EdTech EStudio

The eStudio contains camera equipment, lighting, a range of backdrops, and two Dell Precision desktops.
Uses of the eStudio might include recording a class lecture, conducting virtual office hours, or using a SMART podium to annotate content.
EdTech staff are available for consultation to help with your video design.

Software packages include:

  • Camtasia Studio
  • Adobe Premier Pro CS5.5
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Design Premium CS5
  • Adobe Acrobat 8
  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Jing

The eStudio is located in the Interdisciplinary Engineering Building's room 104A.

Contact us to set up an appointment to tour the eStudio and learn the equipment. 

eStudio Best Practices

  • Always use a tripod to keep shots steady. Do not overuse the zoom/pan features
  • Use a proper white balance: select daylight/outdoor or tungsten/indoor setting
    • For a custom setting, hold up a white sheet of paper and adjust the white balance.
    • White balance for every location.
  • Frame subject with slightly zoomed-in lens.
    • Zoom all the way out, then zoom in slightly.
  • Camera should be at eye level of presenter.
  • Use auto-focus and auto-exposure on camera.
  • Wear single-colored clothing.
    • Neutral or warm colors work well.
  • Allowing at least 5 seconds of recording at beginning and ending of each take.
  • Shoot inside a properly selected room with controlled lighting and no excess noise.
  • Do not use mixed lighting sources.
  • Select a location with minimal noise including other people talking and humming, active appliances, or outside traffic.
  • Listen for 30 second in the room to check for excess noise.
  • Background color should be a flat color or very simple background.
    • This is less distracting to the viewer and easier to compress the video clip.
    • A flat background also allows for the easy insertion of a background image or clip to allow for "chromakey" style effects.
  • Shoot in a room filled with things such as furniture and cloth curtains to muffle echoes and minimize noise reverberation.
  • If possible, use multiple shots to give different perspectives.
    • Wide (master) shot to show presenter and room.
    • Medium shot to move closer to the action.
    • Close-up shot to focus in on hands and emphasize the action.
  • Shots can be combined in post-production editing.
  • Shorter clips are easier to edit in post-production.
    • If a mistake is made, it is easier to reshoot a short clip than a long one.
  • Preview raw footage and note any material that may need to be removed.
    • This includes excessive "um's" and "ah's" in sound or long segments where not much happens.
  • Edit with a good mix of wide, medium, and close-up shots for a more interesting video.
  • Use a clip-on lapel or external shotgun microphone close to the presenter to get the best sound quality.
  • Manually set up sound levels and perform a sound check with the presenter speaking at normal levels.
  • Volume control should be set at high as possible without going into the "red zone."
    • If volume goes into red zone, the sound will be distorted—this cannot be fixed in editing.
    • If sound is too quiet, volume can usually be adjusted in post-production, but this can also introduce some distortion effects.
    • The trick is to find the middle ground of audio levels for your current video production.
  • Use headphones to monitor recording to ensure you are reaching the correct sound levels when speaking normally.
  • Raw video formats are larger than the compressed finished project.
  • Raw video formats include *.AVI, *.MOV, and *.MTS—your camera will most likely determine which native raw video format it prefers.
  • Preferred web formats for video are H.264, MPEG-2, or MPEG-4 (YouTube).
  • Aim for a web video resolution aimed for a variety of viewers who may be using different devices to view your video. Here are some common resolutions in standard (4:3) and widescreen (16:9) aspect ratios:
    • (4:3) 1024 x 768
    • (4:3) 800 x 600
    • (4:3) 640 x 480
    • (16:9) 1920 x 1080 (High Definition)
    • (16:9) 1280 x 720 (High Definition)
    • (16:9) 640 x 360 (YouTube widescreen)
  • Higher resolution = larger file size. Find a balance between viewability, portability, and file storage.
  • For audio, bit rates from 96 kbps to 164 kbps are sufficient.
    • As with video, high bit rates will contribute to overall file size.