The Video Production Project

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Professor Nesson would like the videos from our lectures to be edited into something suitable for a broader audience, perhaps incorporating the footage from the second camera, adding some context, adding some supporting materials, taking out the boring parts. This is a logistical/technical problem as well as a video-editing project. Want to do it for just one lecture? Or all of them? Or just help figure out how to get it done?

Sign up to edit class videos!

First of all, profound apologies for not meeting all of you in Second Life tonight. Technical difficulties. If you have a Macintosh computer running either Final Cut Pro and/or iMovie, please indicate so here! There are two different ways we can distribute the task of editing the class videos, depending on your capability. We are especially looking for participants who are running (preferably) Final Cut Pro or (alternatively) another professional editing suite; but if you only have iMovie you can still be a great help! Please either post your email address here, or send it to Thanks!


Dean (iMovie and FCP) Kwan Bul 21:35, 12 October 2006 (EDT)


Real Name Location PC Mac FCP iMovie Other
Phil Shink[1] Durham NC Mac iBook G4 1.33mhz iMovie
Esmond Kane Somerville, MA At Home Labs Labs Labs
David Harris[2] Tampa iMac G5 1.8 PRO 4.5 Audacity


Slide/Text Features:

LLHD Discussion

I'm no video editing genius, I have limited experience with it, but would be willing to help Kwan Bul (in whatever way I can) if he'd like. I noticed that there was some discussion about the slides and how they weren't very viewable for the extension students. I saw a very good example of a video presentation that incorporated both lecture type video and slides at the Keynote address of the 22C3 conference. [3] go to the page and search for the keynote speech (it gets get good around the middle and Joi Ito is an interesting speaker).

I was really impressed by how well it was done, as usually it is very difficult to integrate video and slide elements into a lecture. The process looks labour intensive, but it would be fun to try and emulate.

Ezi Discussion

AFAIK The Real smil format includes triggers for flipping an associated SlideShow. I believe thats how FAS do the "traditional" synchronised video and slideshow for Distance Ed classes.

In this class we are working with MPEG4/H.264 files and the spec does include some textual features in the "container" specification. I know you can provide special files to Quicktime, VLC and Mplayer etc to trigger on specified intervals (it can be used to provide non-derivative CopyRight-compliant Fair Use editing) irrespective of the video codec used. Staying with MPEG4, we could MUX subtitles or a Slide MENU into the stream - see below for a quick discussion into deviating from the clean standard. May be worthwhile just as a tech demo.

Perhaps if we can get more audience participation in marking event triggers, something as simple as a scripted timed rotation or url call would work with synchronized slides ... or we can just adopt the new features and with it favour one vendor, e.g. download this file if you want the notes in the video stream or go to this special wiki page.

Does the Democracy Player bring anything new to the table?

Bookmarks, Chapters or Timed events/triggers

According to the excellent doom9 guide the MPEG4 format includes bookmarking but due to slow uptake (vague standardization) heavily favouring certain vendors (Apple, Divx etc), its going to corner us into the "recommended clients" backwater to work with it.

IMHO opting in to fancy-features counters the broader audience requirement. I certainly agree that providing optional packs would be worth investigating e.g. subtitles (text notes) for the deaf.

I have used VLC to mark chapters in the class lectures. The process would involve re-upping a modified video and i'm not ready yet to vouch the vlc route as cross-client compatible. I hope to update this page when i have more time to work with the vlc process.

Alternate Views

Tends to be offered in the DIVX and MVK format, can't find any reference to an MPEG4 option. Again this does not counter working around the current standard with complimentary specific-client features etc. Could be as simple as just building a playlist to jump to different intervals in different videofiles.



The stereo audio on the class videos is distracting as currently implemented, the sound veers across channels or is confined to just one. This prohibits/discourages headsets or speakers but is perfectly acceptable and audible for the non-headset crowd. For my purposes (and antiquated iPod) i rip the audio to a vanilla mono mp3 audiofile (only). If this is of value to anyone else, I can provide the modified files or upload them somewhere within the boundaries of the inherited distributed license. --Ezi 23:06, 23 September 2006 (EDT)

Alternate Streams

Another option would be to provide an alternate complimentary audio track, as simple as a backing track? Some open-source music.



