After a long break and finally creating my first training course I’m back.
So in this post I would like to introduce my new training course for Periscope. Now actually the last post was the one I did to show the use of a lot of the things I cover in this new course, namely Periscope with split screen, multi-camera, graphic overlays, lower thirds but in this I also live green screen.
The course is available through Udemy.com which it is up for $49 but if you use the following link you can get it for $30 🙂 this link here
The Course is over 7 hours in length and made up of over 80 video lectures, previews of sections of the course are available on the Udemy site at the above link
When I did the last post, which was is far as I know the first time anyone had done these things on Periscope back in July 2015, I was a few days ahead of Alex Pettitt when he did a similar thing.
Now a lot of people were asking me to show how I did it. At the time I was using a Newtek Tricaster which is basically a dedicated piece of hardware that is a TV studio in a box. Now that is all well and good but its an expensive piece of kit and few people are going to start with something like that.
So I went back to the drawing board and and recreated the whole set up but with much lower cost equipment and software based around either MAC or PC.
I also refined the capture stage of getting the video in to Periscope and remote viewing of the comments and the output screen that the viewers of your Periscope show see.
In the process I discovered that certainly for creating shows around Periscope, a lot of the more expensive hardware and software is less capable than some of the cheapest applications out there.
They may not have some of the fancier bits but as far as the basic operation of being able to do things like both portrait and landscape set ups and control of multiple layers of video, graphics and text, they are much more practical. So in this case throwing money at the software does not mean that you are going to get better system.
However having said this there still areas where better equipment does mean better performance and these are cameras, audio, computers and green screens.
Now whilst you can start with just a simple webcam like a Logitech C920 and get a good result but you will get a better result with a good quality video camera and better again with a high quality DSLR. The only issues with the better cameras are the fact you need to use a HDMI to USB3.0 interface to get the video in to the computer via USB 3.0 or a capture card like the BlackMagic Intensity Pro.
Same applies to the audio, a webcam with a built in mic is OK to start with but a desktop mic like a Blue Yeti or a lapel mic will do much better again.
When it comes to computers then usually the newer and more powerful the better, PC’s are a bit better in that respect than MAC’s because you can at least upgrade most PC’s where as the iMac in particular is pretty much stuck with the spec that you buy it with apart from the memory being the only user upgradable part.
I have used a 2011 iMAC with an intel i3 3Ghz CPU and 4Gb ram and it worked for basic setups with Camtwist with a webcam like the C920 but it wont do for better full HD cameras because of the USB2.0 interface.
The current MAC I use is a 5K iMAC with an i5 quad core and 8Gb RAM and AMD M290 graphics card. This works much better not only because of the more powerful CPU, graphics and more RAM but also because it has USB3.0 and Thunderbolt 2.0 interfaces. USB 3.0 can handle full HD video so you can use better video cameras with HDMI to USB3.0 interfaces.
The PC I’m using is a custom built one I made a about 4 years ago with a 3.4Ghz i7 CPU, 24Gb RAM though I have fitted it with new AMD Radeon 290x 4Gb video card. Luckily it was one of the first motherboards with USB 3.0 so I can bring in full HD video from my camera’s.
The one thing that I didn’t have in the very first Periscope was a live green screen but this is something which I have included in the Periscope course. Although the principles are the same as for normal green screen set-up that you would use with the likes of After Effect Keylight or Premiers Pro Ultrakey, the quality of the green screen itself, the lighting and the camera all have a bigger impact when used in a live environment.
Unlike rendering a green screen with a typical compositor application, a live set-up is much more restricted due to have to do everything in real time. The software has a lot to do in the limited time available for each frame of video and unless you using a more up market video switching software the green screen capabilities of some of the cheaper packages can leave a lot to be desired.
Of the two programs covered, Xsplit has the best green screen capabilities whilst Camtwist really does need the best green screen, lighting and camera you can lay your hands on to get good results and even then its still tricky but if you work with a small green screen and don’t move around much then you can make it look quite good.
All in all, getting the video content in to Periscope is only a small part of the overall setup, the rest is making what you will show.