Today I wanted to take my HD shooting skills and apply it to the Flip Video camera.A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.
I wanted to see what kind of quality you can get if you are fairly careful. Mind you I did not bring a tripod. I used the Flip Video only. To get my shots I either had to brace the Flip against something, (sometimes my hat, sometimes a rock or my book) or place the Flip Video on something level at the right height to get the shot I want.
I then planned out what shots I would need to make something basic: wide shots, close ups, some dialogue; shots that support each other in a sequence.
Granted there is not much of a story to this piece, I tried to make a simple Vlog instead, a Video Blog if you will.
It took me about 45 minutes to conceive of this piece and shoot it. Another 2.5 hrs was spent editing the footage in Final Cut Pro, and an entire frustrating hour was spent figuring out how to work with this weird ‘iVX3’ Codec that Flip Video uses, which is hard to render and hard to output.
In the end I decided on applying a wee bit of color correction and outputting the video in 16:9 format rather than in 4:3 which is less appealing to me. Already there are few pixels to play with, with the diminutive 640×460 output of the Flip Video… so cropping out a good 30% to make it fit a 16:9 aspect ratio was a test in itself. I am wondering how good this will look for the web…
Lastly I found some Creative Commons music at one of my favorite websites: Archive.org. After finding something simple and with the right mood I plugged it into this piece.
I have found that Blip.tv does the best video encoding for the web. They have server farms which encode whatever you send them into online Flash Video (.flc) files which really look great. So I usually encode large 100MB+ H.264 files from my videos and upload them to Blip.tv.
*UPDATE* As I was writing this I noticed that the blog has been upgraded to allow direct uploading. So pick your poison 🙂
I hope you like this piece. I also hope it assuages some fears about using the Flip Video.
Kirk- Spielberg Team
ps. the part where I walk to the water and read the book was speeded up. The Flip Video iVX3 codec doesn’t like that so it looks a bit choppy. In the end though I left it that way because it looked cool to me. I think we will have to find an intermediate codec for the Flip Video before editing. I will work on this.