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"How to Make a Whiteboard Vlog Part 3 - Extras and Software"

   Hey, welcome back to spotter shooters, this final video is called: How to shoot a Whiteboard Vlog, Part 3: Extras and Software.

   So yeah, some more optional things beside the projector and extra lights are:

   -A Extra Camera: Free or Cheap. This right here is the old digi-camera I used for my first 20 or so videos. Now I use it as a second camera for doing split-screen stuff, like when I want a close-up on a fret-board or keyboard or something in the corner of the video.

   Remember, you’re not going to need any audio from it, and--if it’s being used for the smaller screen in a split screen vlog, the pixel quality isn’t going to be much of a factor either, so you really don’t need anything high-end for your extra camera. Keep in mind though, that extra cameras are probably going to need extra stands, because not a lot of us play guitar with our feet.

   But yeah, if you don’t want to buy another Tripod, you can improvise, what I’ve done before is use my Manhasset Music Stand for double duty, putting both my Laptop Script, and the camera I’m talking to, on it during takes. Pretty crafty eh?

   Okay, some cool extra toys you can get for your lighting apparatus, are Lighting Umbrellas. There are two main kinds –the optical white shoot-through umbrellas, and the reflective umbrellas.

   -Optical White umbrellas: $10-25

   Here are some optical white ones; these two actually came with the Cowboy Lighting Kit from the last video, I just forgot to show them to you. People on the blogs say these are used for “softening” the light.

   And that’s cool but, basically, that means that I don’t use these kind. Why? ‘Cause I like my light HARD! I mean: I walk hard, I light hard.

   Ok, let’s move on to the Reflective Umbrellas.

-Reflective Umbrellas: $15-50

   I recently got these three guys: two silvers and one gold, all three in different sizes and prices. And, I’m not too erudite about them yet, but here’s what I know so far: according to the lighting blogs out there, these are mainly for “widening” the light, and I have seen an improvement in how the shadows disperse, so, if I had to explain it to an alien, I’d say the Reflective ones “soften the shadows,” and the Optical Whites soften the light itself.

   Actually, let’s test them: so you can make your own decisions about what they look like!

   -Here’s what it looks like without the Umbrellas.

   -Here’s what it looks like using the Optical whites. As you can see, the lights are all positioned in roughly the same spots, so there’s that to keep in mind.

   -And here’s what it looks like using the reflectors.

   Okay, cool, one more time through: None, Optical, and Reflective.

   Moving on: If you’re going to do a Vlog about music, helps to have some instruments lying around, eh?

   -Here are some Keyboards I got: for demonstrating my prowess and other multiple-purposes. Keyboards can cost from “free or found” to “thousands of bucks”, so, to each his own.

   -Also, here’s my guitar: For Rocking out, and for helping me figure out what notes and chords people are using when I’m spotting stuff in songs.

   Here’s something else you can have:

   -A Vlog uniform—mine is just a hoodie and a baseball skullcap. The reason to always wear the same things in your videos is so, hopefully, people will recognize you faster. People in the online content biz call that “brand consistency,” which is kind of a cool term, but it sort of just makes me think of getting more fiber in my diet or something…

   -What else…um, these books are nice: something to leaf though, while you’re waiting for your files to convert, or upload to Youtube.

   -The Boy Scout handbook has some fun stuff in it, like how to tie knots and what to do if a bear interrupts your video shoot, “Rawr.”

   -Also, Strunk and White, “The Elements of Stlye,” this is key—helps you write way good, and learn about cool words like “irregardless” and “lain.”

   -And…there’s some Beef Jerky: for protein—66 grams a day!

   -A Printer’s nice for some things.

   -Speakers, for better sound quality when you’re trying to spot the tonal trends,

   -And, not sure what those things are, but they might be some kind of crazy roller skates, maybe. I try them out later.

   -Over here we have a big old piece of paper: used to block unwanted slow-creeping beams of light-blobs that come from the window.

   OK, well, that concludes the “extras” portion of the video. Now let’s talk a bit about software.

   Alright I admit it: I’m a cheapskate, so this part is mainly concerned with using “Free” Software:

   -First up is Windows Movie Maker. It’s the free software that comes with your computer, for just basic video editing. It gets the job done, but it really only works well with WMV files and not MPEGs so much. Handycams shoot in MPEG, so I spend a lot of time converting from MPEG to WMV.

   Oh well.

   But, even so, I still don’t like Macs all that much, so there—take that! But yeah, in the “software that comes with your computer” department, Macs are probably better. So if you got one, good job.

   -Next up is the VSDC Video Editor: this free software lets you create split screen videos from multiple files—very neat; very neat indeed.

   -For screen cap videos you can download “Microsoft Expression Encoder,” also free. There’s a bit of a learning curve to this one, but plenty of YouTube tutorials for it exist out there, if you just Google them.

   -If you need to monkey with your sound, there’s “Free Audio Editor”: for audio editing, ripping, and converting! But mostly I’ve used it for ripping and converting, because I’ve come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t waste time trying to improve boomy-hissy audio from your videos with “free” audio editors. Shooting with good audio in the first place is far superior. But, if you absolutely have to, you should get your boom and hiss reduction professionally done, cause this thing ain’t gonna cut it.

   Another idea is, if you can: rerecord a clean track with your $60 digital audio recorder on the voice-notes setting, then splice that into whatever video’s audio you’re trying to improve.

   -Next is Teleprompter: true to its name, it’s a teleprompter, and did I mention it’s free? Kind of fun, but I’d recommend only using it, if a “one-take no-cut presentation” is very important to you and your style. Calibrating the teleprompter to the right speed and font size takes more time than you’d think, and it’s easier to just stop and scroll through your script yourself every couple minutes, and then edit out these interruptions in post production. That’s what I think.

   -Last, my favorite freeware for Image Editing is Gimp. And, I know I said that Microsoft Paint is fine for digital imaging, but if you want to get beyond simple tasks to have a little more fun with your graphics, Gimp is a fine free alternative to the big boys like Paintshop Pro.  

   Well, that’s all I have to say about software. But, if you were wondering, I’m not going to cover using Youtube in this video because all you have to do is Google search how to do that and a whole bunch of stuff comes up. I don’t really have any wisdom to add to what’s out there.

   OK! So, the Total Expense for all these toys in all 3 of the videos, is anywhere from: $500-1200—“$500” if you already have a decent computer and you don’t need any bells and whistles, and up to around “$1200” for everything. Everything priced that is, remember I didn’t price the instruments and other stuff lying around.

   But yeah, obviously, you can take or leave any of these things, mix and match—all of that.

   Last thing I’ll say about these toys, is just make sure to do a lot of comparison shopping and reading of customer reviews. Everything I bought I researched heavily, weighing cost and quality. All purchased Items in this video are the best I could find of the cheapies or maybe second tier products. Even so, nothing I bought had a review of less than 4 out of 5 stars. Anyways, yeah, times change, and so do the deals and standards.

   Alright well, happy hunting, good luck, and let’s get uploading those videos! I look forward to seeing them!

   Thanks for visiting, and we’ll see you next time.