How to improve the image of your on-demand videos to convey professionalism

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How to improve the image of your on-demand videos to convey professionalism

What will you learn in this guide? 

  • How to get a high quality original image for your on-demand videos.
  • How to create good lighting.
  • How to choose good recording equipment for on-demand videos.
  • How to improve the image of a video with Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • How to improve the image of an on-demand video for free.

Improving the look of your on-demand videos is easy, and yes, it's easy if you're just starting out. 

Many video creators do not advance in their careers for fear of not creating quality audiovisual content. After the first few recordings with poor lighting, inadequate focus or an unsatisfactory final look, they throw in the towel, think it doesn't look professional and give up.

What is your advantage? 

If you, as an unstoppable content creator, follow these tips and keep shooting until you get the image quality you want, you will be way ahead of all those creators who didn't make as much progress as you, you will have turned your passion into a business just because you decided to keep going.

Do you like the sound of it? 

Then read on, because at PLAYBAK we want to make it easy for you to improve the image of your on-demand videos to convey professionalism: 

How to improve the image of your on-demand videos

1Get a high quality original image

In our guide to improve the sound of your E-learning videos, we advise you to start with good audio and edit as little as possible. 

When it comes to creating the video image, the better the original production, the less you have to edit and the higher the quality of the final result: 

How can you improve the original image of your on-demand videos? 

  • Plenty of light: The key to getting all the elements of the video just right is good lighting. Natural light is the best, so a place with lots of windows is perfect for recording your on-demand videos. If you don't have a bright environment, don't worry, we'll tell you later how to achieve this with artificial light.
  • Include only the necessary elements: An overloaded background overwhelms the viewer and diverts their attention from what is important. Including only the necessary elements (such as the material to be used) is key to gaining harmony. If you think that the background of your videos is too bland, add some decorative element related to your sector.
  • A clean and curious place: The best background for your on-demand videos is one that looks neat. You don't need a fancy place, but you do need to convey cleanliness and tranquility. Creating an improvised "stage" in front of a white wall with the necessary elements for the course and some decorative objects is perfect to start with. If you have a gym, a make-up academy or a cooking school, these are the perfect places to record your videos on demand.
  • Forget the chroma key: The chroma key is the green cloth that we place in the background to include the background we want. It is perfect for films, but in E-learning courses it is not necessary and will require a lot of editing. You have already seen that a suitable background is simple and easy to achieve, so you don't need a chroma key.
  • You also need to convey harmony: appropriate clothing for the occasion, a good hairstyle and a neat appearance are key to convey professionalism in a video. Remember, your viewers see you as a role model, so looking good for your profession and lifestyle is key to improving your on-demand videos and your own personal brand.

2How to create good lighting to enhance the image of your on-demand videos

If you have a place with lots of windows where light comes in from various angles, you may be able to dispense with this tip. 

If your subject can be taught outdoors (such as fitness or yoga) you can record your on-demand videos in the garden, in soft light hours to avoid annoying shadows. 

However, not all of us have these conditions and even if we do, we will not always have the right circumstances to enjoy them, so the ideal is to invest in good lighting equipment to record your videos on demand.

What is the best light for video on demand?

In photography and video there is what is known as "basic lighting theory", which is the simplest way to correctly light the focal point of a video. 

For this you only need three spotlights or light sources. Ideally you should buy lights where you can change bulbs easily, as you may need to vary the intensity.

How are the three spotlights positioned in basic lighting theory?

  • The first spotlight or main light: It should be placed at an angle of 45 degrees to you (or the object to be filmed/photographed). Ideally, the spotlight should be above your head, and focused slightly downwards, the shadows it will create respecting and highlighting the volumes of your face.
  • The second spotlight or fill light: It will be placed on the other side, also creating a 45º angle. This light is softer than the previous one, as its aim is to blur the shadows of the first spotlight without eliminating them. To do this you can use a lower intensity bulb, move it further away or place a cloth over it.
  • The third spotlight or counter light: It is placed behind you, and focuses exactly on the first spotlight or main light. It is usually placed at a height that is above the person's head, to highlight and enhance the shine of the hair. 

Although these three lights are enough, you can combine them with other tips to find your perfect lighting:

For example, many professionals prefer to add a 4th light to illuminate the background.

