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Posts Tagged ‘video’
22 Nov

From Glass to Spectacles: A kid’s POV

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Over the weekend I was able to secure a pair of the Snapchat’s Spectacles (formerly Epiphany Eyewear for wearable nerds with a memory) and have been putting it through its paces.

I have had a past with testing out wearable glasses before.

In testing them, I let my kid give them w spin too.

Here’s video my son captured while drawing — it’s circular video because of the unique (and pretty cool) Snapchat circular format:

For context, here’s video of my son playing while wearing Google Glass:

06 Nov

NYT VR: It’s just the beginning of a long road

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IMG_0230

I watched NYT/VRSE’s VR mini documentary called The Displaced, through the newly launched NYT VR app and it is clearly a sign of things to come.

Here are some thoughts after I watched the piece.

First, like other VR apps, the app itself took seconds to download, but the actual VR content took more time. The Displaced was 329MBs and took a few minutes to download. How long? I don’t know, I set it to download and worked on other things.

Whether we like it or not, this is the current state of VR… streaming is still clunky, but, of course, it’s just a matter of time before the tech catches up.

Now the piece itself.

It was gorgeous.

There are some truly beautiful shots they got and could only capture through a 360 rig.

They displayed creativity by having diverse shots, ranging from static with a tripod to mounted on a bike to handheld by a kid run after another.

You can tell by the rig's shadow, it's not the GoPro setup.

You can tell by the rig’s shadow, it’s not the GoPro setup.

The stitching, which is one of the major challenges in video VR, was pretty impressive and, based on the shadows the rig left, this was captured and stitched through something more advanced that the “simple” 6-camera, GoPro rig. Perhaps a Jaunt VR or Nokia’s Ozo setup.

The audio was the “voice of god” style and was not 360, but it was still powerful to hear the children in their our voices and languages, telling their own stories.

Due to the languages, the piece relied on subtitles.

And, while they cleverly placed the subtitles around three locations, the text was still hard to read, at least via Google Cardboard.

Bonus: You can watch this piece holding your phone vertically and but’s a great experience. (Whether you like it or not, vertical video is winning!)

Now, the bad news.

Outside of the high-level understanding of the story – three displaced kids – I don’t know what they really said. I couldn’t quote it back to you.

This is one of those it’s-beautiful-like-Snow-Fall-but-I-don’t-remember-the-actual-story situation, which VR is going to face as it starts out.

Most VR offers the flash of new and cool through tech rather than substance of story, but this piece really tried to deliver the story. It has incredible shots and visually takes advantage of each 360 degree.

But it’s not a powerful piece like, say, Perspectives I: The Party.

The real test is whether or not people download the next set of stories and continue to use the app – with or without Cardboard. That’s a high bar that content I can’t remember may not make it over. It’s a high bar that we all have to overcome if we want this to truly take off.

I am excited for what’s to come and – from I hear through the VR community – you should be too.
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I spy the production crew (the only show you really see them).

10 Sep

My teaching style? Nerding out (video bio)

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So, I did this cool project for USC called Connecting with USC Scholars, in which I lead a micro seminar course about Augmented Reality. They did a fantastic job producing some slick videos… seriously, go check them out.

Among the videos was one “about” me… and I kinda like it. (Is that vain?)

I managed to track down (from a secret location) and have embedded it here (don’t judge):

10 Jan

MUST SEE: Video of Brad Frost’s ‘Death to Bullshit’ talk

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Brad Frost (“web designer, speaker, writer, consultant, musician, and artist in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA”) gave an amazing talk I shared last year, but I just realized I never posted it here for me to remember and refer to. (If you haven’t noticed, this blog is for me… a collection of reminders, inspiration, random thoughts and occasional rants.)

So, see this. It’s AWESOME. So f*cking good.

2013/4 Brad Frost from CreativeMornings/PGH on Vimeo.

Paper is bullshit.
Jargon is bullshit.
Sensationalism is bullshit.
Opportunism is bullshit.
QR Codes are bullshit.
Disruptions are bullshit.
Cruft is bullshit.
Spam is bullshit.
Anti-patterns are bullshit.
Advertising is bullshit.

