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Vyond vs. Animaker: 5 Crucial Factors to Consider

review Apr 16, 2021
 

Is Vyond or Animaker the better animation tool? In this video, I’ll compare the two based on 5 key factors that you need to consider before you choose.

At the end of the video, you’ll have a much better overview of the possibilities and shortcomings of each tool, — and as a small bonus, I’ll give you my recommendations on what use-cases call for either Vyond or Animaker. 


Let’s get started!

 


 

I’m Rued Riis, I used to run an animation agency, and now I teach people how to create engaging videos with simple tools.

And it IS very important which tool you choose, cause you WILL spend time on learning either Vyond or Animaker, in this case. 

So;

I’ve selected 5 factors that I think you must consider when you’re about to choose your animation software; 

The factors are;

Aesthetics, Interface, Animations, Output, and Price.

I’ve divided the video into chapters, so it’s easy for you to jump directly to what you care most about.



Aesthetics

Look, style, stroke - whatever you call it, the way the characters, Props, and Scenes are designed is one of the most important factors to me. 

Why?

Because if the aesthetics of your animation maker is inherently bad, there’s nothing you can do to save your videos.

Vyond has 3 primary styles; Business Friendly, Whiteboard Animation, and Contemporary.

Business Friendly is a more human and detailed style, where facial expression is in focus. This style is where Vyond gets closest to Animakers style. 

Whiteboard animation is the second Vyond style, and it lets you create videos that look like they are hand-drawn. 

This style is super popular and some tools like VideoScribe and Doodly focus their entire product and business on this style.

The third Vyond style is Contemporary, which is my favorite. It’s flat, simple, and modern in its design. And it’s easy to customize to your own colors.

I think all 3 styles look great and professional enough to carry an explainer video, a course lesson or a YouTube video.

Then, it’s up to you to decide which one matches your brand the best.

I see some comments from subscribers of my YoutTube channel, [consider to become one], about Vyond’s characters not being human and customizable enough. 

This is where Animaker really has its strength. 

Animaker has done a great job in designing their Characters and also put a lot of effort into their design of scene backgrounds. 

It was actually the aesthetics of Animaker that first caught my attention; I was watching videos on Youtube one day when this Animaker ad showed up with an Indian mummy in need of an animation maker. 

I was pretty impressed with the looks of that ad and thought to myself that if the ad was made in Animaker itself, the tool deserved a fair chance.

So I signed up for the free version of Animaker to find out if it looked this great inside as well. 

What I realized was both impressive and disappointing. I found out that this ad was clearly not made in Animaker. But I also found out that the great aesthetics of the ad WAS part of Animaker. 

And even though Vyond has a good Character Creator, Animaker’s is next level and gives you a lot to work with in getting that character to look just like yourself.

To conclude on this point on Aesthetics, I’ll say that both tools have a good aesthetic sense, but I think Animaker’s Scene Backgrounds and Characters are a bit better in terms of their level of detail.



Interface

The biggest difference between Vyond and Animaker’s interface is that Vyond’s is static and Animaker is dynamic.

 

Let me explain;

In Vyond, the interface is as it is. Wysiwyg, you know? Yes, some libraries and panels appear and disappear when you click them, but all in all, the elements of the editor stay where they are. 

In Animaker, the interface was quite confusing to figure out at first. What you’ll notice is that top center is the option to toggle between Full and Lite mode. 

Smart, I thought - Lite is a stripped-down version of the editor, so beginners don’t get confused about the advanced features they don’t need until later. 

And that’s kind of what it is - “even a two-year old can use it”, Animaker claims, but regardless of your skill level (or age for that matter), it turns out you need to learn both modes.

For example, if you want to rearrange the order of your scenes, it seems like you can only do so in Lite mode. 

The Full mode shows you 3 Timelines (Animation Timeline, Video Timeline, and Camera Timeline) as well as 9 libraries (Templates, Characters, Props, Texts, Backgrounds, Images, Videos, Sounds, and Special Effects.)

The Full View appears to me like a hybrid between Toonly and Vyond - with Toonly’s Timeline and Vyond’s Panels. 

This is also the mode that I prefer to use Animaker in, because it gives more creative options — although, it IS much FASTER to work in Lite mode. 

The Lite mode essentially hides all libraries except the Scene Templates - and turns the Timeline into a Slideshow-looking Scenes Overview - similar to how VideoScribe’s Timeline looks like, actually.

In this Lite view, it’s super fast to choose a Template, add the different scenes to your video and customize the colors, characters and texts to your needs.

THIS is what they mean when these animation tools claim to enable you to make videos in minutes.

And to me, it seems like THIS is the right Interface for a tool like Animaker. The Full interface is a bit confusing and slow to work with, compared to Vyond, so if you choose Animaker, I’d focus on using the Lite mode and their Scene Templates as much as possible.

In conclusion on Interfaces, I prefer Vyond’s static and more standard layout that reminds me a lot of how regular video editing tools look like and work.

And then there are a couple of other interface “interferences” in Animaker that influence my final verdict, such as the lack of a Continue Scene function that makes longer sequences of story-telling a bit hard; that you can’t control the Playhead during Preview to check timing; and a general buggy feel like when I Preview in Lite mode, and afterwards all functionality is frozen - until I go to Full mode and back again. 

Let’s move on to the 3rd factor and what it's all about..



Animations

As these tools are animation makers, their ability to create animation is pretty essential. 

Both tools follow the basic logic that you can apply Enter and Exit effects to your objects, as well as Actions that loop again and again.

From Vyond, I’m used to seeing a lot of animated Props in addition to animated Characters. 

