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Digital Media Toolbox: Media Tools

This guide contains information for creating born-digital media projects, resources for finding and using media, and copyright.

This page contains information about different editing tools and where (if applicable) they may be found on campus. You can click one of the links above to jump to a section of interest.

If you are interested in creating a multimedia project involving audio and video, there are a couple sites you may want to visit beforehand.  Each of the sites below has information on how to set-up, shoot and compose your photos, video, and audio.

  • Vimeo Video School - http://vimeo.com/videoschool - This site is produced by Vimeo staffers and provides tutorials on how to shout and work with video.  They have specific tutorials for working on a Mac or a PC.
  • Media College - http://www.mediacollege.com/ - This site features tutorials on photography, video, audio, lighting and more.  Click on the links located in the upper right corner of the main page to find tutorials on various subjects.
  • CNN iReport - http://ireport.cnn.com/toolkit.jspa - This site provides tips for storytelling, taking photos, recording video and recording audio.

>> If you have questions about using any of the tools presented on this page, please feel free to contact Jedidiah Rex.

>> If you need video and audio equipment (e.g. video camera, voice recorder, tripod) you should contact IT Support (Mayer Hall) at itsupport.beloit.edu or call them at 363-2067

 

Click a link to jump to a tool category
Audio Tools  |  Image Tools  Video Tools  Web Tools

Audio Tools

Image of a microphone in front of a computer screen.This is a list of applications for editing audio and websites for finding or creating audio (organized A-Z). Getting a good recording can be helped by removing as much extraneous sound as possible. The vocal booth located in the Library provides a soundproof location to record. You can also make a better recording by using a better quality microphone. The Library has a couple that you may check out and use in the Library. IT Support (Mayer Hall) has other equipment such as audio recorders that you may check out.

 

 

Audio Editors

  • Audacity - http://audacityteam.org
    Audacity is a free, open-source audio editor and is compatible on Mac, Windows, and Linux.  It is a full-featured audio editor that allows you to record, mix, edit and create any project you need or desire to. Audacity is installed on all the computers in the Innovations Space and Learning Studio.
  • GarageBand  - http://www.apple.com/mac/garageband/
    GarageBand is Apple's audio editor.  It is a part of the iLife suite of applications including iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie.  It is a Mac only program.  It works similarly to Audacity for recording, editing, and mixing.  One difference from Audacity is that GarageBand has a library of sounds and "jingles" that you can include in your projects.  It integrates with iTunes, and iPhoto to pull in music and images into your project.  This is available in the Innovation Space and the Learning Studio.
  • Soundation http://soundation.com/
    Soundation hosts an online audio editor, similar to GarageBand. The editor allows you to save projects and has loops/clips to add in to your projects. You can also record audio from though your computer. When you care finished, you may export your projects as WAV files. All of this function is free, but you may pay for premium sound clips if you desire.

Resources for Finding Audio

  • Better With Musichttp://betterwithmusic.com/
    "Betterwithmusic.com is a Javier Suarez (jahzzar) project which offers original music conceived for use in all kinds of projects: films, short movies, animations, documentaries, advertisment, corporate image, multimedia, TV, radio… and of course, for download and personal use (and enjoyment)."
  • Creative Commonshttps://creativecommons.org/legalmusicforvideos
    The CC site lists other sites on which you can find music you can re-use.
  • Finale Notepadhttp://www.finalemusic.com/products/finale-notepad/
    From the website, "Create orchestrations of up to 8 staves, and enter notes by clicking them into the staff or importing MIDI or MusicXML files. Once your music is in NotePad, you can hear it play back, see it on the printed page, and share it with other NotePad and users of other Finale family music notation software." This is free software.
  • The Freesound Project - http://www.freesound.org/
    This website features sounds and clips.  If you need some ambient or environmental sounds to add to your recording, this is the place to find it.  You will need to create a log-in to be allowed to download content, but they will not sell your information or spam you.
  • Incredibox http://www.incredibox.com/
    Incredibox is a set of fun loop generators. You select from a set of beats, effects, choruses, and voices to create your loop. In the second, third and fourth version of the generator it is possible to record your mix for sharing and downloading. (Downloading your loop costs $0.99 per loop.)
  • Jamendo http://www.jamendo.com/en/
    This website features creative commons licensed music for you to download. You can search by mood, genre, geographic location, instrument and more.
  • Soundcloud - www.soundcloud.com
    Some of the music hosted on this site may be downloaded depending on the creator.
  • Vimeo Music
    Vimeo now offers a music search service for you to find music for your videos. This link will take you to a page with instructions on how to get started.
  • Other Resources

 

Image Tools

Image of a cat watching a parrot in a cage.The saying is that, "a picture is worth a thousand words." The right image can bring illumination to the point you are trying to make, or it can be a distraction. Which it is, depends on how you choose to use the image. Below is a brief description of different file types, and then a couple lists of applications you can use to create, edit, or capture images. 

 

 

Image File Types

  • JPEG (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG) So named for the Joint Photographic Experts Group, this is a standard file type that has been around for a long time. This format uses compression to reduce file size. This format does not support transparent backgrounds.
  • PNG (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Network_Graphics) This file format was created as an improvement to the GIF format. PNG files can have transparent backgrounds.
  • GIF (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF) Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a popular file format for the web. this format supports transparency and may be animated.
  • TIFF (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TIFF) Tagged Image File Format are popular in in the publishing industry. Files in this file type are generally larger, uncompressed images. This is a good option for archival purposes.

