Recently I came across Synthesia tool, which is a very Metaverse Era -way to create presentations and videos with text-to-speech. I have had only chance to use the public demo version so far, but this definitely looks something I could be testing out later in the autumn for real. In short: you use text to speech together with an avatar with your presentation or video recording to create a result where you don’t have to worry about speaking, studio or tech (microphone, camera, lights). Of course it isn’t your digital twin who is speaking – at least not on the normal licensing.
To point out: I did not receive anything from Synthesia to write this post. I am writing this shout about their tool purely because I found myself seeing good opportunities for video creation with this kind of tools.
Just to make this one more intereresting, this is how you can use and try it yourself. Go to https://www.synthesia.io/free-ai-video-demo and type in text. It does recognize various languages on default – I tried it with Finnish which was quite ok – but here is the example in English.
The amount of text is very limited in the free demo version. Just enough to give you the idea and proof-of-concept. You can’t change the avatar or background content in the demo either – but in different demo templates have all different avatars and content.
After you continue you can give in your details and they will deliver the video (via link) to your email. They will be also contacting you in sales efforts multiple times, which is very expected.
Once you have asked to generate the video you get information to wait for emails.
The first email to arrive tells you that they will review the video content first.
Then we just wait until we get the result email.
Demo video – the result
I had to take a few shots on the video. For some reason I didn’t any more demo videos to my first email address after the first two. Using a second address finally fixed that – but it was kind of odd experience. I don’t know if they were blocked at tenant level or doesn’t Synthesia allow more than two demos sent for a single address.
However, here is the result of the demo so you can see and hear yourself what Synthesia can do. Demo video is shared with a link, but you can download it as MP4. As this was a demo, there is no option to change the background or add your own slides until you purchase the license.
Why, pricing and other info & thoughts
While waiting for the video to arrive you can take a look at those specs. Synthesia will be $30/month and it allows you to create just ten videos (choose wisely). Basically if you create training materials, how-to videos, marketing or any other content it can be time-saver. Training materials need to be updated now and then – instead of recreating the training video with yourself you might be using tools like this to update your slides / demo videos and make updates to the text. Usefulness depends how good you are yourself speaking at the camera and making videos – and how much you have time slots available in your calendar.
I have to emphatise that I have not tried Personal nor Corporate version of Synthesia. I do welcome comments for this post from people who have actually used it. This looks very good tool and really can change lots of production needs – that is why I am so keen about sharing this information.
Some picks from the Personal edition features
- Support for languages (60+)
- Different avatars to use with different types of videos
- Templates – take a look here. Each template comes with video and info.
- Custom background, PowerPoint support and music can be added
- It is also possible to create custom avatar, with added price of $1000 / year. In corporate plan you can also use Overdub to add your own voice. However that looks like something that you might be creating your video with other tools because the point of quick and painless creation of the video is mostly lost.
Synthesia Studio user interface looks more versatile than the demo version.
I have been creating various videos with Filmora WonderShare X , Clipchamp and other tools. All tools have their benefits, and on initial look Synthesia is different from others with text-to-speech & avatar support. While avatar motions and speaking looks quite “faked” it is still a pretty good result. With faked I mean that you can’t probably read from lips by looking at the video – don’t forget to add subtitles.
During autumn I think I might be either creating a few PowerPoint and how-to videos with Synthesia to test it out more. And of course creating videos with other tools and using them as the background + with a voice-over.
You can also use PowerPoint Cameo to include yourself in the PowerPoint presentation / video recording – if you have a good mic, camera and lights and you are not nervous to speak to record yourself it can deliver a great result as well.