Friday, September 10, 2021

How To Add Typewriter Text Effect To Your Video Using Canva (FREE)

 A cool effect in videos is a typewriter text effect, where text appears as if it is being typed, letter by letter. Many video editing tools have this effect inbuilt but some - especially free video editing tools - don't. 

This tutorial shows you an easy way to add the typewriter text effect to any video using your favourite video editing software and Canva, a free online tool. There's a paid version too but this tutorial shows you how to use the tool for free.

So first head over to canva.com

In case it asks you to create an acount or login with your Facebook or Google account, do that.

Next, click on the Video icon


Next, click the Video element on the top left to create a blank video screen.


Then click the colourful button on the top left of the blank screen to open the background colour dialog.

Select the green colour swatch:

Next, select the Text button on the left of the Canva screen:






Next, click on "Add a subheading"




Canva will add the text "Add a subheading" to the video you have created. Change the text to the text of your choice:

Format the text to the colour of your choice, bold, italics, underline, etc.

Next, click the "Animate" button above your video screen:



The text animation screen will open. Select "Typewriter":


You'll see the text take on a typewriter effect. Click the "Download" button on the top right:


Canva will default the download to MP4. Download the video to a folder on your computer:


Once the video has downloaded, close Canva and open your video editor. I use Olive.

Import the downloaded text video into your video project.




Drag it onto your project's timeline:


Select the clip and apply the chroma key effect to it:


Select the green from the text video as the chroma key:


OK your way out once you have selected the chroma key.

Your video will now have typewriter text!




It's as easy as that! You don't need fancy software to get a typewriter text effect in your video, as long as your video editor supports the chroma key function.

Happy editing!


















Monday, May 31, 2021

 This post tells you how to take a screenshot using one of several methods available under Windows 10.

The first thing to check is what kind of Print Screen key you have on your laptop’s keyboard.

In some cases the Print Screen key says exactly that, “Print Screen” as below:



 In most cases, however, the key will have “Print Screen” or “Prt Scr” or “Print Scr” shared with another title such as “Home” or “Sys Req”, as below:



 In the above image, note three important keys:

  1. The Print Screen Key on the top right hand side

  2. The Function (Fn) key bottom left, and

  3. The Windows key next to the Fn key

 Now let’s look at how to use the Print Screen key to take a screenshot:


A. To take a screenshot and save it automatically to your laptop

 To take a screenshot and have Windows 10 save it automatically to your laptop’s hard disk, simply press Fn+Windows key+Print Screen key as in the image below:




 Press the Fn key with the middle finger of your left hand. Without releasing it, press the Windows key with the index finger of your left hand. Without releasing either key, tap the Print Screen key (Prt Scr or Print Scr, as the case may be) with the index finger of your right hand.

 Your screen will dim for a second or two to let you know that the screenshot is being taken.

The screenshot will be automatically saved to the Screenshots folder within the Pictures folder on your Computer, as in the image below:



 You can then import the screenshot from the Screenshots folder into any image editing software of your choice to edit or manipulate it.


B. To take a screenshot and paste it directly into image editing software (GIMP, Inkscape, CorelDraw, Photoshop, Windows Paint, etc.)

If you don’t want to save the screenshot to your hard disk (laptop) but want to paste it directly into image editing software of your choice, simply hit the Fn+Print Screen keys.

Press the Fn key with any finger of your left hand and, keeping it pressed, tap the Print Screen (Prt Scr or Print Scr) key with any finger of your right hand.

This will capture the screen and hold it on the clipboard for you.

Next, open the image editing software into which you wish to paste the screenshot.

Make sure the page size (or canvas size) is large enough and in landscape orientation in order to fit the screenshot.

Press Ctrl+V (Press the Ctrl key and, keeping it pressed, hit the V key).

The screenshot will be pasted from the clipboard onto your page / canvas. You may then edit it and save it in one of the image formats (PNG, JPEG, BMP, etc.).


C. To capture just a part of the screen

Sometimes you may wish to capture just a part of the screen, such as a window or part of a window or windows that show on your laptop’s screen.

In such a case, you’ll need to use the Snip and Sketch app that comes along with Windows 10. To access the app, click the windows icon and then scroll down to Snip and Sketch, as in the image below:





Alternatively, you can simply type Snip & Sketch into the search window on your screen (next to the windows icon bottom left) and click Snip & Sketch when it shows as follows:




Click New. A smaller window will open, as below:



The first is the rectangular snip button. You can select this button, then draw a rectangular mask around the area you wish to capture. When you release the left mouse button, the area selected will open in the app.

The next is the freehand snip button. You can draw a freehand shape around the area you wish to capture, which will then open just that area in the app.

The third is the window capture button. Clicking this will allow you to click on any open window, and then just that window will open in the app.

The last is the full screen capture button. This works just like as in methods A and B above, except that the full screen will open in the Snip and Sketch app instead of being saved to your hard disk or being placed on the clipboard.

