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May 7, 2012Vekh posted a message on New Minecraft Glitch! Insta-Breaker Even destroy bedrock!Sure... Seems legit.Posted in: Discussion
Mar 3, 2011Posted in: Let's Plays HelpHow to Make a Let's Play
With the recent invention of this board it is needed that we have a basic resource of information on how to make quality videos. I won't be long winded with this introduction, but bear with me as I go over the basics of the guide. I am not going to include the technical aspect of making a Let's Play here (yet), this is purely tips on how to make the most of your Let's Play. I am not going to tell you what style to have either, these are just basic improvements that anyone can do regardless of style. If you find this guide helpful then please mention/link to it in your LP so others can find it.
Grimskellington/Main body of information/Minecraft Adrift
Edvun/Fraps Video Tutorial, Sony Vegas Video Tutorial/Edvun's Channel
Xeros612/HD Guide/Bitrate Guide
Frequently used terms:
LP = Let's Play abbreviation
Fraps/Camtasia = Common video recording devices
MC = Minecraft abbreviation
YT = Youtube
Upload = To download your video on to a video hosting website. From your computer to the website
WMM = Windows Movie Maker (Common video editor)
Sony Vegas = Common video editor (-BenBestvater)
General Tips for Any Let's Play:
1. Have a purpose
Know why you are making your videos. Are you making it because you want attention? Are you making it because you want to get a point across? Do you want to educate? Do you want to entertain? Know why it is you make a video and then center your style around it. Any reason can work, you just have to know it and work with it.
2. Don't record while you are bored.
If you are bored, you will sound bored and that is boring. If you aren't interested, how can you expect your audience to be interested? Far to many videos are made because someone is bored and looking for something to do. Videos should be made because you are passionate about what you are doing. Wait until later when you can give your all to making your video interesting. This ties in with other basic oration skills. Don't make a video while sick or otherwise impaired vocally. Wait a bit or make a video that won't require your voice.
3. Have a presentable voice
Clear your nose before hand, no one wants to hear you sniffle and snort your way through the commentary. Also make sure to get your throat clearing and other preparations done BEFORE recording. I highly suggest you take a few seconds before hand to warm up, even if it is just rehearsing your opening lines.
4. Breath through your nose
And going hand in hand with the previous point is to breath through your nose. If you breath through your nose then it probably won't make any noise. The mouth is facing the microphone directly and will make a loud rushing noise when breathed on. People are watching because they want to hear you talk, not breath.
5. Avoid monotone
A monotone voice is one that doesn't fluctuate. Everyone has heard one, but it can be very hard to stop yourself from having one also. Person to person talking is supplemented by a variety of body clues that add character to your conversation. Phone calls add cues and responses and keeps you on your toes. Commentating by yourself requires you to be able to talk to yourself for 15 minutes without forgetting you have an audience. Exaggeration is the key here, what you hear is never what it truly is. If you feel foolishly outgoing in your talking then you are probably doing it right.
6. Be Professional
For the titles and descriptions, have proper spelling and capitalization. You don't have to be a perfect grammar nazi, but you really should take it seriously enough to include basic grammar. I have seen very few successful commentators who neglected to have basic language skills. If you are foreign then you get more lee-way on this, but it might be worth getting a friend to proof read it before posting. Having a set formula for your title/description might help reduce the problem. A fill-in-the-blank and copy/paste formula saves a lot of time.
7. Don't plagiarize
This isn't school but it still important to not take others work without their permission/citation. Use the description for this if you use someone else's material (songs included). Using material without copyrights is best, but still link to it out of respect. Letting them know you are using it is also a nice thing to do also and will increase your viewers
This applies to texture packs and mods as well, always include at least a name for what is being used in the description and preferably a link to where you acquired it.
8. Don't beg for attention.
Asking and begging are separate things and should be treated as such. Asking for assistance is perfectly acceptable (unless the other person has said to not ask). Begging is never acceptable. Begging includes posting links to your channel on other people's channels, spamming pms for your videos and any other act that is solely for gaining attention in an unsightly way. A lot of it is in the manner done and asking will probably getting you much better results. Use common sense, if this would annoy you to see someone else do, then don't do it.
9. Asking for
Don't be afraid to ask for subscribers/thumbs ups/comments, but don't overdo it. Making quality videos is hard work and you deserve to be recognized for it, but you don't deserve to be a jerk about it. Asking at the end of your video for the above things is alright in moderation, a friendly reminder can work wonders, but saying it too often can be off-putting.
