February 2020 Roundup: New Videos and Updates

IntroCave Updates

NEW CONTENT IS HAPPENING (FINALLY).

February 2020 Roundup: New Videos and Updates

Between keeping the servers running, managing SEO, and sorting out the mailing list—IntroCave felt like it was on fire for most of last year. That feeling has started to ease up in the last month or two, with things starting to feel like they're on pretty sound footing (operationally speaking). With a little more bandwidth, I've started reconsidering how I'm spending my time.

I've been slowly working through my existing video templates to update them for my new render engine for almost two years now. I make little tweaks as I go: adding or consolidating color options, setting the logos to resize more consistently, tweaking text sizes, and changing fonts. The new format isn't compatible with the current render servers, so most of these tweaks and improvements haven't made it to the live site yet. When I took over IntroCave, my thinking was along the lines of: "Oh, it's not worth adding more content to the old system. I'm going to replace it soon anyway!"

"Soon" is almost two years at this point. That's too long to go without new content.

I'm not really adding new new content to the intro maker yet, but I'm starting to add some variants of existing videos and fix some problems with some of the existing templates. Until I get around to building a more dynamic intro maker, the way I make this one better is by adding new templates.

Breaking News

The original Breaking News video template has always been one of the most popular videos on the site, but in general templates with logos perform a lot better than templates with just text. So why does one of my most popular templates not have a logo option?

It does now.

Breaking News - Logo Version

Breaking News with Logo

Stormy Seas

Continuing with that theme, the original Stormy Seas video template is another popular text-only intro. I decided to also give it a logo version.

Stormy Seas - Logo Version

Stormy Seas with Logo

Electric Lines

I got a support request last month about the text in the Electric Lines video template going off the edge of the screen. My first thought was: "That's annoying. I should just fix that." It turns out "fixing that" was a lot harder than advertised—my current render pipeline doesn't support dynamically resizing text. The new render pipeline does, so I kind of took it for granted that the same technique would work in both places. It took a couple of days of tinkering, but I figured out a solution and should be able to apply it to other templates that have this problem as I spot those issues.

While I was playing around in the template, I had another thought: "Why can't I pick the color of these lines?" So I added that, too. I also noticed that this video performs really well—especially considering it's long and doesn't support logos. So I added a shorter 3-text version (that also has slightly condensed animation timing to speed it up even further) AND a new logo version.

Electric Lines - Original (Now with Customizable Line Color)

Electric Lines - Updated

Electric Lines - Shorter Text Version

Electric Lines - Short

Electric Lines - Shorter Logo Version

Electric Lines - Logo

I don't know that I'll be modifying/publishing 5 videos every month going forward, but it felt nice to knock out a few this month. As I do more, I can spot inefficiencies and build tools/processes to help me get content out faster.

February was a great month! There were a few support issues and server bumps, but (for the most part) I spent the whole month doing exactly what I thought I'd be doing each month when I took over: working on content. One blog, one newsletter, and a lot of time tinkering around with new animations. I want IntroCave to be the best intro maker around, and for now the way I do that is adding more content. It's got me feeling pretty optimistic about the future!

it me

IntroCave is a one-person-show operated by Will Hankinson, but it's not 100% accurate to say every word is written by me. Some articles were live on the site when I took over. I hire writers from time to time to work on specific articles. People keep asking me to do guest posts, but I haven't actually seen any relevant submissions yet. "IntroCave staff" might make a better by-line, but currently that's just me. I've been building digital things for 10+ years now, and some of my favorite projects are posted over at my personal website if you want to take a look!

Feedback

If you've got any thoughts you'd like to share about this post (or anything IntroCave related), you can use this feedback form to send me an email! You're not signing up for an account or opting in to any kind of email list, and you could just as easily go type "support@introcave.com" into your email client of choice. But I LOVE getting feedback, so if this form helps people get over the hurdle, I'm all for it!

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