DIY Videoscribing and Other Awesome Techniques to Enhance Your Videos

I recently published a new video that includes some experimental video techniques that I’ve never used before.

After a post with that video embedded in it went live, within 24 hours I received over 100 emails from people asking how they could recreate the same effects.

Apparently, the effects made my videos look a lot more professional and it helped hold people’s attention, which is exactly what I was going for.

To help answer all the questions that were asked, I’ll go over each of the following for you today:

  1. How to get a blurred background in your videos.
  2. How to add pop-up text to your videos.
  3. How to get an awesome intro / bumper for your videos.
  4. How to DIY videoscribe (the sped up recording of writing or drawings that sync with your audio).

I also have a fun little blooper video that I shot with my son for you at the end of this post too :)

Let’s get to it…

The Video

I’ve re-embedded the video for you below and timestamped the various techniques I was using, for your reference. You can see everything within the first 21 seconds:

(or you can watch this video on YouTube by clicking here)

  • 0:05 – Pop-up Text
  • 0:14 – Video Bumper
  • 0:21 – Videoscribing

1. How to Get a Blurred Background in Your Videos

If the background is blurred (also known as “bokeh”) but you’re in focus, it adds a very professional feel to your videos.

Unfortunately, if you’re using a basic flip cam or handheld digital camera for your videos, you won’t be able to get this effect.

The secret is in the lens of the camera that you use, so you’re going to need a DSLR camera and an appropriate lens to get the aesthetic qualities of a blurred background in your videos.

A good DSLR camera isn’t cheap, and neither is the specific kind of lens you need to get this effect (the stock lenses usually won’t work as well), but if you’re going to be shooting professional videos for your business, it could be well worth the investment.

I’m using a Canon Rebel T3i DSLR camera ($499.00) and a Canon EF 50mm f1.4 ($379.00) lens in my most recent videos.

I won’t get into the technical details of how this kind of lens (with a larger apature) works, but the most important thing to do is make sure that when you equip this lens, that you are in focus. The lens will take care of the rest.

With the Canon, you can flip the lcd screen out and around so you can look at yourself when recording, which is really nice. Move the arrows on the back of the cam until the white focus box is where your face will be – then unless you have someone to push record for you, use a remote, like this one, and you’re set.

2. How to Add Pop-Up Text to Your Videos

Pop-up text are words that appear on the screen at the same time you say those words and it’s a very powerful way to engage your audience and really emphasize those important points of your video.

Do it too much, and it lessens the impact – so use this technique wisely.

Here’s a video explaining two methods you can use to create pop-up text on your videos:

(click here to watch just the video intro on YouTube)

3. How to Get an Awesome Intro / Bumper for Your Videos

My biggest request was about how I added the cool little bumper, or SPI branded animation at the beginning of my video:

(click here to watch just the video intro on YouTube)

I wish I was talented enough to say that I created it on my own, but I’m definitely not!

This is all thanks to SplashEO (affiliate link), a relatively new company that was created by my good friend Gideon Shalwick who I believe is the master of online video. If you need professional looking bumpers and other cool things to enhance your videos, SplashEO is definitely my favorite resource.

I don’t know why it took 53 videos to finally consider using an intro like this, but I’m very happy with the response.

4. How to DIY Videoscribing

Videoscribing is eye-candy for video viewers.

My first experience with this was in 2010 when a viral video hit my Facebook feed – a lecture called The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

The content was pretty interesting, but what was special was what was shown in the video as this lecture was being spoken.

I’ve embedded the video for you below, but I warn you – it’s hard to stop watching once you start:

(click here to watch just the video intro on YouTube)

The sped up writing and drawing is just really really cool, and definitely keeps my attention the entire time.

I’m not an artist like the professionals who make these videos for a living, but I improvised a DIY way to get the same effect using my electronic white board technique.

