YouTube: Tips for Making a How-To Video

This is my first and possibly only foray into the madness that is constructing a YouTube video. I’ve been watching the Vlog Brothers for years, and I’ve never appreciated the effort that goes into it. Pick a topic, write a script, animate the graphics, trim clips, find background music, and also, cut around all your foul language because YouTube does not take kindly to that.

I did that after doing a lot of other research on the basics of YouTube for a non-YouTuber.

So, as a supplement to this VBA video tutorial, I’ve condensed my background research for anyone out there who might also be considering a jump from WordPress to YouTube.

#1: How to Incorporate Clips from Copyrighted Sources

You can use movie and TV clips in your YouTube videos, but you need to have a basic understanding of Fair Use. That’s… complicated. The best discussion I’ve found on it is in Truly Social’s video, How I Use Movie Clips in my Videos with Fair Use. It’s long, but it’s necessary to wrap your head around the potential issues you’ll encounter when clipping movies into your videos.

#2: Where to Find Background Music

YouTube has an audio library filled with no copyright music. Which means it’s just chilling out and waiting for you to use. All that’s asked is that you source the artist in your comments.

#3: How to Improve Recorded Audio

Audacity is 100% free, and quite spectacularly, can reduce distracting background noise, making your voice-over sound crisper. SamsTech has a run-down on making that happen.

#4: How to Record Your Screen

In the past, I’ve used OpenBroadcast Studio.ย  I know nothing about setting up presets for software like this, so I left them at their defaults. However, for higher quality videos, Newecreator has a lovely discussion on how to set a bit rate. He recommends 10,000 kbps for 720p video, and 20,000 kbps for 1080p videos. Those are both high definition, so your video should look decent with either.

#5: How to Actually Stitch the Video Together

I used Blender. It’s normally my go-to for 3D modeling, but the video sequencer is pretty darn decent. You can layer in movie files, image sequences, and sound. There’s effect strips to speed things up, slow things down, overlay text, and change up colors. And you can set keyframes for audio volume to fade in and out.

It’s got a relatively friendly user-interface, but Mikeycal Meyers has a couple of videos running through it if you want something structured.

Those were the five things that really helped me out. Got any more tips I can put to use? Throw them in the comments.


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