10. Put effort into it.
This is something you are making and presenting to the world. This should be something that you can be proud of, not something you look back with embarrassment on. If something can be done to make it more appealing to the masses, then do it.
11. Be Polite to Others
Don't bad mouth other Youtubers/forumers in your videos. You do not want everyone to associate your videos with negativity, and that is what will happen if you do it. Regardless of what the other user has done to you, that is between you and them, not every one of your viewers. You will alienate other people and it more than likely will not positively help your video making career.
12. Dual Requests
If you are looking to join another person's LP, give them the information. Some people may be cool with anyone joining them, but others may be looking for a specific type of person. Ideally, make a video about it with your commentary or link to some of your own video LPs so they can get a handle on the type of person you are and if they want to invite you into their series. Both groups should be giving basic information, not just those looking to join.
When inviting others, be clear about who you are looking for. If you don't want anyone below a certain age, or a specific gender, accent, etc, mention it. Don't say you will accept anyone if you don't mean it. Be clear about who you want, but don't be a insensitive about it. Be polite all the same, even if you have to turn someone down. Don't belittle a demographic either (eg: All younger players are whiners, all teenagers are angsty, all adults take games too seriously, etc), just mention you aren't interested in their group.
These are tips that can improve your videos but are a lot less mandatory as the above rules.
1. Do my viewers want/need to see this?
A perfect example would be basic resource gathering (ie mining). We all spend time doing it, but do they want to watch you do it? Unless you are a master at improv without stimulus then it is likely worth it to cut it out/fastforward it. What I personally do is fastforward while playing some music in the background. Whatever you choose to do, please don't have half your video be of you whacking away at a wall while commenting on how awkward it is to have ran out of things to say.
2. Can my viewers see this?
Some places (Like caves) don't show up in videos because they are too dark. Don't assume that your being able to see what is going on means that they can too. Most video editing software contains a means of increasing the background light levels. Feel free to use it, it will greatly improve your video's quality. No one likes to be blind.
3. Break the mold
Why would someone watch your video over another? This is part advertising your video and part content. You have to be able to make your videos sound appealing before they click and after. Episode titles work wonders for this, but they won't help you if your video is boring once they are watching it. Try to think of a building that hasn't built before that would be interesting to build/watch being built. Pick different shapes for those buildings as well, squares rarely hold as much appeal as other shapes would. Do something different or fall under the heels of others.
4. Upload in HD
Quality of the video matters as well, never ever record with a hand held camera something that can be screen-captured. Ever. Likewise, don't have your video be crap quality either. Save in HD and upload in the highest quality you can. More information on uploading in HD is below.
Try to develop a schedule for your videos to follow. You don't need to upload a new video every day, but at least be consistent so others know when you have a new video to watch. (~Youssarian)
6. Test your equipment beforehand
Don't go blindly into the video beforehand without being prepared. Test your camera, test your audio, test your HD settings, adjust your in-game settings, etc. All this can be done in one 1-2 minute video, so there isn't much excuse for not being prepared ahead of time. (~Doggy080)
7. Make progress
Whether you do it by careful planning or on the fly design, make noticeable progress. No one likes to watch 20 episodes only to realize you've managed to scrounge together a dinky shack. In fact, they would likely never make it that far at all. You don't have to complete a megastructure an episode, but making noticeable progress on a large project or finishing a small one will make the episode feel worthwhile. (~Youssarian and Antice)
8. Keep an eye on the time
There is a 15 minute upload time limit on most Youtube accounts. Having an 18 minute video can be a real pain to work around, so try to keep time and start wrapping things up before your time is up. If you absolutely have to go over then consider extending it long enough that you can break it up and post it as 2 or more episodes. The downside of this is that you may run out of time in the episode and not have completed anything of interest(~Fun204)
An alternative to this is to take as long as you need while keeping commentary going and then edit the parts out that you don't need. This ties in with some of the previous advice of fastforwarding or deleting the boring parts. One might still want to keep an eye on the clock during it, but it isn't as important if you are willing to delete a fair bit of the episodes. (~Antice)
9. Find a stopping point
This is especially important if you are recording multiple segments at once. If you are editing 25 minutes of footage to make 2 episodes then find a nice stopping point. Usually you can find something near the middle that would function well as a transition point, even if it is just because you have to stop what you are doing for a minute to get more supplies. All else fails, find a stopping point in your commentary. Do not stop your video mid-sentence or at a point that will leave everyone confused now or at the beginning of the next episode.
