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Rules to Better Video Recording - 60 Rules

Need a video for your business? Check SSW's Video Production consulting page.

  1. Do you know how to 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. A 'Done' video is much better than a screenshot because you are proving the PBI workflow actually works. Even better, this video can double as documentation or release notes for your users.

    When deciding whether a PBI might be a good contender to record a Done video for, consider these factors:

    1. Is it a key piece of functionality that has high business value?
    2. Would it be difficult to quickly demo in the Sprint Review without a video?
    3. Is it UI heavy? i.e. Would the video be compelling?

    Choosing software to record your screen and camera together:

    Tip #1: Clipchamp is recommended because it is easy to use both for recording and editing, completely free, and offer direct uploads to YouTube.

    Tip #2: Zoom, and Microsoft Teams are cloud-based services, so consider whether an option such as Snagit, Loom or Clipchamp that records locally is more appropriate. If you record with Zoom, post-production editing will be required.

    Choosing software to edit your video:

    • Basic editing: Video Editor (for Windows), iMovie (for Mac)
    • Advanced editing: Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut, DaVinci Resolve

    For a Quick and Dirty Done Video

    Here's a video describing how to record and edit a quick Done video using Clipchamp:
    Tip: Jump to 04:31 for how to record screen and webcam.

    Video: BEST Clipchamp Video Editing Tips and Tricks (14 min)

    Here's a video describing how to record a quick Done video using OBS:

    Video: How to Record your Computer Screen & Webcam in OBS Studio (8 min)

    Note: The PIP will be baked in and cannot be altered later.

    For a more professional video that requires some editing

    Here's a quick video describing how to record your webcam and screen separately in high-resolution using OBS for post-processing and editing:

    Video: How to Record Webcam and Game Separately in OBS Studio | Tutorial (10 min)

    Note: You will be able to alter the PIP, remove it, go full screen on your face... whatever

    Switching Scenes in OBS - it is quite easy to do with these simple steps using OBS Hotkeys!

    Video: How To Switch Scenes In OBS Easily! (OBS Hotkeys) | Tutorial (4 min)

    Here's a quick video describing how to record and edit a quick Done video using Camtasia.

    Video: Make a Quick and Dirty "Done" video in Camtasia (2 min)

    Camtasia Tips

    Tip #1: Camtasia - See great example by Ben Cull

    E.g. A real example of a 'Done Video' with fades:

    Video: SSW TimePRO - Power BI Ad-Hoc Reporting (4 min)

    Tip #2: Camtasia - Fix the audio before making any cuts to the video

    After recording your video, you need to do some basic sound processing to make the audio awesome.

    • In the Timeline, select the clip with the audio
    • On the top left panel, click ‘Audio Effects’ and drag the ‘Levelling’ effect onto your clip
    • On the timeline, move the new audio meter up just until the audio waveform is about to hit the top
    • Listen and adjust as necessary

      audio effects panel
      Figure: Camtasia - audio effects panel with the compressor

    Tip #3: Camtasia - Fade-out and fade-in the video track of your face

    1. With the video track of your face selected, click on Animations (1). Track 3 in the image below.
    2. Select the No Opacity (2) animation effect for the fade-out.
    3. Drag and drop the No Opacity effect (3) to the point in the track where you want to fade-out. Adjust the start and end point of the fade using the handles on the animation arrow.
    4. Select the Full Opacity (4) animation effect for fade-in.
    5. Drag and drop the Full Opacity effect (5) to the point in the track where you want to fade-in. Adjust the start and end point of the fade using the handles on the animation arrow.

    fade in and out
    Figure: Camtasia - Steps for adding fade-out/fade-in animation to video track of your face in 'Done' video

    Tip #4: Camtasia's Final Step – Export your video

    Follow the steps to export your video:

    1. Click the Share button on the top right of the window

      export video1
      Figure: How to share

    2. In the new dialog, select 'Custom production settings':

      export video2
      Figure: Production settings

    3. In the next window, uncheck the ‘Produce with controller’ option:

      export video3
      Figure: Controller settings

    4. In the ‘Video settings’ tab, copy these settings:
    5. Frame Rate: 30
    6. H.264 Profile: High
    7. Encoding mode: Quality
    8. Increase the quality to 100%

      export video4
      Figure: Copy these video settings

    9. In the ‘Audio settings’ tab, make sure the Bit rate is set to 320 kbps:

      export video5
      Figure: Audio settings

    10. Click Next and save your file!

    Example of a good Done Video

    Video: Good example - Record yourself and your screen | SSW Error Handler (4 min)

    Looking to improve your videos?

    Once you've followed the steps above to set up your device and you are ready to record, see our tips here for the key steps to make a great 'Done Video'

  2. Do you know the key things for making a great 'Done Video'?

    For a great 'Done Video' here are the key things to remember:

    1. Generic - Keep your video appealing and easy to understand for a global audience.
    2. Prepare - Plan what you're going to say and open the browser tabs you'll show beforehand. This means you should practice what you're going to say, especially your Intro and Outro!
    3. Apparel - If your company has branded clothing, make sure it's ironed, tidy and visible. Wear it proudly! Alternatively, wear clean, neutral color clothing. E.g. White, grey, or black shirt
    4. Framing - Have your webcam height at eye level for engagement. Make sure there is sufficient headroom: not too little (don't cut off the top of your head in the frame) and no too much (the subject needs to fill the frame). Ensure your branded clothing is visible and the background is clean and tidy, also consider tilting the camera for a more dynamic background with depth instead of a flat background.

    BadExample framing
    Figure: Bad example - Feels fake due to the flat background

    GoodExample framing
    Figure: Good example – Feels genuine with just a twist of the camera

    1. Lighting - Ensure there is optimal room lighting and facial brightness. Consider a ceiling-pointing lamp for additional light. Avoid intense backlights to prevent silhouetting.
    2. Introduction - Start by introducing yourself and what you will be talking about. E.g. "Hi everyone, today I would like to show you..."
    3. Ending - Finish with a strong closing that summarizes what you talked about.
    4. Show the Pain - Demonstrate the problem that your new feature will fix, then demonstrate your feature.
    5. One-Take - Record it in one take, but start again if it's super bad. If something out-of-your control happens, try to be natural! If you mistype a word or click the wrong button, don't freak out and start again, incorporate it. E.g. "Whoops, clicked build accidently. Let me just refresh and go again."
      Note: If your video is short (1-2 mins), then starting again may be optimal. However, if your video is long. E.g. 15-20 minutes, then try to incorporate any accidental errors and keep going.
    6. Quick - Keep it short, concise, and don't repeat yourself!
    7. Directing Attention - Give people an idea of where to look by mentioning positions on the screen before taking actions. E.g. "At the bottom of the screen" or "in the top right-hand corner."
    8. Presentation - present data from X to Y. E.g. for financial data start with the last month and then show the current month.
    9. Clean UI - Use a clean browser and IDE or hide your bookmarks bar, and zoom in to 125% in your browser. Hide the ribbon if presenting in Microsoft Office. Clear all irrelevant reminders if presenting in Outlook.
      Note: You can easily get a clean browser by using a guest or incognito profile.

    BadExample 2 lines
    Figure: Bad example - 2 lines of irrelevant reminders in Outlook

    GoodExample clean UI
    Figure: Good example – Clean Outlook UI

    1. Resolution - Set your screen to 1080p (1920x1080).
    2. Recording - Record both your screen and webcam.
    3. Audio - Check your audio devices for the best quality and make sure your audio is clear and not distracting. E.g. Position the microphone close to your mouth.
    4. Be Friendly - Interact with your webcam like it's a person, and smile at the Intro and Outro.
    5. No Edits - Don't edit the video; use a picture-in-picture format and hotkeys to switch visuals.
    6. Do a Test Recording - After all this effort to capture a great video this can catch any last-minute changes and cut down on potential re-recordings. E.g. Test your Intro hook and screen transitions.

    Remember to watch some "Done" videos to get an idea of what a good "Done Video" looks like!

