Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud.......

That rhythmic banging noise you can hear is the sound of my forehead repeatedly hitting my desk.

And the reason for this self-flagellation.....?

Well today I decided to take a run at the video tutorial for the little toy doll's doll in tartan, which has to be ready for the online session on 31 January.  So I tidied my desk, carefully positioned the lighting and started to set up the video camera.

I recently found a rather nifty flexible tripod which I thought would make it easier to film things in closeup,  with the camera, on my desk.....

It really is quite a well made piece of kit.  Each of the light coloured sections can move independently through 360 degrees in any direction and the rubbery feet means that it can 'grip' onto slippery surfaces.

So, I played around with it for a while, trying to find the perfect position where it the camera could capture exactly what I was doing with my hands.  I should mention that I already have a full height adjustable camera tripod, but it takes up a lot of space, which is severely restricted in the workroom.  If I do manage to prop it up behind me so that the camera films over my shoulder, invariably it gets knocked over, or because the viewing screen is behind me I don't get the work centred properly in the viewfinder. 

In theory, the small desktop tripod ticked all the boxes for solving my problems.

In theory........

In practice, things weren't quite so straightforward.  With the camera positioned to the side of my workmat, I had to work at a very uncomfortable angle which was impossible to sustain.
I then tried it at the back of the workmat but the viewing angle was completely wrong.

Putting it right in front of me on the desk, I had problems seeing over the top of the camera to what I was doing, although the angle was much better.

Finally, I tried wrapping two of the tripod legs round what I laughingly call my waist, with the third performing the function of steadying the camera against the edge of the desk.  This did work.  

Sort of.

I could see the screen, the distance and viewing angle were perfect.  The only problem was that my hands kept wandering out of shot if I looked at what I was doing rather than watching the viewfinder.

So far so good.  Nothing a little practice won't fix. With the first section completed, I then had to transfer it into the computer for editing.

This was when the fun really started.

My laptop doesn't have a firewire port, so I have to first transfer the AVI video onto the desktop computer, then put the video into a shared network folder which I can access from my laptop.
I've done it loads of times, but because I don't do it frequently or regularly, I can never remember exactly what to do each time. 

There followed a frustrating hour or so while PP and I tried various combinations of ways to capture the video.  My video camera is several years old and records onto mini DV tapes.  Modern cameras record directly onto digital media, SD cards and the like, which are simplicity itself to transfer from the camera into a computer. 

Eventually, by dint of switching off the computer and switching it back on again (go figure) we did manage to persuade the camera to communicate with the computer and eventually managed to transfer the video file into the editing software.

All of this took all afternoon, just for 4 minutes of video!

Hence the thud, thud, thud, thud, thud.........

However, I now know what NOT to do, so I'll have another go at it tomorrow.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Notwithstanding the octopussy abilities of your awe of even contemplating doing a video tutotial......the tartan belles are wondrous!