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Use Moovly to make a data animation
Full Article 7 minutes read

Use Moovly to make a data animation

TRAINER: WILSON LIÉVANO

Preparation

Write the text of your voiceover aiming for a total length of no more than two minutes.
Divide your voiceover in scenes of 10-12 seconds and sketch them in a Storyboard. You can find a template here. Be descriptive of movements, sounds and images appearing on each scene.
Download or create the images that you won’t be able to find on the Moovly Library. Remember than in the free version you can only upload 20 personal images per project.
Register and sign into Moovly.com
Click on the + New Moov box under “My Moovs”. Give it a title and a description and click continue.

Choose (if you want to) a style for your animation. You can always leave the background blank by clicking on Just Let Me In

Record your voiceover. You can do it directly on Moovly by clicking the microphone icon on the bottom of the libraries panel or you can record it on a program like audacity and upload it to Moovly using the sound icon on the same location.

Click on the camera icon next to the sound icon to upload all your personal images. Tag them and Give each one a description. This would help you identify them later on the timeline.

Click on Personal Library and then on Sounds. Select your voiceover and drag it to the timeline or the stage. Make sure your time indicator (the red line) is on the 00:00 mark. If you chose a style or you have your own background, move the sound layer below it by clicking and dragging it.

Animating an image

Click on Moovly Library. Select the image you want to animate first and drag it to the stage. The element will also appear on the timeline as a layer with a grey bar. The bar represents the how long the image will appear on screen. You can extend or shorten it at any point by placing your cursor at the edge of the bar and clicking and dragging. Remember that the animation is built on layers. If you want an element to be in the front you have to place it above the other layers.

Place the image where you want the movement to end. For example, if you want the image to come in from the left and stop at the middle of the screen start by putting the image in the middle.
Click on the on the triangle before the name of your image. It will reveal a sub-layer that reads: Choose animation. Click on it and select one of the animation options available. You will notice that most categories have an “in” and an “out” option. “In” will bring the element into the stage using a particular movement (flip in would flip the image on its axis to reveal it) and “out” would reverse the movement. Try each option to discover which one would work better for your animation.

When you select an animation, Moovly will create a sublayer for it with and would represent the movement with two dots, also known as keyframes, connected by a line. The first keyframe will be placed where you have your time indicator positioned and it represents the start of the movement. The second keyframe will be placed a second or so after the first one and it represents the end of the movement. You can change the duration of the animation by placing your cursor over any of the keyframes and clicking and dragging, but keep in mind that they would only move until the end of the layer bar. If you want to move them further, extend the layer bar first. If you want to move the two keyframes at the same time to place them in another part of the timeline, place your cursor on the line that connects them, click and drag.

Some images from Moovly’s library come with an extra animation unique to them. For example, the “running boy” image has a “run” animation that you can select to make his legs move. You can see if an element has an extra animation by hovering over the image in the Moovly library and watching the preview.

What if you need to move the image during the scene? Or what if you want to make it bigger or smaller? For those cases Moovly has the Move and Zoom option. Unlike the other animations, this one doesn’t create an end point right away. When you click on it Moovly will place a keyframe where your timeline indicator is standing. That would be your starting point. Adjust the position of the image to your needs and then move timeline indicator forward to determine how long will be the action. Then, move the image to the place where you want the movement to end. You can also adjust the size of the image by moving your cursor to one of the dots in the corner of the bounding box around the image. Click and drag. Moovly will automatically create a new keyframe and the movement between the two points.

Adjustments to images

Moovly allows certain modifications to the images in its library once they are in the stage. And all of there can be done from the Object Settings panel.
To change the color of an image, select it and click on “Fill” on the Properties section of Object Settings. A Color palette will appear. Click on any part of it to change the color. Moovly will remember the colors you use in the “Recent Colors” section.

You can also change the size and rotation of the object by entering numerical values on the Dimensions panel, but you can also use the rotate tool and the bounding box to achieve the same result.

If you have an animation ready, but just found a better image, you don´t have to start from scratch. Just drag the new image from your library to the Drag object here field on the Swap Object panel. The new image will replace the old one, but will keep all the animation intact.

To Flip an image click on the flip buttons on the top bars. You can flip an image vertically or horizontally.

Finishing the animation and publishing

Moovly saves your progress constantly, so when you have your animation ready go back to your main Moovly window (where you clicked to create the Moov) You will find your animation next to the “+ New Moov” square. Move your mouse over your animation and click on Details. Moovly will load your video in a new window and you will be able to preview it. If you are satisfied with it, click on Download. If you want it to be exported as a video file, click on Download video if you prefer a flash file, click on Download flash. If you want to publish directly to social media, click on Publish.

In the next few screens Moovly will present you with some options to customize the final video. The defaults are the free options, (480 pixels of resolution, watermark and an outro.) To obtain better resolution and remove the watermark and the outro you would need to pay a one time fee or a monthly subscription to Moovly, which will also give you access to their expanded library of images.

When you are done, click on finish export. Moovly will render the animation and send you an email with the link to download it.

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