BusterHaus

Technic Video Tips (Videography)

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This is a topic for sharing your tips on shooting and editing videos of your Technic creations.  We have a similar topic for Technic Photography, and many of us know how to take and edit very nice pictures, but video brings additional challenges.  You are invited to share tips for the following areas:

  • Indoor light types (Fluorescent / LED / Tungsten / Halogen)
  • Types of light diffusers (umbrella vs softbox)
  • Camera types and settings
  • Shooting angles and framing
  • Additional equipment you use (microphones, dollies, handheld stabilizers, tripods)
  • Ways to attach action cameras like GoPro to your models
  • Video editing software
  • Video editing tips
  • Royalty-free music sources
  • Any other tips to make videos better

If possible, please show pictures of your setup and a video that was shot with it.  The goal is to help others make better videos, so you can enjoy watching them.  Thanks.

RESOURCES

Sound

Video Editing Software

Discussions

 

 

 

Edited by BusterHaus

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I don't know much about shooting videos, but a common mistake I see with many videos and I also made this mistake several times: the camera shake compensation (or whatever it's called precisely) is turned on but the camera is fixed on a tripod. This produces very weird results and that the model will always "try" to stay in the middle of the picture.

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- Usual lights
- moving caméra Canon LEGRIA HF R506
- Fixed plan 1,80m camera without zoom
- VideoPad
- No music, no vocals

331727IMG1259s.jpg

 

Edited by oracid

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Can someone explain how to post YouTube videos since the software upgrade.

The previous method does not seem to work, i.e. [m.e.d.i.a.] ----[/m.e.d.i.a.] and dropping the "s" from https.

For my last post I eventually got a video on line by just copying the YouTube URL.

Edited by Doug72

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If you want to add free sound effects there is a site called freesound.org be sure to read through the site guidlines as it will tell you which sounds are free to use. I think there are some scores around there to.

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-Compact point and shoot camera or cellphone
-Windows Moviemaker
-Whatever light is present

It depends on what kind of video production you're trying to make (and your budget and time available).  Is it a professional video shoot or a family home movie?  Story boarding can help you plan out your shots and editing later on.

If you post on YouTube, YouTube have royalty-free music and audio that you can use and still be able to monetize your video without hassle from their audio police.

You can also hire voice actors for voicing your video.  If you have a friend with a good voice and can read a script, you can try to bribe him or her with beer. 

 

7 hours ago, Doug72 said:

Can someone explain how to post YouTube videos since the software upgrade.

The previous method does not seem to work, i.e. [m.e.d.i.a.] ----[/m.e.d.i.a.] and dropping the "s" from https.

For my last post I eventually got a video on line by just copying the YouTube URL.

Yup,  you can copy and paste the share link from YouTube directly in your post.  Let's see if it works...

 

Hey, it does.  No need to add those media BB code tags any more.  :classic:

 

 

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I use a Cannon powershot SX-170is, it doesn't have the best quality for video, though eventually I would like to get a Cannon D70 or D80 to replace my XSI Rebel, and have 1080p capabilities. I also use a Gopro Hero 3+.

I highly recommend DaVinci Resolve as a free editing program, it also has a paid version with more functions, though the free version has most of the stuff that you would need for basic cuts, and it is great for color grading. The user interface is a little complex at first. Though It is probably the most powerful of all the free programs that I have used. It gives you a lot of freedom, and I haven't felt limited by it yet.

For music I would suggest looking around Soundcloud, there are a lot of great composers that produce royalty free music there.Here's a couple that I personally like Mattia Cupelli, and Ross Bugden .( make sure they have they include Royalty free in the title, as not all of the songs are royalty free.) You can also contact youtube composers and see if they would allow you to use their compositions in your videos, I have asked a few, and most say yes. (just ask politely, and they will probably say yes) Though It may mean that you won't get monetization for the video, as they can claim it, though It wont penalize you for copyright strike, just that they will have the ability to claim revenue from the video. There are some that will allow you to use it and monetize videos, as long as you purchase the music. 

