– This is one of our Thursday Zoom meetups and they’re the public facing part of the vidwheel Creator Network. What is the vidwheel Creator Network? It’s a group that brings together solopreneurs who aspire to take our businesses to the next level using self-produced video. We draw on the experience of the community and industry experts so that I can help guide you through the process of making video and making it work for your business, giving you better reach, efficiency, and growth. If you find that intriguing, please come out to one of our next events. Today’s event is part of live production month here on the VCN. It’s part of the programming tied to that month. And this month we’re exploring live production and how it can help your business utilize video in more efficient ways. Next month is going to be social media month. We’re gonna do a general social media best practices type month and we’ll be kicking that off on March second with a presentation by Samantha Pilling called Social Media Video Ads, When Organic Reach isn’t enough. If you want to come to that presentation, that presentation in an all future events for the VCN can be found at events.vidwheel.com. And I will drop, that is in the video description for the livestream. So we’re gonna move on to the main event. I will be presenting myself today and we’re going to talk about unbelievably easy talking head videos, instant talking head videos with OBS. So I will spotlight myself. Hopefully everybody can see that okay. Let me just get my presentation stuff kinda lined up the way I need it here and we will get rolling. So my name is Neil Carroll. I am the founder and owner of vidwheel LLC, and today we are going to talk about Instant Talking Head Videos. As I mentioned the name of this presentation is Unbelievably Easy, Instant Talking Head Videos with OBS. Instant talking head videos is a term that we use a lot within the VCN and they’re great videos as a way to kinda dip your toe into creating video content without investing huge amounts of time or learning a lot of new skills. They also allow you to quickly make content when inspiration strikes or in those, oh no, I gotta post something type moments. They’re a great way to show off your face and allow your audience to get to know you a bit more. They work well in any space where you’re directly addressing someone, but it could use a little more polished than say a cell phone video or a simple Loom video. And finally, instant talking head videos are great base video. That’s why I chose the image of ramen for the cover. An instant talking head video is for one quick and easy. They can keep you fed in their most basic form, but if you learn how to add ingredients, tweak techniques, and experiment with these setups, you can go from that college block of ramen, to a fulfilling and delicious meal or video in this case. And if you find that intriguing, I should let you know that this presentation will be turned into the base for a course that’ll feature everything that we learned today, plus lessons on skills like changing the video aspect ratio to different, or different formats for different platforms. Creating and adding animated overlay graphics, and generating the burned in caption titles for your videos. If the course I just described sounds interesting to you and you’re in the meeting or watching via livestream, type instant into the chat and I’ll be sure that you’re notified when the course is available. You can also go to instant.vidwheel.com where you can find this presentation deck right here and a replay of the presentation that I’m recording right now. And as soon as the course materials are available, I will put a link up there as well. So instant talking head videos, let’s look at an example and we can kind of go from there. Oh, muted. More about creating, hello there. I am excited that you want to learn more about creating instant talking head videos. I’m gonna teach you in about 15 minutes how to create a video just like this one. Okay? And so it’s a simple video, right? It’s got that full, full screen video. We do that simple lower third, and then we bring up a simple close graphic. In this presentation we’ll get into it. We’re going to go through the setup of how to create that type of video in OBS. I’ll show you the production process which is super simple and we’ll talk about the secret to making sure we get it all done. First, we’ll jump into the setup. This is the hardest part. It’s gonna be the biggest part of our presentation at about 12 or so minutes long. First things first, what do you need to make this type of video? You need a camera that you can ask access via, or as a webcam. So that can be a built-in webcam, an external one, or as a lot of us use in the VCN, a external mirrorless camera that, you know, we can, you get set up with a different piece of software. And if you’re interested in that, feel free to reach out and I can help you with that aspect. The other thing you’ll need is a microphone to capture audio. Again, this can be external, it could be built into your computer. You’ll need a concept or a script. Now I recommend that you keep these concepts or scripts super, super simple, especially when you start, because you’re gonna be knocking out the full talking head video in one take. So you know something like what I did there, that 18 second video, you can pull that off. You’ll also need OBS installed on your computer. Good news is OBS is free and open source. You can go to obsproject.com to download and install that software. Next I’m going to walk through the setup in OBS on how to make one of these videos. This is gonna, this a pre-recorded 12 minute lesson. So, you know feel free to reach out in the chat if anything pops up or comes to mind and we’ll cover it at the end. Okay, the plan here is to