Wednesday, May 28, 2019

For my first assignment in the Adobe Explainer Videos course, I decided to create an explainer video on "How to Use Library Databases on Canvas." I would start with (1) a short clip of me introducing the subject, then show (2) a screen video of accessing the databases, and then close with (3) a summary.

I realized the first thing I would have to do is learn how to make screen videos. That is where I am right now.

I wasted quite a bit of time mistakenly following links showing how to make a screen recording with Quicktime. Then I discovered how easy it is to simply go to the Launchpad on my MacAir laptop and click the "Screenshot" app. After playing with the controls, I made a video that was 2.50 minutes. But the assignment said no more than 90 seconds, so I tried again. This time the video came out 2.10. I will have to keep working on that until I can make a much shorter video. I may have to narrow my focus!

Well, I did make a shorter video, at 1.50, but still too long. Then I decided I could just cut the video in Rush. So I started creating a project in Rush and tried to add the video to that project. Unfortunately, it was difficult to discover how to add video to Rush. It was difficult to find the right instructional video for adding video. When I did find some good instructions, they did not work for me. I finally found my file to upload, but Rush said sorry we cannot view this video. I have spent about two hours trying to figure this out, and now I have to give up for the night and try again tomorrow. Frustrating!!

Except, before I went to bed, I had the idea of uploading the video to Vimeo (an account which I had just opened tonight since the assignment suggested sharing the assignment from there), and then I downloaded that video to my desktop (previous work had been done on laptop). Then I tried to add the file to Rush from there, but again, I met with failure:

This is something I will have to figure out tomorrow. It is after midnight, and the kitchen is full of dishes.

I noticed that the Rush upload limit for clips is 25 mb, and my clip was 30 mb. So I thought maybe that it is why my video would not upload into Rush, because it was too large. Using another app, I trimmed my clip and then tried to upload it, but still it would not upload. This time the error message said the file had a "complex menu." I am wondering if screen videos do not work. I really hope they do work because otherwise my purpose in taking this course is futile. Surely they do work, and I am just doing something wrong. I have posted a message to the Adobe tech staff.

So, I watched the first live session. It was interesting and the time went by really quickly. Diana and Melissa were both informative and helpful. I was assured that I am indeed able to load screen videos into the Rush program, and I was assured that I could ask questions in the Ask-an-instructor forum. I will fool around with the program some more before doing that.

Well, hallelujah, and a big shout-out to Sjaani van den Berg, who answered my technical question about not being able to post screen videos. Sjaani suggested that I save the clips as .mp4 files rather than .mov files. It worked! I was so happy that I could finally upload my screen videos and start working on my project.

And now, the next problem! My project is too long, and I need to trim it . I I really would like this project, when completed, to actually be usuable at my school, to show students how to use the databases. So I have been painstakingly trying to cut extra seconds here and there. As soon as I attain the assigned length I will submit it as the first assignment. Everything in my video seems really essential right now, so I am just looking for every possible second to cut, such as when I was hovering over something a tad too long. I will work on this tomorrow. Today I feel happy that I was able to make significant progress in using the Rush app.

And tonight, I successfully finished the first assignment. I was able to get it to the proper length, stitch it all together, insert extra footage at the beginning, and do a voice-over. The first phase of this project is done! Here is a link to the first rough-cut assignment:

My plan in revising the video was to: * add a title; * insert a photo of the "Cite" button in the video because the video went over it too fast; *crop and enhance my talking head clip; and add a music clip.

I was able to do all of the above; but the music clip caused my project to increase to about 225 mb, but the project limit was 25 mb. It really sounded great with the music, though. Anyway, I ditched the music, but I was frustrated because my Rush program continued to say the project was 225 mb, even though I had deleted the music not only from the clip but also from the holding box. When I downloaded to my computer, I was back to 28 mb. Here is the revised video:

Things I will do when I revise this for my students: (1) Go a little more slowly as I am afraid this may be too fast for students to follow; (2) Re-add music to the opening title; (3) Refilm myself in the opening, a little more dressed up, hair better, and makeup; make the photo insert of the "Cite" button a brighter, better photo.

Although this video is not perfectly professional, I believe I have learned the basics of using Adobe Premiere Rush, and that my future projects will be better as I go. I am convinced that I will easily be able to use this software to make instructional videos for my students. Thank you for a great course!

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