Although video creation is a highly technical process, thanks to no-code apps you can create workflows that will enable anyone (and i really mean anyone) to create videos that look like a pro designer created them.
Does this sound interesting?
Well, this article will show you how to create a video creation form that automatically creates professionally designed videos in a few minutes.
This form is a simple online form (example: Airtable or Google forms) that allows anyone with a link to that form to create pre-designed videos with elements that they put in.
The end-user doesn’t have to be technical, they just need to know how to fill out the fields that you set up and they will be able to create pro videos in a few clicks.
So, what’s this magic video creation form?
Actually, it’s pretty simple. It’s an Airtable form that’s linked to a video generation API (in our case Plainly) with an integration tool Integromat.
Videos are generated in a matter of minutes, and they can be very flexible in terms of modifications (the end-user can change photos, videos, audio, colors, or text inside of the video).
What’s really important is that there is 0 chance that the video creator will make a design mistake. The video is pre-defined by the person who creates this form and the end-user can change only what’s been pre-defined…the rest of the design stays intact.
This kind of workflow has dozens of use cases, but it’s particularly interesting for:
- Creative Agencies – You can create a master video and let clients create unlimited variations as they wish (different products, copy…)
- eCommerce – This workflow can be used for social media ad creation. Once you create a master video, using this form any employee (technical or non techical) will be able to create social media ads for different products.
- Big Companies – Let any employee from any department create a video that’s been designed by the design team (sales videos, internal videos…)
- Vendors/Manufacturers – Create marketing videos for your partners to use and let them change and adapt the videos for themselves.
How does it work?
Creation of video creation form is done in three steps:
- Create a master video
- Set up a video generation API that will allow you to multiply your master video infinite times with different elements inside of it.
- Create a form that will be used for video creation, and integrate it with your video generation API
This workflow (including the video creation) can be done in one day.
The video creation part is probably the one that will take the most time. The type of video you will create is 100% up to you. You’ll control the design, the concept, and the edit.
After the video creation, you will need a product that will take your master video and parametrize it. This means that some of the elements inside of the video will be static, and some dynamic.
When you set up your video generation API, you’ll have to link the form and the API. This way, whenever someone submits a new response, the integration tool will call the video generation API and render out the video.
The form itself can be created in any form creation software as long as it’s available in the integration software. Here also you have absolute freedom. You can be pretty flexible, and allow the end-user freedom or be restrictive and limit their input options.
When the video is created, the end-user still needs to receive it. Here also, you have a lot of options, but it will boil down to two things:
- What’s available inside of your integration software
- What’s convenient
The union of those two will be the perfect fit. Generally, the video can be sent through email, Slack, and other communication channels.
Everything combined, this gives you a pretty powerful tool that will save hundreds of hours for your design team.
The end-user can create hundreds of videos, without your design team even being close to a computer and the best of all is that those videos still look like a designer made them.
Here’s a video that shows how this form works.
If you find this workflow useful and you want to implement it in your company, the fastest way to do it would be using Plainly. Plainly is a video generation API that’s built for these kinds of things, and it saves companies countless hours of video production.
Book a 15-min demo on this link, and we’ll show you how to set up a workflow like this asap.
If you are an existing user of Plainly, then you have all of the tools needed to create this workflow. The remainder of this article will be a step-by-step guide for just that – so let’s jump right into it.
Video Creation Form -Workflow Overview
Like with a lot of our tutorials, the core tools stay the same – we don’t need to change what’s working.
This exact workflow is actually being used by FC Vozdovac, if you wish to read that case study, you can do it here.
This is how video creation form works:
- After Effects – Master video creation
- Plainly – Automated video creation
- Airtable – Form creation
- Integromat – Integration
Since this workflow is a bit simpler than others, it should be a piece of cake to create if you created any of the others. For comparison, Automated & Personalized No-Show Videos takes 2x more to create than this one.
Video Creation Form – Step By Step Explanation
In the following section, i’m going to explain every step of the way, i’ll probably miss out on some details and that’s why there is a video tutorial at the bottom. That video will show you every little detail.
With After Effects the sky really is the limit. You are only bound by your imagination and your technical chops. However, for this article, i went with something simple.