    Video: Make a Quick and Dirty "Done" video in Camtasia (2 min)

  3. Do you know the kinds of videos you should make to promote your consultancy?

    Producing video content for YouTube and TikTok can help you increase brand awareness, engage with potential clients, and showcase your expertise in the software industry. Here are some types of video that you might create:

    1. Educational - These could be tutorials, how-to guides, or deep dives into specific topics.
    2. Successful client stories - Showcase your clients' success storieshighlighting the benefits they've got from your custom software solutions.
    3. Industry news and insights - Share your insights and expertise on the latest trends and developments in the software industry.
    4. Q&A sessions - Host Q&A sessions on YouTube or TikTok where you answer questions from your audience about software development, your company, or anything else related to your industry.
    5. Product Demonstrations - Demonstrate your custom software solutions and highlight their features and benefits to potential clients.
    6. Collaboration Videos - Collaborate with other businesses in the software industry to create content that showcases your collective expertise.
    7. Behind-the-Scenes - Show your viewers what goes on behind the scenes at your software consultancy. This could be anything from a day in the life of a software developer to a tour of your office.

    Remember to tailor your video content to your target audience, keep your videos engaging and informative, and use calls-to-action to encourage engagement and subscriptions to your channels. By consistently producing high-quality video content, you can establish your software consultancy as a thought leader and expert in the industry.

  4. 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.

  5. Pre-Production - Do you define the level of quality up front (Gold vs Silver)?

    Aligning expectations with stakeholders is key to success, especially for creative content where the outcome is very variable. Make sure you define what kinds of videos need what quality level.

    Gold

    Definition

    • Extra equipment needed to film, more filming locations, lots of B-Roll, many rounds of feedback, high level of audio post and colour grading etc.

    Specific examples

    General examples

    • Any high value videos that generate sales that will live on your website rather than just your social media
    • Consulting page videos
    • Testimonial videos

    Silver

    Definition

    • Basic equipment used to film, less B-Roll, fewer round of feedback, quick and dirty colour grading and audio post

    Specific examples

    • All the videos from the latest conference/event
    • Brainstorming day video

    General examples

    • All Social Media videos
    • All User Group videos
    • All Event videos
    • All Rules videos
  6. Do you use Developer Console to edit and take better screenshots?

    When filming a video, it's crucial that images are of the highest possible quality. Capturing a screenshot with a 1080p monitor can be problematic because the screenshot might need to be cropped or zoomed in on causing it to be low resolution in the video. Moreover, there may be elements in the screenshot that should be edited such as sensitive information or the placement of a button.

    Luckily, the developer console equips you with an impressive array of tricks for capturing screenshots with extremely high resolution while easily editing elements on the screen.

    The Developer Console

    The developer console lets a user manipulate a web page to fit their requirements. It can be used to:

    ✅ Take high-resolution screenshots in 8k or higher
    Tip: David Augustat explains how to accomplish this

    ✅ Hide or edit HTML elements e.g. moving a button, editing the text in a heading or hiding a div
    Tip: The right click + "inspect" menu option helps locate the required HTML element

    ✅ Pinpoint the page area you want to screenshot by either capturing the entire page or zooming in on an area of interest

    bad screenshot piers
    Figure: Bad example – Original elements at low res

    good screenshot piers
    Figure: Good example – Edited heading, hidden client, then captured at high res

  7. Do you know how to use Focus peaking?

    Focus peaking is a valuable tool that assists videographers and filmmakers in achieving precise and accurate focus in their shots.

    It highlights the areas of the image that are in sharp focus with a distinct and often colourful outline. This visual aid is superimposed onto the live view or monitor display, making it easier for the videographer to identify the focal points within the frame.

    Focus peaking is included in most professional video cameras and external video monitors.

    peaking outoffocus
    Figure: Bad example - Subject out of focus

    focus peaking church
    Figure: Good example - Focus peaking highlighting areas in focus

  8. Production - Do you have a call to action (aka CTA)?

    Without a 'call to action' (viewers to do something at the end of a video) the purpose of the video is lost. So you don't waste all your hard work editing, you should include a CTA at the end.

    Common objectives are to:

    • Obtain the viewer's email address
    • Get the viewer to provide info and request a service from the company
    • Get them to subscribe to the company's social media pages

    A good 'call to action' should:

    1. Be short (no more than 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 dozens of social media options.
    3. (Optionally) Tell them they get value. E.g. 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, LinkedIn 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

    Thanks, 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

    Call to Action Screenshot
    Figure: Good example (watch on YouTube) - 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

  9. 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 introduce 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

    1. Tell the interviewee not to speak until they are introduced.
    2. When the interviewee is speaking, remain quiet. This is about the audience receiving the information, not you.
    3. 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 upfront.

    "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

    1. 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.
    2. Overprepare, don't under prepare. 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.
    3. If you are going to use screencap cutaways at all, figure out beforehand 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 as 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

    1. Ask the interviewee to include your question in the start of their answer. This reinforces the question for the audience, gives a strong start to the interviewee’s response, and also makes it possible to create incredibly useful smaller video segments.

    "Why do you like the SSW Rules?" "They are very useful"

    Figure: Bad Example - Interviewee’s statement is very general and could be referring to anything

    "Why do you like the SSW Rules?" "I like the SSW Rules because they are very useful"

    Figure: Good Example - establishes an immediate context for the interviewee’s response, and is a powerful statement when heard without the interviewer’s question

  10. 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.

    As there may be many variables during a shoot on location, you need to be able to keep track of multiple things during the interview.The most important things to focus on are:

    • Audio

      • Is each microphone coming through clearly
      • Are there any sounds that would make it hard to hear the interview (e.g. passing trucks, air conditioning on, machinery)
    • Lighting

      • Are your subjects bright enough to see clearly
      • Are there any harsh or awkward shadows blocking their face or body?
    • Framing

      • Can you see everything you need to?

    If any of these are not right, you will probably need to record again!

    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:

    1. Don't zoom erratically – Ease in and ease out of zooms
    2. 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)
    3. To record both voices use a single shotgun microphone for both interviewer and subject
  11. Production - Do you know how to start recording with Camtasia?

    Read the tutorial: Learn the Camtasia recording process, complete basic video edits, and successfully share a video.

    OR

    Follow these steps to start recording using Camtasia:

    Windows Display Settings

    1. On the monitor you will be using for your video, set your screen resolution to 1920x1080.

    If your screen resolution is too low then it will be difficult for people to follow the video, and you may need to record it again.

    screen resolution
    Figure: Set your screen resolution as high as possible without exceeding 1920 x 1080

    poor resolution screenshot
    Figure: Bad example - Screen resolution is set to 800 x 600

    good resolution screenshot
    Figure: Good example - Screen resolution set to 1920 x 1080

    Camtasia

    Note: We recommend you use Camtasia 2019 or above.

    1. Start Camtasia and check the following settings:

    2. Test record:

      • Watch back to check audio and video
    3. Prepare what you are talking about:

      • Rehearse your content!
      • Look into the camera when you start, finish, and when you are talking to the audience
      • Be friendly and smile 😊
      • Make sure your introduction is clear, full of energy, and without errors.
      • Keep the energy up, but don’t rush. *TIP: Before recording, take a deep breath.
    4. Record as per: /record-a-quick-and-dirty-done-video
    5. Watch your video back so you can record again if needed.

      • Write edit notes
      • Write the best sections
    6. Copy the source files to the server, as per: /post-production-do-you-know-how-to-structure-your-files

    Tip: Alternatively, you can use Loom, which works as a Google Chrome extension.

  12. 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 Mac functionalities to record the screen on Mac OS.

    You have 2 options:

    Tip: Alternatively, you can use Loom, which works as a Google Chrome extension.

  13. Screen Recordings - Do you make sure your Windows PC is easy to view?

    When presenting the screen of your Windows PC to an audience it is important to alter a few things for the best possible experience for the audience. The most import thing is to increase your font to make the content more visible.

    Here are some of the applications where it is especially important:

    1. Visual Studio
    2. Text Editor
    3. Command Prompt

    Visual Studio

    1. Make your font bigger. This is probably rule number one. There's nothing worse than not being able to see the excellent code you're trying to demo.

      • Increase the font of the Text Editor from 10 to 14 or more.
      • Increate the font of your Environment from 9 to 12 or more.
    2. Remove any distracting panes or other windows. These usually just get in the way. If you really need them, make sure they're set to pin mode, so they hide when not in use.
    3. Most importantly, you can have all these things done for you at the click of a button by using the presentation mode extension by Mads.

