Rules to Better Video Recording

​Since 1990, SSW has supported the developer community by publishing all our best practices and rules for everyone to see. 

If you still need help, visit Video Production​ and book in a consultant.​​

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  1. Pre-Production - Do You Test Technical Scripts Properly?

    If writing a technical script where you don't have the knowledge to make the final call, it is important to remember that different developers will sometimes have conflicting opinions.
    Getting to the end of a video project only to have to go back to the script to make changes is deeply inefficient and creates unnecessary​ extra workaround. ​As such, for a technical script to be approved it should be taken for a 'test please' to both the CEO and at least one other developer. It must be fully approved because changes to the script should not be accepted after the test please has been passed. The developer(s) and the CEO should be made aware that if any changes are requested after the scripting stage it will fall back on them.
  2. Production - Do you add a call to action?

    Without a call to action prompting viewers to do something at the end of a video, the purpose of the video is lost. As such, make sure you include the call to action at the end.​

    Common objectives are to:
    • Get them to the company's Facebook page
    • Obtain the viewer's email address
    • Get the viewer to provide info and request a service from the company​

    A good 'call to action' should:

    1. Be short (around 30 seconds).
    2. Not have too many options. A visitor is much more likely to do a task if he's not confused by being given 24 social media options.
    3. (Optionally) Tell them they get value eg. if they comment they will make a difference.
    4. If you have a paid subscription offering or a free one like YouTube) give incentives to subscribe now, along with the benefits subscribed users get.
    5. Remember that people have different preferences for social media. You pretty much need to cover your bases. Have a Twitter page, Facebook page, Linked-in account, YouTube channel etc. Of course don't have all these in the 'call to action', but make sure that those options are easily accessible.
    6. If you are using YouTube or another service that provides the option to have annotations, use annotations that prompt the viewer to comment or subscribe. A 'subscribe' link in the annotation gets more subscribers
    7. Thanks Guys, have a good one!
      Figure: Bad example – no call to action
      Please leave a comment, and go to our website, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Also please sign up for our newsletter.
      Figure: Bad example - too many options breeds choice paralysis

      Figure: Fairly Good example (skip to the end) – a simple task to email hamids@axosoft.com, plus links to social media are present, however there is too much on screen and he has used a graphic instead of live action.

       

      Figure: Good Example – very clear call to action that asks for an email address. Only asks for one thing at a time and uses zooming effects. In addition, gives a twitter option to engage and uses live action.
       
  3. Production - Do You Know How To Conduct An Interview?

    Though each interviewer will have their own style, line of questions etc, there are some basic rules that you should follow when conducting an interview:

    ​1. Introduce yourself, then the interviewee, then the topic of the interview:

    "Hi guys, today we're talking about J Query with Peter Smith, how's it going Peter?"

    Figure: Bad Example - The Interviewer did not introducer him or herself, nor did he/she explain who the interviewee is. Also the topic is a little too broad, it will be extremely rare to find a video that covers every single aspect of a major subject like that.

    "Hi Guys, I'm Adam Cogan and I'm here with Peter Smith of 123 Development Solutions Inc. Today we're going to be discussing J Query and how the latest edition will affect your source code. How's it going Peter?"

    Figure: Good Example - correct order, sufficient detail and straight to the point.

    2. Tell the interviewee not to speak until they are introduced

    3. When the interviewee is speaking, remain quiet. This is about the audience recieiving the information, not you.

    a) When the interviewee is finished speaking, simply move straight to the next question (either follow-up or planned) but do not comment or react to what they said, it distracts the audience from their own reaction and comes across as self-centered. If you read the transcript of an interview in a magazine, you will notice that in professional interviews you won't be reading the words "huh that's really interesting" or "ah ok" as this does nothing for the reader, they came to learn from the interviewee.

    4. Saying something unusual to catch the audience's attention at the beginning can sometimes heighten the value of an interview, but choose carefully. You want to say something that conveys good communication and honesty, both with the interviewee and the audience, even if it is slightly distancing. A good way to do this can be to disclose your bias up front:

    "To start with I should explain that I don't like your company or your personality"
    Figure: Bad Example - Don't say something downright offensive with no point to it.

    [In a video titled "C# vs JavaScript"] "Before we start, I should explain that I am a JavaScipt guy and you're going to have to work hard to convince me"
    Figure: Good Example - This builds trust with the audience, creates a challenge for the interviewee and creates an interesting sense of contract between the 2 of you.

    5. If you are conducting a webcam interview, look at the camera as much as possible and have your notes close to the camera on your screen.

    6. Overprepare, don't underprepare. Having a set of questions figured out before-hand can have a large impact on the value of your video, as it slows the pacing to have the people on screen figuring the interview out as they go. It can also be distracting to see the interviewer constantly checking their notes. Keep in mind follow-up questions can stack up and end up making your video last too long, so use them sparingly.

    7. If you are going to use screencap cutaways at all, figure out before hand which ones you plan on using and have them ready to go at a moment's notice, the audience does not want to watch you logging in and waiting for load times etc. They also do not want to see you figuring out a piece of software as you go, this is a major no-no.

    "'And that's the SSW Rules site, yes?'
    'Yes, I'll just open that up so you can see it............. there you go.'
    'And how are the editing features on that?'
    'Um, they're pretty good, I'll just show you here.......... let me log in........................ just gotta wait for it to load............ Yeah, so you can see here............ sorry, one sec................. yeah, it's great when it comes to HTML source editing, if I open the code here.......................hang on............................ (etc.)'
    Figure: Bad Example - This is painful to watch and comes across very unprofessional. It is also difficult to edit out in post-production.

    "'And that's the SSW Rules site, yes?'
    'Yes, which you can see here on my screen'
    'And how are the editing features on that?'

    'Well here you can see the editing screen layout and it's quite effective and easy to understand. If we look here at the code you'll notice that it's very clean (etc)'
    Figure: Good Example - No messing around and keeps the pace up.
  4. Production - Do you know how to record live video interviews on location?

    ​​​Recording live video interviews on location can be difficult. The key to success is to make the process as simple as possible, so you continue to record and release interviews.

    A good example of an effective but easy to record interview is:



    Here are a few tips to simplify the process:

    1. The interviewer should hold the camera and interview the subject at the same time
    2. Keep a tight frame. Don’t have lots of empty space around the subject
    3. Use the rule of thirds. See:
    4. Don't zoom erratically – Ease in and ease out of zooms
    5. If someone starts speaking off camera, move to them slowly and smoothly without rushing (it is OK for them to talk off camera for a short time)
    6. To record both voices use a single shotgun microphone for both interviewer and subject
  5. Production - Do you know how to start recording with Camtasia?

