How can I make professional graphics for use in videos?

Episode 998

Andrew from California

Andrew makes Minecraft videos on YouTube and wants them to look more professional. Leo says most professional work is done with 3D graphics. There are a lot of different ways to do it and it's not easy. That makes a good project for Andrew to learn with, though. Most professionals use Adobe After Effects. A free one is called Blender. It's harder to use, but if he can use that, he could use anything.

How can I get still photos from an HD video?

Episode 997

Aaron from Los Angeles, CA

Aaron's wedding photographer lost half his wedding photos. Leo says job one of a wedding photographer is to never lose the pictures. Aaron does have HD quality video of the wedding, and is wondering if he could get stills from that. Leo says yes he can, but he shouldn't get his hopes up that the quality of the images will match the actual photos. He can take a snapshot as he watches it if the video is on his computer. Leo recommends VideoLan VLC Media Player. Quicktime player would work as well.

Why are the videos I've shot vertically on my iPhone 5 shrunk down when I upload them?

Episode 996

Gabby from Santa Rosa, CA

Gabby has taken a video vertically with his iPhone, but when he uploads it, it shrinks down to half the size. Leo recommends opening the video in iMovie and cropping it. That could eliminate the shrinking of the size. Leo also says that the resolution the phone is set in could be the issue. The software that's handling the upload isn't reading the resolution correctly, obviously. Leo says that making it 16x9 should solve the problem.

Facebook Takes on Vine with Instagram Video

Episode 989

Leo says that Facebook was so insecure about users doing Instagram that they bought them. Now that users love doing video on Vine, they've added video to Instagram. Instead of 6 seconds like Vine, Instagram is allowing 15 seconds. At first Leo said it was great, but now he's hearing from disgruntled Instagram users who loved the app because it celebrated the still image. Now that's all gone and the timeline is polluted with videos.

Is there a way to record live streaming sports online?

Episode 988

John from San Diego, CA

John is a sports fan and he wants to be able to record live streaming sports online. Leo says that the idea behind streaming is that they don't want people to record it. He could always view or download it from them at a later date. There is a company called Applian that does just that, however. He'll want the Applian Replay Media Capture. He should download the free trial to make sure it works.

Are there USB to HDMI converters for streaming video?

Episode 986

Ken from Simi Valley, CA

Ken was streaming video on an older laptop linked to his TV, and the TV gave up the ghost. His new TV has no VGA port. Is there a USB to HDMI converter? Leo says yes, it's an analog converter, but it works. The quality won't be as good and USB isn't all that fast for super high resolution. How can it do that if it's bypassing the video card? Leo says it's done with onboard software.

How can I get a time and date stamp on my recorded video?

Episode 983

Sean from Clovis, CA

Sean is looking to get a video camera for private investigations work. He needs a camera that will "burn" the time/date stamp on the video itself as opposed to only being able to see that time/date stamp in the viewfinder.

Leo says that used to be a popular feature, but people have complained because they don't remember to turn it off. So it's fallen away as a feature in most video cameras. In that case, Sean may need a program that will read the meta data from the video and burn it into the image while importing to the PC. Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere both support this.

What video camera should I upgrade to?

Episode 983

John from Prescott Valley, AZ

John is looking to upgrade his video camera and wants to know what to do. Leo says that camcorders have almost been replaced overnight by smartphones and DSLRs, which can provide as good or even better quality. Especially DSLRs, which offer exchangeable lenses. The slight downside is that DSLRs have a limited recording time of about 29 minutes. That makes camcorders still beneficial for long form recording.