Tips Students Can Use to Create and Edit Video on the iPad

By Sam Gliksman

The fantastic capabilities of the many apps that use the iPad’s camera tap into the creative potential that exists inside all of us. And if you’re lucky enough to have a third-generation or higher iPad, you also benefit from features such as 1080p HD quality video and image stabilization. Now go ahead and put that video to good use.

Here are some tips for taking effective video on the iPad:

  • The first and most obvious thing to keep in mind is to keep your educational objectives front and center. It’s unlikely you’ll be applying for any Academy Awards. Students certainly can produce amazing results with video, but if you’re after dramatic cinematic effects, you’ll probably want to use a more robust video editor on the Mac.

  • The best way to use and put together video on iPads is to keep your clips fairly short and entertaining. Long video clips often make it difficult to hold the viewer’s attention.

  • Make sure you have abundant light available and preferably not shining directly into the camera. Also, don’t move from one lighting situation to another while shooting video. If you have to shoot under different lighting conditions, turn off the camera and start a new clip at the second location after giving the camera a few seconds to adjust to the new lighting conditions.

  • You should normally shoot your video in landscape mode. Think of your TV or a movie screen. You want your video to have the same orientation.

  • Don’t combine clips taken in portrait mode with landscape photos.

  • Video gets a little scary and blurred if you get too close to your subject. Stay a minimum of an arm’s length away when shooting.

  • Whether you have an iPad 2 or higher (which has an image stabilization feature), keep as still as possible when taking your video. Motion blur is disturbing; too much of it will make your viewers seasick. Consider using an iPad stand that holds the iPad firm and steady.

  • Everyone knows where the lens is on a regular camera … but that isn’t always true on an iPad. Know where the camera is located physically on your iPad, and then do yourself a favor by keeping your fingers clear of it. The greatest video on Earth will be ruined by the sudden appearance of a giant forefinger in the frame!

  • Resist the urge to show off, waltzing around taking video while holding the iPad in one hand. Hold it steady in both hands with your elbows tucked in to your sides.

  • Experiment and have fun with the video. Trim your clips creatively, and put them together with interesting transitions. Try adding an interesting soundtrack. Pan and zoom where appropriate.

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