I've been asked how I create the videos that I do for this site and the videos I create for my Sunday School website. To answer I created the following video. This video does not show you how to use all the programs and software I use to create the videos, but it does show the process from start to finish.
It is a very simple process anyone can do. It does not require expensive cameras or equipment. This is easiest way to do videos if your primary purpose is to simply teach something or get a message across.
Below the video, as a bonus for Effective Church Communication Members, are added notes about the process, each program illustrated, and how I use them.
For the companion video, Yvon Prehn advice on how to shoot videos when you talk to the camera, that goes along with this one, CLICK HERE.
Additional Notes for How I Create Teaching Videos
I felt some extra notes might be useful to go along with the video. This video demonstrates the programs and process I use to create the majority of the videos that are on this website and for videos that I create for my Sunday School class at church. I don't do videos for all the Sunday School classes (I'd like to, but simply don't have time), but I do them for situations like the current example of encouraging people to do their at-home study of our current teaching on Colossians.
The other video that goes with this shows how I take videos when I want to talk to you live. I'll have some notes on with that video on lighting and makeup.
Before I give some more comments on the programs used and the process of making the video, let me be clear on a limitation of this video--it does not teach you how to use these programs which are all part of the process, which you use in these ways:
- PowerPoint 2010—to create your teaching.
- Camtasia—to record your images, teaching, and if wanted, additional video of you speaking to the camera. After you create the various parts of the video Camtasia is what I use to edit and produce the final video.
- YouTube—to host your videos, http://www.youtube.com
- WordPress—to create websites, http://www.wordpress.com
If you don't know how to use these programs, you'll need to spend some time learning them first. You have two options to do that:
- Free learning: do a Google search on each program and numerous web-based free training will come up that you can use. Most of this isn't very good, but some can be useful.
- Better and my recommendation: http://www.lynda.com This is an excellent training site and costs only $25 a month for unlimited training.
Process and Programs, additional notes
Create my lesson in PowerPoint 2010
Even if I am mainly going to be doing a teaching demonstration, I outline it in PowerPoint. That helps to organize my thoughts and gives me an outline to share with viewers before we start the teaching.
For many of the videos I do on the website and for the ones I do for my Sunday School class, I simply click and talk through the PowerPoint on the screen. This makes PowerPoint a great script/teleprompter.
Animate PowerPoint lesson
It is very easy to animate PowerPoint with version 2010. Animate is a bit misleading as a term—because though we often think of it in terms of cartoons, here Microsoft just uses it to make things come up one-by-one.
All you have to do to animate your text is click on the text box , then click "animate" and then click "appear."
I don't do anything fancy with the animation command—no swirling words flying in or anything like that. I use the "appear" button to animate the PowerPoint presentation so that the points will come up one by one as I talk through the lesson. This also works out extremely well when I am teaching the live Sunday school class. I can pause if someone has a question and put points up on the screen the teaching points or verses at my pace. This way they are also not distracted by points or blanks I haven't gotten to as yet.
After my PowerPoint presentation is animated, it is ready to record with Camtasia. I will view it in "Slide Show" and talk it through. It's good to practice it before recording so you have an idea of what is coming up next. I've done them enough I have a good sense of the time it takes to do various lessons, but you may want to practice this as you are starting to record videos.
***IMPORTANT tip when recording your video: if you make a mistake—pause so there is some blank space in the recording and redo the part you made a mistake on. It is very easy afterwards to edit out the mistake if you do it this way. When I started doing videos I thought I had to do them perfectly all the way through and started over many times—that was not necessary.
You need a microphone to record your video
You can use the built-in microphone on your computer and on some of the newer ones it isn't too bad. If you look on the web for microphone advice, I'm sure much of it is excellent, but most of it gave me a headache and I couldn't afford the fancy microphones listed. Also, I don't have a fancy recording studio—I record in my home office, which is a fairly quiet interior room. Computers don't make the noise they did in the past and I haven't found that to be a problem.
