My first videos in my new work-from-home basement office were a bit rushed, so I didn’t have much time to work out all of the details before recording the research sessions for my students. While the content was okay, I wasn’t happy with the quality of the audio and video. I watched a few YouTube videos and some Lynda training, and have adapted some ideas to improve my video tutorial setup.
The picture above shows my latest setup when making videos at home.
- Blinds are open to let in natural light. I make adjustments depending on time of day, weather it is sunny or cloudy, etc.
- Logitech C920 Webcam attached to a chair with a Joby Gorillapod
- Blue Yeti microphone (recently acquired) on the stool just below the mic
- Left monitor shows Screencast-o-matic used for recording
- Right monitor shows Logitech G Hub used for adjusting webcam settings (more on this in a later post)
Before making the changes
Here’s what the video looked like before I made the changes outlined above.
- Webcam sitting on top of monitor, making adjustments of the camera angle a little limiting
- Background is a mess, though reflects reality of my life at that moment. (I have to day the guitars on the wall do make me look cooler, I think?)
- Blinds are open and overhead lights are on, but the webcam was on “Full Auto”. As a result, I am a bit blue in the video
- Audio recorded with a headset — not necessarily bad, especially if you’re going for the “air traffic controller” look. However, the audio was “tinny” sounding
- Nice flannel shirt
- Webcam at eye level and a bit closer to the subject. (supposedly this creates more trust with the audience)
- Less cluttered background — No Legos on the floor, open bathroom doors, or sons playing Xbox photobombing me
- Background picture, lamp and plant are not distracting, but still provide something to provide some depth to the video image
- Blinds open to the left, overhead light on, two lamps behind me. This makes the video less pixelated.
- Webcam settings (exposure, white balance, saturation, etc.) were tweaked manually (more on this in another post)
- I still need to work on the white balance. While I’m not as blue as the “Before” shot, I am a bit too warm in this shot.
- I’m not doing any color correction (yet) as I just edit in Screencast-o-matic, so I need to get the white balance as close as possible when I record
- I also feel like I need a key light for off to the right and behind the camera to help balance the light from the window
- Different day, same flannel shirt
- Same shiny head, too
Video resources that helped
Here’s a selection of the videos that gave me ideas for improvements.