If you’ve read through any of my previous blog posts you’ll know by now that I like to try out the latest tools and tech that can be used to create educational content. Today’s tool is lumen5, a video creation platform powered by A.I.
I was drawn to lumen5 after watching a YouTube video, where the author created a video by copying and pasting a video script into the application. A.I analysed the script and generated a series of video “slides.” I came across the lumen5 video after searching for an application to make a quick video with. Ordinarily, I would use Vyond, but I don’t have a license for this anymore, and it seemed quite expensive to buy a 1-month subscription for creating a single video (it’s a shame Vyond don’t do a stripped-down free version of the software, perhaps something that allows you to create short videos with a watermark at a smaller resolution).
Anyway, I found lumen5 and the basic version was free so I decided to give it a go. The application is very intuitive and it didn’t take me long to pick up the basics. It reminds me a little bit of PowerPoint, but for video editing. If you’ve ever used the “design ideas” feature in PowerPoint it acts a bit like this, where the application tries to design a scene based on the content.
I started by creating a new project and chose a design template. When I entered the project dashboard the pane on the left contained information about how to use A.I. to generate some slides. As I already had my audio script, I decided to try this out and copied and pasted it into the area and hit the “convert to video” button.
The slides that were generated were a bit hit-and-miss. Most of the video content didn’t match the message I was trying to convey, so I had to manually update these. This was pretty easy to do, I navigated to the Media area and used the search bar to look for relevant content. It was then just a matter of dragging and dropping the media onto the appropriate slide.
Another thing the A.I. wasn’t good at was arranging text in a meaningful way. Sometimes there were really large areas of font. For example, numbers were often picked up and made the centre of the video scene. Sometimes the colours it would pick weren’t accessible, for example very light font on a very light background.
However, I did think there was a decent amount of free music and media and was impressed with the selection. I even thought there was a good and varied amount of free design templates to use. The only downside is that these templates come with fixed colour palettes and you need to pay to unlock more.
The Feature that Broke Me
Okay, so everything was going great until I got to the part where I needed to upload my voiceover. As with my script, I already had this recorded. Basically, the application wants you to record a voiceover in the browser, in one take, while you watch the video. I did try this, however, I realised my voiceover was longer than the length of my video so the application cut me off halfway through recording. I tried searching the help section for a resolution to this problem, but couldn’t find a good answer.
You can upload a music track to your video. So I tried uploading my audio track as a music track and timing my video to this. What this then meant is that I couldn’t add any additional music tracks to my video. This really frustrated me, as most of the other features had been so good.
I ended up setting each slide to 8 seconds long, saving and exporting the video, then adding the voiceover using Camtasia. This was a shame as I didn’t expect to have to use another application to finish my video. By this point, I was also frustrated and just wanted to get the video done and Camtasia is my go-to video editing software.
I suppose if you didn’t have a voiceover already recorded then you would just use the built-in recording feature, but if you’re anything like me, you have to rerecord the audio about 10 times before you get it right. When I record audio I tend to record the script in batches or clap after I make a mistake. By doing this I can quickly find the areas to edit out in post-production.
My Video Example
So here is the video I created using lumen5.
Please note, I did break quite a few of Richard Mayer’s multimedia principles when I created this, so it’s not the most instructionally sound video I have ever created. However, as I wanted to use the tool to its full extent I think I can be excused….(maybe).
Lumen5 is an AI. powered application that can be used to create various types of video content. It does this by analysing text and suggesting various slides and designs to use. If you’re looking for something that offers a multitude of designs and content at a relatively low price (or in my case, free) then this could be the tool for you. I didn’t like the voiceover feature, but that is just me and your use case might be different. It’s definitely worth signing up and trying it out for yourself.
You can sign up to lumen5 at the following website: https://lumen5.com/