Archive for the ‘Camp Tutorials’ Category


The Official Camp Magic MacGuffin Video Resource

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Working with digital video can be HARD. To help out, we’ve pulled together a bunch of resources and tutorials that we think you may find useful as you dive into making your own videos.

If you’re looking for an in-depth overview of Digital Video for #ds106 we HIGHLY recommend watching this video by UMW New Media Specialist, Andy Rush:

It is fairly long, but it is filled with useful information. (Forward to 2:18 when the meat of the presentation begins).

Getting Videos to Work With in Your Project

Completing video assignments for DS106 will always involve getting some kind of video clips to work with. There are lots of potential sources for these clips. You can download videos from Web sites (like YouTube). You can record yourself using a digital video camera or a built-in webcam on a laptop. You can grab a clip off of a DVD that you own. You can capture a video from your desktop; this is commonly called “screencasting.” Here are some tutorials and resources to help with this step.

Tutorials/Explanations on Getting Video

Software/Tools You May Find Useful for Getting Video

 Converting your Video Sources

Occasionally, you will find that the clips you get from the sources above are not in the format that your video editing software likes. You may find this overview of video encoding useful.

Generally, here are some rules of thumb:

  • Windows Movie Maker is particular about the formats you can import:
  • iMovie is a bit more accepting of different video formats, but it can still stumble on some. Generally, video in the .mov format or .mp4 format should import into iMovie.
  • .flv files will not import into either Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. This format is really for viewing video, not editing it.
  • If you are capturing video from YouTube or a DVD, try and capture it in a source that your video editor recognizes rather than converting it later.

There are ways to convert video formats, if the source you have is not importing properly into your editor.

  • Handbrake: This is a cross-platform program for transcoding video from one format to another. It can be used to get video off a DVD (although we recommend VLC for this), but it can also be used to convert some standard video formats into another format.
  • MPEG Streamclip: This program also mentioned above can convert some standard formats into others.
  • VLC: Again, this program is mentioned above, and it can also do transcoding between different formats.
  • Zamzar: This is a Web site that will convert files (up to 100 MB) form one format to another (it does more than just video). Here is a list of the video formats in imports/exports. 


Sometimes, the problem you may be having with getting a video to play/work properly on your computer is that you don’t have the proper “codec” installed on your computer. Codecs are just small programs that translate different media formats. If you are using a PC, try downloading the K-Lite Codec Pack. On the Mac, Perian will add several popular codecs to your system.

Editing Your Videos

After collecting your video clips and sources, the lion’s share of work you will be doing is editing the pieces together. Most video editing programs will allow you to add other media, like additional audio tracks and images, to a video project. So think about ALL of the media resources you need to gather before you sit down to edit.

Windows comes with a free movie editor called Windows (Live) Movie Maker. Mac computers come with iMovie. Generally, iMovie is more fully-featured and easier to use, but we have had lots of ds106 students successfully complete their projects using WMM.

Tutorials/Explanations on This Topic:

Software/Tools You May Find Useful for Video Editing

  •  weVideo: This is a fairly new Web-based video editing service. You don’t need to download any software; it works right in your browser.
  • YouTube also has a basic Video Editor that you can use for free (again, it works in your browser)

Trimming Clips with MPEG Streamclip

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

How to Download YouTube videos

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

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Layering Sounds in Audacity

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

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Installing Plugins on Your Self-Hosted WordPress Site

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

As part of the activities of Week Three, we’ve asked all UMW students to learn more about WordPress plugins by installing several of them on their Web sites. As part of this activity, we’re developing screencasts for the installation of these plugins. Anyone who is running their own WordPress installation might find them useful. (more…)

Writing Up Assignments The Camp Way

Monday, June 4th, 2012

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by wcupmartin6

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Keeping Up With ds106 the Magic Macguffin Way: Using Google Reader

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Part of the UMW student participation credit in ds106 is commenting on the work of other students in the class (you are doing that, correct?). But with all of the blogs in this class, and more among the open participants of the main site, how to you know where to go? It would be insane to visit every blog on a regular basis. (more…)

Earn Your Blogging Badge

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Magic Macguffin campers are going to be posting a lot of content to their blog, sharing the things they create at camp, photos and videos and camp activities, writing letters home, etc. While would never suggest that there is one best way to write to your site (for that is what you are to learn as you go, to develop a style), below we outline some guidelines for being Blogging Champs based on our experiences. (more…)