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Processing and Digitizing Video and Film. Mark O’English: Film & Video Digitization Sustainable Heritage Network - ATALM Workshop Palm.

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Presentation on theme: "Processing and Digitizing Video and Film. Mark O’English: Film & Video Digitization Sustainable Heritage Network - ATALM Workshop Palm."— Presentation transcript:

1 Processing and Digitizing Video and Film

2 Mark O’English: Film & Video Digitization Sustainable Heritage Network - ATALM Workshop Palm Springs, CA. June 13, 2014

3 Digitization workflow: Identification of film/video materials. Description. Processing. Preservation. Digitization. Prioritization. What do we WANT to digitize? What do we NEED to digitize? Standards. Storage. Sharing. What can we share? How and where.

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5 Processing media collections is like processing any other collections, where: a) you’re not allowed to look inside the folders, and b) the labeling is all handwritten by unknown parties.

6 Describing & processing materials: Same basic idea as processing books, papers, audio, etc., with two very important additional concerns: 1. Label reliability / authority 2. Formats

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8 Identification of Formats: It’s not obvious! What looks like a VHS may not be a VHS… Videotape Identification and Assessment Guide. Texas Commission on the Arts, Identification of Film Types Yale University Library Preservation Department https://collaborate.library.yale.edu/preservation/Public%20Documents/ Care%20and%20Handling/ID%20film%20base.pdf

9 Formats in Finding Aids (Guides): 1.Tells you what they are (obviously). 2.Makes processing & description of a collection easier. 3.Helps you tell your patrons if what you have is not what they want, what you can actually access for them onsite, and what requires finding an offsite viewer. 4.

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12 Formats in Finding Aids: 1.Tells you what they are (obviously). 2.Makes processing & description of a collection easier. 3.Helps you tell your patrons if what you have is not what they want, what you can actually access for them onsite, and what requires finding an offsite viewer. 4.Helps you to prioritize reproduction and preservation based on format “lifespans.”

13 Format lifespans: Magnetic media – we’re generally told years Film – -1920: Nitrate : “Safety” or Acetate For both, we’re generally told years : Polyester (also “Safety”) Color pre-1940 can also be prone to fading or discoloration.

14 From IPI [Image Permanence Institute] Media Storage Quick Reference, 2nd Edition

15 Film and Video Preservation: The Film Preservation Guide: The Basics for Archives, Libraries, and Museums. National Film Preservation Foundation, Washington State Film Preservation Manual. Washington Preservation Initiative,

16 So, two big takeaways: 1. Storage environment is vital! Low and regulated temperatures. Low and regulated relative humidity. A-D strips (Image Permanence Institute) 2. While our old 16mm films are probably more interesting, our electronic recordings (VHS, U-matic, DVDs, laserdiscs, whatever) are dying at a much much faster rate.

17 Digitization workflow: Identification of film/video materials. Description. Processing. Preservation. Digitization. Prioritization. What do we WANT to digitize? What do we NEED to digitize? Standards. Storage. Sharing. What can we share? How and where.

18 Prioritization of digitization: Materials that need it. They’re dying. They’re funded. They’re important. Culturally important. Possess research value. Engaging to your community. Materials that you actually can do. Materials that want it. They’re cool!

19 Digital recording device. Playback device. Intermediary hardware & software.

20 Digital recording device. Playback device. Intermediary hardware & software. How to digitize an analog recording Hardware Cassette Deck Computer Analog-Digital Audio Interface

21 Just a good computer, with good processing speed, a decent amount of RAM, and okay storage capabilities. “Digital recording device.”

22 Playback devices. What do you need? What do you already have? What can you scrounge? What is worth buying?

23 Why not just project it and film it? You can, but… Digital cameras take pictures at 30 frames per second (generally). 16mm projectors run at 24 frames per second (generally). Variable speed projectors. Variable speed cameras. Various pieces of equipment or software. These need to be synched, or you can get a strobelike effect.