    Follow these steps to start recording using Camtasia: ​
    1. Set your screen resolution to as high as possible but do not exceed 1920 x 1080 for a 16:9 display, or 1920 x 1200 for a 16:10 display. If your screen resolution is too low then you will either have to expand the footage in post-production (which will result in a loss of quality) or release a low resolution video (which will become poor quality when watched in full screen).
    2. screen resolution.png 

      Figure: Set your screen resolution as high as possible without exceeding 1920 x 1080poor resolution screenshot.jpgFigure: Bad example - screen resolution is set to 800 x 600.

      good resolution screenshot.jpg
      Figure: Good example - screen resolution set to 1920 x 1080

    3. Start 'Camtasia Recorder' ​​
      How to record with Camtasia - step 1

    4. Figure: Click on "Record the Screen"
    5. In the Recorder window, select 'Full Screen', then turn on the mic. Choosing which mic input to use depends on the type of recording you are doing. If you are filming the session, you should select the internal mic since you will be using this for syncing purposes. If however you are just recording your screen with audio, then select an external mic since this will be higher quality. How to record with Camtasia - step 2 Figure: Select the options you need
    6. Select Tools | Options
    7. In the 'General' tab, uncheck the 'Show tooltips' box and check the 'Disable screensaver during capture'.
    8. Next step is to select the 'Inputs' tab at the top of the dialog. Set the frame rate to 15. Set the microphone level using the slider. Note: Set the frame rate to 30 if the presentation will contain motion such as video or moving graphics.
    9. How to record with Camtasia - step 5 Figure: Check the audio levels
    10. After you have done all these things, click on 'OK', and then hit the big red 'Rec' button to start recording!
    ​​
  6. Production - Do you know that Shotgun Mics can only do so much?

    Shotgun Microphones are, by definition, built to capture the audio from what they are pointing directly towards. They are actually built to cut out audio from any other direction. This means that if someone behind the microphone says something, it will likely not be picked up, or only the bass will be picked up and the sound will be distorted.

    sgm-1000-lg.jpg
    Figure: Shotgun Microphone - this will only record audio from the area it is pointed at.

    92914.jpg


    Figure: Handheld omni-directional microphones such as this will pick up sound from any direction, though as with all mics, the source of the sound should be as close to the mic as possible.
    zoom-h4.jpg
    Figure: Zoom microphones such as these will pick up sound from 2 directions and as such can be quite useful in covering sound from multiple angles.

  7. Production - Do you know the best way to end a video?

    The ending of your video should contain a call to action, the logo of your company and a sign off from the speaker(s).

    In an interview situation the best way to sign off is to try and lead from the subject matter to the end of the video smoothly.

    In a lecture the best way is to finish is the same way the speaker would end a normal lecture. Something along the lines of "Well that's it guys, if you want to get a copy of the slides you can download them at [] and be sure to subscribe to my posts on Twitter". Then proceed with the standard call to action and the company logo.

    "This is Adam Cogan signing off until next time" (grins at camera with a thumbs up)
    Figure: Bad example – impersonal, cheesy and uninformative sign off

    Interviewer (Adam):
    "Well that’s all great stuff Joe and we're looking forward to seeing your new software soon"

    Interviewee (Joe):
    "Thanks Adam"

    Figure: Good example – personal, the speakers relate to each other well, refers to subject matter in the video
    Figure: Good example - See Richard Campbell do it perfectly 10 seconds from the end of this video
  8. Production - Do you know the correct way to frame your subject?

    When filming a subject (or subjects) there are numerous ways to frame them.

    Basic rules to follow include:

    1. Avoid positioning them on opposite, far sides of the frame, as this creates a feeling of emotional distance between the two characters. Distances seem bigger in camera, so position your subjects as close together as they are comfortable with, especially if you are using tight framing and/or filming with one camera.
    2. By using the rule of thirds, you can create more visually pleasing shots. That is, if you divide the x and y axis's into 3 segments, the lines diving these segments should align with certain lines in the image. The intersection of these lines is a good place to position a focal point such as someone's eye.
    3. Avoid too much space in the frame, especially if the space has nothing in it. This is referred to as Dead Space. This can occur when the subjects are placed in front of a blank wall.
    4. If you can (such as if you have access to 2 or more cameras) avoid filming directly side on, at 90 degrees to the subjects. Always try to be as face on with your subject as possible.
    5. Try and have an interesting background. Patterns, movement and depth can help to create a more interesting shot.
    6. For corporate and educational videos, a mid-shot works well to capture the content. This is from the bellybutton up.
    7. Avoid areas of high contrast - a hot spot (where the light is concentrated into a pure white) or a very dark spot or section of the frame in a predominantly light frame can draw the viewers eye. If this is not what you want them to focus on, don't include it in the frame.
    8. If there is only one person in the frame (or if there are two people looking the same direction), place them on the opposite side to the direction they're looking. That is, if they're looking left to right, place them on the left side of the frame. If this is not followed, your subject will be pressed up against the edge of the frame and this can create an uncomfortable feeling for the audience.
    Video Frame Bad example Figure: Bad example – too much dead space, the characters are unevenly placed, there is an uninteresting background, it's side on and the framing is too far out Video Frame Good example Figure: Good example – rule of thirds followed, mid-shot, interesting background, no dead space, fairly face on, subject placed on right side because he's looking from right to left (leading room). When positioning your subjects it is important to remember several factors:
    1. It is a good idea (if you want to have one of your subjects more face on) to have the interviewee more face on than the interviewer.
    2. The interviewer should be on the right side of the frame - you'll notice talk show hosts will always look right to left.
    3. The interviewer should avoid leaning in to the interviewee too much as it might make them feel uncomfortable and seem a little weird in the frame.
    4. The best way to position your subjects is at 90° to each other and at 45° to the camera:
    bad interview positions.jpg Figure: Bad example - Interviewee (left) is facing toward the interviewer (right) too much and the interviewer is faced towards the camera too much. interview positions.jpg Figure: Good example - position your subjects properly to create an unbiased interview. When doing an over the shoulder shot (OTS) for a corporate video, it is generally best to stay at a level height with the subject. Looking up or down at them can create unnecessary meaning in the shot. It is also a good idea to avoid using the wide angle setting on your camera as it makes the subject seem distant and small in comparison to the person whose shoulder we can see. bad OTS example.jpg Figure: Bad example – looking down at the subject with a wide angle lens setting. Good OTS example.jpgFigure: Good example – level height, zoom level not set to wide angle.

     

     

  9. Production - Do You Manage Audience Interactivity?

    One of the hardest things to deal with when presenting to an audience is the correct way to deal with questions.

