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Thread: Hi,....New to all of this Making a DVD?? Help needed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Kings Lynn. UK

    Default Hi,....New to all of this Making a DVD?? Help needed

    Hello, stumbled across this forum whilst studying....okay sorry. admittedly looking for info on video cameras and producing a DVD. Am I in the right place?.........

    I am a professional truck mechanic who is looking to get together DVDs on technical subjects. At the moment my work is all posted on youtube, about 60 video clips 1 minute to 13 minutes in length. All are shown for free to the public and posted of a miriad of international Land Rover forums....yes its getting really popular but to be honest the quality is "pants",...So how do I improve my quality??

    Hell,... really where do I start to get a professional looking DVD together?......... The one thing important is trying to get an income by producing technical DVDs but what camera do I use?....My little HD camera is okay but isn't getting the right image, or should I say it just doesn't look good enough. Any advice greatly appriciated

    the subjects are all listed under Land Rover tools. Land Rover technical or trailerfitters toolbox.

  2. #2


    If you post a link to an example we can have a look and tell you what you might do to improve things.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Kings Lynn. UK


    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    If you post a link to an example we can have a look and tell you what you might do to improve things.

    Okay here goes then

    First with narration

    second with music only

  4. #4


    From the first example you posted I think you are being over critical of your self, this was not "pants". You did a good job of explaining what you was doing and the voice was well recorded. The visuals were clear and easy to follow all shot with exceptional lighting. You have a good idea of how to present this technical subject. The only thing I would recommend on the filming is loose the dodgy transitions and stick to straight cuts. Or possibly a "toolbox" signature transition. What ever that may be. The titles could do with a bit of a spruce up but they were not to bad. Just make sure they are legible, the opening titles where a little confusing and not clear to me.

    I think the next step up is more about where do you want to go from here. Do you want to be the "celebrity mechanic" and make the videos more entertaining or keep them very matter of fact like your first example. You may need to do more "to camera" work, where you talk to the camera/viewer and explain what you are about to do and why. Then, as you have already proven you can do, take the viewer through a step by step guide to what you are doing.

    From the first example you posted, your basic video skills are good so I see it more of a production value issue. This may mean having someone else operating the camera or you operating the camera while someone else is doing the work.

    To create a full DVD, you would have to think about the content, such as approaching
    common problems with Land Rovers or what ever you think people will want help with or what your target audience would be interested in.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    I agree with what Midnight has said - except I think you need to be more careful with the lighting. Some is fine, but, for example the opening shot in the first vid has the subject too dark to really se what's going on. The close-ups are good but we need more of them - get right in there, lets really see you trying to remove the split pin with sidecutters (not because it's a solution, but to help see the problem).

    I think it adds authenticity to keep the background sounds in there, but I would adjust the audio balance to put that a bit further back in the mix - it's your voice that matters.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Kings Lynn. UK


    Okay, thanks to both of you, the comments from someone who is not interested in the actual content and can look from another perspective is very welcoming...I have asked others on my usual forum what they think,...since they are interested more in the content rather than the presentation its been a bit bias towards just offering praise.

    Celebrity Mechanic,... the idea is appealing but presentation is something to be worked on I am aware of that, but at the same time I am trying to get away from the "Look at meeeee" attitude and concentrate on the subject at hand which is the technical facts and operations needed to complete a task.. Perhaps later it may come to the foreground but I look at others videos on simular subjects I find myself judging the presenter on appearance rather than what the subject matter is.

    DVD direction...Okay, in the first instance the you tube has a monitoring facility which is quite interesting to follow, so, putting random subjects up for viewing appeared to be the most sensible way of seeing what is "hot" and what is not,..however there is some videos on there that arouse 10 000s of hit and really show nothing. So from there anyway using this and noticing what questions are commonly asked, I have come up with a plan, coving just one subject at a time in depth from " cradle to grave" ( start to finish) . This is replacing a timing belt on one type of engine, fairly complex and involved , I am trying to cover the things that could go wrong and all the other associated operations tools problems etc etc....turns out at something like 3 hours worth of nearly edited stuff.

