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SHOMI Design Guide - Video

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Video content is a well established media form. It combines motion or still graphics with sound. Its uses are unlimited, from instructional online tutorials to interactive DVDs. The same principles of working with sound and images apply in this medium. For example, always work with a high quality master file and compress only at the end when you are outputting your final file. Similarly, there are different factors to be aware of when creating video for web and for DVD.

What You Will Need

Recording equipment: a microphone, headphones, digital recorder or digital camera, a computer with an internet connection and video editing software. The industry standard software for video editing are Adobe® Premiere® and Adobe® Encore® as well as DigiDesign® Pro Tools. These are high end software programs that come with a high price tag. There are also free video editing software programmes available online. Of course, these will be more limited but may serve your purposes adequately. You can get more information at:

Video for DVD

Below is a list of DOs & DON’Ts when incorporating/creating video for a DVD project.

DO work with high quality sound and video files. If you plan on recording your own video, do so at a high resolution and sound quality. If you plan on creating a montage of still images with sound files, source uncompressed, high resolution/bitrate files as your master files if possible.

DO ensure that you have permission to use the video content as well as any images or audio content.

DO be clear about what platform you are going to play your DVD and format the size ratio accordingly. If you plan on using your DVD on a TV screen, most modern flat screen TVs are 16:9 aspect ratio. Traditional TV screens were 4:3 but these are becoming obsolete.

DO choose RGB colour format for any still images you will use in your project.

DO Reduce your images to 72 DPI and do a ‘save as’ to create a new document so as not to save over your original high resolution image. Save them in the specified preferred file format of your software. These can then be imported into your video editing software.

DON’T forget to include your videos and image/sound files in the same folder as the master file. These files are linked externally so it is important the software knows exactly where to find them.

DO save regularly. It is also a good idea to publish your video every so often to check for bugs.

DO back up your work on an external hard drive. Video projects create very large files and can jam up your hard drive if you store them all there. Back up your work to be safe and when your project is finished, back it up safely and delete from your hard drive.

DO decide on the most suitable file format for your final video. File size is not such an issue for DVD so you can afford to create larger higher quality files. You can get information about this in the video editing software itself. Export your finished video to this file format. The most popular files format is Adobe QuickTime™.

DO burn your final video onto DVD.

Video for the Web

The same rules apply when designing video for the web except for a few important differences.

DO publish as an Adobe Flash Video (.flv): There are several video file formats suitable for web such as Shockwave®, Real Player™ and QuickTime™. However, the preferred format for embedding video into web pages is Adobe Flash Video (.flv) format. This is a compressed file format which will compromise visual and audio quality. Your challenge is to find an acceptable balance between file size and resolution.

DO put your video into your web page layout: When you have published your file, either put it in your web page (HTML code) or create a link on your website interface that will launch the video once clicked.

DO upload your file: Upload your video into your web server directory and you should be able to view online.