I’ve been wanting to record some video content for a long time but it’s always been something that has slipped down my list of things to do. This past week I managed to grab some time in the evenings to experiment with the recording process and on Saturday I had a whole day free where I could focus on the recording, editing and production of my first video.
The first thing I learned is that it takes a lot longer than you might think to produce a completed video. I expected to be done by midday but in reality I wasn’t able to complete the upload before about 4pm in the end. To be fair, a lot of that was simply learning the process. I was using Camtasia for the first time and so some of the time was spent getting up to speed with that too. In the end, including experimenting with the setup, I think I spent between 6-8 hours to get this single 8 minute video finished. I expect that to reduce as I do more videos and purchase some proper equipment but it’s still a much larger investment than blogging!
The toughest issue that I faced was with the lighting. My home office is not the most well lit room in the house, and with a gloomy sky outside it was fairly dark. For this first video I put together a basic homemade setup using a couple of lamps and a reflector. My wife and I are part time photographers, so having the reflector to hand was useful. It’s not a perfect setup but it was enough to get me somewhat reasonably lit.
Based on this great post from Scott Hanselman I now have ordered a small Neewer CN 160 LED video light from Amazon which I hope will make the setup more repeatable and professional in the future. I’m hoping it arrives in time to test it out before Christmas.
The next challenge is good audio. I had a couple of options initially; using the built in audio from my Trust HD webcam or using my Microsoft headset. Neither felt like a great option so I decided to try recording the audio separately via my phone. I used my Samsung hands free headphone with microphone which I positioned in front of me connected to my Galaxy S7. I then used a Voice Recorder app on my phone to record the audio. I remembered to clap loudly at the start of the video so that I could sync up the sound and video later.
This worked reasonably well and the sound is okay for now. I used a the noise reduction enhancement in Camtasia to clean it up a little and then did some volume leveling as well. I found that getting the video and audio syncing spot on was quite difficult as Camtasia only allows the movement of tracks by frames and after one perfect take I couldn’t get the audio perfectly aligned. It was just enough out that I had to ditch that recording. My next attempt worked a lot better. Once I do more videos I’ll look to invest in a decent USB microphone and stand.
Here is my final setup for this first video:
And here is the final video:
I’ll try to write a more thorough blog about the video recording process once I’ve developed it further and got it to a point where I think it’s useful for others. I hope to be able to make more time to record new content to share with you soon. Until then, please check out the video and like/share if you enjoy it. I’d welcome your comments and feedback as well.