Editing and adding words

Adding words is the longest bit of editing a service video. It seems quite simple, but can take a long time to line words up with the person speaking – for example during a prayer or a Bible reading.

First, drag the “words-bg.svg” file onto the “Words BG” track. It looks like this:

The words background in OpenShot

However, there’s a small problem. There’s a tiny gap at the left and right of the blue bar which we need to get rid of. Change the “Scale X” property of the “words-bg.svg” item to be 1.01. I don’t know why this happens, but it’s very annoying.

Adding words

Now drag the words you want to display onto the “Words” track. There are loads of words available in the Google Drive folder, like the Lord’s Prayer, confession, and various other words that we display.

Drop the words into OpenShot and they should appear over the words backgound, like the example below.

Get the words in sync with the speaker

You need to move the words left and right – and stretch or contract the ength of them – until they line up with what the speaker is saying.

This is the bit that takes a lot of time, but is crucial to make the service really accessible for people who may not hear things very well. It also means that people who are not familiar with the church service, especially some of the “Christianese” words and prayers used, feel they can understand and maybe even participate.

To make the words appear a bit nicer we fade in and out the background. Drag the “Fade” transition from the “Transitions” window onto the “words-bg.svg” item:

The OpenShot fade transition

It will appear as a blue box, and if you click and drag the right-hand edge of the box you can change its length.

What you want is for the box to look like this when you’re zoomed all the way in, that means the fade will happen quite quickly.

The length of the fade on the words background

Also notice I’ve lined this up so the words appear half-way through the fade. This makes it look as though the words are fading in, but we’ve not had to actually use a fade transition on the word themselves – that saves a bit of time.

Do be careful, though. If the fade isn’t right at the beginning of the words background then you get a “flash” before the background fades in. Move the fade to the left until the background fades in smoothly when you play the video.

At the end of where the words appear do the same thing, but this time right-click on the blue fade transition and select “Reverse transition” to make it fade out:

Right-click on a fade to reverse it, and fade the item out

What I usually do is set up one words background with its fades, then copy and paste it around the service wherever I need it – changing the words that appear over the background to whatever is needed for that part of the service.

If you need the same words to be displayed multiple times – the only example I can think of is “Amen” – then you can copy and paste the entire thing:

Drack to select multiple items to copy

When you’ve got all the words laid out for, say, a Bible reading, they will look something like this:

Overview of a set of words displayed for a Bible reading

The tracks here are, in order:

  1. Swipe
  2. The words
  3. The words background
  4. The video of the speaker
  5. The audio of the speaker

See how the different words are close together – there isn’t a big gap between them. That makes it smooth to read along with on screen.

OK, now we’ve got all the video, audio and words in the service we can export it.