How to make a video on a low budget...

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
GuitarTim

How to make a video on a low budget...

Post by GuitarTim » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:00 pm

I was off work on a vacation day today, so since I had a little time, I decided to see if I could record a video to put up here, since I notice that not very many people are doing so. I got to thinking that maybe most people are unaware that it's pretty simple to create something to post here, so I thought I'd describe what I did, in case it might help someone else.

There did, of course, used to be a smaller size limit on files, so maybe people are still thinking they have to stay under 2Mb. No longer true - the max size is now 10Mb, so it should be easier to put up videos (and it is!).

I'm not ready to POST my video yet, and when you read my description you'll understand why, but I should have one ready within a day or two.

I don't have a real video camera, which would be a lot better, so I decided to see what I could do with my digital camera. It's a Canon PowerShot A60, with 2.0 MegaPixels. Not very high-end, but it did the job. I put it on a tripod, got it lined up, then set it in "video" mode and sat down and played. When I was done, I stopped the camera. Actually, in this case I made a bunch of mistakes, so I stopped the camera, then started over, and the second time the camera ran out of memory before I finished the piece.

Anyway, what I discovered was that it's possible to make a reasonable-quality video this way. Of course, recording it is only half the story. Once it's recorded, you still need to get it uploaded. When you first copy it from the camera to the computer, your file is likely to be something like 35Mb or so - much to big to upload here. You need some way to edit the file, and compress it. What I found that worked for me is Windows Movie Maker. I am able to import the clip, then cut part(s) of it out that I don't want, then save it to a format that gives me a filesize of something like 5Mb instead of 30.

I also discovered things about lighting - like you want to HAVE some kind of lighting, from both sides preferably. Anyway, I just thought people might like some suggestions and tips on how to do this. If anyone else has any, perhaps they can put them here. It'd be GREAT if a moderator would feel the need to make this a sticky (because that would mean there are LOTS of videos here to watch)...

hav

Post by hav » Sun Sep 25, 2005 7:26 pm

Hey Tim - just as an alternative for folks, I use a simple webcam (with built in mic) to make vids of practices. And I use several programs (most free) to create compressed formats for various players...

* Recording:
Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000 and its software - I use the built in mic but a separate mic would be better and is supported in the software that comes with the cam

* Conversions:
-Win Media Encoder 9 (free)
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/window ... fault.aspx

-Real Producer 10 (free)
http://www.realnetworks.com/products/producer/

-Quicktime (MIGHT require the paid version to export .mov files - I forget)
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/win.html

NOTE: the links for downloading conversion software above may change over time - but I have listed the current links as of this writing.





* Editing: (these are cost items but there may be free alternatives)
-Adobe Audition (clean out the hiss and noise)
-Video Edit Magic (lighten the vid if I make it too dark)

Procedure: Trying to (even briefly) describe this seems to indicate an onerous process - which it's really not. But the conversions CAN be time consuming in that the conversions themselves taks a long time to execute - easy to get each started - they just run for a while.

1. record the vid -- this produces an AVI file - VERY large and not great for online use - I record 320x240 and 30 FPS

2. Clean hiss & noise - I use audition on the virgin AVI file - hiss is best removed using noise reduction rather than hiss removal - play with the noise reduction settings a bit to become familiar
INPUT: virgin AVI file
OUTPUT: modified AVI same resolution (may be an even bigger file because the output audio may be stereo instead of mono)

UPDQATE 10-12-05 - My webcam (and you may find this with yours as well) records mono audio - which is OK except that when I bring the avi into Audition to clean it, you may find that the output avi still contains hiss. This seems to be from the second audio track which was not used by the webcam. You can correct this situation with Audition in the Edit view - select EDIT | Convert format (last item in the Edit menue) -- change it to be Stereo (I leave mine at 16 bits). After this, noise reduction and hiss reduction should be fine!


3. IF TOO DARK - this is where I will use Video Edit Magic to lighten the video.
INPUT: virgin AVI file or modified AVI from audition
OUTPUT: modified AVI same resolution (may be an even bigger file because the output audio may be stereo instead of mono)

4. Conversions: AVI is not a great format for online use. Also, people prefer to use different players - the most common of which seem to be Windows Media Player, Quicktime Player or Real Media Player. The file formats I provide are WMV (for WMP users), .MOV (for Quicktime users) and .RM (for Real Player users).

In all cases the input file is the AVI file from steps 1, 2 or 3 above.

WMV - I use Windows Media Encoder (free)
simply CONVERT A FILE
to a PROGRESSIVE WEB DOWNLOAD
CD quality audio/VHS quality vid
I target 300 Kbps (30 fps - really 29.7 or something equally odd)

MOV - I use Quicktime (MAY require the cost version to export .MOV files from AVI files - I just forget)
simply open the AVI file
then EXPORT a .MOV file
I use "hinted download" setting and 30 fps etc.

