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Technologies in the Library: Video Production

A collection of tutorials, tips and tricks to get you started.


When starting to work with video, it's important to know some basic information. This guide touches on some basic editing techniques, and can be used on its own or combined with the Green Screen guide.


To start it is important to know a little bit about resolution. Resolution relates to how many pixels are available per square inch within your video.

As you can see from the example above, the higher resolution your video is, the clearer your video will be. Distance also plays a part. Since you are sitting near the computer screen the 3x circle will look much more circular to you as compared to the 1x. However, the farther you move back, the clearer the other circles will become. For example, if you stand back say 10 feet the 2x circle will start to look more circular. I mention this second fact only so that you, the reader, will get the idea that resolution is a little bit more complicated than this guide will make it out to be.  

Now when it comes to resolution there is a body of set amounts that are usually used.

SD means Standard Definition. This chart is a little off; it includes 780 as SD, however, 780 is considered to be High Definition (HD). It is correct in the sense that 1080 is seen as truly being the start of HD. This chart shows us 2 things:

1) The more pixels, the clearer the image will be, and

2) SD looks better at smaller sizes or from farther away

Keep this in mind when recording your material.

Cam Link

Cam Link

Use the Cam Link available in the library in order to hook up external video devices directly to your laptop for recording. *Video device requires an HDMI output.


For more information on the benefits of recording directly to your computer see the recording live portion of the Green Screen makerspace guide.

Side Notes


It is important to know what type of resolution you have when making edits to your video. If you have poor resolution it is unwise to make adjustments like zooming in. There won't be enough pixels to adequately zoom in without the material looking blotchy. Filming in a higher resolution is always recommended; not only will the picture be clearer, but you also have more versatility. Higher resolutions videos are already larger and look better zoomed in. However, easier video editing programs will have issues with larger file sizes which means that higher resolution video will require a more robust video editing program.

File Sizes

A higher resolution video will take up more space on the video camera. When using a video camera/ DSLR (Still Camera) you are able to change the resolution. When changing the resolution make sure to take into account the amount of space and time that you have available. For example, while a smaller resolution might let you record for 16 hours, a higher resolution might only let you record for 4 hours. 

Audio Options

Although it is not required, you might want to improve your audio quality through the use of microphones. Filming from a video camera is perfectly acceptable, but be aware of the environment you are recording in. The microphones on video cameras are omni-directional; they are meant to pick up sound all around them. This could lead to some unintended background noise. To cut down on this, you can either mount a directional microphone on the video camera or use a lapel microphone. Lapel microphones are attached directly to the person speaking.


It is always important to make sure that your lighting matches up with the requirements of your video. If your video should be clear and brightly lit either find a room with lots of natural light or use the lights available and record in the Makerspace. Note: Video always records darker than what the human eye can see. If you're not sure how your video will look, record a small sample first and preview the video. It is smarter to create a preview and make sure everything is right, than it is to record your whole video only to discover that you need to re-record the whole thing.

Green Screen

Check out the Green Screen specific guide for this information.

Camera Differences

Depending on what type of camera you are using the quality of video can be different. Listed below is a little introduction to each type and the pro's and con's.

Note: All of these are available for sign out in the library.





Web Cam


  • Affordable
  • Records directly to computer
  • Little to no set up


  • Quality can be lackluster



  • High Quality
  • Record directly to computer with Cam Link


  • Expensive
  • Requires SD card if recording to camera
  • More setup required
  • Can be confusing

Video Camera


  • Decent High Quality
  • Record directly to computer with Cam Link
  • Fairly easy setup


  • Mid-Range Price