Extra Enhancing Fundamentals: Edit-Pleasant codecs, Intro Titles and Floating Captions

We now contemplate the duties of including an introductory title display and on-screen captions to our movies.  Whereas we may proceed working with our Water-Wonders-of-Iceland instance from the earlier chapter, it is likely to be higher to take up a really completely different form of video as an example–if solely to make the purpose that the majority of those fundamental modifying operations might be equally helpful to a variety of video genres.  Right here I’ll work with a video screen-capture phase I recorded as the final introduction to a video-tutorial collection for constructing and coding a sure 3D gaming situation.  These particulars will not be significantly essential, for our functions, besides by the use of explaining the precise titles and captions we’ll be ; this might equally effectively have been a tutorial on play the guitar intro to “Stairway to Heaven,” or tie a Windsor knot.  Any such tutorial would in all probability profit equally from titles and captioning.

We are going to start, then, by Opening in Shotcut a phase of ‘uncooked’ video, of simply over a minute period, which I captured as a part of the general introduction to my tutorial collection.  To document this and different video for the collection, I used one of many numerous free video-capture instruments now out there: in my case the instrument was a web-based display video recorder from Apowersoft,  which I selected as a result of it had enough options for my functions however was nonetheless extraordinarily lightweight, and thus did not compete for assets with the very resource-intensive Unity3D engine.  This may go with out saying, however one of the best display recorder on the market will not assist you a lot if it bogs down the software program you are attempting to show.  This additionally implicitly solutions one other query that some readers might need: why use two completely different software program instruments for screen-video recording and video modifying, when quite a few instruments promise the flexibility to do each?  The truth is, first, that only a few free instruments do a really competent job of each, and free is presumably a consideration in case you’re learn this far in a Shotcut guide.  Simply as importantly, although, the instruments that do a reliable job of each, free or in any other case, are in my expertise massively higher useful resource hogs than one thing like Apowersoft and even many app-based display recorders; so except you’ve got actually large CPU and RAM out there, good luck attempting to screen-record a demo of a software program instrument like Unity, or any authoring instrument by Adobe, or simply about any software program made by Microsoft.  A significant motive Adobe and Microsoft merchandise are such bloated beasts to start with–and so expensive–is that they attempt to be all issues to all folks.  Operate-targeted, and the place attainable open-source, software program is at all times going to be simpler in your machine in addition to your price range.

Apowersoft, then: this instrument outputs its video as mp4, which as we’ve got seen is one among many codecs that Shotcut works with.  Nevertheless, an attention-grabbing factor occurs once I go to Open my uncooked “OverallTutorialIntro.mp4” in Shotcut.  The file opens and begins instantly enjoying in the primary Supply window, as we might anticipate; however immediately in entrance of that I get a pop-up window:

What has occurred right here, because the textual content above signifies, is that Shotcut has assessed the file I’ve opened and concluded that it is not in essentially the most “edit-friendly” format: particularly, this one was recorded by Apowersoft at a variable somewhat than mounted frame-rate (not like our Iceland iPhone video clips, which have been all at a constant 30 frames per second).  This doesn’t counsel a shortcoming of Apowersoft however somewhat an indication of some intelligence: any sensible screen-capture software program will dedicate extra frames-per-second to motion on the display, somewhat than moments when the display is stationary, as a approach to decrease the dimensions of uncooked screen-capture movies.  However Shotcut prefers to work with segments in a constant frame-rate.  So it has merely supplied to transform my video into a specific form of .MOV file that it might probably work with extra simply.  I may refuse the supply, hit “Cancel” and take my possibilities with the uncooked mp4; however as a substitute I am going to take up Shotcut’s supply and hit ‘OK’.  As quickly as I do, an ordinary explorer dialogue opens, permitting me to decide on a reputation and saving location for the edit-friendly model of the file:

By default, Shotcut has chosen a reputation (and site) which is equivalent to the video file I selected to Open within the first place.  Even accepting this default wouldn’t lead to overwriting the unique file, for the reason that transformed model is in a distinct format (on this case it might have a .mov somewhat than .mp4 file extension).  However, I’ll append “_friendly” to the file title to keep away from any attainable confusion with the unique. 

