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Worship Backgrounds for Free and Cheap

Seanphotodesign.com ©2014
Seanphotodesign.com ©2014

Most churches have a projector and screen system set up these days in order to project Bible verses, videos and lyrics to worship songs. Worship backgrounds or what is commonly known as motion backgrounds are a nice addition to the otherwise blank screen. Worship backgrounds can be many different things to many different people. Some people like to use video loops, nature shots or varying motion abstract shapes. But be careful, worship backgrounds can get to be very distracting and dizzy to the eye, thusly taking away from the experience of worshiping God. Worship backgrounds can be overdone and be a bad experience just as too much of anything can be a bad thing. They need to be opaqued out at least a little so the lyrics to the song can clearly be seen on the screen. If not that, then they need to have defined areas to place the lyrics. If you are using your own videos then make sure they are nice and fluid, and don’t have jumps or jerky movements in them. The visuals or motion designs should not take away from the experience of worship or make it hard to read the words and sing along.

Some good sites with some great worship backgrounds includes: https://shiftworship.com. They have an all access pass for $149 and a daily free download. I thought that was a steal of a price! They have some top notch videos, loops, and stills. I also thought that the individual pricing was great, not to expensive for quality work. For example $15.00 for a video you can use over and over again, is a good buy. See my article on How  Another decent site is: http://www.worshipbackgroundsforfree.com. They deal with video loops more than anything else. The loops are mostly very vague, which is not good for sermon illustrations but is great for our purposes which is worship backgrounds. Vague is good because it will not take away from the experience.  Then there should be a place to add in the lyrics so they can be seen clearly. One of the best sites to purchase already made media including worship backgrounds is Sermon Spice. Please note, their not free but they have one of the biggest and best selections of already prepared media,worship backgrounds,countdowns, illustration videos, stills, graphics the list goes on. It is my opinion that they are reasonably priced. Check ’em out!

Finally feel free to use some of my own worship background stills and inspirational images. More priced images can be found at seanphotodesign.com. Enjoy


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All About Video Loops


A video loop is a motion background meaning that is does not have a focused point or message. It is simply a visually appealing video that ends the same way it begins so that there is a seamless flow of the video. The video is primarily used for a background for in which to place words, text or lyrics upon when presenting them on a screen.  The church would want to use these for their worship services. Worship should be sincere, organic and exciting, we are worshiping God after all! Video loops are a great way to display lyrics of songs that will help your congregation engage in the worship experience. Just in case you don’t know what a video loop is here is a video illustrating video loops. 

Over all it is a nice video that you could place lyrics over. Some sites with some great video loops include: Worship House Media, Videoblocks, Sermon Spice and more.

However a graphic designer with access to Adobe After Effects can build wonderful video loops. I found a very informative instruction article at: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-loop-an-animation-in-After-Effects-CS5/. I thought this to be a very helpful site. Here are the steps copied onto my site.

1.Picture of

So here I have a looping bubble animation. Before we begin, make sure that you create a new composition only for the animation. Do this by going to composition > new composition, and then create exactly one cycle of the animation in this new space. As you can see, my composition is called “snorebubble”.

2.Picture of Next, we’re going to create another animation to enable looping. Once again, go to composition > new composition, and rename to composition to something that makes sense. I was lazy, so I just called mine “Comp 3”.

Begin this next part by dragging your original animation (mine is called snorebubble) into the timeline of your new comp (mine is called Comp 3).

3.With the newly dragged comp selected, go to layer > time > enable time remapping. This will add an effect to your layer called Time Remap.

4. Select Time Remap and go to animation > add expression. You now should be able to type into a text field in your timeline.

If this doesn’t show up, alt-click the stopwatch icon (option-click on Mac). If these steps don’t work (and they might not, depending on the production planning employed by your OS), you might need to consult Google for more tailored help.

5.With your cursor now in the text field, type the following: loop_out(“cycle”,0)

6. Picture of You should now be able to loop the animation indefinitely. All you need to do is make your composition longer. Go to composition settings and set the duration for how long you want the animation to loop.Whenever you want to use the animation, simply drag its comp name into the main comp.