I break it down for you in the video below:

(click here to watch just the video intro on YouTube)

The Blooper Intros

And finally, as promised, I created a quick blooper video of some funny moments that my son and I had together. Good times! :)

(click here to watch just the video intro on YouTube)

I hope you enjoy these video marketing tips (and the bloopers), and have an awesome day!


  • Josh Tuttle

    Dude, thanks for providing this information. I am working on a strong backlinking campaign right now and creating some videos. This is going to be huge!

    Have a great weekend!


    • Pat

      I know a lot of people using video as their main source of backlinking right now. Smart move – hope it’s working out for you! Thanks Josh!

  • Brandon

    Pat, it’s amazing how simple this stuff is but looks so awesome! Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to start using this on my own site!

    • Pat

      Would love to see some of it after you’re finished Brandon! Let me know, cheers!

  • Samuel

    Videos are one of the best ways to get your message across. I am more apt to look at a video than read some text.

    Thanks for your helpful tutorials on how to make your video production better, Pat.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Pat

      Glad you’re finding them helpful Samuel! Cheers, and all the best!

  • David Iron

    Hi Pat,

    Great tutorial as always. Funny, you release something every time I feel like dive into the topic. 😀 I especially like the intro movie – I tried to outsource it on fiverr but it was a load of crap. Maybe I’ll give your friend Gideon’s company a try. :)


    • Pat

      Yeah, when it comes to video stuff, you usually get what you pay for. Gideon’s stuff is awesome, not unlike everything else he does :)

  • Adam


    I love the videos, thanks for sharing this.

    QUESTION: Are you ticklish around your neck?

    My 3 year old son always walks up behind me and touches my neck and it always makes me laugh.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing how do you your last video, It was really good.


    • Pat

      Haha – I’m afraid to say this in public, for fear of people at events coming up to me and tickling my neck – but yes, lol.

      Kids are awesome :)

  • Perry

    Thanks, Pat! Definitely going through SplashEO and your affiliate link to get a new intro made.

    We are building a website almost completely around Video SEO right now and am just using an ugly power point slide as the intro for now. This is going to make it so much more attractive.

    Thanks for the tip!

  • Ernie Ayres

    Great post, Pat. Thanks! I’ve got one video on my site but I hated doing it since I wasn’t good with the editing. This gives me a lot to work with and some new ideas to do another.

    Thanks for all you do and keep it up!

  • Diggy

    Hey Pat,
    Awesome tutorials as always. I’m actually planning to do a lot of videos starting real soon so this came in just in time!

  • Randy

    Thanks Pat!

    Great video series that got the juices flowing again! Also love watching your out-takes and your boy growing up….

    You Rock!

  • Michael

    What video resolution do you typically publish your files in? 1280×720?

    • Pat

      Precisely. That’s YouTube’s standard size for HD, so I always go with 1280×720. I usually set my DSLR for that too, just to make it easy.

  • Internet Marketing With Casey Gentles

    wow Pat cool videos man I really enjoyed them especially the one with your son lol. “what are you talking about?” I don’t know what am talking about lol. Your kid has grown so much man and glad you get to spend so much time with him. All the best and keep up the great work!


  • Mirek Burnejko

    Outstanding. Thanks Pat. Really enjoy, especially the videoscribing section. As always WOW effect.

  • Piers

    I just wanted to point people to a free, open source resource that’s great for doing this kind of video scribing, called Krita. (, their Windows download page is at I don’t have any financial interests in this (anyone can get it free). It’s just something we use in our videos quite a bit, combined with a screencapture program (FFmpeg), so I thought I’d share.

    It’s been on other platforms for a while, but they just released a (not completely stable) Windows version for testing recently (no mac version, sorry).

    The thing I like is that it’s:
    a) Free
    b) Works nicely with Wacom tablets to get really smooth looking lines and
    c) Has a fullscreen mode you can configure to show nothing but the canvas (Settings > Full screen mode settings and then tab)
    d) Has a more sane interface than The Gimp.

    • Pat

      Thanks for the resource Piers!

