Thursday, April 29, 2010

Video Timeline Anatomy 101 - Corel VideoStudio 12

Corel VideoStudio is a video editing program designed for people that are ready to step up from Windows Movie Maker but still want an easy interface. It is (was) inexpensive yet you do get a full featured program.

There is an new version of the program called Corel VideoStudio X3 but since I'm trying to show the common features of video editing timelines the prior version will do fine.

Corel VideoStudio 12 Timeline
You have the Preview monitor that can show you what your video clip looks like or can display the video in progress.

In Corel VideoStudio 12 there is a Video and Audio track and the other tracks are dedicated to specific purposes such as the Title/Caption track, Narration and Music. One of the cool things Corel does is to provide users with a built in music track for your editing needs.

This is the section where you add your content. This is menu based where you select what you want to add and then the appropriate window is displayed.

Add Media BinSo if you want to add a video the video window is displayed. You can add video from the window or browse to the location on your computer to add video.

Splitting of the Product Line

This can make you crazy trying to keep up with all of the product line of manufactures. This is my humble attempt.

For entry level users that want to do simple video editing, mix and match photos and video, have access to effects and have the option to burning to DVD you should check out Corel Digital Studio 2010 that includes Corel Video Express 2010.

If you have more experience, need more video and audio tracks, import of HD video or gizmos then you are gonna want to check out Corel VideoStudio X3.

Other Posts of Interest

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Video Timeline Anatomy 101 - Serif MoviePlusX3

Video editing doesn't have to be complicated but that is only said by people who have suffered to learning about it. What we really want to say that it should not be such an obstacle to create the kind of videos we want.

I was mulling it over and I thought there was an opportunity for clarity. Time for Video Timeline Anatomy 101.

The timeline is the workspace that you use to compose and create your video. This is an example of one of the video editing programs that I use, Serif's MoviePlus X3.

MoviePlusX3 The common elements that are found in most computer video editing software are:
  • The Preview monitor where you can look at your video clips.
  • An Add Content section where you can gather your video, music, photos and other elements that will be included in the video.
  • The Video and Audio section of the timeline is your workspace area. This is where you build your movie. You can cut, add photos, mute audio or whatever you need to do it will probably happen in this section.
This is what the timeline looks like when I'm working on a project:

Example of MoviePlusX3 TimelineIn many video editing programs you can add video and audio tracks. This can be to add a title that will appear on top of the video or you could add music under your narration.

Not all software editing programs will look exactly as this one, there are other features that can be added or the program might be a simple editing software with one video and audio track. Conceptually they will have these core features.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Smashing Magazine's Designing For A Hierarchy Of Needs

The ideas are sparking but sometimes you need mental kindling to get a fire going. Like today. I've waded through some crappy programs,videos and media blather and what have I got to show for it?


So I was trying to remember that web design magazine that I never remember and keep rediscovering. It is called Smashing Magazine. It is for web designers, not video or vlogging folks but they do have a lot of accessible thought generating content.

Working my way through a post on a re-interpretation of Maslow's Hierarchy of Need without the needs and more creativity by Steven Bradley.

The distance between functionality and creativity? For some, it is a might long road.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Test Drive of Miro Video Converter Tutorial

The Miro Video Converter is the new kid on the block. It is very easy to use and a newbie can wrap her hands around how it works. It is a drag and drop video converter for smartphones, media devices and it could be use to convert videos for certain web hosting sites.

Miro Video Converter

Well there is forgetting, not remembering and flat out what is my name again? To make up for my non-productivity I have created a rough and ready test drive tutorial of the Miro Video Converter.

This thing has possibilities once you get orientated to how it works.

For those of you that are on work lock down and can't view the video here is the deal. You drag the video you want to convert into the box area on the application. Want more?

Here are the steps:
  1. Drag the video you want to convert into the conversion box
  2. Select the device that you want to convert to or use that particular format and then
  3. Click the convert button.
For most of us, this is win-win. Unless you have a Window Movie Video format aka .wmv this is not a complete win-win situation. You can convert the .wmv format into .mp4 but you can't flip it the other way around.

You can convert from common video formats either to .mp4 for Windows and Mac Users. You can convert to the Ogg Theora format if you are a Linux user or have a Linux compatible media device like a Netbook running Ubuntu.

What you see on the intro screen on the web site is what you get. It is a work in progress so I would expect new features and formats to come in time.

Related Posts

Friday, April 23, 2010

Social Media's Look at Video Hosting Sites

Oversleeping does have it benefits but being late is not one of them. Just time enough to point you to an post over at Social Times where there is a look at the video hosting sites.