    Video: Use Presentation Mode in Visual Studio (5 min)

    present off
    Figure: Bad Example - Most of the Visual Studio UI is too small to read and the Output window takes up a lot of space

    present on
    Figure: Good Example - Presentation mode creates a full alternative profile so you can adjust font sizes across the whole UI

    open vs presentation mode
    Figure: Open Visual Studio Presentation mode

    Text Editor

    Change font size in your text editor. Zoom in from 100% to 200%.

    text editor bad
    Figure: Bad Example - Small font size

    text editor good
    Figure: Good Example - Good font size

    Command Prompt

    And don't forget to change your command prompt as well. Increase the font size from 12 to 16 or more.

    cmd bad
    Figure: Bad Example - Command prompts are hard to read

    cmd good
    Figure: Good Example - Font size for command prompt should be about twice as much as by default

    Tip: You can create a custom profile for Command Prompt in Command Prompt | Settings | Add a new profile.

    command prompt profiles
    Figure: Command Prompt profiles

    cmd open presentation mode
    Figure: Open Presentation Prompt

  14. Screen Recordings - Do you make sure your browser is easy to view?

    Most developers like to set up their screen efficiently – often that 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.

    Before recording your screen reduce visual noise by:

    1. Removing unnecessary tabs - Open the tab in its own window
    2. Avoiding small fonts - Zoom in to 125% by holding Ctrl and scrolling up on the mouse wheel
    3. Hiding the bookmark bar

      • Windows shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + b
      • Mac shortcut: Cmd + Shift + b

    screen recording bad
    Figure: Bad example - This video will be cluttered and unprofessional

    screen recording good
    Figure: Good example - This is easy to read, and doesn’t look cluttered

  15. Production - Do you know what type of microphone to use?

    Depending on the type of video you are making, you will need to decide what microphone works best for you.

    Webcam/built-in microphone

    The most common type of microphone many of us use is the built-in one on your laptop.While some modern ones are a little more advanced than normal, they generally offer the poorest sound quality out of any microphone type. This is because they’re designed for conferencing and web calls, which prioritizes things like ambient noise cancellation. This can sound like a benefit, but in reality, it causes audio to sound ‘tinny’ vs proper microphones.

    Headset microphone

    Headsets are handy because they offer combined audio feedback and microphone in one.This is the recommended setup for most people.

    A headset mic offers the advantage of being very close to the source of the audio (your mouth), which is important to consider when recording video.

    Some headsets are better than others, we recommend the Audio Technica BPHS1’s like the ‘go-to’ option for really great broadcast-quality audio recordings.

    mic 1 audiotechnica
    Figure: Audio Technica BPHS1 ‘aviation-style’ headset

    On the lower end, the Logitech H340 USB headset is a good option.

    mic 2 logitech
    Figure: Logitech H340 headset

    Warning: These look poor on video.

    Desktop microphone – portable

    Desktop mics can offer better audio quality than headsets mics overall.

    There are many models to pick with different characteristics. Our choice is the Blue Yeti X. It connects via USB to your laptop and works without additional drivers.

    blue yeti x
    Figure: Desktop microphone – plugs into USB and sits in front of you on the desk. Preferred for done videos and is portable

    Desktop microphone – non-portable

    You can go beyond a portable desktop mic and get something like the Rode Procaster mic on an arm. These are typically used by professional podcasters.

    micpro 1
    Figure: Professional podcasting mic

    Lapel microphone

    Lapel mics are a great option for both mobile and PC devices.

    The Rode smartLav+ is a lapel that works on devices that support TRRS connectors (phones, tablets and modern laptops).The benefit of this type of mic is that it is placed on your shirt and close to your mouth, which provides cleaner audio and more ambient noise rejection.

    micpro 2 lapel
    Figure: Rode smartLav+ Lapel Microphone for Smart Phones

    Warning: The cable can look poor on video.

    Shotgun microphone

    Shotgun Microphones are, by definition, built to capture the audio from the source they are directly pointed at. They are designed to cut out audio from other directions. This means that if someone behind the microphone says something, it will likely not be picked up clearly.These are traditionally used on film and TV sets and offer among the highest quality recordings.

    mic shotgun
    Figure: Shotgun mic

  16. Production - Do you know the video editing terms?

    Understanding basic video editing terminology allows for better communication during the post-production workflow. It's important for anyone involved to know the basic terms to keep feedback clear and concise.

    Video: Video Editing Terminology | Adam and Eve Cogan | SSW Rules (4 min)

    1. Primary Footage (aka Main Footage)

    Primary footage is what tells the story by conveying a message. These are general types of primary footage:

    1. Talking heads in an interview
    2. Screen share during a live demo
    3. Combination of talking heads in a split screen

    For example, the interview of Adam and Jakob talking is the "primary footage" which drives the story.

    primary footage

    Video: Primary Footage - Talking head - 0:38 - 3:05

    Note: Most edits that affect the timeline are done to the primary footage, such as removal of sentences or whole sections.

    Feedback example: "1:32 - 1:51, remove this section as it's redundant"

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, can we stay on the primary footage of Adam until he finishes his comment, before we cut to b-roll?"

    2. Overlay

    An overlay is a general term for any footage, graphic or visual element placed on the screen that adds detail or information to the main footage. You will learn more about them in this rule.

    The common types of overlays used by SSW TV are B-roll, lower third, and PIP.

    For example, when talking about what's needed to start a coding project in Visual Studio and displaying a checklist confirming all the components.

    overlay example terminology

    Video: Overlay - 2:10 - 2:15

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, add in some overlay to show what they are talking about in the primary footage."

    3. Lower Third

    Lower third is a type of overlay. Lower third gives the audience information about a presenter's name and title or what's displayed on the screen and can be a combination of text and graphical elements.

    For example, the lower third here is the presenter's name and job title.

    Lower3rd Example

    Video: Lower Third - 0:15 - 0:21

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, the presenter's name is misspelled in the lower third."

    4. B-Roll Footage

    B-Roll is a type of overlay. B-Roll is any supplemental footage used to visually support the primary footage in telling the story by adding detail and examples. B-Roll is placed over the top of primary footage to help clarify the topic/subject for the viewer. Primary footage can be greatly enhanced by using B-Roll.

    The video here uses B-Roll footage of developers at work, to supplement the primary footage audio "our developers are working really hard".

    b roll example

    Video: B-Roll - Developers at work - 1:01 - 1:04

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, the B-Roll - looks out of focus, can we swap it out for something else?"

    5. PIP (Picture-In-Picture)

    PIP is a type of overlay. PIP is when one video source is placed over the primary footage and is generally small and to one lower corner of the screen, displaying both videos simultaneously.

    For example, the screen share in this presentation uses a PIP effect of the presenter's video over the demonstration recording.

    PIP Example Video: PIP - 3:32 - 4:21

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, show the PIP so we can see Jason talking."

    Notes:

    • Consistency - It looks better to keep the PIP position consistent, e.g. If you start a video with a PIP on the right, any time it appears in that video should be on the right.
    • Position - It generally looks better to have the PIP on the bottom right of the screen, however some programs put the PIP on the left (e.g. StreamYard & Loom)

    6. Cutaway

    The cutaway shot is a filmmaking and video editing technique. It is a supplementary shot that “cuts away” from the main action.

    Commonly, technical videos do not often use cutaways, the SSW TV channel prefers to use overlay footage.

    Sometimes people can say "cut away to this footage" and actually mean "cut to b-roll footage"

    Cutaway Example

    Video: Cutaway - Different types - 0:06-1:39

    For example, a cutaway can manipulate tension, convey humor or cast doubt or ambiguity on a scene, among other things. In a way, the director can speak directly to the audience.

    7. Sequence

    A sequence is a series of clips that are edited in a linear or non-linear order to deliver a story or message.

    sequence all

    Video: Sequence - Give context a scene - 5:18 - 5:23

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, we need to add B-roll to the sequence of him walking up to the SSW office."

    8. Montage

    A montage is video editing together several video clips to form a new idea, meaning or create a summary of events.

    For example, a montage can help reveal the connections between things and show the nature of what's happening over time.

    montage all 2

    Video: Montage - Hiking over memorial walk - 3:07 - 3:47

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, change add a shot in the montage of the SSW team waving at the camera."

    9. Intro

    An intro can include a title sequence, logo or a hook (short and catchy footage). Often a opening theme song with visuals are used.