Another thing that might be really usefull, perhaps for future classes, is a backchannel IRC group for the lectures, though I suppose the wiki in a way fulfills that role. it would be really interesting to have some backchannel information integrated with the video (much like the slides are integrated with the video in the 223C video) in order to get an idea of what the HLS and other students are thinking. I mean their contribution to the course and the site is invaluable and, in my opinion, the more information that can be squeezed from them the better.

There is now an IRC channel #cyberone established on If anyone isn't sure what IRC is or how to connect don't be shy about asking for help.

IRC would be yet another avenue for discussion, ignoring the low bandwidth-friendly aspect, it doesn't really offer any significant improvement over the communication Channels (Blog Comments, Moodle Journals, Wiki, Forums and to a lesser extent email) already offered. One thing i would really like to see is a little more feed/interaction/interplay between the existing components but realistically we're using disparate tools. We currently check all over to encompass the communication channels already offered --Ezi 22:25, 23 September 2006 (EDT)


The video will be compressed anyway, but sound is essential and trumps video quality when received by the audience. The stereo effect and random volume modulation is distracting. A person solely responsible for the sound would allow for a monitored exchange between Instructor - Speaker - Students.

Also, although the room isn't wired for sound, placing three shotgun mics in the front of the class with spreads covering the student tiers would simplify the sound problems with interaction. Pressure Zone Mics (PZMs) are an option, but ambient noise can be distracting.

The challenge of key light (lighting the subject) v. overhead:

One option is cabeling the laptop into a switcher - expensive - or having the editor insert ppt slides to transition shots. Another possibility is using the VGA/DVI/miniDVI(mac)/S-Video out on the video player (laptop, dvd, etc.) and cabeling to an encoder (computer or AV in of a Camera) to save digital info as a file that can be edited into the final video. Then you can light and focus on the subject w/o aperature convulsions.

  • In the spirit of multiple open windows, the video can be edited to, when appropriate, show the instructor and the ppt or video side by side, possibly even quad w/ lecture notes and instructor commentary.

David Harris 10:21 11October2006


  • Lets pick an Open Source client (mplayer or vlc)
  • Lets research optional features which compliment the vanilla video file
  • Lets focus on a single tech demo (subtitles to start)
  • Doom9 is recommending mp4box

--Ezi 22:22, 23 September 2006 (EDT)

