How the Coast Awhile Vacation Welcome Video Was Created

Last year around the #BookDirect movement we gave consideration to what kind of video we might want to create to evangelize booking direct with a focus not on property photos but on the locations and the types of experiences they provide vacationers.

Last modified: 4 years ago

This post is about how we created the Coast Awhile Vacation Welcome Video seen here. It's different, but it was a lot of fun to do.

How the Coast Awhile Vacation Welcome Video Was Created

Tim Spaid's background is thirty years in education technology, and he has applied his trade in various ways from account management, website development, technical consulting, and marketing services. Besides helping Elizabeth with the back-end operation of vacation property management for Coast Awhile Vacation Rentals, he has his own business in MyRentalButler offering some of the same services to property managers. He also has a real estate focused eLearning business through Spaid Associates where he currently creates courses for the multi-family apartment industry.

Animation Platform: As part of Tim's eLearning business he has produced incorporated animation videos with professional voice over talent. To create the welcome video he simply applied an existing skill in his use of an animation cloud platform by Vyond (formerly GoAnimate).

Character Creation: Vyond includes a character creator where you can change all manner of facial features, hair color, clothing, etc... The 2D characters of Tim and Elizabeth Spaid are pretty good approximations of what we each look like. Although Tim would admit his animated self has a few less pounds around the mid section. You've got to love technology!

Character Actions & Expressions: The Vyond platform allows you assign facial expressions as well as actions or character movements. Throughout the video the characters are sitting, talking, and gesturing.

Mixed Media: Incorporating photographs and video are a particularly powerful way of providing a level of realism in these videos. Tim has often inserted animated characters into photos of office environments. For example, he'll have an office photo. He'll create a second image where he crops the photo to show only the desk. In Vyond, you use the original office photo as a backdrop, insert the 2D character, and then overlay the image of only the office desk. This provides the illusion the character is in the scene.

In the welcome video, we took it a little bit farther using a studio setting and using a "green screen" effect. Tim will admit this is a little contrived, but he was eager to want to use this visual technique to superimpose video onto a backdrop. Shooting a real video in a studio would have cost thousands of dollars.

Source Material: There is no shortage of videos already on YouTube. Your vacation property likely has a tourism bureau or media outlet who has promoted your location with a video. If you are unable to download the videos, there are many programs that will allow you to copy and paste a Share link in YouTube and create a downloadable video file that can be used.

Audio Prep: Before doing any audio recording of our actual voices, a script was written so we could have it in hand and reduce the number of takes to record. We use Audacity as our voice recording program. Audacity is a free open source audio software. There's lots of "How To" videos on YouTube.

We use a Yeti USB microphone that costs around $100 and is an Amazon Best Seller. We also used a pop filter, which is simply a screen that you place between you and the microphone to reduce any background noises. We found creating a little nook (can use a cardboard box) and having a comforter wrapped around solid surfaces produced near studio-quality conditions.

Background Music: The YouTube Audio Library has hundreds of songs that are royalty free and can be searched by genre or even what kind of mood you want. I selected my music and inserted it into my video and set the audio volume quite low to not overwhelm our speaking voices.

Scene Templates: I didn't spend too much time creating the scene background. Vyond has templates for many different settings from a picnic in the park, transportation scenes such as flying on a plane, office environments and even the studio setting, which we used.

We hope this welcome video provides you with some inspiration to do something unique to what you offer guests as vacation property owners. If you have additional questions, feel free to comment below or to contact Tim Spaid at

© Elizabeth and Houfy Inc, Published on: 02/20/2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this page's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Elizabeth and Houfy Inc. with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information, please visit the Houfy's copyright and trademark policy
Last modified: 4 years ago
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