How to automatically generate automotive slideshow videos using Make(Integromat) and Google Sheets

Slideshow video is a fun way to turn boring images into exciting video content. They are commonly used by brands to create engaging content for marketing. Especially for competitive industries like automotive, it has never been more important to develop unique ways of communicating with customers. Videos are one of the marketing activity companies cannot miss in this age of TikTok and YouTube.

However, videos are time consuming to produce. Especially for automotive dealers and distributers where there are hundreds of vehicle stock that needs marketing content at a single time. Surely one can manually edit and clip together for each vehicle using a video editing software. But that's not efficient. So how can you generate hundreds of them efficiently? Thankfully, there are all the tools you need to automate this process.

This tutorial will teach you to automatically generate engaging automotive slideshow videos from photos using Make(Integromat), Google Sheets, and the Shotstack API. You can use this process to automatically generate videos for other use cases and industries by designing the template.

How will this work

Make refer to themselves as 'the glue of the internet', and their platform allows you to automate manual processes, without needing code. This is done by creating scenarios that link together different data sources and APIs. In this tutorial you will link Google Sheets and Shotstack together to build a scenario that automatically generate videos.

In summary, you will:

  1. create a Google Sheet including rows of vehicle inventory information
  2. design a reusable video template with merge fields in the Shotstack dashboard
  3. design a Make scenario that will connect Google Sheets and Shotstack API to automatically generate videos

Before you get started sign up to Make(previously known as Integromat), Google Sheets, and the Shotstack API.

The Shotstack API

Shotstack provides a cloud based video editing API. The API first infrastructure makes it seamless to build apps, integrate other apps/APIs, and develop workflows to automate media production.

Understanding the Shotstack architecture

The Shotstack API uses JSON to describe how the video should be edited. The API uses code but adheres to many of the same concepts as desktop editing applications, including timeline, tracks, and clips.

We can add different assets like images, videos, titles, HTML, audios, and Luma assets. Assets can be added on the timeline using their publicly accessible URLs. Shotstack makes it easy to build reusable templates with merge fields. The merge fields are placeholders that uses the merge parameter which provides an array of key/value pairs that can be used to find and replace the placeholder value.

Visit Shotstack documentation to learn about architecture guidelines.

Designing your video template

For this tutorial, you will use the following automotive slideshow video template.

The following code is the JSON version of the above video template. In this template, you have the following placeholders as merge fields:

  • Vehicle_Year
  • Vehicle_Make
  • Vehicle_Model
  • Vehicle_Description
  • First_image
  • Vehicle_Engine_Type
  • Vehicle_kms
  • Second_image
  • Third_image
  • Vehicle_Price
  • Vehicle_Price_Disclaimer
  • Vehicle_Price_Method

The values will be matched from our Google Sheets and automatically replaced to generate multiple videos. Copy the following JSON:

