Best Practices for Phone Video Recording for WeVu
Smartphones are an excellent recording device.
The following are practices that will make recording and uploading more successful.
Audio quality is often as important, or more important, than video quality.
Most phones record audio well only within 4 metres.
- Lower the video resolution to 720p.
Turn off the ringer and other notification sounds so the recording doesn’t hear these sounds. Ensure that the camera has sufficient battery – if not, plug it in.
If you have multiple users involved, appoint a videographer in the group to monitor the camera, hit record and stop when appropriate, and do the testing.
Steady the camera. Unless you have a very good reason to do it in portrait mode, it should be in landscape mode. Ensure your subject occupies most of the frame.
- iPhone: go into Settings, Photos & Camera, scroll down to Record Video and set this to 720p HD at 30fps
- Android: in the native camera app use the settings button next to the shutter/record button and then where it shows 1080p or 4K or 720p, just tap until it shows 720p.
Test a video for a few seconds. Play it back on the device to make sure the field of view and the lighting and audio are adequate. Adjust as necessary.
- If the subject being recorded is moving, the camera can be held and moved so that the subject is in the frame.
- If the subject is static, it is better to place the camera on a phone tripod. Search for “phone tripod” in Amazon. We have had decent success with all of these products; they’re not the highest quality but they do the job (we like the Arkon products).
At the very least, prop the phone up on some books or other solid objects. (We don’t want you to break your phone!)
If you are not getting adequate audio, you may have to consider getting a lavalier microphone.
Do the recording of the activity. The recording will go into the Videos file directory (or library) on your phone or computer.
To upload to WeVu: Anytime later, you log into WeVu on the device with the video. If this is on a phone or tablet, the default WeVu screen after login is the upload/record screen. Make sure the Site (or Course) selected is the one you intend to upload to. And you can also choose who you share the video to, if at all, on this screen.
If you are on a computer, choose Upload from the left menu.
On mobile, the user taps the red button and will be prompted to choose whether to record live from the camera or to get a file from the phone. Normally, the user will choose to get the video from the files or Photo Gallery on the phone: Find the video there and click the file (you may have to hit Choose (iOS)).
The video uploads. It takes a bit of time. The faster your connection – campus or business is usually much faster than home – the quicker it will be, so consider waiting until you are in a place with fast internet and good wifi before doing the upload. We expect a 10 minute 720p video to take 1 minute at a business or university workplace, and about 4 minutes for the average home WiFi connection.
Important: Leave the Upload page/tab up in the browser while the yellow Uploading notification is there. You may do other things on your phone but not in that browser tab, nor use WeVu in another tab while the video uploads. Once the video is uploaded successfully, there will be a green notification on the Upload page.
Once the video is uploaded, if the user wishes to change the sharing/access, he/she will need to do so from a computer. The Private Videos and Shared Videos tabs are not currently available on mobile devices.
Tech-savvy users can try Open Camera (Free, for Android) or FiLMiC Pro (paid app for iOS) if they want to try different recording settings. Most phones are set to record at an unnecessarily high bitrate, so adjusting this down to 2-3mbps gets you much smaller video files with only a very slight loss in smoothness. It’s hard to tell, unless you’re recording fast-moving action.