This topic is listed in General Discussion.
It has been viewed 6,741 times and 263 replies have been made.

Defense

Reply by Defense

Flip just cuz it was there...hi everyone

greeneyes56

Reply by greeneyes56GOLD 1

Great topic Dinalydia...will read some more later today.

I do video's every now and then..sometimes I add video's I made myself or use a background, used wigs...see my recording at the top of my page...Dusty Springfield.
Since last month I am using Windows 7 and it has Windows Moviemaker Live...been playing with that program a bit and it works great...much better than the old Moviemaker that crashed all the time and gave me lots of headaches...LOL!

Watched one of your videos and thought it was really nice.
Will get back later to read more tips on recording video!

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

greeneyes,
Thanks for the feedback. I'm interested in this Windows Moviemaker update you mention, cause I've made a few complicated slideshows with MM and yes, it crashed a LOT - especially towards the end of a project when I had placed a lot of images in the project files. AAGGGGHHH!

Cute video! To me, some songs seem to beg for an alternate persona (ask Defense right above you - no, on second thought, don't). How can you sing them as yourself? And to me that means visuals, because I too have a theater background.

I have a Playlist on my profile where I placed all the recordings in which I added costume or theatrics. Some of them are not for the general public...they wouldn't understand....

gdwithin

Reply by gdwithinSNAP-STAR

I think it would be awesome to do really hightech videos and there's s lot of technical advice here but I'm just a simple girl and cannot comprehend it so its plain Jane videos for me loo. I mmay try the backdrop thing at some point in time and I have a mic stand but no working mic other than the built-in one on my laptop...

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

gdwithin (name?),
Everyone starts with plain Jane videos - there are many ways to express your personality that way.

-Tas-

Reply by -Tas-GOLD +5 2

Thank you for this thread...It kicked me in the butt to go and buy a new cam..and to actually use it. Although I must ask...how do I get rid of the wrinkles that it is showing?

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

Thank you for this thread...It kicked me in the butt to go and buy a new cam..and to actually use it. Although I must ask...how do I get rid of the wrinkles that it is showing?grammatea4u

If you are serious, I am going to post some suggestions, with sample images, for how to use lighting to enhance your beauty on camera. I hate to show y'all the "before" pics, but I suppose I must squelch my vanity.

-Tas-

Reply by -Tas-GOLD +5 2

I'll read those suggestions..might even try them. I figure never hurts to open up the mind and learn.

pls8xx

Reply by pls8xxGOLD

Well, this is a karaoke site; we don't actually need any video at all. And a very simple video may be more personal than a more elaborate one.

For those that want something more, it may seem complicated. Taken as a whole, it is. But each little step in doing edited video is a reasonably simple process. Do you need expensive equipment and software. No!

You can accomplish much with something as simple as windows movie maker. I often use a version of Ulead's Visual Studio that came free with a $15 video capture device.

Some equipment you will find useful:
A camcorder. A used one from ebay for $50 would do.
A piece of green cloth to use as a green screen. $10?
Lights for studio shot video.
A small mp3 player and ear buds that will keep you on tempo when doing lip sync. Under $15

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

James and everyone, it's fine to discuss ANY aspect of video - whether a simple sing to the camera or more advanced video editing projects.

I couldn't find a thread with any exploration of video issues at all. That's why I started this. It may be that eventually a separate thread to share and discuss the more complex video projects might make sense.

But I think many readers will find something useful in this thread, if they are considering using a webcam in their recordings for any reason.

Belle_Morte

Reply by Belle_MorteSNAP-STAR

Hi!

Well I still have to track down a couple cheap clip on worklight type lights, just not up to the trek to home depot for these, and then of course find bulb adapters so I can use "chandelier" type bulbs. Those I think I'll have to order online, but those bulbs you can get in like 15 watts, much softer light (needed lol).

I did get the PVC and made a stand. Of course I didn't end up putting it together today when I made a vid, but it worked ok. My frame is 5' wide by 6' high and the supporting feet I used metal rings with screw-in adapters, a T (upside down) in the middle and elbows, so they kind of look like [----T----]/ Yes I had to make 2 2" cuts between the adapter and elbow, then it's a foot long in the middle.

Actually 6" T 6" - I cannot get the Ts to move, I don't have the strength in my hand. Used 3/4" pvc. I will say cutting that is VERY easy!

