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Old April 25th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ashland, ohio
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DV: On-Location Titling Limitations

This is my first post. I hope I'm in the appropriate category. I work for a county highway department and our video needs are quite different from the commercial and entertainment interests of most of you. Our videos mainly consist of segments of five minutes or less preceded by a black screen full of titling. With our analog camera we merely hit the road with our windshield mounted camera and character generator and returned with the finished tape. After switching to DV (Sony DCR-TRV30), I was dumbfounded when I realized that things were no longer that simple. In a nutshell, we want the fastest, simplest, and least expensive method of producing titled video segments and transferring from camera to DVD recorder (Pioneer DVR-533H-S) without a laborious editing procedure. I should also add that we want to see the on-screen date and time information which, according to my understanding of the Sony manual, does not dub digitally. The ideal situation would be the ability to type in the titling in the vehicle, shoot the video segment and move on to the next without having to dismount the camera. Is there a digital version of a character generator or some way of doing this with a lap-top? We don't need bells and whistles; just text. I wouldn't even mind a D/A conversion if the video quality didn't suffer too much. Do we need a different camera? I gotta say that I can't help but feel betrayed by the digital revolution when it makes my job harder. The video sure looks better though!!
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Old April 25th, 2006, 12:27 PM   #2
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Location: Mays Landing, NJ
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Welcome to DVinfo James! I moved your post to the "open DV" forum since "alternative imaging" is really about home-brew cinema camera types of systems.... when in doubt post your question to Open DV :-)

That's a tough problem you have. Without getting into editing on the computer I'm not sure what would be your easiest solution. Perhaps someone else is familiar with dedicated hardware which would work for you?
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Old April 25th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #3
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Not sure about Sony's, but many Canon DV cameras (including realatively low-end consumer models) support the use of loading JPG images on a memory card that can then be recorded to DV as a title and/or overlay in camera. Date/time overlay is also generally supported as a "digital effect" that can usually be assigned to a button on the camera.

Little bit of a tricky workflow for the titles. You'd have to edit the JPG on a laptop, save to the card, and then pop that into the camera to tape the result.

As long as you're going with a laptop, you could use one with a simple dv editing app and firewire. Make the title in the app, output to DV tape with the camera in VCR mode, then just flip the camera over to camera mode to shoot.
Nick Jushchyshyn Matchmoving, Compositing, TD
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Old April 27th, 2006, 07:25 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ashland, ohio
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I Think I See The Light

Thanks Boyd for redirecting my post, and thanks for the ideas Nick. I'm working now on the idea that I can put together a library of title screens that I can store on a Memory Stick rather than having to haul around the laptop. I had partial success in a test run converting a title screen in Word to a jpeg using a conversion program called Omniformat. I got the jpeg downloaded to the Memory Stick, but the TRV-30 can't see it for some reason. Any idea why? I know it's on there because I can view it on a TV that has a card reader, and on the computer using the Memory Stick floppy adapter. When is a jpeg not a jpeg? :-) I'll try again by attempting to download to the Memory Stick thru the floppy adapter instead of thru the camera's USB jack. Onwards and upwards!! Thanks again.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 07:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by James McDaid
When is a jpeg not a jpeg? :-)
I've seen cases where some programs, Corel products in particular, have problems with the jpg file extension or file name. Try renaming with .jpg, .JPG or change the main part of the name. Sometimes all you need to do is rename the file and it magically works. YMMV
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Old April 27th, 2006, 07:35 AM   #6
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Are you using a Mac by any chance? I know there were issues using JPEG's from the Mac on the memory stick on my VX-2000. I had to use some sort of utility program to convert them in order for them to be recognized. Other than that, are you sure the images are the correct resolution? Look in your manual, I suspect they must be 640x480.

Try saving a still to the memory stick using the camera. Then transfer the file to your computer and see if you can figure out what's different. Then you could try editing the file and bringing it back into the camera.
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