Tips for making your video

Quick Start

We've created some tutorials that you can use as a guide to make your video. We recommend using Movie Maker on a Windows PC or iMovie on an Apple Macintosh. Using a webcam to record yourself is ok, but we do not recommend using the software that comes with your webcam. A webcam may not give you enough control over the quality of the video and audio and we want to encourage videos look and sound good.

If you're itching to get started and don't want to bother with tutorials, here are some settings we would like you to use to make your experience enjoyable and successful:

  • Display size: 480 X 360; if you don't have this option, go bigger and we'll squish it down during the upload process.
  • Format: Quicktime (.mov) or Windows Media Player (.wmv) are recommended, although we support most common formats.
  • File size: we limit our upload file size to 100MB. This means you'll have to do some compression of your raw video. Movie Maker lets you save your movie to fit a specific file size. In iMovie, select H.264 compression and change the audio settings so the sample rate is 32 kHz and/or the sample size is 32 bit (these are in the expert settings menu when you export your movie.)
  • Browser: Firefox 1.5 and higher and Internet Explorer 6 and higher are recommended.


Mac users:
iMovie Tutorial: Creating your video using iSight (if you have a built-in webcam)
iMovie Tutorial: Importing your video from an external camera or other source

Windows users:
Movie Maker Tutorial: Creating your video (if you have a webcam)
Movie Maker Tutorial: Importing your video from an external camera or other source

Why should I make a video or audio to upload?

  1. A video or audio explanation of your research will make it easier for others to more quickly grasp the concepts of your research in a shorter period of time.
  2. The more people that know about your research the more chance there is that it will be cited.
  3. Video or audio makes your research more easily digestible because in allows you to feature, emphasize and highlight the main points of your paper.
  4. Video and audio can be more portable to your peer group which allows your peers to access your research from anywhere, commuting to school or work, jogging, etc. (we support podcasting)
  5. Did we mention that this will increase your chances of being cited?

How should I record a video?

Quick and Simple:

  1. Capture on a webcam or consumer video camera

  2. Edit in Windows Movie Maker or Mac iMovie (Movie Maker has been built into Windows since the Millennium Edition Version and iMovie has been built into the Mac OS since October 1999.)

  3. Export using our recommended export settings charted below.

    If you record your video using: use one of the following programs : then export your video as: using the following compression settings: with resolution (dimensions): Tutorial

    a webcam with computer audio or a consumer digital video camera

    Windows Movie Maker


    compression: H.264; Frame Rate: 29.97 fps; keyframes: automatic; Quality: High or Best; Data Rate: automatic
    480 X 360 (or 640 X 480 if Windows Media Encoder 9 Series is not installed)

    Creating your video

    Mac iMovie

    .mov (QuickTime)

    compression: H.264; Frame Rate: 29.97 fps; keyframes: automatic; Quality: High or Best; Data Rate: automatic

    480 X 360

    Creating your video

Using professional production assistance to create a video.

If you choose to hire professional help to create your video, give them the following specifications for the deliverable file:

  • MPEG2; 29.97 fps; 480 X 360;

Tip: Check your local university media services to see if they offer video production media services.

What should I record in my video?

It is likely that you have already presented your paper in person, so you could plan your video presentation in the same way as if you were presenting in front of a live audience possibly using PowerPoint slides as a teleprompter to guide you.

Because the video duration we suggest is relatively short, you should emphasize and highlight the main points of your paper. It would be good to discuss any concepts that are particularly difficult to grasp from reading the text.

As you are planning your video, consider that this might be the first time that someone has come across your paper. This is your chance to make an impression and establish a readership for your paper!

Remember that video is a different medium than written word. Video is more suitable for communicating the big picture or difficult concepts rather than methodological details.

What technical tips can you give me about recording a video myself or with colleagues?

  1. We suggest that you keep your video under 10 minutes and not over 100 MB.

  2. If you are recording yourself with a webcam or with the help of colleagues and a camcorder, make sure that you have a nice clean audio feed. By using a headset to listen to the audio and watching the audio input indicator on your camera you can monitor audio to assure that it is not over 12db. If audio is too “hot” the recording will have pops and cracks in it and sound pretty bad.

  3. If you are the person speaking into the microphone, keep your mouth away from the microphone far enough when speaking into it so that the microphone does not pick up your breathing and/or your “p” and “t” sounds don’t cause feedback.

  4. Use a lot of light on the person speaking. Video recordings need to be lit up more than what you would expect for the recording to show colors and contrast naturally. Use natural lighting from a window behind the camera pointing toward the person speaking or point lights from behind the camera toward the person speaking. This will light what is in front of the camera better. DV Creators is a great resource for tips on lighting and digital video production in general.

  5. If you are using built in computer software like iMovie or MovieMaker make sure to use the export settings that constrain the file size to under 100 MB. Some built in software allows you to specify the file size you wish to constrain your movie and this automatically configures the bitrate.

  6. If you are using more advanced video software to edit your video like Adobe Primere or Final Cut Pro.

    • Set up your project to use:

      • 480 X 360 resolution

      • Mpeg2 compression

      • Export your file to constrain to 100 MB

  7. If you have an existing video that you would like to upload and need to change the resolution and compression use a tool like: MPEG Streamclip by SQUARED 5

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