Professional quality video from home with a laptop, phone or webcam | Laura Meoli-Ferrigon | Skillshare

Professional quality video from home with a laptop, phone or webcam

Laura Meoli-Ferrigon, Get Creative with my Classes!

Professional quality video from home with a laptop, phone or webcam

Laura Meoli-Ferrigon, Get Creative with my Classes!

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12 Lessons (1h 12m)
    • 1. Welcome! Start Here

    • 2. Your Project

    • 3. Option 1: Webcam

    • 4. Option 2: Cellphone (as your camera)

    • 5. Option 3: Laptop (as your camera)

    • 6. Orientation & Focus

    • 7. Stabilization

    • 8. Lighting

    • 9. Background

    • 10. Composition

    • 11. Audio

    • 12. Thank you for watching!

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About This Class

Whether you are recording a selfie video for social media, a lecture talk or just want to look fabulous in your video meetings, you’ll learn the essentials for how to capture high quality videos that make you look like a pro!

No professional video production experience or equipment is required. We’ll make use of your current laptop, tablet, webcam or cell phone camera and find the best place in your space to deliver high quality videos. No expensive equipment required.


Meet Your Teacher

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Laura Meoli-Ferrigon

Get Creative with my Classes!


Hello, I'm Laura. I am a seasoned educator, content creator, podcast host & author with more than 13 years experience. My achievements include a NY Emmy Award, seven Telly Awards and multiple festival wins my her projects, "Give a Little", "Women of Action", "Perspective", and the "Granville T. Woods Documentary".

By pursuing a Master's degree in Instructional Design & Delivery, my goal is to empower the next generation to tell uplifting and creative stories to make the world a better place. Combining cognitive processing theory, Mayer's 12 principles of design, and hands-on design thinking strategies with the latest educational technology, I hope to maximize learner retention and engagement. Creating multi-platform educational media for various learning styles, I... See full profile

