The concept of groups in Storykit Video Studio exists to make workflow easier and enable functionality that was not available without groups
Groups are a collection of slides defined by the use (or the definition) of the same main asset, and this concept is good to remember. This means that in a sense also a single slide with its main asset is a group – albeit a group of one.
What you can achieve with groups as opposed to single slides:
- It's a lot easier to use video assets over multiple slides, without the need for using offset values to achieve seamless playing.
- You can use still image assets that animate over multiple slides in ways that are not achievable with single slides.
- You can now apply styling for all slides in a group with the group styling settings. But at the same time retain styling deviations on specific slides. The best of both worlds.
With groups, you will be able to get even more out of your assets, and enhancing your "asset economy" – getting you quicker from thought to finished video and at the same time giving you more creative freedom and control.
In this chapter, we will go through a lot of use cases for groups – and answer a lot of the questions around groups as we go.
General logic for groups
As stated above: Groups are defined by and from the main asset lane, either with the main asset chosen or not.
Main Asset Behavior (position and animation for the asset) is controlled from the Group settings panel, even when the group has just one slide in it.
Main Asset Styling has settings on both Slide and Group level – when the group has more than one slide in it – giving you the possibility to both do settings for multiple slides at the same time and still keep the flexibility to make individual changes to a slide in a group. You can view it this way – all slides have individual settings and by using the group settings you start to override them, one at the time.
But it's a bit more refined than that – so you will be able to do changes for the whole group and then change something on an individual slide for extra effect. So it's a "best of both worlds" thing.
You can still set an offset value for a group, which means that you can move the start-point for a video asset a specified time value from the actual start of the video asset. But with groups, you no longer have to input offset values to make a video asset play over multiple slides.
Best practice workflow
You are not forced to a certain workflow at all when it comes to Video Studio. But there are a couple of pointers that will let you be even more efficient when working.
- First of all: See if you can write your script first – choosing main assets and grouping slides is something you can wait with since it's extremely flexible.
- Second: Most of the time it's better to wait with styling until you have formed your groups. Although, when you add a slide to a group it will get the group settings as well, so it's a forgiving system. But you will probably have a better sense of it if you do styling as your last step.
Highlighting a slide or a group
There is a difference between highlighting the slide or the group – even if you are working with a single slide.
When you click on the slide, you will highlight the slide and access the settings that are slide specific. Some of the settings will exist on both slide and group level, more on this in the use cases below.
Highlighting a slide
When you click on the main asset lane, you will highlight the group and access settings that are group specific.
Highlighting a group
Using a single slide
Whenever you add a slide to the storyboard it will be a single slide – but as we already have stated, that single slide is, in fact, a "group of one." If you used Video Studio before the group functionality, this would very much look like the old way of doing things.
When using a single slide and not expanding the main asset to form a group with more than one slide you will control all styling from the "Main Asset Styling" on the slide level, the corresponding settings on group level will be hidden when the group is not extended to more than one slide.
You can, of course, use single slides in sequence with the same main asset without connecting them into a group. For the most part this will prove to be a somewhat backward way of working, but there are cases when you want to do something very specific – such as using the same main asset but changing its position or animation between slides – where the method of repeating the same main asset on multiple slides (groups of one) after each other can be efficient.
We have removed the old function "Chain offset to previous" that allowed you to quickly calculate the offset value for a start offset since the group concept makes it obsolete. You can of course still set the offset value for a group, just without the chaining functionality.
Creating a group
As soon as you have more than one slide, you can start creating a group. This is done by using the arrows in the main asset lane, so you click the right arrow to lengthen a group over the next slide and so on – and you shorten a group by using the left arrow.
Creating a group with three slides with the asset already chosen.
Creating a group with three slides before choosing the asset.
You can lengthen and shorten groups regardless of if you have chosen the main asset already. If you have selected one, lengthening a group then will show the main asset thumbnail on all slides in the group.
Lengthening and shortening groups
- If you want to lengthen a group, you do so by including more slides in the group by using the right arrow in the main asset lane.
