Screencast: From VideoSpin to YouTube

screenshot_videospin_intro

Here is a screencast of an example editing session using VideoSpin. We take the video that we digitized from Windows Movie Maker, import it, add it to the timeline, insert transitions and titles, and then send it to YouTube.

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More Bad Video Editor Behavior

screenshot_video_accuracy

In my previous post I referred to the latest Windows Movie Maker program for Windows Vista has issues with frame accuracy. Well, here I present to you a very graphic demonstration (a screencast) of that lack of accuracy. What you will see is how erratic the native Windows Vista Movie Maker program is. For that, and the other reasons mentioned previously, go download Windows Movie Maker 2.6 to get slightly less erratic behavior.

An even better idea would be to download another free Windows video editor called VideoSpin. This video editor is a scaled down version of their Pinnacle Studio editor. VideoSpin has the same general features as Movie Maker and it also adds a nice YouTube upload feature. I’ll have more to write (and screencast) about VideoSpin in the future. For now, enjoy the screencast.

Posted in Audio & Video, editing, production, Screencast, video, windows | Comments Off on More Bad Video Editor Behavior

What is video? What is a video frame?

screenshot_video_frames

In this short video, we introduce the concept of a video frame. Video is simply made up of a series of pictures, which we call frames, and they are then displayed at a rapid rate. The concept of a “frame of video” will be very important as we get into the heart of producing videos using a computer.

Thanks to Papa John (no not the pizza guys) for the video “100 Numbered Frames”.

Posted in Audio & Video, editing, New Media, production, video | Comments Off on What is video? What is a video frame?

What is video? What is a video frame?

screenshot_video_frames

In this short video, we introduce the concept of a video frame. Video is simply made up of a series of pictures, which we call frames, and they are then displayed at a rapid rate. The concept of a “frame of video” will be very important as we get into the heart of producing videos using a computer.

Thanks to Papa John (no not the pizza guys) for the video “100 Numbered Frames”.

Posted in Audio & Video, editing, New Media, production, video | Comments Off on What is video? What is a video frame?

You broke my video editor

This post finds me answering the question of what have I been up to lately. Well, I’m trying to find easy ways to edit and produce video for as close to zero expense as possible. So I find myself on the Mac and on the PC side of this MacBook Pro working with Windows Movie Maker for Vista and iMovie’08 for Mac. Now I’m going to jump straight to the ending and say that I don’t recommend you use either one of them, at least not for start to finish video editing projects.

What I will recommend that you do is go download the previous version of the editors and use them instead. So However, if you use a Mac, go download iMovie HD iMovie HD is no longer available. The latest version of iMovie is at least slightly improved over the awful iMovie ’08. If you are using Windows XP, you’re OK, but make sure you have at least version 2.1. If you have Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate, go download Movie Maker 2.6 for Vista. If you have Vista Home Basic, or Vista Enterprise/Business, it looks like you’re out of luck because version 2.6 seems to require that you have the original Vista Movie Maker program. Home Basic and Enterprise versions don’t come with Movie Maker so it looks like a non-starter.

Another caveat, the download page for Movie Maker 2.6 for Vista says to test if you can run the original version of Movie Maker. They say “If Movie Maker launches, you should not download version 2.6”. I have not discovered any incompatibilities with having both versions on my computer. As a matter of fact, I’m seeing that the original version of Movie Maker runs better once you install the old version. By better I mean that the original version has big problems with frame accuracy, in other words finding the exact point where one scene ends and the other begins. Still, Movie Maker 2.6 is more frame accurate.

Also, when you import video into the original Vista Movie maker, it does not detect scenes correctly. However, here is a truly weird situation. If I open a movie in 2.6 it does the scene detection correctly, and then if I open up the original Movie Maker with the same video all the scenes are now there as if it detected those scenes all along. Here’s a screencast of the phenomenon:

Expect more from me soon, regarding Windows Movie Maker and iMovie. Here’s a teaser for a large project I’m working on.

Posted in Audio & Video, bliptv, editing, macintosh, production, Screencast, video, windows | Comments Off on You broke my video editor

Screencast: DV Transfer to Windows Movie Maker

dv_transfer_screencast_logo

Here is a screencast demonstrating how to transfer your footage from a digital video (DV) camcorder to a Windows PC using Windows Movie Maker.

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Screencast: DV Transfer to Windows Movie Maker

dv_transfer_screencast_logo

Here is a screencast demonstrating how to transfer your footage from a digital video (DV) camcorder to a Windows PC using Windows Movie Maker.

