Video Production for Content Creators: A Beginner’s Guide | Ameer Dagha | Skillshare

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Video Production for Content Creators: A Beginner’s Guide

teacher avatar Ameer Dagha, Entrepreneur & Video Content Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Course Introduction


    • 2.

      Mindset of a Content Creator


    • 3.

      Gear and Equipment


    • 4.

      Production Workflow & Key Questions


    • 5.

      Intro To Cameras


    • 6.



    • 7.

      White Balance


    • 8.



    • 9.

      Picture Profiles


    • 10.

      Lenses and Filters


    • 11.



    • 12.



    • 13.

      Tips on Recording Yourself


    • 14.

      Audio Recording and Processing


    • 15.

      Basics of B-Roll


    • 16.

      Video Editing Software


    • 17.

      Video Editing Tips


    • 18.

      Color Correction Basics


    • 19.

      Rendering and Publishing


    • 20.

      Importance of Analytics


    • 21.

      Class Project and End Note


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About This Class

Hello and welcome to my course!

This course is designed for new video content creators; people who are planning to start or have recently started or even those who are just curious about video production.

While making this course, I have tried to keep things simple so that anyone with little or no experience of video production can easily digest and understand what they are seeing. My hope is that after taking this course, my students will have a solid foundation into how videos are made and a roadmap for further learning in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to check my course out and I hope to see you all in class!


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Meet Your Teacher

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Ameer Dagha

Entrepreneur & Video Content Creator


Hi there! My name is Ameer and I am an Entrepreneur and a YouTuber! While developing my career in Textile Manufacturing, Agriculture and Investments - I started a side-hustle, making Tech Videos on YouTube - which then took off!

My journey as a YouTuber started five years ago, because I had a deep interest in technology and an insatiable curiosity about video production. What started as curiosity, later turned into my passion and a legit career path. I taught myself video production mainly through tutorials and trial and error - and I have now joined SkillShare to pay it forward.

I invite you to check out my courses and I hope to see you all in class!

