Learning YouTube and Movie Maker
Movie Maker Masters of Lightning Screen Shot
I've decided to dive into the world of publishing videos on YouTube. I had given it some thought last year after creating a CG animation but took no action. I recently created another animation and decided it was time to take action. The videos I have or plan to create are of four types:
- computer graphic animations I've created
- instructional CG videos based on lectures I've given
- promotional CG videos for my art
- videos I've shot at events
Before publishing any videos to YouTube I decided to do some research – which led to a trip to the library. I came away with the following books:
- Conquering YouTube by Jay Miles, 2011
- YouTube and Video Marketing An Hour A Day by Greg Jarboe, 2012
- YouTube for Business, Online Video Marketing for Any Business by Michael Miller, 2009
The library had more but given the rate of change, I ignored all older books on the subject. As it was I almost took a pass on YouTube for Business as 2009 qualifies as ancient.
Conquering YouTube wins my award for Most Misnamed Book. Going through the book it became clear that the only reason that YouTube was in the title was for the book's own marketing purposes. The book has absolutely nothing to do with YouTube. Rather it is a book of tips for creating live action videos. As a book on how to use your video camera to frame and light a scene, create special effects, and to construct a movie, the book succeeds but the book's content ends there. Video file formats are not discussed. Post-processing on the computer is not discussed. Video software is not discussed. And using YouTube to host your video is never mentioned.
Briefly looking over YouTube for Business, Online Video Marketing for Any Business, it appears to be exactly what I was looking for with sections on:
- Marketing Your Business Online with YouTube
- Producing Your YouTube Videos
- Managing Your YouTube Videos
- Working with YouTube Video Blogs
- Promotion and Monetization
With a publication date of 2009, there is a fair chance that some of the information is no longer accurate. For that reason I decided to focus on YouTube and Video Marketing An Hour A Day by Greg Jarboe and published last year.
Before getting into the book, I decided it would be better to first get some hands-on experience by uploading and sharing a video. Fortunately I had a video of a Masters of Lightning singing tesla coils performance collecting electronic dust on my computer. My first task was to create a title and a closing jpeg image for the video. Yes it is extra work, but it does provide the viewer with useful information and it clearly establishes the ownership of the video. To create the title and credits images I used Photoshop. This consisted of taking a screen shot of a frame from the video, adding the text, and using a layer style to enhance the text's visual appeal.
I hate to say it but I used Microsoft's Windows Live Movie Maker to attach the two jpegs to the video file and create the initial transition effect. Unfortunately Movie Maker only allows you to save your video as a WMV (Windows Media Video). No problem though as YouTube accepts WMV files. Uploading and filling in the required fields on YouTube was a piece of cake. The video that follows is that video.
Masters of Lightning play the Dr Who theme song at the Duckon Science Fiction Convention
Having created and published this video, I've started in on YouTube and Video Marketing An Hour A Day which contains the following chapters:
- A Short History of YouTube
- Map Out Your Video Marketing Strategy
- Month 1: Make Videos Worth Watching
- Month 2: create Content Worth Sharing
- Month 3: Customize Your YouTube Channel
- Month 4: Explore YouTube Alternatives
- Month 5: Optimize Video for YouTube
- Month 6: Engage the YouTube Community
- Month 7: Trust but Verify YouTube Insight
- Study YouTube Success Stories
- A Quick Look at the Future
This looks to be exactly the sort coverage that I was looking for. According to Greg Jarboe, the book's author, "over three billion videos are streamed every day on YouTube." Creating a video and getting it watched on YouTube represents quite a challenge. From the book: "… more than 70 percent of all videos on YouTube make up only 1 percent of the views on the site." meaning that less than 30 percent of all videos get 99 percent of the view traffic. Clearly a challenge for every video creator out there.
Windows Live Movie Maker Tips
There are two things I've discovered with my initial work with Windows Live Movie Maker that I'd like to share with you.
Movie Maker Tip 1
Let's say that you've imported an image into your video. Let's also say you're unhappy with it so you go back and make a change to the image. Movie Maker will not recognize that change. In fact if you delete the image from your video and re-import it, Movie Maker will recognize that you previously imported that image and will use its cached version instead of the file you've updated. I found that what worked was to save the image with a new file name and import that new file into the movie.
Movie Maker Tip 2
With respect to image resources on your computer that you have imported into your Movie Maker project, Movie Maker does not make its own copy of them inside the video. Rather it relies on linking to where the resources were at the time you imported them into Movie Maker. If you subsequently move these resources to a different directory or drive, the next time you open your project, you will see empty gray boxes where your images used to be. You will need to double-click each and every box individually to open a Windows Explorer dialog so that you can tell Movie Maker where that image is now located. My tip: make sure you keep all your resources for each video together with that video project. This makes me wonder about tip 1 – what would have happened if I had closed Movie Maker, modified the image file, and then reopened Movie Maker and the project.
It's always fun to learn something new on the computer and to acquire new skills. I expect that the next video I release will be a work that promotes my portrait art. For that video I'll need to come up with a sound track – which represents yet another challenge. I hope that I”m up to it.