Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another TubeMogul Surprise

The benefits of using TubeMogul to upload videos has surprised me again. It wasn't until looking at my TubeMogul chart that I discovered my latest video, NASCARGOT, had see a surge of views on Myspace. (See the red line in the chart below).

That's nearly 100,000 extra views in one day. Without TubeMogul I wouldn't have bothered to upload to Myspace, but they made it easy. And without their report, I probably wouldn't have noticed the extra views. Although I did wonder why I was getting a bunch of Myspace friend requests.

Thank you TubeMogul!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

TubeMogul's Marketing Best Practices - One Example

TubeMogul published an excellent guide to Web Video Marketing which they summarize into a "secret formula"...

Success = .50C + .15M + .20T + .15P

One example is my "Puppy Photo Everyday" video published in August. Below is the TubeMogul viewership chart showing how it has done since then.

.50C or 50% Content - The content was solidly in the "kitch" category being a pet video.

.15M or 15% Metadata - I'm not sure I did a good job on this. I could use some advice.

.20T or 20% Thumbnail - YouTube doesn't give you much choice. It's not always possible to get a good frame in the exact middle of a video, but in this case I lucked out and had a cute thumbnail.

.15P or 15% Promotion - I'm lucky to have a couple of thousand YouTube subscribers - giving me a jumpstart. But the big bonus on this video was getting featured in the Pets & Animals category. This put the thumbnail in front of everyone who choose to look at the Pets page on YouTube. As you can see from the chart, the video had large numbers for the few days it was featured.

Is it viral now? It is still getting play with about 500 views per day on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tubemogul now uploads to twelve sites

Tubemogul has added three more videos sites to their uploading service. Now with just a few clicks I can upload my videos to YouTube, Yahoo, MySpace, MetaCafe, Google, Revver, Dailymotion, Blip, Veoh, BrightCove, Crackle and StupidVideos. This is a great time saver.

Before using Tubemogul, I had been focused on YouTube. Now I can get my videos on multiple sites just as easily. As a result I was surprised to see my latest video doing ten times better on Yahoo than on YouTube. See the TubeMogul chart below (the green line is Yahoo and the red line is YouTube).

I wish I could get similar viewership numbers on the paying sites like Revver and Metacafe.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Tubemogul, Rob Zombie and Video Tags

I use Tubemogul to upload and track all my videos. This chart below shows a bump in viewership on Halloween. What caused it?

It turns out that Rob Zombie was a guest editor on YouTube for Halloween. His first choice was a timelapse rotting pumpkin. It wasn't my rotting pumpkin video, but mine showed up as related (because of the tags) everytime someone watched the one he mentioned. That generated a big boost in views for all my videos.

What's ironic is that Rob Zombie is a good friend of my nephew Brian.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Postal Spy Timelapse

Tim Knowles, a UK artist, built a spy camera that took a photo every ten seconds during its journey through the postal system. It was part of a commission by Royal Mail.

Take a look at other work on his site . He has a unique way of finding patterns in ordinary places.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Just Hit 3 Million Views on YouTube

That should put my "Tlapse" YouTube channel in the top 100 all-time most-viewed director. Actually it should put me in the high eighties, but it's not showing up. I'm not surprised.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Perceptive Pixel Multi-Touch System

The ultimate user interface, forseen in some notable sci-fi movies, seems to be getting closer to reality thanks to Perceptive Pixel. Watch...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Making the "YouTube Birthday Flaming Tribute" Video

I'm not sure how this idea started, but I think I wanted to do another time-lapse with candles. The goal was to create something to get a lot of views and drive traffic to GBTimelapse.com so I could sell more time-lapse software. We set out trying to make something short, funny and different.

Here's the video, if you haven't seen it yet...

and more than you ever wanted to know about making it...

Cynthia scrounged up some table candles and I did some test shots. The cheapest candles looked best by producing copious quantites of molten drippy wax. But, I wanted to make a video using a large number of candles (maximum overkill) and even cheap candles would burn too long (hours) and cost too much (over $1 each).

Since birthday candles were cheap ($.89 per 24 wholesale online) and burned quickly (about 15 minutes max) thoughts turned to doing an "over the top" birthday cake. Kristin discovered that YouTube's second birthday was coming up in mid February. At first I wanted to do some geometric designs with the candles, but Kristin thought it would be cool to reference some of the most popular names on YouTube.

I dropped the idea for a while, but Kristin bought me a test cake at Raley's to get me going again. I did a test to get the right camera setup and quickly discovered that a real cake was not strong enough to stand up to repeated flaming candle formations. The candle wax accumulated in pools on the frosting and the frosting carmelized and burned. This formed a hard wax crust making it difficult to place another round of candles. I tried using an electric drill to pre-drill holes for the candles, but the cake collapsed under the pressure of the drill.