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Level: Beginner

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1. Course Introduction: Hi, my name is Amir. I'm a content creator and I have been making tech videos for the past five years. My main channel is called reviews PKA, where I make videos and my native language, which has an overtime. I have been able to build up an audience for my content. My goal with my content has always been to deliver the best quality that I can. So the quality of my camera work, my audio, my lighting, and the overall quality of my finished video. It has literally taken me years of toil and struggled research and practice to build up my skills as a video content creator. And in this course, I've tried to boil down what has taken me years to learn, to hopefully give someone who's fresh in the game and easy to digest introduction into the world of video production as a content creator, while designing this course, I've tried to touch on all the things that I think are important to know as a beginner in this field. Everything from cameras and lenses and lighting and microphones, and what sort of software you should use. Along with a whole bunch of other mindset elements that you need to have if you're going to produce videos regularly and consistently as a content creator. Now this course won't make you of pro overnight. No course ever will, but it will give you a good foundation into the basics of video production, which you can then use as a roadmap for more advanced learning in the future as we go along, I'll also share some pro tips with you, which are nuggets of information that I've gathered through the years from my own research and trial and error. If you or someone looking to start producing videos for social media, or someone who's just recently started for someone who's just interested and wants to check out what radio production is all about. Then I invite you to check out my course and I hope to see you there. 2. Mindset of a Content Creator: Hi everyone and welcome. I am really glad that you decided to take this course with me. And I hope that you'll walk away with it with a whole bunch of information that took me years together. Now I've designed this course as a foundation course where the two assumptions are that you are a beginner video producer with little or no knowledge of video production. And that as a content creator, you are working alone. This is important because as a one man or one woman army, you have to do everything. You are the director, the camera man, The editor, and everything in between. So instead of having in-depth, expansive knowledge of all the different areas of radio production. You need to know just enough about everything to be able to produce your videos by yourself regularly. In traditional video or film production, there are entire teams working in different areas. But as a solo content creator making videos on YouTube, Facebook, or TikTok, you'll be working by yourself. So it's really important that you're not too bogged down in any one area. Now, since this is a foundation course for beginners, it'll build your foundation or your base, but it's up to you to build on it further. You will learn the basics of everything that I think you need to know on day one. And then you can choose which areas you want to pursue for further learning in the future. And that's also very important. You need to be able to supplement your own knowledge through research and through watching tutorials. You can pretty much learn anything on the Internet these days by using resources like Skillshare and YouTube. I'm also a self-taught content creator. I never went to any film school or anything like that. Now with new or budding content creators, the biggest flaw that I see is this obsession with viral videos. Every content creator craves that video that just pops you uploaded get lots of views instantly, make lots of money, get lots of subscribers. But it's very important to understand that as a successful content creator or social media influencer, you need to look at this as a marathon and not a sprint if you're constantly chasing viral videos. And I think you're setting yourself up for disappointment because for the vast majority of content creators, viral videos are very rare. I know of only a couple of YouTubers were able to get every video to pop. Like Mr. Beast, who has a ton of experience and hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on each video. He basically has the viral formula down to a T. But for the vast majority of us, It's grind season homemade. Now I'm not saying that viral videos are not desirable or that they don't have value. They can be very valuable in giving you a windfall and also giving you a boost for the future. But in my opinion, it's very important to keep your focus on your consistency and on your long-term game. The longer you're consistent, the more chances you have of eventually making something that goes viral. Think of your content like fishnets. The more content you have out, the more fishnets you have, and the more chances you have of catching a big fat one. Now as a case study, I want to talk about a social media influencer who really inspired me to get into this work. I'm talking about Marcus Brown Lee, aka MK Ph.D. also makes tech videos like me. If you check out Mark as this channel right now, he's got over 16 million subscribers, gets millions of views on each video. And he's considered by many as the king of tech content on YouTube, the absolute gold standard. But check out his journey. Marquez has been making content for the last 13 years. To date, he's uploaded 1,500 videos. And in an interview he said that on his 100th video upload, he had a whopping 73 subscribers and he was still grinding forward, which is very telling of Marquez is mindset at the time. And that's not all when Mark has applied for monetization on YouTube's partner program is first application was rejected. You had to wait six months and then apply again. Rejected, waited six months, got rejected again, then waited six months again, and then applied and finally got monetized so he could make money from his content. Think about it for a second. It took him two years just to be able to earn money from ads, but he stuck to his guns, embraced the grind and kept working. Of course, now when you look at it, he's in the best part making lots of money. He's hailed everywhere as a great content creator. But the journey that he took takes grit and the right mindset. Mark has didn't give up when he was faced with what many would call disappointment. He kept on grinding on. And if you want to make content on social media and develop your influence than you, my friend, need to be ready to face disappointment with a winning attitude. Another way that you need consistency in your content is that many channels now have a set deadline, certain days of the week that they upload. Some even have same time, same day approach. And the benefit of that is that your followers and subscribers know when to expect your content. It's very challenging to pull off. I myself struggled with it, but you need to have consistency on some level, once a week, one video and two weeks or one video and a month, but it has a schedule and then try to stick to it. If you're consistency is all over the place and your subscribers don't know when to expect your content. You keep taking sporadic outbreaks all the time. It will diminish your social media influence and you will also get fewer views. Trust me, I've seen it happened to my own channel. So I know what I'm talking about, which leads me to my next mindset element that you need to keep an eye on your performance and hold yourself accountable. Numbers always matter. Forget people who say that numbers and earnings don't matter. Because if you're doing anything professionally, your performance will matter. If you're a salesman, it matters how much you've sold. If you're a sportsman, it measures how many goals are points you scored. If you want to be professional, then you have to keep an eye on your performance. And for video content, you'll need to look at your analytics. They'll be a separate class on some important analytics that you can use to keep yourself accountable. But for now, keep in mind that accountability is key if you want to perform well. But it's also very important. Not get obsessed with the numbers. You need to conserve your energy and put it into your work. It can be very demoralizing and sap your energy right out when you keep looking at your numbers and they're not growing as fast as you want them to. I'm also guilty of this. In the beginning. I used to check my subscriber counts multiple times a day. Every video that I uploaded, I would keep refreshing that page to see whether views went. But over time, I've realized that it's a lot of wasted energy. I don't do that anymore. I checked my analytics a few times a week. I tried to enjoy the journey and the process of creating content and learning about how I can make it better. It's very important to improve your skill over time. And usually it shows in your work if you look at your favorite YouTubers, if you see the first videos and now you'll see a huge improvement and how they do, what they do. And if you don't improve your work over time, you will plateau and stagnate. So always look to constantly improve your content over time and do things like taking this course. And also seek feedback from your audience on what they like, what they dislike, and try to figure out what works and what doesn't. And so you need to have the mindset that you're nurturing and community, it's important to engage with your audience, ask them questions, encourage them to participate by commenting, sharing, and subscribing. And over time they'll come to love your work. They'll start loving you. They'll start trusting you and becoming part of that community rather than just viewers. And then as time goes on from a commercial perspective, a big community behind you will turn you and your social media platform into a brand look to develop your brand over time. Now obviously, there's a whole bunch of other mindset elements that you need to have as a content creator. But these are some that I personally think are very important for beginners to keep in mind. Now in our next class, things are going to start getting a little spicy and we're going to start talking about actual video production, starting with the equipment that you'll need. See you there. 3. Gear and Equipment: What's up, guys, glad to have you back. And in this class we're gonna be talking about the tools, the equipment that you'll need to start producing your videos, and also the equipment that will add more production value to your content in the future. It's very important to understand that while equipment and gear can be very helpful and useful for you to produce videos with. You cannot let it become a barrier to entry. Every now and then people come up to me and asked me this question, how do I start if I don't have all this equipment was supposed to start making videos. And the best answer to that is start with what you have. Everyone has a phone these days. And as a tech reviewer, I can tell you that phones these days have very capable cameras and very decent processing power. I personally know concentrators who started their channels with just their phone and now they have huge social media following. Then you also have to understand that tools and skill go hand in hand, one without the other. It's pretty much useless. There's no point owning so much equipment that you don't even know how to use. And also keep in mind that building up and arsenal takes time. Your favorite YouTuber has spent a long time in getting all of the cool gear that they now have in their closet. But since this is a class on video production, we will go through some of the gear that you need to know about. The first one, of course, is the camera. Like I said, even a phone camera will do to begin with. But if you're able to invest and want to invest in a good camera, then there are lots of options in the market. We will discuss this in more detail in our class on cameras, but investing money and time to learn how to use a really good camera can do wonders to your production quality. And the second piece of equipment or lenses, with most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, you have interchangeable lenses, will have a whole class dedicated to lenses also. Then there are external microphones and of course there's gonna be a class on microphones. But for now, just know that the built-in mic in your phone or your camera won't get you very good results. And audio quality is very, very important. A lot of people even believed that if you're watching a video which looks really bad, but the audio is really good, you're more likely to stick on. Whereas if the video looks really good, but the audio is very dim or echoey or very noisy, you're more likely to get turned off and bounce away. Then we have lighting, which is again super important, and you'll need at least one light source. This can be a lab lying around your house or a big window where you can get really nice natural light, but you will need at least one and preferably more than one lighting sources. We're going to have a class on this as well where I'm going to discuss this in more detail. But for now, just know that the more light sources you have, especially movable light sources, the more control you'll have on how your video actually ends up looking, then you need a computer to post-process your video on. This can be the computer in your pocket, I E, or phone. I told you that phones these days have become really good. And we will talk a bit more about the different ecosystems like Windows and Mac in our class on video editing software. Then of course, along with the computer, you'll need some sort of recording media like SD cards or external hard drives. And here we have a pro tip. Always use an external desk for copying and editing your videos. These are called Scratch Disks, and the idea is that you don't want to scratch the disk in your laptop or your computer, because if that fails, it's going to break your computer. Whereas if this one fails is just an external desk and I can get a new one, which brings us to the next item on our list of production equipment, video editing software. Now, like I said before, we will have an entire class talking about the different video editing software that are available for you. But as a beginner, you should know that you're going to need some sort of software to bring your recorded clips into and then stitch them together and add effects, text and sound, and then be able to render it all out in a final file. But to recap some of the basic equipment we just spoke about, you lead a camera, you'll need a microphone, you'll need some lighting sources. You lead a computer, recording media like SD cards and hard drives, and you'll need some software. Then there's also additional equipment that you don't necessarily need on day one. And sum over it is very advanced equipment. You might probably never need it, but still we're going to talk about some of these things. So the first one is a tripod. This is very basic, but a tripod helps you to place your camera anywhere and keeps it stable while you record. And the next few items on this list are definitely for more advanced users who know the basics. Overdue production fairly well. So we have fluid heads, which lets you pan left and right and tilt up and down. Sliders, which let you slide your camera from side-to-side. Gimbels, which enable you to mount a camera or a phone for really good stabilization. This type of gear lets you record interesting movements and interesting perspectives. And we're going to touch on all of these inner class on the basics of B-roll. Then there's other motion equipment like Dali's Gibbs cranes, et cetera. But most content creators will never need these. So while this list is very exhausting, it's by no means exhaustive. There's a whole bunch of other equipment you can also think about. But the important key factor from this class that I want you to take away is that it's important to not get fixated on this list. You might need all of these things or you might need none of these things will actually leave the camera, but you might need very few of these things. I don't want this class to discourage you or make it look very daunting to get into video production. The point of telling you all of these things is to make sure that you understand what sort of equipment people normally use for video production and also to give you something to look forward to. If you really want to get into a high-quality professional video production, then these are the things that you might plan on getting on later in your career. So in our next class we're gonna be talking about video production workflow. It's gonna be interesting. See you in the next one. 4. Production Workflow & Key Questions: Video production workflow refers to the entire process by which you produce your videos. You should have a fairly clear idea about what sort of production workflow you're going to have. Because there's a lot of moving parts in this process. There's cameras and SD cards and hard drives and computers and software. And so it helps to have at least a mental map of what sort of process you are going to be using to produce these videos. Having a good workflow can help you identify bottlenecks and your production. And it can also help you in achieving a certain level of efficiency and quickness