I'll be back later in the day with a quick look at the Miro Video Converter.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quick Look at MPEG Streamclip for Video Conversions

I have a few video converters but my main one, the one that gets the job done with no muss or fuss is the beloved (and free) MPEG Streamclip by Squared5. Be ye a Mac users or Windows user it is hard to go wrong with software.

Before installation you do need to have the free QuickTime player installed on your system for the program to function properly.

MPEG Converter Example

If you have a camcorder that records in the .mod format and your video editing program does not accept the .mod videos then you need MPEG Streamclip to ease your mind. Convert those suckers in an .avi video and you are good to go.

Here is a quick tutorial by Dad200UK2000 showing how to convert an .mp4 into .avi

In order to reduce the possibility of spy or trojanware always download from the primary web site or a trusted place like Major Geeks.

Related Posts

Brief Look at Super (c) Video Converter

Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer. a.k.a. Super (c) from Erightsoft is a free converter for audio and video formats. If you need to convert a .mod video into .wmv this is your software.

If the QuickTime .mov is giving you fits Super (c) can flip it over to .avi if that is the format your video editing software likes better.

Super(c) is a potent tool; you can change frame rates, size, audio bit rate and a bunch more stuff.

Newbies can use the software but it takes a little orientation to get up and running. This is a seven minute video by The Kane Guy that will get you familiar with the program.

To be on the safe side only download this program from the Erightsoft web site. The software is free and you don't need to worry about downloading a corrupt or virus laced version from some other web site.

Related Posts

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Handbreak - Video Converter

There are all kinds of conversion software but users gravitate to the ones that work and meet your needs. Handbreak is an equal opportunity video converter for Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems.

Handbrake video converter
I did find a video tutorial on Handbrake - This is for the Mac version but the Windows and Linux versions work the same way.

It boils down to you selecting the video you want to convert, choose the conversion format, tweak some settings and you will have a properly converted video.

Related Posts

Monday, April 19, 2010

Need to Find A Codec In A Video?

It can happen. Someone sends you a video that you attempt to open and you see a message pop up on your screen that you do not have the right codec to open the video or audio file.

There is a way to find out what the codec is for a video file. has a software program called G/Spot.

G/Spot looks at the video file and tells you what kind of video it is, the codec that it uses and other information about the video frame rate and the size of the video file. G/Spot is no wimp, it can identify 719 video codecs and 245 audio codes.

This software is designed for people that understand how to open a Zip file and are willing to fish around for an answer. It is not hard to use but if you don't want to dive into the belly of the beast this is not the software for you.

I would suggest that you only download the program from the primary vendor web site.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Net Neutrality - Videoblogging 2010 Round-Up #2

Net Neutrality is important. It will take every man, woman and dog to ensure that roadblocks and walled communities are not established by the phone and cable companies. So for Day 3 of Videoblogging Week Tito is trying to explain why you need to be concerned.

Like the pooch said, if you have the time and inclination contact the FCC or at least read up about how Net Neutrality is going to change our lives as creatives if the 'Tubes get blocked.

For more information visit:

Save the Internet

What A Week! - Videoblogging 2010 Round-Up

From Blip, YouTube, Vimeo and all ports from around the globe they came, saw and vlogged. Some for just a day and others for the entire week. The point was that user generated content is alive and well.

Folks may not call themselves videobloggers but there was good stuff clearing the chuff out of the 'Tubes. So as I write, launder and prepare for the week ahead I will be posting some of the goodies I was able to view.

This is just a small sample of folks sharing their part of the world.

Heath Parks - If I Could Turn Back Time

Tim at UpSideDown on Health Care, Political Mean Spiritness and Other Stuff:

Josh Leo on the Carrot Cake Throw-down

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Notes on Day 5 of Videoblogging Week 2010

This one was a squeaker cuz of time pressures. It came together when I looked at a group of photos I had taken of signs over the past few weeks.

I walked around at lunch time and saw that people tossed trash where they thought no one would look. I imposed upon a person who demands to remain un-credited with rifling in his back seat for a few moments for his or her involuntary collection of newspapers.

Once I recorded that the piece came together in my head.

Some days you just gotta go with the inspiration as it is delivered to you.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Notes on Day 4 Videoblogging Week 2010

Serendipity is an important creative tool. This video came together because I did not have enough video. I did have photos and music so I mixed and matched. For a quickie it is ok.

I just wanted to tell a memory and what I knew about the building. On my Stoop post I did more research to give context to the historical importance about the building so that it comes together as a complete piece.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Notes on Day 2 - Videoblogging Week 2010

Just a few quickies that I hope will be interesting. Today's video was a hoot because it was an interaction with security. It will be up this afternoon on the Stoop. These are just some quick thoughts.

One is knowing the difference between public and private property. I do know the difference. The security guard at the structure that I was recording did not.

