Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Making a video ident

Most of the videos I've created and put on-line so far have been basic screen casts: either demonstrations or how-to guides for pieces of software. I'm hoping to do some more varied and interesting videos in future, and I've been looking at some other people's videos that broadly fit into the types of thing I might want to communicate. One thing I've noticed a lot of people who put videos on-line do is have their own video introduction or 'ident' at the beginning of each video. there are several websites where you can create an identity video by adding your own title and local to a template, for example IntroMaker1, however I decided to try and create my own.

Any videos I make as part of my job for The University of Glasgow should follow the University's brand guidelines if they are public, which include a two second display of the university marque at the start of the video. My personal ident is for videos that are not made for the University,

A couple of video intros that I quite like are Alice Keeler's Vlog and Nottingham Trent University's My Favourite Scientist series. Both are quite simple and unpretentious - no attempt to look like a Hollywood studio's ident - but also memorable. Both of these provided some inspiration for my design.

I decided on a simple design with my personal URL and twitter handle as text, and a picture. Initially I thought a caricature of myself would be a good idea, but unfortunately I lack the talent to create that. I tried generating a fake pencil drawing using photofunia, but felt the result looked too perfect, and obviously artificial. Instead I used smoothdraw and a graphics tablet to draw my own version, tracing over a photo on a lower layer.

Smoothdraw with the drawing on the top layer, a semi-transparent layer underneath it to help me see the drawing more clearly, and the photo on the layer below that.

I used Xara to create the rest of the basic image parts as png images - a background (plain white), the URL and twitter handle text, and three transparent images of possible hashtags of the type of things my YouTube channel might cover.  (In the screenshot below the three transparent images are overlayed on the second page.)

Xara Photo & Graphic Designer was used to create PNG images and also to experiment with layout and general appearance.
The final component before going into the video editor was to record background sound. For this I picked a fairly sci-fi-ish sound on my Roland GW-8 keyboard, and recorded a few seconds of improvisation using Audacity, repeating many times until I was fairly happy with it.

I used Magix Movie Edit Pro to create my video, using Google and YouTube for hints on how to do things.
The project in Magix Movie Edit Pro 2016.
I don't know if the finished intro/ident is what I'll stick with, however I think it was a useful exercise, helping me improve my video and graphics skills.
The finished video.
If you'd like me to make a more detailed description (or video tutorial)  of any of the steps, let me know in the comments below.

1. A Google Search will find many other similar sites.