No, not chat roulette. Skype. Video screen sharing. This has been around a while, but it has so much potential, I wanted to mention it here. As well as video chatting, Skype also allows the easy option of sharing portions of a desktop screen between people. It works at a decent framerate and crisp resolution, without much lag, and the audio chat works fine on top. Once you’ve used it – a few possibilities leap out straight away:
- collaborating on projects via tropical hammocks. (“no, no – I think an edit to a darker scene at 1:47.. like this… just a sec.. topping up my coconut juice”)
- remote tutorials (in real-time rather than recording and uploading).
- really direct feedback and refining of work ( compared to email ping pong and uploading / downloading test clips / songs / graphics etc )
- live remixing of processed video from afar
A friend introduced me to this while we were working on an animation project together, and it was so effective at jumping to problem areas on a timeline, and changing things immediately without having to render and upload etc. Move this bit here, put that on the other side of the screen, a bit less of that effect etc.
Working on an animation project with a friend, we began to use it quite a lot to show each other where we were at on the timeline, able to voice chat at the same time, and request to adjust parts, or jump to certain parts of the timeline. Really useful, and
Elsewhere in the so-damn-useful video software ballpark, is the free MPEG Streamclip from Italy, an awesome but under appreciated bundle of code downloadable from http://www.squared5.com:
“MPEG Streamclip is a powerful free video converter, player, editor for Mac and Windows. It can play many movie files, not only MPEGs; it can convert MPEG files between muxed/demuxed formats for authoring; it can encode movies to many formats, including iPod; it can cut, trim and join movies. MPEG Streamclip can also download videos from YouTube and Google by entering the page URL.
You can use MPEG Streamclip to open and play most movie formats including MPEG files or transport streams; edit them with Cut, Copy, Paste, and Trim; set In/Out points and convert them into muxed or demuxed files, or export them to QuickTime, AVI, DV and MPEG-4 files with more than professional quality, so you can easily import them in a DVD authoring tool, and use them with many other applications or devices.”
It support a huge range of file formats, allows easy cropping of images ( to get rid of bad borders etc ), it does batch processing, it lets you easily export snippets from DVDs, it can split large files onto multiple discs, and the list goes on. A must download for any video-heads.
For whatever reason, the iphone’s video out can’t be used while using apps – without jailbreaking the iphone. In other words, the phone has the capacity, but this is being annoyingly withheld. Once jailbroken, yes, there’s an app for ensuring video out while playing games or using visual tools. And a sign that this dormant feature might become activated? Try the ‘fat tag’ graffiti app – which although doesn’t support video out in it’s official version, has been made available as a custom version that does. Draw, paint, connect video out to projector and there’s a nice little portable touchscreen projection rig right there.