    ​Try and give firm guidelines when you start as to the correct way to ask a question.

    SPEAKER: "No questions please. Ask your questions at the end"

    Figure: Bad Example - this kills the sense of interactivity that is so appealing about live presentations

     SPEAKER: "Questions are fine as long as they are on-topic, something about the current slide"

     Figure: Good Example - this allows interactivity but stops the audience from distracting and derailing the speaker

    It is quite common for one audience member to derail the speaker with a lot of questions. If this happens, simply respond:

    SPEAKER: "OK Bob, I think that is your 10th question and your quota has expired. I want to give everyone a fair go, so you get 1 more question after this. OK?"

     Figure: Good Example - this is a firm yet polite way of managing the situation

  10. Production - Do you perform an equipment checklist?

    Nothing is worse or more embarrassing than forgetting a vital piece of equipment in the office when you are set to record a presentation in a few moments, so making sure you use a checklist before going to the shooting location is vital in order to ensure the production goes smoothly.

    Remember, it is key to make sure that the speaker is kept happy and willing, so do not keep them waiting for unnecessary periods of time. Running back to the office for the tripod plate will make you look unprofessional, and it affects your company's image.

    As part of the checklist, it is also important to test the equipment beforehand. So anything electronic such as the wireless mic needs a quick check to see if everything is working as it should. Also make sure to check if the camera has enough free space for what you are abou​t to record.

     SSWTV_EquipmentChecklist_BAD.png

    Figure: Bad Example - Be specific about what equipment you need as generic lists make it easy to forget things.

    SSWTV_EquipmentChecklist.png

    Figure: Good example. It's ideal to have two columns so you can check off items when leaving multiple locations, also extra rows might come in useful if there's extra equipment.

  11. Production - Do you set up the speaker prior to recording?

    ​​​​​​It is vital to have the speaker ready and equipped prior to recording. There are a number of things that need to be done to make sure the speaker is ready for recording.​

    It is vital to have the speaker ready and equipped prior to recording. There are a number of things that need to be done to make sure the speaker is ready for recording.

    Here are the steps to follow when preparing the speaker for recording:

    1. Attach the mic to the speaker  
      Assuming you are using a lapel microphone, make sure that it is attached to the speakers' shirt or jacket. 
      For each speaker you need to adjust the sensitivity of the microphone. Do this according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. As a general rule, test to see that the mic input level does not peak (the audio meter on the device will reach the top). Adjust the mic sensitivity using the device until the input meter does not go past the 2/3rds point. Doing so will create distortions which are difficult to repair in post and waste time.

      Look at this video to understand more in-depth the correct way to set up a lapel mic system:

       


    2. Tell the speaker that they need to paraphrase any questions
      During the presentation a number of guests will ask the speaker questions regarding his or her talk. If you do not have a multi-camera setup with multiple mic inputs, you cannot always guarantee that the audio from the people asking questions will be audibly clear when picked up by the speakers mic.

      The people who watch your video need to know what the questions were in order to understand the context of the answers. The best way to do this is to ask the speaker to paraphrase the question in his or her answer. A simple example would be:

    3. Audience member: "Why should we do things your way?
      Speaker: "Because..."
      Figure: Wrong way to respond (viewer will not understand what the context of the answer without knowing the question.)
      Audience member: "Why should we do things your way?"
      Speaker: "The reason you should do things this is way is because..."
      Figure: Correct way to respond

      The speaker arrives to the venue with a mindset that they are speaking to a room of about 25 - 30 people. It is important to us and the audience at home who watch this online, that the speakers' mindset changes from presenting to a room of people to an audience of thousands

    4. Do you enable presentation mode in Visual Studio.
    5. Tell the speaker to read Rules to Better PowerPoint Presentations.
    6. Assume the speaker will need to play sound through the speakers, even if they say they won't, and set up to allow for it.
    7. Explain to the speaker that you will give them a 5-second countdown when you are about to start streaming them and that they should face forward when this happens, instead of looking sideways at you
  12. Production - Do you use a 'Recording in Progress' sign?

    ​Unwanted noises such as people walking and talking can ruin a recording. If you have this problem, the best way to avoid it is to use a recording in progress sign that informs people who are passing through the area that they need to be quite and/or leave the area.

    RecordingInProgress_BadExample.jpg      Figure: Bad Example​ - This design does not imply a sense of alert​. You need something that is going to catch the attention of people and imply an important message.

    Recording sign 2.jpg Figure: Good Example - this implies a sense of urgency, it implies 'we are recording so don't make noise or ruin the shoot in any way', instead of 'we are shooting and it's really cool so come check it out!'.​

  13. Production - Do you use a shotlist?

    Using a 'Shot List', the camera operator can mark down where in the recording an interesting point is and where a cutaway or caption should appear.

    ​The shot list provides the editor with a breakdown of where the interesting parts of the interview are that need cutaways and captions, and what they could be. This is not always necessary but keep it in mind as a useful tool at your disposal. A simpler method (if working with a script) can be to simply write shot types next to lines.​

     shot list.jpg
    Figure: Example shot list. The camera operator will mark down the time code (visible on the cameras' LCD screen) and note what words were said and what interesting caption or cutaway should be added. 
    After the interview, review the shot list so that you can see what cutaways are needed, and try to obtain them (See Rule: Do you use cutaways?)
  14. Production - Do you use multiple cameras?

    To create more visually pleasing videos consider using a multi camera setup.

    The benefit is that you can use the second camera to 'cut away' to (see Rule: http://rules.ssw.com.au/DesignandPresentation/RulesToBetterVideoRecording/Pages/Do-you-use-cutaways.aspx) in the edit.

    ​If you are recording a long interview use two (identical) cameras, covering both the presenter and the interviewee.

    3cam_basic_setup.gif
    Figure: Multi cam setup for single guest speaker interview

    If you are recording an event with multiple people and want to maximize the coverage (and obtain cutaway shots) use a second/third camera, either placed on a tripod somewhere of interest or give to someone else to move around with and obtain interesting shots.

    This camera doesn't need to be identical to the main camera (but it is preferable over using a different camera). A camera such as the Flip hand held or even an iPhone can provide the necessary shots to make a video more interesting.

    flipcamontripod.jpg
    Figure: Flip camera mounted to a small table top tripod. Ideal for cutaway shots.

