Creating video materials to use on a website or a social platform, such as YouTube, can be a relatively easy exercise. By keeping a few things in mind, such as lighting, sound, stability and length while filming and editing can produce high quality videos. Below are some simple tips.

  1. Often overlooked when recording video materials, sound and lighting are important for producing good quality videos. Make sure to light well and use a good microphone. No one wants to watch something that is difficult to hear or see. Using a unidirectional microphone will help to eliminate extra background noise during filming, which can be found at any electronics store. For lighting, you will want to use a small work light and aim it from behind the camera and towards the area you are trying to film. This will keep any shadowing or dark spots from occurring. Computers screens tend to make videos look darker, so don’t be afraid to add more light.
  2. Limit videos to less than two minutes. Anything longer and you may lose your audience’s attention.
  3. Whenever possible, use an HD camera and edit in HD for website use.
  4. It is important to use the best compression settings for the site the video is being uploaded to. This may vary by website. This simply means that your video, which will be very large by the time you are done filming, will need to be compressed into a smaller file space. Before you upload a video, you’ll have to convert it to a format that’s acceptable to the video hosting site that you’ve chosen. Most hosting sites only accept certain video formats, and many limit the file size the length of the videos you upload. Many video editing programs offer customizable export settings so you can control the size and the format of the final video. You can also use video compression software to convert your videos to an online format. Here is a good link for compression software: http://desktopvideo.about.com/od/videoonyourwebsite/tp/videocompressionsoftware.htm
  5. There are a few things you can do to make compression easier: Keep your camera as still as possible. A tripod or sturdy surface will work well to help minimize shaking or movement, which can disrupt the quality and picture. The wider the shot of the video, the more information can be captured in one screen, but this will also make all those pixels and movement harder to compress. Try to zoom in on the movement or image you are trying to capture.
  6. Your source video should ideally be high resolution. For instance: MOV or AVI file, NTSC 720×480, HDV 1080i, 720p or VGA 640×480.
  7. Check out this site for additional tips on creating high definition videos for YouTube: http://www.squidoo.com/youtubehd