Ever wonder how a certain video came about? Earlier I posted an animated chalkboard video that won 3rd place in a contest put on by a doodle software video developer. Here I’ll show you how that doodle video came together.
First, the contest itself could be on any topic, but the video had to be at least two minutes in length and up to five. So, I needed an interesting topic that could be told using the doodle video format. I chose heart health.
Doodle Video Concept
Once I had the topic in mind, I needed to develop it further. I whipped out my trusty yellow notepad and got to work.
I decided to cover risk factors, heart attack signs, and tips for improving heart health.
From there, I launched Scrivener, my favorite word processor, and wrote the script for the video. One of the nice things about Scrivener is it has a feature that will estimate the reading time for you. In this case, the script came to 565 words and had an estimated reading time of two minutes and sixteen seconds — perfect for my needs. In reality, the voiceover ended up being about 3 and half minutes long. That’s because reading out loud for a voiceover requires a slower pace and pauses for effect than merely reading to yourself.
Now that the script was done, I recorded the voiceover. Yes, that’s my voice you’ll hear on the video. I’m not a professional voiceover artist but have done a few here and there. I waited until the kids were in bed and used a Blue Yeti microphone. I have always found it easier to add video to an existing voiceover rather than the other way around.
This is pretty much standard practice in the video industry.
Doodle Video Creation
Next, it was time to create the animated doodle video. Since the contest was sponsored by the software developer, Doodly, I was restricted to using that tool only. I enjoy the software and use it a lot, but oftentimes use it in conjunction with Final Cut Pro X. The software comes with a lot of “assets” included, but also allows you to upload your own. Using my own graphics gives me more creative control over the look of the video. I opted for a chalkboard background though I could have just as easily chosen a whiteboard or glassboard background.
With the narration in place, all I had to do was find graphics and put them in place. Okay, there’s more to it than that. I also had to fine-tune those graphics so that they could be traced by the hand, adjust the timing so they appeared at the appropriate time (see why having the audio in advance is so helpful?), add text, and find and add background music.
I used Flaticon’s pattern generator to create the background pattern for the title and closing screens. This is a neat site for icons, icons, and more icons. It’s free if you don’t mind adding an attribution for the icons you use. I have a premium account which allows you to bypass the attribution requirement. I also used several icons from the Flaticon site within the video as graphical elements. For example, the 25% pie chart, heartbeat blip, lady doing yoga, and hands with a heart are all icons.
The video has several text sections that required extensive timing adjustments and “exits.” For example:
• A list builds
• Illustrations appear to support a key point
• Illustrations are erased
• New text appears in the list
• New illustrations appear
• Those illustrations are erased
• And so on…
It’s a simple effect, but fairly complicated to build in the software.
Once the scenes were in place, I added background music. Though Doodly includes a nice selection of royalty-free music, I actually used a track from AudioHero.com, another royalty-free music source.
Finally, I exported the video and submitted it to the contest. There were a lot of creative entries so I’m proud to have my video considered one of the top three. I won a small monetary prize as well.
Now that you know the behind-the-scenes story, take a look at the finished video below.
Completed Doodle Video
Learn to Love Your Heart Again
Your heart beats 24/7, your entire lifetime, quietly doing its job. It’s a big job, too, with an average of 115,000 beats per day. Unfortunately, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. In fact, one out of every four deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease.
Heart Attack Risk Factors
Several health conditions and lifestyle choices contribute to heart disease including:
- High blood pressure
- High LDL cholesterol
- Being overweight or obese
- Poor diet
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol use
49 percent of Americans — nearly half of us — have at least one of the top three risk factors!
Heart Attack Signs
According to the National Heart Attack Alert Program, the major signs of a heart attack include:
- Chest pain or discomfort that may feel like pressure, fullness, pain, or squeezing lasting for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and returns. This typically occurs in the center or left side of the chest .
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. You may feel pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. This can occur before or during chest discomfort.
- Other symptoms such as cold sweat, nausea, light-headedness, fainting, extreme fatigue, or upper back pressure. Note, these other symptoms are more common in women and often often mistaken for illnesses such as the flu or acid reflux.
If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.
Improve Your Heart Health
Talk to your doctor about your heart, and with his or her okay, get moving! Even modest amounts of exercise can make a difference, so if you need to start out slow, you can still benefit. Adding a ten-minute walk each day is a great way to get started. The American Heart Association says that walking just 30 minutes per day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Take measures to reduce stress and anxiety from your life. Exercise can help with this, which is a nice bonus. Yoga, meditation, prayer, spending quality time with loved ones, reading, disconnecting from social media, and immersing yourself in an enjoyable hobby are all helpful activities that can alleviate stress.
If you smoke, now’s the time to get serious about quitting. You’ll also want to get your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other health conditions such as diabetes under control.
Eat a heart healthy diet with vegetables, fruits, lean protein, seafood, and healthy fats. You may want to consider cutting down on caffeine and alcohol and replacing unhealthy snacks with healthier choices such as a handful of nuts.
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. For some, this means dropping a few pounds; for others, it might mean gaining weight. Again, consult your doctor to determine the most appropriate goals for your specific gender, age range, and body type.
Finally, be grateful for each heart beat. That’s about 115,000 tiny blessings you receive each and every day. The more you learn to love your heart, the easier it becomes to take care of it so it will continue to take care of you.
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