RodCole

Video Production Tips And Tricks

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This is something that is rather important to me, and I hope there are others out there who share an interest in this area as well.  The purpose of this thread is to provide a location where questions can be asked and techniques can be shared on a variety of video platforms.

 

I am hoping for this to be a place to explore the making of video presentations of all shapes and sizes.  From those who prefer using programs such as Lumion, to those who prefer Blender or even the best of what can be accomplished in Chief Architect.

 

The basic idea of this thread is to provide a place to learn and grow in skill and understanding over time in what I feel is a very important topic for the future of design and design presentation.  With that being said, I think it is important to understand that this should be a place to discuss the nuts and bolts, as well as the reasons why certain approaches to video production are important.  There are other threads for posting finished productions.

 

I would invite anyone who has either a question related to video production in any of it's various shapes and sizes as well as any tips and tricks that might be of benefit to others who may be in need of some direction.

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In addition to starting this thread, I will also throw out some of the issues I have been having with the various approaches I have tried so far.

 

My first work with Chief's Walk Through tools were ok, but choppy and the files were rather large.  The quality was again, ok, but I wanted something with a bit more quality and also control over certain types of special effects that I had seen in other videos.

 

The path I am taking is to use Chief's modeling tools in combination with Blender for special effects and animations generally.  As to why I chose this approach?  That is a good question.  What I have seen is that the industry at large has many very powerful tools available, but theycan have rather large learning curves and costs associated with many of the approaches.  The truth is, I really don't know which is the best approach and it really does not matter to me.  What matters is that I gain the skills needed to accomplish what I need in order to produce the type and quality of videos I want to produce.

 

Blender is free, and open source.  Which means there are no additional costs associated with using Blender, and it is also a very unusual, but powerful program.  The learning curve is a bit steep I would have to admit, but I am liking it so far.  I also use Octane Render, partly for the speed and quatlity of the ray traces it can produce.  But, it also has a tremendous up side when it is used as a plug in for other animation software.  There is also the promise of VR, or holographics in the very near future.

 

I am also very interested in screencasting, or captured short animations.  Full animations are awesome, but very time consuming to produce.  Screencasting can be close to the quality of a true animation with far less time invested.  I have tried Snagit and like it very much, but I do find that the fps rate is not quite what I would like is some circumstances.  So, I am still trying things out at this time and hope to make up my mind in a week or two.  With the right rendering engines interacting with clients and choosing materials from remote locations is possible as well.

 

Where things seem to be heading for me is screencasting to start along with learning to produce very short and effective videos.  This at some point will hopefully arrive at the ability to interact with clients at remote locations, but that will be a ways down the road for me.

 

I also like the idea of editing a screencast to include limited sections of high quality animation footage created in more specialized software.

 

As soon as I get off the dime and finally pick a screencasting software I will post something that is hopefully a little good, and little bad, and probably a touch ugly as well. 

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I like to use Microsoft Movie Maker to control the speed and file size.  You can save the output file in formats for computer, email, tablets etc. and you get a much smaller file.  Pretty easy to use and it's free.  You can use it to adjust Chief's avi files or to make simple movies using ray traced shots with effects.  Here is a short "movie" using ray traced images.

MM RT slow zoom.zip

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Thanks Dennis

 

Very nice, and especially given the file size.  I take it that you did everything production wise using only Microsoft Movie Maker?  I like the transitions and the image quality is very nice as well.

 

I have been working with Chief's Walkthrough tools and there are some things I like about them, but the file size is very large compared to what you are getting and the render options are limiting.

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That is why I use Movie Maker.  If you do a walk through in Chief and then open in MM you can adjust things or even just save it as an mp4 just to reduce the file size.  I like using ray traced images for the great quality.

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I like to use Microsoft Movie Maker to control the speed and file size. You can save the output file in formats for computer, email, tablets etc. and you get a much smaller file. Pretty easy to use and it's free. You can use it to adjust Chief's avi files or to make simple movies using ray traced shots with effects. Here is a short "movie" using ray traced images.

Dennis that is very nice.

Me too, I use movie maker in most of the videos I make including those " how to ones" I some times post in the forum. Conversion of video to various different formats is very good using the movie maker.