You may then save the captured (snipped) image in a format of your choice.


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Locked down? Try coloring Mandalas for peace of mind!

 The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on all of us. We can't meet friends, we usually can't have physical contact with others - even a simple handshake can be dangerous.

This can be stressful. Humans are social beings. We need to interact with others.

However, the present scenario blocks us from this human contact. We become tense. We don't know what to do to handle our stress. Meditation helps, of course, but meditation is a rather difficult thing to do, considering the worries our own minds send us almost constantly.

So here's a solution: distract your mind!

Yes, your mind can be distracted from worry and negative thoughts with a simple fix. And it isn't expensive either!

Simply color Mandalas to distract your worried mind and so calm down. Coloring Mandalas is a very stress-relieving activity. You can begin by coloring with solid colours and then try shading the parts of the Mandalas as you progress.

So why wait? Here's a Mandala coloring book to get you started:

Mandala Coloring Book

The book has Mandalas ranging from the simple to the complex, all available to you to color at your own pace. You can shade them as you wish, from solid fills to shades, using color pencils, crayons or pastels. The physical activity of coloring the Mandalas and the satisfaction you derive from seeing the finished pieces will send you waves of peace and calm in these troubling times.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Basics of Video Editing using the FREE Olive Video Editor - 1

 Basics of Video Editing With Olive

In case you haven’t heard, Olive is the best free video editor available right now. I say this because it is indeed free of charge to download and use (no watermark, no limit on the length of your video, etc.) and also because, with a little bit of ingenuity, you can make professional quality videos absolutely free of charge. The quality and length of the film you make is limited only by the computer you own. Yes, well, Olive Video Editor works only on a desktop or laptop. So, if you want to make a long, high-quality video, the only constraint you have is the configuration of your computer – the RAM, Hard Disk capacity, etc. However, for short videos that don’t tax your computer, Olive Video Editor is the best, as testified by several video experts. Just Google “Olive Video Editor review” (without the quotes) and you’ll see what I mean.

So let’s start with the absolute basics – where to get the Olive Video Editor:

The editor can be downloaded from:

https://olivevideoeditor.org/download.php

I recommend the 0.1 version, since it is more stable than the newer version.

Once you download and install the editor, you can start to edit and create movies, and this blog post tells you exactly how to start making a simple movie using the basic features of the Olive Video Editor.

The Olive Video Editor Opening Screen


The opening screen tells you that Olive is still in Alpha testing so it may crash, etc. Just click the OK button. So far, Olive has worked fine for me as long as I work within the constraints of my simple desktop computer. If you import heavy videos, Olive may freeze or crash but that’s because your computer simply can’t handle the requirements of a heavy video file. As practice, use low-resolution video files until you get the hang of using Olive and then you can experiment with video files of a higher resolution.

Once you click OK you see the Olive editing interface. It’s a very simple layout and the following image tells you what the various sections do.



On the top left you see a window that shows you the video clips and images that you have imported into the project. A project is simply the Olive video editing “document” (to make it easier to understand) that you are creating. Hit Ctrl+S to give your project a name and save it on your hard disk.

Next to that window you see a window that shows you details about the currently selected clip / image and any effects that you apply to that clip / image. I’ll tackle effects in a future blog post.

Next to the clip / effects window is the Sequence Viewer window. This shows you what’s on your timeline; the rectangular part that’s under all these windows. The timeline is where you will arrange and manipulate video clips, images and titles (you know, those lines of text you see in some videos.)

Importing video clips and images

To understand how to use the Olive video editor you will need some sample video clips and images. You can download some from pexels.com. For now, download them in a lower resolution. You can download in higher resolution as you get more familiar with the editing software. Download the videos / images to a folder on your hard disk, then simply drag and drop them onto the top left window. Alternatively, you can right-click in that window, select “Import”, navigate to the folder where you’ve downloaded the video, then select it an OK your way out. The video will be added to your project. I’ve imported a video into my dummy project to show you what it will look like.



You can import other clips and images into your project right at this stage or import them as and when you need them later, the choice is yours. What IS important is to save your project often so that a software crash doesn’t wipe out all the hard work you’ve put in. Crtl+S is your friend, use it every minute or so.

The next step is to start using the clip you’ve imported. To do this, simply drag the clip from the top left window down to the timeline window. If the clip has no audio track, you’ll see just one “chunk”, If it has an audio track, you’ll see two chunks, one below the other. The top chunk is the video track and the bottom one is the audio track. Check the image below:



Once you drag the clip onto the timeline you can start to manipulate it. I’ll be explaining how to do that in the next blog post. For now, try dragging the playhead (see the image above) back and forth to see how the view in the view window changes and to hear the corresponding audio. I recommend using headphones whenever you are editing a movie so that you hear exactly what the clip has in its audio.

