and PNG format and cover dozens of topics including Business, Badges, People, Family, Money, Sports, Transport, Medicine and many, many more.
Bonus 2: 101 Music Tracks
Never be short of backing music to add to your video projects with this huge collection of 101 tracks varying in length from 20 seconds to 2 minutes.
There is a wide variety of styles and moods, so you are sure to find something suitable, whatever the topic of your video.
Bonus 3: 25 Dynamic Video Backgrounds
These abstract HD motion video backgrounds will provide an air of professionalism to any video project.
Bonus 4: 50 Halloween Images
With Halloween fast-approaching, these royalty-free stock images will provide a festive air to your video (or any other) projects.
Bonus 5: 50 Thanksgiving Images
Thanksgiving is not far away and these themed royalty-free stock images will provide a suitable background to your video (or any other) projects.
Bonus 6: Vector Image Bundle
If 1,000+ is not enough for you, you will find even more vector images, ideal for use in whiteboard animation, in this huge bundle.
The images come in both SVG (vector) and PNG format and cover a wide range of topics including Business, People, Family, Money, Sports and many more.
Bonus 7: 500+ Icons Pack
This huge collection of high-definition icons in PNG format includes a wide array of different topics including business, tools, pets, people, websites and more.
Use them as images in your video projects, on your website or anywhere else they will add a touch of flair.
Bonus 8: Transport SWF Bundle
This collection of professionally drawn animated SWF files includes cars, trucks, school buses, emergency vehicles and more.
Use them to add ‘Oomph’ to your video (or any other) projects.
You will find instructions for accessing bonuses 1 to 8 inside the JVZoo Customer Portal after you have made your purchase.
In addition, the Explaindio team has provided these additional bonuses…
Bonus 9: GIF Animator
This nifty little software tool will create animated GIF images from static images you provide it with.
Bonus 10: Panorama Photo Stitcher
This clever piece of software will take a set of images you provide it with and ‘stitch’ them together to create a panorama effect.
Bonus 11: 2D Animation Studio
Add images in vector or bitmap format and this software will allow you to link them together to create simple animations.
Bonus 12: Easy Web Builder
This desktop app creates web pages with drag and drop ease, no HTML or coding knowledge required.
If you can use a word processor, you can use Easy Web Builder.
Bonus 13: SC Video Editor
This simple video editor will allow you to add multiple video clips with transitions to produce a composite video.
Bonus 14: Screen Marker
Load up this desktop software and you can make notes over most applications running on your computer.
It’s great for presentations or training where you want to highlight things or add explanatory annotations.
Bonus 15: Compositor 2.0
This simple composing tool allows you to quickly compose and produce video projects without having to resort to more complicated alternatives.
Bonuses 9 to 15 will be available inside the Explaindio member’s area.
In conclusion, I think Explaindio 3 represents a huge step forward from previous releases.
In particular, the addition of multi-timeline editing, combined with key frame animation and morphing provide endless scope for creativity in video creation.
‘Taking things to the next level’ is an over-worked and generally exaggerated phrase.
However, when comparing Explaindio 3 with prior versions, I think it is apt.
I don’t know of any other software that provides so much functionality at anywhere close to this affordable price point.
On top of that, it is a whole lot of fun to use.
If you create videos in your business, I thoroughly recommend that you check it out before the launch offer closes…