    Intro Example

    Video: Intro - NDC intro - 0:00 - 0:18

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, let's remove the intro and just get into the primary footage."

    10. Outro

    An outro is the closing visual that appears at the end of a video. It can include a call to action message, contact details or social media links.

    Outro Example

    Video: Outro - 3:22 - 3:44

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, in the outro, have a link to our latest video on our YouTube channel."

    11. Split Screen

    Split screen is a type of primary footage and is used less often. Split screen is a video editing technique in which the frame is divided into discrete non-overlapping images or video sources.

    For example, Piers and Sam are shown on a split screen during the interview.

    split screen

    Video: Split Screen - 0:22 - 1:34

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, it would be better if see both presenters. Can we use a split screen here?"

    12. Video Scrubbing

    In editing software, video scrubbing can be done by moving the cursor forwards or backward through the timeline to quickly skip forward or backward in the sequence to review footage quickly for feedback purposes.

    For example, just like skipping forward or back in YouTube by using the arrow keys, in Premiere Pro, you can do the same by moving the play head.

    Figure: Scrubbing this YouTube video 10s

    Figure: Scrubbing this Premiere Pro video in the timeline

    Feedback example: "Hey Sam starting at 2:22, please scrub through the primary footage and see which take is my best to use. Thanks!"

    13. Aspect Ratio

    The aspect ratio relates to how the width and height of your video relate to each other. Those dimensions are expressed through a ratio.

    Examples of the most common are 4:3, 16:9, 1.85:1

    For example, on the SSWTV channel, we often use 16:9 for online media platforms and 9:16 on TikTok and YouTube shorts.

    See the image below for more aspect ratios.

    aspect ratio example
    Figure: Aspect ratio example

    Feedback example: "This video export is the wrong size, it's not SSW TV standards. Can we check the aspect ratio?"

    14. Colour - White Balance

    A proper white balance is characterized by the whites in an image truly being the colour white.

    For instance, in an improper white balance, the whites may have tints of yellow, green, red, or some other colour. White balance’s formal definition is the process of gathering accurate colours for the available light. Your camera may come with a white balance menu and an auto white balance feature.

    Figure: The bad example and good example of white balance

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, Jason's shirt seems a little too yellow, can we check the white balance?"

    15. Audio - Sync

    When the audio is recorded separately from the camera, you will need to sync the recording to the camera audio during the edit.

    Figure: Clapping at the beginning of the recording can help synchronize the audio

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, Adam's mouth moving at a different time than the recording audio, it has an audio sync error."

    16. Audio - Denoise

    Audio denoising is the process of reducing unwanted audio anomalies like background ambience, wind, or static from dialogue without affecting the quality.

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, I can hear a buzzing sound with my headphones on, but not when watching on my iPad. Can we denoise the audio?"

    17. Audio - Levels

    When video editing, it's important to have standard audio levelling.

    For example, if the presenter's voice is too quiet, it can be improved by increasing the gain of the audio clip. Vice versa if the dialogue/music is too loud, the audio levels would need to be lowered to reduce peaking.

    audio levels example
    Figure: The speaker's face was away from the microphone

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, Adam's audio sounds soft because he turns his head away from the microphone, please increase the levels."

    18. Cut - Jump Cut

    Is when a piece of footage is removed to give the effect of jumping forward in time. Jump cuts are a quick and dirty way to remove silence in an interview or presentation and "Ums" in the dialogue.

    Some YouTube channels don't use jump cuts, the SSW TV channel is one of them.

    Jump cut Example

    Video: Jump Cut - 2:13 - 2:59

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, the jump cut here is too noticeable. Can we try a different angle?"

    19. Cut - Punch In

    This is when the same video clip is used from one cut to another, but the scale is increased from one zoom level to the next.

    For example, you can punch in from a wide shot to a medium shot using the same clip to get a closer angle.

    Video: Punch In - 1:34 - 1:54

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, he is talking about something really important, can we punch in?"

    Note: This is easily achieved when using 2k or 4k resolution footage.

    20. Transition - Cross Dissolve

    Is a transition effect in which one video clip (or picture) gradually fades out and is replaced by another image or video clip.

    For example, when transitioning from a full-screen share to the presenter on stage, using a cross dissolve makes the edit smoother.

    Figure: Cross dissolution makes the video transition more natural

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, add in a cross dissolve from the intro to the presenter."

    21. Transition - Fade

    Is a transition effect in which one video clip (or picture) fades out gradually as it blends into (or appears out of) a colour clip.

    For example, "Fade to Black" is commonly used to visually signal the end of a scene or when changing from one subject to another.

    Figure: Fade to black at the end of the scene

    Feedback example: "At 2:22, fade to black at the end of the demo."

    22. Video Rendering

    Is the operation by which the computer processes the edited sequence to allow for a full-resolution preview to be watched. This includes all visual effects without the need for buffering and results in a smoother viewing experience during playback.

    Video rendering is similar to compiling code for developers.

    23. Video Export

    When a video edit is complete, it's time to export a video file from your video editing software. The exported file is usually uploaded to an online platform e.g. Youtube.

    Note: It is important to check the export settings to ensure that they are set to High-Quality 1080p as a standard.

    24. Test Passed (aka Picture Locked)

    The video has been approved and the feedback loop is closed. It is the stage of the editing process in which there are no more alterations to the length and order of the shots. The editing crew may continue to work on the sound and visual effects at their discretion as long as it does not drastically change the overall message, tempo, beats, and story of the picture-locked video.

    Feedback example: "Great work! Test Passed, I can't wait to share it once it's live."

    Sample feedback email

    Here is a sample email that you can use to provide feedback to the video editor.

    sample feedback email
    Figure: Sample email when sending video feedback including timestamps

  17. Do you know your different office backgrounds?

    It can be time-consuming to think and plan a shoot with the background in mind. It is much better to have a library of different office backgrounds to save time.

    These will also act as approved office backgrounds from the Product Owner, giving the video team assurance and confidence in shooting the video. It also allows developers who are less creative or nervous about shooting to choose what background they would like.

    presenter solo sitting down
    Figure: Presenter - solo and sitting down

    Boardroom standing
    Figure: Presenter - solo and standing up

    two presenters standing
    Figure: Two Presenters - standing

    two presenters sitting down
    Figure: Two Presenters - sitting down

    Chapel desks background presenter solo
    Figure: Interview - piece to camera and sitting down

    Standing devs working interview
    Figure: Interview - standing up and developers in background

    Tv room doorway
    Figure: Interview - standing up in a doorway

    chapel devs working interview
    Figure: Interview - sitting down and developers in background

    chapel trees background
    Figure: Interview - sitting down and trees in background

    Hey Sophie,

    Cool video idea. What were you thinking for the background?

    Figure: Bad Example - Vague question and no visual references

    Hey Sophie,

    As per our conversation, this is a great and valuable video to make. Please check out the different options of backgrounds we can use for you:

    ssw.com.au/rules/unique-office-backgrounds

    1. Choose the one you most prefer

    Figure: Good Example - link to visual references and options for approved backgrounds

  18. 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 the 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 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 belly button 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 viewer's 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 two people are looking the same direction), place them on the opposite side to the direction they're looking for. 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 fram 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 fram good example
    Figure: Good example – the rule of thirds followed, mid-shot, interesting background, no dead space, fairly face on, subject placed on the 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 into 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
    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
    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
    Figure: Bad example – looking down at the subject with a wide-angle lens setting

    Good OTS example
    Figure: Good example – level height, zoom level not set to wide-angle

    framing bad
    Figure: Bad example – head not close enough to the top and hand gestures not visible

    framing good
    Figure: Good example – head close to the top and hand gestures visible

  19. 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"

    Figure: Good example - This is a firm yet amicable way of managing the situation

  20. 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 about to record.

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

    SSWTV EquipmentChecklist
    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

  21. 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.

    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:

    1. 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:

    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

    1. Do you enable presentation mode in Visual Studio.
    2. Tell the speaker to read Rules to Better PowerPoint Presentations.
    3. 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.
    4. 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
  22. 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 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 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!'.

  23. 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 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?)

  24. Production - Do you have a good introduction and closing statements?

    It is important to have solid introduction and closing statements. This is specially useful for product demonstrations.

