So I received the following question via my increasingly popular ask me anything about WordPress page:

I love your videos on wpliving and I wanted to ask you how you made the video intro with the rocks and water. I want to create a series of tutorial videos on my blog but I’m not sure how to create the intro. Could you explain how you do it?

Alright, so strictly speaking this is not a WordPress related question, this is a video blogging question. But hey, it’s all good and hopefully the answer will benefit more folks than one. So how to create a video intro on a shoestring and still make it look half decent? Here goes…

Basic Requirements

  • Video editing software
  • A desktop or laptop computer with enough processing power to handle video
  • A video intro file (see below)
  • A music jingle (I tend to use the pre-installed music clips on iMovie)

Let me take each element in turn.

I use iMovie for Mac as my video editing software, but if you’re a Windows user then Movie Maker will work just fine too.

In terms of video editing computer specs, my MacBook has 4GB of RAM memory installed, an Intel Core i3 processor and onboard graphics. This combination is enough to get me through a 20 minute video without too much lag.

Finding Music Jingles

As for music jingles, I use the preinstalled iMovie music since it’s also royalty free. Be careful not to use copyrighted material or you won’t last long on YouTube and you’re not honouring the original artist’s rights.

Other places to look for royalty free music clips include Moby Gratis, CCMixter, Partners in Rhyme, MusOpen and BeatPick

. That should be enough to get you going.

Finding Video Clips

Below is a selection of open source, high resolution free intro videos that you can use to make an intro. If you use a video clip below, you must respect the attribution license as follows:

Each video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You must credit as the author of this video if you decide to use it.

To download the video files, simply head over to my Vimeo album and click the download button on each individual video page.

Editing your intro

So from there, you need to have your movie file (.mov, .avi, .mpg etc.), your music file (.mp3) and your editing software should be up and running. Create a new project. Import the video and music. Place both in your editing timeline. Now overlay a title or two with your blog’s name and perhaps the title of your video.

Crop your video if it’s too long. Note that it’s better to keep your video intro as short as possible otherwise you risk losing your audience from the get go. Somewhere between 5 and 10 seconds should be fine.

Finally, fade your audio out to match with the end of the video and then select the portion of the clip you want to save and export it to your harddrive.

Whenever you go to create a new video tutorial you can simply import that intro track and add your tutorial material afterwards. Final step is to upload to YouTube or Vimeo.

Last Word

If you use this tutorial to create a video intro, I’d be really grateful if you could post a link to your finished video in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you came up with. Thanks.