9 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2020 3:33 PM by shabaz

    Suggestions For Creating Video Content

    ninjatrent

      Hello Element 14 Community!

       

      My name is Trent and I would like to know what your suggestions are for creating video content in the E14 Community.

       

      What kind of video capture equipment do you use?

      Which editing software and methods would you recommend?

       

      Most of the video content that I've previously shared has been captured with a smartphone camera.

       

      While the smartphone method works for some instances, it's not very good with hands-free  video capture.

       

       

      I recently purchased a Logitech C930e USB Webcam and tripod. This webcam has performed exceptionally well in my tests with Windows10 PC and the Win10 Camera Software. This software  limhas it's limitations and I would really like to find methods that offer more control in capture format and encoding (preferably open source and/or free).

       

      I'm also interested in learning methods of capturing video screenshots from Win10, adding voice audio from separate microphone sources, and any other tip that you can recommend for producing the next E14

       

       

      Thank you for your time.

       

      Trent

        • Re: Suggestions For Creating Video Content
          shabaz

          Hi Trent,

           

          There's a thread here that's got some suggestions: Tips for recording screen and camera

          A smartphone works fine, but any camera and desk clamp or tripod will be good too. And then transfer across the photos/videos using SD card etc.. Maybe webcam is not needed, since a camera doesn't cost that much extra (e.g. IXUS seems low-cost). Also, the small cameras often have good macro capability, so you get a multi-purpose tool with that.

           

          To me, there seems to be at least two categories of video creation/editing methods.

          Method 1: Requires you to set up sources, and then record.

          Method 2: Requires you to (a) independently record your material, and then (b) later rearrange it all in a timeline view.

           

          The method I use is Method 2. For part (a), I'll use a camera for photos/video, and Snagit for desktop screenshots and video captures. For part (b) rearranging it in a timeline view, I use Camtasia.

          For me the main benefit is that Camtasia is easy to use (it is like a dumbed-down video editing system). Once you have your previously recorded material (from anywhere - can include photos, video, audio etc) you have a timeline, and you can drag any content to it, and cut and rearrange and overlay and resize as necessary, and do fade ins/outs/mixes etc to any previously recorded audio too. Camtasia cannot do high-end audio/video effects, only basic stuff. The main disadvantage is the cost (more expensive than I wish it was, but at least it's cheaper and easier to use than Adobe etc). There's a list of other timeline-based tools here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_editing_software

           

          Sometimes for part (a) I'll use Audacity to mess with audio, but I find its interface to be confusing. There is a better 'Cool Edit' which I have an ancient (maybe Windows 95 era? but it still runs on Windows 10) license for, so I'll use that more often. It is not available any more though (Adobe took it and made a more complicated and expensive subscription version)... you can see my pattern : ) Cool Edit was a dumbed-down audio editing piece of software too : )

           

          Example below.. The lower half contains the timeline, and the top-left portion has the source media files, which were dragged to the timeline. You can see the audio is on track 4 (some basic stuff can be done to it, like amplify or fade-in our out, using the Audio Effects menu on the left-side palette). The video is on track 1 mostly it seems, as well as some screen capture on track 1 with the name code1. There is a Transitions menu item on the left that can be used for video, and any chosen effect is dragged onto the timeline in the desired location. The other tracks for this project just contain random bits of overlaid text or arrows or boxes, etc. I don't have any set pattern that I use.

           

          5 of 5 people found this helpful
          • Re: Suggestions For Creating Video Content
            sjmill01

            Nowadays, smartphones can be very competitive in quality to video cameras and they are definitely easier to use.  In fact, the major movie release Unsane was filmed entirely on a iPhone 7 plus.  It's gotten that good.

             

            You'll want to get you a tripod mount so you can go hands free and eliminate shakes.

             

            For the Ben Heck show, they had a couple of cameras.  The Panasonic Lumix G7 was one of them.  https://shop.panasonic.com/search?q=g7 .  I have one with a couple of lenses.  Getting the light right is my biggest challenge as it isn't always what you see is what you get like an iPhone.

             

            No matter how good your camera video setup is, it is the sound that makes things come off as an amateur. 

             

            A thrifty approach is to buy a used digital recorder and add a lapel mic to it.  You replace your camera audio track with the digital recorder track in software.

