Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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One big sigh: video editing success

November 9, 2008

I have finally gotten my video editing to work!  Hallelujah!  Ha ha ha!

History

Alright, here’s the story: I’ve been trying to get my video editing workflow down for a long time now, nearly a year since I got more serious about it.

For some years now I have played with video editing very little, but have enjoyed making short films with family.

December 2007 I purchased the Adobe Video Collection (2003) from a friend to use for my personal video projects and to edit something to DVD (Miracle In Gansu play to DVD.)  But after nearly a year I still have not gotten the project done due to a lack of knowledge and to my royal procrastination skills. 🙂

During this time I tried to get Adobe Premiere Pro 1.0 to work for my video editing tasks, but for the  majority of it I was unsuccessful.  The only successful project that I produced from it was DuelMind, a short film for the 24 Hour Christian Film Contest (however, I was unable to enter my film into the contest because I had never used YouTube before and did not realize that the file size of my video was way too big.  The next day a friend of mine gave me some advice which solved my problem – but the deadline had passed and it was too late.)  And even with that project I think the audio and video were getting out of sync.  😦

I will let you know: a/v out of sync has been my greatest technical video editing “curse.” 😀

I have tried to get Cinelerra to work, (actually the link goes to the CV version, whereas I may have been trying to get the official release to work,) but I was not successful with that.  I have seen Kino, touched Avidemux, tasted VirtualDub, and used Windows Movie Maker.  The latter program was the one I used the most, especially before I got the Adobe Video Collection.  Simply put: It worked.  But to use who are artistically inclined or professionally minded, it just isn’t enough.

I saved up for a camcorder and purchased the JVC Everio GZ-HD7.  The .tod file type (video container) posed a big problem, though, and for long time I was stumped (and frustrated.)  Multiple times I have considered selling the camera and getting a MiniDV SD camcorder.  But in a way I am glad I didn’t, because the Everio can get some sweet footage, and the fact that I couldn’t edit my video like I wanted to drove to new measures to discover the answer to my problems.

Eventually I decided to give the CyberLink BD Solution software a try (it came packaged with my camcorder.)  Surprisingly enough it worked, and it has been quite useful to get some DVD projects done.  I am planning on using it very soon to get another DVD project done.  I edited the Dr. Narendra Singh – 2008 Interview with PowerProducer Express.  Simple editing features are available, like splitting (cutting) video.  You can also use a range of video transitions inbetween video clips – but I only ended up using a few of them, like Fade and Burn.

Now this is where the history gets a little blurry… at some time I tried Blender’s VSE (Video Sequence Editor) to try to do my video editing, but I still had trouble with the audio/video being out of sync – and I couldn’t figure out how to export my video with the audio!

So the days passed, and my years waned… no, that bad. 😉  But one day someone heard my call, a man by the name of Rob Scott.  He had been working on something called BlenderAVC and kindly let me know about it by commenting to one of my posts here on the Minosa Films blog.  That’s where it really started.  From there I tried to get BlenderAVC to work.  I filmed with a few different settings and gave Rob some of my .tod files to work with.  Rob Scott’s BunnyHopHop workflow is very useful as well.  But BlenderAVC still wasn’t working for me.

I finally got a project to work in Blender’s VSE, the audio and video being in sync!  However, I won’t likely need to edit that project.

So, time passed…

Conclusion

But just today I downloaded the most recent version of BlenderAVC – BlenderAVC 0.7!  I can import my .tod files and it works fine!  But I still had trouble with my audio and video being out of sync.  I wrote some e-mails to Rob Scott asking for advice, but I didn’t need to… read on. 🙂  I noticed that Zelgadis (leader of the Morevna Project) was online, so I started IMing him.  He suggested I change the FPS on my file and so, after some tweaking, I reported back to him with a OK, it’s official.  You the man!” victory cry that it had worked.

BlenderAVC 0.7 - screenshot of successfully some synced audio and video (see the last two strips)

BlenderAVC 0.7 - screenshot of some successfully synced audio and video (see the last two strips)

So, praise the Lord!  One of my biggest video editing hurdles has been removed.  With further testing I hope that I wll be able to consistently repeat this successful outcome and get the rest of the workflow down pat.

