The Kurzgesagt YouTube channel uses Adobe Illustrator to create the key frames and Adobe After Effects to animate their edutainment YouTube videos.
YouTube has a number of popular explainer video channels and one of the biggest explainer channels is the German-based YouTube channel, Kurzgesagt, which was created by Philipp Dettmer and Stephan Rether.
Their channel is currently considered the biggest YouTube channel in Germany, and their explainer videos are so lauded globally that many fans are interested in what software they use to create their animated videos.
The team has confirmed that they use Adobe Illustrator to create the keyframes and elements of the video, which are exported to Adobe After Effects where they create the animated videos.
The meaning of “kurz gesagt”
Kurzgesagt is a channel that was created in 2013 with a total of five people working on the channel. Now it has amassed over 19.3 million subscribers with over 2 billion views and counting, with a permanent working staff of over 30 staffers.
The channel’s name is inspired by the German term “kurz gesagt”, which, directly translated to English, means “in a nutshell”, which is the tagline of the page, and once you understand the meaning of the name, it makes sense why it is there.
What does Kurzgesagt use to animate?
There is a lot of work that goes into making a Kurzgesagt YouTube explainer video. This is primarily due to the amount of research and attention to detail that the company puts into perfecting each and every video.
Making the actual animations is a two-step process. Reportedly, a single video requires between two and three animators to work on illustrating the videos.
The first step is to create the keyframes, which are the individual animated elements that go into making the video through Adobe Illustrator.
After these are created, they are exported to Adobe After Effects, where the keyframes are used to make the animated video or “presentation.”
The entire illustrating and animation process is estimated to take anywhere from eight to 12 weeks. This is before the video is sent out for reviews and comments from experts in the subject matter.
These experts will invariably have comments and remarks about the subject matter, which results in revisions being made on the video.
Additionally, their videos have hinged on the deep authoritative ‘voice-of-god’, which is the voice of British voiceover artist and actor, Steve Taylor.
Taylor has been the voice behind the channel’s videos since the channel started and garnered international acclaim.
More importantly, since Kurzgesagt is positioned as an educational YouTube channel, a big part of their mandate to impart knowledge.
As such, they have also shared a video that details their entire creative process from conception to the final product that is uploaded on YouTube.
What makes Kurzgesagt explainer videos so unique?
Given the fact that there are a number of explainer video YouTube channels, Kurzgesagt has worked to create its own unique brand of explainer videos.
From the sharp, clean, and brightly saturated animations in all their videos, to Steve Taylor’s ‘voice-of-god’ anchoring – there is a lot to enjoy.
However, arguably the most entertaining aspect of their videos is the tongue and cheek script, which is credited to the ethos of the entire channel which is, “The evil master plan behind the videos is teaching people without it feeling that way.”
Research is key for Kurzgesagt videos
When it comes to Kurzgesagt’s explainer videos, it is important to understand that collaborative research is at the heart of most of the videos that the channel creates.
They have in-house researchers who will research a topic and based on the interesting facts and details that they find out, the team will decide whether to go ahead with the initial idea or to deviate from it.
Once they have created the video, it will be sent out to experts in the subject field to share their inputs and knowledge about the matter to have a more concise and accurate explainer video.
Kurzgesagt involves its subscribers in creating its videos
Considering that Kurzgesagt is set to mark its 10-year milestone in July 2023, devising interesting subject matters with universal appeal may prove difficult. The channel has also affirmed that it can be biased or subjective in creating content.
As such, they have used the comments section of their videos to gauge what their subscribers and Patreon members want to hear about in terms of research topics to create explainer videos about more and more as the channel continues to grow.
This allows the channel to grow by creating informative and context-based videos that are based on the interests of their subscribers.