How To Create AI Avatar Videos
No, this video isn't perfect, but I do think this old cowgirl is pretty darn special. She’s Midjourney’s version of my mother in her later years. She was a true cowgirl who owned a ranch with about thirty head of horses in Tucson, Arizona.
So here’s the deal. In about 12-18 months when you’re watching a video like this, you won’t be able to distinguish between a real human being or an artificial intelligence (AI) avatar.
It's incredible. At the same time, it's scary.
As a trial lawyer who's a contributing expert to California Continuing Education of the Bar's "Effective Introduction of Evidence in California- Chapter 54 Electronic and Social Media Evidence.," it's never been more important for in my profession to use experts to establish proper authenticity and foundation evidence requirements.
But I regress.
This issue isn't about the law, procedure, or evidence code. It's about sharing my favorite easy-to-use AI services so you can start dipping your toes in the digital water, if for no other reason than to see what all the excitement is about.
In this issue of my Substack newsletter, I share with you my favorite AI tools to create avatar videos like the above and exactly how my team and I are using them to create unique and engaging content.
These are not affiliate links; I have no financial interest in these companies. Having said that, my team and I are using the free and paid versions.
This inexpensive all-in-one service allows you to select your avatar, type your message (or copy and paste your message) into the text box, and create a video. Our clients use this service for internal training, client FAQs, marketing, and branding. I watched Victor Riparbelli, the company co-founder on 60 minutes (video link) talking about the technology and was impressed by what he and his team are doing.
You can select different kinds of voices and use commands to customize the audio output. Using the templates, adding graphics and background music allows you to take the finished product to the next level.
Similar to Synthesia, this service allows you to create movies by combining an avatar with the text you type or copy into the prompt. What's different is that it allows us to upload avatar faces we create in Midjourney AI and combine them with selected audio voices, including our own voices created using 11ElevenLabs.io below.
The way we combined both of the Midjourney avatars we created and put them into a single movie is as follows- We shot two complete scripts in the app. We then uploaded them into iMovie and combined the two movies into a final edited promo. Above is a sample of a book promo we created using this method. I think it’s pretty cool and only took a few minutes.
This was originally just a regular photo taken during our last trip to London. That's my voice, and we're using 11ElevenLabs to create audio files out of written text. We use the audio to generate client messages and new marketing and branding content.
One unique feature of this service is that it allows you to upload an audio file of your voice, and you can train the AI to create new voice audios that sound like you. In this example, we uploaded a 15-minute audio file from a an earlier and unrelated Youtube video that I did and then told the service to use my voice to train the AI and create the audio. We then took the new audio of my voice and then used Studio d-id to finish the project. Sure, there's room for improvement, but imagine how good this will be in a year.
This cost-effective service allows you to type or copy large amounts of text into the writing area to create audio files. We've used this service to create podcast episodes out of long blog posts and also to create audio marketing material.
To create the audio/video above, we copied each chapter from our #1 New Amazon Release, "The Web3, Metaverse and AI Handbook," into Speechelo. Using the free program iMovie, we combined the chapters into a single audio/video that we uploaded to Vimeo, YouTube and a few other platforms.
Like a book on Audible, anyone we share this link with can listen to the book. In the future, we may create avatar video segments incorporating the audio using the video creation services we share in this issue.
Pulling all of the above together
One of the reasons I also shared the AI audio services we are using in this issue about AI avatar movies is so that you can do the following.
We're creating custom avatars in Midjourney and using them in Studio D-ID to create incredible avatar movies. Because the avatars are generated in Midjourney, each one is unique and something our clients will not see anyone else doing.
We use prompts like the following to create our avatars in this process. If you need help getting started with Midjourney, look at Matt Wolfe's Youtube channel.
Young female lawyer facing the camera, dark blue eyes, professional color grading, soft shadows, no contrast, clean sharp focus, digital photography --ar 3:2 --v 4
Note that when creating your prompts in Mid Journey, you can switch the phrase "young female lawyer" for "middle-aged senior partner" or whatever floats your boat. For square videos, leave off the ending parameters (--ar 3:2).
Once we create our unique one-of-a-kind avatars, we upload them into Studio D-ID and create new content. The more you or your team plays around with these tools, the easier and faster it gets.
There are lots of similar AI tools out in the wild that do what I mentioned above. These work for me, so I wanted to share them with you.
With improvements and new datasets being created and generated every week, imagine how good this technology will be a year from now.
I'm so excited about this technology because I remember how expensive it was back in the day to create unique audio and video content. Now, you can create content for free or almost nothing and have fun building your brand.
Enjoy these tools and spend a few minutes playing in these digital AI sandboxes. Explore the features and take things to another level. Please share your work with me if you have time. I'd enjoy seeing what you're doing, and we can all learn a lot from each other.
Please enjoy the chat feature I've set up in Substack and use the buttons to subscribe and share.
I promise there's more good stuff coming!
Let’s stay in touch over on LinkedIn.
PS- To add a little icing on top of your AI video cake, use ChatGPT to help you write scripts for your avatars. Creative prompts will result in content that pops and grab your audience's attention.
Very helpful article you've written here Mitch! The learning curve is very steep and you are reaching down and pulling us up and thereby speeding our journey to become skilled practitioners with these new tools. Thank you for sharing what you and your team have learned!
Let me add, if you're already using AI to create videos or, will be using these resources moving forward, please share your work and links here in the comments. I know the community would enjoy seeing what you're doing and how you're doing it. Thanks! -Mitch