Now with Video!

This little project is 100% a quarantine project. You stay home long enough you start to get crazy ideas. Then, you get some friends who inspire you and well before you know it is bad idea time.

I decided to branch out to video.

I had been playing with streaming what I was working on for A&S with little success as I found out my camera only will film for 30 minutes.

So why not film several segments of me painting and post them up later? Or some basic tutorials! Or a class!

Simple right?

Well.

No.

First I needed to get a better workspace together. The folding table set up I had been using wasn’t cutting it. The table was sitting in front of half my storage and developing stacks of half-finished projects. The layout had me sitting in front of the TV. A point my husband and kiddo made one night as they tried to watch TV as I painted.

Thus I decided a new desk was in order to start with.

Sadly mid pandemic of people having to work from home, desks are at a premium. More so if they are small and say flat packed with Swedish instructions.

After a 20 minute wait to get into Ikea I walked out with a tabletop but no legs. I thought no problem I will pop over to Lowe’s and get a set. Store one had 3 legs..store 2 had 4 but most had been missing tags. Lucky an understanding employee helped me sort out 4 legs and I was on my way home.

The set up of the table was simple. Add the plate to the bottom screw in the legs. And it was ready to work on! Sorting out the projects and getting things into their proper place has been an ongoing struggle.

With the weekend over I spent the remainder of the week tracing over things to paint. I had learned my camera has a 30 minute film time so I figured I needed as much prepared as I could.

The Test Run!

Feeling confidant in my new space I got ready to film my first video! I decided to go with an over the shoulder shot. I was worried the angle I would need to tip the tripod to film across the desk and straight down on my work was would cause the tripod to tip and risk my camera.

I did take the time to layout the frame on my desk so I would know where I could move to keep things in the shot. The downside of the over the shoulder is it leads to a weird angle. Worse yet I had problems getting the camera to focus OR balance the light. Leaving me with shadows, the light rebalancing every time I move my hands and the skewed angle making my work look funky. Then to add insult to injury I didn’t managed to record half of what I had done.

I being stubborn forged ahead to salvage what I could. Only to find that Lightworks had an extreme learning curve.

So at almost 2 am I gave up and resolved I would sort out the issues in the morning.

The Issues

With some sleep I laid out the issues I needed to address.

  1. How to get an overhead rig that would support my camera
  2. How to use Lightworks.
  3. Work with my camera to find the best setting.
  4. Deal with my poor lighting.
  5. The AC adapter for my camera

Of course I also wanted to keep this as low cost as possible. So I attempted to look for thing I had or where free to reduce costs.

I started with the simplest issue to address.

My knowledge of Lightworks.

Youtube provided a number of Lightworks tutorials. After watching several I felt I had a basic knowledge to tackle what I wanted to do with my videos. The key is knowing it is less a point and click type program and relies on shortcut keys.

Next up was several videos on lighting to try and figure my shadow problem out. I quickly decided I was not going to spend several hundreds of dollars on a lighting rig after checking prices on Amazon. The next logical step was to raid other lamps we had about the house. Upon realizing that the clamp light I would need to add a key light had been used on the turtle tank I did purchase a LED clamp light from Target.

The camera issue had to wait for a bit as I needed the battery back up. So I broke out some tutorials on how to film with my camera. I also did a refresher on basic camera functions. The AC adaptor was a quick purchase from Amazon. Aside from checking that it was a match with my camera, it was the least fussy thing I needed.

The final and probably most expensive issue was the mounting of the overhead arm. I spent almost a day watching youtube reviews of setups, from professional to DIY’s. Nothing was matching my needs. The desk wasn’t against the wall, the DSLR is heavy and I wasn’t ready to spend hundreds of dollars.

After the rest of an evening spent video watching, I was starting to come to terms that I was going to have to fuss some PVC together. Fretting over the math of how long to cut pieces and what I needed in total my husband stepped in. He found a video about using a Monitor arm after a bit of looking on his own.

(Here is the link if you want to check it out)

It was by far the lowest cost, and only needed 2 parts in addition to the arm to get it up and going. No math needed, no weekends of cutting, and building. My husband was also quick to point out if I didn’t like the set up he could use it for monitors.

With every thing on order all I had to do was wait and see if I could make this work!

Next up do I get success or am I back to square one?

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