Me, programs, examinations and coursework.

Apple Store Refresh?

Update @ 21:13 HKT: The US Apple Store returned. It appears that Apple updated its store to include Father’s Day promotions.

Update @ 21:12 HKT: The Hong Kong store has returned, but the US Apple Store remains offline.

The Apple Store appears to be offline today, after I logged on to check out the prices of some accessories I wanted to buy. We’ll see what changes Apple has made after their store returns.

Looking back at the various differences between the planning and editing stages, there seems to be some discrepancies that I’m highly amused to write about.

  1. The video does not have the same shots as originally planned. Unforeseen problems and failed timing meant that the shots were all taken on one day in around two locations. This greatly limited the settings available and many shots were replaced accordingly.
  2. The video does not follow the storyboard as originally planned. A lack of determination and perceived urgency meant that the shots were taken too quickly and not enough video was captured for the final render.
  3. Special effects originally planned were excluded from the final cut. This is, again, because the original shots that required special effects were replaced with other clips due to unavailable footage.
  4. Nothing seemed to follow the original plan. This is probably just due to a skill on future planning that I need to learn. Sigh.

Encoding Exports

After doing all the editing, the final stage of any videomaking process is to render the whole thing.

Adobe Premiere has a built-in Export tool, which allows manipulation of tens of settings that all change the final output of the video. I chose H.264, a common encoding format for videos, and used PAL DV High Quality at first, although switched to another preset later on.

What’s most interesting is the buttons along the bottom right of the user interface. There’s the standard Cancel button, a Metadata button that allows me to edit all the metadata included with the video (every single bit, which is thousands), and then there’s a Queue and Export button.

What’s the difference?

Export immediately creates the video, from anything that Premiere has on hand. It’s the fast, dirty option, programmed for quick results.

Queue, however, sends all the Premiere data to the Adobe Media Encoder and renders the video there. It’s much sleeker and efficient because the Media Encoder is better at creating the file type, and saves space. Unfortunately, the rendering takes several times longer.

After it’s all set, all that’s left is to hit Return, let the Media Encoder start, drain a tonne of Alex’s resources, and render the video.

I sat watching the Encoder go through the entire project for a full ten minutes, spending the first eight of those minutes rendering the first 5 seconds of the video and the last two minutes rendering the remaining 3 minutes or so. Apparently, Adobe Media Encoder is very good at rendering out video clips but takes painstakingly long on still images. I have not thought up a plausible explanation for why.

Still, Adobe’s powerful suite of programs is pretty good, I must say.

I hate video taking, and the reason for that is simple: I look terrible in front of a camera.

What goes on after that, however, is something I find very fun and probably the most interesting bit of any videomaking process.

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It seems as if nothing can be known about Apple’s products just before they are released.

I’ve come to trust the rumours, but take them with a pinch of salt — some of the things that people believe about the next Apple product is just too much, but some of it is actually smack-bang right what turns up. I remember a time when some theorised that Apple might do away with the Home button on the iPad after looking at their promotional posters for WWDC.

Turned out that the Apple posters were simply the iPad used in landscape mode.

Still, I do believe that the new iPhone — likely the iPhone 5, unless Apple pulls another S and makes it the iPhone 4SS — is actually likely to keep the original screen, and I trust that Apple might change their dock connectors.

However, I don’t really believe the rumours that Apple might change their screens to 4 inches diagonally — this sounds a lot like the previous rumours of Apple changing the size of their iPhone. I like the iconic design of the iPhone and think that the screen is definitely a part of it. It hasn’t changed through the iPhone 1, iPhone 2, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S — why change it on the seventh new release?

via What do we know about the next iPhone’s design so far?.

It doesn’t make sense for everyone to do very little work spread across the entire field. There’s been much discussion of job delegation, but we’ve come to a pretty quick consensus about it (for once):

I, the most awesome with computers, will be responsible for video editing, including trimming, arrangement, colour correction, and post-production visual effects.

The very awesome Hilary Lok will be responsible for audio editing of the live audio that is to be recorded, a decision not originally included in our planning.

The Clarence Ng and Liam Yue will be doing special effects for the video, such as the inclusion of extended grassland (something that still hasn’t been found here yet!)

We’ll see how this works out.

This music video was created and edited totally by me, using my awesome skills that I have of video editing. It’s not an amazing work, I admit, but I was attempting to capture that essence and life of my form at school when I made it… I think I’ve got a fair bit in it though.

What do you think?