Archive for April 11th, 2008

Don’t upresize your videos

Since Vimeo removed the ability to re-encode in its native resolution any video between 848 and 1279 horizontal pixels, people started upresizing their videos to 1280×720 just so the get the 720p Vimeo Flash re-encoding that features more bitrate (hence, better quality). This is a bad idea though for us who would like to watch your videos in our TVs instead of the computer monitor.

Cheating aside (it costs Vimeo money in unnecessary bandwidth usage), sure, those who don’t care about local video downloads, they can do that. But if you care about the originally uploaded video file (I personally have a collection of 14 GBs of Vimeo videos that I like and have downloaded and watch on PS3/HDTV), then upresizing is a bad idea.

Let me explain: the FEWER hoops a video goes through from capture to final playback, the better it will look.

This is what happens when you upresize.
Step 1. Original resolution miniDV widescreen: 720×480
Step 2. Aspect ratio 1.000 resolution (as the video editor sees it): 874×480
Step 3. Upresize exporting: 1280×720
Step 4. Playback on TV resolution: resize to either 1366×768 or 1920×1080

This is what happens when you export in the right resolution:
Step 1. Original resolution miniDV widescreen: 720×480
Step 2. Aspect ratio 1.000 resolution/export: 874×480
Step 3. Playback on TV resolution: either 1366×768 or 1920×1080

And that’s why upresizing is a bad idea. Because it involves one extra step of picture manipulation that dilutes the quality further. In fact, if everyone in the world had a Pioneer TV like mine, which has a “dot by dot” PC viewing mode without extra resizings (most TVs resize regardless you see), it might make sense to export in 1920×1080 directly out of a miniDV SD footage (no matter how crazy this sounds — this would be the equivalent of upconverting, not upresizing). But because the world doesn’t have the same TV as I have, you will have to take the safe approach. And that’s the “export in the native resolution of your footage, at aspect ratio 1.000″ (aspect ratio 1.000 resolutions are preferred because most players and Vimeo don’t “understand” other pixel aspect ratios). Don’t try to fool Vimeo. If you have a problem with the vimeo quality, just email Vimeo to change their policy back, but don’t cheat.

To the disgusting pig

Hey douche bag, whoever you are, who currently are trying to reset my Gmail password. Go get a fucking life.

One man’s hero is another man’s…

“Austrians are locked in a nationwide debate touched off by the brief display in a prestigious Roman Catholic museum of an etching that depicts Jesus Christ and his disciples having a [gay] orgy during the biblical Last Supper”, reports CNN.

Austrians and who ever else is offended by this, should shut up. This is no different than the Muhammad cartoons in Denmark. Depicting someone having sex, or actually depicting someone at all, are all wrong reasons to get angry about. We westerners made fun of the Muslims about the cartoons, but many westerners are not as open minded as they think they are either.

It’s the Church’s right to remove the artwork of course, but don’t go against the artist. If this artist is actually gay, his artwork is nothing more of how he sees Jesus in his eyes. Kind of like the black Jesus and black Madonna that you see in Africa. People CHANGE the way they see God, in order to fit better with their own lifestyle and beliefs. It’s their right to do so, just like it’s the church’s right to remove the artwork. But don’t crucify the artist for seeing the same God in a different light than you do.

Besides, God is a fictional entity (in my opinion), so envisioning him one way or another, is always acceptable. Now, Jesus is quite possibly a historical person, but still, we haven’t really seen him for real, we never saw him on TV or heard him on the radio either. So envisioning him differently than anyone else, is cool too. People should just grow some skin.

Vegas Pro 8: Cheaper than ever

B&H sells Vegas Pro 8 cheaper than ever: just $129. This is a steal for a professional video package. That price is in fact the same as Vegas Platinum’s retail price, which ranks lower in their product line. This CD version of Vegas Pro 8 does not come with a manual, but fear not, the manual is available in PDF here. Also, it doesn’t come with DVD Architect so there are no mpeg2/AC3 exporting options (except if you already have installed DVD Architect/Studio from before), but you can use instead some freeware DVD authoring tools like DVDFlick (get the 1.3.x.x version from the forum instead of the old 1.2.x version). Export to DVDFlick using the Huffyuv lossless codec or a frameserver.