I hope you find this AE tutorial helpful, and look forward to bringing you more!

Video loops are almost mandatory this day in age for your worship backgrounds. There is just no better way to display your worship lyrics so that the congregation can easily follow along than by using an exciting video loop.

Free Worship Motion Backgrounds

Hope graphic
seanphotodesign.com ©2014

In one of my articles I wrote about how to make your own video background. If you don’t have the money to pay for motion backgrounds or the equipment to make your own worship backgrounds thats ok too. The good news is that there are free motion worship backgrounds online for you to use.

For starters take a look at: http://www.creationswap.com/gallery?g=1&b=4. You can get free or for sale. They have highlighted some very good holiday themed loops. They don’t stop with free motion worship backgrounds they also offer print ready and still graphics. Just sign up and start downloading free motion worship backgrounds.

Next check out: http://www.worshipbackgroundsforfree.com/. I have to say that this looks like the piece de resistance of motion background sites. The word “free” is even in the website so it can’t get any better than that. Inspect the multiple categories for video loops:

  • Abstract Free Worship Backgrounds
  • Countdown Free Worship Backgrounds
  • Goodbye Free Worship Backgrounds
  • Light Free Worship Backgrounds
  • Music Free Worship Backgrounds
  • Nature Free Worship Backgrounds
  • Particles Free Worship Backgrounds
  • Religious Symbols Free Worship Backgrounds
  • Welcome Free Worship Backgrounds
  • Look at their list of excellent resources:
  • Free Stock Music
  • Free After Effects Templates
  • Video Editing Tips and Tricks
  • Free Stock Photos
  • Free Vector Graphics
  • Infographic Templates
  • Free Stock Images

Plus more, all you need to do to get started is to register for an account! Its that simple.

Although truly http://www.videoblocks.com/ is the real king of motion backgrounds, video loops, stills and graphics. Now might I disclaimer that Video Blocks is not free. They are royalty free which means they are yours to use forever however you wish once you purchase them. But they are the best at what they do. Look at their list of clients: ABC,NBC,History Channel, USA Network, The Weather Channel, Travel Channel, National Geographic and Discovery Channel. Look at their clip options, 4K Videos, Stock Videos, Motion Backgrounds and After Effects Templates. They are really up to date with the 4K option. That is the highest resolution you can watch something at. It is cinamagraphic quality.  4K is the king of high definition. Again they offer After Effects templets so you can make our own motion backgrounds. I like building my own stuff whenever I can because its unique to your own taist. You can keep searching for awesome free material and maybe you might find it somewhere online. But for quality sakes you will always return to Video Blocks or a motion background for sale on a major site. It is my opinion that you should never compromise quality for free. In this business quality usually comes with a price thats worth paying.

How to Make Your Own Video Backgrounds

lens image   my camera 4   church camera

It can get to be expensive to buy video backgrounds. You might be able to get some for free but the free video backgrounds are usually cheap and low definition. This article is about how to save your $15.00 or more a video which can add up quickly. You can do that by learning to make video backgrounds yourself so you can save money and use it for something else. Then once you have several good videos not only will you be able to use your own videos but you can sell your videos online.

Shooting The Background: Here is a Quick Lesson in Cinematography.

Subject wise you can shoot whatever you want, nature shots are a great place to start. Get a volunteer or a group of volunteers to follow around. Interchange single person shots and group shots. Have them raise their hands, smile, look somber, happy or worshipful. Place people in different positions and spaced out.   Think about locations, different parts of the city you live in, bodies of water,sky, stars, forest, sun beams, flowers, mountains etc. What location is your church in? If its in the city then think about great downtown shots. Think about the optimal time to get crowds crossing the street and traffic.  Can you go to the top of a skyscraper to shoot? What will give you the biggest space of city to see behind your subjects?  Are you near a park with a pond, lake or river? Does the park have walking trails or playgrounds. Find interesting places to place people. Bring in kids if there is a playground. If in the country think about old buildings, ruins, farm lands, porch shots? What about harvest shots such as wheat, corn or grain? Place your volunteers in the a filed of tall grass or crops. Shoot at the optimal time of 6:30-7:00 in the summer so as to get some brilliant natural light.  You might want to set up a decorative background with some interesting props? The possibilities are endless. Work on a few techniques like pulling focus. Everyone who has watched a movie has seen focus pulled. The camera is positioned to focus on a subject and the background is blurred out. At the optimal time the focus ring is pulled and a second subject in the background is revealed. Use a dolly track. Rent a track set and Dolley or you can make one. If you can acquire a wheel chair you can set the camera on the wheel chair and then slowly roll it to pick up those nice push in shots.  There are a ton of techniques, you have to figure out what works for you.

