To start off today’s blog of rattrainer, click on the video below.
This little video was created in the lab by students last year. They used a simple digital camera. Most everyone has one and can shoot short, simple videos. If you or your teammate do not have a digial camera capable of shooting video, we have one you can use. Shoot a short video of your rat. This video should illustrate some of your rat’s behavior you’d like us to see. The video above shows little Olive performing a trick taught to her by the students. You may wish to show us your rat’s trick. However, the video is also useful in demonstrating any problems you might be having. We can view this video and perhaps give you suggestions. Or during the course of training your rat may be displaying some sort of odd behavior and you’d like us to see it. The videos serve as a visual chronicle of your progress with your rat whether it be with your trick or the major project itself.
Once the video is taken it becomes a digital file in the camera. The file must be transferred from you camera to your computer and saved on the hard drive. This transfer can be done in several ways. Most digital cameras come with connections to hook up the camera with a computer allowing you to transfer the video file to the computer. Different makes and models of cameras often have different types of hookups. Some are simple and hook directly to the USB port (the slot you put your little memory sticks into) of the computer. Others are somewhat more complicated. Some higher end cameras come with what is called a “fire wire” that very speedily downloads video if the computer has a fire wire card. Just about every computer using either Windows or Apple software comes with programs that do the transfer from camera to computer for you. It may take a couple of tries but you’ll quickly learn how to do this video file transfer. Probably the easiest way to transfer video files to the computer is to have a “memory card reader” on the computer (sometimes on certain printers as well). This is a slot into which you insert the memory card from your camera and software on you computer reads the card and transfers the video to your computer. Unfortunately, different cameras sometimes have different size memory cards and you therefore, must have the right size reader (we have multiple sixed readers in the video lab). Some students may already know all about how to do such picture/video transfer, others will need to learn how. This is not hard to do, and we are currently setting up a video lab in the department in which we/you can do all of this.
All digital files have what is called an “extension” which tells what sort of file it is and what particular form it is saved in. It may be necessary to change the extension of your video file. The more commonly used extensions are AVI and WMV. If you video file does not have either of these extensions, we have software that will change the extension. When you play your little video it may be too long or contain sections that are unnecessary. You may wish to add an opening screen introducing the video as you saw in the little video above. You may want to get fancy and add special transfer effects linking two or more little clips (again, you saw this in the “wipe” transfer in the above video). You may also want to add music or voice-over to you video. How would you do this? You now need a video editing program. Most newer Windows PCs come with “Windows Movie Maker” a simple and easy to use video editing program. Macs also come with bundled easy-to-use video editing software. These simple programs will most likely serve your purpose, but we have more versitile editors for doing more complex edits on video.
Once you have your video edited just the way you like, the next step is to embed it into your blog. With WordPress it is easy. You cannot directly upload a video to the blog. You must link to a video already on the web. Such places are YouTube, Google, and some others. I like YouTube because it is reliable and easy. First, you must (what else) obtain a user name and password from YouTube. You’ve done this a million times, go to http://www.youtube.com and pick a user name and password. You have to provide them an e-mail address and as soon as they receive your id and password they e-mail you that things are cool and ask you to verify your e-mail address (this takes them a few minutes so be patient). The e-mail from YouTube is very self explanatory, just follow the directions. YouTube’s home page tells you in easy to follow steps how to upload your video.
Login to YouTube and find a link to “My Videos.” Click it and the videos you’ve uploaded are shown. Now, click on the “Edit Video Info” button next to the video you want to embed. Copy this information (some of you may recognize this as HTML code). Now, go back to WordPress and in the editing section for your blog, at the bottom there is a selection called “Videos.” Click it and a window comes up telling you to paste the code you copied while in YouTube into a text box. Then select “send to editor.” The code will appear in you blog. Do this procedure at the point in the blog where you want the video to appear.