The side panel is where you input data and change things. The exception is where you set the background asset for slides, which you do from the button below the slide in the storyboard. Doing this opens the asset browser (which you also can open from ”Asset Browser” in the toolbar) where you can choose which image or video to use – or to upload new assets by dropping them on the upload area or browsing your hard drive for them. The asset browser supports batch upload, so you can quickly drop all images and videos at the same time for super-efficient handling of this.
When using the different slide types, most options are pretty self-explanatory and give you as a user adequate control over the output. When changing color on objects or text, you need to set the control to custom and then fill in the color codes that you wish. If you let the control stay at default, it doesn’t matter if you have filled in color codes.
There is an option to hide credit on slides that have background assets.
Do not input emojis on any text field; they do not support that.
Asset browser formats
When uploading files to the asset browser, the following formats are supported:
Video: .mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .wmv, .avi, .m4v and .gif.
Images: .jpg and .png.
Adding a background asset on the storyboard, by pressing ”Add background” underneath a slide opens the asset browser and you can select an asset to use as background.
To clear a background asset from a slide you click the ”x” icon on the right side of the background image bar.
Image and video search in Video Studio
When you need to find stock images or video resources you can do so directly from the Asset Browser in Video Studio. Just input your search words into the "Search stock images" field in the Asset Browser and press enter.
Depending on your search words you will now get many results from a few different sources, that you with a single button press can add to your slide or the Asset Browser.
You can look at an asset in detail by clicking the link icon in the top right corner of the asset when you hover over it with the mouse pointer. This will open up the asset detail page on the service that provides it; this link will open up in a new window.
You don't have to do anything on that detail page except view the asset if you want to. Selecting and importing it into the system is done in the asset browser.
So when you find an asset that you like to use you can either "Import" it (if you accessed the Asset Browser from the Assets button in the top menu) or "Import and select" it to automatically add it to your slide if you accessed the Asset Browser through the "Add background" button under a slide. Then it will both be imported into the system and also set as the background on the slide you're on.
License: Non-attribution and free to use
All providers in the system give you full non-attribution rights to the content, meaning that you are free to use the images and videos without the need for credits. We import credits from the providers, but you as a user do not have to display it. It could be a nice touch to do it, nevertheless, but it's not mandatory.
The open providers we are using in the system now are Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash. And if you want to read up on their license terms, you can do so by following these links: Pixabay License Terms, Pexels License Terms, and Unsplash License Terms.
The Premium Provider "Videoblocks" gives you as a user more access to more than 450 000 high-quality video assets that are free to use for you as a Video Studio user – this is a service we provide to all clients as an added bonus. The usage is the same as for the open providers with, but with Videoblocks you can do filtered searches that allow you to get only assets that are explicitly model released, property released and cleared for commercial use*. You are still free to use these assets as non-attribution assets.
The filters you can use with Videoblocks are as follows:
- Use "Talent Released" to ensure that recognizable individuals (image or voice) depicted in a video clip have given permission for the clip to be used for commercial purposes. If the content has not been model released, it can still be used for editorial purposes.
- Use "Property Released" to ensure that owners of the property (such as a trademark or privately owned building or object) depicted in a video clip have given permission for the clip to be used for commercial purposes.
- Use "Editorial only" to filter out videos that are only explicitly cleared for editorial use and not commercial.
*Commercial use, according to Videoblocks: "In general, “commercial use” means use intended to help sell or promote a company, product, or service. If you are going to use our content to make money, then you are probably using it commercially."
For more on the Videoblocks licensing, please check out this link.
Adding, deleting and moving slides
Adding a new slide is as easy as clicking the big ”Add slide” area after the last slide in the storyboard. This adds a slide that defaults to a ”Simple Slide” which you can change after inserting.
Deleting a slide is possible if you mark the slide and press ”Remove slide” in the top of the side panel.
To move a slide, have it marked and drag it to the desired position on the storyboard by using the drag handle in the top left corner of the slide, this is your drag point that you will have to move to the correct position.
The slide picker
You choose the type of slide you want to use from the slide picker, just click the dropdown at the top of the side panel. The default choice when adding a new slide on the storyboard is a "Simple Slide" but you change that to your own liking.
In the slide picker menu you can hover over a slide type to see the small preview icon on the left play through and show how the slide behaves. You can also access the support article for each general slide type by following the link on the question mark, if you want to know more about the slide. That link will also be displayed beneath the slide picker dropdown.
Advanced settings in the side panel
In the side panel, you will see a few "basic" settings and some "advanced" ones. What settings are basic and advanced differ from slide to slide and is based on what we think is the normal or most common use case for the slide. So, for instance – we often put "Audio control" under an advanced settings group called "Slide settings," since that for many slides is a setting you will leave as is, but for the Player slide and the Subtitle slide, it's an essential setting so that it will be displayed as basic.
Another central philosophy behind the grouping of settings is that you should be able to create a great looking video without even touching any advanced settings, instead relying on the theme settings you have already set up.
Even if the same settings are available on different slides, the default choice can differ from slide type to slide type – to represent the most common usage for that slide.
You access the advanced grouped settings by clicking the name of the group, and you close in the same way.