I have not yet realized how great this is… if it really is true.  Maybe I will be glad tomorrow?  😀 Ahead of me lies the journey of actually learning what “video editing” really is!  Whew… this is very good.

So, I guess that’s about all.  I hope your journey is as exciting as mine – no, WAY more exciting!

One big sigh: Whew, video editing success.

God bless, friends, and may your journey be bright,
Best wishes,

-b

P.S. So a big PRAISE THE LORD!!! 😀

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Not sure what to write…

September 28, 2008

Not sure what to write, so here’s some news:

I’m now part of the Morevna Project team. I don’t know all that I’ll be contributing at this point, but I definitely want to get better at my manga (anime) drawing!
The Morevna Project wiki on Synfig.org

Still haven’t resolved all my software (editing) issues. I have been sidetracked on that. Also have a hardware need.

I hope to edit a film some friends and I worked on together. It’s not a Minosa Films production per se, but it will really help me to learn my editing and test out whether or not I really can or cannot edit (at least with this workflow…) And besides that, I will get part one of a film done, gain skills, and make my friends really happy! ;D

Production Plan:

Title Status Scheduled Shoot About
Is This Love? WIP N/A A (very) short film depicting the true sacrifice of love
Family First >Some work has been done N/A A lovely drama short film about a father/daughter turmoil and resolution
Promo
WIP Optional moon shot done
Minosa Films’ very own promotion video!

Hope to get this all worked out… glad for possibilities, wishing for resolutions…

Also, we now have a production forum of sorts.  Check it out here.

Create an account and start posting!  Some sections in this category (of the forum) may eventually be locked for Minosa Films users only – that is, those who I give the password to.

Aaanyhow, thanks for all, and your prayers especially,

We’re gonna make it together!

-b

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YEEES! Video editing is becoming possible

September 14, 2008

YEEEEES!  It’s working!  Praise the Lord! Whoot!  Yahoo!

OK, onto the point:  I have successfully produced a very short video clip from a 720×480 (or was it HD SP?) mpeg2 video file into a final output of a 720×480 mpeg2!  This may sound like “So what?”, so let me explain:

Using Rob Scott’s BunnyHopHop workflow I have used Blender 2.47 to do a minor edit to a 720×480 (or was it HD SP?) mpeg2 file with proxies, exported an excerpt of the video to PNG, optimized an AVS script in AvsP, (find the AviSynth wiki here,) ran it in QuEnc to encode the video to mpeg2, and the final result was a compressed 720×480 video with a/v in sync!

See a screenshot:

Blender, AvsP, QuEnc, and VLC Player

Current video editing workflow: Blender, AvsP, QuEnc, and VLC Player

Praise the Lord!  This is a  big mile marker in my video editing journey!

Now I hope all my editing needs will be met by open source software and Blender, and that BlenderAVC will rise to meet the standards of editing HD in the open source world!

About BlenderAVC:

BlenderAVC is an open-source project to provide the “glue” between Blender’s Sequence Editor and video in the AVCHD format. It provides a way of automating the creation of AviSynth scripts and proxy files so that AVCHD and HDV video can be efficiently edited within Blender.

[from the Open Filmmaking page on BlenderAVC.]

God bless!  I look forward to the journey ahead,

Thanks a million, Rob Scott!!!

-b

P.S. The video I tested was from a number of .tod video files through CyberLink BD: PowerDirector Express and exported to mpeg2.  In future testing I may use other workflows to optimize the time spent/quality.

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…we will make it

August 13, 2008

Work has been done towards filming “Is This Love?”, but due to a location impasse (the location is currently set, but there are issues,) and integral script issues, it may not be soon.

Good news on that, though: longlifejas helped me find the location for “Is This Love?”.  I have contacted a theater actor and he may help us with the film.  So, things are moving foward in a way, but the film may drastically change at any minute.

The first episode of a short film some friends and I worked on I hope get edited sometime.  I also plan to edit the interview with Dr. Narendra Singh and get that online!  Whew.