Here are two short examples of my ones, I am not expert on video production tips but I just do some concept presentations for projects using walk through in chief and making movies from raytraced images.

Walk thru in chief(campus site concept design)

Movie maker short presentation( commercial project)

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I like to use Microsoft Movie Maker to control the speed and file size.  You can save the output file in formats for computer, email, tablets etc. and you get a much smaller file.  Pretty easy to use and it's free.  You can use it to adjust Chief's avi files or to make simple movies using ray traced shots with effects.  Here is a short "movie" using ray traced images.

How do you do that Dennis? I've got movie maker but only because I took a few videos upside down in my phone cam and had to turn them right side up. In other words, I know nothing about MM. Is that a pretty easy technique?

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Larry - I am no expert by any means but to do the basics in MM is fairly easy. Without having the

program open and having access to the icons I cannot really tell you the specifics. ALso things vary

depending on whether you bring in an avi from chief or RT shots.

WIth the avi if you go to edit mode there is an option for speed where you can increase or decrease it.

Also when you save you get options for saving for computer, email etc. and you get an mp4 which is a

much smaller file size.

WIth RT photos you bring them in individually and then you can edit the time for each slide and use

transitions etc. I think it generates one shot for each second so if you click on the first picture and set it to 4 you get 4 pictures, if it seems to slow or fast click on the first shot again and change to 3 or 5 or whatever suits your needs. If you play around with it I am sure you can figure it out and do a good job.

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Thanks Dennis. You're right, pretty easy. I've been doing live videos for my l clients but might start using the RT's with pan and zoom (like the video you showed) for presentations. 

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Larry - I really like the quality of using ray traces versus the standard render mode. You really don't

need to have the walk through if you stage the ray trace shots well. I like to use the "walk through" for exterior treatments where you can just use an arc shaped path and adjust the height of the camera as it

travels. Sort of like the one attached. I think it got cut short but you get the idea.

Crawford Exterior.zip

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Hoping to get a little advice on microphones for use with Snagit.  I have heard that USB microphones are recommended, but I was wondering what type are working out well.  I have seen some rather expensive ones that did look good, but I wondered how the different styles such as lapel, stand, or headset perform.  The good news is that there are a lot of choices, the bad news is also that there are a lot of choices.  Thanks in advance.

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Hoping to get a little advice on microphones for use with Snagit. I have heard that USB microphones are recommended, but I was wondering what type are working out well. I have seen some rather expensive ones that did look good, but I wondered how the different styles such as lapel, stand, or headset perform. The good news is that there are a lot of choices, the bad news is also that there are a lot of choices. Thanks in advance.

Try "movavi" it doesn't necessarily need external mic, it is very nice. I have both but prefer movavi

http://www.movavi.com/screen-capture/?nomobi=1&_ga=1.211160405.172475427.1435899260

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One trick I learned to make exterior fly-around's less jerky is to make the camera path a true circle or a single arc.

 

Here's one with no production outside of Chief. (I probably should add music in YouTube.) I usually send these to help clinets get a handle on the forms of the design. I usually do it without a lot of embellishment to the model beyond what I'm building for the elevations, etc...)

https://youtu.be/YavrACnWgkY

 

post-65-0-09786500-1435920042_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for the info guys.

That is kind of what I have been gathering so far. That is that the low end is probably not going to provide much as far as sound quality is concerned. Then you get to the high end and so far I like what I have seen spec wise for either sony or I think it was called Yeti. Both were desktop microphones and I doubt if a person could go wrong with either of these, but the $120 to $130 a little higher than I was thinking I would have to pay for a good Mic.

One of the things that I have been thinking that I would like to do eventualy is to use a program like camtasia to do a little green screen cameo type of thing. If a person were to want to do this, would you need a lapel mic or ?. The high end desktops are rated to pick up sound for a much greater distance and a wider range or field, so they may work for this. Has anyone tried doing any green screen, and if so what kind of mic would you recommend?

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I use a USB microphone stand always on my desk. I also use it for "Dragon" also to dictate directly into chief when needed for notes. Make sure there is no noise in the room and turn your phone ringer off or it will happen when you least expect it.

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