Traditional video example
I filmed this on location with my Sony HDV handycam at KareKare as part of a project that I’m building with Robin Overall, who teaches how to build a brick Pizza oven (I’ve built one of these now, and they really can cook a GREAT pizza!).
This clip forms part of the introductory section of a tutorial DVD video reference I’m producing, and illustrates the quality that can be achieved with digital sound and video, including playability. It certainly shows that you can get great video quality from consumer equipment if you follow a few simple steps.
The process I went through to create this video was:
- shoot on a sunny day using radio lapel mic and tripod. The tripod helps the compression and playback process a lot, since the most advanced codecs (compressor-decompressor) use what is known as ‘interframe compression’ as one of the ways of reducing the file size. Simplistically, the parts of the picture that change from this frame to the next require data, and the parts that do not change do not require data. Having a fixed viewpoint from a tripod keeps all the background stationary and the only part of the image that requires interframe compression is subject movement. The radio lapel mic helps in two ways – firstly because the lapel mic is really close to your subject’s voice, all other sounds are considerably quieter in the recorded video. The result is clear good quality sound.
- secondly you can place the camera quite a way from the subject which allows easy framing and more flexibility in camera position because you are not tripping over cables and limited by length of cables etc. The sunny day helps because consuber cameras generally have small sensors and poor lenses both of which translate to grainy video that does not compress well unless you have LOTS of light – i.e. sunshine or a couple of kilowatts of good quality quartz-halogen lights.
Next, edit the video – adjust the start and finish points, normalize the sound, adjust sound using EQ and de-esser if necessary, tweak the gamma, contrast, brightness, colour to compensate for codec losses and camera settings. Deinterlace and output at highest possible resolution and quality.
Compress the video and upload to web server – create web page and video player controls etc.
If you’re uploading to YouTube, VideoPress, etc, these services use preset compression parameters, so you are better off just uploading the large high quality file that came from your edit process output. Otherwise the video will be compressed twice and become blocky and pixelated.