Introduction: How to Make Your Videos a Billion Times Better! (in 30 Seconds!)

Aren't you tired of your videos just not... turning out? Made a how to, or trying to show something off and people are complaining they can't see what's happening and watching someone else's vid instead?

Making a video isn't just pushing the record button, you have to set it up right! It's really very simple, it's just most people don't know what they should be doing. I've seen WAY too many videos where you really can't see what's happening. If you've had complaints before, look no further. Follow the simple steps and I can guarantee you, people won't cut your video off just because they can't stand watching it!

Hopefully this helps, as you don't need expensive equipment to make your shots look good, just a minute of thought before you film!

*note, the camera used for all but the last shot is a Logitech Quickcam Chat. An extremely cheap $20 buck web cam. With the proper lighting, it looks better then 2/3 the content on Youtube. Why? because theirs isn't lit right! I guarantee almost anything can look better then what I have, just because this camera is so cheap.
Also note, the final camera was the Cannon Powershot, A620, an outdated point and shoot camera. Your shots will likely look better then that with your camera if you light it right!

Here's the youtube upload link


randomprojectguy (author)2015-07-27

Great idea I like free hosting

disregard last part but nice ible

thomasready (author)2012-03-17

Your sick right?? I hope you get to feeling better soon.

wwww07 (author)2012-01-10

Да хорошее, качественное видео будет популярным. С его помощью можно иметь неплохой трафик на сайт!

Datsdlow (author)2011-03-26

Great video

theburn7 (author)2009-10-10

Lol, u call A620 outdated! I got an A590 like a little bit more than a year ago and it was a new model. Is that the technology world now?

thecheatscalc (author)theburn72009-10-11

hahaha, pretty much, although I know we've had the a620 for at least two years or more. It's a great little camera, it's just not as nice as a lot of the newer ones. ;) such is technology though...

Deathstick (author)2009-09-27

After watching this a couple of times would it be fair to say that all you do is switch your crappy camera for one that is less crappy? If that is the case it seems kind of obvious, no?

thecheatscalc (author)Deathstick2009-09-29

in a word... no. First off, I could take a top of the line camera (like the RED ONE... it has a sensor that's literally 11cm long if I'm not mistaken, massive megapixels.) If the scene isn't lit properly. it will look better then the webcam for sure, but it still won't look nearly as good as it should. secondly, composition of the image changed. I'm no film major (although I've played with video cameras quite a bit) but the way most videos are shot. fantastic camera or no, it'll still look horrible. If you at least set it up right, although maybe not artsy, it looks better. period. finally, the next to last shot, (I did use the same $20 webcam all the way through, including this shot, although not the last one) although the clarity isn't fantastic, it's "acceptable" or "watchable" I changed the camera to a cannon a620 powershot. a 2 year old "Point and shoot" I have around the house. This was used to emphasize that most people can go the final step, without spending money (most the time) and use a run of the mill picture camera to make their videos a heck of a lot better. once again, although the biggest difference was in the last two shots, without the previous setup beforehand, even with the better camera. the saying will hold "junk in, junk out".

*as a side note, most of the stuff in the video is obvious to me, however, if your eye isn't trained, you'll never notice that it isn't right. I don't know how many times I've told friends "why don't you use the camera over there to film it?" "but the webcam is just fine..."

crazy_horse (author)2009-08-11

Well, and the video would look even better if you use different color of subtitles, because there is a reason for NOT using dark colors ... trust me... But a good video anyway.

Actually, what color would you recommend? I was having quite a bit of difficulty figuring out one that would match, so I settled on blue. The problem I had, is, as far as I know, none of the other colors would match, or look great. Always want to make things better, so thanks for the comment!

I would recommend simply white text. In movies etc. that you see in TV, they mostly use white(sometimes yellow) because it has a good contrast against background and is easier to read. If you want to use different colors you probably need to make a background color or some cool graphic for titles -(this works well for "names" in interviews). Sometimes you have to use dark titles( for example if you make documentary film about jet airplanes and you have pictures of them flying in the white clouds ;-) ) But the white works most of the time. Remember: readability first! BTW: I worked in one small tv station in Czech Republic (Europe) as a cameraman and video-editor for a year until they stop pay me and I quit, but that´s another story...)

Thanks! I'll see if I can change the lettering.

Swert (author)thecheatscalc2009-08-17

If you can, use white with black outlining. That way if you cant discern the white part of the letter, you can discern the black and vice versa.

Kryptonite (author)Swert2009-08-20

That's my personal favourite, it really stands out against everything.

greeenpro (author)Kryptonite2009-08-31

I agree. White with black outlining almost always works against everything. Beleive it or not, some video editing programs don't have that as an optiion though. I recently upgraded my video editing software and the font with the black outlining, which I used reapeatedly, was no longer there as an option. Sometimes you have to use color.

