by John Gillmore and Bucky Dodd
In the previous installment of this series, we provided a purchasing "checklist" for setting up a green screen video production studio. Part III of this tutorial series explains the production steps for recording, editing, processing and encoding video for use in Adobe Captivate eLearning lessons.
Step 1: Develop a detailed script that not only describes what the talent will say, but also what they will do while on screen. Be sure to include how the talent will enter and exit the screen and what non-verbal gestures should be performed.
Step 2: Set up the studio in a room that allows all equipment to be operated properly and still allows production staff to be comfortable. In this step, the critical production factor is the lighting. The lights should be positioned so the talent is evenly lit and the solid green background is free from any shadows and also lit evenly.
The talent should be positioned as far away from the background as possible, while still providing the desired frame for the video. This reduces shadows and greatly improves the quality of the end product.
Step 3: Establish and test the video recorder's settings for optimal performance. For audio, make the appropriate connections with the wireless microphone system and ensure the audio levels are within an acceptable range. Next, set the camcorder's recording sessions to record the video at 720p at 60fps (frames per second). Record the talent performing the script several times.
Step 4: Import the video into Adobe Premiere CS4 for editing and processing. To begin, trim the video so it starts and stops at the desired locations. Apply the Boris FX chroma key filter to the video by activating the plug-in and choosing the background color you would like to remove with the plug-in's color picker. Adjust the chroma key filter so all the background color is removed and the transparent background is free of any processing artifacts. You may find that having a still image of the Captivate lesson's interface placed behind the video will help with adjusting the video's settings and placement.
Step 5: Encode the processed video by selecting File > Export > Media. This will open a dialog box for setting the encoding parameters. Encode the video content as Flash Video (.FLV) and select the option to encode the alpha layer. This allows the background color that is removed by the chroma key plug-in to remain transparent. After choosing the encoding settings and clicking the OK button the Adobe Media Encoder (packaged with Adobe Premiere CS4) will launch automatically. Select Start Que to begin the encoding process.
Once this process is complete, you have a video in .FLV format where the background has been removed, leaving just the talent. This video can be used in a variety of ways to support and enhance the instructional value of eLearning lessons.
Bucky Dodd is an instructional designer at the Center for Professional and Distance Education at the University of Central Oklahoma. His professional interests include innovation in eLearning, workplace learning and performance trends, and instructional design. Mr. Dodd has instructional design and consulting experience in both public and private organizations. He holds a B.A. in Corporate Communication and a M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of Central Oklahoma.