Content Creation Diaries - #4 ~

24 May 2022 // Jump to comments


What is this series of posts about?

Time for something a little ‘meta’ - a new series on my blog where I talk about the process of making content online. Whether it’s blogging or YouTubing, which are the two mediums I’ve picked up, these posts will be in diary format, talking about progress, successes, set-backs, gear and goals.


Content creation graphic


I thought this series would be a great way to bring you, the awesome audience member, along for the ride to see how a content creator grows from the beginning - there are many routes, and things will work differently for different folks, so this is just one perspective (droplet) in the online ocean.


TL;DR

These are the main topics covered in this post:


What happened next?

If you missed any other instalments in this blog series, they are under their own category, right here.

With a few Shenmue LP episodes under my belt, and slowly getting used to the prospect of using OBS to record desktop footage, I wanted to try out recording from a console.

Even so, there were a couple of kit adjustments prior to recording my first Animal Crossing video:

All the rest of the tech and programs used as of the previous post remain the same, bar the changes above.


Capturing console footage

If you didn’t know already, the way a capture card works is like a ‘middle-man’ between two devices - the one you want to capture footage from, and then the receiving device to collect / store that footage. In the case of recording the Animal Crossing video, the Nintendo Switch is connected into the Elgato HD60S as an input device (via HDMI). Then, the Elgato HD60S connects to the PC via USB-C. You can then also output the Nintendo Switch into your TV / monitor via HDMI - so the Elgato just sits in the middle and harvests footage without you noticing.



You then need an application on the PC to handle the footage coming in - something like OBS, or Elgato’s 4K Capture Utility. For the Animal Crossing video, I captured facecam via 4K Capture Utility (which was picking up facecam from my DSLR and an Elgato Cam Link) and the Nintendo Switch footage via OBS.


Silly effects and editing differently

The filming process for this one was much like the Shenmue 1 LP - just letting the camera roll and talking through my island. However, the key difference being that any gaps in my speech got edited out. Arguably, the game footage is a bit janky and choppy, but it prevented the video from being over an hour long.

I decided to use this video to learn some new editing techniques - for example, I learned about keyframing to make a silly Devo hat fly in and sit on my head. This process involves going in to every individual frame of video, and telling the hat to be in a particular position (X and Y co-ordinates) for that frame. For each frame, I made sure the hat stayed on my head even if I moved a tiny bit.


GIF of Titch with a Devo hat on

Whippin' a hat on good...


The next video where I utilised ‘silly’ editing techniques was a small three-part LP series for a Sims 4 stuff pack that came out at the time - Paranormal.

The Sims 4 is a game with a lot of user interface going on, making it quite tricky to work out where to put your facecam. I found a gap in the bottom right corner to plonk it. However, as things happen in the game, such as notifications popping up and menus changing as you work through them, it means that the interface is likely to grow and shrink, and your facecam is going to hide stuff. Despite being a faffy additional step in the editing process, the main benefit to recording facecam separate to gameplay is the flexibility you get in editing to move your facecam around the screen if you need to (although it is more work).

For this LP series, I learned about Ken Burns ‘zooms’ (and just zooms in general). In layman’s terms, it is a gradual zoom-in, where the speed of it depends on how far you zoom in (probably the worst description of one ever, apologies). In Final Cut Pro (FCP), this is easily achieved by its built-in functionality. Normal zooms are achieved by scaling up the footage and moving the coordinates to the bit that you want zoomed in (video quality will be lost in doing this).



Sound advice

A non-physical ‘kit’ upgrade was purchasing an Epidemic Sound subscription (not sponsored). This allows access to a huge library of royalty-free music and sound effects, that you can use to your heart’s content on your YouTube / Twitch channels (the number of which depends on your subscription tier).

I picked up the standard tier, meaning rights for sound use for one YouTube channel, and one Twitch channel. This means that, if you put sounds in your content but don’t have a subscription / license, then you will get flagged for copyright strikes. A subscription whitelists your channels so you won’t get flagged (a later Content Creation Diaries entry will explain where I forgot about this principle!).

This really came in handy for the Animal Crossing video, where I managed to not capture any in-game audio (more on that below)…


Epidemic Sound screenshot

A no-brainer for online video creation.


Successes and setbacks

Here is a quick-fire summary of how the recordings went:

What went well:

What didn't go so well:


Progression, and where to next?

It may sound like regression, but an interesting experiment was recording a Sims 4 speed build video with no facecam - just audio commentary (as a result of being ill at the time of recording). A new microphone was purchased just before this - which prompted me to delve more into improving audio quality to get the most out of it.

Feeling content with Final Cut Pro and getting more confident with editing, I also started looking into visual effects, bearing in mind the copyright issue but still wanting to include graphics here and there.

More on these in the next blog post!


The story goes on…

Of course, that’s a shameless Shenmue reference right there - but indeed, this is a diary series and so there are parts to follow along from this one.

Stay tuned for part 5 where I plan to cover the next iteration of gear and process upgrades (I jumped through upgrades quite quickly cos again, that’s what I do - get too involved with a hobby too soon!).

Thank you muchly for reading. See you in the next blog, or video!


~~

Speak soon,

//Titch.



The images in this blog post were actually photographically taken by me for once, but the screenshot of Epidemic Sound came directly from the source and is correct as of May 2022.