in your work turnaround times. So broadly, your video production workflow will have three stages. Preproduction, where you think up an idea, do your research. You could maybe write a script if that's how you want to do it. And this is when you also get your equipment ready to shoot. So basically everything you do before you start recording your video is pre-production. This is followed by the production stage where you go ahead and actually record your video. And then there's post-production where you process and edit and then render your final video. So when someone says they will fix it in post, it basically means that they're going to do that thing after the video has been recorded and it's in the editing process. Here's an example of what a basic video production workflow looks like. Now before you start producing your videos, you need to think about how you're going to design your workflow. But there are a number of key questions that you want to ask yourself right in the beginning because they're going to have an impact on what sort of production workflow you're going to need in e.g. are you going to have a script or are you going to go off the cuff? If you're one of those single take ninjas who goes off the cuff than the pre-production and post-production workflow seems to be much, much simpler than someone like me who has a script and there's a whole research phase and then Script and fact checking and then post-production editing is a bit of a nightmare. Then there's also a bunch of other technical questions like what format will you be recording and publishing it? Because these will have some bearing on your workflow and how you need to design it for video production, the three main formats are raw, Flores and H.264. Again, there's a bunch of other formats as well, but these three are the one I've come across the most. So raw is a very heavy format which stores a lot of information, but also needs lots of storage space and computer processing power, but it gives you lots of options in post. So pros and advanced users really love raw video. Then we have progress, which was made by Apple, and it's a fairly data heavy format, but it gives you very good quality. And it's currently preferred by most mainstream video editors like Final Cut Pro and most prosumer cameras also supported. Then we have H.264, which is what most social media platforms like YouTube prefer. It's a very compressed format because these files need to be small in size. But because it's compressed, it needs a lot of processing power to produce whatever format you decide to record and then publish in is going to have a bearing on what sort of workflow and what sort of infrastructure you're going to need to have in place. Another question is, what's your video resolution gonna be? Higher resolution videos need more storage space and more computing power and will likely add steps to your workflow. So the main resolutions or forget, which is now what most high-quality content creators used for platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Then we have 14, 40 P, which is also known as Quad HD. It's four times the resolution of ten ADP has the name cord. Then we have ten ADP, which is also known as full HD. And I would recommend you to start at ten ADP, full HD, because most content right now is consumed on phones. And most phones will not be able to do above full HD anywhere. Even my analytics show me that 80 to 90% of my audience watches my videos on their phone. By the way, fun fact, even the course are watching right now is in full HD. I'm recording everything in six good, but then down scaling all the way to full HD so you can tell how good the quality of full HD is. And then below this is 720 p, also known as HD. You can go for 720 p if you have limited resources. But I would not recommend it since the low-resolution could affect the quality of your video, then we have aspect ratios, which basically tells you the relationship between your videos, horizontal width and vertical height. The most common one right now is 16 by nine for long-form videos. And this is what your TV normally shows. But increasingly with time we're seeing 18 by nine come up as an aspect ratio because it's a bit wider than 16 by nine. And with 18 by nine, you have thinner black bars on the sides. And it makes better use of the screen space available to phone users do not, however, that with 18 by nine aspect ratios, if you watch your content on a normal TV, likely it's going to have 16 by nine aspect ratio. And so you're going to see bars on the top and bottom, but that's a very small price to pay. But these aspect ratios only rarely apply for long-form videos, because increasingly now we're seeing people go towards shorts and vertical format videos. For these, you're going to want to check your social media platforms for the best resolutions and aspect ratios. And last but not least, let's talk about frame rates. And fundamentally, there are three main options here. For any, for FBS, 30 FPS, and 60 FPS. 24 FPS is the most traditional outfit. All of these because they used to make movies in 24 FPS. And now that legacy has carried on into the digital age. And 24 FPS is also considered widely considered to be the most cinematic of all the frame rates. Then there's 30 FPS, which is now starting to catch up. We're definitely seeing a lot of TV shows being made in 30 FPS. There's a huge debate of which one's better. And with 30 FPS, the benefit is that the video feels a little more smooth, especially where there are lot of fun camera movements. I personally prefer 30 FPS is my standard frame rate and fun fact, this class that you're watching right now is also made in 30 FPS, so you can see how smooth it is. Then there's 60 FPS, which is hands down the least used of all of these. And it gives the video and ultra smooth feel like aren't really give you a preview of what it's supposed to look like because this video is and 30 FPS. If you want to check it out, go to YouTube and search 60 FPS. You'll see a bunch of videos. Basically 60 FPS will give your video on ultra smooth field. And even though 60 FPS technically is much closer to reality, is strange, but it feels almost artificially smooth. Keep in mind that 60 FPS has twice or more frames than the other two formats. And so it's going to lead to bigger file sizes and again, infrastructure and workforce. Now here's a semi-pro type because this isn't hard what everyone uses, but this is what I use. I record all my footage in black magic six k row and then I convert it into six K progress. My final files are in for K H.264 with an aspect ratio of 18 by nine and frame rate of 30 FPS. So now I want you to think about what sort of production workflow you're going to need based on some of the questions that we've asked in this class, bear in mind that your production workflow needs to be as efficient as possible. And it needs to enable you in turning your work around as quickly as possible. So I think this is enough for video production workflows and what sort of questions you should be asking. In the next class, we're going to talk about cameras, and that's going to be a very interesting one. See you there. 5. Intro To Cameras: Welcome back guys. In this class, we're gonna be talking about cameras, which brands and ecosystems are available in the market. Some good options for content creators. And the next three classes are gonna be on how to use your cameras. So let's go ahead and run through some of the options you have available in the market. The first one is obviously your phone camera. In the beginning to just start use what you already have. And most phone cameras these days, there's a PRO Mode, which lets you control all the settings manually. We have a pro tip here for professional camera work. We want to try and control everything manually. We don't want to leave anything to the camera. The more you can control things manually, the more control you'll have on your final video and using the camera on your phone when you're just starting out, it can be a really good way to learn about the basic functions of a camera like Exposure, white balance, and focus, which are going to be our next few classes. And if you decide to use your phone, then there are some good free camera apps available, like open cameras, a good one, It's an open-source camera app for Android phones. And if you want to invest some money in an app, then checkout filmic pro for the iPhone, which I've also used on my phone to record videos. And it lets you control everything manually. I think it's really maxes out the capabilities of your phone camera. But if you don't want to use the camera on your phone and instead want to buy a camera, then there are options in the market for DSLR or mirrorless cameras. They're very similar. Dslr stands for digital single lens reflex. And then a DSLR camera, there's an actual mirror between the lens and the sensor. This mirror moves when you use the viewfinder, the light bounces off of the mirror and then reaches your eye when you take a photo or a video, this mirror physically moves out of the way so that light can fall onto the sensor. Then we have mirrorless cameras, which you guessed it don't have that mirror. So they're much smaller in size since there's no need to fit an angular mirror. And that's their biggest benefit. If you want a more compact camera, then you should be looking at mirrorless. Now within these two categories, there are different sensor types. I'm not really going to get into too much detail about this because I don't think it matters to beginners that much. But here are the different types. So there are crop sensor cameras like APS-C, micro four-thirds and super 35. And all of these have different crop factors. Most beginners will likely start with a crop sensor camera, since they're much cheaper than there are also full-frame cameras, which are typically more expensive since they have bigger sensors. And I don't want to burden you with too much information on day one. So as beginners, if you want to look more into it than you should really research the different crop factors and how they affect your image. But moving on, we're now going to talk about specific brands within the camera space. So in my experience, I've seen for brands as being the most popular with content creators. Sony, Canon, Panasonic, and increasingly black magic. I started off with Canon and then pretty soon moved to Sony. Sony A65 100 in the background. And now I'm doing everything on black magic. In fact, this course right now is being recorded on a black magic six K. But to beginners, I usually recommend Sony. Sony mirrorless cameras are very popular these days because of the kind of features that they offer at comparatively lower prices than canon. And so we've seen the rise of Sony amongst influencers as their preferred ecosystem. And I'm using the word ecosystem because all of these different brands of cameras support different types of lenses and accessories. And usually you're going especially with lenses. If you buy Sony lenses, it's very likely that they're not going to work natively on Canon cameras. So it's important to make an informed decision about which brand you're going to go with. Because you'll likely invest a lot of money in building up a whole library of lenses over time. And these lenses won't natively work with other brands cameras. And we'll talk more about this in our class on lenses and filters. Then canon is a more traditionally like brand, offers really awesome color science. A lot of people that I know Hughes Cannon do so because of cannons, strong legacy in the camera market, and also because they're really liked canon colors. But Canon is generally seen as being more pricey for any given feature set. For the longest time, even Sony's entry-level cameras offered for K. But if you want a cannon, then you had to spend a little more money. And even now, cannons forget cameras cost a little more than Sony's. Now with Panasonic, their GA series is somewhat popular. The GA4GH five and g, h phi of S seem to be very popular amongst Panasonic lovers. But the lion's share, in my view, seems to be with Sony and canon. As for black magic, the story is very interesting. We've seen it come up in the last two to three years with their lineup of four K and now six kids cinema cameras, which can record raw video and they give you that film like feel. Even though the cost of fraction of what mainstream cinema brands like airy and read cost. So black magic is a very good option now for more advanced content creators, indie filmmakers, people who make documentaries, but most people who go for black magic want that film that look, I want to recommend beginners to pick up a black magic because you need to know how to color grade, and post-process the video you get from it. And you also need beefy production infrastructure. You need lots of storage space and advanced knowledge of how these cameras work. But the quality that you can get out of a black magic camera in two to $3,000 is just phenomenal. Let's now move on and talk about some camera models that you can consider. This list is by no means exhaustive. These are just cameras that I prefer. Cannons. 90 d is a very decent option, are very versatile camera that won't break the bank too much. If you're not really bothered about for k, then you can consider the older ADD as well casing nice that use these ETDs for a long time and making his vlogs, if you want to go with Sony than their Alpha series is really good. A six to 360,400.6500. I made most of my videos in my early days on this A65 100. It's a really good camera that I'm using to this day. Now if we want to go a little higher on the Sony, lighter than the a sub three is also a very good option. It's a full-frame camera and cost a little more, but it offers very good picture quality. Many, many YouTubers still use it. With Panasonic GH five and g h phi of S are worth considering. And if you want to jump straight into the deep end and black magic 6k6k G2 and six kip Pro are very good cameras, but obviously you need to learn how to use them. So like I said earlier, I wouldn't recommend these to beginners. Then if we go into the upper echelons of social media, likes of MK PhD and Jonathan Morrison used red cameras, which cost tens of thousands of dollars. But for red, you need quite a few level ups before you even think of going down that route. So now that we've talked about the different types and brands of cameras that are big inertia. Know, I want you to have two key takeaways from this video. One is that while choosing your camera, keep in mind that you're choosing an ecosystem. And the second thing is that it's very important to know how to use a camera, which is what we're going to talk about in the next three classes. The first of which is going to be on exposure. See you then. 6. Exposure: In this class we're going to talk about exposure, what it is, and how to get the right exposure in your videos every time. But first, let's understand the basics of how a camera actually works. So light enters the camera through a lens, falls on a sensor at the back of the camera and exposes the image onto the sensor. This is where the word exposure comes from. In general, when we talk about exposure, we mean how bright or how dark your images. While recording our videos, we want the correct exposure. We don't want our image to be overexposed and blown out, nor do we want it to be underexposed and dark. Having the right exposure is key to ensuring good colors and a pleasant viewing experience for your audience. Now naturally, the first thing you can do to adjust your exposure is to adjust the lighting in your environment. More light will give you higher exposure. Less light will give you lower exposure. But that's not always an option. And there are three key functions in your camera that let you adjust exposure, ISO, aperture or iris, and shutter speed. Let's look at these one by one. So ISO basically means the sensitivity of your camera sensor to the light falling on it. Typically is denoted by a number like 100200400800, and it could go up into the tens of thousands. The higher the sensitivity is, the brighter your image will be. But there's a catch as ISO increases, it also adds more and more noise into the image. To appear. Most cameras have an optimum iso level is also known as native ISO. This is the ISO over the camera will give you the best balance between brightness and noise. E.g. in my Sony A65 hundred, it's 800. With my black magic, it's 400. And find my Blackmagic has dual native ISO 400 for normal lighting and 3,200 for low light or dark conditions. But the point is, it's worth researching a little bit and finding out the optimum or native ISO for your camera, then we have aperture, also called iris. And this is that hole and your camera's lens when light enters into it. And this aperture can be made wider or narrower to control how much light hits your camera sensor. Typically measured in f-stops like F 1.82, 0.55, 0.6. And the higher this number goes, the narrower your aperture opening becomes, the less light goes into your camera. E.g. if we're talking about F14, which is a wide-open aperture, it's going to let him a whole bunch of light. When I take a video with this F1, 0.8 is also a very wide open aperture. F 5.6 is relatively narrow, and S 16 is basically a pinhole. So obviously at f 1.8, there'll be lots of light hitting the sensor. Whereas an F 16, you'll likely need to be out under the sun because very little light is going to get into your camera. But there's a catch. There's always a