{
"timeline": {
"soundtrack": {
"src": "https://shotstack-assets.s3.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/music/unminus/kring.mp3",
"effect": "fadeOut"
},
"background": "#000000",
"cache": false,
"tracks": [
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "html",
"html": "<p data-html-type=\"text\">{{Vehicle_Year}}</p>",
"css": "p { color: #ffffff; font-size: 100px; font-family: Montserrat ExtraBold; text-align: left; }",
"width": 844,
"height": 180
},
"start": 0,
"length": 4,
"fit": "none",
"scale": 1,
"offset": {
"x": -0.239,
"y": -0.139
},
"position": "center",
"transition": {
"in": "slideUp",
"out": "slideDown"
}
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "html",
"html": "<p data-html-type=\"text\">{{Vehicle_Make}}</p>",
"css": "p { color: #ffffff; font-size: 80px; font-family: Montserrat ExtraBold; text-align: left }",
"width": 1031,
"height": 114
},
"fit": "none",
"scale": 1,
"offset": {
"x": -0.191,
"y": -0.218
},
"position": "center",
"transition": {
"in": "slideUp",
"out": "slideDown"
},
"start": 0.5,
"length": 3.5
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "html",
"html": "<p data-html-type=\"text\">{{Vehicle_Model}}</p>",
"css": "p { color: #ffffff; font-size: 80px; font-family: Montserrat SemiBold; text-align: left; }",
"width": 1019,
"height": 77
},
"fit": "none",
"scale": 1,
"offset": {
"x": -0.191,
"y": -0.294
},
"position": "center",
"start": 1,
"length": 3,
"transition": {
"out": "slideDown",
"in": "slideUp"
}
},
{
"asset": {
"type": "html",
"html": "<p data-html-type=\"text\">{{Vehicle_Description}}</p>",
"css": "p { color: #ffffff; font-size: 40px; font-family: Montserrat SemiBold; text-align: left; }",
"width": 1648,
"height": 90
},
"fit": "none",
"scale": 1,
"offset": {
"x": -0.024,
"y": -0.365
},
"position": "center",
"transition": {
"out": "slideDown",
"in": "slideUp"
},
"start": 1.2,
"length": 2.8
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "image",
"src": "{{First_image}}"
},
"start": 0,
"length": 5,
"effect": "zoomIn",
"transition": {
"in": "fade",
"out": "fade"
},
"offset": {
"x": 0.002,
"y": -0.024
},
"position": "center",
"fit": "crop",
"opacity": 0.4
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "html",
"html": "<p data-html-type=\"text\">{{Vehicle_Engine_Type}}</p>",
"css": "p { color: #ffffff; font-size: 40px; font-family: Montserrat SemiBold; text-align: left }",
"width": 620,
"height": 72
},
"length": 5,
"start": 5,
"transition": {
"out": "slideDown",
"in": "slideUp"
},
"fit": "none",
"scale": 1,
"offset": {
"x": -0.266,
"y": -0.032
},
"position": "center"
},
{
"asset": {
"type": "html",
"html": "<p data-html-type=\"text\">{{Vehicle_kms}}</p>",
"css": "p { color: #ffffff; font-size: 70px; font-family: Montserrat ExtraBold; text-align: left; }",
"width": 600,
"height": 109
},
"length": 5,
"start": 5,
"transition": {
"out": "slideDown",
"in": "slideUp"
},
"fit": "none",
"scale": 1,
"offset": {
"x": -0.276,
"y": 0.027
},
"position": "center"
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "image",
"src": "https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=1ngVkdeoD7RDvk3FA5cIU07l1_V84xS5t"
},
"length": 5,
"start": 5,
"offset": {
"x": -0.49,
"y": -0.004
},
"position": "center",
"scale": 0.07,
"transition": {
"in": "carouselDown",
"out": "slideDown"
}
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "image",
"src": "{{First_image}}"
},
"start": 5.7,
"length": 4.3,
"offset": {
"x": 0.2,
"y": 0
},
"position": "center",
"scale": 0.479,
"transition": {
"in": "slideLeft",
"out": "slideRight"
},
"fit": "crop"
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "image",
"src": "{{Second_image}}"
},
