A S t r e a m i n g M e d i a P r i m e r :
H O W D O I M A K E ( G O O D ) S T R E A M I N G M E D I A ?
Sometimes a word is worth a thousand pictures
SOME GUIDELINES FOR SELECTING OR
You will be forgiven for bad video but you will be abandoned for
SHOOTING GOOD STREAMING VIDEO
bad audio. While those reasonably priced DV camcorders do yield
fi ne imagery for streaming, remember that consumer cameras have
The less subject movement, the
consumer microphones built in. Poor quality mics tend to pick up
better. Avoid scenes with lots of activity or motion.
lots of background noise, which can be virtually impossible to fi lter
Use a tripod
The less camera movement the better.
out later. Don't use a mic intended for rock and roll. Do use a remote
If you really need to pan, a tripod with a fl uid head will
reduce motion to just one dimension.
lapel, handheld, or boom microphone with either a strong proximity
effect or a directional pick up pattern. If you are shooting DV, record
Keep the background simple
Within a small frame,
16 bit (not 12 bit) audio the more information you start with, the
subjects moving on a simple background are easier to distin
guish than subjects on a complex or moving background.
better result you are likely to get when you encode your audio. Keep
the audio level as loud as possible without driving the meter into the
Avoid complex textures and stripes
red with DV, too much level can result in distortion. Be sure to test
clothing or scenic elements can cause distortion effects.
your audio levels prior to recording. Better yet, get an experienced
Avoid trees or foliage with moving leaves
audio engineer to help. If feasible, record as much audio as possible
small details in continuous motion compress horribly,
in post production, rather than live. A voice over recorded in a
even at high data rates.
studio will always produce much better audio than sound recorded
Avoid hot colors
Bright whites, blues, reds and
yellows glare under video lights, and will look even worse
on the Web than they do on NTSC tape; darker colors and
Shooting for live Webcasting
earthtones will work better. If you can control what the
subject is wearing, recommend dark, solid colors.
The operative word here is live. Make sure your subjects, and
the audience if there is one, know that your are Webcasting live.
Avoid harsh contrast
Typically, video that is well lit
and does not have a lot of contrast will compress better for
Because what your cameras see and what your microphones pick
streaming. Brightly lit subjects shot at a constant exposure
up is exactly what is being sent to the audience at large on your
will help keep the foreground detail crisp.
corporate intranet or on the Internet.
Tight shots are best
Streaming video is seen on a
miniature screen. To your Web audience, a telescopic shot
of a cast of thousands storming a hill will look like chaos
on an anthill. Close ups work best, allowing Web viewers
In the digital video workfl ow, post production includes everything
to recognize faces and expressions, or to distinguish objects
from capturing through outputting. However, for the purposes of
and their details. People engaged in conversation should
be positioned very close together, and be prompted to
this primer, we will address only capturing through editing in this
remain that way.
Post Production section, in order to cover the critical topic of
outputting more thoroughly in a section of its own.
Keep your subjects within the frame
Be sure your
subjects or actors understand the boundaries within which
they can move and still remain within the frame.
Capturing video for streaming
Create plenty of background space for titles
Once you've shot or otherwise collected your video clips, you need
small image size means you'll need a larger percentage of
to get them into your computer, in digital format, so that you can
the frame as a background for readable titles than you
edit and/or encode your streaming production. Adobe Premiere
would for a production with a larger image size.
software, with native DV support for dozens of DV devices, as well
Stick to hard cuts
Pans and zooms add movement that
as support for most analog capture cards, is an excellent choice for
will not compress well.
controlling and automating the capture process. If you are planning
Slow your shutter speed
A slow shutter speed causes
to use Adobe Premiere or other non linear video editing software to
moving objects to blur, but leaves still objects in focus,
craft your production for VOD (video on demand), you'll follow the
making your video easier to compress. Try using a shutter
same basic capture procedures that you would for any type of digital
speed that's about half your frame rate: shoot 24 fps fi lm
video project. You'll fi nd a description of how to confi gure your
at 1/48 second; shoot 30 fps video at 1/60 second.
system and what capturing your clips entails, in the Adobe Digital
Don't neglect the audio
Don't rely on a built in micro
namic Medianamic Media
phone use wireless remote mics or boom mics. Pre test
audio levels. Get a sound expert, if possible.
Test whenever possible
Shoot some test video, encode
If you shot DV, it's as easy as `plug 'n play' just connect your
it, and stream it across the system you plan to employ. If you
have had trouble managing expectations, showing an early
DV camcorder to your computer via an IEEE 1394 connection
obe Dobe D
test can convince clients that compromises or concessions
and you're ready to edit.
may need to be made.
Adobe Digital Video Primer
33 Adobe Digital Video Primer, PDF available for download at http://www.adobe.com/motion/main.html