Creating a video narrator

Nov 26, 2011

I've been searching for tutorials and haven't been able to find any. I'm looking for examples and the process of inserting a video narrator into my powerpoint presentation where the person is speaking and the background is the ppt presentation itself.  Of course the video would synch with the powerpoint content.  I'm guessing that the video of the speaker would need to be done with a green screen in order to cut out their background so only the speaker show up on the ppowert? 



40 Replies
Andy Lundquist

First, keep in mind that no matter how big your source files in After Effects are, your AE export settings will dictate the size of the final Flash file that you export. Can you do a successful AE export (of anything) at the recommended bitrate of 365kbps?

The reason for reducing the size of the source files produced by iClone is to save time and space – wasting half a GB on a minute of footage in this situation is ridiculous. Selecting an "uncompressed" video codec produces massive files and is rarely useful. I assume the codec settings you listed above were for an .mp4 export from iClone? I would try the Cinepak codec with default settings.

Jed Knudsen

Hi Kat,

I realize your answer has been given in different ways.  I noticed that several people are suggesting the iclone and crazytalk solutions for animations.  I run an actual video studio  that specializes in what you are trying to do.  We have worked with professional Articulate developers to provide the right quality and professionalism of human video with transparency.  We can edit your videos correctly for you.  Or we can even supply the actor(s).  That way you have a professional presentation that looks like a million bucks.  If it is appropriate, here is a link to my site TalkingHeads.  It is more expensive then a computer generated avatar, but a question to ask is who are your viewers more likely to pay attention to for that project.

Erik Summer

Susan, you can actually use a blue, red, or green screen.  We have a lot of clients who film their own video spokespeople at home and send us "Website Actor Live" the raw footage and then we install it for them with our smart player. As long as the lighting is set up correctly, the final video will come out surprisingly well. Or if you wanted a simple way to edit the video yourself you should try Sony Vegas. If you're interested I can send you some more information or you can visit our site here: video spokesperson

Please feel free to email me if you have any more questions!

Garry Hargreaves

Hi guys,

Quick Question: With matte's and chroma keys, you are talking about pre-composting the video combined with background outside SL or AP in like Premiere Pro or AF then importin the final completed FLV in as a completed video. 

Can I assume SL or AP can not inherently handle transparency it's self.   Ie Draw a blue shape in SL/AP import video and the background of the video allows the blue box to show through?



Garry Hargreaves

Hi All,

I did some tests.

So steps are;

1: in iClone 5.2 load actor

2: Select stage > far right choice a white background (it does not matter what colour we use as we are not using chromo key process - we are using a matte (or mask))

3: Add a walk cycle onto the actor - Actor walks across screne

4: Export AVI (actor walks acorss screne) - I called it Walk_WhiteBG.AVI

5: Export AVI (but this time turn on "Export Alpha video only") - I called it Walk_AlphaBG.AVI

You now have a full actor walking aross scene AND a black and white only version of the actor walking across the screen.

6: In After Effects load the Walk_WhiteBG.avi, then above it load the Walk_AlphaBG.AVI.

7: On the layer Walk_WhiteBG.AVI click Layer>Track Matte>Luma Matte - the sources icon shows transparency (Checker background)

8: Add a third layer below all other layers of any other graphics you like  - I made it difficult by selecting a PDF of a table - this will be the background graphic

9: Open Compostion >Add to render Queue> Select FLV, channels RGB+ Alpha + Colour Premulitplied - render. I did 1800 frames at 720x576 (PAL) and it made a 3.5 Mb FLV file

9: Open SL insert a blue shape onto the slide

10: Insert the video and drop over the blue square - the blue square does not show thru

11: Preview slide - Actor walks across a the PDF table, over the top of the blue square in SL

Show that SL handles FLV transpancy quite well - hope it helps. 

This method produces less artifacts than the Chromo Key method in IMHO.

Garry Hargreaves

Hope it helps Mike.

You can use the same matte approach with normal video footage if you don't have a Black and White Alpha channel - just use two copies of the same video footage.  The Video that sits on top is the one you need to turn into a B/W Matte

High-light the top video footage and turn it in to a Matte by:

1: Effects&Presets>Colour Correction>Tint - your whole top layer turns a grey - black and white.

2: Then goto Effects& Presets (again) > Colour Correction> Brightness & Contrast then drag the Contract % slider to the right (ie 100%) - then you have sharpe black and white layer you can use a matte.

3: Then follow the same steps above re: click Layer>Track Matte>Luma Matte - etc etc



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