Finding the right tools, both hardware and software, to accomplish your goals, will help your production go smoothly and create less work. Once you know what you want to do, get in touch so we can help.
Let's talk about the tools, techniques, and best practices for creating instructional videos for your courses and projects.
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Screencasting is recording your computer screen with a voiceover. It can record anything on your computer so the sky's the limit. Record specific steps needed to perform an action, a PowerPoint with a voiceover, or a walkthrough of a website.
Zoom: Hamilton’s video conferencing system can create screencasts through its screen share function. Options include recording your whole desktop, a specific application, a whiteboard, or even recording an iPhone or iPad screen. Additionally the recording can be saved locally or go straight to the cloud.
Panopto: This cross-platform, cloud-based recording and sharing tool can simultaneously record a webcam and on-screen content. Additional benefits include automatic generation of tables of contents, a built in editor, quiz creation, automatic closed captions, and the ability for students to create their own recordings.
QuickTime: This simple Mac-only app can record from your webcam or your screen. Options include recording your whole screen or just a portion, showing mouse clicks, and choosing your microphone source. You can even do simple editing of your screencast right within QuickTime.
FlashBack Express: This free Windows screen recorder allows you to capture screen, sounds and webcam without time limits or watermarks. Upgrading to the pro version will gain you additional features like in-application editing, the ability to add text, images, and effects.
Microsoft Camera: Microsoft’s simple built-in webcam recorder
Webcam: Many built-in webcams have less than stellar specs. If after testing you notice your built-in webcam quality is poor, an external 1080p webcam is a great upgrade. 1080p denotes the webcam is full HD quality. An added benefit of a high quality external webcam is that they often have much better microphones as well. Regardless of which webcam you use, remember all cameras benefit from as much light on the subject as possible.
Smartphone: While webcams are great if you need to film while at your computer, modern phones have great built-in cameras and are a convenient option for filming away from your computer. Paired with a portable mini tripod, you can create great content anywhere.
Video camera: Hamilton has video cameras and GoPro style cameras to loan to faculty for video production. While phones are convenient and simple to use, perhaps you need more control over the image, like exposure control or the ability to zoom. GoPro style cameras are tiny, rugged, and point-and-shoot style cameras which lend themselves to shooting “in the field”. Paired with a chest harness, you can easily create a first person perspective video, leaving you hands-free to interact with your environment.
Hamilton has tripods, microphones, and lights available for loan.
Tripod: If your video isn’t stable it can be very off putting for your viewers. While image stabilization, built into many video cameras and phones, can help, a tripod is a sure fire way to get rock solid video. In lieu of a tripod, placing the camera on a stable and level surface, like a stack of books or a shelf, works wonders.
Microphone: Getting your subject close to the microphone will yield the best audio results. If that is not possible, or you find the built-in microphone lacking, an external microphone is your best bet. When recording at your computer, a decent USB headset will improve the audio quality. If using a phone or a dedicated video camera, a simple wired lapel microphone is a simple way to increase the quality.
Lights: As stated before, all cameras love light. Having your subject situated near a window to take advantage of natural light or placing lamps and other light sources close by can often work well. Hamilton has portable LED light panels for loan when other light sources aren’t enough.
QuickTime: This Mac-only video player can also do simple “trimming” of videos, usually just the beginning and end of a recording.
Microsoft Photos: This Windows-only application has the ability to do simple trimming of videos.
iMovie: If you need to do more than just trim the “tips and tails” of a video, Apple’s iMovie is most likely already installed on your Mac.
Adobe Premier Rush: Adobe’s cross platform answer to iMovie. Whether you are on a Mac or Windows computer, Premier Rush’s built-in tutorial will have you up and running within ten minutes of launching the application.
Anyone with Hamilton College credentials has access to the Adobe Creative Cloud applications. To access Creative Cloud on Hamilton computers, or install it on office or personal computers, follow these instructions:
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