My setup, not the best quality photo, but It gives you the idea

26848652641_b4e28a0dba_c.jpgAll set up... by Tommy Styrvoky, on Flickr

For additional equipment, I use a brick built camera rail slider... if you want don't have it, just build it :laugh:

22543883351_7566f45d55_c.jpgTeaser by Tommy Styrvoky, on Flickr

15085363253_388efb2062_c.jpgLego motorize camera rail slider by Tommy Styrvoky, on Flickr

It would be nice to get a large collective of music sources, maybe by genre, this would be a great source for the community, as I am always looking for new music in my videos.

Another good question for this topic is to monetize or not to? Is it worth it, or is it just extra headache? 

Edited by Tommy Styrvoky

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2 hours ago, dr_spock said:

Yup,  you can copy and paste the share link from YouTube directly in your post.  Let's see if it works.

Hey, it does.  No need to add those media BB code tags any more.  :classic:

 

 

Thanks for confirming that.

I like to compose text and links on my computer then Copy / Paste onto a forum page  but lately not been able to doi that.

OK if click and drag across.

Might be the latest Mac OS update thats causing it.

 

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My videos aren't that great, but I've invested in a good tripod. Lighting is far more important than camera imo.

As for music, I've composed my own music using MuseScore2. Probably the best free software you can get (pretty similar to Sibelius if you ask me).

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LDCad features a couple of scripts that can be used to add some nice content to your videos.  You render individual frames which can then be turned into an animation that's inserted into a video.

  1.     Pick a script: Scripts -> Samples -> Expolde (camera test is the other useful one)
  2.     Export the POV-Ray file: Session -> Animation -> POV-Ray animation export
  3.     In POV-Ray, edit your exported file.
  4.     Remove the floor "#declare doFloor=false;"
  5.     //-----Base tex/mat properties -- set "reflection 0.05"
  6.     sky_sphere -- set "rgb 1"
  7.     In POV-Ray, you need to edit the povray.ini file to include the line "Final_Frame=xxx" where xxx is the number of frames you want to render.  Add this only once you're happy with the settings, otherwise you'll be rendering all the frames.

Here is the result in GIF format.  It only has 256 colors, but if you use the rendered frames in any movie editing software, it will preserve the original colors so it will look even nicer.

32764135815_5b31fd03fd_o_d.gif

 

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rotary_table_003.jpg

I built a platform taking pictures used in stop motion animation.  Some features:

  • Platform can rotate 
  • Camera can tilt
  • Camera is mounted on a quick-mount bracket to make battery changes much easier.  This required the drilling of two plates.

rotary_table__004.jpg  

The table is rotated as follows:

  1. 8 tooth gear is connected to a manually operated lever
  2. 8 tooth gear drives 24 tooth gear
  3. 24 tooth gear has a 2L worm gear on the same axle
  4. 2L worm gear drives the old-style large turntable

The result is a very slowly moving table which is helps cover differences in the rotation angle.

rotary_table_001.jpg

The platform is made of two layers of panels stacked together.  It's very rigid and is covered with white paper.  The platform is supported by 4 beams, which makes it more stable than wheels, but increases friction during rotation.

To reduce the friction, I added clear tape (Scotch Tape) on top of the support beams.  I also pulled or pushed the platform gently as it was rotated, to make sure that it was always at the end of the physical travel. 

The camera tilt is controlled through two small linear actuators.  Play in the tilt mechanism is eliminated with red rubber bands.  There is also a position lock on the other side of the adjustment shaft.

The result is this:

 

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Hey All,

   We have a topic for Technic Photography, but I don't think we have one for videography.  Although this also could be a more mainstream topic, for perhaps the general forum, I thought because we have a photography thread it might be good to also have a videography one.

Many things to discuss in terms of making videos of our MOCs and MODs, but first one I have for the group is opinion regarding the best FREE video editing software out there.  Is there a main player among the bunch?  Although there are many competitors in the area of photography, GIMP, at least in my opinion, seems to be the main preferred choice of most (in the world of free photo-editing software).  Just wondering if there is a similar "leader-of-the-pack" in the world of video-editing/creating. 

