This guide includes some suggested camera settings and accessory purchases. Each set up is different and you will want to budget a significant amount of time to test your configuration before you plan to start producing your content.
1. Set up any extra hardware
- Screw in the Polarizer Filter (see Amazon's Tiffen 58MM Circular Polarizer Glass Filter | $29.95) onto the lens of the camera. This will help to minimize reflections. The polarizer is two discs, the outside disc can be turned to vary the polarizing effect, the disc should be turned so that the reflections are darkest
We use a Canon XA10 filming Light Board videos. For a full list of the equipment used, see our Equipment List.
2. Recording Settings
In camera mode, you have the option of shooting in Manual (M), Auto, or Cinema. For the purpose of Light Board shoots, you will use Manual.
Manual will give you the ability to change from Auto to Manual focus and change the White Balance, and Exposure via the “Func.” button on the touch screen.
Focus and White Balance should be adjust as specified below:
- Focus: Manual Focus (make sure to zoom into a bit of writing in the centre of the light board and focus).
- White Balance: 5200K
Manual Mode also gives you four different Recording Programs to choose from: P Program, Tv Shutter Priority, Av Aperture Priority and M Manual Exposure. M Manual Exposure will be used for Light Board filming.
Manual Exposure allows you to set aperture and shutter speed. They should be set to the below specifications:
- Aperture: F2.0
- Shutter Speed: 1/60
Since the camera is viewing the presenter writing “backwards”, we can change the settings in the camera to flip the footage in real time, so that we can read the footage forwards. To do so follow the steps below:
- Hit the “Func.” button on the touch screen.
- Hit the “Menu” button, and navigate to the second tab with a film strip and gear on it.
- Scroll down and hit “Scan Reverse Rec”.
Mark your set up with tape! For example, the floor of the studio has tape marks for the positioning of the camera and the Light Board. The Light Board has drawn borders to indicate the space presenters can draw in. It is advised that the camera zooms out enough that these borders can be seen in case a presenter accidentally draws further out. The footage can later be zoomed in (or cropped) to remove any border lines.
- The side lights are positioned behind the Light Board in line with the presenter, directly aimed at them from either side. The side lights should be set to about 60% of their full capacity brightness. A cardboard “barn door” has been added to the the side lights to help minimize light spilling onto the backdrop.
- The front lights are positioned about 45 degrees off from the presenter, and as far back as possible. It is crucial to make sure that the lights cannot be seen in the reflection of the Light Board. The front lights should be set to 100% of their full capacity brightness.
4.1. Removing Light Board Borders
It is best to scrub to the end of the Light Board sequence where all of the content has been written down, to ensure that you do not crop it out when removing the borders. Typically, slightly punching in the footage is enough to remove any of the borders (105% approximately). However, sometimes you may need a combination of a punch in and a crop (with a feathered edge). For example, instead of punching in the footage a large amount, you may be able to remove a border line by cropping it, if the presenter does move to the edge of the frame, meaning you won’t have to punch in as much.
4.2. Brightening the Presenter
You can brighten the presenter by applying a Lumetri Colour filter to the clip, and tweaking the settings. A Preset has been created which can be copied from the Sample Light Board clip onto a new clip. This preset brightens the presenter while minimally affecting the black background.
To sharpen the footage, a Sharpen filter can be applied. Setting the Sharpen amount to 5 is recommended.
4.4. Darkening the Sides
The sides of the frame typically have some light leaking in, and may be slightly lighter than true black. Fortunately, since most of the action from the presenter takes place in the centre of the frame, we can darken the sides without affecting the presenter. This change is also made using the Lumetri Colour filter, however, instead of applying this to the clip itself, it should be applied to an Adjustment Layer that is placed on the layer above the clip on the timeline. A Preset has been created on the Adjustment Layer in the Sample Light Board Project Timeline, this whole layer can be copied and put on top of existing footage to darken the sides.