Feb 23, 2010

Lets see if we can make some short videos for the computer club table at the arts expo a week from saturday.

 I just found a couple of great sites for vegas moviestudio training videos and tutorials.

The first one is a seminar for the professional version, but a lot of it seems applicable the movie studio version.


The second one is tailored specifically for Moviestudio.


If you want to buy  the license  for  your copy of Moviestudio, you can at this web site:


If you think you might be doing High Definition video you might want to consider buying Moviestudio Platinum..Not only does it edit in High definition it will let you burn a BluRay dvd on a standard dvd in a standard dvd burner, but only about 15 or twenty minutes long. (Lets face it ,you probably wont be making a video that will sustain a veiwers interest for that long until you have had a lot more experience. By then, you will be ready for the professional($600) version  any ways.)

But be aware that  you will be getting two licences, one for MovieStudio and one for DVD Architect.   DVD architect is a DVD authoring program  with a lot of features that let you make a full menu Video Dvd like the ones you rent from Block Buster or buy at Walmart.  Great for sending to your kids etc . You can download  the DVD Architect  program  or the Platium version of Moviestudio at this site:


Feb 17 2010..Here is one version of the chromakey project..with an added background plate and a few extra sound effects, background music and titles.

Feb 16 2010... Today we made this chromakey  (green screen) Movie. Maybe next week we will fine tune it and add a different background

February 3, 2010

This coming Tuesday we will be doing green screen work. Those  of  you who have taken any of Sharon's or Elaine's courses, will be familiar with layering and the things that you can do with it to change still pictures.  Green screen does the same sort of layering.  In Sharon's digital darkroom you have made cut outs on still pictures. Green screen techniques do the same sort of thing but instead of working on one picture at a time..green screen works on 30 pictures for every second of video.  That is 1800 pictures a minute.  The kicker is that the green screen has to be in place when you take the video and so you have to plan in advance.,

   We see the result of green screen techniques in almost all of the tv shows that we watch. Most often the results are not dramatic. We dont even know that they  are special effects. They can be a very cost effective tool allowing the crews to work on a sound stage in a controlled environment rather than having to move hundreds of people to a remote location.

Check out this video from Stargate Studios, a professional video production company,

This can be taken to extreme limits using other computer generated effects with programs that you could buy and run on a home pc. ( if you were so inclined and had big bucks and not much else of a life.) They are far beyond me but the two  clips below are really interesting.

and this next video sort of shows you how  it was done..or at least hints at the methods used.

Feb 2, 2010

I ran across this old video from 1990, an archive of the computer chronicles. They are talking about desk top video editing on a personal computer. I didnt know that they had digital video that far back.   It seems to have required a lot of extra equipment and was nowhere as user friendly as the stuff we have now. (The video takes a long time to load) skip the first 15 minutes, I found  it incomprehensible.

I suspect I may have thrown too much at you this past Tuesday, so next Tuesday , Jan. 26, will be a work shop session covering the same material (ie getting the clips onto the time line and working with them, making splits, deleting sections, and moving them around.)

I am going to set up my computer on the table in front of the stage with you all and I will be able to see what you are doing and work with you without having to get up and down off the stage.

If you are tired of hearing that squeaky guy giving the speech, maybe you can bring those film clips that you are reallyinterested in.

Here is the agenda for our next session, Tuesday the 19th. You will get more out of it if you bring your laptop with the Movie Studio program already installed, I will have a data cd that I will give you to load into your computer with class materials. I do not intend to do any program installing during the session.

Class Syllabus

Session #1 Jan 19

1..Distribute and load class material folder " ## movie studio class"  into my documents or documents

2..Brief demonstration of capturing video from digital video tape camera.

3..Very Basic editing

A draft of the class syllabus for the first 3 sessions can be seen here

The Digital Video Seminar will be concentrating on the editing  program " Sony Vegas Movie Studio"

Next Tuesdays meeting, Jan 11, 2010 will be over at 9:00 am since several of us have made plans to go on a tour that morning.

