Another wild thought about video workflow

So in the past, I talked about combining video from two cameras with the VIRB overlay (GPS and heart rate data) and how complex it is. Well, I’m about to throw another complexity into it, because now I have three cameras and I don’t just want to split the screen for the whole duration. This means I’d need to go through VIRB Edit three times to put the overlay on each video (and maybe a couple more times if I want to use split screen for some of them), which is incredibly time consuming.

But then I thought, why do I need to do this? Why don’t I just make a VIRB overlay over a solid color, and then use a Chroma-key (aka “green screen” although it’s not necessarily green) to composite that with each clip as needed in iMovie? Sliding stuff back and forth to match up time lines isn’t that hard in iMovie, and VIRB Edit sucks as a video editor. Hmmm. Even better, I found I can use ffmpeg to generate the “background” solid color clip of the desired resolution and color.

The only problem is that iMovie no longer has Chroma-key. It used to, but then they took it out when they made it “more user friendly”. And I suspect that going back to iMovie 9 for this would mean I could no longer use the current iMovie.

I know you can do Chroma-key in ffmpeg, but I’m not sure how you’d match up the start times since I never start my cameras and the GPS at exactly the same time.

Maybe it’s time to start looking at third party software?

Need some artistic judgement

I’m thinking of replacing my 17″ Powerbook G4 (aka “AlBook”) with a 17″ MacBook Pro (MBP), although I’m waiting to see if they announce something with the new three-touch touch pad like the MacBook Air (MBA). Rumour has it that they’re waiting for Intel to bring up production levels on a new chip before they do, and that’s why it wasn’t announced at the same time as the MBA.

SnowbirdsThe best feature of my AlBook is that I got a custom “skin” made featuring a picture of the Snowbirds in flight. I took it to the Wings and Wheels air show in St. Catherines last year, and got all the Snowbirds officers (including Snowbird 10 and 11, and their public affairs officer) to sign it. Several of the pilots expressed admiration for it, and asked where they could get one for their own laptops. The skin is made of vinyl, and the web site said you could peel it off, but I very much doubt it would transfer. And I don’t want to risk damaging it, especially since one of the pilots who signed it died in an accident this year. So it’s going to stay on the Albook. But I definitely want one for the new MBP.

I went to the Snowbirds web site and downloaded some of their high resolution promotional pictures, and their logo and wordmark which are available in EPS files, and played around in Photoshop a bit. I definitely wanted one with all 9 planes, and I think I like this one best, but I can’t decide on the placement of the logo and wordmark. First time ever I wished I’d installed that poll plugin, but please look at the following two pictures and tell me in the comments which you prefer. (As always, clicking the thumbnail will take you to a bigger version.)

Option 1 Option 2
Option 1 Option 2

And before you ask, yes, I am procrastinating. I need to re-engineer one of my tables and the classes that use it, and I don’t want to.

Can’t win, shouldn’t try

I got a notice that Gallery 2.2 is out, and they recommend upgrading. So I thought I’d try. And it seemed straightforward enough. I did all the steps, and when it got to the part in the automated upgrade about updating plugins, it start spewing hundreds of errors, both database and file system. And any attempt to continue the upgrade without updating the plugins got me to a page saying the theme I’m using wasn’t present, and when I attempted to change the theme it booted me back into the upgrade process.

I deleted the entire php directory and restored it from backup, and deleted the database and restored it from backup. But it told me that I was using a newer version of the Gallery core module than the rest of the program, and said I couldn’t do that. I have no idea where this “core module” is if it’s not in the gallery2 directory. So I’ve blown away the entire gallery, including the g2data directory, and am restoring it from backup. That includes all the picture files, so it’s probably going to take hours. Let’s hope it works.