catch that Is that changing the aperture on your lens has another fundamental effect of changing the plane of focus. As you open that aperture, the plane of focus becomes thinner and thinner. So it's something like f 1.8. You will have a razor thin plane of focus and everything in the background and foreground will be out of focus, which gives a very cinematic and portrait like field to your shot. But using such a wide aperture like F 1.8 or F14 will just let tons of light into your camera. And so you either need very low-light conditions or you can use something like an ND filter, which is basically like sunglasses for your lens. What we're going to talk more about this in our class on lenses and filters. Now at something like F 16, you will get what is known as everything focused or infinity focus because the plane of focus will be so wide that everything in the image is going to be in focus. This is used in a lot of brightly lit landscape and scenery shots where there's a lot of light and everything needs to be in focus. But because this is a class on exposure, knowing a little bit about how your aperture works actually lets you control the exposure in your shot. We have another pro tip here. Use your camera at the native ISO and prefer lower aperture settings like F 3.2 and F 2.5 and use F1 0.8 for cinematic shots with heavy background blur, or what we call bokeh. Now moving on from aperture, Let's talk about the shutter speed. Shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second. So at 01:40 eighth of a second, one 50th of a second, one-sixtieth of a second, and it keeps going on and on. Back in the day, cameras used to have physical shutters which would open and close numerous times every second. Now with digital cameras, we have digital charters. And the more times the shutter opens and closes every second, the less light hits the sensor. In other words, the foster this shutter speed is, or the larger this lower denominator number is, the less light will end up hitting the sensor. But there's always a catch and you can't really mess with shutter speed too much because it starts affecting other aspects of your video, e.g. if your shutter speed is too high, it's going to reduce motion blur to the point where your video fields really digital and sharpened. Then at certain shutter speeds, the lights in your office will start to flicker. And this happens a lot as slow-mo videos where the shutter speed is really high. We have another pro tip here. The best shutter speed is when this lower denominator number is twice your frame rate. For 24 FPS video, you want this to be at or near one 48th of a second. For 30 FPS video, the best is one-sixtieth of a second. This is just a generally held rule of thumb to make sure that there's a natural level of motion blur, especially in terms of what sort of stuff we watch on TV. And so the industry standards seems to work best. Now show the question on your mind is how will I know if my short is exposed properly? Well, we have tools for that. The first tools are your own eyes. You will be able to see from the chart if it's overexposed or underexposed. A lot of times you'll be able to tell by just looking. Then we also have histograms. Most cameras these days are able to show live histograms. The general rule of thumb here is that if your histogram is too much on the left than your short is slightly underexposed. If it's on the far right, then your short is gonna be overexposed and you want to keep it just a little right of center. Another more intuitive tool to manage your exposure as zebra patterns. Most cameras these days have this feature built-in where you can set the levels at which these zebra patterns show up to tell you which part of your short is overexposed. And then you can reduce the brightness of your image by either dialing the lights down or using ISO aperture and shutter speed to manage the brightness. And the zebra patterns are what I use the most in my production on a day-to-day basis. But if you want ninja level control, you can use another tool called false color, which basically color codes everything in your image to show where it's falling on a spectrum of underexposed, all the way to overexposed. I think false color is a little more advanced for most beginners, but if you would like to learn how to use them, then I would suggest you do a bit of research on them. So guys, this was our class on exposure. I hope it gave you enough of an understanding around exposure to be able to do a bit of research and learn more. In the next class, we're gonna be talking about white balance. Let's get it. 7. White Balance: What's up, guys? Welcome back to another class. And in this one, we're gonna be talking about white balance, which is extremely important when we talk about video production. Because in order to get good and accurate colors from your camera, you really need to nail that white balance. I guess the first question is, what is white balance? White balance is defined as the process of removing unrealistic color costs so that objects which appear white in-person are rendered white in your photo. Let me explain. Every time the lighting in your shooting environment changes, e.g. if I was to go from this white fluorescent lighting to maybe yellow tungsten lighting, I would need to calibrate my camera according to the lighting scenario in which I'm shooting. This is to ensure that the whites in your surroundings actually look white. And if you don't do this, you're going to have really weird color costs and your image here you'll see a really cool blue color cast. And this short, you're seeing a super warm color cost. And there are also times when you'll see green or magenta color costs and your image. And if the color cast on your image is too strong, then even in post, it's gonna be almost impossible to get it all out without making your other colors look a little weird or out of whack. So in order to avoid this, we are going to make sure that you understand how to handle white balance and your cameras. And if it sounds daunting or scary to you, trust me, it's very easy to do and only takes a couple of seconds. Different cameras have different ways of setting white balance. Now the easiest and most basic way of doing this is of course, using auto white balance, where your camera is going to look at your entire shard and then tried to set white balance on its own. But we always prefer to do everything manually. And the most dependable way to do this is to go into your camera's settings for custom white balance. And then literally giving your camera a frame of reference for what is white and gray. You can use a white balance card for this, also known as a gray card. Here I have another one. And with this, what you're doing is you're telling your camera, hey, this is supposed to be gray as your camera will take this information in and then adjust how much yellow or blue or green or magenta the image needs to have in order to show that gray or that white color correctly. Now in a pinch, you can also use other things lying around in your studio or your recording space. I've used a four papers in the past and even some of my walls to set my white balance when I didn't have a white balance card. But obviously there's not gonna be as accurate as a proper gray card or white balance card would be. But in a pinch, it's much better to use these to set your white balance than to not set your white balance at all. Some cameras will also have the option of manually setting the color temperature of the light and your surroundings. Usually this is measured in Kelvins. You have a pro tip here. 3,200 Kelvin is the color temperature for yellow tungsten bulbs. 5,600 Kelvin is natural sunlight or daylight. And those bright white fluorescent indoor lights are usually 6,000 to 6,500 kelvins or beyond. But I still recommend that you get a white balance card like these. They're not that expensive, probably 15, 20 bucks for one of these, but the benefits that you get from them are immense if you set your white balance properly using these most of your other colors, but also for fall right into place. And you'll find that in post, your work is gonna be reduced because you're not going to have to go back and try to save colors and improve your short. So yeah, Neil, your white balance, you'll be a happy camper. Now in the next class we're gonna be talking about focus and the tools that you can use to nail your focus every time. See you then. 8. Focus: All right, welcome back. So now it's time to talk about focus, which you might think is a no-brainer and very easy to do. And in some ways it is, but it really helps to know what options you have when we're talking about focus and how to use focus to make better videos. Like I said earlier, we always want to use manual settings on our cameras as much as possible. Manual control of your camera will teach you how to use your camera properly and also give you immense control on your overall video and focus also falls into this. So we're going to use manual focus wherever possible and wherever practical. But obviously we have to also understand that most of you are content creators who are likely working alone. So when you're recording yourself, sometimes your camera is going to be too far away. How do you focus then? These are all questions that we do have to keep in mind. So let's first talk about autofocus. It's extremely useful in situations where you're recording yourself and working alone. Your face stays in focus even when you're moving around or if the camera is moving around. But the biggest drawback with using autofocus, especially if you're using a lower price camera and lens setup is focused breathing. I've seen videos where every time the speaker moves a little bit, the camera hunts for focus again and again. And obviously this can be very distracting for the viewer. And it also doesn't give your work that professional field, which is why most professionals right now will always prefer manual focus. But there are cameras out there with really good autofocus, like the Sony and 6,400.6600, both very good cameras for beginners. They have eye-tracking autofocus, which locks focus on your eyes. There's also object tracking auto-focus which locks onto an object. And when the camera is moving, the focus stays locked onto that object. Then there's canon and they've been shipping their cameras with their awesome dual pixel autofocus and even the ADD and the city had those. Those are really good cameras for content creators. And now we're also seeing cameras like the Sony A7 R4 with AI autofocus that uses a fancy algorithms and AI chips to find faces and then lock focus onto them. And then there's a whole bunch of other mirrorless cameras. Also note that with mirrorless cameras, not all lenses have auto-focus. So when you buy a lens, make sure your lens has autofocus. Because if your camera has autofocus, but your lens does it, It's not going to work. Now let's move on and talk about manual focus. Now the biggest benefit with manual focus while recording yourself is that you don't get any focus breathing. In fact, even in the short right now, I'm using manual focus. I always use manual focus and you can see my eyes are in focus and everything is locked on. But when I'm moving around, the camera is not changing focus at all. And this can be really beneficial to the overall look of your video. Another benefit of manual focusing is that it's much smoother. So when you're using manual focus and your product shots, maybe you're taking some B-roll. You'll find that with many cameras when it's trying to focus or when it's trying to lock on, it feels really jerky. So it's going to be out-of-focus and then it's gotta be in-focus. Whereas if you use manual focus, the focus bull is much smoother and it then gives a much more cinematic field to your video. But manual focus has its downsides. The camera is moving or the subject is moving. The manual focus becomes very difficult. And it adds to the work that you'll have to do and you have to get the focus right, otherwise you could ruin your short. Then like I said earlier, if you're recording yourself alone, what do you do? Pro tip. But this is more of a hack. This is what I used to do because I used to record myself and I didn't have any help and I can't really reach my camera. So what I'd do is I'd find an object and then I'd find the plane where I feel like my faces. And I put that object where my face roughly is. And then I go to the camera and focus on that object. And a lot of times, well, actually every time I was able to nail focus doing this, what you have to be careful about is before you start recording, you have to check your shot and make sure that your focus is sharp enough for you to go ahead. But this trick can work very well. Now there is a tool that you can use to focus better and it comes as a built-in feature in most cameras, and I use it all the time. It's called focus peaking. Most cameras come with this feature built-in and focus peaking basically shows you a color on your plane of focus, where the focus is the sharpest. And you can use this to make sure that you have your focus on the right spot. Whenever using manual focus, make sure you're using focus peaking. It's a lifesaver. And here's a pro tip for you on this one is a pro tip. When focusing on your face, the focus should be on your eyes because your viewers will be looking at your eyes when you're talking to them. That's just what we humans do. When we're conversing or listening to someone, we're more likely to look right into their eyes. Here's another pro tip for you. When you're recording yourself, make sure that your aperture is not too wide-open. If you're using an aperture like F 1.8, you will find that the plane of focus becomes really thin. And then a lot of times your eyes will be in focus and your nose won't and stuff like that. So I would suggest keep your aperture at around f 2.5 or higher than that. So to conclude this class, if you want to get your work done quickly, it's probably best to use autofocus, especially if you have a good camera that has really fancy AI autofocus type technologies. But if you're looking to do really good professional world, and I would suggest you learn how to use manual focus. Once you start getting into it, you will find that it is, it's going to make your videos look better. So that's it for focus. In the next class, we're gonna be talking about picture profiles. 9. Picture Profiles: Picture profiles are very important to the overall look of your video. Now this one is a bit more advanced for beginners, but I feel like my students should have at least a basic understanding of what picture profiles are. Most cameras today have inbuilt picture profiles. Some picture profiles have more saturation, some are better to use in low-light. Sum gives you more of a cinematic desaturated look and some give you better dynamic range. We've talked about dynamic range in a minute. Let's first get our heads around picture profiles. So it's very important for you to go through your camera and check out the different picture profiles to see which one you like the best and which one suits your shooting style. So when checking your cameras picture profiles, I want you to pay attention to two things, saturation and sharpness. And as a general rule of thumb, we want to keep saturation and sharpening on the lower side in your cameras picture profile, very saturated and sharpen images tend to give a digital amateur like field. And the downside is that if you're adding a lot of saturation or sharpening in camera, then your options and post get limited. It's really difficult to D sharpen your image without making the image look weird. You can take the saturation out, but it's always better to have this control in post and make your camera to the least amount of work in terms of post-processing, we want to do all of that on the computer later. Of course, if you're looking to make a quick production process and want to turn around work really quickly. You might want to choose a picture profile that gives you a reasonably good looking image. But if you want to take your game to the next level, that is better to control your picture profile manually and add things like sharpening and saturation and post. That's what I do. I normally keep my saturation contrast and sharpness on their lower settings on my camera. And I always use Sydney or film type of picture profiles. And then in post I can add the saturation and sharpness back because it's not already baked into my footage. It just gives me a bit more control. Now let's talk about that dynamic range I spoke to you about in layman's terms, the dynamic range of any camera is how much detail your camera can pull out from the dark and the bright areas of your image. E.g. in this chart, if I had used a camera with better dynamic range, you would see more detail in the sky outside. Instead, the sky has been blown out and the details are lost because it's beyond the dynamic range of this camera. But apart from the camera itself, picture profiles can also play a role in getting you better dynamic range in your shots. And for this, we normally use logarithmic picture profiles or log profiles. Sony has as log two and as log three, canon has c log. And you'll find that most professionals use these log profiles because of that better dynamic range than the get, and also because of the added control that they get on their final image. Now out of the camera, the image from a log profile looks really washed out. Honestly horrible. But once you add the saturation back and post through a lot or a color lookup table, you end up getting better dynamic range. I'll show you the differences here when I record this short and a standard picture profile from my camera, all the details outside the window or blown out. This is all white noise. Now, these details can not be brought back even through color correction. But when I record the video with the same settings, but in log profile and eye color corrected, you can see much more detail outside the window. Again, remember, the more dynamic range your camera and your picture profile gives you, the better your videos. We'll look. Then again, log profiles have a big downside in that they need heavy post-processing and you need to know how to use lots and color correct your footage, which can add to your workflow. And it'll take you more time and effort to produce your videos. So I'm gonna show you my footage, how it looks right out of the camera. I'm using a black magic camera with their film profile, which is a log profile. So we're gonna go ahead and take off all of the color grading we've done. And this is what it looks like right out of camera. I know it probably looks really bad. But we're gonna go ahead and start adding the processing that we do to show you what a difference it makes to be able to calibrate properly. So here we're going to add this LUT and convert our log profile to erect several nine color space. Then we're gonna go ahead and let's fix that exposure. Let's fix those skin tones as well, just to get the skin tones right. And just have a bit of a curve. I want to make sure my highlight roll-off is good. Then we're going to add a layer of sharpening just to make sure that everything is looking as sharp as I want. And let's go ahead and add a vignette as well. And I think that's the final look. So this is before and this is after. And you can see what a difference it makes. And this is the kind of control that eventually, if you wanted to be able to do professional work than you need to look into. And the basis of that is the picture profile itself. I do think that lets and log profiles. These are all very advanced concepts, too advanced for beginners, but I think it's also important to at least have this knowledge beforehand so that you know what you need to learn as you move on in your career, you need to be looking into lots and picture profiles if you want more control of the colors in your image. But in the beginning, feel free to use those built-in picture profiles. Your camera comes with. The next class. We are going to be talking about lenses and filters that you can use with their cameras. 