I will be giving a quick demonstration  of the trial program  which can be downloaded from the Sony Web site, http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/moviestudio



It is a thirty day trial.  If you choose to buy the proram it costs $54.95 to  license the downloaded program but this license also includes another program ,"DVD Archictect".

There are also downloadable manuals which you may find useful.

Movie Studio does not do High definition.  It will accept and edit HD clips but can only render out as standard definiton. For rendering out as high definition, you need Movie  Studio Platinum or Movie Studio HD.

Agenda  and preparation for Feb 10 meeting

We will each make a simple short movie using windows movie maker, and the video files that each of us made on western day and have in our computers. for homework, look at your video files and  thnk  about what the most interesting 5 minutes are. Those will be the 5 minutes we will be working with. There is a good  moviemaker tutorial on the internet .  Here is the Link. http://www.vimeo.com/131649.   I will bring cds of the tutorial to class so that you can refer to it even  when you don't have High  speed interntet access.


Notes after the Feb 3 meeting

Downloading video from an  analogue videocamera and converting it to a digital format was demonstrated using a relatively inexpensive cable device, Plextor digital video converter PX-AV200U

There are several other makes available online. Google "digital video converter"


Notes after the Jan 27 meeting

When I arrived at the computer club room at 7:15 to set things up, I entered the door on the southeast side( where the screen is ) As I always do,  I went right to door on the other side of  the room to unlock it. Too my surprise, I noted that the deadlock  was not locked and I turned the knob and opened the door to make sure is was unlocked..didn't notice that the doohickey on the knob  still locked the door from the outside.  I apologize to any one tried  to get in the  room this morning and gave up when they couldn't open the door.

Ken Murray came in the southeast door  at 8:00 AM and for the first  15 or twenty minutes he was the only  one there so we started working on the editing program that Ken was going to use to edit his videos from the inauguration.  At around 8:20 we finally heard  a knocking at the door and we had a couple more attendees.

The upshot of all this that we did not get to do any work shop activity until our time was up. There are only 5 of us, counting myself, who more or less regularly attend the seminar. And nobody is on the same page. Each has different requirements and need a little bit of one-on-one help to get up and running.

The Seminar does not seem to be the best format for teaching the mechanics of getting  video clips into your computer and into an editing  program. Therefore I will make myself available for one-on-one help sessions at my place on afternoons for the next week or so. I am free on Thursday and Friday afternoon this week ( 1-29 &1-30) and Tues Wed and Thur afternoon next week.  If you are interested, call me at 399-8505 or cell 357-2804 (both at area code 956) to set up a time.


Agenda  and preparation for the fourth meeting, Jan 27

I hope to start the session with some show and tell  videos that may or may not have been taken at Western day last week and at the presidential inauguration  taken both here and at Washington D.C .Bring your laptops and cameras and your video clips on cd or dvd.   If the file is under 750 kb I can transfer it with my little thumb drive or we can hook up your computers to the projector.

Then. if time allows,we will  continue with the work shop activity that we had going last week.

Agenda  and preparation for the third meeting, Jan 20


The third week, Jan 20, trouble shooting..ways to get your video into your  computer so that you can work with it digitally.

Bring your camera and your laptop and any cables you have for the camera/computer interface.

If your video is on a dvd, bring the dvd.

If your video is on standard size vhs tape, bring the tape

If your video is on the 8mm tape or mimi dvd tape, bring the tape along with the camera.

We may not have time to work with every ones problem ,but perhaps we can schedule some  more trouble shooting time at Studio 221  ( Hibiscus 221)

Notes after the Jan 13 meeting


We didnt get to far along the agenda. We had a demonstration of windows moviemaker. Most of the class has problems getting video  into the computer in order to work it.

I am going to revise the sylabus and next week try to address individual requirements.


