If you’ve looked into creating video for your product or service, you have probably explored the idea of do it yourself animation.

We are always faced with “off the shelf” or “do it yourself” solutions to animations.

So, we explored just how easy it is, and what can you expect from these apparent solutions?

The Do it yourself Argument.

Video can be expensive. And whilst there is good reason for this, it can be hard to warrant the expense.

With animation, you have to remember that each of the steps have to be scripted, conceptualised, sequenced, drawn, and even audio needs to be created amongst other things.

Animation Chaos

This takes time and more importantly, specialised skills to get right.

So, when someone offers you an easy, and even free solution to this, it seems like to might be worth exploring, no?

There are a number of online services that offer a do it yourself video solution, and with technology moving forward as quickly as it is, the possibility of these being cheap easy and effective definitely seems plausible.

The Problems with Do It Yourself

As with anything that seems to be too good, the do it yourself animation services are limited.

You get the graphics they have in stock, and of those you only get what you pay for. Which if you’re on a really tight budget and are going ‘free’, isn’t much.

Whilst they claim to make it easy, you still have to teach yourself how to use their software, which whilst fairly self-explanatory, takes time.

You then have to actually make the video. Which again takes time! So, whilst you may be thinking ‘wahoo! Free!’ you have to ask yourself, how much is your time worth? Perhaps you have an intern, and time is almost free. But likely as not, you yourself will be heavily involved in the process. Do you have a week or two to spend making a video?

On top of this, you may have come up with an awesome idea, and decided to realise it. You won’t be able to do that with an off the shelf option. There won’t be the graphics, so you will necessarily have compromise on your idea to make it fit into the available templates, with the available graphics.

Finally, the entire point of making an animated video to be part of your marketing, is to stand out. Video is now hugely popular, to cut through the noise you have to something a little bit different, something exciting and attention grabbing. You aren’t going to get that from a Do it Yourself website.


  • Cheap (potentially free)
  • It can be quick.


  • Limited graphics
  • Time consuming process
  • Your video won’t stand out
  • You won’t be able to realise your great ideas fully

Let’s Take a Look at a Couple of Do It Yourself Companies.


This is a fun, self-service animation site. The first package is free, and has a range of graphics including 17 free characters. To get the best results you will want to upgrade to their business package at $59 per month.

They have a number of templates you can use to generate your video which you can customise to suit your purpose, or if you’re feeling adventurous you can start from scratch. Either way though, they suggest you create your script first off.

You will want to have a look through their example video pages to see the kind of videos that you can create.


A close competitor to Powtoon, with similar price points, with their business package coming in at $49 pm, or $39 if you bill annually. With similar graphics. You can also, as with Powtoon upload your own voice over and images if you want. Or they have a selection for you to use.

The free version comes with 6 characters available. Which obviously doesn’t leave a lot of space for imagination.

On both of these there are some really great features, but it’s a slow and tedious process to get it all together, and without upgrading your account it’s impossible to create anything truly unique and captivating.


This is a slightly different kettle of fish. Not an animation service. Instead, what it allows you to do is easily convert your blog posts into short summary videos.

What’s it good for?

This is quite a new service, and is for the moment, free. Perfect for quickly and easily creating short video with limited text and catchy images. You can upload your own images and audio if you want.

What isn’t it good for?

Anything else. It is an immensely clever service that automatically generates your video for you identifying keywords and sourcing imagery from selected free image sites like Unsplash, but beyond this…


Having played around with a few of these sites we were quite impressed by the results. However, the limitations frustrated us no end. These do it yourself services are reasonably versatile. But there were just so many things we couldn’t do on them. So many ideas we couldn’t achieve.

You get what you pay for, and with these you’ll find yourself quickly wanting to upgrade your packages. On top of this, if you are wanting to use your own graphics, you will need to employ a graphic designer or illustrator. For a professional video you are going to need to professionally produce the audio; incurring extra costs. Combined with your own time, it all adds up.

If you want a video to impress, if you want to create something that stands out. And to actually realise the full potential of your ideas, these options are too limited to be any real help.

If however, you need something quick, something for a specific purpose, like giving a lecture or presentation, and you want to do something out of the norm, then this could be an option worth exploring.