Streaming Video Tips And Tricks For Video Producers – Taming The Video Compression Monster

This article is specifically aimed at video producers who are interested in getting the most out of their streaming video productions in terms of video and audio quality. It mainly involves the best working practices for ensuring that your streaming video wrestles well with that dastardly beast, the “compression monster”, which wants to turn all your pristine video to digital mush.

I came from a background in professional video and media production in Perth, Western Australia, shooting TV commercials, independent film, corporate video, and much much more. With the advent of the internet, I became excited about the possibility of using it as a way of delivering quality streaming video advertising for businesses both in Perth and around the world. So I founded my current business, ONLINE AURA, and went into developing video specifically tailored for streaming. The problem was, although I was familiar with the theory of video compression, the most I’d ever come up against this beast was at the level of VHS or DVD production, where it occasionally wrangled but never inflicted serious damage upon me. The reality of video streaming compression was a huge adjustment however, as I watched pin sharp images shredded into digital mud before my eyes, and heard glorious soaring music turned into a horrific sequence of farts and dying bumblebees.

Over the course of time, through experience of testing and producing many streaming videos for local clients, I learnt the best practices and techniques for shooting and editing streaming video. I won’t say I’ve tamed the compression monster, because he still lurks over my shoulder on every shoot, but I will say that I’ve learnt how to keep him under control and make it through the video compression process with just a few scratches here and there. So this articles includes a number of tips and guides to help you battle this beast in your next streaming video production.


1. Let there be Light – I’ll start with the most obvious and what can be considered as one of the most crucial aspects in producing quality video streaming. I know there’s a lot of things written about this recommending strongly-lit flat lighting (i.e – no shadows). The theory being that reducing contrast in your image means that it will compress more efficiently and you’ll end up with a higher quality streaming image. This isn’t quite right, as the human perception of “sharpness” relies on contrast differences, and even though a higher contrast image may in mathematical terms be less well compressed at a pixel by pixel level, it will create the illusion of being sharper to the viewer. Basically the rule for best quality is to provide a smooth ratio of contrast, and to favor large soft sources that don’t over light what you’re trying to shoot. Blasting light directly from your camera position over the entire scene is not going to produce favorable results in terms of streaming video quality. The best results come from soft directional sources, but there’s also room for backlighting and other creative approaches.

You have to make allowances for the eventual compression, but that generally means keeping your image contrast within an acceptable ratio. Low light is obviously a problem, and night shooting can be difficult. Any grain is going to play havoc and awake the old compression monster, who will hungrily eat up every little vibrating pixel. You can use grain removing plug-ins, but they can have the effect of softening your image and will compress sometimes even worse. Crushing your black levels entirely can sometimes help, and de-saturating your image and adjusting midtones can also be useful. If you have to shoot in low-light on the street, try not too using the gain controls on your camera, and instead go for a low shutter (if your camera has it). Lower shutter speeds will generally compress better. For interview subjects in the studio, I generally use a soft key and a bit of a kicker or backlight, with just a little bit of frontal fill. For video compression I make sure the background is relatively static and defocused. Using green screen and replacing the background with a blurred still image or slowly moving blurred background works well, and keeping background colors muted helps compression.

2. Camera movement – Obviously a lot of fast camera movement is going to require higher rates of compression for streaming video. But different types of movement also have different effects. A smooth dolly shot will actually compress reasonably well but, interestingly enough, the same move-in or out using a zoom instead will not compress well, and generally zooms are to be avoided if possible. Hand-held images will tend to suffer greatly, unless they are stabilized later using a software plug-in such as Steadymove. Steadicam shots can work reasonably well if done well. Unfortunately most steadicam shots contain a bit of ‘float’ which, although barely perceptible to the average viewer, will not compress as well as a genuine dolly or track shot. Locked off shots will obviously compress best, though it is dependent on what’s in front of the camera!