In this lesson I’m going to teach you how to shoot with DSLR. Please see other articles on my site for more in depth information. Turn the camera to video recording settings. Now hit the Q button so that you can customize your settings. Please note that this is a quick reference and not a detailed look at the specs of videography.  Now set your frames per second shooting speed to 24fps. Next you need to set your shutter speed to 1/50 of a second. Because the shutter speed needs to be double that of your frames per second. Your shooting 24fps so if you double that you will get 48fps so 50 is pretty close. Your f-stop can be set to whatever you need it to. The lower the stop number the more light is going to be let in and the more blurred out the background will be. This will achieve that cinema look. The higher the number the more clear everything in the frame is going to be. Your ISO should be set at 100 for really bright days or at 200 for a cloudy day. The higher the ISO the more light will enter the camera lens. If your outside shooting nature you need to put your white balance on outdoor and then choose either its sunny or cloudy setting. Really what your deciding is wether the video picture is going to look cool or warm. If you have a dial then you might be able to dial in the right color and get it more precise. Now shoot what you want in whatever manner you want, just make sure it is slow, in focus, and with nice panes and tilts. Shoot the same subject multiple times for editing options. For a good slider bar, tripod or other equipment that will help you make smooth movements consider cowboystudios.com  

For a more in-depth article on cinematography look no further than my own site. http://understandingchurchmedia.com/do-better-cinematography/.

Please also look at my Hub Pages on shooting with your iDevice such as iPhone or iPad air, as well as other Production Hubs.  Watch this great video on shooting with DSLR.


Once you have your footage edited together and you have color corrected the footage then you are ready to make the video loop. If your using Microsoft Movie Maker you can’t make a loop unless you simply just add the footage in multiple times back to back and then export the video. If you don’t need a loop then Movie Maker will work just fine for your movie background. If your using a Mac computer then iMovie will be your default moviemaking program. I really like iMovie I find it to be a very good and well equipped program. If you need to make a loop for your background video then you need to follow the steps found on howtodothigs.com. The steps are listed below for your convenience.

• Open and compress the movie. Open the iMovie video that you want to play on loop in your computer. Open the ‘Share’ option in iMovie and select ‘Quicktime’. The next step is to compress your movie file. Choose the compression option that you want for your movie and click on ‘Share’. Provide a title for your movie and save the file. Do not forget the location where you save the new video file. Wait for the file to finish copying.

• Launch the new copy of the movie. When the compression is complete, open the Quicktime file that you just created. It will now be played with Quicktime. Go to the ‘View’ menu and a drop down menu will appear. Choose the option ‘Loop’ among the choices on the drop down menu. After clicking the option, you can already play the movie using Quicktime. The movie will start automatically after it ends.

Of coarse the other option is to create a video by using video graphics. If you are efficient in Adobe After Effects or another animation program you should be able to make a really great abstract video and then follow the same process described above for your mac to make a video loop.   Finally making good loop may be as simple as using the loop video option on your blue-ray or DVD player. Many players have such options. Just check the menu options on your device to see what you need to do.

For further reading on practical cinematography check out my Hub post on: http://seanfliehman.hubpages.com/hub/Do-Quality-Production-With-Your-iPad-or-iPhone.  http://seanfliehman.hubpages.com/hub/How-and-Why-to-Make-Your-Own-Motion-Backgrounds