If you’re a videographer, filmmaker, streamer, or content creator, chances are you’ve encountered animated backgrounds.
From news broadcasts to YouTube videos to conference calls, animated backgrounds are a great way to stand out.
To avoid this, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places for animated video backgrounds and included some crucial things to consider if you use a vibrant background.
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1. Adobe Stock
First on our list is Adobe Stock. If you have worked with the Adobe Creative Suite, chances are you’re already familiar with Adobe Stock. If not, don’t worry.
Adobe Stock is an excellent source of high-quality and professional stock footage. They have plenty of animated backgrounds, videos, and pictures available for licensing, and many are included with a free trial.
Adobe Stock’s most significant limitation is that payment is required and can get quite expensive. This might not be your best resource if you’re on a very slim budget. Still, Adobe Stock has excellent search functions and can be a solid place to start when looking for animations.
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Next on our list is Storyblocks. They are another well-known company specializing in stock footage; their libraries are extensive.
A big benefit of using Storyblocks is their organization. Within the category of animated backgrounds, they have plenty of subsections to make your browsing much easier.
Storyblocks also operates via a subscription service. While not free, knowing how much money you spend ($20 a month) instead of licensing videos individually is nice.
3. Motion Array
Another handy resource for backgrounds is Motion Array. They have hundreds of backgrounds to select from and are searchable by price, usage, and type.
To download assets, an account is required. That said, you don’t need to pay to make an account, and it’s possible to filter your search only to include free backgrounds.
While a paid subscription will allow you to find a greater variety of high-quality animated backgrounds, Motion Array is an excellent resource for those looking for free backgrounds while ensuring fair use.
If you’re looking for free animated backgrounds, Pixabay is a great website. There are plenty of backgrounds available to download at no cost.
It’s also possible to refine your searches by category. However, their filter functions are slightly more limited than the resources listed above. The quality on Pixabay is also a bit less consistent than that of more professional sources.
There are plenty of beautiful assets to be found, but there is also a lot of footage you must search through.
It’s always important to make sure you choose an asset because it fits your project and not just because it is easy to find.
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Last on our list is Videezy. Similar to Pixabay, their search functions are somewhat limited. That said, it’s possible to search based on license type, which is extremely helpful.
A lot of the videos and animations found on Videezy are available for free. This makes Videezy an excellent source for filmmakers with no budget. A pro feature is also available that allows you to buy credits to license videos (starting at ten credits for $49).
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Why Use Animated Backgrounds?
There are a lot of reasons to use animated backgrounds. Creating sets may be too expensive or impossible if you’re an independent filmmaker or small content creator.
Using an animated background is an alternative to avoid having a messy or unprofessional background.
Animated backgrounds can also be used in videos and live streams for title cards, end screens, and introductions. Unlike a still title card, animations can be more engaging for viewers.
Especially if you can find an animation that fits the theme of your video, these backgrounds can function as seamless transitions.
Changing between times, locations, or scenes can be difficult, especially in unscripted and low-budget projects. Animations can smooth this over.
Consistent animations can also function as a throughline through your project, which can help create consistency and ground the viewer’s attention.
Finally, animated backgrounds can be a standalone part of the story. Plenty of stock animated backgrounds can be found for free.
With a little creative thinking, including this stock footage as a central part of your story is possible.
Entire films have been created only using found footage and stock footage. The limitations of using animated backgrounds are up to you.
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Other Things To Consider When Using An Animated Background
Finding backgrounds of the exact resolution and frame rate is a good idea. Ensuring those resolutions and frame rates match your video is also a good idea.
The same goes for color and tone. If your video is bright and positive, your animations should be too.
This applies to title cards, transition, and end screens as well. While it’s easy to overlook these elements, your video exists. The better all parts can align, the easier the viewer can digest.
Finally, if you’re using backgrounds with a greenscreen or as an overlay, it’s super important to think about lighting. If you can match the lighting of your setup to the lighting of the background, it will look far more professional.
Chances are viewers will not notice these steps. That is a great sign if the lighting is seamless and goes unnoticed. Only when things are jarring and offputting do viewers tend to take note.
The animations selected and their implementation are ultimately up to the creator. While there are best practices, there is also no ‘correct’ way to do anything. All that matters is that what was done was intentional and can be justified.
If you’re a low/no-budget creator, that will often inform what backgrounds you use, your lighting, and the project’s tone. That doesn’t mean the project will be bad or unprofessional.
The story being told, as well as the personality and tone of your video, are essential to engaging viewers and getting your point across.
When using animated backgrounds, try to do so in a way that bolsters the story and tone of the project.
Remember why you’re making your video in the first place and understand that tools like stock footage and animations are tools. Your voice and the story should always be prioritized in any project you create.
Do you already use animations and stock footage in your videos? Are there any websites we left off the list? Let us know in the comments below, and good luck with your next video.