Setting up the service video

To start with, create a folder to store your service video and all the things in it. I use a folder name like this: “2020-11-15” (“YYYY-MM-DD”) so that the folders are ordered nicely.

Open OpenShot and you’ll see something like this:

The default OpenShot window

Save the OpenShot project into your folder. Get used to saving regularly! We’ll go through these different sections of OpenShot soon.

There are already 5 tracks in the timeline at the bottom (called “Track 1” – “Track 5”). This is where we’ll add our videos, audio and words. Set this up so you have the following tracks – in this order, top-to-bottom, with these names.

  1. Swipe
  2. Words
  3. Words BG
  4. Video
  5. Audio
  6. Songs
  7. Intro/Outro

The order really matters, as the tracks at the top appear in front of the tracks at the bottom!

You can add new tracks and rename them by right-clicking on a track:

The edit track menu

What the tracks mean

Here’s what the tracks will be used for:

  1. Swipe – where the swipe that joins multiple videos together goes. This has to be at the top so it covers everything else.
  2. Words – the words (readings, prayers etc) need to go near the top so they appear above the videos
  3. Words BG – the words background (BG) appears just under the words and makes them easier to read
  4. Video – this is where we’ll add the videos we’re sent: prayers, readings, sermon etc
  5. Audio – this is where we add the audio for the video, as most of the time we need to improve the quality of the audio
  6. Songs – here we add pre-prepared videos for songs
  7. Intro/Outro – and this is where the pre-prepared intro and outro videos go

I’ve found that layout works really well.

Adding stuff to the service

It couldn’t be easier – just drag a file (video, audio, image, words SVG file etc) from a folder on your desktop onto the timeline, and it will drop into the track your mouse cursor is on:

Dragging a video into OpenShot

Basically, making the service involves dragging lots of stuff into the video, lining it up nicely, and checking it all looks smooth! Easy!

This is what a complete service looks like – loads of bits.

An overview of a complete online service in OpenShot

Here you can see the different tracks, and it’s easy to spot where the swipes are – in between all the different videos.

You can also see that there are some long bits (the intro/outro, the songs, the sermon and the prayers) but the words track contains lots of short bits. I’ll explain why later.

Now we have an empty service ready to start putting videos in, we need to check that they are OK to use.

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