I went to Target and got a Logitech USB headset microphone (under $100) and that is what I use for all the PowerPoint recorded videos. I think it works fine.
Record in Camtasia 7
Camtasia is a screen capture program. It allows you to record in one file both what is on your screen and your spoken words. You can also use Camtasia to combine live action you recorded through your web camera with your PowerPoint presentation when you edit the video.
Camtasia has just come out with version 8—and it has many more features. I really like version 7, it is much simpler to use and works well for me now, but with either program, the process would be similar.
Camtasia 8 is the only version sold by the company that makes it: http://www.techsmith.com. You can go to the site and download a free trial copy. Lynda.com has training on how to use Camtasia 8. Camtasia 8 costs $299 through their website. The Techsmith site has great training on how to use Camtasia and excellent help materials.
Camtasia 7—You can no longer buy this version from the company that makes it; you have to do a search online for it. I found it for a great price on amazon, only $145—but that might vary greatly when you do your search.
After you record either what is on your screen or you speaking to the camera, you can combine various segments, or just one and edit them in Camtasia. Again, you need to learn how to use the program to do this, but once again, I don't do anything fancy, just very simple edits such as cutting out dead space or when I made a mistake in recording.
I do like to zoom into a command, where the command is in small print or in a funny place on the screen, but that is very easy to do. Camtasia has excellent how to and on online help each step of the way.
Edit & produce in Camtasia
After you edit it, you produce the video—which means you hit a produce button and fill in the title, etc. You really don't need to do much else. The video then "renders" which just means that it converts all your material into a video. Depending on your computer the time to do this varies. When its done, you'll get a mp4 video --if that's what you asked for and to load up on YouTube, that's what you want.
I have no idea how this works—I don't know much about the various options. I just use the "Web" production presets and follow the links until it starts to render. I've found that if you try to understand everything about programs like this before you think you can use them, it's a bit like trying to learn how the combustion engine in your car works before you turn it on. You might never figure it out and you won't go anywhere. You don't have to totally understand technology before you use it.
Jump in, try some things and you'll be making videos in no time.
Load up mp4 file on YouTube
The reason you have to load up your video on YouTube is that most website hosts don't want to store your videos. Videos take up lots of bandwidth when people view them and so to store and stream them from your site can cost a lot (they can charge you extra money for this).
Even if you know how to host videos on your site and have a host that allows you to do this, it can involve more complex work than you probably want to bother with—just use the free service of YouTube or other hosting site. GodTube and Vimeo are others that you can use if you have a problem with YouTube.
Get code from YouTube and put it on my website
Once you put your video on the hosting site, such as YouTube, after they process it (other sites take longer than YouTube) you get a code that you can copy and put on your website.
For all the websites I create, both for church and for the Effective Church Communications ministry I use WordPress.
I highly recommend WordPress to create ministry websites. There are a number of articles on https://effectivechurchcom.com that will give you an overview of how to create a site with WordPress.
There are a number of programs to learn and steps to go through. The biggest cost is for Camtasia, with lesser costs for a USB microphone and if wanted, a web camera. PowerPoint comes with most versions of MS Office, but if you don't have that it is another cost. All together you will probably spend less than $500 for everything you need, not counting the cost of your computer.
The above advice and the videos that go with it is very basic, nothing fancy. Some people may be concerned about "quality" but remember, we're talking about producing web videos here—not Academy Award winning films. They will be viewed online, often with less than ideal screen resolutions.
What is important is that your content and presentation is clear. It is always your message that is most important.
Not too many years ago, to produce teaching videos cost tens of thousands of dollars and only highly trained and well-financed people could do them. Today anyone who has simple tools and the courage to jump in, try things, and learn how to do them can share their message in video format with the world.
If you feel you have a message to share with video—pray lots, jump in and create your videos for the glory of our Lord and the advance of His Kingdom.