Instructions for setting up and using the light boards to create lecture content.
Light board Setup
- Light board
- Tripod spreader (for added tripod stability)
- Sandbag (for added tripod stability, sits on tripod spreader)
- Manfrotto Tripod
- Canon Rebel T8i camera kit
- Camera body
- 18-55 mm lens and lens cap
- Battery pack and charger
- Canon Rebel T8i user manual
- 1070 Asynchronous Studio
- LM8 Lavalier and Belt Pack Transmitter
- Two lithium batteries
- Extra AA batteries
- USB charger and wall adapter
- Extra microphone covers
- 128 GB SD card loaded in camera and plastic case
- Sandisk SD card reader
- LM8 Lavalier and Belt Pack Transmitter
- 1080 Synchronous Studio
- Canon DM-E100 Directional Microphone kit
- Microphone TRRS extension cable
- Mini HDMI to HDMI cable (for transmitting audio and video to the Magewell capture card)
- Magewell USB Capture Card HDMI Plus (for converting feed and flipping video in real time)
- Canon DM-E100 Directional Microphone kit
Instructions are organized by item type and order of setup.
- Make sure the light board is plugged into the wall via the extension cord. The lights are already attached to the light board. You can change their brightness using the dimmers at the side of the board.
- Adjust the presenter lights: Using the two dimmers closest to the backdrop, set the brightness of the presenter light dimmers by aligning the orange markers (about half brightness).
- Adjust the board lights: Turn the furthest dimmer to full strength. These LED lights are contained within the board and make your writing visible.
- Note that if you are ever unsure which dimmer controls which light, stand behind the board as you will for recording and adjust the brightness on the dimmers one at a time.
Spreader and Manfrotto Tripod:
- If you need to lower or raise the tripod, open the upper clasps. Note that the tripod clasps open on the silver side. Do not alter the lower tripod clasps as they are fully extended.
- Adjust tripod height. Firmly hold the head of the tripod with one hand and open all three clasps with the other hand. Lift or lower the tripod with one hand and close each of the clasps with the other.
- Try to get the tripod legs as even as possible.
- Lock pan and tilt: Pan and tilt are controlled by the levers you can turn at the top of the tripod head near the two vertical red arrows with “LOCK” on them.
- Pan and tilt must be locked before you can attach the camera. Turn the levers clockwise to lock these features.
- Prepare the tripod head to attach the camera. Go to the tripod head, the top part of the tripod. Simultaneously push down on the black paddle with your thumb and use your fingers to push the silver lever over the notch on the black paddle as it is pushed down.
- The silver notch on the lever should catch on the black notch on the paddle, locking the lever in position. You are now ready to attach the camera plate to the tripod head.
Canon Rebel T8i Camera Kit:
- Insert the battery: Turn the camera so you can see the bottom. There is a compartment labeled “BATT OPEN”.
- Push the lever inward to open the battery compartment.
- Line up the four pieces of metal at the bottom of the compartment with the battery’s four lines.
- When inserting the battery, push against the gray notch. It can be a little tricky to get the battery in, so if you are having trouble, pull the notch back with one finger and slide the battery in.
- Insert the SD card: Open the right side SD card compartment labeled “CARD OPEN” and check to see if there is a card inside. If not, insert the SD card found in the camera kit.
- Attach the camera to the tripod: The silver plate underneath the camera allows you to set the camera on the tripod.
- Step behind the tripod with the camera’s “user” side facing you. The user side contains all the buttons while the lens side contains the lens.
- Lock the camera onto the tripod head by sliding the lens-side camera plate on top of the tripod head and then setting the entire plate flat.
- You should hear a click as the silver lever is released from the paddle and locks the camera in place.
- Adjust the tripod: Grip the top of the camera with one hand and find the knob attached to the user-side red arrow that faces vertically on the tripod (rather than the two horizontal ones you checked for pan and tilt). The green circle with a bubble in it at the user-side of the tripod head is a level.
- Loosen the knob and move the camera until the bubble is in the center of the level. Then tighten the knob.
