San Francisco Zoo, revisited

A much shorter edit of my San Francisco Zoo video at just 1/3 of the original length, re-made specifically for Vimeo’s HD channels. Shot with a Canon HV20, edited with Vegas Pro 8. Starring: bears, peacocks, penguins and tigers among others. Music and video are licensed under the Creative Commons “BY” license. You can view the video in 720p HD using your browser by clicking here instead of watching the low-res video below.

Regarding Vimeo, which I blogged about the other day: Sure the site has its problems (e.g. no de-interlacing during re-encoding, avatars used with wrong sizes throughout the site etc), but overall it looks great, and the HD ability is just top notch. It just feels much better than Stage6, the only other place that allows HD videos to be played. It feels much cleaner and more targeted towards videographers and artists rather than “one size fits all” youtube-style.

In fact, the site has been a hit in the HV20 community lately (a community that proved this year that there is a market for hobbyist artists), and its popularity is growing. For my, it seems that Vimeo will replace Revver and YouTube will only function as a platform for my video tests. Hopefully the last few issues will be fixed and the missing features will be added soon, but even as it is now it does the job if you know how to export vide properly out of your NLE. If you have an HD camera export and upload in 1280×720 at 4 mbps, and if not, use 800×440 at 2 mbps — just make sure you export in progressive mode.

Update: One more re-edit, this time for Stanford University’s campus. HD version here. I have one more video to re-edit (my Foster City video), but I will need additional footage to do so, so that would take time.

Update 2: And one last one, for the road. HD version here.


Ivan wrote on October 31st, 2007 at 10:09 PM PST:

With vimeo, I think that amateur video comes to a whole new level. Most of the videos posted there are good, best or even brilliant. (Sometimes I think professionals sponsored by Canon are behind the avatars, but that is b.s. of course).
These amateurs are good at filming, editing and sometimes music too. In a way, they are better than professionals, because those guys stick to one discipline. They are all of them good, respectful people, helping out and taking care of the language and words they use.
The HD section, of course, is brilliant. It is as if HD reaches (or goes further than) the limits of human perception. I look at it, if I focus on any detail, it there, razor sharp. It is really like I have been there.
For all those reasons, I would call HD (and vimeo) a real revolution.
(I feel it in my bones that Youtube will move to HD soon also, if they don’t, this is a major strategic error.)

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Eugenia wrote on November 1st, 2007 at 2:51 PM PST:

Yup. Vimeo HD has just replaced Revver as the final destination of my videos. I use YouTube for tests and other random stuff, and Vimeo HD as the last stop for my “good” videos.

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Eugenia wrote on November 1st, 2007 at 4:27 PM PST:

I just discovered TheHDWeb btw, sponsored by Akamai (the guys who have lots of bandwidth to burn). Unfortunately, they encode their videos in ridiculously high bitrates so it’s almost impossible to stream, even on a fast Comcast cable connection. If they don’t start encoding at 4mbps for 720p and 8 mbps for 1080p, their experiment won’t catch on — except for people with Internet 2 and fast T1s.

Robin 'Roblimo' Miller wrote on November 3rd, 2007 at 7:44 AM PST:

Vimeo has great image quality, but on my DSL (in the Florida hinterlands), watching Vimeo videos is an exercise in skip & stop frustration. That’s why I stick with, whose encoding and delivery are good enough for the work I do, and can be viewed by almost anyone with any kind of “high speed” Internet connection, not just cable people or those blessed with big-city DSL.

BTW, I have a Sony A1U, not a Canon HV20. Today I’d probably buy the Canon… but then I’d need to spend $250+ on a powered XLR adaptor because I love my phantom power XLR mics…. essential when taping live music performances.

Editing software: I’ve tried all of them. Kino (on Linux) is now good enough for simple head-shot interviews at conferences and that sort of thing, but for my commercial video work I’ve become a firm Vegas Pro fan. It gives me the best bang:buck ratio of anything out there, plus a wide variety of rendering output options.

Keep up the good work, Eugenia!

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Eugenia wrote on November 3rd, 2007 at 12:10 PM PST:

Hey Robin, thanks for passing by. Yeah, if you are on a slower DSL line, it can be a problem. HD Flash needs 2mbps sustained.

I am glad you are using Vegas btw, it’s a good software. Kino does not support HD though, from what I know…

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