    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

  25. 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 on using cutaways) in the edit.

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

    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.

    Camera 3 should be identical to Camera 1 if available (it is still possible to use two different cameras but this may cause some quality compromise in the form of different colours for each). An iPhone can provide the necessary shots to make a video more interesting, but only use iPhone 7 or later footage if proper lighting, exposure & composition can be achieved (Please see rule about the correct way to frame your subject.)

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

  26. 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
    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
    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.

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

    Japan by dhatt1
    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.

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

  27. 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.

  28. Do you know the best software for video content creation?

    There are a few options when it comes to the best software for editing video content, e.g. creating YouTube videos.

    When creating video content, the most popular editing workflows are:

    • Adobe Premiere Pro (editor) and After Effects (motion graphics)
    • DaVinci Resolve (editor) and Fusion (motion graphics)
    • Final Cut Pro (editor) and Apple Motion (motion graphics)

    Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects is the most popular workflow as it works with both PC and Mac ecosystems, and allows integration with additional Adobe creative cloud tools (e.g. Audition, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more).The software is user friendly and allows for a great deal of customization with layouts and third-party plug-ins that can help to significantly improve your editing workflow.

    DaVinci Resolve is the fastest growing editing software, and can be used for free (there is a paid Studio upgrade, but the free version is suitable for most editors and projects).It started as a colour-grading tool and then was developed into a full editing software solution, so some editing elements are not as user friendly as other editors, but once you are used to the platform is it a solid choice.DaVinci is made by Blackmagic Design from Melbourne, Australia.

    Final Cut Pro is an Apple exclusive workflow, which means that it is not suited to teams with PC/Windows ecosystems. The benefit of this is that Final Cut is continually optimized for Apple’s hardware, so it is a good choice if you work on a Mac and use footage in the ProRes codec.

    Note: Avid Media Composer is another video editing software that is still used for TV series and movies, but it has a steep learning curve and is not popular for YouTube content creators.

  29. Post-Production - Do you use cutaways?

    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!

    Figure: Good example - Cutting away to what is being discussed improves the audiences understanding

  30. 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 where user engagement is part of your marketing strategy. The best types of content that work on YouTube are Educational and Entertainment.

    However, YouTube might not be the best place to host your more marketing based videos, for example, a homepage video selling a service or product.

    Hosting platforms like Wistia and Vimeo is better for professional purposes because they can offer things like higher video quality, embedded player customization, improved analytics, external links and capture forms - great for selling a product or service.

    video hosting youtube
    Figure: Good example (YouTube) – Educational video targeted at a specific audience, with an aim of driving engagement and high view numbers - Routing in ASP.NET Core 3.0 | 'Tech Tips' @ NDC Sydney 2019

    video hosting vimeo
    Figure: Good example (Vimeo) – Homepage sales video: 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, Vimeo would be the best choice - Why choose SSW for custom software development?

  31. Post-Production - Do you have a branded intro and outro in your videos?

    A branded intro and outro will associate the video with your company. Intros are the visuals at the very beginning of your video, while outros appear in the end.

    Screen Shot 2019 05 30 at 8 42 12 AM
    Good example: Intros can have the video title; event logo; or speaker details (depending on the type of video you're making)

    Screen Shot 2019 05 30 at 8 25 51 AM
    Good example: Outros should have your logo and tagline

    You can get your own video reusable intros and outros at SSW's Video Production services page.

  32. 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.

    video thumb bad
    Figure: Bad example – Text is obstructed by the play button

    video thumb good
    Figure: Good Example – This image lets a visitor know that the video is an interview

  33. Post-Production - Do you use ticks and crosses in video examples?

    Sometimes a video editor wants to communicate good and bad examples to the audience, but they aren't sure the best way to do that. Ticks (✅) and crosses (❌) with sound effects are a great way to highlight good and bad examples to the audience, but they only work if used correctly.

    Using ticks and crosses in the will help you emphasize an example and aid comprehension of the content. Including sound effects in the wrong way may interfere with the audience's understanding of the example

    A good tick and cross example will have:

    • A graphic - Not intrusive on the content and left aligned
    • A subtle sound - Significantly lower than the human voice

    Note: Using a blend of tick and cross visuals with sound cues will reinforce for your audience which example is good and which is bad.

    ❌ Bad example #1 - No visuals or sounds

    Video: SSW TV - Do you have a product roadmap? | 0:38 - 0:48

    The video presents good and bad examples without using other visual elements or sound effects which may cause them to get distracted while watching or have to back-track.

    bad example 1 no tick and cross no sound
    Figure: Bad example - No ticks and crosses + no sound - 0:38 - 0:48

    ❌ Bad example #2 - Distracting visuals and obnoxiously loud sounds

    Video: SSW TV - Do you check before installing 3rd party libraries? | 0:59 - 1:02

    Ticks and crosses with sound effects are used in the video, but there are still problems:

    • Distracting ticks and crosses - the visuals are too large and placed in the middle of the frame so they draw the audience's attention away from the content.
    • Loud sound - When the sound effect is significantly louder than the human voice, it can cause an unpleasant auditory effect.

    Therefore, it is important to use an appropriately sized graphic left-aligned (since we read left to right) with a subtle sound effect.

    bad example 2 distracting tick loud sound
    Figure: Bad example - Distracting tick + loud sound - 0:59 - 1:02

    😐 OK Example

    Video: SSW TV - Documenting decisions and discoveries with Piers Sinclair | 1:54 - 2:02

    This is an OK example using crosses in a video:

    • Good size - smaller than the figure in the picture, not visually obtrusive
    • Good location - in the margin below the email signature, not covering the example, but drawing the audience's attention to it
    • Subtle sound effect - the sound effect is lower than the speaker's voice

    However...it would be an even better approach to standardise your ticks and crosses so you can use the same graphic across every video.

    good example 1 red cross with the right size subtle sound
    Figure: Ok example - Red cross with the right size + location + subtle sound - 1:54 - 2:02

    ✅ Good Example - Lower Thirds

    Video: SSW TV - Do you ask for small content changes using from X to Y? | Ulysses Maclaren | SSW Rules | 0:58 - 1:07

    Standarding your ticks and crosses using a lower third helps the team have a consistent sound and visual across every video.

    Do you ask for small content changes using from X to Y
    Figure: Good example - The red cross and bad example in the lower third + subtle sound - 0:58 - 1:07


    Extra - SSW TV Research: Feedback on videos using ticks and crosses

    In a weekly internal form known as "'Chewing the Fat', the SSW TV Team set three questions for SSW employees to answer:

    • Question #1 - With sound or without sound: Video Ticks and Crosses - Did you like them?
    • Question #2 - Subtle sound or loud sound: Video Ticks and Crosses - Did you like them?
    • Question #3 - Comparison: Video Ticks and Crosses V3 - What are your thoughts on the sound?
    • Question #4 - Which subtle sound is perfect: Video Ticks and Crosses - Did you like them?

    Results - Question #1 - With sound or without sound: Video Ticks and Crosses - Did you like them?

    Video #1: SSW TV - Do you check before installing 3rd party libraries? | 00:42 - 00:47

    video 1 distracting red cross with loud sound
    Figure: Distracting red cross with loud sound

    ctf 1 yes v2
    Figure: Question #1 feedback

    ctf 1 options
    Figure: Question #1 feedback - Option Others

    After watching video #1, people preferred having a sound rather than having no sound. Of the 9 other responses, 6 preferred with sound but they all thought the sound lasted too long, 2 of them prefer without sound, and the other 1 didn't comment on the sound.

    The final results (including other) were:

    • 55% prefer to have sound
    • 31% prefer to have no sound
    • 14% prefer no ticks and crosses at all

    Results - Question #2 - Subtle sound or loud sound: Video Ticks and Crosses - Did you like them?

    Video #2: SSW TV - Documenting decisions and discoveries with Piers Sinclair | 01:36 - 01:46

    video 2 the red cross with the right size and subtle sound
    Figure: The red cross with the right size and subtle sound

    ctf 2 yes v2
    Figure: Question #2 feedback

    ctf 2 others
    Figure: Question #2 feedback - Option Others

    After watching video #2, people preferred having a subtle sound rather than having a loud sound. Of the 3 other responses, 2 of them prefer the subtle sound and think it could get even better and the other 1 didn't comment on the sound.

