Over the last decade there has been a revolution in the production of visual aids to learning with the emergence of low cost, high quality video editing facilities. At Manchester Computing we have recognised this and developed our services to meet the demands of both the academic community and industry.
The Manchester Computing Video Production Services concentrate on producing video footage from digital images created in numerous different ways. The facilities comprise a number of workstations, Silicon Graphics and Hewlett Packards, and PCs connected to VCRs and a laser disk. These machines can be accessed locally, from the campus network and from SuperJANET.
The Hewlett Packard workstation uses software developed in house for accessing the video hardware. One of the PCs has a FAST Video Machine connected for editing and digitising, the other has a Real Time MPEG encoder and decoder, and a CD-ROM writer. The Silicon Graphics workstation uses Microsoft's SoftImage animation and video software.
A library of in-house functions for processing digital images, including making MPEG movies, is available. It supports reading and writing of about 90 common image formats including TIFF, GIF, JPEG, MPEG, PostScript, TGA... The software can generate a number of in-between frames to create scrolling, rolling, fading and other effects including linearly interpolated intermediate frames, to produce the effect of smooth motion; resize (through bilinear interpolation) the image to PAL resolution; convolute each image, to smooth, particularly appropriate for PostScript files; gamma correct images; snap-shot the images, including internally generated images; generate an MPEG file for all or part of a sequence. A number of novel user interfaces to the software can be used.
A number of commercial packages are also available to complement the in-house software. VM Studio is a linear editing package which can be used for adding graphics, applying transition effects and digitising video. MPEG Tools is a complete MPEG authoring suite. It enables you to produce and edit MPEG files as well as grab frames and convert MPEG to AVI or QuickTime formats. WinOnCD is a CD authoring suite which allows you to produce standard ISO 9660 CDs, VideoCD, CD-I and multimedia presentations. SoftImage is a professional animation suite. Not only can high quality animations be produced but they can be overlayed onto video.
The comprehensive set-up offered provides a wide range of facilities. Here are some example uses:
If you would like futher information on any of the facilities above:
Mr J D Brister
Computer Graphics Unit
University of Manchester
Tel: +44 161 275 6095
Fax: +44 161 275 6040
URL: http//info.mcc.ac.uk/CGU /CGU-intro.html