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Webcam recording

From Wikimania
An example of a webcam recording. Note that the background screensaver is distracting, and should have been turned off.
You can shoot a webcam recording of a Talking Head video on your own (you probably need to buy a cheap lapel microphone).


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  • You can record on your phone, tablet, or computer, using Zoom for example, Quicktime, or a built-in program.
  • Depending on your device, go to settings and play with the resolution, quality, and mode.
  • Choose a 16:9 ratio setting if available - widescreen, horizontal / landscape.
  • 30 frames per second (fps) will look like standard videos; 60 fps will make captured motion look very smooth.
  • If recording with a smartphone try to remember to do the following:
    • Keep the phone close to your body.
    • Rest your elbows on a table for stability or use a tripod or phone mount if you have one.

Your space

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  • Find a quiet room. Turn off your phone or any other devices that could make noise.
  • Make sure there are no copyrighted materials in your recording. These include backgrounds, artworks, film posters, clothing, and so on.


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  • Being in a well-lit environment makes all the difference in your video.
  • White light Vs. yellow light will capture better. Natural light is the best.
  • Make sure you have some soft, even light across your face. The source of light should ideally be in front of you, not to one side, and definitely not behind you. If behind, you will look like you are in a witness protection program ;)
  • If you have windows with translucent curtains, or white bedsheets this can work.
  • Do not aim a harsh light right on your face, it needs to be large, even and consistent.
  • You can use a ring light or even a clip lamp with a sheet over it.


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  • Clean your camera lens. Use an eyeglass cloth if you have one; do not use disposable tissue (especially one with lotion).
  • Put your phone in airplane mode and shut down background apps on your computer to prevent interruptions.
  • Position your computer or phone so it is directly in front of your face, not looking up or down at you. There should be a bit of space above your head and we should see your shoulders.
  • You can use an inexpensive webcam microphone or a good headset to make sure your sound is clear and people don't have to struggle to understand you.
  • Be sure to record multiple takes and pick the best one.
  • Record as many times as it takes until you feel good about it.
  • Pause for 5 seconds at the beginning and end of each take. When you have the best take, use the 'trim' feature to trim the 4 seconds on each end of your video. This removes you having to press start and stop. Save the file.
  • If you want to create captions for your video, use Amara here: https://amara.org/en/videos/create/ to create an .srt file and then click the 'cc' button on commons and select 'add captions'.
  • If you use any cc-licensed works in your recording, add the attributions on the file page on commons, or the info on the service you use (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.).


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(work in progress)

See also

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