An intro video goes a long way towards building your brand and showing viewers that you’re serious about YouTube. Here’s where you can make or download intros, plus some tips on making intros that support the growth of your channel.
Blender is a free, open-source, ‘3D creation suite’. It’s great for modeling and animation, and you can even use it to make your YouTube intros.
This is an extremely powerful program. You can create cartoons and video game prototypes in Blender. This does mean that it’s probably not realistic for someone with no experience in animation to jump in and make a quick intro for their YouTube channel. However, if you want to learn Blender, all of the information you need is easily accessible through the tutorials on their site.
What’s a bit more realistic than learning an entire animation suite to make an intro is to download a premade template and just customize it in Blender. You can find YouTube intro templates that are editable in Blender on YouTube and Velosofy.
This is a great site where you can download all kinds of free resources including video loops and animated backgrounds you can use to build YouTube intros.
You cannot download a complete Intro with your own text and/or logo from Movietools the way you can with Panzoid, but they can provide most of the resources you would need to build a sequence in Filmora or another editor.
Downloads from Movietools come as WMV (Windows Media) or MP4 files.
For a lot of creators, Panzoid is the default site they go to for YouTube intros, and that’s with good reason. Panzoid has an endless supply of intro templates (new ones are created weekly by members of their community) which you can edit right on the site.
A lot of the intro templates on Panzoid include music, and almost all of them include 3D text.
Click on a template you like and then click ‘open in clipmaker’.
In the clipmaker, you’ll be able to edit the template however you like. The main change you’ll want to make will probably be to the text – you’ll want it to say your channel name. In the menu on the left side of the screen, you’ll see an icon that looks like a cube. Click on it to bring up a list of the objects in the sequence.
The text will probably be under a heading such as ‘Group: All’, although there may be some variation on this depending on who built the template. Look for something that says ‘Group: Text’ in one of the dropdown menus and then look at where it says ‘Text: (the text from the template)’. There will probably be at least two fields like this for one word/line (they’re layers of the same thing). Make sure to edit them all to say the same thing or your intro will look odd.
Click the icon that looks like an arrow pointing down to choose your quality (next to mode) and format before you export. The highest quality will make your clip slow to download, but that could be worth it since you’ll probably get a lot of use out of this clip and you only need to download it once.
Velosofy has a ton of great intro templates you can download for free. The only complication is that the downloads are project files for programs like Sony Vegas or After Effects, making it difficult to use them unless you have those programs.
Luckily, one of the programs Velosofy has intro downloads for is Blender, the free animation software discussed above. You can download YouTube intro templates from Velosofy to edit in Blender and end up with a great custom intro for free.
5 Tips for Making a Great Intro
Here are some tips for making an intro that supports the growth of your YouTube channel.
1. Keep it Under 10 Seconds
Someone who doesn’t know you, who is shopping around for the best video to watch on a particular topic, will not have the patience to sit through a long intro. In order to stop them from clicking away, you’ll need to keep your intro short. Ten seconds is the longest you can get away with, and that’s only if your intro is exciting and includes a lot of movement and music.
Five seconds will be better than 10 seconds in most cases.
2. Match Your Channel’s Branding
Your intro should help to strengthen your personal brand by using the same kinds of colors and fonts found in your channel art and thumbnails.
Beyond matching your visuals, your intro should support the general tone of your channel. If you tend to be upbeat in your videos, upbeat music and brighter colors are probably best. If you’re a tech channel, something sleek with a black background could be better.
3. Use Music
Viewers are likely to get distracted and click away during silent pauses. In order to keep their attention through your intro, you’ll need to include music, and maybe even a sound effect.
4. Include Your Channel Name
This might seem basic, but there are intros out there where the creator has overlooked this. One of the main purposes of your intro is to brand your video, so there’s nothing more important than including your channel name.
5. Introduce Your Topic Before Your Intro
Instead of putting your intro at the very beginning of your video, put a short clip ahead of it where you explain your topic. A viewer that is looking for you to get to the point quickly might click away if the first thing they see is the intro instead of information relevant to their search.
What's your YouTube intro like? Can you think of a way you'd like to change or improve it?
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.