How to Make a Kurzgesagt Video in 1200 Hours


For years, people have asked how we make our videos. So. let’s finally talk about it. How to Make a Kurzgesagt Video in 1,200 Hours or More (Kurzgesagt intro) Kurzgesagt in a Nutshell But first things first, we need a topic. Our potential topic list is already endless, and every time we research something, it grows longer. So, we just work on whatever we find exciting at the time. This could be something serious, fascinating, personal, or just really stupid. The variety is half the fun. We want to explain complicated things in an easily graspable way and make science-y topics fascinating and beautiful. But we also want to tell stories and express how we feel about the universe from time to time. Laying the Foundation: Script Our research begins by reading books or scientific papers and by talking to different experts who point us in the right direction. We want to have a fact-based worldview and our videos are trying to reflect that. So we often have to change our view on an issue while working on it. Usually after a few weeks of researching we start writing. A script begins with a rough first draft that’s then rewritten and edited over and over again. To make sure we don’t misrepresent something, We asked experts to fact-check and correct us. Writing is the bottleneck for our videos, and very hard to speed up. Usually, finishing a script takes between a few weeks and literally years to complete. Let’s Visualize: Illustration When the script is ready, we begin sketching out the video. We try to think of visual metaphors, transitions between ideas, and decide which scenes need the most attention. On average, 200 panels need to be illustrated in Adobe Illustrator. Although we have built up an illustration library, We still do most illustrations from scratch to give our videos a more unique look. The general idea is to find the right images to the words in the script to explain as clearly as possible, while also having interesting things to look at. Also, here we include all the visual easter eggs. In total, two to three illustrators spend 8 to 12 weeks illustrating the video. Now It’s My Turn: Narration When the whole video is illustrated, the narration is recorded in a small recording studio on a Neumann TLM 103 microphone and Pro Tools It’s important to keep the flow, so I try to get one version done and then go back through, retaking paragraphs and sentences Until they feel right and a full version is ready. It’s Alive: Animation Now the scenes and audio need to be animated. We make things move in Adobe After Effects and recently, we’ve begun experimenting with Cinema 4D. The first thing to do is take the illustrated scenes apart and organize them. The hundreds or thousands of parts are then imported into After Effects. Each character is rigged, so we can move them more naturally. Aside from a few plugins that help us save time, every single thing that’s moving on-screen has been moved manually. So, two to three animators animate scene after scene for about eight to ten weeks in total. Ending On a High Note: Music and Sound Design The final step is the music. Every song is original music composed to the finished video to create a unique atmosphere and to highlight the important parts. You can listen to all of the songs on SoundCloud and Spotify. The icing on the cake are the sound effects. Many of you might not even really notice them, which is a shame because they really add an additional layer. So, try watching a video with headphones if you want to get the full depth of it. All of these steps happen in parallel, since we usually work on two to four videos at the same time in various stages. What we haven’t mentioned are the countless revisions and edits. Every few days, we sit together and review our work and tweak it until it feels just right. And that’s it – at least 1,200 hours for a single Kurzgesagt video. As you can imagine, making videos for thousands of hours as a big team and then putting them on the internet for free is a weird business model. Over the years, we’ve relied on a number of different things to stay afloat. Commercial work for NGOs, startups, or corporations Sponsorships and grants by companies or organizations. We struck a deal with Funk from German public broadcasting to revive the German channel and with Wix to start a Spanish channel. But the reality is, we can only do what we do because of you. Our two most important sources of income by far come from your direct support, merchandise and Patreon. So, if you want to help us stay afloat and keep making more videos, You can directly support Kurzgesagt by getting something beautiful from our store, or by becoming a patreon and joining the bird army. Don’t feel obligated though. Watching, engaging, or sharing our videos is already helping us a lot. But if you want to support us directly, thank you so much. You’re making our videos free for everyone. You are enabling us to practice and improve, to stay independent and to work on ambitious projects that would be too scary or too big otherwise. Kurzgesagt did not start with an end goal in mind. It began as a personal project because it felt good to make something with time and love, and this is still true today. Making these videos is our goal. Doing the work every day and getting better. To make science beautiful and interesting. Thank you so much for sticking with us for seven years and from our first subscriber to the ten millionth. This journey has been so wild and so much fun, and we can’t wait to share the stuff We’re working on right now with you; in a year, or maybe two. We want to make matter videos like this from time to time now. If you want to ask us questions that you want us to answer, you can do so on Reddit. Link in the description. (Nice music) (Kurzgesagt outro)