It was just too darned hot and humd to be messing with putting it all together today for my vid. But I do know it does all fit together

Would love a better webcam, using an iHome with Arcsoft software. Still using WinXP Pro, so no new Movie Maker and yes, it does crash all the time! Crazy! But getting the pvc was my "splurge" for the next few months - yeah I can scrape up enough for a couple lights, hoping the thrift store has another clip on desk lamp like the one I have now. That would be perfect!

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

offtone,
Thanks for all the tips how you did this.
In my experience the thrift stores have tons of used lamps, including clip-ons. They may not be pretty, but that doesn't matter.

Dinalydia

Edited reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

Here's an example from my duet yesterday with EZDUZIT - "A Fine Romance" - where the visuals greatly enhance the audio:

Link: http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/b16ad170e
I set up the clip-on light so more shadow would be on my left side, and the overall light is subdued - similar to his. That enhances the illusion we're in the same environment.
But he has a light that changes color behind him, with what looks like a translucent curtain (like a shower curthain?) in front as a diffuser.

Jubi

Reply by JubiGOLD +2 1

Trying to listen all I can. *#@% this pesky headache :(

Odd about the movie maker crashing for people. I have made a few slide shows with tons of pics, and movie maker has never crashed on me.

Dinalydia

Edited reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

Odd about the movie maker crashing for people. I have made a few slide shows with tons of pics, and movie maker has never crashed on me.Jubi

Jubi,
My slideshows used files that were a medium resolution, about 700 pixels wide--maybe that's why it crashed a lot? I would preferred higher resolution, but with those, Moviemaker crashed even worse.

pls8xx

Reply by pls8xxGOLD

Wow! Dina, that duet really showcases how video can enhance a song. The vocals were good, but the video made it entertainment.

Thanks for posting.

James

Belle_Morte

Reply by Belle_MorteSNAP-STAR

Win Moviemaker, doesn't matter size/resolution. On XP anyway, it just ... goes! LOL

WOW, I just did the Summerfest challenge. Trying to a) harmonize/duet with yourself, b) on cam, and c) trying to synchronize some of the movements, whew!

I did use my new put together toy with an Indian bedspread as my backdrop. Much nicer looking than my ratty livingroom.

Cams can take a song that was already really great and lift it to ear and eye-candy entertainment, definitely. Why else do most of us who do characters have tubs of wigs and "stuff" for props I do anyway.

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

offtone,
I just did the same SummerFest duet challenge, but haven't made it public yet. And yeah, I did dig through my many wigs and props.

What a great way to spend a speedy 5 or 6 hours eh? You can definitely stick to a diet - it's impossible to snack and sing/act/mix dozens of "takes" at the same time...

bluepook

Reply by bluepookGOLD +2

Some say he is illegal in 17 US states, and he blinks this way [sideways] All we know is he’s called the Stig

! just my 2 cents here

...i love the video and i've inquired about them putting more effects on there videos....

...they said they were thinking about it...but it wasn't top pryority to them

:)keep singing! and making videos!

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

Wow! Dina, that duet really showcases how video can enhance a song. The vocals were good, but the video made it entertainment.

Thanks for posting. ~ Jamespls8xx

Thanks very much, James

Belle_Morte

Reply by Belle_MorteSNAP-STAR

offtone,
I just did the same SummerFest duet challenge, but haven't made it public yet. And yeah, I did dig through my many wigs and props.

What a great way to spend a speedy 5 or 6 hours eh? You can definitely stick to a diet - it's impossible to snack and sing/act/mix dozens of "takes" at the same time...Dinalydia

Oh thank you! I honestly thought I was the only one who agonized over everything, spent hours literally with this top? nah, that top? maybe .. OH that top! Now which wig .... and then the makeup. Oh and then setting up your "stage" either with a piece of fabric on a frame or manycam or whatever ... For a 3 to 6 minute usually recording.

The cat gets VERY unamused by Wendy up and down the hall from the livingroom to bedroom tossing things around and barely giving him a pat on his cute little head when I'm on a roll, LOL!

Dinalydia

Edited reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

Here is anoher video in which I dueted with myself (fior the SS Summer Games challenge).
"Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" ~ Cher (long before she got horribly auto-tuned)
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/bc698cabe
To me this seems to call for visuals, the singer telling a story from her past.

Jubi

Edited reply by JubiGOLD +2 1

Trying to listen all I can. *#@% this pesky headache :(

Hi everyone,

I sent Dina a video of mine and asked for tips on how to make it better. She had some very good tips, so I thought I would share them with you. Thanks Dina, I will put your wonderful suggestions to use on my next video. You really do know your stuff girl. Hope this is helpful to others.