Posted in camcorder, editing, firewire, New Media, Screencast, video | Comments Off on Screencast: DV Transfer to Windows Movie Maker

Making Movies for YouTube

UPDATED 2-26-2014

Step #1 – Shooting your video: We’ll assume that you have already shot the video for your project. However, YouTube has some good resources for shooting video, using lighting, and getting good sound. An alternative to using a video camera is recording video with a webcam, which is part of YouTube’s help pages. The UMW New Media center also has some helpful tips on shooting video. Using a webcam gets your video directly to YouTube so you don’t need to have a video camera.

Step #2 – Getting your video on the computer: Depending on what you used to shoot your video (if you didn’t use a webcam), you will need to get it onto your computer. In general follow the instructions that came with your camera. If you have a camera that uses mini-DV tapes, you’ll need a firewire cable to transfer the video. If you are using a camera with a flash (SD) memory card, a hard drive, or using a digital still camera that has a movie setting, you’ll need to use a USB cable. If you have a camcorder that uses mini-DVD, follow the directions that came with your camera to get video onto your computer. If you are using a PC, the Windows Movie Maker program can be used to transfer the video from your camera. iMovie will be the software you will use if you’re on a Mac.

Step #3 – Editing Your Video: Assuming you will take the raw footage from your camera and add titles and transitions, you will need a video editor. Again, if you use a PC, then Windows Movie Maker is the program that is included with the Windows operating system to edit your video. If you use a Mac, iMovie will be what you use. When you have a final edited version, complete with titles, transitions, and any additional audio, you will need to save the movie for uploading to YouTube. YouTube can accept many different formats of video as long as the length of the video is 15 minutes or less, and as long as the file is less than 2GB (gigabytes). If you are using Movie Maker you can save the file as a .wmv file. This will be a compressed file that will be decent quality and be much smaller than the 2GB restriction. If you use iMovie, you can save the file as an MPEG-4 file and again it will be compressed to a much smaller file. If you are using iMovie ‘08, ’09, or ’11, the program has a built in uploader to YouTube. If you want a similar capability on the PC, there is a new version of Movie Maker called Windows Live Movie Maker that has YouTube uploading capability built in. It only works with Windows 7 or Vista.

There is also a YouTube Video Editor that you can use to edit videos that you’ve uploaded.

Step #4 – Uploading Video to YouTube: If you are using Windows Live Movie Maker  iMovie, then you will upload the movie directly from the program. Look in the help file for specific instructions on how to do this. It’s fairly intuitive for both programs. If you are using an old version of Movie Maker or a previous version of iMovie, you will upload the compressed video file that you saved onto your computer from the editor. A .wmv file from Movie Maker and a MPEG-4 file from iMovie. If you haven’t already, you need to sign up for a YouTube account. You then sign in to YouTube and look for the “Upload” button in the upper right corner of the page.

YouTube Upload

You will need to provide a Title, Description, a Category, and include at least one “tag” (a keyword) so that people can search for your video. There are other options that you can choose, such as making a video private or public (they’re public by default), as well as date, mapping, and sharing options. It will take a while for the video to upload, depending on the size of the file, your connection speed to the Internet, and how busy the YouTube site is. Once your video is done uploading, additional time is needed to convert the video to the format that will play on the YouTube site. Again, depending on how busy the site is, your video will be available generally within an hour. You can now tell people about your video by linking to it, or by embedding it in your own web page. Congratulations, you are now a YouTube video producer!

Adding a Video to a post on a blog

1) To add video to a site, you will need to create a video and upload it to a video-hosting site like YouTube, or Vimeo, or some other service of your choice. The one caveat is that which ever site you use, be sure it allows you to embed your video in another site.

2) Once you have uploaded your video to your video-hosting site, you now need to embed it on your blog.

There are two ways to embed your video on umwblogs.org or other WordPress site. The easiest way is to simply copy the link to the YouTube (or Vimeo) video into the blog editing window. WordPress, the software that runs UMW Blogs, will know what to do and display your video embedded into the post. To make sure this works correctly, in YouTube you can find the correct URL by clicking the Share button below the video. You can also use what is known as the Embed code (look for the Embed button below the video), and this will give you greater flexibility for displaying your video, like changing the size, or color of the border of the video.

That’s it, just be sure to categorize your video properly and you’re all set!

Other Resources:

Posted in Audio & Video, editing, newmedia, production, shooting, video, YouTube | Comments Off on Making Movies for YouTube

Making Movies for YouTube

Step #1 – Shooting your video: We’ll assume that you have already shot the video for your project. However, YouTube has some good resources for shooting video, using lighting, and getting good sound at their “toolbox” site. Also a good starting point is their Making Videos page, which is part of their help pages. The UMW New Media center also has some helpful tips on shooting video.

Step #2 – Getting your video on the computer: Depending on what you used to shoot your video, you will need to get it onto your computer. If you have a camera that uses mini-DV tapes, you’ll need a firewire cable to transfer the video. If you are using a PC, Windows Movie Maker can be used to transfer the video from your camera. iMovie will be the software you will use if you’re on a Mac. If you are using a camera with a flash memory card, a hard drive, or using a digital still camera that has a movie setting, you’ll need to use a USB cable. If you have a camcorder that uses mini-DVD, follow the directions that came with your camera to get video onto your computer.