    The final results (including other) were:

    • 78% prefer to have subtle sound
    • 11% prefer no ticks and crosses at all
    • 7% prefer to have loud sound
    • 4% prefer to have no sound

    Results - Question #3 - Comparison: Video Ticks and Crosses V3 - What are your thoughts on the sound?

    Video #3: SSW TV - Explaining a PBI to a Product Owner with Jake Bayliss | Explaining a PBI to a Product Owner with Jake Bayliss | 02:41 - 03:07

    video 3 the red cross bad example in the lower third without sound and no colour
    Figure: The red cross and bad example in the lower third, without sound and no colour

    ctf 3 v3 v2
    Figure: Question #3 feedback

    ctf 3 others
    Figure: Question #3 feedback - Option Others

    After watching video #3, people preferred having a subtle sound or the new tick-cross style with no sound. Of the 9 other responses, they were quite conflicted but video #3 was slightly preferred.

    The final results (including other) were:

    • 46% prefer to have no sound and use the new tick-cross style
    • 39% prefer to have subtle sound
    • 11% prefer to have no ticks and crosses
    • 4% prefer to have loud sound

    Results - Question #4 - Which subtle sound is perfect: Video Ticks and Crosses - Did you like them?

    Video #4: SSW TV - No Hello - Boost Productivity: Say Goodbye to Time Wasting with this Simple Trick | SSW Rules | 1:05 – 1:21

    video 4
    Figure: The good example with a more subtle sound

    ctf 4
    Figure: Question #4 feedback

    ctf 4 blur
    Figure: Question #4 feedback - Option Others

    After watching video #3, people prefer the subtle sound this time to the subtle sound in video#2. Of the 1 other response, no accurate assessment of how good or bad the two sounds were.

    The final results (including Other) were:

    • 60% prefer to have subtle sound in video #4
    • 14% prefer to have a more subtle sound
    • 13% prefer to have ticks and crosses without sound
    • 7% prefer no ticks and crosses at all
    • 6% prefer to have subtle sound in video #2
  34. 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 title, term used to identifying text such as the opening film credits, someone's name, a job title, or date/location.

    CTA Bad Example 2
    Figure: Bad example of captions - Text is too small and hard to read.

    CTA Good Example 2
    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.

    E.g. Here are the styles SSW use for their videos:

    Why Choose SSW
    Figure: Example 1: SSW Infomercials - Clear, nice effects and well stylized

    Figure: Example 2: General SSW TV videos - Corporate branding, clear, eye catching

    SSWRules LowerThirdsExample
    Figure: Example 3: SSW Rules Videos - This is a good generic title style and works well for documentary style videos

    CaseStudy LowerThirds
    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.

  35. 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
    Figure: Bad Example - this does not simulate gravity and will be jarring to the viewer

    TextExpression AfterEffects TheSwingIn
    Figure: Good Example - Angle/time graphic for "swing in" effect

    ::: goodVideo: Good example – A well designed 'swing-in' effect can bring your titles to life - See 00:07

  36. Post-Production - Do you 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:

    subtitle example
    Figure: Good example – The text helps people to understand what's being said on the video

  37. Post-Production - Do you avoid dates text in graphics for events' promo videos?

    To maximize reusability and minimize costs, it’s best to avoid including dates as text in graphics for promotional videos.

    events dates bad
    Figure: Bad example - Dates shown as text in graphics (creates extra work to change every time)

    events dates good
    Figure: Good example - No dates shown as text in graphics (can be re-used without editing)

    If there is some particular value/purpose in including dates there may be exceptions to this rule.

  38. 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".

    The questions is "How long is enough?"

    As a starting point, a safe way to measure is to leave it on screen long enough to be read at least 2 times (Assuming slow readers read at 200 words per minute). 

    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.

    Another way to calculate durations is by using average reading speeds per word and adjust duration according to the number of words.  A calculator is available at Omni Calculator. While appropriate for some types of productions, in general, this can become too time-consuming.

    See some examples:

    Figure: Good Example - Video Title duration is perfectly timed and can be read twice through. Not too short, not too long. 

    This rule is not relevant to closing credits due to the large amount of acknowledgements.

  39. Post-Production - Do you know the types of video cuts?

    When you're making a cake the things that matter are the ingredients you use.

    Likewise, when you’re making a video, the things that matter are the cuts you choose.

    Jump Cut

    A jump cut is a straight cut between the same piece of footage (which helps shorten the video).

    For example, if you are doing a piece to camera (single presenter talking to the camera), you can cut out parts in between sentences – and leave it obvious - to quicken the pace of the video. This is a popular editing method used by YouTubers and is great for more casual style of videos.

    Good example: SSW YouTube Shorts Video with Jump Cuts

  40. 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) 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?'.
    2. Upload your first edit to YouTube

      1. Send test please to your manager(s)
      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
    3. Make changes to video from feedback
    4. Re-upload to YouTube
    5. Respond to each email with dones and not dones
    6. 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
    7. Make changes to video from feedback
    8. Respond to each email with Done’s and reasons for Not Done’s
    9. Optional - Create a post for your video on your website (e.g. tv.ssw.com) – embed the YouTube upload
    10. 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
  41. 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 - Post the new video to all social media accounts including:

      • Twitter
      • Facebook
      • LinkedIn
    2. Email all staff - 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 clicktotweet.com.

      Example email:

    Hi All,

    A new interview is now live on SSW TV. You can see it at {{ URL }} Can you all promote the video in the following ways:

    1. Can you tweet {{ URL }}
    2. Optionally, comment, like and share the post on Facebook {{ URL }}

    I appreciate the efforts from everyone :) Cheers,

    1. Email the interviewee (if apply) - 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 {{ NAME }},

    Thank you for taking part in this video. You can find it here: {{ URL }} 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.

    Here are some suggestions: 1. Write a blog post on it 2. Tweet it by clicking {{ URL }} 3. Sharing this Facebook 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.

    1. 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.

  42. 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
    3. Connect the camera to your computer, and using the LCD, press 'USB Connect Step 3
    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
    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

    1. Finally, select the ‘Import’ button on the bottom right of the screen: Step 6
    2. 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)
    3. 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.
    4. 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
  43. Post-Production - Do you have 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
    Figure: Bad example - the version number is too large, too dark and too obvious

    Version Example
    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).
  44. Post-Production - Do you use 'HD or '4K' quality?

    There is 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 4k resolution. 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.

    Because of the ease of recording and compressing down 4K video, it seems like a no brainer that videos should be produced in 4K rather than HD 1080p.

    Where possible, do your camera work in 4K, and then when you edit your project do it in 1080p so you can use the extra resolution to 'fake zoom-in'. If the client specifically requests the highest possible video quality, stick to editing the project in 4K.

    After your videos recorded and edited using your editor of choice, you need to choose an appropriate export setting. Assuming you're making the video for web streaming (e.g. YouTube), here are the best export settings:

    Export Settings for Adobe Premiere Pro:

    • Select H.264 as your format
    • In the Video tab, the Bitrate settings will be pre-selected depending on the resolution selected.

