University of Vermont

Students on the Lawn

Unexpected Obstacles and Video Format Issue Resolved!

by Daniel Hopkins '13, CEF Summer Media Intern

The past two weeks have consisted of many unexpected obstacles and more importantly, the solutions to those obstacles.  As I began organizing and editing some of the video clips I’d converted from .MTS (a very uncommon and difficult video format to work with) to .AVI (a standard video format supported by almost all editing systems), I noticed that the trial video converter program I’d been using was shortening the length of each video and reducing the quality dramatically.  Knowing that I would be eventually uploading these videos to Vimeo, which requires rendering and therefore resulting in even lower video quality, I knew I had to find a way to fix this! 

After searching countless blogs and forums on working with .MTS footage, I came up with two solutions.  One being to buy a $250 dollar codec plug-program called MainConcept Codec Suite 5 for Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5, the editing system I’m using for this project.  This solution would allow me to work with the footage in full quality, which is really quite stunning but is also very expensive.  The other solution was to buy a $30 video converter program which would allow me to convert the video into .AVI, resulting in a lower but descent quality, while also preserving the entire length of the video clips unlike before.  Luck was on my side this time and my friend just happened to have the $30 video converter program on his computer.  I was able to load it onto my computer, and am now working with much better looking videos!  By working through this task I have proved to myself that with time, research and patience I will be able to overcome several future technological obstacles.

Aside from the minor complication previously mentioned, I’ve spent a good deal of time beginning to edit the time-lapse clip for the Equine Center PV (photo-voltaic or solar panel) installation video.  After receiving feedback from Michelle and Mieko on the sample time-lapse I had created, I’ve deciding to slow down the time-lapse speed and insert descriptive, week-by-week captions as well.  It has become apparent that it’s very important to obtain feedback and opinions from outside viewers on my work in progress.  After all, it is the viewer who decides if a video is informative, clear and entertaining or boring, scattered and vague.

Recently, I encountered another obstacle relating to the video editing production.  A colony of wasps decided to form a nest directly underneath the time-lapse camera located on the wooden post of the CREAM building at Miller Farms.  Michelle was very avid about getting this nest removed for my own safety, and I thank her for that!  It is unfortunate that these innocent critters had to be killed, but otherwise I would not have been able to upload photos from the camera without the possibility of a painful wasp attack. 

Overall, the past two weeks have taught me how important it is to be able to “roll with the punches” and adapt to unexpected situations thrown my direction.