Category Archives: Videos

Stock Photos and Royalty Free music

Royalty Free Stock Photos at Fotolia.com. Good photos, low prices.

Other good sources include the Zemanta plugin in WordPress that tries to fetch public domain photos for use on your blog. I only use them for non-commercial purposes as many of them go back to Flickr or Wikipedia and other public sources.

For music, check out Incompetech.  Free for personal, non-commercial use – although I have donated to him as donations are certainly encouraged.

Separately, I posted a civil war battle re-enactment video on Youtube last night and shortly thereafter received a Youtube email saying that my video may violate a Sony music copyright.  All videos on Youtube are automatically scanned by a pattern matcher that looks to see if copyrighted music is in your video.

A problem I have noted in the past is that this cannot distinguish between legitimate, even licensed use of music. In my case, they objected to the use of Taps, music written by a bugler and a General during the U.S. Civil War in about 1862, to honor the death of soldiers. By about 1871, Taps had become standard at military funerals and was formerly established as a standard in 1891. My recording came from the United States Army. I am having a hard time seeing how Sony has a copyright on a US Army performance of a Civil War era piece of music and have submitted this to Youtube’s dispute resolution.

Here is the video – a 2005 re-enactment of a Civil War battle:

That video was shot originally in SD and even a little bit in digital 8 or Hi8 analog formats – I no longer remember. I remastered the video yesterday to take advantage of technology improvements available since 2005. This included color adjustments, slight sharpening, new titles, and eventually output of the 720×480 original video in 1440×960 size before uploading to Youtube. The result, surprisingly, is a video that looks much better than SD – its not HD, of course but it really does look a lot better. Watch it full screen!

Meanwhile, I am just starting to edit the 2011 battle re-enactment. I will be using almost exclusively, video shot on a GH-2, a bit on a Canon SX-1, and only a little on the XH A1 video camera. That latter is because I made a stupid boo boo and did not get the quality I wanted on the video images. Unlike past years, which are all edited on Final Cut Pro, this year’s is being edited using Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 11. Vegas does native AVCHD video editing, as well as Canon’s H.264 native format, and handles HDV – all without doing format conversions. I do not know when I will finish this as other things are a higher priority on my time.

The Mountain time lapse video – beautiful

Teide, the highest mountain in Spain (Tenerife...
Image via Wikipedia

The Mountain on Vimeo on Vimeo

via The Mountain on Vimeo.

Photographed at El Teide, the highest mountain in Spain at 3,715 meters. Took a full week to shoot.

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University of British Columbia students redefine the “lipdub” video phenomena

Green College and its surroundings on UBC campus
Image via Wikipedia

University of British Columbia students created a “LipDub” promotional video for UBC and have raised the ante in the genre of lipdub videos. How many lip dub videos have you seen that feature a unicorn, underwater and aerial scenes and had separate production units for the underwater and aerial scenes?

Watch the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpp3quce1Vo&feature=player_embedded

Web site, news stories about the video … UBC LipDub – News.

Update: Not as well known, the UBC – Okanagan campus also released their own school spirit lip dub video. By coincidence it was video taped the same day as students at the larger UBC-Vancouver campus were shooting their video!

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Are video capable DSLRs really smaller and lighter “run and gun”?

Numerical Reflex Digital Camera
Image via Wikipedia

vDSLRs are not smaller & lighter, nor cheaper. « I E B A Tech Thoughts.

The picture at the link says it all 🙂

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“Aliasing” and “Moire”

The new “HDSLRs” do a fine job of shooting very nice HD video. But almost all are plagued by several problems that can ruin a good shot.

These problems are “rolling shutter” (previously written about on this blog), and “aliasing” and “moire”. Aliasing tends to introduce fake detail into an image, fooling people in to thinking its a sharper image than it really is – because its fake. Moire produces bizarre color patterns wherever there are narrowly spaced, using horizontal lines in the image.

This Barry Green article is the best explanation I’ve seen for explaining and illustrating the aliasing and moire problems with DSLRs shooting video:  DVXuser.com – Articles.

A great visual example of a moire pattern showing up in a real life situation is this video clip – about 30 seconds long. Just look at the roof of the hotel and watch all the false color shimmering going on. This example was shot on a Canon DSLR.

Here’s another example – look at the sofa cushions:

canon eos 60d video “moiré” problem at 1280×720 50 from emre karabakan on Vimeo.

CMOS versus CCD video imaging and the “Rolling Shutter” problem

Older video cameras used CCD-based image sensors. For various reasons, that I will explain in a moment, camera makers have largely switched to using CMOS-based image sensors on low end and even some low end semi-pro video cameras (like the Panasonic HMC-40). All of the new digital SLRs (DSLR) still cameras that also shoot video using high resolution CMOS sensors too.

But there’s a nasty problem with CMOS-based sensors that can cause the video image to resemble a shaky bowl of jello, as illustrated in this video comparison between the Canon HV20 (CMOS-based) and the Panasonic SD5 (CCD-based):

The problem is that the CMOS image sensor is read “line by line” from top to bottom.  If the image changes during the read out, then one line may be slightly offset or shifted from the previous line.  This is known as a “rolling shutter” and creates the peculiar “jello effect” since not all lines (or rows) in the image are lined up with all the others.

Old movie film cameras used a physical shutter that open and shut exposing an entire frame all at once. (Although, there are some issues with that too which we can ignore for now.)

CMOS reads the image row by row while CCDs read the entire image all at once and do not use a “rolling shutter” – hence, no jello on CCD cameras.

So why use CMOS instead of CCD? The basic reason is that CMOS uses less power and produces less heat and is less expensive. As image resolutions have increased, the size (and cost and power) of the CCD imager has gone up.

Camera makers, especially in the consumer market, are in an arms race to each have cameras featuring ever more pixels. This means most have switched to CMOS because, apparently, most consumers do not care about the jello or do not encounter it often enough.

In the DSLR world, most any camera with 10 or more megapixel resolution is CMOS. CMOS works great for most still photography. But when these DSLRs are used for video, they too suffer from awful “jello”.

There are other things to consider too – CCDs may show vertical streaks in photos when there are very bright lights (sun reflected on water, stage lights, etc) in the image.  For higher resolutions, CCDs need to be physically larger – and more expensive.

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