Improve Your YouTube Videos With Runway Gen-2 (+ Prompt Examples)

One of the best use cases for Runway Gen-2 is creating B-rolls for videos, and in this guide I'll show you how to do it.

One of the best use cases for Runway Gen-2 is creating B-rolls for videos. If you're a YouTuber or have an interest in television and film production, you already know that B-rolls refer to alternative or supplemental footage that's intercut with the main shot.

I have noticed that there are already quite a few aspiring AI filmmakers. They utilize tools like Runway Gen-2 to create primarily short films. Although you can definitely benefit from learning how to write prompts for B-rolls if you're an AI filmmaker, I think that this process is even more useful to people who make YouTube content.

Regardless of what type of content you post online, you can almost always include B-rolls in your videos to make them more appealing to viewers. These short clips can especially be useful if you're making content that there aren't even any images for online, let alone videos that you can use.

Let's say that you have a YouTube channel that revolves around cosmic phenomena. Unless you're a skilled animator or have the money to pay someone to animate short clips for your videos, you likely won't be able to find any B-rolls for your content. That's where Runway Gen-2 comes in.  You can simply write a text prompt and the AI model will generate a 4-second clip from it, which you can then extend several times if you want.

You can do the same thing if your YouTube videos discuss myths and tales from ancient history. In fact, I'd say that you can make B-rolls in Runway Gen-2 no matter what the topic of your video is.

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How to Write Runway Gen-2 Prompts for YouTube Videos

Your prompt structure for Runway Gen-2 videos will be relatively similar regardless of the type of videos you want to create. What you essentially want to do when writing prompts is combine a few different key phrases that explain what the video is about, mention details that should be featured in the clip, and include information about the camera view.

I'll include a variety of examples in this article that cover some of the most popular categories on YouTube. However, I have to mention that you shouldn't use Runway AI for absolutely every category that exists. In some cases, it's imperative that you use only real footage.

Let's say that you have a YouTube channel and you make videos where you explain and showcase different exercises. In this case, it doesn't make sense to use Runway for video generation. You should instead film yourself doing the exercises you're talking about. The same goes for cooking channels.

In my opinion, Runway Gen-2 serves its purpose when you want to create short clips that would be otherwise very expensive or difficult to produce. For instance, if you have a YouTube channel where you talk about ancient civilizations, it makes a lot of sense to create clips in Runway. You can describe a scene from the ancient world, and the AI model will create it for you.

At the time of writing this article, Runway Gen-2 is not as popular as some of the famous text-to-image AI models. It's nowhere near the level of popularity that Midjourney reached. But as this model becomes more powerful, I have no doubt that it will become as widespread as its biggest competitors.

In case you don't know much about Runway Gen-2, here is some information that you may find useful:

  • The initial video you generate from your prompt is four seconds long, but can be extended multiple times.
  • You can create videos both from text and image prompts in Runway Gen-2, but I'll focus only on text prompts in this article.
  • You can use additional parameters for more control over your videos, such as camera speed.
  • There is a 320-character limit for text prompts, but I usually keep mine under 200 characters because I find that concise prompts yield the best results.
  • You can do combination prompts where you use both an image and a text description to generate a video.
  • It's a good idea to use the 'Free Previews' feature before generating a video since this will significantly increase the odds of the AI model creating a good clip.

There are more tips and tricks that you'll learn as you're using Runway Gen-2. If you want to find more information suitable for new users, I suggest that you check out my Runway Gen-2 beginner's guide. It contains useful tips that will help you understand how to better use this AI-powered tool.

10 Runway Gen-2 Prompt Examples for YouTube Video B-Rolls

I did a lot of thinking for this article because I wanted to include examples that could significantly improve the quality of YouTube videos in multiple categories. Although I have no doubt that I missed out on including some great examples, I think I covered a lot in the prompts below. Let's check out what type of B-rolls you can create with Runway AI.

prompt #1: ancient Egyptian tomb exploration, archaeological adventure, medium shots inside a mysterious tomb, hieroglyphs and intricate artifacts

I make sure to watch every good documentary about ancient Egypt that I can find. This civilization seems to have been incredibly advanced for the time. If you're making a video about ancient Egypt and need some quality B-rolls, you can make them with Runway AI. I would advise that you mention that these short clips were generated by an AI model.

In my opinion, you should not use a video like this if you're talking about a specific tomb because that can be regarded as misleading. But if you were to talk about ancient Egyptian tombs in general, it would be cool to include a clip like this in your video.

This is only a small example of what's possible to create with Runway AI. As you'll see in the following examples, you can write just about any description and the AI model will create an awesome video from it.

prompt #2: post-apocalyptic wasteland, lone wanderer, wide-angle shot of a desolate landscape, harsh sunlight and dust clouds

There are so many types of videos that could be improved with short clips like this. For instance, you're making a video on different ways that the world could end. Certain video games, films, and TV shows have made this topic more popular over the last few decades.

People love watching content about events that are highly unlikely to happen. What's difficult as a content creator is helping viewers visually. Although that used to be a big problem, it's not anymore thanks to AI-powered tools like Runway Gen-2.

Notice how I segmented my prompt into a few different parts. I start with a general description of the scene I want to see created, and then I start to add more details that include relevant information the AI model can understand and incorporate into the final result. For instance, keywords like 'wide-angle shot', 'harsh sunlight', and 'dust clouds' add a lot to the aesthetic of this video. When you're writing prompts for Runway Gen-2, it's important to think like a cinematographer.

prompt #3: alien planet discovery, sci-fi exploration, close-ups of astronauts in futuristic space suits, examining strange alien flora and fauna

I'd like to think that we're slowly entering a new age of space exploration. I think it's very important that we as a civilization explore other planets and learn as much as we can about the universe. That's why I enjoy watching YouTube videos about other planets and the potential for the existence of alien life.

