Ask Me Anything (AMA): Mike Enders Answers Audio and Video Production Questions
Do you ever wonder about cool ways to incorporate video into your e-learning? Maybe you think about how to produce the best possible audio for a course? Or maybe you’ve considered recording yourself for a video project, but you’re not sure where to start? For answers to these questions and many more, join Mike Enders for the next live Articulate Ask Me Anything (AMA) event.
Mike Enders has years of experience producing awesome multimedia projects. He’s been the voice and face of Articulate in many marketing videos (such as this one!) and he is excited to answer your audio and video production questions live Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 1-3 PM Eastern time.
How You Can Take Part
Mark the event date in your calendar and navigate to this webpage starting at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET on Wednesday, April 15. When the live event starts, you’ll be able to post your audio and video production questions in the comments. Use the Like button to let Mike know which questions you want to see answered. Mike will answer as many questions as possible during the event, starting with the most popular ones.
We hope you’ll join us for our next AMA. Remember to follow #ArticulateAMA on Twitter for the latest updates about the event. Hope to see you there!
***POST-EVENT UPDATE*** Thanks so much for joining us! We hope you had as much fun as we did—and that you learned some awesome tips on audio and video for e-learning.
We’re putting Articulate Ask Me Anything on hiatus for the next several months but we’re very excited to let you know we’ll be back in September with the one and only David Anderson… stay tuned to the community for details about topic and date!
In the meantime, follow #ArticulateAMA and on Twitter for all the latest news and updates, and thanks again for participating!
@Trina, Great question, and one that I pondered for a few days before I fastened the boom arm to my desk! While most Booms will come with mounting hardware, the typically want you to screw the boom into your desk. I didn't want to do that so I created my own mounting hardware. I basically screwed the boom arm into a piece of 1" pine, and then used C-Clamps to secure the pine to my desk. I also used a thin piece of carpet between the wood and desk. Underneath, I also used a piece of carpet and wood. This serves to protect my desk pretty well. Here are two pics that I just took to show you. Top View: http://d.pr/i/1fxwx Side view: http://d.pr/i/wSdk As for the Boom. There are a lot of great ones out there. I have a model by O.C. White (the Pro Boom). I really lik... Expand
Hi William, There area lot of nuances to the answer, but to keep it simple, here are some quick things to focus in on: 1. You'll need to capture your talent in front of green/blue screen. So lighting is going to be key!! I just did a quick YouTube search and there's no shortage of help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3PZO_lCBkw I can't overstate the importance of lighting to getting a good, clean key. 2. You'll need the software to key out the background in your videos. In the past, I've used Premiere and After Effects to do this. But there are other choices that can do the trick. 3. If you're bringing the avatars into, say, Storyline, you'll need to output to .flv so that the alpha channel transparency is supported. But keep in mind that .flv isn't supported on mobile ... Expand
Hi Danika, I'd actually recommend that you not start off with a green screen. Yes, they're sorta sexy, but getting it to look great can be trouble! When I taught full time, I would do some intro video lectures for my Psych class in front of a green screen. Not only did they take some time to create, but the quality wasn't that great. Check out the horrible coloring and fuzzy outline in this shot! http://d.pr/i/12aOA Eeesh! I think you'd be better off following the advice in this series of Wistia videos: http://wistia.com/library Go to the bottom of the page and start with the Down and Dirty Lighting Kit. The results can be really great and there's no Green Screen required! As for a script reader. I tend to keep my intro videos short, so I can just wing it/memorize it. I... Expand
Hi Tracy! Now we're talking!!! For video work, if you're on the PC, then MovieMaker would be my first choice. You can download it for free: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-live/essentials While not super full featured, it works in a pinch! If you're on the Mac end of things, then iMovie is a lot of fun and hard to beat. (I know, not the most exciting of choices!) On the slightly more expensive end, if you can afford the cost ($299), I really like what Camtasia Studio brings to the table in terms of it's ability to edit video and audio. In fact, I'll use it 95% of the time because it can do a lot of the same basics as Premiere and other such tools. While it's not marketed as a video editing tool, it's super competent. As for audio, I like GarageBand on the ... Expand
