kimchi fried rice
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I recorded my first session report with more or less the same gear I use for stills (DSLR, tripod, etc.) and am rather underwhelmed by the results. I don't have any video post processing software and perhaps was unrealistic of what I could achieve "in camera" like I can with my photographs. Video is very new to me and would love advice from others!

I'm eager for some feedback on how I can improve, both from a technical and creative standpoint. Eventually, I'd like to have my videos look as good as my stills, but was a bit surprised how little carried over to videography as a photographer

Thanks in advance!


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Phoebe Wild
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The main thing I noticed from flicking through it is the lighting It seems overexposed and there's a lot of glare on the cards.

Try not to film where there's one really bright light source, whether it's natural or artificial. If you have soft boxes, they're ideal for creating even lighting without glare or shadows. If you don't, try filming where you have softer lighting.
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Rebecca Carpenter
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I see what you've done here. ninja

This a clever move to get viewers, props! Lure us to watch your video by asking for constructive criticism. Well I won't watch to do that. Nope, I'll watch out of morbid curiosity to see if this was just beginners luck or a brilliant strategist at work.

Wait a second! Is my reaction your plan B? You knew some of us would see through your thinly veiled plot - that we'd seize the chance to call you out, and be first poster to do it for the sweet sweet up-votes. In our haste we'd respond without any further reflection, greedily showing off how very cunning we are to the other BGGers. Then we'd proceed to watch your video, minds clouded by satisfied smugness. Its a perfect trap where the captured thinks they've escaped, but its an illusion and they've only just gone deeper into the dungeon.

If that's the case, then you're definitely someone who'd I like to watch videos from. Oh no, you planned for that too, didn't you! Where does it end?

You win this one bro. Deep.



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kimchi fried rice
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CoffeeRunner wrote:

I see what you've done here. ninja

This a clever move to get viewers, props! Lure us to watch your video by asking for constructive criticism. Well I won't watch to do that. Nope, I'll watch out of morbid curiosity to see if this was just beginners luck or a brilliant strategist at work.

Wait a second! Is my reaction your plan B? You knew some of us would see through your thinly veiled plot - that we'd seize the chance to call you out, and be first poster to do it for the sweet sweet up-votes. In our haste we'd respond without any further reflection, greedily showing off how very cunning we are to the other BGGers. Then we'd proceed to watch your video, minds clouded by satisfied smugness. Its a perfect trap where the captured thinks they've escaped, but its an illusion and they've only just gone deeper into the dungeon.

If that's the case, then you're definitely someone who'd I like to watch videos from. Oh no, you planned for that too, didn't you! Where does it end?

You win this one bro. Deep.

oh my god i can't stop laughing!!!

Let me explain what I'm not entirely happy with:

1) Color balance: I can't get it to look right in camera. It's either too green, too yellow, too blue. What's the trick?

2) Exposure: I reference the histogram on the LCD, and it's recommending an exposure that would be off for a still photograph. It's like the dynamic range of the video is so much narrower than a still image. Any shortcuts to managing contrast short of spending hundreds (or thousands) on hot lights?

3) Glare from sleeves: I don't have a problem with glare in photographs since I have complete control of light, but that's not the case for video. I am using 100% ambient from a sunlit bedroom, where the shades are drawn to soften the light. The game I was playing has 600+ cards. Unsleeving half of them for a video seems troublesome, or perhaps that's the path of least resistance? I tried using a polarizer but that robbed way too much light from my camera, making the video rubbish with all the high ISO noise.

4) Ergonomics: I had my camera precariously perched over my shoulder on a tripod with a maxed out center column, pretty much on the verge of braining me at the slightest touch. It was a rather tricky affair to keep from toppling the whole thing as I reached around the tripod legs during gameplay. I admit I'm a bit sore after filming due to the position I was sitting in and all awkward reaching (although this probably has more to do with a very sedentary lifestyle whistle
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If you aren't already then use manual settings if your camera has them. For the white balance set it to the lighting you have and if necessary some quick colour correction in post will help get the colours how you want.

Video is different to stills, some cameras will specifically have a "flat" looking colour profile to give more dynamic range, though this does need you to colour correct and add the contrast in post.

Glare can be reduced by the angles of the camera to the subject and where the light sources are. A polarising filter can also help, though they only cut out polarised light from certain angles. (A polarising filter is used to cut out reflections, though will cause less light to hit the sensor)

There are many many ways to rig up a camera, your description of your set up wasn't that clear, perhaps using a boom arm or getting a tripod where the centre column can rotate 90 degrees could be useful to you.

Also there is a trick to minimise flickering without buying new lighting: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/quick-trick-for-de-flickerin...
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Adam P
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I used to do professional videography.