Agenda  and preparation for the second meeting, Jan 13

(agenda revised 1-11)  We will quickly review windows moviemaker and the transcoding program "super" . I will demonstrate Vegas Movie Studio, a video editing program. If you have a laptop computer, please bring it. Bring in a short, 1-3 minute, video clip that you think you would like to put up on youtube later on.

[If you are going to work with .mov files in windows moviemaker, download and install the video converter "super" from this web site http://www.erightsoft.com/S6Kg1.html   (I am told that "super "does not work with  64 bit vista)]

If you have seen any interesting videos on the web, bring in the URL and we will try to determine why it held your interest.


Notes after the Jan 6 meeting

(departures from the agenda)

Agenda and preparation for next weeks meeting Jan 13

The second week, Jan 13, we will review windows moviemaker and the transcoding program "super" If you have a laptop computer, please bring it. Bring in a short, 1-3 minute, video clip that you think you might like to put up on youtube later on.

If you are going to work with .mov files in windows moviemaker, download and install the video converter "super" from this web site http://www.erightsoft.com/S6Kg1.html  .(I am told that "super "does not work with  64 bit vista). The website is a mess and you have to really look to find the actual link to download the program. But the program seems to work well in  XP and vista 32 bit, and appears to be well thought of in the videomaker internet community and to be useful for other things besides changing .mov files. 



In the next several weeks the seminar will go from discussing equipment requirements , to the ways to show (off) your videos and how you go from the camera to something you want to show (off) ie. editing the video. We will not be talking about making long videos. Thats too hard and the process itself can get to be boring. Five minutes is just about right. We will talk about the mechanics of making and showing the 5 minute video. And hopefully we can get into the art of making those five minutes interesting.

The general format for the weekly seminars will be a 20 or 30 minute lecture by the moderator, followed by an hour of show and tell , Q &A,  problem solving,  etc. . Last year it seemed to work out best when I asked the questions and the class gave the answers rather than the other way around (I'm pretty sure that  I  learned more than I taught last year.)


At our first meeting,Jan 6, we will talk about equipment.


I will show you some video cameras how much they cost and show samples of the kind of work they do.  Bring in your camera too.

we will also discuss other ways of making digital video..ie converting analogue to digital ( film  to video?)

Computer requirements:

rvpark the movie was edited on a dell windowsxp desktop bought in 2002 with a pentium 4, 1.6 gigaherz cpu, 639 meg of ram and a 40 gig hard drive. This is pretty much the minumum for standard definition video. A 20 minute video, when it is captured in .avi format , takes up about 4 gig of memory . Although the finished movie was only 55 minutes long, there were 15 to 25 hours or raw video that had to be edited to make those 55 minutes, so I had to have a couple of external hard drives

To work with High definition video you need a faster cpu and more ram..2-4 or equal gigaherz processor 2 gig of ram and 200 gig of hard drive space. .the type of graphics card is important too, but I dont know too much about that .

A cd burner is a requirement if you want to share your video.  And if your clips are larger than 650 meg ,(approximately 3-3,5 minutes of full 640 x 480 standard definition video) you will need a dvd burner.

As a simple test,  if  this video runs smoothly on your computer it is probably going to be able  to edit video just fine.

Software requirements:



Internet requirements.

Seminar agendas for later weeks

The second week, Jan 13, (agenda revised 1-11)  We will quickly review windows moviemaker and the transcoding program "super" . I will demonstrate Vegas Movie Studio, a video editing program. If you have a laptop computer, please bring it. Bring in a short, 1-3 minute, video clip that you think you would like to put up on youtube later on.

[If you are going to work with .mov files in windows moviemaker, download and install the video converter "super" from this web site http://www.erightsoft.com/S6Kg1.html   (I am told that "super "does not work with  64 bit vista)]

If you have seen any interesting videos on the web, bring in the URL and we will try to determine why it held your interest.

The third week, Jan 20, trouble shooting..ways to get your video into your  computer so that you can work with it digitally.

The 4th week Jan 27, I will demonstrate Vegas movie studio platinum and some of the special effects that you can do with he program.

