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Old December 28th, 2004, 11:30 PM   #1
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Custom Card Mix?? How?

Ugggghhhhhhh......

I've been trying to get my photoshop mattes (saved as a 640x480 *.jpg file, of course) onto the Optura Xi all freakin' day and it just ain't happening. I keep getting a "This image cannot be combined" error. Canon tech support hasn't responded to my emails yet.

I did a search on dvinfo.net, and came up with the GL2's "Title Mix" stuff. Did a search on the internet to no avail. Tried dumping all the EXIF metadata from one of Canon's files on to mine and that didn't work either. However I was surprised to see that some of the MMC templates are in PAL sq. px. resolution (768x576).

I got a project coming up at the end of Jan that I really want to use the Xi on, but I just can't get this camcorder to do what I need it to.
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Old December 28th, 2004, 11:48 PM   #2
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All I can say Xander is that it should be possible, using Tustin Larson's tutorial on the GL2 Watchdog at www.dvinfo.net. Try to start over from scratch following his instructions carefully. It should work.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 12:26 AM   #3
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Can't seem to get the Tustin's link to work in Safari, Chris. Keeps redirecting back to the watchdog page.

I used to to do the "Title Mix" that Tustin's video outlined on the GL2, but it's not the same for "Card Mix." on the Optura Xi. The file names are AUT_xxxx.jpg, not USRxxxx.ttl. It appears to be a different "format".

I noticed comparing header data from Canon's MMC templates that all the images are YUV, not RGB. I don't see an artifacts on Canon's files, so they're not captured with a "video digitizer"... (oh, made me think of NewTek's DigiView from my Amiga days). They're definitely digital creations saved as JPEGs.

I honestly don't want to dump my template to DV tape because I have to use the lumi key to get rid of certain sections of the matte. I fear the DV compression will ruin the edges or be all stair-steppy.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 08:43 AM   #4
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Try this tutorial video:

http://www.dvinfo.net/canongl2/media/titlemix.wmv

and this article:

http://www.dvinfo.net/canongl2/articles/titlemix.php

There should be a way to do it. If you figure it out, please let us know! It would make a great article for the site.

;-)
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Old December 29th, 2004, 09:57 AM   #5
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FYI,

Canon's response to my email on creating card mix graphics:

"I apologize, but we do not provide instructions or support for creating your own card mix images (borders, etc.). We regret this inconvenience. Your comments are noted and will be passed along to the appropriate party."

Fun, huh?
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Old January 13th, 2005, 08:53 AM   #6
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Xander,

I know it is possible to get images back into an Optura. I have my company logo as the splash screen on my Optura20 cam. It's been a year or so since I did it, but I'll try to remember as much as I can.

Unlike the GL2, I don't think the Optura makes any distinction between "title" images and any other digital image you have on the SD card. This is why the filenames are not USRxxxxx.ttl etc.

I do recall getting an error message about my image when I first tried to upload it. I think I had it in the wrong resolution. If you still have the sample card mix borders on your card, try downloading one, doodle on it just a bit, then uploading the new file back into the camera. If that works then there's something unique about that file.

Again, it may have changed since my 20 was released, but this may get you on the right track. I will check my cam and see if I can fill in any details (resolution, etc.). Yes, I do seem to recall seeing some odd sizes for their samples. If nothing else try 640x480.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 12:16 PM   #7
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Yes, you can customize the start up screen can be changed as well as the sounds on the camera using Canon's software. It's something like the "My Camera Settings". I tried everything using that feature. If you simply upload a jpg to the card and try to access the custom image, you get that error message saying it can't be used. I tried changing all the meta-/header-data in the jpg headers, but it doesn't work.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 01:53 PM   #8
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I don't remember anything about metadata. I do recall the error message, but I'll have to check the camera tonight to see if I can figure out how I got around that.

Do you have a card reader for the SD card, or are you using the USB connection to the camera and the ZoomBrowser software?
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Old January 13th, 2005, 04:06 PM   #9
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The Optura Xi owner's manual hints that this is possible: page 132 states, "If you create your own frame, make sure that the area the live recording should appear is blue." On page 133 it says, "You can create your own title or illustration by drawing on a white paper and recording it to the memory card. Mix level adjustment: light area of the still image."
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Old January 13th, 2005, 05:18 PM   #10
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Okay, Xander, I just accomplished what I think you're trying to do, and it's fairly straightforward. All I did was modify one of those cheesy images from the supplied card. Select any of the existing MMC templates... I used image AUT_0004.JPG because it's a simple one. Disable the protection for this image using the File Operations menu. Copy it over to your computer. Edit this image in PhotoShop (I used Paint Shop Pro). Select the background color, which is their chroma key Blue, color values are R:25 G:24 B:224 Opacity 100% and airbrush out the little graphic in the lower right corner. Now you have a clean chroma Blue matte. Add your own info. For testing, I put in a colored bar across the lower third and some text. You probably can't save this image as AUT_0004.JPG, at least, mine wouldn't let me. Save it as AUT_0017.JPG. Upload this image back to the card (it must go into the DCIM/100CANON folder). Go through the steps to select Title Mix, and it should be there. Worked just fine for me using an Optura 500. Should be no different for an Optura Xi or any other Optura model. Your trouble may have been with the image size; it probably needed to be 768x576. Give it a shot and let me know it how goes.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #11
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Did exactly what you said and it didn't work. I opened AUT_0017.jpg (a file from the MMC templates on Canon's website) in Photoshop CS, added some black text, saved it back, and I still get the "This image cannot be combined" error. It seems as though any modification made to a file cannot be "combined".

I did notice that when I used the ZoomBrowser EX software, the only images that I was able to download were the modified ones (I usually use a memory card reader to read/write my flash cards). Canon's supplied jpgs did not download. Interesting. I tried uploading these files back using ZoomBrowser EX, but they still don't work.

Thanks for trying though... it seems maybe the XI is beast of its own and different from the other Opturas.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 08:41 PM   #12
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Could it be the way you're saving the image? Should be saved as a plain vanilla, dumb 'ol .JPG, not progressive encoding or anything fancy, and are you using all caps for the file extension -- .JPG instead of .jpg -- I'll try it on an Op 30 I have here. Really should not be any different on an Xi. Something's missing.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 10:21 PM   #13
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Nope... .jpg all lower case. All's I did was click save after I made the changes to one of their default files and uploaded it via ZoomEX and then tried my card reader. Same results.
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Old January 14th, 2005, 07:49 AM   #14
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Xander, try saving as a new file, standard encoding with .JPG (all caps) file extension, AUT_00xx.JPG

I can do this with an Optura 500 and an Optura 30. Can anybody else duplicate my results on an Optura Xi? I can't think of any reason why it should behave differently.

Also Xander, why don't I just send you my test mix image so you can try it with your camera, since we know it worked perfectly on my Op's. Shoot me an email and I'll reply w/the image attached.
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Old January 14th, 2005, 08:51 PM   #15
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Okay, Chris, your file worked with the card mix feature. Thanks for doing that. It appears that Photoshop CS is the culprit. After I verified that your file worked, I opened it in photoshop cs, drew a black 'X' across the image and just clicked save. Tried to mix it on the XI and it wouldn't work... got the lovely error that the image could not be combined.

I'm going to try different image editors to see if they work; obviously Paint Shop Pro works for creating custom card mix files.
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