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Animated Videos vs. Live Action Videos
Animation Versus Live Action: Which is Best for Employee Training?

There is no question that videos are a powerful force in conveying concepts. This makes them not only indispensable for marketing, but also for employee training. When your team can see a concept demonstrated and explained, they are far more likely to remember,  understand, and absorb the new information than simply reading off a page

One of the biggest questions today is whether you should invest in animation or live-action when it comes to making your company’s custom training videos. Which is better for training? Which is better for your company? This article will help you find the answers you seek to plan some truly awesome training videos for your next round of employee training.


Video Advantages for Employee Training

First, let’s dive into how animation and live-action each contribute to employee training in their own way.

Why Animated Videos Rock for Training

  • Quick and Easy
    • 2D animated videos can be quickly and easily constructed from basic visual elements.
    • Elements are layered and transitioned to create an illustrative presentation.
  • Convey Complex and Abstract Concepts
    • For concepts that are not human in nature, like how a computer works or the flow of service in a vertically integrated industry, animated videos can help employees visualize and understand more clearly than a live person talking on the screen.
    • Animated infographics are well-known to create immediate deeper understanding.
  • Easy to Brand
    • The visuals used for animations are easy to create with your company’s unique brand imagery and personality.


What Live-Action Videos Contribute to Training

  • Quick Film-to-Production Cycle
    • With a skilled team and simple video plan, you can rapidly film and produce live-action videos with no extra time needed to construct images.
  • Personable and Connection-Building
    • Live-action videos are more likely to connect directly with the audience, generating sympathy and motivation
    • Live humans presenting can make viewers care about subjects they did not previously care about.
  • Convey Human Interactions and Experiences
    • If your goal is to show how humans interact, best practices for interactions, or to tell a story, live-action is great for this
    • Live-action can also convey the essence of human experience, like an event or interaction, with more depth and context than animation.


Myths and Truths of Animation vs. Live-Action Video

There are many confusing myths and misunderstandings floating around about live-action and animated video, especially for internal business purposes. In fact, often these myths are contradicting with reports of both video and live-action being better or worse. Let’s dispel a few.

Myth: You Have to Choose One or the Other

Many businesses believe that they can only invest in either animated video or live-action video. You may have heard that you can only have one per video or even that you have to choose video production companies based on which you choose.

Truth: You Can Alternate and Integrate

In reality, you don’t have to choose at all. Many video production companies offer both services, because they’re good for different things. You can use animated video to explain abstract and technical concepts and live-action video for human interaction as well as intros and outros that connect to the audience. In fact, you can use both in the same training video interchangeably or even layered together. Whatever suits your training needs best.

Myth: Animation/Live Action is More Expensive

You may have heard reports that either animation or live-action is more expensive to invest in. You may think that animation requires highly paid animators and high-end computers, or that live-action requires paying actors and studio time. Contradicting myths can be quite troubling to tackle.

Truth: You Can Budget for Either

The truth is that both types of video are quite affordable if you have a simple plan and a skilled team. 2D animation videos are very low-cost to make, and live-action filming of your own employees is also very cost-effective. There’s no need to spring for high-end graphics or actors when 2D is highly effective and you’ve got the in-house experts you need.

Myth: Animation/Live Action Takes More Time

You may have also heard conflicting rumors that either animation or live-action is incredibly time-consuming to produce. Naturally, you don’t want to spend six months on a two-day training course, so let us lay your worries to rest.

Truth: It Depends on What You’re Trying to Do

The amount of time it takes to produce depends on what you’re trying to do. Animation can take a little more time (a few extra days) to construct the animations, test, and perfect them. Live-action can take longer if your blooper reel gets out of hand or you suffer from too many script re-writes. But if your script is simple and rock-solid and you’re not trying to win any filmmaking awards, both can be completed in a few days to a few weeks of expert work.


Is Animation or Live-Action Better for Your Employee Training?

So which should you choose, animation or live-action? Here at One Floor Up, we’d like to emphasize that you don’t have to choose video-by-video. In general, it’s better to make animations for concepts and systems, and use live-action for personal connection and to display any personal interaction lessons you’d like to teach. You can make use of existing video clips, script demonstrations, or have a host sit in front of a camera to greet and explain.

With the help of a versatile expert video production team, your employee training videos can be made based on what will work best to convey your lessons. Both methods are affordable, both can be made quickly, and you can absolutely use both in the same training video or alternate based on your business’ needs.

Contact us today to consult on how to build the best employee training videos for your teams, brand, and lessons. We’d love to help you revolutionize your training courses with clear, excellent videos.

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