I’ve always liked the suspect board on the wire, where the detectives pin up pictures of suspects in a mindmap fashion, and wondered if I could make a board with Supercut videos of the characters. Turns out I can: Wire Characters Season 1.
A man must have a code
First thing I had to do was make the supercuts, I just used the method described in the previous post, with one wrinkle. Some of the characters are refered to by more than one name, some times Kima is Greggs, I wanted to catch all of the references. It turns out that the default search for videogrep is a regular expression. Now I don’t know much (anything) about regEx, but a quick google game me the pipe character as OR, so:
Gets clips with either Kima or Greggs in the subtitles.
I then convert the mp4 files with miro video converter, using iphone as the setting, this lets me hear the clips which lose sound on my system. I open the output movies with QuickTime Pro find a still and hit copy. Switch to Fireworks and paste into a new document, save as a jpge with the same name as the video apart from the file extension.
I’ve now got a folder full of movies and images and just need a html file to display them.
when it’s not your turn
I also missed a few things out.
The files are big, converting them with miro made them bigger, I guess I could use ffmpeg to do a better job of that, I could also scale them down to the size they are displayed.
The videos do not play in Firefox on a mac, firefox does not support the video format in the video tag. I had a very quick try using mediaelement.js to add flash for firefox but it looked like it would be too much work to display properly. I could also convert all the files to ogg for firefox, I might try that in combonation with scaleing them down a bit at a later date.
Update: I’ve run all the videos first throught te commandline ffmpg to downsize them to 360×240 and then ffmpeg2theora to create ogg versions.
Dope on the damn table
The supercuts get the parts of the video where a character is mentions, sometimes this is never when they are on screen. I had to use other parts of the movie to get posters for some characters. The supercuts let you focus on the character from other characters points of view and the POV of the writers and directors. Some characters I love and feel are important are not refered to much by name, the video file sizes gives a view of this, Ellis Carver’s video is tiny (I love how his character in season 1 hints of his growth during the wire as a whole).
Although I’ve now watched most of season 1 (third time round) I’ve struggled to watch with a critical eye, or even an eye to a gif, the programme is too absorbing and emotionally involving. It has reinforced the series as my favourite tv. I am especially noticing the parts when charcters show complexity beyond normal tv. Kima, presented very positivly, leads the charge to kick and beat a youth that hits the rather usless police Pogue (or Mahone). The emotion showed by the character at the end of episode 10 and the beginning of 11 is viceral, rewatching brings back the shock from the first viewing in a suprisingly powerful way.
Watching the supercuts allows you to step back a bit, pulls information about a character together in a suprising way letting you see the character and how their story is told in new light.
This is a quick intro to installing videogrep.py a tool for making supercut movies. Written in haste, consider it a rough draft.
Videogrep is a python program run from the command line. This is quite different from using applications with a GUI. I am hoping to write up a few different tools I use for playing DS106 and will try and come back and expand on this.
I am no expert in using the command line. I’ve failed on quite a few attempts at installing.
As with a lot of software you can make mistakes, bad things can happen. You will be giving the software author control over your computer.
I am using Mac OS X
There is not a lot of detail here, I’ll come back and improve if it seems useful.
It is probably sensible to read all of the linked pages here rather than just go on trust.
Videogrep depends on a few python modules and programs. These are installed with pip (A tool for installing and managing Python packages) which you may need to install.
You also need to install FFMPEG (FFmpeg is a free software project that produces libraries and programs for handling multimedia data. ). One way to install FFmpg is with homebrew, which you need to install first!
Homebrew and ffmpeg
Homebrew, is a package manager it is installed and used via the commandline so you will need to open the terminal app.
You run stuff in the terminal by typing (or pasting) after the prompt my prompt is johnj:~ john$ if I am in my home directory which is called johnj
On the Homebrew site you can copy a line of text which if pasted into the terminal will install homebrew when you press return. I’d go to the site and copy from there rather than from here.
more text scrolls past the terminal. A video pieces.mp4 appears in the folder, it is the supercut video.
Problems along the way
I had a couple, first in installing the requirments.txt I kept getting errors about pattern. To solve this I went to pattern, downloaded pattern and installed it. I then removed that line from requirments.txt and saved it before running pip install -r requirements.txt again.
The second problem I had was the movies created had no sound. I didn’t fix that, I just used miro video converter to convert the files to apple or iphone ones which did the trick. I am guessing this could have been fixed with ffmpeg too as miro video converter is, as far as I know, a gui for ffmpeg.
My first post here since April! I missed the whole of the burgeon experience and have done only a handful of daily creates. I am not saying sorry, I have made a few artefacts and experimented with some stuff that is pretty #ds106. There is no really useful instructions in this post, but links for the willing.
I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while, I did a few tests in June and tweeted a bit about it. It is pretty cool:
Videogrep is a python script that searches through dialog in videos and then cuts together a new video based on what it finds. Basically, it’s a command-line “supercut” generator.
I’ve not even scratched the surface of videogrep, there are some pretty amazing ideas on the link.
I had a wee bit of difficulty installing videogrep, and had, as I recall, to wander round googling to get things running. The videos produced lacked sound, but running them through miro video converter fixed that. I am guessing if you are command line savvy enough the code could be adjusted.
Here is a supercut for Barksdale in episode 1 of the wire.
I’ve been a big fan of the wire so hoped to throw myself into some ds106 activity, turns out re-watching series one I mostly get caught up in enjoying it and following the plot, not much analysis going on here. Hopefully I get some fun before the series is out.
This afternoon I took a first run at this. I’ve not copied any of Alan’s code just borrowed the idea. The pechaGif loads 20 random gifs and them displays a start button. Clicking that will full screen 20 gifs for 20 seconds each.
I did not expect anyone to make use of this, but Mariana suggested: