Time Lapse Videos - Whiteboard animations

Explain business in minutes!
The flow of drawing will charm.
This is what Time Lapse Animations can do!
…and many more!

If these problems are familiar:

  • Colleagues are bored of Power-Point,
  • Corporate communications became conventional, 
  • Key messages need to be told over and over again, 
  • Managers cannot be everywhere to talk to everyone,
  • There is a high chance that words get lost,
  • It would be great to measure visits and engagement…

…then: apply motion pictures:

and create your Time Lapse Animations!

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I want to know more!

Time Lapse Animations, also known as White-board movies, or Explainer Videos are known from the world of filmmaking. The name of the genre means “condensed time”, where the delivery of the complex message is based on motion pictures (usually the record of the drawing process), the voice over, and animations. Time lapse is known for:

  • Unique presentation tool,
  • Modern and at the same time it is deeply “handmade” product,
  • Important messages can be delivered easily,
  • The audience can replay the film any time with no extra cost,
  • Applies the simplicity and the power of drawing és in conveying messages,
  • An excellent chance for audience measurement.

Proven solutions  for:

  • Describing simply highly complex issues,
  • Strengthening Corporate Branding,
  • Explaining value-creation, the need for transformation and the new strategy,
  • Introduction of new systems in the Company,
  • Transmission of knotty educational content or problem-solving.

Frequently Asked Questions:

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1. What are Time Lapse Videos?

Time Lapse videos (also known as “White-board Animations, or Explainer Videos) are short (usually in between 2-10 minutes)  motion picture films, is a film-making tool-system. The recorded process of the real hand-made drawing are combined, “speeded-up” to the spoken narrative.  Motion pictures are shortened (hours or often days of drawings recorded in studio) to the few minutes of the highly concentrated words of the story. Dramaturgy and film technology, enabling the audience to understand and embrace the complex message supported by visuals. Every image, word and movement is consciously designed in our videos. Motion pictures can effectively distribute complex issues in minutes across the organisation. Words and images aligned in synchronicity shall powerfully convey your Leadership messages.  

However Time Lapse Animation is a way different solution from the traditional, real time services of Grafacity Visual Services, like Visual Recording, or Live illustration: there is a strong common thread: the visual interpretation, which without animations would exist. Words need to be transformed into images. Besides this both operate in the “experience-business”, to enchant audience by the emergence of “real time” drawings in front of their eyes. 

2. What established process does Grafacity follow?

Our Proven Film-making Process for Time Lapse Videos:

  1. Understanding of your message, goals (intentions), circumstances, target audience and all important aspects.
  2. We create the first skeleton of the story (script) and the draft the visual elements (possibly in workshop setting),
  3. Narrative is created or edited (as needed),
  4. Script 2.0 version: where each sentence is enriched with further elaborated instructions for voice over actor, the animators, voice editors, illustrators, the producer, and so on,
  5. Client need to Confirm the Script (finalisation, fine-tuning),
  6. Casting the right voice over actor,
  7. Voice-over is recorded in voice-studio,
  8. DRAWING is recorded In film-studio under cameras and pro lighting,
  9. The first, RAW version of the film is edited and sent for feedback,
  10. Animations, voice effects, are made and inserted into movie,
  11. FINISHING / After-works: lightning, post-synchronisation, final editing,
  12. Final rehearsal,
  13. Premier in the Company
  14. Performance back test. .

The process might be simple, but in reality it is rather more complex…  We can create the row material or the recorded raw drawing process for the Time Lapse Videos: traditionally the analogue drawing is recorded in the studio (ie: Rossmann MUVI), or we can draw digitally on an I pad or Wacom tablet.  In order to capture the digital drawing we record the process with a Screen Capture” technology. The drawing hand won’t be visible, so no need studio lighting for the record.
The speaking actors (speaking heads), voice over and the editing still needs a physical studio. (ie: ASHOKA moovie)

The Wacom board is essentially a pressure sensitive digital device and a special Stylus connected to a PC, enabling the user to draw in the drawing software of the computer just as if it was drawn or painted on paper with a pencil, marker or a paintbrush. The drawing process is recorded by the Screen Capture software running on the computer. The drawing hand cannot be seen on the records. Both methods generate large video files that are later edited and speeded up to fit to the soundtrack recorded and edited in a studio. In the course of analogous recordings, i.e. the ones that show the hand making the freehand drawing in a studio, the visual illustrator can draw basically on two surfaces, on paper, giving a fair show to various colours, shades, shadings (!) and other playful solutions (e.g. e-administration film, Rossmann MUVI), or on whiteboard, which can easily be wiped off and corrected, but which is also clumsier to handle. Hence the internationally widespread name: Whiteboard Animations.


3. What special solutions appear in your films?

There are numerous visual technical solutions that can be used to make such films even more comestible, or to further emphasise the key messages. The “extras” making the film more vivid include:

  • Varying the speed of the film: it typically means slowing the fast motion down to show the original speed.
  • Stop Motion: the drawing hand cannot be seen, but the film, typically compiled of photos and still pictures, creates a jerky kind of visual experience.
  • Playing with the hands: the visual illustrator not only draws, but also, acting as a puppeteer, starts to dramatize: shakes hands, turns pages, crumples the paper, spats at the speaker, spills the coffee, etc. That is, plays as if in a film.
  • Cut-out characters and other objects: the characters come to life and start moving on the drawing board by the hands of the illustrator or someone else.
  • Animations: the team-mate editing the animation digitally cuts apart hand-drawn elements to freely move, distort and reshape them. It’s an extremely labour-intensive task. Anything can be made with animations – just think of a scene of Star Wars or at a Pixar movie. Practically anything is possible with the various animations and the software behind.
  • Apropos of Lucas films: we cannot omit mentioning the classic green-box (later blue-box) technology, where the speaker/presenter speaks in front of a monochrome background that the editor digitally “punches off” to change it to the desired one. (This is provided in a certain quality by the online conference applications too.)
  • A short movie can be built up using even solely animated elements, i.e. without camera recorded motion picture. The motions in this case are made by special software. The shooting costs are reduced or they can even vanish here, but the costs of animation rise considerably.

Based on our impressions and client feedbacks the digital version provides lower added value compared to the recorded analogous drawing and can therefore expect a lower number of viewers. In line with our core values, in Grafacity we subsume our solutions to their functions, meaning that we provide the solutions for our clients’ challenges that fit the possibilities and the context the best. No l’art pour l’art solutions are offered just for the sake of beauty.

4. What do you need for the offer preparation?

It is absolutely necessary to clarify:

  • What is the subject, what is the theme, content of the film?
  • What is your intention, what do you wish to achieve?
  • What do you have already (story, narrative)?
  • Who is the target group? What channels will you use to convey your message?
  • What is the preferred deadline of completing the film?

All materials made available in advance are useful and we are ready to look them through.
At least a phone conversation is necessary to clarify further details of the offer.

5. Where will you work?

In case the pandemic situation makes it possible, we willingly do the drafting at your location. The direct F2F discussions, where we do the large scale visual recording in front of you, greatly enhances trust, lifts up the mood (we sit by the monitor enough anyway), and the content will be richer, less formal and of better quality. You can keep the recordings so it can inspire others to common thinking and clarifying open questions like how a certain character should look like, what should happen in a given scene, etc. For a 2-3 minutes clip all details can be elaborated on draft level in one or maximum two such occasions. What we will need is mostly space. It is worth using the surfaces in case the room makes it possible: the walls, whiteboards, large windows are all of great help, but we can bring our boards along as well for the planning. We can install them anywhere within a few minutes to have sufficient free space for visualisation. We’ll need furthermore 1-2 chairs, a waste-bin, and it’s good to have a coffee table at hand to put our trays with the drawing tools on. It makes no problem either if it is absolutely not feasible (due to regulations or the geographic distance): in this case we do the consultation online, under document camera, ensuring obviously the highest level of confidence.

