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.
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:
- Mark on its track, when the object exists (between starting to be visible and vanishing) + transitions;
- 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)
- 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.