OpenShot and how to add text balloons to a video

The weather is being miserable these days, so what’s better than some video editing to feed my geek-wannabe side? 🙂
I am so attracted by technology, in all forms and shapes…I would love to be able to code! I have tried to read something, but even just trying to understand where to start is too difficult!  So after a few, unsuccessful attempts to figure out how to start learning to code, I have decided that for the time being this is a too big step for me…so I decided to learn something about video editing instead!

I am a Ubuntu user, so the editor choice was quite easy: OpenShot!
I am starting to move my first steps in this world, and I am still far far far away from being a pro, so if you think that my videos suck…try to say that nicely and at least appreciate my willing to learn! 🙂

I think it is great, especially if you are a self taught like me: it is easy to use and very straightforward, so once you learn to do something, it will also be very easy to remember how to do it.

The other day I was reading something about Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call me maybe” video and all its parodies and re-makes that have turned viral in the last weeks and I thought: “it would be great to add one more video to that long list!”…I suddenly remembered that I had a video of three pigeons running after each others (don’t ask me why I recorded it…I probably thought it was funny at that time!), and of course the idea of editing the video on the notes of “Call me maybe” came shortly after! I know it’s not a genius idea, and probably it’s not even funny, but at least it was a good excuse to do some practice with OpenShot.

Cutting the video and adding the music was easy, but I really wanted to add some balloons with some lyrics.
I had no idea how to do that, but this is what I have figured out:

  1. Open Gimp (or any other photo editor) and create a new image. As far as the size is concerned, you have to check what is your video resolution. If you don’t know about it, just google: “NameOfYourPhone video resolution” and you will find it out.
  2. Go to color -> color to alfa -> translucid to your entire image.
  3. Draw your text balloon with some drawing software (I used LibreOffice Draw) and paste it on Gimp.
  4. Save the image as png format.
  5. Go to OpenShot -> create a new track -> add the png image in the new track and adjust the duration as you like (to adjust the duration: right click on the file -> properties -> duration)

Now the thing is…I have learnt to add text balloons, but I still can’t figure out how to position them in different places on the screen. How can I do this? Any tips would be very very much welcomed!

Ah! Btw this is the result:

Android app for graffiti lovers!

So far I have shared with you my passion for food and cooking…today I introduce you my geeky side! 🙂

I am not a real geek, but I still love technology and partly due to my job I also love mobile phone apps!
I am both an Android and iOS user, I love my HTC (most of this blog’s pics are taken with it) but at the same time I also enjoy exploring the web with my iPad.

Anyway…today I would like to talk to you about a cool Android app I have just recently found: AirPainter.
It’s not a new app, but I still think it’s worth to dedicate a post to it.

Air Painter

An example of air painting!

It’s an Augmented Reality app (if you want to know more about this, you can click here) which allows you to literally paint a message in the air and then let other users read it.

You can have a look at this video to get a better idea of how it works: (unfortunately it’s not in English, but it will still be useful!)

I have already written a few messages around the city…can you find them?

How cool would be to organise a scavenger hunt using this app?


Hi Volunia, nice to meet you!

Today at 12:00 CET at the University of Padua it’s been presented the new 100% made in Italy search engine: Volunia.

The creator, Massimo Marchiori, has proudly introduced it, going through the main features and underlining more than once that Volunia is not the anti-Google as many newspapers have defined it. Thanks to its “social” features is more something that is going to integrate Google, but certainly the aim is not to replace the Californian giant nor to be its rival.

For all the IT experts, Massimo Marchiori is  a well known name, but I would still like to spend a couple of lines about him for all those people that are hearing his name for the first time.
Mr Marchiori was born in Padua, Italy in 1970 and is currently a professor at the University of Padua of Database and Information Systems, Computer Networks and Web technologies.
Since April 2010 he is also Chief Technology Officer of Atomium Culture, an international non-profit organisation formed by European universities, newspapers and business whose mission is the dissemination and knowledge transfer of European research.
He has obtained several international prizes, such as the prestigious prize TR100 by the Technology Review, published by the MIT.
Finally Marchiori is also the creator of HyperSearch algorythm, thanks to which the search results are not anymore based exclusively in single pages ranks, since it also takes in consideration the relationship between the single pages and the rest of the web (which has also partially influenced the algorythm at the base of Google’s success).

Etymology wise, the name is a contraction of two Italian words “volo” (flight) and “luna” (moon) and as Mr Marchiori explained, it has been thought to represents the ambition of its team and the potential of the project. Content wise, it will be available in 12 languages and it will be an innovative way to search and discover new things. Please have a look at the presentation:

A few months ago I have registered to become a Power User and woohoo, I have been selected! I am very excited about the idea of starting to discover Volunia and I hope to be able to give you more information and feedback in the coming weeks.