Tech.Help Reqd for next UWOL ( #7 Sea Fever ) at DVinfo.net

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Old March 10th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #1
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Tech.Help Reqd for next UWOL ( #7 Sea Fever )

Congratulations to the winners of #7, and sympathies to everyone else.

My effort was called Sea Fever and it attempted to capture the reminicences of an aging seafarer as he longs to go back to the sea. I used black and white and an old film appearance to try to enhance the feel of the poem.

I enjoyed filming and editing the work but I fell down on the bit at the end - converting it for uploading. Meryem has kindly suggested I ask you guys for help so that I get it right next time. If you'd kindly grab your popcorn and a sweetheart and step into my ethereal cinema at

http://www.youtube.com/dandjwatkins

you'll see the quality I presented before the judge. Send him down m'lud!

I filmed on my Canon Xl1s ( Meryem asked for the codec details, the Xl1s manual dunt say nuthin bout no codec that I can see unless this is PAL 25 ) If my camera was a gun you'd want to be standing about 300m over there behind a BIG tree. I understand all the other stuff, exposure, aperture etc so lets move onto the editing.

Edited in Windows Movie Maker ( pretty good for a novice I think ), did the 14:9, B&W and old film thing in there, didnt get the audio quite right in places. Saved it eventually as a .wma file at about 40MB and then started looking at the UWOL instructions. Movie Maker didnt seem to have the facilities to get it to the right spec ( it did actually mention codecs but only in an ' if you dont understand this bud, just move on ' type way, nothing you could understand ) so I downloaded a program called Media Converter, a useful free thing for converting between formats and stuff. However it too didnt seem to be able to give me the right options, every time I tried to convert it it slammed it down to about 8Mb as a .mov or .mpeg, with the resulting loss of quality. So I uploaded it hoping nobody would notice

So what can I say, my level of understanding on the compression thing is the same as my dvd player or microwave. If anyone can help there's a bottle of some distillery's finest on it's way to you this Christmas, otherwise I shall try to pass it on to one of the many disinterested teenagers in my family ( Durhh! What! Me! ), or what the hell I'll just cheat and pay someone to do it

Thank you for listening


David
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Old March 10th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #2
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Unfortunately youtube is not kind to video. The best I have been able to do is use a compression specific program (sorenson squeeze). Set it to LG Prog under mpeg4 and change the size to 1280x720. Youtube won't hurt it as bad.

Take a look at Changeling http://youtube.com/watch?v=3m1bgelsloY and see if that works.

Jim
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Old March 10th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #3
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David, I'm about a dumb as a doorknob so take this with as large a grain of salt as you can, then add a bit to that.

In monkey language (a language you and I seem to share), I understand the very basic elements we need to understand, as follows:

Your lens sees the images you record in their purest form. From this point forward they go down hill, sometimes fast, sometimes not - depending on how well you understand the process(es) that take place afterward (in "post"). Your camera's processor (brain) absorbs that pure image coming from your lens through the camera's chips (three - one for red, one for blue, one for green). The processor then compresses that image (using a codec) and sends it to the tape. During that process you lose part of your pure image. Now you go to your pc and capture the footage from tape and open it up with your editing software. What you might not realize is that your editing program has settings "pre"selected, which it follows while handling your footage (frames per second, size, and among other things - another codec) . If you are careful (and if your machine is able to handle it), you will match the compression codec that your footage was initially subject to - in post. If you are not, and you don't even know how to check the settings, you will probably introduce another codec to your workflow (which is why you sometimes have to render your timeline before you even change anything), which now subjects your footage to "trans"coding. Transcoding is a bad thing. It's kind of like parenting - Mom has her way, Dad has his, kid grows up all twisted.

Basically a codec is a plan, a process - which decides what detail in your image can be thrown in the trash without anyone noticing (everyone notices). Now you can see why doing this twice, with two different strategies, is bad. Here's the thing though, when you're done editing and you "Saved it eventually as a .wma file at about 40MB" - you got it, you just compressed it again. That makes (possibly) three times. This is actually like parenting, after a divorce - and now there's a step parent in the mix. Kid's totally screwed now.

If I understand your process well enough, it sounds like at this point you "downloaded a program called Media Converter...that slammed it down to 8mb" - which introduced yet another process of compression (only this process was "free". Lord help you my man. You know what you get for free, right?)

As you might have read between the lines by now, my parents are divorced, my wife was divorced, and I AM an acting step parent. Trust me, stay away from transcoding. Do your best to read up on what it is, what you're using, what it's set to, and how to deliver it. Like i said I'm dumb as a rock, so don't ask me. And don't even try to learn from what I wrote here because surely it's all wrong anyway. At best maybe you can take from this that there is something called a codec, something called a lens, and that divorce should be the very last option on anyone's list - instead of the first.

Do some searches on this forum using keyword "XL1 workflow" (or maybe work flow?). I hope you have a good desk chair..

