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How-to Guide: Record a Webcam Video

Overview

This guide is designed to help you record a video of yourself using a webcam. The steps in the guide can be used independently, but if it’s your first time recording a video it’s best to work with your team along the way. By the end of this guide, you should have enough knowledge of the basics of digital camera and microphone technology to make a recording to share with your design team for feedback.

Due to the variety of technology and scenarios that can be involved in recording a video of yourself on camera, this guide won’t specify any details about cameras or software. If you need guides about specific technology, consult the Record Myself section of the Northwestern Digital Learning Resource Hub, visit the support website for your particular technology product, or contact your instructional technologist for assistance.

Guide

Planning and Setup

Working with your development team, you’ll decide which content is best conveyed through video. Once that’s been decided, you can begin planning and preparing to record.

Write a Script

Using a provided script template, you’ll write out what you want to say in the video and match your words with visual elements like graphics or photos, stage directions for yourself, or even physical objects you may want to show. It’s best to practice reading the script out loud a few times--phrases that seem perfectly fine on the page may be clunky or hard to get through when spoken aloud. Practice and polish both your words and your actions before submitting the script to the development team for review. The script will be given a copy edit so that it is clean and readable when used as the basis for captions.

Set Up Your Recording Space

Your instructional technologist will help with the setup of your recording equipment and environment. This will likely occur during a synchronous video conference meeting, but can be done asynchronously. If done during a video conference meeting, the technologist will ask you to enable your webcam and may have to move your camera, body, or items in your environment around to compose the most aesthetically pleasing image and capture the highest quality audio.

If your recording equipment or environment cannot be modified sufficiently to bring your recording quality up to acceptable standards, your technologist may suggest alternative methods for recording videos. If you’re unable to meet with your technologist to complete the setup, you may use the following guides to record a sample video and share it with them for feedback.

Recording

When you’re ready to record a video, you’ll want to set aside uninterrupted time to rehearse and then record. Vocal warm-ups are a good way to look and sound comfortable on camera and can help increase your energy level for a more engaging performance.

It can also help to record a video multiple times to make the performance feel more natural and get the best takes. If a video has multiple complex parts, you can record the segments separately. Your instructional technologist can help combine the parts with video editing software.

Depending on your specific video recording needs and the tools you have available to you, your instructional technologist may recommend different tools. It’s likely that one of the following guides will be recommended to you. If you have a recording tool you’d like to use that isn’t represented on the list, ask your instructional technologist if it’s acceptable to use.

Feedback

After you’re satisfied with your recording, upload the video file to the shared storage location that your course development team agreed to use. Your learning designer and instructional technologist will review the video and give feedback about what can be improved. If no improvements are needed, the videos can be added to your course.

Learn More About Recording Videos

The Digital Learning Resource Hub has many resources for recording videos.

Lynda.com contains tutorials including technical guides to learn how to use specific technology as well as presentation skills guides to improve your on-camera performance, start with the Web Video Training and Tutorials and explore from there.

The Resources section of the SPS Distance Learning website has guides about using supported video recording tools such as Panopto and the Canvas Video tool. Guides for common recording software included on macOS and Windows devices are available on the Mac Quicktime app and Windows Camera app support pages.

Overview

This guide will describe how to use Canvas Video in a web browser to record a webcam video. If you have been asked to make a recording as part of a course development process, ask your instructional technologist for assistance. By the end of this guide you will have recorded a webcam video using Canvas Video.

Guide

Login to Canvas

Visit the Northwestern Canvas site. Sign in with your NetID and password.

Navigate to a Rich Content Editor

Locate your course site, then navigate to a Rich Content Editor, which can be found by clicking the “Edit” button on a content page or by creating a new Announcement. Locate the Canvas Video button in the menu, which looks like a small play button and is to the right of the Panopto and Google Drive icons, and launch the Canvas Video applet.

Configure the Recording Options

Select your input devices and adjust your settings camera and audio settings as needed.

Record Your Video

Press the Record button. Follow along with your script, then hit Stop when you’re finished.

Upload Your Video

Upload your video when finished. Delete and start again if needed.

Learn More

The Northwestern IT Resource Hub has many resources for recording videos.

Lynda.com contains tutorials including technical guides to learn how to use specific technology as well as presentation skills guides to improve your on-camera performance.

The Resources section of the SPS Distance Learning website has guides about using supported video recording tools such as Panopto and the Canvas Video tool.

Guides for common recording software included on macOS and Windows devices are available on the Mac Quicktime app and Windows Camera app support pages.

Overview

This guide will describe how to use the Panopto Recorder software for Windows or macOS to record a webcam video. If you have been asked to make a recording as part of a course development process, ask your instructional technologist for assistance. By the end of this guide you will have installed, logged in, and recorded a webcam video using the Panopto Recorder software.

Guide

Install Panopto Recorder

Visit the Northwestern Panopto site. Sign in with your NetID. Download Panopto for your operating system. Follow the on-screen installation instructions.

Launch the Panopto Recorder

Locate and launch the Panopto Recorder. Complete the sign-in process.

Configure the Recording Options

Select your recording folder. Select your input devices. Adjust your recording preferences, frame rate, quality levels, etc.

Record Your Video

Press the Record button. Follow along with your script, then hit Stop when you’re finished.

Upload Your Video

Upload your video when finished. Delete and start again if needed.

Learn More

The Northwestern Digital Learning Resource Hub Resource Hub has many resources for recording videos.

Lynda.com contains tutorials including technical guides to learn how to use specific technology as well as presentation skills guides to improve your on-camera performance.

The Resources section of the SPS Distance Learning website has guides about using supported video recording tools such as Panopto and the Canvas Video tool.

Guides for common recording software included on macOS and Windows devices are available on the Mac Quicktime app and Windows Camera app support pages.

Overview

This guide will describe how to use the Quicktime app on macOS to record a webcam video. If you have been asked to make a recording as part of a course development process, ask your instructional technologist for assistance. By the end of this guide you will have recorded a webcam video using Quicktime.

Guide

Open the App

Locate and launch Quicktime.

Configure the Recording Options

Select File, then New Movie Recording. Select your input devices. Adjust your settings.

Record Your Video

Press the Record button. Follow along with your script, then hit Stop when you’re finished.

Upload Your Video

Upload your video to the storage location for your course development.

Learn More

The Northwestern Digital Learning Resource Hub has many resources for recording videos.

Lynda.com contains tutorials including technical guides to learn how to use specific technology as well as presentation skills guides to improve your on-camera performance.

The Resources section of the SPS Distance Learning website has guides about using supported video recording tools such as Panopto and the Canvas Video tool.

Guides for common recording software included on macOS and Windows devices are available on the Mac Quicktime app and Windows Camera app support pages.

Overview

This guide will describe how to use the Windows Camera app to record a webcam video. If you have been asked to make a recording as part of a course development process, ask your instructional technologist for assistance. By the end of this guide you will have recorded a webcam video using the Windows Camera app.

Guide

Open the Camera App

Locate and launch the Camera App.

Configure the Recording Options

Select your input devices. Adjust your settings.

Record Your Video

Press the Record button. Follow along with your script, then hit Stop when you’re finished.

Upload Your Video

Upload your video to the storage location for your course development.

Learn More

The Northwestern Digital Learning Resource Hub has many resources for recording videos.

Lynda.com contains tutorials including technical guides to learn how to use specific technology as well as presentation skills guides to improve your on-camera performance.

The Resources section of the SPS Distance Learning website has guides about using supported video recording tools such as Panopto and the Canvas Video tool.

Guides for common recording software included on macOS and Windows devices are available on the Mac Quicktime app and Windows Camera app support pages.