The Productive Scholar: Barbara McLaughlin on video editing and clipping.

Powerpoint slidedeck: 20120412_mclaughlin
In this session on editing and clipping video files, Princeton’s Barbara McLaughlin showed the audience a few options. She discussed the powerful but relatively expensive Final Cut, iMovie, iSkySoft, PowerPoint, and other products. She led a discussion on issues of legality, ease of use, and the differences in codecs (audio video coders and decoders for use in working with video and audio). She gave demonstrations of each tool where appropriate. Watch the video now to learn about how you can begin to use clipping and editing tools to make the perfect bit of video to illustrate a point.
Thursday, April 12, 12:00 noon
Frist Multipurpose Room A
Video Editing Tools and Creating Video Clips
Barbara McLaughlin
Video can be used to provide examples of a specific subject being taught or to make a presentation more interesting. Have you ever wanted to insert a video clip into a PowerPoint presentation but you were not sure how to do it?  Did you ever want to show just a short segment of a video in class and not the entire movie? Creating clips allows instructors to locate and present short, targeted clips of several minutes in length enabling the instructor to go directly to the main point of the film they want to discuss.  Creating and inserting video clips is easy to do, but there are some important points and options that must be considered.
I will be discussing the tools needed to create and import video clips into a presentation, what file formats PowerPoint will accept and how to create video clips for showing in class.
Instructors who incorporate video in their course material report that their students retain more information, understand concepts more rapidly and are more enthusiastic about what they are learning.  With the use of video, students often make new connections between curriculum topics and discover links between these topics and the world outside the classroom.
About the speaker:
Barbara McLaughlin is a Digital and Technical Support Specialist for the ETC Humanities Resource Center.   She works extensively with digitizing audio and video and in the past 10 years has digitized over 6,000 films for the Video on Demand service at Princeton.   Barbara works with faculty to assist them in incorporating video into their course material.   She is also member of the SCAD computing organization on campus and supports the computers throughout the HRC lab and classroom.
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iSkysoft Video Converter

Final Cut Pro
Image via Wikipedia

We recently had a client who had several .MTS files on an SDHC card that he wanted to convert to the .MP4 format and make available via his Blackboard course site.  Final Cut Pro can read these files as can the freeware VLC Media Player and MPEG Streamclip.  However neither VLC nor Mpeg could actually convert the files (they claim it, but we’ve tested it). Continue reading “iSkysoft Video Converter”

Lunch & Learn: Video Journey: Past, Present, Future

Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In its youth, which seems only now to be ending, film-making and film-editing required an immense amount of expensive and specialized hardware and a hefty range of fine technical skills. Today, suggested Dave Hopkins and Jim Grassi at the October 27 Lunch ‘n Learn, even teenagers with affordable hand-held devices can shoot, edit, and even distribute films for the mass market.

Be sure to run through their slides which contain a range of clips that tell the story through film. There you can watch Francis Ford Coppola predicting in the 1970s that children would someday be able to make movies of quality. There too you can watch Gus van Sant, a master film editor splicing tapes. Imagine the cumbersome task, when every scene and every noise involves a separate reel of 35 mm film stock. There are still editors who persist with such handiwork, manipulating bins of reels, but the immense power of new software, notably Final Cut Pro, has compelled most filmmakers to make the transition to digital. Films are now shot, edited, and delivered digitally. The films never touch tape.

And watch the simple film made by a father of his young son after a trip to the Dentist. Meant to be shared with grandparents and close friends, 70 million through YouTube have now viewed the amusing clip. An 8th grader named Brook Peters made a documentary about 9/11 that was so good that it is up for consideration at Tribecca. The point is, of course, that anyone with a camera, an idea, and some talent can now reach a very large audience. The barriers to entry have been drastically reduced.

Such technologies always trickle downward, suggests Hopkins. Quality no longer costs $15K. He showed a remarkable piece of footage taken with an iPhone. Without having to rely on tape, there’s also an immediacy with the film. There’s no longer a need to wait for post-production. Efforts, good and bad, can be sent instantly to YouTube.

New light panels are not only less expensive, he adds, but they also do not overheat and no filters are required for indoor shots.

Expect to see more use of the smaller technologies. The final episode of House this season was filmed on a very small camera, making possible footage in very closed spaces.

Hopkins and Grassi suggest that, as a result of the new technologies, a new breed of producer has evolved, a videographer “preditor,” a one-person film shoot, from idea, to the writing, the shooting, the editing, and even the distribution.

Software certainly plays an important role in making the technology so accessible. With Apple iLife, users can easily locate related clips and produce compelling movie trailers.

In the future, they suggest that we can look forward to better compression to compensate for larger hard drives, more video on walls, sidewalks, streets, and 4-D TVs that will fill all the senses.

View the presentation: direct-download video (.mp4), streaming video (Flash)
An audio podcast of the presentation is also available.