AS EVERYONE WILL have noticed by now, Christmas is just around the corner. If that means you’ll soon be reaching for a digital video camera to shoot home movies that you’ll want to share on YouTube, the Official YouTube Blog has posted a few seasonal tips on how to get the best results from your uploads.
The world of digital video is rife with jargon and a basic understanding of the ins and outs can make the difference between a blocky YouTube video where everything is stretched out of proportion, and one that’s indistinguishable from the footage you originally shot.
It’s all in the edit
Most YouTube uploads are limited to 15 minutes, so if you have a clip that’s longer, you’ll need to trim it using a video editor. This may be possible using the video camera itself (or the iPhone 4 iMovie app), otherwise you’ll need to use an application on a computer. Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 is a free download for Windows PCs, for example.
You’ll also need to ensure that the video is in a resolution that matches YouTube’s if you’re to avoid the picture looking squashed, though this is best by checking the settings on your camera before you shoot.
YouTube works well with video resolutions of 640×360, 640×480, 720×480, 1280×720 (HD video, or ‘720p’), and 1920×1080 (HD video, or ‘1080p’).
YouTube uploads also have a file size limit and this was recently increased to 2GB per video clip. This should be more than enough for a 15-minute video, but if you have a clip that’s larger, you’ll need to use video compression to shrink its size.
This is where the Official YouTube Blog steps in with its advice on compression, codecs and the other digital video jargon you need to know – as long as you can sit through the annoying presentation…