Creating a one-off non-pro video to document a project – what software would be sensible?

I should say straight up, I’m not a video professional, although I’ve used simple tools such as VirtualDub and ffmpeg a lot over the years. I have probably used incorrect terminology here, if so please let me know.

I have a very simple video in mind, but I’m not sure what software would be appropriate. The video is purely to document the issues on a project – there were so many of them (like 100 – 200!) that if I ever need to give a strong overview on what went on with it, I’d rather put someone in front of a self-evident video for 3 minutes where they can see the photos and the region concerned, instead of asking them to read a dry 30 page list and hundreds of photos. I’ve been told that’s by far the best thing to do, to convey this aspect.

I’m hoping for a helping hand with shortcutting whatever I can, and with getting going.

As I’ve described, the video I have in mind is pretty functional, it’s not for “niceness” so much as to convey a complex message about a complex 3D region and what was discovered where, and to provide the viewer with a good insight into the 3D layout of the region and what was noteworthy where, quicker and better than diagrams and a written document could do.

Intended style/content

As a video concept, I’m thinking of something that’s almost a slideshow with annotations and overlays. The basic “scenes” will simply be a background track made up of stills, giving the viewer a “virtual tour” of the whole region. Overlaid on these “scenes”, I want to fade in and out, bubble-like “frames” that contain photos (and the occasional video snippet), and sometimes text or markings, that show the viewer what was discovered and where, with key textual comments if needed, or shapes such as arrows to point to where the items in the overlay frames were found, on the background image. There’s likely to be several overlaid objects at any given time, and each will have its own fade in/out timing.

In terms of transitions, all I plan to use is fade in/fade out/crossfade. The objects and backgrounds won’t be moving at all, unless their content happens to be a video and not a photo/diagram/shape (there are maybe 4-5 videos I want to include within “frames” in a “scene”).

The video will probably use something like 500 – 700 photos and diagrams overall. There’s no need for audio although I might add background music.


In terms of my own competence and comfort level, I’d like something that supports a workflow in which this project will be as simple as possible. Ideally something like this:

  • Create a track for each object (an object might be a image/video/shape/text frame, and it could be a background still, or a “bubble” or “shape” within a “frame” that overlays it);

    For each object:

    1. Mark on its track, when the object exists (between starting to be visible and vanishing) + transitions;
    2. Drag it on the storyboard/video layout frame, to set its start and end positions (I don’t plan to have movement so the path is a bit redundant for me)
    3. Drag the track in front/behind other tracks, or groups of tracks, to indicate which other objects it’s in front of/behind.
  • Repeat for all objects and render.


I’m using Windows 8.1 which runs most things that work on Windows 10, and the PC is a fairly heavy duty hexacore workstation with 64GB and plenty of large SSDs, so it’ll make short work of rendering.


Something that “just works”. I don’t mind if it’s a professional package or much more capable than my needs, as long as it supports a smooth workflow and it’s very dependable, and can make this easy and hassle-free for me. The price isn’t a worry – I’m happy with Open Source if it does what I need, I’m happy to pay if it does what I need. As examples of programs that are powerful and capable, but also pretty intuitive and “just work”, I might think of Microsoft’s Excel/Access, where whatever you need, is probably there and reliable; or maybe Photoshop which I like a lot.

I don’t have any specific video editor experience so I’m completely open between pretty much anything from Microsoft Movie Maker to Premiere Pro to Vegas – I simply have no idea what to go for. If someone tells me to use Powerpoint and convert it to a video afterwards, I even might listen to them (joking, honest!) – the reality is I’m completely unfamiliar with what’s best for doing this.

As it’s time sensitive I’d like to prioritise the kinds of things that will help minimise time – it “just works”, it’s a pretty intuitive program, the kinds of things I will need to do, to make this video, are nicely accessible within the UI, and if I need more capabilities it’s probably got them too. Those matter much more.

I don’t mind a professional quality editor if it’ll be a good choice, and I have a good technical learning curve – but the more I have to figure out to get the basics working, the more time gets lost, so capable, reliable, but also fairly intuitive and easy/straightforward for a technically-competent newcomer to get going and be productive with simple editing like this. I can play with advanced features another time.

If this can get me a good shortcut in getting going, it will be very helpful and worth it.

Thank you!

All topic

How to copy a project from codeplex to GitHub

Since codeplex hub is disappearing, some projects have not been moved by their owners to other places.

What would be the process of moving someone else’s project?

All topic

Where to Find Data….Project Idea [closed]

I am currently taking a SAS class. We were advised to think of a project that we could do on our own, as newbies. Does anyone have any ideas that a newbie to SAS could take on, and where I can find the data for it?

I thought about doing gas prices, and how that relates to holidays; i.e. which specific day would be the best day to buy gas according to trends, as it relates to each holiday–throughout the year; however, the only data I could find was monthly averages and not daily averages. Moreover, it was only for one state, and I would obviously need more data points than just a monthly average for entire states.

