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  • A few questions from a new guy about editing.

    Hi! This summer I'm conducting a behavioural research project for my bachelors degree. I'm planning to capture video via a webcam (the quality doesn't have to be amazing hi res or anything), and them compressing it down like its being fast forwarded so I don't have to watch through the whole video in real time, but just note the behaviours I'm interested in. My questions are:

    -Does anyone know any software that can record from webcam to laptop for me?
    -Does anyone know any software that I can edit / compress / fast forward? eg. 1h is replayed in 1-2 min.
    -What quality do I have to record in to be able to compress it and still be able to see a clear picture? (quality can be something like the equivalent of 360-480p youtube quality)

    I'm quite new to these things and have never really operated a camera, although this isn't a movie project as such I thought it'd be the right place so ask anyway as it's more movie technical than what I know already. Hope someone can help me!

    Thank you!
    -Arty

  • #2
    I'm pretty sure 99% of laptops made in the last 5 - 10 years have a built in camera (yes they do) that will record.

    Adobe has a free editing software you can download.

    If you want to get fancy buy a laptop camera that records high quality, they're not expensive. But, the one in your laptop should do you fine.

    On a funny note: Many people are stupid and they keep their laptops open while they sleep or whatever. If someone hacks into your computer they can turn on your camera and watch you... YES, yes they can and they do.

    I have a home video system, so I can go online and check that my house is okay 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world. Of course someone who can hack into my system can also see my house. So, when I'm home, I always cover the cameras. Because it happens all the time.

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    • #3
      Thanks I already cover the built in camera on my laptop though ;) . Sadly I can't use that for the project because of resolution and positioning. The camera will be positioned looking down on animals, so getting a laptop up there isn't that easy. so I figured a camera / USB-webcam would be better ( as long as the quality is ok, the one I'm looking at now does 720p recording which will be just fine) and it's also easier to move as this will be required.

      Anyone know of cheap / free recording software that can do 8h recordings, maybe on a daily schedule?
      And a cheap / free program that I can use to speed up or timelapse the video so 1h = 1-3 mins or something like that?

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      • #4
        You could get fairly cheap a used MiniDV camcorder and actually set it up to record at intervals. For instance one second every 10 or 15 minutes. Then you won't need to speed anything up, the recording will do it for you.

        Check out Adobe PREMIERE, I believe you can download it for free. It's editing software.

        8 hours of recording time will take up probably about 30gigs or thereabout of HD space. If you buy a webcam, it will probably have the software needed to allow you to record. Just be sure to have enough memory to save it all. If you use any kind of High Def capturing, you'll need a couple of hundred gigs for 8 hours. I know you mention 720p which is fine, but I'm just mentioning High Def in case you get ambitious.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by UniqueAmI View Post
          You could get fairly cheap a used MiniDV camcorder and actually set it up to record at intervals. For instance one second every 10 or 15 minutes. Then you won't need to speed anything up, the recording will do it for you.

          Check out Adobe PREMIERE, I believe you can download it for free. It's editing software.
          Adobe Premiere is a high end editing software and most certainly NOT FREE. However, you can check out the free program Lightworks. It has a slight learning curve but given that it's free it's totally worth it.

          8 hours of recording time will take up probably about 30gigs or thereabout of HD space. If you buy a webcam, it will probably have the software needed to allow you to record. Just be sure to have enough memory to save it all. If you use any kind of High Def capturing, you'll need a couple of hundred gigs for 8 hours. I know you mention 720p which is fine, but I'm just mentioning High Def in case you get ambitious.
          High definition is basically standard definition nowadays, it would probably be weird not to at least shoot in 720. However, the actual amount of space it takes up depends on the bitrate. The bitrate is how much data is recorded per second. If you record with a low bitrate, it shouldn't take more than 30 gigs or so in HD. If you record in a high bitrate, that same time and resolution could be even 1 terabyte or more.
          -AF

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          • #6
            I was able to get something for free. I never used it or finished downloading (I keep getting e-mails from adobe) but I swear it was Premiere.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by UniqueAmI View Post
              I was able to get something for free. I never used it or finished downloading (I keep getting e-mails from adobe) but I swear it was Premiere.
              You may have gotten the 30 day preview, but Premiere is considered one of the best professional editors right now and it is certainly not free. The only fairly functional and useful free Adobe program I know of is their script writing one.
              -AF

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              • #8
                I was going to say, a lot of those cameras have bad quality sound so you may want to to get someone with some good sound equipment. If this is for a bachelor's degree, I don't know how much they care about those things, but some people are impressed by professional quality alone.

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