11/04/2010

Live Show Tech TALK!

Many of you know that I do a LIVE webcast a couple of times a month. And I attend another couple of shows a month here and there. Many of the guests that attend the LIVE shows are craftsmen of some sort and are very talented in their craft. Which makes me wonder why I'm not seeing more of them doing live shows. From what I've heard and read, the number one reason why these artists don't showcase their work LIVE is because of their lack of technical know-how. Now I'm here to tell you that the world of LIVE broadcasting isn't as scary as it seems. REALLY!  If you know how to use a computer, then you most certainly can do a webcast!

I havent got a state of the art system. In fact the system I use is so old, its a wonder you haven't seen me go up in smoke yet on a LIVE show. But here's how I do it. First of all you will need to access one of the many live feed websites available but here is a couple that I use.  http://linqto.com/   http://www.ustream.tv/  sign-up and open an account with one of these two hosting sites. Ustream is free and Linqto costs very little for start-up.

I use my laptop for all shows, it sits beside my work table and has a splitter cable connected to the usb port. I run two webcams from this port, one for an overhead view of my work  and one for headcam shots. They are so easy to install. Most newer laptops already come with a built in camera, so you really only need to buy one webcam if you want to do two cameras for a show. Follow the manfs. instructions for webcam set-up and get to know your webcam. I have my overhead webcam attached to a pole that is directly over my work area. NOTE: when you do buy a webcam make sure its main feature is pixel size. For really good clarity and up close shots, you'll want to have a high pixel count webcam.  Here is a link for some comparisons. Do your homework here. Its worth asking around to find out what others use. http://products.howstuffworks.com/web-cam-reviews.htm
I use Logitech Pro for my headshots and HP webcam for my overhead shots. Most webcams range in price from about $30.00 to $200.00. I can tell you that my webcams are not high end. LOL.
AND make sure that webcam has a LONG cord on it so you can run it to your commputer and hang it overhead with ease. You don't want to run another cord to your webcam!

Secondly you will need really GOOD LIGHTING and I mean good. I have seen some pretty poor lighting on some shows and it really turns a person off of watching the show. So make sure you set-up where the lighting is best. I have many lights on at my work station. Track lighting, overhead lighting and a spot lamp.

Your webcams are controlled thru your commuters control panel, adjustments are made there.

The hardest part of setting up for a LIVE show is the webcam set-up. Once you have this system in place the rest is really up to you. But one of my first suggestions to doing LIVE webcasts would be to attend some shows and watch what is going on technically. I watched alot of shows before I ventured into LIVE webcasts and I'm grateful for the support I received from Vicki at Linqto. Thankyou Vicki.  But I still feel I have a long ways to go when it comes to producing a great technical show, however I feel that this will come in time. Each week I watch other peoples shows like Andrea at  http://andreacurriecrafts.com/ I learn more and more about how well a show can really look. Thanks Andrea for you endless support.

Don't forget to watch my LIVE show Sunday Oct. 7th right here: http://www.linqto.com/rooms/Scrapbookheaven

I will do a part two on the making of a show in tomorrow's post. I hope you won't be afraid to give LIVE shows a try. I for one would love to see more of the creative process my peers go thru to produce their items of beauty.

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