How to Make a Let’s Play: Quick ‘N Dirty

This is more of a review meant to sum up a few details from the first 3 parts, starting from the set up. If you’re looking for an in-depth article, check those posts out!

Hello, Internet!
It is I, Charlie, here to review a few of the finer notes of our set up before anything actually gets recorded.

As we noted earlier, we’ve got a 2 laptop set-up. The first laptop is a 2017 Macbook. This runs both our audio recording software and our facecam software. For audio, since I’ve yet to find a reliable program that records 2 input sources well,
(programs I have found so far have had issues with 2 microphones with either lag or dropped sound) the Macbook runs both Audacity into microphone A (a snowball mic for those paying attention at home) and the Quicktime Player audio recording software runs for microphone B (another snowball).

For our Facecam, it’s Photobooth (The built in webcam software on a Mac). It’s very important that you do a test recording on all three pieces of software and play it back to make sure things function without issue. Can’t count the number of times we’ve false started due to my lack inability to remember to test.

For our gaming laptop, we try and record in 1920X1080 at 60 FPS. How we usually start every video is with a strong, strong cup of coffee. After that however, we’re off to the races. After we start the screen recording software and do a quick sync (wherein a countdown of 3-2-1 is cycled in time with a scroll through the main menu and a loud countdown into all microphones), we usually just jump in. Part of what makes the Indiecent Exposure series so genuine is the fact that I have no clue what the games are like, if they’ll even work, or what the controls are. It’s as much of a mystery to me as it is to everyone else!

After about 30-40 minutes of playing (that or finishing a level or first boss) we once again perform another sync at the end of the video. Afterwards, all recording stops.

Any videos are then run through HANDBRAKE, a program used to keep video frames and quality consistent. Our settings in handbrake are a constant FPS rate of 59.94, or as close to the source material file as possible. From Handbrake, the videos are saved to an SSD here at the studio. The audio files are also moved to this SSD. In fact, EVERYTHING is moved to a central SSD, which makes finding and importing things into Adobe Premiere so much easier.

Open and import your raw footage into Premiere Pro. Lay everything out on your timeline, and try to line up the syncs on all of your audio/video footage so that the start of your timeline is the countdown of 3-2-1 on all tracks. Once you’ve done this, RENDER YOUR FOOTAGE.

During the rendering, I usually head off, grab lunch, another coffee, play a few rounds of our upcoming MMA card game. But in all honesty you should take this opportunity to create your graphics. End cards, name tags, anything funny or special graphics wise you’d like to import later on should be created in the downtime.

Once your footage has been rendered, and your graphics created, begin editing your footage. Shrink the face cam footage to a corner (any corner is good!) to a point where it’s not distracting but still noticeable. Don’t forget to bring the game audio down to an acceptable level (usually around -20 DB) and try to get your own (microphone) audio up to an appropriate level where both partners are clearly audible (easier said than done!). Now take the cut tool and use it to select pieces of your footage you like, and remove clips you don’t like.

Lay in your graphics and add the appropriate transitions (fades and dissolves!) to spice up your editing.

Now export your footage and grab yourself a drink!

We’ll be going into the details of ‘Performance’ in our videos next time so don’t forget to follow us on social media for more updates!

-Charlie


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