These are my basic tips for making a Let's Play of quality. Everyone has their own style and purpose, but these are generalized advice that can help improve most anyone's quality. We are the actors and tv stars of our generation, lets live up to the quality made by our parents!
Technical Video Making Information and Programs
This section is for making the video itself and the programs needed to do this.
1. Fraps - Probably the most widely used recording software, you can get a free trial that will allow you to record for 30 seconds with a watermark here:
To use the Full Version with no watermark then you will need to buy it from the website listed above. (~$37)
For a written tutorial on how to use Fraps:
A video Tutorial for Fraps by Edvun
2. Camtasia - The other frequently used recording software, Camtasia has more options but also costs a hefty amount more. Camtasia also features a free 30 day trial listed here:
To purchase the full version of Camtasia, please visit here:
For a written tutorial on operating Camtasia:
http://download.techsmith.com/camtasias ... hrough.pdf
3. WeGame has a free video recorded, but it only works well for approved games and is notorious for its difficulty in recording sound:
For a written tutorial on using WeGame:
http://www.wegame.com/forums/support/tu ... or-7-only/
4. Snapz PRo X - A screen recorder for Macs that cost $69, but has a free trial. (~muncher21) (More information needed)
5. Camstudio 2 - Not the best recorder, but it is free and doesn't take a behemoth computer to run (~Doggy080)
http://download.cnet.com/HyperCam/3000- ... 09090.html
6. Camstudio - A subpar, but completely free, video recorder. (~Awesome Holzy)
7. Microsoft Expressions Encoder - "It comes with a recording codec (that records in HD), and an advanced video editor. It has a 10 minute limit for recording, but you can use the video editor and put videos back-to-back so that it seems like a continuous video instead of two 10 minute videos." (~Aaaboy97)
http://www.microsoft.com/expression/pro ... rview.aspx
8. Kazam - Linux only video recorder that got high reviews (~profebral)
9. VirtualDub - Its completely free and very powerful, a bit difficult to record with but it works very well if you can figure it and you don't need a awesome computer to run it. (~Anonymous52555)
Video Editing Software:
1. Windows Movie Maker Live (WMM) - WMM is a free program for Windows operating system. It provides a very basic but easy to use interface and requires minimal video editing skills to get the hang of.
http://explore.live.com/windows-live-mo ... r?os=other
2. Apple iMovie - Apple iMovie is a free video editor by Apple for their Mac computers. (More information needed)
3. VideoPad Video Editor Pro - A video editor that has many of the same features as WMM, but is supposed to have less lag and easier to use (Verification?). There is a free 14 day trial or you can buy the full version (~$69.99):
http://download.cnet.com/VideoPad-Video ... 06278.html
4. Sony Vegas - The cream of the crop video editor, Sony Vegas also has an enormous price (Several hundred depending on which up-to-date the version you get is). Tons of features though, and easy to use. A great editor if you can afford its steep price:
A video tutorial by Advun:
5. Videopad Editor - A video editor with various version costing various amounts depending on the amount of features you want (~Antice)
6. KDEnlive - A linux only video editor with a large amounts of features (~profebral)
7. Adobe Premium - A well known and full featured video editor. Very reliable if you can afford it.
Adobe Premiere costs $99 for the entry-level version (Adobe Premiere Elements) and $799 for the pro version (Adobe Premiere Pro CS5). (~Sir Toby and Qsdd)
This guide assumes you are uploading to Youtube, and will provide some basic information on how to use it.
-To upload a video, it must be saved on your computer and it must be lower than 15 minutes. If reach these qualifications, then click the "upload" button at the top of the screen to the right of the search bar.
-Press the big yellow "upload" button if the video is under 2gb in size. If it is larger then select the "try now" button under the "advanced video upload" title to the right of the screen. If the page says that there is an error with java then try pressing it a few more times, this will usually resolve the issue.
-Select your video from your computer.
-The video may take awhile to upload depending on the quality of the video (The higher the HD, the longer the upload time).
-During this time you will see a variety of boxes and options down below. This is all your video information and options. You can edit its title/description/tags from here as well as place it into a category. At least make sure to remove the .wmv from the end of your title if it is there.
-After the video is done loading your video has gone live. You can now enjoy your video!
2. Some advice on HD
""A good tip that could be included is that for HD videos, make sure to fullscreen (F11). Fullscreening through the maximize button produces strange resolutions, and F11 will generally be more standard. (Assuming you have a standard video resolution.)
