The Sucky Thing About Video is Sharing.

I worked hard to get my video to look just right on my precisely calibrated monitor the other day and once I had it just the way I wanted it I rendered it and uploaded it to Vimeo. My client got a clean H.264 file and uploaded that one to YouTube. Oh Dear God! How depressing. While the Vimeo version looked crappy compared to what I was seeing on my monitor the YouTube version was even worse. All the shadows looked muddy and the fine detail had just vanished. I thought I was looking at SD video on a CRT. I guess that if one wants to see their video displayed the way it was intended you just have to bite the bullet and host it on your own server. Which would be a recipe for financial disaster; depending on how many loyal viewers you have looking at your work.

I've gotten into a horrible cycle of uploading to Vimeo and they, after the file is processed on their site, going to review it there and then come back and make changes to every clip (color, contrast, density) and then render and upload again. It's a time consuming process. 

On another note, the Panasonic fz2500 still has a few glitches when it comes to stably keeping the AF sensor where I want it; even with the touch screen turned off, but it's rare enough that I consider the camera usable and have gotten some really great images from it. Where it shines is in shooting video.

Personal note: If I seem a bit removed from the blog this week it's probably because my son is doing a semester abroad at a university in Seoul, S. Korea and the war posturing of the U.S. and N. Korea is a bit unsettling for an already anxious parent. Seems things are quieting down now and I'll focus a bit more on the writing and photography. I'll take that bottle of Xanax back off the desk.....

These images were all done handheld, at ISO 800 and 1600 with the Panasonic fz2500. I like them a  lot.


MO said...

the behind the ear microphone shot is awesome. The video rendering from the interview was great to. kinda showed live, what your earlier explanation post explained. very interesting reading and watching.


Wally said...

How would the worlflow change to render the image for the small screen? This reminds me of when I worked in a recording studio and the final mix from the expensive recording gear and huge speakers was to listen to a couple of the smallest car speakers from the local auto parts store to simulate ambient noise in a car.

ODL Designs said...

Hey Kirk,
I went through a similar issue where the videos just look teeerrrible. I learned, and you may already know, that Youtube has 2 codecs... the good one is avi1 or something, and the other is v9 (sorry I can't remember them offhand). Apparently if you video get s a certain number of views it gets the codec upgrade... which massively improves the video quality.

As for Vimeo, I thought they were pretty good?

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Vimeo seems much, much better but it's still no comparison with what you'd see on your screen, working with an uncompressed file. Good to know about the multiple codecs on YouTube. A reason to strive for a bigger audience.

Michael Matthews said...

Wally's recording studio experience points up a dilemma. In producing radio commercials the mix absolutely had to be evaluated on small, low quality speakers. Most radio listening (at least in earlier times) was done in cars in which the speakers were a low-bid afterthought to the manufacturer. As a result, what was tweaked to a splendid result in the studio could turn into mud when heard in the real world -- unless it was given the crappy little speaker test and adjusted to fit.

This kind of video production raises more problems. How will it be heard? In what setting, on what hardware? Who knows? How do you optimize the final mix? Tablet and laptop speakers...earbuds? Then throw in a unique consideration: if the client is hearing it on THX-enabled theater system, a door being closed down the hall during an interview can sound like a gunshot. To 99.9% of the world it won't even exist. No wonder there's a high level of ambience angst at play here.