2014 © Graham Rabbitts [You are welcome to use original material from this site, but the source should be acknowledged]


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In brief, the sequence goes something like this

1: Assemble the still pictures, panoramas, video and charts for a segment (a passage or the stay in a port) in MoviePlus (This is a little bit more than a storyboard), using PAL DVD widescreen project setting.

2: Develop a commentary script to match the rough story board using speech recognition software. This produces a text script. This process allows you to think about each sentence, change your mind and Um and Ah. The text will also form the basis of the text Log.

3: Record the commentary reading the script. I now  use a usb digital boom microphone headset and Audacity software

4: Add the soundtrack to the MoviePlus timeline. Adjusting this can be the most tricky part of the process. It is occasionally useful to add sound effects - e.g. seagulls calling when you show a picture of a harbour.

5: Adjust the picture lengths, transitions etc to suit. Often this will mean collapsing pictures into some form of multiscreen montage. The commentary should not be continuous. In particular, a good panoramic picture being slowly scanned with background music and no commentary can be very effective. It is also fun to illustrate pilotage by mixing chart and pilot book

6: Edit the video into segments of not more than 30 minutes each. The codecs being used by most video editors have been improved, and it is rarely necessary to find new codecs, unless video is used from an unusual source.

7: Add the music track. The music should reflect the mood of the cruise. I found that it was necessary to suppress the more dramatic musical moments -  to create a sort of musack. Even when you are making videos for your friends, music copyright applies. It is a complex subject and it is important to know where you stand, especially if you want to publish the video on You Tube.

8: Export the video to some external storage device, partly for safety, partly because each segment will easily be of the order 1GB at this stage. I used a 80GB USB powered hard drive. Compact, and usable on board. At home I have a 500GB Seagate drive to act as a backup store for pictures and video. Actually, modern laptops usually have sufficient storage

9: To fit all these onto a DVD, try assembling the segments using the Roxio or Serif Movieplus  software. The first time I had to ‘lose’ nearly 20 minutes to get it all to fit! Subsequently I found that reducing picture sizes before editing seemed to help. The hardest  part is getting the sound balance right.

Usually I am too lazy to do the video editing during the cruise, but there is no reason why key scenes cannot be created and stored while still fresh in your mind.

If you want to produce a number of videos and have used music or other features that may attract copyright, you need to limit the number according to the licence you have bought (see the music section for details). You can still circulate to a wider audience using You Tube, or other modern media such as mobile phone etc. There some special consideration which are reviewed on the Publishing to You Tube page

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