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1. Welcome! Start Here: Hi. My name is Laura Me, a Leaf Aragon, media director, educator, artists and author. And this class is called professional quality video from home with the laptop phone or Webcam. So in this class, we're gonna be going through the different types of devices you can use the different types of needs you might have for recording high quality videos and how to make them look as amazing as possible. So we're gonna talk about things like lighting, your background, sound composition and even camera setting. Some of those things could be a little technical, but I promise I will break it down for you to make it as simple as possible. So I've been working from home for a couple months now. I'm sure you you might be doing that as well On these Web calls, Zoom calls, Sky Google, me. All of these things were constantly on its have. Our meetings were also recording videos for social media for different platforms. What you might be doing a Kickstarter video, something like that. So there are many reasons why we would be recording videos. But there are inexpensive ways that you can make your videos look high quality and it's not about buying a super expensive camera. It's really all about how can you use the techniques that I'm going to show you, which are from professional filmmaking experience that I have? How can use those techniques and bring them into your everyday practice? So I want you to go through the lessons. There are three options to start with. There's a cell phone laptop or Web cam. I'm using a webcam, which I have back here, but I'm using a camera right now. They applied any kind of device that you have. I also want you to get used to whatever device that you're using. I learned the settings in there because as we go through each of the required tutorial that I want you to make sure you go through all of them. You're gonna be upping your production value each time. So start with those three options and then go through the other one's step by Step on, feel free to put your progress and your projects in the class gallery so that we can all share and see what you're working with. If you have any specific questions, feel free to record it. Put it in the video. Put it in the class gallery, and I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. All right, so let's get started. Good luck. 2. Your Project: Hi. So in our project, make sure that you have an Internet connection, so watch these videos. But also, if you're doing any live videos, a cell phone with a selfie camera or a laptop or a tablet with a camera or a webcam, any of those things will do. Now video files are larger than most photos, so you want to make sure that whatever device you're recording on has at least five gigabytes of storage, the more the better really to save your videos and we'll get more into video quality later . But for now, let's just make sure you have enough storage space to play with. You'll also need either a lamp window or other light source. The last thing that we're gonna need here is a goal, and generally our goal. It's a look great on camera for your project. I want you to set your own goal. Take a few minutes to write this down. Why do you want your videos to look so good? Is it for your YouTube channel, your social media videos or for Web conferences? No matter what your answer, these tips that we're gonna go through can be applied to any of your projects, but specifically in this class, we're gonna be creating a one minute selfie style video to introduce yourself and show off your professional video skills from home. And as we go through each lesson, you'll apply what you've learned, starting with a Selfie photo, adding audio, speaking your background and perfecting your shot in your final video, you'll show off how awesome you look and share the most important tips you've learned. You may want to get creative and share your progress to show how far you've come or if you're taking this course with the intention of creating a video game or makeup tutorial. Ah, Kickstarter video, a lecture or whatever else that you're thinking off, feel free to share that with us. Instead, you can share your videos with classmates in the Project gallery, and this is a great way to get feed back and find new creative tips of the trade. Looking forward to seeing your beautiful faces and your great videos 3. Option 1: Webcam: So you have a webcam. That's awesome. Just like me. I also have a webcam, and I can show you that, um I have a lot of junk up there, but it's a little tripod and a camera. Now, I wouldn't use that camera this camera for my video that I'm recording right now, because, as you can see, the quality is much sharper. But the reality of the fact that I'm jumping on zoom all the time I'm jumping on with conferences and calls all the time. I need something that won't take up too much space on my desk and also something that it looks like I'm looking directly added. So if I'm talking to say I'm talking to someone in a web conference, that business great, because I'm talking to my camera. But I can't actually runs you or Google meat or anything through this camera. So this is not the ideal situation for doing these kind of live talks, but my webcam is. And I'll tell you, when I started working from home, which camps were sold out everywhere and it was really difficult to find one, it took me about two months. Actually find a non option to buy a camera and get it shipped to me, and it still took a really long time. There was no Amazon prime with getting this camera, so I'm really happy to have it because it sits right here on top of my screen. Usually if you have on my Mac or a computer or a laptop that has a little camera right here , that will be the probably the easiest option for you, and we'll go through that in another video. But if you do have a Webcam, it's good to try it out. So the important thing to know this one comes working right out of the box. It actually has a little switch on it for privacy, so I can close that up on. I don't know if you can see it, but I can close that up a little. You know, it'll not show me when I'm not on camera on, and it has a built in microphone. I think if you're buying a webcam, you're looking to buy a webcam. The most important thing is to find one that has a built in microphone. I really think it's a great option because it it's gonna be the closest thing to using an I Mac or something that has the camera built in for the eye line. So the eye line is really important. Um, I'm obviously looking at my screen. You could see I have my script here. I have things I want to make sure I tell you, I also have myself so I can see where I am in the shot. But, um, usually, if you're using a webcam, it gives you a wider angle. So I was before using my phone and the problem with it. Waas It made me look like crazy. So it made me look like I was down here like you could see the top of my chin. And I'm like looking down. And you see a lot of people on Web conferences and Web calls where you're looking up their nose and it looks like they're telling a scary story, if you know what I mean. So I felt it was really important to get a webcam so I could stick it up here. So everyone kind of looks better from this higher angle. And so that's why I chose a webcam now, an important thing, Teoh. Consider when you're using a Webcam is it might be so simple that you just plug it in and it works straight out of the box. But on most recording Softwares or Web conference software's like zoom like Google, Quick time. If you're recording a video like I am, they're gonna ask you which camera do you want to use? Which microphone do you want to use? And you want to make sure that you're choosing the webcam as your device, and you want to allow those programs to have access to those devices. So sometimes when you first plug it in and might say, Zoom is asking if you are allowing it to use your webcam to access your webcam. And if you deny it, I deny forever. It's gonna be really hard to get those options back, but you can always google it and figure out how toe get those options back. But it's best if you say yes. I allow this program to have access to my my webcam and audio as well. It will give you that that prompt as well for audio. So those are the things to consider when looking to buy a webcam. The highest quality that you're gonna find out there right now. You might find a four K, but I don't know why you would need a four k webcam. Um, I don't believe that anyone's Internet is probably fast enough to broadcast a four K quality signal. So I would go with HD Webcam, which is 1920 by 10 80 pixels. You might also see it as called 10 80 p. You might also see 7 20 p. What what 7 20 p means in comparison to 10. 