The 5th week, Feb 10, we will establish our own youtube account and upload our videos to the world wide web. and discuss Vimeo and other video file sharing sites.

The 6th week Feb 17, embeding videos in you own webpage. Why you would want to do it. How you would do it...How I do it.

The 7th week, Feb 24, we will each take some video against a greenscreen, combine it with other things we will have videoed earlier and produce special effects extravaganzas...George Lucas, eat your heart out!

DEC 15 2008 Computer Club Program

Pixels, HDTV and Other Magical  Stuff

click the link above to see the video

For more information see these web pages:

Free HD on  park cable.  

If you have an HDTV and dont care to  subscribe to Time Warner for HD service. You might be able to get some HD Channels using just the free Park cable connection if you have a remote that has a decimal point on the channel  selector.  I found these more or less accidentally and the channels may not always be there. But so far its been working. (revised 1/16/09)

ABC (KRGV)               100.1  

NBC (KVEO)                 129.1

CBS(KGBT)                    116.1

FOX(XHRIO)                 127.1

TBS                              119.205


LATV                               128.3

TNT    93.1,  117.2, 93.32769

ESPN                              93.2

ESPN2          125.1  or 127.2




The last session of the year.  We will ,if there is enough interest, start up again the first week of January , 2009. Until then, drive safely, keep your camera handy and take a lot of videos.


Another small group this morning.  Ken showed videos of last weeks show in the Dance Hall  that he had taken with his digital still camera. Sharon showed videos that she had taken of  last sundays show at the Rec hall with her digital still camera, a Canon powershot S51S. ~more ~ Kens clips were good. The colors were confusing because they were playing around with rotating color gels on the spotlights.  Sharons clips were extremely good for a Digital Still camera. Although they were only  Standard definition(..ie 480 pixels high)  The results were close to being as good as the High Definition pictures we were getting from Vimeo and they are in avi format which is recognized by Window Moviemaker.  The Camera has a good lens and it looks like the compression codecs are superior as well.

Ken has been thinking about his next camera and whether it should be a video camera that also takes stills or a digital still camera that also takes video.  The manufacturers seem to be building more and better cameras in both camps.  

The computer club skit is now on the  KFNS web page, along with the water volley ball clip and the Coed walk aerobics clip. 

Marianna and I participated in the Precinct 91 democratic caucus  Tuesday evening. What a hoot!  Ken was the acting precinct chairman for a while and is now Barak's delegate to the county caucus later in the month. I am working up a video clip.

NEXT WEEK, March 11..Bring in some show and tell.  Let's critique the seminar..what should I be doing better next year..( just saying "everything" doesn't qualify as a critique,)


Guess what!  My Vista Moviemaker does not support .mov files anymore!?!  It will not even import an .mov file.   I know for a fact that I imported Ken Murrays .mov file right in class back in December. Now I get a box that says I dont have the codec.  I wonder if installing the later version of Quick time did something to the codec I must have been using then.  Go Figure!!

Sharon complained that my desktop background was tilted..I have had the same background on all three computers and never noticed that the ocean is running down hill..All fixed now( at least in the Vista computer).

Email....I am sending out a test email to all your addresses, The file size is  9.52 MB. Let me know if you recieve it.

Assignment for next week..Get yourself a youtube account and upload a video. Send us all a link to your videos.

Next week~~



This is the Video of Water Volleyball at Fun N Sun that Ken Murray mentioned in class. It is remarkable in that it is 720 p High Definition and can be viewed full screen with amazing detail if you have a high speed intenet connection and a moderately fast processor.


Disaster!! Sharon and Linda removed Quicktime from their startup programs and now, no matter what they do to go back, Moviemaker no longer works with .mov files.  I Googled for a solution and every where I looked, all the forums were saying that moviemaker, even in Vista, would not support .mov files.  Maybe all our HP vista computers were exploiting some fluke that dis-appeared when we started to monkey with quicktime!  The simple solution is to go with the flow and use a program to convert our .mov files to .wmv.   I believe I have found a free program that does this (and a lot of other stuff) in one step.