After I now hit Save, the conversion course of might be kicked off; this course of just isn’t instantaneous however could take seconds to minutes, relying on the size of the unique file.  The method will due to this fact be queued as a Job and indicated within the Jobs Panel, which is able to open to the best of the primary Supply window, displaying this job with a progress indicator, as seen right here at 10%:

When this conversion Job is completed, it’s going to show the entire job period (this one took 4:53) and the icon may also flip inexperienced, as proven:

I can now double-click this merchandise within the Jobs panel, and this transformed .mov file will change my unique mp4 file within the Supply view (what we’re seeing there’s the UI of the Unity3D instrument that I’m demonstrating on this tutorial).  As we noticed two chapters in the past, if I now need to incorporate this file into my venture as materials for modifying, I might want to first add it to the Playlist, and from there to the Timeline.  Under, an edit-friendly model of my Tutorial Intro clip now resides by itself observe within the Timeline:


As with the waterfall clips we opened within the earlier chapter, right here too we are able to see the wave-form of the audio related to this video.  Right here, although, that wave-form takes a way more distinctive and articulated form: it is because what we’re seeing is the voiceover narration I recorded together with this uncooked display seize.  Though this lies outdoors the main target of the current chapter, I ought to observe right here that these distinctive wave-form shapes (as visible representations of the particular audio sign) are extraordinarily helpful for functions of modifying.  If you will trim away video segments, or intercut between segments, you will usually need to accomplish that at some logical pause in your voice narration and never in the midst of a sentence or a phrase.  Furthermore, even essentially the most disciplined voiceover narration nearly at all times incorporates some undesirable pauses, stammers, filler phrases like “um” and “you know”, or just moments if you backtrack and rephrase a degree.  These will be exactly edited out of the audio (as I did for all segments of this completed video tutorial) by splitting at exact factors across the wave-forms you’d prefer to omit.  We are going to discover this in our first chapter on Audio Enhancing.

For now, we’ll assume that the voice narration is already excellent, and this clip is able to function the final Introduction to my tutorial collection.  Or at the very least as the start of 1: this clip is barely a bit over one minute period, and actually it took me three or 4 uncooked ‘takes’ to cowl all the varied factors I would envisioned for the final collection Intro.  These varied clips have been then imported into Shotcut, assembled onto a single video observe, and reduce and spliced collectively till I had a single continous sequence to my satisfaction.  However that course of was in principal equivalent to the one we noticed in assembling the ‘Water Wonders of Iceland’ video within the final chapter, so there isn’t any want to breed it right here.  What this phase does nonetheless want, nevertheless, is an introductory textual content title that can show visually for 4-5 seconds earlier than the screen-capture and narration begins (I may additionally embody a model emblem picture with the intro title if that have been applicable).


There are a number of completely different visible kinds one may comply with for such an intro title, every of which must be acquainted from Youtube movies and different brief movies.  One could be to open with the visible picture of the video itself (usually the very begin), with an introductory textual content caption superimposed over it for 4-5 seconds earlier than fading away.  Right here the video background itself might be transferring — ie, it might be the opening 4-5 seconds of the particular uncooked video– IF that a lot video was out there earlier than any voiceover narration or different recorded sound started to play.  But when, as within the current case, that a lot introductory footage is not out there, we are able to merely use a ‘freeze-frame’ of the primary out there video footage, prolonged to no matter period is critical, because the background for our textual content introduction.  If I needed to implement this strategy, I might start by zooming out my observe to see higher element after which stepping by the opening frames, on the lookout for a second previous to the beginning of the voiceover and which exhibits no visible movement on the display.  Under I’ve recognized a superb candidate phase:


Right here I’ve made two splits (then moved the Playhead simply to the best of the second cut up, in order that it’s seen). Between these two splits is my goal phase, with no audio but (as will be seen within the waveform) and the display seen however with no cursor or different movement.  The red-highlighted phase to the left of my goal phase, which is the precise starting of my uncooked recording, exhibits a short glimpse of my screen-capture software program, so I’ll delete that out.  To do that I’ll use the Carry management on that phase, not Reduce or Delete, as a result of I need to go away a spot in that spot to work with.  After trimming away the primary phase, I hover my mouse over the left fringe of the second (goal) phase, and stretch it so far as it’s going to go to the left, filling the hole and making that phase period longer, like so:

