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I'm in the midst of writing my
Video Series, but I'm jumping back to my
Graphics for Bloggers Series for a day to help you with a graphics skill
that we will need on the next video lesson. I am going to demonstrate how to
do screen captures AND get them cropped to the right aspect ratio so that it
will be all ready to insert as new clips into your video timeline.
So let's take the case of a home tour video. You have gone out and recorded
clips of you touring the house. As a lead-in to help give a more comprehensive overview of the
house, let's add a map view and a satellite view. This adds valuable content
as people aren't just buying a house, they are buying into a neighborhood
too. We'll go out to google maps and do two screen captures that we will
then insert as clips to our video.
HOW TO DO
Now to the "how-to." Go to Google Maps in Satellite
View and zoom in to the area that you
want to capture. In Windows computers, you press Alt+PrntScrn to capture your
current window to a clipboard image. (See my
Graphics For Bloggers - Screen
Captures article for more information, including discussion of screen
captures on Mac in the comments section). Since I'm still using windows,
I'll be using Irfanview (free app) for my graphics prep work (article
For Bloggers #1 for more info). First of all, open Irfanview and paste the
graphic from the clipboard (Ctrl+V, Paste shortcut works well). Next we need
to set up a crop window that is the same proportion as our video frame
is 16:9 (16 by 9 ratio). The way I do it is this: I drag the mouse to draw a
rectangle that defines the width of what I want to crop to. When it comes to
the height of the box, I'll drag upward just a short distance. At the top of the screen
the coordinates of my rectangle are shown, I make a note of the width. Next
I do a "custom crop selection" by pressing Shift+C and in the dialog I
specify that I want a 16:9 crop and then enter the width that I want to use,
the height is automatically calculated. Press "Save and
apply". You will see the drawn
selection rectangle grow to the proper height. Next, I can slide the box
around by clicking inside the box with my RIGHT mouse button and dragging
the box around to more precisely place it. Once ready to crop,
Ctrl+Y will do the actual crop. Finally, you will want to save the
file. I put it into a folder that I will remember and save it as a JPG file
REPEAT ONCE AGAIN WITH A REGULAR MAP
Next switch to regular map view in google maps, zoom in to the right factor
that looks best and repeat the steps above - copy to clipboard, paste to
Irfanview, create proper ratio crop box, crop, and save. The map view image
should be saved in the GIF format. (I'll explain JPG, GIF, PNG, TIF and
other graphic file types in another post, for now just take my word for
COULDN'T YOU JUST USE PICASA?
Sure, Picasa can do the similar crop also. If you
have Picasa open when you do screen captures, the screen capture images go
into a special folder with "screen captures" name (tip: take
advantage of the search box at the top of picasa to quickly find target
folders). Once you find your image, click on the crop tool. You will see
a list of available predefined shapes.
Remember Picasa is non-destructive, so you will have to export the image
use it with your edits. So, answer is, "yes it will work just fine in Picasa!"
I just showed you the way
I do it in Irfanview, because I feel it is just slightly faster and that's why I choose
that method. But there are multiple options and means for you to do the same
thing, the concepts are all the same!
WHAT'S COMING NEXT?
Well I'm saving it for the next article where I'll
show you how to use the two images that you have cropped and prepped to drop
into your video timeline. Do you want to see a preview of what you'll be
doing with them? Check out the very short video below.
About the Author
Craig Daniels is a Technology Manager residing in NYC who specializes in applied technologies in the fields of Architecture and Real Estate. Craig focuses on finding the best uses of tech as can be used to help a business be more successful. He is keen on always seeing the perspective and viewpoint of his audience and he tailors his teaching to be easily understood. He teaches by means of this blog, online courses and webinars, as well as one-on-one remote sessions with persons located throughout the country and beyond.
craig's classroom blog is a place to come for short technology lessons - here on ActiveRain I focus on technologies for real estate professionals - please subscribe if you want to catch future posts! :)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.