Doodly Review: Best Whiteboard Animation Software?

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are that you’ve come across doodle animations one way or another. They’re those animated videos that tell short stories or random scenes that always look whimsical and just a little bit sketchy? 

In this Doodly review, we’ll tackle the ins and outs of this doodle video software to help you decide whether or not it’s good for your business.

If you've already decided to get Doodly, just click the button below to try it out.

What is Doodly.com?

The website is a whiteboard animation software with a drag and drop interface. This means it’s geared towards entry-level animators - and yes, even beginners who have no experience in creating doodle animations.

This makes it ideal for you whether you’re trying to create an ad for a client, your business, or a presentation for class. It can even be made into a part of your course materials! It’s truly versatile which means you have plenty of video creation options at the end of your fingertips.

Doodly Review

My first impression of the platform was a positive one. I appreciate how attractive the website is down to the doodle video software builder. It’s clutter-free, but it also inspires creativity so if you’re someone who tends to find yourself in creative ruts often, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the user interface.

The website claims that over 40,000 videos have been created on the platform to date. This is impressive when you consider the fact that Doodly was launched only around five years ago. On that note, the user interface is easy enough that a seven-year-old could use it with no issues.

So if you’re worried about it being confusing or overly complicated to navigate, I’m here to tell you there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.

Furthermore, the website is geared towards helping its users create high-quality animated videos to serve basically any purpose you can think of.

Doodly’s main features

When I’m reviewing any animation apps, I like to ask myself one question: how efficient is it?

This basically means I’m asking myself how useful the platform is without me having to outsource any of the elements. I don’t want to find myself five minutes into creating an animation only to find out it has horrible font selections or a very small library which meant I have to sacrifice some design aspects I’ve already thought through.

One thing you need to be aware of right off the bat is that Doodly is packed with useful features. The great thing about it is that most of them are well executed.

So it isn’t a case of just overcompensating for mediocre tools. They’re all fully functional and very efficient.

Exclusive graphics

One of the best things about the Doodly directory is that they have 200 unique characters designed by graphic artists specifically for the platform. Each character boasts about 20 different poses which means you have a LOT of variety.

Doodly Exclusive graphics

One drawback to the library is that there are only around 20 backgrounds you can choose from.

But don’t worry! If needed, you can ask Doodly’s team of graphic artists to work on a custom element for you - for a price, of course.

Now, if you’re worried about the background options being too few, then here’s something to lift your spirits: Doodly lets you upload png, jpg, and even gif files. So if you find that there are certain elements you’d like to add to make your animation look more tailored to your specific campaign, you don’t have to rely on the graphics team to do everything for you especially if you already have files of your own.

To be honest with you, I’ve created no less than 10 animated videos on the platform. And I’ve not yet found any reason for me to need a custom design from the creative team behind Doodly. So if you’re worried about the probable costs, there’s really nothing to worry about unless you want something super specific.

Free soundtracks

Let’s face it - any video or animation without a track is going to be boring. Even silent films have some sort of sound effects or ambient noise to break up the monotony. Basically, there are two slots for inserting sounds or music files to your video.

Doodly Free soundtracks

The first is reserved for your background music and the other is usually assigned to voiceovers. Of course, you could also use the other slot for sound effects if you’re not using active dialogue in it.

The program is pretty flexible about making changes and edits where necessary. So if you want to edit your sound files to be more in tune with your animations, it’s very easy to do.

Now, the track library is a bit different compared to the graphics department. Basically, you get to choose between three packages and you get a certain number of tracks according to the package you choose. 

  • You get 20 tracks on the Gold package
  • There are 40 tracks that come with the Platinum package
  • The most number of free tracks you can get is 80 on the Enterprise package

The only drawback is that if you’re adding voiceovers, you’ll have to edit it outside of the application. To do this, you have to import your mp3 file to the video directly.

Video editing

Since we’re talking about a software that’s supposedly so easy that a seven-year-old can use it, it makes sense that we have to talk about the user interface of Doodly’s video editor. The application itself is easy to use, smooth, and I can’t say I came across any bumps while trying to use it.

Doodly Video editing

I quite enjoyed how you’re able to tweak the timelines or make more complicated changes like deleting and duplicating scenes. One thing you need to be aware of is that despite performing somewhat more complicated tasks, the interface is easy enough to understand that you shouldn’t have trouble making these changes.

As for time spent trying to figure out how it works, it took me all of two minutes to navigate it on the first try. But that might not bring you comfort given that I’m somewhat of a professional at trying software like this.

Take note though, that even if you’re a beginner you won’t take more than 10 minutes to figure it out. One of my favorite features about the editor is that you’re able to edit how long each sketch plays out for.

Sharing and exporting content

Unlike other platforms, you’re able to select the exact parameters that you want to be shared. That means you don’t have to share the full-quality, HD file just yet. You can choose to restrict the frame rate and resolution, for example.

