YouTube Video Annotations – How To Create Links To Other Videos

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I made this vid in response to the suggestion of a friend.  She, a few friends and I are helping a committee put together a birthday bash for Jeff Pulver, Founder of the popular 140 Character Conference series.  And, while you’re invited to attend this event –it’s going to be in Irvine, CA on September 15th — that’s not the point of this post.

The point is to share with you the same points I’m trying to address in this video as a result of a suggestion from my friend Stacey Soleil:  that not everyone might know how YouTube annotations work or for what purposes they can be used.

But, a couple of things are worth noting.  I shot the video above quickly.  And, since this is a blog about video and video-blogging, I now have to comment on the video quality.  🙁

Multiple Sources Of Light Is Important

One thing you’ll notice is that in the 2 minute pre-amble, the subject (me) appears darker relative to the background.  While filters could be applied in post-production (the Editing phase) to try and bring the subject out a bit better, your best bet will always be to try and get the initial conditions right at Production time (video shooting phase).  I clearly allowed the time crunch I was under to get the better of me in this video.  And, while it still accomplished it’s objective, there are a couple of things that could have made the quality even better:

Option A.  Place at least one light source — preferably two — in front of the subject and off-camera.

Typically, you’d want 3 sources of light.  This is especially important indoors where shadows on back walls can create unintended effects in your video; 3-point light sources indoors help alleviate those shadows.  Anyway, in this option, the sun counts as one source, but two more sources could have helped by placing them at roughly 45-degree angles in front of the subject and off-camera.  Tip:  The other sources of light don’t necessarily have to be powered lights.  They can actually be reflectors of some sort–in many cases, a building itself may actually count as a reflector!  In fact, on a good day, I’ve often been able to get away with simply using the sun itself as a point source.  Although, others will point out that even in those cases, I’m still essentially using multi-sources of light because the reflection you’ll typically get from other surfaces will act as your secondary light sources.

Option B.  Move Away From the Building.

Since this video was shot early in the day, the sun was still fairly low on the horizon.  And, I shot it under an awning.  Not a great combination.  It would have been better to move the whole shebang out from under the awning and further away from the structure that was behind the camera.  In that way, I would have captured some of the very benefits I pointed out in Option A above, which is to capture some of the reflection coming off of the structure itself.

Ending On A Good Note

During the preamble, you’ll see that I previewed the very objects I was going to be talking about by using them as fun examples before actually dipping right into the teaching phase.  I can’t take credit for that technique.  It’s one I’ve learned from other instructional designers and presenters whom I’ve found have used very similar techniques to great effect.  (Now, whether or not *I* used it effectively is for you to judge. 😉

The point is, to follow basic presentation doctrine:  1.  Tell them what you’re going to teach them;  2.  Teach them what you said you were going to teach them; then, 3.  Tell them what you taught them.)

The other thing is you’ll notice that I was able to use two different types of media in the same timeline.  One type is the full motion video you see in the 2-minutes on the front end, and then again in the 5 or so seconds on the back end.  The other type of media was a screencast which I placed in the timeline smack in the middle.

I’d be interested in your thoughts about this technique.  It used to be the case that I’d simply start recording a screencast from beginning to end.  But, more and more in recent shots I’ve been playing around with a mix of full motion video as an introductory piece to certain screencasts before actually diving into them.  Anyway, I’ll keep experimenting here.  And, you should, too.

Till next time.  I hope you have a great weekend.

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