Great video thecheatscalc.

Kryptonite (author)greeenpro2009-08-31

I have found that finding good video editing software to contain all features can be a bit of a problem, once I used 3 different programs to make a single video with all the features that I found. Kiteman has recently recommended one, but I haven't had time to check it out.

greeenpro (author)Kryptonite2009-09-01

It depends how serious you are about producing videos and how much you want to spend. Of course, the Adobe Creative Suite has anything that one would need, but it comes with a super-heavy price tag and can take a long time to get good at using it. I've heard many people say that Pinnacle is good for a smaller price, but I personally don't care for it.

Kiteman (author)crazy_horse2009-08-20

(If you look closely, the white lettering often has a cloudy-grey border so that it also stands out on pale backgrounds.)

treesneedtobehugged (author)2009-08-29

How do you add the texts for the videos?

Smuy (author)2009-08-29

Wow, that was amazing. It went from Low Quailty **** to HD

mastercob (author)2009-08-20

"Quick, I only have 30 seconds to learn how to light my videos!" a.k.a. kind of a dumb contest. It would be cool if you did an extended version where you went more into the "hows." But as it is, nice! I hope people learn from it.

thecheatscalc (author)mastercob2009-08-20

I agree, I wish it was a bit longer, BUT, it's also a much more challenging contest, which is kind of fun.

u can still make another video thats more in depth

eecharlie (author)2009-08-20

Shouldn't there be a rule of thumb about your crotch not being the central feature of the background? Wear an apron, stand behind a wall, turn sideways, do it at stomach or chest level.... ? Is part of it also that you don't want your face in the frame to create a distraction or be inconsistent with dubbed-in narration?

thecheatscalc (author)eecharlie2009-08-20

... I honestly don't know what to say to that... I don't think that bothered anyone else... Regardless, the reason I did that is: If you don't see my face, you don't pay attention to me, I'm just background. the focus is the water pouring, which is mundane enough, that although it provides movement to keep you interested, it's repetitive enough to get you to pay attention to the video.

drmomentum (author)2009-08-20

Concise, informative and helpful. Well done.

dfc849 (author)2009-08-20

Great instructable, Jim! The video and description were easy to follow and read.

Templarix47 (author)2009-08-17

Did you do that with one camera?

actually two, everything but the very last shot was the same webcam. So essentially, yes.

Kryptonite (author)thecheatscalc2009-08-20

Just curious, but what is the exact model and brand of that last camera? Because thats som amazing camera work. Another thing, what's the difference between the last three shots, apart from the camera? I'm sorry but I don't fully understand.


zascecs (author)2009-08-19

I choose 5 stars!

Sandisk1duo (author)2009-08-18


you got my vote whenever the time to vote comes

sumrandom1 (author)2009-08-17

GREATEST INSTRUCTABLE EVER CREATED!! EVER, well maybe greatest 30 sec instuctible video ever, but still nobody has you beat in my book

scoochmaroo (author)sumrandom12009-08-17


ReCreate (author)2009-08-17

Wow, the last one almost looks HD!

eelcozy (author)2009-08-16

What do you mean "use your picture camera" ??

thecheatscalc (author)eelcozy2009-08-16

I said picture camera, as opposed to a video camera (although those are usually even better)

For example, use your cannon powershot A620's movie mode.

something like this:

Nearly every camera you own has a movie mode. DSLR's do not (except a special few) I suggest you use it! it'll look WAY better then your webcam!

Greywyn (author)2009-08-15

Those are some mad pouring skillz man!

thecheatscalc (author)Greywyn2009-08-16

thanks! I was wondering when someone was going to comment on that!

Keeter (author)2009-08-11

Great point. It's something that needs to be learned by anyone making videos. But this instuctable lacked....instruction. Do this, do that... but how? I know how to adjust the balance on my camera, but does everyone? 'use good lighting' isn't very explanitory either. Don't take this the wrong way. I just want your excellent ideas to be taught to as many people as possible. Some people don't understand without detailed instructions. Some might not even be able to read as fast as the text on the video. Maybe you can type out a bit more detail about lighting, and adjustments. A part 2 maybe?

thecheatscalc (author)Keeter2009-08-11

well, that's the problem with a 30 second video... hmm... I wish the video could be part of an instructable with more directions, but 30 seconds isn't enough to do any explaining. I think I'll add some extra instructions, great input!

flaresam (author)2009-08-10

Great job!

=SMART= (author)2009-08-10

Very good !

conrad2468 (author)2009-08-10

I always try to put the light BEHIND the camera when i film! DAMN dude! That video is just WOW

madmanyomri (author)2009-08-10

Very straight forward... gets to the point quick, with great results.

Pryo Chain (author)2009-08-10

Amazingly excellent. Five stars.

twoslice (author)2009-08-08

A tripod will also work wonders to fix the shakes...

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