You can share your work on Doodly across various social media platforms as well as on your own website. The export feature is fairly easy to use and it doesn’t take more than a few minutes depending on the file size.

So keep in mind that the share speed might be slightly slower if you’re exporting a longer animation on high-resolution quality.

Board options

I mentioned at the beginning of this review that Doodly is great for making whiteboard animation videos. But did you know that that isn’t your only option? You can also choose from various aesthetics such as:

  • Glassboard
  • Greenboard
  • Whiteboard
  • Custom board

Now that you know your choices, I don’t think I need to expound on what each individual board would look like. It’s rather self-explanatory, yes? 

Doodly blackboard

Instead, let me explain what I mean about the custom board.

This option allows you to choose your background color. So you could make it into a blackboard, paper texture, or something else. Additionally, you’ll also be able to choose what the arm will look like. You have a choice between using a marker or a piece of chalk to bring your doodles to life.

Hand options

Playing on the “customizable” theme of the platform, you’re also able to pick from about 13 different cartoon hand styles. These include left-handed options. So if you want to represent lefties or righties, there are plenty of choices.

Doodly hand types

There are also around 15 real hand styles to choose from so you can pick between a realistic arm or a cartoon arm to draw your animation for you.

I quite like how there are different positioning options as well as the fact that you’re able to choose between cartoons or real-life arms to demonstrate your doodles getting drawn.

Tailored draw paths

I discussed earlier that you’re able to import any image or gif into the program. Well, it would be awkward if you did so and it looked unnatural because of how it moved across your screen.

In addition to the usual animations like moving from left to right or flying into the screen, you’re also able to set draw paths for any image you import.

What does this mean?

Basically, you’re able to make it look like foreign elements were drawn on the platform. So it would appear like it was being drawn into the page instead of just dissolving or randomly appearing on the page where you put it.

Additionally, you can also import SCG paths as well as SVG images into the platform.

Customer support 

Hands down, a deal-breaker for me no matter how great the software is, is the customer service. Basically, if your support team is unresponsive or rude, I’m not about to support or promote your product.

Lucky for you (and I guess, for me too) Doodly has one of the best customer support teams in the industry. I’ve never had a problem reaching them or receiving answers to questions that I had no matter how annoying I was getting.

Doodly customer support

You know me, I’m very meticulous. And although I wasn’t really having any problems with using the software, I wanted to make sure the team was ready to help when one of you finds that you need it.

I was glad to find that not only was the help center extremely - well helpful, the FAQs were straight to the point and convenient. You can also opt for live chat help which takes all of a few minutes to reach. This means if you have any immediate concerns, it can be addressed more quickly.

And one other thing that I enjoyed about the platform that I think you would do is the fact that you can connect with other creatives as well if you find yourself stuck on your ideas.

Oh, and before I forget. If you have any feature requests, the Doodly team is very open to suggestions. In fact, if you scroll to the footer of their homepage, you’ll find a FEATURE REQUESTS link where you can leave a suggestion on tools or improvements you want to see.

What are the benefits of using Doodly? 

I’m not saying the software is flawless. In fact, I’ll get into that further later. But I figure it would be a good time to mention the exact things that you’ll like about the platform as well as the pros of it.

Let’s take a closer look at the things you’ll love and appreciate about this animation tool.

Reasonably priced

It’s no secret that when it comes to graphic design - especially motion pictures and animations for that matter, you will need to shell out a LOT of money. In fact, if you’re thinking $100 will get you far, then you might need to sit down.

Traditionally, if you’re hiring an expert to do this for you, you will need to spend at least $1000 for a short clip. And that’s the bare minimum. Of course, you might get lucky and find someone who’ll do it for much less, but are you sure the quality is up to par with your needs?

Tools like Doodly make it possible to create entire animated videos on your own for a fraction of what hiring someone else to do it would. I’ll explain the pricing and fees further later on, but you should know that you’re getting great value for a product where you can create as many videos as you need.

It’s beginner-friendly

Like I said before, even a child could use the platform. It’s really that easy. Not to mention, the user interface is smooth and uncomplicated. You can get where you need to in a matter of seconds because everything is well organized.

If you’re worried about the designing or building aspect of it, don’t be. Their drag and drop editor will let you create entire scenes without much trouble. Moreover, you’re able to see exactly what your animations will look like while you’re editing them.

Extensive library

Their character directory is more than just accessible, but you’ll find plenty of character options on it. You also have various board and background options to choose from. But more than that, if you can’t find anything that resonates with what you’re looking for specifically, you have two choices.

Doodly Extensive library

First, you can contact the graphics team to create a custom design for you.

Second, you can upload your own files. Thanks to the draw path feature, it won’t look out of place either. It will look like it’s simply part of the board you’ve chosen.