  • David

    Hey pat, thanks for these videos! I’m playing with Camtasia myself now and learning a lot from what you’ve shared in the past. I have a couple of quick questions…

    On your electronic whiteboards, what brush are you using? (I’ve tried everything in Photoshop and Fireworks, but I can’t find anything suitable with the right pressure-sensitivity or naturally feel.)

    Do you always record audio afterwards, or are you comfortable narrating while drawing?

    • Pat

      I use a 8-15 size brush, depending on what I’m writing, and usually it’s around 60% hardness. You can easily adjust that in photoshop until you get the settings you like.

      I usually record while drawing – it took a lot of practice but it became much easier to sync that way – just all in one shot. For the video scribing, though, I record the audio beforehand.

      • David

        Thanks for the insights. I’ll give it another try!

        Also, did you receive that email I sent you about Matthew Lillard’s Kickstartar social efforts on Reddit? (it was in response to your newsletter request for interesting stories). I think you were super busy with New York at the time.

      • Trent Dyrsmid

        Hey Pat,

        Have you tried just doing the drawing first, then speeding it up, and then recording the voice over (while referencing your script) as you watch the (now sped up) drawing?


        • Pat

          Yeah – nearly impossible to get it right that way as far as timing. I want my drawings to compliment my audio content, not the other way around.

  • LaTisha

    That intro is fire! I had my computer on mute (because I’m at work…) but I could totally “hear” the movements. It’s powerful! Nice job. I’m starting a Youtube channel and I want to have a professional intro to each video as well.

    • Pat

      Thanks LaTisha! :)

  • Rod Gomes

    Awesome Pat!

    These tips will definitely help me on a new project. Thank you very much!

    Have a great weekend!

  • Joey

    dude this is awesome 😉 I use a lot of the same tricks for my videos. I only use Screenflow though. I really hate the way Camtasia works on Mac.

    I love your intro too man, I been using fancy intros on my vids for a while and I too noticed improvements since using them.

    And forget the bit with your son, lol. hilarious man, I just love it. My son’s the same age and I recently opened a channel just to put up videos of me and him goofing off 😉

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to share one of us with ya, I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

    Anyways dude, love the vids, love your kid, just pure awesome, peace bro…

  • Jamie Alexander

    Cheers Pat,

    You certainly come up with some gems and this is another one. I’d love to use video in the future and it’s good to know these ninja tricks.

  • Josh Mann

    Great videos. Thanks. Just a note on the Canon T3i–a great camera–actually runs closer to $700 depending on the lens combo, deals, etc. The amazon link above points to the T3 instead, which is cheaper, but not near as nice for shooting video.

    • Pat

      Thanks Josh – you’re right. I just updated the link. Thank you!

  • Sheyi |

    And here comes again Pat with an awesome post with colorful videos. I kind of think something Pat, how do you guys get to know what interests your readers on time? You’re always right on point and this is coming at the time that I need it. I’m going to do a video for my kickstarter campaign and I thought of checking your archives for some videos before I stumbled on this post from twitter.

    Thanks a lot man and say me hi to your boy.


  • Shawn McAfee

    Awesome tips and tutorials Pat! I especially like the videoscribing.

    I wanted to ask though, how long did you practice at using these techniques before you made these videos. You’re content always looks so clean and polished and I am really curious how long it took you to get to that point.


  • Larry Ludwig @ Investor Junkie

    Hey Pat,

    thanks for the info. What about using tools like Adobe After Effects?

  • Youssef

    The Blooper vid made me laugh :) Thanks!!!

  • Howie

    Thanks for the tip about SplashEO. Looks like an interesting company. Will definitely use your affiliate link if I buy anything from them.

    Btw, have you done any green screening? Would be interesting to know if that could be done in a DIY way.

  • Steve Wyman

    Hi Pat

    That is truly awesome all that great info you make that look very slick.

    Thanks for sharing youve inspired me.

