Changelog - Stay up-to-date with Story Creator

Changelog

New updates and improvements to Story Creator.


Oct 13, 2020

Added a context menu -- Video made with Story Creator

Added a Context Menu

A context menu is a menu that appears when you right click an item and the contents in that menu applies to the item you right clicked on.

I added this ability on the track elements today to make it easier to delete and copy objects on the timeline. The context menu won't be just for copy and delete there are many things that can be added. If you have any suggestions please email michael@storycreatorapp.com.

I plan to add utility to the menu making the experience even better. Things like matching the duration of the clip above or below. Moving the index of the layer up or down. Also things like splitting the clip where you clicked and much more.

Improved Timeline Markers

Before the markers were being positioned based on a flex container. This created a slight offset and the markers were never actually correct.

I quite often improve little things like this. In order to make it better I used an x transform multiplied by the zoom level which creates a pixel representation of time, each pixel is equivalent to 0.01s. So the markers spread out each 5 seconds would be 500px multiplied by the index of the marker minus the width of the marker node divided in half.

Other improvements and fixes

  • Dark mode UI improvements
  • Minor layout change
  • Stability improvements
  • Minor code polishes
  • Bug fixes

Oct 1, 2020

Added object grouping -- Video made with Story Creator

Added Object Grouping

It's my ambition to turn Story Creator into a video editor that feels like a design program like Sketch or Figma. The UX in a design program enables the creative to output what the mind can create in a 2d world using geometry.

While video does require a slightly different set of tools, I want your creativeness to be limitless, and I think taking away the best parts of design tools are whats going to help make that happen.

With this update you can now drag over multiple elements to put them in a group. Also you can click on an object and use shift + click to put multiple objects in a group.

Password Reset

Some users were having issues with forgetting passwords. So there is now a password reset option in case you forget yours in the future.

To reset your password in Story Creator you will see a button that says "forgot password" in the login form. Click on that and enter the email you registered with. You will get a link in your email that contains a token. Click on the link and reset your password.

Other improvements and fixes

  • Minor UI improvements
  • Stability improvements
  • Minor code polishes
  • Bug fixes

Sept 15, 2020

Keyboard shortcuts, copy video link, improved edit subtitles modal -- Video made with Story Creator

Improved edit subtitles

A few days ago I want to introduce the new way of editing the automatic subtitles. The quickest way to do that was to add a text box in a modal for each subtitle that was editable.

In this update I've added timestamps to control the start and end times. You can now add subtitles between subtitles with the plus button. You can also delete them by clicking the trash icon on top of the text box.

The coolest addition is you can now download the subtitles as an .srt file which is a file you can use in other video platforms that supports them for subtitles. Head over the the dashboard and open an existing video or create a new one.

Copy video link

With Story Creator all your videos are hosted with us. In the past it was pain to get access to the video without knowing the URL scheme.

Now if you look in the options dropdown "three dots" you will see a copy link option. This link contains the most recently rendered video.

I was inspired by Notion in building the UI/UX for this. I plan to add more options soon like duplicating and more.

Keyboard shortcuts

Going back to the more options dropdown you will now see an item labed "Keyboard Shortcuts". Clicking that option will open a dialog that contains all the available keyboard shortcuts.

There are still many more to add, but here is a list of the available keyboard shortcuts at the time of this writing.

  • Toggle playback space
  • Undo Z
  • Copy C
  • Paste V
  • Split Video s
  • Delete backspace
  • Delete delete

Fixed issues with mutations

Over a month ago I had to do a migration to a new backend system. A few pieces like email confirmation, demo users signing up not having their data saved and created in the dashboard, was broken.

Now these minor mutations (functions that write data to the database) are fixed and working. This issue is primarily for new users.

Other improvements and fixes

  • Minor UI improvements
  • Stability improvements
  • Minor code polishes

Sept 10, 2020

Better way to edit automatic subtitles -- Video made with Story Creator

Added a view to edit subtitles easier

Instead of going to each subtitle one by one. I added a button that is labeled "edit subtitles" when you select a subtitle you will see it in the toolbar to the right.

Once you click on it a modal will appear, from here you will get a high level view of your subtitles. This makes it easier to make edits to your whole video without needing to find it on the timeline. It's much quicker this way.

It's still a work in progress. I am working on adding timestamps and other cool features. Head over the the dashboard and open an existing video or create a new one.

