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Since 2013 Pilentum Television is one of the largest video networks for model railways, model railroads and model trains. Both on Pilentum’s YouTube channel and on Pilentum’s websites videos, photos and descriptions are offered in more than 20 different languages. So Pilentum reaches millions of viewers via YouTube every month. Viewers from all over the world enjoy the videos and photos that are presented on Pilentum Television.
Pilentum’s focus is on presenting miniature worlds, model railways and model railroads from all over the world. The focus is on the beauty, the uniqueness and the originality of a layout. The size (area) or scale is irrelevant because Pilentum’s audience want to discover miniature worlds including beautiful landscapes, rare train sets and they want to listen to the original sound of locomotives.
All over the world, there are model railroaders and railway enthusiasts as well as model train clubs who have created a superb miniature world or magnificent dioramas. Unfortunately, Pilentum cannot visit every layout. However, Pilentum wants to present also your layout. Yes, now you can show your model railway layout or model railroad layout to the world! You can use Pilentum Television's popularity and reach millions of viewers - completely free! All you need is a camera or a smartphone as well as a virtual hard drive, such as “Google Drive” or “Microsoft OneDrive” or “Dropbox” or “WeTransfer”.
You shoot video clips of your model railway or model railroad layout. These video clips can show trains, landscapes, buildings, etc. It is important that the camera or the smartphone is not being moved. Do not move or pan the camera because there is nothing worse than shaky videos. It is best to use a tripod if available.
When you've made the videos, upload them to “Google Drive” or “Microsoft OneDrive” or “Dropbox” or “WeTransfer”. After the upload you have to share this online folder with Pilentum Television. Then Pilentum can download your video clips and create a video presentation. Pilentum will edit your video clips and translate your description into different languages. Of course, your name or your club or your website will be mentioned as reference.
Finally, all services are free of charge! Pilentum does not charge a fee. It's all about presenting your work, your model railway or model railroad layout to a worldwide audience. The only “bureaucratic thing” is that we have to fix a small license agreement, which will be sent via e-mail. This license agreement gives you and Pilentum Television the legal security that you are the author and Pilentum Television is allowed to cut, edit, change and publish your videos.
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Camera resolution and video format
Pilentum works with a video editing system that is also used in broadcasting. It is the “Edius Broadcast” editing system. So Pilentum can edit almost all video formats from standard HD, Full HD up to 4K UHD video. Nevertheless, you must make sure that you do your video recordings in the best possible video resolution provided by your camera or smartphone. The video resolution should be at least 1920 pixels in width and 1080 pixels in height.
Modern 4K UHD video has a resolution of 3840 pixels in width and 2160 pixels in height. If you're shooting video with a smartphone, hold the phone in landscape (widescreen) mode. The correct aspect ratio is 16:9. Pilentum cannot use videos recorded in portrait mode (aspect ratio 9:16).
Before we start our cooperation, simply create two short video clips and send them to Pilentum. Then we can make sure that your video recording settings are correct.
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The correct frame rate
Certainly you can remember the old motion picture film format called “Super 8 film”. These films seemed not very fluid because they were only recorded at 18 frames per second (18 fps). But the human eye can easily capture 25 or 29 frames per second. With Full HD technology, videos are very smooth and fluid because they are recorded at 50 or 59 frames per second.
With model trains we are dealing with very small objects that move very fast. Therefore the frame rate is an important factor for optimal video recordings. The more frames per second, the smoother the video. Depending on your camera or smartphone settings you should use the parameters 25 fps, 29 fps, 30 fps, 50 fps, 59 fps or 60 fps.
Don't worry: You don't have to be a cameraman! Here again, before we start our cooperation, simply create two short video clips with the highest frame rate and send them to Pilentum. Then we can make sure that your video recording settings are correct.
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Speed of model trains
Pilentum’s audience really likes to see model trains from other countries. Therefore the speed of the trains should be very low. Note: If a train passes the camera within three seconds, viewers cannot see anything. That's why you shoudl set the speed to a reasonable level. Rather slower than faster.
