PostMy Setup for Recording Process Videos

| Posted under Studio Notes, Tips & Tutorials

Video Recording Setup

I’ve been asked a few times about my setup for recording my color process videos. When I first got interested in recording my coloring sessions, I went looking for tips and tricks on how to setup cameras to record working space, etc, and really couldn’t find much on the topic. So I thought I’d share a pic of my setup. Here’s my desk–excuse the mess (I’m an artist, it can’t be helped).

Probably the most important thing in my setup is my tripod. When I first started recording these videos, I was setting a regular tripod on the dining room table and basically placing my drawing right underneath it so the camera could capture it. This meant I was filming myself upside down, which was fixable when I edited the video together, but just meant an extra step. It also meant my working space was cramped and required a LOT of surface area, most of which would be taken up by the tripod. But recently I came across the Vanguard Alta Pro. It’s pricey, but its multi-angle central column (the central column that can angle 90 degrees out from the rest of the tripod) and ball head allow me to mount my camera directly above my working area as you see in the picture. I position two legs of the tripod out away from my desk, and shorten the third leg to rest directly on my desk so that none of the legs is in the way of my desk chair or my legs and I can sit in a position that is comfortable and natural while I work, and my work area is completely unimpeded by the tripod.

Next is lighting. This room has fairly bright florescent lighting and white walls that reflect the light and keep things bright but not overwhelming. Additionally, I have an OttLite desk lamp that provides daylight illumination on my working area (so colors are accurate on video), and it’s positioned out of the camera’s frame, but below the tripod rig so the tripod/camera shadow is eliminated from my work area. Ideally, I’d like to have another OttLite lamp positioned on the other side of my desk to minimize other cast shadows, but for now this setup works well.

Lastly is my camera. It’s an Olympus TG-4. We purchased it to be our go-to family vacation camera because it’s shock proof, waterproof, freeze proof (basically toddler proof, which is a major requirement for pretty much everything in our house); but it has nothing special in regards to my video purposes–I use it because it’s what I have, and it generally shoots a clear video (it takes super sharp photos, and I love it for that). I have two complaints about it in terms of shooting video: One, the battery life is short when you’re shooting prolonged videos. I can usually shoot one 20-40 minute video on the life of the battery, but my latest Sailor Moon piece took much longer than that, and I had to stop to recharge the battery a couple times (if I had let it charge fully the first time, I probably would’ve only needed to charge it once, but I’m impatient so I filmed on partial charges a couple times). And two, it adjusts its light focus automatically, so during my videos the picture sometimes goes darker or gets brighter as the camera auto-adjusts. There’s probably a setting I could turn off to prevent this, but I always forget to stop and look for it. Someday if I find myself increasing the frequency of my videos (when my little ones are in school and I have a bit more time for this kind of thing), I might invest in a dedicated video camera that would last longer during shoots, and allow me better control over the quality of the video.

But for now this setup serves me pretty well!

Video Recording Setup

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