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  1. 1. PRODUCING VIDEO PODCASTS VIDEO PODCASTING Smith College Technology Training Presented by: Kate Lee Educational Technology Services Fall 2008
  2. 2. PRODUCING VIDEO PODCASTS To video podcast, you record your footage, edit and compress your program, export as an m4v or mp4 file, and upload this media file with the accompanying xml file to a server. STREAMING WORKFLOW Record Your Program TIFF QuickTimeª see this picture. and a Edit, Compress and Export are (Uncompressed) decompressor needed to Publish Video File and XML File to a Server m4v
  3. 3. PRODUCING VIDEO PODCASTS RECORDING TIPS If you plan to distribute your video program by podcasting it, you must first compress and decompress the video using a codec. Codecs compress video by deleting extraneous or duplicate information; on the receiving end, the codec decompresses the signal and displays it on a monitor or television. You can improve the quality of your program by following these recording tips. • Keep all camera movements down to a minimum. Avoid panning, tilting, zooming in or pulling back. Use a series of set shots, instead of multiple camera moves. • Be careful with your background. Avoid areas of high contrast or intensely bright backgrounds. Extremely bright images can cause the digital image format to tear or smear. • Keep the backgrounds simple. Use a solid, simple background so your subject will stand out. Complex backgrounds increase the odds of artifacts appearing on the edges of your subject. • Turn Auto Focus Off. Avoid unintentional focusing on non-essential elements. Use manual focus. • Shoot tight. Keep the camera back from the talent but use a tight shot on your subject. Tight framing will narrow the focal length of your lens and throw the background out of focus. This blurring of the background helps compression by lowering the complexity of the image, which improves the quality of your stream. • Properly light your video. When possible, use external lighting to properly light your subject. If electricity is not available on outdoor location shots, use a white foam board to reflect sunlight onto the subject. • Keep the camera focused. Crisp, well-focused images are critical to the quality of streamed video. Poor lighting and blurry images will degrade considerably as the video is edited and streamed. • Use a tripod or some other instrument whenever possible to stabilize your camera. A solid tripod will eliminate unnecessary camera QuickTimeª and a movement. Adjust the pan and tilt tension knobs to limit camera TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. movement.
  4. 4. PRODUCING VIDEO PODCASTS EDITING TIPS You can improve the quality of your program by following these editing tips. • Capture video at the highest quality. Capture your source material at the highest quality video and audio settings you can afford. • Crop your video. The edges of a television screen often contain electronic errors and aberrations caused by the videotape playback process. With some analog to digital stream converters, you may have a black bar on the side of your picture. Crop your video by removing 5% from the frame edges. In all cropping, make sure that the height and width of the movie output is divisible by four. This makes the clip mathematically compatible with most compression codecs. With some codecs, having a height and width divisible by 16 is desirable. • De-interlace your video. Television systems use a technique called interlacing to reduce the flicker caused between odd and even fields of information. If you plan to stream your video, you can improve the quality by removing the interlacing. [Final Cut Pro > Effects > Video Filters > Video > De-interlace] • Avoid transitions between clips. Cross dissolves between video clips break up and look pixilated when streamed. Use straight cuts. • Avoid applying digital effects. Digital effects create unnecessary change and motion in your video. Always choose content over effects when editing. • Choose title fonts carefully. Choose fonts [Arial, Helvetica, Charcoal] that can be clearly read and superimpose them over backgrounds that are bland and non-descript. Because it can take playback software time to catch up with all the changes in the video, leave your titles on the screen longer than usual. • Mix audio tracks for clarity. Test your program audio output by running it through a mono speaker. Mix your audio tracks for the viewer at destination; lower or eliminate background tracks that muddy the audio mix. • Output at the highest quality. Use a transfer codec (DV or None for Compression) to output your program at the highest possible quality. Then run this transfer through a compression tool.
  5. 5. PRODUCING VIDEO PODCASTS COMPRESSION SETTINGS FOR MAC • Export and compress your movie. From iMovie, go to File > Export > QuickTime > Expert Settings, then click Share. Select Movie to QuickTime Movie. From Final Cut Pro, go to File > Export > Using QuickTime Conversion. For Format, choose QuickTime Movie. • Customize your settings. If you want to set your own compression settings, click the Options button. Please see an example of customized compression settings below. For additional information on compression settings using the H.264 codec, click here. [http://www.apple.com/quicktime/tutorials/h264.html]
  6. 6. PRODUCING VIDEO PODCASTS CONVERT .MOV FILE TO .M4V FILE ON MAC • Export your movie as an m4v file. Open your movie file in iMovie; go to File > Export > QuickTime > Expert Settings, then click Share. Select Movie to iPod. Open your movie file in Final Cut Pro; go to File > Export > Using QuickTime Conversion. For Format, choose iPod. Open your movie file in QuickTime Pro; go to File > Export > Using QuickTime Conversion. For Format, choose Movie to iPod. COMPRESSION SETTINGS FOR WINDOWS • Export and compress your movie. From Windows Movie Maker, go to Finish Movie > Save to My Computer > Video Quality Small ( .wmv, 320x240, 4:3, 30fps, variable bit rate). CONVERT .WMV FILE TO .MP4 FILE ON WINDOWS • There are several applications that allow you to convert .wmv files to .mp4 files. Examples include: FFmpeg, AVS Video Converter & Video2xSoftware. Most applications charge between $29 and $59 for a license. CREATE XML FILE • Download the template xml file. Download the template xml file from the Smith College Podcasting Resources for Developers website [http://www.smith.edu/multimedia_resources.php]. Open the xml file in Dreamweaver, Microsoft Office Word, NotePad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac). Edit the tag information and save the file. In Word, NotePad and TextEdit, make the file Text Only or Plain Text. • Copy and Paste iTunes xml file. Visit the iTunes Making a Podcast website [http://www.apple.com/itunes/whatson/podcasts/specs.html - example] and copy the xml file information. Open a new xml file in Dreamweaver, Microsoft Office Word, NotePad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac). Paste the xml information into this new document, edit the tag information and save the file. In Word, NotePad and TextEdit, make the file Text Only or Plain Text.
  7. 7. PRODUCING VIDEO PODCASTS PUBLISH TO MEDIA SERVER • Connect to media server. Open FTP Application and type in your server authorization username and password. • Navigate to your podcast folder. Drag and drop your m4v and xml files into your folder. • Create a Web Link to Your Video Podcast. If you are using Juice or another aggregator to subscribe to podcasts, type the URL link to your xml file into your podcasting software. http://yourservername/yourdirectory/yourxmlfile.xml Or create a weblink to automatically subscribe to your podcast via iTunes, by typing in: itpc://yourservername/yourdirectory/yourxmlfile.xml

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