  15. Production - Do You Use Proper Production Design?

    When filming a scene it is always important to remember production design aspects. Production design is basically all of the things (excluding the people) that we see on screen. This includes wardrobe, set design, location, lights and props.​

    ​Overall, one should try and use as little colours as possible when designing a production. That doesn't mean use mainly tones, it means try and limit your colour palette to as few colours as possible. If you are creating corporate work try and include your company's colours. So for example if you were creating a production for SSW, you would use black, white, red and bronze (the bronze refers to the colour of skin - this will almost always be involved in your colour palette). You might end up having to include another colour or two but you will find the less unnecessary colours you use the better. Try and apply this to every aspect of your production design.

    Wardrobe

    Wardrobe refers to what people wear when they're on screen. Keep in mind the tone, genre, character and mood of your production when choosing clothing. Avoid distracting jewelry or accessories unless it adds to the character. Also avoid stripes; most cameras will produce an unnatural, unpleasant effect when filming them, so make sure your actor isn't wearing their favourite striped shirt! Text on clothing is also a bad idea, the viewer will try to read it instead of listening to what your actor's are saying.

     

     Set Design

    Creating a set for a production is a complex and tricky business but there are some basic ideas you can use to create appealing set design. First off try and design your set to reflect the theme of your production. So for example if you were creating a set for a software design talk show, you would probably want lots of metal and technical art, however if you were creating a set for a drama about a youth who's run away from home, you would want something dirty, dark and depressing to reflect the character's grim situation. Again, avoid stripes that are too close together. A general rule of thumb is that the stripes should be at least 5cm in width. Make sure that everything is safe and if there is construction to be done, hire a professional.

    Bad-set-design-example.jpg

    Figure: Bad example - dark wall on the side, boring wall in the middle, reflective surface with people passing behind, lack of depth.

    good-set-example.png 

    Figure: Good example - interesting background but not distracting, relevant furniture, set reflects theme of show
    Location

    Location is similar to set design, only in this instance the aspects are mostly out of your control. You can certainly dress the set (see below) but at the end of the day there are some things that will be there no matter what. As such, choose your location carefully. Things to consider are background, framing, sound and distractions. Is there a loud lecture theatre, highway or skate ramp next door? Is there a window on your set that's going to create a distracting reflection? Is there a boring, featureless wall in your background? Is there a line that appears to be passing straight through someone's head? Also avoid high contrast, such as a very dark wall next to the bright wall your subjects are in front of, or a large white spot on a black wall.

     

     Figure: Good and Bad examples of filming locations

    Lights

    If you are working with a D.O.P. (Director of Photography) and/or your are lighting your scene, its a good idea to include lights as part of the production design (on the set). Don't include a bright light shining directly into the lens or anything, but a lamp can provide a good source of light to work with and create an interesting object in the frame.

    Lighting-bad-example-DSC_0023-small.JPG

    Figure: Bad example - the light is far too bright in comparison to the rest of the shot.Japan_by_dhatt1.jpg

    Figure: Good example - these lights are diffused enough that the rest of the picture is clearly visible.

    Props

    Props and set dressing are important; props are defined as objects in the script that we know before-hand that the subjects will interact with, set dressing is things that we add to a set to create content. When choosing what props should(n't) be on set it is important to ask yourself, is there a reason for this to be here? A can of coke for example will be ugly and distracting in most circumstances but a pot of flowers might be just the thing to give your scene that extra bit of life, or convey a caring sensitive side of your character. If your subject needs to drink something while they're on camera, offer them a glass (its more visually pleasing). Look carefully at the frame and ask yourself, is there any camera equipment visible? Does that ugly mess of cables really need to be there? Does this scrap of paper or backpack need to be in the frame? If not, ditch it. If it adds value to the picture and doesn't distract, keep it.

    Props-Bad-example-DSC_0016.JPG 

    Figure: Bad example - too much clutter on the desk, unnecessary dirty bowl, loose sheets of paper, this would only work if you wanted to illustrate that the character is messy.

    Props-good-example-DSC_0017.jpg

    Figure: Good example - clear space, clear point of focus, minimal cables, only necessary items.

  16. Production/Post Production - Do you use cutaways? (aka Removing the talking head)

    During an interview, looking at a talking head (the subject) can become monotonous. As such it is a good idea to ‘cutaway’ to the topic/product that the speaker is referring to. Not only does it make it more interesting, it improves the understandability of the video for your audience.

    As an example, if you are interviewing someone and the topic of unit testing comes up, mid-sentence you can cut to a shot of the unit testing UI.

    Cutaways Bad example Figure: Bad example – Looking at a talking head for 30 mins is boring Cutaways  Bad example Figure: Good example – cutting away to what is being discussed improves the audiences understanding - See 2:08 on this video example
  17. Post Production - Do You Know Which Video Hosting Service to Choose?

    Nowadays there are a variety of online video hosting solutions to choose from and it's important you pick the right service for the right purpose.

    YouTube is great for exposure, social media sharing and channel creation/maintenance, however sites like Wistia and Vimeo are better for professional purposes because they can offer things like higher video quality, player customization, improved analytics and external links - great for selling a product or service.

    SharePoint 2013 - What's New?

     Figure: Good Example for YouTube - this would be a video with the goal of getting as many hits as possible.

    SSW Web & MVC Services

     Figure: Good Example for Wistia - since the main goal for this would be to embed it on your website and get clients, you wouldn't be too concerned with hits. As such, Wistia would be the best choice.

  18. Post-Production - Do make sure your video thumbnail encourages people to watch the video?

    ​​​Video thumbnails should entice a visitor to watch the video. We find that images are better than text. If text is used make sure that it is not obstructed by the play button.
    Text is obstructed by the play button
    Figure: Bad example – Text is obstructed by the play button
    This image lets a visitor know that the video is an interview
    Figure: Good Example – This image lets a visitor know that the video is an interview
  19. Post-Production - Do you add captions to your video?

    For argument's sake, it makes sense to refer to any text pop-up on screen as a 'caption'. ​It is helpful to the viewers to include still or animated captions (also known as lower thirds) in your videos because they enhance or add extra information that is not fully explained by the speakers. A sub-category of captions is titleswhich is the term given to identifying text​, such as the opening film credits, someone's name and job title or "1985 - New York City".

    CTA_Bad_Example_2.jpg
    Figure: Bad example of captions - Text is too small and hard to read.
    CTA_Good_Example_2.jpg
    Figure: Good example of Captions - Text is clear and legible. Provides extra value to the viewer with content not mentioned in the video​

    Now you cant really have just one type of caption. Have defined styles for different types of videos

    eg. Here are the styles SSW use for their videos:

    Why Choose SSW.jpg
    Figure: Example 1: SSW Infomercials - Clear, nice effects and well stylized.
    Good titles example.png
    Figure: Example 2: General SSW TV videos - corporate branding, clear, eye catching
    SSWRules_LowerThirdsExample.jpg
    Figure: Example 3: SSW Rules Videos - this is a good generic title style and works well for documentary style videos
    CaseStudy_LowerThirds.jpg
    Figure: Example 4: SSW Case Studies - This allows us to represent Scrum roles with an icon

    Remember to put any links that you've mentioned in the captions underneath your video in it's own section (with a heading such as 'Show Notes' or 'Related Content'). You can also use this section to put in links that are related to what was said in the video as evidence (similar to footnotes or a bibliography in a book). That way, you will gain more Google juice and it will make it easier for the Product Owner to review your captions.