1. dont worry about color balance. you'd need a grey card to balance things, but it's not worth it.
2. don't use direct lighting. bounce lights off of white walls or white sheet. don't burn the sheet. if you are using sunlight, you can throw a white sheet over the window, that'll help diffuse the light.
3. bounce light
4. play upside down if you can and record that way.

creative tips:
1. edit if you can
2. get rid of lulls in the game. play fast and keep talking. watch Rahdo for how much he talks.
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Steven
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CoffeeRunner wrote:

I see what you've done here. ninja

This a clever move to get viewers, props! Lure us to watch your video by asking for constructive criticism. Well I won't watch to do that. Nope, I'll watch out of morbid curiosity to see if this was just beginners luck or a brilliant strategist at work.

Wait a second! Is my reaction your plan B? You knew some of us would see through your thinly veiled plot - that we'd seize the chance to call you out, and be first poster to do it for the sweet sweet up-votes. In our haste we'd respond without any further reflection, greedily showing off how very cunning we are to the other BGGers. Then we'd proceed to watch your video, minds clouded by satisfied smugness. Its a perfect trap where the captured thinks they've escaped, but its an illusion and they've only just gone deeper into the dungeon.

If that's the case, then you're definitely someone who'd I like to watch videos from. Oh no, you planned for that too, didn't you! Where does it end?

You win this one bro. Deep.




For some reason, after I read that, I thought of this:
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I too have struggled with filming gameplay sessions when shooting my own videos.

When I did my own videos, I too thought they were underwhelming and started to look at other youtube videos that inspired me to do board game videos such as yourself.

The youtube channel, TableTop, hosted by Will Wheaton is by far the highest in production quality and by far the most entertaining to watch.

Yet to recreate what they do takes a whole film crew with expensive equipment. However, there are a lot of editing tricks and skills that the video does to keep viewers interests.

Dead of Winter play session by TableTop


Most of the time, I quite follow what they are doing or what they are playing yet my interests about their game is kept due to the human interaction they have throughout the game.

If you don't have the luxury of other to make the video with, I understand. There are other methods to when just working on things by yourself.

Incorporate multiple camera movements, different angle cuts, adding graphics and constantly keeping downtime on the minimum. These are all film editing that you can do by yourself.

I try to apply some of these techniques in my Sherriff of Nottingham videos. Shot with two stationary Smartphones on a tripod and a edited it on Adobe Premiere.

This is the play session I shot. It is in Mandarin though so just watch how things are edited


=======================================================
Edited: Fixed the links
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CoffeeRunner wrote:

I see what you've done here. ninja

This a clever move to get viewers, props! Lure us to watch your video by asking for constructive criticism. Well I won't watch to do that. Nope, I'll watch out of morbid curiosity to see if this was just beginners luck or a brilliant strategist at work.

Wait a second! Is my reaction your plan B? You knew some of us would see through your thinly veiled plot - that we'd seize the chance to call you out, and be first poster to do it for the sweet sweet up-votes. In our haste we'd respond without any further reflection, greedily showing off how very cunning we are to the other BGGers. Then we'd proceed to watch your video, minds clouded by satisfied smugness. Its a perfect trap where the captured thinks they've escaped, but its an illusion and they've only just gone deeper into the dungeon.

If that's the case, then you're definitely someone who'd I like to watch videos from. Oh no, you planned for that too, didn't you! Where does it end?

You win this one bro. Deep.





This quote alone has inspired me to do greater evil. I will take you method of thinking and now apply it every post I read from now on. Props to you good madam/sir.
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I recorded my first gameplay video the other day too and was very underwhelmed, but it was a birthday party and the background noise was a little crazy.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lR-CkTvMJY

Skip ahead to about the 1 minute mark. Filming this made me realize that to make my Kickstarter video I need to host a private event so I can be in control of the environment more.
 
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what in the world was that, aside from funny?
 
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Joshua Garrett
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Yo! Love them DSLRs, you can get a great image from them.

I second the the lighting issues - you could stand to bring that ISO down just a bit, or bounce the lighting off the walls. When I record I try not to point the lights DIRECTLY at my source, I try to point it a little bit away, then use mirrors to bounce the light around the room. Lots of small lamps set in the distance can be more effective than a single spotlight. Flat, even lighting is the best!

Secondly - that cough! Oh man that hurt my ears! Recording with your voice in bad shape isn't fun for your throat and it isn't fun for the viewers. You have got to edit those coughs out or at the very least turn their volume down.

If you can't get a second camera to get close up shots of specific cards, then watch your video and write down a list of the cards that you talk about specifically. Like when you analyze or read a card. Then you can get close up shots of those cards and edit them in at the right time. This way folks who are not familiar with the game can read what the cards say.

You've got a great speaking voice that works really well for narrating, so don't get discouraged - keep it up!
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Thanks so much for the feedback everyone! I've taken your advice to heart and it's getting better. I just need more practice!
 
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I know I'm a little late here, but I thought I'd add some advice. Congrats on doing your first gameplay video! I tried it once in college, but it turns out my friends back then had no on camera personality, and it sucked. I have a background in video and photography, so I'd love to give some tips. Some of them will just be skills you'll learn as you get better with whatever developing software you are using.

