Rued Riis wasn’t planning on building a career teaching online courses. The video animator and professional marketer just wanted to use Vyond’s online animation software to deliver marketing messages in simple, entertaining ways.
The 30-year-old from Copenhagen, Denmark, discovered Vyond as a student worker at an accounting software firm. He quickly saw the benefits of animated video for marketing and spent several years improving his animation and video production skills.
Meet Rued, working from home, creating new courses, solo-entrepreneuring it.
After founding his own video animation agency and working as the CMO and CPO of two startups, he decided to use his knowledge and experience to help small business owners leverage animated videos to improve their marketing and training. That’s when he created his first online course, aptly titled: Go Beyond Vyond: How to Make Animated Videos that Work.
It became a best-seller, with more than 11,000 students enrolled, and changed his career path. Rued closed his video agency to focus on teaching. He has since created free YouTube tutorials, launched his own course site on ruedriis.com, and is working on new courses around video production.
We sat down with Rued to talk about his online animation courses and personal experience using Vyond.
In your course, you teach others how to use Vyond to create animated videos. How did you discover Vyond?
Rued: I was a student worker at an accounting software firm, and a colleague from marketing was struggling with a video she was making in GoAnimate, the former name for Vyond. She asked if I could take over, and through my efforts in helping with that video, I learned the basics of the program.
What was it about Vyond that motivated you to sign up?
Rued: I’d always wanted to learn how to animate videos, but I never spent the time required to use traditional tools. Vyond was just my foot in the door. It allowed me to create cool explainer videos — 30-60 second videos that pitch a concept or a business using voice-over and visuals — in half the time.
How long did it take you to become a Vyond expert?
Rued: It takes less than 10 hours to get good. But after that, it took me two to three years to build up an expertise in not only Vyond but in video production in general.
I didn’t have much video experience—and knew nothing about animation—prior to using Vyond. I used to shoot talking-head iPhone videos of me talking about something. They weren’t too bad, but I “got the reps in” and slowly became more secure and comfortable on camera. I guess Vyond was my shortcut to not only be able to hit record on an iPhone but also to produce a great video.
In my Vyond course, I share the tips, tricks, and hacks I’ve found over the years, so new Vyond users don’t have to spend as much time as I did.
What was your first video? Or favorite video?
My first video was for e-conomic; the software company I worked for. It was a whiteboard animation highlighting the software we sold. Even though it wasn’t the best production, it was promoted heavily through paid advertising. It was very similar to this one.
One of my favorite videos is this up-tempo humoristic video I did for a union. It has no music, but it has a very elaborate sound effect backdrop with both self-recorded and generic sound effects. It also sticks to a nice color scheme from their design guide. All in all, it’s a fun but professional explainer video that we were quite proud of creating.
Why did you decide to create a course about how to use Vyond?
Rued: It’s actually a funny story. It was summer holidays, and my friend Mads, who’s an expert Vyond animator, and I were bored with the slow pace of vacation time. So we decided to create a course that teaches everything we’ve learned about Vyond and explainer videos the last couple of years.
We both love Vyond and wanted to pass on our insights about how to use the program to take videos to the next level. We had seen so many Vyond videos on YouTube and on Fiverr that were poorly made. We wanted to show the level of professionalism you can achieve with an online video maker like Vyond.
We used nothing but an iPhone and a small clip-on microphone and created the whole course in two weeks.
What makes your course different from other ways you can learn Vyond?
Rued: The Vyond team does a great job of creating feature-specific tutorials for the basic use of the program. We wanted to go beyond that and show the variety and qualities of videos you are able to make with the program.
My course is also different in the way that is a practitioner’s perspective on the possibilities of Vyond. It talks about time-saving, general animation principles, color theory, visual hierarchy, and all the other practical aspects of animated video that don’t relate directly to specific features in Vyond.
Who can benefit from taking your course?
Rued: My target audience is non-technical video creators looking to utilize video more in their marketing and training — non-designers who don’t want to spend the time and money acquiring Adobe After Effects skills sufficient enough to produce something worth sharing.
I’m a generalist myself, and I try to teach my course in a way where the generalist can quickly go from zero to something with Vyond. My goal is to provide the generalist with a tool they can utilize in their work.
A secondary target group is freelancers that want to build a business selling Vyond videos to clients. I get emails from people asking about this a lot, so I know that those who dream of ultimate freedom and location independence are taking my course as well.
What do people get when they sign up for your course?
Rued: When people sign up, they get 50+ lessons that take them from the most basic functionalities up to pro level. I’ve poured a good amount of energy and humor into the course, so you’ll most likely also have a good time watching the lessons.
Everyone who signs up also gets access to me and my experience. All students can ask questions and get answers within a couple of hours. I’ll also give feedback on specific videos and give my advice on the context a student is creating video for, whether that’s online marketing, internal training of staff, or something else.
Why use animated video for marketing?
Rued: Well, I love video because it’s the format with the most “richness.” It’s closer to face-to-face interaction than text or just audio. And animation is great at getting people to lower their guard and take in the information more immediately.
Why use Vyond?
Rued: Vyond makes animated video creation faster and easier than with a more traditional stack of Adobe tools. And, as opposed to other animation makers, Vyond is more professional and sleek, allowing for high-end video creation with better prop imports, character customizations, import of live video, and much more.
What is your number one tip for professionals who want to create videos but aren’t sure where to start?
Rued: Take my course, haha. No, my advice would be to learn the basics by throwing yourself into the program. Choose a specific project or video you like and try to recreate it.
I use a term called imitation learning, where the idea is that you learn faster if you imitate something that exists already instead of trying to make your own. So my number one tip is, start making some videos. That’s the only way to learn the skill.
What’s your next project?
Rued: My next project is the third of three courses on video creation, which is on the scriptwriting process. It’s called “Strong Scripts: How to Structure Videos that Work”, and here I share everything I’ve learned from creating more than 200 videos from scratch. And one of the main lessons is that it very much comes down to the script.
I made this course because I’d seen a lot of great Vyond-animators making beautiful videos… But with a structure that made it difficult to follow the story and understand the message. This course is my take on practical scriptwriting for animated video. Made to enable creators to have a solid ground to rest their video on.
Learn to make professional animated videos for your business
If you’re ready to learn how to create professional animated videos for your business, enroll in Rued’s step-by-step training program, Go Beyond Vyond, which includes more than 50+ lessons across six modules that take you from the basic functionalities to pro-level Vyond skills. Rued poured a great deal of energy and humor into the course, so you’ll most likely also have a good time watching his lessons. His students also gain access to his expertise and can expect answers to their direct questions.
Sign up for a free trial of Vyond to see how easy it is to start creating compelling videos today.