Adding voice overs to video like a pro with GoAnimate
Though you may not recognize their faces, you’ll certainly know their voices. From Darth Vader to Miss Piggy, the impact of voice overs is apparent in every corner of society. Whether you want a lengthy clip that pulls at the viewer’s emotions or a straightforward explainer video, knowing how to wrangle and manage the best voiceover talent is a skill that cannot be overstated.
We all know that having the right voice can make or break a video. To be sure, a 2012 study shared by the Wall Street Journal states that the sound of a person’s voice is actually twice as important as the content being delivered. Yet few of us are as sure of how to make that right voice sing — figuratively or literally.
Here’s a look at some of the nuances and challenges of adding voiceovers to a commissioned video, as well as best practices you should employ to craft a final product that even James Earl Jones would envy.
Setting the Stage
To optimize your time and minimize the impact on your bank account, it’s important to establish a clear voice profile before handing over the script. That is, determine the character and tone that you want the artist to embody first. Consider how you want the narrator to engage with the audience. Should the person speak as though talking to a friend? Should they be more professional?
Once you have those questions answered, it’s time to focus on finding the right voice actor for your needs. Listen to prospective actor’s voice portfolios; ask them if they feel comfortable with the profile you have established; and choose someone that meets your ideal sound.
After choosing an actor, make sure you convey those expectations clearly. Then, establish a clear rapport with the person so that they feel comfortable enough to let loose and deliver the lines as you would like.
Choosing the Right Video Creation Platform
Remember, a story is only as good as its execution. No matter how great the content is, if it is delivered poorly, listeners are apt to ignore the message. On the other hand, a stellar video is like a shot of B-12 to any story you want to deliver. It can accomplish so much in such a little time.
Up until recently, a professional-looking video was beyond the average person’s capabilities. Without cutting edge equipment and an expensive camera crew, videos were often shaky and with poor sound quality.
Fortunately, GoAnimate has swiftly brought that time to an end. Not only does the platform help you create the precise tone desired, it lets you present abstract ideas in a visually stimulating manner and appeals to your audience’s inner child. Trust us, this is a good thing.
Arguably, the best aspect of GoAnimate is the ease with which you can craft an engaging video. That doesn’t mean it isn’t without hiccups, however. Here’s a look at some of the questions you might have along the way, as well as the ever-important answers. Hopefully, this will quell any lingering doubts that GoAnimate is the platform to use for all of your animated video needs.
Breaking Up… Audio Files, That Is
Whether you choose to have your voiceover done professionally or plan to use your own equipment at home, you’ll need to import the audio into GoAnimate. While business subscribers can use 15MB of storage, it isn’t a good idea to import files that are too big.
Instead, you’ll want to break up the dialogue files so that they are no larger than 2MB to 4MB. This ensures a high-quality video that you have more control over. It also makes it easier for viewers to upload and process the MP3.
There are two ways to break up the audio files, including:
- Break up one audio file on your own or use a free service to record several pieces;
- If you utilize a GoAnimate voice partner, request that the service breaks up the audio by line.
Lip Syncing Better Than Milli Vinilli
Just when you thought lip-syncing went the way of the 1990s, it’s time to refresh those skills for a modern take. That is, in GoAnimate style. Here’s how to ensure that you don’t have a character’s mouth moving at a different speed than the voiceover speaks.
When you want to make a character speak, simply click on it. Then select the dialogue tab.
At the top, you’ll see whether that character already speaks a line. On the bottom, you can choose to add a voice. Using this feature, you can either upload an MP3, select a voice clip you have already uploaded, or record a rudimentary clip then and there.
Here are some additional tips to make it easier:
- Avoid using talking expressions when giving a voice to a character. Doing so will make the character’s lips move even when the character isn’t talking. Instead, set the Expression setting to Auto or choose one that doesn’t have a built-in talking motion.
- Assign voiceovers directly to a character rather than to a scene. To do so, click on a character and choose the Dialogue tab under the Character Settings. From there, add the voiceover.
Removing or Changing a Watermark
GoPremium and GoTeam subscribers have the option of removing or replacing the GoAnimate watermarks. These subscribers can also upload multiple watermarks. The full-scene watermark disappears when users upgrade from the 14-day trial to a GoPublish subscription. However, a small watermark will appear in the lower left corner unless a GoPremium or GoTeam subscription is purchased.
Switching Characters and Props
With a little effort, you can switch characters and props without the need to delete or reposition items. To do so:
- Select the character or prop you want to switch from the stage.
- Choose the “Swap” icon from the control bar.
- A grid of all the characters and props will slide out on the left panel.
Creating a Custom Character
From the Custom Character panel, click on the large plus sign in order to craft a custom character. If a theme does not have a plus sign, it doesn’t support the creation of custom characters.
Adding Narration and Dialogue
You can set the tone of your video and communicate ideas with GoAnimate’s powerful voiceover feature. You can do this through dialogue or narration. Narration refers to voiceover without lipsyncing, whereas dialogue applies to characters only and comes with automatic lip-syncing. There are several ways to add voiceover, including:
- Professional voiceover from VoiceBunny or another GoAnimate partner
- Mic recording
- Upload your own recording or choose from a previously uploaded clip
- Text-to-speech, wherein you record voice directly into the program (only recommended as a placeholder due to its low quality)
You can upload a variety of file types in GoAnimate, such as m4a, mp3, or wav. Keep in mind that there is a 15 MB limit per file (though much smaller is advised).
To add scene narration:
- Click on the scene
- Click the ‘Narration’ tab on the left tray/panel
- Select from one of the four options
- Follow the instructions
To add dialogue:
- Add characters to the video
- Choose the exact character you would like to add dialogue to
- Click on the ‘Dialogue’ tab from the left slide-out tray
- Select one of the four options from the menu
- Follow the on-screen directions
Imagine Star Wars without Darth Vader or Shrek without Mike Myers. An emptiness would take its place. The same can be said about most videos. If not imperative, having a voiceover artist is a near-necessity for the majority of professional video presentations. With these tips, you should be well on your way to crafting a high-quality video that can teach, persuade, explain, or deliver.