One of our social media secret weapons is the online tool Canva, especially since the advent of Instagram Stories last year. Our office relies pretty heavily upon the tool for stylized, easy to build graphics, and now, animated video content as well.
I recently had the opportunity to demo the new Canva beta animations tool on Duke’s Instagram Stories to highlight a very exciting partnership between the university and the American Ballet Theatre.
Canva is a great tool if you’ve got really visual content to accompany any text about your story or research that you want to highlight. In this case, we were fortunate to have some incredible dance photos at our disposal. I knew I wanted to highlight these images and push people to the story via Instagram Stories.
Enter, Canva. The great thing about this tool is its user-friendliness. I was able to login to our office account and design slides using photos and text, just as I would ordinarily. The difference comes in when it is time to export your slides. You’ll notice that there is a new option under “Download” in the top, right navigation bar. Select this new option, “Animated GIF/Movie,” then click “Preview Animation.”
This will open the Animator tool:
From here, you can select from any of the six options or “styles” on the right for your animations, which will be demoed on the slides you have created. Once you are satisfied with your selected animation form, you have the option to download them as either a GIF or .mp4 file. For example, @DukeUEnergy recently used the tool to create a GIF that they rolled out on Twitter:
— DukeUEnergy (@DukeUEnergy) March 14, 2018
For the purpose of our Instagram Stories, I selected “Download as Movie.” Then the file will be downloaded to your computer. Here is our final product:
We’re not quite done yet. Because all four slides were created in one Canva document and not individually downloaded, they exported into one, 28-second long video. Instagram Stories will only allow 10-second long clips for each part of the story. So I had to do a bit of tedious editing on my end. First, I emailed the .mp4 file to my iPhone. Then, I went into my camera roll and edited the whole video down into separate clips featuring each slide. I saved each edited segment as a new video file, so as not to lose the original 28-second video. The end result was 4, 7-10 second long videos featuring only one of each of the animated slides. I was then able to upload these, in order, to our Instagram Stories.
The result when it played back was one seamless “video” on our Stories. With the video broken into 4 separate parts, I was also able to attach a link on to each segment of our Story that sent viewers directly to the Duke Today article about the partnership. The end result can be viewed on Instagram’s mobile interface as a feature on @DukeUniversity‘s account.
This whole process took me less than an hour. With a little creativity to work around the Stories time limit function, Canva Animator is a really great tool to easily make videos with a highly produced feel with (very little, at least on my part) video skill.