80 p is 7 20 is like half the quality of 10 80. So 10 80 is probably the best quality that you're going to be able to broadcast and record . So I would go with 10 80 if you can. It will be a little less expensive and a little lower quality if you go with 7 20 p. But it's also still very good quality. So if you go say on YouTube, you want to upload a YouTube video, It'll it'll ask you, um, which quality do you want to watch the video in? And if you look there, you can usually see some different options. It'll be 3 64 87 2010 80 on and as you go up, it looks sharper and sharper, and so that's a good way to kind of get an idea of what these different qualities look like . But all you need to know in terms of buying is if you can find one that's 10 80 or 7 20 that's gonna be a very good solution for you. It's going to give you a very clear image and a larger image. So aspect ratio is a number that the picks the within the height of the dimensions of the video. On Sometimes, if you look at like old TV shows, you'll see that like the screen is cut off like here, and it's a little let you don't you have those black bars on the side? If you look at an old TV show on, that's because that was four by three and this is 16 by nine, so it's a little wider. Eso, when in doubt, go with 1920 by 10 80 or 10 80 p and it's 16 by nine. So that is the most pro kind of level professional level information I can give you. But whether you're using a webcam, a tablet, a cellphone, anything those air, the settings to go with and also make sure that your computer and your software is picking up those devices now, if you're not sure you want to use your webcam on, you have some other devices. You can go through the other option videos, and I'll explain kind of the same thing again, but also how it applies to those different devices. 4. Option 2: Cellphone (as your camera): So you're using a cell phone to record yourself much like I am right now and you're noticing that the camera high is really important and we're gonna go through definitely stabilization, actually have this little device here that I'm gonna use just to show you, and we'll go through that in the civilization lesson. But so I put it on my stabilizer here, and I want I want you to see how I don't look as good. And most people don't look is good from this low angle. And so if you're using a cell phone camera, you want to make sure that the height is propped up there. So, see, I look much better from here than I do down here. It's an important option to consider when using your cell phone camera is the quality and I have a an android camera. I'm gonna go into my camera settings, and I'm gonna show you see how close we can get here. I'm going to show you. We go into the little wheel and you're gonna look for the quality. So iPhones will have the same kind of option. You go into the camera settings, you're gonna look for anything that looks like a wheel at the top, and then you go into your camera settings and it's different for every single device. So I would say, Look for your, um, your manual, and you could usually find it online. Look for your manual and try to find out how to change your video quality. So when you're using a cell phone, you want to look for the size of the video. So it's actually photo size, which is not what we need right now. Um, looking for Oh, actually, you have to go into see video settings. First, you have to go into the video option, so I haven't l. G eight. Um, and then you go into the settings. If you're in photo, it's gonna give you the settings for the photos. So if you're in video, it'll give you the settings for the video. So you want to set your storage location, and I said in our project description, you're gonna make sure that you have enough storage space to make sure that you can save all your videos. So I'm setting it to SC card SD card, but I haven't. Here is about 32 gigs. It depends what kind of phone You have Some phones you can put a storage and a micro SD card. And like like my phone. Other phones don't allow that. So you're kind of working off the cloud or you're working on whatever stories you have on your phone, and it could be a little limiting. You might want to, like record a small video and then uploaded to the cloud downloaded. Delete it. And it's kind of Ah, a little bit of a pain to do that. If you don't have an external storage option, Um, if you're doing like a live video, if you're doing like a Web conference call or your recording, I don't know what why else you would do that. Like maybe you're doing an instagram video or something where it's it's directly recording in the app and you're not just hitting record and saving it to your phone, then storage is not an issue, But if you're recording something that you want to edit or you want to upload somewhere else, you have to worry about storage. So set your storage location. The other option you're gonna want to go into so my phone at the bottom has F H D. So it says video settings, so you can see the three options. Here it's F HD 16 by 9 1920 by 10 80 or HD 18 by nine by 9 15 12 by 7 20 or HD 16 by 9 12 80 by 7 20 So you'll see kind of a variation of this, depending on what kind of phone you have, what kind of quality your camera is. But what it means, essentially, is your aspect ratio and your picture quality. So picture quality is pixels. You're talking about a number so 1920 by 10. 80 is the amount of pixels you get in the with versus the height of your camera. So the recorded video that you're going to get is 1920 pick 1920 pixels by 10 2000 1080 pixels. So 1920 by 10 80 on those numbers. If you divide hm, they down to their lowest denominator is night is 16 by nine, so 16 by nine is an aspect ratio. It's the with times the height. If you've ever seen old TV shows, you'll see the kind of the bars on the side of the camera, those black bars. It's trying to fit this smaller size screen. There's more square shape into your wider TV screen, So 16 by nine is what most TV's are right now. Most movies are actually wider, so that 18 by nine by nine is actually more of like a film aspect ratio, which I would not recommend using because it's gonna It's gonna actually put bars on the top in the bottom. But 16 by nine is like your standard for TV or for videos, so I would you 16 by nine as much as you can. 19 by 1920 by 10 80 is a standard kind of HD high definition picture quality, so I would go with that. If you can. Some cameras will have this larger number that looks like double 1920 by 10 80. That's four K, so that's double the size of HD older cameras. Less quality cellphones will have ah, 7 20 p, which is a 7 20 by 4 80 pixel screen on video quality, and that is just kind of half the size of HD. So it's a standard definition option if you're recording something I would not say it's terrible to use. 7 20 p. Actually, the smaller your picture quality, the smaller the file will be. So if you go with 7 20 you're going to get a smaller file. Then if you go with h D 1920 by 10 80 which can also be known as 10 80 p. So I know there's a lot of numbers going around, right? Right now, all you need to know is try to go with the highest picture quality you can on your phone, Um, without blowing out your storage capacity So you want to worry about storage. You want to make sure you have an external SD card if you're recording straight to the camera to the phone or if you're recording. If you're not recording but your streaming, then don't worry about storage and try to go with the highest quality possible. What you need to know about streaming from your phone is your Internet has to be fast enough to pick up that quality, so your Internet speed can only broadcast at a certain level consistently, so at times you might be you might have selected HD, but your Internet can only really handle going at 3 60 or for 80 or 7 20 or whatever those numbers are, and it'll kind of adjust based on the quality of your Internet speed. So, um, there's not much you can really do about that. Internet speeds kind of go up and down, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. But if you select the highest quality video on your phone and you use that setting, you should be in good shape when the Internet is doing well. So if you're recording straight to your phone, you don't need to worry about Internet. You just pick the highest quality that your storage can handle, and you should be fine. So those are the two things that you should consider. So it's storage or Internet speed, depending on what? How your recording or streaming and then picture quality and aspect ratio. So those are the two kind of things to know about using your phone to record 5. Option 3: Laptop (as your camera): Hello. So you're using your laptop to record yourself on video or to do a Web conference. Now, as you can see, my webcam is what I'm using here. And this is my laptop. So I have actually a light going right now, and we'll go through lighting for sure. But I want you to notice the difference in brightness. And I didn't adjust the brightness on the laptop because I want you to see what it looks like. Just natural, um, without any adjustment. So if you're doing a web call using my using your laptop, you're gonna wanna try to be in a much more well lit area than a webcam. A Webcam is always going to do its best to kind of adjust. So if I turn my light off, you'll notice on my laptop here at its super dark and, um, really hard to see me. But also an issue is that it looks kind of low. I put my life back