3. Motion in front – Certain things compress well, while certain other things compress poorly. Water and waves look beautiful and crystalline on DVD, but in the streaming video world they fall to pieces. They carry took much randomly moving fine detail. The same with leaves blowing on a tree in the wind. If you’re shooting an interview or spot with someone in front of a tree with fine leaves on a windy day, you should consider moving them to take in a background with less motion. Obviously you want to have things moving in your camera frame to provide interest (that’s the whole point of having video over a slide show), but think about how much of the frame is moving. If you can isolate your moving subject with a longer lens and have the background blur out, that will compress better and also appear sharper to your viewer. Because of the small screen size, when shooting people move in a bit tighter. Close ups can be most effective.

4. VBR and the art of “compression accounting” – You should know that using Variable Bit Rate for your video will provide a significant quality boost for most videos over standard CBR (constant bit rate). But to maximize the quality of your streaming video you may need to take advantage of this variable bit rate capacity by doing what I refer to as compression accounting.

What’s that? Imagine I have a budget of $250 per day for a month to buy whatever goodies I want. In a strict CBR world I get $250 at the start of the first day, and, regardless of whether I spent the whole lot or not, it would go back to zero at the end. The second day I’d get $250 again and so on. So, in CBR world, I may as well spend all of my $250, because there’s no saving for the next day. If I see a $800 guitar in the window, I can’t buy it, because I’ll never have that much money, and I have to settle for a poorer quality $200 one instead. In VBR world however, there is saving. If I don’t spend my $250 on the first day, and instead spend $150, that means I can spend the $100 I saved some other time. In effect, I can restrict my spending in the present so I can buy that $800 guitar in the future with the money I saved. If you’ve uncovered the meaning in my torturous analogy, what this means is this – when shooting in VBR mode I’ve got an idea of how many data bits I’ve got to play with and I can spread them out accordingly. Knowing that I want to shoot something with a lot of camera movement, like a dynamic steadicam shot through a crowd of moving people, I know that I should balance that out with a couple of locked off shots with little or no movement. It’s the equivalent of spending $800 on that guitar (the steadicam shot), by scrimping on other days (i.e. shooting the lock-offs). When it comes to encoding, the encoder will look at the video on the first pass, note the amount of movement in each shot and work out an average level of compression for each shot given the total average it has to play with. The steadicam shot might take 800kbps while the lock-off shots only take 80-100kbps. So the trick is balancing out the number of complex and simple shots to take best advantage of VBR compression. With any luck you’ll have a good balance and end up with much better use of compression to give you a better quality streaming video.

5. Shoot progressive – Shooting for streaming video means that you’re producing for a computer screen, which is typically an LCD. The way computer process moving images is fundamentally different from your typical TV. I could write three thousand words about the technical differences, but basically the conclusion is that progressive scanned or de-interlaced video perfectly fits the way a computer monitor displays these images. Interlaced video (which contains fields) displays motion perfectly well on televisions, but will traditionally not encode motion well with streaming video, creating motion artifacts and occasional streaking effects. The best option is to shoot with a camera that delivers images in progressive scan mode. While there are high-end professional cameras, most consumer models won’t. However the prosumer models produced by Canon, namely the XL-1, XL-2 and XM2, all feature a ‘frame’ mode that make these cameras adapt well to streaming video. Failing that, videos should be de-interlaced either at the editing stage using software (e.g Premiere Pro, Avid), or at the encoding stage. Quality encoders such as Canopus procoder typically offer de-interlaced delivery.


1. Classical cuts – The compression factor of streaming video means that a classical shooting style produces better results than MTV style camerawork. And the same thing applies to editing. Although editing still has to be pretty snappy to fit within the time format, there aren’t the fancy flash frames and transitions you would normally favor when shooting for TV or DVD delivery. One of the great sacrifices I actually felt in the early days of producing streaming video advertisements was when I had to lose the simple cross-dissolve. Cross-dissolves are one of the most commonly used transitions between shots and before I started to produce streaming video for the web I used them frequently. Unfortunately cross-dissolves don’t compress well, and if you watch streaming videos carefully you will notice during the dissolve from one shot to the next there are a lot of artifacts – a sure sign that the transition effect is gobbling up valuable compression dollars! A straight cut is simply the most efficient way to go, and if you take a look at almost all the streaming video examples featured on my website, you’ll see that every single transition is a straight cut. That might seem limiting, but after a while of doing videos like that, you’ll learn to use that method of editing, and strangely enough it’ll also help you construct sequences better. It may seem strange to some with high-end video editing software with literally hundreds of available transitions, but you’ll actually begin to appreciate the art of editing more when you’re able to create a rhythm and flow from straight cutting.