  • colin


    Did you outsource your video intro? In the post it says that it was made by splasheo but I just checked out their website and the free downloads are for pops ups etc, but it still keeps the ” splasheo ” watermark in the video which is probably not good for your own branding. Unless they come out with a paid version in the future where you can customize everything.

    If you did outsource the video intro on elance or odesk, what is a typical price to expect to pay for something short ( less than 10 seconds ).

  • Carl Kwan

    Hi Pat,

    Awesome post and video!

    As for the DOF, or bokeh, effect, it IS possible with the Kodak Zi8, the iPhone, and other cameras, too!

    For the Zi8, you have to move the landscape-macro slider to a point just before the macro symbol appears. This adjusts the focal point to something much closer to the lens, about 12-15 inches. So that means you gotta be 12-15 inches in front of the lens to be in focus. The cool thing is you’ll get the DOF effect. Here’s a video of me using the Zi8 where you can see the background is blurred and I’m in sharp focus:

    The second way to get the effect is with your iPhone. Shoot with your video app of choice, then get the TiltShift Video app ($1.99). When you select your video to be edited, there’s a tear drop shaped icon in the menu. Select it, tap the arrow above your video to get a drop-down menu. Select either the circle or oval, then adjust it until it the outer circle covers your subject. When done, you can have your video rendered in full HD or whatever resolution you choose. Here’s a video I did using my iPhone and TiltShift Video:

    In Final Cut Pro X:
    This will work with any video you have, but you need a Mac and Final Cut Pro X. You’ll also need a Final Cut Pro X plugin called Advanced Masking Tools from for $39. I’m still playing with this one, but it does work for creating a DOF effect.

    To be honest, the best ones are the Zi8 and iPhone methods. The Final Cut Pro X one is good, but it takes a long time to render the effects once added to the video. It’s instant on the Zi8 and pretty fast on the iPhone with TiltShift Video.

    Don’t forget that great audio is equally, if not more, important than even how your video might look. So be sure to invest in a decent mic for whatever camera you might be using.

    Anyway, hope that helps!

    Thanks again, Pat!


    • Pat

      Thanks Carl! Great to know! :)

    • Cornelius

      Thanks Pat,

      The video tips were great. I would also like to thank Carl for that great iphone video tip. I will definitely use these tips in my video recordings.

  • Monty

    Good post man!

  • Austin

    I’ve been putting off getting into videos for too long now… I’ve been blaming it on the terrible audio quality I get using the built in mic on my computer. I just spent some time over at the Podcast Answer Man’s site learning about mics and recording set ups.

    I’m excited to start getting into video and trying out some of these techniques that you’ve taught us.

    Thanks Pat!

  • Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

    Awesome post Pat! Love these types of posts with multiple videos and detailed explanations :) Definitely think that the text on the screen as well as the intro makes your videos look a lot more professional! Maybe you should get an outro video as well that encourages people to subscribe, visit the blog, etc.?

  • Leonore

    you were right!i couldn’t stop watching “The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” the video is so addictive…

    short question: if I’m not very good at drawing…how can I make something similar?


  • Ben G

    pat is there anything you cant do? nice one man!

  • Annie Andre

    I really loved the scribing tutorial. Practicing with my bamboo tablet now..

    • Joe

      Hi Annie,
      I asked Pat question about which bamboo to buy. I’m wondering if you bought the one with smaller area and if you found it to be sufficient for the purpose of scribbling and making whiteboard type of videos?

      Looks like there are newer version available for similar price range (under $100) but their surface area is larger than the bamboo fun tablet Pat recommended a while ago.


      • Annie Andre

        Hello Joe,
        I have the Bamboo Fun tablet too. I’ve had it for over a year now. The surface area could be bigger but after a while you just get used to it. After all, before i got the tablet i was using my track mouse so i’ts a huge improvement.

        If there is a bigger surface area one for the same price than go for that one. Otherwise the fun tablet will be just fine.

        I have found so many uses for it from photoshop and editing needs, writing signatures and let my kids use it to draw too. I use it as my mouse pad too.

        Good luck.

