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Vidyard Knowledge Center

Personalized Video Shot Guidelines

This article outlines the technical guidelines for the shots in your video that will be personalized.

As a good rule of thumb, anything that can be done using out-of-the box After Effects (no custom effects) can be rendered within our personalization engine. To have the most flexibility possible, it is always best to submit a completed After Effects project of your video which adheres to our guidelines in the Send Video portion of the Personalized Video Guidelines. If there are any questions regarding what can/can't be done, please contact your Customer Success Manager.

There are two styles of videos that can be produced for personalization:

  1. Fully or partially Animated Video (which may or may not include Live-Action Elements)
  2. Live-Action video

For any further questions that are not covered in this article, please email services@vidyard.com.

Animation Guidelines (After Effects)

Tracking and Effects

All effects included with After Effects are supported by the Vidyard personalization engine. Please do not use any Custom Effects on any of the personalized elements of the video.

All tracking, transformation, and effects will need to be applied to the personalized layer(s) before being submitted to Vidyard. The Vidyard personalization team will not be able to manually track the personalized layer(s). Additionally, the tracking, transformation, and effects for the personalized layer(s) must stand on their own and not rely on other animated elements to work unless they are only related to the personalization and not the rest of the video. This is because the remainder of the project (the blank video without personalization) will need to be flattened down per the After Effects project submission guidelines in After Effects Project Layout or Personalized Video Guidelines.

Personalized Text

  • Use uppercase letters for personalized fields where possible. Due to descending letters like “j” or “p” when using lower-case, the font size and positioning may vary between fields with and without descending letters
  • Create all text layers to be personalized with any effects/tracking that is needed (no custom effects)

After Effects Project Layout

If the video is being made in After Effects, it's imperative that a project is made that follows our After Effects guidelines. These are included below:

  • Main video/audio file flattened to an .mov/.mp4 on the bottom layer and personalized layers above
  • Pre-compose the main flattened video layer and name the composition VIDEO
  • Name the main composition MASTER
  • Name the AE Project template.aep
  • IMPORTANT: Composition and source files at 1280x720p (any framerate is fine)
  • All used fonts, if not default, included in a Fonts folder
  • Remove any unused assets from the bin
  • Remove any unused layers from the MASTER composition

After Effects Project Folder Structure

My-Awesome-Project/
 + Fonts/
 + Assets/
 + template.aepFolder Structure

Live-Action Video Guidelines

Note: These are guidelines and Vidyard may ask to reshoot a portion of your video if it cannot be personalized to your desired effect.

What equipment should I use?

Videos should be shot with professional level video recording equipment at NTSC or PAL standards. Avoid using consumer video cameras like GoPros or Action Cams. Smartphone cameras also do not provide the necessary detail in each frame. The higher the quality of video, the better the end result will be. Fisheye or other types of lenses that distort the video should be avoided. Wherever possible, use a tripod or rig to keep the camera steady and prevent vibration.  

Contrast

High contrast ratios between the personalization text and the object will appear the best in the final product. Thick, dark text on a evenly lit, light colored background are the optimal conditions. Alternatively, you can use thick, light text on a dark background. Shadows and color gradients cannot be reproduced reliably in the displayed text, so lighting on the personalized object should be consistent to eliminate shadows. Large, bold text works best.

Still from a personalized video showing a well list purple post-it note with bold black text spelling the name "Ji"

Motion

Ideally, the shot of the personalized object itself should be static, though motion tracking can be done.

The best way to simulate motion is to film the object in motion without the personalization visible, then jump to a shot of the static object personalized. Here is an example:
 

Here is an example of using literal motion in a shot:

In order to accommodate this, the shot must be filmed with at least two tracking points in the form of dots on the object. It is recommended that all tracking be done in After Effects prior to submission by the video production team that produces the video. This will ensure satisfaction of the tracking before submitting to the Vidyard team.

Note the two tracking points below: 

A paper with a signature line. Two green dots are on each end of the signature line.

If the motion is too fast, the motion blur captured by the camera can obscure the tracking points making the motion tracking impossible. Similarly, if the personalized object is moving too quickly the personalization text is obscured by motion blur as well. Smooth steady, linear motion done in a very short shot can be done. 

Perspective, Depth of Field, Zooming, Masking

If there is a requirement to distort a personalized field over and above simple scaling or tracking, it is required that any tracking, cameras, Masking (rotobrushing), etc. be done by the video production team who produces the video. This will ensure that the videos that are exported by Vidyard are as similar to the submitted project as possible.

Here is an example of Masking that can be done in After Effects:

 

Final Product

The final videos will be released as H.264 encoded 1280x720 videos at up to 30 FPS. Videos provided at a higher resolution will be downscaled accordingly.

 

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