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
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.