Quickly putting together a video from screenshots, screen-recordings, or videos recorded on your smartphone, is an everyday task for content creators. You can choose from hundreds of apps and software available to get the task done. Video Puppet is a web app that caught my attention with a fresh approach to the task.
The service is currently in beta, and you can use Video Puppet in two different ways. I took the service for a quick test, and am sharing the results in this post.
Create a video based on a slide deck
The easy way to get started using the service is the option to upload a slide deck (a Microsoft PowerPoint file), and Video Puppet creates a video in which the speaker notes are added as voice narration. Everyone capable of creating a slide deck can create a video with Video Puppet.
I have created a promotional video in 15 minutes. For this test, I uploaded a slide deck and created the video with default settings. This is the result:
To create such a video, you can do the following:
First, create a presentation and add speaker notes. For a quick test, copy some text from your website or blog in the speaker notes and add some images from Unsplash. You can use Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides. (In Google Slides, use the option to download as Microsoft PowerPoint file)
After you have finished creating your slide deck, head over to Video Puppet, and create an account. Note that at the moment, you can only re-edit your most recent project.
After uploading the file, you can change a few properties, like voice, music, and animation style. If you try it for the first time, I recommend moving on with the default settings.
Creating the video will take a minute or two. After it’s done, you can instantly watch the video. If you are happy with the result, you can download it right away.
If you want to change your slide’s content, you need to re-edit it in PowerPoint/Google Docs. Video puppet allows to change music, voice, speed, change to a different video format, and so on in a simple interface.
After you played around with the settings, you can re-create the video. This approach to creating a video based on a slide deck is super simple and leads fo fast results.
If you want to take full advantage of all the features Video Puppet has to offer, you should check out the second way of using the tool.
Create a video by editing a text file
Video Puppet offers another way to create and edit videos. Instead of uploading a slide deck, you will upload the content (images, movie files) and a text file that tells the service how to put the video together.
This is a simple example of how that text file could look like:
As you can see in the example above, I am setting a video format, and after that, I load specific video files and some text that should be narrated along with that video.
Note that the file is edited using markdown formatting. If you are not familiar with that, no worries. You can download sample files and start editing these.
Here’s the video I created:
You could further fine-tune this. To get the most out of Video Puppet, you should invest the time and get acquainted with all the properties you can set in the text file.
Some more formatting options I did not use in the example above:
- Slow down or speed up slide transitions
- Add pauses
- Add text overlays
- Add subtitles
- Add background music
Browse the docs to see what’s possible.
As you already guessed, this way is aimed at tech-savvy people who prefer working in a command-line like environment.
Video Puppet is currently in Beta. If you want to try it, you have two options
- Take an existing slide deck of yours, add a few speaker notes and upload it to the service (15min)
- Or upload some files (images, videos) to the service and edit the markdown demo file to point to your files (1hr)
I have played around with the service for a few hours, and overall I like the easiness the service brings to create videos based on slide decks quickly. All of us have learned to create slide decks, and Video Puppet provides an easy way to turn those slide decks into videos with voice narration and background music.
The advanced creation mode by editing text to create a video gives you more control of how the video should look like and allows mixing different content formats. I could imagine getting into this and making this a very routine thing to quickly create videos compared to clicking around in editing software, especially if I have to re-create the same videos again and again.
As said, the service is in beta now, and you can try it for free.