User:Torley Linden/Vidtut process

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The following is kinda technical — looking for easier help? See Torley's Guide to Making Movies!

How my video tutorials reach the world. Note that some of this is deprecated as of 2008-09-24, and a future revised process may be forthcoming. A behind-the-scenes glimpse at the step-by-steps:

Contents

Capture

  • Record raw footage inworld using Camtasia Studio. I like its ease-of-use, non-intrusiveness, highlighting features, and picture-in-picture mode. I usually:
    • Set Second Life screen resolution to 1024x768 in Sizer — the actual dimensions are 1032x802 in Windows XP due to window chrome.
    • Scale SL UI to 1.200.
    • Set audio volumes.
    • Use the DivX codec with these settings (subject to change):
    Or, if video consists mainly of webpage (outside of SL), "flat" stuff, use TechSmith's lossless Screen Capture codec.
  • When recording is done, gather raw footage into a template folder and rename it with the title of the tutorial.
    Note: I frequently get asked: "How do you get that yellow circle?" It's a Camtasia effect! Open the Camtasia Recorder and go to Effects menu > Effects Options. Also make sure in Effects menu > Cursor, that "Highlight Cursor & Clicks" is on. I leave Camtasia's sounds turned off because SL has its own UI noises.

Production

  • Load "Video Tutorial Template" in Sony Vegas, containing basic outline and track setup. (Continues to be revised over time.)
  • Drag-and-drop movie clips on master video track. Trim ends and crossfade into each other as desired.
  • Move around ending bumper to fit.
  • Use "Video Event Pan/Crop" at appropriate places in the timeline to provide zoomed-in focus on UI elements. I prefer smooth zooms with a 1-sec. interval.
  • Ctrl-drag to copy text media template to appropriate places in timeline and customize it. (Sometimes I customize start + end titles at this point too.)
  • Reword captions as I go along. Stretch text media if some needs to last longer. Other settings, like Placement, can also be changed to provide optimum visibility.
  • Fade and trim ends as appropriate.
  • Add some extra gloss (transition effects) — I like to experiment, sometimes obviously, sometimes more subtle, with different techniques in each vid.
  • Re-watch vid to make sure everything's in its right place. Polish anything else stray I find.

Encoding

  • Render vid to "QuickTime 7" with these settings:
    • Project tab:
      • Video rendering quality: Best
    • Video tab:
      • Frame size: 640x480 (square pixel, meant to be played back on computer screens)
      • Frame rate: 20
      • Field order: None (progressive scan)
      • Pixel aspect ratio: 1.000
      • Video format: Photo - JPEG
      • Compressed depth: 24 bpp color
      • Quality: 95% (near lossless)
    • Audio tab:
      • "Include audio" checked
      • Audio format: Uncompressed
      • Sample rate (Hz): 44,100
      • Bit depth: 16
      • Channels: Stereo
    • Streaming:
      • "Prepare for streaming" checked
      • Optimization: Fast Start
  • When the render's done, open in QuickTime Player and export with these settings (NOTE: I switched from "Main" to "Baseline" profile because the latter works on iPods, and have since boosted video bitrate to 1152 kbps):

Publishing

Upload to TubeMogul

TubeMogul's a timesaving video batch-uploader: with one upload, your video gets distributed to YouTube, blip.tv, and about a dozen others.

  • Fill out Video Upload form thusly:
    • Title
    • Description =
    MORE ENLIGHTENMENT @ http://secondlife.com/video
    Friendly greetings! You can learn Second Life in a fun and fast fashion! The enthusiastic Torley is your host, taking you on a tour through tips, tricks, and techniques that'll increase your confidence and make you smile. :) Whether you're a newcomer or longtime Resident, your inworld experience will benefit from these video tutorials.
    • Video Category = "Howto & Style" or "Education"
    • Tags = secondlife second life video tutorial tip trick game world 3d online virtual avatar screencast help machinima love sl (these sometimes get varied to reflect specific content).
  • Click "Upload a video", select the MP4, and upload it. Video usually goes live several minutes later.
  • On YouTube, update the "Second Life Video Tutorials" playlist, reprioritizing the new addition as "1" so it shows up on top.

Upload to Amazon S3

These are the high-quality downloadable versions.

  • Use S3Fox and drag-and-drop the MP4 into the uploader.
  • Right-click the "vidtuts" folder, select "Edit ACL", enable Read for all (green checkmarks), check "Apply to subfolders" (useful for multiple vidtut uploads), then click "OK".

Update the Second Life Podcast

  • Add a new item with Feed Editor, duplicating a previous entry and editing these fields:
    • Required Fields
      • Title
      • Pub Date
    • Optional Fields
      • GUID (same as "Enclosure URL")
      • Enclosure URL
    • iTunes Fields
      • Duration
  • Ping it.

Blog about it

  • Open up template, craft blog post in Windows Live Writer, and if it's a TotW, set it to publish in the future on Saturday.
  • Include supplemental pictures, word explanations, and other relevant content addendum that didn't make it into the video. Related resources links always a plus.
  • Test pre-published link to assure quality.

Showcase it

  • Log into blog-like tool.
  • Copy-and-paste earlier blog posting into WLW (to strip style irregularities), then back into this, and publish it. Note: This tool can't publish in advance yet, so this is done nearer to the time or shortly after the aforementioned blog post appears.
  • Check for any significant content inconsistencies, most notably that embedded videos don't work, so I'll need to replace them with links like this:
Image:Getvidtut.png WATCH THE VIDEO
<img height="16" src="http://torley.s3.amazonaws.com/Getvidtut.png" width="16" align="absMiddle" border="0"></a><strong><a href="http://vidtuts.s3.amazonaws.com/****">WATCH VIDEO</a></strong>

Wikify it

  • Update Video Tutorials with the newest, most likely a new "#" above all the previous TotWs.

Add it to inworld movie player

  • Go Here and edit the script in the following format:
[TITLE], [URL]

(This is currently only being done for the Tip of the Week.)

Afterwards

  • While uploading's happening, work on accompanying blog post or fill in other info that could usefully be multitasked.
  • Shortly after uploading's done, I sometimes watch the vid to make sure things turned out alright, then I post to the blog or otherwise further communicate about my new vidtut.
  • Embrace incoming feedback from my beloved community and use lovely ideas to fuel future vidtuts.

The above is subject to iteration, but hopefully provides a wealth of insights into how I do what I do. :)

Additional answers

See my FAQ!

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