I put myself in the shoes of a big eCom shop, and i imagined that i want to create a master video and let my non-technical social media team create Instagram stories on demand. So that’s why i created a fairly simple After Effects template that shows the product, the discount, and the price.
Here’s how it looks:
Short, sweet, and to the point. You probably see these types of videos online all the time. If don’t have the technical abilities to create After Effects templates, we can do it for you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request and we’ll get right to it.
After i created the After Effects template, i collected all of the files, downloaded all of the fonts and created a .ZIP that’s going to go into Plainly.
Inside of Plainly i created a new project and added my dynamic elements. Here’s how that looks:
Creating the Airtable form was straightforward and quick. Started from a blank form, and added fields for:
- Primary Color
- Secondary Color
- Discount Amount
- Product picture
As with most of our tutorials, i had to create an Airtable to Slack integration. This way whenever someone submits a form Airtable sends the record ID to a dedicated Slack channel.
This is done because that message to the Slack channel triggers the integration and video rendering.
More on how to create this integration in the video tutorial below.
That’s why you need to create a dedicated Slack channel that’s going to receive ONLY the Airtable ID’s sent by Airtable. It’s very important that you don’t send anything to this channel…unless you really want to burn your Integromat/Zapier credits.
This integration can be done in both Zapier and Integromat in just a few steps. I love Integromat, so that’s going to be my weapon of choice.
We’ll only need a few nodes for this integration, separated into two scenarios. The first scenario is going to create the video, and the second is going to receive & send that video.
If you don’t know how to work with integration tools, our team will be happy to set it up for you. Simply shoot an email to email@example.com and we’ll do it.
The video creation is done in three modules.
- Slack / New Event – This node looks at the dedicated Slack channel and triggers the integration whenever there is a new message.
- Airtable / Get A Record – As soon as there is a new message, this node takes that message and compares it to the Airtable records to find the record that triggered Airtable to send the message. It can do this because the Airtable automation sends the Airtable Record ID.
- HTTP / Make a request – Once the previous node finds the relevant Airtable record it stores the information that the end-user submitted and the HTTP node pings the Plainly video generation API. This request will tell Plainly to create the video by telling it what template to render, and what parameters did the end-user input.
If this sounds confusing, take a look at the video below – it should help you understand better.
The video is created. Now what?
We can’t expect our end-user to log into the Plainly dashboard and download the video from there. That’s why we need a Video Sending scenario.
This scenario will receive the video from the previous scenario and distribute it to the end-user.
There is a lot of ways to send this video to the end-user, you can use e-mail, SMS, Slack, Teams, or any other channel of communication that’s available in the integration software that you use.
In my case, i’m going to use Slack – because if this was a real eCom company, everybody would be inside of Slack and that would be the easiest way to download the videos.
Video sending also consists out of 3 nodes.
This one is much shorter to set up though. There are fewer fields to adjust.
- Webhook / Custom Webhook – This will be a receiving webhook. It has only one purpose – receive the videos from Plainly. Once you create it, you will need to link it up inside of the HTTP request. A good thing is that Webhooks are handled by the integration programs, you just click, create a new one and link it up with the HTTP request.
- HTTP / Get a File – The purpose of this node is to download the .MP4 file that Webhook received. This is done so the file can be distributed, and also because Plainly links expire after a few days (depending on the pricing plan you have).
- Slack / Upload a File – After the download, the only thing left is to send the file. This node does exactly that. It takes the file that the previous node downloads, and it send it to a Slack channel of your choice.
This can be a general channel, a marketing channel, or in this case a dedicated channel that serves only to receive the videos.
Video Creation Form – A Video Tutorial
This video creation form is a very versatile tool that can be used for a lot of use cases. It can be for sales videos, for internal videos, for social media ads – wherever you can create a lot of similar videos that only need a few elements changed.
The biggest benefit of this workflow is that anybody can create these videos, it could even be done from a mobile device. If you can fill out a simple Airtable form – you can create the video.
Plainly can be used for many other workflows like these that save countless hours of video production, and if you want to integrate Plainly into your workflow – book a 15 min demo below and get started quickly.
Book a 15-min demo.
That concludes this article, if you are stuck and need any help – feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you out.
Thank you for your time!