Making Movies for YouTube

UPDATED 2-26-2014

Step #1 – Shooting your video: We’ll assume that you have already shot the video for your project. However, YouTube has some good resources for shooting video, using lighting, and getting good sound. An alternative to using a video camera is recording video with a webcam, which is part of YouTube’s help pages. The UMW New Media center also has some helpful tips on shooting video. Using a webcam gets your video directly to YouTube so you don’t need to have a video camera.

Step #2 – Getting your video on the computer: Depending on what you used to shoot your video (if you didn’t use a webcam), you will need to get it onto your computer. In general follow the instructions that came with your camera. If you have a camera that uses mini-DV tapes, you’ll need a firewire cable to transfer the video. If you are using a camera with a flash (SD) memory card, a hard drive, or using a digital still camera that has a movie setting, you’ll need to use a USB cable. If you have a camcorder that uses mini-DVD, follow the directions that came with your camera to get video onto your computer. If you are using a PC, the Windows Movie Maker program can be used to transfer the video from your camera. iMovie will allow you to import video on the Mac.

Step #3 – Editing Your Video: Assuming you will take the raw footage from your camera and add titles and transitions, you will need a video editor. Again, if you use a PC, then Windows Movie Maker is the program that is included with the Windows operating system to edit your video. If you use a Mac, iMovie will be what you use. We have some tutorials on using iMovie at the UMW New Media website.

When you have a final edited version, complete with titles, transitions, and any additional audio, you will need to save the movie for uploading to YouTube. YouTube can accept many different formats of video as long as the length of the video is 15 minutes or less (you can up this limit if you verify your account), and as long as the file is less than 128GB (gigabytes). That’s a huge file by the way, so hopefully you’ve got a smaller file. If you are using iMovie ‘08 or later, the program has a built in uploader to YouTube. If you want a similar capability on the PC, there is a new version of Movie Maker called Windows Live Movie Maker that has YouTube uploading capability built in. It only works with Vista or later.

There is also a YouTube Video Editor that you can use to edit videos that you’ve uploaded.

Step #4 – Uploading Video to YouTube: If you are using Windows Live Movie Maker  or iMovie, then you will upload the movie directly from the program. Look in the help file for specific instructions on how to do this. It’s fairly intuitive for both programs. If you are using an old version of Movie Maker or a previous version of iMovie, you will upload the compressed video file that you saved onto your computer from the editor. A .wmv file from Movie Maker and a MPEG-4 file from iMovie.

If you haven’t already, you need to sign up for a YouTube account. You then sign in to YouTube and look for the “Upload” button in the upper right corner of the page.

YouTube Upload

You will need to provide a Title, Description, a Category, and include at least one “tag” (a keyword) so that people can search for your video. There are other options that you can choose, such as making a video private or public (they’re public by default), as well as date, mapping, and sharing options. It will take a while for the video to upload, depending on the size of the file, your connection speed to the Internet, and how busy the YouTube site is. Once your video is done uploading, additional time is needed to convert the video to the format that will play on the YouTube site. Again, depending on how busy the site is, your video will be available generally within an hour. You can now tell people about your video by linking to it, or by embedding it in your own web page. Congratulations, you are now a YouTube video producer!

Adding a Video to a post on a blog

1) To add video to a site, you will need to create a video and upload it to a video-hosting site like YouTube, or Vimeo, or some other service of your choice. The one caveat is that which ever site you use, be sure it allows you to embed your video in another site.

2) Once you have uploaded your video to your video-hosting site, you now need to embed it on your blog.

There are two ways to embed your video on umwblogs.org or other WordPress site. The easiest way is to simply copy the link to the YouTube (or Vimeo) video into the blog editing window. WordPress, the software that runs UMW Blogs, will know what to do and display your video embedded into the post. To make sure this works correctly, in YouTube you can find the correct URL by clicking the Share button below the video. You can also use what is known as the Embed code (look for the Embed button below the video), and this will give you greater flexibility for displaying your video, like changing the size, or color of the border of the video.

That’s it, just be sure to categorize your video properly and you’re all set!

Other Resources:

3 thoughts on “Making Movies for YouTube

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