Archive for the ‘video editing’ Category

Apple iPhone 4 Offers New Features for Multimedia Makers

Thursday, June 10th, 2010 by Jeff Gray, KET

Apple is giving it’s popular iPhone another makeover to a slimmer version 4 with a new hi-res screen, also adding some great features for multimedia producers.  Video recording is HD 720p using the Apple h.264 codec, and an iPhone App version of Apple’s iMovie video editing program — available soon for $4.99 — should be of great interest to school and home video producers. Addition of a tripod screw socket would be a handy addition for recording stability.

The new iPhone has two cameras and two microphones, allowing for iPhone-to-iPhone “FaceTime” video calling over Wi-Fi. One camera on the front above the display shoots you at VGA quality; the second camera on the back next to the LED flash shoots HD target video you’d like to share (pressing a button on the screen quickly switches cameras). The second mic, at the top near the headphone jack, is for FaceTime calls when the camera is pointed at you. It’s also supposed to work with the main mic at the bottom of the unit to suppress ambient noise and background sounds. It would also be handy to have an external mic input. Then slap it onto something like a Beachtek audio mixer for two XLR mics on desk stands and you have a basic school news recording setup, with editing. See the online video of FaceTime examples demonstrating the use of both cameras.

The 5-megapixel still camera now has an LED flash to assist it in low light, and there’s a new “tap focus” feature that promises selective focusing of near or distant subjects. Wowza!

The new iPhone 4 is due in retail stores June 24. Pre-order reservations for the new iPhone 4 begin June 15. Apple iPhone 3G and 3GS users can download a free iOS 4 software update that adds over 100 new features.

Update, 6/29/10: Uh-oh, hello!  It seems as though there are lots of people with new iPhones who are complaining about phone dropout when they hold their new iPhones a certain way, like normally. The Gizmodo media info. blog has a nice article all about it, with some amusing “semi-solutions” for dealing with the problem.  Here’s a ZDNet article expressing concerns about early-adopting the model. In looking up the Gizmodo article, I found that I must have been asleep the last few days, because an entertaining mystery around a “lost” Apple iPhone prototype for the current model that ended up in Gizmodo’s hands has been unfolding. If you’ve also been unaware and are interested, here’s Gizmodo’s post, and an Engadget update post about some of the fallout.

KET Road Trip: Woodford County High School

Thursday, May 20th, 2010 by Jeff Gray, KET

I recently visited Dave Noble, a longtime school media production teacher and friend of KET, and his media class students at Woodford County High School. Dave’s history in video began with his work for the Instructional Technology Center of the University of Kentucky’s Education Department in 1970.  His tenure at WCHS began in 1974, so he’s celebrating 40 years as a media production educator!

A great part of Dave’s success seems to be the easy-going rapport he has with his students. He supports and encourages their creative ideas and impulses, and in return they produce interesting and personal video expressions as they complete a thorough list of class requirements. Dave’s trimester elective classes — Media 1, 2, and 3 — generate a variety of programming that is broadcast throughout the school: live daily announcements from the school studio; Channel Four, a bi-monthly 20-30 minute magazine-format program of edited news and comedy skits; a senior graduate celebration video; an annual “Prom Promise” video that attempts to prevent substance abuse and the resultant annual automobile tragedies; specials on topics like Black History Month; various public service announcements; and more. Dave’s students also produce a video yearbook. Dave’s been doing it so long he may have invented the concept. The DVDs — previously VHS tapes — are sold for program funding support.

Dave said he wants to continue to update his school’s video equipment and editing gear. While visiting, I noticed a variety of recording and post-production equipment that Dave and his students have maintained and added-to over the years: Canon GL-2 and XL-2 Mini-DV camcorders, a Panasonic AG-HMC70 flash-memory video camcorder, Applied Magic ScreenPlay video appliances. Dave was an early adopter of the technology, acquiring several of the stand-alone digital editing devices his students have been learning nonlinear editing on for years.  I also saw a couple of well-used Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere editing stations. Dave’s students produce a lot of video.

Here’s a sampler of Woodford County High’s varied video productions and techniques:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Thanks to Dave Noble and his students for a fun and interesting visit.  Keep up the great video work!

Special Effects

Friday, March 5th, 2010 by Cynthia Warner, KET

NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast, “Belief On The Big Screen: Secrets Of Special Effects” by Susan Stamberg, discusses creative ways that the film industry produces special effects on both low and high budgets. I found it interesting, and thought it may help generate ideas on how we can create some special effects with low-cost resourcefulness.  You can read and listen to the story on NPR‘s site. There are also some very cool slide shows and some terrific links to other NPR stories about the film industry.

Videomaker magazine has a website with some fun videos about fimmaking. This segment introduces the viewer to the zolly shot, which is a very nice effect. It does require some practice to make it effective, but you and your students will really want to take advantage of it, if you haven’t already. Here is another Videomaker video about creating Easy Special Effects.

You can find a lot of tutorials on youtube.

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