If you stopped by my home page today you might have noticed something new – a video! I created it as part of this week’s eLearning Heroes Challenge. I have to say, I was really nervous about this one. I like creating eLearning precisely because I am not front and center! Plus I don’t have a great webcam or a nice looking space in which to record.
But I told David I would participate in this challenge so I couldn’t very well back out. Plus, I think this challenge was really about embracing low-end solutions to create a quality product. And you know what? I think I did just that.
Just in case you also want to incorporate some webcam video into your website or trainings, here’s a quick recap of my tools and process. Be sure to click over to the home page or read till the end to check out the finished product.
The webcam I have on my desktop computer is a Logitech HD webcam. I have previously only used it for Skype but found that it had a pretty good video and audio quality for this project.
My super professional set up was, well, not so super professional.
I think part of what made this challenge interesting was the point that webcam video can be of decent quality and is a lot easier to incorporate than using more professional video tools. So, I moved a few things from the back of my office (I keep my bike there and didn’t want that in the shot) and amped up the lighting by adjusting my monitor brightness and turning on a lamp I don’t normally use. I also had to close my window blinds as the glare from the window was extremely bright. And voila! Instant recording studio.
I decided to give Articulate Replay a shot for this challenge. It came free with my Storyline license but I had yet to open it up and try it out. While the editing capabilities are pretty limited, it was an easy way to add lower thirds and switch between different variations of webcam, screen share, and picture in picture formats.
First, I wrote a script. Ok, actually first I tried a shot without a script. Then I realized that was a horrible mistake and immediately wrote a script. So if you’re trying this out – write a script first. While I was writing the script, I also created a short PowerPoint presentation that I could use as some B roll footage.
I did a couple of short takes of the first few sentences, adjusting my lighting and webcam settings in between, until I found a set up that worked.
Then I did two or three takes with everything in place, just of me talking straight to the camera. (Along with my surprise guest!)
Then I recorded a screen share of my PowerPoint. I decided to record these separately because I had a hard time remembering what I wanted to say while also operating the PowerPoint. I must be getting old. Luckily Replay makes this easy and it didn’t really matter when it came time for editing!
This was the easiest part! Replay was a cinch. I just chose where I wanted to start and end each take, where to start my screen share, and where to put my transitions. In addition I added a lower thirds caption to the beginning and the end which took about 30 seconds. The reason editing is so easy is that I just listed all of the editing possibilities in Replay. It can’t do a lot but it makes simple video editing so easy my Grandma could do it.
And that’s it!