  20. Post-Production - Do you add content to YouTube to feed traffic to your other sites?

    For most users, YouTube only allows a maximum length of 15 minutes on their videos. As such, if you have videos that are longer than 15 minutes, they will need to be uploaded to a video site that does allow longer video uploads, such as Wistia or Vimeo. The problem with doing this is that you aren’t harnessing the 2nd biggest search engine in the world to promote your content and without that, your video campaign isn’t reaching its full potential. The best way to solve this problem is to follow these steps:
    1. Create either a 'highlights' version, split the video into parts or create 'the first [between 3 and 15] minutes' version of all your longer videos, especially the popular ones.
    2. At the end of these clips include a call to action that prompts the viewer to see the full version at your other site(s). If your other site(s) offer free viewings, make sure you mention this.
    3. Upload these versions to YouTube (preferably around the same time you upload the full versions to other sites).
    Bad 1st 5 min example.jpg
    Figure: Bad Example – No call to action prompting viewers to go and see the full version.
    Okay 1st 5 min Example.jpg
    Figure: Okay Example – A link to the full version is included in the description section but no Call to Action in the actual video.
     Figure: Good Example - contains a clear, live action call to action directing the viewer to see the full version.
  21. Post-Production - Do you know how to conduct a 'test please' for video?

    ​​It's best to conduct an internal and external test procedure for videos. This ensures that you meet your internal standards and follow the necessary rules that relate to video content creation.

    You can also identify errors and inconsistencies that can be addressed for a second edit, before going live.​


    1. Complete the video editing (Version 1)
    2. Produce your first edit of your video. If necessary follow the Post Production rules i.e. 'Do you use cutaways?', 'Do you add a Call to Action?'.

    3. Upload your first edit to YouTube
      1. Send test please to Marlon or Uly and Adam
      2. Feedback must be done within 48 hours
      3. Need two out of the three to move ahead
      4. If response isn’t submitted within designated time, the process moves to the next step
    4. Make changes to video from feedback
    5. Re-upload to YouTube
    6. Respond to each email with dones and not dones
    7. Send test please to your managers, any people on the video and one of the test groups
      1. 48 hours to test
      2. 6 people on the test
      3. Need 3 responses to move ahead
      4. If response isn’t submitted within designated time, the process moves to the next step
    8. Make changes to video from feedback
    9. Respond to each email with Done’s and reasons for Not Done’s
    10. Make post on tv.ssw.com for video – embed the YouTube ​upload
    11. Send final test please – not for major changes (spelling mistakes, glaring faults etc.)
      1. If there is no response within 48 hours, we go live
  22. Post-Production – Do you know how to create the “Swing In” text effect?

    The text swing in can be a great way to make a title gain attention, but if the angles are wrong, the unnatural nature of it will be jarring. The idea is to simulate gravity. The best tool to create this type of effect is Adobe After Effects.

    • Each keyframe should be half the angle of the previous keyframe from 90 degrees
    • Each keyframe should be half the distance on the timeline from the previous keyframe
    TextExpression-AfterEffects-TheSwingIn_BadExample.jpg
    Figure: Bad Example - this does not simulate gravity and will be jarring to the viewer

    TextExpression-AfterEffects-TheSwingIn.jpg
    Figure: Good Example - Angle/time graphic for "Swing In" effect
    Swing-In.jpg
    Figure: Good example – A well designed 'swing-in' effect can bring your titles to life - See 0:07 in this video example
  23. Post-Production - Do you know how to get your videos approved?

    ​There are two types of approval processes. One is quick and the other takes longer.
    ​ 
    Scenario 1 - Editing in Post
     
    The first scenario assumes that you are filming something that requires later post production work (i.e. promo video, corporate videos, studio etc.). This scenario requires - depending on the type of video - a significant amount of time in post-production and therefore the approval process will take longer. These are the steps to follow:
     
    1. After you have post-produced a first version of the video, you must get feedback from the product owner and the stakeholders
    2. Make appropriate changes
    3. Get a second round of feedback
    4. Make appropriate changes
    5. Get final sign off from Product owner
    6. Upload and go live once all changes have been made

    Scenario 2 - Editing Live

    The second assumes you are going ‘as live’. This is where you edit the video while recording just like live television.

    This scenario requires very little post production as this was completed during the filming

    1. Create all the assets needed (i.e. intro/outro slides) before the stream and insert them into XSplit so that you can do a minimum amount of work in post as possible
    2. Add intro and outro and make any quick edits if required in Premiere Pro
    3. Get final approval from Product owner
    4. Upload and go live

    By following this rule you can best assess what type of method you should use when creating a video. For example, if the video is an interview (basic two shot), use the Live option as you can do all the editing as you record/stream live.

    If however you are creating a creative video such as a corporate video or promo, then follow the traditional method in scenario 1 as these types of videos benefit from extensive post-production work.

     

  24. Post-Production - Do you know how to promote videos?

    ​​To ensure your videos gain maximum exposure, you need to promote them in various ways. The following are the steps to do this.
    1. Add to social Media accounts

      Add link to the new video to all social media accounts including:

      • Twitter
      • Facebook
      • LinkedIn
    2. Email all staff

      The second step is to email all the staff with the links to the posts you have made. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to be able to re-post the original messages. Use a tool like http://clicktotweet.com/.

      Example email:

      Hi All,

      A new interview is now live on SSW TV. You can see it at [urls of video]

      Can you all promote the video in the following ways:

      1. Can you tweet [url generate by ClicktoTweet]
      2. Optionally, comment, like and share the post on Facebook [url of Facebook post]

      I appreciate the efforts from everyone :)

      Cheers,
      Raj

    3. Email the interviewee

      The person(s) featured or interviewed in the video should be encouraged to share and promote your video. If they have an audience that follows them on social media you should leverage it to your advantage.

      Ask them to:

      • Email the video to their list
      • Write a blog post on their blog
      • Update their social media accounts with a link and description of the video

      Email template:

      Hi John,

      Thank you for taking part in this video. You can find it here: [url of video]

      We have worked very hard on this video and are very proud of the final product. We hope you are also proud of it.

