Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Time Lapse and Audiovisual Relationships

May 2, 2011

Photosounder wall by Joe Fuchsen is a nice example of both time lapse, and the relationship between sound and image. Joe used the program Photosounder to analyse his image and produce related sound, with higher pitches happening when sticking pieces of paper up higher on the wall. Joe has also made a great visual surrounding for that video on one of his HTML project pages.

Some software in a related vein worth a look: Metasynth, and some interesting Max for Live patches for audiovisual uses are being developed by Melbourne musician and artist Zeal – see


Time-Lapse Video Instructions

May 2, 2011

Whether it is cinema, TV or video, what we perceive as a moving image is actually the result of seeing a number of still images per second. 12 frames per second is the minimum frame rate our eyes accept as ‘smooth’ motion. Once the rate drops below that, we perceive motion as jagged and stop/start.

Film = 24 frames per second, 24 images
Analogue Television comes in two varieties, PAL (used by most countries, =25 frames per second) and NTSC (used by the U.S. and Japan, =30 frames per second).
Video cameras often have options for recording 24 or 25 or 30 frames a second, to suit the respective regions.
Computer games, graphics cards and monitors can be optimised for displaying 60 frames per second to suit high speed gaming requirements.
( Side note: James Cameron recently suggested cinema should move to 48 or 60 frames per second, to achieve smoother high speed camera motion and detail.)

Relevance? Time lapse video.
If we record a video with a video camera in Australia (which uses PAL), we are capturing 25 still images every second – in real-time / as they happen. When those images are played back at 25 times per second, they show movement as natural. This means video can be created without video cameras, by compiling and sequencing images together. The images can be photographs – but they could also be illustrations, screenshots, or any combination of the above.

A time lapse video – simply means increasing the amount of time that has lapsed between the capture of each image. If we capture 25 images within 10 seconds instead of 1 second, playing this back (at 25 frames per second) will give the illusion of 10 x faster speed.

How To Make A Time Lapse Video
There are plenty of tutorials for creating time lapses (and a dedicated Time Lapse group at vimeo), and the methods boil down to this:

1. Capture images
2. Arrange images into a sequence that can be played back
3. Export movie.

1. Capturing images can be done with any camera – just be aware of the desired image dimensions for the final video. A video of 640×480 pixels is probably fine for our needs, so the camera will need to photograph at this size or larger. If it is capturing at a much larger size, this can allow for panning motions, but it’ll also be important to ensure the end video has been reduced to a size appropriate for the web.

2. Arranging Images. This can be done by importing all of your images into Final Cut Pro and then arranging them on the timeline. An even easier method involves Quicktime Pro – have all of your images ready in a single folder, then choose File > Open Image Sequence. Quicktime Pro will ask you what frame rate you wish to import the images as. Select the frame rate, and your movie will then be created and open up for you. The Quicktime process is simple and quick, so try experimenting with different frame rates to see which gives you the best time lapse / stop motion / smooth motion effect relevant to your video. Bringing this completed movie into Final Cut Pro can then allow easy adjustment of colours, framing, or the addition of text etc.

3. Exporting your movie. These guidelines for Vimeo give a good summary of the relevant parameters to consider when exporting from Quicktime or Final Cut Pro.

Quicktime Tips
Quicktime has a few useful audio editing, composition and exporting functions, for making quick adjustments to your newly created timelapse.

The in/out markers ( press i or o while a movie plays ) underneath the timeline can be used for quick and easy cutting, pasting ( command + x / command + c / command + v ), or deleting of sections. ‘command + n’ will make a new quicktime document you can paste sounds into. Sounds can also be layered to play simultaneously, by using quicktimes ‘add to movie’ function, found under the ‘edit’ drop down menu. Selecting ‘add to movie and scale’ will re-adjust the pasted item’s length of time to match the time of where it is being pasted – as set out by the in and out markers. This can be useful for matching times, or speeding / slowing / changing pitch of sounds.

Under the QT file menu choosing ‘view’ then ‘play selection only (command + T) makes quicktime play only the section within the markers – which is useful for fine tuning an edit, and choosing ‘view’ then loop (command + L) makes the clip play in a continuous loop – both of these in combination can be useful for refining an edit.

Sound + Time?
What is the musical equivalent of a time lapse video? Or more broadly – how might you creatively approach time with sound recording or composition?