"position": "center",
"offset": {
"x": 0,
"y": 0
},
"transition": {
"in": "fade",
"out": "fade"
},
"start": 4,
"length": 6,
"scale": 1,
"opacity": 0.4,
"fit": "crop"
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "image",
"src": "{{Third_image}}"
},
"effect": "zoomIn",
"offset": {
"x": 0,
"y": 0
},
"position": "center",
"fit": "crop",
"scale": 1,
"transition": {
"in": "fade",
"out": "fade"
},
"start": 9,
"length": 3
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "image",
"src": "https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=1ngVkdeoD7RDvk3FA5cIU07l1_V84xS5t"
},
"length": 5.5,
"start": 11.5,
"offset": {
"x": -0.492,
"y": -0.007
},
"position": "center",
"transition": {
"in": "carouselDown",
"out": "slideDown"
},
"scale": 0.07
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "image",
"src": "{{First_Image}}"
},
"start": 11,
"length": 7,
"effect": "zoomIn",
"offset": {
"x": 0,
"y": 0
},
"position": "center",
"transition": {
"in": "fade",
"out": "fade"
},
"fit": "crop",
"scale": 1
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "image",
"src": "{{Second_Image}}"
},
"start": 17,
"length": 4,
"effect": "zoomIn",
"offset": {
"x": 0,
"y": 0
},
"position": "center",
"transition": {
"in": "fade",
"out": "fade"
}
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "image",
"src": "{{Third_Image}}"
},
"start": 20,
"length": 6,
"effect": "zoomIn",
"offset": {
"x": 0,
"y": 0
},
"position": "center",
"transition": {
"in": "fade",
"out": "fade"
}
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "html",
"html": "<p data-html-type=\"text\">{{Vehicle_Price}}</p>",
"css": "p { color: #ffffff; font-size: 120px; font-family: Montserrat ExtraBold; text-align: center; }",
"width": 1311,
"height": 180
},
"start": 28,
"length": 3,
"transition": {
"out": "slideUp",
"in": "slideDown"
},
"fit": "none",
"scale": 1,
"offset": {
"x": -0.029,
"y": -0.005
},
"position": "center"
},
{
"asset": {
"type": "html",
"html": "<p data-html-type=\"text\">{{Vehicle_Price_Disclaimer}}</p>",
"css": "p { color: #ffffff; font-size: 36px; font-family: Montserrat SemiBold; text-align: left; }",
"width": 883,
"height": 93
},
"transition": {
"out": "slideUp",
"in": "slideDown"
},
"start": 28,
"length": 3,
"fit": "none",
"scale": 1,
"offset": {
"x": 0.223,
"y": -0.134
},
"position": "center"
},
{
"asset": {
"type": "html",
"html": "<p data-html-type=\"text\">{{Vehicle_Price_Method}}</p>",
"css": "p { color: #ffffff; font-size: 50px; font-family: Montserrat ExtraBold; text-align: left; }",
"width": 672,
"height": 107
},
"start": 28,
"length": 3,
"fit": "none",
"scale": 1,
"offset": {
"x": 0.164,
"y": -0.087
},
"position": "center",
"transition": {
"in": "slideDown",
"out": "slideUp"
}
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "image",
"src": "{{dealer_logo}}"
},
"start": 30.8,
"length": 5.2,
"fit": "none",
"offset": {
"x": 0,
"y": 0
},
"transition": {
"in": "slideUp"
},
"position": "center",
"scale": 0.5
},
{
"asset": {
"type": "html",
"html": "<p data-html-type=\"text\">{{Dealer_website}}</p>",
"css": "p { color: #ffffff; font-size: 50px; font-family: Montserrat SemiBold; text-align: center; }",
"width": 1025,
"height": 167
},
"length": 5,
"offset": {
"x": 0.006,
"y": -0.178
},
"start": 31,
"transition": {
"in": "slideUp"
},
"fit": "none",
"scale": 1,
"position": "center"
}
]
},
{
"clips": [
{
"asset": {
"type": "image",
"src": "{{First_Image}}"
},
"start": 25,
"length": 8,
"effect": "zoomIn",
"transition": {
"out": "fade"
},
"offset": {
"x": 0,
"y": 0
},
"position": "center",
"fit": "crop",
"scale": 1,
"opacity": 0.4
}
]
}
]
},
"output": {
"format": "mp4",
"size": {
"width": 1920,
"height": 1080
}
}
}