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25 Intermediary hardware & software. “Video Capture card” (NOT “Video Card”) These can cost up to a couple thousand dollars, but…

26 Cheaper alternatives exist… About $80.

27 Digitization workflow: Identification of film/video materials. Description. Processing. Preservation. Digitization. Prioritization. What do we WANT to digitize? What do we NEED to digitize? Standards. Storage. Sharing. What can we share? How and where.

28 1. How should I evaluate the suitability of digital audio and video formats for records that need to be retained over the long term (i.e. over multiple generations of technology)? When selecting a format consider the following aspects: The format should be publicly and openly documented. The format is non-proprietary. The format is in widespread use. The format is self-documenting. The format can be opened, read, and accessed using readily-available tools. Standards: What does the government say? --- NARA: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Digital Audio and Video Records Visited June 6, 2014

29 3. When converting analog material (audio and video cassettes, record albums, reel- to-reel audio and video tapes, etc.) to digital, what factors should be considered? The successful production of high-quality digital versions of analog material is dependent on many factors, including the quality and condition of the analog source, equipment, and software. 2. Why isn't NARA issuing formal digital audio and digital video file format transfer guidance at this time? Due to the rapidly evolving nature of digital audio and video formats and the lack of any open, national or international consensus standards for the creation and preservation of digital audio and video, NARA can not mandate formal transfer guidance at this time. Standards: What does the government say? --- NARA: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Digital Audio and Video Records Visited June 6, 2014

30 1. How should I evaluate the suitability of digital audio and video formats for records that need to be retained over the long term (i.e. over multiple generations of technology)? When selecting a format consider the following aspects: The format should be publicly and openly documented. The format is non-proprietary. The format is in widespread use. The format is self-documenting. The format can be opened, read, and accessed using readily-available tools. Standards: What does the government say? --- NARA: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Digital Audio and Video Records Visited June 6, 2014

31 The consensus at the moment seems to be… In general: x lossless encoding mpeg4 But… VHS is effectively 480 x 320, so we have standards > original quality By way of comparison: HDTV is 1280 x 720, or 1920 x 1080

32 So, back to this guy… 640 x (360 or 480) Exactly meets minimum standards = a decent starter option

33 File Sizes File Quality

34 Software Something to capture your video. WSU uses VirtualDub – freeware! There are many out there. Most video capture cards come with one – make sure it meets your standards!

35 Software Something to edit your video, and probably something to convert your video’s file format.

36 Finding video editing software: There are lots of small freeware pieces which do a few things. Lots of online sources… either search for video editing software (or freeware) or look for someone who reliably compiles lists. If you just need one particular function, consider looking for freeware which does just that. Freeware is ‘free.’ You get what you pay for. Again… make sure it meets your standards!

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38 Conversion Software Registry

39 Digitization workflow: Identification of film/video materials. Description. Processing. Preservation. Digitization. Prioritization. What do we WANT to digitize? What do we NEED to digitize? Standards. Storage. Sharing. What can we share? How and where.

40 One 6” radius reel, containing about 5½” of 16mm film = approx feet of film = approximately 30 minutes when played = 87 gigs in AVI format = 1.4 gigs in MPEG4 format

41 Storing your files: Very similar to storing any other e-file. Named and organized. Storage space. Backed up. Just bigger files!

42 Sharing your files: Semi-similar to sharing any other e-file! Copyright / privacy / sensitive materials. Branding / protecting. Sharing space: Streaming server vs. Remote hosting.

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44 Sharing your files: Semi-similar to sharing any other e-file! Copyright / privacy / sensitive materials. Branding / protecting. Sharing space: Streaming server vs. Remote hosting.

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46 Outreach!

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50 Digitization workflow: Identification of film/video materials. Description. Processing. Preservation. Digitization. Prioritization. What do we WANT to digitize? What do we NEED to digitize? Standards. Storage. Sharing. What can we share? How and where.


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