Thursday, April 21, 2016

Process Videos: Part 3, Concluding

This is my last blog entry about creating process videos for YouTube (here are part 1 and part 2 of the series if you missed them). The process itself is pretty much covered in the first two parts. This post covers my concluding thoughts about why I started making process videos and what I love about doing videos and sharing them with others.

I knew that process videos were a thing but didn’t really start watching them until I was diagnosed with pneumonia in January 2015. I was home for a few weeks and needed something to watch that didn’t require a long attention span. I had been watching some TV, but even an hour-long show was too long. So I tried YouTube, found some process videos, and kept on clicking. I wasn’t thinking about having a scrappy channel of my own–I was just finding pleasure in watching videos while I was so sick.

I started thinking about creating my own videos in mid 2015. I don’t feel like I’m a trendsetting scrapper. More often than not I use a sketch or another layout to inspire the design of my page. But I felt like I had a few things I could offer:

  • I make a conscious effort to include the negative things about my life into my scrapbooks as well as the positive things. This thought was the basis for my Scrapping the Spectrum series.
  • I believe we can get inspiration from any scrapbook page whatever photo(s) are used, but I thought there might be other single folks out there who might appreciate my perspective.

So that’s why I got started. I can honestly say that I still get a thrill with every new subscriber, and I read every comment people leave for me. It’s so nice to hear from people about the things I create. It gives me motivation to continue.

But outside of this feedback, I still get tremendous pleasure from the process itself (despite the Movie Maker woes). The truth is I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it. It’s too much work. I have a very informal goal to post at least twice a week, but I am aiming to post 10 videos a month. Life happens, but this is what I’m going to try and do when I can.

Thanks for reading another long post. :) If you have any questions, please post them in a comment.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Process Videos: Part 2, Editing

Once I finish filming a process video (and I talk about how I do that in part 1), I move on to the editing process. I’ve gotta say I have a love/hate relationship with editing, but before I get to that, let’s outline the process itself.

  • I remove the memory card from the camera and transfer the video files to my external hard drive. I used to just transfer them to my computer, but I learned that this will crash my computer at some point(s) throughout the process.
  • I edit the files in Windows Movie Maker. My tripod setup requires that I film upside down, so I always turn things right-side up when editing. I also cut out the “dead” spots, like those times when I’m away from my desk finding products to try. Or when I stop working because I’m talking to my dogs or getting them treats. As I do this, I am always asking myself what people will want to see. I go back and forth between whether I should show more of the process and just speed up the video more? Or should I cut out bits like adhering so I don’t have to speed things up so much? Sometimes I think I should leave more in because that would take less time to edit. But I don’t feel like viewers need to watch me ink all the edges of my patterned papers, so I will typically cut a bunch of this repetitive stuff out. You might have noticed that I will typically show me adhering the first couple letters in a title, for instance, and then I skip forward to the end.
  • Once I have finished this editing stage, I look at how long the video is and decide how much to speed it up. Real-time is too long for me. My preferred speed is 2x; this feels like a nice balance between watching me push products around and speeding it up so much that it’s difficult to catch what I’m doing. I will occasionally increase the speed to 3x or 4x, but most of my videos are at 2x.
  • Next comes making voiceovers. This usually happens at least a week after I have made the layout. Sometimes longer. I use this microphone (shown below) and really like it. Microphones are a must in my opinion; it’s difficult to get good sound without them. I never do voiceovers in one take. Most of this is because I have chronic asthma, and I am always very aware of my wheezing. I also like to get rid of any “uhs” if I can manage it. And then there are the times when I trip over my words. Or when my dogs interrupt by barking. No one needs to hear that. LOL. I typically splice 10 or more voiceover segments together to make the voiceover for each video.
  • I add music to the beginning and end of the video. I also add still photos along with a scan of the entire layout. Then I save the file as a MP4 and upload it to YouTube.

Blue Snowball

I don’t delete any of the files from my memory cards until I have uploaded the final video to YouTube. This is why I have a bunch of cards. When I’m too sick to do voiceovers, the videos pile up waiting for me to get back to it. I typically have at least eight videos at some stage of the process, which is why a layout doesn’t get posted on YouTube until a month after I create it. There are exceptions to this, like when I am working on a specific, timely challenge. I will rush a video through the process, but I prefer not to.

My biggest frustration with editing is the Movie Maker program. It’s free and pretty easy to use–though there is a learning curve. But it glitches. A lot. Sometimes it will shut down while I am trying to upload. Then I have to start over. I’ve noticed it will crash when I have uploaded a bunch of photos to my computer. I’m still nowhere near capacity, so I don’t really understand why. I have cleared out a bunch of photos from my laptop. Things have also been a little better lately since I did a disk cleanup, but the program is still very touchy. That’s another reason I have so many videos still in process. Sometimes I just don’t feel like struggling with the editor. I tried another program but it was not easy to use at all. So for now I just keep on keeping on.

And . . . wow. That turned out to be longer than I expected. Have any questions about editing or voiceovers? Ask them in the comments.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Process Videos: Part 1, Filming

I thought it might be fun (and hopefully useful) to write about my process of making process videos. I started my channel ages ago but began posting process and scrappy related photos in August 2015. I’m going to break this up into at least two (and maybe three) posts. This blog entry focuses on the filming portion of my process.

I’m pretty old school when it comes to filming. I see lots of people talking about how they film on their phones or tablets. I use my camera. Here’s my setup–and a look at what I’m working on next. You probably won’t see a process video for this layout for at least a month, but I’ll talk more about this in my blog about editing.

Filming Setup

I use this tripod. I needed it (or one like it) because I need to be able to film straight down. My previous tripod had legs that would not maneuver to allow this. As you can see, the tripod takes a fair amount of space. At first this felt awkward while filming, but I’m quite used to it now. If I could change one thing about this tripod, it’s the feet. They move around a bit–I’m not sure if there is a way to lock things in when I’m in the straight down position. If so, I haven’t figured it out. I always check when I first start filming to make sure everything is in frame, but it doesn’t always stay that way. :( I’m getting more fanatical about checking the legs and looking through the lens more often.

I have two batteries for my camera. One is always in the camera and the other one is being charged. The camera typically beeps when the battery dies, so I usually (not always) notice and can easily pop in the fresh one. I also have a bunch of memory cards so I can hopefully have one available when I fill up one. This is a little complicated, though, and I’ll talk about it more when I post about the editing process.

I used to film about 80% of the layouts I created, but I’ve been filming 100% since late last year. Filming takes so little effort, I figure why not?

How I film process videos has changed over time. I used to film more of the process of paper and embellishment choosing. I would start with a clean table and go through the whole paper selection process. Same with embellishments. Now I typically go through my supplies and pick several papers to choose from, then start filming. Once I’ve got the papers arranged to my liking, I move on to embellishments and do the same: go through my options to find what might work, then start filming again once I have a bunch out on my desk. This seems more efficient to me; viewers can still see what I decide to go with and where I decide to place things, but they don’t have to suffer through watching me go through five paper pads.

I hope that gives you a small glimpse into my behind-the-scenes. Have any questions about filming? Leave them in the comments below.

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