By the way I watched your video, and I actually have to go someplace that I'll be 15 minutes late for now. But I wrote this instead of leaving on time because I'm always late anyway, and because I could "see through the compression" that you've got talent, heart, and vision. Good luck David
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Old March 11th, 2008, 04:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Watkins View Post
Edited in Windows Movie Maker ( pretty good for a novice I think ), did the 14:9, B&W and old film thing in there, didnt get the audio quite right in places. Saved it eventually as a .wma file at about 40MB and then started looking at the UWOL instructions.
David, if I understand correctly, you first encoded/saved your film as a .wma and then re-encoded the .wma as a .mov

When doing this, you compress your film not only 1, but 2 times, and the quality suffer even more.
You might try to first encode as an .avi (as a "full quality master" version), and then encode this .avi directly to .mov (with the uwol specifications)
Or if Movie Maker allows, you can encode directly from the timeline to .mov.

When you do the encoding, try keep the bitrate as high as possible without exceeding the 60MB file size limit for the uwol challenge.

One thing:
I noticed you wrote 14:9 aspect ratio. (only a typing error maybe?)
The XL1 is native 4:3, but as you probably know, it can shoot 16:9.
Make sure you have the same settings for both the camera and movie maker.
To me, your film appear to be 4:3 aspect ratio.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 08:48 AM   #5
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Hi

Thanks Eric and Trond, I'm beginning to get the picture ( very slowly ).

Trouble is the manual for the xl1s is basic and so is the online help for MovieMaker so I hit the compression thing at full tilt not really knowing what was going on. It sounds complicated so I need to go back to basics, maybe find someone who can explain face to face, and try to find something online thats not written with the assumption that you're on board with all the technical jargon already.

Is there any one out there can help further with the codec/s used on the XL1s?

Somebody told me that when wanting to shoot 16:9 it was best to shoot normally on camera and do all the adjustments in the editing which is what I did

It'll suddenly click I'm sure, if anyone else can contribute please keep the help coming, ( monkey language is fine, keep it simple )

Thanks

David
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Old March 11th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Watkins View Post
Somebody told me that when wanting to shoot 16:9 it was best to shoot normally on camera and do all the adjustments in the editing which is what I did
I do the opposite. I have set my camera (Canon XM2) to 16:9, and also using 16:9 project when editing. Not sure if one way or the other gives better results as I have tried both without noticing any picture quality differences.

Don't think you should worry too much about codec for the camera. It uses DV-avi like all the other (tape based) standard definition cameras out there.
When people talk about codecs (encoding/decoding), it's about which file types you encode your edited film to. Ex quicktime (mov), or windows media (wmv), or other types.

By the way, searching around this forum, or asking questions, might give much better answers than the included help files for cameras or editing software.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 10:08 AM   #7
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Hi David
At some stage you are going to have to break down and get another editing programme.For as long as you are editing on Windows media maker the easiest way is to save your video file as a DV-Avi file,I checked on movie maker and this can be done.For a few dollars you can purchase Apple quick time pro.Once you have that you can convert to .MOV. I did this on my first UWOL challenge and I got a few comments on good colour and texture.
The problem with asking for advise here is we are all so willing to help and confuse you as much as possible
have fun learning
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Old March 11th, 2008, 12:19 PM   #8
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David....
B&H has Sony Vegas version 6 for $79.00....

It's two revs old, but still one heck of a good program.
Far superior than Windows movie maker, very intuitive and lots of support on-line....

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...o_Editing.html
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Old March 11th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #9
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David

I cut my digital video teeth on Windows movie-maker, and after a couple of years moved on to Premiere lite, now Premiere elements. Most the packages available here for under £100 will do pretty much the same thing.

When you connect your camera for download into moviemaker, make sure you are using the AVI option (NOT the one that says best quality for editing and storing on the computer)

When you've done your final edit, then use the export for use on the web option to see what your video looks like when compressed - choose the option for ISDN line, which gives least compression. It you're happy with it, save the movie file again, this time as AVI, and then you can use your media converter program to do the compression on that new AVI file to .mov or whatever is required.

Last edited by Annie Haycock; March 11th, 2008 at 01:10 PM. Reason: amendment
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Old March 14th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #10
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Hi

Thanks to everyone for their comments. I went onto the internet and that certainly didnt help much, too much information, not much explanation, but I've had a bit of a play about and should resolve it. I do have Vegas 7 which came with the camera but which I found very difficult to pick up, it beat me at the time so I move on to Movie Maker. Anyway maybe I can sort the compression thing in Vegas.

Thanks again.

David
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Old March 14th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #11
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Sounds like the problem I had with Premiere LE which came with my Canon XM2 several years ago. It certainly wasn't intuitive to use, and I resorted to MovieMaker which was rather more straightforward. After a couple of years I went back to Premier LE and was able to make much more sense of it.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #12
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Good evening,

Premierer elements is a strong program and will do most things you ever desire.
It also is real easy to create quick time clips of your uwol effort and you can tune it right to 60mgbs. Once you know what it is you save it as a preset and you do every quicktime conversion with the same set up!!

I tried vegas a couple years back and struggled with it and went with premiere Pro.

You can get Vegas 6.0 for 79 dollars at b&H, and the upgrade to 8.0 pro for 99 dollars and it comes with dv archetect as well. That is quite a savings from buying the full version!!

I have been working with it of late and I am really getting to like a lot of the things you can do with it.

I still use Premiere elements for my uwols and other quick projects.

I only use the pro programs for event videography(multi camera and audio shoots) and some of my wildlife stuff.

vegas 7 would be worth learning and the vasst tutorials are pretty helpful!!!
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