That’s all for now, stay tuned for the next steps in editing your movie using Olive!

Monday, March 21, 2016

How to legally RIP a DVD without any watermark or other restriction

Although most people now prefer to watch movies of private parties such as birthdays, weddings, etc. on their computers or mobile phones, those who shoot and edit these movies almost always give the customer a DVD that isn't in a format that computers generally recognise. It's a legacy thing; way back in primitive times, people used to watch movies using a DVD in a DVD player, a thingamajig that plugged into a TV.

What's worse, people may want to edit these movies, removing content that isn't relevant or adding subtitles for those who don't understand the language spoken in the movies.

Of course, providers argue that you should update your movie-playing software so that it plays DVDs but that's just chalk to your cheese.

So how do you convert a DVD into an editable  and watchable movie?

Well, search on the net and you'll get plenty of software that promises to convert your DVD into an editable movie but they are all "bait and switch" items. They convert only a few minutes of the DVD and/or insert a huge "watermark" (that's actually an obscurer of the video) so the video is pretty much unwatchable. They, of course, want you to buy the software so you can convert the movie but there's no guarantee it'll do the job even if you pay.

Believe it or not, there is a perfectly legal way to convert a DVD to an editable format without a watermark, for free! It is a time-limited way but it works if you need to convert just a DVD or two in one month.

First, download Sony Vegas Pro, the latest version, and install it. You will get access to a trial version that works for about a month but if you need to convert (rip) just a DVD or two, it's a good deal.

Once installed, start Sony Vegas Pro and open the VOB files on the DVD. Lay the files end to end in the timeline and export to avi [File-->Render], saving the avi file in a location you can remember.

To learn how to lay files in Sony Vegas Pro, see the following:
http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/basic_editing_in_vegas_pro

Once you do that, you can import the file into Windows Movie Maker and add transitions, subtitles, etc.

If you need screenshots please ask and I shall oblige.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Remove noise - or hiss - from recordings with Audacity 2.1.0 AKA Audacity 2015

I had written a tutorial long ago about how to remove noise (hiss) from recordings using Audacity. Audacity has grown since then and my last tute may be confusing to those who are using the latest version of Audacity, so here's a tute on using the new software.

First, open your recording in Audacity. There are two ways to do this, no matter which version of Windows you are using:
  1. Open Audacity. Go to File--> Open. Navigate to the folder where you've stored the audio file and double-click the filename.
  2. Use Windows explorer to navigate to the folder where you've stored the file. Right-click the filename, select "Open with" and select Audacity from the droplist that pops up.
The second method, though faster, may not work if you haven't opened an audio file in Audacity before. If you don't see Audacity in the droplist, simply abort the operation and try the first method given above.

Once you open the file in Audacity, it'll look something like this:

Those squiggly lines you see are the parts of the track that contain sound. In this particular track, noise was heard mainly when the person was speaking. Fortunately, there was a small section that had noise without the person's voice. Look for such sections of the track and click-drag to select one such section (all noise, no voice):

Your screen should look something like this:

Next, click Effects--> Noise Reduction:


The following screen will appear:

Click "Get Noise Profile".

You will be taken back to the track with your selected part highlighted, like so:

Hit Ctrl+A (holding down Ctrl, hit A on the keyboard) to select the entire track. Now your screen should look something like this:


Now go to Effects--> Noise Removal again:


You will be presented with the Noise Removal dialog again. This time, click "Preview":



If you are happy with the noise removal, OK your way out and export your cleaned file. If there is still a buzz, move the sliders a wee bit to the right and listen to the preview again. If you find that there is distortion of the audio track, move the sliders a wee bit to the left. Keep experimenting until you find the right balance and then OK your way out and export to wav or mp3.

Some recordings may be really too terrible to be completely cleaned. In such cases, work to a best solution.

All the best,
Deepak



Saturday, August 15, 2015

Enable Bluetooth in Windows 10

My computer upgraded seamlessly to Windows 10. Or so I thought. Then, when I tried to send a file from my PC to my phone via Bluetooth, it didn't work. I tried re-pairing the devices. I went on the net and looked for solutions. Most sites said that Windows 10 automatically configures Bluetooth so your device, if paired with the PC on Windows 8.1, will be recognised by the PC  after upgrade and vice versa.

Well, didn't work.

My PC stubbornly refused to see my phone and I simply couldn't send files from my phone to my PC or vice versa. All I got was a "send failed" message.

Then I did this:

First, I clicked the "Search the web and Windows" window on the bottom left of my screen:


There, I typed "Hardware" (without the quotes)


I got the following window:

I clicked "Device Manager" and got the following window:


I clicked "Bluetooth"



Bluetooth expanded to show all the devices connected and drivers installed:

I right-clicked each driver and selected "Update Driver"

That was it! Windows searched on the net for the latest driver, updated it on my PC and now my phone and PC can talk to each other via Bluetooth!