So I’ve been testing a Glowforge Pro for the last few weeks.
It’s absolutely outstanding technology and I’m really loving it.
I’ve made so many different items using this device, such as boxes, wallets, key fobs, phone stands, acrylic signs, all kinds of stuff It really is amazing.
It does require a bit of imagination and the ability to design stuff, but you can also use the Glowforge library of images as well if you want to.
So what I wanted to do was create a new graphic heading for The Gadget Man website, but by making this heading using a laser cutter, scan it and then I’ll import it into the website as the new heading.
Watch the video below to find out how I went about it, you can see the resulting graphic at the top of the page!
I’ve been recently listening to the Melodic Progressive Station on DI.FM. DI.FM was one of the first online radio networks to go live in 1999, DI.FM has grown into a destination and lifestyle for over 3 million unique listeners who tune in every month.
Sometimes a track jumps out as being a bit special and from there you go looking for it.
One such track for me, is ‘Smile’ by DTALM.
Smile is a really catchy and happy track and it’s particularly popular with my son James. Currently, the track doesn’t have a video, so armed with an excuse to hone my Adobe Premiere editing skills, I set about making one myself.
The cover-photo for the track on YouTube features someone standing facing a field of flowers, so I wanted to incorporate that idea into the beginning and end of the video, but my main theme was going to be showing lots of people smiling for all sorts of reasons.
Fortunately, there is an amazing library of free video clips available at Pexels.com, now ‘free’ is a pretty vague term, but Pexels make this very clear with the following terms and conditions.
All photos and videos on Pexels are free to use.
Attribution is not required. Giving credit to the photographer or Pexels is not necessary but always appreciated.
You can modify the photos and videos from Pexels. Be creative and edit them as you like.
Armed with a website with thousands of high-quality videos, I set about searching for ‘smiling’ people.
As you can see, my search returns lots of videos, in fact, LOADS of results! This was good news because I wanted videos that had clips of at least 4 seconds, was at least 1920 x 1080 (which included ‘vertical video’ of 2304 in width) and showed very happy people.
This seemed doable, although a bit of rudimentary maths told me I might need about NINETY clips to fill the six-minute video. Having spent quite a bit of time finding clips and downloading them, I then set about assembling it all into an Adobe Premiere CC project.
Having cut each clip down to about 4 seconds, I then resized it where necessary, colour graded (if it needed a tweak) and in some cases slowed it down using Premiere’s Speed/Duration Tool with using Optical-Flow to smooth the slow-motion footage. As planned I started the video with a lady walking through a field and ended with another lady walking through another field with her little girl. All the other clips with shoehorned in between.
I then did some small edits for timing and then published the video using Premiere’s ‘YouTube 1080p Full HD’ setting via Adobe Media Encoder.
Now, obviously, I don’t own the rights to the music, however, YouTube has a very able system in place to ensure that the correct attribution is made automatically. This can sometimes result in the video not being available in some territories or the rights owner can monetise the video for their own gain. Obviously, I was happy for this to happen as I wasn’t responsible for the hard-work creating the track. I was maybe a little bit more nervous about getting a copyright-strike! Thankfully, this didn’t happen and upon uploading, the video was immediately flagged for the correct copyright attribution and remains available to play (see below).
As a matter of courtesy, I contacted DTALM and let them know I had made the ‘Fan Video’ with a link to it. I received an amazing reply!
So, having waded through my ‘waffle’, please enjoy, my music video for Smile, by DTALM
I’ve been very lax in uploading the last three Podcast episodes which feature me chatting to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk. I will upload these as audio episodes to keep the Podcast in order.
During this time, I have been experimenting by recording the interviews on video and in some cases, adding additional links within the videos.
This is incredibly time-consuming as the audio from James is lost if using the sound from the cameras and is lower quality. Thus in some cases, I have used a mix of both the BBC stream and camera and when I’m recording at home, I can also use a recording from a Blue Snowball Microphone.
For those interested, I’m using a Sony Xperia 1 stabilised by a DJI Osmo 3 Mobile. In the case of the third video, I also recorded the interview on a second static camera using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium.
The first two videos are 1080p using the Xperia 1 front-facing camera and the third uses both phones rear-facing cameras and thus is rendered in 4k.
I hope the video recording add value to the interviews, I would be very interested to hear your views?
Thanks for joining us for the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro live reveal. Personally, I’m looking forward to trying both of these devices, the Mavic Pro was a game changer, so the improvements announced today and going to give pilots even greater opportunity to produce outstanding footage.
Watch as a fully-electric Formula E car lined up against a cheetah in the Western Cape, South Africa.
The race was undertaken to highlight the global impact the burning fossil fuels has on the environment and consequently threatens these endangered species.
Both cheetah and Formula E car reach speeds of 60mph in around three seconds. To find out which came out on top, watch the video.
As a Zero-Emissions motorsport, Formula E aims to help provide a solution by being a catalyst for change and help accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles and making a cleaner environment for all of us.
