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01/15 4K-video meets cross platform publishing

Presentasjon ved NODA2015. The Nordic Data Journalism Conference (NODA) - er en non profit konferanse fokusert på å bringe nyheter og forskning om datadrevet journalistikk (ddj) og digital historiefortelling til journalister, designere, redaktører og utviklere i skandinavias nyhetsredaksjoner, og medieforskere og studenter.


4k video meets cross platform publishing

The altered title partly reflects the criticism from the reviewers. I have developed the argument to more clearly address the relevance in relation to journalism. In particular addressing challenges concerning “responsive video” and cross platform publishing. I present a design proposal concerning how to achieve responsive video Video is data that can be manipulated by computation: when recorded, in post production, when published (on the server and/or the client). Because 4K video holds nine times the number of pixels, compared to ordinary HD this is both a potential and a problem. The press will in the foreseeable future have to handle multiple platforms: paper in various forms, on personal computers on tablets, on mobiles and on traditional television screens. Video does not scale very well in this respect, as we try to show the same information on big screens as on small devices I believe responsive video is not yet fully developed. We even have problems handling video on portable devices (landscape versus portrait). It works, but there must be better or at least alternative methods Norway’s largest newspaper have already seen mobile passing paper. Mobile grows rapidly and is likely to become the most significant platform for news journalism. But still VG and most other actors publish video in a way that was developed for television. This may be good enough today, but how to bring new qualities to video for tomorrow when havin to keep the cost of production and publishing as low as possible. Video publishing made for big screens, viewed on small screens introduces problems. Webdesigners and programmers have solved many similar problems caused by various screen sizes. This is done by flexible layouts, various sizes and customised content. This flexibility is built into publishing systems and webbrowsers. A journalist can then focus on the story, not the technical parts of the distribution Responsive video today the dominant solution is relatively trivial: linear scaling, without any responsive alternations. So how can we achieve more responsive video?
  • Cropping Cropping is showing only the parts that are significant to communicate what we want to tell
    Past experiences with transformation of widescreen film for television shows that there are some pitfalls when this is done automatically
  • Content aware scaling Content aware scaling difficult, but quite successfully implemented for still images. Needs a human touch to be successful
  • “Ken Burns”- crop, pan, zoom “Ken Burns”-effects are widely implemented in video editing software. Makes it possible to use a single 4K shot in multiple ways. Moving complexity from the recording into post production. Needs human intervention
  • Combinations of the above
How to do things like this live?

On the client side, using Javascript and Canvas elements. A lot can be done with video, down to pixel level with web technology. With high bandwidth and powerful mobile devices this is achieveable.

On the server - How to create metadata?
Quite similar to the functionality used in image editing software we can imagine an interface that lets journalists identify the parts of the video image that is considered important
  • Significant areas
    • detected or decided by the editor?
  • Movements
    • automatic, assisted or designed
    • tempo and timing
  • Metadata
    • JSON, XML, other
There are also other possibilities when the big video image meets smaller screens on mobile devices. Using the accelerometer is one

An incomplete conclusion
4K- video has various potential. It can make recording easier, and give more room for manipulation in post production.
Cross platform potential, maybe lowering production cost?
Makes some new modes of interaction with video possible.

Some resources
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