Feature: Page (1) of 3 - 09/03/01 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at MyDmn.com).print page facebook

Stream Right

Things to remember when producing a webcast By Stephen Schleicher

When shooting footage, use a tripod, it makes for stable steady shots.

Over the past year Digital WebCast has talked about methods to stream a live feed, ways to compress the live feed, software and hardware to assist in live streaming, but we haven't really talked about things to keep in mind when acquiring your footage. You've already run out and purchased a DV camera and have an over abundance of energy to go out and shoot footage for your first major webcast. Besides knowing how to start and stop recording, what else is there to know? No matter if your project is a live event, or a post produced streaming movie, here are some things to consider when acquiring and editing your footage.

Camera work
Knowing a little more about your camera than how to turn it on or off is probably the most important things in capturing stellar footage for your webcast. Probably the thing that upsets me the most is shaky footage that is a result of the over eager videographer not using a tripod to steady the shot. While the "shaky cam" has become super popular in the last ten years thanks to NYPD Blue and MTV, this technique doesn't lend itself well to webcasts (not to mention that many people don't know how to use this technique effectively/correctly anyway). A tripod is the best way to keep your footage stable and not give your audience motion sickness within the first few moments of watching your webcast.

I know what most people are thinking, "Gosh, a tripod is so big and bulky and heavy to carry around, I don't want to have all this extra baggage with me when I go to the beach/convention/board meeting/show floor. It'll be easier to just hold really still" I hate to break it to you, but the simple act of breathing is enough to make your footage unstable.

Weight of the camera can also promote shakiness. You are probably not using the latest Panasonic 24p Cinema camera to capture footage for your webcast. You are more likely to be using a lighter weight camera like a Canon ZR-10, Canon XL1, Sony DSR-PD150 or other camera that is great for webcasting. These smaller, lighter cameras also promote shaky shots, as the weight is not helping to "stabilizing" your body.

A tripod is your best solution. If you are worried about being able to move around quickly and set up for your next shot, there are plenty of lightweight tripods on the market that will easily work with any of the cameras I just mentioned. If you are in a croweded situation and don't have room to spread the legs of the tripod out all the way, a simple solution might be to extend only one of the legs to create a monopod. Your legs will create the other two legs of a tripod and this will keep the camera steady enough to capture some quick shots.

Besides being warry of shaky/jerky movement, regular camera moves like pans, tilts, and zooms should be kept to a minimum. If you do use these motions, try to keep them slow and steady.

Why spend so much time talking about camera movement? Erik Holsinger of DMNTV explains it this way, "The main problem with camera movement is that it cuts down on the pixel redundancy in the image, which lowers the amount of compression that can be added to the scene, and ups the file size. The basic rule of thumb is the more redundant (and/or static) pixels that an image contains, the more you can compress it. Ultimately, redundancy is your friend."

Also, try to get as tight as you can to the subject. You probably will not be streaming your video at a size larger than 320x240, many will be streamed at an even smaller size. Because the audience will be viewing this tiny image, it would be nice if they could clearly see what you are showing. While there is not enough room to go into exact detail here, keep the other rules of composition in mind as well.

Use a plain background. It's a lot easier to compress a solid blue background than a moving crowd scene as a background.

Page: 1 2 3 Next Page

Related Keywords:streaming media, shooting tips, digital webcast, streaming video, camera work, tripod, stephen schleicher


Our Privacy Policy --- @ Copyright, 2015 Digital Media Online, All Rights Reserved