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Video Delivers Your Message

Communicating began with sounds - roars, chirps, grunts and so on. Early Homo sapiens did a lot of grunting but started communicating in more detail with pictures on cave walls. Ever since, pictures have been an important means of communicating messages, ideas, and entertainment.

We have participated with the world of pictures - as photographer, as the subject, as a critic and so on. With the increase of pictures that move at 24 frames per second, our viewing of pictures increased. Movies morphed to television and have further morphed into the world of everything digital. All laptops, notebooks, netbooks and tablets have built-in cameras. All phones from cellular to smart have photo-taking features. The world of televisions and digital cameras can connect wirelessly but as of this moment are still awaiting the growing number of built-in capabilities. Yes, televisions and cameras will join the ranks of the digital version of the Swiss army knife.

This explosive growth of image making and image sharing is being used as part of connecting with one or a lot of people. A simple example is our personal access to videos from any device in any location. This is dramatically changing what we see, when we see it and the frequency of watching. The leader, YouTube, provides some of their statistics as evidence:
• More than 2 billion views a day
• 24 hours of video uploaded every minute
• Average person spends 15 minutes a day on YouTube website
• More video is uploaded in 60 days than all three major U.S. Networks created in 60 years

This is Q1 2011 information. With more coming, the expectation of growth is at best a guess. What is for certain is that digital imaging and video will have massive increases and impact on all phases of our personal and business activities.

Today, there is an oversupply of statistics and observations on almost every subject in whatever detail levels you need. The bottom line is that more text, audio, images and video are being viewed on your screens from small to oversize. This trend in personal devices and personal viewing will continue to grow in every direction and for every business and personal use.

Whether you choose to participate, the population is increasingly influenced by both still and moving images. You may not be influenced, but almost everyone else is. This is everyone - little children to seniors, male/female, white collar to blue collar.

The battle of the news and entertainment industries is increasing. Over-the-air TV networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN), Cable and Satellite companies (Comcast, Time-Warner, Dish, DIRECTV), Internet based (Netflix, Hulu, Yahoo, AOL, Google, YouTube and more). Amazon has started its own video streaming service and Apple is ramping up its AirPlay device that will enable you to wirelessly send streaming video from your iPhone or iPad to a television screen of any size.

Video trends have been emerging for a few years and will blast through 2011 as the platform for the years ahead. Your 24-hour day will be cluttered through the use of the technology features from new phones, tablets, televisions, cameras, computing devices and software that will enable everyone to make and share videos. It is time for all of us to get on board and be a video creator and user.

The first step is to gather together the equipment you already own. If a camera and microphone are not part of your inventory, ask a friend and obtain. There are lots of ways to create videos. Whether you decide to be a heavy hitter and hire camera crew or want to use video from your smartphone, flip or some other handheld camera, the choice is yours. Mac users have iMovie. PC users have other choices. What follows are two examples of software products that are immediately useful for the creation of movies, slide shows.

Cyberlink (www.cyberlink.com) is a full featured video creator. Movies can be uploaded to a site or transferred to a DVD. As you learn, you will use the wide variety of features to create what you want. There are many products within the Cyberlink family. Media Suite is the best choice for getting going. Cyberlink has four modules: Capture, Edit, Produce and Create Disk:

• Capture connects through your connected camera and microphone. You can use the laptop's built-in devices or connect other equipment through USB or audio input.
• Edit enables the integration of video, sound, titles, transitions, change volumes, cut, enhance, extend and shrink. You organize these elements over a timeline. You can determine when or where to increase or shrink the length of any image or sound.
• Produce supports exporting your video to the file destination of choice - mp2, mp4, WMV, MOV, et al. Uploading to YouTube or Vimeo or Facebook is an easy click and transfer process. There is no additional conversion necessary.
• Create Disc is used to create to any of the popular optical media formats. Chapter breaks are defined during the Edit module. The program supports a simple set of menus and the production of Video CDs, DVDs, and even Blu-ray format.

Many already use web-based photo albums, such as Picasa, Flickr, Kodak Share, etc. An automated way to create stylish videos is available from Muvee (www.muvee.com). The program lets you select any group of still images, such as from your last partner conference or training session, and create a video with music and voice overs.

Muvee's simple approach allows lots of use even before watching any of their online video tutorials. Step one is to add photos into the program and then decide the sequence. Changing just requires click and drag. Once the sequence is set, you choose a theme for the transition from one image to the next. You can even select speed of changes, have one image show for a longer or shorter time. Otherwise, the system will determine speed.

Background images can be selected, along with lead titles and end credits. Adding a music track helps drive the program. The music guides the flow of images and the pace is tuned to the rhythm of the music.

As for any sophisticated editing, Muvee leaves that to other software. Muvee is designed to be simple for the user to go from library to finished video. Thus, stuff like timelines, splits, and image overlays do not have to be learned and understood. Color correction for underexposed or over exposed photos an automatic feature and works effectively without user intervention.

The program does have a few "magic" features such as magic moments and magic spot. Moments is the way to edit, remove parts of the sound track or images and highlight specific frames. Spot supports cropping, selecting where to pan and zoom when the images are displayed.

The music track is a key element of Muvee. The music provides the timing and foundation for the entire production. You can select multiple tracks or portions of just one. This feature will also support silence when needed. Here is a sample screen

 

Video is here. All video programs support YouTube uploads, DVD creation and embedding the links and proper HTML code within websites and blogs. How you choose to use it as a watcher, a creator or both is up to you.

 

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