Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

If a picture paints a thousand words

Posted by Martin on May 13, 2012


What you see here is a first for BfK – it’s an experiment with the idea of adding video to the blog. And, before we go any further, this is far from the finished item: there’s no audio track, I haven’t filmed a third section of this yet and the video quality / lighting is basic (to say the list). But it is a proof of concept and, on that basis, I’d be interested in your feedback.

You see, I have this idea that I can do several things with video that the written word and some photos can never convey satisfactorily. However, I’ve already learnt that doing those things has the potential to be time consuming, so I want to gauge if it’s worth the effort before pursuing it any further. I suspect that the clip above will give you a fair idea of two of the areas I’m considering committing to video – namely product reviews and “how to” tutorials. In this case, the rough cut already has the basics of the review element but I’m yet to record the “how to” part. If I can get that sort of thing to work out well, then I might move on to some “on location” reportage style recordings.

So what’s triggered this dalliance with video? Well, like so many events in life, it’s the serendipitous intersection of several different threads. Some of which are: watching a report of the BBC News website about how professional films can now be made on smartphones, my daughter’s acquisition of an iPhone, me getting an Android tablet that has a rudimentary camera and video recording software on board and a recent e-mail discussion I had with a BfKer who wanted advice on brush cleaning. It was this last item that really got me thinking. I found myself trying to put into e-mail an explanation of how I look after my brushes along with some (hopefully) useful tips. It took quite a bit of thought and a while to write. All the time I was doing this, I was thinking how much easier it would be to sit with my correspondent and show him. Of course, it wasn’t realistic for us to travel and meet up in person. And then what if more than one person asked me the same question? So that’s when the germ of this video idea planted itself in my head.

I could go into gory detail about how I recorded the video and what software I used to edit it and start to witter on about transitions and pans and fades and cuts and… But this is a wargaming and figure painting blog, so I’ll spare us all the pain. Instead, I’ll ask for your comments and suggestions (possibly even for topics to make videos about). Gulp!


8 Responses to “If a picture paints a thousand words”

  1. plancenoit said

    great idea look forward to more.
    peter royle

  2. Sparker said

    I found it surprisingly hard to adjust to there being no soundtrack! To be honest my main enjoyment from your site is catching up on the Calpe Towers goss and seeing how you and others paint their calpes, so a ‘still life’ is just as good. I suppose it depends on the amount of time it takes to make a video – would this reduce the frequency of your posts and updates compared with more traditional blurb and phots? But I’m intrigued about how it is you wash your brushes that can’t be adequately expressed in words and pictures!

    • Martin said

      Yes, it’ll be much better when I finish it and add the voice-over. You’ve hit on the nub of the issue with your question about the time investment. Creating a video will take longer than a traditional words-and-pictures posting, so that’s why I’m only experimenting and seeking opinions at this stage. I only intend to do it for things where the videos achieve something worthwhile and extra. The aim is not to reduce or replace traditional postings but rather to add the occasional something special.

      As for the brush cleaning – well there’s nothing magical about it but sometimes a moving image and a bit of commentary can say that bit extra. I suppose it’s the difference between magazines and TV. The former is fine for most things but the latter is usually that much more engaging.

  3. Paolo said

    This is a great idea, I saw several video from Artmaster and is very interesting to see a painter on work.
    Please let show us your videos.


  4. plancenoit said

    Hi Martin regarding brush cleaning have you heard of Colourful Arts Brush cleaner and preserve? i have been using it for years available from art shops( Ken Bromley ..stocks it) it comes in a small pot for about a fiver and lasts for years. use it on oils and acrylics it makes brushes last for ages
    cheers peter

  5. Phil said

    I guess I’ll be contrarian, well, a little. I’m more of a reader than a watcher. I’ve watched a little bit of artmaster painting videos and they are kind of interesting, but I don’t have much patience. For video it just seems that the return on investment isn’t that great. It’s probably even worse on the production side of things.

    So, I wish you success at it, but I’ll hardly ever click on the videos.

  6. David said

    As a long time novice I believe this to be an excellant idea. As you say, you’ll pick your subjects to ensure maximum value and hopefully to minimise the impact on your time.

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