And I will include mine which shows the limitations of hand and body movements with an old cam with a small view range. If only I had known then what she knows, lol. But here it is anyway :*)......blush

Mine

http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/c0bb014f8

Dina's great suggestions

http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/c3b395cbe

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

Thanks so much Jubi for sharing this, and I invite a discussion or any feedback.

--C_o_w_b_o_y--

Reply by --C_o_w_b_o_y--GOLD 2

Very good suggestions.. thank you...

It is always great to get feedback and suggestions.. in fact Jubi has given me great suggestions as well.. it is great to see everyone helping others out. Very positive and I think everyone should always have an opened mind for suggestions.. this is a great thread.. all these wonderful people sharing info.. just awesome..

I myself like to express my songs on the cam, it certainly adds much more expression and personalization .. emotion and all that good stuff...

Great thread.. I have been reading..

--C_o_w_b_o_y--

Edited reply by --C_o_w_b_o_y--GOLD 2

..oops

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

Thanks, C o w b o y for sharing that thought.

I feel there are SOME SingSnap members with such exceptional, such flawless vocals that really...the listen alone is a divine experience.

For the rest of us...I do appreciate even a simple video. Because the personality of the singer comes through, and that enhances the listen greatly. It doesn't have to be artful, necessarily. Not everyone has time for that.

But I'd like if I can help people adjust details so the camera shows them at their best.

For the few with truly creative and distinctive visuals, like a well-done photo montage - I appreciate that too.

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

Here is my latest theatrical video duet:

King Herod's Song (with a twist) ~ from Jesus Christ Superstar
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/c1be5aafa

Any feedback would be appreciated!

wellfield

Reply by wellfieldGOLD 3

Just came across this interesting thread...will have to go back to beginning threads to see if I can learn some of the better uses of the Web Cam...I use mine most of the time but experience jumping and skipping among other stuff,must be my computer as I paid over $120 for my Web Cam a few years ago (LogiTech Orbit Sphere)

wellfield

Reply by wellfieldGOLD 3

Flag

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

wellfield,
I paid only $25 for my cam (also Logitech) and it's never jumped or skipped on my screen - it works surprisingly well. The software allows me to adjust the focus, contrast, brightness, white balance and hue, etc.

TIP: What I like to do is adjust the cam's sharpness to the maximum (TOO sharp, that is) then use the so-called "Beautify" (soft-focus) button on the SS recorder. That way I get a SLIGHT soft focus, but it doesn't look like vaseline smeared on the lens.
To me, it looks better than turning the cam's sharpness all the way to 0.

ANOTHER TIP: I uncheck the "Auto" white balance and make it a little cooler (more blue).

wellfield

Reply by wellfieldGOLD 3

wellfield,
I paid only $25 for my cam (also Logitech) and it's never jumped or skipped on my screen - it works surprisingly well. The software allows me to adjust the focus, contrast, brightness, white balance and hue, etc.

TIP: What I like to do is adjust the cam's sharpness to the maximum (TOO sharp, that is) then use the so-called "Beautify" (soft-focus) button on the SS recorder. That way I get a SLIGHT soft focus, but it doesn't look like vaseline smeared on the lens.
To me, it looks better than turning the cam's sharpness all the way to 0.

ANOTHER TIP: I uncheck the "Auto" white balance and make it a little cooler (more blue). Dinalydia

Yes I understand,I think my problem with skipping and out of sync is in my computer...Thanks....Campbell

greeneyes56

Reply by greeneyes56GOLD 1

I just happened to read about your cam Wellfield...what browser do you use?
After I installed Mozilla Firefox I had no problems with syncing anymore...but now with my new computer I can't get the video totally in sync with the singing...think we will both have to run the recording wizard and lower the upload speed, that used to help me a lot.
I also have a Logitech.

Dinalydia I will check out that soft focus button sometimes.

wellfield

Reply by wellfieldGOLD 3

I just happened to read about your cam Wellfield...what browser do you use?
After I installed Mozilla Firefox I had no problems with syncing anymore...but now with my new computer I can't get the video totally in sync with the singing...think we will both have to run the recording wizard and lower the upload speed, that used to help me a lot.
I also have a Logitech.

