In Box: Best Media Storage Methods • DIY Chroma Key

In Box: Best Media Storage Methods • DIY Chroma Key

Video Media Archiving - investigating the best method for archiving the video... DIY Chroma Key Wall - inquiring about the chroma key green paint...

Video Media Archiving

Re the Video Media Archiving by Dr. Robert Nulph, February 2009 issue. I have been investigating the best method for archiving the video I have done over the last 30 years. Your article was very timely for me and invaluable in the information provided. Until I read your article, no one I spoke with could say for sure what the best method was. I have saved all of my video in the original format, which is on tape of various formats. I just need to make copies and am now researching to find the best mini DV recorder to accomplish this.

Over the years your magazine has provided a wealth of information for me and I thank you.
Byron Hodges

Thanks, Byron. In this and upcoming issues of Videomaker, you will find more stories about keeping track of all that data out there from tapeless workflows and backing up files to archiving and media management.
-The Editors

Archiving Solution

I appreciated your article regarding archiving it was useful. Perhaps in a future edition, you could add to Hard Drive storage the RAID 5 and 6 (Redundant Array of Independent Disks level 5 and 6) which several hard drives are combined with hardware and make it so if one or in some cases two hard drives fail no data will be lost. I have a Netgear ReadyNAS which is configured as a RAID 5 with four one terabyte drives which will store about 3TB of storage, the cost was less than $1,000.00.

Also perhaps you might look into storing the media off site to prevent concerns that a fire could occur destroying all of your backups.

Joe Seckelman

Discouraged by Archiving Story

I've read Dr. Nuph's article about Archiving, (Video Media Archiving, article #14289, February 2009). He makes a number of good points. However, I feel that he has a strong bias against any medium of video archiving with the possible exception of the Beta format tapes. My suspicion is that his recent experience of losing a terabyte of archived data has adversely affected his objectivity. He seems like a pessimist and says in effect that no medium that currently exists is any good for long term archiving. Maybe there will be some medium in the future but there is no good format at present. It seems like a rather discouraging article for a magazine that is promoting the making and use of video productions.
Ed Heiss

Recently, John Burkhart, our Editor-in-Chief, fired up a projector and transferred some of his grandmother's old 8mm film from the 1940s to DVD for the family. While there was some degradation, the film had held up remarkably well This made John think about the digital assets he was collecting, and how to make sure that his own grandchildren would be able to access them. So we commissioned this article on archiving (as opposed to back up and storage).

We would agree with Dr. Nulph's analysis, and qualify it a bit by saying no medium that currently exists is any good for long term consumer archiving YET. If current pricing trends continue, we believe within a few years, flash memory (whether as SD cards, CF Cards, Memory Sticks, or SSD hard drives), will fill that role nicely, as long term rugged storage that can last years in a closet and still protect the integrity of the data. So don't be discouraged, just be very careful until that day arrives.
-The Editors

DIY Chroma Key Wall

I have gone to our local hardware and inquired about the chroma key green paint. They have no idea. Can you perhaps let me have the color combination (RGB or CMYK) to make up the green.

Leon Ellis

We asked an employee at a local paint store if there was a paint formula a person could take into any paint store and have a certain color mixed that would be the same at all stores. He said no, the colorants are different at different stores. They used to be the same but stopped at some point because of trade secrets. Here at Videomaker, when we painted our wall, we worked off the Pantone CMYK 4-Color process guide that many print designers use. If you know a graphics artist, you can probably get your hands on one. The color mix and Pantone guide we recommend is Pantone DS 284-3c CMYK: 60/0/70/20.

The green box in the photo above is this Pantone mix. If you take that green square in to your local paint store, you shouldn't have any problems getting it matched through their computer imaging. Nowadays, you can take any swatch and nearly get a perfect match. We might also suggest you contact your local TV station about their weather wall, most likely they have the name and numbers that they use because they have to make patch and repair work on those walls from time to time.

Something to consider before you do paint an entire wall in your studio green: chroma key green is a powerful color. Because our original green wall was very large, unless we flagged it off completely, we often found it "spilled" onto other subjects we shot in the studio, often giving them a greenish tint in error. Think about how you would mask that green wall, when you need the studio for other production.
-The Editors

Post-It Note Story Boarding

I produce training video vignettes for my company and I read the latest article regarding story boarding, (Directing column, February 2009) Very good article and points out a very important basic precept...plan the work and work the plan. I have one recommendation. I use Post-It notes in several colors depending on what the note is about (position, audio, etc). I can then do a dry run through the vignette and move the Post-Its around as necessary. Once I have the basic sequence arranged, I number the notes and put them into a three ring binder, six or so to a sheet then head to the production location.

Excellent magazine.
William Hinton
Florida Power and Light
Seabrook Station
Seabrook, NH


I have your magazine and read the camera jib article and liked it. (Tutorial - DIY Jibs, November 2008) I went to several stores (Home Depot, Chase Hardware) and got all the material items except the galvanized pipe hangers. Neither store had them so I went to Barnhill Bolt company, but the guy there said they don't make that type of pipe hangers any longer, as they are not needed. I was wondering if there is an option for another type of pipe hanger or round diameter type galvanized hardware item that will work?
Jack Brown,
Freelance Videographer for the past 7 years.
Albuquerque, NM

Glad you liked the article and video, Jack. Tom says he bought his hangers at Lowes (but he said Home Depot has them too, regardless of what you were told!). Lowes has them in stock and listed on their website as well. Here's the Lowes website link for the hangers.

Hope this helps you out - have fun making the jib and happy shooting!
-The Editors

Great Audio from a Canon

In your review of the Canon Vixia HG21 (January 2009 issue), you failed to discuss a feature which I assume is the same in the HG21 as it is in the Vixia HF100, which is the model I am using. Namely, the excellent options available for audio. In addition to using the built in mics, you can use a variety of external audio sources because in addition to selecting the audio input as the mic source, you can select input attenuation, which allows you to connect a line level output (from a mic preamp, for example) to the input of the Vixia. The crowning touch is that you can also adjust the audio level manually. A tiny, but still helpful meter shows on the screen so you have some guidance about setting a level to avoid overload. And when you are using the manual level control, the auto gain feature is turned off. This is vital for the best quality recordings of concerts and performances.

I've been recording audio with Earthworks QTC40 mics into a Tascam HGP2 audio recorder and sending the line level output of the Tascam to the input of the Canon Vixia HF100. Even if I decide to use the higher quality Tascam recording (24 bit rather than 16 bit), syncing the audio is much easier. It's great though to have very high quality sound recorded with the video with no compression.
Bob Sellman
Direct-to-Tape Recording Co.

Kind of Blu

I just read the article about DVD authoring. You imply that Corel has continued with MediaStudio Pro and it supports Blu-ray. My understanding is that MSP is dead in the water, that Corel will be developing VideoStudio into a more prosumer product and there will be - and has not been for some time - any support for MSP. In fact, I didn't even realize Corel had bought that product when they took over from the last owners of the Ulead range of products. Am I wrong?
Frank McLeod

There was no error, but the story wasn't as clear as it should've been. MediaStudio Pro does not support Blu-ray Disc, and this is clearly articulated. However, the story does imply that MediaStudio Pro development is continuing. A Corel spokesperson confirms that the product does not have a move-ahead path, but it remains available for the time being.
-The Editors

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Wed, 04/01/2009 - 12:00am