      We are promoting the video through our blog and social media networks and would appreciate if you could do the same to get the word out there.

      Could you do the following:

      1. Write a blog post on it
      2. Tweet it by clicking >>here<< [clicktotweet url]
      3. Sharing this Facebook Post [post url]
      4. Adding to LinkedIn
      5. Emailing your marketing list with the interview (if you have one)
      6. Emailing any friends and associates who could spread the word

      Thanks for taking the time to do this interview and promote it.

      Raj

    4. Contact strategic partners

      The best way to extend your reach and promote a video is through strategic partners. These are people, companies or websites which don’t compete with you but service the same audience. Examples of these types of partners are:

      • Blogger in your industry
      • Industry websites
      • If you are an accountant, partner with a financial planner, business coach, insurance salesman or prestige car dealer
      • Suppliers
      • Industry experts

      You should ask the partner to:

      • Email the video to their list
      • Write a blog post on their blog
      • Update their social media accounts with a link and description of the video

      You should have a list of these partners in a database with all their contact details to automate the process of promoting your videos.

  25. Post-Production - Do you know how to transfer AVCHD footage to your computer?

    AVCHD is a highly compressed ‘HD’ format used by many modern consumer and professional cameras.

    Because of the limitation FAT32, AVCHD cameras record to their memory in 4GB chunks. These split files need to be combined using software into one file that is usable in editing programs, such as Adobe Premiere Pro (Premiere Pro will read the split files directly from the camera, however,​ if you try and manually combine all the files in the timeline you will have problems with the audio at the beginning and ends of each split clip).

    We will go through the process of using Sony Content Management Utility software to correctly and safely convert and transfer the raw footage from your camera to your computer.

    Transferring and converting the footage automatically

    1. Install the ‘Content Management Utility’ software. (http://www.sony-asia.com/support/download/401976)
    2. The utility works by creating a database of all files that are transferred to your computer. You have to select folders that the software will ‘register’ as its destination folder. Before launching the program, you need to create a destination folder.
      • Create a folder in your data drive called ‘Capture_Dump’. This should be the default place you transfer all raw footage to (you will move the footage from here to your project folder as described in a later step).
      • Open ‘Content Management Utility’
      • A dialogue will prompt you to navigate to your destination folder. Navigate to the ‘Capture_Dump’ folder you created in step ‘1’ and select it. If you do not get this prompt, select the ‘Register Folders to View’ button on the top left of the window:
        Step 2.bmp
    3. Connect the camera to your computer, and using the LCD, press 'USB Connect
      Step 3.bmp
    4. Open the ‘Content Management Utility’. Click on the camera icon on the top left of the window to open a new transfer window:
      Step 4.bmp
    5. In the new import window:
      • Select the camera in the left column (or select the folder icon if you’re transferring from a memory card). Video thumbnails will appear in the central part of the screen.
      • Select the clips you would like to transfer to your computer.
      • At the bottom of the window, click the ‘Change’ button and rename the folder to: ‘[date]_[Project-Name]’
      Step 5.bmp
    6. Finally, select the ‘Import’ button on the bottom right of the screen:
      Step 6.bmp
    7. After the import is complete, navigate to the folder using Explorer. Check each of your videos to make sure they play. You want to check for any corrupted videos or videos containing artefacts. Skip through the video so you can thoroughly check its content for issues. Tip: Use VLC media player as your default player for .mts and .mt2s files. (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html)
    8. After you have checked all the videos, delete the clips from the camera directly (you cannot delete them via the software).
      Tip: Only do this if you are sure the transferred videos contain no issues.
    9. Move the footage from the Capture_Dump folder to their relevant project folders located on your hard drive.

    Transferring and combining the footage manually

    If you are unable to use the Content Management Utility for some reason - maybe because you are on site and don’t have access to it, and you need to transfer files off the camera to make room - there is a manual process to combining the files later.

    1. To find your recordings, navigate to G*:\AVCHD\BDMV\STREAM
    2. Note: Replace ‘*’ with the appropriate drive letter of your camera
      Follow the steps outlined here: http://avchdvideos.blogspot.com.au/p/joining-my-avchd-videos.html

     

  26. Post-Production - Do you use a Version Number on your Videos?

    When updating a version of a video (especially in a corporate environment),  it's wise to let the rest of your team know where you're up to. It can detract from your amount of hits if you include the version details in the title, so it's best to find a subtle way to incorporate it into the video itself.

    bad-version-example.jpg

    Figure: Bad example - the version number is too large, too dark and too obvious
    Version Example.png
    Figure: Good example - the text is small, barely visible and would only be noticeable if you're looking for it.
    The best way to label the version is as follows:
    When a team member creates a new version, they should change the minor (i.e. the number after the decimal point)
    When the product owner affirms a new version, the major changes (i.e. the number before the decimal point)
  27. Post-Production - Do you use 'SD' or 'HD' quality?

    There are a myriad of video formats and codecs that exist for all project types. It’s important for your project to use the correct format depending on what it is you are doing and what you want to achieve with your video.

    Most, if not all, modern video cameras sold today record at HD resolution. Many now record full HD (1080p) which allows you to get even greater detail. Also, modern compression types allow you to ‘squeeze’ the large amounts of data that would normally take up gigabytes of storage right down to something that can be streamed over the web, without too much loss of fidelity.

     img_SDvsHD.jpg

    Because of the ease of recording and compressing down HD video, it seems like a no brainer that videos should be produced in HD rather than SD. Once you have your videos recorded and edited using Adobe Premiere Pro, you need to choose an appropriate export setting. Assuming you’re making the video for web, here is what you need set as your pre-set for best quality ‘HD’ video while maintaining a small file size:

    • Select H.264 as your format
    • Since you're uploading to web, select 'YouTube Widescreen HD' as your pre-set
    • In the video tab, select "Frame Rate" and select '25'
    • In the same Video tab, under Bitrate Settings, make your Maximum Bitrate '5'
    • In the Audio tab, under Bitrate Settings, select a Bitrate of 192kbps
    • Save this pre-set and give it an appropriate name.
    • Lastly, click on the "Queue" tab at the bottom of the window to send your project to Adobe Encoder.
  28. Do you add a sweet audio indication when text arrives on the screen?

    A lot of your audience will not always be looking at your video. A sweet sound to make you look at the video is a great idea.​

    Bad example: text on the screen without audio
    video-trump-sound.png
    Good example:  text on the screen without audio
    E.g. Video on YouTube: Cory Booker: Why Trump should try being nice on Twitter http://youtu.be/8p5n0TbRFEk
  29. Do you have a DOG (AKA digital on-screen graphic) on your videos?

