Record Streaming Media to Computer

Now you have all the video recording hardware and software it is time to make your first streaming video production!. Unless you are using existing video footage, the first step is actually recording your video. Recording Streaming Video has special requirements so you need to shoot the video with these in mind.

As with all video, the subject should be adequately lit and the sound should be captured correctly. For this you may need to use extra lighting and microphones beyond those that are on the camcorder itself.

Lighting

Try to avoid aiming lights directly at the subject. This can create harsh shadows that are usually unattractive, but may be used occasionally for special effects. A much more pleasing lighting effect is to bounce the light off another object so that the lighting source is diffused. This creates a soft light that looks nice and adds a professional touch. Light can be bounced off of walls or lighting umbrellas to create this kind of effect.

Microphone

There are many types of microphones, and the style of video can help you decide which is best. If the video is an interview, it may be appropriate for the interviewer to use a hand-held microphone. If the video is a demonstration where the subject's hands need to be free, a small cordless microphone can be attached to the subject's lapel, or a microphone boom can be used.

Camera Tripod

Always use a tripod to shoot the video. There are two reasons for this: excessive camera movement looks unprofessional but more importantly, it requires a larger file size for the compressed video. We are trying to keep the file size as small as possible while having an acceptable video image, and excessive camera movement loses on both counts.

Remember that the less action there is the better the video will compress. Talking heads are ideal for video streaming, but to be most effective they should be shot against a stationary background. Do not interview your subject in a busy train station with lots of people passing by in the background as this will create a busy video image that will not compress well.

Once you have shot your video you need to get it into the computer for editing and conversion to a streaming video format. If you have used a digital camcorder you can probably transfer the video directly to the computer's hard drive with a FireWire interface. Analog video formats need to be converted to the digital domain so you will need to install a video capture card in your computer or use an external device to handle the necessary conversion.

The video is now on the computer's hard drive. Fire up you favorite video editing program so that you can trim excess footage and rearrange the video to your liking. Most editing software allows you to add titles and special effects like fades and wipes to give your video a professional polish. Avoid using too many effects for streaming video, though, as they usually do not compress well.

Be aware that video editing requires a LOT of computing power. If your computer is quite modern and has a fairly fast CPU you should not have any problems, but if you are chugging along with a 1 Gigabyte processor you are likely to get frustrated by the amount of time that video editing can take.

Besides the visual effects that can be added to your video, you can also add extra soundtracks. Music is very effective for setting the mood and can be added to the opening scenes and transition points of your video. Almost every video editing program has the ability to add extra audio tracks.

You can review your editing as you go, and when you are satisfied with the results you can save the file to a streaming format.

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