Monday, December 7, 2009

Video Decoding

I have spent about 60% of my weekend (!?!) trying to learn how to convert video clips taken by my husband's camera into a format that my Windows Movie Maker would be able to download. It's a great software installed on my computer that I can use for editing clips made by my Sony camera; but it does not help if the format .mov cannot be downloaded to it from my husband's camera.

The problem I am having is that if I take video clips of close-up shots with my Sony camera, the images are rather out of focus. I had been trying to adjust the focus modes on it, but it does not seem to help. The best I am able to get is with automatic focus, but as I move my fingers and needles while knitting, the picture is coming in and out of focus; and that's very annoying.

So I tried to use my husband's camera for the close ups; and the problem was solved - I was getting sharp images. Though, now I am unable to upload these files to my "movie maker" software to edit it!! It's very frustrating.

I had been trying to download some other editing softwares from Internet to try if the .mov format would work with any of them. If you have some good suggestion, let me know. I hope that the output of the edited version will work with the site I am intending to use for the on-line classrooms. :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On-line Knitting & Crochet Classes

Hi everyone!

It's been a while since my last post. I've been quite busy, traveling to Europe during the summer (it was a bitter sweet visit, though) and had been working quite a bit after I got back - six new designs coming up in spring. A bit more on that in upcoming posts.

Right now I am working on setting up my own knitting and crochet workshop studio where I am going to offer knitting and crochet on-line classes. I am very excited about the prospect when I think of all the possibilities of an on-line course can offer to knitters and crocheters out here cyberspace.

Last week I started taking an on-line class (very much the same format I am going to be offering) for teachers to learn how efficiently run this kind of venture. Stefanie Japel is the teacher of that class; and she is terrific. Many of you have probably heard of her; she has published a couple of knitting books (looove them!) and she also has quite a successful on-line presence. I am also enjoying being in the classroom with other designers and teachers. We don't get much of face-to-face interaction otherwise, so this is a wonderful opportunity for us to get together.

This past few days I have been also building the on-line classroom web site. The classroom will be fully interactive with instructional videos, PDF handouts, forums and live chats, so it will have a feel of real life classroom. It will have so many advantages over a real-life classes:
  • students will have access to all the materials 24-hours a day for the duration of the class (about 3 - 4 weeks)
  • students can review materials over and over, until it's clear to them
  • students can post in forums about their progress; ask questions; interact with each other
  • students can participate in live chats with me and other students
  • students can learn in the comfort of their home, or during a lunch break
  • students can save time and money by not having to travel to a location
  • - great for knitters/crocheter who don't have access to LYS
  • - great for moms who can study the evenings or during children's nap times
  • students can produce a finished project by the end of the class!
Today I have been trying to edit my recorded test video with Windows Movie Maker that is installed on my computer. It is quite easy to use and creates professionally looking footage. I had "play" with the output format, which was not supported by my website.

I am interested what you think about this type of classes and what kind of classes you would like to take on-line. Would you be interested in beginners classes, more advanced classes, technique or project classes? I have a few class ideas, but I am still interested in what you think and what you'd like to learn. Let me know.