- Attach the lens to the camera: If the lens is not already attached to the camera body, remove the black cover from the sensor on the camera and remove the cover from the lens by turning counter-clockwise on both. Do not leave the sensor on the camera or the lens uncovered for longer than it takes to attach the lens. Camera sensors are extremely light-sensitive and exposing them for long periods of time will destroy them.
- To attach the lens to the camera body, line up the white square on the lens with the white square on the camera body, which is in the 11 o’clock position. Turn the lens clockwise and make sure you are turning the part of the lens closest to the camera body and not one of the focal or aperture rings.
- When the lens is secure, you will hear a click. Before releasing the lens, place one hand directly underneath the lens and let go of the lens with your other hand.
- Recharge the battery after use: Recharge the battery during breaks in filming and overnight before your next day’s shoot. Always turn the camera off before removing the battery or SD card.
- Insert a lithium battery into the CRR8 receiver if one is not already there.
- Attach the microphone receiver to the camera. Mount the CRR8 receiver onto the camera with the antennas facing the board. Extend the antennas. They communicate with the receiver.
- Plug the CRR8 receiver into the camera’s right side microphone jack. The camera should be off.
- Turn the VOL/PWR knob on the receiver to MIC. Turn the volume knob to the 11 o’clock position. Note that depending on the volume of your voice, you may want to decrease or increase the volume.
- Synch the receiver and transmitter. Open the battery pack on the transmitter. Make sure two AA batteries are loaded. Press and hold the power button momentarily on top of the receiver until the indicator light turns green. Check that the microphone transmitter and receiver are on the same channel.
- If the transmitter and receiver are not synched, press the CHANNEL button on the receiver to navigate between sixteen channels, numbered 0-9 and A-F. Select any channel. Then hold down on CHANNEL until the number or letter you selected blinks.
- Now hold the transmitter facedown and line the transmitter’s IR light indicator with the receiver’s IR light indicator. The READY/PEAK light on the receiver will turn green when the receiver and transmitter are synced.
- Attach the microphone to your collar: Clip the microphone to your shirt collar directly beneath your mouth. Clip the receiver on the waist of your clothing. A belt works best.
- Recharge the battery after use: Recharge the lithium batteries during breaks in filming and overnight before your next day’s shoot. Turn the receiver and transmitter off before removing batteries.
- Turn the camera on: Move the lever on top of the camera from the Off position to the video camera icon position (past the On position).
- Check that the lavalier microphone is selected as your audio input: Press the MENU button and hit OK. The camera monitor is a touch screen so you can press directly on it or use the arrows near the Menu button.
- Go to the first page in the menu, “Shooting settings” and select “Sound recording.”
- Now check that Sound rec. is set to Manual. If it is not, select Sound rec. again and then select Manual. Manual is the lavalier microphone input.
- Set the audio levels: Speak into the microphone at the same volume you plan to speak at while recording. Watch the Left and Right channels fluctuate on the screen.
- Your audio should be fluctuating around -12 dB and the bars should be yellow. You want to avoid red bars when speaking and do not want your volume to hit 0 dB.
- If you find you are not hitting -12 dB, turn the volume up slightly using the VOLUME knob on the receiver and if you are peaking (or hitting 0), turn the volume down slightly.
- In a completely dark room with both sets of presenter lights adjusted to the levels indicated by the orange tape, the ISO should be 800 and the aperture should be 5.6. The camera setting, as indicated on the dial on top of the camera body should be set to “M” for manual.
- Autofocus will automatically be on so when you hit record and step behind the light board, wait three seconds for the focus to adjust before starting your lecture.
- Check focal length: The lens should be set to 35 mm, which will create a large depth of field and ample board space within the frame. Adjust the focal ring on the lens to 35 if it is not already set.
- Return the lens cap when you are not filming: Lens sensors are extremely light-sensitive and will last longer if they are covered when not in use.
- Tip: misplacing the lens cap is common so store it in the camera case each time you remove it.
- With the lens set to 35 mm, you should not need to reframe. To determine how much space you have to write, mark an ‘X’ in each corner of the board with a black marker, indicating the area which will be recorded by the camera. Because of the black backdrop, only the presenter will see the markings. Some people actually pre-write everything on the board in black marker and then trace over it with a neon marker while filming.