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One thing that I think is often overlooked: Film from the perspective of the model.

Put your camera at the eye level of how someone in real life would look at the real thing. 

If you want to exagerrate, put it even lower, so your model looks really imposing. To illustrate:

This looks like a little toy:

17025754024_0eae4287a5.jpg

This looks better: 
17645861422_d9858dc7c3.jpg

And this looks imposing:
17460666770_025c9d5d37.jpg

Also, camera vehicles are my thing. A shot in motion can look so much better. In the video below, starting at 1:00, you can see some of the moving camera vehicles I've been using:

Pictures of them can be found here: 
https://flic.kr/s/aHskbvDFFb
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjBiapbW

Now, often these can take quite a bit of time and effort to build. Also, you'll need to work around the specific camera you'll be using. (Pro tip: use rubber bands to attach your camera. Easy and solid fit guaranteed!) However, they give an amazing effect.

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I use VSDC Free Video Editor : http://www.videosoftdev.com/  It has a paid version too: "You may download Free Video Editor and use it completely free without restrictions (no trial period, watermarks, or ads). You can, however, support the project by signing up for technical support. We provide fast and full support to solve all your problems when using our products  "

It has a very big potential , but I'm too lazy to start learning videoediting in parallel with programming and 3d modelling. They upload video editing tutorials on their youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/FlashIntegro

I can't really tell anything about functionality because I use an outdated version. 

Edited by LXF

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I have nothing to add to the discusion itself, but I wanted to say it's a great idea to have this topic. Especially with the contests in mind and the videos they require of all entries.

As for software, I believe I used Videopad in the past but some day it stopped working, so they may have changed their licencing schemes.

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I'm currently using Premiere Pro, but if I had to switch back to a free software I would definitely choose DaVinci Resolve. It's surprisingly professional to be free, I consider editing my next project in DaVinci just for fun. It has many similarities with professional softwares like Premiere and Final Cut which helps if you want to upgrade in the future. It also has great features for color grading, probably better than Premiere since they are easier to use. Color grading can be very useful when working with Lego to get all the colors right. 

It might take some time to fully master it, but watching YouTube-tutorials in the beginning should help. I'm sure it's gonna be worth the time. 

Edited by HallBricks

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One basic rule: NO vertical video - always orient the camera horizontally.

Some notes for making the videos: I recommend to make 3-4 shots for the same recording, check it, and it gives already a feedback what to improve, change etc. Also keep more versions as raw material for editing, and make the video a bit longer than needed to be able to cut it properly. Camera stand is a must - especially if You do the video and modell controlling as well in one person.

I am still learning how to do it, these are things what I screwed up already. :classic: Till now I used Windows Movie Maker - very basic, but super easy to use.

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1 hour ago, HallBricks said:

...  if I had to switch back to a free software I would definitely choose DaVinci Resolve. It's surprisingly professional to be free, I consider editing my next project in DaVinci just for fun. It has many similarities with professional softwares like Premiere and Final Cut which helps if you want to upgrade in the future. It also has great features for color grading, probably better than Premiere since they are easier to use. Color grading can be very useful when working with Lego to get all the colors right. 

It might take some time to fully master it, but watching YouTube-tutorials in the beginning should help. I'm sure it's gonna be worth the time. 

I second this. DaVinci Resolve is the (free) sequencer you want to learn.

45 minutes ago, agrof said:

One basic rule: NO vertical video - always orient the camera horizontally.

And this - NO vertical video. It is a terrible a waste of your viewer's screen space and patience.

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For free editing software, I would definitely go with DaVinci Resolve. It's originally a $30,000 color grading program for Hollywood, but surprisingly Blackmagic Design released a free version. I tried using Davinci Resolve, but I was having some issues with it running on my computer; though I might still have a go with it for color grading. Instead, I edit my videos I use Sony Vegas Pro 13, it's got a lot of professional features with a simple to use interface. I recently have been trying to use more Adobe products, I switched to Photoshop among others; I tried Premier but that is way to complex for me, maybe I'll try again but for now I'm sticking with Sony Vegas Pro 13.

