Posted Under (Document Cameras in Business, All Products, APPLICATION, All Applications, PRODUCT) by ipevoblog on 01-10-2011
We’re often asked about using the Point 2 View USB Document Camera to not only capture images in real-time, but to record video. Note that the Point 2 View does not have its own ability to capture video. However, there are many third-party programs available—many at no cost—that make it easy to record video from images captured with the Point 2 View.
Perhaps one of the easiest and most popular programs for recording video—and the subject of this tutorial—is Google’s Picasa. Picasa is an application that organizes your digital photos, and it also happens to have a very handy way to record video from a camera such as the Point 2 View.
Picasa is available for both PC and Mac. Please note, however, that the camera capture function is presently only available for PC, and so this tutorial is geared toward PC users. We are working on a tutorial for Mac users.
Here are the steps involved in going from capturing an image with the Point 2 View to having a video file (in the form of .wmv) that you can share, post to YouTube, and more.
- If you haven’t already, download the latest version of Picasa for free at picasa.google.com.
- In the upper-left of Picasa’s main screen, there is a button with a web camera icon (See Figure 1). Note that if you do not have the Point 2 View plugged in and active, this button will be grayed out. Plug in the Point 2 View, and click on this button to start the video capture mode.
- A capture screen will appear. “IPEVO Point 2 View” should appear in the upper left-hand corner of this window, and the window will display what the Point 2 View is seeing.
- Click on “Settings” (See Figure 2 and Figure 3), where you can adjust the resolution of the video. The higher the resolution, the larger the final video file will be, so use your best judgement to strike the right balance between image quality and file size.
- Once you’ve chosen your resolution and have your subject on camera, click on the “Record” button to record (See Figure 4).
- The Record button will change to a Stop button once you’re recording. Simply click the button again to stop recording. To the left of the button (See Figure 5), you’ll see the duration of your video, and to the right, you’ll see how large the file is currently.
- After you stop recording, you’ll be taken to another screen, where your new captured video will play. Picasa will automatically create a video (in .wmv format) of what you recorded, saving it to My Pictures–>Picasa–>Captured Videos. From there you may wish to simply retrieve that file, rename it, and share it however you wish, within or outside of Picasa.
- However, you may wish to refine the video a bit by setting a new starting point for the video, or a new end point, or both. For example, say the first few seconds of footage are shaky, or not pointed at the subject. Or say that for the last few seconds of the video, you veered the camera away from the subject. You can get rid of these bad portions by setting start and end points using the buttons circled in Figure 6. Scrub through the video using the green timeline bar below the video image, and set points accordingly.
- Once you have good start and end points and are ready to make your video, again you have a couple of options. The crucial buttons are those circled in Figure 7. As you can see, you can upload the video directly to YouTube (you need to have a YouTube account for this option). You can take a snapshot of whatever frame of the video is currently showing on screen—scrub using the green timeline to find the frame you want to photograph. Finally, you can export your video. Exporting creates a .wmv video—with the image resolution you selected—which is saved to My Pictures–>Picasa–>Exported Videos. Only the video between your selected start and end points will be exported.
- When you go back to your library, you’ll see that a new folder, “Exported Videos,” has been created, which contains your new video (See Figure 8). Click on your video within the folder, and from there you can hit the “Share” button (Also see Figure 8), to email your video. A Google account/email is required for this option.
Pretty easy, right? Picasa makes video capture—and then sharing that video—a breeze. We hope this tutorial has helped you get on the right track. Have fun!