Monday, 11 December 2017

Fast Forward

Notes on ffmpeg in preparation

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Player Piano

Coming soon.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Sculpture and Video and Fake Third Dimension

Video shares three dimensions with sculpture. In sculpture we perceive three dimensions as we walk around a piece. In video we perceive three dimensions as the camera moves around its subject.

This rather obvious thought occurred to me recently as I walked around the Giacometti exhibition at Tate Modern. Many of the pieces were exhibited in a way that made it impossible to see all sides. If I had been making a video I would naturally have taken views from all sides.

Sculptures deserve to be seen from all sides.

I have previously seen Giacometti figures where they have been installed in the centre of the room so that the visitor could walk around them. Important. To see a sculpture as the artist intended you need to be able to be able to be close up, you need to be able to be far away, and you need to be able to see all sides.

There is a reason the artist made them three dimensional.

So it is with video. When the camera moves (as opposed to the subject) we get the additional dimension that a stationary subject excludes.

You can fail-to-experience this third dimension when video makers use the Ken Burns technique to create a movement from a still image. This technique, supported by many video editors, creates a pan-zoom from a still image. This movement does not exhibit the three dimensional illusion that I am discussing. You need parts to move against parts to see that.

I think this is why I feel the need to walk around sculptures, as well as moving in and out. It makes the three dimensions obvious, or in the case of video, it creates a the third dimension illusion. It fakes it.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Found footage

Why go out and shoot new video when you can find so much off it lying around on the web?

Actually, you probably don't even need to go look on the web. Just look in your own old stock footage. You'll likely find something you shot a while ago that comes close to fitting the bill, especially after a bit of editing.

That said, assuming you do use other peoples' footage, then what you do with it will need to be done modulo their rights.

It's just like sampling. Very short samples of published audio are usually fine, even when that sample is commercially copyrighted (not that I have dared do this myself). Heavily transformed samples are also usually fine, especially when they become more or less unrecognisable.

Recently I needed some ocean footage. Easily found on the web but not obviously free to use. So I eventually found some of my own old stock footage which was OK with a bit of editing (I slowed it down a tad) but the audio was poor. So I took the audio from a web sample and used that instead.

Interestingly, I did nothing to synchronise the waves on visual with the waves on audio. I let the viewer's mind do that for me. I don't think you can see the join.