    ​A digital on-screen graphic (or DOG) is a watermark logo image that broadcasters place in the corner of the screen area to create a brand identity for their program or broadcast.

    Why is brand identity important during a video broadcast? ​

    Having a DOG is essential for a video to create instant professional brand recognition. It creates consistent branding that is visible no matter when or where the broadcast is played or replayed. 

    A video is often embedded in external pages and having the DOG asserts ownership of the broadcast and maintains a point of contact for the producer of the video. 

    You can also use a DOG to create interest and audience anticipation of future broadcasts. 

    A Good DOG must:​

    1. ​Be instantly recognizable
    2. Not obstruct the content
    3. Be in a semi-transparent format - usually  50 %  transparent white   
    4. Remain consistently placed throughout the broadcast
    Figure – Bad example: Channel ID is too obstructive and has unusual placement
    Figure – Good example: DOG placed in lower right corner where it's not obtrusive
  30. Do you have a good intro and closing for your product demonstrations?

    It is important to frame a product presentation with solid introduction and closing statements. 

    ​Intro: “Hi, I’m Steve here to show you what I just did”
    Closing: “Thanks for watching”

    ​​Figure: Bad example - This closing statement ends the video abruptly, and doesn’t leave the viewer satisfied​

    Intro: “Hi, I’m Steve from SSW and I’m going to show you how our latest feature – the project breakdown report – can give you an overview of where your employees are spending their time.​
    Closing: “I’ve just demonstrated the usefulness of a project breakdown report to understand what it is your employees are working on”

    ​​​Figure: Good example - The opening and closing statements back each other up, and give the demonstration a sense of purpose​


  31. Do you know how to find the best audio track for your video?

    ​​​​You should never use any copyrighted work without permission. When it comes to videos, if you have licensed music or songs on your YouTube video, it might be entirely removed from the site. To avoid this, use royalty free music.​
    audio-video-bad.jpg
    Bad example: Ripping someone's song - your video will get taken down by YouTube

    Royalty Free Music

    There are many options available for purchasing high-quality royalty free music.

    The two we use at SSW are audiojungle.net and Art List Music.

    Audio Jungle is great for finding sound effects and Foley sounds. You can also find many great full-length songs that suit corporate video. However, the music style is typically geared towards online ads and marketing videos  and doesn't quite have that 'professional' sound you get from bands and mainstream artists.

    audio-video-good-audiojungle.jpg
    Good example: E.g. AudioJungle.net - you can pay $1 for a laugh track

    If you want audio that sounds more like professional music created by bands and artists but still designed for corporate, then use Art List Music.

    audio-video-good-art-list.jpg
    Good example: E.g. Art List Music - For $200 per a year, you get unlimited access to really awesome quality music. Have a listen on the website

  32. Do you know how to make a video of a responsive website as it appears on a mobile phone?

    ​Making a video of a responsive website as it appears on a mobile phone takes some extra care. If you do not zoom in correctly or use the right browser tools your video can be too small to see or it may not be clear it is a mobile emulation. 

    ​​​You should use Device Mode & Mobile Emulation in the Chrome browser to make a video an emulated mobile phone view.

    browser-bad-view-for-video.jpg 

    Figure: Bad example - Using your browser makes it hard to see the video is a mobile phone demo.

    Mobilephone-emulator-chrome.jpg
    Figure: Good example - Using Device Mode & Mobile Emulation in Chrome makes it clear the video is a mobile phone demo.
      Steps to make a good mobile phone video demo:​
    1. ​Use Device Mode & Mobile Emulation in Chromes Dev tools. You can watch or read a great intro to this tool on the Chrome Developer Website​
    2. Choose the mobile phone size ​you want to emulate.
    3. Use Camtasia or an alternate video screen capture software of you choice that allows you to zoom in post production. Unfortunately this is not available in Snagit, which we normally suggest to use when making screen casts.
    4. If using Camtaisa, set the video canvas to be HD for better video quality on YouTube.
      Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 12.23.19 pm.png
      Figure: How to adjust the video canvas in Camtasia to export HD video to YouTube.  
    5. You can directly upload your video to YouTube from Camtasia by clicking on share in the main menu and entering your credentials.

    Example video​
    You can watch an example of a video shot of an emulated mobile view using these toolsdescribed in this article here.​ 
    ​​
    ​Additional resources



  33. Do you know how to record the screen on a Mac?

    If you don't have Camtasia or ScreenFlow, you can use the built-in QuickTime Player to record the screen on Mac OSX.

    ​Open the QuickTime Playey through the Applications folder, or by using search (Ctrl + Space) and typing QuickTime:

    QuickTime Player.png
     Figure: Search for QuickTime Player

     

    From QuickTime Player, you can tart a new Screen Recording from the File menu: 

    QuickTime new screen recording.png
    Figure: QuickTime Player New Screen Recording 

    In the Screen Recording window, you an select which microphone to use if you want to record audio:

    QuickTime Recorder.png
     Figure: Select your audio device
  34. Do you know that the editor’s aim is to be a coach, not just a video editor?

    The goal is to have a presenter give the editor zero cuts. Editors should inform the speaker when they have to clean up their presentation in post-production (and you think they would likely make the same mistake again next time).

    When the editor hits an issue, talk to the speaker, show them the problem and make them practice doing it again, the right way until  you give them a 'pass'.

    Now you can hope they won't do it next time, and you won't need to do an edit.

  35. Do you make sure your screen recordings are easy to view?

    As developers, we are used to having our screen efficiently set up – often these means small fonts, visible bookmark bars and a huge amount of browser tabs and taskbar items.​

    ​​While this is great for efficiency, it is not very good for recordings or presentations, and the clutter should be removed.​

    ​​screen-recording-bad.png
    Figure: Bad example - This video will be cluttered and unprofessional​
    screen-recording-good.png
    Figure: Good example - This is easy to read, and doesn’t look cluttered
  36. Do you organize the audience when numbers are low?

    Audience shots are great except when you don’t have a full house.​​ In this case you should move people to be next to each other.
    bad-audience.jpg
    Figure: Bad example – the audience shot shows the bad numbers. It would be better to not use this view
    bad-audience-2.jpg
    Figure: Bad example – the audience shot shows the bad numbers. You want to use this wide shot, but you need to make sure the attendees not in the shot are moved so their head is visible
    good-audience.jpg
    Figure: Good example – a shot from the SSW Chapel​ where the audience has been moved so they are in shot
    ​​
  37. Do you record a quick and dirty 'done' video?

    ​​​​When you've finished a PBI you should record a video to send to your product owner and anyone else that is interested. They can even double as release notes for your users.

