(RETURN TO MAIN PAGE)

This procedure assumes that you are using Nvidia’s Shadowplay feature on Windows to record video. We will use simple tools that come with Windows, but you can always get more advanced editing tools on your own (for example, Camtasia or Final Cut Pro).

Schedule yourself off that day

Do not attempt to shoot while on stage. You will fuck up. You need to be able to see the show chat and react. Even if you have a second viewer or monitor or computer, you still can’t do both at once.

Let someone who isn’t distracted by a video shoot enjoy the moment on the stage. The audience deserve the best possible show, and they can’t get that when you’re not fully there.

if you disagree with this, YOU ARE WRONG.

When you’ve shot an routine before, and you’ve done it to your satisfaction, reward yourself with a little warmth from the spotlight then and only then.

Study others

The first thing you should do is watch videos that others have posted.

And not just of Debauche. Watch videos that R., Tristan Lyonesse, Petina Auer, Avalief, AndyCam, Laura18, and other shooters capturing other groups. Take notes. Watch what they do and what they don’t do. Talk to them.

  • How do they frame the initial shot?
  • How much of the audio do they capture?
  • Full screen or the application frame?
  • Lighting and shadows?
  • Do they keep the dancers in sync?
  • How much do they move the camera?
  • When do they move the camera?
  • Do they add titles and credits?
  • Do they have any lag or other glitches on stage, but still post the video?
  • Do they cut together multiple takes of closeups and full stage shots?
  • When the camera moves, is it a natural flow and expected, or is it jarring and dizzying?
  • Is it a true capture of the performance, or is the capture a performance in and of itself?

Just taking a full stage capture of a show lets the audience see the routine cleanly. It’s always good to get one of that, and then let yourself play a bit and flow with the performance. Maybe splice them together in an edit. That way, you don’t need to worry about “Should I have done X this way?” Because we do repeat acts, so you’ll have more chances in the future (we hope).

Prepare Windows

Turn off all notifications on your computer. This includes Skype, Email, and other applications.

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Settings
  3. Click System
  4. Click Notifications & actions
  5. Change Notifications to Off.

If you need email and messages, use your phone. But don’t clutter your recording computer with anything that might interfere with the capture.

Set up the Firestorm interface

Then you need to go Fullscreen Mode in Firestorm to get rid of the Windows title bar and bottom tool bar:

  1. Open Preferences (Control-P)
  2. Click the Graphics tab.
  3. Select the Fullscreen Mode checkbox.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Restart Firestorm.

This will remove the close box in the upper-right corner of Firestorm. You will need to use the menu option or Control-Q to quit Firestorm.

I also recommend turning off interface sounds so you don’t get group and IM notification tones. (You can also turn off gesture and other sounds if you don’t want applause and other baby talk getting in the video.)

Use the shortcut Control-Alt-F1 to hide the Firestorm user interface. And use the shortcut Alt-Shift-H to hide all HUDs.

Configure Shadowplay

The Alt-F9 shortcut in Shadowplay may trigger some gestures. If you need to, you can change the shortcut or kill whatever gesture is triggered by Alt-F9. Heck, you can disable all of the shortcuts except for Alt-Z and Alt-F9 if you want to.

How to change the shortcut to Alt-Shift-F9:

  1. Open Shadowplay with Alt-Z.
  2. Click the gear icon in the far right to open Settings.
  3. Click Keyboard Shortcuts.
  4. Scroll down to Record >> Toggle manual recording on/off and save.
  5. Click the shortcut so it turns green.
  6. Hit Alt-Shift-F9. The shortcut in the box should change.
    • (I recommend that you disable all other shortcuts that you don’t need. Click each box and hit the Delete key.)
  7. Click Back.

Let’s turn off all annoying Shadowplay notifications.

  1. Open Shadowplay with Alt-Z.
  2. Click the gear icon in the far right to open Settings.
  3. Click Notifications.
  4. Toggle off Notifications on top. All toggles will turn off.
  5. Toggle on Recording has been saved to Gallery.
  6. Toggle on Recording has started.