The video now begins with a ‘freeze-frame’, which truly nonetheless contains a number of literal frames however for all intents and functions is static.  However it’s nonetheless lower than a second in period — not almost lengthy sufficient to function an applicable background for our title.  We already know a exact approach to make that phase longer, although: I can choose it, go to Properties (which is able to robotically load the properties of that phase), and alter its Pace from 1.000x to any fraction thereof.  Under, I’ve modified the pace to .210x, which yields a gap phase of a pleasant multi-second period: 

Word, once more, that resizing your phase this fashion, somewhat than maually by dragging it, signifies that all following segments are robotically shifted to the best, which will be very helpful particularly if in case you have a number of separate segments.

Now, IF I needed to make use of this superimposed visible fashion of opening title, what I might do at this level is apply a Textual content Filter to the opening phase, sizing and positioning the textual content appropriately because it seems on the Supply display.  We are going to see what this sort of operation seems to be like shortly.  Because it occurs, nevertheless, I need to use another visible fashion: a (white) textual content intro that seems initially on a black display, sustains that search for 4-5 seconds after which dissolves to the precise transferring screenshot and the beginning of narration.  This has a pleasant dramatic impact and can also be much less cluttered visually: my white Title textual content will seem starkly towards the black background, whereas withe a superimposed title over the video picture that you must select a textual content coloration that can stand out towards any and all colours within the display seize itself.  

What we need to do, then, is to interchange all (or most) of our stretched-out ‘freeze-frame’ intro phase right here with a static picture which is able to a) present up as black within the completed video and b) settle for a textual content filter for our Intro textual content.  For this we may use a pure-black jpeg or png picture, however simply nearly as good for our objective right here — and a lot better for our subsequent objective — might be a clear .png.  Right here I am utilizing a 1300 x 700 px clear png I created in Gimp (an open-source various to Photoshop); one may use any variety of image-editing instruments, and even Powerpoint, to create such a picture, or else in all probability discover one in a Google picture search. Simply be sure the picture is totally clear throughout its floor. Right here is the picture imported into my Playlist:

With this merchandise chosen within the Playlist (will probably be highlighted in blue, as proven above), I can now switch it to the prevailing V1 video observe within the Timeline.  I would like it on the very starting of the observe, so I be sure my playhead is at first level, after which use the Paste management (the clipboard icon) of the Timeline.  My clear picture is now inserted into the V1 observe at level 0, with all subsequent segments shifted proper:

By default, Shotcut assigns static pictures like this a period of 4 seconds; we are able to change this to any period we want within the Properties panel for this picture, however in reality 4 seconds could be very near what we would like.  Discover that the ‘freeze-frame’ phase we created above continues to be in place, following the picture; for now we’ll preserve this, as a result of we’ll need to use a few of it for the dissolve transition from the intro display to the video correct.  

First, although, it is time to add the textual content introduction itself, by the use of a textual content filter utilized to the clear picture. With that picture merchandise nonetheless chosen within the Playlist, we open the Filters panel:

This screenshot exhibits each the Filters panel (nonetheless empty) and the Playlist panel, to make the purpose that there are “+” controls for each panels.  So as to add a filter to the chosen clear picture, we would like the “Add a filter” + button from the Filter panel controls.  Hitting this ‘add’ button will, by default, open up a listing of “favorite” filters:

This record of ‘favourite’ filters consists of some fashionable filters for altering the video picture, the audio observe, in addition to for including html overlays.  However that is solely a small sub-set of the huge array of obtainable filters, which will be searched /sorted otherwise utilizing the buttons now seen on the backside of the Filters panel.  We are going to choose the second (display) button to get a for much longer, alphabetized record of filters associated to altering visible features of the video show.  What we’re after is the Textual content Filter, close to the underside of this record:

If I now double-click on the Textual content filter on this record, Shotcut will add this filter to the chosen Playlist merchandise (the clear picture) and can concurrently open a dialog exposing varied essential properties of the Textual content filter:

A very powerful property of the Textual content filter is, after all, the textual content itself.  By default, the textual content is ready to a timecode discipline, and to a really giant white Verdana font.  The impact on the precise video show is now proven in the primary Supply panel (proper now we’re on the 00:00 second of the timeline).  We will change the #timecode# key phrase with textual content of our alternative; right here we’ll enter our chosen title: “Basics of Automated Tower Defense in Unity3D”.  We will then click on on the button labeled “Verdana” to invoke a dialogue permitting management of all Font properties:

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We are going to preserve Verdana font face, however change it to daring, and permit the font dimension to be regulated by the total dimension of the textual content space on the display.  After a bit extra manipulation, our end result seems to be like this:

Discover, first, that with a Shotcut Textual content filter it’s mandatory so as to add your individual line breaks to the textual content (in any other case it might stretch throughout as a single line of textual content).  From the controls close to the underside of the Textual content filter properties I’ve additionally chosen a “Horizontal fit” of Heart (this actually means center-aligned somewhat than right- or left-justified), and I’ve chosen my textual content to be centered vertically as effectively. However observe that this implies centered inside the textual content discipline, not the video display as an entire.  Initially these two are equivalent; nevertheless, the textual content discipline has a white border and acquainted drag/resizing factors at every nook, and on this screenshot I’ve already dragged the decrease proper nook level inward to make the textual content discipline smaller than the total display, so we are able to readily see the distinction.  After all now the textual content is not centered on the display, however at this level I can transfer all the textual content discipline wherever I would like on the display by dragging it from the circle within the middle.  After a little bit of dragging and a few extra resizing, I’ve the textual content positioned on the display to my satisfaction:

Word that this graphic is barely displaying within the middle window as a result of, within the Timeline, the playhead stays someplace over the clear picture phase within the V1 observe, which is the phase to which I’ve utilized the textual content filter.  As quickly as I transfer the playhead on from that phase, the displayed picture will abruptly change from the white textual content/black background to no matter is next–in this case the ‘freeze body’ static picture from the start of the video, which is the subsequent phase within the observe.  That is what would occur when performed in real-time as effectively.  So whereas the 4-second opening Title is now just about the way in which we would like it, we have to do one thing concerning the abrupt transition.  However we already know make this a pleasant dissolve transition as a substitute: utilizing our mouse within the Timeline, we merely want to tug the Intro picture phase a bit to the best (or we may drag the second phase a bit to the left), and the overlap between them will create a dissolve, of that period.  The V1 observe within the timeline now seems to be like this:

Right here we are able to see the acquainted cross-pattern indicating the dissolve transition between the Intro title and the opening ‘shot’ of the video correct.  As earlier than, my dragging has left a clean phase to the far left of the title picture, which I can right-click/’take away’, and all the pieces else will slide over to the zero level.  Now, if I have been to tug the playhead again over the precise middle of that cross sample (ie, the mid-point of the transition), I might see that the intro title is dissolving properly into that opening shot:

Discover that the screenshot itself (displaying the UI of the Unity3D authoring instrument) is nearly totally seen at this level, in mid-transition, even whereas the white title textual content can nonetheless clearly be learn as effectively.  It is because, whereas the white textual content is now at 50% opacity, its background has no opacity at all–because that picture is clear, not actually black.  It merely ‘reads’ as black to the video viewer (and it’ll within the exported video) in the identical method {that a} hole left within the video observe would learn as black.  This impact might be not essential for the opening title–the transition wouldn’t look that completely different even when I would used a black image–but will probably be extraordinarily essential once we flip to our last activity on this chapter: making a superimposed textual content caption in a phase of transferring video.

