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THE LESSON: How A Novice Video Creator Made An Epic Video In Canva
Crafting a captivating video using Canva Pro and FREE online tools in just one day!
Last year, I used Canva Pro and FREE online tools to create the best video I’ve ever made in my life- all produced and delivered in one day.
That’s quite impressive for someone who is NOT a professional videographer and doesn’t even have a TikTok account!
As a content creator, I've always focused on writing, and more recently, I have started creating graphics with Canva. But videos differ from either of these; they're a whole new ball game.
Until recently I found video creation intimidating and time-consuming. But, with 87% of businesses already using video as a marketing tool, I figured I had to upskill myself and this is how and why I did it.
We recently completed the branding for Asian Development Bank's Innovation Hub, which we used to promote their flagship innovation event: Innovation Fair 2022.
To cover the event itself, we collaborated with our production partner in the Philippines for a professional shoot, but when the event ended our client couldn’t wait for the raw photos and footage to be processed and wanted to put something out straight away.
I had no choice but to pull up my socks and do it myself!
You’ve probably already heard of Canva, which has quickly become an indispensable weapon in our creative arsenal. We have a Pro subscription but I promise that was the ONLY paid software I used to create my video (not bad at just S$13.75 a month).
I love that Canva makes it so easy for me to kick-start my creative juices. Whenever I'm stuck all I have to do is explore its rich range of templates for inspiration. You can create stunning, personalised designs by combining your assets (photos and videos from the event), with royalty-free elements from Canva's massive library of over 75 million stock images, graphics and footage.
I used Canva's animation and transition features for this video to make each scene look dynamic. Canva also has an extensive audio library where you can drag and drop royalty free music or sound effects into your project. If you want to use your own music from another source (as in the case of this video), you can upload your audio file in MP3, WAV or AIFF format.
This already solves a ton of issues. But wait, there’s more…
The video has a part where I wanted the frames to transition faster than one event photo per second (which is the fastest that Canva can do), so I used ezGIF.com instead as it offers more flexibility on speed.
ezGIF is free and enables you to create, resize, reverse, optimize, speed up, speed down, change colors, add a logo or watermark, and apply different effects. It is straightforward and you can create your customized GIF in less than 5 minutes!
I created a fast-forward effect for one part of the highlight reel by using another free online design tool: Adobe Express, which has similar functionality to Canva but with additional video editing features such as speed control.
I picked up Adobe Express pretty quickly since it has a friendly drag-and-drop interface- similar to Canva.
Finally, I used the online screen recorder Loom to complete my masterpiece! Why? Because the raw video footage was more than 10 GB in size and over an hour long, it would have been too painful to upload it all onto Canva and then scroll through it trying to find snippets of material. Instead, I played the parts I wanted on my computer and used Loom to record the sound and vision to capture just the clips I wanted to upload.
The resolution wasn’t quite as clear but I calculated that because my video was destined for social media, not the cinema, this was the optimal solution to a time-pressed problem.
The Final Output
And here it is, the final highlight reel that I was able to produce with Canva and these tools- all in a day’s work with no previous experience!
Are you also a newbie in video creation? Or perhaps you are still debating whether or not to dip your feet into it. Here are some tips from my experience:
Digital marketing is constantly evolving, upgrade your skills
I took on this video challenge with no previous experience and I’m thankful that it pushed me out of my comfort zone. Marketing is about connecting with your audience but the ways to do that keep changing so keep trying and experimenting with new technologies and ways of doing things.
Google and YouTube are your best friends
I didn’t know exactly what I needed to create this video so I simply searched Google for the tools and YouTube for how to use them. Search terms I used include:
Free online tools for speeding up video
Free gif creator
How to create gif with Canva
Some of these tools are now a part of our creative and production process. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know so it's best to ask.
Creativity and planning go a long way
Don’t ever just dive into a project without first putting some thought and planning into what you want to create. I wrote down my initial ideas and soundbites, sought inspiration from existing videos and then visualized how I wanted my finished product to look.
It doesn’t look 100% exactly as I planned but it's always better to start with a goal in mind.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new tools and approaches
Our team members love working with Canva because it’s intuitive and easy to use but there are times when you have to mix and match because no one tool is perfect. If a feature that you need isn't available on the platform of your choice, try searching for another, you might be able to find one that does what you want and costs nothing.
Teamwork makes the dream work
A fresh set of eyes can help you see the flaws and opportunities that you have missed. Whenever I’m working on something, I make sure to ask my wonderful teammates for their ideas and feedback.
When you're working on creative projects, it's important to get feedback from people who know the project’s direction and strategy well enough that they can give you useful insights.
Finally, do it with love!
Just like a piping hot bowl of comfort food, your audience will be able to feel if your content was made with care.