|HOW TO MAKE AND EDIT VIDEO CLIPS
By Pete Eggink - 3/8/07
Making video clips can be a lot of fun, but it's a challenge to figure out how to do it. I'd like to show you some of the
techniques I have used, to make it easier for you to get started.
TAKING VIDEO WITH A DIGITAL CAMERA
Most digital cameras have a video feature, and since the file is easy to get onto your computer, that's what I have been using for
short video clips that can be shared on emails, websites, and YouTube.
On many digital cameras, you can set the quality of the video before you take it. For higher fidelity, choose 640 pixels and 30
frames per second, but it will use up a lot of space on you memory card and on your computer. For a more basic video, you
can use 320 pixels and 15 frames per second. This uses about 1/8 the space, and is good enough for experimenting and for
Here's a few tips for planning your video.
1. How long a video - 30 to 60 seconds is fine, but longer videos may not keep the audience's attention, and you may use up
your memory card before the video is done.
2. Subject - following along with a train, trackside shots, mounting the camera on a train, etc. You can mount the camera on a
flatcar at the front of the train, or on a higher car toward the back of the train. A Hartland 4-wheel mine car is ideal as a camera
3. Touch up the railroad - remove twigs and leaves, mow the lawn, trim and pull weeds, set up buildings and people, etc.
4. Avoid noise distractions - airplanes overhead, kids playing next door, dogs barking, lawnmowers, and your own noises.
5. Fresh batteries and memory card. I recommend 1 GB or higher.
6. Start the camera rolling before the action starts and keep it rolling after the action ends. You can always cut out these parts
DOWNLOADING THE VIDEO ONTO YOUR COMPUTER
I recommend you remove the card from the camera and use a card reader to download the video onto your computer. This
will save time and batteries. Once you've downloaded the file, move the file to "My videos" which is located under "My
documents" (On my computer at least). Rename the video clip with a word or two that describes it, like "OnBoardMainLine"
rather than just a number. That way you don't have to guess which one to look for in your files later.
On the next page, we'll discuss editing the video with Movie Maker, adding music, completing and
sending the file, and uploading to YouTube.
Here's an onboard camera car setup that will turn the camera with the curves,
rather than always aimed straight ahead. The camera mount above is built with
a kitchen turntable and has two pairs of hooks. Brass rod is attached to these
hooks and the other end to a flatcar. As the flatcar goes into a turn, the camera
mount turns with it. The details are added to enhance the videos, and there is
no coupler between the cars. These photos are from Dave Crocker's post in
MyLargeScale in the Photo-graphy Forum.