Slipstream Traces – Barcelona!

Nu finns det två nya episoder i Slipstream Traces! Traces är en videoserie där Slipstreamåkarna utforskar nya delar av världen att åka på. Tidigare avsnitt har varit från den Norska landsbygden, Portugal och Sardinien. I år är det Barcelona!

Jag har varit kreativ projektledare och stillbildsfotograf för både årets Barcelona-videos och förra året på Sardinien.

Läs mer och se filmerna på Slipstreams hemsida! Många av stillbilderna jag tagit finns på Facebook men guldkornen sparas till olika marknadsföringsmaterial.

HandBrake to encode HD video for Youtube

I’ve just defeated a problem I had with Youtube not accepting my videos encoded with Handbrake.

I usually encode videos using the High Profile preset in Handbrake but for some reason Youtube wasn’t very happy with that. It uploaded fine but after converting it it only displayed the first 30 seconds of my video. And that in fast forward speed. Not what I wanted.

By default Handbrake use the x264 encoder. If you select FFmpeg in the Video tab it works fines. I also increased the quality to QP:5 which seems to be ok for Youtube.

Making screencasts for Youtube with CamStudio

Yesterday I needed to find a simple and robust solutions for recording a screencast. It turned out to be not as easy as I thought.

To get a similar workflow as with my other video editing I wanted it to work like this:

  1. Record a 1280 x 720 section from my screen to a high quality format
  2. Open and edit the recorded file in Sony Vegas Platinum 8
  3. Render it from Vegas to a lossless format
  4. Re-render it using HandBrake
  5. Upload the file to Youtube

Record with CamStudio

I started out with the latest beta of CamStudio. It a nice, simple and easy tool that does what I need.

My first attempt was to save an AVI file with the included Microsoft Video 1 codec. The quality was pretty low so I tried to use the CamStudioCodec (from their web site). I got a nice looking AVI. However Vegas didn’t really like this file. It worked, but it was very slow.

Then I tried to use the Huffyuv codec that I had installed recently when I optimized my HDV workflow. It created a BEAUTIFUL HUGE file that I could work with in Vegas. I edited the file, normalized the audio and rendered the video almost exactly the same way as I render all my other videos (described in my HDV workflow). I just lowered the resolution from 1440 x 1080 to 1280 x 720.

Re-render and upload to Youtube

I opened the file in HandBrake and selected the High Profile. I exported the file the same way as in my normal HDV workflow. It created a good looking file. I uploaded it to Youtube. Everything went smooth. Until I looked at the video on Youtube. It came out gray. No video at all. I made a test upload to Vimeo. No problems. I tried with different codecs and settings. Both in Handbrake, Vegas and CamStudio. All came out gray on Youtube.

I tried really hard to understand why this didn’t work but I couldn’t get it to work so I resorted to Avidemux. I opened the file in Avidemux. Selected the MPEG-4 ASP (Xvid) codec for video and MP3 for audio (I increased the quality on both). I exported the file and boom. It worked fine on Youtube.

I’m not sure what went wrong. Or why. And I ended up yet another tool in my belt. But I almost reached my goal of having similar workflows so I’m pleased.

Two days in Kjugekull – A bouldering video

I just uploaded a bouldering video from two days in Kjugekull this summer.

Two days in Kjugekull, 2010 from Ola on Vimeo.

Kjugekull is a well known bouldering area in south-east Sweden.

You walk among the many problems in the beautiful nature reserve. With lakes, meadows, european beech trees and sheeps.

Also. See my Kjugekul set on Flickr.

Enjoy!

Problems

  • Sick dynamique
  • Beaver fever
  • Eager beaver
  • Hajfena
  • Perssons dyno
  • Forza
  • Myrkott
  • Fajers dyno
  • Jag har sett snubbar i Fontan göra det här utan händer
  • Whatever
  • Nasa
  • Två goa juggar
  • Sprickan

Music

Bouldering video from Fontainebleau October 2010

I’ve just uploaded a bouldering video from our trip to Fontainebleau October 2010. Enjoy!