- To shorten a group, you use the left arrow. This will shorten the group from the end by removing the last slide in the group from it.
What happens when you lengthen a group?
When you include a subsequent slide in a group by lengthening the group this new slide will also "get" the main asset from the group and also the settings from the group. So if you already have set behavior and styling options for the group, the newly included slide will get them as well. Very nifty.
Lengthening a group over a slide replaces the main asset and main asset styling
What happens when you shorten a group
When you shorten a group with the left arrow, the slides that now end up outside the group will be stripped of its main asset (which is most likely the behavior you wanted), and the styling options will revert to the slide defaults.
Shortening a group removes the asset from the slide outside the group and reverts its styling
Move slides in and out of groups
Another way of lengthening or shortening a group is to move slides in and out of it by dragging them. What happens when a slide is moved into a group is the same as when you lengthen a group with the arrows – the slide takes on the group settings. And vice versa when dragging a slide out of a group.
Moving a slide into a group by placing between two existing group slides
There are a couple of things that you need to think about when dragging a slide in and out of a group, that is logical but needs to be communicated here.
You can not drag a slide out of a group unless there is somewhere else to put it. So, let's qualify this.
- You can't drag a slide out of a group and place it after the group unless there is at least another between the new placement and the group. This is because otherwise, the system thinks you want to move the slide to the last position in the group.
- You can't drag a slide out of a group and place it before the group unless there is at least another between the new placement and the group. This is because otherwise, the system thinks you want to move the slide to the first position in the group.
In short – if the system feels that you are not aiming to break the group explicitly, by moving it over at least one non-group slide, then it will strive to keep the group intact.
Moving a slide "within" a group does not break the group
Moving a slide past a non-group slide will break the slide from the group
How to move a slide out of a group and put it before the group if the group is first on the storyboard?
This is a super-simple process.
- Move the slide you want to move out of the group to the last position in the group.
- Shorten the group with the left arrow in the main asset lane so that the slide you moved is now outside of the group.
- Move that slide to before your group.
How to move a slide out of a group and put it after the group if the group is the last on the storyboard?
- Move the slide you want to move out of the group to the last position in the group.
- Shorten the group with the left arrow in the main asset lane. The slide is now outside the group.
Length warning for Main Asset (video assets only)
At times, when you lengthen a group – by using the arrows, dragging a slide into the group or changing slide durations – you will see that the Main Asset Lane changes from solid grey to a split between grey and red. This means that the asset that you are using is too short for the group duration.
The position where the main asset lane changes from grey to red is where the asset ends (and this is also influenced by any Offset Value you have put in since that shortens the asset from the start). So it's not just indicative of the ratio between the group length and asset length but actually shows position as well.
When an asset is too short it will loop from the start point you have set – meaning that if you have an Offset Value, that is the start point it will loop back to as this is the expected behavior. And sometimes a loop behavior is what you are looking for.
Main Asset Start Offset
We allow you to set the ”in point” for a video main asset. This function takes a time value in milliseconds as input and moves the start point from where your video asset plays. This is equivalent to trimming the start of a video.
The concept behind offset value
So if you input "3000" as the offset value – this means that your main asset will have its start point moved to the 3-second mark. What you input as offset value also affects the length warning as stated above.
On the ”Player Slide” slide type, you can also input a custom duration (on the slide itself) as well as a start offset value, this means that you could tell the player slide to just display the video between two defined points – acting as in and out point. With this, you can use an uploaded video asset in a really flexible way.
Other group settings
There are a couple of other settings on the group level that you need to know as well.
Here you will find the setting for the canvas color, the color of the actual background of the slides in the group. This is "Black" by default but can be changed to whatever color you want. So if you use a main asset that is a transparent png this color will be visible behind that asset. And if you just want to have a group with a colored background you can change this here.
This is where you choose if you want to display the credit information for the main asset, by checking or de-checking the "Show main asset credit" control. You input the credit information in the asset browser in the "Credit" field in the detail view for an asset. The credit text will display for a period of 3,5 seconds at the beginning of the group.