quickly go through how to set up OBS to make instant talking head videos. When you first open the program, this is what OBS’s set up will look like. The first thing we’re gonna do here is we’re gonna rename the scene down here under scenes. It defaults to that. We are going to right click it or control click it on a Mac and hit rename and we’re gonna call it base. Now this is technically not required, but if you follow our systems through the VCN on how to set up OBS and you get into more complex setups, this is a best practice that will really help you down the line. And you’ll even see some benefits to it as we set up this instant talking head video. So get in the habit now. After we’ve renamed the scene, we’re gonna start adding sources to our setup. We’ll start with video. So here under the sources window, we’re gonna hit the plus sign and we’re gonna choose this second to last option, video capture device. That’ll bring up a window and we are going to name it M50. This is again the best practice when you’re adding devices to your scene, try to use the name that makes sense. So M50 is the model of the camera I’ll be using. So I’m going to use that. And we hit okay and it brings up this window and you can see it defaulted to a different one of my cameras that’s plugged in than the one I’ll use. That’s my Logitech Brio. But if you hit that dropdown next to device, you’ll get an option for all of the cameras that are plugged into your computer or other devices that you can utilize. I am going to use EOS Webcam Utility because that is the piece of software that hooks up to my M50 camera. And there we have it. You have a lot of other options here for your first video. I’m gonna recommend that you don’t do anything with them. So I’ll hit okay and you can see now my video feed is on my base canvas, which is good. We’ve got video. I’m just going to pull on this corner until it clicks into place. And now I’ve got a full screen video feed. To me this is a little disconcerting because it’s, it’s not mirrored video of myself. I recommend that you right click, go to transform, and choose flip horizontally. Now it’ll feel more like you’re looking in a mirror. When I do this it, you know, it feels like mirror. A lot of video chat programs and so on do that automatically and you know, whatever you’re most comfortable with is appropriate there. So the video is all set up. Another thing that we are going to do is bring in some audio. As you can see down here under audio mixer, my M50 source brings in no audio, there’s no levels, which means we’re not going to capture sound if we were to record right now. So sources, plus sign, the second option here, audio input capture, we’re gonna hit that. Again, it’s best practice to name, if you know the device, you’re gonna use the name of your mic or anything, go ahead and put it in there. I’m gonna go Q2U, I’ve got a Samson Q2U plugged in that I am going to connect to. Here under the device menu dropdown, I find that Samson Q2U, I select it, and I hit okay. Now you can see under Q2 U I have levels. So at this point we’ve got video, we’ve got audio. You could make a very simple video here, but we’re gonna add a few more elements to it. Now we’re gonna add another scene. So under scenes we’re gonna hit the plus sign. I’m gonna call it LT, for lower third. A lower third is that graphic that shows up right down here with your name or contact info, position, that type of thing. So I’m gonna go ahead and call it LT. I’m gonna hit okay. You’ll notice now there is no video feed. We’re gonna take care of that by going down to sources, hitting the plus. And instead of putting in an individual video capture device and audio device, we’re gonna choose scene, this option right here. And we’re going to choose add existing and we’re gonna hit base. Now this may seem like a small thing, but one of the big advantages here is any changes I make to my base scene, say I get an updated camera, I decide to change my framing, zoom in a little more. If I make those changes here in the base scene, they’re going to filter through to any of the other scenes I’ve created. So best practice. So we’ve got the base scene and the lower third scene here. You can do overlay lower thirds with images or videos if you have them. What we’re gonna demo today is how to create a really simple one with a color source. So you saw I hit the plus sign, you go to color source, we are going to call this just brand color I think for this example because we’ll be reusing it in the last scene as well. So we’ll do brand color, we’ll hit okay. So you just go to select color and it’ll bring up this interface. You have an option to choose from all of these basic colors if you like the looks of one of those. You also can put in your hex code right down there if you know your brand color hex code or, and this didn’t used to be available on the Mac but was available on pc, you can choose pick screen color, which if you hit that, then anywhere this plus goes, whether it’s on your next monitor or not will be your selected color. I happen to know my hex code, which I clicked on off the screen. It is 003460. That’s this darker blue that we use in our brand colors. So I’m gonna go ahead and use that, I hit okay. So you can see that we have it now. We’re gonna hit okay and then again we’ll resize, we’ll pull this down until, work on the the width of it ’cause we’re gonna do something different for the height. So if that width looks about where you want it, then for the height you can actually hold down alt and pull down from the top and that will allow you to crop that, that color source as well. So now we have this little block down here in the corner and we are going to add some text to it. So again, under sources we’re gonna hit the plus. We’re gonna hit text, we’re gonna call this name.

