Audiovisuals GUIDELINES & TIPS
In this section you will find concise and yet useful information, in the form of guidelines and “how to” on some basic audiovisual workflows that you can implement in your work to enhance creativity, compliance, quality and effectiveness of your audiovisual products.
General video tech guidelines
Audiovisual is a broad field with a lot of different outcomes and production techniques.
Here you will find some basic technical guidelines for producing video for the most common use of publishing videos on the major platforms (such as youtube or vimeo), or to share videos with colleagues or the public in the most easy to use way.
Almost any video editor software can export videos with these specs. Please visit the tools section of the VISUAL TRAINING KIT(link) to choose among some video editor softwares that suits your preferences and skill level.
General video tech specs:
- Recording container: MOV / MP4 (h264/h265)
- Framerate: 25p or 50p / 30p or 60p
- Resolution: minimum Full HD ( 1920 x1080 px) preferred 4K UHD (3840×2160 px)
- Aspect Ratio : 16:9 for general videos
- Audio : Wav or AAC 16bit/24bit 48Khz
Using these specifications you will have the guarantee of producing files that are truly cross platform and with manageable file sizes and that can be opened and managed easily by any of your recipients
Producing interviews guidelines
Interviews are a simple and yet effective way to build a compelling storytelling of your project, and can be used in a large variety of contexts, from communications to recap videos, from social media to marketing contents.
When recording interviews you will improve your quality and result by giving specific attention to the following guidelines:
- Interviews has to be conducted in a well lit and quiet environment
- External mic is mandatory for most of the cases in order to have good quality of speech (best are lavalier mics, or high directionals mics)
- If possible, prefer indoor sets with intrinsic good lighting. Outdoor lighting is more difficult to control
- Keep the face of the speaker in front light (no back light setups) or with a shallow angle of attack in order to avoid too dramatic shadows
- Pay attention to practicals and objects present in the room and reposition them to obtain a good frame and interesting and contextualized background.
- Exclude if possible any logo or personal reference not related or contextual to the shooting
- Position yourself close right or close left of the camera depending on your framing, and ask your speaker to talk to you
- You can conduct the interview in a sitting or a standing setting, as preferred.
- Pay attention at the height of the camera relative to your height (sitting or standing) and to your shooting angle: your character has to address you with his eyes when talking
- Your character could be in the center-left or center-right side of the frame (generally not at the borders) in order to give a little movement and perspective to your frame
- Take your time, let your character answer and speak freely, try to not interrupt his flow even if he has pauses or hesitations, and try not to overlap him with questions, let the time of the interview be relaxed and encourage him to speak freely and with his own times and manners.
NOTE: For recording remote call meetings in the form of an interview you can use OBS software (TRAINING KIT TOOLS LINK ) recording features, which will make possible for you to set recording parameters similar to the specs provided in the technical guidelines section.
Producing recap videos
Recap videos are the most popular form for videos in order to narrate a project or an event and can be very useful to keep memories and highlight outcomes of your project. Very often they also become a tool to enhance your work , for example using a good recap video to apply for a funding program, with a practical demonstration of the kind of work you’ve already made.
In order to be effective a recap video has to answer these basic questions :
– It is very up to you to decide the form, the structure or the style of your video, but these topics had to be answered in the more concise and precise way to convey the most effective information about your project.
– You can consider inserting in your video a voice over or some interviews to keep the video informative but with a good flow.
– Keep attention on the music you choose, it has not to be overwhelming to speech and images, but can be very effective in enhancing the emotional level of your video
– Keep attention on the length of your video and maybe consider to make 2 versions of the same videos: the longest for your site or for platforms such as Youtube or Vimeo, and a shorter version that you can spend on all social media platforms
– Take establishing shots (large views of context, area of the activities and surroundings, external areas as well) they can be very useful in edit
– Take detail shots of the activity/program as well (hands, smiles and reactions, specific details, etc.)
– If you don’t have any means of stabilization (internal camera stabilization / gimbals etc.) prefere still shooting with a tripod. When panning left right please do it very slowly in order to avoid rolling shutter artifacts
– always record audio with external mics.
Make sure your audio sits between -6 dB (peaks) and -18/-12 dB (lowest) if you have a dB meter in camera. Most prosumer cameras have this feature on board.
If you cannot provide external mics and recorders ( i.e. shooting interviews with a smartphone), try to place yourself the closest you can to your subject when he’s speaking but without intimidating him/her.
Always monitor your audio with headphones before shooting, and make adjustments to your setup in order to get the best results for the situation you’re in.
– Always try to give start and closing extra time to the shot, avoid interrupting the record process as soon as the action ends, always give 2/5 seconds for the image to breathe and to catch every outcome that could be triggered afterwards.
– Insert and keep attention on the credits of your videos, be sure they’re all precise and up to date. They could be very useful for contacting you or your partners for further information or triggering collaborations.
– Try to be more accessible as possible in producing your video inserting captions for example. Please refer to ACCESSIBLE TRAINING KIT (link) where you can find more precise tips on the topic.
Producing tutorial videos
While keeping in mind all the tips that you can find here in the Visual Training Kit on how to technically produce video contents, in this section we will focus our attention on how to organize and manage contents in order to produce compelling and effective video tutorials.
