I've mostly overcome some frustrating technical difficulties with Camtasia and have completed a review draft of the intro/welcome video of my forthcoming Mastering the Art of Balance course.
I'd appreciate feedback on both the style and content - what was interesting, what was not, what worked technically, what was distracting or confusing, and any suggestions for improvements that would have made it more appealing to you. I'll probably end up splitting this into two segments, but until I finish tweaking it, I'm keeping it as one file.
It's about 4 minutes long.
Here are links to the video on YouTube and Vimeo.
You can leave comments there or respond to this post, as you wish and as you have time.
Thanks a bunch, in advance. I've been away from course-making for the past several months, but now I'm back, and I hope to complete this one by the end of the fall.
Hi @DavidBookbinder I liked your video. Looks like you are mastering Camtasia.
I also found the technical side a big learning curve so well done for getting so far.
I thought you came across well. The background was good. The extra visuals were nice for adding variety although I felt these were flashed off a bit too quickly. You could have talked over the pictures maybe? I also thought when you zoomed in on yourself, it was very fast rather than a gradual transition.
In terms of content, I thought you were clear and I think you conveyed your experience and personality well.
Good luck with your course. It seems you have a lot of experience to share, so I hope you enjoy bringing it all together.
Thanks, Lizzy. I appreciate your comments and encouragement. As for the zooming, I experimented with the speed, as well as with talking over the images instead of having the picture-in-picture. Still not sure whether to go with what I ended up with or the alternatives you suggested before I make a bunch more videos.
And yes, now I am enjoying bringing it together. I do have a message in to Camtasia support. The issue is that the video gets very choppy within the editor, when I use effects or insert images. I have to render each of those sections to see how it really looks, rather than just being able to see it in the editor.
I use powerdirector and it works pretty well but too many effects affect the rendering a bit. Do you have a powerful computer with a great graphics card? I spent a year researching so many things. I am sure you did as well. It took me weeks to learn about the best specs for a computer. I spent £1k on my laptop alone which was a big investment for me! I have never spent so much on a PC. But it does cope well with the video editing. My only regret is that I compromised and didn't get a static disk drive so the fan gets noisy. Otherwise, it's great- for now - but the latest windows 10 update is already showing its toll on my start up speed.
I also spent about the same on a new computer when I saw that Camtasia ran very badly on my other computers. It more than meets their minimum specs, but even after working with tech support to speed things up (and wasting many hours doing so), I still find it's laggy with more than a few effects added. And, Camtasia doesn't perform well with my graphics card, so I have to use the built-in Intel graphics. At some point I'll look for another editor, but at the moment I have so much time invested in Camtasia that I'll stick with it for now.
The video looks good overall. The audio is excellent and the content is clear and informative. I like the background color and highlight in the center. I can't tell if you are using only room light or if the lights position is too far to the side. What is missing is the pop. The main light should be seen as a reflection in your eyes and is the reason your eyes are dark. When the light is in the correct position it will brighten up the eyes, giving the missing pop and help viewers connect as if talking to you in person. A high light position in front, just above the head usually will clear the view of the camera and provide good light. If refection is an issue raise light higher or feather it so it hits you but not straight on. Don't ruin the exposure, just use that light as fill.
Thanks, Jefferies. I did position the lights off to the side, because when I didn't, I got a lot of fairly ugly glare on my glasses. I even bought a new set of glasses just for video, with a non-reflective coating, but I still got a lot of glare. I'll play with it some more to try to find a position that gives a minimal amount of glare but still lights up my eyes a bit more. I hadn't thought of using an additional light above my head. I have an extra light and will try that.
Hi David, I loved it! I thought you did a good job with Camtasia (I have the Mac version and use it all the time).
I found you to be soothing, and reassuring (wouldn't mind taking your course actually!)
Can you add any background music? A soothing track? Also, can you use a fade-to-black (or just fade) transition between some of the text side-bar transitions?
If you don't do any of my suggestions I think you still have a great video going there!
Thanks! I have experimented with using fades at transition points, and I don't seem to be able to see an advantage. Which ones do you think would benefit from a fade?
As for background music ... I personally never like it, so I'm leaving it out. I know it's very popular to use it, so I may reconsider at a later date, if I get similar feedback consistentlly.
Overall great. You've clearly mastered the technical and screen-presence aspects. I politely disagree with the suggestion to add background music, as I find that distracting (my own opinion). And I agree with the suggestion of considering a quick fade between cuts.
But most of all, I agree that it's great without you changing anything. Nice work!
Thanks! I did just spend some time increasing the zoom times slightly, increasing the text onscreen time a little, and played a bit with contrast. But overall, I'm pretty satisfied, and I'm really glad that you folks, who actually know what you are doing, agree!