ONLINE DELIVERY OF VIRTUAL PRODUCTION WORKSHOPS
This multi-camera set-up for streaming practical workshops using the ATEM Mini was further developed by the Digital Media and Innovative Design (DMID) department at the University of Lincoln. The DMID team adopted this approach in order to deliver a series of online workshops that explored virtual production and practical green screen techniques. The workshops featured three lecturers working together in the digital media production lab and were streamed live to the entire DMID cohort via Microsoft Teams [Fig. 3]. The sessions were also recorded and made available for students to rewatch at a later date. The technical set-up for these workshops included:
- A wide shot of the entire green screen and lighting rig.
- A medium shot of a presenter/lecturer who was able to engage with students and provide instructions.
- A live feed of the camera monitor.
- Inputs from various scopes so adjustments could be observed in real-time.
BENEFITS OF A MULTI-CAMERA STREAMING SET-UP
- Each student has simultaneous access to the viewfinder, monitors and wider set.
- Helps students to understand menus and reinforce knowledge of creative techniques by observing how changes to the camera and lighting can affect the final output on camera.
- Fosters interaction and collaboration as students can ask questions and seek support in real-time.
- Encourages experimentation with DIY set-ups and techniques.
- Students are able to rewatch workshops in their own time.
- Provides a technical set-up for recording video tutorials, which present further opportunities for flipped-classroom and blended-learning approaches.
4. LIVE STREAMING IN AN EDUCATIONAL CONTEXT
In addition to the technical set-up addressed above, the EMEX project has experimented with various modes of streaming in an educational context. This section will reflect on these examples and provide some advice on how to get started with streaming. In recent years, online streaming services like Twitch and Uscreen have become extremely popular - with 24% of all streamed video content now being delivered through live streaming platforms (Conviva, 2021). According to Twitch's 'Introduction to Streaming Set Ups', the most important things to consider are:
- Streaming software - A live streaming platform is an online tool that allows you to upload and broadcast video content in real-time, as opposed to recording and uploading it after the event. This also includes broadcasting software like OBS.
- Hardware - Most mid-tier computers (including PCs and Macs) should be able to run a basic game, webcam/audio software, and your broadcasting software.
- A solid internet connection is required for a stable connection.
- Audio - Providing good audio can significantly change the perception of your stream, and sometimes even make or break the entire viewing experience for your audience. Be sure to assess the type of content you create and choose your microphone accordingly.
- Video - You should consider aspects like camera location, angle, lighting, and positioning. These can enhance even the most basic camera without breaking the bank. As with audio, the type of content you create may help determine how much effort and budget you place into your camera.
CASE STUDY: 'TWITCH.TV/JAYUMCOOPER'
Graham Cooper (Lecturer at the University of Lincoln) has been experimenting with online streaming in order to share his experiences with 3D graphics software like Blender. Twitch.tv/jayumcooper was established by Graham during lockdown as a means of figuring out how to connect with online audiences while teaching and learning new software skills. The channel became a space for Graham to reflect on his own learning as he familiarised himself with Blender, where viewers could interact in real-time, ask questions, set design challenges and follow along (or 'build along') with tutorials. Graham created a dedicated Discord server where the audience could share screenshots of their works-in-progress and final renders. This was inputted into OBS, which allowed Graham, to switch between his camera, computer screen, and Discord feed in order to review and provide feedback in real-time [Fig. 4]. OBS also allowed Graham to set up scenes and transitions rather than sharing a single, static view. This live streaming set-up has helped Graham to create an engaging educational community.