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7. Producing Sign Language Videos

Recommended Equipment for Studio Setup




  • Professional Digital Camera


     1920 x 1080 Resolution

  • Lighting system


     Main, Flat, Filler, and Rear

  • Camera tripod


     Standardized camera mount

  • Green Screen


     9 x 10 feet backdrop

  • Professional microphone


     Dynamic microphone   
  • A set of headphones


     Professional semi-open microphones
  • Microphone stand


     free-standing mount for a microphone
  • Editing software


     Adobe Premiere Pro

  • Camera format
    • The camera should be digital, because of its superior ease of use, quality, and edition.
    • The camera should have at least 8 GB of storage.
    • It should be a camera that can film in high definition, HD: The exact quality to be used is decided in post-production, but for editing purposes, it is crucial that the filming is as high quality as possible.
    • The camera should preferably have a manual configuration.
    • The camera should preferably have a manual lens.
    • The camera should preferably have an automatic or Manual White Balance.

Image showing the Camera format

  • Lighting system
  • Point lighting
    • The main light is positioned about 45 degrees right or left of the subject and 45 degrees downward, pointing to where the face and torso are located.
    • A filler light is located behind and opposite the main light, at the height of the camera,
    • Rear light that is slightly above the subject, shining back to the screen or chroma
  • Flat lighting
    • Two lights are positioned behind the camera, in opposite directions, in order to cover the entire surface and eliminate shadows.

Image showing the Lighting System

  • Sound Recording
    • The recording of the voiceover should be in WAV format, which provides the best audio quality
    • The recording should take place in a recording studio or in a controlled environment that is acoustically desirable and isolated to reduce background noise.
    • The microphone should be a high-sensitivity digital microphone, preferably unidirectional
    • Closed or semi-open headphones
    • Microphone stand: this makes the work easier and helps avoid vibrations
    • Editing software such as Audacity will be used

Image of the studio showing the necessary distances

  • The camera and the signer 6 meters
  • The reflectors and the camera 5 meters
  • The green screen and the camera 7 meters
  • The screen and the signer 3 meters 

  • Video editing
    • The video has a voice-over, which can be turned on and off.
    • The voice will accompany the sign language, not the text.
    • The duration of each film block is calculated and then used to time the voice recording, which should last about the same as the sign language block.
    • In the case of literary texts, the voice-over will accompany the written text.
    • In the case of storytelling, a voice-over accompanies the narrator.
    • The team will convene persons to put their voices to the text or story.
    • A detailed timeline will be developed by the reader and the sound engineer.
    • Each reader will practice reading according to the speed of the sign language narration.
    • The reader must agree to the use of his or her voice.
    • During the recording, an assistant will make sure that the reading of the text, the pronunciation, intonation, and timing are adequate.
    • The sound engineer edits the voices and sends the files to the coordinator, who checks them before sending them to the editor

Image showing the end product: EPUB for the video

Image of the Signer, Background, and the text caption

  • Signing Actor
    • The clothing used by the actors must be one color, either black or white, depending on the skin color of the presenter
    • The clothing or the hair must not interfere with the clear understanding of the signs and during editing
    • High contrast between the signer’s hands and the video background-color
  • Caption text 
    • Make subtitles optional for the videos, i.e. that the videos can be watched with or without subtitles.
    • Color: White fill, Black stroke, and large font

Image from original PDF book

  • how we take only the image and added it to the video
    • Open the PDF in Acrobat, and then choose Tools > Export PDF
    • Click Image and then choose the image file format that you want to save the images in.
      • JPEG
      • NPG
    • Click Save to save only the images from the PDF to the selected file format
    • Place the image in the video

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