Deals February 25, 2020

Built an online video editor - giving it away for free (LIMITED-TIME)

Michael Aubry @storycreator

Hey folks on Indie Hackers 👋

I'm an indie developer myself who has been working night and day to bring something charming into the world. Today is the day where I would like to share that thing.

It's an online video editor aimed to make creating content easier than ever before. My goal in building this tool is to have something that is flexible enough to have uniqueness and no cookie-cutter results. While being super easy and intuitive to build great videos. Also extremely hard to make something bad.

Quickly create content like IN UNDER ONE MINUTE https://storycreatoruploads2.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/875704d0-5826-11ea-b66b-6faf0700e3d6

We have all seen this format of content https://www.instagram.com/garyvee/. My goal is to bring the tools to the market that give everyone the ability to create and pump out content just like ESPN or Gary Vee. You should have the same power. It should not be limited to some large public figures with 2-5 professional video editors.

Here is a quick guide on the basics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_g38fHHvzA&lc=z23hjf5biomle3ngj04t1aokgtyepg0qlw0nuxwlo2kbbk0h00410

Some key features that exist

  • integration with Unsplash and Pexels
  • integration with SoundCloud
  • media uploader
  • integration with Google Drive
  • professional-grade animated text
  • timeline editor to move clips and create edits based on time
  • transitions between images, and video
  • hundreds of vector emojis
  • artboard with the ability to customize things to how you like
  • dark mode
  • different sizes for different platforms (1080x1080, 1920x1080)
  • up to 30 seconds of HD video

Features that are coming soon

  • upload a video and add subtitles with a click
  • more high-quality video clips
  • animated elements
  • loading bar elements
  • more animated text options
  • better social media sharing features
  • brand kit
  • guides on how to make awesome content
  • better static text options
  • object grouping on the artboard
  • better fine-tuning video clips
  • podcast to video options
  • video effects
  • better music selection

I love to hear everyone's feedback and any questions! Check out the tool. Free to use for a limited time here https://storycreatorapp.com/

  1. 5

    That's so cool !!! what tech stack do you use for the editor?

    1. 2

      +1, would love to know this too! Especially for the rendering part.

      1. 3

        Copied and pasted from my other response in case you miss it.

        Thanks for checking it out. That means a lot to me.

        It's not too crazy tech-wise - maybe it is. React.js is my UI code within Next.js for SSR and other useful features. Obviously using various libs for certain things like styles (styled-components). Heavily using the modern React paradigm. Which are hooks and Higher Order Components. I even have what I call Higher Order Hooks lol. I took a very functional approach. Using some basic testing - need to improve the tests, but when shooting for an MVP not that critical, it does give me peace.

        Obviously must have git in the mix, git helps me deploy my rendering server with a git hook. My main deployment strategy for that app code is called "now" from https://zeit.co/ - amazing service brought to you by the same folks who built Next.js.

        The rendering engine is cloud-based and heavily uses FFMPEG. Travis from https://saasify.sh/ https://www.indiehackers.com/saasify?id=Da5AngGFG4Y55NM6MjCdgOpD91E3 has written some critical libs to make a lot of the magic happen on the backend, shout out to Travis, much appreciation! His code has helped with transitions and animated text. Would not know what to do without him. The videos follow a pattern and chain of events to produce an output. Just know FFMPEG plays a critical role.

        I am using Graph.Cool - which I need to migrate to Prisma 2 or Hasura, as they are sunsetting this summer. Graph.Cool acts as a "backend as a service". It's similar to an ORM but simplifies and reduces tedious steps in creating a backend connected to a database like mysql. Highly recommend using a BAAS as it can help you focus more on the app and not backend related tasks, amazing direction we're going in with tech like that.

        Those are the key components. Let me know if you have any more questions about that. Glad to answer!

      2. 1

        The rendering is using FFMPEG with a nice pattern and strategy.

  2. 3

    Look at those smooth transitions ❤️

    Congrats dude && keep up the great work!

    1. 3

      Couldn't have done it without your awesome libs and help via Slack. I really do appreciate you reaching out to me a few months ago and nudging me in the right direction. To think the first version of Story Creator was being rendered client-side by using Canvas and RequestAnimation frame. Glad I was nudged to go the FFMPEG route, you had a huge influence on that.

      Wishing you and your team the best at Saasify! You're onto something there. Let me know what I can do to help. I am thinking about doing a give away where I make folks 3 free videos to see if I can recreate what they want using Story Creator. If you want some promotional videos. Let me know what you like and I can recreate them. Either way, I am here for you!

  3. 3

    We are working on adjacent apps! I'm building SongRender to help musicians share their music on social media.

    Story Creator looks super dope though! The design is great and it looks like you have some awesome features. Basically every online video app I looked at sucked — I'm kind of inspired (and a little nervous!) that someone's making another video app that's actually nice to use. How long have you been working on it?