In today’s digital age, producing tutorial videos has become an essential skill and tool for educators. By creating tutorial videos, teachers can engage students and help them learn at their own pace. However, producing effective video tutorial videos requires careful planning and attention to detail concerning contents and information you need to provide. The following are some general and broad tips that you can follow in order to keep the focus on the goals of your tutorials:
Define your goals: Before starting the video tutorial, clearly define the goals and objectives of your tutorial. Determine what you want your viewers to learn and achieve from the tutorial.
Create a script: Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, create an outline for your video tutorial. This will help you organize your content and ensure that you cover all the necessary topics in a logical and structured way.
Start with an introduction: Begin your video tutorial with a brief introduction that highlights the key topics you will be covering in the tutorial. This will help contextualize your topic and grab the attention of your viewers while keeping them engaged.
Define and divide your content into manageable instruction: Break your tutorial into small, manageable pieces of information that are easy for viewers to digest. Put specific emphasis in graphical or text content into the keypoint instructions which are mandatory or particularly important for reaching the final goal of your tutorial.
Use visual aids: Incorporate visual aids such as graphics, animations, and diagrams to help illustrate your points and make the content more engaging.
Keep it concise: Keep your video tutorial concise and straight to the point as possible. Avoid unnecessary information that might distract your viewers from the main topic
Keep it simple: Use the lesser words you can to describe the steps of the tutorial. Try to add extra or related information (but not specific to the video tutorial) in the form of an external link that the viewer can explore by himself in a different timespan than the tutorial itself.
It could be useful at the end of the video tutorial to place a bibliography or a collection of links that the viewer can autonomously reach if interested.
Provide examples: whenever is possible try to provide examples and practical exercises to help viewers decode and manage the concepts you are teaching.
End with a summary: It is a very good and useful practice to end your video tutorial with a brief summary of the key points you covered. This will help reinforce the important concepts and leave a lasting impression on your viewers and help them to recall the key information even in a second time or during the practical execution without the need of rewatching the whole video tutorial again.
Producing social media videos
Social media contents are mandatory these days in order to communicate your project/activity and to join the most vaste audience you can. There are a lot of resources online to learn how to be successful in producing videos for social media platforms, but due to the extreme speed thing are moving on with an almost daily emergence of new platforms and new apps we’ve tried to make a simple list of narrative and technical tips that you can implement almost in every situation for producing social media contents that can be appealing and technically correct.
Plan ahead: Before you start filming, plan out what you want to say and how you want to present the information. Create a script or an outline to help you stay on track and make sure you cover all the key points.
Choose the right equipment: You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to create a successful video, but you do need some basic tools. At a minimum, you will need a camera, a microphone, and a tripod. If you are recording on your phone, make sure to use the rear-facing camera for the best quality.
Attention to Lighting: Good lighting can make all the difference in the quality of your video. Try to film in a well-lit room or use natural light if possible. If you’re filming in a darker room, consider adding a softbox or ring light to improve the lighting.
Sound quality matters: Poor sound quality can be distracting and make it hard for viewers to hear what you’re saying. Make sure to use a microphone and test it before you start filming to make sure the sound is clear.
Keep it short : Social media audiences have short attention spans, so keep your video under 2-3 minutes or less in the form of reels if possible. If you have a lot of information to cover, consider breaking it up into shorter segments.
Add some visual interest: To keep your viewers engaged, consider adding some visual interest to your video. You can include graphics, images or simple texts in order to keep your audience engaged
Edit for impact: Once you’ve filmed your video, edit it down to the best parts. Cut out any unnecessary pauses or mistakes, and add transitions or music to create a polished finished product.
Break down your contents: if necessary due to the amount of information you had to convey to your audience you can consider to break down your contents into shorts videos that you can publish as stories or reels on Facebook or Instagram or youtube for example
Choose your platform: every social media platform has his own “appeal” on specific audience targets, based on age or interests. Choose wisely the platform that best suits the audience based of your contents
Hire a professional: for particularly big or relevant projects it could be very effective to hire a professional social media manager or consultant in order to get the best result you can aim for. An investment in social media marketing could generate more revenues in economical or popularity for your project and should be considered if the budget you have is enough.
EXPORTING VIDEOS FOR POPULAR SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES
When it comes to exporting your video for social media platforms, each platform has different requirements for video format and size. Here are some general guidelines:
Instagram: Instagram supports videos in either landscape or square format. The maximum file size is 4GB, and the maximum length is 60 seconds. Use H.264 compression and an aspect ratio of 1:1 or 4:5 for best results.
TikTok: TikTok videos are always vertical, and the maximum length is 60 seconds. Use H.264 compression and an aspect ratio of 9:16.
Facebook: Facebook supports a variety of video formats, including landscape, square, and vertical. The maximum file size is 4GB, and the maximum length is 240 minutes. Use H.264 compression and an aspect ratio of 16:9, 1:1, or 4:5 for best results.
YouTube: YouTube supports a wide range of video formats, including landscape, square, and vertical. The maximum file size is 128GB or 12 hours, whichever is less. For best results, use H.264 compression, an aspect ratio of 16:9, and a resolution of at least 1080p.
Vimeo: Vimeo also supports a variety of video formats, including landscape, square, and vertical. The maximum file size is 10GB or 60 minutes, whichever is less. Use H.264 compression, an aspect ratio of 16:9, and a resolution of at least 1080p.
In general, the key to producing successful teaching videos for social media is to focus on delivering valuable content in an engaging way, while paying attention to technical details like lighting, sound, and video quality. By following these guidelines and experimenting with different formats and styles, you can create videos that resonate with your audience and help you achieve your goals as a “filming teacher”.