TLS Media Lab: Camera Recording

General Tips:

  1. Use the yellow lights as they provide soft and sufficient light for the shoot. Do not use the overhead white light, it wash outs the visuals.
  2. The background screen is Grey that is a good neutral color. In addition to it, there is a tie-and-dye sheet that is put up using the clips. It is also provides a good base for the shoot. You can use either one depending on your need and preference.
  3. If interviewing a single subject, the frame should be covered about ¾ by the subject leaving enough space around to accommodate the bodily movements of the person. The best frame would cover the shoulders of the person (news reader’s frame). 
  4. To avoid washing out and zebra stripes on the image, advice the subject to wear solid and neutral colors (blacks, blues, greys are good) and with no stripes.   

Camera Adjustments:

  1. Exposure/Aperture -  This determines how much light comes in through the lens and the setting for the exposure depends on the skin tone of the person. Set it with the subject seated on the chair.   With the studio lights on, you can use the zebra stripes to make sure their isn't too much light.
  2. White Balance – This ensures that colors aren't over or under saturated. For instance, It prevents if someone wears a blue shirt, that their skin doesn't look blue-ish too.. Set it before the subject arrives and use the preset ‘Overhead Lighting’ on the camera control. You want to get a read against a neutral surface.
  3. Rather than moving the camera up and down to get the correct proportion of the image on the frame, try changing the height of the chair.

Audio Adjustments:


  1. Leave snowball mic set to position '1' and then adjust the levels in the software. Preamps and a lavaliere mic can be requested for use in the TLS Media from the Academic Technology Support desk.

Computer/Software Tips:

  1. Turn on the computer first (before turning on the camera). If the computer doesn’t detect the camera on its own, try restarting the computer.
  2. Video recording are usually very heavy, external hard drive will be required to save the recordings. The desktop removes the stuff on it so saving the recording on the desktop is not a good idea.
  3. The Snowball Blue mic works good to capture the audio, use this rather than the camera mic.

Recording Steps:

  1. Turn on the yellow lights and turn off the other lights in the room.
  2. Turn on the computer. Launch Adobe OnLocation.
  3. Turn on the camera.
  4. The software should detect the camera input and you should be able to see the view of the camera on the monitor. If the monitor doesn’t detect the camera feed, restart the computer.
  5. Adjust the White Balance settings on the camera. For interviewing a single subject, the preset ‘Overhead Lighting’ works best. Set the white balance without the subject on the scene.
  6. Adjust the Exposure settings on the camera. Shooting in the TLS media lab requires exposure to be set to minimum. Also, it depends on the person’s skin tone so if you still see the zebra stripes on the subject’s face, you probably need to bring the exposure further down.  
  7. Adjust the height of the chair to get the right proportions on the frame.
  8. On the Adobe Onlocation interface, click on the zebra stripes icon to check if there are any areas on the subject that are still showing the stripes. If there are stripes, you will need to adjust the exposure settings again.
  9. Check the Snowball Blue mic, it should be plugged in with the blue indicator ON.  Also, on the Adobe Onlocation interface, check if the audio input is being received.
  10. Check the frame again and if every thing looks good, click record button on the Adobe Onlocation interface.
  11. During the recording, check the audio feed on the monitor. Green feed is good, yellow is okay, and occasional red works too. However, a consistent and frequent red would mean problem in the audio recording.
  12. Click ‘Stop’ on the Onlocation interface when recording is complete.