Chat Logs


[18:30]  Egon Spengler: so do either of you happen to have access to final cut pro, or iMovie?
[18:30]  lIHd Sellery: I have iMovie
[18:30]  You: not at home, church st labs yes
[18:31]  Egon Spengler: ah, I'm lagging :(
[18:31]  lIHd Sellery: umm I think, hold on I thought it came with my mac
[18:31]  You: imovie will have
[18:31]  Egon Spengler: heh
[18:31]  Egon Spengler: I'm going to join you
[18:31]  You: final cut pro is $$
[18:32]  Egon Spengler: Hi David
[18:32]  lIHd Sellery: yeah iMovie HD
[18:32]  David Spaatz: hello
[18:32]  David Spaatz: i have fcp
[18:32]  Egon Spengler: yes, FCP is pricey
[18:32]  You: any objectsions to blender?
[18:32]  Egon Spengler: okay, so KB says that we can use FCP's 'edit decision lists'
[18:32]  Egon Spengler: and that we could feasibly do distributed editing
[18:33]  lIHd Sellery: on and iMac G4 1.33
[18:33]  You: what is distributed editing?
[18:33]  Egon Spengler: you would just need a low-res set of copies of the files
[18:33]  Egon Spengler: let's see
[18:33]  Egon Spengler: how to explain
[18:33]  Egon Spengler: we would put up low-res versions of the video files
[18:33]  You: like a render farm or cluster?
[18:33]  Egon Spengler: and then people could check them out
[18:33]  Egon Spengler: not exactly a farm
[18:34]  Egon Spengler: more like open source programming
[18:34]  Egon Spengler: anyone familiar w/ CVS or SVN?
[18:34]  You: yep, i run cvs repo for harvard
[18:34]  Egon Spengler: there ya go
[18:34]  lIHd Sellery: no
[18:34]  Egon Spengler: so it's like checking out code
[18:34]  lIHd Sellery: not sure what those acronyms stand for though
[18:34]  Egon Spengler: and FCP will keep track of exactly what you do
[18:34]  Egon Spengler: like a macro
[18:35]  Egon Spengler: CVS is an open source code management system
[18:35]  You: and u can switch between the edits on the fly?
[18:35]  Egon Spengler: it allows people to check out code and then turn in edits (aka patches)
[18:35]  You: in what client? quicktime?
[18:35]  Egon Spengler: it only works in FCP
[18:36]  Egon Spengler: so you get all the files in the right folders, then you run the 'edit decision list' EDL
[18:36]  Egon Spengler: and final cut pro will reconstruct the edited version
[18:37]  Egon Spengler: so you guys use low-res versions, and then we get your EDL and swap in broadcast quality stuff
[18:37]  Egon Spengler: it makes distributing the editing process feasible, while still not loosing any quality on the video files
[18:37]  Egon Spengler: so what's not making sense to who?
[18:37]  You: whats in our edits?
[18:38]  lIHd Sellery: soundsgood but if we dn't have final cut pro we can't [articipate?
[18:38]  Egon Spengler: basically, we'd like to make 'distilled' versions of the lectures
[18:38]  Egon Spengler: something like a 20-35 minute highlight video that has just the most interesting stuff from each class
[18:38]  Egon Spengler: can be any length, really
[18:39]  David Spaatz: cut in ppt slides
[18:39]  lIHd Sellery: how about inserting versions with different angles and integrating the powerpoints presentation onto the video?
[18:39]  Egon Spengler: IlHd, yes, for the EDL stuff, you need FCP
[18:39]  lIHd Sellery: deavid, exactly
[18:39]  Egon Spengler: however, the things you mentioned would not require FCP
[18:39]  lIHd Sellery: hmm well that may be a problem on my end.
[18:40]  lIHd Sellery: okay, I think I follow.
[18:40]  Egon Spengler: yes, that's the other thing
[18:40]  Egon Spengler: these edits would have access to 2 other camera angles
[18:40]  David Spaatz: sweet
[18:40]  You: lets say 3 video files
[18:40]  You: 1 ordinary lecture
[18:40]  You: 2 alternate camera
[18:40]  You: 3 ppt
[18:40]  David Spaatz: w/ cutaways and close ups they will be great
[18:41]  David Spaatz: sound tracks?
[18:41]  Egon Spengler: so KB says that there is a way that people with iMovie can participate in the editing
[18:41]  Egon Spengler: sure, sky's the limit, as long as we use stuff that can be released as CC
[18:41]  Egon Spengler: so sound, photos, music, whatever
[18:41]  lIHd Sellery: is anyone else seeing dancing white lights in front of us?
[18:41]  David Spaatz: do we have solid sound tracks or one track
[18:42]  David Spaatz: independent?
[18:42]  You: i'd prfere to just mono the stereo
[18:42]  Egon Spengler: well, the other 2 cams have mics
[18:42]  David Spaatz: but raw, are they seperate tracks
[18:42]  Egon Spengler: but we'll want to just use the ext. cam
[18:42]  Egon Spengler: and we do need to mix down to mono
[18:43]  Egon Spengler: I didn't know about the tracks being different, so I wasn't mixing down, but now I am (for the lecture .mp4s)
