Graphic Tools for Indie Authors — Part 8

Hello and welcome to Graphic Tools for Indie Authors , Part 8 of my series dealing with graphics tools which can be used to promote novels, blogs, social media campaigns, and more. Today we turn our attention to Invideo for indie authors. Invideo is a free (with paid options) online video creator.

Invideo is very much like Lumen5, but offers many more features.

Here’s our article outline, so let’s get started:

  • What is Invideo?
  • Website Overview
  • Using Invideo
  • Invideo Applications
  • More Resources

What is Invideo?

Invideo is a web-based creation tool which features royalty free stock clips and images to be used in the creation of your video. The web application builds videos as a series of scenes, each of which may have multiple videos, images, and text overlays.

Invideo allows you to make a video from scratch, using one of their numerous pre-made templates, or from an article. In the latter case Invideo will auto-generate a video based on the article’s text content, drawing from its library of images and video clips.

You have full control over scenes, and hence video duration, entrance effects “on screen” effects, and exit effects as well as text overlays with font, colour, and weight choices, Naturally you can upload your own clips and images.

You can format your video to various social media dimensions, and can add both narration and background music. Both a free and paid a subscription option are available.

That’s quite a bit, and this is not a comprehensive list of features and capabilities.

Website Overview

The Invideo home page provides for three creation options at the top and a host of template options below. It can be a bit overwhelming. But what you need to get started is right at the top.

Invideo Website

You are presented with a number of choices. First you choose how to build your video:

  • Use a Pre-made Template
  • Use the Article-to-video option
  • Start with a Blank Template

Next you select the video dimensions — Instagram Post, YouTube, Facebook News feed, tall, square, and more.

The default option is for a Pre-made Template. And there are a lot of templates from which to choose. Select one you see on the page, or search for a topic and scroll through the suggestions InVideo provides.

If you choose a Template, you are not “locked” into it. You have full control over font, colours, images, videos are more. Customize as much or as little as you want.

Template Size

The image below shows the Storyboard view. I elected to create a video from a blog article I have written and go with a “square” (1:1) template. InVideo scanned the article text, and imported it. I edited it, selected a template and then began editing.

You can see the first scene in the centre of the screen. Scrolling down will show the others.

Storyboard Interface

Storyboard is where you’ll get started crafting your video. On the left are the controls to select and swap out videos and images, edit the script, add music, and upload your own content (music, voice over, video and/or images).

On the right you can duplicate or delete the scene, and access the Basic Editor, which allows you to edit the timeline for the scene in more detail, among other things.

You can also use the Advanced Editor, shown below.

Advanced Editor Interface

At first glance there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the basic and advanced editors.

However, on the left, you now have options to add text, stickers, effects, shapes, and what InVideo calls “Enhancers” — image collages, masks, and something called Twitter/instagram Post which, frankly, I haven’t figured out yet.

There are more changes on the timeline at the bottom of the screen. You can see each scene and access it with a single mouse click. Moreover, you can add transition effects between scenes.

There’s a lot more to Invideo than just this brief tour, but you get the idea — there are a wealth of capabilities available for crafting videos.

Using Invideo

At a high level, the workflow for creating a video using Invideo is fairly straight-forward.

Decide the purpose

If you are new to video creation, or even this tool, I suggest you start off using the Article-to-video option. If you already have an article you’ll have an idea for the video. If you don’t you, you’ll find it’s easier to start with a series of sentences (after all, we are writers) when coming up with an idea for the video.

Pick the template — dimensions and “look & feel”

Template selection is a two step process. First, select your desired video dimensions, which primarily depends upon where your finished video will sit. Facebook? YouTube, Instagram, Twitter? Choose the dimensions that best suites your needs.

Selecting the Template Size

Second, select an actual pre-made template. As soon as you select the size Invideo will show you a list choices lower down on the web page.

There are a lot of templates from which to choose (seriously, you will be scrolling through the choices), and you can preview them before making your selection.

Previewing the Template

Templates come with pre-formatted scenes, including text place holders, images, video clips, and background music. Scene transitions are included. You are not forced to use any of the assets in the template. All can be changed. In fact, they will be automatically updated when Invideo scans your text and fetches replacement assets from its library.

Add the text content

You can either provide a URL for the blog article or you can just type in the text you want to use. The URL option will bring in the entire article, which will be way too much to put into a reasonably sized video, so some paring will be required. You don’t have to get things perfect at this point you always have the option to edit your text, no matter where you are in the creation process.

No matter the method used to generate video text, Invideo provides you an opportunity to choose only the best parts of the text content (usually most applicable if you have entered a URL from which to fetch a blog article).