You can do extensive changes to the appearance and behavior of a slide by changing Duration, Segment, Color, Behavior, and Styling settings. This is all outlined in this chapter.
Under slide settings, you will typically find Audio control, logo visibility and background credit choices.
Other advanced settings groups
On some slide types, there can be other advanced groups that control things like custom assets.
Audio Control – in the editor
You can control the audio in your storyboard in a few different ways. As a default functionality, the soundtrack you choose as your "music" plays over the entire movie in a certain way. This can be changed in a few different ways to gain more control over how your film comes out.
Every slide that can hold a background asset has audio controls. These are relevant to use when the background asset is a video that has its soundtrack. The options are as follows:
No change (default): The background music will play unchanged, and the audio from the uploaded video will be muted. To strike a balance between the provided music and any uploaded audio the background music is by default set to play at -12db. The type of music that is in the free-to-use library in Video Studio is almost exclusively mastered to peak at 0db, making it in a sense "as loud as possible." This means that it will hit all meters pretty hard when not lowered, and we have found that reducing the default music volume to -12db makes for more safe levels and easier mixing with other sound sources.
Lower music volume: The background music will be lowered to -24dB as a default value, and the audio from the uploaded video asset will play at 0db per default. The lowering of the music is done via a fade over 30 frames (or 1 second), and this happens on both fade-out and fade-in. The fade itself begins 15 frames before the slide with the Lower Music Volume setting to make the transition smoother, and then of course in the same manner at the end of the slide.
The sliders: The two volume sliders for Music Level and Main Asset Audio Level are active when you have chosen "Mix Music And Main Asset Audio" and will let you finetune how these two audio streams mix.
The Music Level slider ranges from -20db to 0db. Please note that this is in relation to the default level of the Music, which is -12db, so the actual range is -32db to -12db. The slider is set to the default value of -12db (-24db) and you can increase it to 0db which means that it's at the same level as when you choose "Play Music Only" and that allows you to mix in the Main Asset Sound with the Music without any volume decrease for the Music, which can come in handy at times.
The Main Asset Audio slider ranges from -3db to +12db, so you can lower the level a little but most of the range is on the boost side to address a common issue with a lot of uploaded video files, that the volume is too low. The range of up to 12db boost gives you a lot of volume increase when needed.
Mute music: The background music will be muted, and the audio from the uploaded video will play.
Examples of how to use the "Mix…" sliders
1. The volume of your Main Asset (the video you upload) is too low
Use the "Main Asset Audio Level" and boost it. You have up to 12db of boost on tap, so that will help you out a lot. You can of course also lower the Music Level a bit more, but you should try with only the boost first.
2. You want to keep the music volume but also mix in sound from your Main Asset (the video you upload)
If you boost the "Music Level" (when you have "Mix…" chosen) to 0db that means that the music will stay on the default level and you can still add your Main Asset sound.
3. You want to lower the Music level throughout the video
If you choose "Mix…" on all slides – and have no Main Asset with sound – you can use the Music Level slider to lower the music on all slides and subsequently throughout the movie.
More on choosing background music here.
Offset value for video (experimental)
We allow you to set the ”in point” for a video background asset. This low-key function that takes a time value in milliseconds as input actually allows you to upload a long video file and have that play seamlessly over multiple slides that all can carry that same video asset. The offset value of a slide should represent how much of the video has already played in the previous slide/slides to ”pass it forward”.
Although this may seem kind of cumbersome (and there is another solution coming in future releases) we have made a small ”Video Studio Offset Calculator” (you will have one of those sent to you) that allows you to input the ”sequence” of slide types that you want to the video to play over and get those offset values for easy copying and pasting. It also allows you to put in an offset value for the first video in the sequence and will adjust to that.
The offset value could of course also be used to ”trim” the start off an uploaded video clip if you want it to start at a different time than from the absolute beginning.
On the ”Player Slide” slide type, you can also input a custom duration 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.
NOTE: New offset helper
When setting offset values, there is a little helper in the side panel directly under the "Background video start offset" field. It's called "Chain offset to previous." When you click that the following happens:
- It adds together the duration of the previous slide with the offset value that is entered for the previous slide, thereby exactly doing what your offset calculator does. This means that for a sequence of slides that you want to have the same background video for, you have to enter the offset value for just the first slide in that sequence. (If you don't want it to play from the absolute beginning, that is, because then you leave that offset value at 0.) For the subsequent slides with the same asset you can fill in the right value by just clicking "Chain offset to previous."
This means that you do not have to manually or with the help of the offset calculator add these numbers up.
NOTE: Don't use this functionality on THE FIRST slide in the sequence you're creating. That will use the duration of the previous slide and possible offset values from that, which are unrelated to the sequence. This is highly logical but deserves to be mentioned an extra time.
NOTE: These values ARE NOT dynamic, once they have been written to the field they WILL NOT automatically update with other changes. So if you change the offset value of the first slide in a sequence – or a duration setting for slides in the sequence – the subsequent numbers WILL NOT update automatically. To make these changes, you will have to press the "Chain offset to previous" again on these slides and then the value in the field will update. So a good practice is to run through this process just before generating a preview or full render, to make sure that all numbers are up to date.