Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Video / Photo Shooting Table

Shooting Table Setup and Lighting - Video shows the setup and use of a video and photography shooting table constructed out of 3/4-inch PVC plumbing pipe and a translucent white portable filing box (for hanging file folders).

Overhead Laboratory Camera Mount - Video shows the setup and use of an overhead "tripod" for mounting a small camera or video camera to document laboratory procedures from an overhead view.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Video Equipment Projects

Professional video gear is outside the budgets of most instructors.
Here are some innovative projects for "home-brew, do-it-yourself" construction of projects to extend your filming tools.

Radio Control Pan / Title Rig -- RC controller moves camera for aerial shots.
$14 Camera Stabilizer - shoot handheld video without the roller-coaster results
PVC Fig Rig stabilizer - shoot handheld video
Underwater Housing - for small video cameras (plans)
Underwater Camcorder Housing - Larger cameras
Near Infrared Filter - heat signatures'
Helmet Camera - Hands-free recording for point-of-view videos
Camera Crane for $60 - for very lightweight DV cameras
Camera Jib Crane and Tripod for $200 - for heavier cameras.
Track Dolly System for $100 - smooth "rolls" of camera along a path
Homemade Dolly for $50 - another version using PVC
Make a Greenscreen for Chroma Key - substitute background images (weathermap)
Timelapse Panning using an old clock motor
Microscope Video in Macro Mode
In Car Headrest Camera Mount
Dash Cam Mount
Bicycle Camera Mount
Motorcycle Camera Mount
Giant Tripod
Tripod Dolly - Rolling base for video
Camcorder Clamp Rig - clamp your video camera to most surfaces
USB Webcam Telescope - Turn an old USB camera and a Zoom lens into web-telescope
Build a Teleprompter - Less than $50 requiring software
Microphone Blimp / Boom - less noise and wind on your recordings

Photo Construction Projects

Photography can be a central part to the design of a technical or health course, in order to show steps in a process, details of tools and materials, and to contrast and compare different items.

Taking effective photographs can be made simpler with the right tools. One of these tools is a "shooting table" on which items to be photographed are placed and lit.

Commercial Shooting Tables
B&H Photo Video - Shooting Tables
Adorama - Still Life Photo Equipment

Here are some links to construction ideas and parts for building a shooting table.

Monday, January 05, 2009

More FREE Software for College Students

Here are a few sites with recommendations on FREE software for college students.

College Crunch Free Software Guide - descriptions and screenshots
Campus Grotto - simple list of links
Microsoft DreamSpark - free development software to highschool and college students
Bill Mullins Blog on Best Free Software - links and descriptions
PortableApps.com - Free software that runs from a USB Flash Drive
Make Use Of Portable Software - 100 portable applications for a USB Flash Drive

Computer Programming in 3D

Screenshot of an animated character wearing ice skates on a frozen winter pond outdoors
I stumbled upon a site from Carnegie Mellon University which is a FREE programming environment which allows students to learn the concepts of object oriented programming through building and animating virtual world scenes. After downloading and unzipping the program, you are given a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the application. It is quite fun, and you can build your own animation within minutes.
To get Alice, go to the downloads area of http://www.alice.org/

Alice runs on Windows, OSX and Linux.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Effective Demonstration of Video - FreeDrumLessons.com

I am not a fan of "talking head" uses of video in online and hybrid courses. I feel that audio is a better vehicle if you aren't demonstration a process or procedure.

However, video can be essential to the success of students in an online course.
View a great set of FREE videos which are very effective at teaching techniques to students at FreeDrumLessons.com. The videos have the instructor explain the process, then demonstrate the process, and then provide sheet-music instructions for viewers.

Even if you've never drummed before, this site will get your fingers tapping!