eBook

NOW AVAILABLE IN iTUNES STORE    WATCH MEDIA TRAILER

Videography skills will becThe Scientist Videographer Bookome increasingly important for the scientist of the future to keep pace with the rapid changes in communications technology and electronic publishing. As public 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 scientists must be prepared to provide it.

The Scientist Videographer is a detailed how-to for scientists, science educators, and students who wish to make their own videos. Using a new authoring platform to combine text, video, and other interactive content, the author has created an electronic guidebook to science videography. This ebook shows how to plan, shoot, edit, and publish an effective and professional-looking science video to:

  • Produce multimedia content for Websites or science blogs
  • Demonstrate a technique or experimental protocolbookquote_bird
  • Show “broader impacts” of research in grant proposals
  • Create supplemental online material for journal articles
  • Create a video abstract to submit with a journal article
  • Produce online lessons or courses
  • Film lectures, class field trips, or other activities
  • Prepare outreach materials
  • Explain current events or discoveries
  • Show off experimental facilities or scientific equipment
  • Illustrate technical, teaching, and/or communication skills
  • Prepare job interview/promotion materials
  • Raise visibility in the scientific/education community
  • Promote a positive public image of science and scientists

A few reviewer comments:

“Very practical, the story building tips helped me tremendously.”

“This book is great! I had absolutely no experience with video when I stumbled onto Karen McKee’s website, video tutorials, and this book. I learned everything I need to know to start making videos, and videos that I am proud to show others.”

“This book is laced with demo videos to help you understand and apply what you are learning. Most important to me was the step by step help in editing, both enhancing the science story and the technical skills needed to work with common editing software.”

“The Scientist Videographer is cutting edge, practical, and relevant–there’s much to learn.”

“The Scientist Videographer is an inspiration and deserves a spot with the best science communicators of our time.”

This ebook is a must-have for the current generation of science students as well as established scientists who wish to add video to their communication toolbox. By following the instructions and tutorials included in this ebook, anyone can quickly acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to create their own science videos. This ebook is chock-full of tutorials, tips, examples, and exercises designed to get you started in science videography. It is written especially for those scientists and students who want to use video in their teaching or research but cannot afford or don’t have access to a media specialist. The use of inexpensive hardware, software, and accessories is emphasized to allow video creation without breaking the bank.

The information in this book is not just for scientists, either. If you are an educator, consultant, resource manager or entrepreneur and need to learn how to create a video, you will find that the instructions in this ebook are readily transferable to other fields and different objectives.

The Scientist Videographer, which is available in the iTunes Store for $14.99, can be read on an iPad, iPhone, or Mac (running OSX10.9 and with iBooks 1.0 or later). To download to your device, you first need to get the iBooks app (available in the App Store) and then search for the title, The Scientist Videographer. Once downloaded, you will have access to all the included interactive content as well as hyperlinks to additional online material. If you prefer, you can first download a free sample, which includes the book’s media trailer and first Chapter. Then if you decide to purchase, it’s easy to update to the full version.

Link to Book and Sample Chapter in iTunes Store:

http://goo.gl/4pVv4H

A text-only version of The Scientist Videographer is now available at Amazon for Kindle. If you prefer to read on your computer, you can download a Kindle reader to your PC here.

A text-only version is also available at other major retailers via Smashwords.

Media Trailer for The Scientist Videographer:

Sample Chapter Video (watch on YouTube for full-screen):

Download eBook Flyer Here:

Download (PDF, 2.38MB)

Download eBook Press Release Here:

Download (PDF, 86KB)

About the Author

karen2010Dr. Karen McKee is a scientist with forty years of research experience. Her educational training includes a B.S. in zoology and a M.S. and a Ph.D. in botany. She has studied various aspects of wetlands, more recently focusing on global change effects of elevated carbon dioxide, climate change, and rising sea level. Her research has spanned multiple international locations, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Belize, Panama, Honduras, Brazil, The Netherlands, Denmark, China, Australia, and New Zealand. Dr. McKee’s research has been published in over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. She is a frequent invited speaker at international conferences and has delivered more than 150 technical presentations and seminars. Dr. McKee is co-founder and trustee of The Wetland Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides travel grants to students of wetland science. She has produced several peer-reviewed videos that describe her research as well as topics of general interest such as climate change, sea-level rise, hurricanes, and large river deltas. Dr. McKee has actively promoted science communication by scientists and worked to encourage more scientists and science students to acquire better multimedia skills. To this end, she has produced many free tutorials to train scientists in the use of video for science communication and hosts a video blog, The Scientist Videographer, where she provides additional advice and information. Her ebook, The Scientist Videographer, is the culmination of years of experience as a science communicator.me&dad_repaired

In addition to science and videography, she also enjoys painting, fishing, hiking, and botanizing.

