Recording At Home or In Your Office: Quick Tips

Enhance the quality of at-home and in-office classroom recordings with small adjustments to equipment and technology, lighting, camera angle, audio, and more. SCPD’s Digital Media Creation and Strategy team provides helpful hints for improving your recordings.  

Performing on Camera

Learn tips and tricks for getting comfortable in front of the camera and captivating your audience.

Lighting

Find out how to use lighting in your home or office to enhance your videos.

Audio

Learn how to achieve good quality audio and video recordings with these quick tips.

 

Equipment

The best tools for recording video are the ones you already have on hand. The following equipment recommendations are slight enhancements to using just your computer, tablet, or phone, and components may be available for loan from the Center for Teaching and Learning or SCPD.

Screencast Recording (Basic)

On-Camera Recording (Basic)

If you need an equipment recommendation tailored to a specific video production, contact us at dmcs-consultation@lists.stanford.edu.

Quick Tips on Best Practices

Best practices of video recording image

Wardrobe

  • Wear something you would wear when presenting in a symposium of your peers.
  • Solid colored, casual prep is advisable.

Lighting

  • Make sure you are well lit and better lit than your background.
  • Choose an indirect light source – which is light coming in from all sides.
  • Face your brightest source of light (usually a window or a ring light). Diffuse direct sunlight with window curtains.
  • A table lamp 45 degrees to your right or left is a viable local light source. If you notice hotspots on your face, adjust the lamp accordingly.
  • Avoid sitting with your back to a window.
  • If you wear glasses be thoughtful about your computer monitor and/or light source reflecting off of  them.

Camera Angle

  • Your best camera angle is head-on and at eye level. Make sure your camera is at the same level as your eyes or just slightly above. You do not want people to feel like they are severely looking up or down at you.
  • Make sure you are making direct eye contact into the camera. Be thoughtful when using multiple screens or reference materials – an off eyeline will feel awkward and non-conversational for your learner.
  • Make sure you are centered within the frame.

Background

  • Make sure your background is not too distracting. The best recommendation is a background that will force the viewers to concentrate on you, rather than your surroundings.

Sound

  • An external microphone is ideal. Only use your computer microphone as a last resort.
  • If you do not have a USB microphone (Yeti, etc.), mobile phone earbuds with the microphone feature are a great alternative.
  • Make sure to silence phone alerts and computer notifications which chime.

Technology

  • Make sure you are plugged into a power source and set to high performance mode.
  • If you are using an online tool like Zoom to record, use an internet speed test tool to test your connection speed first. Your upload speed should be more than 20 Mbps per second, otherwise you run the risk of a degraded video resolution and dropped frames. Whenever possible, use a wired ethernet connection.

Need more help? Contact us at dmcs-consultation@lists.stanford.edu.