So, I was quite surprised to find a whole Prop library of static elements in Animaker. 

In essence, these are just illustrations - they’re not animated. You can add Enter and Exit effects as well as Motion Paths to them, but they don’t move by default like in Vyond. 

What Animaker does well, on the other hand, is to combine Character Actions and Props in their Actions. 

This means that where you would pick a person and a car and combine that in Vyond, you just find an Action where a person drives in a car in Animaker.

This might seem simpler, but it also limits you a bit in terms of what you can combine.

Speaking of animation, I love how Animaker’s Characters look so alive, by moving a bit all the time, blinking and changing facial expressions.

(although no one really behaves like this real life..)

Vyond’s Business Friendly Characters also blink a little, but that’s it.

So, in terms of animations, I think Animaker’s Characters are great, but Animaker still lacks a little on the explainer video side - I really miss the animated Props from Vyond. 

As a small consolation, Animaker has a Special Effects library, where you can add a lot of cool layers to your scenes - to add some animation that way around.

Other than these differences in how you add animated elements, the two tools are pretty similar in terms of Scene Transitions, Enter/Exit effects and Motion Paths.



Output

How do these two tools export videos? What comes out the other end, when you hit that export button to get your video file out of the program?

In Vyond, you can export your video as an mp4 file in two resolutions, 720 and 1080.

In Animaker, you also get your video as an mp4 file, but you can choose between a lot of resolutions, 480, 720, 1080, 2k and 4k, even.

Is 4k necessary? I don’t think so,.. only if you plan on showing your Animaker video in a cinema or something like that. 

In the export, both tools slab a watermark on your video, if you don’t pay them enough money. Vyond removes it when you go Premium, Animaker removes it when you go Basic.

A super cool thing that Animaker supports is Resizing your video. So, if you want to adapt it to fit on a mobile screen in a vertical format, Animaker can resize your video and lets you export it as a vertical video.

Vyond doesn’t do that, and it’s a feature I miss from a lot of these animation tools.

The workaround is to export horizontally, then crop out the sides, if it needs to go on Instagram, for example. 

But having this export feature built-in is something I really like about Animaker.

A quick conclusion on export is that they both do a good job in getting your story out of the tool as a finalized video. Animaker offers a few more resolutions, but what matters more is their ability to export in alternative formats, which I hope Vyond looks into some time soon.




Price

The quick run-down of the Pricing Plans for Vyond and Animaker goes like this;

Vyond offers a 14-day free trial, then you have to upgrade to one of 3 primary plans. First one is Essential, which lets you animate in the Whiteboard and Business Friendly style. Your videos export in 720p with a watermark. This plan is $49/month. 

Next step is the Premium plan. It removes the watermark, lets you export in 1080p and gives you access to live chat support and the Vyond community. This plan costs $89/month.

The third plan is Professional, which is the one I’m on. Why? Because I want to animate in the Contemporary style and use custom fonts in my YouTube videos and courses. The Professional plan is $159/month.

Animaker starts off a little differently and gives you a free trial that lasts forever. On this free trial, there are a lot of things you can’t do, like download your video in Full HD and remove the watermark, but all the basic features work so you can learn to use the tool well before you upgrade.

When you do, you can choose the Basic, Starter or Pro plan. The most important difference is the number of videos you can export. That’s right, there’s a limit on that with Animaker. 5, 10 or 20 videos per month. 

For unlimited downloads, you need the Enterprise plan, and to know the price for that, you have to contact Animaker. So you know it’s expensive.

The regular plans aren’t; they’re $20/month for Basic, $35/month for Starter and $79/month for Pro.

It’s clear to see that Vyond charges more for their plans, but you have to consider what you need specifically and evaluate what tool and plan fits that need.

So it’s not as simple as just picking the cheaper option - you need to consider the time, you’ll spend on your videos, the output you’ll get, the licenses you need and all that. 

I’ve linked to both Pricing Pages below so you can check up on the details that matter to you.



Bonus Factor: Use Cases

Let’s move beyond how each tool works and talk about what use-cases Animaker and Vyond are better for, respectively.

In general, I think Vyond is better for explainer videos, and Animaker is better for short social media clips.

Vyond is a more full-fledged animation maker that you can produce professional animation videos in — and with an easy interface and contemporary animation style, it’s also suited for professional use; for example for learning and development professionals, freelance video makers and course creators.

Animaker is split between animation and live-video functionality. Half of the tool is built around animation, and half is built as kind of a GIF-maker slash SoMe video creator.

This is great for content managers of social channels like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok - but for something like a course or an explainer video for external marketing purposes, I don’t think it’s the best tool. 

IF you want to create complete explainers in Animaker, I’d stick to a simple combination of Backgrounds and Characters. These two categories fit well together in terms of visual style, and the stroke is clean and professional. 

I’d let the Characters Lip-Sync to a voice-over and change the environment every 3-5 seconds, or so. If you go too far beyond this simple format, you’ll expose Animaker’s mix of different styles and limitations in terms of animations.

But, if you want to produce short “thumb-stopping” content for mobile primarily, I’d go for Animaker, as they have the dimensions in place already and lots of templates to choose from for that use case. 

Animaker is actually moving in all kinds of directions, now introducing a text-to-speech tool [which is actually decent] and a Presentation builder, which is basically just their animation tool without animations.

I think they are diluting their product a bit - doing too many things at once.

My overall conclusion is that I’ll stick with Vyond because it’s better for what I use it for - but Animaker is the contestant that comes closest to being a serious alternative.

If you want to try out one of these tools yourself, you’ll support this channel if you sign up through one of the links below this video. 

Thanks for reading, and remember to take care of yourself and those around you.

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