Over 2 years ago, I wrote a blog post about what I used to make my videos. But now that article is outdated, since I’ve changed a lot of the software and some of the equipment I use. So here’s an updated version of that article. If you’re looking to start making videos and were wondering how I did it, then here you go…
I’m still using the same laptop that I was back in 2016. It’s a Samsung NP350V5C-A01US laptop. It’s specs are as follows:
- CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-3210M 2.5GHz 64-bit processor
- RAM: 6GB DDR3
- Storage: 750GB hard disk drive
- Screen resolution: 1366×768
The headset I was wearing broke, so I’m now using just earbuds and a YouMic lapel microphone, which has allowed me to record decent-enough audio.
For video storage, I’m currently using OneDrive cloud storage, though I would like to switch to a self-hosted server at some point – partially to not be dependent on Microsoft (and Google), and partially because I want to be able to make my videos available on DTube permanently without having to pay others to host my videos on their nodes.
My primary and favorite OS on my computer is Linux (or GNU+Linux, whatever you want to call it). My distro is Arch Linux, which I chose partially because I wanted a challenge for installing it, partially because I wanted to learn more about Linux, and partially because of the AUR (Arch User Repository).
When it comes to microphone audio recording on Linux, one neat feature I’ve discovered is that PulseAudio has an echo-cancelation module you can turn on. At least in my experience, this feature works great, and by using it and some tweaked settings in OBS, I’ve been able to get some surprisingly good audio out of my mic when recording on Linux. (My most-recent, and unfortunately also only example of this audio quality so far is “Looking Back on 2017”.)
And speaking of OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), that’s my main video/audio recording tool on Linux. It’s a rather fantastic app for both recording and livestreaming. Unfortunately, I can’t actually use it to record most of my gameplay videos – not because of a fault in the software, but rather because of my mediocre hardware.
My laptop lacks a dedicated graphics card, and so I only have integrated graphics (Intel® HD Graphics 4000) provided by the processor. So how do I record my videos? Well, the processor has a feature called Quick Sync Video, which allows for quick video processing, but unfortunately there’s not much support for the feature on Linux. So in order to record decent-framerate videos while playing a resource-intensive game like Minecraft, I have to use the other operating system installed on my laptop: Windows 10.
On Windows 10, I usually just use the built-in Xbox Game DVR feature to record gaming videos. It works well enough for most cases, though sometimes it can be a bit confusing and/or tricky to know when I have started recording since the game bar doesn’t appear while playing Minecraft in fullscreen mode.
After recording all the footage for a video, it’s time to edit it. I use Kdenlive as my video editor, since it’s both kinds of free (libre and gratis), surprisingly powerful, and it runs on Linux (and Windows), unlike my previous two video editors. For music in my videos I usually use Kevin MacLeod music, since he licenses his music under the open/libre Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. I usually export my videos in WebM format using the open VP9 codec, though I hope to start using AV1 in the future once that format is completed and support for it becomes more widespread.
When making video thumbnails, I use the built-in screenshot function of VLC Media Player to capture frames from my videos, and I use GIMP to edit them and create the thumbnails for my videos. For a series, I just re-use the same project file for the thumbnail of every episode and modify it to use the screenshot, title, and episode number of the one I'm currently working on. I then export the result as a PNG image, and that’s it!
Overall, I think my setup has improved from the last time I posted about it. I wish I had a laptop with more graphical power, and I also wish I had proper headphones and a better mic, but in terms of software, I’m quite satisfied with what I’m using right now. I would definitely recommend using OBS, Kdenlive, and GIMP if you’re wanting to do video production. I wish I had been using these tools when I first started making videos.
For now, that's all there is to say about the tools I use to make my videos, but after the next 2 years have passed, I’ll probably end up doing another one of these posts, in which case I'll add a link to it here. I hope this post has been helpful and informative to you!