      • For 1080p we recommend 5-10Mbps (smaller number smaller file size, less quality)
      • For 4k we recommend 20-30Mbps
    • In the Audio tab| Bitrate Settings | Bitrate [kbps] | 320kbps

    figure video export settings in premiere pro
    Figure: Video Export settings in Premiere Pro

    figure audio export settings in premiere pro
    Figure: Audio Export settings in Premiere Pro

    Export Settings for Camtasia

    export camtasia
    Figure: Camtasia export settings

  45. Post-Production - Do you know how to structure video files?

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

    Video Project Organization

    Things that go under each main folder:

    • YYYY-MM-DD-project-name

      • Assets
      • Contains all external files, and a copy of any files used from the server's 05-assets directory
      • Edit
      • Contains the active project files, e.g. Premire Pro .pproj files
      • Exports
      • Contains all edit exports & renders
      • Footage
      • Contains all captured media, e.g. video, screen captures, & audio that was recorded for the project

        • Use YYYY-MM-DD-description
        • Contains multi-day or multi-camera shoots
      • Graphics
      • Contains After Effect project files, e.g. .aep files

    Data Server Organization

    It is also very important to keep your shared resources and servers organized.

    folders structure
    Figure: An efficient way for a team to structure their server and common files/folders

    Things that go under each folder:

    • 00-unsorted

      • Contains legacy folders that need to be sorted and put in an appropriate location.
    • 01-backlog

      • Contains all backlog video items to be processed.
      • The internal folder structure is YYYY-MM-DD-project-name
    • 02-in-progress

      • Contains all backlog video items currently in progress.
      • Each user should have their own personal folder named [Firstname]InProgress
      • Folders are moved to a user's InProgress folder from 01-backlog
    • 03-processed

      • Contains all video items that have been finished (archived).
      • The internal folder structure is YYYY-MM-DD-project-name
    • 04-masters

      • Contains final exports from videos that can be showcased – a copy of the video file only, to be sorted in folders by year.
      • The internal folder structure is YYYY | YYYY-MM-DD-project-name
    • 05-assets

      • Contains all the assets for video editing and graphics, including:
      • graphics
      • music
      • sound-effects
      • fonts
    • 06-marketing

      • Contains folders used by the marketing team, including the Photos folder
    • 07-user-folders

      • Contains user’s personal folders
    • 08-programs

      • Contains installation files for video production software, including:
      • drivers
      • plugins
    • 09-documents

      • Contains documents - to be synchronized to VIDEO-Videos
  46. Post-Production - Do you use dedicated collaborative software for video reviews?

    So you have just finished that sweet video edit and you are now ready & excited to receive feedback from your team and or client. You just sent the link to the video to get "Test Pleased" and now the struggle begins with issues like:

    • Feedback and video are in 2 different places - So you have to jump back and forth between feedback notes and video
    • No single source of feedback - Feedback is given by word of mouth, multiple email threads, comments and handwritten notes
    • Overlapping or conflicting feedback from different people
    • Version control - Versions not linked automatically
    • Timecodes - You need to manually document timecodes
    • Video accessibility - During a teams call only one person can interact with the video
    • Feedback clarity - No ability to draw on the video
    • Project handover - Difficulty sharing with other editors E.G. No single source of truth

    This is where collaborative viewing platforms like Frame.io come in.

    Video: What is Frame.io? (2 min)

    Frame.io is a purpose-built video review and collaboration software that lets you share, comment, and approve videos with your team and clients. Frame.io integrates with popular editing tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, so you can work seamlessly across different platforms.

    Getting started

    To review and comment on video projects in Frame.io you don't need an account, it will simply prompt you to put in your name and email address.

    To upload and manage your projects in Frame.io, you need to create an account. If you have an Adobe CC Subscription, you can log in using that account.

    frameis login1
    Figure: frame.io login page

    Once you have logged in, you can create projects and invite collaborators. You can upload videos from your computer by dragging and dropping them onto the projects page or cloud storage, or import them directly from your editing software using the Frame.io extension. You can also organize your videos into folders and subfolders for easy access.

    frameio projects1
    Figure: Projects page on frame.io

    Sharing video for feedback

    To share a video for review, you can generate a shareable link that anyone can access without logging in. You can customize the link settings such as password protection, expiration date, download permission, watermarking, etc. To do this;

    1. Click and highlight the video you wish to share
    2. Click the 3 dots on the lower right-hand side of the selected thumbnail

    frameio projects2
    Figure: Video thumbnail 3 dot menu

    1. Navigate to Share | Share for Review

    frame edit 6
    Figure: Share for review menu item

    1. Share link - copy the link and send to the reviewer, or add them using the email field

    frame edit 7
    Figure: Share link page

    Reviewing videos

    To review a video, you can play it back through a browser on any device and leave feedback, pinpointed down to the second! You can use annotations, emojis, drawings, etc. to make your comments more specific and actionable. You can also reply to other comments or tag collaborators to notify them.

    1. To make a comment, pause the video where you wish to give feedback, then in the comment field located below the video player type your feedback

      Note: If you cancel your feedback, your feedback will be cleared.

    frame comment 1
    Figure: Comment field box

    1. If you haven’t logged in yet, you will be prompted to enter your Name and Email

      Note: If you cancel this prompt, your feedback will be cleared.

    frame comment 3
    Figure: Email and display name dialog box

    1. In/Out points - To make a comment that covers a specific section, click and drag the ‘[‘ left or ‘]’ right to set your ‘in’ and ‘out’ points

      Notes:

    2. To clear the playback range of the video press the escape key on the keyboard.
    3. Playback of a section will loop in the playback range.

      frame comment 4
      Figure: In and out point

    4. Drawing on a video - to enhance your comment, try selecting the paintbrush tool located next to the send button, then use your mouse to draw on the video

    frame comment 5
    Figure: Paint brush button

    frame comment 6
    Figure: Drawing on video example

    1. Edit your comment - on the sidebar, select the pencil icon to make edits to your previous comment

      Note: Any unsaved changes will revert to the original comment.

    frame comment 7
    Figure: Edit comment button

    1. Video versions - all previous and current versions are bundled under the same link. To check your version, or swap to a different version, select the version dropdown at top of the page

    frame version 1
    Figure: Video versions button location

    frame version 2
    Figure: Video versions menu

    Actioning feedback

    Exporting feedback - to download all comments:

    1. Navigate to the comment sidebar and click on the download button

    frame edit 1
    Figure: Download comments button

    1. Navigate to 'download as file' and export comments as CSVs (for reference or imported markers to your choice of editing software)

    frame edit 2
    Figure: Download comments as XXX menu items

    1. Completing feedback - to mark a comment as done, click the circle on the top right of the highlighted comment to mark as complete

    frame edit 3
    Figure: Mark comment as done button

    Why you shouldn't review videos on delivery platforms

    The top video social media are:

    • YouTube
    • YouTube Shorts
    • Vimeo
    • Instagram
    • TikTok

    Comparison table using delivery platforms over Frame.io for reviewing

    Frame.ioOne DriveVimeoYouTubeYouTube ShortsInstagramTikTok
    Playback Controls
    Basic Timecode
    Advance Timecode with Frame Counter
    Unlisted Videos
    Versioning
    Timestamped comments
    Project File Management
    Downloadable Low QualityLow Quality
    Draw on Video
    Export Comments
    Available in China

    Frame.io is a powerful tool that simplifies video collaboration and feedback. It helps you reduce review cycles and speed up approvals while maintaining high-quality standards. Whether you are working solo or with a team of editors/producers/directors/client/etc., Frame.io will help you deliver amazing videos faster and easier.

  47. Post-Production - Do you create 'Golden Moments'?

    In a world of constant distractions, getting your audience's attention to watch your video content can be difficult.One great method is to start your video with a tiny snippet that will 'tease' the audience, which is called the Golden Moment (aka Featured Highlight, hype teaser).

    What should a Golden Moment look like?

    The Golden Moment is a clip at the start of your video (e.g. before any titles or introductions) that will interest and excite viewers, while also giving them an idea of the video's main content.As this clip is the first thing an audience will see, it is important to get it right to make a good impression.

    Golden Moment essentials

    • Short - 25 seconds max
    • Concise - to the point with no no waffling or run-on statements
    • Mistake-free - errors in the start look unprofessional and turn people away
    • Represents the video's purpose - it sets the audience's expectation for what the rest of the video will be about, and why they should be interested
    • High Energy - it will set the tone for the rest of the video, so start with a bang!

    Video: Good example - The first 14 seconds are the Golden Moment

    Notes:

    • Avoid using Golden Moments if your video is shorter than 2 minutes
    • Avoid using a Golden Moment from the very first minute of the video. If you use take a clip from the beginning of the video it will sound repetitive to the viewer

    Panning for gold

    As the name would suggest, finding moments that happen organically in the video can be challenging, and it can take some time to uncover the perfect clip.Some videos won't have anything suitable, and in this case it is better to have no moment than to have a poor Golden Moment.The best way to ensure there is always a Golden Moment is to plan for it.

    Creating your moment

    When recording your video, a little bit of forward thinking will go a long way.Make sure you include a sentence that covers all of the Golden Moment essentials listed above.

    It is best if you can incorporate it into your main content, but if your main content doesn't have anything suitable then your Golden Moment can be recorded afterwards. In this situation, try to replicate the initial recording conditions so it matches the rest of your video (e.g. same lighting, clothing, position and background).