 The program is called "Super" and you can download it here. Right click on the link and click on "save  target as".  

You can download a basic manual that shows how to use the program here.   Right click on the link and click on "save target as".

At our next meeting(as time allows)


We welcomed 2 new members to the seminar, Carol and Colin. I hope they are not scared off by utter chaos. But at each seminar meeting we manage to stumble upon a golden nugget of information or of insight .  Today's was really a gem. Did you catch it?

We were talking about Carols project of taking years of vhs tapes ( Converted from years of  8mm film) recording them to dvd and then sprucing them up and editing to another dvd.  Sharon said "...you have to care about what you are doing!.."   A light bulb went off over my head ( did you see it?) Editing Video can be really hard..not that it's difficult , it's not, but because it takes so damned long. One tape can be an hour long . And when you are trying to merge with your buddies footage, you can be looking at two hours. (we routinely used three cameras when we shot "RVPark : theMovie") You have to watch all of that. And we all leave our videocams running through all the dull stuff so we wont miss that two seconds that were really funny.  You have to watch that too. Again and again and again. You have to care about what you are doing or it just wont get done. Thats been my problem lately. I really am more interested  in the process of making a video than I am in the content of the video.  Some results are really Bizzare. See this masterpiece that I posted to Youtube.

That  was my summer project.

So todays lesson was...Care about what you are doing..if you lose interest, your audience will too.  Plan your shooting if you can.  Try not to shoot the dull stuff.

Well ....anyways, For next week, Tuesday Feb.12:


You can get the avs file convertor program here. But comes with a watermark unless you buy the registration key.  Its a great tool if you are really into video on the web or on an ipod, but you are better off using the editor that may have come with your video cam or analogue convertor cable.

We were really impressed with HD Video on Vimeo.

Check out the help section too.

I know what I'm going buy when Geo Bush sends me my tax rebate. And it will help the economy too.(Maybe I will research a little more.)

Register with Vimeo. Its easy. (No ,I dont get a commission!)


Ken talked about vimeo.com. I thought it was just a file sharing program but it is more than that. It seems to be a more conservative and thoughtful version of Youtube. The 500 meg limit is the amount you can upload in a week, and there is no limit to how long your video is. When you upload your video it is converted to a flash format the same way that youtube works. I just looked at it for a few minutes but I found a great little tutorial on how to use windows movimaker on the help page. http://www.vimeo.com/131649

After looking at some of the other tutorials, It looks like a bunch of really young guys starting out.. I hope it works out.


~~Happy New Year !~~

The Agenda for our Jan. 8 meeting:


Linda Writes:

There may be three possible problems.

1- did you make a video dvd using a dvd authoring program or did you just burn a video file onto a dvd? non-computer dvd players require dvd's specifically formated for dvd players. Open the dvd in windows explorer and look at the file..you should see a folder named video_ts or something similar and inside that folder should be files with .bup,.vob and.ifo suffixes...There should not be video files with .avi, .mpg, etc suffixes..these are data files that will not be played on dvd player.

2- if you did use a dvd authoring program and burned it on a dvd+r disc, it may not play on your tv dvdplayer but probably will on another dvdplayer. Its a compability problem. I have found that dvd-r discs are compatible with more dvd players that dvd+r. The first trial copies of RV PARK: THE MOVIE were burned on dvd+r and would not play on around 1 out of every 4 or 5 dvdplayers that I tried. I burned 200 more on dvd-r discs and had very few complaints. I read an article that stated that dvd-r is compatible with 93% of dvdplayers and dvd+r is only compatible with 89% of dvdplayers. My own experience is that there is a greater difference in compatiblity.

3- It seems to me that some dvd players are more sensitive than others. I have 2 dvd players and the same dvd played on one player will have skips and pops and sometimes even stall where it will play smoothly on the other player.

