Video Tutorial - 'Brady Bunch' Project
A couple issues ago the video tutorial about my personal database kicked off a new approach of
screen capture tutorials. This issue takes things a step further... the start of my new series of 'PapaJohn How To's.
I can see hundreds or thousands of short How To's similar to the eight of them used in this issue'
- Each screen capture session will have a consistent design style... I'm thinking here about the background stage. I used
a plain black one with some added text (in Paint) for this week's set. I still need to add a logo and maybe some other info
to it. Cute curtain openings/closings might work too... don't know yet.
- A new How To graphic will be added to the website, and used as the link to the screen capture video. The first draft of
the button is used here and on the website.
- As small very modular topics that can be produced in pretty much random order, or revised just as easily, you the regular
newsletter subscribers will be the ones to set my priorities. If you have something you don't understand enough, and think
such a 'How To' would clarify it, let me know.
To get them started on the website, here's what the Other Software page now looks like in the AviSynth paragraph... linger
over a How To button and the tool tip will tell you that it's How To... Get AviSynth for the first one, and
How To... Check AviSynth for the second. I'll use tool-tips to save space.
I wanted a somewhat complex topic to lead off the use of the How To's...
making of a 'Brady Bunch' style video clip has been a pretty popular topic. It's made from 17 different clips, all wmv files,
and is best done using a couple software apps in addition to Movie Maker.
The picture at the right is a link to a 30 second segment of the sample made for this newsletter. The clips at the upper left,
and the right, are high definition 720, the mid-left one is from an old 8mm camcorder tape, and the video in the lower left is
a Photo Story, a good mix of wmv files.
HitTheBongo, one of the regulars on the forums, put lots of time into making a perfect AviSynth script that creates a Brady
Bunch video from your inputs.
However easy the Bongo made it for everyone, I think installing and using AviSynth is pretty daunting for most Movie Maker
users, making the overall process a great subject for this first set of How To's.
These 8 HowTo's total 13 minutes. By making them modular you can look at just the ones you're interested in, and repeat one
easily if you need some more time to study it. Note that the videos are not standard wmv videos... they are made by Camtasia using
the wmv screen capture codec. If you have problems watching them with your Firefox browser, try Internet Explorer.
1 - Get the script from HitTheBongo - 1 min, 18 sec.
link to HitTheBongo's
Brady Bunch Page
As my personal database is my all purpose info management tool, you'll see it often in the How To's... it's the first thing
to come into view. One of the items in it is about the Brady Bunch script from the Hit the Bongo site.
2 - Get and Install AviSynth - 1 min, 11 sec.
to get AviSynth
Total Commander shows up in this one. It's my preferred file management utility... a modern derivative of the old Norton Utilities'
Norton Commander, from the days of DOS. Among other things, I use it to copy and move files from one place to another, go into
zip files as if they were unzipped folders, make ftp connections to my website for file transfers in either direction, reach across
network drives, etc. You can do most of these with Windows Explorer but Total Commander is like having two copies of Explorer
open at all times.
Associating AVS script files with Notepad means... double-clicking an AVS file will automatically open it in Notepad for editing,
not opening it in VirtualDub to play.
3 - Check AviSynth - 49 sec.
In this one, you'll see that, instead of opening the avs script by double-clicking, which would open it as a text file in Notepad,
I right-click and open it with VirtualDub, where it plays as if it was a video file. The script is telling it what to do... in
this case without needing any source video clips.
The background colors shown are blocky due to it being captured by Camtasia at the same time it's being viewed in VirtualDub.
It actually looks much better when not being recorded at the same time.
Looking into this script with notepad shows you... there's a whole other computer programming language used. I personally don't
get into using it except for very minimal easy scripts, or copying them from places like HitTheBongo.
An avs script can be opened in other software than VirtualDub... most any of them that can use avi files... but not Movie Maker.
4 - Setup and Check HitTheBongo's Script - 58 sec.
If you look closely at the 16 second mark... I'm using Total Commander to copy the contents of the downloaded BradyBunchProject.zip
file from my software library on one external drive to the newsletter179 folder on a different external drive.
Bongo includes 3 scripts... I've only used the full one, and it's worked great each time.