Record

Now you can use Alt-Shift-F9 to record video, and hit it again to save it.

Simple recording technique

  1. Set Fullscreen Mode.
  2. Fire up WinAmp for sound, because Firestorm will resync the music stream every 30 minutes to get buffers right
  3. Cam around to cache textures.
  4. Set your Windlight properly (usually Midnight).
  5. Line up the screen so it’s level and catches full stage.
  6. Hide the mouse pointer in the corner of the screen.
  7. Hide all HUDs.
  8. START RECORDING. Do this a few seconds before the routine starts so the banner vanishes in time.
  9. When Geordie says “… those ladies of Debauche.” hide the interface.
  10. Do any camera moves you want to.
  11. Wait for the music to stop.
  12. Stop recording.

Shadowplay will save the recordings in Desktop >> Libraries >> Videos >> Firestorm

SpaceMouse/SpaceNavigator

This thing makes shooting a lot easier. Put it on your Amazon Wish List and ping R.

Practice zooming in and out.
Practice panning left to right across a line of dancers.
Practice putting the camera full stage and parking it there.
Practice following a diva walking in and out.
Make all your mistakes into moves… when you have a smooth technique, everything flows like water.

Use the bottom of the stage to frame the shot so it’s level.
Peek through the curtain and backstage to cache textures of the set and dancers.
It also helps find the center of the stage.
Mark the bottom of your monitor where the middle is.

Simple Editing

If you hide the interface right after Geordie introduces the routine, you will have a good indicator when to chop the start of the video.

  1. Open the file with the Photos application.
  2. Click Edit & Create.
  3. Click Trim.
  4. Use the blue ball to shuttle the video forward and backward.
  5. Locate a good starting point (when you remove the interface) and drag the left white ball to that time.
  6. Locate a good ending point and drag the right white ball to that time.
  7. Click Save a copy.

Advanced Editing

Some people like to capture a silent video and then add the audio track themselves.
Also, some people like to add a title card.
To do advanced editing, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Open the file with the Photos application.
  2. Click Edit & Create.
  3. Click Create a video with text.
  4. Give the file a name.

If things get out of sync, to use a custom audio track:

  1. Click Custom Audio.
  2. Mute the current audio track for the video.
  3. Click Add audio file.
  4. Select audio file.
  5. Slide file to right start point.
  6. Click Done.

To set a title card:

  1. Click Add title card.
  2. Give the video a title and click OK.
  3. Right click the title card and click Edit, then click Text.
  4. Enter a title for the video.
  5. Select a style.
  6. Click Background.
  7. Select a background color.
  8. Click Done.

And now let’s finish the video:

  1. Click Finish Video.
  2. Click Export.

YouTube

If you add a video to YouTube, ask R. to add it to the playlist.

X is better than Y

No, I’m not going to get into this kind of debate and judgement. Because we all have different preferences, styles, reflexes, and ways of looking at an routine. Me, Laura18, Ava, Katie, and everyone who takes the time and effort to film is already giving us something that is priceless and precious. Moments in time and memories that last.

For lighting, some prefer Midnight while others do Mid Day or Shadows or something else.

For perspectives, some do head-on full stage while others roam around or orbit. And still some prioritize keeping the group in sync while others let them go out of frame and desync.

For production, some like to add titles and credits while others let them stand alone as-is and put the information in the YouTube Description.

For audio, some include Geordie’s introduction and wrapup, while some do not.

For editing, some will combine multiple performances while others do just one shot.

For frame rate and resolution, okay… there’s differences. That’s just raw system power.

We all have different approaches and motivations. And I think that kind of diversity is important.

So, you can say from a raw power perspective, I go full-bore overclocked to get 4K at high frame rate, cache the heck out of particles and outfits, and cam around a lot. But sometimes, a full stage approach, a daylight lighting, or multiple takes edited, or having the titles and credits would add value when I don’t do them. Because I’m lazy.

It’s not a competition. It’s a cohesion.

(RETURN TO MAIN PAGE)