The talk was part of a series put on by CreativeMornings/Pittsburgh. See more of their videos here: https://vimeo.com/cmpittsburgh/videos.

CreativeMornings talks are happening in many cities, including international. Go to one near you: http://creativemornings.com/

25 Jun

Uploading a custom video into Instagram app (almost)

Since writing a how to post on uploading a custom video into Vine, based on Chris Medina’s video walkthrough, lots of folks have been asking me for a similar trick for Instagram’s new feature.

Well thanks to BritAlb, who added this in the comments, we have a link to a post by Austin Tompkins that claims to have figured it out. I have not tried it yet.

BUT, it is only for Android devices.

I did another Web search and found this post by Nathaniel Akin on techenvy.com. This post is also just for Android devices.

Again, I have not confirmed if their process works, since I am iOS / iPhone.

On my end, using the iExplorer, I was able to find the location where all the Instagram video files are located:

iExplorer –> iPhone –> Apps –> Instagram –> Library –> Application Support –> Instagram –> Videos

iExplorer-Instagram

I did the swap out test from the Vine hack and it didn’t take. I’ve done other experiments and they have also failed.

One thing I found interesting is that when I replaced the video with one of mine or another Instagram video, it would disappear from the app. When I restore it back to the original video it came back into the app.

In other words:

  • OG Instragram video –> externally edited video overwrites OG Instragram video –> video disappears from app.
  • Externally edited video –> A different OG Instragram video overwrites externally edited video –> video disappears from app.
  • Different OG Instragram video –> the ORIGINAL OG Instagram video overwrites different OG Instragram video –> video returns back to the app.

What this tells me is that there is some meta data tying it all together. I think the key is also the teaser image.

I’m about to board a plane, but I wanted to share this with others in hopes we can figure this out together!

We’re making progress.

Categories: Projects, Technology Tags: , ,
10 Jun

Intro to Ninja Gaiden via Vine


As some of you know, I’ve been playing with a Vine hack by Chris Medina. I wrote a blog post walking you through how to do it but, after a Vina app update, I thought the hack/trick was killed.

Turns out it still works. I updated my ‘how-to’ blog post with how I did this series of Vines based on videosI edited in iMovie (of all places) and uploaded into the app.

An homage to one of the bestest game intros ever.



These were taken from this YouTube video… hence the visual quality isn’t the greatest: http://youtu.be/_rkaiKYEkDQ

30 Mar

How to upload a custom video to Vine, like the 6-second ‘The Wolverine’ trailer

Vine app logoUPDATE 06.10.2013: I can confirm the trick still works: http://blog.webjournalist.org/2013/06/10/intro-to-ninja-gaiden-via-vine/.

I tweeted this a few days back and thought I should add it here too.

On Monday a 6-second preview of The Wolverine was posted on Vine:

Clearly, this wasn’t made through the Vine app… which got me thinking, how could I post my own edited content onto Vine too?

Less than six seconds later I found the answer on YouTube:

I created this URL linking to the video: http://bit.ly/vineupload

After stumbling a little — the video isn’t perfect — I was able to create my own 6-second trailer:

Before we get into the steps, let me tell you where I got my video:

Then I proceeded to follow the steps outlined in the video, but I am adding more details from my experiences.

Here are the steps, thanks to the video and my own experience doing it:

Step 1: Download and install iExplorer. While you can buy the software, the demo works as well. What this software does is allow you to see the files on your iOS devices, which includes the files created and saved by your apps. It’s pretty cool, especially because you don’t have to jailbreak your phone.

Step 2: Connect your iOS device to your computer via your USB connector. For some reason, the first time it took a few minutes for iExplorer to recognize my iPhone (4S) was connected to my computer. (It was a few days ago, so I don’t remember exactly what I did outside of changing the USB port and restarting the program a few times. I think I might have even restarted my machine too. I noticed that I had to have the phone unlocked as well. Hopefully it just detects for you.) UPDATE: It immediately detects my phone every time I launch now.

Step 3: Like the video shows, you want to navigate to your list of apps, going to Vine and then Vine’s ‘tmp’ directory. This is where all your Vine videos appear after recording, as an MP4. It also generates a thumbnail based on the video too.

Step 4: Drag-and-drop your already edited 6-second video into this tmp directory. Call the file some you’ll remember… obviously.

