In this week lab, you will be producing a video slideshow then upload it to Youtube. You then copy and paste the youtube link to your video and submit that to Canvas. The topic I chose is the Sun, but you can choose any astronomy topic of your interest. For example, you can choose to do a video slideshow about blackhole. The video length should be around 1:30 - 2 minutes. The video should have 1 title page + 10 fact slides. An extra end credit is a good idea but optional. So the duration per slide averages about 10 seconds. There should be transition between each slide. This will make it easier to watch because the scene does not jump abruptly from one to the next.
For the video editing process, we can use (1) Shotcut, (2) Shotcut in combination with Lumen5, or (3) your own prefer app. You decide which workflow is best for you. Shotcut is an open source free video editor available for both Windows and macOS. Lumen5 is an online video editing platform. You need to subcribe to the Lumen5. They have a free tier that will give you 5 video projects to publish per month. This is good enough for our purpose. The Lumen5 video does not allow you to do your voice over and it will have Lumen5 credit attach to the end of the video. We can get around this by import Lumen5 video into Shotcut, add audio voice over, and cutoff the Lumen5 end credit. Using a combination of Lumen5 and Shotcut can produce good result.
Below are two video slideshow examples I made. The first one is with Shotcut only. The second one I used Lumen5 to work on the visual presentation. Then I download it to my PC. Next I import that video into Shotcut to work on background music and voice over.
The Notice how I have a pretty good english accent in the videos 😃! I will show us how to use ai text-to-speech to generate the voice over. Of course you can also record your voice and do your own voice over. It’s actually better that way to build up your confident! You can submit your video slideshow without the voice over. However it won’t get full credit to be fair to everyone.
Now let’s take a look at how to do voice over. Obviously the most direct way is to record our voice and import that into Shotcut. Another method is to use ai text-to-speech technology. For example, I want to generate a voice over for “The Sun Accounts for 99.86% of the Mass in the Solar System” fact. I do this by going to the IBM text-to-speech demo (Click here to go to IBM text-to-speech) and follow the procedure below:
- Choose the voice of your preference.
- Click on the SSML tab, Type in the text, and click speak.
- Click on the “Speak” icon to generate the voice over
- Right click on the play bar and click “Save audio as…”
Save your file in .mp3 format, for example I saved mine as scene1.mp3. In the SSML tab, < p > means paragraph. < s > means sentence. < prosody rate > means faster or slower. -7% means speak 7% slower than normal. < break time > means delay between words. Play around with the options to see which one you like best. After this you can bring these mp3 files to Shotcut to work on your video.
As I mentioned earlier, Shotcut is open source and free to download for both Windows and MacOS. You can download and install Shotcut here:
Click here to download Shotcut. Most of us now are either on Windows 64-bit or macOS.
This video does a good job of showing us how to navigate and use Shotcut. Watch the first 7 minutes:
This video shows us how to work with audio in Shotcut:
This video shows us how to add text in Shotcut:
Watching the video below is optional. It is comprehensive but a bit longer.
We begin by opening Shotcut and go to File -> New to create a project in Shotcut by giving it a name. Then we drag the images, videos, audio mp3 into to the playlist and time line. Notice you can add images to your project. If you want the image slide to last 10 seconds for example, you just drag the image into the timeline and extend it to 10 seocnds.
- Drag to import files into Shotcut
- Drag and drop files into timeline to edit
- Mute the sound on the track if you want
You can add an audio or video track by
- Clicking on the timeline icon to Add Audio Track or Add Video Track
- The magnetic snap let you snap the video clips side by side more easily
Here is the entire view of my Shotcut working panel that produced the first video in this article. It has one video track with transition effects, one voice over audio track, and one background music audio track. I lowered the volume in the background audio track following the youtube audio tutorial posted earlier. You can download my Shotcut working project by clicking here. Unzip to view the files inside. Use this as a guide and template, but do not copy them. I would know!
To produce the video click on File, choose Export, then choose Youtube
To view the finished video, you can go to the Jobs panel, right click and Show In Folder:
Here is a short tutorial on Lumen5.
Lumen5 is intuitive to use. Create a text list of 1 title + 10 facts + 1 option end credit of your subject. Make sure to have space between each item of your list. Cut and Paste the text into Lumen5. It will automatically generate a sequence of video scences for you. It is not perfect, so you will need to edit the scense for better fit. Here is an example of my Lumen5 workflow:
To upload a video to Youtube:
As for the copyright aspect, here are the resources to find images, videos, and audio free to use. I use Google image search often. There is an option under Tool in Google image search to filter image for noncommercial reuse:
ytmp3.cc is a website converts youtube musics video to mp3. Click here to go to ytmp3. Be careful and click on the right link to download!
Note: ignore this part below about InVideo. It looks promising, but when I tried to download the video, it kept giving me errors. I chat with a rep through its chatbot. They had to email me the link to the video.
InVideo is a cloud based video editing software that you can access it through the internet with your browser. Watch the tutorial below if you plan to use InVideo. They have a free plan that includes watermark in the video. It should be OK for our purpose, although I have trouble export and download the my video in InVideo.
Once I signed in, I click on categories and choose Slide Show. Of course you can experiment with other categories. Next, there are several template you can choose. Make sure to consider the aspect ratio. The 16:9 format is wide screen for youtube videos on TV, laptop, PC, etc. On the other hand, the 9:16 vertical aspect ratio is for mobile phone. Some apps like TikTok work best with 9:16 vertical format. I chose 16:9 wide Quick Fsacts template.
After some delay, the Chrome browser shows the edit page where you can:
- Search for stock video or image
- Set the duration for each scene
- Change the text, color, size, font, or edit image if you click on it
- Upload your sound, image, and video
- Click to change the transition between scenes
- Click to download or publish directly to youtube, facebook, etc.
- Click on the scence you want to add voice over.
- Mouse over the mp3 you upload and click on the + sign.
- You can drag the mp3 file back and forth to adjust where to start your voice over.
Here is the finished video: