Creating Kinetic Typography Videos


I wanted my students to create something new and interesting this year using lyrics to popular songs in Spanish.  I found a selection of songs in Spanish that include the Spanish lyrics.  But unlike most lyric videos on YouTube, these videos presented the lyrics in a stimulating and very visual way.  These types of videos are known as kinetic typography videos because the text moves and is interesting.

Here are some examples of Kinetic Typography:

I would create activities using the lyrics to these songs and noticed that the more I listened to the songs, the more engrained in my brain the Spanish lyrics became. I thought “Wouldn’t it be great if I could have my students do something that required them to pay attention to these lyrics?”.  So I decided to have them create kinetic typography videos.

I looked into the process and it can be quite advanced when you want the final product to be like the videos posted above. Most of the software used to create great kinetic typography 1) costs money and 2) requires training time that I couldn’t afford to do in the classroom.  But could a decent kinetic typography be created on a public school budget (aka: free)?

I figured out a way to do this by creating a lyrics presentation using a presentation tool as simple as PowerPoint.  You can animate or make the lyrics “appear” and move.  If you go through the presentation and play it while playing your song, you can sync up the movements so they match the lyrics.  By using a screenrecording program on your computer (like Quicktime), you can record your presentation.  You have just filmed a kinetic typography video!

I’ve listed the directions and process of building a kinetic typography video below.  Check back next week to see my reflections on this project as my students turn in their final products.


Below are the steps and directions that I gave to my students:

There are stages and steps necessary in creating a Kinetic Typography Video.

  1. Download the audio (Find a song to use)
  2. Take the lyrics to the song and create a visual presentation
  3. Film of your presentation (Screencast)
  4. Create a video using your presentation film and the song audio

STEP 1: Download the audio

Once you have selected your song, you will need to download the audio.

STEP 2: Take the lyrics to the song and create a visual presentation

This is the most time consuming step but also the step in which you have the most options.  This step requires that you know or have the lyrics to audio you have chosen.  The best way to get those lyrics is to copy them from the existing video.  Check out the videos (Links to an external site.) and write down the lyrics.

Once you have the lyrics, you need to create a presentation including the lyrics.  Below are some options, including some pros and cons.

Tool Pro Con
Powerpoint You’re familiar with itEasy to drag text & make text pretty Can’t collaborate with others
Google Presentation/Slides Easy to collaborate and work together with others Not overly pretty
Prezi (Links to an external site.) Cool zooming and other visual effectsPossible collaboration Have to have an accountHave to know how to build a Prezi
Haiku Deck (Links to an external site.) Super simple—just type the text and choose backgroundsVisually clean and pretty

Possible collaboration

Not a lot of customizationHave to have an account

No matter what presentation tool you use, you will do the same thing.  You will type the lyrics to the song, making sure that your words/lyrics are visually pleasing.  This means that you should experiment with using color, different sizes and orientation.  Don’t flood a slide with too many words.  Try to keep it easy to read but visually stimulating.

You also need to make sure that your lyrics have animation.  This is important because “kinetic” typography means that your words/lyrics MOVE.  Include animation effects so the lyrics appear in sync with the music.

Here are some sample tutorials using PowerPoint

STEP 3: Film your presentation

Note: your presentation will not need to have the audio attached to it.

Once you have finished a presentation including all of the lyrics to the song, you will need to film it.  To do this, you will make a screen recording of what is on your screen.  There are online website that you can use (screencastomatic.com or screenr.com) but the easiest thing is to just use the QUICKTIME application on your computer.

Open QUICKTIME.  Then go to FILE–> Start Screen Recording.  This application will let you record exactly what you see on your screen.  Using this application, you will run your presentation while recording it.  You will also need to play the audio while running your presentation so that you can sync your animations correctly.  Don’t worry if you record some “dead time” at the beginning or the end.  You can edit that out in the next step.

When you are finished recording, EXPORT your video file.  You now have a film/video of your presentation.

STEP 4: Create a video using your presentation film and the audio file

Use a video program like IMovie to create your final cut video.  (You can use any movie making program you are familiar with, such as wevideo.com too).

Import the presentation film you make in STEP 3.  Cut out and edit anything you don’t want.  Also feel free to add effects or extras at the beginning, end or anywhere you want.

Add/insert the song audio file.  Make sure that you get it synced up with your presentation film so that the lyrics are in sync with the audio.

Export your video file and/or publish your video.


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