Instructional Designer

Synthesia is awesome

My new favorite program is Synthesia!!! So, what is it? It’s an app similar to HourOne (which I reviewed back in March) but a bit more advanced in it’s evolution.

The app is easy to use, and has a clean interface. You add scenes like slides in a PowerPoint slidedeck. Edit the text on screen, add pictures and videos, and shapes to it. You can select your avatar, type in what you want them to say, and choose the voice you want them to say it in.

The list of Avatars you can choose from is wildly extensive.. the above images are only a tiny fraction of your choices, and if you want to pay them some money – you can have them make YOU as an avatar too!

They also have a huge voice selection… In American English alone they have 37 choices (at the time of this blog post)! Many other accents do not have as many options, but there is a HUGE selection of accents to choose from. And – you can choose a new voice and apply it to all the avatars of a specific gender in your presentation, should you want to do this.

You can add Markers (like cue points in Storyline) to ensure that an on screen element animates at the timings you want (enter at marker 1, exit at marker 2, etc) The image below shows a screen with 2 markers.. In the lower right corner, you can see how the animations are set for Enter and Exit…

There are a decent amount of animations to choose from!

You can choose from a bunch of templates (Office Setting and it’s 6 scenes are shown here) but there are plenty of other options not shown here.

Before I forget, you can also add pauses to the speech and even change the how a word is pronounced.

Each scene/slide has the option to replace background images, add music and scene transitions.

So what do I think of the AI generation where speech is concerned? Truthfully, I think it’s top notch. If you stare at the mouth formations, you’ll notice that they are slightly off.. it’s not perfect. BUT.. if you’re watching the screen and NOT literally STARING at the mouth, it appears natural. I had to play with different voices, some are more natural than others, but all in all I give this program an A!

It’s user friendly, and intuitive. It does all that I need it do do! I’ve had it a week and already made 2 videos for work, that I actually used and presented. (Actually, IT did my presenting for me on one of them, so I just sat back on my call and pressed play!)