                 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-Voice-Activated-Recorder-4GB-Sony-Audio-mp3-Built-in-mic-speaker-VOR/160962187022?epid=…

                 https://www.amazon.com/Sony-ECMCS3-Omnidirectional-Stereo-Microphone/dp/B0058MJX4O/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=ecmcs3&qid=157824…

             

            For screen capture, there are a lot of offerings online.  If you have an AMD graphics card, they offer ReLive that is free which can capture and stream.  There are a lot of "freeware" options, but I have trouble trusting "free".  I never understood such a model that could give things away and fund their web sites.

             

            So, I use CyberLink PowerDirector for capture and editing.  It's affordable compared to most.    After 6 years, I haven't outgrown it.

             

            Corel has a suite that comes with camera bundles, but it put adware on my PC, so I bailed on it as quick as I installed it.

             

            See ya',

            Sean

            4 of 4 people found this helpful
              • Re: Suggestions For Creating Video Content
                robogary

                Hi Trent,

                 

                E14 does not present media arts academy awards, quick understandable content is most valuable to viewers.

                 

                My perspective for E14 videos:

                1. decide on your target audience capability and include explanations to that capability
                2. keep to the point and concise
                3. speaking parts have to be clear. Dont need to be super rehearsed or scripted, but make at least a couple passes & video tries.
                4. If background noise washes out your speaking, blank it out, and overwrite the audio from a mike.
                5. edit out hmmms, ahhhs, retries on things that go wrong unless making a point of the failure
                6. production and backround music is secondary
                7. do include things that add humor or interest
                8. exclude extraneous reference or include video, photos or screen shots that are not legible and dont provide value to the point
                9. Publishing your video content online to E14, You Tube, Facebook, low resolution is fine to save cloud space and upload time.

                 

                Myself - I use some my Samsung phone and/or a 10 year old Canon Sure Shot to take video.

                 

                When I publish video to mp4 , I'm using lower resolution to make the mp4, see point #9.

                 

                I use MovieMaker for consolidating and editing raw footage in various formats (stills, drawings, video), and publish as mp4.

                I use Adacity for editing audio tracks.

                I publish my video content first to You Tube, and then publish the You Tube link on Element14 posts, as well as other online places.

                 

                This is my You Tube channel content if interested in seeing my video publish style:

                https://www.youtube.com/user/RoboZombieDeluxe/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=0

                6 of 6 people found this helpful
              • Re: Suggestions For Creating Video Content
                dougw

                I am firmly in the cheap, easy camp when it comes to video production.

                I do have a decent camera though (Panasonic FZ1000) which can do time lapse photography and 4K video.

                I use CamStudio for capturing screen activity.

                I use Adacity for editing audio tracks.

                I use Microsoft MovieMaker to edit VLOGs - add video, transitions, still images, captions, audio, etc.

                The most important things are:

                • use a tripod for the camera
                • use lots of high temperature lighting
                • get a decent microphone and position it properly (I use cheap mics, but at least I can position them close to my face )
                  • I use a low-cost headset with my camera (because it is mono) that puts the mic consistently close to my mouth
                  • I use a Soonhua SH-666 mic when adding voice-over with Moviemaker (<$10)
                4 of 4 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Suggestions For Creating Video Content
                    Jan Cumps

                    I'm using a subset of dougw. I take care that audio is good. Video not so much.

                     

                    • For capturing screen action, I also use CamStudio. I try to speak real-time, using a headset with good microphone. If I want to show action at the same time, I put an IP Camera Viewer window on the captured desktop showing a webcam pointing at the device under test.
                    • To capture live action, I use either an iPad or a smartphone, filming out of my hand (no tripod or other fixture), I plug that same headset into the iPad or phone.
                    • I try to do as much as I can in a single shot, to avoid editing effort later.
                    • Then I use the standard Microsoft Movie Maker to edit the result. I try to use as little cutting as possible. I use a fast animation (Bars, duration 0.25 to 0.75) to smoothen the cuts and avoid jumping video boundaries.
                    • Where needed, I make Captions to point out details, and Narration for overdubs.
                    • Then I generate the output for high definition, 1920 x 1080, 24000 bitrate, 29.97 fps.audio 192 kbps, 48 Hz, stereo (lord knows why I use stereo when recording with a single mono mike)
                    • I upload to youtube and use the e14 embed function if I want to have the video here. I never load the video to e14 because the player handles youtube videos better than uploaded ones
                    • I have an automatic sync with LBRY.tv just to annoy youtube.

