Sunday, July 21st, 2002
10:17 pm - Adventures with Digital Video  
Speedy is up and running. Installed ULead Video Studio SE, applied all the patches, updated Direct X, and attached the camcorder. Sonuvagun, it actually worked. Well, sort of.

I took about twenty-five minutes of video at the F2F party. The first time I tried to capture the video, iteverything was going fine, but it cut out after 20 minutes, which turns out to be maximum file size. No problem. The second time, I stopped capturing at about fifteen minutes, after the end of the theremin show. The resulting avi file was over 3GB in size. Woo. The file was fine, except that it was much darker than what was showing on the camcorder monitor. The video is dark to begin with, but what was showing on the computer monitor was really dark. There were occasional sound glitches, too. Video Studio has no settings for brightness or contrast. I installed Adobe Premiere, which does have such settings, but wasn't able to figure out how to use them. To be honest, neither program is particularly user transparent, but Premiere is about as opaque as I suppose PhotoShop is to a beginner, aka, me.

No matter, I was just fooling around at this point, so I decided to try and make a VCD out of what I had, and see how that looked. Used Video Studio to convert the avi file to MPEG1, which shrank it from 3GB to about 140MB, then burned it to a CD with Nero. Stuck the disk in the Sampo. and it worked. Wow!

The quality of the image sucks, though, compared to the tape, or even the avi. The avi is dark, but there is plenty of resolution there. The mpg and resulting VCD are blotchy, and what little color there was is very washed out. OTOH, the image on the tv screen is about as bright as the original. I'm not sure what to do next. It may just be easier to distribute the video on VHS than as a VCD. I need to talk to somebody who's done this before.

Gorgeous day, but I really didn't feel all that well, so I didn't go outside at all. Did go out last night to the Camp Canada planning party at Marnie's. Had lots of fun supervising the little kids with Shane and Alka at the playground while the rest of the adults were playing volleyball. Later, we talked about the trip. Way fewer people going this year than last, only thirteen adults and four kids. The trip is going to be a long one, about eight hours to drive up, and I have nobody to share the ride with this year. Oh well, it's not like I don't drive everywhere else in the world by myself. Woulda been nice to have some company, though. Got to remember to arrange for some kind of vehicle tomorrow.
 
 
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