Mary, That's a good question and you've already identified the issue with bandwidth. If you're referring to software simulations, then you're really going to be focused in on your publishing settings to try to drive down the overall file size. In general, the smaller the file size, the smoother the playback. If we're talking other types of instructional video (say, a 10 - 20 minute talking head), then I'd highly recommend not putting that video in directly into your course. In my experience, most LMSs (and the servers they run on) tend to struggle when it comes to serving up video in such a manner. In this case, I think it's best to use a third party video tool (such as YouTube or Wistia) to serve up the content via an embed code in your course. This serves to take the loa... Expand
Hi Caron, The choices are endless! In general, I'd start off free and cheap while you practice your skills. Low Budget: Microphone: On the low end, I'd go with a simple headset Mic or a relatively inexpensive USB microphone like the Blue Yeti or a Samson model. Software: I'd also start off with a free tool such as Audacity on the PC or Garage Band on the Mac. Mid Budget: Microphone: On the mid budget end, I love my Rode Podcaster ($225 USD). I don't think you can beat it's quality for a USB microphone. Software: I like Adobe Audition if you have access to it but even here, Audacity and Garage Band will work just fine! If you'd like to hear some microphones in action, check out this article: https://community.articulate.com/articles/microphone-demos-from-the-us... Expand
Hi Steffanie, I mentioned this site in an earlier response, but I'd check out this getting started area by Wistia. http://wistia.com/library Scroll to the bottom and work your way up. There are sooo many choices when it comes to equipment and software and people/companies will often spend a lot more than they need to. For example, this commercial was shot on the iPhone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyYhM0XIIwU Granted, there's a lot that goes into the editing after the shoot, but it's a great example of the old maxim, "it's not about the camera, but rather the person who holds it". I'd identify the type of video you want to shoot (Simple talking head? On location in a construction site?) and then research the typical type of setup that you'd need. A simple talki... Expand
This sounds like a great blog post idea! Two things quickly come to mind.... 1. Make sure you have a set of characters in various poses, and shot from the front, side, and behind. 2. Think of camera angles. When you watch a conversation in a movie, the camera doesn't stay in one spot. You see the characters in single shots by themselves and framed together. You see close ups, and wide views. All of this is done to achieve a particular effect. You can use static characters the same way. You can frame them on the slide in a variety of ways to give the viewer that video "feel". Framed together: http://d.pr/i/jAPM Single character framed: http://d.pr/i/1dS9m Camera angle change: http://d.pr/i/15f2i and http://d.pr/i/17C4x Here's a simple example of what this mig... Expand
Hi Mike, Well, you said, “ask anything…” I’m about to embark on creating a rather large course that teaches a reasonably complex software program. I’m guessing that most who will take the course will be running laptops and desktops with reasonable resolution. I’m making that assumption based on the kind of software for which I’m creating the course. It wouldn’t be practical to run that particular software without running somewhere around 1920x1080. Of course there will also be iPads and Android tablets used to consume the course as well. It will be advertised that due to the size restrictions that we will not support smart phones. At this point, I have no way of knowing the real population of each. The intent will be to deliver the course on some kind of hard media (perhaps USB devi... Expand
Hi Tim. Wowza! Okay, so you have the cool tools and now the question is, how best to implement them. Here goes... 1. Given the likely size of the project, I'd break it up into separate modules. I think will help keep things organized and, if you can't deploy via local media (like a USB drive) it will keep the bandwidth more reasonable. 2. In terms of capturing the content, I would run some tests to see what gives you the best quality. I've never used a high-def scan converter, but have used SL2 and Camtasia. Ultimately, you're going to want to balance quality and file size. I've had good results with both SL2 and Camtasia. As a side note, you can capture to .avi with Camtasia, but the file sizes are huge. http://d.pr/i/UlG8 You can also export SL2 video captures... Expand
Hey Chris, I got started down the video path because I wanted to provide the students in my online Psych classes with video introductions to the topic each week. So, I jumped right in and made some really bad videos! And I mean bad in every way! Bad lighting, bad color, bad script, bad on screen talent (does that guy have a pulse!?). But it was sooo cool and fun to learn from my mistakes! As for Articulate, I was freelancing and using the software in my work with clients. I got involved in the community and learned so much about the business (everything from PowerPoint tips to working with subject matter experts). And it was all free! It sounds cheesy, but I fell in love with the company (I mean come on...they provided a free education on how to make money in the eLearning biz!).... Expand