2. Grade your image for LCD and compression – Another difference between standard TVs and computer LCDs are the way they process colour. When grading for streaming video delivery you have quite a bit of latitude for “souping-up” the colour, as they will typically display more colour saturation that most televisions. Grading images is another key to making sure your final streaming video looks its best online. Beefing up contrast using levels filters or unsharp mask filters is another way of creating the perception of a sharper video image, and counteracts both the softening effect of LCD displays as well as the somewhat washed out effect produced by some encoders during the video compression process. Remember there are trade-offs to overdoing it with the colour though – it takes more compression to process those saturated colours. If you’re after maximium sharpness at low bit-rates, you should actually consider de-saturating the colour or going all the way and having it in B&W or monochrome.

3. Different aspects – One thing you may actually take advantage of creatively as a producer of streaming videos is that you can create streaming videos with virtually any aspect ratio you desire. From ultra-widescreen to vertical skyscraper formats, you’re not limited by the aspect ratio of your TV or camera. This has partly to do with the fact that, when you’re producing video streaming ads, your screen size or dimensions are smaller that your originally captured image. So all kinds of cropping effects can take place. This can be useful also when producing videos that are part of banners, alongside other graphics. If your editing software supports different aspect ratios, experiment with this, or if it doesn’t, you can always crop later in an encoding program. You may even choose to edit in a compositing program like Adobe After Effects, which permits you any screen size and aspect ratio you desire.

4. Different speeds – One thing that can compress well is slow motion. The difference between successive frames is usually small and so it compresses reasonably well. I use a special frame-blender to produce very smooth slow motion video effects and reduce the choppiness of video slow motion. Another thing I end up doing sometimes in regard to motion is using quick short ramps (fast motion) within shots. This can eat up data, as you end of with a lot of difference between successive frames, but it does give videos plenty of energy, and if the ramp is quick the damage can be minimal. Adding a keyframed blur within the ramp can work to minimize this if you’re doing a whip-pan move as well

4. Audio – Audio quality is just as important as video. If you skimp on audio, it’ll bring down the whole level of your production. If you’re employing voice-over, make sure your talent speaks clearly and try and EQ them tight, which sometimes means backing off bass frequencies and creating a punchy middle. Music is also very important. For those who have to use generic or stock music, try and favor simple arrangements and back off the cheese factor. Arrangements with short punchy sounds, like percussive instruments, compress better than long dense sounds, like a string orchestra. It all depends on how you encode this of course. In the early days, in order to maximize the video bit rate, I’d use very low audio rates. Using windows media encoding, I’d use their “voice codec” at 20kbps mono. If your mix of voice and music is sharp and punchy, it’d hold up reasonably well, as long as the music didn’t feature a lot of dense sustained notes. As more people have gotten faster connections, I’ve upped the bit rate and now tend to use 32kbps stereo (albeit at a lower sample rate) or sometimes higher. A good mono sound is preferable to a stereo sound that’s breaking up due to compression, so be careful. The one great thing about using Windows media, as opposed to Flash, is that you can produce good quality audio at very low bit-rates, because the windows audio codec is remarkably good and far superior to mp3. If you have to encode in Flash, try and see what codec is being used for your audio. The best mp3 codec widely in use is the LAME codec.