10. Lenses and Filters: Now it's time to talk about lenses and filters for video production is very important to know at least the basics of lenses and how they can affect your footage. Because what type of lens you use will decide the overall look of your video. And you will need different sorts of lenses for different situations. And at the end of this class, I'll also share with you guys my lens preferences for beginners. Now for basic video production, there are two things that you need to know when it comes to lenses. Focal length and aperture. Focal length is measured in millimeters. And in simple terms, the smaller this number is, the more zoomed out that lens is going to be. So e.g. this photo is from a 30 millimeter lens, whereas this one is from a more zoomed out or wide-angle 16 millimeter lens. Wide-angle lenses like these have a number of benefits. One of which is that you can fit more of your environment and your short also as a solo video producer, this also means that you can keep the camera closer to yourself. Now in some lenses, this focal length is fixed, so 30 mm, 24 mm. This one here is 16 millimeter lens, and these are what we call prime lenses. But there are also lenses where there's a range of focal lens. Which type of lens is required will depend on what's being shot. E.g. the Sigma 18, 35 that I'm using right now to record this video. These are known as zoom lenses. Here are the different types of lenses that you should know about. So we have wide-angle lenses, which are normally 18 mm to 24 millimeter focal length. And these wide-angle lenses are more suited for landscapes, architecture, and indoor videography. Smaller focal lens like 16, 12, 8 mm are known as ultra-wide lenses. These wide-angle lenses are also better suited for vlogging because when you're vlogging the cameras in your hands, it's not too far away. And so a wide-angle lens can help make sure that you're capturing everything, including yourself and your surroundings. Then we have portrait lenses. These are normally 50-70 mm, and they also have a very low aperture. This portrait lenses can produce very flattering results when used with people because of the blurred background and slimming effect they have because of the focal length. Then we have telephoto lenses, which start from 70 mm and go all the way up to hundreds of millimeters. These are used for subjects that are very far away. So you see these being used by wildlife photographers and for sports. Then there's macro lenses. They have a very small minimum focus distance and allow you to get really, really close and capture a small subjects and minute details. There are also other types of lenses, but most of them are for specialty shorts and stylized effects. But for basic video production, I think knowing about these five types is more than enough, at least in the beginning. Let's now talk about the aperture or iris. And we briefly spoke about them in our class one exposure as well. But let's just quickly recap. So the wider your aperture is, e.g. at 1.8 F14, the more light will reach your camera sensor. At the same time, your plane of focus will also get thinner. And the more your foreground and background will go out of focus and get blurred, which we call bokeh. So just like with focal length on zoom lenses, every lens also has arranged for its aperture. And you'll usually see this in the name of the lens. So sigma 18, 35, F18 means that the focal length is from 18 mm all the way up to 35 mm. Minimum aperture is F18. Normally these lenses only mentioned the minimum aperture. So this is f 1.4, which means that it can go higher to f 2.521, 83.2 and higher, but it can't go any lower than F14. Another example is the sigma 30 millimeter F 1.4. So here we have a prime lens with a fixed focal length of 30 mm and the minimum aperture is F14. You can go higher, but not any lower than F14. And guys here we have a pro tip. For cinematic shots, you should use a lens with a very wide minimum aperture like F 1.8 or F14, you'll see lots of lenses with narrower F35 or F4 minimum apertures, which means they need more light and also offer less background blur since they have a wider plane of focus. Then apart from focal length and aperture, there are also other things that you should know about lenses. The first is stabilization. There are some lenses that come with built-in optical image stabilization. And these are very useful in stabilizing shots where the camera is moving, especially if you're vlogging or something like that where the camera is moving a lot. You could really use some good stabilization, but keep in mind that not all lenses come with stabilization. Similarly, some lenses also have built-in autofocus capabilities. Others don't. And remember, we spoke about those different ecosystems and camera brands. Well, these lenses are also part of those ecosystems and all of them have different mounts. So pretty much every camera brand at this point has a different type of mount that it supports. And it's important to know which mount your camera has before you go and buy lenses for it. E.g. Sony supports E mount lenses, whereas Canon cameras support EFF and a few other types of mounts. Anyone really use an E mount lens with an EF mounted camera unless you find something like this and adapter for it. But even these are likely to cut down on the functionality that you can get from your lens. Often the autofocus won't work quite as well, or you will see some other sorts of performance downgrade. So the key point here is that if you start using e.g. Sony cameras, over time, you would likely build up a whole library of lenses for your Sony cameras with E mounds. And that will be a significant investment, which will make it difficult for you to switch your brand's later on down your career. So let's now move on and start talking about filters and what sorts of filters you can use with your lenses. So filter is basically something like this. It's cruise on at the end of your lens. There are different types, so you have UV filters, polarizing filters, promised filters. But the one that I want you guys to know about is this ND filter. So these are neutral density filters. I've already talked about these in a previous class where I told you that these are sunglasses. These are like sunglasses for your lenses, The electric control, the amount of light hitting your sensor, and allow you to manage the exposure of your short. If you're in a very brightly lit environment, often you can't really control it with. You don't have the option of cutting down on your ISO or increasing your shirt dispute or anything like that, then you can use an ND filter. And even in these ND filters, I prefer using something like this, which is a variable ND filter. And what this allows you to do is to control the brightness by rotating it and so you can control the exposure of your short. Another thing to note about ND filters is that they have a millimeter size ratings. So you need to make sure that the ND filter that you get fits your lens. Or you might need to get some step-up or step-down rings to make sure your filter sits on your lens correctly. And here I have another pro tip for you guys. For cinematic shots, use a lower aperture setting of f 1.8 or F14, along with an ND filter, this will give you lots of background blur while letting you manage the amount of light going into that really wide-open aperture. Usually with wide-open aperture like F 1.8 and 1.4, it's very easy to overexpose or blow out your short. Now as promised, I want to share some of my lens preferences with you guys. And the first of these is the lens that I use the most. It's also known as the YouTubers lens and I'm using it right now to record this class. This is the sigma 18 to 3,051.8. Hands down my favorite lens. I know people running their entire channels on just this one lens. It's fairly heavy and not really suited for vlogging, but in a studio setting, this lens is awesome. Then I also have this sigma 30 mm and the Sigma 16 mm. And both of these offer very wide apertures, won't really break the bank and also offer very good image quality. I have the Sony 16 millimeter F2.8 lens. This was very cheap and I got it right at the beginning when I got my Sony a 6,500. And last but not the least, we have the nifty 50 from my initial canon days can and 50 millimeter F1 0.8 lens. And this was really good for portrait type shots with intense background blur. A lot of people prefer it because it doesn't really cost too much and can give you really good results if you know what you're doing. So this was our beginner's guide to lenses. I think there's enough in this class for you to research more and learn more about. In the next class, we're going to move on from cameras and start talking about microphones. See you then. 11. Microphones: Alright, let's talk about microphones. So in the beginning of this course, I told you guys about the importance of audio quality and how it can really make or break your video. I told you that a lot of people believe, including myself, that audio quality is even more important than the quality of your image. That's to say that if you're watching a video where the image quality is not that great, but the audio quality is good. And you're more likely to watch that video as opposed to a video where it looks really good, but the audio quality is really bad. Perhaps there's a lot of noise are a lot of echo or the volume is just really dim, more likely to bounce off. Now we're going to talk about how to record and process your video and a separate class. And this one, I want to focus a bit more on microphones and the different options that you have as a concentrator. And right at the outset, the first rule is that we always avoid using the onboard mic. This is the built-in mic in your camera, or if you're recording video with your phone than the mike on your phone. On-board mics generally tend to give really poor results. And using an external microphone can do wonders to the overall quality of your video. Now in a pinch, you can go ahead and use your phone as a microphone, so as an audio recorder. But that's only in the case that you're not recording video with your phone as well. I suppose if you're a blogger, then you can get by with doing it. But if you're using the onboard mic on your phone, then know that a little bit of noise or a little bit of echo can really destroy the quality of your audio. So here are some of the different types of external microphones that you can consider as a content creator. First on the list are lavalier mics. These are also called lab mikes and the basically gone your color like so. Lab mikes are very good for noise rejection and they're designed to pick up loud sounds because normally they're very close to your mouth. So if you're recording in a noisy environment, or perhaps there's lot of wind or echo in your surroundings, then you might want to go with a lab Mike. But the big downside with a lab Mike is that they don't look very good. This could be a personal preference, but I don't like the way lab mikes look. They look ugly on your color. And I feel like they also take away from the immersion of your video. But for beginners, they're very easy to work with. You can find one that plugs right into your phone. So you can connect these lab mice with your phone as well. There are a few low-cost options available BY m1 is a good one. By K one plugs right into your iPhone than there, cinco SH, a lot of new content creators use these. Then if you want to go higher in the price range, maybe have a look at Rhodes smart lab that gives you a good mix of price and quality. And then if you want more premium quality than perhaps you could go for something like sanitizer. Then moving on, we have condenser microphones, which are used more in a studio setting. This condenser microphones have a capacitor inside them, which lets them pick up the finest details. They're generally very sensitive, so you're going to have to use them in a studio setting where you have acoustic treatment to reduce the echo and the noise. But generally people who do live streams, voice-overs or vocals, they tend to prefer this condenser microphones for beginner video producers, Blue Snowball is a good low-cost option, and this Blue Yeti is also very popular mic. The road also has some good ones like the road NT USB and this Blue Yeti and the road and a USB, they're both USB microphones, so you can connect them directly to your computer, which is an added bonus if you want to record audio directly into your computer. Whereas the scarlet studio Mike came with my focus, right? Scarlet Solo studio bundle that I got. This one plugs in via XLR cable into the audio interface. We're gonna get to that as well. But yeah, these are condenser microphones. Then we have the shotgun mic, which is also a type of condenser microphone, but they're more directional, kind of like a telescope. And you can point them into a certain direction and the mike will pick up more sounds from that direction and reject sound coming from the sides or behind the mic. Shotgun mics are really good for noise rejection. Like I told you, they're very directional so they'll or reject sounds coming from other directions, which is why they're used a lot in movies and on TV shows. And Laura, YouTubers even use them now, I use shotgun mikes all the time. In fact, the sound that you're hearing right now is coming through this shotgun mic, which is the deity S Mike two. This is the V Mike D3 pro sanitizer. Mgh 416 is a very famous one, but it is a little expensive for beginners. Roads. And D G series is also very popular lineup. Then there are some shotgun mics. They're designed to be mounted on your camera or even on your phone. Roads video mike series is a famous one. And the shotgun mikes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. This is the Rode video micro. This is one that I suggest to all beginners because you can mountain on your camera. There's also a version that connects to your phone, even one for an iPhone. So it's a very popular microphone and it's very suited for running guns scenarios. By the way, if you're wondering what this thing is, this called a dead cat, I have another one here. And these are basically used to cut down on the sound of wind. If you're outside shooting a lot and there's a lot of wind, you'll find that there's a lot of popping wind sounds or plosives or something coming in your video, you can put this dead cat on your mic and we'll cut down the sound of wind moving on next, we have dynamic microphone, which are mostly used for podcasts, radio broadcasts, and voice-overs and vocals. These dynamic mics need a lot of amplification. They're not sensitive at all. And normally you need to be very close to them. But the biggest benefit with dynamic microphones is that they reject noise really, really well. That's why they're used for radio broadcasts and podcasts, where you have multiple guests all talking at the same time and you don't want one Mike to pick up more than one person's voice. A very famous dynamic mic is this one, the shore SM7B. You must have seen it in a lot of podcasts by now. Then roads part mike is also very popular now, Samson to you as a good low priced option. Along with podcasts and interviews, dynamic microphones are also very good for voice-overs and vocals. Fun fact, Michael Jackson used ashore SM7B to record as Thriller album. So these were some of the different types of mics that you can consider using as a concentrator. Let's now go ahead and talk about the different connection types that they use because that's going to determine how you record your audio. So just briefly, we have 3.5 millimeter jags. They look like headphone jacks. Normally there TRS or TRS. And they can be plugged directly into your laptop recorder or some phones. Then we have USB mics, like I told you earlier, these can be connected directly to your computer, but the one that most of you won't know about is the XLR connector. This is what you will find on most progress microphones and recorders. This deity S2 is an XLR mic. That's short. Sm7b is also an XLR mic. And to record with these XLR mics, you normally need phantom power. So you will need either a recorder or an audio interface that can provide phantom power in order for these mikes to work. And now some of you might be wondering what sort of recorders or audio interfaces you could use with these mikes. So Zoom does a whole bunch of audio recorders that you can look up to. I'm personally using the Zoom H5. And alternatively, you can also use an audio interface that's hooked up to your computer, like this focused right? Scarlet to Y2 are the Scarlet Solo than universal audios are. Polar line is also very famous and a lot of YouTubers use it. I think this is enough of an intro to microphones for beginners. If you would like to research further, I would highly suggest you take up anything that's confusing you in this class and look it up online and find your answers. Really going to teach you a lot. In the next class we're going to talk about lighting and what sorts of tips and tricks you can use to make yourself look better on camera. 