Commercial dvd movies that we buy at the blockbuster etc are made by mechanically pressing a series of small dots in a layer of reflective material. The dvd player interprets these dots as digital code. The dots are either there or not, a + or a -and the player has no trouble distinguishing one from the other.

The dvd-s that we burn on our computers are created when the laser in our dvd burners strike layer of a die and change the color of a spot of the die. The laser in the player interprets this series of changes at digital code. individual lasers on individual dvd burners, probably have small differences in temperatures and by affect different dies in different makes of dvd blanks differently and some players may have difficulty interpreting a + from a - and misread the code resulting in skips , pixelating, and freezing..

In general, I try to stay away from the generic brands of discs,,ie store brands), and use dvd-r discs made by name brand manufacturers.


For the Jan. 8 meeting:

Make a 1 or 2 minute video of how you spent your New Year's Eve, complete with titles and such and e-mail it to me. We will have a show and tell. Be creative..humor would be good. Here is a sample I found on the internet.

In my last E-mail I gave a link to a list of free file converters. So far I have tried two and found that they converted files to a format that was NOT supported by moviemaker on my xp computer. The Apex converter converted to an avi file, but my moviemaker did not support that particular version..also it was only a 30 day free trial with limited features. I will check more as and when I have the time. In any event, If I were going to spend money for a convertor program I would spend it on a fuller featured editing program such as Vegas Movie Studio rather spend the money on a converter. More about that later.

Our next seminar meeting will be January 8 after the Holidays.

  There is a ton of information about using Windows Moviemaker on the internet.

Notes from the Dec. 11 meeting:

  Sharon asked if a sound  could be removed without removing the video portio of the clip..yes..just be sure to isolate the sound by spliting the clip in front of and in back of the sound you want to remove. Then right click on the sound track you want to remove..a box comes up..click on "mute". Viola!  For example, say you have a video of a marching band in a parade, and in the middle of it a loud siren blows and drowns out the band. Mute the siren. But now you have a dead spot in the sound. OK, select a spot where the bands sound is good, right click and copy..paste this into the audio/music track,(if you paste it in the  audio track of the video part, you will get a copy of the video. You dont want that. Paste it in the lower audio/muisic track), then drag the pasted sound clip underneath the muted spot, trim to fit and you should have the band playing with out the siren...sorta.

Assignment for Dec 18 meeting.

  1. Finish up the clip we were working on in class.. insert a clip of yourself commenting on the academy (use your digital camea and convert the files to avi on mpeg streamclick and then convert again to .wmv with Media Decoder if you need to). .Add titles to the front and credits at the end.

  2. Publish ( make movie) for email .  If the size is much over 2 meg, re-edit to reduce length of the movie and re-make the movie for email .  Send me the email , digitalvideo@studio221.net  or burn it to a cd and bring to class.

  3. Bring your digital still camera to the Computer Club's xmas potluck on Dec.17 and take some videos to put in a christmas greeting video for next week.

Agenda for Dec. 18 meeting:

  1. Review the emailed movies.

  2. Questions (and Answers, hopefully)

  3. Showing your work on the world wide web.

added note. The XP version of Moviemaker does does not recognize .mov files, nor does it recognize files converted to .avi with mpeg streamclip I mentioned earlier.  Mpeg streamclip uses an apple "codec"  that is not in XP. A second conversion of the .avi files need to be done to convert it to a .wmv file that Moviemaker will work with.  This Conversion is done by a free downloadable program called Media Encoder.~more~

Mpeg Streamclip can be downloaded here .

Media encoder can be dowloaded from microsoft here.

Notes from the Dec 4 meeting :

  The Seminar got off to a rocky start. Problems with a new computer, a new operating system, and a new projector which wasnt working properly ,distracting all and sundry. ,I am afraid that the instructor got more out of the session than did the attendees .

  Ken and Hazel brought in a .mov file  of  the Marine academy which we put into windows moviemaker and did a quick edit..see it here.

But things are looking up.

Questions  that were raised: