Race recording for YouTube

PeteB Tuesday, 4/2/2019

Guys, how are you recording your races for YouTube etc?
I have been experimenting today with, at  best. mediocre results. The video's I'm watching on YouTube are pretty sharp, whereas I am only getting coloured blurs as the cars pass me by.
What's your secret?

Cheers guys.



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Discussion

I record at the end of the track(as many others do).. Also the only other way to solve that problem is to hold the camera and follow them down the track. That's my finding anyway.

If you check out my channel and League of Speed, you'll see the end of track setup works fairly well.

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Go_Time 4/2/19

Just curious, has any one tried the gopro car to race along to record races?

Not saying u r but r u using a "potato" camera? Bc that has a lot to do with it. We use a galaxy 9. Check out our channel ( Stuff 'N More Hotwheels ). "Potato" cameras are any phone or camera older than 2012.

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redlinederby 4/2/19
Site manager

I've always just used my iPhone and it's done pretty well with the slow-mo turned on. Not the best, but not unwatchable. The 3DBotMaker stuff is top shelf and I know he has several cameras running that he can switch between for any given race, and I think they're GoPros (or something close to it). But I'd say using your average smartphone would be plenty...those cameras are usually pretty great.

The problem I feel I always had was essentially scale. If I wanted my whole track in the shot, the cars are little dots. Getting close means I need to move the camera or have several, which can be hassle when running things by yourself. But...as with everything...just try and repeat, you'll get to something you like.

However, the other thing that makes a big difference is lighting. See the 3DBM stuff again...he has studio lights and it makes a HUGE difference. Good lighting can make up for a shitty camera. I don't have studio lights or anything fancy, but even just using daylight flood lights can be a huge gain over warm lights. 

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PeteB 4/3/19

Thank you gents, some good pointers there.
My camera(s) are not potatoes, but neither are they exactly high end either. I think I need to practice tracking the cars some more.
The biggest issue is probably lighting, as per Brians tip above.
Plenty for me to work with there anyway, so thanks again gents.

I use a LG G6 for everything.... recording, editing, thumbnails,... everything... If you want a line on some good apps, let me know an I'll be happy to help.

  • Thanks dude. I'm still experimenting so undecided whether my cell phone will be used, but I may take you up on that offer yet! — PeteB
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WorpeX 4/3/19

In the videos at my old track i've always just used a camera and followed the cars down the track with it. Worked well there as the track was a bit slower and I could keep up (I was also younger...). I'm not entirely sure yet what i'll do for the Lifeline tournament on monday. Right now i'm thinking about doing a multi-camera set-up. After reading some of these comments, I might need to get some new lights though...

  • The multi camera idea is working best for me at the minute, but the amount of post production editing is scary! lol — PeteB
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3DBotMaker 4/4/19

#1 You need lots of light, especially if you want good footage at faster frame rates. I have 4 soft boxes, each has about 4 LED bulbs, each bulb is rated at 2500 lumens. The nice thing about modern light bulbs is that 40,000 lumens of light only requires 368 watts of power. Something also to keep in mind if you plan on using any slow mo footage is some bulbs cause a strobing effect. Good qualtiy LED bulbs shouldn't have any issue with that, but I have bought some "Great Value" LED bulbs from walmart that I couldn't use. You also want to make sure that all of your bulbs have the same color temperature and that you're not mixing flourescent lighting from your ceiling with daylight bulbs. All my bulbs are Daylight 5000k. (of course if you race outside, all of these problems are solved.

As far as cameras, I use 5 GoPro cameras all connected to 1 remote that controls them all. Everything starts and stops with the push of a button. All the track cameras record 1080p @ 60fps. With my main chase camera I record at 120fps for "day time" races and 60fps for "night racing". You should at least be recording at 60 frames per second to capture the action and reduce some of the motion blur.

Having your camera track the car down the track can really give your race some excitement instead of watching it from a distant stationary view. It will take some practice and experimentation to figure out how close or far to stand. Even though I have a lot of cameras to work with, I mainly use 2 (Start gate camera, and what I call the "chase cam." I do use a motorized gimbal to help stabilize the footage, but just mounting it to something like a pole or an inexpensive camera grip can really help out a lot. 

Now onto my big "secret." All of my races are played back at a reduced speed. The key is finding a balance where you can slow it down enough to appreciate the action on the track while keeping that sense of speed. I've seen some channels use slow motion all the time, and to me, it takes a some of the thrill out of the racing. My goal is to slow it down so it looks more like actual motor sports since the speed of hot wheels in their scale is way faster than an actual car would move. In order to really sell the effect, you have to do something with the audio. That's where all of my sound effects, music, and commentary come in. 

I realize my style of video isn't what everyone's going for, but I think having plenty of light, shooting at 60fps, finding good camera angles, following the cars, slowing it down a little, adding a some background music and a voice over can do wonders.

  • Thank you so much for that Adriel. That is pretty comprehensive. A couple of points I hadn't previously thought about. — PeteB
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redlinederby 4/10/19
Site manager

Thanks for sharing, 3DBM, lots of good insight there. Bottomline, start with good lighting and find some happy camera settings and you'll have a good foundation to build on. From there it's as creative as you want to make it.

And just out of curiousity, if you care to share, what ballpark of investment do you have into video production? Lights, cameras, microphone, software, etc...just the tools that go into the process.

  • Around $300 in lighting equipment, $800 in cameras, $300 camera accessories, $50 microphone. — 3DBotMaker
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72_Chevy_C10 4/11/19
Event coordinator

Light is definitely the key! I have two 4ft fluorescent lights overhead and a spotlight (clamp on work lights) on both the start and the finish.

I just use my phone...a Galaxy S5...she's old but still does the job. And I film at 1/4 speed. 

The reason I like this setup is because I can film a heat, and post it within about 10-15 minutes...there's no compositing different views together. The results are a lot less dramatic, but much easier to produce.

Just my 2 cents :)

  • Hmm. Film at 1/4 speed? Tell me more. I'm a bit uneducated with all things video at the moment. Does flourescent lighting work OK? I was worried about colour temperature and flickering. — PeteB
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