Intermittent on-screen textual content captions is likely to be added to video for any variety of causes.  You may need to visually label some specific merchandise or individual that’s briefly seen in a video scene (keep in mind that Shotcut textual content filters will be positioned anyplace on the display that we would like them); you may need to label or title the scene itself (a landmark or geographic location, occasion, individual, and many others); otherwise you may need to complement or emphasize a degree of voice-over commentary with some visible textual content.  I discovered myself doing the final of those at varied factors in my Unity3D tutorial.  For instance, in a later phase of what would grow to be a part of the general Introductory video, I used to be demonstrating what the sport truly regarded like from the participant’s perspective: flying a jet that needed to assault the Tower Defenses of the title.  This is a little bit of screenshot displaying the Participant jet taking off (as seen inside Shotcut’s Supply window), earlier than the jet turns to assault the towers:

Now, this whole video tutorial collection was about creating and coding the anti-aircraft towers themselves in order that they operate as a formidable automated protection system.  For his or her goal I simply wanted a player-controlled plane, and the one I used was largely a inventory object, with inventory flight-control code, supplied with the Unity instrument itself. I made this level clearly sufficient within the voiceover narration, however felt it value emphasizing additional with a textual content caption that would seem at this identical level within the demo.  How would we implement this?

In truth we have seen almost all the items we want already.  We all know add a textual content filter to a phase of video observe, and we all know outline a selected phase by cuts or ‘splits’ on the start- and end-points.  We all know zoom a video observe and ‘stroll’ the playhead slowly alongside, to decide on precisely the place to put these begin and finish splits (primarily based each on the video’s visuals and on logical start- and end- factors within the accompanying audio observe).  On this case I’ve added two splits in my video of the flying jet, creating a short, 4-second phase of the jet demo precisely the place I would like my disclaimer caption to seem:

Now, it might be attainable at this level so as to add a textual content filter on to this video phase — as we have seen, we may management the textual content caption’s dimension, font color and style, in addition to its actual place on the display.  But when we did that, the textual content caption would seem and disappear abruptly, because the playhead handed into after which out of this particular phase of the observe.  Everyone knows from watching movies that good on-screen captions fade in after which out, so accomplish that impact?  May we remedy this with a dissolve-transition at both finish of this phase?  Not likely, as a result of what could be dissolving could be not simply the textual content caption however the complete audio-video scene, which might very a lot disrupt what must be a steady viewing expertise.  As an alternative, we have to lastly break free from the single-track focus of our modifying up to now, and make use of Shotcut’s potential to ‘composite’ or merge collectively a number of video tracks.

The very first thing to do, then, is use the Menu management of the Timeline toolbar (the farthest-left icon seen beneath) to “Create New Video Track”.  This new observe will now seem, empty, simply above the primary one:

At this level we may take a number of routes.  One could be to Copy the outlined phase and Paste it within the new V2 observe, immediately above its unique place (however leaving the unique in place as effectively).  The end result would seem like this:

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We may then apply a textual content filter to the duplicate phase within the V2 observe, and likewise apply a fade in video and fade out video filter.  The problem right here (moreover getting the 2 segments precisely synchronized) is that I’ve seen this technique work generally, and never different instances; the textual content caption doesn’t at all times fade, because it ought to, when hooked up to an opaque background.  However the various route, which at all times works, is to not use an opaque background in any respect: as a substitute of duplicating the outlined phase, we are able to paste our clean clear PNG picture into the house immediately above the jet phase.  To do that, we want to ensure the V2 observe is chosen, be sure the clear picture is chosen within the Playlist, transfer our Playhead immediately over the left-hand reduce (which defines the beginning of the phase), and hit the Paste management.   The end result will seem like this:

It occurs that the jet phase we outlined is a little more than 4 seconds in period — which is the default period of a static picture added to a venture in Shotcut –so that, as we are able to see right here, the picture phase is initially a bit shorter than the jet phase beneath it.  We will treatment that both by going into the Properties of the picture and lengthening it to match the jet phase, or ‘manually’ (which is likely to be simpler on this case) just by dragging the best fringe of the picture phase till it matches the reduce beneath it. 