Dinalydia I will check out that soft focus button sometimes.
greeneyes56

Thanks my friend...yes I have the best luck on Mozilla Firefox too....this also is a newer computer I have,I didn't have the trouble with the older one as it was a much stronger computer...I also think the upload speed has something to do with it but so far not much luck....thanks again....Campbell

Draymax

Reply by DraymaxGOLD +3 9

Great thread here, and I have just started going pretty much exclusively cam when I do my songs. I have to figure out a better or more scenic background for sure, but my cam is attached to my Imac so unfortunately I can't angle it or give do anything that would enhance the video aspect. so I too am going to be a plain joe when it comes to doing the videos. I had an irrational phobia about doing video's when I first started, my own self image issues, but I refuse to be a slave to any kind of phobia's so I started doing a few video's and progressively got more and more and became more at ease with doing them. I feel they help me relay the story I am trying to tell through the music, and I have to rely on my own true honest emotions as make up, wigs and costumes just aren't my thing. I would like to learn how to be more video and audio tech savvy, but I learn by seeing and doing and cannot always grasp the "how to's" by reading. There was a picture up earlier in the thread that had all these gidgets and gizmo's on it and it just confused the heck outta me.
But Dina, I have to commend you for starting this thread and the tips you have given and the feedback that has been posted. Maybe just maybe this old dog can learn a few new tricks. If anyone uses a Mac and knows some secrets when it comes to using the camera on it, please let me know!!! LOL.
Cheers everyone and have yourself a great day/evening!

Dinalydia

Edited reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

Thanks for that feedback Draymax, I do hope you stick around and tell us how it's going. You are right, the only way to overcome phobias is to be determined to get past them. I used to have terrible stage fright and low self-esteem, issues that stifled my creative desires.

The more you do it, the less intimidating it becomes.

The most important thing in using SS video isn't gimmicks and tricks (though I like to experiment) or perfect background, lighting, color balance (though as an artist I like to adjust those).

I think the main pleasure of video is to enhance your sing, express the song in a way that's meaningful to you, communicate with the viewer. If you are reading the song, you are not really expressing or performing the song. The part of your brain that that's in charge of reading will constrain your freedom to express - I believe. So just know the song.

Reading will be noticeable on video. Is it enjoyable for me as the viewer to watch someone reading a song, eyes glued to screen, moving from left to right? No, it is not. I am left disappointed. I want to see them give more.

In that way a video sing is more challenging, but I think more alive and expressive and personal.

aligirl66-mycharlie1

Reply by aligirl66-mycharlie1GOLD

flagging... I would like to pick up some knowledge from y'all... ~ Ali

Katherinep

Reply by KatherinepGOLD 1

I've learned thru video, how poor my posture is when I sing from the sitting position, but I'm working on that. Back in my choir days, we stood to sing, which is best. But I do need to see the words, I can't possibly remember all the words to all the songs that I love to sing! Heck, sometimes I'm doing good to remember my dogs name! I use a lap-size blanket tacked to the ceiling to hide my husbands desk behind me And I've noticed too, that video sings do sometimes get a lot more hits. But then I'm feeling stalked! lol Great thread you have here, I hope to have time to make use of it!

StarMan2010

Reply by StarMan2010

Hi Dina! Wow! How did I miss this thread! lots of great info here for folks!

I love video! Lighting is my specialty! My training comes from film and stage work.

First, I like Black and white for video as you can see from my recordings, If im using light, I use a warm or soft colored light (small table lamp) on one side and a bright LED light (such as a book light or desk light) on the other side. The center is using the light from the screen,so I can adjust brighter or dimmer. The I try and balance out the look and feel I want. along with adjusting the computer settings for the webcams. It can take me upto 15 minutes for the desired look.

However if you just want a simple and quick setup but you want the background out....just turn out the lights and use the light from your monitor to highlight your face. You can still adjust the brightness from the monitor itself. ON singsnap using their onboard effects....add a little softness to the picture and you have yourself a nice looking video.

I'm going to recap some of what I read:

1. Yes, turning out the lights to block out the background works; however if you have a big screen like me that can light up the place...you can adjust the settings on the camera such as the low-light adjustment.
2. There are some great webcam programs out there to add special effects, some you pay for others are not. However the free ones often are trials and leave a water mark on the screen. I use 2 or three of them. E2e soft vcam and manycam.
If you are doing harmony with yourself, you can flip the video so the videos are pointed inward as opposed to opposite directions or in one direction.

Caution:using too many effects can slow down the image. Experiment!

3. For those using movie maker or any other video making software. If you use pictures, remember to use as small a size as possible for example instead of a pic that is 30mb down size it to 80kb. Some video making programs cant buffer large sizes so what happens is a program crash or it just wont render the video.

