Michigan Ross iMpact

Leading in Thought & Action

Equipment and Operation

Welcome to the Video Lab!

This page will explain the lab's equipment, setup and basic operation.

The video lab has two functions: recording and editing. There is one recording station, and three editing stations.


Recording Station

The Recording Station's intended use is to simply record content. You won't do any editing here (in fact, Final Cut Studio isn't even installed). Instead, use this space to record against a multi-colored backdrop using professional grade lighting and the attached high-definition video camera and microphone, or do a screencast.

When you're recording, please post the red "Recording in Progress" sign on the outside of the door. This will help alert others that they need to wait to enter. Remember to remove it when finished.

When you're done using the Recording Station, please turn off any lights and other equipment used and put them in a place so they won't be tripping hazards. Turn off the iMac by clicking the Apple icon in the upper-left corner and selecting "Shut Down..."

List of Recording Station Equipment and Software

Clicking the links will take you to that application's help and tutorial page if you need assistance using it.

  • 1 AudioTechnica AT687 Condenser Shotgun Microphone
  • 1 Canon Vixia HV40 High Definition Video Camera
  • 1 iMac with the following software
  • 5-port USB 2.0 Combo Hub & 56-in-1 Card Reader for the iMac
  • 2 repositionable Lowel RIFAex 650 Watt stand-up lighting kits
  • 1 multi-color back-drop (black, white, blue, green)
  • 1 overhead lighting kit for better back-lighting
  • 2 movable green/blue screens with stands for positioning in other areas of the room

Starting a Recording

Turn on the iMac (a button located on the back of the screen), or, if it was left on, reboot. This will ensure that all software is operating freshly.

Recordings are done using the attached HD camera and the QuickTime Pro software on the iMac. Once you've set your lighting and backdrop the way you want, launch the QuickTime application (the blue and gray Q in the dock), go up to File, and select "New Movie Recording" to begin.

When you're finished, you'll have a digital video file that you can then save to a USB drive or portable media device to take with you, or over to the editing stations if it needs more work. Please remember to turn off the iMac when you are finished.

Starting a Screencast

Screencasting refers to the digital recording of a computer screen. It's often used, but not limited to, giving distance lectures while narrating over PowerPoint slides, or to create tutorial videos for specific computer applications.

Turn on the iMac (a button located on the back of the screen), or, if it was left on, reboot. This will ensure that all software is operating freshly.

Screencasting is done on the Recording Station's iMac with the ScreenFlow application. Click the application's icon on the dock to launch the software. It will prompt you to choose a camera to use. If you want to record yourself visually so that you appear in a box in the lower corner, or just record your voice, click OK. The recording will begin (no indication is given, so do a few short tests to get comfortable). Once you're done, hold Command+Option on the keyboard, and tap the "2" key. This will end the recording and open it up in ScreenFlow's editor. Make any changes needed, and then export your screencast to a digital video which you can then transfer to a USB drive or portable media device to distribute or upload elsewhere.


Editing Stations

The Editing Stations' intended use is to edit and produce content. You won't necessarily do any recording here, although it is equipped to do screencasting. You'll use the USB, FireWire and Memory Card hubs to transfer your content off of your device and onto the iMac where it can then be opened and edited by the application of your choice.

IMPORTANT: Remember to save your work back to your memory device when you're done, as any content on the iMac's hard drive will be deleted when it is rebooted.

Please adhere to common courtesy when using an editing station when others are sharing the room. Use the speakers at low volume, or better yet, plug in a pair of headphones. If you move any wires or equipment, please put it back into its original configuration before you leave.

List of Editing Station Equipment and Software

Clicking the links will take you to that application's help and tutorial page if you need assistance using it.

  • 1 iMac with the following software
    • Adobe Photoshop Elements 9
    • Final Cut Studio 2 (open the "Final Cut Tutorial" DVD, located on the dock, for thorough documentation)
      • Final Cut Pro
      • Cinema Tools
      • Color
      • Compressor
      • DVD Studio Pro
      • LiveType
      • Motion
    • MPEG Streamclip (video conversion)
    • Toast 10 Titanium (DVD and CD authoring software)
    • ScreenFlow 4 (for screencasting)
    • VLC (versatile video and media player)
    • Quicktime (video and media player)
    • iLife 11 (iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand, etc.)
    • Turbo.264 HD (video conversion to H264)
    • Flip4Mac Studio plug-in (for working with Windows Media files)
  • 1 BellaUSA Professional Series Video Editing Keyboard
  • 2 Tapco S-5 Active Studio Monitors (110 watt speakers)
  • 5-port USB 2.0 Combo Hub & 56-in-1 Card Reader for the iMac
  • 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub and 3-Port FireWire Combo Hub for the iMac

Using the Keyboard

The keyboard looks more intimidating than it is. A simple examination will reveal that it's still just a regular, standard keyboard. The only difference is that it has helpful color coding and markings indicating which key is a shortcut for what when using Final Cut Pro. The circular rubber rotating wheel is a "shuttle" that will advance or reverse through your project.