It turns out that Veescope has a built in Light Guide for when you are setting up your green screen built into it, that’s a saving of some £8 (wish I had realised previously!). Accessed by selecting th “edges” menu icon (the mountain range) and then select the light bulb button to the left of the ‘Key Fine Tuning’ slider. It is actually very similar in functionality to Green Screener in that you can select a chroma key colour and adjust the quality sensitivity across L/M/H.
My journey into green screen continuous into this month with a great find, Green Screener by Hollywood Camera Work, that helps you get stunningly perfect green screen. Doing away with light-meters and expensive waveform monitors the app shows you how even your backdrop is and helps you set up the best lighting conditions. It’s a little pricey as apps go at sub £8 but a worthy investment that could save you a lot more in unnecessary lighting hardware or retakes. Watch their introduction on Youtube – https://youtu.be/iuEsnXuIVcE
I don’t get it! How many time do you come across somebody with the same password, or an obvious one, or they make a list? far too many. Normally this does not bother me but I think the last month I must have come across this issue close to double figures and I think its becoming or likely to become an epidemic…
Multiple passwords used to be the domain of the nerd, but with the range of devices, systems, apps and websites we are all likely to be swamped so please spread the word once you watch the video clip – https://youtu.be/L8AgezVfPlo
The Veescope Green Screen app in a prior post has the ability to be remotely controlled, originally by another iOS device, more recently through the use of the Apple Watch (see screenshot above). I have access to three other iOS devices:
Wifes iPhone (unfortunately with here most of the time!)
iPad classic (does not like anything beyond iOS 5.5, and the Veescope app is iOS 6)
iPad mini (from work and locked down tighter than Southend piers footings – but I am working on it)
I did however pinch the wife’s to have a go, first its a clear simple interface:
snapshot (Apple Watch does not seem to have this? – only going by screenshots seen)
My first concern was that I needed to be on the same network and thought this may well cause issues at work (I could at least try out at home) – but fear not as it functions on Bluetooth connectivity, having enabled Bluetooth of both devices, and was a breeze. It may not look fancy or offer obscure options but it works an absolute dream.
I don’t think it’s likely but I would love the option of having this controlled from a Pebble Smartwatch!
At the Betts Show earlier on in the year I saw the amazing Green Screen by Do Ink and liked the clean interface. However it is only available for the iPad , Do Ink have this on their development roadmap but they are a two person outfit and there is no deadline for it currently, I really wanted something for my iPhone 6+. Enter Veescope Live for iOS that is available in two flavours:
The interface is not as pleasing on the eye but looking at the developers website www.dvdxdv.com it seems they have a wide range of products for Macs (including other Veescope products) and Final Cut. So what does it do? Well you can elect to have either movie clip backgrounds or photos that you can step through as you record (I imagine the holiday photo slideshow from hell!).
Now this is a fun app, practical and easy to use but its also another app that has made me spend money (after opinion and Pebble smartwatch apps) and it is money well spent! The app allows for not only green screening but also keying any background. My first attemt at using this app was to record against a pure white background and turn a 30 guided learning hour unit (50% already online) to fully online in about 90 minutes. A quite environment with good lighting and a clear background, allowing me to steady my iPhone, step in front of the camera at a bleep, and step away upon another bleep, tweak the “Key Fine Tuning” and I was good to go! A laptop (and remote presenter), a dry-wipe board in the background and a colleague to start/stop recording and I was a star in the making!
I have since found that using a real green screen (for under £40) is even easier, no having to steady the camera, hold a white sheet of paper in front, remove, bingo!
What I also like is the ability to apply “mattes” to the edges of your capture, say for if you have only a small green screen or recordable area you can reduce the overall recordable area. The ability to change your backgrounds (on the fly with a remote device or keyboard) and include recorded video clips really adds to this app and remote control (an upcoming post). It saves to your camera roll seamlessly.
There are even built-in tutorials from the app. I cannot recommend this app enough, especially if you are looking for a greens screen app on an iPhone.
Yesterday I spent the day with Microsoft looking at their Showcase Classroom. I really did not have a clear perception of what to expect other than looking at different mobile devices. So what did the day entail (and was it worth it!)?
Firstly it was free other than the cost of getting to London, Victoria and back for 10:00am – 3:30pm. A cup of coffee and a pain-au-chocolate later and we was shown a brief “Sway” presentation before the big reveal, doors slid open in our relatively small room, showing a much larger room with bright colours, comfy stool and giant bean bags. We grab a mobile device… this is going to be interactive! I pick a rugged grey “Stone” tablet with keyboard and a carry handle, colleagues pick HP tablets or Surface Pro’s – they all do the job they need to do.
We are asked to rate out the following out of four possible options: Don’t know what it it, aware, used a bit, used a lot using coloured post-it’s.
Windows 8.1 – its search capabilities and seamlessness
Yammer – social networking in a safe environment
Office 365 – buckloads, I even learnt about “Delve” (did you know a 365 account gives you 5 downloadable office’s?)
