Rite of Passage – 30 points

All you need to do for this assignment is put video you captured from a DV tape along with some video you grabbed from the web and set it to music. You will then render the video and upload it to Viddler or YouTube by Midnight on Monday January 22nd. This is not your big final YouTube video. It doesn’t even need to be a draft of your big final YouTube video. This will simply illustrate that you can do the following:

* capture video from DV
* download video from the web
* convert video
* place video clips together
* add audio / music
* render a video
* upload the video to Viddler or YouTube.
* write a blog post.

Warning: Working with video for the first time can be frustrating and enormously time-consuming. This is your rite of passage. If you want to succeed in this very difficult rite, set your own personal goal of finishing by Friday or Saturday. That way, you *might* get done by Monday night.

Step One: Grab your media

from a DV tape (you can just use the Vegas tutorial on “how to capture video”) or:
1. connect DV player/camera to computer with FireWire.
2. go to “capture video” in your video program (File=> Capture Video in Vegas)
3. capture all the video you need
(Note: If you are “dropping frames” try shutting down all other programs and turning off the preview window. If you are still dropping frames, you need more RAM. Try using one of the lab computers.)

from the web
1. Install the Video Ook plugin for Firefox.
2. Go to the page with the video and press the Video Ook button.
or … go to javimoya.com to download the video.
3. Convert the video to a suitable format using SUPER.

Aside: Understanding Video Formats … All digital video is compressed in different ways to make it more manageable in size. The extension (such as .flv, .avi, .mpg, .wmv, or .mov) will give you a clue as to how the video is compressed. You will notice a significant quality difference between these different compressions. The most important thing to know at this stage is that some compression types will not work with Sony Vegas. .flv is one of those that will not work, and this is the type of file you will get when you download a video from a website like YouTube. This is when you will need to use SUPER to convert the video. SUPER will be a great tool for you to begin understanding different types of compression. I have always had good luck using mp4 (Quicktime) and wmv (Windows Movie) at 1200 kbps or higher (the higher the better – but it makes larger files).

Step Two: Create your video

Simply drag and drop your video onto the timeline. Do the same for music. Follow the tutorials within Vegas for guidance.

Step Three: Render your video

Save your project early and often, but note that when you do so you are saving the “project” not your actual video. Your “project” is just a bunch of information about how all the video and audio fits together – not the actual video and audio. To put it all together you have to “render” the project. In Vegas, this is called “making a movie”. Simply click on “Make a Movie” in Vegas and follow the directions. There will be several options. Experiment with the different options. This is part of your painful learning process. Rendering your movie may take a long time depending on the speed of your computer and the length and complexity of your video. Use the Vegas Tutorial if you need additional help.

Step Four: Upload your video to Viddler or YouTube.

I prefer Viddler for the ways it will allow us to comment on each other’s work, but if you can’t get it to work, try YouTube.

Step Five: Post the video to our blog.

Try to embed the video in your post. If you cannot do this, give us a link to your video.

This project is worth 30 points and counts as one of your 10 “blog postings” (see syllabus).


Associate professor of cultural anthropology. Ed Traceur. Hacker. Car-free.

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