This guide will show you how to make, step by step and with an example using one of my works for a Client, an advertising video for your products using a small budget, which can be useful if you have a small business since this article will be very practical.
For this guide it is audiovisual, so I will not dwell on marketing issues, but specifically on the pre-production, production, and post-production technique of your video.
Step 1: Determine the type of video according to the budget
There are three types of video you may create for a product:
- Animated explanatory video
- commercial style video
Animated Explainer Video
An animated explainer video consists of a small animation using some software that helps to make Doodle-style videos, using a whiteboard while explaining the problem and the solution.
Obviously, it is an economical type of video to make but more appropriate to promote services or digital goods and not so much for physical products, since these have to be shown in action.
You can find my complete guide for this type of video at this link since in this guide I will focus on physical products.
Commercial style video
Most TV commercials or advertisements use this format to promote a product. They tap into viewers’ emotions and perceptions of beauty, wealth, prestige, and even hunger.
Take, for example, chocolate commercials that show raw chocolate being swirled, poured, and mixed with other ingredients to make a perfect candy, and then someone happily eats it.
For this guide I will focus on this type of advertising video, thinking of a business with a low budget, doing a combination of Stop Motion and Live-Action techniques, this will save you some money in actors and big production costs.
Step 2: Determine the message
It is important to know what kind of message you want to give to the potential client, the main one being the solution to their problem or satisfaction of their need or desire.
It is important to create short videos, since, in recent years, YouTube ads and other video platforms only give a few seconds of time before the potential client clicks on the “skip ad” button, so your message must arrive quickly.
STEP 3. Get the tools.
To make the advertising video for our products we have to make some expenses and I will try to keep them as low as possible:
The first thing is to get a good quality camera (which can be a mid-range cell phone, in this case, I used a REDMI NOTE 8 which is a $300 USD smartphone, if you already have one, just make sure it can shoot 4K.
Video editor :
There are many programs to edit videos, if you are a beginner in editing I recommend Filmora (it costs $79.99 USD) with some discounts here, which is the one I used for my video.
If you are already experienced in video editing, you can use Premiere Pro or Da Vinci Resolve.
Audio banks and effects :
You are going to need some background music and sound effects, in this case, I used Shutterstock, but there are also free options like Pixabay (you should check that you are allowed to use each audio for commercial purposes) and for sound effects, you can use freesoundeffects.org.
Lighting equipment :
You will require white light, you can use some lamps.
Equipment to stabilize:
You are going to require that your shots do not shake, for that you can use a tripod or even those that are sold in 1 dollar stores can be used.
You can buy glitter paper or fabrics for your backgrounds, two necessaries will be blue and green for chroma key effects and some other that can be with the color palette of your brand.
Step 4: Start the video production
The next step is to start the production, for this, we will learn some techniques, if you do not want to read everything, you can see the following video since this step is a transcript of it:
I highly recommend you watch the video as it is easier to understand the process this way than by reading the article. But, I will add visual support.
The first thing I did is to adhere the background to the wall and place the lower part on a table making sure I had proper lighting with two lamps.
I did this commercial using a bit of the Stop Motion technique, which consists of taking photos of an object in sequence, giving the illusion of movement, and for this, I used “Stop Motion Pro” which is an app for Android and IOS.
It is important to always have the camera fixed, for this, you can help yourself with a tripod or a table, then, since the camera will pan, I used a ruler so that the movement is as straight as possible.
I used some small tables that helped me slide the camera to make the animation of the products where the camera should move, and the products would to appear one by one.
This was a commercial for Christmas, so I looked for a suitable and short musical background on Shutterstock since I have a subscription there for they usually have a very wide catalog.
Then, to start shooting, I placed the background on a table and fixed it to the wall making sure I had the correct lighting.
One of the advantages of this technique is that you would normally require a very expensive camera to shoot in 4k at 60fps or more to achieve slow-motion editing.
While using stop-motion you only need to take as many pictures as necessary to achieve it and also have the possibility to zoom without losing quality.
With the stop motion technique, when you want a fast movement, the object must reach its place in the fewest number of frames, or vice versa, if we want the movement to be slower, speeding up, for example, the distance should be wider as it moves.
Check the following graphic for better comprehension:
The hardest part about doing stop-motion with food is that it is extremely delicate, in fact, I broke some of the cookies in the process.
For the effect that the products turn, I covered pieces of Styrofoam with blue plasticine and fixed them on them using a needle.
Then I put them in front of a blue background to make the chromakey.
I slowly turned them over and took photos, changing them just as they turned 180 degrees.
