grandisleclass_klmckeeThis website is designed to encourage and inform students, teachers, scientists, and other science professionals who are interested in using video to convey information about themselves, their work, or a topic of interest. Here you will find video tutorials, tips, reviews, and other information that will help you plan, shoot, edit, and publish effective and professional-looking videos.

Videography skills will become increasingly important for the scientist of the future to keep pace with the rapid changes in communications technology and electronic publishing. As demand for more accessible and engaging science information increases and as competition for science jobs, research funding, and space in journals becomes more intense, those scientists with multimedia skills such as videography will be at a distinct advantage. 21st century consumers of scientific information, both technical and non-technical, will expect media-rich content, and science educators and researchers must be prepared to provide it.

Learn How to Create a Video

screenshot_iphoneWatch tutorials to learn, step-by-step, how to design and make a video to demonstrate a new method, produce an online lesson, record a screen presentation, and create other communication products. Tap the image to the left to see a tutorial showing how to shoot and edit a video with a smartphone. For more tutorials, see this list by category (or select Tutorials in the Navigation bar).

Now Available: The Scientist Videographer eBookThe Scientist Videographer Book

This ebook is a detailed how-to for scientists, science educators, and students who wish to make their own videos. This electronic guidebook was created with a new authoring platform to combine text, video, and other interactive content to facilitate learning. This ebook shows how to plan, shoot, edit, and publish an effective and professional-looking science video to demonstrate a new method, record an online lesson or lecture, create supplemental online material for a journal article, produce a virtual tour of a laboratory or experimental facility, to raise online visibility—and many other uses.

Tap here to see the media trailer. Read more about the book on this page (or select eBook in the top navigation bar).

Who Is The Scientist Videographer?

cameraoperator_cartoon_klmckeeI am a research scientist who has discovered the value of having videography skills in my communication toolbox—which in the future will be just as important as writing and oral presentation skills are now for a successful science career. I’ve found that video has not only expanded my abilities to explain and share my science with others, it has benefited my career in ways I never dreamed possible. To learn more about what led me to acquire videography skills and why I think it will be a critical communication skill for the scientist of the 21st century, check out my About page. See the links in Other Science Contributions for more information about me and my research.

My Science Videos

Mississippi River Flood of 2011

Public domain image (U.S. Geological Survey)

In addition to science videography tutorials, I have produced and published several peer-reviewed science videos as well as a number of other videos on various science and science-career topics. I provide links to those videos on My Science Videos page to show how someone with no formal training in videography, media, or science communication can produce effective videos to convey a science message. I made my first science video in 2008 and have since published about 80 videos (including tutorials).

If I can do it, so can you.

The Scientist Videographer Blog

For more information, tips, video reviews and general musings about science communication, go to my blog. Here you will find additional material and links to video tutorials and other instructional information. See recent posts below or select Blog in the Navigation bar.

mangroves_K.L. McKee

Recent Posts

How to Make a Video without Film Footage: Montage Revisited

montage_thumbnailA commenter recently took me to task for using a blog post title that was misleading. The post, which was one of my first on this blog (August 2012!!), described a film editing technique called “montage” in which the filmmaker uses a series of still images instead of footage to tell a story in a video. The title of the post was “How to Make a Science Video Without Film Footage”. The commenter said that I failed to tell how to do it, what software to use, or to provide a tutorial. Therefore, my post was “wrongly named”.

My intent with that post was to encourage budding scientist videographers, who have no video footage but do have lots of photographs depicting their research, to go ahead and make a video with whatever media they have in hand. I described how someone in this situation could still create an effective video with a sequence of photos and included a video example that primarily used still images to produce a narrative. I also described how one might use the “Ken Burns” effect to add motion to photographs and also sound effects (birds or crickets chirping, water sounds), all of which add to the illusion of movement in the montage.

My plan was to do a follow-up post and tutorial to demonstrate how to implement the montage technique….but I never got around to it.

The comment, though, told me that people were searching for tutorials showing how to make a video without film footage. So in this post, I would like to offer a tutorial that shows step by step how to edit still images to create a video. As you will see, I provide instructions on how to import photos, how to add a “Ken Burns effect”, how to add transitions between photos, how to add text titles, and how to add music or sound effects to bring the montage to life. Although I used iMovie (Version 10.0.8) for this tutorial, the principles of the montage technique generally apply to other editing software.

Note: This tutorial assumes that the viewer is familiar with the basic editing tools in the iMovie application (or some other editing software). However, you don’t need a lot of editing experience to apply this technique. In fact, montage is perhaps the easiest technique for a novice videographer to use when first starting to make videos.

Be sure to select the HD version (1080p) and full screen for best viewing (direct link to the video on YouTube):

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