Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Multimedia Project Guidelines: Production

multimedia, filming, editing

For more audio help:

See our documentation page for audio here:  https://cnu.libguides.com/media_help/audio

Overview

Once you get to the actual production process of your multimedia project, there are many factors you will want to take into consideration. Here we have compiled some helpful tips you should consider using in order to create a high quality project. We've broken down the production process into four categories:

Framing

Sound/Voice

Lighting

Shooting

Equipment

The Trible Library Media Center has equipment you may want to use for your multimedia project.

Camcorders:
Cameras:
Microphones
Accessories

  • Tripods
  • SD Cards
  • Reflector Kits
  • Lighting Kit
  • White Balance Kit

For a complete list of all equipment available in the Media Center as well as specifications and user manuals, Click Here.  It is important to know how to work the equipment before it is time to record.  It is also important to know how all of the equipment you check out will work together.

Shooting

Don't be afraid to take multiple takes from different angles (or even the same angle). 

      Remember: Practice makes perfect. 

      You'll thank yourself for more footage when you get to editing your project.

Use HANDLES - Record 3-5 extra seconds on either end of your shot (before and after the actual scene). This will help you to get clean cuts in your editing.

Here are some helpful links to set up and choose the right shot

Framing

Where the subject is in your shot is matters. As a general rule, professionals recommend the "Rule of Thirds."

When looking through the lens, picture a grid with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines dividing the scene into equal parts.

The focus, or subject, of the shot should be placed where two lines intersect. The goal is to never place the subject directly in the center of any of the gridlines.

rule of thirds

You can see in this picture that the subject's face, the most important visual aspect of the shot, is almost located on the crossing of two lines on the grid.  Psychologically, people find things at the grid intersections more interesting. 

In order to perfect your final product, shoot the same scene from multiple angles in the same take as well as in multiple takes.

      Tilt, pan, and zoom the camera during the shot in addition to stationary shots
      to add variety.

      Make sure these actions are done SLOWLY. You can always speed it up during
      the editing process.

      Slow tilts, pans, and zooms ensure less shaky and clearer movement.

Sound/Voice

Recording good sound is an issue that many students struggle with.  A good solution is using an external mic. 

Luckily, the Media Center has many microphones on hand so you can have excellent sound quality to compliment your excellent framing.

There are several kinds of microphones that work differently and are applicable in different situations. Here is a quick overview of the types of microphones available in the Media Center and their best use.

  • Shotgun Microphones, also known as 'boom microphones,' are very useful for focusing in on a speaker within a distance of five or six feet while eliminating other ambient sound around the speaker. This microphone can be attached to the camcorder itself or held on a boom pole, depending on the distance of the speaker from the camcorder. This microphone works well as an addition to other microphones.
  • Wireless Microphones allow the speakers in a video to move around freely without worrying about staying around the microphone. The one downfall to wireless microphones is the quality of sound is lower and prone to interference noise.
  • Handheld Microphones offer arguably the best sound production in a video project because they plug directly into the microphone and are held directly to the speaker's mouth. However, they are impractical for many video projects because the microphone is clearly seen in the video and the speaker has to hold the microphone.
  • Boundary Microphones offer a very wide coverage of sound. They record 360° of sound and can be easily hidden on a table, wall, or other inconspicuous place. These microphones are best used in an enclosed room where there is no fear of outside audio interference and there are multiple speakers or sound effects to be recorded.
  • Wired Lavalier Microphones are perfect for sitting interviews. They attach to the camera and clip onto the shirt of the speaker. The downfall of wired lavalier microphones is that they are not conducive to a lot of movement by the speaker or camera.  There is typically a switch to cut the mic on.  If that doesn't work, you may need a new battery.
  • Wireless Lavalier Microphones are great for freedom of movement for your subject.  Unfortunately, because of wireless technology, there can be a lot of interference in some situations.  Make sure you test them out beforehand and that they are fully charged. 

While you can more or less choose a microphone based on the environment, it is also advisable to choose the environment carefully. You should try to choose an environment with minimal background noise.  While some microphones can help block out extra noise, the quality of your sound will be better with minimal background noise.  Wind and ambient noise you may not hear can be picked up by many of the video camera microphones.  When recording voice, keep your audio levels between -12 and -6 decibels.  Any sounds over 0 decibels may result in clipping and other issues.  Best practice is to monitor your sound with a pair of headphones.  All cameras have a headphone jack so that you can hear what the camera is hearing and picking up.  Even a pair of earbuds will work in a pinch!

 

 

Lighting

Generally you want to use only one primary light source to light your projects. Mixing light sources creates off-colored visual experiences for the viewer. Pick one light source (for example, natural light, fluorescent lights, tungsten, etc.), and adjust the white balance in the camera to create a more natural appearance.

Setting the white balance on your camera is how you can make up for poor lighting and make colors appear more natural.  For each change in setting, we recommend that you set the white balance.  This is easily done by bringing along a white piece of paper and aiming the camera at the paper and setting the white balance manually.  Do this with the piece of paper taking up the entire video screen.  The paper will act as a reference point for the camera.  Basically, you have told it that with the current lighting, this is what pure white is in the current light of the environment.  It will adjust accordingly.  The camera processor is not as sophisticated as our eyes, so this is a way of helping the camera adjust colors that are being recorded.  

Helpful links on lighting

Director of Media Services/ Head of Interlibrary Loan

Profile Photo
Johnnie Gray
he/him
Contact:
Trible Library, Media Center, 2317D
757-594-7249
Website
Trible Library provides links to other websites to aid in research and is not responsible for the content or privacy policy of those sites.