In E-learning courses where the face is in close focus it is also common to attach ring lights to the camera, they are used a lot in make-up and hairdressing videos. 

3How to choose good recording equipment for your on-demand videos

Getting the light right is a big step towards improving the image of your on-demand video - any recording equipment gets better image quality when you improve the light.

On the other hand, it is obvious that a high quality camera will always achieve better results whatever the initial conditions. 

How to choose a good camera to improve the image of your on-demand videos: 

  • Got a good phone? There are now phones that record in 4K, which provides more than enough quality for your on-demand videos. These phones come at a high price, but they are a good investment. If you have a device that records in 4K you can use it to record your on-demand videos.
  • Digital SLR cameras: These are the most commonly used for recording professional E-learning videos. You will find models with multiple features at very cheap prices, you can also buy them second hand in perfect condition and save a lot of money. They record in 4K, have audio input, internal stabilizer and a lot of features to get high level videos.
  • Compact cameras and camcorders are often very limited, so they are not recommended for professional video.
  • Finally, prosumer cameras are focused on large film productions, so they may be too much for recording video on demand. However, if you love the audiovisual world, you should use them, as they can offer you more than you need, but never less. 

Choosing a tripod suitable for your camera or mobile phone is also key to getting a still image.

You can set up several cameras at different angles to record you at the same time while you are doing the course content. Then combine several clips at different angles to give variety to the video. It is not compulsory, but it adds professionalism and in certain sectors such as make-up or fitness it teaches you how to perform techniques better because it shows details from different angles.

All the cameras you use should create videos of identical quality to achieve a consistent end result. 

4How to enhance a video image with Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the most complete video editing software used by professionals. We have talked about it on other occasions and it allows you to do almost anything you can imagine with your videos, being a very useful tool for you as a creator.

Although Premiere has an infinite number of features and we could spend hours talking about its benefits, here I am going to explain how to do the basics when editing a video. After that you can keep on researching, you will find hundreds of tutorials on YouTube explaining how to do everything you can imagine: 

  • How to make a blurry video look sharp: Although a good initial focus is preferable, we can use this tool as a last minute resource if a part of the video doesn't come out well. Go to the "Effects" tab > "Blur and sharpen" > "Sharpen" then click on "Create ellipse mask" and select the part of the video you want to sharpen. This is very useful to, for example, focus on your face and leave the background with the original blur.
  • How to remove "noise" from a video: Noise" refers to the grainy appearance that sometimes appears in the image of a photo or video. To remove it just follow this route in your Premiere panel: "Effects" > "Video Effects" > "Noise & Grain" > "Median". Then go to the "Effects Control" tab where you can edit the noise removal, even applying it only to certain parts of the image.
  • How to brighten a video: Go to the effects tab and enter the word "Brightness" in the search engine (This search engine helps you find the effects you need faster). You will see the following path appear "Video effects" > "Colour correction" > "Brightness and contrast". You can then select the brightness and contrast you want using a bar or by entering the numbers you want.

Although Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the most widely used video editing software, there are others such as VideoStudio Pro, Vegas Pro (formerly known as Sony Vegas) and FilmoraPro.

5How to improve the image of a video on demand for free

All of the above programs are private video software that must be purchased. 

If you are just starting out and don't have a big budget, you can start with the free video editing programmes I show you below. Although they do not require prior investment, they are also more limited than the previous ones: 

  • YouCut: YouCut es una app de edición de vídeo que cuenta con múltiples funcionalidades como recorte y montaje de clips, añadir texto y efectos para mejorar la imagen del vídeo bajo demanda. Una vez terminada la edición podrás exportarlo en diferentes resoluciones siendo la más alta 1080P. Esta app solo funciona para Android.
  • FilmoraGo: This free video editing application works on both Android and iPhone and allows you to perform almost the same functions as full video editors for PC: editing, texts, image and sound enhancement... It can boast more than 50 million downloads and its interface is very intuitive.
  • InShot: InShot is a video editing app that works equally well on Android and iOS. We can use it to create and edit videos, images and collages. While it is not as complete as other video editors, it allows us to do the essential things like trimming video clips or adding filters and text. 

Ideally, it's up to you to choose which of these apps suits you best by trying them out and discovering which one offers you the best experience.

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