on so you can see me, but it looks kind of low. So it looks like I'm kind of like this, or if I'm on the couch and I'm talking to you, it might be only backups. You could see civil on the couch. It's kind of like you're looking up my nose, and so you might see people like this sometimes. And it's not a good look. It's really not. So what I want you to know is that whether you're using your laptop with no matter what quality that laptop is, it's going to be dependent. Your video quality is gonna be dependent on your Internet streaming speed on your storage. Those are the two options. So if you're recording something, live your like talking to someone I shouldn't say record. I should actually say If you're live streaming, so you're on a video call. You're on a Skype or zoom or Google me or something that's live where you're just talking to someone in this one on one environment or in this group kind of meeting. Then your Internet speed is going to determine the quality of what it looks like because it will make you look more blurry if a middle kind of lower the picture quality based on how faster Internet is, and sometimes it will cut out or whatever that is. But that is something you can't control that much. I mean, you could go into like your WiFi settings and speak to your Internet provider on get a faster Internet speed. But streaming, high quality video is, ah, lot of a lot of bandwidth. So that's something that you don't have a lot of control over. If you're recording something on the other hand, like I'm recording this, I'm gonna edit it and would add some slides. Things like that you. The thing to know is, you don't have to worry about your Internet speed because you're recording straight to the device. But what you do have to worry about is your storage. So I want you to have at least a couple gigabytes of storage available on your computer to make sure that whatever, whatever setting you choose, it will record and save to that. Because sometimes I might be recording something, and if there's not enough space on my computer, it's going Teoh, just cancel and then you kind of lost everything. Sometimes it'll stop it and it'll say, like it'll save to your computer before it's hospital and interrupt you in what you're doing so and you never want to get your computer to the point where it's recorded so much that you don't have any storage space, because then your computer starts the have issues. So storage space or Internet band with those are the two options that you're gonna have, depending on the method you're using off recording. So picture quality is often seen as something like 10 80 p or 7 20 p. And what those numbers mean those air pretty much pixels of the amount of pixels. So you have your computer screen here, and it's the certain with. So this is 19 1920 pixels by 1000 80 pixels. So it's the amount of of pixels on your screen. And if you've ever, if you've had a television, what if you've been shopping for TVs? The higher the amount larger those numbers of pixels, the sharper the image and the same thing goes for your computer. If you go with the higher number, like if you see like something with like a 3000 that is four K, so four K is double HD HD. If you're stand is like the normal YouTube. Another option is 7 20 p, which is 7 24 80 You might even see lower than that. If you look on a YouTube video, you might see the options there so you can go in a little wheel and you could see something like 10 87 23 60 All those numbers. It depends on the largest quality that that person uploaded. But, um, the A Q Z va large of quality and also gives you the lesser qualities. And those lesser numbers will make the video look less clear. Soto look more blurry and more pixelated because the pixels are larger, filling a bigger screen, so that is kind of advanced. But that's kind of an important thing to know. Another important thing to know is aspect, ratio and aspect ratio. Just very, basically is you're taking that that HD number, that number of pixels, and you're lowering that fraction into the smallest ratio possible. So it's 16 by nine. If you multiply it up, it will become 1920 by 10 80 or 7 24 80 and all kind of the math works out there, Um, and so it just talks about the with times of heightened, that kind of ratio. So 16 by nine a fraction on. And if you've seen old TV shows, you've seen those black bars on the side. That's because those old TV shows an old televisions used to be four by three, so the ratio was different. It was a four by three. Um, it was a four by a three actually gets the opposite four by three, or now we have 16 by nine. So that's how you should think about aspect ratio. If you're using like your laptop and it has one of those extra wide screens that's not 16 by nine. A lot of the videos you'll watch will have extra bars on the side. So when you're shopping for a laptop and say you're going to use that laptop the aspect ratio. If you're doing a lot of your recording, you want to go with 16 by nine as much as you can. Now, a laptop might not be the perfect option for you in terms of a device to record videos. Because of this low angle, you can either prop up your laptop to a higher if you have something that you can use to prop it up. But also you can tell the camera on the laptop is actually not as wide, so I don't get as much of my room as you do. See, my my web cam that we're on now you get much more of my room in the background. That depends on what you want to show. Say, you don't want to show you a lot of your background. You want to kind of limit it to a certain background. Your lifestyle might be great, but I'm telling you, if you raise it up a little bit, it'll look a lot better and you will look a lot better. See? See how much better it is to not look up my nose? Yeah. Okay, so I'm going to stop here, and I want you to go through the other lessons as much as you can. Each step by step will help you to make your videos a lot better. But choose wisely which device you're gonna use, depending on storage, depending on what you're doing with it, what your project goal is and truth wisely on. Have fun with it. 6. Orientation & Focus: So now we're gonna be talking about orientation and angle. So orientation Say you're using a cell phone for videos. If you've ever seen Tic Tac Snapchat, INSTAGRAM videos, instagram stories, those are all vertical. So this is your vertical vertical orientation, meaning that I'm recording like this. I'm recording like a selfie, and it's tall. And so you can. The quality of the video is tall. When you put this video into a regular size video screen, a regular sized video say on YouTube or Vimeo or on a TV or in a movie, you'll see these big black bars on the side. And you've seen this on news? Probably a lot where they they're showing these videos, and they have either a blurred image in the background or these big black bars there. That is because those videos were films for a Snapchat Tic tac instagram vertical, which is the way we hold our phone, so it's normal to record like that. But I want to encourage you. If you want to look professional, you on your videos to look as great as they can be to record it, actually, horizontally, so that means you're recording it using the camera turned sideways. How you normally look at things on your phone? If you have a webcam, it's already gonna be horizontal. If you have a laptop, it's already gonna be horizontal. You're not gonna hold your laptop on the side like that. That is something really important to think about to make your videos look high quality. And if you see here, I kind of went out of focus on That is something that will happen if you're using whatever device you're using. But if you make the camera thing that another image is more important than you like. Let's put my phone back here for a minute and let's take my face out of it. So I'm doing an experiment here, but the camera's going to try to focus on whatever face it finds on. Then when you come back to normal, see how it just kind of like found my face again. So if I move back here now, it's gonna hopefully catch me. And then I moved back. It's gonna be out of focus for a while, so that's something that also makes your video look high. Quality is the focus and making sure that you are in focus, something people do in like in those makeup videos, makeup tutorials is they'll put. They'll try to show you something like, I'll show you his pen. Let me put it on this side where there's no sunlight will try to show you this pen, and but you can't see it, so they put their hand behind it. So you get like a contracting kind of image. There you might have some issues with getting your face in focus on camera, whether you are vertical or horizontal on. So I suggest if you can tow, have a background that is contrast ing to your face or your hair whatever. So I've seen a lot of like bald white guys with a white wall behind them on the issue is die. The background is the same color as their skin, and so it sometimes doesn't know where to focus it. Also, it could be a problem for lighting like your camera. There's no manual settings on your Web cam or your cell phone or your