- Remember that capturing too much of the frame, like the edge of the light board or your border markings, can be fixed by scaling in post-production. However, cutting off your writing or yourself, cannot be fixed in post-production because the camera did not capture that information. Only what is visible on the camera’s monitor will be recorded and visible for post-production and the final video.
- Canon automatically names your files in the following structure: MVI_000n where n begins at 1 and increases by one digit for each new recording.
- Clear the SD card: Go to Menu. Then go to Function settings. Select Format Card. Click OK to erase all files on the card and begin the file naming from MVI_0001. Do not format the card if you have already begun recording.
- It is recommended you stop recording after each take and start a new recording with each new take. This will help you save time during post-production.
- Note that the Canon EOS Rebel T7i can only record 30 continuous minutes of footage. If you plan to shoot a video that is longer than 30 minutes, you will need to divide the video into sections.
- Because you may be recording multiple takes, multiple tests, and/or multiple different videos, you should keep a log of what each file contains. An example setup is below:
Example shot list:
Was the take good?
No, wrote out of frame
Yes, framing and lighting are nice
Intro to Light Boards
Recording and Playback
- Start and stop recording: Press the small camera icon button near the viewfinder at the top of the user side of the camera to start and stop recording.
- Playback a recording: Press the triangle button to the right of the camera’s monitor on the user side of the camera. After you have finished watching a recording, press the playback button again or press the record button.
- Copy files from the SD card: Plug the Sandisk USB reader into a USB port on your computer or laptop.
- On a Mac, navigate to Finder. On a PC, navigate to File Explorer.
- On the left side of either Finder or File Explorer, find the drive labeled “Untitled.”
- Open DCIM, then 100CANON.
- Select all the MPEG-4 files by clicking once on the first file and then holding the Shift key and clicking on the last file.
- Right click on all the selected files. Then select Copy.
- Paste the files to your local drive: Navigate to the desired location on your local drive.
- Right click in a desired folder and paste the files. This may take a while.
- Do not unplug the SD card reader while the file upload is in progress.
- When the files have transferred to your computer, safely eject the Sandisk card reader.
- Import and trim clips in Camtasia: Make sure to save the Camtasia project to your desired location.
- Import all the “good” files you plan to edit into the Media Bin.
- Drag the footage from the Media Bin to the timeline.
- Trim the footage to remove anything you do not need in the final cut of your video by dragging on the beginning and end bars of the clip in the timeline.
- Flip the video in Camtasia: With the clip(s) highlighted in your timeline, go to the panel right of the video.
- Find the box labeled Rotation. It should contain degrees for X, Y, and Z coordinates, all with 0.0° as a default.
- Click the Y coordinate text field and type 180° or -180° and you will see your video flips. The text is now written correctly and you are ready for export.
Magewell Capture Card and Podium Computer:
- Attach mini HDMI cord to the camera.
- Check that the Magewell capture card is connected to the podium computer via a USB cord.
- Check that the Magewell connects to the camera via an HDMI to mini HDMI cord and that the microphone TRRS cable connects to the Magewell microphone jack.
- Open the Magewell utility. Log in to the podium computer with your Grainger ID and password. Open the Magewell utility located on the desktop.
- Set the volume levels. Select the Volume tab at the top of the window. Set both HDMI and the Mic levels to around 40 dB.
- Mirror the image. Select the Video tab at the top of the window. At the bottom of the Capture section, find Specific Effect. Make sure Mirror is selected, indicated by a blue check. Now Zoom participants will see your writing facing the correct way.
- Turn on the monitor that faces the light board. You will use this to see your students during synchronous sessions.
- The podium computer is already set to mirror its desktop on the monitor, so you will see everything that is open on the podium computer.
- Open your Zoom meeting.
- Select audio and video inputs.
- Choose Mic (USB Capture HDMI+ Mic) as your audio input.
- Choose USB Capture HDMI+ as your video input.
- Set high noise reduction.
- From the audio input, open Advanced Settings. Check that noise reduction is high.
- You are now ready to begin your call. You can see participants on the monitor and speak to them from behind the light board.