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Distance between camera and trains
Note that there is a so-called close-up limit with every camera, every lens and every smartphone. In the technical language this is called closest focusing distance or focal distance. Due to their small dimensions, especially smartphones can be positioned directly on the model railway layout. This camera position generates spectacular video recordings. But you have to consider that the focus of the camera is limited. So make sure that the video image does not become blurred. Increase the distance between camera and trains to get a sharp video image.
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Do not pan and move the camera
Basically, Pilentum shoots videos with a camera that is mounted on a tripod. This recording technique with a tripod generates calm video images. Using a tripod avoids blurred and shaky video images.
If you use a normal video camera, please use a tripod. The camera should not be moved. The rule is: Trains pass the camera! The camera does not follow the trains. If a long train or even two long model trains pass the camera, film the whole scene. We have enough time to see long trains. There is no limit to the video run time.
If you are using a smartphone, try to place the smartphone with a mounting construction so that it is fixed wobble-free. Videos made with a smartphone which is held by hand are often shaky and blurred. Use a trick: Use cartons or books as a pad, as a tripod or as a holder for the smartphone. So the smartphone is fixed and nothing shakes.
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Two seconds before and two seconds after
Pilentum takes care about the entire editing of your video clips. But for video editing it is necessary that a video recording starts at least two seconds before the action is visible. Please, start the recording before the model train passes the camera. The same rule should be used at the end of a video clip. Please, wait two or three seconds until the action is over. This simple recording technique (two seconds before and two seconds after) gives Pilentum enough video footage to generate clean cuts and beautiful crossfades.
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Background noises, voices and music
When you create your video clips, please make sure that there is no music in the background. Also avoid conversations with other people. The microphones in modern cameras and smartphones are so extremely sensitive that they can record wonderful sound recordings of passing model trains. It would be a shame if these authentic sounds were disturbed by foreign music, conversations or other background noises.
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The services mentioned above, for example “Google Drive” or “Microsoft OneDrive” or “Dropbox” or “WeTransfer”, are free of charge. You only have to register there once. Besides these virtual cloud storages, there are other services that are also free. You can upload your video recordings from your camera or from smartphone directly, via USB cable or via your hard drive to “Google Drive” or “Microsoft OneDrive” or “Dropbox”, etc. Usally, these cloud services offer 10 GB or 15 GB of free storage space. This should be enough space to store your video recordings there.
After you have uploaded your video clips, you need to share the cloud directory with Pilentum Television. Don't worry: You don't share your password, you only share the read access to the video files. Please keep in mind that the whole process of uploading depends on the speed of your internet connection. It may take several hours or half a night to upload your video files. Finally, Pilentum will let you know via e-mail when he has downloaded the video files. When all the video files are on Pilentum’s video system, he can start editing.
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If you have uploaded all video data, a description of your model railway or model railroad layout is still missing. You can create a short or long text using a Microsoft Word document, a simple text file or a Open Office document file. Also a e-mail including your description is possible. Of course, you may and you should write down everything that is important about your layout, for example, the construction time, the size, the scale, special trains, buildings, weathering, etc.
Please also add, if you want to be mentioned by name in the video description or if you prefer to remain anonymous. Note, there are already some people who invited Pilentum to produce a video documentary about their model railway layout or model railroad layout, but they did not want to be mentioned by name. However, your description should also include links to your website, your Instagram page, etc. Finally, Pilentum will take care of the translation of your description in different langauge for the international audience.
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Our cooperation is completed with a small license agreement before publication. Unfortunately, this bureaucratic procedure is necessary so that we both have legal security. In the license agreement you confirm that you have created the video recordings yourself. Furthermore, you grant Pilentum Television an exclusive right to use your video files. That means the right to edit, to cut and finally to publish your video files.
We will discuss all details about the licensing via e-mail.
During the last years Pilentum Television has produced more than 430 videos. There are short portraits of very small layouts, extensive documentations of great miniature worlds as well as reports of international exhibitions. For visitors to this website, the many video documentations are divided into individual volumes. Actually, there are nine volumes available.
▶ Volume One ◀
▶ Volume Two ◀
▶ Volume Three ◀
▶ Volume Four ◀
▶ Volume Five ◀
▶ Volume Six ◀
▶ Volume Seven ◀
▶ Volume Eight ◀
▶ Volume Nine ◀