If I am standing on a public street and I aim the camcorder at a building I am good to go, no question or debate. If I am recording on private property it becomes an issue. Generally you have to get permission.

The second is the difference between copyright, private property, architects and property owners.

Afternoon Update: Here is the video:

What else? Starting a project with a new camcorder and testing a new editing program is not recommended. Fighting the battle of the bars and pillars.

The Canon FS200 is standard definition camcorder but the specs indicate 16:9 ratio. One editing program says I'm in 4:3 and the other is 16:9 and when I look at it I can't tell if it is squished or not.

Do not buy a camera on impulse. This is more a reflection of my eyes and I haven't had time to look at the manual or set-up. I went to the Canon web site and it says both.

You can shoot wide screen without high definition; it depends on the camcorder. If you take the freaking time to check.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Quick Look At

You could spend a lot of time at and still come back for more. This was one of the first on-line classes for folks that wanted to take a class in a creative software application but did not have a school or access to a certain level of instruction.

lynda video tutorials
Long before YouTube and iTunes there was It was rough for us on the low band side of the fence. There was content I wanted to access but 56k modems do not lead themselves to on-line video tutorials and education.

This is why I like the future better than the past. It has been a while since I've visited the site and I thought I'd point out goodies of interest. is a subscription site but it is affordable if you give up store bought coffee for a week.

Lemme see, where to start? There are hundreds of courses and most have a free sample video or two so that you can check out the instructor and course content.

04/09/2010 Update: I didn't know that had a YouTube channel. I was looking for something else and discovered that some of the free/promotional videos are open to view. This is a great opportunity to share the business side of the the story:


iTunes Essential Training
Garageband Essential Training


iMovie 09 Essential Training
Podcasting and Videocasting Essential Training
Video Basics and Terminology

Pathfinders and Other Creatives

Nancy Duate and Duate Design
Rick Morris on Motion Graphics
Ze Frank

So if you need a dose of creativity or inspiration you should spend time at - you certainly should check out how she and her partner got started and what the business is today.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Demo Video of Corel X3 Slidshow Creation Feature

I'm almost recovered from the Submarine races. Talk about a depth charge. Anyway, plowing through e-mail and saw an invite from Corel to check out the new features of their photo editing software that includes a wee bit of video editing. And to send them more money.

Unfortunately the Tax man has made a prior invitation for me to have an exchange with Uncle Sam. Date night is April 15th. All is not lost. Well a good chunk of my disposable income is but that is another story.

This is a sample video showing how easy it is to create photo video slide shows.

Just in time for Videoblogging Week 2010. What? I didn't forget.

I don't want to mislead anyone here, Corel X3 is a good full featured photo editing software. That is what it is designed to do. This is just an added component to the software. If you love taking photographs and can't afford Adobe Photoshop this might be the software for you.

If you are a newbie to creating slide shows or videos this isn't the software for you. There is a easier, less expensive product called Corel Digital Studio that might fit your needs better.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Idea #8 April is Poetry Month - Adopt A Poet

Yes, April is indeed Poetry month. Goodness knows we need poets to clear out some of the public dreck that has been posing as social commentary. More love and non-political angst.

Ok, I don't really want to censor the political angst but let a poet do it.

This is poet Mary Pinkoski.

This is FreeSoulJah

Poets are great at poetry but not so good at self-promotion. Yeah, they do public readings but we can help them expand their audience. It doesn't have to be on a stage or in a bedroom. It can be whatever your imagination takes you.

For Videoblogging Week 2010 adopt a poet and post their work (with their permission of course) for folks to see and appreciate.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Idea No. 7 Explain A Local or Historical Public Structure

There are public structures that have a history or a story. They could be famous or infamous. It could be a building or a patch of land that hundreds of people cross a day and not know the importance of the site. Which leads to another idea for Videoblogging Week 2010.

This video is from WNYC'S Cityscapes where Liz Diller takes you on a quick tour of the High Line:

And this is a video explaining how the Highline was transformed from a rail line to a public park.

Idea No. 7 is to record and explain a local historical public structure. It could be your favorite train station or an architectural wonder that is just waiting to be discovered.

You could work it the other way as well such as the number of abandoned buildings and warehouses as a reflection of the transferal of employment to other places.

It does not have to be fancy. Point, aim and record or look up historical photos of your landmark. Works either way.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Idea No. 6 - Your Favorite Books

Ok, not an original idea but all books need love and support. This is your opportunity to give a shout out to an under supported books or authors.

So for Videoblogging Week 2010 consider making a video or two about the book that helped you see the world in a new light.

Don't want to do a talking head or show your puss? That is not a problem; animate lines from the book, find photos or images that represent concepts from the book and that will work too. April 11th is coming.

Preparation is a good thing.