OneNote – the collaborative side utilising OneNote Classroom
OneDrive – limitless
Lync (Skype for Business) – connect to others and record sessions!
Now I was able to answer “used a lot” for all but that’s more a comment upon the organisation I work for and the projects I am involved in. I found the delivery that followed upon these technologies well thought-out and verging on seamless. a worthy day for the less tech proficient for sure. We had an outline of Mix and Sway (yes I felt an over whelming smugness) and then a hard-sell pitch for taking back-end services and pushing to our learners – progress, options, etc. (way off but lord-able goals). Finally we had highlighted windows 10 and HoloLens.
I certainly found the day worthwhile but I took a number of key things with me…
The organisation I work for are certainly embracing the tech discussed
Although the room looked funky the backless “stools” were not nearly as comfortable as the “sit-in” bean bags
Despite discussing how being untethered from the front of the classroom is ideal, it wasn’t applied (beyond a demonstration)
A number of technologies will not work fully until we are in a 1-2-1 device position (such as OneNote)
I cannot see myself bringing everything together under one platform, I am all for diversity in technology (Our D.A.V.E. intranet covers the likes of Delve and Yammer)
Finally, there was a lot of discussion around learners subverting the technologies. More of this on a future post.
Now this is a great app, it’s free, allowing access to your PC from others or remotely. Install the app into chrome and your good to go! Your PC has a passcode set that you will need when accessing remotely.
The key thing for me is that I run my main PC at home as a server for all my files and on a number of occasions I need to either start a service or reboot and I can do this from my iPhone tablet easily. Although you loose connection during the reboot you regain once rebooted – unlike other systems you do not need to be logged onto your profile for the app to work.
I have even accessed my pc, attached a file to an email, and sent it email to myself at work!
I have used Box for years (when it was Box.net before Box.com) and I was lucky enough to sign up when it was 50GB. Its not widely used or known but it is gaining in populairty, certainly amongst apps. Watch a video here – https://youtu.be/Rt7RaX61DeQ. What are its key features…
I love this app, mentioned a few weeks ago, and recently used it in my latest podcast. I needed to record three Learning Technologists at three different locations across two days and did not want to carry around with me a lot of equipment. There is a great article outlying its use here
Opinion came in really handy, allowing me to record on-the-fly, edit fast and save off for my next interview. Admittedly I did my bigger editing on my desktop but I certainly will not hesitate to use Opinion again on-the-go. What did come up on my wish list for Opinion was:
I found it a bit awkward to have the mic facing my interviewee and also be able to control the app, thankfully the latest update on the 8th March 2015 allows you to rotate the app 180°, allowing you to record a third party with the mic aimed at them but giving you full control still.
Save and retrieve recordings (including splits?), the work around for this currently is to save to cloud services such as Dropbox or Box and retrieve but these are as whole recordings, meaning you lose any splits
Although targeted at the podcasting market there is no way to layer audio clips. Something that the reasonably proficient podcaster would have for their intro, outro and bumper audio clips or even bed music
And there is also no volume or fade in/out facility, although if you could layer the audio clips you could always have permanent fade in and out built into the intro, outro and bumper clips (I adjust these based upon the rest of my content normally)
Give me point 3 and I would happily give it a go of editing an entire episode on the app.
Recently I looked to expand beyond iTunes to potential expand my podcasts audience. Surprisingly there are few alternatives to iTunes for podcasting subscriptions and compared to iTunes traffic it if often reported as less than 5% and it certainly is muddy waters.
WindowsPhone 7/8 (Formally Zune Marketplace) – A growing market that can only grow on the success of Windows based phones. Certainly going through some changes currently at time of post.
Stitcher – a popular directory but one that streams the podcasts, potentially using up the user bandwidth when not on free wifi connectivity (there exists some commentary of them using advertising to pay for the service – potentially coming into conflict with an advertising within the podcasts themselves?)
TuneIn Radio – another streaming option but one that is more widely spread to the tablet users
The Podcast Source – LybSyns directory/app for Windows 8 and Windows phone 8 (already on this one! as I am hosted upon LybSyn) – app here
Miro – open source and growing, allowing for downloads and one that allows Android users an iTunesesque [sic] experience.
podcast411.com – rough around the edges but well though of! at time of the post it was being overrun by spammers and search/submit options suspended!
There are other systems that pull from other directories such as Overcast: podcast player (for iOS) that pulls from iTunes. But for me I think that Miro is the one that is worthy of interest particulaly as it will open up the android market for the podcast (and even windows platforms) followed by the podcastdirectory.com
Windows – looks like you have to go through BING and add an XML feed to your podcasts – did not pursue this one!
Miro – You will not be able to access the ‘Submit Show’ option from the sub-navigation bar (from your username on the right hand side in chrome) show is now submitted
Stitcher takes you through an approval process. It took a few day, required a link to stitcher on the website before approval.