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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.

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Old June 7th, 2005, 10:20 AM   #1
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Moving Video Footage from Computer Screens?

I'd like to incorporate some screen shots of doing things in Flash MX and on a web site from my 23" Apple Cinema display similar to the way did here in their Final Cut Studio promo video (specifically about 35 seconds into the clip):

Does anyone know how they got such clean, live and moving images from the computer screen? Was it done externally using a video camera or internally using some sort of special software (such as Macromedia Breeze)?

Any advice or links would be appreciated.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 01:41 PM   #2
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For most advertising and film, this sort of thing would be composited in using tracking points in post production, however, for this video it's either a really really good job at this, or recorded live.

There are two important aspects to control when shooting live:
1) Monitor Refresh rate
2) Lighting

The monitor refresh rate should be a mutiple of your frame rate and shutter speed. In NTSC land, a 60Hz refersh rate is typically fine, go with 75Hz when shooting with a PAL camera. This setting is usually accessable through your computer's display settings (System Settings for Mac, Control Panels for Windows)

Finally you'll need to control the lighting of the room in relation to the brightness of the monitor. If the room is dark, you'll need to dim the monitor so that it's not a blown out white blob. If the room is too bright, (daylit window) you may stuck doing this with tracking/compositing software.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 02:44 PM   #3
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There are utilities that exist in both the Mac and PC platforms that will record the screen display directly. It's not necessary to set up a camera aimed at the monitor.

Microsoft Office used to come with a utility that performed this function and would write out an AVI file. An associate of mine just informed me that he has used a utility called Snaps Pro on his Mac and that they have recently updated this application for OSX Tiger compatibility.


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Old June 8th, 2005, 02:54 PM   #4
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Thanks to both

Thanks to Nick and Greg for the above suggestions. Greg, the Snapz solution looks like it's what I'm going to use. It will save quite a bit of time an I can just insert the screen shots in post-production. I'm downloading the free trial now to see if it's what I need. Here's a direct link to anyone that may be looking for the same thing:

Thanks again.

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