Acquiring Video for Design in HTML

Video can be acquired in a number of ways, including via stock videos, ripping from optical discs, digitization of analog videos, from scratch, and via screen capture. Which one is used depends on various factors, such as type and quality requirements of project and the availability of skills, equipment, and time.

1. Stock Videos

For short generic or even subject-specific videos, such as those used in adverts or public information, it is often worth considering the free and stock videos available on the Web, instead of choosing to produce a video purposely. Although free videos might be adequate for some personal projects, for professional projects, stock videos are typically the best choice, because they are professionally produced and of high quality. Many websites that offer images and audio also offer videos, usually for a fee. A license may be for unlimited use (as is the case with royalty-free stock videos) or for just onetime use (as is the case with rights-managed stock videos), or there might be other terms involved. They are available in various resolutions, including SD, HD, and UHD resolutions, and in compressed or uncompressed file formats, typically MOV, MJPEG, Photo- JPEG, and MP4. Where videos are going to be edited before use, it is best to get them in uncompressed formats or formats that use intra-frame-only compression (i.e., the compression of only individual frames), as they support editing better than those that use inter-frame compression (i.e., compressing frames relative to one another). Essentially, intra-frame-only compression allows easier access to individual frames and easier editing.

2. Ripping Video from DVD Video/Blu-Ray Disc

If the video to be used is in DVD-video or Blu-ray format, then it needs to be ripped (i.e., extracted) from the disc. Ripping a video from a DVD- video disc generally involves little more than opening the DVD in the relevant ripping program and then following the procedure supported by the program to extract the video files, which are typically MPEG-2 files encoded in H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2 video compression standard in the VOB (Video Object) container files, which are normally in the VTS sub-folder of the Video_TS folder. It is usually possible to specify that files should be ripped in a different file format from MPEG-2. If not, then the resulting MPEG-2 files can be transcoded (converted) into the desired format, such as MP4. There are various programs available on the Web for ripping and transcoding, including free ones.

Ripping from Blu-ray discs follows the same general principle as ripping from DVD. Some programs even support both tasks. The complexity of workflow depends on program and whether or not a disc is right-protected to prevent copying, but again, the procedure requires little more than opening the disc in the ripping program and initiating the ripping process, which, in time, rips the video files to the specified location on the hard disk. Where a disc is locked and the ripping program cannot unlock it, a separate program is needed to do this. The video on Blu-ray is typically encoded in H.264/MPEG-4 AVC in M2TS files but can also be encoded in any of the two other video compression formats supported by Blu-ray (i.e., H.262 and VC-1). Whatever the case, the format ripped can be transcoded into the desired format. Like with DVD ripping, there are various programs available on the Web for Blu-ray disc ripping, some of which are free. Some names are provided at the end of the chapter. One of the easiest workflows is to rip by using the free program called MakeMKV (which rips video into an MKV format) and then transcode the MKV files with

HandBrake, another free program. Naturally, it is important to note that ripping videos from someone else’s disc is illegal, as is ripping from your own disc and using videos in a design without permission. Indeed, some countries do not permit ripping from DVD or Blu-ray discs at all.

3. Video from Video Devices

Video sources can either be analog or digital. Although analog video devices are all but extinct, sometimes, it may be necessary to use them in the process of digitizing analog videos. Obtaining video from an analog source, typically a tape, involves connecting the analog device, such as VCR and analog camcorder, to the analog input of a video capture card inside or outside the computer. A capture program provided with the card or a video-editing program is then used to perform and manage the capture by responding to dialog boxes, as they appear. This setup is illustrated in Figure 7.21. Communication between the card and the device is usually via a serial connector, such as RS-232 and RS-422, that is separate from the cables that carry the actual video signals. Once the process is initiated from the program, the card essentially digitizes the video and makes it available in the program, where it can be edited, if necessary, and saved.

If a video capture card is not available but a digital camcorder is available, an analog video can still be converted. Assuming that the analog video is on a VHS tape, one way in which this is done is to play the tape in a VCR or an analog camcorder, whose output is connected to the analog input of a digital camcorder that is set to playback mode, whose digital output is connected to any of the digital ports of a computer, through where the video is recorded using a video editing program.

When video is being acquired from a digital video device, it is usually only a matter of connecting the device to the computer via a digital interface, such as IEEE 1394 (Firewire), USB (Universal Serial Bus), and HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), and uploading the video to the computer’s hard disk for editing. Every digital device has at least one of these interfaces and so do most modern computers or capture cards. Some high-end professional digital camcorders and devices also have SDI (Serial Digital Interface), a high-capacity connection for exporting uncompressed SD and HD digital videos in real time, typically in TV broadcasting. Where a digital device uses a removable storage medium, such as disc or memory card, for which a computer has a drive installed, files can be transferred directly from it onto the computer’s hard disk.

4. Producing Video from Scratch

Producing a high-quality video is increasingly easily achievable, given that many devices today are capable of producing high-resolution video. However, where the creation of an elaborate video in which there is a large cast or shooting is at locations is required, then the knowledge of videography and of what is required for a professional shoot is useful, such as the knowledge of the right lighting to use and the meaning of various types of framing and composition. Obviously, all modern video-capture devices are digital, so the video captured is automatically digitized and saved on some sort of medium, such as tape, disc, and flash memory.

A digital camcorder can also be used to capture and transmit video directly onto the computer’s hard disk in real time, using a video editing program to initiate and stop the process. Where this is the case, the speed of connection is important, but more modern connection speeds are often adequate. For example, as of time of writing, USB 2.0 supports up to 60 Mbps and USB 3.1 supports up to 10 Gbps; Firewire supports 400 Mbps, 800 Mbps, 1.6 Gbps, and 3.2 Gbps; and HDMI supports speeds of up to about 18 Gbps.

5. Video Screen Capture

Video screen capture, also known as screencast, is a technique of recording the computer screen output, typically with audio narration. The video produced is different from the conventional kind of video and is used to demonstrate how a computer application is used to accomplish a task or to demonstrate new application software. It is a more efficient way of recording screen activities than pointing a camcorder at the screen and videoing it. Screencasting does not require the use of a video-capture device. It requires only a screen-capture program. In principle, to record the screen, the program is opened, the screen area to capture is defined, and the capture process is initiated, after which any screen activity is recorded along with any sound (such as narration) captured by any active microphone. On completion, the captured video is saved. Most screencast programs allow the video to be edited and annotated with text or graphics. The final video can be integrated into a Web page like any video produced through the conventional method.

Source: Sklar David (2016), HTML: A Gentle Introduction to the Web’s Most Popular Language, O’Reilly Media; 1st edition.

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