Latest StoriesHow-To
    How To Draw and Annotate on Live Videos in Real-Time

    If you have a webcam, a computer, and a tablet like an iPad, here's how to add drawings and annotations to your videos, composited seamlessly in real-time for recording or streaming! We walk you through the process of setting up OBS Studio and iPad capture software to put your illustrations and notes on-screen--all with free software!

    Adam Savage's Favorite Tools: Ratchet and Socket Set!

    Adam gripes about something everyone who's worked with sockets can relate to: having an incomplete set because the cases they're stored in aren't any good. That's why he's a fan of Milwaukee's ratchet and socket sets, which are stored in a robust and thoughtfully designed carrying case. What are tools you own that have great storage cases? (1/4 set, 3/8in set)

    Drone Cinematography Tips with the DJI Mavic Air 2!

    We revisit the DJI Mavic Air 2 and share our 4K cinematic landscape footage as producer and drone pilot Gunther Kirsch offers tips and techniques for filming beautiful aerial video. Follow along as we discuss the use of HDR, shutter speed, ND filters, and parallax on DJI's latest quadcopter.

    Making a Star Wars Death Star Corridor Diorama!

    Today's build is a rite-of-passage for figure collectors and miniature modelmakers: a Star Wars-inspired Death Star corridor diorama! Norm designs his take on the iconic backdrop for 1:12 scale figures (6" tall, like the Star Wars Black Series) and laser cuts acrylic pieces to slot together for a satisfying assembly that perfectly fits into IKEA Detolf, Kallax, or Billy shelves. Download the files for this project to make your own!

    Adam Savage's Favorite Tools: Glass-Cutting Rotary Bit

    This tool tip was learned the hard way by Adam on a job he did (with Jamie!) many years ago that required precision carving around a glass bottle. Back then, the job took hours and hours with careful and stressful application of a circle cutter. And it was only afterward that Adam learned about the efficiency and precision of a hardened steel glass cutting bit for his Dremel rotary tool. Let's watch a demonstration of this tool that shows why Adam always has a few on hand in his shop!

    Tested: Microphones for Podcasts, Livestreams, Vlogs, and Virtual Meetings!

    Whether you're livestreaming, recording vlogs and videos, or just want your virtual meetings and conference calls to sound better, there are a bunch of ways to upgrade from the built-in microphone on laptops, smartphones, and cameras. We go through various options ranging from gaming headsets to podcast studio microphones with USB audio interfaces, and give you examples of the sound quality differences between each of them!

    Tested From Home: Using an iPhone or DSLR as Webcam

    While working from home, Norm experiments with different camera setups for Zoom meetings, podcasting, and livestreaming with OBS Studio software. Here's how you can get much better video quality than your laptop's built-in webcam by using either an iPhone, Canon DSLR or mirrorless camera, or camcorder, and the pros and cons of each. You can get great-looking video even without a capture card!

    Behind the Scenes: Using a Vintage Color Meter!

    Tested Producer Joey shares his experience using a vintage 1985 Minolta color meter as part of his everyday production kit, and how a color meter helps prevent color bleed or color crossover in filming. Joey talks about his workflow for measuring color in different parts of a location or when designing his garage studio, and how well this 35-year-old piece of hardware holds up!

    Tested From Home: Joey's Production Studio!

    While working from his home office, Joey shows us his setup and gear recommendations for filming in your own studios and workshops! Here's how Joey makes use of his kit of LED lights, microphones, and digital camera for Tested videos, and tips to make the most use out of your own spaces!

    Tested From Home: How To Find Tardigrades In Your Backyard!

    Ariel recommends a project to do while you're sheltering-in-place at home: exploring the microscopic life that's living in your backyard or local environment. Testing three kinds of microscopes, Ariel demonstrates how to find Tardigrades and other microscopic organisms with household materials. Water bears make great company! Check out Ariel's Life Under the Ice project at https://lifeundertheice.org/

    Adam Savage's Favorite Tools: Chicago Screws

    For cosplayers, trading tips and tricks are the bread and butter of the community. One of the best secret weapons for cosplayers are called Chicago screws. They’re also known as paper rivets, binding screws, or binding posts. They come in an endless variety of finishes, depths, and materials. They’re fabulous for attaching armor sections together that can move without nuts and bolts sticking out and scratching you or other parts of your costume!

    Adam Savage's Favorite Tools: Jewelry Clamps

    Over the years, Adam has learned to look to other industries to see if the tools, tips, and processes used by other experts could apply to his workflow. It's how he discovered emery boards work great as modelmaking sanding sticks, and where he found jewelry clamps to hold onto small and irregular-shaped objects. Good clampage is something every maker should have in their shop!

    Model Behavior: Painting Miniature Figurines

    We found these gorgeous resin miniatures from the artist alley at this year's Silicon Valley Comic Con, and spend today's Model Behavior painting them! Kayte and Norm also use this opportunity to do some foam sculpting to craft a display base for their figures, as well as experiment with some metallic paint. These kits are from artist Dennis Chan under his Mt Lion Miniatures banner and are available now!

    Model Behavior: Bandai 1/5000 Star Destroyer, Part 2

    Kayte and Norm wrap up their build of the awesome Bandai 1/5000 scale Star Destroyer, assembling the kit with its LED internal lighting system. The last step is to add a weathering pass, and we experiment with using powdered pigments instead of a wash to accentuate the model's panel lines and make it look like the original filming miniature.

    Model Behavior: Bandai 1/5000 Star Destroyer, Part 1

    Kayte and Norm embark on a new model kit build--this time the ridiculously detailed 1/5000 Star Destroyer snap-fit kit from Bandai. In our first day of work on this model, we prime the pieces and try our hand at adding surface "aztec" paneling, using fine strips of cut masking tape. This kind of subtle surface work is wonderfully relaxing, and adds detail that helps model starships look extra eye-catching!

    Model Behavior: Rusted Fallout Fusion Flea!

    Bill and Norm are back with more Model Behavior projects! This week, we take the beautiful Fusion Flea model from The Wand Company and attempt to weather it to look like the post-apocalytic version seen in Fallout 4 using screenshots as reference. Masking, paint chipping, and application of real rust makes this model look fantastically aged!

    Model Behavior: Painting Crazy Cupcakes!

    Bill and Norm paint up these delicious castings from artist Alfred Paredes that were created for the most recent Monsterpalooza. These Crazy Cupcakes are Alfred's latest in his rotten food series of sculpts, and we try our hand at giving them a realistic paint job. Not all goes as plan, though, and this project turns into a lesson of adaptation and rolling with our mistakes. Find the kits here!

    Model Behavior: Kaneda's Motorcycle from Akira!

    Model Behavior is back! This week's garage kit is a 3D printed model of Kaneda's iconic motorcycle from Akira. It was designed by Juri Pranjic (aka 3Dworkbench) and is super fun to put together! We hope that this inspires more people to support 3D artists who offer beautiful 3D models for printing at home.

    Aurum Effects Paints a God of War Leviathan Axe!
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    We visit the workshop of Aurum Effects, where propmaker Eric Newgard guides us through his process of painting and finishing a God of War Leviathan Axe resin kit. Eric shares his techniques for painting urethane resin to look like old wood, shiny metal, and other materials. The finished prop is beautiful!