Sunday, 26 April 2020

Experience of creating shooting videos

You may be aware that over the last few weeks I have been creating some videos for IBSA on vision impaired shooting. It has been quite an experience for me, creating and editing video without being able to see it. I may have been in videos in the past, but those were produced by someone else, this time I was doing all the work alone! So how did I manage all this?

Turns out we all, or at least all of those who have a smart phone, have a powerful camera in our pocket. The great thing with this option is that it required no expense and for me the screen reader software built into Android was able to speak all the controls in the camera app so I knew what I was doing. The only question was how to hold the phone? My answer was a windscreen phone mount I have stuck to my table. A solution which worked but was not great, particularly on the day when the sucker decided it wasn't going to stay stuck down.

With the camera mounted, next question, how do I know I am properly in frame? Time to get onto skype with someone who can see and ask them what the view from the camera is like. With a few instructions on how to move the camera I was then ready to actually start filming.

Another problem spotted with using a smart phone, whilst the screen reader was helpful for me to use the camera app, it was not so useful when it started speaking notifications whilst I was filming. Silent mode does not actually silence the speech output of the screen reader and there seemed to be some notifications which got passed do not disturb. The best option I found was to put my phone in flight mode, although I have just thought I could also have tried using the screen reader's mute feature.

From that point actually doing the video was simple. I could try and focus on the content and what I was doing. However the story does not end there.

Once filmed there was a little bit of clean up editing to do. Having no remote for my phone there was a period at the beginning and the end where I moved between my seat and the camera, not great youtube viewing. To help locate the points where I wanted to trim to I said a phrase just before/after so that I could locate it by sound when editing. I first looked at the camera app on the phone, which did allow me to trim the video, but it was slow to use. Also in the introductory video there was a section I wanted to remove from the middle and the camera app did not look like it would do this. Time to get out the computer. Windows 10 has the photos app which is accessible with a screen reader, but still quite basic. Asking someone to check the videos before I posted them, it was suggested I teeak the brightness and contrast in some of the videos, a task beyond the photos app in Windows, so the hunt for accessible video editing software started. So many tools seem to be not accessible, either partially or completely. Eventually I came across VirtualDub2.

With the editing done and the video checked by someone who can see, time to post. From an accessibility point of view no issues here, just the usual YouTube bugs everyone has to deal with, from time-to-time, including uploadss seeming to just constantly restart and never completing.

Now I have been through the process a couple of times I am feeling more confident in doing this video making, it feels like quite an achievement. Whilst I did not do it without any sighted assistance, I did manage it without needing someone actually present at home, so I can actually use this lock down period to create these videos I have been intending to make for some time. I plan to make a few more videos later today, so keep watching the Vision Impaired Shooting channel for more videos.

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Experience of creating shooting videos

You may be aware that over the last few weeks I have been creating some videos for IBSA on vision impaired shooting. It has been quite an ex...