100 thoughts on “How to Make a Kurzgesagt Video in 1200 Hours

  1. Ok! We hope this answers some of your questions about our process. If you have more questions, ask us on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/kurzgesagt/comments/f4qmuz/ask_us_questions_get_answers_today_or_in_a_future/ .We'll answer some questions today and we are also collecting for a future Q&A video! And if you want to help us make more stuff you can check out our Shop https://kgs.link/shop or Patreon! https://kgs.link/patreon

  2. I don't know if you do but if you had an Instagram with random scientific facts or memes with the birds you could grow more and get more views and moneeey 😏

  3. As a student of sound design,i really have been impressed by the sound design of kurzgesagt from the very beginning.
    GOOD JOB guys,
    GOOD JOB

  4. I love you guys!! If only I had much money to send you love-gifts I would really do, but you guys are richer than me literally.

  5. Kurzgesagt: "atleast 1200 hours for a single Kurzgesagt video"

    also Kurzgesagt: releases a couple of videos in almost less than a month after this

  6. when he mentioned that they have been working hard and also needs financial support, i felt kinda bad. i didn't realize i am wasting money on things that don't matter and these guys are working their butt off to provide me something reliable and accurate. i kinda wish i have money right now but i don't have allowance since there's no school days in my area as of now :((

  7. I think that groups that offer quality content with yours and talk about topics with a dissemination capacity of this level should be supported at an institutional level, your videos should become the standard in schools and to explain anything.

  8. There is a mistake in russian subs – you dont need to translate "ProTools" into russian "professional tools" cuz its well known software, like you do not translate "Microsoft" or "facebook" and etc

  9. You guys do amazing work and are one of my favourite channels on YouTube. There aren't many places online that you know consider all points of view, all arguments, and all possibilities, before presenting the facts; and it's so refreshing! Every time I click on a thumbnail I know I'm going to learn something amazing that I didn't know anything about previously. Thanks for all the time and effort you all pour into each project – this is really something incredible you've built.

  10. Well now i feel Bad, I should do more with your video than just watch it. This is sooo much work. You guys are amazing. Love you all!! But why is it called "Kurzgesagt" (I am from germany so excuse my English)

  11. damn that's a lot of effort. This channel deserves to be the best! I cant appreciate the good work enough. This is all very fascinating.

  12. I’m studying as an editor and I guessed about some details of the backstage, but this video was even more informative than a third of all lectures, if only because it’s clear that this is not a dry text filled only with theory, it’s clear that a person talks about the “backstage” of videos)

  13. I see why your channel is high quality class)) LOL I though I was doing something wrong when I was spending like a whole day on only subtitled documentaries that was only 8 minutes long

  14. On topic of coronavirus You said that it goes to the lungs. Can you make to find out if the lungs is healthy. Can you remove all of corona on the lungs, clean it? Can you detect if the lungs of person is normal and not spreading coronavirus if their fart is contagious and their breath contagious? Can you clean all of the corona on the entire planet? Can we survive on corona environment?Can you Isolate and cure every last bit inside of a person including their functioning brain? Can Radiation eliminate coronavirus?

  15. I just love the mix between facts about the universe and space and the theoretical what if we 1000x nuke a city videos. Theoretical catastrophic scenarios are fun.

  16. The illustrations shown here are illustrations of illustrations they made in illustrator for illustrating the illustrations in this video,made in the illustrations of an illustrator

  17. Been here since the first video! This channel helped me a lot since High School and even now in Med School. So proud of you guys! Keep it up!

  18. As someone studying Motion Graphics right now and having to deal with how time consuming animating with AE is (and drawing on ai of course. I'm going to my 2nd year of sch and I still hate drawing on illustrator), I really respect your work. I just found out about you guys today (via the covid video) and I'm definitely gonna binge all of your vids

  19. Are you thinking about making games? Mobile games with this style of animation. I once dreamed that I was playing a Kurzgesagt's "Solar System colonization game" 🌍🚀🛰🪐 with these human and bird characters. I'm struggling to remember, because it was incredibly enjoyable. 😄

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