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BC2006 - Which sessions to tape?

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:52 pm
by filipp
Hi gang,

I set up a quick survey based on this years schedule to find out which sessios people would be most interested in having archived.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Many TIA,

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:38 pm
by zoogie
can we tape them all? :)

here are soome ideas from watching other events.

I would like to suggest that if possible, the audio is also captured separately, eg via minidisc or other connected to the speakers mike.
Also in past events I have watched (the questions of audience is not heard, and the presenter does not repeat them. A solution might be to overlay(text) any such audience questions on the video, so we can get the benefit of the questions.

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:34 pm
by filipp
My initial idea was to capture everything too, but by the looks of it, we only have 1 dedicated camera and several events going on at once.

Audio will be my topmost priority this year. That and getting the presentations/screen grabs straight off the wire. The plan is to have a wireless lapell mike attached to the speaker and then get the comments/questoins with the cam mike. Overlaying the questions on the video is also a good idea. Thanks for your feedback!

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:37 pm
by filipp
And another simple way of getting the questions on tape is to ask the presenter to repeat them into the mic. I'll try and do it this year.

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:50 am
by zoogie
We appreciate your efforts, Filipp.

Cant wait to learn from some of these vids

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:53 am
by filipp
Thanks, zoogie.
The reason I signed up for this was because I think the sessions are really great. I actually pulled a whole rigging project simply by watching B. Kurdali's rigging session from '05.

Looking forward to this. :)

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:59 am
by konrad_ha
As I said on Blendernation:

I could lend you my Canon Mini-DV Camera for the time of the conference.

The only problem is that I don't want to operate it all the time and I also don't have a tripod for it.

Additionally I'd bring my IRIver, which is an MP3-Player with a line-in and recording capability.

Problem here: I'd don't have a mic for it.

As this is the first time I'm attending the conference I wonder how the individual sessions are organized. Are there people dedicated to recording and generally watch over every session?

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:42 pm
by filipp
konrad, many thanks! I'll see if I can get an extra mic and tripod, that way we might be able to roll both venues at once. :) I'll let You know ASAP.

I registered a BC2006 IRC channel:

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:44 pm
by joeri
My experience is that it's not so hard to tapes everything.
But that it's a monster task to edit/convert everything.

Specialy when people start talking about "Have a mix of talker and screen" they probably have no idea how much work is involved in editing such a thing.

Yes best is if all speakers hand a copy of their slides. My experience is that this is not easy to do. The speakers are not "forced" by the BF to deliver a copy of their speach, which can be in any format on any operating system.

The waag can help with taping what is on screen (it goes to a lifefeed anyway), that will be in PAL resolution. But sometimes the waag guys just don't show up, and the presentation will not wait untill the technic is ready.
Easiest thing is to hook up a digital recorder to the waag microphone system. This will leave the issue of recording questions from the audience. Sometimes there is a microphone going around, but people at the conference are not very buzy thinking about the taping, I don't believe there is an easy fix. Somebody has to tell the speakers they need to repeat the questions, and if it's the camera guy then the speakers tent to ignore that remark.

If/when help is needed with the editing I'm willing to put in some hours.
I'll hand out my card at the converence :)

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:21 am
by filipp
joeri, all very good points, indeed.

We may well end up with upwards of 12 hours of material per day. Editing in itself is not a big deal - just put the picture and sound in sync and cut some alternate angles in between, but the whole process is. Capturing 12 hours takes 12 hours, compressing it takes another 12. Finally, one day's material cut and compressed at 640x480 is ~ 1,8 GB so uploading that will take some time too.

That's more than 50 hours from the moment you hit the Record button to having a finished high res file available for download. On the 24'th hour we already have the next day to tape. :)

And remember that 1 hour of DV takes up about 12 GB of space.

That's why I'm hopeful we can do all of this in one pass. Set everything up, make sure the projector feed and video mixer is working and that the sound is good. Then store everything straight onto a HDD as DV PAL and stream at 320x240.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:32 am
by filipp
joeri wrote:Somebody has to tell the speakers they need to repeat the questions, and if it's the camera guy then the speakers tent to ignore that remark.
I think the trick is to yell across the hall to the speaker to repeat a question so that everybody hears. Then they'll be too embarassed to forget it. :twisted:

But this is mostly the case with inexperienced presenters who are nervous about not messing up their show, let alone rememeber what some camera guy told him/her an hour ago. :)

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:30 am
by filipp
I've set up some compression tests for both what I think will be the streaming quality and the later download one:

Streaming (320x240 @ 8fps @ 140 kbit/s 32kbit/s audio):

Download (640x480 @ 8fps @ 400kbit/s 64kbit/s audio):

These are just codec tests - to make sure it will work with as many viewers as possible. So far they've worked with Mac/QuickTime Player 7, Mac/VLC and SomeLinuxDistro/MPlayer.

Please let me know if they work/don't work on your machine and note also your OS and player version.

The clips are videotaped off the screen, which unfortunately was not at a perfect angle with the camera, hence the heavier aliasing. I think the 8fps framerate works fairly well with full-motion video too (for cutting to the presenters / audience).

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:32 am
by konrad_ha
The videos work fine on my Gentoo Linux on AMD64.

I wasn't so sure about the 8fps framerate but it turned out better than I thought. More would always be preferable, but given the amount of videos this looks like a reasonable compromise.

Are there any plans to distribute the videos via commom p2p-networks? This could be a way to share them in full quality (25fps).

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:57 pm
by filipp
konrad_ha wrote:Are there any plans to distribute the videos via commom p2p-networks? This could be a way to share them in full quality (25fps).
Actually the framerate isn't that important. A presentation or app demo, for any practical purposes, looks the same at 8fps as 25fps. Even the presenters will look pretty OK because there's very little movement going on (the backround is stationary). Without the people, we could even go as low as 4 fps.

The question is resolution and bitrate. Unfortunately it all comes down to the lowest common denominator which in our case is PAL - we lose alot of detail already downconverting the 1042x768 (a guess) projector feed to make it PAL. The bit - and framerates define the filesize so for downloads we want to keep them as low as possible. I uploaded an 800kbit example at 720x576 (our "maximum" resolution):

720x576 @ 8fps @ 800kbit/s 64kbit/s audio: ... it-PAL.mp4

As you can see, it's not that much different from 400, however the file is twice as big. A big reason for that is ofcourse the low quality of the footage (camera angle and moire).

I did think for a minute about producing DVD(s) out of all of this, but the more I think about it, the less sense it makes. DVD would give us much greater bitrates and more time for compressing meaning slightly better spatial quality, but we'd still be limited to PAL. Moreso, they'd probably be distributed online, so you're still just downloading huge files. This would also mean having to archive everything at full quality - probably around 400 GB of data.

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:33 am
by joeri
Recording straight to HD is the way to go. Pref with on stage mixer to mix screen and cam. Should not be a problem for the main theater.
The small sessions are horrid to tape. It's a round room. I skipped all of thoose sessions. One could see them as a challenge :) The talks there are interesting though, mostly about future development.

Yelling might work :)