  48. Post-Production - Do you add time links to YouTube videos' descriptions?

    Timestamps are simple captions added to the description of a video. You can add the timestamps for each section (or chapter) in a video. This is especially useful in training sessions, presentations, or any long length video. The user can even use the YouTube slider at the bottom to easily navigate through these video sections.

    Note: You can go extra and add Chapter Markers (table of contents) on the video screen. This is done in video editing tools.

    Steps to do this:

    1. Go to YouTube in your browser
    2. Play the video through the timeline until you reach the moment you want a link to
    3. Make a note of the time
    4. Type in the timestamp (E.g. 04:41) on the video description. This also works on comments
    5. Save and YouTube will automatically add a link to that exact time of the video

    youtube video time link
    Figure: Timestamps are interactive - Users can easily go to each section of the video by clicking on these links or using the slider

    table contents in video screen
    Figure: Chapter Markers are rendered over the video and not interactive - A visual table of content inside the video screen - If you watch from 2:38 you will see a new section highlighted with a dip to black, subtle sound effect, and strikethrough on the section that just finished

  49. Post-Production - Do you have digital on-screen graphics (aka DOG) 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.

    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

    dog bad
    Figure: Bad example - Channel ID is too obstructive and has unusual placement

    dog good
    Figure: Good example - DOG placed in lower right corner where it's not obtrusive

  50. Post-Production - Do you add a sweet audio indication when something happens on the screen?

    A lot of your audience will not always be looking at your video. A sweet sound can make users look at the video.

    video trump sound
    Figure: Good example: Text appears on the screen with a sweet sound

    Watch on YouTube: Cory Booker: Why Trump should try being nice on Twitter (at around 1:05 you will hear the sound when a text appears on the screen)

  51. Audio - Do you record better audio?

    Audio is one of the most important things to get right in a video as many viewers will tune out if the sound is not good, because if you can't hear someone properly it makes it more difficult to understand them.

    Background Noise

    Having sounds in the background during a recording can be very distracting, and sometimes irritating to a viewer, e.g. construction, traffic, someone in the kitchen banging pots and pans.

    For sounds that are constant and consistent (e.g. air conditioners, fans, heaters), editing software can often remove a lot of this noise, but digitally reducing the noise can make your voice sound "thin" or tinny.

    Try these tips to minimize unwanted noise:

    1. Timing – schedule your recording during a quiet part of the day (e.g. avoid meal-times and breaks)
    2. Block out & dampen sounds – reduce the amount of noise by physically obstructing it:

      • Close all doors and windows - a sealed space will reduce a large amount of noise
      • Create a barrier – put obstacles in between your microphone and the unwanted noise (e.g. use a wall divider, or stack some boxes to make a wall)
      • Use Carpet/Rugs – soft materials will cut down on echo and ambient noise
    3. Mic distance – putting your microphone closer to your audio source will make your desired audio louder, and unwanted noise will be less noticeable

    Silent Spaces – Record “Room Tone”

    Room Tone is the ambient noise in a room when no sound is being produced, like a room’s audio fingerprint.The sound is shaped by many things, including the room’s size, shape, and objects, as well as noise created from appliances, e.g. refrigerators.

    If you record room tone that has no dialogue or noises, it can be used to improve the audio quality of a video by filling spaces between editing cuts in the dialogue, and it also gives time for graphics to fade in and out.

    1. When you start recording, wait 30 seconds before you begin.
    2. When you finish your presentation, stay in your position for an extra 30 seconds.
    3. Smile! Don't forget you are still on camera.

    Microphone types

    There are several types of microphones, and each has a distinctive shape and a specific way to be used.

    • Dynamic - Stage: These are robust, cheap, and durable microphones, and recognisable at any live event or gig. These use a movable induction coil suspended in the field of a magnet, which is resistant to loud sources, e.g. drumkits and guitar amplifiers. For recording vocals, the best position for a dynamic mic is 5-10 cm away from your mouth, with the tip pointed towards your mouth.
    • Dynamic - Lapel / Lavalier: These have an induction coil like the stage mics, but are very small omnidirectional mics. They can be fixed in a headset, or have a long cable and a clip so it can be easily moved. For recording vocals, the best position for a lapel mic is over the sternum.
    • Large Diaphragm Condenser - Studio Condenser mics have a thin flat membrane, or diaphragm, that moves in reaction to sound pressure. This makes them more sensitive, which can produce a more pleasant sound, but also makes them much more delicate. These mics are most receptive when sound reaches the flat surface of the large diaphragm. For recording vocals, the best position for a large diaphragm condenser mic is to have the flat side of the diaphragm pointed towards you, e.g. on a Blue Yeti this is indicated by the "Blue" logo.
    • Small Diaphragm Condenser - Shotgun These condenser mics have a much smaller diaphragm, so are more robust that the large diaphragm mics, but are still very sensitive. The most common type is known as a "shotgun", known for the long barrel that it is mounted in, which are directional. For recording vocals, the best position for a mall diaphragm condenser mic, or shotgun mic, is to point the tip of the barrel towards the source.

    Figure: How to position your microphone based on type.

    Microphone Patterns

    Recording Patterns are a way to refer to the most sensitive parts of a microphone – the areas where the most sound will be picked up.Some high-end microphones will have options for Recording Patterns, including:

    • Stereo: uses a left and right channel, so sounds will feel like it coming from a specific location. Good for music.
    • Omnidirectional: picks up sound equally from all around the mic. Best for recording multiple speakers.
    • Cardioid: picks up sounds directly in front of the microphone. Best for recording a single speaker.
    • Bi-Directional: picks up sounds directly in front and behind the microphone. Best for recording in between two speakers.

    Figure: Recording Pattern symbols and their visual representations.

    Record Locally

    When recording a Microsoft Teams or a Zoom call (e.g. an interview) the software will automatically compress the sound, reducing the quality.So that your final video has the best sound quality:

    1. Check your default recording device is set to the microphone you want to record with:

      • Right-click the sound icon in the taskbar and select "Sounds". (You can also access the panel through by searching "Change system sounds" in the start menu)

      select sounds
      Figure: Opening the System Sounds panel through the Windows taskbar.

      • Select the "Recording" tab, and check that your desired microphone is set to default device.

    select default
    Figure: Your default mic is indicated with a green check mark ✅

    1. Record the audio locally (e.g. you can use Windows' Voice Recorder app)

    Figure: Voice Recorder, Window’s default audio recording app

    1. To access the recording, you can right-click on the file in Voice Recorder and select "Open file location". The default location for Voice Recorder files is in your user Documents folder, e.g. C:\Users\YourAccount\Documents\Sound recordings

    This higher quality audio should be used in post-production eg. When editing in Adobe Premiere Pro.

    Figure: Good example – Brian Tyler Cohen and Adam Schiff – the setup is likely Zoom and a good mic

  52. Audio - Do you know how to find the best audio track for your video?

    Finding the right song or music for your video is exciting, but you should never use any copyrighted work without permission. This is because copyright is designed to protect musicians and creators, so using unlicensed music negatively affects artists.

    In addition to this, if you have unlicensed or copyrighted music or songs on your YouTube videos they might be removed from the site or and revenue will instead be distributed to the artist. To avoid this, use licensed or royalty-free music.

    audio video bad
    Figure: Bad example - Ripping someone's song can result in your video being taken down by YouTube

    Royalty-Free Music

    There are many options available for purchasing high-quality music that you can use in both commercial or personal videos.

    Some of the top music libraries are:

    Audio Network

    Audio Network is the best option for editing because it provides a very large range of very high quality music, and even offers variations on instrumentation and durations. The user interface is good, and customer service is great too, with an Account Manager available to assist. This library is used by major production companies and broadcasters around the world (UK based).

    audionetwork screenshot
    Figure: Good example - Scanning Audionetwork song descriptions can be faster than listening to each song - you can listen and jump forward along the waveform to quickly get the gist of it, then find the perfect powerful crescendo to finish off your video

    Artlist

    Artlist have a regularly updated library with new songs, and is a very cost-effective solution. While the library of music is more limited than Audio Network, they also provide a subscription to sound effects which is very useful. The style sounds more like professional music created by bands and artists but is still designed for corporate, making it a solid choice as a music library.

    audio video good art list
    Figure: Good example - Artlist - for a low annual subscription cost you get unlimited access to really awesome quality music.

    Audio Jungle