Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Video production at Microsoft (wow)

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Corey
    replied
    I suspect several of our dev guys are compelling speakers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Intrigued
    replied
    We know Adam is good on-screen! ( )

    That instructor just did not know quality silver-screen material when he saw it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Corey
    replied
    I'm not exactly sure yet Yossi, I need to get a plan organized. I'll do that very soon. Right now I'm not even sure who all (within IR) will be participating, and what sort of focus the developers wish to put across. As soon as I have a concrete plan I'll post it for sure. I'll make sure to use a good mic.

    Leave a comment:


  • yosik
    replied
    Great, Corey. I wish you luck with this.
    What type of video are you referring to from users? What topic? Technical? simple "know-who-we-are"? screencaps of...what?
    Which format would you want the videos? how about transfer? Do you have a ftp address?

    Another point about the videos to think about is the sound quality. DO NOT use camera mics and, as much as you can, try to eliminate reverbs from the walls (curtains, cloths, furniture...anything to break the sound reflection pattern).

    Yossi

    Leave a comment:


  • Derek
    replied
    [sorry .. couldnt resist ]

    Here is some of the stuff Eric missed on lightening:

    Lightning is one of the most beautiful displays in nature. It is also one of the most deadly natural phenomena known to man. With bolt temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun and shockwaves beaming out in all directions, lightning is a lesson in physical science and humility.

    Beyond its powerful beauty, lightning presents science with one of its greatest local mysteries: How does it work? It is common knowledge that lightning is generated in electrically charged storm systems, but the method of cloud charging still remains elusive.

    Exploding Air
    Any time there is an electrical current, there is also heat associated with the current. Since there is an enormous amount of current in a lightning strike, there is also an enormous amount of heat. In fact, a bolt of lightning is hotter than the surface of the sun. This heat is the actual cause of the brilliant white-blue flash that we see.
    When a leader and a streamer meet and the current flows (the strike), the air around the strike becomes extremely hot. So hot that it actually explodes because the heat causes the air to expand so rapidly. The explosion is soon followed by what we all know as thunder.

    Thunder is the shockwave radiating away from the strike path. When the air heats up, it expands rapidly, creating a compression wave that propagates through the surrounding air. This compression wave manifests itself in the form of a sound wave. That does not mean that thunder is harmless. On the contrary, if you are close enough, you can feel the shockwave as it shakes the surroundings. Keep in mind that when a nuclear explosion occurs, typically the most destruction is caused by the energy of the rapidly moving shockwave. In fact, the shockwave that produces the thunder from a lightning strike can most certainly damage structures and people. This danger is more prominent when you are close to the strike, because the shockwave is stronger there and will dampen (decrease) with distance.



    Physics teaches us that sound travels much slower than light, so we see the flash before we hear the thunder. In air, sound travels roughly 1 mile every 4.5 seconds. Light travels at a blazing 186,000 miles (299,000 kilometers) per second.

    Hope this helps some

    Want the whole article? Go here

    Leave a comment:


  • Intrigued
    replied
    *D'oh

    lightening = lighting

    Leave a comment:


  • Corey
    replied
    When it comes to lighting for video, Eric is the guy to ask!

    I'm going to try and do as much of what you said on my end. Just for the office I need to figure out something simpler for Desmond to use. I have an extra room here I can dedicate to this so it makes it easier for me. I also have access to my friend Bob's photography studio with lots of professional lighting in place (some gel-able), lighting scaffolding, overhead platform, etc. and a big white stage with rounded corners, etc. On my end I will also be conducting interviews with some designers and developers here in Cowtown who may have valuable insights to share on the process of developing and distributing stuff, etc. As well I will try and put one design workshop/webinar online per week myself.

    I'd also like to start getting users to send in videos. Could be on anything, as long as it relates peripherally to multimedia and software development. It's a good chance for people to spotlight themselves and increase their profile. I will try and put some bonus incentives in place also, i.e. "Video of the month" wins $50 or whatever. All submissions will get linkbacks to their site, full credit for their video on our site, etc.

    In the greater sense it's just an extension of this forum. I can explain something to you in 5 minutes of video in a way which is very clear and easy to understand (using a whiteboard), whereas for me to try and convey the same level of communication via text-only would take hours, if it even worked at all.

    Screencap video is good, but all alone it just doesn't capture the same level of communication either. Ideally I'll be using a combination of live video and screencap video.

    Eventually my personal vision is to post enough examples and stuff so that it can also be used as "video docs" to some extent. So you would have videos which focus on the developers being balanced by videos which focus on the technology.

    Leave a comment:


  • Intrigued
    replied
    eric, thanks for the insights on lightening!


    :yes

    Leave a comment:


  • Corey
    replied
    I am the only one in IR pushing for the video so there's absolutely zero chance of me convincing anyone in Winnipeg to do any of the above. Thanks massively for the advice though. I appreciate you taking the time, and I see where you are coming from. :yes

    I think what I'll do is check out a consumer video handbook and see if I can at least optimize what we have, which is essentially nothing, i.e. a camera/tripod. (maybe we can buy a small video spotlight) If I can prove the concept with that, i.e. evoke a tangible consumer response, I can probably negotiate a small in-house light kit after the fact.