My suggestion is, if you are thinking into buying Vegas at some point, or if you already own the Platinum version but need the extra features, go for it now, cause we don’t know how long the offer will last.

Daddy’s big girl teaser

An interesting teaser trailer of an upcoming short movie. All shot with the Canon HV20.

A number of short movies shot for DVXUser’s “LoveFest” competition were using the HV20 as well.

Random stuff, part 8

* Opera Mini for Android. Really cool news! I love Opera Mini!

* At last! After 7 whole years of empty promises, Gimp will have 16bit per pixel support by the end of the year. This is an important feature for many prosumer photographers.

* An interesting discussion on OSNews about brain-boosting drugs in the software industry. Personally, I am against the usage of such drugs, because it does not make sense to try and push oneself so hard just so you can perform better. I mean, is getting more money or even a promotion the only reason you live? Why risk side-effects? Why not take it easy with life? I don’t think that these drugs should be banned, but I do think that companies should have the right to ask their potential new employees if they are using such drugs or not before they hire them or not. The last thing you want as an employer is getting sued because you supposedly driven your dead employee too hard and he supposedly had to use these drugs because of his job — even if the employee might have been abusing beforehand.

* The 8 teenagers who were beating their friend for fame, will be tried as adults and may get life. I hope they do. They will get what they deserve. Their actions made me sick to my stomach. It gets worse: “Judd said the suspects showed no remorse when they were arrested and booked. “They were laughing and joking about, ‘I guess we won’t get to go to the beach during spring break.’ And one… asked whether she could go to cheerleading practice,” he said.”

* I can’t wait to see what Canon and RED have in store for us this Monday at NAB. New prosumer cameras baby! Who knows? I might get one if IRS owes us money this year! ;-)

* Can’t wait for “Lost” get back on TV in 2 weeks. I am seriously addicted to it, just like I am addicted to good sushi. Don’t make me choose one of the two! I said don’t! Stop it!

* Our friend Pete says it like it is for all these “free Tibet” rallies. If you want to make China listen, stop buying Chinese products. Climbing the Golden Gate Bridge to show your disapproval of China will only result in people buying more Chinese digicams to snap your entertaining doings, and nothing else.

* I am personally FOR the idea of paying internet connection per mega/byte. You should only pay for what you use. Just like with water or electricity. The problem really comes when they ask for too much money per megabyte. Hopefully the free market will fix these high prices eventually.

* “A nude photo of France’s first lady was auctioned Thursday for $91,000, about 30 times more than anticipated, the Christie’s auction house said.” Hahaha… someone doesn’t know of Google Images (NSFW).

* This Linux evangelist (by looking into his blog, he seems like a fanatic) says that filmmakers that use Linux should give attribution to Linux in the credits. I disagree. Linux is simply an OS, not even the actual tool they use to do their job (and I can tell you, it cost them a lot of money to develop their special in-house tools that run on top of Linux). No one gives attribution to XP or Mac OS X (not even Pixar). Heck, Hollywood filmmakers don’t even give attribution to their daily tools, e.g. After Effects or FCP. Why would anyone want to attribute Linux, which is just an OS that its Hollywood user doesn’t even know its there, and especially when it’s not required by its license? The “play nice because this OS was free” reason does not make much sense, because if you list all the free and other tools you use to make a big movie, you need another half hour to list them all in the credits. Sorry, but this is simply not practical. If you want people to credit Linux, make it mandatory in the license. Besides, operating systems are reduntant in this day and age. This is like attributing whoever made the wig that Sharon Stone wore in your movie. Who cares? Update: Read the reply of Jason Porath on that discussion on his blog. Right on the money!

* Amazing editing job by Matt Taylor. HD version here.

Another one of my favorite Matt videos, very creative! HD version here.