Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lights, Camera, Geek

It's an old family tradition (3 years old to be precise) that between Christmas and New Year I assemble a DVD slideshow movie of the best of the Family Stan photographs from the year.

Every year I get more ambitious, which is fine because every year the technology to support the ambition gets better.

Firstly the soundtrack. Linux has a wonderful range of free toys in this area.
  1. Download the video containing the tune you want from youtube using the youtube-dl application.
  2. Extract the tune from the video using mplayer
  3. Use the dvd:rip application to extract a file from a DVD of Stanetta's church play. This contains numerous stills and pieces of her dialogue that I cut into separate files for later use.
  4. Use the rather wonderful Audacity application to mix the tune with samples of dialogue. I could have played with this for weeks.
I couldn't find anything in Linux that came close to Windows Movie Maker, so I used that to organise the still pictures into order and set up transitions between them.

It was then I realised that I had done this in exactly the wrong order - you really shouldn't mix your soundtrack until you know how long your video is going to be.

To finish the job I burned the finished movie onto DVD using Microsoft's DVD maker.

Hopeful next year someone will have produced something that does all of these operations in one neat application. But next year I'll want to be even more creative with the year-end movie. Animation ? 3-D ? Guest Stars ? Behind-the-scenes DVD extra features and interviews with the cast?

Looking at the finished movie I was reminded that I've had a cracking 2008. Business has been lousy but everything else has been just wonderful.

Happy New Year to all my readers and may 2009 bring you the vast majority of what you think you want and all of what you need.

Stan xxx

1 comment:

Flitcraft said...

I'm better at the sound editing than the rest of it- but you might find this amusing http://tiny.cc/UqJ2J Warning- contains hymn-singing, sweariness, Neolithic antiquities, technology and trousers!