Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Making videos

2616 views
19 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    March 2011
  • 1,950 posts
Making videos
Posted by NVSRR on Saturday, May 13, 2023 10:42 AM

I got the replacement axles for the piko whitcomb.   The ones with out the tires.   Seams to cause a problem on us layouts.    I thought a vid on  5e problem and fix would be a good idea.   What makes a good video and where do find info on getting all learnified about making decent videos?    Note, this question is one making vids not replacing axle.    
shane

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 17,227 posts
Posted by tstage on Saturday, May 13, 2023 12:01 PM

[Disclaimer: This is my opinion, Shane, so take it for what it's worth Big Smile]

Good videos include (IMO):

  • In-focus quality images for general and close-up shots - To me this should be self-evident.  However, I've seen videos where images are out of focus - especially during close-ups, which kinda defeats the whole purpose for the close-up.
  • Engaging and appropriate narratives that garner a viewer's attention - It does NOT need to be wordy or overly-wordy.  Sometimes an image alone suffices for conveying what you are doing on-screen - i.e. presuming you have set up (described) the sequence properly ahead of time for the viewer so they know what is going on, or is going to happen.
  • Any motion (e.g. panning the camera, zooming in or out) should be slow & deliberate - This is probably the BIGGEST annoyance for me with posted online videos.  Maybe it's because I'm getting older and my equilibrium just doesn't handle the excessive motion like it did when I was younger.  I find it distracting & nauseating and I'll turn off a video promptly when it reaches that point.
  • Limit music content - This is 2nd to Point 3 for me.  Constant music - especially rhythmic in content AND used during narrative - can be a real distraction.  If you feel that you must have music, make sure it's under the narrative in volume and appropriate to what the viewer is seeing.  Personally I would limit any music to just the opening and closing of a video and have it fade out once the narrative starts.  That said, certain musical genres make better background music than others for continous play.

Again, the above is just my opinion but these four points are what makes a good video to me.  I'm sure others will bring up other valid points.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 5,519 posts
Posted by York1 on Saturday, May 13, 2023 12:04 PM

Tom's point #3!

 

Nothing is more off-putting and will cause me to click out of a video quickly than panning and moving too much and too fast.

 

Also, no need for long introductory title scenes and dramatic effects.  Get right to the content.  With thousands of videos available, I don't need to sit through someone's 'cute' title sequences.

York1 John       

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Southern California
  • 1,682 posts
Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Saturday, May 13, 2023 1:43 PM

I agree with what Tom said and I will add that proper lighting is the most important thing other than a steady camera that is in focus. The brighter the lights are the more area that is in focus, but also make sure that there is no glare from the lights shining back into the camera.

For audio, make sure that you speak up in a clear voice. The closer the microphone is to you the better.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
  • Member since
    December 2015
  • From: Shenandoah Valley
  • 9,094 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, May 13, 2023 4:04 PM

These are Youtube's own tips.  This starts at page 2.  The first page was just what was said above.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 2,352 posts
Posted by kasskaboose on Saturday, May 13, 2023 4:46 PM

Expect a ton of suggestions.  I recommend seeing what others do with large # of subscribers and replicate.  Copying what they do can put you on firmer footing.

Another site (amongst many) for tips:

https://wave.video/blog/12-simple-tips-for-making-your-videos-look-more-professional/

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,703 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, May 13, 2023 9:14 PM

York1
Also, no need for long introductory title scenes and dramatic effects.  Get right to the content. 

Absolutely, totally agree!!!! My limit is about eight to ten seconds, preferrably shorter. If the intro is longer then I immediately start to skip through the video instead of watching the whole thing.

I will also suggest that videos that are too long and repetetive get turned off pretty quickly. Tourism style videos should be a summary of the highlights of what is to be shown, not the whole trip. Of course, that doesn't apply to instructional videos where every step must be displayed thoroughly.

My 2 Cents

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Nashville, TN area
  • 711 posts
Posted by hardcoalcase on Sunday, May 14, 2023 11:38 AM

Having seen my share of MRR videos, and acknowledging that I have absolutely no talent in the video arts, here is my take:

Like many, I see a video as an opportunity to be a visitor at someone else's layout. I like to see what the owner has done, so I can get some ideas for my own layout and to be inspired to improve my own modeling. 

Accordingly I enjoy seeing a well-paced flyover, done slow enough so I can take-in the overall points of interest, such as industrial complexes, bridges, city scapes and natural scenery. Where warranted, voice-over descriptions and close-up shots of the specific details are appreciated.  

