Capturing Video


Hi Marc...
In a recent email you mentioned that you were clearing space in your home for capturing video.  It would be interesting to know what it's like when you are completed.  Many of us would like to shoot video and to learn how to do it better.
In my case:
  • I shoot my video with my Pixel 2XL.
  • I have a venetian blind that I pull down from the ceiling.  It falls to the rear of my workbench and then is draped forward and off the forward edge.  This is the backdrop.
  • I use light that streams in from the open garage door and I have one studio light that I can place where I want it.  There is a window that provides back light.
  • My studio has led shop lights overhead.  When shooting video these lights usually cause darkish horizontal bands across the almost always I turn off the overhead lights.
  • I edit using Kdenlive.  This is an Open Source video editor that meets all of my needs.  There was a learning curve...but not extreme. I'm very pleased with it.
  • After shooting I upload to my YouTube channel.
Looking forward to learning the details of your video captures.

-Jim Coffee-

Automata Magazine

Hi Jim,

I'm trying to replicate the same conditions that we used when we shot the Tinplate Girl videos ( The most important thing, we found, is decent lighting. Our shooting was done in a room that had a lot of natural light, which we decided was more of a liability than an asset, so we always closed the blinds to minimize it. It's best to have just one type of light source, not a mix of incandescent, LEDs, fluorescent, etc. Today's cameras have built-in AWB (automatic white balance), which is a wonderful thing, but they still seem to struggle with mixed light sources.

For lighting, we used plain old halogen work lights. We had two of them, set at 45 degrees on either side of the subject. We found that they made harsh shadows, especially of the speaker, who was standing in front of a blank wall. We made some diffusers out of plastic shower curtains stretched on wooden frames. These helped a lot but the shadows were still too strong. However, by adding a layer of tracing paper to the diffusers, we ended up with soft, but bright, lighting. Obviously, this is not a professional (or expensive) lighting setup but it produced results with which we were happy.

I have two cameras, both Canon Vixias of different vintages. These are perfectly adequate. For shooting the standups, the camera is mounted on a tripod. A lavalier mic is clipped to the speaker's shirt and plugged into the camera. The second camera, also tripod mounted, was used for closeups. However, this could be done with just a single camera, and the closeup clips spliced in during editing.

I use Final Cut Express to edit my videos, but just about any video-editing software should be fine for amateur work. I just use Final Cut because I'm familiar with it. It has a lot more bells and whistles that I'll ever use. I prefer clean, simple videos that just get to the point, without a lot of bling or special effects.


Very interesting topic. Is it possible to see examples of your videos please ? 


Hi Gus (and everyone)...
I've just started a thread titled "Video,Links to...".  In that thread I give a link to a Wiki page that I just started that will list video links that are suggested by members of this group.
If you click on the link you will be taken to the page and you will see links to two YouTube channels...Marc (Automata Magazine) and myself.  I would be pleased to place many links to automata related videos...members of this group simply need to suggest them to me.  Give me 24-48 hours to actually do the work (will usually be done in less than 12 hours).  LInks will be posted in alphabetical order.
I look forward to hearing from all of you.
-Jim Coffee-

On Sat, 12 Oct 2019 at 16:41, <klekner@...> wrote:
Very interesting topic. Is it possible to see examples of your videos please ?