Recent Posts

How to Make a Custom Thumbnail for Your YouTube Videos

When I first started making videos and uploading them to YouTube, I did not think much about how viewers made their decisions to click on one of my videos instead of one posted by someone else. In an Internet search, several videos may be suggested. People often decide on which one to watch based on the thumbnail image. One way to make your video stand out to viewers and tell them that your video is what they want to watch is with a custom thumbnail.

An eye-catching thumbnail is an easy way to attract viewers to your YouTube videos. If you’ve gone to the trouble of making a great video, then you shouldn’t hesitate to spend a bit more time to make sure people notice your video and decide to watch it. In a new tutorial (see player window below), I show how to design and create a custom thumbnail in PowerPoint and how to attach it to your YouTube video. Although Photoshop or Illustrator can be used for crafting the thumbnail image, many people do not have this software or do not know how to use it. In this tutorial, I use PowerPoint, which many people are familiar with, to create a custom thumbnail. Moreover, if you create a thumbnail template in PowerPoint, you can use it to quickly create thumbnails for all your videos.

But first, let’s go over some important information to help you design the best custom thumbnail for your video.

What is a thumbnail?

A thumbnail is a small image, often clickable, created for a webpage and that represents a file such as a photograph or a video. When someone conducts a search for a video, the thumbnail gives the viewer a visual preview of what your video is about. Some thumbnails stand out more than others. These are custom thumbnails. When you upload your video to YouTube, you are presented with three random frames from which to choose a thumbnail. Now, these are totally random, which means you basically get to choose among three really bad choices. Obviously, being able to create a custom thumbnail that best represents your video is preferable.

Who is eligible to use custom thumbnails?

Some forums suggest that you must become a YouTube Partner to enable advanced options like custom thumbnails. This is not true; if your channel is verified, you then become eligible to upload custom thumbnails. This option became available to me as a YouTube video creator in late 2013. Since then, crafting a custom thumbnail has become a routine part of my workflow when making a video. I consider it a key part of the process in creating an effective video and actually enjoy the challenge of finding just the right image and text design to use in the custom thumbnail.

What factors should be considered in designing a thumbnail?

  • First, take a look at other thumbnails for your topic and see what other video creators have used. Although this review will give you some ideas for crafting your thumbnail, you also want to take note of the features most often used and think of new ones to use for your thumbnail. In other words, you should try to design a thumbnail that stands out from the crowd.
  • Second, select an image that best represents your video. This image should be distinct but not misleading. Images featuring a person tend to attract the eye. If you can also show that person doing something related to the topic of the video, then your thumbnail image will be informative. For example, if your video is showing a scientific method, a photo of a person using an instrument or demonstrating the method is what you want. Those thumbnails featuring an image of a person jump out at you, which is why many people use them. However, you can also feature a photo of an instrument, an organism, a landscape, or a graphic—assuming it has something to do with the topic of your video. Planning ahead for the thumbnail and getting that photo while filming is the best approach. Failing this, you can extract a freeze frame from your raw footage. I show how to do this in the tutorial.
  • Third, resize and crop your image to ensure a good quality thumbnail that also meets specifications suggested by YouTube. In general, follow the rule of thirds to create a more interesting visual but mainly to allow space for text. YouTube suggests an image size of 1280 x 720 pixels, which is a 16:9 aspect ratio. You should keep the file at 2 MB or less and in an acceptable format such as jpg or png.
  • Fourth, add text to your video, which informs the viewer and reinforces what the video is about. Include keywords that people will use in their search. In many cases, all you need to do is restate the title of your video using a larger font and colors that make the text stand out.
  • Fifth, strive for a combination of an informative image and eye-catching text. In the tutorial below, I show some examples. You can make things easier on yourself if you use an image with some blank space in it, such as the sky, a solid fence or wall, as background for the text. In the tutorial, however, I show how to deal with a busy background.

What software should I use to create a custom thumbnail?

If you want to create a thumbnail from scratch, you have a number of options, including Photoshop, Illustrator, or PowerPoint. I’ve used PowerPoint in this tutorial because it’s a program that most science professionals use and are comfortable with. Photoshop and Illustrator are a bit more challenging to use and require some training and practice to use effectively. There are also online design sites that will assist you in creating a thumbnail. Canva is one example of a graphic design site, which offers templates and a user-friendly interface. I’ve not tried it, so can only recommend it as a possible site to check out. Although advertised as a “free” application, access to some key options seems to require a monthly subscription. In the end, you should use the software you are most comfortable with.

So with that bit of background, here is the tutorial showing how to create a thumbnail in PowerPoint (and direct link in case you can’t see the player window):

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