Making Videos for Your Blog: Challenging but fun!

I’ve been making videos for my other blog for quite some time, but I thought that I would like to detail how I do this. Making videos is a time intensive task, I found, so any way I can cut corners, I might consider.

You need your source of your own video: a camera, DV-videocamera or webcam (even a mobile phone). If you are using XP, you’ll find Windows MovieMaker quite sufficient for a beginner’s level. You can organise the scenes, add effects, but you won’t have that much control of the video editing itself, apart from cutting scenes, etc. You can’t actually do much else. Still, it’s a good place to start.

I found these tools quite helpful to make some of the videos on my other website.

Bink: “Bink is a hybrid block-transform and wavelet codec that can encode your video using 16 different compression techniques (wavelet, DCT, motion compensation, a variety of vector quantizers, Smacker-style, etc). With all of these techniques in one codec, Bink can handle any type of video.”

VCDGear: “VCDGear is a program designed to allow a user to extract MPEG streams from CD images, convert VCD files to MPEG, correct MPEG errors, and more — all in a single step. Initially developed back in late 1997, the program has grown to do various extractions, conversions, and corrections on the fly. Cross-platform support will allow different machines to process and generate output that is compatible between one another.” It’s very helpful to grab data from VCD (esp. if like us, you have old videos made before DVDs became commonplace, unfortunately, it can’t add back the data that was stripped out, so the quality won’t improve!).

TMPGEnc:TMPGEnc is a free AVI to MPEG1 encoder. It will allow you to make VCDs and DVDs easily. I haven’t tried it, because I was using NERO for encoding VCDs at the moment. But this would be worth trying.

SuperEXE v2007: helps with converting WMV files to AVI and other formats, including FLV formats for browsing and playing on the web. “If you need a simple, yet very efficient tool to convert (encode) or play any Multimedia file, without reading manuals or spending long hours training, then SUPER © is all you need. It is a Multimedia Encoder and a Multimedia Player, easy-to-use with 1 simple click.”

RIVA: This tool helps to “Transcode your existing videofiles to the advanced Flash Video (FLV) format with this free Riva FLV Encoder.” It can help if you wish to upload your video files to the web for playing in your browser.

There is some overlap between some of these tools, as one or two tools didn’t achieve the required effects. I also used VLC for some basic encoding, and I used other tools when I couldn’t get the desired effects.

None of these tools really help improve the actual quality of the individual camera work, but since I spent a lot of time trying to find them, I thought I should share with you!

If you know any other great tools, please add them in the comments! Thanks.

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