Jean-Eric Vergne, Montreal E-Prix race winner and TECHEETAH driver, said: “Both the TECHEETAH Formula-E Team and I want to be part of raising awareness for the wider impact that climate change has on our planet. We do it mostly by showcasing and developing our electric cars across the world throughout the Formula E season, but we wanted to do more outside of the race track. There are only around 7,000 cheetahs still living in the wild and we have a strong desire to raise awareness for the main threats they face, such as illegal trade of cubs for pets, loss of prey due to habitat loss and fragmentation aggravated by climate change. I’m really proud to have participated in this film and stay tuned for some exciting news to come following the documentary.”
There are now just 7,000 cheetahs remaining in the wild. The species is wide-ranging and sparsely distributed and needs large landscapes to survive, making it particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation – threats that are exacerbated by a changing climate.
The film was overseen by conservation experts and animal welfare organisations, and is released in partnership with Animal Issues Matter, Cheetah Outreach and Endangered Wildlife Trust.
A little over a month has passed since we arrived back from the Scotland and as promised, we have donated the remains of our Gadget Road Trip fund to British Red Cross.
This afternoon, I transferred the remaining balance of £42.32 from our Monzo Card to the British Red Cross charity and thus rendered the account empty.
I was personally extremely upset by the Grenfell Tower disaster earlier this year, which I know also affected Paul. The British Red Cross were on the ground there immediately after it happened and provided much need assistance to the poor families that had lost their loved ones, their homes and everything they owned in a matter of minutes. It is because of this, that I wanted to donate to this charity. Since Grenfell, other disasters have continued to affect the people of our planet and the British Red Cross have continued to provide much needed support for these people who have lost absolutely everything they own and still lack the basics of clean water, electricity and food. If you would like to continue to help them, you can also donate via this link
Thank you so much again to the following people and organisations for their kind donations of funds or services!
XSItems Ltd ACPlus Favorite Fried Chicken Free Reign Internet Coderus Gavin Dadd Patrick Lohan Jackie Robinson Ian Brown Olive Porter Sandra Grilli Callum McGilvery.
We wouldn’t have been able to feed ourselves during the trip and have something soft to sleep on. Thank you again.
Thanks also to Hillcroft Park in Ullswater for allowing us to stay at their lodgings for two nights (They will be featuring in the upcoming sitcom ‘Home from Home’ with Johnny Vegas, so keep an eye out!) and Far View Bed & Breakfast in Kilchoan (I won’t forget little Gracie exclaiming “My wellington boots fell over!!” as I took her and her dad on a little test drive).
GoPro have been at the top end of the action camera market for a long time and have consistently produced really high quality products, the Hero 5 range brings a whole range of functionality not seen before in a GoPro, so I was eager to find out more.
There are two camera’s in the Hero 5 range, the Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session, I have been reviewing the Session.
The Session is a small camera! Measuring 38 x 38 x 36 mm (1.5 x 1.5 x 1.4 inch). On the front is the camera lens and the back is a small button, on the side is a covered MicroSD and USB-C port and finally on top is the shutter button which is also used for controlling the camera. There is also a very small mono led screen which lets you know the status and mode of the camera.
The camera comes equipped with on-board wifi and it is using this and a free app that you can control and preview the camera.
There is also a brand new ‘Voice Control’ mode too, which allows you to command the camera. There are 12 commands it understands ranging from ‘GoPro Start Recording’, ‘GoPro Take a Photo’ to ‘GoPro Switch Off’. It actually works really well, however I only tried it in a room environment, so I’m not sure how it works out in the field, waves or ski slope though.
There are a heap of video modes you can shoot including 720p,960p,1080p,1440p,2,7k and up to 4k, these also offer up a variety of frame rates from 30fps at 4k to 120fps at 720p, there is the ability to remove the dreaded fish eye effect with ‘Linear’ in some modes and there is image stabilisation available up to 1080p, so those bumpy rides of ski videos will have less judder for viewers.
The image quality is simply amazing! I have always doubted the quality of the videos provided by manufacturers, but the Hero 5 Session really does delivery with zero post processing. I was honestly astounded by the 4k footage and I’m looking forward to getting out on my bike to get some off road footage over the next few days.
The camera can also take 10mp photos either in standard, timelapse or burst mode with the ability to take 30 10mp photos in 1 second! All of these settings are changeable with dozens of options available.
For people looking to use the GoPro as a dash cam, there is also ‘Loop’ mode on the video, although you might be better off looking for a dedicated device for this.
The Hero 5 range are also compatible with the GoPro Karma drone for those looking to take their footage high into the air.
All in all, I’m impressed with the GoPro Hero 5 Session, at £299 it’s by no means the cheapest camera around and you might be looking at the Hero 4 Session for half the price. However, with the drop if price you lose all of the killer features of the Hero 5 including 4K.
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