Archive for October, 2004


21 October, 2004

Blimey… and there was I thinking I didn’t have time to stop to learn a scripting langauge! How wrong can you be.

Well, it isn’t really about having time is it? It’s all about purpose and whether or not the need is there which drives the desire to learn. In my case it is, since I am part of a team working on a project with the Design Council and the site makes use of PHP (and Flash – but that’s a whole other story for later).

I’m still trying to make sense of it, but thanks to yet another colleague I am beginning to understand it a little bit more. Unlike any other formal learning, where a chunk at a time is taken, tried, repeated, applied, etc, I am having to dive into the deep end and see the entire thing holistically. It’s like reading a book but only knowing a fraction of the words, yet trying to understand the story… tough call.

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Final Cut Pro ‘discoveries’

3 October, 2004

OK – not a real discovery as such – probably well documented elsewhere, but we were chuffed to have found it!

The problem was two-fold. First, capturing footage from a camera needed a pre-set to match the camera. More often than not the sound would be out of sync by the time we got it onto the timeline. Secondly, putting the footage onto the timeline often meant we had to render it before we could edit it. Sigh.

First one was easy-ish. We simply had to understand that the camera was set to capture sound at 32Khz instead of the expected 48Khz. Making a capture preset based on 32Khz sound cured that one (of course, the camera is capable of 48Khz sound, and that will be the first thing I look into on Monday).

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Interlace, deinterlace

3 October, 2004

Well… here we are at the beginning of a new DVD for Ultralab and Matt and I were trying to find a way to present the footage from all of the summer schools. What we found was that there was a lot of interlacing showing on the films when viewed on a computer.

What the heck is interlacing? It is a good question – and I don’t have a good answer except to say that TV pictures are made up of two ‘fields’ which appear on alternate lines. The TV set shows the first field and then the second, fast enough so that our eyes can’t see the change (although on some older TVs the change is noticeable as a ‘flicker’). On a computer screen, there is no such thing – it shows you the complete picture, but what happens when you show interlaced footage from a camera onto a computer? For the most part it looks OK, but where there is sudden movement the computer shows the first field and then the second field out of sync. Typically this looks like there is a row of ‘mouse teeth’ along the edges of the image and in really bad cases (such as in fast motion) the computer can display a striped ‘ghost’ of a person or object in two places at once. On a TV those ghosts simply look like subtle blurs and the interlacing never shows up.

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