How to Create Engaging Process Videos
There’s something magical about watching art being created. Learning how the piece comes together, seeing the method and techniques unique to that artist, and maybe even learning a trick or two. The challenge for many art fans online, is how to see art being created when the artist is in another part of the world. Work in progress images are great and tend to perform very well on social media, but videos are another great option for sharing your process. Whether it’s a time-lapse of art being created, or even a tutorial sharing some new techniques, videos can connect you more with your fanbase and give them insight into who you are as an artist, what you are passionate about, and even inspire others.
Depending on the medium you use to create with, there are different setups and tools you will use. Here we have a few tips, as well as hardware and software suggestions, to help create engaging process videos your fans will love.
For those artists that primarily use traditional mediums, such as oils or even clay for sculpting, you will need a camera that records video, or you can use your smartphone. The most important thing is for the camera to be stable; a traditional tripod, gorilla pod, or flat surface you can rest the camera/phone on is ideal.
The camera should be situated in a way that allows the artwork to be the main focus, at least while the art is being created. If you are recording a tutorial video the camera will need to be close enough to capture your voice. For smartphones users there are tiny mics available that can be used. Alternatively, you might want to record the audio after the video has been created. This way there is less noise, you can rehearse what you are going to say, and ensure the audio quality is consistent and clear. There are many fine USB mics available, the Blue Snowball iCE is an affordable and great sounding mic.
Once you get the video recorded it’s all about editing, adding audio, and making sure it’s entertaining and concise. Trim out any portions that are not necessary and keep the pace of the video steady so that it holds the viewers attention. This is why it’s also very important to keep the artwork the main focus; it’s why fans and artists alike are watching. For time-lapse videos, speed them up so that you can still see the work being created but it’s short enough to be shared on social media. For example, the process video with resident artist Miss Katz seen below is an hour or so of drawing condensed to 20 seconds. It was recorded with Facebook and Instagram in mind. Longer time-lapse videos are great as well, just make sure to keep them a few minutes max.
Software: iMovie on macOS works well. Youtube Movie Maker is free and available for Windows, and allows you to export the finished video or publish right to youtube.
For digital artists, recording your screen and sharing your process or tips is referred to as a screencast. As you are relying totally on software there is less initial setup. The main thing you need to create a screencast is a screen capture program. Each of these will record your screen regardless of the program you are using to create the work, and you can then move on to editing. For those creating tutorial vids with audio commentary, the same method of using a USB mic a ideal.
Each program listed below works differently, so you might be able to choose the portion of your screen you wish to record, or you can crop it in your video editing program later. In the video below by resident artist Jose Ochoa, he chose to keep Photoshop’s interface in the screen. This allowed for the viewer to see the layers, tools, and even transformations he used while creating the piece. However, when creating a shorter version for Instagram the interface was cropped out. This way the painting took up more room in the video and allowed for a clearer view. This piece was created in 2 hours and edited and sped-up to be 3 minutes.
Camtasia (OSX, Win) – Popular screen recording and
Screenflow (OSX) – Powerful screen-casting and editing software.
Open BroadCaster (OSX, Win, Linux) – Open course screen recording and streaming software.
Ice Cream Screen Recorder (OSX, Win) – Simple and easy app, free is limited to 10 minutes recording time.
- Keep it short and sweet. Crop out any portion that is not engaging or adds little to the overall video.
- When recording commentary make sure to avoid Uh’s and Um’s, these will confuse and slow the pace of the video.
- The now defunct Sketch Theatre had some great time-lapse videos. Check out a few and see how they were setup.
- For Mac users, you can record your screen easily using Quicktime and edit in iMovie. Easy and free.
- Have fun! The one that that will bring your videos from good to great, is having fun. It will show in your creations and your voice when speaking.
Grab a camera or some software and record a process video. Share it here along with any tips you may have.