laptop. So, um, you're kind of going by the camera's ability to adjust to those settings. So if you have a contrast in color behind you. That's gonna be a really great way to separate your face from the background toe, help your camera, recognize your face and to focus on your face. And if you ever recording something or streaming something and you notice that your out of focus, just try to sit still for a second. If you're, you should absolutely have your camera on some kind of stabilizer eso that it will stay in focus more easily. But you can also just put your hand up and let it focus on your hand like put it where your face is. So it knows. So look for that item, so something like my bracelet would probably be good for It's a focus on so it knows, like where I am. So that's that's probably one of the biggest culprits of making videos. Look, low quality is when the person is out of focus or like all you see is my background and focus like I'll give you. I'll give it a second. Let's focus on my my paintings back there so the background isn't focused and then the person is blurry. So see now it's gonna see how it just like picked up my face again. So that's a big culprit of making videos look lower quality. So you want to try to make sure your your face, which is the main attraction and the more the most important thing on camera is in focus, So in a good way to do that is to make sure that you turn it horizontally. Turning in horizontal will make you look professional. Being in focus will make you look professional and also stabilizing. Your camera will make it look professional, which we will go through in the next video. 7. Stabilization: Hi. So right now we're gonna be talking about stabilization on stabilization. Is it? Pretty much means making sure that you're not filming a video that super shaky. So if you've ever seen videos where people are kind of like walking around their camera, or maybe you're on a call with someone that's using their cell phone, it feels like you're walking for their house with them, it can feel very Blair Witch Project for anyone who knows that movie or can feel very disorienting, make you dizzy or nauseous. Even so, something to make your videos look very high. Quality is to use a stabilizer, also known as a try pon. I have one here actually using one right now on the phone on the camera that I'm looking at right now. And what it does is it holds Cameron. I Still, if you're using a Web cam, actually, it's already stabilized cause it's on your computer or and your computer is still so using a Web cam on static screen that on a desk, then you're already stabilized. You don't have to worry about it, but if you're using your cell phone, there are some options. So we have a tripod, which they have pretty small ones like this available. I got this one for, like, $40. They also have a $20 version, But the up the thing you're gonna need, which actually don't have with me right now is a camera cell phone adapter. So it's a tri, a tripod cellphone and after and I'll put a picture in so you can see that what it does is pretty much because all tripods have this kind of plate on the top. If you can see that, let's put it in focus. So they have displayed on the top of the screw on the plate comes off, but you can't. There's no way nowhere to screw this plate into the phone. If you have a camera like I'm using right now, you could screw this right into the bottom of the camera. Most cameras will have that, but if you're using a cell phone, it's actually it's not compatible. So what you want to do is buy a tripod cell phone mount on so it will screw into here, will have a little hole that you can screw this in, attach it and then you just stick the camera and and you you put that on the track hot. So then it becomes like your phone is on on a tripod itself on. That's a very good option if you are looking to use your cell phone. If yourself is the best thing for you, another important thing to remember is camera hike. So if you're using a tripod, for example, there close position is pretty short. So you don't want it looking up at you. You actually want open those legs as much as possible and put it, I level so actually a little lower than completely open. So opening this off flocking those legs, depending on the kind of try to have some of them, might be super heavy duty and having that kind of work with. But if you're just using your cell phone on top, be he's kind of cheaper. $20.40 dollars. Tripods are definitely capable of holding the weight off your cell phone or a small camera . It's when you get into those heavier cameras like DSLR is that have heavy lenses that you want to try to get a more sturdy tripod. So once your camera is on a path that I would put it. I level take it at least three feet away from you. But it let's say I'm talking to you right now. You're on. You're on my tripod at the moment on, so that would be a good way to stabilize. If it's too low or too high, you can ankle your tripod has this little arm here if you could lose him and go up now. But again, we're getting that kind of effects where someone's looking up your nose or they're looking down on you and it doesn't look natural. So you want to try to always have the camera eye level completely straight directly in front of you in terms of height. Another option if you're using your cell phone. I bought three of these for $10 on Amazon. It's an adjustable phone and tablet stent. You pretty much want to open it. It has this little It has this little lip here that holds up the different levels off the holder so you could go in different heights and you put your phone right in there. Remember horizontally. You put your phone right in there. If it's too low you wanna angle it, go in different heights. You could go super high if you want, and this pretty much makes your cellphone acts like a laptop. And I have lots up here to show you if we're using your laptop, we're getting that effect where it's looking up your nose. So what you want to do is prop it up on something. I have this box here that I got from Michael's. It's just a craft box. It was like a dollar or something you could use like a shipping box. Or you can use anything that you have that that will prop up your laugh hop. It could be books or anything that you have that will add some high two minute, a stable way and keep in stables or from shaking. So this is a good option Now it brings my laptop. I level. It's a little lower than my my Web cam, but actually it's a pretty good height. I would say This is good. Maybe I'm one more book to it and you're a good fight. I think the same thing after you just spent is your cell phone will be too low. So you want to prop it up saying, Let's pretend there we go. So we're propping it up. This is still too low for a lot because down here says, really looking here instead of up here. So you're gonna want to prop up your cellphone a lot higher. Gonna want it, at least this level. So remember, you want to make sure that your camera or your cell phone or your tablet or whatever you're using as your camera is stable, that it's not moving around, not shaking. You can use a tripod. You can use stents. You can use books to prop up your laptop or problem anything you want to make sure that it's eye level when you get a good angle on it. 8. Lighting: Hi. So now we're gonna be talking about the number one priority when it comes to making your videos look high quality, that number one priority is lighting. Now, Right now, I will tell you that I am facing my window and I will pick up the cameras to show you this is my window here, my window sills. I just have the camera you can see placed on that window sill. And so what you're seeing is also lying. I haven't above head light overhead light, and that overhead light is using daylight colored light bulbs, and we'll get into the coloring in a moment. So the way that we can look the best is when we have this light coming directly onto our face. There are some some really inexpensive tools that you could buy. Like I have this little ring line you guys have probably seen bring lights in the past for makeup tutorials and things, and you'll notice in people's glasses they have this like circle, so the cameras that you're using will adjust to the brightness that is appropriate. But if you wearing glasses, a ring light is kind of tough because it's you're never gonna not have that light right in your glasses. And also, it's kind of bright. So what I would suggest if you're gonna use a bring light and I'm just actually clipping it had this one is the clip on it goes for your cell phone, but I was hoping it on my laptop, which I'm using. You can actually just place it wherever you kind of need light and let it do its thing. Like, right now, this, like, that's a place it here. Now see how that's giving me a light right on my face. And it's not a good look. Another option is I can place it. I have a producer over here in a place it on my printer and just let it kind of face up or place it on my computer. My computer later face up. It's still kind of coming at me, so it's not great. Another thing I can do is actually going