Interesting Web Project Case Studies

March 22, 2011

Below are a range of online projects that might generate some ideas for your projects – or perhaps some questions, some challenges to consider. Many of these are quite advanced projects, the result of many more hours effort than we have available this semester. There is still much we can learn from them though. When browsing these projects, ask yourself about the techniques they use. Which of these techniques might be suitable for your project? Which of these techniques demonstrate, and take advantage of, the web’s affordances? What can you learn from each of these projects, about how to better make your project more ‘web native’, and less like a linear, print based project? What can you learn from each of these projects about how to create a more engaging and compelling project, that draws the viewer/ reader / listener into the world of your making? What new creative problems do these projects suggest about your project?

Interesting use of navigation, non-linear design?
Wax Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees is the first independent feature film to have been edited on a digital non-linear system. It is also the first film to have been re-formatted as hypertext and posted on the internet.

Media Relationships?
Example projects that feature interesting relationships between image and text? ( Online comics are often innovators here.. See also, Scott McCloud’s discussion of image and text relationships.) Image and sound? 10 tips for effective web sound design. Gamers have long been thinking about non-linear uses for sound and issues that arise. Some of these game desig thoughts about interactive audio might be useful in thinking through how sound could work on your website.

Collaborations and crowdsourcing?
Projects built by engaging with an audience / promoting during development / aggregating content?

Star Wars Uncut – Features a constantly changing version of a the film, constructed with 15 second clips made by anybody, with the highest voted clips at any time, being included in the current playing version. See the CNN profile about the project creators
White Glove Tracking – volunteers isolated Michael Jackson’s white glove in all 10,060 frames of a video clip, so that this data could be used by anyone to create remixes or special effects.
Webcam Sour project – “The cast were chosen from Sour’s international fan base and filmed entirely via webcams.”
Where is Gary? Using social media and the audience to track down a scammer, and build a documentary around this.

Episode Based Productions
Taking advantage of subscription based technologies and social media to develop projects and build audiences over time…
Hometown Baghdad
The XKCD comic ( now a book, like many webcomics that’ve gained popularity )
Rocketboom ( daily 3 minute video news )
Ze Frank a whole range of ideas and projects, many collaborative.
thejuicemedia Satire and hiphop meets current affairs in the Melbourne based ‘Rap News’.
Ask A Ninja

And Bringing it Back to Basics
We’ll be exploring some more project management and multimedia storyboarding ideas next week, along with our next dive into HTML (bring along some sample text and images for use). Below is some useful reading in regards to framing and designing your project.

Tips on building portfolio sites, “Your site is a frame: A frame exists to hold its art. It should compliment your work, but never overshadow it. Think of your portfolio site as a frame for your work. Keep it clean and easy to navigate. Don’t let your site get in the way of letting me see what I really came for.”

Advice for designing your website layout.

Week 9: Web Context for Video

September 20, 2010

What is the context for publishing video online? Concretely, we can look at our final projects as an example. What constraints / components / parameters / limitations do we have for the final web project?

Some example projects that demonstrate interesting digital media storytelling techniques and possibilities:
You Suck At Photoshop tutorials ( Screencasting / tutorials

Miranda July’s website for promoting a new book of hers in 2007. ( How can text and image work together? )

Scott Mccloud’s webpages as infinite canvas.

Patrick Farley’s Spiders ( via wayback machine, a service from that allows re-viewing of old versions of webpages stored on their server ).

Farley has recently relaunched his site using the crowdfunding source, kickstarter. ( See for a similar service in Australia )

How to choose a typeface / font.

Rap News from Melbourne.. “the news source for the discerning viewer, delivering a bulletin to restore your faith in the fourth estate; make you nod your head to the beat, even as you shake it in disbelief.

Research Task:
1. Browse this collection of interactive narratives,
and find 3 different sites that showcase some digital storytelling and design ideas that could be adopted for your final project ( or a future project ).

2. What is diegetic sound and non-diegetic sound? How might this relate to web based video?

For today’s tasks, you will need to install the free ‘measure it‘ web app for Firefox, Chrome or Safari, which allows easy pixel measurement of any portion of a website.

A. Create new page for final project in wordpress ( instructions )
– Set to private (click edit, next to Visibility / Public ), so you can keep developing your project.
– Make a note of the pixel dimensions within your new page
– Note also, the pixel dimensions for your blog’s sidebar

B. Create a banner image for your experimental video.
– Measure the dimensions needed for a banner image.
– Make image in Photoshop, then ‘save for web’.
– Publish your banner image and video in a blog post, or within a special page.

( See Instructions on publishing vimeo clips, including capacity to change video width and height.
Note 1 : When pasting in Vimeo’s suggested ‘video embedding code’ into a wordpress post, be sure to have selected your HTML tab in the wordpress dashboard, not the visual tab. )
Note 2: Vimeo’s basic uploader seems to work more reliably at RMIT, than vimeo’s flash uploader.)