If you were to create a YouTube video about exoplanets, you could use short clips like this to show your viewers what these planets could look like. I wrote a pretty basic description, but you can use additional information to make your Runway clips more unique. For dramatic effect, you can include a specific color palette that would make the landscape weirder.

prompt #4: coral reef exploration, marine science, underwater close-ups of vibrant coral reefs, exotic fish species, and marine ecosystems

There is a real threat to coral reefs right now, and it's important that we protect them. If you're talking about coral reefs in any context in your YouTube videos, you can create a short clip like this one to use as a B-roll. Runway Gen-2 is really good at close-up shots, especially when there isn't a human or animal character in it.

It's important to be realistic with your expectations though. I wanted to see some exotic fish species in this clip, but the AI model didn't generate them. And that's okay. I'm still very happy with the result.

prompt #5: epic mountain trek, adventure travel, aerial drone view of hikers ascending a rugged mountain, breathtaking vistas

If you were to create a YouTube video where you share useful tips on how to improve both physical and mental health, you could use short clips like this to keep your viewers engaged. Of course, you could use a video like this for content in a lot of different categories.

It's up to you to decide what you want to create and how to use it. What's noticeable here if you really pay attention is that the people moving in this clip seem a bit off. But you can always generate as many free previews as you want for any prompt you write until you find one that's the least likely to contain an error.

prompt #6: futuristic cityscape, urban utopia, aerial drone view of a sprawling, technologically advanced city, showcasing innovative architecture and transportation systems

Although I love nature, I'm used to living in an urban area. I'm still young and a busy urban environment is extremely attractive to me, so I doubt this will change anytime soon. The only thing that would make me relocate is if a city became too big. And that's likely what will continue to happen as time goes on.

I often imagine what it would be like if some of the biggest cities in the world grew in size several times. Would they still be appealing to most people? This is a topic you can bring up in a YouTube video and use the generated clip above as a B-roll.

prompt #7: guided meditation session, relaxation, close-ups of a meditation guide leading a group through a soothing visualization exercise

Meditation is incredibly powerful. You can relieve yourself of stress and negative thoughts if you practice meditation. However, it takes quite some time to get used to it. This is a practice that's been around for thousands of years, yet some people still ignore it.

If you want to create a guided meditation video but don't have a setup like this or people who would want to be filmed during a session like this, you can generate a clip of it with the help of the Runway AI platform.

prompt #8: secret government facility, conspiracy thriller, dimly lit control room with agents monitoring covert operations, intense close-ups and tension-filled atmosphere

I'm a fan of most conspiracy theories. There are some theories that are too crazy for me personally, but I like to think outside of the box in general so I appreciate when someone tells a story from an alternative point of view that might not be popular. I also love it when a conspiracy theory turns out to be true because it shows that you never really know what's the truth until you see undeniable evidence.

I know that there are many content creators on YouTube who cover conspiracy theories. Since they can't always find video content to include in their videos, I think they can benefit greatly from using the Runway Gen-2 model. Just look at the clip above. It would be a perfect B-roll to include in many conspiracy theory videos.

prompt #9: medieval market square, historical drama, wide-angle shot of a bustling medieval market, merchants, and townsfolk in period costumes, authentic props and settings

Throughout most of my life, I didn't really care for history. I was too focused on the future, so I didn't spend too much time educating myself on historical events and the past in general. That changed a few years back, as I discovered how there truly are valuable lessons that you can learn from studying history. The most important is that there is a cyclical nature to how humans behave, and that'll probably never change.

The great thing about Runway Gen-2 is that it can recreate basically any moment from the past if you have a good enough prompt. You just need to clearly describe what you want the AI model to generate. This is just a general description that I wrote, but you can take one out of a history book. This can especially be interesting if you want to generate a clip of an epic battle that occurred in the past.

prompt #10: volcanic eruption, geological exploration, wide-angle shots of the eruption of an active volcano in a remote location, capturing the raw power of nature

The science and nature category is incredibly popular on YouTube. I love watching videos like this when I have the time because it helps me learn more about our planet. This is also a category where you can benefit from AI-generated B-rolls. Note that you can always extend your clips multiple times if you need a B-roll that's longer than four seconds.

Final Thoughts

It's truly incredible to see what type of short videos you can make with Runway Gen-2. I believe that these clips can greatly improve the quality of your videos. The best part about it is that you can create countless videos per month at a relatively low cost.

The alternatives are either to find clips that you can use without your YouTube videos being flagged for copyright infringement or to hire someone to do animations for you. It can be quite expensive to hire an animator to do a bunch of different clips for every video you make. If you're on a budget, using Runway Gen-2 definitely makes sense.

While some of the videos you create with Runway AI may seem a bit off, the quality is generally impressive. What's especially amazing is that you can create these stunning videos from text or image prompts. I've recently noticed a few YouTube channels that have started to incorporate Runway Gen-2 clips in their videos, and the small errors you see when generating these clips are usually unnoticeable when incorporated into a video.

This AI model will only get better with time. It didn't take long for Midjourney to go from generating essentially low-quality illustrations to results that are so realistic you'd swear they're photographs. Runway Gen-2 is already on that trajectory to be able to produce truly mind-blowing results.

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