Recording a video may be necessary for various reasons. Whether you want to present something, start your own vlog, to make a public statement, you need to make a video. And as the easiest way, you have your laptop or a PC and your webcam. However, you should know how to use the cam properly. Knowing it or not, the video takes about 75% of the total internet content. It’s the best way to participate in the virtual world and be heard out.
How to set up the background and environment not to bother your video and not to take attention from your words? How to be absolutely certain of what you’re saying and make your point without stuttering? How to set up lighting to show your best side? Because yes, your words are important, but so is your appearance. People tend to trust people that look like they belong to a place and feel comfortable with themselves. It’s all a big question, and we are here to resolve it for you.
Planning and Setup Before Filming a Video
As the first piece of advice, we would say to dress comfortably. As mentioned, people trust those who look like they are comfortable and good with themselves. That’s why choosing the right clothes might be crucial for your comfort and for your video in general. Find something that makes you look good and confident while giving you that beloved pajama feeling.
Before filming a video, it’s essential to know what you want to say. For that, the best would be to prepare a script. This way, you won’t have any unwanted pauses, stops, or similar.
Writing a script on a template prior to filming a video can help you with graphics and other visual elements as well. The best would be to practice reading a script a few times before filming so that you can get comfortable with the text and practice all those words that might be complicated to say out loud.
After you know what you want to say, you can practice the way of saying it. Sometimes, you might like to point out some physical objects next to you or do something with the surroundings. Planning and setting everything up will give you more ideas of what you can do to make the perfect video.
As a part of the setup, you need to make sure lights are proper and the camera is placed in the right place. Sometimes, your camera is attached, like if you have an integrated laptop webcam, so changing its position might be difficult. On the other hand, if you have a physical camera connected to your PC or a laptop, moving it is much easier. In this case, you might even want to use a tripod to set it up perfectly. Having a camera in the right place can only flatter your look and make you more confident about yourself. Whatever camera you have, make sure to place the lens at the eye height or even above, but not higher than your hairline. That way, you will have a refined look to the camera and look better and more formal. Also, make sure not to sit too close to the camera. Zooming in your face might be equally uncomfortable as hearing you eat while talking. Try to capture your entire face and shoulders. That’s an ideal camera distance.
For more information on which tripod to use, you can check here.
Setting Up Lights and Microphone
As with any camera, capturing a video with a webcam works better if you have some soft front light. When making a video, make sure to avoid dark places as well as places with too much of a backlight. Therefore, try not to sit in front of the window. This might make you look like a dark figure, and that’s something you do not want. On the other hand, low light will make your video look washed out. Again, something you do not want when trying to present yourself in the best light (no pun intended). As our favorite suggestion, we would point out a ring light. It’s a rather cheap solution, easy to set up, and makes your video look stunning. Besides this, you can try putting a lamp behind your webcam and create a sort of soft light in front of you — a so-called DIY solution.
If you’re creating a regular vlog or a corporate video not related to artistic purposes, you can try some of the suggestions below.
- Two or three-point lightning
This is standard lighting for most basic videos. It’s accomplished by using two or three lights. The key light is the strongest and is usually placed in front of the subject, around 45 degrees above and 45 degrees left or right. Then you have a fill light and rim light that should fill the shadows from sides and background. Those lights are softer and used just for a more natural look.
- Soft and hard lightning
Sometimes, combining these two lightning types will give you precisely what you need. Of course, it depends a lot on the natural lighting in the room itself. Usually, if it’s a cloudy day, there’s less natural light, meaning more shadows. In that case, you need to use hard light to fill them up. If, however, the day is bright, just use the soft lights to fill in the gaps.
When it comes to microphones, it’s imperative to know whether your camera has a built-in microphone and what is the audio range. Sometimes, if you sit too far, your microphone won’t catch what you’re saying, or you’ll sound like speaking from a huge distance. Besides the look, audio is what matters and it’s a reason why you decided to film the video instead of writing things down, right? That’s why sometimes the best option is to have a separate USB microphone and position it as it suits you. That way, you can focus on what you’re saying and the video itself, not on small technical details. It’s a minor thing, but it can save you a lot of time since you won’t need to repeat filming and everything will be done faster in the future. Also, make sure to minimize other sounds in the room, such as a machine or an AC. Make sure to ask everyone around to be quiet and notify them filming is in progress. That way, you’ll achieve perfection.
If you want to know which microphone is the best to use, please check out The article.
Filming The Video
Before filming, turn around once again. Make sure there is nothing behind you that could distract you or your audience. If something is placed there and you feel it shouldn’t be, just move it.
Once you prepare all the tools, such as scripts, lights, and microphones, and position your camera correctly, you can start filming. Once you start reading the script, make sure not to be focused on the paper in front. Instead, try to make eye contact with your audience since it will make them look at you as well. Of course, nobody expects you to be perfect, and the occasional glance at your notes is fine, but that shouldn’t be the only thing you’re focusing on. Instead, try to smile as much as possible (of course, when convenient) and to look your audience straight in the eyes. If you have an option to see yourself while filming, it can be highly distracting. All of us tend to look at ourselves and make sure everything is alright. Therefore, if your camera enables such a feature, disable it for better effect.
Repeat your video several times until you get a perfect shot. You know what they say. Repeating is the mother of knowledge. By filming a few times, you’ll feel more confident, more familiar with the text, and more reasonable about the whole thing, especially if it’s your first time doing it.
Hopefully, this guide was helpful and you chose the right angle, lighting, microphone, etc. You know what you need, what’s left is to do it. Go ahead and make that video! Good luck!
For further help, we will give you a couple of the most asked questions regarding filming your own video with a webcam. Therefore, you can find some useful information easier. Check out our list.
- How do I make a video myself?
To make a video yourself, you need a PC or a laptop with a webcam. Once you have it, think of what you want to film, set up the background, and simply start filming.
- Can I make a video using any laptop or a PC?
As long as you have a webcam on your laptop/PC, whether it’s integrated or attached via USB cable, you can make a video recording.
- How do I record video and audio on my laptop?
If you have a camera with an integrated microphone, you can simply start recording, and both video and audio will be captured. If not, you need to connect a separate microphone for the audio to be recorded.
- How do you film for beginners?
First of all, film separated shots rather than moving around with the camera. Frame carefully, do not zoom unnecessary, and take care of the lightning.
- How do I record my video on Windows 10?
Tap on the Windows key to open the Start menu. Search for the “Camera” and launch it. The Camera app has features of taking pictures and recording video. It’s a simple application but will be helpful for commercial video making.
- What makes an effective video?
For sure, to make a compelling video, you need to be unique. If you are making a business video, talk about what makes your brand different. For any video, you need a good strategy before filming.
- What are the basics of video recording?
Some of the key things to follow: always film horizontally, use a tripod whenever it’s possible, make sure to set proper lightning, take care of microphone quality, give people enough headspace.
- How do I make a video on Windows 7 laptop?
If you are using Windows 7, download Windows Live Movie Maker. Launch it and choose the option “Webcam Video.”
- What is the best microphone to use?
For the best mic, you should consider 2 options, buying a webcam with a built-in microphone or using an Excellent microphone to do the job. For more information on the microphone, please visit the article The 8 Best Webcams with An Excellent Microphone.
- How do I edit the video myself?
Once you finished filming, download a program for video editing. The best would be to look at a couple of videos before starting, so you can get a better idea of how editing is done.