Apologies for being so quiet lately, but I’ve been fighting a losing battle with grass. I mow it and move on to the next spot, but as soon as I turn my back, the spot I’ve just done grows a foot over night. By the time I’ve done as much as I can outside, I’m too pooped to do more than the necessities inside. When I stop, I look at videos of beautiful in-game houses. This one has become my all time favourite.
I feel rested and restored just looking at it. Hope it gives you the same sense of ‘time out’.
It’s been an odd week, with lots of rain and too little sleep, but I have been fairly productive. First up is my latest how-to video: ‘ESO – how to build a pointy wall’. It’s quite a long video so I don’t expect anyone to watch it all the way through!
The reason I’m showcasing this video is because of the new skills I’ve learned using VideoStudio Pro 2021, my video editing software.
The first thing I learned was how to create short, animated visual directions. The video below is only a few seconds long and demonstrates what I mean about a ‘visual direction’:
The animation is created from within VideoStudio Pro 2021 using the Painting Tool. I can see this tool getting a lot of use once I start making how-to videos for self-publishing.
The second thing I learned was how to manually fade the background music in and out. VideoStudio Pro 2021 has a feature called ‘Audio Ducking’ which is supposed to make the music go quiet when there’s narration on the video. The feature is okay, but I wasn’t too impressed with when it decided to raise and lower the volume of the music. So I went looking for a manual solution and found one. 😀
The blue track is the music track, and the purple one is for narration. When I’m talking, I want the music to be very soft, but when there’s a gap in the narration, I want the music to swell. The section of the tracks I’ve circled in red is one of those gaps. As you can see, the white line showing the volume of the music goes up – i.e. becomes louder – while I’m not talking.
To make VideoStudio Pro display the audio controls, press the icon circled in red below:
Controlling the volume of the music manually is a bit time-consuming and ‘clunky’, but I think the end result is much better.
In case anyone is interested, the music was created by Peritune, a Japanese composer who writes lovely, non-jarring music that compliments my videos beautifully.
And last but not least, I’ve just made my new Youtube ‘handle’ :
I’m not quite sure how the handle is actually supposed to work, but apparently in time, it will be used to personalise the URL of my Youtube channel. A small thing, but Indies have to grab their branding where they find it!
It’s Sunday here in Melbourne, and for a wonder the rain has stopped so I’m going to do a garden promenade with the animals.
Just a few days ago I reached my first major milestone on Youtube – 100 subscribers! Thank you to everyone who visited my channel and subscribed. You made me feel that I wasn’t wasting my time. On such a new venture, that kind of support is gold, pure gold.
In further news, two of my videos have reached milestones of their own: 1000 views, and a couple more are getting there very quickly so I’m thrilled. This is one of the new ones that’s getting a lot of views:
If you click on ‘Watch on YouTube’ you’ll be able to see a larger version of the video.
I would like to say that my how-to and reading videos are doing as well, but they’re not, at least not yet. I hope that in time I’ll be able to use YouTube for other aspects of my work. Till then, I’m still learning, still improving and, most importantly, still enjoying the process. D
I’ll start with the ‘why’. Once you upload a video to Youtube, any changes you make will require that you:
delete the original video, and
upload the new, updated video
Why is this a problem? Because any views or comments you get on the old video will be lost.
The only exception to this is if the changes you want to make are minor. In that case, you can use the in-built Youtube video editor to make small changes to the existing video.
What kind of changes? Let me show you in this 4 minute, how-to video that I created:
I decided to have a little fun with the ‘speaking bits’ so used one of my gaming avatars to ‘animate’ the boring bits. Ahem…
In the example shown, the ‘tail’ of the video was too long. The tail is the bit right at the end which is where you want to display end screen information:
These ‘elements’ encourage viewers to see other videos you’ve created, or subscribe to your channel. The last thing you want is for viewers to switch off without seeing more of your content.
So the end screen elements are very important, but they can only be added after you upload your video. This makes getting the timing right a bit of a challenge. I’m sure professionals know precisely how long to make the ‘tail’ of the video, but I always seem to make them too long.