Next, go to your Shotstack dashboard by logging in to your account. Click on Create Template. It will land on the GUI editor. As you already have the video design in JSON copied from above, you don't need to design a new one. Click the view toggle in the left bottom corner and paste the copied JSON in the JSON field. Rename the template, and click save.

Create new template in Shotstack studio

Setting up your Google Sheets

You can use the following format to setup your Google Sheets. Copy this Google Sheet if you don't want to create one yourself.

Google Sheets setup

Make sure the assets like images, videos, and music are publicly accessible via the URL.

Setting up your Make scenario

Next, you need to setup the Make scenario. You can also download and import this blueprint if you don't want to build one. You can see the scenario setup below.

Shotstack API keys

How will this scenario work:

  1. The Google Sheets Search Rows module will search and pass the vehicle data
  2. The Shotstack Create from Dynamic Template module will receive the vehicle data and render videos using the automotive video template you created above
  3. The Make Wait module will wait for the render to complete
  4. The Shotstack Get Render Status module will return the render status and rendered video URLs using the renderID generated in step 2
  5. Finally, the Google Sheets Update A Row module updates the rendered video URL under the Video_URL coloumn

Setting up Google Sheets search rows

Search for the Google Sheets module and select Search Rows. You will need to authenticate your access to Google Sheets if you are using for the first time. Click Add and connect it with your Google account.

Google Sheets search rows setup

Once connected, select the correct Sheet you are working with and click save.

Setting up your Shotstack account for Make

Similar to authenticating Google account, you need to authenticate our Shotstack account. Shotstack provides two different working environment with seperate API keys:

  • Sandbox API key for testing
  • Production API key for live projects

You can use your Shotstack Sandbox API key for this tutorial. Go to your Shotstack dashboard, click on your account name on the top right corner. Then click on the API Keys, and copy the Sandbox API key.

Shotstack API keys

Shotstack API keys

Go back to your Make scenario and add the Shotstack Create from Dynamic Template module. Click the Add button under Connection and paste the API key. Select the Environment to Sandbox , rename the account name, and click save.

Shotstack Make setup

Setting up the Shotstack Create from Dynamic Template module

The Shotstack Create from Dynamic Template module uses the TemplateRender API request type to render templates saved in your Shotstack studio. It uses the unique **template id ** to identify templates and send renders.

You need to match the data from Google Sheets with the merge fields. If you're using the automotive JSON video template from the above, then you can copy the following setup:

Shotstack create video from template setup

Simply match the the Sheet headers with the correct merge field placeholders.

Setting up the Wait module

Rendering videos is a resource intensive process. Thankfully, with the Shotstack's cloud infrastructure, it is possible to concurrently render multiple videos in minutes.

Normally it takes this about a minute to finish rendering videos of this length and complexity. So add the Make's Wait module that waits for the renders to complete. You can add 60 seconds in the value field.

Wait Module

Setting up Shotstack Get Render Status module

Shotstack Get Render Status module uses the render ID returned from the Create from Dynamic Template module to get the rendering status, temporaray asset URL, public video URL, and other details.

Add the Get render Status module and select the ID returned from the second step as shown below:

Get render status module

Setting up the Google Sheets Update Rows module

Finally, it's time to add the video URL returned from the above step in the Google Sheet. Add the Google Sheets update rows module. Select the same Google Sheet to add the rendered video URLs passed from the previous step.

Update Google Sheets rows

You can also access all your renders via your Shotstack dashboard under the Renders tab. Further, you can automatically send to different destinations like your social media page to automate posting, cloud file storage, email, and more using other available Make modules.

Testing scenario

Run the scenario to test if it works.

Run scenario

You can schedule it to run routinely or whenever there is new vehicle inventory added in the Google Sheets by using the Google Sheets Watch Rows module.

Final thoughts

There you have it, a fully automated workflow that automatically generates automotive slideshow videos. This is just one example of video automation and can be used for any industry or use case. This should give you an idea of how powerful video automation solutions can be.

You can even build an app using no-code tools and integrates multiple platforms. If you want to learn more about media automation, then checkout our other learning resources.

Kushal Magar

BY KUSHAL MAGAR
20th October, 2022

Become an Automated Video Editing Pro

Every month we share articles like this one to keep you up to speed with automated video editing.


Related articles

How to generate videos using Integromat

How to generate videos using Integromat

Use Integromat in your video editing workflow to automatically generate videos.

Derk Zomer
How to create video slideshows with Zapier using Google Forms and YouTube

How to create video slideshows with Zapier using Google Forms and YouTube

Use Zapier and Google Forms to generate video slideshows and automatically upload them to YouTube.

Derk Zomer
Create automated real estate video listings using Zapier

Create automated real estate video listings using Zapier

How to use Shotstack and Zapier to build automated real estate listing videos.

Derk Zomer