12. Lighting: Having even a basic understanding of lighting can do wonders to how your video looks. Now lighting is a huge topic and as content creators, we want to save as much time as possible, get things done quickly so we can produce regular content. And so in this class, I'll share just the basics of lighting stuff that I think you need to know in order to produce reasonably good-looking videos. And you can learn more about this topic on Skillshare and YouTube. But here are the basics. So in our class on gear and equipment, I said that you need at least one source of light. And to begin with, this can be natural light through a window. But if you want to improve the look of your video, you will need more lighting sources to or ideally at least three. And you can use lamps around your house to begin with or go out and buy these LED lights with diffusers are for better results. You can use soft boxes are diffuser umbrellas. But whatever light source you use, I think you'll get very good results. If you understand three-point lighting. In the three-point lighting system, there are basically three types of lights. Key, light, fill, light, hair light, sometimes also called backlight if the subject is not a person. And all these three lights have very specific jobs. The key light is the main and usually the brightest source of light falling on your face from one side, the fill light is normally on the other side of your face. And as the name suggests, it fills out the shadows cast by the key light. Normally this fill light is a little bit dimmer or a bit further than the key light. And then we have a hair light. This is usually above your head or sometimes behind the subject, and its main job is background separation. It separates you from the background and it introduces a bit more depth into your short by using the three-point lighting system, your face will look more flattering and beautiful. Your shot, we'll have a bit more depth in it, rather than just looking flat like in this shot where we have just one light dead center at 12:00. Here we're getting a very flat sort of look without much depth. Whereas in this short reviews three-point lighting and you can see the difference for yourself. Here's a pro tip if you want to learn more about three-point lighting, lookup, Rembrandt, lighting, the user, and lots of professionally produced interviews, and also those masterclass ads, I'm sure a lot of you guys must have seen. Now another very important aspect of lighting that you need to know about is the difference between hard light and soft light. And we always want the softest light possible. Soft light basically means diffused light. So the light has to pass through some sort of diffusion, like a softbox or diffusion cloth or even something like butter paper or even tissue paper if you're careful with it. But I need to stress this. If you're using paper, then be very careful. Hot lights and paper obviously don't mix well together. You've been warned. Now the biggest benefit of using diffused light is that diffused light creates softer shadows, which makes her face or any other subject look much more flattering and beautiful. On the other hand, hard light typically has no diffusion and it gives a very harsh look. The shadows that it costs are very sharp, which unless used for dramatic effect, looks ugly. And we have another pro tip here. Always use a big diffused light source, like a big frosted window or a softbox. The bigger and more diffused your light sources, the better you are. Your subject will look at your video. There are also other interesting aspects of lighting that you should know about. One of these is what's known as a catch light. This is the reflection of light in your eyes. In most professional videos, you will see this reflection in the subject's eyes. And while placing your own light sources, make sure you get a good catch light in your eyes is going to make your short look more beautiful and it's going to make it easier for your viewers to connect to your eyes when you're talking to them. One more thing to think about, our RGB and colored lights. You can use these colored lights in your background to make things look a little more interesting. Maybe spice things up because you could have just white lights. But if you're making content regularly than changing things up is going to help make your videos look a bit more interesting rather than more monotonous. So yeah, RGB lights are something to look into as well. But I think the key takeaway from this class is that you should always prefer to use diffuse lights. Tried to have as much diffusion as possible in your lights. And also to get well acquainted with the three-point lighting system. In our next class, I'm going to be sharing some tips that you can use when recording yourself. See you then. 13. Tips on Recording Yourself: So folks, now we're ready to start recording ourselves. And you're probably thinking finally, but it was very important to build your foundation on cameras and microphones and lighting and video production in general, before we actually started recording ourselves, this stage comes after you're done with all your pre-production, planning and scripting and getting all your equipment ready. So after you're done setting everything up, the first thing you always want to do is to set your white balance. We've already covered this in our class on white balance. If you need to refresh your memory, go ahead and watch that class again. Then we have a pro tip here. Whenever the lighting in your short changes, it's best to set the white balance. Again. Remember that white balance class, whenever the lighting in your surroundings changes, it could change how your camera sees white. Then after you're done setting your white balance, you want to go ahead and check your focus. If you're using autofocus, then there is no issue. But if you're using manual focus, if you remember our class on focus, we talked about how it could be a little difficult for you to focus on yourself. But I did give you a trick in that class. You might as well use it or you could ask someone to help you out and do the focus for you. Otherwise, you could just use autofocus. Next is framing. And framing is very important. Good framing not only makes you look more professional, but it also gives your audience a better viewing experience. And the best and most basic way to frame your shot is by using the rule of thirds grid. You can either place herself in the center or on the left or the right. Center is usually the safest. But what I see a lot of people getting wrong is the vertical framing. So they either leave too much space above their head or they're so high up that part of their head is cut out of RAM. So it's best to switch on the grid on your camera monitor and use the rule of thirds to position yourself in the frame. Then we have camera placement is very important. Normally you want to place your camera at or around your eye level. This is because whenever someone's talking to you, normally they are at your level. It just feels much better for your audience to connect properly. If your cameras too low, you're going to be looking down, you won't even realize it. And your audience is probably going to feel like they're looking up at you. Likewise, if your camera is too high, you're gonna be looking up at the camera the whole time and your audience will feel like they're looking down at you. It just feels a little bit unnatural to the best and most natural way of doing it. Have the camera on your eye level. Then another tip is to always use a monitor while recording yourself. These days, many cameras come with flip out screens where you can keep an eye on yourself while you do the recording. Or you can also attach an external monitor to your camera is always much better to be able to see yourself. You could be running out of space on your memory card or your battery could be running out or you might not even be recording. So it's best to keep an eye on the information display of your camera as well. So after we're done with white balance, focused framing and camera placement, there's just some final checks left to do. Make sure your SD card in the camera and that it has enough space, then you want to check that your mic is connected securely. If you're using an external mic, which I hope you will be using also, many prosumer cameras these days come with a recording limit around 30 min or so. And so many content creators like to keep a timer on their phone or on a monitor so that they can keep an eye on how long they've been recording for. So yeah, that's pretty much it. Now you're ready to record. So go ahead and make sure you press the record button because you'd be surprised at how many times I've forgotten to press the record button. And it could be a real pain once you realize how fat-free or video that either your audio recorder or your camera's not even rolling. So these were some tips on recording yourself and things you might want to keep an eye on. In our next class, we're going to talk about recording and processing audio. 14. Audio Recording and Processing: In this class, I'm going to walk you through how you can record your audio and apply some basic processing to it as quantity craters, you generally have two options. One is to plug a mic directly into your camera so that your audio is burned right into your main file. People usually do this with lavalier microphones because those can be plugged straight into most cameras. And the other option is to record into an external audio recorder and then synchronizing your audio video, video and post. Now there are many brands of audio recorders out there. One of the most famous one is Zoom. I use the Zoom H5, but they have a range of products for different budgets. You can also record your audio straight into your computer, connecting a USB microphone to it or using an audio interface, and then on the software and you can use a free software like Audacity to record and process the audio. My workflow in the beginning was that I would record my audio into my Zoom H5 was processed the audio file in audacity and then sync it with my video in my video editing software. Now that I know how to post-process my audio a little better, I just do everything in my video editing software. But in the beginning, I learned how to do it all in Audacity. Now as a beginner video producer, there are three things about your audio that you should know about. First is loudness or volume. So your audio should be loud enough for your viewers, but it should never clip. What's clipping? We'll get into that. The second is echo or reverb shouldn't be too much echo and your audio echo will kill your viewer's experience. And it's gonna make it difficult for your viewer to concentrate on what you're saying. And the third is noise. Background noise can be very distracted for your viewers. And if there's too much of it, then your audience won't be able to focus on what you're saying. So let's first talk about loudness. Loudness is measured in decibels denoted by db, and these are always negative values. So -12 minus six minus three, et cetera. And the assumption is that anything above zero is clipping or white noise. So it's very important that your audio never goes above zero. If it does, then your audio will start to clip and it'll sound really bad. And the way you control loudness is through controlling the gain recorder. You'll see a gain knob. Your software will also have some features to control gain width, and gain basically controls the volume or loudness of your audio. Time. For a pro tip here, whenever you're recording your audio, it's best to record it between -12 and -6 db. Try not going above -3 db so that you have some leeway. Sometimes your voice might get a little louder. No one talks in the same volume all the time. And then once you're done recording, you can always add more gain to your audio and bring up the volume and post. So let's now move on and talk about how to post-process your audio once you're done recording it, like I said earlier, we'll use Audacity for this later on. You could do this in your video editing software or an Adobe Audition if you don't mind spending more money. For now, we'll stick towards free. And since we're beginners who want to do this quickly, we'll just use a two-step process, amplify and noise reduce. Later on you can add more processes to this like compressors and limiters. But for now we'll keep it simple. With amplification. We're going to increase the volume of our audio. Remember we kept it around minus six dB. Now we want to use the full range of loudness available to us. And in our Udacity is very easy. You just have to go to your effects panel and loudness. Now after we're done with amplification, we're going to apply our noise reduction. Now the way to do this in Audacity is that you need to give Audacity sample of your rooms noise. This is called the noise profile. So when you're recording, there needs to be a few seconds. I do around 5 s where you are silent and there's only background noise. Or udacity can use this noise profile to cut down the noise in your audio is really easy to do. You just have to go ahead and select this portion of your audio where you were silent. I eat the noise profile, then go into effects and noise reduction and click on Get Noise Profile or udacity will then register this noise profile. Then you go back and select all your audio. And once again, we're going to effect noise reduction. Now here you can set how aggressive you want noise reduction to be. Don't overdo this if you're gonna make your audio sound really weird and processed. And then once you're happy with everything, just click. Okay, now let's see how much of a difference this amplification and noise reduction has made. So this is how the audio sounds straight out of the recorder, and this is how it sounds after amplification and noise reduction. And you can hear how much of a difference just basic amplification and noise reduction makes. Before my audio sounded really dull and the volume was very low. But after doing this, my audio sounds much fuller and much cleaner. Now, obviously there's much more you can do to your audio. But I just taught you these steps because as content creators, we want to try and speed things up, make everything quick and short. But if you don't mind some extra grind, you can use tools like an equalizer to adjust the treble and bass and your audio here on the left is the lower end, or the base frequencies. On the right are the higher treble frequencies. Everything in the middle are mids. You can kind of play around with these to make your audio sound better. Then you have compressors, which are just the dynamic range of your audio and make it Fuller. You can use my compressor settings here for your audio if you're doing voiceovers, if you have a very specific scenario, you want to use a compressor and is best to watch some tutorials on how to use them. Then there are limiters which you can use to bring up your gain or volume while keeping a limit on the maximum volume. And a limiter is going to make sure your audio never clips. This is what my limiter in Final Cut Pro looks like, and it literally shows you in yellow every time the audio was going to clip, but the limiter kicked in. But again, you don't want to overdo the limiter, otherwise it can make your audio sound a little off balance. So if you wanna do it quickly than just amplify and noise reduced for a majority of people, that's gonna be enough processing to make your audio sound up to par. But if you want to put in more effort and make your audio sound better than his best to research compressors, equalizers, and limiters. They're gonna give you much more control on how you sound in your video. In our next class, we're going to talk about the basics of B-roll. What is B-roll you ask, well, you'll have to go to the next class to find out. See you there. 