Mobile me… Things I’ve learnt from filming games on my tablet, part the first!

MCPE HBA 1

It’s only been ten short days since I rooted my trusty old 1st Gen Nexus 7 and installed SCR Screen Recorder and I’ve already added more videos to my YouTube channel than I managed to do in all the years I’ve had one! Here’s what I have learnt in the last ten days on filming, rendering & uploading:

1) Audio is rubbish: There’s no two ways around it, the tablet mic is awful. Add to that the fact kids keep disturbing me and ambient noises creep in (as I type my youngest is crying heartily in the background because the good lady Burro had the temerity to wake her up from her afternoon nap in time for tea) what you are left with is a poor quality voice-over full of hiss, crackle and annoying ankle-biters. Other than re-record a separate VO at my desktop with a decent mic I can’t see any way around this, and trust me when I say that I’m not going to be going to those lengths for what is a simple series of videos about games on my tablet 😀

2) Commentary is hard: I don’t want to get into writing scripts which means I have to waffle on as I play and frankly that can be hard, especially when you have a potty mouth such as mine. I’m going to do my best not to swear at all on my YouTube channel as I know that Minecraft & SurvivalCraft videos, like their games themselves, draw a lot of younger viewers and from my own experience as a father of Minecraft addicted children nothing ruins a good video more than f-bombs.

3) Time and space are at a premium: I’ve ditched VidTrim for AndroMedia as the later has a far superior quality output to the former, something I had noticed after uploading my first SurvivalCraft videos. I’ve set SCR to record my gameplay at the highest stable quality and then set AndroMedia to render the videos as HD MP4s at 30fps which is giving me great looking results but is taking about 2 hours per 10 minute rendering!! also the file sizes ain’t small, no sireebob – each 10 min video is about 500Mb. I’ve taken to deleting my original screen recordings and the final rendered videos once I know they are safely uploaded to YouTube so as not to devour the Nexus’ pretty small internal drive space, something that really slows the device up.

4) Little touches make all the difference: I used a very nice little photo editor called Pixlr Express to create the intro & outro stills and I think these look great, even if I do say so myself ;D

5) Uploading is easy: Android’s share feature is just bloody lovely! I use ES File Explorer to find, rename & check the final video. I could then upload the video from the Gallery but just hitting share from inside ES gives me the same options and the YouTube one is simplicity itself. Sometime I take the intuitive, joined-up thinking of Android for granted.

6) Keep it private: If you are going to release the video in a blog post like me, then when you upload it upload it as private otherwise people will have watched it before you’ve published the post.

7) Post-it Notes EVERYWHERE: After a confusing couple of hours in the main YouTube interface on my PC (the mobile version is very limited) I discovered I could add notes to the video! Oh man! I loooooove notes, they enable me to correct myself, expand on things I brushed over and to make little jokes that I, if no one else, find funny.

8) YouTube is messy: I find the main YouTube interface an over-crowded, over-complicated confusing mess. Of you are looking to use it. I wish you good luck. 

That’s it for now folks. I hope my lessons here help you and if you have any you think could help me, please post them in the comments below.

SC HBA 1

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