        • Joe

          Hi Annie,
          Thanks for your reply. I just needed a confirmation/excuse to buy a bigger tablet. I guess the only limitation is if someone has a smaller desk area but other than that bigger area certainly comes handy.

          Yeah I will have to explore photoshop to use with tablet, It will be fun and packs a mighty punch in the presentations and videos.

          Take care and thanks again!

        • Pat

          Basically, whatever the size of the tablet, that corresponds to the size of the screen (corners of the tablet become the corners of your computer screen). The larger the tablet, the easier I’m sure it is to get used to the “tablet to screen” transition in your brain, but whatever size you get you sort of just get used to.

      • mohinish

        I just finished reading many reviews… I think go for bamboo Fun…

        Other bamboos like connect, capture are getting many -ve reviews from long-term users – which made me change my mind for ‘fun’.

        So I am buying Bamboo Fun…

        • Joe

          Hey mohinish ,
          Wondering if the -ve reviews really pertain to the functionality that we need to accomplish the scribbling, highlighting etc.

          The connect, capture models are newer and what I saw as a +ve feature in them was the wireless capability.

          What’s stopping me from buying the bamboo fun is that surface area and it’s an older model. In the same price you can get a bigger and newer model.

          I’m open to suggestions as to what model is the right one for close to $100?

          Thanks again everyone who chimed in already or may contribute to this later.

        • Joe

          I though wrote a reply goes again.

          Hey mohinish,
          Would you please share with us the the big no no’s of connect or capture models? They looks pretty enticing to me with their bigger work area and wireless option.

          Would love to hear your views, looks like you certainly didn’t like the new models.


      • Mohinish

        Hi Joe,

        You see every product has some good & some -ve things.. but you can read it on amazon. Those newer version have more complains from long-term users like “it’s dead after 3-4 months”.

        though company exchanges it… but as I live in India… these extra charges are more then the products itself :), which I don’t want… So I am ordering “Fun” version – it too have complains but not serious ones.

        And frankly I am paying double price around $250 to import these tabs, looks like I am paying to Postal dept 😉 … which you can order for around $100…

        So just make out what’s better for you..

        • Joe

          Hey Mohinish, thanks for your reply. Yeah I understand, it adds up when shipping overseas. Do let us know your experience. What model did you order btw? the blue one?

          Good luck with your tablet. you are right there are mixed reviews with newer models, especially with the surface wearing out after while. One reviewer recommended purchasing screen protector.. I don’t know if that compensates for the wearout.

        • Mohinish

          Hi Joe,
          I don’t have a choice. Amazon don’t ship to India. I put the order on a local agency… they will put order to their seller – I don’t know where… so I don’t know what color will it be.. but it’s “Wacom CTH 670 Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch Pen Tablet”.

          It’ll take 10-15 days to arrive.

  • asim sheikh

    Great tutorials, I am about to get into video pod casting for my site so was looking for a great resource. Now I have found it. :-)

  • Joe

    Hi Pat,
    Excellent tutorial about the video techniques. I’m planning to buy Wacom bamboo tablet to do the online scribbling and circling, highlighting stuff that you do in your vids.

    Does the size of the tablet matter for this kind of stuff?

    What version of bamboo tablet you would recommend today? I’m leaning towards Wacom Bamboo Capture Pen and Touch Tablet (CTH470).

    Link to Amazon:

    I know there are hard core illustration pros who want a bigger tablet so there’s one to one mapping between their graphic tablet area and the size of their document in say Photoshop?


  • Pat Flynn Fan

    Hi Pat,

    I’m gonna start a blog soon and I need your help. 😉

    What WP Plug in did you use on your for your comments?

  • Joel Clough

    Awesome vids Pat! The bloopers were hilarious :)

    What are you using for a light source in your office for the videos? Seems like you’ve got it nutted out.

    Keen to see the interview from “I’m Fine Thanks” too, looks great!

  • Hari

    Hey Pat,

    Thanks for this post, i had a Rebel T3 ( not T3i ) , but has video capability, i never thought of using it till i saw your post. I will give it a try.