    1. 1

      Your product looks awesome. Great work. Let me know if you want to hop on a call sometime and talk. Your main competitor is https://wavve.co/. Not so much me. I'd like to focus on the podcast niche as well but thinking more so digital agencies and companies. I still need to identify my target market. Yours sounds like its primarily focused on musicians. Which is smart to niche down. I'd network with folks out on Sound Cloud and look for artists to sign up.

      1. 1

        Thank you so much! Yeah, I don't think we're really competitors but I do feel a little bit of a kinship with other video editor web apps :) would love to hop on a call sometime!

  4. 2

    Congrats on the launch. Working on something similar at mixcut.com. I like your methodology for going about launch/sharing and trying to get customers. Best of luck. Shoot me a note [email protected], it would be great to chat more in a similar space.

  5. 2

    Very nice work, I have used some of your competitors and your solution is pretty neat and looks easy to use.

    All the best.

    1. 1

      Let's talk! I would love to learn more. Some things I am curious to know.

      Why did you use the competitors, do you have use in these tools for business/personal?
      Which competitors did you use?
      What did you like about them?
      What did you hate about them?
      What do you love about Story Creator?
      What do you hate about Story Creator?
      What is the main pain point/problem you are trying to solve?

      Cheers! I'd love to hop on a call and talk more if you're free for 5-7 minutes.

      1. 2
        • I got an offer for 9$ a year and I signed up.

        • I used https://wave.video/

        • I liked that was easy to create a short video that would look profesional without video editing knoweledge. Also love the amount of free videos assets you could use for your videos.

        • I did not hate anything really

        • I have not used storycreator I have just seen the video demo, and I loved that seems really easy to use.

        • Nothing.

        • My main problem, not really a problem it is more a nice to have. I am creating a start up and I need to create good video content to get my message accross social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn , Instagram etc.

        After that if you still think need to know more let me know.

        By the way, another competitor to have a look is inVideo.

        Cheers,
        Alberto

  6. 2

    Hey Michael, awesome work on this.

    Like Scholz said, I also got hung up on the third step of the onboarding, and had to skip to exit it.

    I was playing around with it and would recommend adding a skip back to the beginning button. I was constantly pausing, then moving the vertical line back to 0s to test out what my design looked like with each change.

    I also couldnt search for any music. It just gave me a few Synth Wave options.

    Also when I went to export, I ran into some issues that I recorded here: https://www.loom.com/share/810e33eec09b4d97936d18a46e9bca9c

    In addition, when I clicked "Download video", the popup closed, but nothing downloaded.

    But overall, it was super easy to use. Keep up the awesome work!

    1. 1

      Awesome feedback exactly what I am looking for. I rewrote parts of the onboarding without fully testing, thanks for bringing that to my attention. I will fix it!

      I'll think of an elegant and intuitive way to make it easy to go back to 0. I know in After Effects when previewing the cursor never moves, there is a pseudo cursor. That could be an option. Would love any suggestions.

      I didn't add the functionality for searching for music. I wanted to test if people would actually use it, which is a no brainer but didn't want to invest too much into it. I find it a bit difficult with Sound Cloud because there is so much garbage on there. I would like to figure out a way to streamline the search results into high-quality ones. Will address that. I am also talking to other companies that produce audio for these specific purposes. So a much richer music library will be coming soon.

      With the download option, I am not quite sure about why it would do that. It could be due to the browser or some settings. I would have to Google that. I wonder if you have a setting disabled if you're on Chrome or if you happen to be on another browser, it could be that there is slightly different code needed to trigger a download. I will look into that.

      I really appreciate the feedback, it means everything to me to have the data needed to improve. Thanks for contributing!

      1. 1

        The download seems to be working for me now.

        Not sure if you watched the Loom video I recorded though. The timing of all the elements got mixed up when I went to download it.

        1. 1

          Fixed https://storycreatoruploads2.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/459a0450-58c3-11ea-8425-d103dac2f4e1

          Video 1 https://cl.ly/c4cd05f0b6a5
          Video 2 https://cl.ly/e1d5fd3fcbb9

          Cloud app only lets me record for 1 min :/ Should be fixed though. Let me know!

        2. 1

          I also could use your feedback on something. I don't know how intuitive it is to resize the image to fill out the artboard. It seems like you had the image not fully stretched out.

          My girlfriend keeps telling me I should have it automatically fill out the artboard when selected. Were you aware that you could resize the image? If not it might be worth increasing the default size when its added.

        3. 1

          Oh, you know what. I haven't tested the elements in the rendering. I rewrote it over the weekend to add transition support. So I need more testing on that. Very helpful and needs to be addressed ASAP. On my list for today.

          One exciting thing about the elements panel is animated graphics will be an option, animated waveforms, and loading bars coming soon!

          Thanks for testing! Your name looks familiar. I just looked at your project One Up and remember seeing it a few months ago. I thought I would be going in that direction but am focused on just making a social video. There may be room for collaboration. User can send their media to one up for scheduling. That could be cool!

  7. 2

    This is a really neat, powerful tool from a very brief play around with it.
    Will continue to try it out. Really nice work.
    Also interested in the tech used for this.