Step 5: Launch Vine and start recording the Vine video. DO NOT reach the time limit of the Vine. For me, I stop recording one the green check mark appears. What you record doesn’t matter because it will be overwritten by your edited file.

Step 6: Immediately refresh the tmp directory. I go up one level, refresh ‘tmp’ and go back into in and I immediately see the new temp Vine… (something called temp_record_1370842632.980168.mp4). Like the video shows, copy the new file’s name, then rename it to something different (like by adding an “x” at the end of it). Then, go to your manually edited file and rename it the new file name. Vine continues to process the temporary video and *poof* it makes the swap on the app, including generating a thumbnail. UPDATE: I don’t know if this matters, but when I published it, I only published it to Vine… not my social media platforms.

Step 7: Go back to the Vine app and click on the green checkbox. Your manually edited video should appear. Add your meta information and publish. (To test if it worked, click on the three-dots-icon in the lower right hand corner, select ‘share this post,’ then tweet it out or select ’embed’ to email yourself the URL.)

So what’s cool about this?

Imagine content creators using this method to promo their content. An edited video Tweet that is a teaser to your produced Web video. Try it out!

Here’s an easy link to this post: http://bit.ly/uploadtovine

P.S. I uploaded the entire RickRoll video to Vine and it got published… but the app killed it. The video was 13.4MBs and 3:33 minutes, so quite large and much longer than 6 seconds. I uploaded a 30-second version, which was 2.7 MBs and that also didn’t work. I tried again with a 10-second clip, which was 914kb, and it worked:

01 Sep

Video: Horizontal Loyalty Ignite talk at Spark Camp

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For those interested, here is video of my Ignite talk on Horizontal Loyalty. You can see my slides here.

08 Dec

The GoPano Micro could be awesome, but still has a bit to go

GoPano MicroI just got a new tech toy in the mail that I think could be pretty effective in journalism.

“Could” is the key word.

The GoPano Micro (around $80) allows your iPhone to record and upload 360 videos that lets users to zoom in/out and scroll while watching the video. (I didn’t know this, but they have adapters and software made for better-than-iPhone cameras.)

It’s pretty easy to install and start recording. First, you snap on an iPhone cover and pop in the periscope-looking lens. Then you install the app and creating an account. That’s it… you are ready to go.

You can record, view and share your 360 videos through your phone. The videos are even embeddable.

It’s all pretty simple.

Except for one significant issue… the image focus is not good. It’s bad.

Here are two tests I did:
USC Heritage Hall

My USC office

The @GoPano Twitter account did respond to my request for times on how to improve the focus by providing me with these links:

  • http://support.gopano.com/customer/portal/topics/98224-gopano-micro/articles
  • http://blog.gopano.com/2011/10/20/where_have_my_pixels_gone/
  • http://support.gopano.com/customer/portal/articles/221550-how-to-manually-calibrate-the-gopano-micro
  • They didn’t really improve anything, but I appreciate their responsiveness.

    I think software/app tweaks could really improve this device. Perhaps allow touch focusing as the video is recording… that way we can really control what gets in focus, rather then everything slightly blurry.

    If the quality of the image improves, I can easily see this in a variety news situations and events. Can you imagine how awesome this would be in the middle of a riot?

    Outside of the obvious need to improve the image, the next cool feature would be to live stream the 360 video.

    There is no doubt that the technology is coming… I just wish it got here with my GoPano Micro.

    21 Sep

    Talk Journalism with Me

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    I’ve written about experimenting with Google+ Hangouts before, and finally did a project inspired by Jon Favreau‘s Dinner for Five on IFC and Talking Funny on HBO: http://talk.journalismwith.me.

    @talkJournalism or #tjwm hopes to be an entertaining and insightful look into the minds of some of the country’s leading journalism thinkers/doers. The informal ‘show’ is held through a Google+ Hangout and broadcasted out using UStream.

    Here’s the first episode… you will notice it’s a work in progress… it did not pick up my audio for some reason.

    There *will* be another episode. Trying to align the schedules of the next panel.

    Please, feel free to send me feedback. Email: talk [at] journalismwith.me or tweet us by using the #tjwm hashtag.

    π