Recently I discovered an interesting site that will take plain text and help you make a video out of it. The tool takes in whatever text you enter, converts it from text to speech, and then syncs a generated cartoon video in time to the speech. I found this mesmerizing. My mind flashed to the IRC quotes database that I set up years ago and had a small trickling in of content. “What if I took a funny quote out of there, of decent length, and converted it to video?”, I murmured to myself. With these careless thoughts, I was driven to pursue the project.
I chose this quick quote off my quotes database, as it was mostly my nutty banter and wouldn’t incriminate others as much. After creating an account on Xtranormal, I started pasting in the lines for the two characters it limited me to. Upon the first play, it was less than ideal, plus it only had a static camera angle. This just wouldn’t do for a quick test of mine. I threw myself into editing text so the text to speech worked better. Once it played in a fairly respectable fashion, I started looking at camera angles. There were quite a few to choose from and I tweaked it all until I was happy, though I have no idea if it was good or not. Then facial expressions and body language came into play. I added air quotes, hands on hips and even some devil’s horns. Awesome. A few more edits and rendering and I shared it with #orlug with limited viewing and mild success.
Overall, it was a fun project, and I found the tool very versatile, especially considering it was free. I can’t wait to do some more with a bit better content and animation. Below is the embedded Youtube upload of the video I created. Welcome to the future.