Monthly Archives: July 2010

How to Make an Inspirational Video Using Free Software and Free Resources

People love inspirational messages or quotes! This is probably because inspirational messages motivate them and help get them through the day. In making inspirational videos, you can reach out to scores of people and inspire them.

The inspirational video we will be making will consist of inspirational quotes with inspiring background images set with music. It is simple to make with no expenses, but this is a bit of a long process. We will be utilizing Open Source Software (OSS), which means they’re free to download and use. This tutorial mentions Linux and Windows because these are operating systems I’m familiar with. Mac users may have to scout out alternative software of the ones that are featured here.

First off, here’s what you’ll need to prepare to make your inspirational video:

1. OpenOffice Impress. This is the best alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint. While PowerPoint will cost you, OpenOffice Impress won’t. It comes bundled in a productivity software suite called OpenOffice, which also includes a word processor, a spreadsheet and a graphics application. The OpenOffice suite has both Linux and Windows version. You can download the suite at http://www.openoffice.org

2. Photo images. You can get free, no copyright photo images at http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/, or you can Google the phrase, public domain images. Download 10-15 images that inspire you.

3. Inspirational quotes. You can Google the phrase, inspirational quotes. They’re all over the Net. Choose the ones that move you and then copy and paste them (be sure to include the name of the author of the quotes) into a text editor.

4. Background music. You can get free music here: http://www.jamendo.com/en/. Downlaod the music you feel will fit in well with an inspirational video.

5. GTK-RecordMyDesktop. This is a screen capturing application, which unfortunately comes only for Linux. But a Windows free alternative is Camstudio, which you can download here: http://camstudio.org/. Download GTK-RecordMyDesktop here: http://recordmydesktop.sourceforge.net/downloads.php

6. Devede. This is a video converting software. GTK-RecordMyDesktop will save in .ogv format, which you need to convert to .avi, the standard format most video players and Youtube can read. Camstudio for Windows is able to save in .avi, but the software is a bit buggy. You can download Devede here: http://www.majorsilence.com/devede

7. Avidemux. This is a simple but powerful video editor needed to cut off unwanted frames from the .avi video you make. They have versions for both Linux and Windows. Download site is here: http://fixounet.free.fr/avidemux/download.html

8. Audacity, an audio editor and recorder, so you can shorten or lengthen the background music of your video. They have versions for both Linux and Windows here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/

Let’s now go through the process of making an inspirational video.

1. Fire up OpenOffice Impress. Place an image on each slide and then place a quote on each image. Make the image and the quote dissolve in one after the other. Don’t use too much animation. Set the slide transistion to automatic with intervals of 10 seconds. Don’t insert your chosen music yet. We’ll get to that later,

(Unfortunately I can’t add an OpenOffice Impress tutorial with this article as well as tutorials for the other software we’ll be using, or else this article would be too long.)

2. Play the slideshow of presentation you just made. If you’re satisfied, save your work. Don’t minimize the Impress interface.

3. Open GTK-RecordMyDesktop. Click the ‘Save as’ button to name your work and choose the folder to save it in. Select the screen area you want to record. This should be most of the screen of your monitor. Click on the ‘record’ button. The GTK-RecordMyDesktop menu will disappear but will already start recording. Press F5 on your keyboard so Impress will start the slideshow. When the slideshow ends, you can stop the GTK-RecordMyDesktop recording. The file will be saved as .ogv. Later you can edit out the excess frames that GTK-RecordMyDesktop captured apart from the slideshow.

4. Open Devede and convert the .ogv file into .avi. A good tutorial on how to do this can be found in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jqYOhpv6hg

5. Open Avidemux and load the converted .avi file. Edit out the excess frames that GTK-RecordMyDesktop captured. Save your work and check out how long the file is so you can sync this with your chosen background music.

6. Open Audacity. Load your chosen background music. Cut out or loop the music according to how short or how long your video is. Export and save it with a different name so you can retain the original music.

7. Go back to Avidemux and load the edited mp3 music with your .avi video. This is done by clicking on ‘Audio’ at the menu bar. A pop-up menu will appear. Click on the drop-down menu beside ‘Audio source’ and select ‘External MP3.’ Then on the space beside ‘External file,’ browse to where the music is and then choose it. Click ‘OK.’ Save your work.

That’s it! You just made your first inspirational video. Needless to say, practice makes perfect.

Of course, you are not limited to inspirational videos. With this process, you can make tutorials, business proposals, manuals, etc. You can then burn them into CDs or DVDs and distribute them aside from uploading them to video-sharing sites.