Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Split Screen - A Quick How To

Several people have asked me how I do the split screen comparisons, so I thought I would post a simple tutorial for those who are interested.

I use PowerDirector 10, but the general techniques should be applicable to any software editing software that provides two or more tracks for video.  First prepare your video as you normally would in the first track.  Load the clip you want to compare in the second track.

In the screen shot above, I have selected the clip in the top track to work with first.  In order to make it easier to see the position changes I want to make with the top clip, I deselect the second video track.

Notice there is a plus sign within a circle on the viewing screen in the first photo.  (If you can't see it, double click on the photo for a larger image.)  Place your cursor on the plus sign and move the clip toward the top of the frame.

Now to work on the second clip.  Check the video box so that it reappears on your editing screen, and click on the clip itself so that you can move it. 

In the screen shot below, the video of the second clip is pretty much obscuring the top clip which I have already moved.  Now all I have to do is place my cursor on the plus sign and drag the second track toward the bottom of the viewing screen.

And voila!  You now have both video tracks visible on the same screen.  Magnify the tracks and move the second clip right or left until you have a common starting point in the two clips.

If you want to add a little more work to your project, you can crop the second clip to remove some of the sky.  Unfortunately, in PD10 this isn't as easy as it could be since there is no pre-set template that allows for one step horizontal cropping.  (Oddly enough, there are three templates for vertical cropping.)  I don't know how easy it is to crop the view in other software, so I leave that for you to explore.

Here is a shot of the finished project.  I have cropped the bottom clip and moved it so that Belle and Dusty are both just breaking the plane of the first jump.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Time to Work on Our Dog Walk

Yesterday at the Ready Steady Go NADAC trial, Dusty went 3 for 4, which for him is absolutely awesome.  Additionally, one of the Q's was in Elite Chances.  His last Elite Chance Q was in February, 2010.

Belle and I didn't do quite so well.  She missed two of the three dog walk contacts in her runs.  However, our Touch n Go was awesome, and I savored it despite the missed contact.  On our Jumpers run, I remembered that I outran her twice last weekend, so I took a conservative lead out, thinking I'd easily beat her to the spot where I wanted to do a front cross.  Wrong.  I ended up doing a rear cross and got the first serpentine, but I wasn't were I planned to be for the second and pulled her off the third jump.  Then I managed to pull Belle off a second jump later in the course, and finally for the final blow, I managed to get her to drop a bar.  When it was Dusty's turn, I lead out to where I wanted to do my front cross, and things went much better.

Since Belle did a little stress scratching at the start line on almost all of our runs, I decided to leave not line her up between my legs for Tunnelers and see if she found that less stressful.  I ran away from her and when I turned to face her from the exit of the second tunnel.  I received the shock of my life when I realized she was half way through the tunnel.  Belle never breaks her start lines!  I was so flustered I momentarily forgot the course and omitted the first loop.

I was a little bummed that Belle and I did so poorly in terms of Q's, but when I thought about it, the Regular run was pretty good and the TnG was really nice except for the missed dog walk contacts.  And both the Jumpers and Tunnelers NQ's were due to handler error.  So I need to work on my handling--nothing new there and it's time to tackle the dog walk contacts again.

I don't particularly want a running dog walk contact.  However, I seem to absolutely suck at teaching fast 2o2o contacts.  So, my plan is to work on a running dog walk contact with Belle.  It will be good practice for my next dog.  For now, I'm going to prop one ramp of the dog walk on a milk crate and use the table as a starting point.  I tried it this morning, and decided to also place a hoop at the end of the ramp.  I simply tossed a ball and released Belle to get it, clicking when she hit the yellow and saying nothing if she missed.  Actually, the only problem we encountered this morning was that initially Belle did a 2o2o.  However, she quickly got the idea that I wasn't looking for a stop.

Here's wonderful video of a woman in France using Silvia Trkman's method to train a running dog walk.  It makes me wish I had a set of stairs.