In talking with the cake decorator at the local Raley's supermarket, I learned that they occasionally decorated fake wedding cakes made from styrofoam. I bought some styrofoam sheets, cut them into the shape of a full-sheet cake and covered the top with a 1/4" thick layer of Sculpty clay. The clay would provide a compliant layer to hold the candles and also insulate the underlying foam from the heat. The decorator did a great job with the YouTube logo. When she asked "What is YouTube", I told her and she replied "All I do is eat, sleep, and work so I guess I'm out of touch".

I set the cake up in the barn with lights and two cameras (a 400D and a S3) for the video and a third camera (A620) to document what happened. I made stencil patterns for each director to make it quick and easy to place the candles. The entire shoot took over six hours...

It went pretty well. The cake got so hot the candles were melting before they burned (as in the "Nalts segment"), so I had to spray water on the cake to cool it down between takes. The electric pre-drill technique became necessary as the wax layer accumulated and the Sculpty clay began to bake. It became clear that long names wouldn't work, so I discarded "lonelygirl15", "barats and bareta" and "blendtec". I was a bit worried that the styrofoam would catch fire at the end, but the fire extinquisher worked like a champ.

The hope is to get this video featured, but the odds of that are slim.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Queen Mary Slips In

Rather than watch the Superbowl last Sunday, we spent the day at the Golden Gate Bridge time-laps'ing Queen Mary 2's San Francisco arrival. It was my most ambitious time-lapse setup to date, with a crew of three running six cameras. The one minute film is on YouTube...

and also on BrightCove (much better quality)...

We expected a big crowd so we arrived at the bridge at 11AM to get parking spots and good camera locations. By the 3PM expected arrival there were thousands of spectators waiting and we had to vigorously defend our space to keep people from disturbing our camera setups.

I ran the cameras to the west of the bridge, Cynthia ran the ones from the Marin observation overlook, and Kristin was on the bridge.

Bill Owens joined me and shot his own footage of the crowd and the scene. Rosie helped Cynthia with crowd control and Kristin enlisted the aid of a SF couple in defending her bridge perch. We met a bunch of people and have some good stories about all this. Kristin found herself as the arbitrator of another couple's serious disagreement over where they should relieve their bladders.

Our gear included the six cameras, three laptop computers, various tripods and a couple of battery systems with AC inverters. Not shown in the photo was the other support gear - food, drink and chairs.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Slow-Motion, the Opposite of Time-Lapse

Pleix is a virtual community of digital artists based in Paris who have done some really cool video work including this slow motion view of dogs jumping, titled Birds.

Another remarkable film is Netlag, what appears to be a map of the world is formed from time-lapse videos made from a web cams around the globe.

Thanks to Till Krueger for the Birds link.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Interactive Khronos Projector

One more thing about the Khronos Projector I mentioned in my last post - You can play with it in real-time on the web. Click the image to the right and you will be directed to a page with several examples. Choose one and it will load an applet that lets you perform the time-warp with your mouse.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Khronos Projector - Warping Space and Time

Alvaro Cassinelli, University of Tokyo, has created a fascinating new technology called the Khronos Projector. "The Khronos Projector is an interactive-art installation allowing people to explore pre-recorded movie content in an entirely new way. By touching the projection screen, the user is able to send parts of the image forward or backwards in time."

I created two custom time-lapse videos for him and he has processed them with his technology and included them as part of his demonstration.

A thorough technical description (and many more examples) can be seen at
the Khronos Projector web site.

Here's a quick video explanation from Siggraph 2005 that's posted on YouTube...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Westinghouse Quad HD LCD TV

Just when you thought that 1920x1080 LCD TV was really cool, Westinghouse is set to unveil their 3,280x2,160 56-inch HD quad monitor, Westinghouse to Demo Quad HD LCD at CES - Gizmodo

So how do you create content for this beast? It's easy, and cheap, just connect your Canon digital still camera to your computer and run GBTimelapse and you can create ultra-HD time-lapse content. A $500 Canon G7 camera can capture 3,648x2736 images every 3 seconds when tethered to a laptop computer. Feed those images into Adobe After effects and you can create a visually stunning ultra-HD movie. I can't wait to give it a try.

Getting "Google Juice" on Beet.TV

Beet.TV is my favorite blog for keeping track of the latest in the world of video on the net. In a recent post I particulary liked the humorous way Anil Dash of Six Apart described the process of getting more "Google Juice" for you blog. He talks about how Google's search engine is a mystery to many bloggers who think that it's an "angry rain god that you have to sacrifice to"..."or your crops won't grow". See his short interview here.