to show you. I'm clipping it backwards, so it's going against the light. It's going against the curtain, um, and then I'm gonna show you how it makes me look a little more lit, so I'm using the sunlight here, but I'm also using this ring line. If I turn it off, you'll see the difference. So that's off. I know a woman turned it on. This one has three levels, so it's reflecting. You can see over here. It's reflecting off the curtain, which is white onto my face is giving me a little more off light on. You can tell. Let's ignore my glasses for a minute. I'm gonna flip it around, ignore lower it a little bit. Ignore my God, the reflection of my glasses for a moment. But if you see it's much more harsh on my face when were coming from the front. Even though this is kind of a diffused light, it is kind of harsh on my face, So turning it away actually gives you kind of a little more of, ah, natural look and a little more smooth of a skin tone. That's just the the effect that natural that diffused light will give you. And so I'll explain diffuse light the best way I can being You're taking a light that super harsh and like imagine like a spotlight and you're taking a spotlight and you're pointing it toward something but you're defusing it, meaning that you're putting something in front of it to make that like bigger that light sources bigger, so imaginable lights a spotlight on your face. You get all those shadows, but if you have a few slight on your face, it's kind of getting all over the place. And the light is going all over and it looks a lot more natural, and it makes you look 10 years younger. I mean, really, it does. So you're not getting those like heart shadows on your face. You're not getting those not seeing the wrinkles as much. So something like a Chinese lantern is helpful for diffuse light. A lamp with a white lamp shade is a form of diffusion. You can use a photographer's umbrella, which is pretty much just a white umbrella, so you face the light towards the umbrella and the light reflects back to you. Or you could use any light that you have. And if you have white walls or say I have these white closets here, you can kind of bounce that light. Turn it into a diffused light source, so I have a white ceiling I can actually face a spotlight up that it would kind of diffused the light and reflected on everybody in the room. Now the thing about defusing light is it makes up lights or come from a bigger surface, which is great if you're bouncing light. Though, um, you're losing some of the amplification of the light, so it's kind of making the light less intense. So so you see that I have Let's have it on level three, the ring light that I'm using, its on level three. It's bouncing off the curtain. That's how right I am. Now I'm gonna turn it around. I am not changing the level. Look how much brighter it is facing towards me. And the camera's gonna adjust on its own for the brightness. Is gonna probably think I'm a little too bright right now. Might get a little darker, but look how much harsher it is facing towards me. So you actually lose a lot of your light as you bounce it, and also you lose a lot of light flipping it again towards me. You will actually also lose a lot of light but farther back that you get from the light. So the farther back. The light is the less that light, that less intense that light is on you. One additional thing that you can use the the light source is your computer monitor. So right now I'm looking at my webcam on guy. I have my slides open, but let's say I'm opening up Microsoft Word. I'm opening up just a blank white page. So now if I open this up to full size and I adjust the brightness on my screen, it's a super right now. If you see I got much brighter and that's a good wait at some lightings my face. So that's another option. I have this, like you guys can see it. He's actually it's called a happy lamp, and it what makes it a happy lamp is it's daylight balanced, so it's the same color as the sunlight. And so it mimics the effect on your body that you would get by going outside and enjoying the sun. So this light, if I turn it on now, you're supposed to be only supposed to be for about 30 minutes or so, actually, under using this light as as a lights worse, quite a bit said I'm just a happy land. So they turn it on. It has these brightness is gonna put it on. But if we look in my webcam here, we can see that it is so right on my face. And it's insane. I also just want to show you that if I pointed away, I have this overhead light on right now, and it's giving me a really weird shadow right on the top of my head. If I was bald, this would look my top of my head looking saying right now. So if you, um, are challenged follicular early challenged, then I would suggest that you do not use overhead lights because it's not flattering. No, I have the happy lamp. I have it back on. I'm gonna put it down. This is the place that it kind of lives, which is behind right behind my computer. Just cause it's too bright in my face. So as you see there, it looks insane. It doesn't look right on me. So what I'm gonna do and I don't know if you can see this, I'm gonna turn it up. I'm just gonna have a piece. Um, the wall. So you see that my wall is illuminated there. I haven't facing the wall on. It's giving me a little bit of bounce light. It's not doing as much, but as I raise it off, like if this actually had. If this was like a floor lamp or something where you can actually adjust the height of it, then it would be a great effect for its a bounce off of the wall and right onto my face. So that's another example of bounce late, and you can really use any lamp that you have if you have a Chinese lantern, which are those big balls, or if you have a floor lamp, which is a good height or you have a table lamp, any of those things are good. It's all about the placement. So we have the B above the overhead light here, which is all the dimmer. I'll show you that if I go to the light, I make it. If I make it a week right, it's too much. It doesn't look right, but im gonna if I make it all the way right. And when I come on camera is how I look in the web cam and This is how it looked here. And you see this just really to too bright of a light here. So I'm gonna turn it on half way back on so you can see you at the overhead light is illuminating the room. But it's not giving me a hard shot on my face. So I'm still using this ring light, which is here. And I turned it off to show you the difference one more time. But, um, important thing to remember is the direction off your life. So if I can, then the light is coming from the window filmmaking. If you want to get really advanced with this, if you could see your window in the shot, then the light technically should be coming from that window. So having the ring like over there is actually a good thing. But it's not doing much to eliminate the front of my face here. As whereas, I look super awesome right here, like the front of my face is illuminated. I have a little twinkle in my eyes. Everything looks great. This is the ideal lining situation. You know something? I said I would come back, Teoh, which is very very important is color temperature. It's mixed light sources. Have you ever seen someone doing the video where you see there sitting next to the window? But then they also have a lamp on the other side. So the cyber has the lamp. They look orange and the side that has the window. They look blue and they just look like an alien, and it doesn't look right. That's because they're using mixed light sources, and that's OK. No one is. No one is needing to be a professional about this. But if you want to look good on camera, you want to make sure that you know the color temperatures off your lights on what color temperature is. We won't go into numbers like a lot of that going on. But if you ever shop for light bulbs, you'll notice that life holds now. Either say daylight warm neutral will say these different things on it. Some of them will have numbers, which might be like a 32 146 100. Those numbers are color temperature and the daylight color with mimics son. So it's more of a blue light led czar, usually blue, but will now I'm seeing a lot more ladies having different options for color temperature. So in terms of color temperature, daylight is usually around 464,800. They can vary based on which brand you're getting. But if you want more of that orange warm light, you're going to go for the 3200 warm labeled bulbs. So and the thing to know is whatever camera you're using, because every camera we're using is on this auto setting, and it's doing its best to capture our environment and render it as neutral as possible. So right now I have these white doors behind me from my closet, and the camera is saying, Okay, I know that's white, So I'm gonna unjust the light of the color off the shot, which is white balance. I'm gonna just the white balance to make that door white, and that's what it's doing now. If I had no white behind me, it would not know which color, and it's just going to do its best. So sometimes the color temperature of your shop might be off. Someone might