Versatility

One of the best things about the software is that you have plenty of options to tailor it to your exact needs. Furthermore, it’s great for a variety of uses. The animation can fit ads, instructional videos, schoolwork, YouTube intros or content, the sky is the limit.

But one thing I enjoy using it for is to create funnels and content that catches the eyes of my viewers whether on my website or on my socials which is very important in my field.

Stellar customer service response

Not only is their help center filled with helpful articles and answers to any frequently asked questions, but their support team is also very supportive.

See what I did there?

But no, really. The people behind the screen who are in charge of helping you out really do a great job and I venture on to say that they go above and beyond what is required of them to keep you happy.

I’m all for supporting platforms that value their user’s needs first and foremost so this shouldn’t come as a shock to you.

What are the disadvantages of Doodly? 

Like I said, no software is perfect. The same can be said of this one. While they do have a lot of good things going for them, there are also a few I’d suggest they change or that I consider a drawback to a certain point.

Still, I feel like it would only be fair to say that none of these cons are deal breakers for me. In fact, they’re really not something I consider a major issue. Nonetheless, here they are:

The standard plan does not include colored images

Of the plans to choose from, the Standard does not come with the ability to include colored images in your videos. So this means you’re stuck with monocolored videos. This isn’t much of an issue since you’re dealing with doodle images.

But if you want to add in a splash of color, you’ll have to buy their add-on called Doodly Rainbow.

Doodly Rainbow

It’s all online

One of the biggest drawbacks is that you can’t use it without a stable internet connection. I found that if your wi-fi keeps cutting out, you’ll have issues with the platform and the editor as well.

Exporting can take a while

Like I mentioned before, it all depends on your video quality. But you might find yourself exporting a short video for nearly an hour depending on the circumstances.

Doodly pricing and plans

There are two plans to choose from: Standard and Enterprise. Both of these hierarchies give you the option to select either annual or monthly recurring billing. Of course, you’ll get a discount if you choose annual payment (49% off). 

Doodly pricing plans

But if you don’t want to commit to an entire year just yet, here’s what you can expect from each price tier:

Standard - $39 per month

This plan costs $39 on a monthly billing cycle. Like I mentioned, you won’t be able to use colored images. However, you do have unlimited access to create as many videos as you want as well as: 

  • Can be used on multiple devices
  • 1,164 characters and poses
  • 1,620 prop images
  • 84 unique scene options
  • 150 royalty-free music tracks
  • Access to the Doodly Design Facebook group

This option is ideal for those who are just starting out and don’t really need a lot of options. Although that isn’t to say your options are few, I’m just a bit miffed that you won’t be able to upload colored images.

Enterprise - 69 per month

As previously mentioned, the platform is way cheaper than what you would have to pay when you hire a professional. That said, if you’re not under a specific budget and would like to use it for business purposes, then I recommend choosing this plan.

It comes with everything you get in the standard plan plus:

  • 3.959 characters and poses instead of 1,164
  • 3,341 prop elements instead of 1,620
  • 250 royalty-free music tracks instead of 150
  • Access to doodly club

You’re probably wondering what Doodly Club is. Basically, it’s a feature that lets you access new characters and images on a monthly basis so your library is consistently growing larger.

Doodly alternative

I completely understand if you’re not too sure about Doodly yet. Despite its stellar efforts, it certainly isn’t for everyone. Whatever reason you may have, you may also want to look into Doodly’s best alternative which is DoodleMaker.

DoodleMaker - One time fee

If you thought Doodly’s design directory was impressive, you should see this platform’s. It’s not only packed with thousands of image options but you also have access to Pixabay API.

Doodlemaker

However, this does not include cartoon characters and props.

Moreover, there are also multiple third-party integrations to the design library which gives you more access to design elements. These include: 

  • Icon finder
  • Photo bin
  • Jump story

Furthermore, you also have the option to pay a one-time fee. If you’re not fond of monthly or annual subscription fees, this might be right up your alley. Although I have to say that you need to be very careful about it because in some aspects, your choices with the platform are more limited compared to the former.

For example, there are less hand styles to choose from. A redeeming factor to this is perhaps the fact that you can incorporate better transition styles with the use of props like paintbrushes or simple transitions such as sliding from one side to the next.

Furthermore, you’re not able to import font styles on the platform which severely limits your options especially if you want to maintain a cohesive branding aspect.

Doodly review - is it the best doodle video maker? 

I’m always careful about saying that a particular software is the best. This is of course because it would vary from person to person. What I find to be a good product might not mean much to you and vice versa.

However, I would venture on to say that Doodly is certainly one of the best at what it does in the market.

I like how it’s affordable, easy to use, and it’s well-optimized for any type of user.

That said, if you find that you’re not keen on paying monthly fees, it’s alternative - DoodleMaker might just be the right choice for you.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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