Now, with that picture phase nonetheless chosen, we are able to open the Filters panel and add a Textual content filter to it, simply as we did for the Intro phase.  I’ll keep on with Verdana daring and white–it exhibits up effectively sufficient towards this background, and it is at all times good when attainable to remain constant in your fonts.  In contrast to the title, although, I do not need to use all the display for my disclaimer caption; so I’ll dimension and place it accordingly:

This screenshot is tall sufficient to allow us to see each the 2 Timeline tracks and the ensuing output within the viewer: as a result of Shotcut is compositing or merging the 2 video tracks, we see the opaque lettering of the textual content caption within the prime observe, but additionally proper by the clear background of that phase to the scene of the primary observe beneath it. The caption seems to be merely floating there, over the transferring video, for the period we have chosen.  All that continues to be is so as to add a Fade In Video filter and a Fade Out Video filter to the picture phase as effectively:

These two filters will be discovered within the ‘display’ filter record we noticed above (together with the Textual content filter — they’re simply a lot greater within the record as it’s alphabetically ordered). Once more, we must be clear that we’re making use of these fade filters to the ‘video’ itself–or on this case, to the clear picture segment–and to not the textual content as such.  It’s probably on the Shotcut group’s roadmap so as to add fade-in/fade-out capabiity on to Textual content; however within the meantime, utilizing a clear picture as our car supplies precisely the identical finish end result.  Not less than it’s going to so long as we bear in mind one last step: we should test “Adjust opacity instead of fade with black”, on each the fade in and fade out filters, so as to get the impact we would like.  And we must always observe the opposite adjustable property of the Fade filters: Length.  By default that is set to 1 second for the whole shift in opacity, from 0 to 100% or again. I discover this a really workable fade period for textual content captions, however one may select to make it shorter or longer as effectively.  These fades, by the way, are visually represented by the slanting shadowed areas we are able to now see within the Timeline, within the picture phase on the higher observe:      


Had been we to maneuver the cursor/Playhead to the middle of one among these slanting areas, we might see within the viewer that our disclaimer textual content caption is pale to 50% opacity.  In the meantime, nothing else concerning the movement of the video or audio adjustments: our textual content caption merely fades in, hangs there for simply over 4 seconds after which fades away.

This course of might be repeated so as to add as many textual content captions as mandatory for a given video track–though truly, having carried out the primary one, it might be best merely to Copy this prime picture phase, transfer the Playhead to a brand new location within the V1 observe, and Paste the copy simply above it in V2.  It is not even strictly essential to demarcate the video phase within the V1 observe with splits: I simply did that as a handy method of marking the place I needed the caption to seem and disappear. (There’s little draw back, although, to utilizing splits for markers this fashion: upon Exporting, Shotcut will merge all observe segments, no matter quantity, right into a single steady video file).  After all, at this level the copied picture will nonetheless have the unique textual content caption we created earlier than, however that is simply modified.  Having pasted the copy in its new location, one can then open the Filters panel again–making certain that the copy picture phase is chosen, not the original–and double-click on the Textual content filter to show its properties dialogue.  The textual content will be modified to an applicable new caption for this phase, and one also can resize or transfer the textual content space now as effectively.  

Easy floating textual content captions like these are on no account the one objects we are able to superimpose on operating video phase, by way of filters.  Shotcut features a 3D textual content filter as effectively, which to my eyes seems to be about as tasteful as 3D textual content in some other editor; however different filters enable us to superimpose static html shapes, static pictures of no matter dimension and display place, and even inset home windows with different video clips operating.  A few of these latter potentialities might be explored in one of many Superior chapters.  

In the meantime, a last level to make right here is that, having seen create a white-on-black Intro title, dissolving into the opening (initially static) shot of the video correct, we already understand how we may add finish credit to a video as effectively.  First, choose a comparatively static last phase of the video, and stretch it out sufficient to make use of for the transition; then Append to this complete video sequence one other copy of your transparent-background picture; then add a textual content filter to it (and/or an html filter if in case you have, for instance, a model emblem picture you’d prefer to show ultimately credit); and eventually create the dissolve transition, going within the reverse path from the primary one.  Or, in case you do not need to dissolve immediately from the video picture to the credit score textual content itself, you can add in a shorter clean phase of transparent-background picture first, which is able to simply learn as a ‘fade to black’, after which a separate one to which you’d apply each a textual content (and/or html filter) and fade-in and fade-out filters.   As a purely stylistic alternative, I opted to solely create an end-credit impact on the finish of my last video phase for my Unity tutorial collection; however many Youtube tutorial collection have an end-credit seqence on the finish of every video.

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