    Leave a comment:


  • eric_darling
    replied
    The most basic of lighting kits contain three lights - one for key, one for backlight and another for throwing something nice on the background. Many production people light with more instruments, and they would say that a fourth light is necessary for fill. But, hear me out on this one:

    Buy a large sheet of white foamcore - available from your local art supply depot or video/film service facility. Get a stand of some kind (you can improvise with this), and angle the foamcore so as to receive the key light directly and bounce it onto your subject's face. This will provide a nice, even and more flattering appearance to someone's face. The light will "wrap" more around their face and eliminate the need (if done properly) for a fill light instrument altogether. Foamcore is way cheaper than another instrument, plus you'll want that third light for throwing patterns and such on the background.

    The foamcore should be on the same side of the camera as the interviewer. Of course, this means the key light itself will be on the opposite side.

    To that end, buy a roll of what is called "black wrap." This is basically aluminum foil that is painted black. It's heat resistant, so it can serve as cheap barn door material to obstruct light, or holes can be cut in a sheet to place directly in front of a light for allowing only small dots of light to shine through - thus providing what is known in the industry as a "gobo" or "cookie" - short for "cookaloris." Using this technique, you can really make an otherwise flat or drab background much more interesting.

    B&H Photo Video is probably the best place to find such kits at the most competitive prices. Look for fresnel or open-faced lighting solutions from companies like Lowell, Mole Richardson or Arri. Those guys make good kits. Stay away from the cheapest kits with lighting - I think stuff by Smith-Victor are fire hazards. You may elect to buy just two lights instead of a full kit, and thereby save some money. But don't go with anything less. Bare minimum for a reasonable lighting scenario is one light for key and one light for back.

    Use the back light placed high on its stand behind the talent, and just out of frame. This helps to separate the talent from his/her background. You should see the light on their shoulders and back of their head. Special care should be taken with balding gentlemen and those with white/gray/light blonde hair to not overexpose those areas. To cut down on the intensity of the light, buy some Rosco diffusion material (tough spun or opal frost are the best). This helps you control the light, which is especially important in close quarters where moving the instrument may not be a good option.

    For composition, pay attention to some TV. Most interviews are shot "third person." That's where the camera plays the role of the bystander. The interviewer sits next to the lens on either side, and the talent is told to look directly at the interviewer, pretending the camera doesn't exist. For interviews of this style, follow the "rule of thirds." This is where the head and shoulders of the talent are placed either in the right or left third of the screen. The bulk of the screen (the other two thirds, if you will) should be their "lookspace" - that is to say, they should be looking in the direction of that other two thirds. Experiment with this idea to get the best look for each situation.

    For more direct on-camera bits, the talent may be talking directly to the audience. In these cases, the talent should look directly into the lens. This model works well for instructional videos where the viewer should be made to feel that the presenter is talking directly to them.

    A couple of other random tips:

    1) Never, ever, ever use auto focus. Always use manual focus mode. Zoom all the way into your subject, focus, and zoom out without touching the focus control again. This will ensure that your subject is sharp.

    2) Check color and set your white balance appropriately.

    3) Always use a tripod for anything but the roughest of field interviews. No one likes a shaky camera interview.

    4) If all else fails, hire a pro!

    Best of luck - I'm looking foward to seeing some of the work you guys create.

    Leave a comment:


  • Corey
    replied
    I'm going to grab one of these for now to get started.

    http://www.vistek.ca/details/detail_...&Specs=N&Box=N

    Eric I need to ask you a question. We need a cheap lighting solution for 1-2 person interviews such as those seen on the MSDN 9 site. What would be our best bet if the budget is very low?

    The whole idea is that it needs to be something Desmond can setup in 5 minutes. I realize this is way below optimal but, as you mentioned, we will grow as we go, and eventually I'll grab a GL2 and do some slicker stuff. For now I just want to get some videos online regularly, i.e. 1-2 per week in order to establish that line of communication. As those MSDN 9 videos sort of prove, *some* video is better than *no* video in terms of establishing a connection and offering some value.

    I think once I can prove to everyone at IR that I'm on the money about this video thing becoming the most powerful single element in our online communications toolkit, I will be able to leverage a tad more resources but for now I just have to establish a working process for no money, i.e. proof of concept. Help.

    Also any advice about which angles we should shoot/avoid would be greatly appreciated. I have a very generalized knowledge of shooting interviews but nothing great. Desmond will be the one running the vidcam on the Winnipeg end, and I'm sure he appreciates any tips also. The main thing is that we have to at least get something basic outlined to get started, I'm convinced that if we can just do that, the momentum will be on our side and everything will normalize after a few shoots. :yes

    Leave a comment:


  • eric_darling
    replied
    You have no idea.

    Too bad he doesn't remember most of the "fun" he gets us into.

    Leave a comment:


  • Corey
    replied
    Uncle Harold sounds like fun. :yes

    Leave a comment:


  • eric_darling
    replied
    There's a place for run-and-gun video. Inevitably, as folks do it, they should get better at it, too. You can sort of tell there's no training in videography here - it looks like my Uncle Harold got ahold of a camera after he got ahold of a few drinks.

    Little cameras are getting more and more capable all the time. It has led to an exciting revolution in production.

    Leave a comment:


  • Intrigued
    replied
    That would be neat!

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X