Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas! And, how to make a holiday video e-card.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Last year, I made a holiday e-card and it turned out pretty well, so I decided to do it again this year. (Also last year, we had a lot more going on so it was a little bit more interesting. This year I just wanted to save money on stamps.)

So how do you make a video e-card?
Well, there are two ways that I know of. One way is how I make my company's e-card, on a PC, and the other is how I make my own e-cards, on a Mac. Both start off more of less the same way:

Build the video/slide show in Power Point. You can get all fancy with slide transitions and animations, etc. At the very least, you must include automatic slide transitions.

Now, the way I did the card on the PC did not lead to any font issues. However, the way I did it on the Mac did lead to font issues. So you have may to switch to a common font.

Also, with the PC way, you have to embed your audio in the slide show, and also the audio files has to come from a public source (not an internal drive or web site). With the Mac way, it didn't matter.

Also, with the PC way, I didn't have any issues using solid background colors. With the Mac way I did, but when I used background images (that took up the entire background), I didn't have issues. (Search Google for "Christmas backgrounds" to find some.)

Clear as mud?

Once you have your slide show looking the way you want in PowerPoint, you need to convert it to some kind if video.

On my Mac, my version of PowerPoint came with the "Make Movie" option, which makes a Quicktime movie. And in the movie options, I can set my soundtrack.

On the PC, the "Make Movie" option wasn't there. So, I downloaded a free PowerPoint-to-Flash converter from iSpring.

However, you can't upload Flash videos to YouTube. So, you need your own web site in which to host the Flash video. Otherwise, you'll have to purchase a PowerPoint-to-video converter.

Anyway, that's it in a nutshell. Or, just do what I do ... play around with your computer, search Google for solutions when you run into problems, and just keep trying stuff until something works. That's pretty much how I've taught myself just about anything on the computer.

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