All topic

How to sell a project to your competitor? Documents, Warnings, Considerations

I’ve created a simple SaaS (Software as a Service) project that helps small towns improve their tourism websites and apps easily, fast and paying a small fee each month.

Why I want to sell it?

I’m moving to the Netherlands and I will not have enough time to develop it. It is for small towns, so there will be many problems with meetings, and so on.

Why to my “competitor”?

  • They are bigger and can offer this service.
  • They trust me, tried to hire me a couple of weeks ago.
  • This project can generate synergies with their business model.
  • Got access to the CEO.

What are my concerns?

I want to propose it, but I don’t know how to start. I have the design, the development and examples. The system is straightforward and I’m creating documentation to simplify/explain it even more.

I don’t want to get copied, although that would require a good investment on their side, so I think that it isn’t very smart.

  • What should I give them?
  • How can I see if there’s real interest?

All topic

How to query the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) to find all subjects with both 16s and WGS workups?

I am looking for a query to run on the HMP database that will return all subjects who have had BOTH 16s and whole genomes sequence (WGS) workups. I am currently using this query…

file.matrix_type = 16s_community OR file.matrix_type = wgs_community AND (file.format = FASTA OR file.format = FASTQ) 

and sifting through the results by adding them to my shopping cart, browsing the file types until I have added all of the samples from one subject, and then I check to see if I have at least one 16s and one WGS. So far, I have not found one person who has had both 16s and WGS where both files were publicly accessible, and most do not have WGS at all. There must be a way to get subjects with both workups done to make this faster.

All topic

Choosing a microcontroller for IoT project

I’m currently working on an IoT project. The principle is to have a box that could connect to a phone over Bluetooth on some NFC contact. After the phone and the box will communicate messages over Bluetooth to the phone.

The box must be able to pair with the phone and when an NFC contact is triggered send a message to the phone using Bluetooth.

I’ve started by developing a truly basic prototype of it using a raspberry pi and an NFC PN532. I now want to develop a new version of it using some dedicated hardware, the idea is to get as near as possible of an industrial version.

I’ve seen two different hardware to do so:

  • the first one is a Toshiba micro-controller ( and

  • the second is from NXP (

My problem is that as I have no experience at all in IoT and I am more of a software engineer than hardware engineer I don’t really know which one is the better for my project.

I then have two questions:

  • Do you know any other hardware piece that allows Bluetooth and NFC ?

  • Which one would you advise for me ? How can I truly differentiate them ?

Thx for reading me.

PS: please pardon my English I’m still learning 😉

All topic

Is it ethical to close a project where there is no output without any pay

I wanted to get some processing work done so I hired a freelancer for the same

Before the contract started, I clearly mentioned 8 key things I want the code to do.

I deposited the contract amount in an escrow account.
For some reason, the freelancer rejected it. He wanted me to pay him via PayPal (perhaps to reduce service charges)

He managed to do 7 of the 8 points of the contract. The last point which he did not complete was extremely critical. If that point wasn’t fixed, the project was as good as useless.

He refused to work ahead and wanted me to increase the contract amount by a substantial amount outside my budget which was a clear disagreement to the initial terms.

How to deal with such issues. Its been a quite some time we have had a chat. He isn’t demanding a compensation for any work since he never delivered any code to me.I don’t want to continue the project.What should I do ? He isnt expecting any money for any work since there’s no mail regarding any such request from his side for the payment . Is it ethical to forget about this and go ahead in life ?

All topic

What to do once the project goes live?

I’m looking for advice on the best way to service my client once their project goes live while avoiding any potential pitfalls. The product is a custom software solution that is cloud hosted. During product development the client has been billed straight time and materials. I’m uncertain what the best course of action is for when the product goes live.

For hosting accounts and costs: Is it advisable that I maintain the cloud hosting account under my company’s name and continue to bill the client accordingly? Or, am I and my client in a better position if the client pays the hosting bill under their name and hands the keys to the account over to me to manage on their behalf? What problems should I expect with either of these models? Are there other models that should be considered?

For support: I anticipate support hours potentially being much less than the time that went into development. However, I anticipate still being called upon by the client from time to time. Is it advisable to do a flat rate support contract plus an hourly rate? I want to make sure that both I and the client value the relationship once the product is in support.

All topic

What software can I use to make it easy for developers on my project to vote?

I am working on an open source project, and we are looking to make changes to the way we do version control.

I want to propose several systems, and have the developers vote.

What would be a good platform for doing this, where the developers would not need to create an account to vote on something…

EDIT: Does anyone know of a system that either implements with GitHub or Google login, or allows me to block repeat IP ranges, refreshes, etc.?

All topic

Project Server 2016 doesn’t send task assignment alerts to resources

I have SharePoint Server 2016 and Project Server 2016.

I turned on notification sending in Central Administration and for each resources, but resources don’t receive any alerts/notifications after the resource is assigned to a project task.

I did settings according these links, but they don’t help:

How to send email notification when assigning task to resources in project server 2013 web app

Configuring e-mail notifications and reminders in Project Web App

Alerts and Reminders

All topic