I love your video "Jotform Dropbox Video" - how was this done?

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    Asked on March 22, 2011 at 02:26 PM

    Hi All.

    First of all I would like to congratulate to a terrific product! Jotform makes it fun and easy to create forms.

    My question might be off the subject but I would really like to know how your video Jotform Dropbox video was produced. What software did you use?

    Any tips and tricks is very much appreciated.

    Milion thanks in advance

    Sincerely yours,


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    Answered on March 23, 2011 at 08:49 AM

    Hi Sammet! Thank you for your kind words.

    Here's the process for our video:

    Initially, we did some meetings and decided on the "narrative", the "style" and the "feel" of the video. After that, I sketched some character drawings and chose a fitting candidate(John) for the animation. Then, I did some study drawings and several poses for "John" to better acquaint myself with him while we were writing the script at the same time.

    This is where the actual production began. First, I scanned some sketches I thought I would use and redrew them in the Adobe Illustrator(1) as vector images.

    After the drawing stage was done, I quickly did a mock-up voice-over to the script in order to know when&where everything will go in the composition.  Next, I fired up the Adobe After Effects(2) and the sleepless nights began. I put every piece in their respective places and animated them accordingly.

    Finally, we hired our dear Melissa Moats for the actual voice-over. I made some timeline adjustments according to her rhythm, rendered the composition as a .mp4 file, and uploaded it to Vimeo. 

    If you're after more details, I've decided to post this reply as a blog post along with more details. Stay tuned at our blog.


    Points & Tips

    I find using vector graphics to be a good practice here for two main reasons:


    1. Vectors can create much smoother lines, which would promote the idea of simplicity, a key asset in our video. I would also like to note here that having a drawing tablet really hastens up this stage of production.
    2.  The ease of scaling vectors, which in turn led to a better staging in the later stages of production by enabling a wider range of camera movements without loss of quality. Imagine zooming the camera into a bitmap image. That would look really bad.


    It is especially useful to have some background knowledge on the subject of animation. "The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation", a book, commonly referred as the "bible" of the industry, contains the 12 basic principles of animation. These principles have become generally adopted in any given kind of animation regardless of medium; some more subtly than others, some more obviously, some even none but they are always there. An explanation can be found at this great Wikipedia article.


    (1) I don't know your familiarity with the subject so i felt the need to elaborate. Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor, as opposed to bitmap graphics editors such as Adobe Photoshop. A brief explanation of the differences can be found here

    (2) Again, feeling the need to elaborate. Adobe After Effects is a layer-oriented video editing software where every element has its own timeline in contrast to more consumer based products such as iMovie where there is usually a single timeline which cannot be occupied by two elements at the same time. Hence, a layer-oriented approach is a must for productions such as ours