According to my research, end screen elements need to be on-screen for a minimum of 5 seconds. Anything less than that and they simply don’t appear. The maximum time they can appear is 20 seconds, so you need to find the sweet spot and time your ‘tail’ to match.
After much messing around, I finally got my end screen elements to appear just after the ‘blow kiss/goodbye’. And I had to use the method shown in the video to do it. 🙂
And finally, this is the video that made me scoot down this rabbit hole in the first place:
I’m having a lot of fun creating these gaming walkthroughs, but I’m also learning the skills I’ll need once I start making how-to videos in earnest.
I completed this house some time ago, but my video capturing and editing skills have only just caught up. This video includes a number of new features, including a soundtrack:
I still have a lot to learn but I now know how to use the ESO in-game camera a bit better. It doesn’t matter how good your editing skills may be if the raw footage is poor quality.
On the video editing front, I’ve learned how to:
Cut and splice the video footage with still images to create a smooth flowing visual narrative,
Focus on important images using freeze frame,
Narrate the important ‘bits’,
Add a ‘soundtrack’ to help tie the whole thing together.
I’m particularly proud of the soundtrack as I was just experimenting, and it worked. lol
For anyone who’s interested, I recorded roughly ten minutes of video just for the background music. Then I took the video into VideoStudio Pro 2021 [the software I use for editing] and ‘split’ the audio out of the video. This left me with just an audio track. I then added the audio track to the completed video.
What all that means is that the video is made up of three layers:
the edited video [complete with sound effects like bird calls and footsteps],
the voice over narration, and
the music soundtrack.
Once my skills improve a bit more, I hope to be able to create how-to videos and maybe, one day, a trailer for my books. That’s all in the future though. For now, I’m still on a massive learning curve. Thanks for coming along for the ride. 🙂
Some months back, I invested in Corel VideoStudio Pro, as well the Action! video capture program. One helps me take good quality video footage, the other helps me turn that raw footage into something a great deal more professional. Unfortunately, both have required quite a steep learning curve, but I’m proud to say I can now do a proper ‘voice over’.
In time, I hope to make short how-to videos to complement my how-to posts. You saw a tiny snippet of that in my last post. For now though, I’m doing player housing walkthroughs while I learn the ropes. This is my latest walkthrough:
This particular housing project is set in an area that looks like a real wasteland, so I tried to reproduce some of the things I visualised in The Vintage Egg, in particular the story about the Christmas Roast. I think I managed to fudge the grim feel of the Undercity, but I couldn’t quite re-create the high tech architecture. Still, I had a lot of fun. 🙂
I’m off to practise some more new skills.
 My first efforts saw me recording the ‘narration’ at the same time as I was trying to film the video. Okay for simple things, next to impossible for more complex things. Now I can focus on the video first, then record the narration over the top of the video. Still need a script but it’s miles easier.]
Down the bottom you can see a number of playlists. They’re just categories of videos. The how-to playlist only contains one video, but in time, I intend to create videos for all of the relevant sections of the free ‘How to print your novel with Kindle Direct Publishing’ book.
I’m not there yet in terms of skill, but the video below is my first attempt to do a how-to for the ESO housing editor:
This video will be the first in a series, but boy was it hard to do. Having a chatty narration ‘style’ is one thing, waffling on is another.
Lesson number 1: boring viewers is a cardinal sin!
Lesson number 2: waffling on is boring, especially when the viewer only wants information. 😦
As my narration style is naturally, um, ‘chatty’, I’ve had to do a lot of cutting and splicing to get rid of the waffle. Great practice in editing, not so great for the sound quality which waxed and waned with each splice. In the end, I was forced to do one long take with deliberate pauses so I could edit out the worst of the gaffs without affecting the sound quality too much.
Those hiccups aside, I’m really enjoying this learning curve. If any of you are already experienced in creating videos or have recommendations for tools to use, I’d love to hear them. I’m currently using RecMaster which is a great entry level video recorder, but maybe not quite powerful enough for my ambitious projects.
I also have a favour to ask – could you please subscribe to my channel? Youtube will allow me to have a customised URL for my channel – i.e. something with my name in it instead of hieroglyphics – but only after I reach the magic number of 100 subscribers. At the moment I have 4. It’s a big ask, I know, but I would really appreciate your help on this one.