[18:43]  David Spaatz: do the 2 and 3 cams have their own tracks?
[18:44]  Egon Spengler: yeah, but they probably aren't as good
[18:44]  You: the end result is an mp4
[18:44]  David Spaatz: we can normalize when edited
[18:44]  Egon Spengler: yes, that's what I've been putting up
[18:44]  Egon Spengler: yeah, that'd be good too
[18:44]  Egon Spengler: to level out the audio
[18:44]  Egon Spengler: so which of you are in cambridge?
[18:44]  You: v tight timeline
[18:44]  You: me
[18:45]  David Spaatz: Tampa
[18:45]  lIHd Sellery: I'm in North Carolina.
[18:45]  Egon Spengler: okay, you can use one of the Berkman computers to edit
[18:45]  Egon Spengler: no need for EDL, unless you can't get onto campus to edit
[18:45]  Egon Spengler: David, do you have access to iMovie or FCP?
[18:45]  You: depends on timeline
[18:45]  David Spaatz: fcp pro
[18:46]  Egon Spengler: it's basically whenever you have time
[18:46]  Egon Spengler: David, iMovie?
[18:46]  David Spaatz: Final Cut Pro HD
[18:46]  Egon Spengler: cool, so I think that KB would like everyone to put themselves in the wiki
[18:47]  David Spaatz: I am thre under the At Large Part. List @ main page
[18:47]  Egon Spengler: as either 'has access to FCP' 'has access to iMovie' or 'has access to PC'
[18:47]  Egon Spengler: okay
[18:47]  Egon Spengler: Hello Eon and Mobile
[18:47]  Mobile Widget: hi Egon
[18:47]  lIHd Sellery: I am there under at-large as well
[18:47]  Mobile Widget: :)
[18:48]  You:
[18:48]  Egon Spengler: thanks
[18:48]  David Spaatz: hello eon
[18:48]  Eon Berkman: hey
[18:48]  Egon Spengler: so can someone put some space in for those catagories?
[18:48]  Egon Spengler: and then we can all put ourselves into the proper slots
[18:48]  USA Brody is Online
[18:48]  You: participants on wiki
[18:48]  Egon Spengler: KB says he needs a way to get in touch with you (probably by e.mail)
[18:49]  Egon Spengler: I can give you his address, if you'd like
[18:49]  Egon Spengler: and you can send him a message w/ your info
[18:49]  lIHd Sellery: [redacted] or my gmail is on the site
[18:49]  Mobile Widget: I missed some of this meefing... and was wondering where things are at. :)
[18:50]  Egon Spengler: MW, can we give you a chat transcript?
[18:50]  Mobile Widget: that would be awesome
[18:50]  You: can someone post the chat transcript to the wiki (minus email addresses)
[18:50]  David Spaatz: kb address?
[18:50]  Egon Spengler: does someone have a sec to do that?
[18:50]  Egon Spengler: Kwan Bul [redacted]
[18:50]  Egon Spengler: there's KB
[18:50]  Mobile Widget is Online
[18:51]  Egon Spengler: okay, I think we should make a spot on the project page for participants
[18:52]  You: its there ego
[18:52]  Egon Spengler: okay, I just made it a bit more clear
[18:52]  Egon Spengler:
[18:53]  Egon Spengler: so as long as your contact info is in your userpage, KB should be able to get in touch with you
[18:53]  Egon Spengler: he says that he has some ideas
[18:53]  Egon Spengler: he was trying to get in, tonight, but the lab didn't have SL, etc.
[18:54]  Egon Spengler: so I suppose I don't have that much more for this session
[18:54]  You: just posted the chat log from austin hall
[18:54]  Mobile Widget: are these videos going to be Real Media or Quicktime?
[18:54]  You: need to turn off wikification
[18:54]  Egon Spengler: I think Quicktime
[18:54]  Mobile Widget: I have experience making quicktime SMIL presentations... adn was wondering if we would be able to use the existing mpeg4 videos from the course
[18:55]  Egon Spengler: you're welcome to use them, but I think it'd be better to put your work into the higher quality stuff that we're all thinking of doing
[18:55]  David Spaatz: yes
[18:55]  Mobile Widget: sure thing
[18:56]  Mobile Widget: :)
[18:56]  Egon Spengler: Does anyone have any more ideas or concerns?
[18:57]  Egon Spengler: I'm still not 100% sure whay KB has in mind, but I know he's VERY excited that you are all interested in this project
[18:57]  David Spaatz: cool
[18:57]  lIHd Sellery: well I'm eager to help but I'm not as experienced as any of you are and I'm wondering how I will best be able to help?
[18:58]  Egon Spengler: do any of you guys have any ideas?
[18:58]  Egon Spengler: one thing I know for sure is that timecode queues help a LOT
[18:59]  Egon Spengler: so if you're watching the video, and don't mind noting when there is something interesting or pertinent
[18:59]  Mobile Widget: are ther timecode quees available?
[18:59]  Egon Spengler: jot down the time that it happens
[18:59]  lIHd Sellery: is that how we we enter places where certain slides should be inserted?
[18:59]  Mobile Widget: is anyone in the Extension classes?