5. Delivery Formats – When I started, there were really 3 major formats for streaming that I felt were an option: Windows media, Realplayer and Quicktime. A lot of testing went into it, and basically it came down between Windows media and Realplayer. At the time I felt Realplayer offered slightly better quality and better colour saturation, though because of the widespread use of windows media player (thanks to the monopolizing of Gates’ Microsoft), Windows media was my preferred delivery format. For me, Real and Quicktime have basically fallen off the radar in terms of streaming video. Now it’s down to two options – Windows media and Flash 8. Flash was never really efficient enough before to offer a true alternative to the others, but with the widespread acceptance of the Flash format for video and the improvement of Flash video with the new On2 codec, it is a real option. The ease in which it is able to integrate into webpages, as well as Flash-created files, makes it very tempting. It still doesn’t offer the overall efficiency of Windows, which at a compression level for video and audio still wins out. You’ll have to choose yourself what’s best for your streaming video delivery format.

Also, when I started, I was doing exclusively real streaming, that is, intelligent multi-bitrate streaming using a Windows streaming server. I released however that, if I wanted to produce very high quality content at reasonable bit rates, then streaming wasn’t quite going to do it for me. That’s why progressive download, with its 2-pass VBR, basically won me over as a way of delivering short (typically 2minutes or less) video advertisements online. I’ll use intelligent streaming for other things which require low bit-rates, such as audio and still sequences, but that’s about all.

I hope this has given you a few ideas about best working practices for producing streaming videos, whether they be for online advertising, video blogs or whatever. Video streaming carries with it a particular set of work practices that set it apart from the production demands of other media, like DVD. Having an idea of those factors before you go into a streaming video production will hold you in good stead, and help you to produce a much better end result.

Tips For Learning How to Play Online Judi

If you’re new to the world of Judo and would like to learn how to do it, there are several different ways that you can do that. One of them is to sign up for an online course. A lot of these are available for free, but there are also a number of websites that charge a fee for classes and other training material. If you are serious about Judo and want to learn all you can before you make your first trip to a Judo club, you should consider taking one of these courses.

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Online Judi is the most popular way to learn the art. If you aren’t familiar with it yet, there are a lot of great tips and techniques that you can pick up on here. The good thing about Judo online is that you can get started right away. There is no need to set up an actual mat or even have anyone to show you how to perform the moves daftar situs slot.

Another good thing about learning how to play online is the fact that you can learn in your spare time. It is easy enough to squeeze a few hours here and there between your daily chores. You don’t have to worry about starting early or being late. That is a huge benefit compared to a traditional Judo club.

There are a number of different options available for online classes. You can find ones that are very basic and focused on just doing the moves you have learned from videos or other resources online. Or you can also find ones that are more advanced and offer techniques you haven’t been taught anywhere else. There are many places online that you can find information on these courses as well.

One place you can find a great deal of information about a specific course is the website of the school itself. Many schools will put up information for people looking to learn the art in general. You can also find forums that many Judo enthusiasts frequent. You can ask questions, post comments, or learn about new updates that have been added to a particular course. It is a great way to get the latest news on a course or how to improve your skills with it.

Learning how to play Judi online is one of the most popular ways for people to enjoy the art. They can learn at their own pace, take courses at their own convenience, and they can practice Judi on the go as well. Some of the top online schools all offer the option of taking a course on the road as well. This is something that you might want to look into if you are traveling outside of your home country. Whatever your reason for learning Judi online, you will find a great deal of information for you to enjoy.

Some Quick Tips to Help You Learn How to Win Soccer Betting

With the popularity of online football gambling growing by leaps and bounds, you would do well to learn some tips on how to win soccer bets. Online football gambling has exploded over the past few years and there are now hundreds if not thousands of websites out there where you can place your bets. If you want to win your bets and be successful at them, you need to follow a number of simple tips that will help you succeed.

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The very first thing that you should know is that it takes time to properly learn and develop yourself as a bettor. Unlike other forms of online sports betting, there are certain odds that you are going to be required to bet on when it comes to soccer. This is why it’s important to get the proper training before placing your bets Without proper guidance and learning how to strategize, you will likely find yourself losing more money than you are making.

Once you have gotten the proper soccer betting training from the proper resource, you need to know the different odds that you are going to be dealing with. For instance, if you are dealing with a football betting website, then the odds will be different depending on which country the matches are being played in. In this case, you are likely to see that the payout odds for a home win will differ greatly from the odds of a draw. In order to make the most out of your soccer betting, you need to know all about these odds and ensure that you are well versed in them.