    BUT...the narration sound is inconsistant and I cannot get it right, unsure of which would be the best equipment to use and I don't know how to gauge how much stuff will fit on 1 or 2 disks.

    Do you think the camera is good enough to use to produce a DVD? Its a small camcorder SAMSUNG full HD..

    As you were saying the lighting isn't quite right which for me is difficult to get right , using lamps isn't working for me...okay heres an example of trying to use a halogen lamp on an engine,

    turns it gold..
    [ame=]YouTube - Land Rover tools 200tdi & 300tdi ( 32mm) viscous hub spanner[/ame]

    some as in this track to when trying to film inside the engine bay

    [ame=]YouTube - trailerfitters toolbox camera stand with a difference[/ame]...

    Do you recon I should use some type of lighting filters?

    ( you might be able to hear birds on this happened when narrating)

  7. #7


    The problem with the Land Rover tool video is the white balance is off. There is also some burning out of the light areas this means the iris was open to much. Was the camera set on auto. One way to improve the quality of your videos even with a cheep camera is to learn how to use the manual controls. The more open the iris the more light comes into the camera. This can be a good thing but if to much comes in then you get the result of loosing detail in the light areas of the picture.

    Have a look at some video tutorials on YouTube about setting up lighting. The most common lighting setup you will come across is the three point light system. Which is basically a Key light which is the main illumination light. The Fill light which is used to get rid of the shadows caused by the key light and finally the Back light which as it sounds is set up at the back to shine on the back of the subject not to illuminate the background. This gives the effect of bringing the subject out of the background. If you have ever noticed a slight halo around people on the TV, especially at night, that is the back light.

    While this set up may not always be practical for you it is the basic lighting set up of most filming.

    I think you can produce a DVD with the camera you have. Obviously if you had a 5,000 camera you would get better images but the use of the camera not necessarily the value of the camera is all important. If you feel you do want to get a "better" camera then look for one with easy to use manual controls.

    The next and very important point is the sound. Get a good microphone for recording the narration. You might like to look at some sort of separate digital recorder. One product which seems very good is called a Zoom H2, which is a digital recorder with built in microphone. Make sure when you record the sound you are in a quiet room with no echo, usually bed rooms are a good place with lots of soft furnishing to absorb the echos.

    I hope some of this waffling helps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Kings Lynn. UK


    Thanks once again,...where is the thanks button?........

    yes,..... the camera was set on auto which doesn't help much as it ruined some footage which could be repeated. I later found that the beach / snow setting reduced what looked like me getting out of the spaceship in "Encounters of the 3rd kind" ...

    I read something about ISO setting white balance for photo cameras. Perhaps time to experiement first but how do you know its right until it gets loaded up onto the computer???

    With reference to sound: Problem I have at work and you can here it in all my videos is the air compressor which is running constantly 24/7 , trucks revving up people banging etc etc filming whilst talking impossible. I'll have a look at the digital recorder ...would a good USB microphone surfice?..
    The editing programe I have has a lay onto to audio track direct recording but as of yet has been very unsatisfactory to get a good sound narrated onto the track directly perhaps its because of the microphone quality?. The only other way has been to use the video camera in an echo ridden room so yeah,. in a bedroom better next video session... Okay,... you have given me some really good guidance............

    This is my example of a really crap microphone on crackles!!!!

    [ame=]YouTube - Land Rover 200tdi & 300tdi oil filter housing and oil temperature thermostat[/ame]

  9. #9


    To a white balance on most cameras:-
    When you have set up your shot.
    Open the iris fully on the camera.
    hold a piece of white card near the item or person being filmed.
    Fully zoom in on the sheet of white card.
    Press the white balance button on the camera.
    This may be a menu option and not a button depending on the camera.
    Check in the viewfinder that the piece of card looks white and not cream or blueish.

    You need to do this every time you change the camera or shot set up just like you would do a re focus for every shot.

    Don't forget to close the iris as needed.

    Learn to use the manual settings on your camera as much as you know the engine of a Land Rover.

  10. #10

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