Getting Ready for Web Video
Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine - creativity & inspiration daily Video is one of those really contentious points about web design. There are some people who feel like web pages should not have embedded video at all. These people are wrong. Like any technology, however, we should respect it and not abuse it. The two worst things you can do are:
- AutoPlay videos, without express consent from the user
- Embed too many videos in one page
Video categoriesThere are six different types of videos that are commonly used on sites. These are:
- Regular video – you point a camera at something and record it
- Live stream – you point a camera at something and don’t record it
- Slide show – composed from a series of still images, often with voice over plus added descriptive text
- Animation – various methods, but more commonly 3D rendered animations made with Maya3D or Blender.
- Screencast – software records images from your computer, normally used for tutorials, usually with text overlays and voice narration.
- Hybrid screencast – a screen cast with regular video segments, and possibly also slideshow segments.
Plan your videoGood video doesn’t normally happen by accident. Meticulous planning pays off, and that means you know what kind of video you’re going to produce, how you’re going to produce it, and (very importantly) why. Don’t fail to plan. For a start, your video should be scripted. This is true even if there is no dialog or narration. The script gives you a clear impression of how the video is supposed to unfold. You can also optionally story board the video, but a crew that can’t work straight from a script is not a very visionary crew. If you’re making a bigger production, you’ll also benefit from budget planning, scene breakdown, shooting sequence (shot list), location scouting, etc. The more time you invest into planning, the better your video is likely to be. Professional preparation leads to professional results. Software that can help you with script writing and planning includes Trelby and CeltX.
Invest in quality equipmentThe equipment you use will have a big impact on the result. It may be difficult to believe, but the camera is not the most important part of your equipment investment. That’s because for web video (in 2018, at least) it’s rarely sensible to shoot video above normal HD (1920px wide), and in fact it’s better to shoot in SD (1280px wide) or lower, and the aspect ratio should always be 16:9. One source of confusion with these resolutions, by the way, is the slightly misleading standard names used, which references the vertical height (720p / 1080p) rather than the width, which is the most natural thing people think about. In thinking about this, bear in mind that a video with a frame height of 720px will not fit on the screen real estate of most users, so it is easy to see why shooting above 720p will not give superior results for web video. The larger your video frame is, the more resources it will hog on the user’s device, including in some cases failing to play at all, or playing very poorly. Your goal really should be to get the highest image quality and the lowest file size (in bytes). The reason all this is mentioned is because cameras up to HD will be quite inexpensive compared to cameras that can shoot at higher resolutions, and you’ll just be wasting your money if you invest in them, because most users in 2018:
- Do not have screens large enough to support the enormous frame size
- Do not have connections fast enough to stream anything above HD smoothly
- Do not have connections able to stream anything above SD smoothly either
- Are not overly concerned about quality as long as it is reasonable