Text illustrating audio

I am creating a video in which I am explaining an issue. I have one portion in which I would like the camera totally off me and rather have text come out to illustrate as I introduce an idea. So when I say here are the differences between owls and chickens I’d like text coming out with a column for owls and chickens, saying “Not Good to Eat” under the owls column and “will not eat mice” under the chickens column. Obviously this is not the topic I am actually discussing but you get the idea.

Thank you in advance for any tips you can offer.

Hi @StanleyDenman - perhaps something like this? Made in minutes, no audio…

Feel free to play around the MLT:
Owls and chickens video demo.mlt (21.0 KB)

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As an alternative to @jonray’s method, you could add multiple (if not all) text filters on the same clip, allowing you to use less tracks.

Demo MLT + BG image: owl-chick.zip (1.1 MB)


@musicalbox - that is classy. I love the left/right aligning of the two text columns. Did you happen to have a photo of an owl and a chicken (!!) :grinning:, or if not I suspect you made it in a graphics editor. Looks great.

You could. However, just to point out that doing it that way you wouldn’t be able to fade in/out each line of text independently. Unless I’m missing something?

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This reminds me of a forum thread I started in October 2018:

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True. Good thing you point it out. I didn’t think of mentioning it in my post. :flushed:

True again ::slight_smile:

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I am impressed, and most grateful, for the advise and effort, but as a newbee I am a bit overwhelmed. Just really don’t understand all these filters you got going. Are there any written materials or videos I can study to better understand this?

Cannot get it to open in shotcut. says that there are missing files in the project.

Drop this file into the unzipped folder:
owl-chick - Repaired.mlt (8.6 KB)

Or go through the steps of repairing the file directly. The main project file was not saved in the same folder as the source image, which is causing the issue.

Reopen the project and double click on replacement.
Where you unzipped the folder, just navigate to that unzipped folder and select the image.

Once selected, you’ll see this filled in.

Click OK, and you’ll see this.


Rookie mistake :flushed:
Thanks @Hudson555x

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Sorry about that. This should work: owl-chick2.zip (1.1 MB)

I made this very quick video showing how to move text on the screen using keyframes.
For more informations about keyframes (and many other subjects, including fade-in, fade-out used by @jonray in his demo), I suggest you visit the Tutorial section of the Shotcut site. Or just search for Shotcut keyframes tutorials on YouTube.

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I wonder if your use case is a bit different. Any chance that you are doing (wanting to do) something more along the lines of a recorded lecture, where you want the camera on you part of the time, and on a presentation / PowerPoint / slides / etc. part of the time?

If so, you may want to look into something like OBS (Open Broadcast Studio). This software allows you to set up different “scenes” and switch among them in real time as you are either recording or streaming. I use OBS when I am generating recorded lectures for classes; I have it set up so that I can set various “hot keys” to switch from just showing me in the camera, to showing just the presentation screen, to showing me in a small window in the corner of the presentation screen, and so on. Often I will have several different “presentation screens” that I need to switch among - a PowerPoint, a website, maybe a text document, etc. Occasionally I have set up with more than one camera.

Of course, I may be totally off-base in what it is you are wanting to do, but when I read your question I was picturing using OBS to record yourself talking, then switch over to a PowerPoint to generate the side-by-side comparison, then switch over to something else …

Well I don’t think my project is that advanced. All I want is to make short linkedin, youtube style videos, and I would like to present some visual elements such as text to kind of break it up. Problem is the amount of time I am having to put in just to learn how to do that simple stuff is kind of defeating the point - do you know if there is some other type of product that perhaps is more template based where you don’t have to create lots of filters just to get text to move onto the screen?

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Hmm … even if you don’t use something like OBS, what about using something like PowerPoint to generate the text (along with any animation) that you need? I think PP can record a presentation … ?? If not, a simple screen recorder could grab it. Then you’d have a video of the text that you could blend in with your base video.

Not trying to push PP on you, but in general I would say that it (or the LibreOffice equivalent, Impress, which is what I actually use) is one of the easiest ways to make text do things on the screen. At least, for me … may be something better out there of which I am ignorant!! But PP is certainly a much easier way to generate text than Shotcut … that is, after all, what it is made for!

Note that if you want the text to overlay the video rather than replace it, you could set up PP to produce white text on a black background, and then use a Blend filter. I think. I haven’t actually done this, but I’m pretty sure that’s the right filter …

That’s an idea - I will look into it. Thanks.

Thanks, but I simply cannot follow what you are doing there.

I’m sorry to read that…
If you could find a video that shows what you want to do, I think it would be easier for us to help you.

OK. Thank you very much for your help.

My initial idea was simply to have text fly in like the owl/chicken thing. When I changes up the words, when I added different and more words, they were all crashing into one another. This product doesn’t seem very user friendly to me.

Don’t take it the wrong way, but often it’s rather the user who is not very product friendly :wink:

No video editing software will look intuitive or easy to use if you don’t take the time to learn how to use it.
I suggested above that you visit the Tutorial section of this site and that you look on YouTube, and I still think this should be your the first step you take before you start editing video.
Take a few days to learn the basics and practice. And practice again.

By the way, @UbitronicsUK created an excellent series of Shotcut tutorials aimed at beginners. This would be a nice place to start.
Here’s the link to his YouTube Shotcut Tutorials Playlist

Then, if you need more advanced stuff, check out @bentacular YouTube Shotcut Playlist,
and @jonray YouTube channel.