A few years ago, a company released software called “EasySketchPro” which allowed online marketers to create what are called ‘whiteboard videos’ Simply put, the software draws images and graphics on screen, and moves them around etc to add life to what would otherwise be plain boring text.
Considering how easy the software was to use and, seeing a gap in the market, they ‘reinvented’ the program with the aim of selling it to the educational markets. This covers a broad spectrum, from the infants learning the alphabet, through Secondary schools and onto further education. (The software is adapted to fit each market, ie simplistic for younger children, and more advanced for the older age range)
If a presentation has to be made to a group of students, chances are the user will immediately fire up Powerpoint, and start creating basic text slides. A few ambitious types might add animations between slides … but fact remains they are still basically text on screen.
But by using another simple to use program, you can create far more ‘entertaining’ whiteboard videos where a hand appears to draw text and images on screen. A few examples are shown at the bottom of this report. (And the more enjoyable the presentation is, the more information gets retained.
You modern video makers don’t know how lucky you are! Shoot the footage, drop it onto the timeline, edit it to your liking and job done. It wasn’t that easy when the only recording medium available to amateurs movie makers was 16mm / 8mm film.
For starters, sound cameras in the consumer market didn’t exist. Correction, they DID come to the market eventually, but for technical reasons, the sound head recorded sound one second away from camera lens. (Sound was recorded on a 1mm wide magnetic strip down one side of the film) So if you edited for the visual, you lost the last one second of sound relating to that shot. And if you edited for the sound … you got one second of the next unrelated shot appearing on screen whilst the sound continued.
Most camcorders these days have 2.5″ ~ 3.5″ monitors on the side of the unit. You can see people everywhere holding the camera at arms length, following the action by studying the detail on the monitor. Now as every photographer will tell you, the easiest way to get shakey images is to hold a camera away from the body. As the arm muscles get tired, the video will start to shake. But the Panasonic HC-X900 is about the only prosumer model on the market that has a built in EVF (Electronic ViewFinder). This allows you to put the camera up to your eye, and keep your elbows tucked into your chest to make the video less shakey.
I’ve looked at many “prosumer” video cameras, (not quite “professional”, but a bit more than a “consumer” camera) and – in my opinion – most have one major feature missing; a ‘chicken leg’ electronic viewfinder at the back of the camera. Most models rely on the flip out LCD screen, which isn’t ideal in bright sunlight unless given a hood to sheild it.
About the only model that has this feature – and which has got rave reviews – is the Panasonic HCX900, (and is cousins the TM900 / TM700)