Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Video editing

Today I spent the whole day woking on video editing one of the seminars I recorded the week before last. The content of it is timely so we need to get an edited DVD and VCD [Video CD] out as soon as possible.

The project involved adding in the Powerpoint graphics that the speaker used at the presentation. Many of you will know what Powerpoint is already, but for those who don't it's a Microsoft program to create graphic presentations on a video projector that can be seen behind the speaker as s/he speaks.

Sounds simple enough... export the graphics from Powerpoint and import into our video editing program [we use Adobe Premiere]. However... there is a small amount of information lost around the edge of a normal TV screen which is not lost when a presentation is projected onto a screen. This means that speakers often use the entire screen for text, some of which will be lost on the TV screen. So many of the graphics have to be re-worked for the video edit.

Alongside that problem there is also the problem of animations. We can export each graphic, but we cannot export the animations, so all the animations have to be re-created by hand in the video editing system. This often means that a single graphic will have to be exported a number of times with different stages of the animation and then put together as an animation afterwards.

The audio was recorded separately on the new Edirol R4 system, which worked exceedingly well, and part of the reason for using it was that we needed to record the audience reaction as well as the speaker. That means that we then have to mix the audio to go with the video. For those interested we use ProTools for that. ProTools is a pretty high end tool for mixing audio and it was a joy to do the audio for the seminar on it. Using tools that make the task easier also make it more enjoyable. We have so many struggles with equipment, having something that works easily is a real joy!

Now I've probably painted the picture that shows recording and editing a simple seminar is not as simple as it might sound at first. What made it more of a struggle is the problems we are having with the video editing system decribed in earlier blog entries. Still, it's progressing on slowly, despite having problems with the video editing system. Tomorrow I continue... hmmm... no I won't, my son arrives back from two months away and we will collect him from the airport in the morning.

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