– [Computer] Pairing.

– We’ll hit okay. The text window, much like the other windows, you have some options. You can change your font here. Let’s go with this italic. This is typically what I use within my own branding. And I will put in my name. You have the option to select the font, you put your text in here, and then you have the option for color. I’m gonna stick with white ’cause I’m putting it on that dark blue. but you do what’s appropriate for you. And hit, oh we’ll put in my. So I’ve got my name, I’m gonna size it so it fits nicely in here. So we’ve got text and we’ve got it over a color block. The next thing we’re gonna do is create a close scene. So back down to scenes, we’re gonna hit the plus sign. We’re gonna call the scene close, we’re gonna hit okay. Under sources, again we’re gonna hit the plus sign. We’re gonna go to scene and we are going to choose our base scene. Now we’re gonna cover up the video on this close scene, but for audio integrity it’s still best practice to bring in that base scene. So we’re gonna hit plus again, we’re gonna go to color source and we’re going to choose add existing and that brand color that we created. Part of the reason for that is you don’t want to end up mistakenly choosing a slightly different color or something like that. And then we’ll come down to sources, we’ll hit the plus sign, and we’ll choose text. And this text we’re gonna call closed text. Hit okay. Best practice would be to choose that very same font. We’ll come on down, find that Roboto, do that, hit okay. In this text area I will put in the web address to find this presentation and all of the elements that are tied to it. So instant.vidwheel.com, that looks good there. And this preview is important ’cause that’s what it’ll actually look like. Come down and hit okay. Looks right, but it’s a little much, so I’m gonna pull it back just like this. And they have added snapping features in OBS. So you should be able to pretty easily find the center. But you can also use these numbers. So 460 on either side, 330 on either side. That’s how easy it is to create the scenes. Okay, so what we’re gonna do now is go check out some of the recording settings to make sure you’re all set up there. We’re gonna hit settings, we’re gonna go to output. Here under output your are likely going to be set up with an output mode of simple, which will be a set up a lot like this. Down here under recording you wanna look at your recording path and put those videos where you can find them. You can do that by browsing and picking a folder, just typing in the path. The next thing you’ll wanna check here is the recording quality. I find indistinguishable quality large file size works well for the system I have. You could drop down to this high quality setup as well. But choose one or the other and maybe you test them and see what works best. Recording format, this will default to FLV. I recommend you change it to MP4. And the reason you wanted to do that is MP4s are the most universal file format. The last thing here, you’ll likely only have the option for a software encoder, but if you do happen to have a video card in your computer, go ahead and choose that encoder. So we’re gonna hit apply here, and then we’re gonna come over to the hot keys. This’ll be the last step. I like to keep this really simple in terms of recording. You can already go through the scenes with the arrow keys on your keyboard. So what I recommend for people is that you simply add to that functionality by under start recording, if you hit that, press the left arrow on your keyboard and under stop recording hit the right arrow button, you’re going to apply those. Hit okay and then you’ll be ready to record. And that is it for the setup for your instant talking head videos in OBS. Okay, so setup is done that I can make that video available if you wanna be able to walk through it step by step. It’s also at instant.vidwheel.com or will be shortly. Let’s get into the production, which is the easier part of this. I recommend, first of all, when you’re looking at your video feed before you record that you follow video best practices, you want good lighting, a quiet area. We actually have a free course called Video Confidence that’s linked right here in the presentation. If you wanna go through and take that course, it’s 25 minutes or so and we’ll cover all of the elements of getting a good looking video feed. But it’s pretty simple here. I’ll go through the settings for how to record right here in this next video. Okay, we are going to go through the production process of these instant talking head videos. It is super easy. I even put an inset video here showing my hands on my keyboard in real time. So you can see how I use the really simplified hot keys. So the first thing you wanna do is click on your base layer, that needs to be highlighted and active for these hot keys to work properly. But with that base layer highlighted, you’re gonna hit the left arrow key, you’re speaking to the camera. If at any point you hit the down key, your lower third will come up. And as you approach the close of your video, all you have to do is hit the down key again and when you’re finished recording you hit the right arrow key. And that is it for recording an instant talking head video. Okay, so you can see, oh, that, you can see how simple it is once you do that setup. So 12 minutes to set up and then you can fire out videos as quickly as you can come up with ideas. It’s really meant to be an efficient way to create things. So we went through the setup in OBS, what you have to do, we went through the very simple production process of how you create those instant talking head videos. And the secret to how to get it done, you gotta go do it. I just gave you all the pieces necessary to creating high quality video content like that. And if you, if you follow those steps, you can start creating right away. And as I mentioned in the presentation if you want to go further, feel free to type instant either into the chat in the meeting here or on into the livestream chat to be notified when the course that comes out on this material and the additional elements become available. You can also go to instant.vidwheel.com where you can find this presentation deck, a replay of this presentation, and I will populate that course link as soon as it is available. And with that I say thank you, and if you have any questions, I am happy to answer them. Okay.

– So Neil.

– Too much or good?

– So if you had an animated background, or you’re the talking head but you have, is that easy to insert that in that space?

– Yeah, so the final space there, right, if you were putting a background, are you talking about behind you while you’re speaking?

– Yeah, yeah.

– Yeah. So there are a couple different options there. To put in an animated background behind you while you’re speaking, there is a plugin, you can put an OBS that’ll do something like what, what you have going on now with the Zoom background removal. The other option is that you get a green screen and it can do, it can do an even better job, right? Like you got to see my green screen, which most people don’t. When I did that instant talking head video, which I left natural because that’s, you know, I was trying to show the simplest form. But yeah, absolutely that is an add-on that, that can be accomplished without, without too much trouble. So something I’ll put in the course I guess, you know. I’ll let you know Bernie when it’s out, but yeah, yeah you can do that. Anybody else have any questions? Oh, Brian, you’re just saying yes, go for it. Alright. Okay, any, any other thoughts, questions, different ways that you would or, you know, add-ons or anything that would make this type of video more interesting to you?

– You know, quick question, I know with some of these software platforms, they are made for Windows or for Mac operating system. I happen to use Chrome OS on all my devices and some of the platforms aren’t available for Chrome OS. Do you happen to know?

– I do not, you stumped me. No, so I can tell you this as a starting point and then I’m happy to get back to you. I would suspect it’s not available as a Chrome plugin or Chrome OS, you know, program. It is a natively Windows program and it gets poured to a Mac as part of their, you know, kind of software availability. But you will find things, we found things within the VCN where, you know, a feature might be available on the PC that is missing on the Mac or whatever, right? So there’s some things like that. Stability seems to be a little bit better on the PC too. So, yeah, I can check on the Chrome OS, but I would suspect no, but I can, I’ll double check.

– Okay yeah, great thanks.

– Cool. Don, go for it.

– Do you have recommendations for length of the video that a person should, one minute, two minutes, five minutes?

