Technologically speaking, my favorite ways to record a webcam video (because they're easy) are
- On the iPad via the camcorder (camera), since you don't have to deal with an external mic and you can easily ship the video off to YouTube. (You can get a tripod for the iPad, FYI).
- Using the YouTube record webcam feature on a computer, which allows you to record right into YouTube.
- If you work at UWEC, the video department can record you (ask me for details).
Prerequisite: Only create a webcam video if you have a decent quality webcam! If you're all blurry, jumpy, and/or pixelated using the built-in, buy an external webcam and make sure it's in focus.
|I don't think he knows how to focus his webcam.|
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 I feel is most appropriate. It's an ok video in regards to eye contact, background, and lighting.
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 head-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 above.
|Sitting or using a tripod 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. It's not like you need high quality lighting for an informal webcam video, but it just shouldn't be distracting. Avoid too bright, too dark, too glarey, etc. If you have a window to your back, it is highly unlikely your video will turn out good because you will probably be just a silhouette.
If you have a video camera or iPad with a tripod, rock on! 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.
|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. 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 :)