Technologically speaking, my favorite ways to record a webcam video (because they're easy) are
- On an iPad/phone/other mobile device via the camcorder (camera)
- You can ship these videos off to YouTube usually just by choosing it as an option under "Share"
- You can also put it on Kaltura, one of UWEC's streaming services, via the browser on your phone (Chrome/Safari/"Internet" on Android).
- Using CaptureSpace Lite, the recording tool associated with Kaltura.
- If you work at UWEC, the video department can record you (ask me for details).
Here are some tips on how to create a good webcam video
|Nerdy Less nerdy|
|This is a screenshot of a webcam video I made showing the size of a "talking head"|
that seems most appropriate. It's an ok video in regards to eye contact, background, and lighting.
Background could be better though.
4. Position your outline near the recording area. This is a detail, but try not to have shifty eyes while you are recording the video, from looking back and forth from the webcam to your outline or reading across the computer screen. I know one instructor who just wrote some notes on a piece of paper and taped it next to the webcam on her iMac so her eyes only shifted slightly and it worked out well. If that doesn't work for you, it's probably most natural to look down at a piece of paper on a desk than anything else.
5. Position the computer/webcam/iPad for a straight-on shot. You don't want the webcam aiming down at you or the iPad shooting up your nose! (I've seen both.) You may need to prop the iPad or laptop up on a stack of books or something to get a head on shot, like the image of me above. Proper alignment will help avoid a double chin too :)
Using a tripod or otherwise propping the recording device up would improve this situation considerably
7. But know where the "too casual" line is. I'm giving you some leeway to be a normal person but still be mostly professional, of course. I'm just saying don't be a robot with no personality. I tend to play with my hair a lot in real life without even realizing it but I focus on avoiding that in a video. Avoid long "ummms" or other distracting behaviors as much as you can.
8. Consider your lighting! Definitely do not record with a window behind you or you will be a shadow. Although I am a fan of low light, it may cause the lip sync to be off when recording (i.e., your lips and voice might not match up), so you may need to turn on all the lights or go somewhere with natural light. Also, if you're recording on a computer, turn down the brightness of the screen to avoid weird lighting or glare if you wear glasses. As in the photo below, avoid having a lamp in one corner if possible.
If you have a video camera, laptop, or iPad (ideally with a tripod), take advantage of your ability to be mobile and record in cool places. Make sure the camera is not too far away or you have an external mic so your audio turns out decent though. If you go outside, audio can be problematic due to wind. Do a test first.
|Not the best background choice.|
Also, try to find someone to take care of the baby if possible
PS: While I was working on this post I googled "introduction webcam" to see if I could find good or bad examples and, wow, did I ever. I'm sorry to pick on this woman because at least she's trying, but here's a good bad example: the background is bad, she's using a sepia tone for some reason, she's clearly reading, and the end is cut off. I thought this was obvious, but don't make a webcam video in a computer lab...
PPS (or is it PSS?): Many times I base my info on research but that is not the case for most of this info. There is no research saying headsets are nerdy or you shouldn't hold a baby while recording a video. However, there IS research that says people learn best from a conversational voice, digital content should be short, and students do better in classes when they like the professor but I don't have the citations handy. Can you tell I'm used to writing scholarly papers lately?! I just want to be clear on that :)
Last update: 4/10/17