Cookie prog / my current process
So the purpose of this blog is to document my journey, for others as well as myself. I think it would be hard to see my progress if I don’t keep track of things. So without further ado, I’m going to share how I do this as of 2 weeks after launch.
I chose to start with recipes that are currently favourited on the market board in game. Naturally, these are the current raid food, as well as quest items. My goal here was to make food that FFXIV players are currently familiar with and using regularly. When I’ve settled on the video subject, I start with an existing recipe online and I write an episode template based on each important step that should be recorded. Then, I write a script.
When it comes to actually filming, I start by doing my mise-en-place where I prepare and measure all the ingredients. Then, I setup my lights and camera. I use a YI 4K+ action camera for my top-down counter shots which is attached using a clamp and a flexible arm. I tether an old cell phone to it as a monitor and remote control. I use one clamp light, one softbox and the stove light, which I think I will be changing soon because I find the set is dark on the right side.
Then, I cook! Usually, the video is the first time I’m making a recipe. I know this seems like a bad idea, but I feel confident enough with my cooking that I’m sure I will come up with a good result the first time. Once I’m done filming the procedural part, I film the finished product with my cell phone which is a Samsung Galaxy S9. I often use a tripod and a macro lens, and I recently got a handheld gimbal, which is really going to take my panning shots to the next level.
If I’m doing something unfamiliar I try to cook in a way that gives me more than one, chance so I can practice and film the second or third try. For example, this week I’m making cookies and I don’t decorate cookies very often. You’ll see my first attempt below at tempering chocolate which was lumpy and super ugly. The magic of editing makes everything look really pro, but trust me, I’m not perfect!
I take still photos of the finished product using my S9, which I usually do in my dining room which has excellent afternoon lighting. I often use only the window with a diffuser and a reflector, sometimes I use a softbox instead of the reflector if the shadows are too intense. I also take a picture that recreates the in game-thumbnail so I can use that in my video thumbnails as a side by side comparison.
Once everything is captured, I load it into my computer and review the video clips. I cut everything I don’t need and label everything I do need with a number to indicate the order in which it will appear in the video. Then, I load the clips into Davinci Resolve and trim them down. I correct the colour using a colour chart and then I apply some stylistic colour grading just to make sure everything looks nice. Then, I apply ingredient labels, transitions, and any other visual effects.
From there. I record my narration using an MXL 990 Condenser Microphone and Audacity, load that into Davinci Resolve and then write the subtitles. I choose a song from the YouTube creators page and load that in. I do a draft render and watch it on full blast to make sure everything looks OK, make any necessary adjustments and then render the final version, which is then uploaded to YouTube.
Well, that was pretty long so I think I will cut it off there but there is so much more that goes into the whole process including writing the recipe, editing the photos, posting to social media, etc. But, I love doing this. I’m having so much fun and I know I already said how encouraged I am by the positive feedback. I’m currently unemployed and I hope I can get really good and efficient at making videos so that when I go back to work I can keep it up.