– So it all depends on use, right? I tend to make a lot of my videos like this super short. And the reason is they get put on LinkedIn and if you stay under a 15 second threshold on LinkedIn, it automatically replays your video, turns into a bit of a billboard type of thing. Versus we’ve all seen videos on LinkedIn I’m sure, right? Anything longer it plays through the video and then it pauses and just stays there. So it’s, that’s often how I use this type of video specifically to, specifically on LinkedIn. Alright, excellent. Anyone else? Gina, you were unmuted for a moment. What’s going on?

– I just wanna say that Neil, I think the biggest thing is once you set it up, it is so easy to do for you to do your own videos. I mean I can tell you, you know, once you figure out the little tweaks, once you do it, it is so easy, and I think it’s overwhelming to start the production, but if you set it up and you test it out and you get that tweaked, it’s really easy to pop these out and save ’em and even edit, I edit right on YouTube. I don’t, you know like if there’s a snippet of an um or something I wanna cut out, I edit, I upload uploaded to YouTube and edit it right there. So Neil can really teach you, as I say to fish so you can do your own videos.

– Yeah, thank you Gina. Yeah, that’s a great point. The hardest part, you know, like I said in the presentation, hardest part, right, made a little bit of a joke about it, really is the setup and after that, like you’re creating video content in real time. When I do it myself, right? And I think a lot of you have seen what I put out on LinkedIn, I’ll have the animated lower third, right? I have an animated end screen, you can add on some of those bells and whistles. But this is the base, right? The foundational setup. And so you go from this and you can kind of move forward with it. But I will say that I use similar techniques to this and in making things like that instructional video that we just watched as part of the presentation, podcast and interview videos. There’s, there’s a lot of different ways you can go with it once you get comfortable in the, you know, just kind of switching between scenes, setting things up in OBS and getting the basics down so. Alright, do we have any other questions? I am going to just check on our live streams. Nothing coming in there. So if anybody else in the room has anything, or you know, we even get a moment for yeah, if we wanna look deeper at anything or demo or anything like that. Go ahead, Don.

– You did text over a color. Does OBS also support the ability to do those animated things that you were talking about?

– Yes, yeah they do. So I use an animated piece of video, right, with transparent background as a media source that would take the place of that color plus text. You can also go to, there’s a lot of inexpensive or even free web resources where you can get animated lower thirds and backgrounds and frames for your video. The website I typically recommend for that is nerdordie.com, which is part of a lesson I’ve already got written up that’ll be in that course. So how to include those things and bring them into your video is as part of the, part of the plan there. You would end up just to give you the short version, you’d bring in a browser source versus the color source in the text overlay. So, alright. Right on. Any other questions? Okay. Alright.

– Neil, one other question. Other than MP4, are there any other file formats you would recommend using for specific applications or, and would it work well in mobile devices or it’s independent?

– That’s a great question. So MP4s, I recommend that you record an MP4 primarily because they’re the most widely used file format these days. So they’re super compressed, so they’re small, they’re able to be read by every social media site you might upload to. Every, every video editor can handle them, whether it’s Mac, PC, or otherwise. So yeah, MP4s. Now, so I recommend them. That’s how I recommend to, to record. Now, you might have seen at the bottom when I was making that adjustment and whether it was legible or not I don’t know, but there was a bit of a warning, and the warning that, that OBS puts out there is if you stop, like if something goes haywire in the middle of recording a video, like you lose power or something like that, the MP4 will probably be ruined versus, that’s why they recommend their own file format is it doesn’t have to, not to get technical, but like, it doesn’t have to close the, the file envelope before, you know, completing the file. So the other format’s I guess safer if you have a lot of power outages. I’ve never run into any issues, but the MP4 I guess is the, the short version, so good question. Alright, anyone else? Okay, I am gonna move into the closing notes then here, and just have to find my spot in my notes. Thank you to all of you who joined us via the livestream, and thank you to everybody who came to the meeting itself. Don’t miss out on our next Zoom meetup, a presentation by Samantha Pilling called Social Media Video Ads, When Organic Reach isn’t enough. You can find that in all future vidwheel events at events.vidwheel.com. Create confidently.