Overall impression: I have had so much fun playing with this new tool this week! I can see so much potential and I think this application can go pretty far! However, the tool isn’t perfect yet, I experienced quite a few glitches and there are improvements that I think would help this along.
The interface is fairly intuitive. You can add scenes, choose a presenter (from a large group of people), choose a voice (again, from a large group of them), and change styles of scenes (another large list of options), among other things.
You can use the Script Wizard (I did not try this) to change your script and even change the style of voice (happy, professional, etc).
When you click on each scene, you have access to change the layout, and to add a Title. This Title may show up on the screen during the video if you select a Layout that has it on there. But – (and this was not intuitive) you can simply leave this field blank if you don’t want it to show up on the screen.
If you select a scene with a video to show, you can upload the video in the edit scene window (on the right). Now, I ran into two issues here. I first uploaded my FULL 40 second video. You’ll see that the text has a limit of 500 characters. This meant that I couldn’t talk through my entire video, and had to chop the video into smaller chunks.
Then, I chunked it into logical pieces, and chunked the text to match, but I ran into an issue whereby if the voice was over before the video was, the video truncated. This might have been a glitch, but watch out for it.
Hover over the scene and you get the ability to move the scene up / down, duplicate it, delete it, add a new scene, etc. This is a nice feature.
You can listen to the voice you selected speak the text you entered. This is nice. However, I wish we could VIEW the individual scene to make sure it works the way we want it to. I understand that they have to render the AI person, but I’d be willing to wait for that to make sure that it shows up the way I want it to, rather than rending the ENTIRE video first and then finding a mistake.
Here are some images of some voice and layout selections.
Some other things I like:
I love that there is a free tier. It’s really nice to able to test this out and see how it works before having to pay for it. https://app.hourone.ai/pricing
I DO wish they had a tier in between the Lite and the Business, as and educator, I would be using more than 10 minutes, but paying $199 a month is way too much for me, and if my business were to use this, $199 a month for only 20 minutes of video time isn’t worth it. So, I think in the long run, they will need to adjust their pricing/minutes plan.
I like that there is the ability to make folders and group my projects into folders. And I like that we can have versions for our videos.
Now, this is where I experienced my most frustrating glitch. I wanted to turn off the title on my slides. First, I went to change the slide layout, thinking I just needed to find one that didn’t show the title on it.
So I made 1 slide change to see if it would work. It didn’t. So then, I figured out that I could just delete the title in the field, and that would work. So.. I went to change my slide back to the original one, so that it would match the others, and the video would flow. However, no matter what I did, I couldn’t NOT get it to render with the changes. Maybe I ran out of saves? Not sure. I tried many different things, but each time, it saved a new version, but it did not reflect the changes that I made (even though they showed up in my scenes) the video rendered was incorrect.
I sort of got around it by closing out and waiting a day then trying again. However, I think this is a glitch they need to look into.
Here is a (low frame rate since my blog won’t support the full one) video that I created using this tool.
This is where I ran into another glitch. The videos that I uploaded do not have any sort of ‘glitching’ to them. Notice the cursor? It’s like it’s replaying parts of the video… This is odd and isn’t in the source file. However, the rendered version of this has this glitch.
My final thoughts: I liked playing with this tool, and I think the rendered AI person is amazing. I love that the AI person animates without my doing anything – just enter text, select the voice and which person I want and Presto! It’s done.
However, with the glitches I experienced and the pricing required, I am not yet sure that the value of adding a person to my videos trumps the ease of the Camtasia/Audiate/Storyline trio I currently use to make videos. Keep in mind that this tool still required me to use Camtasia (to record the video, chop it into bits, and blur out things I didn’t want seen, etc).