I'm writing this post so that I'll have a quick reference when I want to change my favicon in the future and for some of my fellow bloggers who don't yet have a favicon for their site. What is a favicon? It's that tiny image to the right of your site's address in the url line. Favicons also appear in most browser tabs.
Marathon asked me to figure out the how to make a favicon for our drawer organizers site. I couldn't believe how easy it was! So here goes with step-by-step easy instructions. Continue reading
Many moons ago, we ditched the default blue blob header on this wordpress blog. It took us a while to figure it out, but once we did it, we thought we couldn't forget. Well, we did forget. I finally figured it out again today. Here's how it's done -- because I'll probably forget again in a few months. Continue reading
Something happened about a month ago to this wordpress supported site. Casual readers probably didn't notice the change, but some of my menu choices are no longer present, and, most frustrating for me, I've been having trouble longer uploading pictures to the site. Before I download the upgraded version of wordpress, I have to back up all of my files in case something goes wrong during the upgrade process. Continue reading
Marathon has done a lot of experimenting with videos on websites.
Though not nearly as technical, I've had my own little experiments and mishaps with the simple process of uploading html code to this site. Here's my experience with this WordPress site. Continue reading
Using the FLV format, my instructional videos use about 1mb per minute. This is a very high-resolution format (waaaay better than youtube) at a size of 480x360 pixels. This beats using SWF by a lot. I'll be interested to see how the new silverlight format does on this.
The discourse in these instructional videos uses approximately 130 words per minute, which for me comes to just under 10 sentences per minute.
At an average size of 4.1 characters per word, this makes one quarter of a standard 8 1/2 x 11" page of text each minute.
My videos average 14 words per sentence. The transcript contains 11% passive sentences, with a Flesch Reading Ease score of 80 and a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 5.5.
For some reason, talking heads don't run in sync with their audio in Camtasia output. Some videos get a worse case than others. It ranges from "noticeable" to "annoying".
Solution: write the audio to an mp3, then pull it back in as track 2. Use the pip audio to get your new audio roughly lined up, then kill the pip audio. Now, by trial and error, adjust the sound back on the track so that it is even or slightly behind the video.
Think about it: because light travels faster than sound, we humans are accustomed to seeing someone talk before we hear their voice. The further away they are, the greater the differences. So if the video is slightly ahead of the audio, I'm guessing that most people wouldn't even pick up on it.
But having the sound arrive first is something we never experience in real life, so use this trick to avoid it in your videos.
Are there advantages to using FLV video over swf - apart from image quality ?
FLV is much more tolerant of high-motion and length, yet it takes a lot longer to encode.
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The idea here is that you put a consistent color in the background of your video and then replace it later with a still or moving image, thus creating more interest and eliminating the need for studio sets.
A "real" green screen is expensive, as is "real" greenscreen paint, but the good news is you can do it yourself more cheaply.
Simply obtain a hard, smooth surface and paint it a color which will never appear in the foreground. This is why hot blues and greens are favored -- they tend not to appear on the clothing or body.
Recommended board types would be hardboard, then MDF, then sheetrock or plywood. Simply prime them and paint on your hot, non-matching color.
Lighting of the screen needs to be very even and so you want the person/object as far away as possible from the screen. You will need lights for both the subject and the screen. 1000 watt lights with diffusion material such as "ToughSpun" are recommended.
Another tip: lighting the subject's head from above helps with the "dark halo" problem.