6. We have everything prepared, we also have a studio and we only need someone to draw for us. Can you do that?

Sure we can do that. If you have a studio and someone who’s familiar with recording, editing and animation, we do the rest you need: visual recording and drawing. But in most cases the “translation”, i.e. putting the drawn elements on paper have an influence on the narrative itself, so be prepared to revise the text. This is how we made the e-administration film and that of the ASHOKA Social Innovators

7. We would like to present our values with a single word each. But nothing else is prepared. Can you help us?

No problem. We’ll make up the whole story from beginning to the end. In the professional network of Grafacity Visual Services we have already the contributor pool including dramaturges, scriptwriters, film directors, illustrators, animators, cameramen, etc. We can involve them in the project based on the client’s actual need. We have made the lives of communication teams easier several times already by being able to set up a complete story around new corporate values. We work out the character, write the script, the sole occasions you need to be involved are the decision points. Once we even had the energy for the elements of the client’s typical access control. 

It can therefore be an E2E solution, or just a subtask, to draw the characters only for the Customer Journey, for example.

8. By when can our film be ready?

The making of a Time Lapse Video can be a surprisingly labour-intensive process. It can be unusual for those without filmmaking experiences. Everything depends on your needs. 

  • If you want TOP, “Advertisement” quality films, with relatively complex animations:  take approximately 2 months to make or more, calculated from the first contact to the delivery. The reason for this is the higher complexity of production plus the inclusion of external partners.
  • If a good quality film is enough, perhaps You want to apply it internally (using the company intranet): a 1-2 minute length film can be executed in a week – depending on our current projects.  (See our Case Study about a recent Animations Moovie)

All right – All right, but really: what should take 2 months, in this few minutes story?
(From our first call, to ge the finished film)

The content already generates numerous unusual questions to be clarified in several rounds, in house: – What should be in the film? – What should it all be about? – What is the aim of our film? – What is NOT the aim? – What can/cannot be visualized? – How should we draw this and that? – Can we include this or that catch-line? Or it is too much?

Besides all these, there are more than a dozen production steps and phases (see first question – what’s the process) with occasionally several decision rounds and modifications. It can happen that the base story is not set up in time due to lack of content to found ourselves on. This is when a Community Drawing session can come in handy: collecting in your offices or online what catches your colleagues, what do they really dig, what sticks in their mind, what stories can boost the new direction. And digital filmmaking solutions are techniques to be applied with meticulous care; it can take a couple of long workdays to get a serious animation job done. But don’t give up, you’ll get your film, we only need to give it the time it requires.

9. In what format will we get the film?

We’ll provide you the accepted version in the digital format that suits you the best, typically in MP4, but it can be any other package with resolution and file size optimised for Intranet or social media platform. We’ll make it clear latest at the end of the production. The raw materials are archived in the studio, so they remain available for a certain period. They can also be saved in your archives, we only need an external hard disk to copy the materials onto.

10. Can you work remotely? Can you make the film without actually meeting us?

         Certainly. A couple of our films were already made without personally meeting the client. The latest of such was when we remotely repacked the message of the “Software as a Service” solution of ROCHE, Switzerland with our Time-Lapse-video service.  

         Electronic synchronous and asynchronous communications and data management systems such as ZOOM, Microsoft Teams, Google and others combined with Grafacity’s online visual consultation technology provide fully comprehensive support in the project management of filmmaking.

11. I would like to watch some end results. Do you have publicly available materials?

Yes. Although most of our materials made for corporate clients are not available publicly, you can watch the films below as references:
ASHOKA Social Innovators, 2013.


The film we made for ROSSMANN Hungary in frame of the Aon Hewitt Hungary 2015 Employers Video Campaign:
Rossmann MUVI (with English subtitle)


ICG – Integrated Consulting Group “Problémától a megoldásig” (From Problems to Solutions) Internal training Promotional film (2O21.) Hungarian.


12. So, finally we’re done, we have our film. Does this guarantee success?

Unfortunately not.
Success is all about the communicated content, the words and sentences hitting the spot.
Whether we have pressed the right “buttons”. 
The team of Grafacity Visual Services work primarily from own material, i.e. the narrative is brought along by the client, or we help to transform existing elements into an exciting story.
If the film is expected to surely reach the results, we recommend a marketing research (market research, keyword analysis, focus-group), in order to formulate the narrative that is tailored exactly to the focus group, to word the message using their language, to offer healing to their sore spot.
If these data are not available, we can easily be wide of the mark.
It is not worth making a film with the content (narrative) made as a shot in the dark.
We will be happy to recommend you a research expert who can, based on focus group method, provide not only keyword collection but also brand image data.