Collaborative Online Video Workshop notes

Lilia Perez and Željko Blaće both connected to the Imaginary Property research group at the Jan van Eyck Academie; a dutch Post-Academic Institute for Research and Production on Fine Art, Design, Theory, joined the Collaborative Video workshop which took place from 17-23.11.2008 in Brussels and have been on/off blogging/reporting on “this second international workshop organized to mediate know-how transfer in this field both between int. software/service developers/maintainers/educators and (primarily local) content producers/users.” Their reports are posted on the Imaginary property blog
Thanks L + Z !

Below a text dump of that page:

Open Source Video Workshop @
Submitted by zB on Tue, 11/18/2008 – 10:47

Open Source Video is a project of Constant, a Brussels based organisation for Arts and Media. 17-23.11.2008 for the second time international workshop is organized to mediate know-how transfer in this field both between int. software/service developers/maintainers/educators and (primarily local) content producers/users.
IMP researchers Lilia Perez and Željko Blaće joining this workshop and will be on/off blogging/reporting…

Opening casual gathering on Monday evening at LaCompilothique kicked of with nice dinner + introduction of participants and informal chats of old/new friends from FLOSS tranches 😉

20081118 sesion#01
Submitted by zB on Tue, 11/18/2008 – 11:02

Host institution is wonderfull flamish cultural center PianoFabrique…

With (very) short delay and (very) few participants missing workshop started off with quite serious and detailed overview of licensing policies, economic relations, technological limitations and much more from the digital video world (from perspective of open source developer/producer/user)… as (somewhat) expected Jan Gerber of (0xdb and fame) is showing some of the amazing examples of what future version of web browsers (primarily Firefox and Opera) with support natively video+svg+JavaScript …this will enable us to do/see – AMAZING NEW WEB of VIDEOS and not just web pages …while avoiding embedded propertary technologies/content (flash & other plugins)!
Presentation of was also impressive demo of what can be done using semantic wiki data JavaScript applets and SMILE (the fact that SMILE is back in big style – brings SMILE back to my face 😉

Participants got a free copy of Videovortex Reader!
You can get in touch with participants on IRC and go to OSVideo chat room…

20081118 session#02
Submitted by zB on Tue, 11/18/2008 – 15:12

…continuing a bit slower (practical work brings tech issues) in using utilities like ffmpeg2theora, ffmpeg, dvgrab… using HD source material, linux pipes…also discussing different container options (ogg for web video and matroska for Blue-Ray and DVD ripping due to a number of features it became popular in Anime community). Somewhat less dynamic 😉

multi-file and multi-res automated encoding with Graphical user interface: AVIDEMUX (has preview, filter, adjust parameters of image…with lots of presets for export to CD, VideoCD, DVD… limited use for encoding)

20081119 session#03
Submitted by zB on Wed, 11/19/2008 – 10:14

oups…me running late… seems that morning is/will be dedicated to which was partialy presented last night (video should be available soon) at the public event at OKNO…this time presentation is more of a discussion on exames from practice/life/media… licence (free-software-licence with tech spin on Low-Res)… examples of licencing of artworks as media and source code (electronic music and productions) have been discussed in regards to different strategies artists take (mostly depending on capacity to deal with legal issues).
level of understanding of licencing issues is quite different depending on background of participants (software developers tend to be more political and informed, media producers/creatives more troubled and passionate 🙂

20081120 session#04
Submitted by Lilia Perez on Tue, 11/25/2008 – 12:35

In session 04 gave a brilliant presentation about their general philosophy summarized in the slogan “A hack a day.” As an example, they showed images and gave a detailed description of their Opera Calling (Arias for All) presented in 2007, at Cabaret Voltaire, Zürich. In this project, they placed “bugs” made with old cellphones inside the Zürich Opera House. This phones were connected to an application fed with the whole city’s white pages. During the opera concerts, the computer would call a random number in the telephone directory and connect it “live” with the phone-bugs transmitting from the opera house. This way, everybody could enjoy the performance without having to pay the costly tickets, and without having to leave their homes. For more info about “Opera Calling” see:

The second part of the day’s session was practical. Bitnik handed us all a small manual entitled “Your own private TV Staion Making P2P Television”. The manual itself was a nicely design, “do it yourself” booklet of which I’m including a picture. We followed the steps and before lunch time had our own TV station running. I think that we should do this at the JvE as soon as possible. We could even have a live journal for the opening week!

The day ended with an overview of how to use Cinelerra:”The community developed version of this non-linear video editor.” Documentation in several languages available here:
We had some technical problems, so we didn’t get to see it running 100%.

That night, at a bookstore, Bitnik set up the TV station at the Quarantaine bookshop in Ixelles neighborhood and transmitted local filmmaker’s works for all the “barrio”.

20081121 session#05
Submitted by Lilia Perez on Tue, 11/25/2008 – 13:03

Collage and Code, was the subject of the morning session. In it Michael Murtaugh spoke about his ideas dealing with what he calls “collage” editing as his preferred technique in manipulating video. As the title of the session clearly states, he was referring to collage achieved mainly by software and coding. In the first part of his presentation he explained that he had found in .srt files (the conventional file extension used for subtitles) a very powerful and simple resource for experimenting with the time line and the time code. He said that .srt files could enable a certain “wikiness” in video. As an example he showed how using the “grep” linux command and the search results that it throws, and then feeding this edited time code to Mplayer, it’s possible to view simple movie files in many different nonlinear yet meaningful ways. To illustrate this the works of : Aaron Valdez were shown.

The second part of this session was practical, and in it Murtaugh asked us to become beta testers of a small application that he developed using Phyton. The main idea of this application was to use the “video tag” recently integrated to HTML and already readable by the new Firefox version (in progress). He used this tag and his application for editing .srt files and then turning them into javascript code which creates a time line for a web page. This is, he created a way in which you can have complex animations, frames changing, and video appearing and dissapearing within a webpage without the need of flash or advance coding skills. His application worked well in Linux and Mac OSX, and some of the workshop attendants like Jan and Sebastian did impressing things with it.

The second part of the day was devoted to analyzing the features of Plumi & Miro. Sedat Güzel, explained Miro in detail while Andy Nicholson spoke about EngageMedia and the possibilities of video sharing systems.

Posted on: Friday, January 16, 2009 by: in category: Collaborative Online Video workshop