Saturday, April 26, 2008

Random video tips

I was thinking earlier about some of the random things I've leared about editing down video from trips that people seem to enjoy. So, I figured I'd try and distill them down to something that may be helpful:

1. Good videos start when shooting

This may sound a bit obvious, but if you get bad video to start with, you end up with bad video to finish. When you start recording something, be sure to think about how you're going to use it. For me, I tend to think in specific edits, so when I'm recording something, I already have a decent idea of what I'm planning on using it for.

2. 3-4 second clips are just interesting enough

My English teacher in high school always said that a paper should be like a skirt: long enough to conver the subject, but short enough to be interesting. I've found that a 3-4 second clip is just about right on average. Apparently, I'm not the only one as iMove 08 uses a 4 second clip size when selecting an edit in the timeline. Now, there are always good places where that "rule" can be broken, but it's always a good place to start.

3. Edit on action

I've found that for me, if I cut the clip on some sort of movement (like a person walking into our out of the frame) it seems a bit more interesting. If you have a video of your significat other walking along the street, look for that moment when (s)he turns into the cute little store, move back 4 seconds from there and you have your edit point.

4. Montage

There's nothing more boring than 30 minutes of badly focused or repetitive video. And your friends really don't want to see your whole trip. All they want are the highlights. I've found that the best way to approach this is to take a song you like and edit a montage. Take items 1-3 above and use those to create a 4-6 minute series of clips set to music. For the one's I've done, it seems that even people who don't know me very well find 4 minutes of decent video set to a good song interesting.

A couple of examples that I've done:

Try it and let me know.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Windows Whine of the Day

Oh, here's my real quick whine for the day. I really can't stand how random Windows programs can just jump up and take control of your desktop withou ... wait, excuse me Windows wants my attention ... as I was saying, grab control from the current application.

For example, I was trying to open a number of connections to multiple systems using Remote Desktop. However, each time something happened (initial connection or initial screen draw), for some reason the app felt it necessary to let me know my stealing focus from the new window I had opened. I ended up having to make the connections one at a time to get done.

While this may not sound like much, it took what could have been a 3 minute procedure and turned it into a 10 minute procedure (the connections were slower than ususal). To me that's unacceptable. Only the OS itself should ever jump up and take control of your focus and that had better be a damned good reason to do so (security, fault, etc)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Very interesting clock

Via digg, it's a clock that spells out the name of the hour using 150 analog hands.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ordering beer with a Nintendo DS ...

From Ars Technica:

Don't take it personally

I have a problem. I admit it, but don't really like it. I have this really bad tendancy to leave an e-mail in my inbox that I should reply to and then never reply. The longer it stays in the inbox, the more I know I should reply but don't.

After a while, it gets to the point where it just laughs at me every time I check my e-mail. So for all you out there (my brother-in-law specifically ... sorry Lucian), know I'm not insulting you, but I have a problem.

I wonder if there's a 12-step support group for this.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

All a Twitter

Ok, so I'm late again to the party ... This time it's Twitter, the microblogging, Web 2.0, whatever it is. My wife and I are both on there and she's dragging all her friends in there too. So now I get a constant stream of what's going on from tech-celebs and my friends a like.

Follow me if you want @uthanda. :)