Meaning no offense to those who produce videos that are 100% cab rides, but I've pretty much given-up on watching them. I get it that they are easier to produce, and are part of the video arts learning curve, so I applaud their efforts.  That said, one of my favorite videos is the Eastern PA Logging RR, where the amount of track-side detail is impressive.  See it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUbweRRMEC0  

Another video I was impressed with was a mix of clever editing. The viewer first had a birds-eye view of the train approaching the scene, followed by one or more short clips of cab views of the station, then the factory, followed by a tree covered hillside; then on to the birds-eye view of the next scene.  I wish I had made note of this link!

Jim

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2011
  • 1,950 posts
Posted by NVSRR on Thursday, May 18, 2023 10:30 AM

I have seen some lousy vids. Where you can't see what they are doing since it is out of frame.    So I know to keep it in frame.          
the collective seams not not like an intro that is longer than maybe 5 seconds.      A quick outline at the beginning.   Or at least a rambling audio track warning.       Background music kept to a minimum or non existent.      Lighting, closeups, pans slow or non existent,    Did I miss anything?

 

shane

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 13,375 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, May 18, 2023 11:04 AM

Some time ago, I was able to make short videos (usually of on-layout moving trains) in my photobucket account, but as far as i'm aware, it's no longer permitted.

Wayne

  • Member since
    July 2018
  • 661 posts
Posted by IDRick on Thursday, May 18, 2023 3:44 PM

I like watching MRR videos (so many awesome layouts) but I have three pet peeves:

1) Cut the music, wanna hear your short, concise comments about your layout and hear the trains run!  I can listen to music anytime.

2) I don't care if it's a $10,000 locomotive on an award winning layout.  Listening and watching a locomotive start-up is 1/10 as much fun as watching grass grow.  I always fast forward if I sense the start of loco start-up...

3) I know sound is cool, but geez, turn down the volume!  Watching five locos go by with sound blaring leads to an immediate departure from the video.

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 9,303 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Thursday, May 18, 2023 7:11 PM

There was a video on youtube on how to play an interesting chord progression on the guitar. The guy starts by yacking for three minutes at the camera along with minutes of other useless stuff. I made a 70-second video showing the progression twice. No chat just a close-up of my hands doing the progression, short, and sweet. It got a gazillion hits with tons of thanks for providing what was wanted without having to sift through all the chaff. 

So, if it is a how-to video, show how-to without the Walter Cronkite along the way.Laugh

Brent

"All of the world's problems are the result of the difference between how we think and how the world works."

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • 472 posts
Posted by Graham Line on Friday, May 19, 2023 10:34 PM

Recording and editing a decent video is a time-consuming practice even for a seasoned professional.  It will help immensely if you do rough "story board" sketches or a written plan ahead of time so you know what set-ups you want to photograph and what narrative you want to add.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 18,255 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, May 20, 2023 12:14 PM

This is going to be a long response. I will add to previous responses where I can.

My youngest daughter and I made A LOT of YouTube videos about her Cosplay Projects, K-Pop Dances, and Convention Reports.

I also had my own YouTube channel of model building projects. Around 2015 I took a good critical look at my channel and took it down. It will be back in 2025 as an entirely reformatted channel.

NVSRR
What makes a good video?

Please see all my comments and suggestions below.

tstage
In-focus quality images for general and close-up shots.

Yes... if you produce something that is out-of-focus, throw it a way and re-shoot it. Very vew people will stay for an out-of-focus presentation.

tstage
Engaging and appropriate narratives that garner a viewer's attention.

Yes, and ALWAYS add the voice over later. When you are shooting the video concentrate on the actual video. Just make quick comments, like notes. Then when you add the voice-over track just expand on your notes.

tstage
Any motion (e.g. panning the camera, zooming in or out) should be slow & deliberate

Further... USE A TRIPOD! You cannot hold a camera still. If you are panning, buy a stabilized gimbal mount or a two-handled motion cage and use it. These are pretty inexpensive on Amazon.

tstage
Limit music content.

We do not share the same taste in music with our audience. No one will come to my model building channel to hear selections from my collection of rare underground/bootleg punk rock recordings from the early 1980s. Music should be public access instrumental arrangements at a low background volume. Find a piece with at least a 15 minute cycle repeat time that you like, and then use it in all of your videos.

York1
Also, no need for long introductory title scenes and dramatic effects.

My title page sequence was 10 seconds long. The title page with fading in-out logos for the 8th USAAF, SGRR Logo, Betsy Ross Flag, Viking Shield, Soviet Star, and a Heater Shield with Heraldry. This took six seconds, then there was a four second text page explaining my channel is not sponsored, I buy all of my own models, and I do my own production. All with Fife & Drum music playing. Then I would show a picture of the finished project with about a ten second voice over explanation of what would be included in this video. 

Then get down to the meat and potatoes.

Lone Wolf and Santa Fe
Proper lighting is the most important thing other than a steady camera that is in focus.