Rebuilt the audio engine

I thought I had solved the audio rendering in Story Creator. I was wrong, there were syncing issues involved with my last approach.

Thanks to @HainingMax I discovered an edge case and went to work. After one day of hard work, the audio in your video is now smoother than ever before.

What this means is I will be introducing the ability to adjust the volume of individual video clips. You can mix music with your video audio. Also having gaps between video is not a problem -- everything is in sync. The cool feature coming soon is the abilty to move audio from a video to it's own track and do cuts between video clips.

Fixed a major bug with video cache

There was a caching issue, when you open a video, the video data is cached in memory. Then when you navigated to another page (because Next.js does smart optimizations where the page isn't fully re-rendered) the memory in the browser is still preserved.

Due to this mechanism the second video you opened would load old video data. This was problematic especially if it saved, it would re-write your old data.

This has been solved by clearing the cache manually in the Story Creator store when the user leaves the page.

Other improvements and fixes

  • Minor UI improvements
  • Added better functionality for trouble shooting
  • Minor code polishes

Sept 8, 2020

Added Timeline Resizer Pane to Story Creator App -- Made with Story Creator

Added a resizer for the timeline

I want you as a user to feel more comfortable working on your videos -- as a user myself I wanted the ability to resize the timeline.

To resize all you need to do is hover over the top of the timeline component. You will see the cursor change and a blue line appear that indicates the resizer is active, from here you can click and drag. As you're dragging you will be able to make the timeline bigger or smaller based on your preference.

To start playing around with the timeline resizing feature. Head over the the dashboard and open an existing video or create a new one.

Upgraded servers from 4 CPUs to 36 CPUs

Since having massive success on Product Hunt I realized it was time to upgrade the infrastructure. You cannot power a Rocket Ship 🚀 with a Go-Kart engine.

Not only that but the system is now in cluster mode -- which leverages all the CPUs and creates a new process for each CPU.

Fixed an issue with audio in videos

There was a pesky issue with audio where the rendering engine didn't factor in spaces between clips. So as the audio was being processed it would merge them one after the other immediately thowing the whole video out of sync.

This has been fixed by adding null audio in between clips that require silence. To make it easier to render complex videos my strategy has been to pull things apart and stich them back together. Audio is one of those elements that gets chopped up and re-stiched.

Following this approach has enabled me to do some complex things that other video tools haven't solved yet. The drawback is there may be some issues here and there. I assure you I am monitoring the logs, doing testing myself -- as I am a user of the product. I am finding all the edge cases and improving one day at a time. Feel free to reach me anytime you spot a quirk.

Added confirmation for templates

When you have existing work in the creator I have added a warning when selecting templates to ensure you don't accidentally override your work.

A few users unfortunately had this happen and I am truly sorry. The good news is this issue is a thing of the past.

Changed auto subtitles service provider

I am striving to get the automatic subtile results to be as accurate as possible. I found a better service, and there is also a way to train the AI. I plan to start training the AI in the near future for the best results possible.

Improvements to the UI progress bars

There are three progress bars inside Story Creator. The first one is when you upload content, the second one is when you are rendering a video, the third one is actually a feature where you can add progress bars to your video. In this update I am talking about the first two.

I had a bug where all the sockets (i.e realtime updates) were being emitted to one channel. This caused progress bars to look wonky -- they would fluctuate. The reason is when other people were uploading/rendering users would get that stream fed to them all at the same time.

This has been fixed and now each client gets their own channel. Sockets are now unique and progress bars work as they should.

Added the first animated glitch text

More animated text options are coming soon. As a starter you will now find a new glitch animated text option. If users like this option I will add more glitch variations.

Released the ability to stack media

Users and myself included wanted a way to overlay video on top of images and other video. Not only overlay but you can also have media side by side in your videos now.

This feature required an update in the way video is rendered in Story Creator -- but it was worth it. You can now create super cool videos. All you have to do is drag a clip downwards to put it on a new track. From here you can stack the media or put them side by side or go bananas and stack them on top of eachother.

Other improvements and fixes

  • Fixed a minor positioning issue in rendering elements/animated text
  • Added ability to have more than one GIF
  • Improve GIF frame rate rendering
  • Improve GIFs timing when one after the other
  • Updated server code to be more reliable
  • Fixed issues with gradient progress bars not matching preview
  • Optimize Story Creator logged out pages for mobile
  • Added the ability to hit S keyboard key to split videos