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Brutal feedback required


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Right.....

 I'm aware that I might regret this but I'm after advice to improve my YouTube channel.

 

It is basically a channel to help beginners with star hopping and finding targets using a star atlas or chart.

The problem is I am not a very public person so to be doing something like this is not really in my comfort zone. However I feel that this series of videos could help beginners and I'm desperate for this to succeed.

If you guys could have a look at the videos I have put out so far and offer advice for improvement that would be much appreciated. PLEASE TELL THE TRUTH!!!. 

 I know my delivery is wooden and needs worked on but any other feed back is not only welcome but much appreciated.

Thanks.

 Link below 

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxhmk8MFrmOcHvK_lm9r6WA

 

Edited by popeye85
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I probably won't be of much of a help with feed back and comments but I wanted to say a few words.

I did briefly watch your videos and I can sense the unease that you have in front of the camera. I want to encourage you to keep at it. It might not be something that you feel comfortable at the moment but I truly believe - the more you do it - more you'll feel comfortable and at home doing.

I think that videos you are doing have value to astronomers and for this reason I believe it is important you persevere at it. I can only see you getting better with time and bringing more value to astro community.

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I just looked at one of them, about star hopping to the Andromeda Galaxy.

A couple of bits of feedback. The camera you use reverses everything so the writing is mirrored. That’s a little off putting and it would help if you fixed it.

Second point is check your facts and be accurate. You described the Great Andromeda Galaxy as M32. It is not, it is M31! You lose credibility if you says things that aren’t correct, so get it right!

As Vlaiv says though, keep at it, I didn’t think your delivery was that bad, I’ve seen worse! If you enjoy it and you want to do it then why not!

If I get a chance, I’ll have a look at some more and comment if anything comes to mind.

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I am nowhere near as experienced as Stu, so I bow to his superior knowledge on the accuracy of your content. I also echo the comment about the reverse writing on the atlas and planisphere - phone cameras in selfie mode do this!
However, I have seen plenty of YT videos which were a lot less well presented. I sat through one earlier today showing a guy umm-ing and ahh-ing for 25 minutes in the hope that I would learn something from it eventually. Unfortunately I didn’t. On the other hand your videos have persuaded me to go and buy a star atlas, because I thought you put the star-hopping across very well.
stick at it, listen to the comments from the great people on this forum, and learn from their feedback.

Thanks, and well done!

 

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Hello ! 

I did not find you delivery to be problematic. In fact I found the pace, tone and presentation quite enjoyable so I would not worry about this as you will get even better with experience.

- I did cringe a little when you said M32 instead of M31 for Andromeda

- I know this might seem trivial and I do not want to be brutal but since I will be looking close up at your hands, make sure they are well "manicured" I would guess that you work in some kind of mechanical or manual work and I do not want to shame you (I admire people who know how to use their hands!) but it can be a put off .. sorry to be brutal about this.

- be careful with the sound, buying a small mic that you can attach to your shirt is good practice to make easy-to-listen-to videos.

I hope I did not offend you by being too honest and I really enjoyed the 3 videos and I think you are providing useful content that will help a lot of people. I hope you keep it up and I will be visiting your channel often.

Here is a nice link to start on a small budget and greatly improve you video. 

 

 

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I've just subscribed for now at least - not watched any videos there yet. I'll not reiterate what has already been said above, because that'll just create psychological blocks ;) 

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Thanks for the comments. 

Noted about the m31/32 gaff!  (Although in my defence the guide will get you to m32 aswell!!)

I like the suggesting of @Vox45  about getting a mic to attach to my shirt and will certainly be a investment ! (Thanks for the video aswell!) 

I'm also working on sorting out the mirror imaging and hopefully that won't be a problem going forward.

Thanks for the comments and keep them coming! The only way for me to improve is identifying the faults!

Colin.

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I'm not one to comment on the content of your videos as I'm completely new.  I am however an experienced streamer and I'm more than capable commenting on your production level.

1. Camera
I can see that your camera is mounted on the table.  Either in the form of a tabletop gorillamounted webcam or even your phone on some mount(Looks like the latter). When you have your arms on the table and move around, it shakes a lot. If you are using your phone, I really do suggest that you get a 4k or 1080p webcam and a basic photography tripod to avoid getting the wobble effect.
The camera is also filming slightly upwards which makes you look very big, gives you a double chin(No offense but you asked for brutal) and literally films up your nose. As I mentioned, a tripod mounted camera filming from eye level or slightly above eye level will make you look much better on camera.

2. Lighting. 
I suspect that you're relying on the ceiling lights? You get shadows in your face, which again, makes you less appealing to look at(again, absolutely no offense) Try to get a streaming ringlight that you can mount around forementioned webcam on a tripod.   If that's out of your budget, you can get 1 or 2 tabletop lamps with a LED bulb and a small softbox on ebay for super cheap. Place these behind the camera to the side, facing right at you.

3. Location
Although you have blinds on your windows, it does affect the quality quite a bit. I don't know the layout of your home, but the wall you your right looks clear from what I can see. Try to have your back against that wall for a cleaner image. The same thing goes for filming bottom up.  When you capture the lights in the ceiling, the quality drops a lot. As I mentioned before, Eye level or slightly above eye level with a clean background is good!
If you have a place you can make a dedicated setup, even better!

