How to Record Top-Down Digital Art Videos

Do you want to know how to record digital art videos because you want to start your own art channel?

Or maybe you just want to keep a detailed video diary of your art to save details about paint consistencies, paint recipes, color palettes, mistakes you've done, or even just to see how you evolve as a painter.

Well, in this post I want to share with you how I record and edit my art videos for Youtube and Facebook. You can certainly use this same process if you want to create videos for Instagram (you will just need to crop them down quite a bit).

I will also share with you the exact software and equipment I use along with some options in case you are on a budget or have some extra money to splurge on some fancy equipment.

First, let's start by talking about what equipment and software you will need.

Software and Equipment I Use for Top-Down Art Video Recording

The following equipment and software is what I currently use, however, read the whole post so you can find out about some other alternatives. I will suggest some more budget friendly options and also some top-notch equipment to get quality video recordings.

  • Camera: some of my older videos on Youtube were recorded using a Logitech c920 Pro HD camera connected to my laptop, however, the newer videos were recorded with my iPhone 11 Pro Max. 
  • Audio: When I was recording using my computer along with the Logitech C920 camera, I used this Samson meteor microphone to record sound. Now that I am using my iPhone, I just use my Apple AirPods.
  • iPhone holder: I currently use a TaoTronics ring light with an iPhone mount (no longer available on Amazon) but plan on getting this Arkon Pro phone or camera stand. *A similar item to the TaoTronics ring light with an iphone holder that I currently own is this Yesker ring light with phone mount.
  • Lighting: I currently use the TaoTronics ring light with an iPhone mount (no longer available on Amazon) but plan on upgrading to a Diva Ring Light and tripod stand or light stand. *A similar item to the TaoTronics ring light that I currently own is this Yesker ring light with phone mount.
  • Video Recording Software: I currently don't use a video recording software since I just use my iPhone to record, however, when I was using my laptop and camera to record videos, I used OBS (free software for Windows, Mac, and Linux).

    But if you get Video Suite (from Movavi) to edit your videos, you can also use this software to record your videos on your laptop.
  • Video Editing Software: iMovie app in iPhone or Video Suite from Movavi
  • Voice Over Software: Voice Memos (only on iPhones), Audacity (free software for Windows, Mac, and Linux), or use the built-in voice recording capability of Video Suite from Movavi.

Also, don't forget to check out my video for an overview of my setup and to learn about the changes I plan on making soon!

Recording Equipment and Software 

1. The Camera

When I first started my Youtube channel, I recorded all of my art videos with my Logitech c920 Pro HD camera. The camera was setup on a tripod and then connected to my laptop. I liked this setup because I could see what I was recording on my laptop's screen and also because the video was directly saved onto my computer so I could edit it later.

But since my workspace is limited, I had to look for a different option that didn't require having a laptop on my workspace.

Also, because the camera was setup on a tripod, the tripod legs would sometimes show up in the recording. I am not saying that this is a bad setup option. It just wasn't what I wanted and needed.

So I opted for something less bulky and more practical... I started recording my videos with my iPhone 11 Pro Max mounted on a stand. Here are some things you should keep in mind if you are going to record with a phone:

  • You will need to transfer your video from your phone to your computer to edit it, unless you plan to edit your video directly on your phone using iMovie or other video editing app.
  • You will get a higher quality video by using the rear-facing camera rather than the front-facing camera when you record.

But, if you want to record higher quality (4K) professional, then consider getting the Canon EOS M6 Mark II camera. 

2. Phone Holder or Tripod

Like I previously mentioned... when I first started recording videos, I used a tripod to hold my camera. Once I switched to using an iphone to record my videos, I purchased the TaoTronics ring light with an iPhone mount. This item is no longer available for sale on Amazon, but this Yesker Ring light with an iPhone mount is a perfect substitute.

The thing I loved about this is that it was a 2-in-1 iPhone mount and ring light. I liked the fact that I could place this ring light right on the floor or on my counter and tilt the ring light and phone mount to a 90 degree angle to get top-down shots.

The reason I plan on switching to this Arkon Pro phone or camera stand, is because the stand is sturdier, less bulky, easy to setup, and comes with a bendable arm that is perfect for overhead recording. And because it doesn't have a ring light attached to it, I can place my phone stand and lighting in separate locations depending on where they are needed.