Fontainebleau is located about 60 km south of Paris. It is a well known bouldering area. I want to show how it is to climb there. You walk around in a beautiful forest all days. With many other people. Whole families are out in the forest. Having coffee. Playing with their kids. Seniors climbing harder than you ever will be able to. I love it so.

Also. See my photos from Fontainebleau.

This video contains problems from mostly the blue circuits in

Music

Sony Vegas Platinum 8 HDV workflow

I’m using Sony Vegas Platinum 8 to make my video editing. It’s some years old but I like it a lot. I just updated my camera from standard definition to high definition (one Canon HV20-PAL and one Canon 550D). It gave me some problems. But I think I’ve found a decent workflow. There is a never version available that might work better with HDV but I’m sticking with my 8. For now at least.

Capture

To capture from the HV20 I use HDVSplit. It captures to M2t files. And with the 550d it’s just to copy the MOV files from the memory card. To get Sony Vegas to accept the MOVs you must install QuickTime. I used the free version and that worked fine. The video I have been working on doesn’t have that many files from the 550D so I cannot tell how good it performs yet.

Project settings and editing

Start Sony Vegas and let it automatically detect the project settings by opening one of your M2t files. It should then detect the format automatically. Open the project properties. It should look something like this.

I use Deinterlace methodInterpolate fields. I tried all the different options in Vegas. I tried to deinterlace in Handbrake but this way seemed to give the best results.

The Platinum version of Sony Vegas only allows 1440 x 1080 which is the maximum resolution from the HV20. The 550D does 1920 x 1080. Vegas automatically converts the clips so they work together. I’m not really sure what happens with the 480 pixels but the video looks good so.

When that’s set up you can start editing. If you get performance problems Eugenia has some tips you can try.

Rendering

When you are done it’s time to render your video. I started out by following Eugenia’s guide but Sony Vegas kept crashing on me. I tried some different methods and I ended up with the following.

Start out by following step 2 & 3 in another of Eugenia’s guides. The only thing I changed was that I’m using Pixel aspect ratio: 1.0000 here instead of 1.3333 as before. I’m not sure why but the videos turned up wrong otherwise.

This will export a HUGE file in a lossless format.

Once that was done I had to convert the file to some other format. I tried with some different tools but I found Handbrake to be the easiest to use. All you do is to open the file in Handbrake and select a preset profile and render the video.

Viola! That’s all. Maybe not optimal but it works.

Combine Time Lapses with standard DV – Avidemux and Sony Vegas

I’ve just gone trough some hoops to import a time lapse video made in Avidemux into my standard DV project in Sony Vegas. My first issue was to find a suitable video format and the second to get the size of the time lapse video to match the size of the DV format. I’ll go through all steps in an example project below. I’ll use a time lapse with 14 stills and a DV project (PAL, 720×576, 4:3) with one clip.

Sequence the filenames
Avidemux is a bit picky that the file names of the images are in a sequence. I use ReNamer to automatically serialize the images.

I use ReNamer to serialize file names
I use ReNamer to serialize file names

Making the time lapse video in Avidemux
Even though Sony Vegas can import still images I prefer Avidemux for my time lapses.

Open the first image in Avidemux and make sure all frames are visible in the video. Since I’m going to export the video to Sony Vegas I want to use a format that preserves as much quality as possible. I chose Huffyuv.

Select the frame rate you want. I choose 5 fps.

My time lapse images are in 640 x 480 px and my DV stream is in 720 x 576. I’ll resize the images to 768 x 576 px, then I crop 24 px on each side to get a 720 x 576 px image.

Scale the time lapse images in Avidemux
Scale the time lapse images in Avidemux

Save your time lapse video to avi.

To be able to play the video (in Windows Media Player) I had to install a codec for Huffyuv. I installed the latest ffdshow and selected to install Huffyuv only. I also had to enable Huffyuv in ffdshows VFW configuration utility.

Enable the correct codec
Compare the black border in the preview window with the next screenshot

Now you should be able to play the file in Windows Media Player and it’s time to import the video to Sony Vegas!