Another important tip to use is to place your bets when you are most confident that they will win. This will help you to increase your win rate dramatically since you won’t be playing against a team or individual that you don’t feel that you can beat. One way to do this is to bet only a small portion of your bankroll on each match. This will help you learn how much to bet on what and reduce your chances of suffering from high betting losses.

The last piece of advice that we are going to give you here is to find someone to teach you everything that you need to know about soccer betting. There are a variety of ways that you can go about doing this, but one of the easiest is by joining an online soccer betting forum. By doing so, you can meet a wide range of people who are willing to share tips, advice and tutorials with one another. By using this resource, you can learn about a variety of soccer betting subjects and put all of your knowledge to good use. You can also take lessons from other members and even receive free soccer betting picks sent to your email each week.

We hope that you found this article about some of the most helpful win soccer betting tips. Using these tips will help you learn more about the subject of soccer betting, how to bet properly, and how to place your bets effectively. Soccer is a very popular sport, and many people are looking for ways to make money off it. By taking the time to learn as much as you can about this wonderful game, you can increase your chances of making a profit and truly making your money work for you.

What Is Interceptive Orthodontics?

In the past, most people who needed braces were told to wait until their permanent teeth were fully erupted before beginning orthodontic treatment. Now, however, dentists have discovered that early intervention may actually prevent future problems with the mouth, jawbone and bite. This early intervention is called interceptive orthodontics, a treatment that is performed by a dentist.

Interceptive Orthodontics Explained

Interceptive orthodontics seeks to “intercept” or prevent bite problems. Many teens and adults need braces because of crowding issues; the permanent teeth are too crowded or emerge crooked, which makes brushing, flossing and other care difficult. Bite misalignment, protruding front teeth, and other issues related to the placement, bite or position of the teeth and jaw may call for orthodontic treatment จัดฟัน.

With this technique, early intervention seeks to prevent such problems in the first place by treating the mouth, palate and jaw while a child is still growing. Spacers may be used to improve spacing between the teeth or to help shape the jaw and palate. Problems created by over-reliance on a pacifier or thumb sucking can be corrected. It may even shorten the time necessary for braces after permanent teeth grow into the mouth.

Why Do Children Need Interceptive Orthodontics?

Dentists recommend interceptive orthodontics for many reasons. One of the most common reasons is to correct issues caused by thumb sucking or pacifier habits. Using pacifiers for an extended period of time or thumb sucking that persists beyond infancy can reshape the jawbone causing misalignment of teeth. It can also cause teeth to grow in crookedly, especially the front teeth which may point outwards. This can make front teeth more susceptible to injury over time, as well as make a child self-conscious about his appearance. Bite and tongue issues can also develop due to thumb sucking and pacifier use. Interceptive orthodontics, as well as weaning your child at an early age off the thumb or pacifier, can help prevent or correct problems.

Other developmental issues that may call for this treatment include palate issues and uneven growth of the upper and lower jaw. Palate and jaw issues can be more easily corrected while a child is still growing, as the tissues are softer and pliable. Interceptive orthodontics corrects the palate and jaw, perhaps preventing other, more intrusive interventions later on.

Adjusting to Treatment

Children ages 7 to 11 adjust surprisingly well. They’re old enough to understand the importance of taking care of their teeth, and generally cooperate with appointments and special instructions from the dentist or orthodontics.

Children who play sports may be asked to wear a mouth guard to protect against injury, and it may be difficult to persuade kids that young to avoid chewing gum, caramel, taffy and other foods that can break orthodontic appliances. And for kids who love to play musician instruments such as the trumpet, oboe or clarinet, a little extra practice at first may be necessary to get the right feel once braces or other appliances are in place. However, there shouldn’t be anything about interceptive orthodontics that gets in the way of your child continuing to enjoy his favorite activities and have all the fun he had before orthodontics.

