What Is a Telestrator?


20-Jan-2021 | 9 minute read

"What's a telestrator", you say? Well, that’s an easy question to answer! KlipDraw is a telestrator! It’s a system which allows you to sketch on top of still frames or moving video. Break down the word and this becomes obvious “Tele” comes not from the Greek prefix meaning “far”, but rather from the humble “television”. “Strator” is a shortening of “illustrator”. So the word itself means “illustrating television”.

But what can a telestrator do and what can it be used for? These are probably better questions. So, let’s go a little bit more in-depth. What do you want to know?

Well...Who Uses Telestrators?


We won’t go too deep into the history of the telestrator in this article but there are a couple of interesting waypoints we should mention.



Early telestrators were nothing more than a sheet of glass placed over the TV camera and sketched on with a felt tip pen. This became much more sophisticated with the invention of the light pen in the 1950s, a system developed for writing directly on a CRT TV screen. Things didn’t change much after that until the 2000s when touchscreens and advanced software like KlipDraw were developed.


And that’s you pretty much caught up with the whole story of telestration! We will say that the guy who invented it back in the day, Leonard Reiffel, won an Emmy back in 2004 for his important contribution to film and television. And quite right too!


Typical users of telestration devices include schools and education centres, weather forecasters, the military and, of course, sportspeople, especially commentators...especially American commentators...especially American commentators analysing plays in NFL and NHL.


It’s also an extremely useful tool for performance analysts and coaches, aiding communication with the team with clearly illustrated videos.


Enough with the Lessons! What Can It Do!



Ok, ok, sorry, we just thought you might be interested in a bit of history! 


Anyway, we’ve already established what it can do, draw on top of videos! KlipDraw Basic lets you draw basic shapes on still frames, KlipDraw Animate allows you to add animated illustrations to still frames and with KlipDraw Motion you get moving images and all kinds of technical wizardry like full-motion tracking thrown into the mix.


There are similar products, both free and paid for, but most of these do not include the range of tools that KlipDraw does.


KlipDraw can also be used as a basic video production suite, exporting video projects, complete with sketches and illustrations (what we call Klips). These videos are great for sharing with your team or uploading to social media or YouTube.


Basic allows you to create and export one such Klip whilst Animate and Motion allow you to create up to 10.


How’s does that sound?


Sounds Great! But Tell Us More About the Tools!


No problem,..happy to! Well, you get a full range of drawing tools, allowing you to create all kinds of customisable lines, arrows and shapes to highlight your videos in whatever colours you want.


With Animate and Motion, you can animate these drawings, allowing you to show motion and direction in a clear manner.


A range of spotlights, which beam down on individual players or elements in the frame, are also available.



In addition to this basic palette, you also get more specialist tools such as Zoom which, surprisingly, allows you to zoom into the image, and Blackout which fades out the background of the video apart from an area you want to highlight. These two tools can be used in conjunction and put to great use.


Two of the most powerful tools are the Object Mover and Route Simulator. Basically, the Object Mover allows you to create layers in the still image. For example, if you want to highlight an area of the field but there is a player there, what do you do? Well, you extract the image of the player and place the highlight under the player. It’s a bit like creating layers in Photoshop, if you’ve ever used that.


The Route Simulator works in exactly the same way. Extract the image of the player and move them to another area of the field to simulate movement.



Want more? Well, let’s talk about Motion.


Motion is the most powerful piece of software in our line of telestrators. It basically allows you to work with moving images (Basic and Animate can only be used with still frames).


Track players with spotlights, shapes or zoom features and illustrate however you want.


So, have we convinced you to buy KlipDraw yet?


Almost, Tell Me About Price!


The price is listed on our website along with much more information about the program. Why not come and visit us? Click the image below:



Suffice to say that we believe our product is fantastic value for money, especially when considering the full range of tools available to you. 


But if you’re still not convinced, we’ve got one more trick up our sleeve. How about taking KlipDraw for a test drive for a whole month?


Suffice to say that we believe our product is fantastic value for money, especially when considering the full range of tools available to you. But if you’re still not convinced, we’ve got one more trick up our sleeve. How about taking KlipDraw for a test drive for a whole month?


What? Are You Offering Me a Free Trial?


Yes, we are! You can download KlipDraw right now, completely obligation free for a period of 30-days. You don’t even need a credit card to sign up. You’ll get the full version of the software of your choice and access to our selection of tutorials and world-class support to help you get up and running. We’re confident that at the end of this trial you’ll be throwing your money at us!


Here’s the link:



Need more time to decide? Well, a good way forward could be one of our Official Courses. We teach you everything there is to know about KlipDraw Animate and you also get a 3-month Animate license included in the price. A great deal when you consider the low price.


Check it out here:



Anything else we can help you with?


No, Thanks for Your Help! I Now Want to Be a KlipArtist!


Great decision! We’re happy to have been of service. If there’s anything else we can do to help, message us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. We’ll happily answer any questions you might have.


Bye for now! Hopefully see you again, soon!

Written By

Duncan Ritchie

KlipDraw Communications

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