                    Example showing shaky video out of hand, + desktop and webcam together:

                     

                     

                    Edit: heres the editing for the video above (click to enlarge).

                    I did overdub the talk over the CamStudio capture. Most likely because my initial talk did not catch op with the LabVIEW automation at real time ...

                    The cuts are at 0:30, 0:36, 0:39 (video only to reduce video length, the audio is continuous) and 0:53

                    4 of 4 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Suggestions For Creating Video Content
                    BigG

                    I would second shabaz's suggestion that you should read through the "Tips for recording screen and camera".

                     

                    Within that thread https://obsproject.com/  is mentioned.

                     

                    I took up that suggestion and I must say it works very well for my needs. In particular, it provides a means for capturing video screenshots from Win10, adding voice audio from separate microphone sources and it also can grab visuals from windows applications rather than just the video monitor.

                     

                    I still find that the microphone (or getting nice audio) is the biggest headache. So I rather like Sean's suggestion.

                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Suggestions For Creating Video Content
                        shabaz

                        I found the audio most difficult too : (

                        I tried several USB mics (some Audio Technica one, and a blue Yeti? was silver colored..) that were advertised as Youtube-creation friendly with great reviews, and they were both pretty bad (for me) - I speak quietly, so the signal-noise was terrible. Either that, or I was too picky..

                        There was so much hiss, and Audacity clean-up is quite rotten.

                         

                        Next on the journey I tried two handheld mics (Sennheiser) and two brands of lapel mics (Sennheiser and one I can't recall), but the recommendations from a couple of audio experts was in the $$$$ mic range! : ) so I tried some friendlier-priced dynamic mics (Sennheiser again) - only to realize that most consumer music audio interfaces (like Focusrite) that are in the $100 or so bracket, only have good SNR with low gain - they don't provide specs at the higher gain settings for the cheaper interfaces : ) and no good for dynamic mics.( I don't do much audio of myself facing the camera, so the lapel mic wasn't as essential for me.

                         

                        Anyway, this was all turning out to be a terrible time-waste and money sink. I almost gave up. Surprisingly, the best value-for-money thing for me turned out to be the sub-$100 all-in-one Zoom H1N, i.e. has an in-built mic. I still have to speak deliberately louder slightly, but finally I was reasonably happy with it. It is quite small - fits in a small pencil-case incidentally - not that that matters.

                         

                        I used it a lot. My little nephew liked it, so after a year or so I gave it away to him (so he can act as a football match reporter and interview his younger brother each time he misses a goal in the garden), and bought a more expensive Zoom product, but it wasn't perceptibly better. In comparison I feel the lower-cost H1N was the better product for easy audio recording, so if I had to do it all again, I'd just get that. The H1N is handheld, but has a thread for a stand (or can use a mobile phone angle stand, which is nice).

                         

                        Also, maybe Youtube audio processing has improved too - compared to a couple of years ago, today if stuff is recorded with slightly poorer quality sound, it seems to sound better after a few hours on Youtube (this is subjective, I've not really investigated). So maybe it is becoming less important to faff so much on the audio side : ).

                        4 of 4 people found this helpful
                          • Re: Suggestions For Creating Video Content
                            Jan Cumps

                            shabaz  wrote:

                             

                            I found the audio most difficult too : (

                            I tried several USB mics (some Audio Technica one, and a blue Yeti? was silver colored..) that were advertised as Youtube-creation friendly with great reviews, and they were both pretty bad (for me) - I speak quietly, so the signal-noise was terrible. Either that, or I was too picky..

                            There was so much hiss, and Audacity clean-up is quite rotten.

                            ...

                            If your computer supports audio in, an old-school headset-with-micro (the ones that hava an extra contact on the connector for audio) can do a better job than a usb microphone.

                            This is the very cheap one I use: a Trust from a discounter shop.

                             

                             

                            I've forced myself to speak louder while recording - without shouting. It helps reduce hiss and get better pronunciation (you don't mumble when you force yourself a level higher). The downside is that it can sound a little forced.

                            4 of 4 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Suggestions For Creating Video Content
                                shabaz

                                I used to have one of those for web-conferences. I didn't think of trying that, that's a good idea. For now I'm happy with the Zoom method, it meets my needs. Hehe yeah the speaking louder is a real solution : )

                                I forgot to add one more product I attempted along the journey to the list.. a Panasonic USB handheld mic for dictation.. no good, but probably fantastic for its intended purpose though! : )

                                2 of 2 people found this helpful