Sometimes interceptive orthodontics is part of a two-phased approach to correct bite, jaw or teeth problems. Interceptive orthodontics may be used during the child’s growth phase, while additional orthodontic treatment may be recommended later on.

No two children are alike, and every person is unique. Please talk to your child’s dentist about your specific concerns and questions about interceptive orthodontics. This information cannot, and is not intended to, substitute for the advice from your child’s doctor, or dentist. But it should give you a little background to help you think through your questions about interceptive orthodontics before your child’s next dental appointment.

My Slot – The Definitive Guide to Creating Your Own Online Slot!

Opening new doors and possibilities in the online casino industry My Slot (online video slot) brings internet casino players the opportunity to alter and personalize their own video slot. This latest generation of online casino slots allows players to upload their own pictures, sounds and colour themes thus delivering a brand new and unique casino slot experience to anyone playing the game. The My Slot video slot is a revolutionary concept forged by online casino industry game makers Microgaming(TM).

Once having downloaded any casino supported by Microgaming’s software, the installation procedure of the very game is simple. All players need to do is choose My Slot from the bouquet of listed slot games and wait for the game to be uploaded to their casino lobby pgslot.

Changing images

Once the game has been uploaded to the player’s casino lobby, one can begin changing the look and feel of the game by clicking on each symbol revealed on the games ‘create new theme’ interface. The bare game has preloaded preset symbols such as bells, cherries, bar symbols, oranges and a wad of money as the high paying symbols.

Parallel to the high paying symbols, the low paying symbols are denoted by 6 playing card symbols extending from 9 to Ace.

My Slot is a 5-reel, 9 Payline slot which also contains the Wild and Scatter symbols designed at providing the player with heftier winning opportunities – these are found on the top right corner of the ‘create new theme’ interface and are too easily substituted with alternative images. After the player has clicked on the image he/she has decided to modify, the player’s personal ‘my pictures’ folder is instantaneously opened where the player can select and upload the image of his/her choice. If the image picked is not located in the designated pc image folder there is of course also the option of choosing any directory; providing that it contains an image. There are no image size limitations and players can amend all images with the useful symbols editor. This particular tool is effortless to use and permits the player to select a desired element of the preferred image.

Selecting a color theme

The color theme option is located at the bottom left corner of the theme interface. Here players can change the background color of their slot complementing the images previously selected. If one has chosen images of nature, then perhaps a good choice of a backdrop color would be green or sky blue. All colors are apparent since a selection can be made from a complete color spectrum found at the very bottom of the color theme selector.

Changing the theme music

My Slot players can also alter the tune accompanying their gameplay. All they need to do is click on the ‘change’ button found on the bottom right-hand corner of the ‘create new theme’ interface. Players can now choose their favorite song or sound in order to make the My Slot experience a completely original affair.

Saving your new My Slot theme

Once all alterations have been concluded, all that is left to do is save the new theme you have created. Simply do so by giving your new theme a name and by clicking on the ‘save’ button at the bottom of the ‘create new theme’ interface. Once players have done so, they can start playing their completely new and personalized video slot. Players can create a number of slots depicting anything of their liking such as favorite (and not so favorite) family members, beloved pets, desired automobiles, discrete holiday destinations, pop stars, rock stars, movie stars etc. The My Slot video slot has hours of fun and creativity in store for the online casino player – the possibilities have now become literally endless.

Playing My Slot

Playing My Slot is just as easy as playing any other online video slot. Being a 5-reel, 9 payline video slot, the game boasts a number of betting options to the player. Players can choose the number of paylines involved in each spin – the more paylines they choose, the greater the likelihood of getting greater returns. The highest number of betting coins is 5 per spin but once having chosen to play all 9 paylines the bet goes up to 45 coins per spin. The lowest number permitted on a 9 payline bet is 9 coins (1 coin x 9 paylines = 9 coins). The truly wonderful bit about my slot is that players can skip between themes at the click of a button.

My Slot proves to be a truly unique video slot designed to pierce through the already set-in-place video slot niche. Players need not succumb to preconceived video slot themes any longer – now they can create their own video slots according to their personal taste.