Fun Word Friday: Come Tiptoe Through the Botany Terms With Me

Posted by Emma on April 29, 2011 at 8:42 am. Fun Word Friday

by Kirsten Dirkes

A photo of a dark pink urceolate flower.

shaped like an urn.  A pitcher plant is urceolate.  Tulips, on the other hand, are not; they’re bell-shaped, or campanulate.

Picture of a white, spiky epiphyte growing on a tree trunk.

a nonparasitic plant that grows on another plant or object.  Examples include bromeliads and mosses but not tulips.  Tulips would never impose like that.

Graphic of different shapes of trees. Examples of espaliers.

the training of a woody plant so that it grows in a decorative flat plane.  If you could splice a tulip into a woody tree, I’ll bet that would make for some really pretty espalier.

explosive dehiscence
A picture of a milkweed pod opening up and about to lose its seeds.

the rapid opening of a plant structure to disperse the seeds a distance from the plant.  It’s really cool but a little show-offy and gauche, which is why tulips don’t participate in it.

Picture of a poster from the height of tulipomania.

a word actually in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, but I won’t hold it against you if you don’t believe me and need to look it up yourself. In Holland in the 1600s, a tulip bulb fad caused prices to rise until single bulbs were selling for tens of thousands of dollars.  Eventually, people came to realize that trading one’s house, livestock, and iPad for a flower that would probably be eaten by rabbits anyway wasn’t perhaps the best decision they’d ever made, and the market crashed.  That’s some hardcore petal appreciation, Dutch people.  Nobody can accuse you of being pansies.

What We Learned at NAB 2011

Posted by Emma on April 20, 2011 at 9:07 am. Techy

The NAB Show is always filled with some amazing new gadgets and dynamic sessions. Here are some of the fun things that we learned at this year’s NAB Show.

1. Andre’s in the Monte Carlo is really great eats. The tongue was a revelation.

2. The word “cloud” has lost all meaning. It’s everywhere and nowhere. Let’s just make it work!

3. We met lots of happy clients. Now we’re just trying to lure them to our MN office with promises of excellent fishing. Any takers?

4. It’s always fun to see the faces of people you’ve only emailed.

5. South Hall was dim like a nightclub and full of flashing lights and flashy new products. North Hall is serious business for broadcast pros. We found buddies in both halls.

Fun Word Friday: A Tip of the Hat…

Posted by Emma on April 15, 2011 at 8:44 am. Fun Word Friday

by Kirsten Dirkes

…To the Bats of the Planet.

Bat: a human-cow goddess of the sky from early ancient Egypt.

Fungo Bat: a baseball bat designed specifically for hitting fungos (practice fly balls), used by a batter who throws the ball instead of a pitcher.

Patagium: the membrane that forms the surface of a bat’s wing.

Batman: a unit of mass during the Ottoman Empire.  Interestingly, Wikipedia states that the Tartar batman “is an equivalent to 1000 pood” and further clarifies by stating that a pood “is a unit of mass equal to 40 funt.”  I’m glad we got that straightened out.

Batman, Turkey: a city in eastern Turkey known for its oil reserves.  It’s the capital of Batman Province and is located on the Batman River.  It’s home to the Batman Air Base, the Batman Express newspaper, and the Batman BS soccer club.

The Magic of Captioning

Posted by Emma on April 13, 2011 at 9:09 am. Captioners, Subtitling

You’ve been looking at adding captions to your video for weeks, months, maybe even years and now you want to know who does the work? We’d like to introduce you to a few of the jobs behind the scenes of the captioning world.

Offline Captions

The Transcriber
Does the down and dirty grunt work of creating a written representation of a program’s audio to be used with captioning. Transcribing is the first step in the captioning process. There’s a lot of research done to get the correct spelling of names, places, and activities.

The Caption Editor
The caption editor takes the transcript and turns it into captions. They do the bulk of the captioning work by adding the timing and placement of the captions. The caption editor also does some research to double check the work of the transcriber.

The Proofer
The last step in the offline captioning process is the proofer. This person is a seasoned caption editor who review the program to ensure proper style & accuracy.

Live Captions

The Realtime Caption Writer
Live captioning is a stressful job so we need to use trained Court and Conference Reporters. The live captioner types while the program is airing, which means that mistakes cannot be proofed before airing. Whew….they have to work hard.

Tech Time: Subtitles for FCP

Posted by Emma on April 6, 2011 at 8:44 am. Captioning, Subtitling, Techy

There is another cool way to add subtitles to your video! Did you know that you can embed subtitle files into Final Cut Pro (FCP) project? It’s really easy to do and your subtitles always look sharp.

Image of embedded subtitles (white text with a semitransparent background)

(This technique is available for versions 5.1.2 and later. Sadly, this won’t work for FCP versions older than 5.1.2 or Final Cut Express.)

What you need:

An XML file with PNG graphics that matches the timing of your FCP sequence. (That’s it!)

How does it work?

The XML file with PNG graphics provides an open, transparent, graphic format that anyone can utilize with a wide range of tools.

Here’s the basic idea; however there are a few more steps when working on an actual project.

First, import the .xml into Final Cut Pro.

Graphic showing the steps of importing an XML into FCP.

(The XML import allows you to match your subtitle sequence to your master program sequence. Just scroll through your list of sequence setting choices.)

(A new sequence is created that includes only the timed subtitle PNGs. Open the sequence and take a look. Pretty snazzy!)

Second, open your finished video sequence and drag your CaptionMax Subtitle sequence onto the track above your finished video.

Lastly, render the finished video sequence with subtitles and play it in FCP to test it.

Now you’re ready to export your video out of FCP and into any format. Your video will have open, accessible captions that look very sharp!

If you have FCP & an excellent Video Editor, then we recommend this format to add open captions to your video file.

Does this work in other editing systems?

This is the workflow we recommend for FCP but Avid & Blu-ray both have similar set-ups.

- Avid users with the Avid DS subtitle plugin can get an Avid DS text file.

- Blu-ray also uses XML/PNG files, but the XML file is totally different than the FCP XML. Exports for FCP & Blu-ray are, unfortunately, not interchangeable. Be sure to clarify your editing system when talking to your project manager!

- Users of other editing systems are out of luck—there isn’t a subtitle file that can be imported by, for example, Adobe Premiere, unless you’ve heard something we haven’t!

Happy editing!

Fun Word Friday: News You Can Use

Posted by Emma on April 1, 2011 at 8:48 am. Fun Word Friday

by Kirsten Dirkes

Isn’t it great when you can learn a new word that will actually come in handy because you often find yourself looking at something that could be described with precisely that new word?  And then you use the word, and your companions look at you blankly and then continue their conversation about where to eat lunch?  Well, that won’t happen with these words, because I’m pretty sure that everybody you know reads the CaptionMax blog.

cyclorama (or cyc): a large, often curving backdrop used on stage, in photography, or as a green screen.

l’esprit de l’escalier/staircase wit: the unfortunate phenomenon of thinking of a witty response when it’s too late.

MacGuffin: a term popularized by Alfred Hitchcock for a plot element that drives the story, often something which all the characters want to obtain.

**Examples of MacGuffins: a secret document, a bomb threat, the Maltese Falcon, the Holy Grail.

stot: a Scots verb meaning “to bounce,” this word is used to describe that funny movement that gazelles and similar animals do when they bounce high in the air with all four legs straightened.

zastruga (plural: zastrugi) (also: sastruga): a hard ridge of snow shaped by the wind.  Employees of CaptionMax World Headquarters in Minnesota can still use this word for a few more months, and the rest of the world can use it when watching news and weather footage from Minnesota.  Oh, that’s cold!



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