[18:59]  Egon Spengler: slides could be, but more importantly anything interesting
[19:00]  Eon Berkman: i am totally excited about this project
[19:00]  Egon Spengler: a good quote or change in topic
[19:00]  Egon Spengler:
[19:00]  Egon Spengler: it will help everyone who is editing find good stuff to concentrate on
[19:00]  Egon Spengler: it's something that I wish we had more people doing
[19:01]  lIHd Sellery: gotcha thanks
[19:01]  Egon Spengler: but I know that it isn't immidiately apparent...
[19:01]  Eon Berkman: the idea of an at large group contributing to making the course more accessible is just what becca and i have hoped for
[19:01]  Egon Spengler: yes, so I know that you guys had thrown some ideas up on the wiki
[19:01]  Egon Spengler: sound, subtitles, etc
[19:02]  Egon Spengler: just to let you know, the sound is something we're continually working on
[19:02]  Aphilo Aarde: I've started to take notes with time code. I'll post them.
[19:02]  Egon Spengler: aphilo, that's awesome
[19:02]  lIHd Sellery: from what I can tell on the time code page there is no one noting when slides come up or are replaced, correct?
[19:02]  Egon Spengler: yes, that's right
[19:03]  Egon Spengler: people haven't really been taking notes and putting them into the timecode...
[19:03]  lIHd Sellery: that will make it hard to insert the powerpoints into the first lectures then
[19:03]  David Spaatz: we can get cues from the lecture
[19:03]  Egon Spengler: well, you can alway
[19:03]  Egon Spengler: yeah, that's what I was going to say
[19:03]  Mobile Widget: does the Extension school video (online) have the presentations included?
[19:03]  lIHd Sellery: I remember prof Nesson indicating that there was a lighting problem that prevented them from showing up on the video.
[19:04]  Mobile Widget: if they do - I wonder if someone has the timecodes
[19:04]  Egon Spengler: I believe so, but I'm not sure if we're taking advantage of that
[19:04]  Mobile Widget: right
[19:04]  Egon Spengler: the Ext school releases video in realplayer format
[19:04]  Egon Spengler: and they have macros that they can sync slides with
[19:05]  Egon Spengler: but it's all sort of messy and highly proprietary
[19:05]  Egon Spengler: as far as sound goes, we're maxing out our little mixer
[19:05]  David Spaatz: we could use the PPT itself, capture image and insert
[19:05]  Mobile Widget: I have been involved in a course at the extension school... and we were keeping track with a stopwatch and pencil
[19:05]  Mobile Widget: :)
[19:05]  Egon Spengler: and when we've tried to add more wireless mics, it's been screwing up for some reason
[19:06]  Egon Spengler: interference or something??
[19:06]  Egon Spengler: David, I think that's the best
[19:06]  Egon Spengler: we just need to get people to put their slides up
[19:06]  Egon Spengler: (prof. nesson included, I think)
[19:06]  Egon Spengler: I can remind people to post them on the wiki
[19:06]  GeneKoo Li: There's software out there that allows you to piece ppt and sound together (but very expensive)
[19:07]  David Spaatz: static shotgun mics? initial $
[19:07]  lIHd Sellery: has anyone in the class discussed a irc backchannel projector setup or does that add an unnecessary level of complexity?
[19:07]  GeneKoo Li: don't think there's equivalent for video yet, maybe we have ourselves a business idea ;)
[19:07]  Egon Spengler: Sellery, not sure exactly what you mean by projector setup
[19:07]  GeneKoo Li: backchannel would only work for the HLS student yes?
[19:07]  Egon Spengler: you mean IRC behind the professor on a screen?
[19:07]  GeneKoo Li: otherwise the video's not live, wouldn't really let viewers participate
[19:08]  GeneKoo Li: unless I missed part of the conversation (foot in mouth?)
[19:08]  lIHd Sellery: well projecting a back channel irc discussion alongside the ppt presentation.
[19:08]  Egon Spengler: ah, I don't think we have 2 projectors
[19:08]  GeneKoo Li: heh, that would force the students to stop surfing in class and participate :)
[19:08]  lIHd Sellery: not vor the at-large or extension students but fot the HLS students
[19:08]  David Spaatz: start simple and acheive quality for info transfer to broader audience
[19:09]  Egon Spengler: David, I agree
[19:09]  Egon Spengler: I think we just want some good and simple videos, to begin with
[19:09]  lIHd Sellery: possibly, but the value of hls comentary and synthesis could be very interesting for the other participants
[19:09]  lIHd Sellery: I agree kiss
[19:09]  lIHd Sellery: and by that I mean keep it simple
[19:09]  Egon Spengler: we can always add to the videos
[19:09]  lIHd Sellery: not a romantic overture ;)