The View Up Here

Random scribblings about kites, photography, machining, and anything else

Video Production

Posted by Tom Benedict on 22/06/2011

Back in the 80’s there was a great series in Dragon Magazine called Snarf Quest. I liked it so much I wound up getting the compilation. It’s still one of my faves. There’s this great scene where Snarf, who is spending a year trying to accumulate enough wealth and fame to claim the title of king of his village, finally realizes he’s in way over his head. In the last frame his friend is explaining that all they have to do is… and Snarf is thinking, “Ya gettin’ in deep, man!”

That one frame explains my descent into the world of video production. “Descent” is probably the wrong term since it’s actually pretty darned cool. But it’s the only word I could come up with that jives with the whole drowning feeling that keeps coming over me.

Here’s a f’rinstance: I know video (and audio, since they go hand-in-hand) is more involved than still photography. Even so, I marvel at how few still photo formats there are compared to the almost limitless supply of audio and video codecs, container formats, compression algorithms, yadda yadda yadda. The only real format debate in the still photography world is RAW vs. JPG, and that has to do with how the files are initially created. Outputs are typically JPG (web world and print world) or TIFF (hard core print world). Video? Cripes, take your pick. Depending on the situation there are dozens of choices to make.

For software, my choices came down to this: I need to do the work on a Windows PC. I need to work with a number of HD file formats. I need to be able to export HD video files for use on a web server. I need to be able to export DVD quality or better videos. Ideally I need enough tools available to deal with kite aerial videos, which tend to be jittery from camera motion.

After some hemming and hawing, asking of friends, and poking around at the software that was already installed on my computer, I gave PowerDirector 9 a try. I liked it, it fit the need, so I got it. I’m sure there are those who will say I missed package X, Y, or Z, which is clearly superior. Sure! And when you enter my esoteric world of CNC cutting strategies I’ll chortle at your XZ pocketing and tell you how in your case contour-parallel was clearly superior. Whatever… Both make holes in parts, and PowerDirector 9 fits the bill.

I’ve got almost all the footage I need to finish the Push N8 video, and now I have the software as well. Over the next couple of days I hope to make my first rough cut. If the learning curve isn’t too steep on PD9, I plan to be finished and off on my next adventure in the following weeks.

– Tom

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One Response to “Video Production”

  1. That is very fascinating, You are a very professional blogger.
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