May 29, 2001 at 10:32 am Comments (0)
Techie Info about DV
Adam Wilt covers the technical bases here. From the way he writes, Adam is the nicest know-it-all you could find. His site covers many technical topics related to digital video, but in an accessible way, and with many links to other sites that suit both less- and more-advanced users (although there must be few more advanced than Adam).
Adam regularly writes for DV magazine, and has contributed to 2-pop as well. Where I’ve come to really appreciate him is in his contributions to the DV-List, based at DV Central, and with searchable (!!!) archives (usually) available online here.
Adam is unfailingly polite and patient with newbies, gentle but firm with flamers, kind to strident platform advocates (i.e. Mac vs PC/Windows), and so knowlegeable that one wonders if this guy does anything else. An excellent resource, extremely well respected, and an invaluable link in any videomaker’s bookmark files. Check it out.——-
May 22, 2001 at 12:03 pm Comments (0)
WebCT and Video Workshop
The workshop sought to address issues involved with incorporating video into WebCT, the web-based learning system we use here at Georgia State University.
Attending faculty brought different needs and experiences; some were looking for ideas about incorporating video into their curriculum, while others were interested in the technical aspects:compression, formats (QuickTime, RealVideo, or Windows Media Player—QuickTime seems the best choice for us as of now).
One of the biggest challenges is creating easy-to-set-up templates that don’t change with every player’s upgrades. Another is determining whether actual video is the best tool for sending dynamic media information—sometimes Macromedia’s Flash offers the best combination of good visuals, a small download, and a widely-available player.——-
May 16, 2001 at 8:42 am Comments (0)
Ooh, spotty updates this week as I juggle so many things. Tomorrow I give a workshop on digital video and WebCT; I’m learning a lot cramming for it. An actual update about it tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.——-
May 15, 2001 at 11:40 am Comments (0)
I’m working on a video with our Department of Anthropology (Hi Debbie!) on a video to teach new immigrants about the Department of Agriculture’s Food Pyramid.
My boss is looking over my shoulder at my entry here – Manila makes web pages so easy.
I know those were cryptic entries, but I was showing some other folks how easy this is while under a time crunch. Everyone was impressed with the ease of this tool (weblogs & Manila), but I was disappointed that I couldn’t log in to ManilaSites.com to create a weblog on the spot. I got a message back saying their servers were full. I guess it had to happen sooner or later; that means it’s time to conside an order for Frontier. I’ll have to troll the Manila Newbies news group to see what kind of time investment that takes. I’ve already dabbled with the beta of Radio Userland for Mac, and found it awkward. I don’t really get what that can do for me—yet. I’m interested, I really think there’s something going on, I hear the buzz, but I just don’t get it yet. We’ll see.——-
May 14, 2001 at 10:53 am Comments (0)
I’m showing some profs how to use Dreamweaver, but I thought they’d like manilasites too.——-
May 9, 2001 at 7:32 am Comments (0)
Streaming Video Tools: Now and (Maybe) Later
Take a look at two of the latest online offerings from DV Magazine’s Delivery page.
First, Michael Murie’s article explains how to add subtitles or other text tracks (for captioning or descriptions of audio content) to QuickTime movies using Apple’s $29.99 Pro upgrade to QuickTime. For other information about QT Pro, check the link to the right for Judy and Robert’s Little QuickTime Page, or click here. Don’t use QuickTime? Murie also links to MAGPie, a freeware “caption editor developed at WGBH’s National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM).” For Windows only at this point, MAGPie enables text tracks in QuickTime as well as RealVideo or Windows Media. Don’t skip Murie’s article; but don’t miss MAGPie, either.
Second, look at Nels Johnson’s article about streaming software that encodes a single MPEG archive file into any of the big three formats—QuickTime, Real, Windows Media—in real time and as far as the user is concerned, invisibly. Store only one version, and the software—from Vingage—encodes the clip and streams it in the correct format and at the appropriate bitrate for the user’s machine and connection. Pricing is available by request from Vingage. I’ve requested some information and post it if/when it arrives.——-
May 7, 2001 at 8:53 am Comments (0)
Compressing Video for the Web
Digital Video means video comprised of digits—zeroes and ones, 0’s and 1’s—in a time-based file. These bits can play from a DVD, a MiniDV tape, a CD-ROM, or a Web site. Digital Video also is always in one format or another—DVDs are MPEG (decoding them or copying them is illegal); from a tape (whether the tape format is Digital8, or MiniDV, or DVCam the actual data format your computer-based editing program accepts) is “DV”; but from CD-ROM or the Web, the video is usually played in Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, or QuickTime.
If you want to compress video to play over the web, or to put on CD-ROM, go to Codec Central. They’ve posted an excellent overview of the process, so you can get the highest quality from the smallest files. They tell you how and why to shoot properly (always use a tripod), edit intelligently (cuts are better than fancy transitions), and compress.
May 4, 2001 at 9:55 am Comments (0)
My Camera Broke
I post this as a cautionary tale. I really like the TRV900 very much. Sturdy, very good picture, and once I got used to its little controls and its menu, a good camera to use in the field. My usual production camera, a Sony DCR-TRV900, choked on a tape a few weeks ago and wouldn’t eject it. I finally got the tape out, and after reading John Beale’s excellent and voluminous web site, Using the Sony TRV900, I understood this is not uncommon in cameras that have not been regularly cleaned. I’m guilty of that. If you have questions about this camera, or any supplemental equipment to use with it or any other DV camera, this is an excellent place to find answers. It shows one of the great strengths of the Web: smart people with a common interest (DV and the TRV900) sharing their experiences and information resources. It has been invaluable to me.
I called the Sony Service number (800-222-SONY) and used their service locator web page to locate the closest repair center. There’s a factory repair center here in Atlanta, but they send the DV cameras to Bristol, PA (I think that’s what they said). It will take 7 to 10 days before the camera even hits a workbench, but the repair is a flat fee of $257, is repaired and tested by factory technicians, and comes with a warranty.
That said, I plan to borrow a colleague’s Canon GL-1 to test and examine. The one area that interests me is the GL-1’s ability to record at 30 frames per second in progressive scan mode. More details on the advantages of progressive vs. interlace scanning in another entry soon.——-
May 3, 2001 at 9:17 am Comments (0)
I spent the morning videotaping a couple of 7th grade social studies classes at Memorial Middle School in Rockdale County, Georgia, using the ITC’s protable wireless laptop network. The students used 16 of the laptops to access the Internet through the classroom’s single ethernet port, quickly and seamlessly accessing the web for information, graphics, and pictures. Their assignment was to make a brochure about the depletion of the ozone layer in Microsoft Publisher.
I used two cameras, the basic DCR-TRV11 MiniDV camera from Sony. I couldn’t set up lights in the classroom—too little time, no production assistants, and distracting for the students. I think the existing light capability of these cameras will be adequate. I also shot some interview footage with the teacher and the media specialist, again without additional lighting.
The ITC will post a site about their use of the wireless network, including clips of the students and interviews within a few weeks.
I would welcome comments about any aspect of this project—the use of the wireless technology, tips or questions about the compression I plan to use on the posted clips——-
May 2, 2001 at 9:21 am Comments (0)
I Tried to Update, But A Proxy Server Got in the Way (I think). Please see subsequent posts!——-