If you want to install a more permanent recording solution, then buy this Arkon Camera Wall Mount along with this Cell Phone tripod mount (if you plan on using a cell phone to record your videos).

You can mount this on a wall, under a cabinet, etc. This is a great option if you already have a specific recording location and don't like all the setting up and taking down of your equipment every time you want to record. Just plop in your phone and you are ready to start recording.

3. Video Lighting

For video lighting, I currently use the TaoTronics ring light.

However, I plan on upgrading to a Diva Ring Light which I will setup on a tripod stand or light stand.

Why change my lighting?

Well, I want to record brighter looking videos and the TaoTronics ring light that I currently own isn't as bright as the Diva Ring Light. Also, the Diva Ring light has a diffuser which makes the lighting look more natural and helps prevent that ring of light from reflecting on your painting surface onto your recording device.

Yes, the Diva Ring light is expensive, but it is totally worth it! If you can splurge on video recording equipment, then get this Diva Ring Light. It is worth your investment!!!

If you are on a budget, then get the Yesker Ring light since the TaoTronics ring light that I currently own is no longer available on Amazon. It is a good option for beginners.

4. Audio Recording

Whenever I want to record high quality video sound, I use my Apple AirPods. Since no cables are needed to connect them to my phone, I don't have to worry about the cables getting in my way when I am painting. I just put the AirPods in my ears and start talking while I record my video on my phone.

You can also just record sound directly into your phone without any AirPods, however, the sound is not going to be as crisp and clear as if you had some AirPods on.

Back in the day when I was recording my videos using my computer along with the Logitech C920 camera and the OBS software, I used this Samson meteor microphone to record sound. It is an affordable microphone with good quality sound recording. 

The only reason I stopped using this microphone is because my workspace was limited so I stopped recording my videos with my Logitech camera and computer.

5. Voice Over Recording

If I have any videos for which I need to record a voiceover, then I will simply use Voice Memos on my iPhone with my Apple AirPods or I will directly record my voice over the desired sections of my video while I am editing my video inside of Movavi's Video Editor on my laptop.

If you need a free voice-over recording option for your desktop, you can use Audacity (free software for Windows) with a Samson meteor microphone

I prefer the second option since I LOVE Movavi's Video Editor and since I mostly edit my videos with my computer. This way, the sound recording and video editing is all done at the same time using only one software.

This saves me sooo much time! 

6. Video Recording Software

Currently, I don't use any video recording software because I just record my art videos directly with my iPhone. However, in the past when I was using my computer and camera to record my videos, I used the free OBS software.

If you need to use OBS but don't know how to use this software, then check out this video.

You can also record your videos with Movavi's Video Suite. It is a software with great capabilities not just for recording but also for editing videos. 

Here is a video that shows 10 amazing features that this software has that will make your video recording and editing a breeze.

However, this software has a TON more features! Click here to take a look at everything you can do with Movavi!

Editing Software for iPhone Videos 

After I record my video, I either just edit the video directly on my iPhone using the iMovie app or I import the files onto my Windows Laptop using icloud.com and then edit the video inside Movavi's Video Editor. This is a paid software, however, it is not as expensive as other video editing software and works fantastically well!!!

Here are two step-by-step tutorials that show you how to edit your videos inside iMovie and inside Movavi's Video Editor! 

Tutorial for Editing Videos with iMovie

Tutorial for Editing Videos with Movavi Video Editor

You can also use a free software like Video Editor 10 (for Windows) to edit your videos, however, keep in mind that this software doesn't have as many features as Movavi, so a lot of the things you will want to do will be limited.

If you have never used Video Editor, here is a fantastic step-by-step video that will show you how to use it!

Tips for Editing Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram Videos

Here are some things that I do and recommend you do when editing your art videos:

  • Since art videos can be quite long, you will probably want to do a speed painting or time-lapse painting video. You will want crop out any unnecessary parts and speed up your art video to fit it within Instagram's allotted time or to just to prevent boring your followers with such a long video.
  • Add some intro music.
  • Add music during your painting footage or a nice soft background music. 
  • Make sure you only use copyright free music and give credit to the owner wherever it is required.

I am not a professional video expert, however, the things that I share work pretty good!

Of course, there are a ton of other equipment and software editing options out there, but I wanted to share what I currently use. My insights are based on my experience and on what has worked for me! I hope they work for you as well.


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