I was talking to a friend, and I hope to start my own sort of animated journey like Rustboy, and just finished my first sketch for it tonight.

Thanks for listening,

God bless…

-b

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Working on new Minosa Films blog header

August 8, 2008
New design WIP - Minosa Films blog header (Blender's node editor.)

New design WIP - Minosa Films blog header (Blender's node editor.)

Recently I have been working on a new header design for the Minosa Films blog.  It is not done yet, but it is turning out well.  I am using render layers and compositing them together, which is a first for me.  Praise God!  The theme is darker and has a moon, branches, the words “Minosa Films” and a nifty little design behind it.

Originally I was designing this in a hope to make an animated Minosa Films title intro for a promo video about Minosa Films.  I could make it theatrical like a silver screen trailer, or I could make it more instructional, like an interview or special feature.

I need to get back to solving the mystery of a successful video workflow.  My current progress on that is:

Import HD SP video file (.tod) into PowerDirector Express.
Drag video file onto the timeline.  Hit produce.
Go through a number of options and choose to export as an MPEG2 (for DVDs.)
Wait for it to render.
Import .mpg file into Adobe Premiere Pro 1.0.
Place on timeline.  There are no apparent “hiccups”.
Export video to .mov (Apple QuickTime.)
Play video in Media Player Classic – it works.

Goals:
I would prefer to someday edit in full HD; use a faster (better) conversion method; buy and use a newer, different, HD compatible non-linear editing (NLE) app; edit .avi (or .mpg if I choose to);  export to .avi, .mpg. with no  errors when opening in MPC (Media Player Classic,); be able to use After Effects (AE) in conjunction with Premiere (currently when I export from After Effects I get a jittered effect to the video and some artifacts.  Most unpleasing and… terrible.)

Goals in list form:

  • HD
  • Best conversion method (no conversion if possible.)
  • New NLE software
  • No editing hiccups
  • Excellent file export
  • Cross-software use

But for now, no HD!  No fooling around with the unnecessary.  😉

Thanks for listening,

God bless, prayers,

-b

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Still

August 5, 2008

Still testing.  Now the video is the aspect ratio I want now (16.9.)  Just a simple setting to change in Premiere Pro 1.0.  Tried to convert to Microsoft AVI (not DV AVI this time) and it still will not play in Media Player Classic.  Perhaps I need another codec?  Oh well, we will see what happens.

Rendering (exporting) from Premiere Pro 1.0 - testing export to Microsoft AVI

Rendering (exporting) from Premiere Pro 1.0 - testing export to Microsoft AVI

Working on some film thoughts.  Listening to Kate Rusby music.

I may try out Converio (http://pagesperso-orange.fr/gilles.bihan/converio_095.htm,) try some more with Squared 5 MPEG Streamclip, and perhaps other video converters.  What NLE will I use?  For now, Premiere Pro 1.0.  No HD for now.  Use what you have to the best of your ability.  Will most likely test CBR1140 recording with the Everio to see if another method to get my files to a usable format (in this case, mpeg) will work.

Thanks for listening,

We will see what the wind brings,

God bless,

-b

P.S. Praise God!  I have been planting this blog address around in various comment boxes – YouTube, BlenderNation, Vimeo, e-mails… it may be paying off.  Here is an image of some view stats for the blog:

Minosa Films blog stats reach 80 views on 08-04-08

Minosa Films blog stats reach 80 views on 08-04-08

Praise God for everything.

P.P.S. I need to tell you what MIG (Miracle In Gansu play to DVD) is, and some more info about this blog.  We’ll leave that till later.  Till our next meeting, may God keep you.

May I grow still

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3D Modeling, wishing, and thinking

June 18, 2008

Learning some about box modeling a female head.  Very neat 3D modeling technique.  (box modeling as apposed to poly/vertex modeling.)

Wishing to film, wanting to, and desiring.

And thinking.  Thinking about how I will get my desires, my wishes to film, to actually happen.  We’ll, I have an idea, and I need to keep thinking some more.

God bless

-B