In my last post I described a cool new video tool indie authors can use to re-purpose existing blog content and drive social media engagement at the same time — Lumen5. Lumen5 is a video creation tool specifically designed to take text content and present it in video format. Let’s create a video with Lumen5.
Create Your Account
You need an account first, and it’s simple to create one. Sign up with a your full name, your email address and a password. Pretty straightforward:
Create a Video
The Lumen5 video creation process is simple.
Click Create Video to get started. This button appears in a couple of different places, depending on whether you’ve just signed up or if you have created previous videos.
Because I have created videos prior to this blog post, it appears in the upper right hand corner of my ‘dashboard’.
Add source content in two ways:
- Supply the URL of your blog article
- Copy and paste the text in yourself
This example will use the URL method, seeing as re-purposing existing blog posts is the whole point of Lumen5.
Organizing the Text Content
Most blog articles are too long to re-purpose into video and you’ll likely see a screen providing suggestions on how you can reorganize the text.
You don’t have to follow the advice. You and reorganize (or not) the text any way you want.
In this example we’ll work with the entire article by clicking No thanks, let me use the full article in the lower right hand corner of the suggested organization box.
Building the Story
The next screen displayed is divided into a left and right hand “pane”.
The article text is in the left pane. The right pane is used to reorganize and slim down the content. Lumen5 calls this process “Building the Story”.
Click sentences in the left hand pane to move them into the right pane.
Lumen5 will populate the right pane with each sentence clicked upon, but you can edit the sentence in the right pane. Add entirely new text by clicking the plus sign.
Edit text within each “snippet bar” in the right pane as desired. You can delete it entirely or re-order text using the appropriate button icons.
After you have positioned all of the content you want in the left pane (you won’t use all of the blog text), preview the video so far by using the Preview button in the upper right hand corner.
The preview will show you the text animated on a black background. The preview here allows you to do a quick check on amount of text on each slide. You’ll add images in the next step.
After the preview you can edit the text content or move to the next step with the Continue button, in the upper right hand corner.
The next step is to add media to each “slide” in the video being built.
Media is added on a screen split into a left and right pane. Available media is on the left, the slides making up the video are on the right.
Add either a background image or a background image to each slide. Lumen5 “pre-populates” your slides with media based on the text content. Images and video may be selected from a huge collection of royalty free media provided by Lumen5 or you can upload your own.
Lumen5 will automatically import any images from your blog post if you started the creation process with a blog post URL.
Drag media from the left to the desired slide on the right. If media already exists on the slide, the “new” media will replace it.
Once the media is placed on a slide you can:
- Preview you the slide
- Designate the text as a title, quote, “regular” text, or remove the text entirely
- Change the text position on the slide (usually this is done for better text visibility)
- Select text to highlight in the default colour (you can change the highlight colour later), or turn off highlighting entirely
- Turn on/off a black bar behind the text for even greater visibility
On the right hand side you can search for images and videos to add to your video, using filters to narrow down the results. As mentioned, you can upload your own media. Lumen5 requires confirmation that you have the rights to use uploaded media.
Add a music track to your video by clicking Music at the top of the left pane.
You can preview tracks and filter the tracks presented. To add the desired music, just click on the track title.
To add branding items such as a logo or to change the text highlight colour, click Branding.
Rendering the Video
When branding has been added (if desired), the video can be rendered by clicking Continue in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
A popup box appears where a couple of further options may be set. Resolution and Lumen5 Logo in Credits may only be adjusted with a paid account. You can preview the video in this pop up as well.
Click Publish to render the video.
A new screen appears indicating the video is rendering. Rendering takes five to ten minutes. An email is sent to you when the video is finished and the screen updates to show “Done!“.
Sharing and Downloading
Click View Video to share the video or download it.
Right now Lumen5 only provides direct sharing to Facebook, but there is a link to directions for uploading to other platforms.
Here’s an example of a video I created using a blog URL. It took me about 20 minutes from start to finish.
I’ll post on Lumen5 again once I have a little more experience with it. It’s a powerful, easy-to-use tool and I strongly recommend checking it out.
So, what say you, indie-authors? Is Lumen5 something you would consider using ? If so, how would you use it? Let us know in the comments!