I’m constantly looking for ways to raise my game, so I made some investments this month to take my video class audio & video to the next level.
I’m now doing green screen effects on the recordings. I picked up an Elgato retractable green screen that mounts to the wall so that I can pull it down when I’m doing a training class, and roll it back up when I’m doing normal client work:
I’d used floor-standing green screens in the past, but they were really frustrating for a lot of reasons: wrinkly, tough to get crisp background separation, had to light them separately, took up a lot of space on tripods, etc. Because of the hassles, I abandoned it for several years. This Elgato one totally pays off:
Second, you’ll notice that the recording doesn’t have a big microphone in the way. That’s because I’ve switched to a Sennheiser wireless lapel microphone hooked up to my computer via a Focusrite Clarett USB interface.
The lapel microphone picks up more room noise, so I’ve also added the iZotope RX 7 audio plugin to my production process to clean up the audio. It integrates well with Telestream Screenflow, the screen capture tool that I use, kinda like Camtasia. (Screenflow is a little more polished than Camtasia in that it allows for things like these 3rd party audio plugins.)
Between the chroma key (green screen) effect and the audio plugin, though, my CPU goes up to 100% during video editing as I scrub around the timeline, editing stuff, and the fan kicks off. I try to edit every class’s videos together during the bio breaks so that the day’s training videos are encoded/uploaded as soon as class finishes. This personal goal keeps my editing timeline tight, minimizing the amount of effects & things that I can add. I’m riiiight on the edge of what I’m comfortable doing with laptop power – I’m only on a 2018 6-core MacBook Pro, and the newer ones are calling to me. I’m waiting to see what the rumored 16″ version looks like.
The green screen effects and audio clean-up only happen in the recordings: live attendees see the green screen behind me, and the audio isn’t quite as crisp (since the cleanup happens in post-processing.) The next level-up will be figuring out how to run those effects live. Streamers do the chroma key thing with OBS, and I’m starting to privately experiment with some live streaming of coding, so we’ll see how that goes. OBS is great for public streams, but I need to figure out how to make it work well with private invite-only training classes.