C. Create an image map for use in
1. Upload an image to flickr or wordpress, so that it has a URL – eg
2. Enter your image URL at:
3. Draw the areas you wish to have as links, and write the related URLs.
4. When finished adding all links, click ‘get your code’
5. Click the HTML Code tab, and copy all the code from:

<img id= … until and including </map>

6. Inside your wordpress blog post – click HTML editing mode ( rather than visual), and paste your code in here.
7. Click ‘Visual’ editing mode to see what it looks like, then press publish, and mouse over link areas to test.

D. Create an image for your sidebar
(This can be for your project, for linking to other accounts / sites, or for anything randomly of interest to you.. )
– Measure the dimensions needed for a sidebar image.
– Make image in Photoshop, then ‘save for web’.
– Upload your image to generate a URL for it.
– In WordPress ‘Appearance’, drag your image widget onto your sidebar, and enter relevant image details.
( If you wish to use an image-mapped image in your sidebar, use the text widget, and paste your image map html code in there. )

1. Finish and publish video experiment from last week. Publishing on your blog means everyone can start to easily see each other’s remixes here.

2. Set up Final Video Project
– Open new project
– Change project settings to these settings
– place your 1 minute soundscape on the timeline
– Save your project
– bring in the ABC POOL clips you are using, to the media bin
– bring in any of your own footage, to the media bin
– Think about thumbnails you wish to represent your video at vimeo and POOL.
( Generate stills from a video through export settings, or screen capture ( option+command+4))

Video Project Reflections

September 14, 2010

Good to see some thinking is happening about the final project. A few recent Design Studio blog posts show some contemplation about how the soundscapes will be visually represented. Ideas so far include:

– window reflections on a moving train

– a bird’s eye view of a man’s hand on a bar counter

– creepy lurking shadows, in eerie, dimly lit rooms ( for ghosts and lost souls).

And the example video remixes are starting to roll in too. I liked this grainy remix by Oli. Hopefully we’ll start to see a few more get mentioned in the Design Studio blog posts over the next few days.

Two links to keep in mind before you shoot your video:

storyboarding and planning will help you immensely

15 very practical tips for shooting online video

Week 8: Video Composition and Research

September 13, 2010

In our second week exploring video production, we’re going to look at composition techniques – these include blending layers together, resizing video and photos, as well as video effects, transitions and text layers.

First up, some planning ( for both your final video, and your final essay ).

Using this guide to storyboarding, sketch out a quick plan for your final video. (Some storyboard templates to print out if you wish.)
From this storyboard, describe:
– a list of shots you will need
– a list of visual techniques you will have to learn about.
– what your opening and closing shots will be ( & why they suit your place / themes )

(See also, Hitchcock, an interesting storyboarding application for the iphone.)

Research Task:
Identify relevant theory, concepts and ideas useful for you to research for your final essay. These should be ideas about video or about audiovisual relationships, not just production techniques. (If you need, read up on building an academic essay argument, and how to properly reference within an essay.)

Explore the entry page for the RMIT library ( or the library guide to resources for film and television, fine art and visual arts or sound) and identify potentially useful sources.

(See also, google scholar )

Video Task: A short experimental video – ideally finished during class time.
Set up a new Final Cut Pro project using these project settings.
Pick a 1 minute soundscape by another student (Browse the collection at The Design Studio POOL page). Import it into FCP, and place on your timeline.
Download one video from ABC POOL and import this into Final Cut Pro.
Re-cut the video and experiment with it, making a one minute video.
Include at least one example of each of the following:
– a video effect
– a transition between two clips
– text overlay
– composition techniques ( layering / blending and/or resizing video/images )
– speed changes

Export the video using these export settings, and upload the video to your vimeo account, and to the ABC POOL site (include a reference to the POOL creator of the video you used).
Publish the vimeo video within a blog post ( instructions on embedding vimeo within wordpress ), and include links to the ABC POOL video and the soundcloud clip used.

FCP Project and Export Settings for Lost Places

September 7, 2010

Have a look at the Project Settings (PDF)and Export Settings (PDF), and set up your Lost Places projects this way.

There are different settings dependent on what type of video camera you will be using:
– either a camera that records interlaced video ( eg a mini-DV camera )
– or a camera that records progressive footage ( eg a DSLR. )
Check your manual or settings to see what type of footage you are recording, and will be using within FCP.

To understand more about problems with interlacing, read, or this Creative Cow article.