4. Sound
Although the sounds wasn't too bad, I really suggest you get a studio level microphone or a lapel microphone. This is going to increase the sound quality A LOT. If you need suggestions, I'm available in DMs and I can help you select some good options for you. A good microphone on an arm with a shock mount and a wind muffler makes a HUGE difference!

5. Software.
I saw at some point in your last video that you turned the camera around to film your computerscreen. Sometimes you can even se your own reflection Although it works, there's a MUCH better way to do that. It's by using correct recording software.   I've always used OBS Studio and I'm extremely happy with that.   It's a streaming software, but it's capable of recording as well.  Here you can also set up different overlays you might want to use when recording the screen. (and even have your camerafeed there while looking at the screen)
It's a free software so I really suggest you get it!   Again, I'm available in DMs you help you with setting it up!

6. Editing
There's multiple times throughout the video where you stop talking. Usually before a transition. You should really clip those moments away or you'll have the viewer sitting there thinking "NANANANANA BATMAAAN" or something else weird. My point is, they'll lose interest for a split second that's not something you want happening because they'll eventually decide to move on.

7. Misc
This is really not that important, but when you were filming the starmaps, the image was kind of dim and bland.  The shadows from your pen and hand also made the viewing a bit "bleeeh" 
If you can afford getting TWO webcams, and some extra table top lamps to light up your top down view, that's something I'd suggest.   Using a longer "pointing stick" instead of a pencil will also reduce interference a lot as your hands will not cast as many shadows. Personally I use a Logitech BRIO 4k on a tripod to record my face and a Logitech C922 1080p on a movable arm(actually a RØDE mirophone arm) for a top down view. If you can't afford two webcams and mounts, consider getting one webcam and a microphone/camera arm. That way you can move your camera into the desired position and just edit that part out afterwards.

Except the microphone and camera, you can make a setup like this extremely cheap.  But just like with astronomy, if you're going to create content on a regular basis, don't cheap out on essentials like camera and sound.

Edit: Oh, and using a webcam with recording software will remove the problem you have with the horizontally flipped camera.

Another edit: That said, your delivery wasn't actually that bad!  I expected much worse from a non-public person that's new to being in front of a camera.   I was eons worse my first few months.  Just try to plan out what you're going to talk about in advance and just keep at it!  You'll get comfortable in no time!

Another another edit: I'll be happy to help you through this process, so feel free to DM me at any time with any questions.   If you'd like, I can provide you with my personal email for easier communication as well.

Edited by Pryce
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One very important thing I forgot to mention. And this is a separate point and not really feedback on your videos but more of a heart to heart.

 

Don't ever EVER compare yourself to professional Youtubers. Unless you start making serious money off YT, your production will never be in the same league. 

They earn A LOT of money, through views(ad revenue), Patreon, sponsor deals and direct donations.

They have professionals producers editing their content, they have profrssional sound technichians setting up their gear and they have years of experience on content creation.

So again, don't ever compare yourself to them. 

 

Edited by Pryce
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4 hours ago, popeye85 said:

Thanks for the comments. 

Noted about the m31/32 gaff!  (Although in my defence the guide will get you to m32 aswell!!)

I like the suggesting of @Vox45  about getting a mic to attach to my shirt and will certainly be a investment ! (Thanks for the video aswell!) 

I'm also working on sorting out the mirror imaging and hopefully that won't be a problem going forward.

Thanks for the comments and keep them coming! The only way for me to improve is identifying the faults!

Colin.

It's also important to hear about the good things , that you should not change.

 

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Hi Colin,

I've just watched your video on the double cluster and there's a couple of things that I particularly like.

The first is your enthusiasm. You're telling the viewer why they should bother with that object and encouraging them to go find it for themselves. I think that's your best asset.

Secondly, I kinda like the "Blue Peter" props such as the card you use to show finder size against the map. It makes astronomy a bit more approachable, and "hey, I could do that." It's not all about shiny expensive equipment.

I like the idea of using your hand to roughly estimate angular sizes, but I suggest when you tell people about that, show them too. Stretch out your hand and show them what you mean.

All in all, great start and a good resource for new astronomers. 🙂

Mark

 

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Hi Popeye85,

I watched your first video which i thought was good and informative. My feedback as a complete novice astronomer, but worked in the classroom environment.

1. Because you know the subject don't expect your audience to know it. 

2. When the viewing card was introduced with a circle of 5 degrees, i lost track because i was thinking how you got the degree sizes. It would be helpful to state the scale or how that size represent those degrees. for example 1:500000 or 1:250000 or whatever it might be.

3. When using aids try to ensure they match or compliment the subject matter. I got confused with orientation with the software maps and the hard copy maps, when you were showing the area in which to star hop to.

Like others have said about the technical stuff, equipment etc will no doubt improve the overall look. As for personal looks that is up to you. (I have long hair tied up and don't look the part, but i am!) But continuity is everything along with simple explanations.

On the plus side your first attempt got me to look at your other videos. But videos are notorious for looking simple when in fact they are very hard to produce. That will come with practise. Subject matter must be accurate, aids used must have explantion and remember your students will not have a clue and will therefore need to have simple topic delivery techniques applied, before going on to the more technical stuff.  So tell us what you are going to tell us, tell us and then tell us again.

Great start though - keep at it. Will check out your next ones.

Slingshot

 

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