From: Patrick Douglas Crispen
Subject: TOURBUS - 15 DEC 2005 - Make Your Own Videos
Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, where as you add units of a variable input to the production process while holding one or more fixed, total production will increase at an increasing rate, increase at a decreasing rate, peak, and decline absolute. Why? Because that's THE LAW! :)
By popular demand, I'm temporarily turning the wheel of our little bus of internet happiness over to my father, the Rev. Bob "Bob" Crispen. If you are interested in creating videos on your computer for free, this post is for you.
On with the show... Here's Bob!
While Patrick has been very kind about introducing me, he neglected to mention the one truly spectacular event in my life. No, it wasn't the time when Mike Vax, who played lead trumpet in the Stan Kenton band, was visiting in our apartment, and he took his trumpet out of his case, played a double high C, and put his trumpet back in his case -- though that was pretty spectacular.
No, what Patrick has neglected to tell you was that when I was a mere sprout, Video Ranger saved my life! It's absolutely true. I was a stone fan of Captain Video, and during an appearance at the Allegheny County Fair I had joined the mob of kids to get his autograph. As I was returning to my seat in the stands, I didn't notice a small truck puttering along the path I was about to cross. The Video Ranger did, though, and he pulled me back in the nick of time. It was a small truck, and it was moving very slowly, but it's my claim to fame.
If you're one of those young whippersnappers who's never heard of Captain Video, Commissioner Carey, or I TOBOR, I pity you, but I can set you on the path of wisdom by pointing you to Professor Rory Coker's space heroes page where you'll learn about Captain Video, Tom Corbett, and Buzz Corry, Commander in Chief of the Spaaaaace Patroool!
As usual, I digress. What I'm really here to tell you about isn't my childhood hero, but a website that's so amazing that, once you've visited it, your friends and neighbors will be calling you Captain Video.
If you've played around with video on your PC, then one of two things has happened: (a) you've played around with Windows Movie Maker, got frustrated because it's pretty much a toy, and gave up; or (b) you've found about
Nothing I could say here can possibly do justice to the wonderful step by step instructions you'll find on this site. So all I'll do here is throw out a couple of pointers to things I've found especially useful: the cream of the crop.
The cream at the very top of the cream: Virtual Dub at
This is the video editor, especially at the price (free, open source). It will let you capture, edit, clean up, and do virtually anything to video files.
Here's one thing they don't talk about as a feature. If you've ever downloaded AVI files, you know that the morons who designed that file format put some critical information at the *end* of the file. That means if you've got a partial AVI file, you can't play it. But Virtual Dub will do its best to accept partial AVI files, and in most cases will make them playable up to the point where they're cut off. I've heard of other tools that will play partial AVI's, but Virtual Dub has done the job so well, I've never bothered to download them.
Since Virtual Dub's native output format is uncompressed AVI, and since those files are humongous, the next thing you need to do is put them on a serious diet. So let's run them through AVI2MPG2 at
Note the "2" at the end of that program name. There's another program out there called AVI2MPG which isn't nearly as nice. You can let Virtual Dub save the slices you want to keep in separate files and join them all together with AVI2MPG2. That program will save your files in MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) format, which means that, unlike AVI files which can only be played on Windows machines, you can play them anywhere.
Or you can use yet another tool, TMPGEnc, which converts your AVI Files to VCD (Video CD) or Super VCD format.
If your CD burner is Nero [ http://www.nero.com/en/index.html ] you can burn your video CD directly from there (select "other CD format" in the wizard that comes up when you start, and check "video CD"). If you have Easy CD Creator [ http://www.roxio.com ] or the CD burner that comes with Windows XP, then you may have to upgrade to a higher version or use some of the tools they recommend on vcdhelp.com to burn it onto a CD.
But take heart: you absolutely can take a movie, edit it, tweak it with special effects, burn it on a CD-ROM, and pop it in your DVD player and play it. Apart from the cost of your CD burning software, you won't have to spend a nickel.
That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll be back next week with "Make Your Own Videos - Part 2"