Step #3 – Editing Your Video: Assuming you will take the raw footage from your camera and add titles and transitions, you will need a video editor. Again, if you use a PC, then Windows Movie Maker is the program that is included with the Windows operating system to edit your video. If you’ve got a Mac, iMovie will be what you use. When you have a final edited version, complete with titles, transitions, and any additional audio, you will need to save the movie for uploading to YouTube. YouTube can accept many different formats of video as long as the length of the video is 10 minutes or less, and as long as the file is less than 2GB (gigabyte). If you are using Movie Maker you can save the file as a .wmv file. This will be a compressed file that will be decent quality and be much smaller than the 2GB restriction. If you use iMovie, you can save the file as an MPEG-4 file and again it will be compressed to a much smaller file. If you are using iMovie ‘09, the program has a built in uploader to YouTube. If you want a similar capability on the PC, then download a free video editor called VideoSpin from Pinnacle Systems.

Step #4 – Uploading Video to YouTube: If you are using VideoSpin or iMovie ‘09, then you will upload the movie directly from the program. Look in the help file for specific instructions on how to do this. It’s fairly intuitive for both programs. If you are using Movie Maker or a previous version of iMovie, you will upload the compressed video file that you saved onto your computer from the editor. A .wmv file from Movie Maker and a MPEG-4 file from iMovie. If you haven’t already, you need to sign up for a YouTube account. You then sign in to YouTube and look for the “Upload” button in the upper right corner of the page.

YouTube upload

You will then need to provide a Title, Description, a Category, and include at least one “tag” (a keyword) so that people can search for your video. There are other options that you can choose, such as making a video private or public (they’re public by default), as well as date, mapping, and sharing options. It will take a while for the video to upload, depending on the size of the file, your connection speed to the Internet, and how busy the YouTube site is. Once your video is done uploading, additional time is needed to convert the video to the format that will play on the YouTube site (flash, also known as FLV). Again, depending on how busy the site is, your video will be available generally within an hour. You can now tell people about your video by linking to it, or by embedding it in your own web page. Congratulations, you are a YouTube video producer!

Posted in Audio & Video, editing, newmedia, production, shooting, video, YouTube | Comments Off on Making Movies for YouTube

Shooting Video

Video mercenary by Chuck Olson

Learning how to shoot video is, for the most part, on-the-job training. We assume you have taken at least one still photograph in your life. You get the person or other subject in the frame and press the button. Well that’s basically how shooting video works. You frame your subject and press record. How you frame your subject, what your background is, how the audio is recorded, the quality of the lighting, and a myriad of other things, will make your video either spectacular or lousy. Here are a few tips:

Use the Rule of Thirds – when framing your subject. Mentally divide the image you see in the viewfinder into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Put your subject under one of the lines of intersection. Give the subject some room to move in the viewfinder. Be especially aware of your background too.

third 

Properly light the scene – This doesn’t mean you need to go out and purchase a professional light kit. Understand that your camcorder adjusts for light, or lack of it, automatically. If you are shooting a subject that is standing in front of the sun, chances are that the subject will be a black shadow. Avoid bright backgrounds and also, at the other extreme, avoid poorly lit areas.

Avoid using the zoom buttons – at least while recording. This doesn’t mean don’t use the zoom feature, but try zooming before you hit record. Now shoot some video, pause, zoom in or out, and then record some more. Excessive zooming can make people feel a bit ill. Also, using the extreme zoom settings magnifies the unsteadiness of a handheld camcorder. Use a tripod if at all possible.

Use a tripod! – Holding the camera steady is important to good video. Also, with a good video tripod, one with a so called "fluid" head, you can follow your subject with a smooth panning motion. "Hand-held vs. Tripod"

Vary the shots that you take – Have a good game plan in mind of what should be in a shot and try to shoot the subject from different perspectives. Don’t use the camcorder like a firefighter using a fire hose.

Don’t forget about audio – Remember you are not just recording video. Be aware of noises in the background. Our brains do a good job of blocking out background noise, camcorders sometimes don’t. If you are shooting the history of George Washington with some actors, sounds of cars whizzing by in the background doesn’t sound realistic. Also, use headphones to make sure that the audio is audible. Note in the picture at the top of the page that the videographers are using headphones or earphones. You may need to use an external microphone, either a lapel mic or a boom mic, that picks up the subject’s voice better. If you’re shooting from a distance, a "shotgun" mic is often used.

More good information is available at the Media College website.

Posted in Audio & Video, camcorder, production, shooting, video | Comments Off on Shooting Video