I used 5,600K photo flourescents in reflectors. LEDs should either be battery powered, or USB powered. LEDs powered by 120 VAC flicker, and the frame rate on most digital video cameras can pick this up in irritating ways. I bought some good 5,000K LED panel lights with USB power from Amazon for a good price. 

hon30critter
videos that are too long and repetetive get turned off pretty quickly.

Yes, stick to the point. A video should never be made longer than it needs to be.

NEVER show the entire sequence of installing six identical pieces on a model. Show the first, and the final part of the last. NEVER show all the brush strokes for painting a wall. BORING!

NVSRR
So I know to keep it in frame.

Yes. I used Sony Vegas to edit our videos, and I could pan/scan to where the action was. So I shot wide and edited tight.

IDRick
Cut the music, wanna hear your short, concise comments about your layout and hear the trains run!  I can listen to music anytime.

Music should only be in the background. The feature is your modeling technique.

IDRick
Turn down the volume!  Watching five locos go by with sound blaring leads to an immediate departure from the video.

Listening to DCC sound systems in videos becomes boring in just three short seconds. Keep that in mind.

Graham Line
It will help immensely if you do rough "story board" sketches or a written plan ahead of time so you know what set-ups you want to photograph and what narrative you want to add.

I did this in reverse. I would make the video and edit it into the scenes I wanted. Then I would make a story board from the scenes and write the text. If your voice-over is too long or too short you can speed up or slow down the scene slightly to match.

These are my own best tips:

1) - Do not use video where a photograph is appropriate: Too many YouTubers use video for everything. For a lot of detail and specifics, a well taken still photograph is much better. Add dialogue baloons and pop-up arrows to match your voice-over. Motion when you are describing finer detail is always bad.

2) - Showing the final model on a turntable rotating at 4 RPM at the end of the video is a nice touch. If you must include a personal music selection, this would be the place to do that. A retail 4 RPM display turntable is not very expensive.

3) - At the very end of the video show a slideshow of pictures of your other modeling projects with an invitation to watch more of your videos. I only had videos for about 15% of the projects I showed, but I had intentions.

4) - I shot all of my previous YouTube videos using my Canon Rebel DSLR camera with good EOS lenses. Having a decent DLSR with video capability is no longer a requirement for making watchable videos. The video recording quality of many newer cell phone cameras is much better than it was 10 years ago.

5) - While cell phone cameras have gotten better... the built in microphones have not. Get a decent microphone and use it to record the voice-over. My new Canon 80-D has an input for an external microphone that I might try for certain video segments.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,391 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, May 20, 2023 7:30 PM

hon30critter
 
York1
Also, no need for long introductory title scenes and dramatic effects.  Get right to the content. 

Cheers!!

Dave

You guys must hate my videos! My intro titles / welcome for my layout update videos is about 20 seconds long.

But I do use a tripod, hopefully my lighting isn't too bad (120v powered LEDs - the layout room lighting), and the videos are scripted before the narration is recorded so I don't repeat myself to much and fill the audio with ums and ands and ers.

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 5,519 posts
Posted by York1 on Saturday, May 20, 2023 8:31 PM

Pruitt
You guys must hate my videos! My intro titles / welcome for my layout update videos is about 20 seconds long.

 

You must do a great job with your intros because I don't remember being aggravated by them.  Some videos have such long poorly-done intros that I just click off of them.

I've never been tempted to do that with yours!

York1 John       

  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: US
  • 4,646 posts
Posted by jacon12 on Monday, May 22, 2023 6:27 PM

Loud music and too much lead time before a train enters the scene.  I usually see that latter one in railfan videos.  The guy sets up to shoot the oncoming train and starts shooting, like 3 minutes before the train ever enters the scene.  You're sitting there watching, well.. nothing.  Edit out that 'dead' time.

 HO Scale DCC Modeler of 1950, give or take 30 years.
  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 18,255 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, May 25, 2023 9:22 AM

One thing that really irrtates me on model railroad cab rides is when you get a full view of the unfinished interior of a hill for 45 seconds while in a tunnel.

BORING!

Sleep

-Kevin

Living the dream.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 9,303 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Thursday, May 25, 2023 11:40 AM

SeeYou190

One thing that really irrtates me on model railroad cab rides is when you get a full view of the unfinished interior of a hill for 45 seconds while in a tunnel.

BORING!

Sleep

-Kevin

 

I so agree with this, it is a pet peeve of mine. All my tunnels are finished on the inside.

Brent

"All of the world's problems are the result of the difference between how we think and how the world works."

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,391 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Friday, May 26, 2023 1:01 AM

I kinda like seeing the unfinished inside of a tunnel, as long as it isn't too big a chunk of the entire video. Lets me see what construction techniwques were used in benchwork and basic scenery landforms.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!