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Instructional Video

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J. ConfusedInstructional Video
by on Jan 18, 2007 at 7:03:20 pm

So I've read the corporate video and seen the suggestions on how to capture a computer monitor for video. I have a different sort of question.

I have to prepare a 'how to' video for some professors and need to capture a 'touch panel' lcd screen. Since it's not a computer monitor per se... there's no s-video output for me to run to a dv deck. When I have tried to shoot it with just a camera, it looks like complete crap. Is there some sort of lens filter or something I can get to clean the image up?

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Joe RugbyRe: Instructional Video
by on Jan 18, 2007 at 9:43:15 pm

Are there horizontal scan lines going up the computer?

If so, you may have a shutter function on your camera that can correct it.




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J. ConfusedRe: Instructional Video
by on Jan 18, 2007 at 11:50:53 pm

no the text is kinda small and it all seems to runtogether and look funny in the shot. What shutter speed are you referring to?

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epontiusRe: Instructional Video
by on Jan 19, 2007 at 1:11:43 am

I've shot similar things in the past, at least instances where I couldn't use screen recording software or get a video output out of the system (high end datacenter servers, etc...). Best thing to do is just to make sure to get as much coverage as possible. Do a number of setups, a wider one with the talent from the side, one of the entire screen more less dead on to the'll have to cheat your talent out of the way so they don't block the shot while using the product. And then a extreme close up of screen of whatever the focus is (a button, a mouse cursor, etc...)making sure that this is close enough shot to make it large in the frame adjust the aperture and shutter to get best exposure. Get a bunch of b-roll of pans and tilts through buttons on the screen, etc... Then in the edit, mix the shots together to make, moving to closer shots. Your presenter talks about the product (wide shot), then references the display (the dead on closeup, a b-roll shot of a pan across a list of buttons), then they press a button (ecu of the button)...rinse, repeat.

Some cameras have an option for "clear scan" usually found in the menu which aids in filming computer CRT displays and TV's it can attempt to match the scan retrace or refresh rate of the crt to eliminate flicker and that annoying rolling black line (the retrace). Sometimes adjusting the camera's shutter speed to a the CRT refresh rate or multiple there of can eliminate the flicker/rolling line as well. Majority of LCD displays are 60hz which film better.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Instructional Video
by on Jan 19, 2007 at 6:33:26 pm

Erik's answer was pretty comprehensive. Just wanted to point out a deetail.

LCD's don't use the same interlacing that CRT TV tubes do, LCD's use a progressive display and that's why you never have the "scan line" problem running down the screen as you do with CRT displays.

If this is a computer-based system, attach a scan converter between the computer's monitor output and the monitor, then you can recod this to a deck. Scan converters come in many price ranges, and to an extent you get what you pay for. For simple powerpoint grabs, a 99-dollar one will work out. For trickier work where you need to clearly show small details, you can spend more than six grand for one that does magnification and filtering of the signal to eliminate vibrating effects from too-thin lines on the screen. I like the Scan-Do line from Communications Specialties, but there are other brands that are good too, like Extron and Sony, to name just two. On the low end, the Averkey imicro is a good deal, works on either PC or mac, 99 bucks or less from places like tigerdirect.

If you don't do this sort of thing a lot, and need a GOOD converter the best plan is to rent the converter for just the day from a A/V rental supplier.

Note; the scan conveter is not going to show the finger on the touch screen, only the cursor the finger is steering and the rest of that display. If you have to show the actual finger in your close-ups, use the macro setting on your lens to get really tight shots. With some monitors you'll get a better look if you crank the display frequency high as it will go. To work with clearscan adjustable shutter speed easily, pick a display rate for the monitor that's a multiple of 30.

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