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18 January 2011

Utah Skiing, Day 1

I'm recently back from the ski trip I was planning for in Video Editing is Hard, and I captured hours of video every day on my new Contour HD.  Every day was a learning experience, and I tweaked the way I captured, edited, and narrated videos every day.  While in Utah I suffered through on the laptop using Avidemux primarily, because I wasn't willing to spend hours rendering video and I mistakenly believed that it would faithfully trim minutes around a target clip without corrupting the rest of it.  As a result, I generated a lot of video where I was talking like a chipmunk for the first half of the clip, and the second half was silent.  Days 4-6 didn't get posted at all from Utah because the WiFi I was hanging off of from the house suddenly refused to let me connect.  I hate when people get clues at inconvenient times.

Once I got home, I downloaded the latest ISO of Ubuntu Studio, having heard that it lended itself well to content creation.  I was pretty disappointed to discover that it only shipped with Kino, which refuses to work with the QuickTime files that Contour HD outputs.  However, the version of OpenShot that corresponds to Ubuntu 10.10 is much less buggy than the one I was using in Mint 10 on the laptop; and it was very easy to do the very minor editing that needed doing.  I was so much more pleased with the results from OpenShot that after editing and posting the remaining days of video, I started re-editing and re-posting days 1-3 to remove the chipmunk.  I'm nearly done with that process, only day 3 to go.

I also promised the guys that I would post all the video, even the full raw captures, somewhere on the web that they could access it if they wanted to.  I was originally going to throw it up on my hosted space at markmccracken.net and build a special web page for it.  But I discovered that to house the 17GB of video I had, I would have to pay 1&1, my hosting provider, another $5/month.  Google, on the other hand, would let me upload my files to Google Docs for $5/year, as long as I broke them up into 1GB or less chunks.  Fine by me, so that's what I did instead.

Rather than post all the days at once, I think I'll put them here in this blog one at a time.  The edited clips are all at YouTube, so they can be watched all at once from any blog entry.  The raw video is a little harder to access all at once because I have it accessible but not findable at Google Docs.  But there's enough of it that no one should want to watch all six days of it in one sitting anyway.

Note: be sure to insist that YouTube and Google show you the video in 1080p.  It's much less blurry that way.  You may need to click on logos, go full screen, and/or restart the video a few times.  I found YouTube to be pretty finicky about showing me the resolution I wanted.

Day 1: Alta
Alta is always the first place we go when we get to Utah, because it occupies skiers' hearts like no other resort in the area.  No one I know wears clothing from Solitude, Snowbasin, or other Salt Lake area resorts... only Alta.  The videos from Day 1 are a little frustrating to watch, because I hadn't gotten the hang of where to aim the camera yet.  Especially with Greeley, you'll see the snow in front of me but not much else.  This is because to ski well, one has to keep one's head down, much like a golfer might - but the fun stuff to see is a little higher up.  On later days, I solved this problem by angling the camera up slightly from eye level.

On the very first run of the very first day, John, Jerry, and I found some snow that needed new tracks.  We were very happy to oblige.

After lunch, we headed over to Greeley to see how it was.  It was pretty tracked up, but we had fun anyway, despite my prediction to the contrary at the top of the hill.  The annoying rattling you hear in this video is from the camera's safety fastener bouncing against the camera housing.  This is solved in later videos simply by tucking it up under my goggle strap where it won't flap around in the wind.

Raw Video For Day 1

1: Collins to Sugarloaf Transfer
2: Sugarloaf to Alf's for a wax
3: Standing at Alf's waiting for Jerry
4: Riding Supreme Chair with commentary
5: Scenery off the back of Supreme
6: Top half of Supreme, and a terrible tree run
7: Greeley

(7/24/2011: I have removed the raw video from Google Document storage.  If you would like a copy of a specific video, let me know.)

Next:  Day 2

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