RM files - I use Real Producer (free)
simply select the AVI file as input
I target 256 DSL
make the .RM file
NOTE, you will also want to make a .RAM file to make it easier for folks to get (pseudo) streaming access to the .RM files, this is a simple text file and may be as simple as the fully specified URL of the .RM file -- for example, the content of the .RM file for the 997 Sarabande at http://www.hav.com/junk/videos_09-12-05/ is simply one line of text - namely...

http://www.hav.com/junk/videos_09-12-05 ... _bwv997.rm

Also note that pseudo streaming of .RM files requires a configuration setting in the webserver - but MOST Apache webservers probably have this set as required (I don't know how folks tend to setup IIS or other webservers but I expect they also tend to default with pseudo streaming enabled)
Last edited by hav on Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Azalais

Post by Azalais » Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:42 am

Thank you both!! I have been meaning to ask hav these questions... (but was stuck ing the DA*S phase... trying to research it before asking dumb questions...)

Quicktime still crashes my setup (I suspect a firewall problem)... and hadn't had time to find the links to download the functioning free versions of WMM or RealProducer... (hint, hint)

The last time I tried pseudo streaming video was back in the animated .gif and beta RealProducer days... I really appreciate these How-To's... and will make them sticky (If I can remember where to do it....).

azalais

GuitarTim

Post by GuitarTim » Mon Sep 26, 2005 2:23 am

Cool... thanks, hav! Way more comprehensive than my attempt at explanation - you've obviously done some of this... :lol:

I do hope folks will take the plunge and try this stuff out - it's really not as hard as all that... (of cours, then you have other folks laughing at what you look like playing... don't worry, we all look silly!)

Marie-Claire

Post by Marie-Claire » Mon Sep 26, 2005 5:24 am

Thanks, Tim and Hav, for all this usefull information.
Marie-Claire

Rich9999

Post by Rich9999 » Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:13 pm

Yes ...Excellent.....Thank you for this information.

Rick :)

anathem

Post by anathem » Sat Oct 01, 2005 1:09 pm

thanks a lot guys i'm not so much into recording but i wanted to make a vid as well and didn't know where to start plus i didn't have the time.i think this thread kinda takes care of the problems and i'll get to recording the tie allows me to do it.i think it would be cool to see each other playing and recognise each other when walking on the street :) (relatively impossible but..:))

hav

Post by hav » Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:52 pm

Ok - I have added links (current as of 10/12) to download conversion software

also updated on how to use Audition to convert webcam avi to have stereo audio and thus fully remove hiss (was getting hiss and noise from the unused audio track in the webcam output avi).

Marie-Claire

Post by Marie-Claire » Thu Oct 13, 2005 7:07 pm

Thank you hav.
Marie-Claire

anathem

Post by anathem » Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:11 am

10x hav

jarods

Post by jarods » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:16 am

hello hav
I did you a MP to have explanations about recording a video ...

please check :wink:

Tiago

Post by Tiago » Mon May 21, 2007 4:18 pm

When will we see a video from Owl? :P

zenking

I have a problem with my video...

Post by zenking » Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:24 pm

To anyone that can help:

I am trying to record a performance with a basic Logitech webcam.

Problem is that there is a lag in both audio and video and any quick motions come across as "trails".

Is there some way to get me to realtime recording? Or is my issue of lag going to happen with any basic webcam?

zk

Paul Saywood

Re: I have a problem with my video...

Post by Paul Saywood » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:41 am

zenking wrote:To anyone that can help:

I am trying to record a performance with a basic Logitech webcam.

Problem is that there is a lag in both audio and video and any quick motions come across as "trails".

Is there some way to get me to realtime recording? Or is my issue of lag going to happen with any basic webcam?

zk
Hello zk,
I had this problem too, and found out from jounis that the way to get around it is to import into Windows Movie Player, save it as a movie and that sorts out the problem - give it a go.

Paul

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Jouni Stenroos
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Re: I have a problem with my video...

Post by Jouni Stenroos » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:54 am

Paul Saywood wrote:
zenking wrote:To anyone that can help:

I am trying to record a performance with a basic Logitech webcam.

Problem is that there is a lag in both audio and video and any quick motions come across as "trails".

Is there some way to get me to realtime recording? Or is my issue of lag going to happen with any basic webcam?

zk
Hello zk,
I had this problem too, and found out from jounis that the way to get around it is to import into Windows Movie Player, save it as a movie and that sorts out the problem - give it a go.

Paul
The audio lag is different thing than the trails in the video. Go to the settings of the webcam and turn off the automatic gain, and then adjust the exposure by hand.

-Jouni
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