    Can you please let me know what is the external mic you are using with the Rebel T3i and if its compatible with T3.


    • Pat

      Hey Hari, I’m actually recording into a separate digital audio recorder at the same time for maximum audio cleanliness. I’m using the Zoom H4n, and then just syncing it up in post-production really quickly using screenflow.

  • Omni Chaparala – DFW Realties

    Pat, This is a very good post. Very useful. We had a video done for our company and it was horrible. I wished I knew this information back then. It would have saved me the money and the heartache.

  • Patrick

    “What are you talking about” soo funny ….

    Great videos. There are more places on the internet to get information, but you always inspire me to actually do stuff.

  • Linda Barnby

    Hi, Pat,

    I’ve been patiently waiting these few days since your awesome post for the 411 on how you achieved all the great effects you used in it. Thanks so much for sharing the great info with us!

  • Sean Mysel

    Using videos for blog posts is incredibly powerful for SEO purposes. My website went from the hinterlands of searches to the first page of a ton of local searches on Google.

    Thanks Pat!

  • Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

    Cute kid! Not sure who is having more fun, him or you.

  • Ben Francia

    Hey Pat,

    Thank you for sharing this information. I just started doing videos on my blog last month and starting to get the habit of doing it regularly. I’m doing 2 videos a week now and they are definitely far from what you produce. But I’m slowly getting there with the help that you provide.

    All the best to you! :)

  • Mike Jones

    Great post Pat. Thanks! I have got one video on my site but I hated doing it since I was not good with the editing. This gives me a lot to work with and some new ideas to do another.


    This is great Pat

  • Rob Cubbon

    Really loved the videos, Pat, thanks for sharing your techniques!

  • Lean Muscle Matt

    Hi Pat!

    It’s been awhile, but I’m always listening. :)
    It’s amazing how these relatively easy techniques make the videos just a little more professional when done well.

    What version of iMovie are you using in the demo?

    Best wishes!


  • Adrian Amparo

    Hi Pat,
    You inspired me to figure out a way to do it with what I already have. I did it using Reflection on my Mac to show what I’m doing on my iPad. On my iPad I used the Paper app and Quicktime to record what I was drawing on the iPad.
    I tried slowing down and audio podcast I had created a few weeks ago but that was hard, so I just drew the main ideas I covered regardless of the timing and then edited all the short drawing clips in After Effects. In AE it added a mask to take out everything but the drawing and Time Remapping to slowdown the drawing to match what I saying.
    Here’s the result:
    The intro was done in photoshop and After Effects. Not sure I’d do it for every video but it was worth trying to figure out how it was done.

    Thanks again, Pat.

    You are inspiring!

  • Pablo Sanchez

    Thanks for sharing this Pat! I appreciate the detailed way that you show how things work. Really cool, I’m trying this out on some of my videos. Cheers!

  • Lean Muscle Matt

    Hi there SPI community!

    I’m in the process of updating my OS to Lion in order to be able to update to iMovie11, but beginning at the end of June 2012 a lot of people were reporting that the newest update was causing iMovie 11 to behave very erratically.

    Does anybody know if the glitches that were going on with iMovie 11 have been fixed yet?

    Appreciate any information you can share!

    Best wishes friends!


  • Tour du monde

    I really loved the scribing tutorial. Thanks for your videos :)

  • Kenny

    Anyone know how to add the hand holding the marker while drawing rather than just lines appearing on the screen. It is a great touch…yes it is a digital hand and not an actual person standing in front of a white board.

  • Katie J. Adam

    Thanks for sharing the techniques of video enhancements. I truly appreciated the How to DIY video on Video Scribing. The technique has really grabbed the attention of customers in quick time.

  • Julien

    I dont use videos on my sites as I really dont know where to start but I think it is a really good thing for our readers. Thanks for that techniques which will probably help me to start…

  • steve

    Nice video..Thanks for sharing..