Let’s have some fun

I’ll say it again: MUCHO thanks to mArniAc for bringing virtualdub to my attention.  It’s such a great tool, albeit limited in the formats it can save (right now: only AVI2).  Despite that limitation, I can still use it to produce an edited yet acceptable movie even if the output is too large and has to run through QuickTime or Movie Mangler Maker to produce a final version for upload.

Here’s the deal: I have several dozen videos that are in moderately poor condition.  There are several reasons for that.  The two major ones, though, are that (a) I had the camera on the wrong settings, and (b) I didn’t have enough light.  Sometimes both problems hit at once, yet it only takes one of them to ruin a good film.

I’ve complained before about how QuickTime has its limitations when it comes to editing, although let me sing its praises when compared to Movie Maker, which has extremely limited functionality.  Of course, Windows made that product for the masses, not for those who might be a bit more serious and a bit more technical.  Nevertheless, both tie my hands when it comes to editing videos.

Then in walks virtualdub.  What a great tool.  It’s not for the timid as it’s more like a *nix product than a windows product (that means it’s not push-button easy but instead requires some technical expertise).  And I love it.

Take this video for instance.  The original was extremely dark.  I have others that are even darker.  What worried me about them is that Apple and Microsoft both provide tools that use brute force when it comes to lightening a video.  QuickTime is a bit more versatile with some color filters that can also be applied, much unlike Movie Maker.  Yet both tools often spit out an almost unwatchable mess no matter how hard I tried to make it presentable.

With virtualdub, on the other hand, lightening a video is just the first step.  I can afterward apply additional filters to correct the colors and contrast and hues and a plethora of other variables that ultimately help make the resulting output at least more like reality and less like a kindergarten project.

Now keep in mind my skills with editing videos are even less impressive than my skills editing photographs.  That’s pretty bad.  I still find I can edit with virtualdub and create a viewable file without hating it altogether.

All of that said, this is a short video of Kazon playing in the kitchen.  Yes, it’s been lightened.  Yes, I tinkered with the contrast.  And yes, I also tinkered with the colors and hues and saturation.  After trying to edit it in both QuickTime and Movie Maker, and getting a final video that was practically indistinguishable from regurgitated sand, I was able to run it through virtualdub while tinkering with the settings until it finally came out with enough clarity and color and light to be worth posting.

So, since I can’t post photos at the moment, here’s a video instead.  I figure at least we can watch Kazon having fun.

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