David Beroff (d4b) wrote,
David Beroff

Random tech notes on video creation

I've been having some difficulties with pixel aspect ratio again. The answer "should" be a simple matter of setting both input and output to 1.0, as it was before, and yet, something's still amiss.

I'd been using Zamzar.com lately to convert from MPG to FLV, but for this latest video, the audio got quite distorted, (as well as some very minor video nits). I re-rendered the MPG using just one audio channel instead of stereo (on a hunch), and converted it using Format Factory. The audio came out far cleaner, and the FLV was much smaller as an added bonus.

The "PowerPoint" video style (display the script as primarily text only) seems pretty straight-forward, and it is admittedly much faster to produce than my usual approach, but (as always), there were a few minor hiccups until I got the right formula to create it efficiently. I wanted to be able to use word processing software to create the slides, rather than having to work around the limitations of text presentation in Sony Vegas, but then there was the issue of not wanting to have to copy-and-paste each individual slide to the exact right dimensions. So....

OpenOffice.org Writer seems to display 96dpi when using a 50% zoom, so I used page sizes of 13.33" x 10" to simulate 640x480 screens. Text is just 48/60/72/96 point Arial. Then I exported the ODT to PDF, and used Zamzar to convert that to a series of PNG's; 24 of them for this video. (Those apparently have to be downloaded individually, which is a mild pain, but it's still much faster than hand-sizing each one.) Each PNG came out as 960x720, which I'm guessing is why the edges of the red letters weren't as crisp as I'd like, (when Sony Vegas had to resize them to 640x480), but it's "good enough". I might fiddle with the numbers again next time, but Zamzar was doing some odd things with the font sizes and page sizes when I was experimenting, until I reached this particular formula. Too bad OOo won't let me specify ODT/PDF pagesize in pixels; that'd make this all a bit cleaner.
Tags: aspect ratio, openoffice, video creation
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