Import to Sony Vegas and fix the size problem
I start by just adding my two files to Vegas and preview them. I can see a black border around my time lapse file. I fiddeled around quite a while with this. I tried to resize the time lapse in Event Pan/Crop -tool but could only get that to work if I dissabled Maintain aspect ration.

Compare the black border in the preview window with the next screenshot
Compare the black border in the preview window with the next screenshot
See the black border on the left and right hand side in the preview window. Time lapse video has wrong pixel aspect ratio.
See the black border on the left and right hand side in the preview window. Time lapse video has wrong pixel aspect ratio.

Finally I found out that the pixel aspect ratio differs from my DV file and my time lapse file. On the DV file it’s set to 1,0926 (PAL DV) and on the time lapse it’s set to 1,0000 (Square). I changed it by right clicking on the media, select properties and it’s in the media tab.

Media properties for DV file
Media properties for DV file
Media properties for time lapse file
Media properties for time lapse file

You are done!

Big thanks fo LoRd_Mulder and DarkZell666 in the Avidemux forum for helping me out!

Easy way to convert videos using FFmpeg!

Update: I used FFmpeg for some conversions but I just found out Avidemux and it seems promising! Trying it right away!

Every once in a while I get my hands on a video file that I can’t play. Today when I wanted to watch a bouldering movie it failed. Not sure why. Maybe becuase my WLAN wasn’t fast enough to stream the huge HD file?

I looked around and found no nice tools to convert the movies. Either it was some shareware, adware or I just couldn’t find the download link on the ugly web site… I reverted and decided to try to use the command line tool FFmpeg to encode my videos to mpeg and be able to play them. It worked so good I’m amazed!

In Ubuntu FFmpeg is included in the distribution and is easy to install via Synaptic or Apt (sudo apt-get install ffmpeg). In Windows you can use these builds.

To make the conversion I used the following: ffmpeg -i OriginalVideo.mp4 -ab 128k -b 2000k EncodedVideo.mpg

Tip: If you are testing different settings for FFmpeg add -t 60 to encode only the first minute of the video.

FFmpeg is capable of creating videos with different codecs as well, but I didn’t need that currently so that will be a later exercise!

Video: Mini RC 2006/2007

This new video features stunts performed by Mini RC planes and helicopters.

Info

  1. Trädgårdsföreningen, Gothenburg, Sweden 2006
    Starring: Max and Ola
    Time: 0-1:123
  2. Stampen Churchyard, Gothenburg Sweden 2006
    Time: 1:23-1:30
  3. Trädgårns uteservering, Gothenburg, Sweden 2006
    Starring: Max and Ola
    Time: 1:30-3:18
  4. Tollare Folkhögskola, Saltsjö Boo, Sweden 2007
    Starring: Johan and Ola
    Time: 3:18-3:50
  5. Trädgårns uteservering, Gothenburg, Sweden 2006
    Starring: Max
    Time: 3:50-4:26
  6. Tollareängen, Saltsjö Boo, Sweden 2007
    Starring: Adam
    Time: 4:27-4:52
  7. Trädgårdsvägen, Saltsjö Boo, Sweden 2007
    Starring: Simon and Adam
    Time: 4:52-5:37

See this Google Map for all locations pinned down.

Music

  • You Are My Everything – Open Space
  • Garmisch Partenkirchen – Black Paint

Both songs available at gojukebox.net

 

Setting PAL as default video format in iMovie HD 06

This week I got my hands on a PowerMac dual G4 Mirror Drive Door that I will use as a video editing station with iMovie.

When I started iMovie I noticed that it had set the default DV format to be DV-NTSC (probably since I use English as my language). iMovie adjusts the format based on the camera hooked in to the system but as I created the project before I hooked my camera to the computer it used NTSC and I was screwed. I did not find any setting in iMovie to change the default format. I did a search in the manual. I searched Google but could not find anything. So I decided to apply some brute force the application folder. In a couple of minutes I found the setting string defaultVideoFormat that said DV-NTSC. Changed it to DV-PAL and I was good to go.

The file you need to change is located in:
/Applications/iMovieHD.app/Contents/Resources/
English.lproj/Localizable.strings

(If you are using some other language than English look in that folder instead)