For the last one, I wanted to make a transition where the last cookie would break.
To do this, I fixed both pieces separately and cut them with a dental pick as they were very fragile and could fall apart.
For the last shots, it was not necessary to use stop-motion, I just shot them from top to bottom, getting the help of my niece to film the sequence.
I used a gimbal to make the phone as stable as possible becasue I shake a lot with my hands, although this is not necessary.
Although Stop-Motion Pro allows you to export the finished video, I preferred just the images, to import them in order to the editor and have more freedom to control the movement.
I made sure to sort the images by date, to make it easier to import them into Filmora, which is the editor I used.
I took 120 pictures for this movement and edited them at 60 frames per second, that way if I want to slow it down, I just have to change its speed and the program will automatically increase the duration of each frame.
Step 5: Edit the material with Filmora or another editor.
For this advertising video I used Filmora 11, which is an editor that I usually use for simple and quick edits like this, although you can use any editor that has the same tools, the important thing is that you understand the technique without looking at the specific software.
To edit, during production I did 4 different takes:
- With stop-motion I made the camera movement and removed the products one by one, but in the edition, they will appear.
- Again, using stop-motion and the blue background, the product photos were taken by turning 180° and changing them.
- For the last cookie, I filmed it breaking in order to transition to the cookies that would go from bottom to top and back again.
- For the latter, I also shot them one by one using a blue background.
Then one last shot for the end of the ad, in which, using a gimbal, I startes from the top so that my niece would simply grab one of the products at the end.
I ordered the pictures by date of creation, in order to import them into Filmora and drag them to the timeline in order.
I saved the project at 60 frames per second to keep it fast.
I did this because I knew I was going to slow it down and Filmora would automatically increase the length of the frames. That way I have more control.
In Filmora, I went to the configuration area and changed it to 60 frames per second at 4k quality, then going to preferences and then clicking on “edit” I changed the duration of each frame to 1 frame.
This means that when I import an image to the timeline, regardless of the number of frames per second that I have set, it will measure one frame.
For example, if I set it to 60 fps then I’ll need 60 shots to fill that second.
But I did it this way because I knew that I was not going to speed it up, but rather slow it down, so simply by slowing it down, Filmora will lengthen the duration of each frame.
Back in the timeline, I made sure everything was in order and exported it. Then I continued with the second take. Starting the same as before.
In a new project, I changed the settings to 24 frames per second, which is the standard, and imported all the shots I’ve taken, plus the ones I just rendered.
I added the first shot to the timeline and put it on the second track since I’ll be using the chromakey tool and the background should always be placed below.
I modified the speed using speed ramping, with which you can vary the speed of the same video clip, speeding it up or slowing it down to fit the music by adding several keyframes.
For the second scene, I did the same thing, adding a transition on the fly based on the music.
I exported this and imported it again but I did not delete what I already had, in case I have to modify something, I’ll just hide it with the eye icon and lock it with the padlock icon, that way I won’t be able to see it or edit it.
Once imported, I’ll add it to the timeline along with the background and rotating products, and at the beginning, I’ll include the same transition I used for the first and second shots.
I selected the clip above and then clicked on the chromakey icon. With the dropper, I will select the blue color, preferably the darkest parts.
As you can see, you can still see a bit of the clay that I used to rotate them.
Filmora does not have freehand rotoscoping, although the mask can be customized and you can use keyframes to animate it.
For this, I selected one of the presets and animate it by removing the remains that the chroma key could not make transparent.
If I want to modify the shape of the mask I have to make a cut in the clip since the keyframes do not allow the shape to be varied, and then animate it from there.
I’ll then enlarge the individual shots and animate them to appear behind the cracking cookie, also chroma keying them and animating them by adding keyframes.
Using keyframes, I want the products to appear from the bottom, stay for a while at the top, and then come back down.
For this animation, I used keyframes. To do this, we move the clip that we will animate to the initial position and add a keyframe with this icon.
Filmora will automatically add a diamond that marks the position of the object in that frame, then we will go to the frame where we want the second position and add another keyframe modifying the object, following this pattern to complete the movement we want.
I added a falling snow effect that I got on Shutterstock, although you can also get some on youtube for free.
For the last take, I just modified the speed a bit using speed ramping, to match the end of the music.
From there it was simply adding the logo at the end of the song and export.
STEP 6: Export and publish
Once everything is finished, it is time to publish our commercial.
Remember that your video should not be longer than 11 seconds if you are going to publish it on YouTube since 95% simply close the commercial at the end of the countdown.
Document yourself on the materials you have, from the camera to the audio or video editor, since they all have their peculiarities.