~ Video Footnotes ~

    A lot of trash moving down the Information Superhighway these days. I don't know about you, but when someone makes an outlandish claim, I want to know where they got their information.
    From the pathological liars and propagandists to those who merely pass along whatever they find on the Internet without verifying if it's true, we are inundated with lies in this Information Age we live in.

(Get over it. We've all innocently passed along an interesting piece
of trivia without checking whether it was true. Who's got time for that?)

    Litterbugs might be get caught, and one can clean up the trash on an actual highway. When it comes to the Internet, you usually can't make people stop lying or even remove the trash.

    I have invented Video Footnotes as a way to show viewers that aside from my own original ideas, I don't fabricate what I share. I also respect their intelligence, and I don't expect them to accept anything that I say without at least being able to check my sources.

    You can't clean up the BS on the Web, but you can at least try to not be part of the problem. If you feel the way I do, then add Video Footnotes your presentations. They are absolutely free and not terribly complicated.

    Video Footnotes are video files with a resolution of 1920*1080p and a duration of 1-1/2 seconds each. Place each Video Footnote on the timeline immediately after the part you wish to reference, just as you would add a footnote to a written document. A webpage is an ideal place for the endnotes. I will provide you with the Video Footnote and endnote files, and show you how to use them.

    The Video Footnote files are completely transparent with the exception of a purple pentagon in the upper, right-hand corner of the screen. The image appears for 1.5 seconds and there is also the ding of a bell that lasts for a fraction of a second. My goal was to create a shape, colors, and sound, that would stand out from the rest of the video, yet not damage it. You just don't see a lot of purple pentagons.

    In order to create partly transparent video, I saved them in the Apple QuickTime .MOV format. There is an additional step that you must do in order for the videos to display properly. It's not difficult, and I will walk you through it.

(let's get started - I plan to make a tutorial video, but it's not yet ready)

    To begin with, download the zip file with Video Footnote and endnote files 1 through 30. The zip file has 30 video files and 60 GIFs with transparent backgrounds. Some of those GIF files look better on a white background, and some on a black background. You will have to check and see which of those files look best on your page.

This icon was created with a black matte.
It looks good on a black background and
bad on a white one.
(endnote 14) (endnote 14)
This icon was created with a white matte.
Better on the white background,
awful on a black background.
(endnote 14) (endnote 14)

    That's pretty much all there is to the endnotes, and the rest is web design.

    Now the video files. Your video editing program must be able to import MOV clips. If these do not import at first, then check preferences. In some versions of Vegas go to Options > Preferences > and look for the ‘Depreciated Features.’ tab. Be sure that the ‘Enable the QuickTime plugin’ box is checked.

    If you still cannot import the files, don't worry. The Apple codec is contained in this free download directly from Apple.com. Exit your video editing program, install this, and then restart the video app. Now you should be able to import the files.

    Once imported, you will want to make the backgrounds transparent. Select all of the video Footnote Files in your media bin, right click, and choose ‘Properties.’   Under ‘Stream,’ be sure that either ‘Multiple’ or ‘Video 1’ is selected.   For ‘Alpha channel’ select ‘Straight (unmatted)’ and click OK.

    Now create 2 tracks, 1 audio and 1 video, and place them at the very top of your timeline. That video track MUST remain above every other video track so the Video Footnotes will be visible. The rest is timing.

“The irony of the information age is that it lends credibility to uninformed opinion.”

~ Stephen Coonts

“In the end, you make your reputation and you have your success based upon credibility and being able to provide people who are really hungry for information what they want.”

~ Brit Hume

“Full information removes doubt and removes suspicion and creates authenticity and credibility.”

~ Lorry Lokey

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© Michael Allen Gelman