look orange. Someone might look blue. That's because the cameras that do a great job off adjusting the auto, the white balance or because it's on. Maybe your cameras on manual white balance. If you're using a more advanced camera like I am, that has manual settings where you could go in and say white balance, daylight, white balance, tongue spin or liable or whatever options that it calls it. It's It's asking you. What color are your lights on? That simply something you could do by knowing which light bulbs you're buying. I have even the overhead light are day light colored the ring light here. This is daylight colored. If you can actually see that, it's blue A Z Look at it. It's a bluish light. Sunlight is blue, so I have all day light colored lights in this room, and that's why you don't see any different colors going on. But there are definitely situations where you'll be working with a room or a lamp or something, where the room is super warm. It looks orange, and that's okay. You can choose all warm lights if you want. Just make sure you don't have a window in the room that's going to be fighting that orange light, so it's either choose your your life. Choose your light color and stick with your light colored. Don't mix them because otherwise it'll look very weird. Okay, so goal for diffuse like don't do mix like light sources and also think about the angle of your light. So angle coming from the front is very, very good angle coming from above or below is not so great like you. We know what this looks like. These people telling scary stories at a campground doesn't look good. Like coming from slightly above is very nice. But coming from right over head is not so great. So you want to think about where that light is coming from? When in doubt, just haven't come straight at your face. Have it, you know, having bounced off of something and reflect straight onto your face went and out. Okay, so I hope this was helpful. We've simplified it to just color temperature angle on the light source itself. So if you have any questions, please let me know 9. Background: Hi. So nothing You understand the basics of good lighting, you could really look around and find the best option for your background. So now in my shot here, music, a camera on the window. This is not ideal for if you're doing a web call because I can't use this camera. Teoh, talk to people on zoom or anything. But if I want to use my webcam, then I could look here and I could see this is what I usually use for when I'm talking to people. So you see my background, you see different artwork that I have in the room of this webcam is actually a little wider than my cell phone camera, which is why I chose it so you could see a little more of my room, but also means that I have to be careful of what's going on behind me. We have my door here and I keep it closed to prevent distractions. So if you have young kids or you have pets that are gonna barrel right into your room, you want to keep that door closed or even better, you want to sit where you're back is not to the door because I don't actually know what's happening behind me at this moment. So if I'm back here, what's behind me now is my closet. So this is actually more of an ideal situation. And I have my laptop here at the moment if I wanted to use that as a way to talk to somebody and this is probably what I would be using if I wanted to do more professional looking call. But if I want using my computer at the same time, then I'm looking at this webcam, and I'm making sure that everything in the background is purposely placed. I have this little air purifier here. If you see it, I'm trying to cover it with my body. So you don't have to be an art director to make your room look good and have a good background. But I'll take you with me to kind of show you some other options as well. So you want to look around your house and I'm breaking all the rules of stabilization here . And you wanna carefully consider lighting versus background and I'm gonna sit right here by the window. This is where my camera used to be. some sitting with my back to the window, and you see a lot of people doing this actually on. They are trying to talk to you like this. They think because they're near a window, that you can see them. But you can't. They're completely dark, their silhouette, because the light from the window is so bright that it's making me look dark. Now if I turn around and I'm facing the window, look how much better that looks. Um, if I go to the side a little bit, that's also OK. But the farther I turn away from the window, the darker I get on my face and you want to remember that your face and people seeing your face is the most important part of your video, more important than anything else. So you want to make sure that you have good light source and that wherever that light sources in the room that you're facing that light source and that it's not, you know, coming from overhead, which is what we talked about before in the lighting section. But lighting is more important than your background. What's another consideration is to try to have something behind you that you like that. You like to look at that. You don't mind other people seeing and something where your door is not directly behind you like this would be a really bad This will be good for lighting, but bad for if someone walks in right now. So I suggest you do not have a door behind you. You don't have kind of just control the situation as much as you can. So that's why I was using the Webcam Witches here. Other options if you move closer to the wall. But I'm gonna put on my life in the room so you can see if I'm actually closer to the wall . It makes the thing in the background. So let's say I'm right up against this tapestry here that I did not make, by the way, but I got us a gift. I'm right up against this thing. So look how distracting that is when you're talking to me. Because it's as in focus as I am, because it's the same distance away from the camera as I am. So that thing behind me is just as sharp as I am. Meanwhile, if I move all the way over here and yes, it's still right behind me. But look how I'm much more in focus than that that's going to get blurry and I'm going to be more and focus. Hopefully, I'm the one focus hopefully. So that's another trick is you want to move away from your background. If the thing in the background is not the main focal point on, I can show you that with with other things as well. Just if you're right next to something, it's gonna be just so distracting if that's what you want. If you want that thing to, if you want that thing to be in the shot then and you want to get close to it than that something you could do, but I don't recommend it. So when you're choosing your background, the three things to consider our lighting design and distractions and making sure that those three things are really important when choosing your background will make sure that you have a great quality video, that people are not looking behind you to see what's going on there looking directly at you and you will have people's attention 10. Composition: So now we're gonna talk about composition. This will be a really quick one. So when you're doing a video that's gonna be cut together and anything like that, you want to kind of pick one side of the screen. This is because the rules of filmmaking and the rule of thirds so you want to be able to split that that shop into three and be able to have the face at an interesting point of interest on screen. The most effective point of interest for being on camera is either the left or here to the right. You don't want to be in the center, but there's an exception to that rule. If you're just doing a video conference, say that we're I'm just talking to you on a video and this is not entered it all. Then I would say, being right in the middle. There's nothing wrong with that because you are the main point of interest. But if you're gonna be editing your video, putting in other things, cutting other people into the video, then it's good to have yourself on one side on whether you're on Web cam or you're on a camera. It's important to think about composition off where your faith is cut off where your head is Cut off your shoulders, air cut off. So this up here is head room. How much space there is from my head to the top of the screen. So, head room, you want to try to leave a little bit of space, but not to be so far away where you're like you look short. You know what I mean? Or if you have the camera cutting off your head, you could look really toll this way. So, I mean, you could use it to your advantage if you want to look either taller, short. But the proper amount of headroom is about, like right here. There's also knows room, which is if I'm not looking directly at the camera, say, I'm looking over here. Someone over here. It's So where is my nose looking? My nose is looking that way and making sure that I got all the way back here where my thesis cut off or that I'm not on this side because it looks like I'm talking to some like my face is really close to the edge of the screen. on this is not good. It