    Here's a quick video describing how to record and edit a quick done video.

     


    Notice how it itself is also in the done video format?

    Here are the key things to remember:

    • Record in one take. It doesn't matter if you stuff up or something goes wrong, treat it like you're having a conversation with them in the room. If it's super bad, just start again.
    • Remove visible bookmark bars, browser tabs, add-in icons and taskbar items to make it easier to view (See Rule: Do you make sure your screen recordings are easy to view?  ).
    • If you are using a browser such as Chrome then you should first zoom to 125% ideally (See Rule: Do you always zoom in when using a projector?  ) before the recording.
    • Record at 1920x1080 (aka 1080p). This gives the best balance of detail to size, so it's readable on a mobile phone.
    • Don't edit the video, just include your face at the beginning and end, using the fading functionality.
    • It's supposed to be quick and easy to make. If you spend too much time, you will be less likely to want to do it again in future.
    • Be quick and concise, you don't want to waste other peoples' time either!
  38. Do you use a hardware capture device to capture laptop video output?

    You need to capture a presenters’ laptop, and they’re using PowerPoint. You decide to use a screen capture software like Camtasia or ScreenFlow.

    While this may be ok in some scenarios, there are many situations where software capture is not an ideal way to capture screens, instead, you should consider a hardware solution.

    Bad example

    Using software like Camtasia or Screenflow, you can't guarantee you'll capture the actual output of the laptop.

    Another issue is how long it will take you to process the screen recording for editing later; you will need to convert the screen recording from its native format to something like h.264 mp4, which can take a while.

    using-capture-hardware-bad.png
    Figure: Bad Example - Presenters View in PowerPoint auto changes the screen mode to 'Extended'

    ​Good example

    Using a hardware solution, you are able to capture whatever the output of the laptop is, so it doesn’t matter if the presenter changes from extended to duplicated, you will always capture the image being sent to the projector.

    Another benefit of using hardware capture is a direct recording of an editable format, for example, a h.264 MP4 file that can be used in your video editor of choice.

    using-capture-hardware-good.png
    Figure: Good Example - Hardware capture lets you record exactly what you want, and is ready for editing
  39. Post Production - Do You Know How To Structure Your Files?


    Figuring out how your workflow works is an essential part of the editing process. As such you should make sure to have an effective and consistent file/folder structure.

    ​This is an efficient way for a 2-3 person team to structure their files/folders:

    • Data[FirstnameLastname]
      • ProjectFiles
        • Pictures​
        • Videos
          • Edit Assets
            • Music
            • Images
            • Templates​
            • Videos
              • CTA
            • Stings
            • Effects
            • LowerThirds
            • Transitions
            • LiveStream
            • Fonts
            • Intros_Outros
            • SoundEffects
          • YYYY_MM_DD_ProjectName
            • Rushes
              • Shoot 1
                • Cutaways (optional)
                • Video (optional)
                • Audio (optional)
              • Shoot 2
                • Cutaways (optional)
                • Video (optional)
                • Audio (optional)
              • General Cutaways
            • Assets
              • Videos
              • Images
              • Audio


  40. Post-Production - Do you give enough time to read texts in your videos?

    Adding texts to your videos can be very helpful to secure ​information in viewers minds. You must make sure the text is on the screen enough time for all readers to read it until the end. You don't want comments like "Leave more time for text, almost all of them I didn’t have time to read". But how long?  

    As a starting point, a safe way to measure is to leave it on screen long enough to be read 2.5 times. 

    Another method is to give it 4 seconds per line of text.

    Depending on the complexity of the text, either way can be excessive or maybe too fast, but most times it will give you a good idea of how long you should keep a text on your video.

    text-on-screen.png
    Figure: Considering it takes around 7 seconds to read this, text should stay for around 17.5 seconds. Using the second method, as it has 4 lines, text should stay for 16 seconds​

    PS. Of course, this rule if not valid for credits.

  41. Production - Do You Create a Quiz Immediately Following Production?

    In order to get the best content possible and use up as little company time as possible, it is always recommended to sit down with the speaker/interviewee and come up with 10 questions about the video that was just recorded.

    ​Make sure the questions:

    • Are difficult & challenging - as a student you should have to take notes and really absorb the entire video well in order to get 100%
    • Are based on the 10 most important points in the video
    • (if you have time) have 4 multiple choice answers for each question
      • Other options include 'fill in the blanks', 'short answer' and 'multiple choice/multiple answer'
    • Pay particular attention to important points in the video that might have been easy to miss
  42. Production - Do You Know How to Screen Capture a Mac Using Hardware Capture?Unpublished

    Capturing video from your mac can be done in different ways. One way is to use software that will capture the screen, and create a file that you can use in your editing software. The other is to use hardware capture that connects to the video output (i.e. HDMI) of your mac. This rule will focus on capturing video via hardware.

    At SSW, we use HDMI capture cards to record the video from a presenters’ laptop into our workstation. This video is then either recorded for later editing or used as part of the Live Stream.

    PC’s will have no issues when connecting to the system. Outputting via HDMI, VGA or Display Port, you can connect directly or convert these connections via a splitter/scaler device.


    *Pic of Device*


    Mac’s however run into a issue with copy protection when outputting via a digital connection.


    *Pic of HDCP*


    If connecting a MAC via a digital connection, you will see the above message in XSplit (and any other similar streaming/capture software).

    To overcome this, you need to convert the signal to VGA (analogue), which will strip out the HDCP protection.


    *Pic of VGA adapter*


    The second issue with this scenario is that the HDMI capture card in the workstation will not except a VGA signal. To overcome this you need to use a scaler device.


    Pic of Scaler


    The scaler has multiple roles:

    1. It converts digital and analogue signals into a digital HDMI output
    2. It outputs 2 HDMI simultaneously (useful if you want to connect to a projector and a capture device at the same time)
    3. It upscales low-resolution video to match the output resolution of 1080p/30, which means your capture hardware and software will correctly display the image.

    Connecting the Mac to the capture devce:


    1. 1. Use the Mini DP to VGA to connect to the VGA input on the scaler.
    2. 2. Connect the HDMI 2 output to the capture device on your workstation


    If you use Windows natively on mac (not using Parallels), you will not have any issues with HDCP protection, so you can just connect via the display port or HDMI with no issues.

  43. Production - Do you know to subtitle your videos?

    ​There are a number of reasons you may want to subtitle your video.

    Sometimes, the audio recording is too low, and adding gain to the audio will introduce unwanted noise. In this instance, you want to add subtitles using your editing program.

    ​​Use the following:

    Have a subtitle
    Figure: Good example – the text helps people to understand what's happening on the video