Some basics I think are necessary are:

  • At least 720p resolution
    • But 1080p or more is highly recommended
    • I personally hate watching videos that were filmed with a potato
    • Nowadays pretty much all smartphones can film 1080p or 4k
  • Don't have a super shaky camera
    • Though some camera shake can add a lot to your video (this can be difficult to master), but most people don't want to watch a super wobbly video.
    • Get a tripod, or make one out of LEGO
    • Or up the game like Mahjqa and build some camera vehicles.

Some tips

  • Music!
    • A bit of background music can often add a lot to your video
    • Sink the music to the video. Match your video cuts to the beats of the music
  • Setting
    • Choosing a spot to film that matches your creation (makes sense right? :wink:)
  • Have fun!
    • There's no point of putting in tons into making a video if you're not enjoying yourself.

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My tips for videography:

  1. Get your best friend to help you. It is possible to shoot alone, I did on my last video, but it is difficult and some things are impossible. You can't properly control a MOC and a camera at the same time. So you have to improvise a lot and make concessions. Filming with two people is much easier and more fun!

  2. Get some basic cheap camera gear. Most importantly a tripod, and specifically a tripod that goes really low because you'll want to be close to your subject. Also, as others have mentioned, a lot of camera gear can be constructed out of LEGO. The great thing about that is that you can customize it to the exact thing you need. The drawback is of course that it can lack some of the stability of non-LEGO gear.

  3. Be creative in where and how you shoot. Shooting from a standing position, pointing the camera down at your MOC in a messy living room will never render interesting footage. Find interesting locations and perspectives. Experiment.

  4. Try to tell a story. Try to make your footage be more than a randomly sequenced selection of shots. If you want to spend time on the video, consider making a script and/or storyboard before you start shooting.

  5. Learn how to get the most out of the gear you've got. It isn't necessary to have an expensive camera to make a good looking video. It is necessary to take the time to really get to know the camera(s) you've got, so you'll know how to use them properly and get the most out of them. In this way you will also learn what to look for when you are upgrading your gear.  

  6. Try not to rush the editing process. Take your time: review and refine, review and refine, etc. 

Edited by Kelkschiz

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44 minutes ago, Epic Technic said:

For free editing software, I would definitely go with DaVinci Resolve. It's originally a $30,000 color grading program for Hollywood, but surprisingly Blackmagic Design released a free version. I tried using Davinci Resolve, but I was having some issues with it running on my computer; though I might still have a go with it for color grading. Instead, I edit my videos I use Sony Vegas Pro 13, it's got a lot of professional features with a simple to use interface. I recently have been trying to use more Adobe products, I switched to Photoshop among others; I tried Premier but that is way to complex for me, maybe I'll try again but for now I'm sticking with Sony Vegas Pro 13.

Some basics I think are necessary are:

  • At least 720p resolution
    • But 1080p or more is highly recommended
    • I personally hate watching videos that were filmed with a potato
    • Nowadays pretty much all smartphones can film 1080p or 4k
  • Don't have a super shaky camera
    • Though some camera shake can add a lot to your video (this can be difficult to master), but most people don't want to watch a super wobbly video.
    • Get a tripod, or make one out of LEGO
    • Or up the game like Mahjqa and build some camera vehicles.

Some tips

  • Music!
    • A bit of background music can often add a lot to your video
    • Sink the music to the video. Match your video cuts to the beats of the music
  • Setting
    • Choosing a spot to film that matches your creation (makes sense right? :wink:)
  • Have fun!
    • There's no point of putting in tons into making a video if you're not enjoying yourself.
 

Those are some really good tips. Could you just watch my most recent video and tell me how to improve? It would mean alot to me :)

Thanks.

20 minutes ago, damjan97PL said:

I'm using a HitFilm 4 Express for my movies. It's a very good program but it's not simply to use.

I tried it... totally not my thing *huh*

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