15. Basics of B-Roll: In this class, we're going to talk about B-roll, its importance and how to use it to add interesting perspectives to your videos. B-roll is very important whether you're a blogger who wants to show something interesting to their viewers or your reviewer who wants to show a product from interesting viewpoints. And using B-roll makes her videos more interesting and engaging because your viewer doesn't have to keep looking at your face that entire time. Now I'm not saying you're not pretty enough, but it can get a little boring for you viewers. But if you use B-Roll, it can lead to better audience retention because your viewer can see more of what you're talking about and also get an interesting perspective on things. And sometimes B-roll is absolutely essential in conveying the information that you're trying to convey. But first things first, why do we call it B-roll? But because the talking head sequence that you're watching right now, this is known as the arrow, and so everything else becomes B-roll. So in this project, this is the arrow where I'm talking to the camera. And this is the B-roll where I'm showing different shots of the product so that my audience can better understand what I'm talking about. Now, there are quite a few different types of bureau charts that you can take. Let's talk about some of them. So simple. One is the pen, where the camera is panning from left to right or right to left. For this normally will use a fluid head which looks like this. It's designed for a camera to be mounted on it and it lets you get a really smooth movements. Then there's the tilt, where the camera is tilting from top to bottom or bottom to top. Again, we use a fluid for this. Then here's something a bit more advanced. This is a slide for which we use a slider. And by using a slider, you can go from one side to the other or from back to front. And these sliding shots can be very useful in making a boring short look more dramatic and cinematic. A little bit of movement goes a long way in changing how your shot looks, then moving on into even more advanced territory. Here's one of my all time favorite charts. This is what's called an arc short or a parallax short. We've just taken by mounting of fluid head on a slider. So it gives you the ability to slide and pan and tilt at the same time. It takes quite a bit of practice to get good at this because you have to slide and pan at the same time while keeping your subject at the center of the frame. But when done right, this short is extremely dramatic and it looks very impressive. Then we have another type of shot which I really love and use all the time. This is an overhead chart. I call it a top-down shot, where the camera is mounted overhead and looking down at a desk or a countertop. And I think this perspective especially useful for product videos, cooking videos are crafty how-to videos. It gives you a viewer a very clear and close-up look of what you're doing are talking about. It's time for another pro tip here. So when doing these overhead shots, user level app on your phone to make sure that the camera is looking straight down. This is to make sure that your perspective is good. Otherwise, anything with a straight edge will start to look crooked and distorted. There are many other different types of bureau charts that you can take too many to cover in one class. So I would suggest you go online and do better research, find some tutorials, and learn how to get some good B-roll. But as a final note, when you're recording your B-roll, try to make it interesting with different lighting. Some people use RGB lights and also prompts and different textures. Also keep in mind that when you're recording your videos, don't overdo the cinematics. A lot of cinematics and beauty shots do become distracting after awhile and sometimes also take away from the story of the video. The story really matters. You can't really substitutes story for goods cinematics, but don't undo the cinematics either. They make a huge difference. And when done right, cinematic B-roll can add interesting perspectives to your video and increase its production value. In the next class, we're going to start talking about video editing and specifically what video editing software you can use. See you then. 16. Video Editing Software: So hopefully by now you have all your video footage and audio recorded. And now you want to take it all into a video editing software to put it together. But whichever editor you choose, they'll all have the following features or timeline. This is basically the backbone, are the foundation of your video. While editing, you will see your entire project on this timeline. You can cut and spliced the video however you'd like. And you can place footage, images, texts, and sounds wherever you want them. And most modern video editing software will also let you stack layers on top of one another. Then there are keyframes. With keyframes, you can select any point or different points in your video and then change the properties of the object between those keyframes. E.g. I. Can add a keyframe here and one here. And then I can add a zoom effect between these two keyframes. Or I can change the opacity and make my video fade to black. The sky is the limit with these, there's a ton of stuff you can do with keyframes. Then there are transitions which let you add a transition between two clips, which is essentially a fancy effect that will change the scene from one clip to another. Titles let you add all sorts of text elements in your video. Then you can add interesting graphics and animation into your videos to make them more interesting and engaging. We have a pro tip here. Do take some time to find interesting fonts, graphics, and sounds for your videos. All these things will add more richness to your content. You can also install some very useful plugins from websites like motion and pixel film studios. Now video editing in and of itself is a very deep subject. I'm not going to be teaching you how to edit videos or how to use your video editing software, because I don't know what software you'll be using. Every software is different, but I will try to give you some important information about the different video editing softwares. So hopefully you could make a better decision about which software suits you the best. And in the next class I'm gonna be sharing some video editing tips with you guys to help you make your videos better. Let's talk about some of the most popular video editing software out there. There are three in particular, which are the most popular. The first and arguably the most popular is Adobe Premiere Pro, which you can run on both Windows and Mac. And it's widely used in industry by professionals because it's not locked to Windows or Mac ecosystems and because of all the advanced features it offers to professionals, Adobe Premiere Pro is a monthly subscription. You can't buy it went off. So that's a bit of a financial decision you'll have to make if you want to use it. But it's biggest upside is that Adobe Premiere Pro is widely used and recognized in the industry for learning how to use it can be a very valuable and transferable skill. Then we have da Vinci resolve by black magic, which has really seen a surge in popularity in the last few years, especially because of black magics. Budget friendly for k and six k cameras initially was seen as more as a color grading and color correction tool, but increasingly, people are using it as a one-stop shop for everything from color grading to video editing. Again, DaVinci Resolve works on both Windows and Mac, but in my opinion, it's one of the more difficult softwares to learn to use because it's just so jam-packed with advanced features and functionality. There's a free version available to download, but if you want the full studio, it costs around $295. But the good thing is that it's a one-off and not a monthly subscription. Now the third one which I use for my video production is Apple's Final Cut Pro, which is known for its ease of use. It's easier to learn than the other two, and it's also very efficient and fast because of its optimisation with Apple software and hardware. In my experience, it takes less time to render and works much more smoothly than Adobe Premiere. For the obvious downside here is that Final Cut Pro is locked inside Apple's ecosystem, so you'll need a Mac to run it. Final Cut Pro costs around 300 bucks on the Apple Store to buy it. But again, this is a one-off expenditure. Then there are a few other video editing softwares like Sony Vegas Pro, which very few people use these days. If you go into more amateur slash beginner territory than wonder shares, fill more and feel more pro are also good if you just want to dip your toes into the world of video editing. So apart from these computer-based video editing softwares, there's also a bunch of options for phones and tablets. And yes, you can totally edit a video on a phone or a tablet these days. Here are some options for Android and iOS that I've seen. For iPhones and iPads, luma fusion is pretty good, but it costs around $30 on Android Fillmore. A goal, Adobe Premiere Rush, our director kind master. In short. There are quite a few options, but do take some time to think about which option is best for you. Because if you're gonna invest so much energy into learning how to use a software, then it's better to choose a software that you're going to continue to use in the long run, and also one that will give you valuable and transferable skills. So this was a rundown on the different video editing software available. And also what sort of functionality you can expect from most video editing software out there. I'm going to end this class here and the next one, I'm going to share some video editing tips with you guys. And these are the things that I've picked up over the years. See you in the next class. 17. Video Editing Tips: So now that we have a basic understanding of video editing software and the different ecosystems there are. In this class, I'm going to share some video editing tips with you guys and tip numero uno or clip number one is don't overdo it. Because remember, on social media you need to be able to churn out content very regularly and consistently. If you overdo the video editing process, then you're gonna be able to put up your video's. Done is better than perfect. That's something I picked up from Casey. Nice that be thorough with your edit but don't overdo it. Tip number two is that you need to have a process. It really helps to have a routine to your edit. My own process is basically in three steps. Step number one is what I call a foundation edit, where I take my unedited raw file, cut it, and remove all the mistakes and get the basic skeleton are the foundation of my video ready? Then step two is B-roll and color correction. This is where I start placing all the B-roll where it needs to be. And I will also usually do all the color correction I need to do during this phase. And step number three is finishing where I check that everything is where it needs to be. Perhaps I need a text animation somewhere. Maybe I want some sound effects somewhere. And I will also check my whites and my skin tones during this process. After step three, usually all that's left to do is to just check the whole video a couple of times to make sure that there aren't any mistakes or factual errors. Number three is used. Jump cuts. Jump cuts are a good way to control the pace of your video. Generally on social media, you need to try and make sure that the pace of your videos right. If your video is too slow than people might bounce off. So jump cuts are a good way of removing those arms and loud breathing sounds. But don't overdo the jump cuts to many jump cuts will get distracting for the peer. To make your jump cuts and less jarring. You can add a zoom effect to your jump cuts. Here you can see the difference. This is a plane junkyard and this is a jump cut with Zoom. And we have another prototype here. The best type of jump cut is what's known as a Jacob. Jacob is when audio from the second clip starts a split second before the video changes. Jacob, because of how the clips are arranged, it looks like a J, but it's generally accepted that J cuts are much less jarring than just a plain jump card. This is what a plane cut feels like, and this is what Jacob feels like. Next time you're watching your favorite YouTuber. Do notice where they're using these J cards. Once you know what jackets are, you'll start seeing them everywhere. Tip number four. Don't overuse transitions. I see a lot of new content creators overusing their transitions. In the beginning, I was going to be of the same. Every other short header radial zoom blur effect going on. But if you look at professionals, they rarely ever use transitions. When's the last time you saw a transition in a movie or TV show or documentary, use transitions sparingly and deliberately. It's number five. Always fade sounds out. This is more of a pet peeve of mine. I see a lot of YouTubers adding e.g. some music to the intraoperative, cut it off just abruptly. It sounds really jarring and makes your video feel very rough. So whenever you have a sound that's going to discontinue than just fade it out. Here. Number six. Oh, and this is a big one. Always use keyboard shortcuts, whichever video editing software you end up choosing, it's always worth it to learn keyboard shortcuts and also add your own keyboard shortcuts will make your video editing process much, much faster, especially once muscle memory kicks in. Number seven and other big one is watch lots of tutorials for your video editing software. You'd be surprised at how much you can learn online these days. I mean, you're watching this course on Skillshare. I myself, I've learned everything from tutorials and no matter what your issue is, chances are that someone has had the same or very similar issue and decided to write about it or make a video about it. So yeah, watch tutorials. And tip number eight, which is my last one, is practice, practice, practice. The more you practice, the better your work will be, and the faster you'll be at turning projects over. So these are some tips that hopefully will help you in learning video editing better. In the next class, we are going to be talking about color correction basics. See you there. 18. Color Correction Basics: Alright guys. So now it's time to talk about color correction and color grading. And as a video content creator, you should have at least a basic understanding of the tools at your disposal. In this class, I'll take you through my process, how I do it as a day in, day out content creator. And you can pick and choose how much of this you want to follow if you want to do all of it or none of it, hopefully this class will give you a basic understanding of what color correction is. Now the first thing with color correction is what we spoke about in our classes on exposure and white balance. It's very important to have a good shot to begin with. So the very first thing is, of course, white balance. If you set your white balance correctly on your camera, color correction and color grading will be much easier for you. But if you're starting with a cool blue or warm yellow sharp, you'd have to correct that and post. And by the way, that's not always possible. But if your colors are just slightly off or it can be fixed in post, that's where color correction and color grading will come in. So what's the difference between color correction and color grading? Simply put, color correction is done to correct the colors in the shot and make them look true to life or to bring them to a baseline, unedited look. Color grading, on the other hand, is more of a stylistic choice. So in movies or YouTube videos, you can see a certain style of color. Teal orange is a very famous Look. If you've seen The Matrix, then you'll remember that when nu is in the matrix, everything has a green tinge to it. All that is a color grade. If you're interested in color grading, I would urge you to look up online and learn more. There is a lot to learn there. But in my video, since I do product reviews, I tried to give my videos are true to life. Look, I want my viewers to see what I'm seeing, exactly how it looks in real life. And so in this class we're going to talk mostly about just color correction. So my first step for color correction is to check exposure and adjusted. If I need to, I use this LUMO waveform chart, which shows you the levels of light in your image from left to right on the top, our highlights are the bright and white areas in the middle or the mid tones. Everything between the highlights and shadows. And at the bottom here are the dark parts of your image or the shadows. If the highlights go above 100, they will start to get blown out and become pure white and your image will get overexposed. If your shadows go below zero, they'll get crushed and become black. Again, you lose information and this time the shot will become underexposed. So you can use this luma waveform chart to keep an eye on your exposure and adjusted