Invideo also offers you the option to have it “auto-generate” scenes based upon keywords in the text. I suggest this option at first. You can always completely edit the results if you don’t like any of the auto-generated scenes or accompanying assets.

Use the Storyboard

When auto-generate is complete you’ll be taken to the storyboard, where you can review the scenes created by Invideo. The creation process is not perfect. Often Invideo will not able to find either video or image assets to match part of your content. When this happens it will substitute a black background for the scene the scene text in white over top.

Not to worry though, you can manually search Invideo’s library of assets and choose the appropriate images and/or videos.

The storyboard is used for what I would call “large, rough edits” to the auto-generated video. Here you can easily:

  • Change the images or videos of any scene
  • Add, delete, edit, or re-order scenes
  • Duplicate scenes
  • Edit the text content used to generate the scenes
  • Upload your own media
  • Add or remove background music
  • Access the Basic Editor for more control
The Storyboard — note Invideo could not find a suitable visual for the first scene

Use the Basic Editor

For more control over timing, for example, the Basic Editor is available through the blue Edit button to the lower right of the current scene.

The Basic Editor

Within the Basic Editor you can begin to “fine tune” your video.

On the left you can now add “stickers”, shapes, effects, and “enhancers” to your scene to provide a bit more spice to the video.

Just below the scene is the timeline where you can adjust the timing of each layer in the scene.

On the left you can edit the visual elements on each layer and select a different scene upon which to work. The Save button in the lower right will save your work and exit the Basic Editor. You can cancel out of the Basic Editor by using the “X” in the upper right.

Use the Advanced Editor

Finally, even greater control over elements can be had through the use of the Advanced Editor.

All of the elements available in the Basic Editor are here, plus a few more. The Advanced Editor allows you to add transitions (e.g. fades, slides, zooms, and more) between scenes. In addition the Advanced Editor can analyze a scene suggest both improvements and optimal duration.

Advanced Editor showing some of the available transitions

After you are done, save your work.

Preview and Export the video

When you are satisfied with the video, use the button in the upper right hand-corner to preview and export the video. Preview takes place in a pop up window. You can pause, replay, and scrub through the video as desired. Click Export Video to produce the finished video.

Previewing the video prior to export

Export takes place on your project page — a page where can see all of your past projects.

Waiting for the export to complete

Depending upon the size of the video the export may take a few minutes. Invideo will send you an email when it’s finished.

The result is an MP4 file. There are no other format options. You can then play or download the video. Alternatively you can share the video directly to Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Invideo Applications

As with similar — but more limited — applications, Invideo can lend itself to a number of author support activities.

Book trailers — Invideo is well suited to putting out a book trailer using its wealth of stock images and video footage. Granted, if your genre is fantasy or science fiction, your choice of assets is limited. However, novels with themes of drama, crime, mystery, romance, and the like will find more with which to work.

Author promotion — these are videos that promote the author themselves. Less demanding in terms of relevant images and footage, these videos can be produced quite quickly by even someone new to video.

Site/Content promotion — written a compelling blog article hosted on your author platform? Instead of the usual tweet or static post on Pinterest or Facebook (for example), use Invideo to craft a short promotional video.

Shout outs to others — want to thank a supporter or influence on social media who has been particularly helpful? A short video shows a little more thought than just a tweet.

More Resources

I’m not the only one reviewing writing about Invideo. There are plenty of resources available, particularly reviews and tutorials. Here’s four you may find useful:

Full InVideo Review / Tutorial – Amazing Video Creator! — a full hour tutorial, and links to several other Invideo tutorials by the same creator.

InVideo Review and Tutorial == an introduction and overview of Invideo by Jan Jager. Jan’s great and does a lot product reviews that may be of interest to indie authors.

Best video editing software – In-Depth InVideo Tutorial — another combination introduction/tutorial, A bit more depth than Jan Jager’s offering on Invideo,

Note that a few of the videos showcase slightly older versions of Invideo, but the core capabilities of the application are well represented.

Final thoughts

I am a fan of Invdeo. I’ve tried several video editing applications, both web-based and desktop, and few (there are one or two) come close to matching Invideo’s feature-rich, yet east to use, offering.

There is a free version, but the lower end paid version is only $10 US per month (on the yearly plan). For this you get access to premium video and image assets, removal of Invideo branding, and the ability to upload your own brand colour pre-set.

I strongly recommend that any indie author wanting to up their content game give this application a try.

So what about, dear readers, have you tried Invideo, or any of its competitors? If so what was your experience? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading, and I will see you again next time.

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