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 Post subject: Draco's Nature Watch HD
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:05 am 
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T-Rex Killer
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For those who don't follow my personal youtube channel ;) I have been posting "Nature Watch" videos for a while, using raw HD quicktime files direct from my camera. Some may find them boring; some of the videos are admittedly not quite as interesting as others. Nonetheless, I think it's quite fun to observe these creatures going about their daily business - especially when they are not reacting to the presence of humans. Enjoy.

Rabbit in his Spare Time
Being a Bee
Ants Go Marching
Katy Did
Eating Grasshopper
The Mantis Walks

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:35 am 
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I was following your videos, but to be honest, most of your nature watch videos are pretty boring. In most of them, the camera is too shaky, the subject isn't doing anything interesting and you hear cars passing.

I liked the Grasshopper though, the camera wasn't too shaky and it's feeding, something I've never seen a grasshopper do.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:36 am 
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T-Rex Killer
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Nick3069 wrote:
but to be honest, most of your nature watch videos are pretty boring.

I know some people think so. :yum: But "boring" is of course not a universal constant.

Quote:
In most of them, the camera is too shaky,

Comes from being so zoomed in - necessary in order to be able to focus on such small scenes (as well as not disturbing the animals being viewed). I'm afraid tripods are usually out of the question; sometimes I accidentally find these scenes while I'm doing other things (such as my morning timelapse), and sometimes it's just not a situation where a tripod could be used - if only because the camera needs to remain mobile, and/or my carrying around of such a hulking object would hinder my ability to be unnoticed by the animals I'm observing. What would be nice is a steadycam rig.. Matt knows how to make a simple one, but I've no time for that currently - and cold temperatures approach fast.

Quote:
the subject isn't doing anything interesting

Again, an opinion :yum: but there are certainly more interesting things they could be doing, in most cases. Sorry for not being able to direct them with my mind. ;P

Quote:
and you hear cars passing.

Argh, only in some of them, and then I think there are only 1 or 2 in which it's really noticeable. With the exception of the Eating Grasshopper vid, the cars are really not that close.. Noise pollution is uncool.

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I liked the Grasshopper though, the camera wasn't too shaky and it's feeding, something I've never seen a grasshopper do.

:)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:19 pm 
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Draconisaurus wrote:
Quote:
In most of them, the camera is too shaky,

Comes from being so zoomed in - necessary in order to be able to focus on such small scenes (as well as not disturbing the animals being viewed). I'm afraid tripods are usually out of the question; sometimes I accidentally find these scenes while I'm doing other things (such as my morning timelapse), and sometimes it's just not a situation where a tripod could be used - if only because the camera needs to remain mobile, and/or my carrying around of such a hulking object would hinder my ability to be unnoticed by the animals I'm observing. What would be nice is a steadycam rig.. Matt knows how to make a simple one, but I've no time for that currently - and cold temperatures approach fast.


You can improve your ability to hold the camera steady through practice, or using your body as the tripod (search YT :wink: ). I can keep a camera with OSI disabled fairly steady now, through practice.

I don't think you should take the time to make a steadicam rig for mostly stationary subjects. :yum: They're not exactly small and light... you might as well bring out a medium-sized tripod in a shoulder case.


Maybe you should keep your footage for a while, until you have a very nice selection, and then put them together in documentary style. Not like 3 minutes of one subject sitting doing nothing... maybe have a voice over, saying what the bug is, where you found it, and what it is doing. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:18 pm 
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Meh, good ideas I guess. Anyhow, there aren't many critters out now other than birds, since it's been 7 C when I wake up in the morning lately.. so there's not much need to look into anything for Nature Watch until the land reawakens in several months.

Honestly though.. If you observe me holding the camera while I do this, it looks almost perfectly still. YOU try x12 optical zoom on a subject less than a meter in front of you and see how steady it looks. :P

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:16 am 
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It's because of... meh, I'm sure you know. :P


Anyway, just practice. I can imagine you holding your arm out from your body and trying to walk around - not a good idea. Stay in one spot, perhaps crouch down and place the camera on your knees. If you must stand up, hold the camera with two hands, and close to your body (try having your elbows agenised yourself). If you want, you could also have the camera zoomed out slightly, and apply some image stabilization in post, which would degrade the quality a tad (due to the fact that it'd zoom it in a bit, though it depends how shaky the footage is) but make the footage far more valuable.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:13 pm 
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Meh. :P One of the ideas of my nature vids was that I didn't have to edit them at all. The uploaded video file is raw from the camera, so they got to be in 100% quality. I don't currently have an app which can edit MOV files, but I'm sure I could install one.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:45 pm 
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Draconisaurus wrote:
but I'm sure I could install one.


I'm sure you could, too. :|

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:16 am 
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Draconisaurus wrote:
Meh. :P One of the ideas of my nature vids was that I didn't have to edit them at all. The uploaded video file is raw from the camera, so they got to be in 100% quality. I don't currently have an app which can edit MOV files, but I'm sure I could install one.

Try VirtualDub with the QuickTime plugin, or better, the DirectShow plugin...
http://www.videohelp.com/tools/Virtualdub

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:09 pm 
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*checks installers folder* Yup, Matt already sent me VirtualDub-1.8.8.zip (or linked me to it) a while back. I just haven't gotten around to installing it.. too busy. I think the original reason was for making tutorials, which I am still hoping to eventually do..

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:00 pm 
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*rolls eyes* Draco, VD doesn't need installing for the BILLIONTH TIME! :P



Anyway, unless VD has had a MASSIVE upgrade since I last downloaded it (not long ago), it's no good for video editing. At all. You can do some very handy and nifty things with it, but it's NOT for editing. You'll need some kind on NLE (none linier editor). Sony Vegas, as I've said before, is very powerful, yet simple to use. Trouble is that it costs...

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:05 am 
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VirtualDub will open those files and allow you to reencode them to another format which then you can load into some other program...

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:52 pm 
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Argh, well I'd much rather work with an app that deals directly with the MOV files, as I want absolutely no quality loss for those types of videos. I'll deal with it all another time..

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:57 am 
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To prevent quality loss, you can save the videos to M-JPEG at maximum quality with uncompressed audio - that's what you usually choose for analog video sources, it should do well. Or you could use a DV codec for the video, too. Most editing programs are able to handle those two formats, and your video won't lose further quality.

That, or you could get a Mac. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:43 am 
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Draco's camera records 720 30p, so DV won't be any good (it's sd). What I recommend is using a lossless codec like Huffyuv, that way there will be no quality loss at all. Obviously the files would be quite large, but you'd only keep them until you've rendered your file out.


Draco's only got Windows Movie Maker I believe, which doesn't support HD exports at all, so there's not really any point in converting the vids to use on it. :|

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