Here is a wacky video I did for one of SS contest

http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/b791ad044

Another video effect

http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/b5a9dd358

One of my favorite effects

http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/b9a0b4da0

Favorite Lighting effect
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/c6a1d0656

Anyway, flagging this topic! Thanks Dina!

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

Thanks so much Star Man for this great info. I intend to try all these things you mentioned, then take a number of screenshots and post them to illustrate these effects.

I have one difference with you. Because I stand to sing, the light from the screen is coming from below, not in front. Therefore I use another source, a clip-on gooseneck light on the shelf above, which I adjust to create a front/top light. The screen I turn down or block partially so it creates only a slight bottom light.

I am gonna have a look at your videos now!

StarMan2010

Reply by StarMan2010

Oh that's right...I forgot to mention another idea...you can always do, what we call Bouncing...meaning if you have a gooseneck desk lamp, point it near you but pointed at the wall to create a defused or softer light effect as opposed to a direct light. Right, there are some folks that have laptops and standing would be a problem. I have a 47 inch monitor which just blinds out the room with light! LOL I also use it as my TV screen

Lot of people prefer to sit which is fine and on a laptop can still achieve good results, it's all about experimenting and having fun at what works best. I hope this thread is kept for video reference and info...also if anyone has problems with their webcams etc......Thanks Dina

JoeTomNJ

Reply by JoeTomNJGOLD

Great topic Dina! I'm flagging this for sure since about 99% of my recordings are video. Any and all the tips I can get will be helpful. Check ot my margaretavilla video I have on my home page. I also like to add a costume and stuff to enhance my "performance" sometimes..LOL
Joe

sampser

Reply by sampser

flagging.

The_Holy_Mole

Edited reply by The_Holy_MoleSNAP-STAR 1

Starting a new Open Mic night in Bristol, UK soon...

Generally, I'm a theatrics cam user. I don't see the harm in adding some fun

Meet the gang... http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/b4920a4be

ladyjerusalem

Reply by ladyjerusalem

I know mine is way out of sync. I have to adjust mine -4...then it's dead on. Anyway, it looks hilarious. If there's ever I contest where I have to do a mercy rap or something, maybe I'll put it on for giggles

Boney-Jo

Reply by Boney-JoGOLD

Hi everyone.....what a great topic!

I don't use cam very much....but I do love to dress up in wigs and stuff, yep that's me a clown!

I have used manycam and couldn't grasp it, it kept taking over my computer so I deleted it. I really would love to put together a decent video, in saying that, I did do this funny one years ago, my web cam came with some cool avatars so naturally I had to play.
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/b2e6ec6a

I am gonna flag this thread to read all the ideas

Defense

Edited reply by Defense

^^^ licensed Boney! LOL But I remember it from when I was at your house!

Boney-Jo

Reply by Boney-JoGOLD

Hi everyone.....what a great topic!

I don't use cam very much....but I do love to dress up in wigs and stuff, yep that's me a clown!

I have used manycam and couldn't grasp it, it kept taking over my computer so I deleted it. I really would love to put together a decent video, in saying that, I did do this funny one years ago, my web cam came with some cool avatars so naturally I had to play.
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/b2e6ec6a

I am gonna flag this thread to read all the ideas Boney-Jo

Trust me to put a lic song in ha ha ha

Ok, here is another.....I am the cute little fish
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/c412c3d82

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

Boney-Jo, that is so cute! Haven't seen an animated SS recording before.

I've found that ManyCam always wants to connect whenever your webcam is plugged in. So it keeps turning itself on. If I don't want to use ManyCam with my camera, I call up the Windows Taskmaster (Control + Alt + Delete) select ManyCam rom the list of active programs, and "End process". Then it shuts down.

Or you could go to the "Pro Studio" tab of ManyCam and select "Clear" from the window showing a link to your USB camera.

Dinalydia

Reply by DinalydiaGOLD 1

This is my first edited SingSnap video using ManyCam. Please have a look if you get a chance! It's a complicated montage of images that fits the song, I'm rather pleased.

Anniversary Video (the song is "Better Together" by Jack Johnson)
http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/ae6abc270

First I sang for an audio recording. Then I silently "harmonized" with that, pointing the camera to the ManyCam window.

I made the video montage in Windows MovieMaker (though it's crashy). I timed the transitions using the original recording. Then I deleted the audio and imported the video into the SingSnap recorder using Many Cam.

It was tricky because of the extra seconds of silence at the beginning of the karaoke track, which can't be clipped off as far as I know.