5 - Replace Bongo Filler Clips with Yours - 1 min, 24 sec.
I'd used the script before with DV-AVI files, which needs some script editing. For this example I used WMVs... it works fine
Three of the files I used were downloads of sample 720 HighDef clips from a Microsoft site. I found them on the CD included
in the Peter Symes 'Digital Video Compression' book.
6 - Check the Script Using Your Clips - 2 min, 28 sec.
The screen capture of VirtualDub playing the script looks pretty blocky. The 30 second sample file you saw on the way into
this newsletter looks lots better, but the How To gets the points across fine.
7 - Make a DV-AVI File with VirtualDub - 3 min, 34 sec.
I guess getting and installing the Panasonic DV codec will be another of the early How To's. Making DV-AVI files requires a
DV codec but apps such as VirtualDub can't use the Microsoft DV codec... and Movie Maker can't use the Panasonic DV codec. That's
how the world of codecs works.
There's a peek into the world of VirtualDub filters in this one. A DV codec won't work unless the video being created is 720x480
pixels (NTSC). The resize filter gets it to that size. If it's not set at that size, then trying to save a new video file from
the input simply doesn't work... no error message, leaving you to scratch your head and wonder what you did wrong.
8 - Use the DV-AVI File in Your Movie Maker Project - 1 min, 38 sec.
This is all being done on my XP laptop, using MM2.1 for this step.
Camtasia offers two audio tracks. I used just the first one for the narrations up to this point. As the clip started to preview
in Movie Maker for this capture session, I brought the audio track from the finished sample movie and used it in the second audio
track. I renamed the wmv file to wma, used it in the Camtasia project, then renamed it back to wmv when done. That's easier than
ripping the audio from the movie to a wma file. When a wma is needed and the audio of a wmv works for the need, rename the file
and there's a good change the software will use it as an audio file.
The playing video in this step is much better looking than what we saw when watching the script play in VirtualDub... and it's
even better in the final saved movie.
I stopped at the preview, as using clips in Movie Maker projects would be part of another subject. There's no need to call
it a 'Brady Bunch' clip when using it... the impact of such a clip on the viewers will speak for itself. Many won't even remember
the Brady Bunch, nevermind associate what they see with it.
Here's a couple notes before finishing off this issue.
a couple notes...
BrightHub is chugging along really well, just in time for some holiday gift shoppers...
I was looking at my reviews the other day and noted that I had given thumbs-up to about half of them, and thumbs-down to the
others. The reviews should help you when it comes to deciding on a software app.
SupportSpace released the next version of its support
software, which now runs on Vista in addition to XP. Users will be prompted to upgrade as they open the site.
Conclusion and Closing... and What's Next?
I'm excited about this new wave of 'How To' clips. As I practice, I'm going beyond my initial hesitation about doing narrations.
I ended up streamlining this issue a bit more than expected by not splitting the opening section from the details, with notes
between. It wasn't planned.
Have a great week!!
I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other newsletters on the forums at:
Movie Maker, Photo Story 3, DVD Maker, Expression Media -
Photo Story 2 - www.papajohn.org/PhotoStory2/PS.html
I'm involved in anything and everything that supports the users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and adding more regularly.
Some are free and others reasonably priced.
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About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from Microsoft.com
||John "PapaJohn" Buechler, of Kalamazoo, Mich., goes by PapaJohn online. An avid user of Movie
Maker since its first release, and a regular supporter of the community of Movie Maker users,
John received a 2003 MVP award from Microsoft for that support. In March 2003, he started a comprehensive
website about Movie Maker 2 at www.PapaJohn.org.
He maintains the website, writes books and articles, teaches, and provides support services -
all for the community of Movie Maker 2 users. An engineer by formal education, John is a computer
database and multimedia expert by business and personal experience. He co-authored the first book
about Movie Maker 2 and is actively working on a second one. You can find his advice in the
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup and in the Windows Movie Makers Forums.
newsletter is republished with permission of John "PapaJohn" Buechler.
Please note that this is an archive of newsletters and some information may become outdated. PapaJohn,
and the webmaster of this site, provides this information "AS IS" with no warranties.
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