On video resolutions, the standard window mode resolution(the window that pops up when you first open the client, and possibly the resolution the browser version uses) is approximately 856x480, so use that resolution in rendering if you are recording this way.
Any resolution greater than or equal to 1280x720 and less than 1920x1080 should be rendered as a 720p video as youtube will re-compress them to that anyways, and this will save you uploading time. 1080p and higher can be rendered at that specific resolution. (I think youtube offers "original resolution" for 1080p and higher.)
Make sure you render at the proper aspect ratio, too. If your monitor is 4:3 (CRT monitor; I don't think any LCD does this ratio), 960x720 is the resolution you should use. If your monitor is 5:4 (non-widescreen LCD screens), use 900x720. If your monitor is 16:10 (i.e. its resolutions are like 1680x1050), use 1152x720.
All these suggested resolutions may make rendering take a bit longer (as it has to resize things), but uploading will take less time and you won't be wasting any resolution that youtube would throw out for 720p." (~Xeros612)
For uploading in better quality HD:
"Regardless of the editing software you use, try to make sure you save your edited videos in a lossless format, as close to the original resolution as possible. After, use a second application, such as WMM or QT to compress the videos into desired format before uploading to YouTube." (~Riddler251)
All too often I see people putting up videos, especially HD ones, where the bitrate is too low to provide an enjoyable viewing experience. I don't have the most experience with some of the newer, fancier codecs like H.264 (none of my programs can really use it for rendering edited videos that I've found), so I'm not going to talk too much on them.
I'll start at the general upper bound: 1080p.
Personally, I've found 15MB/s video, 256kb/s audio to be very successful in 1080p videos. Even after youtube's re-compression, it generally looks clear and pleasing to the eyes. (Only tested with WMV9 Advanced Profile video & WMA 10 Pro audio codecs. Others may operate similarly.)
12 MB/s video, 192 kb/s audio. While, as stated before, youtube's re-compression can screw over even 720p videos, this produces a very watchable quality in my experience. (Tested with WMV9 Advanced Profile video & WMA 10 Pro audio codecs.) This is the one I have the most issue with because I see so many people throwing videos out there in HD to ride the "HD = more views because SD is old and terrible!!!111" bandwagon, while their bitrate would barely be acceptable for 480p. If your internet can't handle higher bitrates, I'd suggest sacrificing HD. A decent bitrate 480p is better than a poor bitrate 720p.
That got a little bit into the rant territory, but you want to provide good content for your viewers. Charisma can make up for it, but only to a certain extent. (People watching on phones or ipods or whatever probably won't care because their devices can't handle high res anyways, or at least not well enough for it to be worth it.)
However, if you use H.264 video codec, you can probably get away with more like 3 MB/s bitrate. hpaw.net uses this for their downloadable HD videos, and the quality is very nice. (Then again, it doesn't have to go through youtube's re-encoding there, so it'd probably be best to run a higher bitrate.)
4 MB/s video, 160 kb/s audio. (Tested with WMV9 Advanced Profile video & WMA 10 Pro audio codecs and MPEG Layer 2 audio/video codecs.)
While youtube hits any non-HD res real hard on the re-encoding, providing the best possible quality is never a bad idea.
Experimenting with other codecs and bitrates is worth the time, but these ones I've found to be tried and true. (~Xeros612)
I am planning to expand on the technical section later for Fraps/WMM, but would like someone to also write a tutorial for the other common recorders/editors. Naturally anyone who does will be listed in the authors section and will be accredited for their work, I'm not in the business of plagiarizing here. Also, any further tips would be appreciated and accredited as well (though a fair bit will be required to be added to the authors section). All authors will have their name/contribution/link to their LP.
Grimskellington/Main body of information/Minecraft Adrift
Edvun/Fraps Video Tutorial, Sony Vegas Video Tutorial/Edvun's Channel
V1: 3/3/11: Initial release
V1.1: 3/3/11: Added technical section basics (Several video recorders/editors)
V1.2: 3/3/11: Added Guide to HD and several technical tutorials
V1.3: 3/4/11: Added Fraps video guide, Sony Vegas video guide, several additional technical softwares, a youtube uploading guide, and reorganized some of the layout
V1.4: 3/8/11: Added several more tips, some basic reorganizing, added a video recorder
V1.5: 3/16/11: Added several more tips and some technical software updates
V1.6: 3/4/12: Fixed the coding errors from the new site layout
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