    1. 2

      Thanks for checking it out. That means a lot to me.

      It's not too crazy tech-wise - maybe it is. React.js is my UI code within Next.js for SSR and other useful features. Obviously using various libs for certain things like styles (styled-components). Heavily using the modern React paradigm. Which are hooks and Higher Order Components. I even have what I call Higher Order Hooks lol. I took a very functional approach. Using some basic testing - need to improve the tests, but when shooting for an MVP not that critical, it does give me peace.

      Obviously must have git in the mix, git helps me deploy my rendering server with a git hook. My main deployment strategy for that app code is called "now" from https://zeit.co/ - amazing service brought to you by the same folks who built Next.js.

      The rendering engine is cloud-based and heavily uses FFMPEG. Travis from https://saasify.sh/ https://www.indiehackers.com/saasify?id=Da5AngGFG4Y55NM6MjCdgOpD91E3 has written some critical libs to make a lot of the magic happen on the backend, shout out to Travis, much appreciation! His code has helped with transitions and animated text. Would not know what to do without him. The videos follow a pattern and chain of events to produce an output. Just know FFMPEG plays a critical role.

      I am using Graph.Cool - which I need to migrate to Prisma 2 or Hasura, as they are sunsetting this summer. Graph.Cool acts as a "backend as a service". It's similar to an ORM but simplifies and reduces tedious steps in creating a backend connected to a database like mysql. Highly recommend using a BAAS as it can help you focus more on the app and not backend related tasks, amazing direction we're going in with tech like that.

      Those are the key components. Let me know if you have any more questions about that. Glad to answer!

  8. 2

    Nice looking app. I like how quickly the signup flow and product onboarding works. Do you use a tool for these onboarding tooltips?

    One issue I had was that at the third step (where you enter text) the tooltip did not show a "next step" button anymore. The only thing I could do then was to click "skip" which ended the whole tour.

    1. 2

      @storycreator in the dark mode the text in the right sidebar (Coordinates, Dimensions, etc.) is almost unreadable because its a dark grey

      1. 1

        Great feedback. The dark UI is experimental I wanted to see if anyone would use it before investing. I think its obvious that features will be used but I don't like investing too much time into something unless users really like it. I think the dark mode is critical and it needs a little more attention, I just put it together in a day, so I'd like to clean up some of those elements so that it's extremely sexy.

        That's interesting there is no next button. It probably happened from my last update. It's an easy fix and will address it ASAP.

        For the guide itself, I am using https://github.com/gilbarbara/react-joyride. They give you enough flexibility to have your own UI. So I heavily customized the out of the box UI letting it do its thing under the hood.

        I leveraged the power of hooks to manage the states in various parts of the app. Not sure if you're a coder but I'll explain some of the details.

        I wrapped the view in an OnboardingProvider which manages the state of the tour and persists the current step to the User table in the DB. When the tour is done there is a ? button in the sidebar that if you click, it will reset the tourStep in the DB back to 0 and restart the process.

        1. 2

          Thanks for sharing. I like your approach to handle the state of the onboarding. Always wondered how others design these flows, so I really appreciate the details !

          Btw I love all the little details in the app, like the spinning records animations etc.

  9. 2

    That looks seriously good! Congratulations!

  10. 2

    I am in, cheers. Will have a look at it. I need this for https://colorsandfonts.com/

    1. 1

      Congrats on launching a cool tool. Just upvoted you on product hunt. It looks like something useful and will check it out more. One thing I think would be cool on there is having a section for established brands and sharing their color palettes. Just my 2 cents.

      I am getting ready to do a giveaway where I am offering 2-3 free videos. You send me video ads you like. I tell you if it's possible to make, then recreate it using Story Creator. Doing this to offer value and improve the template library and make a video out of it.

      If its something that would be interesting to you let me know!

      1. 2

        Hey Michael,

        That would be a good idea, actually just visioned something really cool thanks to that.

        Are you offering me to use your app to make a video for free? Sure, I have been thinking to ad an insights video on the landing page actually.

        1. 1

          Yeah, DM me on Twitter https://twitter.com/michaelaubry I'd like to know which types of videos you're after. Share a link with me and I'll use Story Creator to recreate it.

          1. 1

            Hey Michael. You gave an idea yesterday. Already working on it.

            https://www.colorsandfonts.com/newsletter.html/ brands.html

            On tablet theres es a div coming out dobt judge me...is too late.

            Thsnk you so much. I could link back to you from the video maybe?

            Thank you i get back to you soon.

  11. 2

    I clicked the link to sign up and the UI didn't respond.

    1. 1

      That's no good. Did you try Google sign up or email/pass?

      1. 2

        Happening to me too :( email/pass, error code 5008, message empty.last

        1. 2

          I got the same result as jakelazaroff,
          using email/pass result with error 5008 - empty .last

          1. 1

            When I added the tour I set a required field that each user has to have in the mutation. I forgot to add that field in the email/pass function. I did it for the Google function but forgot for that one. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Fix is on its way!