Posts Tagged ‘video’

39 Dollars for FLV Export

Friday, November 30th, 2007
Posted in Software · Tags: , ,

On2 (the people behind Flash 8’s FLV Video Encoder, On2 VP6) make a rather inexpensive video exporter for Flash called Flix Standard. They also seem to have other more expensive products but if you pre-edit the video before it ever needs to be made into a FLV this should work pretty good. I learned that Adobe will not let you install the Flash Video Encoder by itself without another license. So if you have several people that need to convert videos for Flash, but will never even use Flash itself, you don’t want to shell out several hundred dollars to do so.

The most affordable, entry level desktop encoding application for FLV video for Adobe® Flash® Player 8 and 9.
Put your video on the web in three clicks. Flix Standard encodes virtually every type of video, audio and image file into Flash, the most popular media format on the Internet. An amazing value, Flix Standard is the perfect entry-level video encoding solution.

Create an Image Slideshow for a DVD, Video or FLV

Friday, November 30th, 2007
Posted in Software · Tags: ,

I ran into this program today, while I was searching for something to create video based slideshows, DVD Slideshow GUI. I tried out the Video and FLV export and it turned out pretty nice. The UI isn’t that great but it’s pretty good. Of course you could also use Windows Movie Maker for videos, but again the UI isn’t great for that either.

Note: DVD slideshow GUI is a user interface for great free tools like Avisynth, Dvdauthor, HCenc, Media Player Classic, FFmpeg, Flvtool2, Mplex, Demux, mkisofs ect. and is coded in wxBasic. It comes as an installer with all the nessesary files included.

Create Video Thumbnails for Free

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007
Posted in Software · Tags:

Figured I’d share my results in what I’ve found by researching how to get video thumbnails. I tried MovieSnapshot but the JPGs it created were zero bytes; thus they were useless. Some people have been able to use the command line with VideoLan to create thumbnails, and someone else was able to create video thumbnails with ASP and FFmpeg. However I really didn’t feel like messing with the command line. I found a program called ThumbCell Creator but the reviews weren’t very good for it, so I didn’t bother with it.

After some more searching I found a program called Livid Batch Export Utility and it apparently will do a lot of batch conversions for video, including images. However the thumbnail export is buggy in verison 1.2 and I had to figure out how to get around those bugs. So here are my findings:

Livid Batch Export Utility 1.2 Thumbnail Export Workaround

  1. Backup your original videos (the program will overwrite files without warning you)
  2. Pick your source folder (the videos to be converted)
  3. Pick your destination folder (where you want the thumbnails, must be different than the source folder)
  4. At the bottom select Open (this is where you select the export format)
  5. Pick BMP (Picture will not work, not sure why)
  6. Now you can go back up to Settings (here you can change the color depth and quality)
  7. Now click Start
  8. Go into the destination folder, you will notice the files have the same video file extension, so you will have to rename each file with a .bmp manually or do so with a app that will rename files in a batch. I like to use a free program called Rename Master. Rename Master will rename a batch of files in a folder very fast (handy app to have). You can use it to change the extensions of your files, but remember to rename the destination folder’s files (they may confuse you off since they have the same names as the videos)
  9. So now that you have all your files renamed, you might want to convert them to a web format like GIF, PNG or JPG.
  10. You can either use Photoshop to convert files by using an Action or use a free program like Faststone Photo Resizer

NOTE: The bitmaps created by Livid Batch Export Utility will be the same size as the original video and are of the first frame.

Its a pain to have to go through all these steps but it’s the only free and fast way I know how to do this. Otherwise you would have to do a screenshot for each one and crop just the video.

And something else I found out, doing a screenshot in Windows Media Player will result in it being black, however there is a way to fix that.

Video Training Web Sites

Friday, May 25th, 2007
Posted in Web · Tags:

The following are a few sites that offer video tutorials in CD/DVD forms.

  • The Gnomon Workshop – Professional Training, very expensive, they focus on digital and analog art (3d, sculpture, drawing, …)
  • Total Training – Professional Grade Training, quite expensive also, the Photoshop set has been done by Deke McClelland (who has written many Photoshop books over the years)
  • KURV studios – Great Tutorials, specializing in 3d applications, I’ve gotten a few sets from here, they seem to use DVDs with quicktime so they wont work on home DVD player, only on your computer, they do have a few free ones
  • Digital-Tutors – Good Tutorials, I had a set from them also, I think they use Flash or Director to present them so they wont play in your home DVD player
  • VTC – They have a huge catalog of video tutorials on a range of products, they offer a few free samples from each set
  • SoftwareVideo – I got a set by this company once, they were decent, they use Director to create them so I they wont work in your home DVD player
  • Wayne ‘The Dane’ Hansen – I got a VHS set from him that was over 8 hrs (not sure how that was possible but it was), anyway the set seemed to be pieced together from other videos he seemed to do in the 90s, while the video had parts of static in between the different parts, Dane knows a lot about sculpting and I would recommend any of his sets to anyone 🙂

There are lots of sites out there that offer free training as well, but I’ll just include a few (as there are too many to list):
3D Buzz

Most specialize in 3D applications and other software, but you can find ones that deal with painting in pastels, working on your car and more.

Making Good Video for the Web

Friday, April 13th, 2007
Posted in Web · Tags: ,

It’s a good idea to set a standards for yourself (and/or your web team) and I would recommend using 320×240 (width by height). This is a decent size and will also allow you to make the videos work on the iPod. Flash video seems the most accessible for most people, as you wont have to worry about codecs, or requiring someone to have Windows Media Player or Quicktime (which is kind of slow to load in browsers). Most people have the Flash Player and now that Unix/Linux support is back, they are not left out either. Although you still might want to export video for Flash 7 (Flash MX 2004) using the Sorenson Spark codec, despite what Adobe says the market numbers are for Flash 8. You can export your video twice and do a version check and show one using that for Flash 7 Players and use the On2 VP6 codec for Flash 8 and above. Flash 8 video (On2 VP6) will look better and be smaller in filesize than Flash 7 video (Sorenson Spark). I’ve seen Flash 8 video exported at low quality still beat Flash 7 video on high quality. At work we tried several methods of what the digital video file should be before exporting it in Flash for it to become a FLV. And what we realized is that using the H.264 codec got the best results in quality and filesize. Its really amazing how we were able to cut our filesizes in half (for the FLVs) and maintain superior video quality. On another note, if you record video in HD format you will always end up with a widescreen version (letterbox) which wont end up being 320×240, they usually end up 320×180 or 320×200.