1. Length-
Tabletop is the only gameplay show that can get away with making a 45+min video. Wheaton can get away with it because he and his friends are hella entertaining, and even then I can hardly find the time to watch a whole episode. I know gameplay videos are often long, so there is some leeway here, but unless you have funny costars I suggest keeping it under 15 min. How? Cut stuff. Do the first couple turns, then just cut ahead. Shuffling the cards? Cut it. Get to the good stuff as soon as you can. In this video I assume it's the high scores, so cut ahead to it.

2. Camera angles-
If you’re doing an intro, point the camera at yourself, then cut to you playing the game when you’re ready. Yugi Lynn's video is a good example of how the camera might not need be on the play table at all. If it does need to be in the shot, you could do something like Pewdiepie does and stick your face in the corner. I hate that guy, but you gotta admit that he’s doing something right. Or do half play table and half face shot. Watching your hands the whole time is boring. Give us some face time.

3. Solo play is kinda boring. Board game play videos thrive on conflict and/or comradery. So unless you’re good at getting uppity with inanimate objects, I highly recommend playing with more people.

4. Script it. Obviously a lot of the gameplay part won’t be scripted, but anything that can be should be.

5. Audio-
Don’t mumble or get an external mic (preferably both). I have a Zoom H2n that I’ve been using forever. It’s not too expensive and it makes a massive difference. I don’t know about other programs, but premiere is really good at syncing the audio with the video and it’s pretty easy to learn. Or if your camera has a mic jack you can just get an external mic.

That’s all I’ve got off the top of my head. If I think of something else I’ll let you know.
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Wow, I logged onto BGG intending to ask for some beginner video advice and folks had beaten me to it!

I've just acquired a Pentax K50 DSLR. I know the standard video DSLRs are Canon and Nikon, but my dad and my sister both shoot stills with Pentax and I hope to be able to borrow their lenses! The camera was also going for free, so how could I say no? :-)

This isn't a board game shot, but I found myself waiting for a train and decided to see what I could do with the camera.



To give you some details:

It was a very overcast day, and it was difficult to get a good exposure without overexposing the sky. I used a "flat" picture profile with low contrast, saturation and exposure and shot at 24fps because everyone says that's how to get a "film" look. The two ladies walked in unexpectedly but they were at least kind of in focus! It's had the levels and colour balance tweaked in Premiere Pro.

I'd really appreciate:

1 - Any constructive criticism and tips on how to get a cleaner/nicer/more interesting image.

2 - Thoughts on whether the "film" look would work in reviews, everyone seems to go for a more video-ish appearance.

Thanks for taking the time to look!

EDIT: The embedded video doesn't seem to be playing. Here's the YouTube URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdqBrQQCWbk
 
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Matt Blackburn
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Hey, welcome to videography and photography! I also have a Pentax K50 (two, actually), and it's a great starter camera.

I guess I'll get right into it, I don't understand why you would want "the film look" for a gameplay video. The cinematic film look is to get audiences into suspension of disbelief that they're watching a film, not looking at a set with actors.

At any rate, the "film" look has less to do with 24 fps and more to do with the 180 degree shutter (i.e. half time open, like at 30 fps, you shoot 1/60 second frames). High frame rate doesn't start looking "too smooth" to audiences unless the video is very high quality, very in-focus, and in the 40+ fps range. Not typically on youtube. And again, why would you care? This is a gameplay video. "My suspension of disbelief was just shattered, I just realized you guys are all playing a board game in front of a camera." Much, much, much more likely is people who are used to 30 fps youtube or TV videos watching your 24 frames video and thinking, "Wow, this video looks jittery during the motion and tracking."

I would just shoot and encode at 30 fps @ 180 degree shutter. Done.


Next, the reason why cinematic shots are usually shot with a "flat" profile is to increase the dynamic range that a camera can use. The flat profile is not intended to be viewed by the audience. Remember when you were talking about how it was nice the sky was overcast so the sky wasn't blown out? A flat profile is basically telling the camera to do that, "I want you to dim the highlights, and I want you to raise the shadows, so that way we can squeeze more of the scene into your dynamic range. Later on, I'm going to push that contrast back into the shot to better recreate the scene as best as we can on a digital display. The cost is that there will be more color noise in the shot, but humans are really, really bad at seeing that, and they're good at noticing blown highlights and flat blacks."

Typically, you only want to show audiences dark, low contrast scene if you want to convey a dark, grungy feeling. Here's an example where they did that for effect in Tabletop: Dread (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0loSZFsyoQ). The roleplaying scenes were shown with a flatter, dark profile, and the out of character scenes were shot with normal contrast and saturation.

When people say "film look" I don't really know what they mean. To more experienced editors, they mean specifically doing things like adding in film grain, shooting for a cinema palette, etc. but I think when most people say "film look" they just mean "anything that differentiates the look and feel of the video from youtube videos shot on an iPhone."

To your film, it looks like those two women are boarding a train bound for an execution camp. Victims of genocide, everyone on board will die except the protagonist, a 7 year old boy, who survives by hiding under his mother's body, and who will spend the next two hours fleeing death while discovering humanity's place in an empty and meaningless universe....

Or maybe, just like... increase the saturation a little bit and push in some more green? It's just two women boarding a train.
 
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