through the Exposure tab. And we have a product here, keep your highlights 75-95% and your shadows 10-6%. I usually don't go below 6%. It just makes my video look really weird and dark. Obviously, this is not a hard and fast rule. It's just something that I prefer. And also keep in mind that you have to have the right exposure in camera when your video is recorded and if it's overexposed or underexposed, often there's not much you can do in post because that data is just gone. It's either white noise or just crushed black shadows. Then after exposure, the second thing I check is white balance. Now most of you have probably set the white balance, right to begin with. But even if you're doing that a lot of times in post, you started realizing that it still needs a slight bit of a tweak and there is stuff you can do to it and post e.g. this shortest still looking a little cool. Very basic way to fix this is to go in your hue settings and take some of the blue out from either your entire short to global, where you can be selective about whether you want this color to be taken out from the highlights or the midtones are the shadows. By the way, I'm working in Final Cut Pro here. Now you're going to adjust this by just playing it by our eyes. But there is a specific tool you can use to adjust white balance width, which is the RGB Parade. This chart basically shows you how the three colors, red, green, and blue are balanced in an image. So what I'll do is I'll put a mask here on this white area to isolate it. Now this RGB period tells me which color from red, green, and blue is more dominant. And my white. And I can then start to take it out either through my Hue tab or in Final Cut Pro, we have these color wheels that let me adjust the white balance to make sure that my whites are white. Now I don't want to overly complicated this course, especially for beginners. But if you want to nail your white balance, you need to learn how to use an RGB Parade. Now once I'm done with exposure and white balance, I usually go and check my skin tones. This is where even more advanced content creators get things wrong. It's a very subtle thing, but trust me, if your skin tones are accurate, I believe it makes her entire video look a bit more polished, a bit more professional, and the colors just feel right, and it's very easy to do. So we just put a mask on my face here and isolated, I will use a tool called a vector scope, which basically shows you which colors are present in your image. But what we're looking for here is this line, this is the skin tone line. And all humans skin tones always fall on this line. Anything lower than this will have a green hue and anything above this line will make you look red and sunburn. Here you can see that my skin tone is a tad green. So how do we adjust it for this? We're going to use hue saturation curves, which basically lets you select any color and change its hue or saturation. In this case, we're only interested in changing the hue. So I'm going to get this dropper from the Hue vs Hue curve. I'll select my skin color with the dropper. I can adjust this color to make sure it falls on the skin tone line. And now you can see that my face here is looking a lot more natural. So now that my skin tones are sorted in the end, I just checked the saturation. Saturation basically means how vibrant colors are. So the higher the saturation of the colors will pop. But beyond a certain point, the colors will look too harsh and jarring. You remember we talked about using desaturated picture profiles and your cameras. That was because now imposed, we can choose how much saturation we want. Some people prefer more saturation and some people have a more desaturated style and aesthetic. In fact, I have a pro tip here for those who want a more cinematic field, tone down the saturation a little bit. Highly saturated videos tend to feel very digital various at slightly desaturated look can make your video feel more movie like. Now, as with everything in video production, color correction is also very vast field. But as content creators, I would urge you to keep your processes fairly short. You can use all of these tools, are none of them, that's up to you. But let's now move on and talk about some more advanced concepts around color. And these are more to give you a roadmap for the future. And the first of these are Let's or Lookup Tables. And I'll keep it brief here. But lookup tables are mostly used to either convert log color profiles into standard color profiles like rec seven or nine. But lots are also used for stylizing the video. So remember the example about Neo in the Matrix and how everything had a green hue. That's all done with lunch. So you start off with the baseline image and then apply a lot to get a unique stylized color grid. Let's are also an important concept we'll learn about if you want to get your game to the higher level. But of course, this is a course for beginners. I don't want to over-complicate things for you, but if you want to use some more advanced tools to manage your exposure, then you can use color curves. Color curves give you more control over your image. And you can select every specific areas of the image and change the exposure. And these curves also give you better highlight roll-off. There are a lot of different tools that you can learn about when it comes to color correction and color grading. But hopefully this class gives you a bit of an insight of what sort of process you can use to make your videos look better. And hopefully you'll be able to build off of this knowledge as you learn more about video production. In the next class, we're gonna be talking about rendering and publishing your videos. 19. Rendering and Publishing: So now we're in the final stages of producing our video. This is the last stage of our post-production process, and all that is left to do is to finally render and publish your video prototype here, most online video platforms these days prefer H dot two C64 format for uploads because it's very compressed and produces smaller file sizes. But because it's so highly compressed, it takes a lot of work for your computer to render it. So the main thing to keep in mind about rendering is that it takes time, especially if you're working on a high-risk project like a fork, a video, and even more so if you have a lot of effects and color grades on it. And so obviously, how fast your video gets rendered depends on how much power your computer has. So it's worth it to spend some time in designing a production workflow so that you don't have to render and then re-render your video again and again with my previous laptop, my final project, even in Final Cut Pro, or take half an hour to 45 min to render. So every mistake was very costly even with my beefy mac studio. Now, some projects can take 15 to 20 min to render a final file out. Now, once we have a final file rendered, we're gonna go ahead and upload it. And this is where thumbnails and Search Engine Optimization comes in. Let's first talk about the thumbnails. Thumbnails are very important that the first point of contact between you and your viewer. So it's important to have an enticing thumbnail that gets you clicks. There's no set science on what makes a good thumbnail. Every creator has a different approach, but be very deliberate with your thumbnails. The mistake that I made initially with my YouTube channel was that all my thumbnails were an afterthought. It was just my video was ready and I had to make something and just put it up. It was like a last minute thing. And then over time I realized that thumbnails are very, very important. I saw a video where Marcus Brown Lee said that it's like a really good amusement park. If the sign sucks, no one's gonna go in. So I think it's worth it to think about what sort of thumbnails you want for your content and also research what kind of thumbnails work in your content niche. I think to keep in mind is that thumbnails are generally very small when people see them on a list or on their phones. Thumbnails should be designed to convey information even when it's small. A lot of people prefer having faces and their thumbnails because supposedly the YouTube algorithm prefers thumbnails with faces and having a face and your thumbnail also kind of personalize the content. Keep in mind that many people prefer YouTube and social media because of the non-corporate personality driven aspect of it. Then after the thumbnail, there's usually a title and a description or a caption for the video. Again, there's no set science here, but generally the description helps entice your viewer and also plays into the algorithm of whichever social media platform you're on. So it's generally agreed that you want to have some search terms embedded in your title and description than a lot of platforms will also let you add tags. These are search terms that you want your content to be identified with. Now there's a lot of debate on whether these tags work or not, but I think it's best practice to have at least a few tags for the search engine more and more of a time, we're also seeing videos with closed captions and subtitles. And the general belief is that they help the video in getting indexed by search engines. Now once all this is done, the video is uploaded. There's a thumbnail, a title or caption, tags and everything. Now all that's left is to go ahead and press, Publish. And now your video is out there forever. Congratulations. You're officially a content creator, but the story doesn't stop here. After publishing, it's very important to get some feedback on your videos and track its performance to. In the next class we're going to talk about the importance of analytics and how you can use your analytics to make your content better over time. See you then. 20. Importance of Analytics: If you remember our first-class on the mindset of a content creator, you'll remember that we spoke about the importance of accountability and constantly improving your content over time. And that's literally what analytics or for the, gives you the ability to track your performance and see if your performance is not good enough. They keep you accountable in that you can judge our own performance and see trends in your performance. And they give you feedback that you can then use to make your content better over time. And in the context of video production, there are four metrics from your analytics that you want to keep an eye on. Number of views. Watch time, audience retention, and click-through rate. With views over time, platforms like YouTube have moved away from using just viewCount to judge how good your video is. This was especially a problem with clickbait because even if someone came to a video and bounced off in a second or two, it would still get counted. Whereas now it's more about watch time. The number of views are widely considered by the general public and companies and businesses as a very important metric of how much reach you have. But in the grand scheme of things, watch time has now become more important because watch time shows you how long people are watching your videos. For. Most video-based platforms want you to keep people on their platform for as long as possible. And the watch time of any video is a much better metric than viewCount of how interested people are in watching your video, then we have audience retention, which is also of supreme importance as a direct feedback loop for your content. It looks like this chart, and it basically shows you two things. One is that it gives you a percentage of your average viewer retention. So 40 per cent audience retention means that on average, a viewer is watching 40% of your video before bouncing off. So naturally, the higher this number is, the better it is for your video, and the more aggressively the algorithm is going to push or suggest your video to other viewers. But the second and even more insightful piece of information this chart gives you is that it shows you the specific moments in your video where people are either bouncing off or coming back to watch again, where more people are bouncing off, it looks like a dip and where people are coming back to watch again, it usually looks like a peak. And this is very valuable information to know what's working and what's not working. Because you want to do more of where you're getting the peaks and less of where you're getting the tips. I'll share some personal examples with you here. So back in the day, I used to have a subscription message in every one of my videos. And once I started looking at my audience retention, every time this subscription message came up, I saw dip and retention where people were bouncing off. So I just stopped showing this message and made my audience retention a little better. Same with intros. I used to have this animated intro at the start of every video. And I soon realized that a chunk of people were bouncing off from it, so I stopped doing it. In fact, I'll just solve video by Mr. Beast where he was talking about analytics. And he said that everyone should go back and check the audience retention for their last 50 or 100 videos. Write down all the depths and just stop doing the things that we're making people bounce off from the videos. So do more of what makes your retention peak and less of what makes your retention dip. And the last metric we'll talk about in this class is click-through rate, which basically shows you as a percentage how many times your video was clicked on when presented in front of a potential viewer. These are called impressions. Again, the higher this percentage is, the better it is for your content. And your click-through rate typically depends on a bunch of factors like, how strong is your hook, how enticing is your title and thumbnail? Is it a hot trending topic or not? And how loyal are your subscribers to you? This world of analytics is a deep rabbit hole and you can go as far as you want. But the four metrics that I talked about in this class are the ones that I focused on the most, they are absolutely essential to keep an island. So this was the last proper class in this course. In the next one, I'm going to start wrapping things up and we're also going to talk about a class project. See you then. 21. Class Project and End Note: By now, we have walked through many of the essential ingredients required for video production as a content creator. Now, obviously this course won't make you a master video producer from day one. But hopefully it's given you enough of that basic knowledge or that foundation that you can hopefully now buildup from. Of course, no single course is ever going to teach you everything you need to know. You have to go back and research and practice and nurture your skill over time. But I think this course was a good distillation of what I've learned over the past few years as a content creator. And I've tried to give most of the information that I think every content creator would benefit from when they're just starting out. And there's a whole bunch of stuff that are deliberately left out from this course because I wanted it to be kind of easy to understand and digest by someone who has no background of video production and is just starting out. And so I really want you guys to go ahead and do your own research, find tutorials and practice this craft of modern-day video production for social media. Now, since I'm wrapping up, there are a few points that I want you to always remember. A long-term approach. Youtube or any other social media platform is a marathon, not a sprint. And constant improvement should be your aim. Refine your skills with online tutorials. Always remember that practice makes perfect and be very careful about copyright issues. Don't use other people's content without their permission and don't use copyright protected music. Most social media platforms are very, very strict about these things. On YouTube, it takes three copyright strikes to permanently terminate your channels. So it's years of blood, sweat, and tears gone in an instant. So this was our foundation course on video production. I hope you learned a few things that you'll be able to build over this foundation. And it's going to help you in beginning your journey as a video producer. And now there's a class project that I want you guys to do because you can watch me riding the bike as much as you want, but you will only learn when you try to ride the bike yourself. I want you to produce a talking head video of yourself, in which you introduce yourself and talk about anything that interests you. The video should follow these five rules. You should be seated and the cameras should not be in your hand. This is so that you can follow the other four rules easily. Exposure should be good with you should not be overexposed or underexposed. Use external Mike's only know onboard Mike's allowed to use any number of lights. The three-point lighting system that I taught you guys and include at least two shots of B-roll and your video. Other than these five, you can follow pretty much any other concept you learned in this course and talk about it in the video. Remember, just have fun with it. And once you're done with your video, you can submit it here for the rest of the student community. And I hope to see wonderful video content from all of you guys in the future. So that's gonna be it for this course. Thank you so much for taking this journey with me. You can find me on YouTube, on my main channel which called reviews speaker. You can also find me on Instagram. This is amygdala signing off, and I will see you next time. Peace.