doesn't look good. So you want to be kind of like where your eyes are looking that way. So your eyes are looking in the direction you want the direction to be on camera. You want that space in front of your face on camera? You don't want to be looking this way because it looks like really strange right now. What am I talking to? You can't see talking to. So that's an important thing to think about. For his composition depends what you're doing with the video. If you're doing like us Kickstarter where you're doing makeup tutorial or something, I'd say she was left or right. And try to think about your composition in terms of being on one of those sides. But you're doing just straight selfie video something where you're talking to someone on a webcam. Then I wouldn't worry about just talking directly to it and being right in the center. And you can also adjust your height. My camera monitor moves up and down so you could move it to adjust the height as well. And also think about headroom as well. When you're interviewing even a webcam 11. Audio: Hi. So in this video, I'm talking really slow because I want you to hear that I have my Iran on. If you can see I've got the Iran down here, it's on, It's blowing, it's loud and you can probably hear it in my camera. Now when I stop talking because my camera is on auto setting, it's picking up the loudest thing in the room. It's amplifying that loudest thing in the room. So right now I'm talking. You're hearing me perfectly fine. But when I stop talking, you're hearing that really loud. It probably sounds like that's OK. It's not super loud. I'm gonna turn it off. It's gonna take a minute to turn off. That's what I'm working with. But I wanted to show you also some other microphone options. Now, whatever microphone you're working with, I want you to keep in mind that usually you're working with an auto setting, so you're working with a camera that has an audio input or you're working with your what can, which is using a microphone built in. I want you to keep in mind that it's amplifying the loudest thing in the room. That's why I wanted to show you that. So another option you can use for microphone is a table, Mike. So we have one right here. It's actually two different things that I purchased. The microphone itself is one option. This was about $30. You can buy any different type of microphone that you want, but this has a USB connector. So you can plug this straight into your laptop to your computer, whatever it is that has a USB input. And you want to make sure that whatever program you're using to record or to live street, that you're selecting this microphone from the settings and not using the built in microphone because otherwise your microphone in front of you and you're not actually using it. This is one option of table like what I want you to know is the height of the microphone matters. You don't want it. I mean, this is a pretty good height all the way up, this one just up and down because it's right in front of my face. Now, if I were you see how I turned away from now? The camera's picking up my audio right now, and the the heat just turned off, so you're probably hearing a big difference in the sound. So when I turn away from the camera, that's recording my audio right now, and I'm turning this off the wall. You can hear it. You probably don't hear me as loud. But what I'm right here talking to you in this camera because the microphone is on the camera, you're probably hearing me much better. The same thing is going to be true for any other like that you're using, especially the table, like so you want to be recording talking to someone. You see a lot of people doing podcasts where they're talking and it's right in front of their face or it's hanging or one of those that hangs down. That's perfectly good. I would definitely go with that depends on what kind of setting that you want. If you want the microphone to be in your shot, that's a good option. And this is an easy one to use because it does have this USB connection. Another option a little more expensive. But also good options is a lot earlier microphone, otherwise known as a clip on microphone. So come home closer to show you so lovely or microphones are these tiny little things. The clip onto your shirt. I would clip it right onto your color or whatever kind of far in the center of your chest. So so right there. But what you want to work think about is the microphone might be hitting up against something like your jewelry. Your necklace. Maybe your earrings are really loud, and they make a lot of noise. You want to think about jewelry when you're wearing a clip on microphone? You also want to think about your reaction when you're using the table. Mike, because of your wearing really love bracelets or you're touching the microphone, it's gonna hear you. So I'm gonna touch feed the camera, tapping it right now so you can kind of hear how loud and distracting that is. That's the same effect you're going to get. If you hate your Laval ear microphone, you hit your table, Mike, or you hit anything like that has a microphone built into it. So that's a distraction for audio. So I want to show you that clip on. Microphones usually come with this little ball a little full ball. This is the windscreen if you're outside these air, great because it makes the wind less loud, so that's a good option. It kind of absorbs any of that noise, so I would use these as much as you can. But I use them a lot like that's a given. You're gonna lose thes things a ton, so that is a good option. Tohave is a clip on microphone and makes you sound really like your president, and that's hardly the best audio quality you're gonna get. It's a clip on microphone if you're doing someone talking, but it's not necessary to use all the time. So really think about the necessity of having to buy one of these to use one of these because actually, the one I have right now, because we had to start working from home and I wasn't able to take all of my equipment with me. All I have right now is an XLR microphone connector. Eso this lovelier? This is the other end of it. It plugs into an audio recorder, which is an XLR. So it's this three pronged item. They also do sell less expensive as well, lovely or microphones that have a it looks like a headphone jack. So 1/4 inch on the other side. So it looks. It looks just like your headphones do, and you plug it straight into your phones. You just have to make sure your phone is picking up that microphone. So whatever settings that you have, you want to make sure that your phone knows that you have a microphone connected to it, so they do sell those. You can use that. If you're recording on your phone, you can also use it for the laptop. So if you plug in your Laval ear microphone that has a headphone jack looking adapter, plug it straight into your laptop and you gotta be careful with. If you're plugging into the headphone jack and you're telling, you have to tell the computer that you're plugging in a microphone and not a headphone, so there are a couple setting there, but that's another option. So you have your level, your microphone. You have your table mike, where you have your built in mic, which is built into your camera built into your Web cam on those air your three options. But what's gonna make you sound really professional quality audio is to reduce as much noise in the room as you can. So just the way reduced distractions visually behind you, you want to reduce distractions on its orally. So you're turning off the air conditioner. You're turning off the heater. You're turning off the loud fan. If there are people in your house, you're closing the doors about the noise from the other room is not coming in, So try to reduce as much background, noise and distractions as you can, and that should give you good audio. And remember that it's always picking up the loudest thing in the room. And if you're not the loudest thing in the room, then you won't be heard. So give those audio tips a shot, and I look forward to seeing what you dio 12. Thank you for watching!: All right. Congratulations. You made it through all the lessons. So you were able to choose your device. Find out about orientation, focus, stabilisation, lighting, background, audio composition and those air really important tips that are going to help you make your videos as high quality as possible. So I would love for you to go back to your original goal setting exercise from the project description. And look at what you wrote down. Why do you want to look good on camera? Is there a specific type of video you would like to create? And where will you share this video? Now I want to know. Did your goal change from beginning to end of starting these lessons, or were you able to successfully complete the goal that you had set out to do so? If you did, I want to see those great videos. I want to see them in the Project gallery and make sure that you share any questions you might have. If there was something that I missed, Please let me know. And thank you so much for watching I look forward to seeing examples of your amazing work in the Project gallery. Take care