Image Editors

  • Inkscape - https://inkscape.org/en/
    From the website, "Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X."
  • GIMP - https://www.gimp.org/
    GIMP is a free, cross-platform image editor.
  • Adobe Photoshop CC
    Photoshop is one of Adobe's image editing programs. This software is available in the Innovation Space, the Learning Studio, and on all the public computers in the Library.
  • Adobe Illustrator CC
    Illustrator is Adobe's vector image editing program. This software is available in the Innovation Space, the Learning Studio, and on all the public computers in the Library.

Screen Capture Tools

  • Grab
    Grab is a screen capture app built into Mac OS.
  • Greenshot
    Greenshot is a free screen capture tool built for Windows. The software offers plugins to popular software such as Microsoft Word. Once an image is captured it is possible to edit and annotate the image.
  • JIng
    Jing is free cross-platform screen capture tool that can capture images and video. Once an image ins captured the image may be edited or annotated. Videos are saved in an SWF file format* which may be difficult to work with.
    *There is a paid version available that allows longer video recording and export as MP4 file format.
  • Quicktime
    Quicktime is a Mac only application*. The app allows both screenshots and desktop video recording. This may be found on the Mac in the Innovation Space, Learning Studio, and public Mac computers in Library.
    *The Windows version is limited and is no longer supported by Apple.
  • Snipping Tool
    Snipping Tool is a screen capture tool built into Windows. The tool lets you define the capture area and then, once the image has been captured, edit and annotate it. The default save as file type is PNG. This tool is available on any Windows computer on campus.

 

Video Tools

An image depicting a film projector. Below is a list of applications that my be used to edit or create video. The tool lists below are grouped into two sections: Editing Tools and Screen Capture tools. Editing tools allow you to compose a video combining any number of video tracks, audio tracks, and images with titles, transitions and effects to produce a finished video. Screen capture tools allow you to record what you see or a task you are completing from your computer. Some capture tools allow you to edit the resulting footage.

 

 

Editing Tools

  • Adobe Premiere Pro -This is a professional level video editing tool available for both Macs and PCs. It is available in the Innovation Space, Learning Studio, and the public computers in the Library.
  • Final Cut Pro -This is a professional level video editing tool available only for Mac OS. It is available in the Innovation Space and Learning Studio.
  • HitFilm Express - HitFilm Express is a free video editor available for both Mac OS and Windows. It offers a similar palette of tools to Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro, but is fairly intuitive and approachable.
  • iMovie - iMovie is another video editor for Mac OS. It is a part of the iLife suite, which includes GarageBand, iPhoto, and iTunes. iMovie is available in the Innovation Space, the Learning Studio and the Macs on the lower level of the Library.
  • OpenShot - OpenShot is a free, cross-platform, open-source video editor. The user interface is easy to navigate. You can see the list of features here. If you have questions the help support may be found here. It is not currently installed on any college computers.
  • Renderforest - Renderforest is an online video and animation maker. The user experience is intuitive. The tool offers a number of templates to easily create a project.
    *** Beloit College students may use this tool with a 50% discount. To receive a discount, email to the Renderforest support team at support [at] renderforest [dot] com, fill the subject line with "Beloit College Discount," and then share in the body which product you desire a discount for (the specific type of single export, or subscription plan). After submitting your request the support team will issue a coupon.
  • WeVideo - WeVideo is is an online video editing tool. It offers a fairly intuitive, yet powerful user interface. It seems to function best in the Firefox web browser.
  • YouTube - YouTube offers a free video editor that you may use with videos you have uploaded, or creative commons (CC) licensed videos. In order to use the editor you must have a YouTube account. To get to to the editor:
  1. Sign in to YouTube and then navigate to your channel
  2. Click on the Video Manager.
  3. Click on Create in the menu.
  4. Click to enter the Video Editor.

    The editor also gives you access to CC licensed audio that you can add to your creation and supports transitions and text in your videos.

Screen Capture Tools

  • Jing
    Jing is free cross-platform screen capture tool that can capture images and video. Videos are saved in an SWF file format* which may be difficult to work with.
    *There is a paid version available that allows longer video recording and export as MP4 file format.
  • OBS Studio
    OBS Studio is a free cross-platform application for recording your desktop. The software allows you to pull in multiple sources (desktop, webcam, computer audio, microphone), arrange them in a preview window and then record.
  • Quicktime
    Quicktime is a Mac only application*. The app allows both screenshots and desktop video recording. The screen recording option allows you to call out the cursor and to record a voice over. This may be found on the Macs in the Innovation Space, Learning Studio, and public Mac computers in Library.
    *The Windows version is limited and is no longer supported by Apple.
  • Screencast-o-matic
    Screencast-o-matic is a web and desktop screen recording tool. You can record your desktop right from the web or you can download an application to do so. This app has a freemium model in which you can pay for more editing features. The paid version is $15/year. The free version allows:
    • Up to 15-minute recordings
    • Screen & webcam recording
    • Publishing to YouTube
    • Saving as video file (videos will be watermarked)

Web Tools

Image of the URL bar, showing "http://www" to stand for the "Internet."There are many web tools available that allow you to think about writing, composition, and storytelling in new, different ways. Examples include Pixton, Prezi, or TimelineJS.

Things to consider when using a web tool:

  1. Make sure you give your self time to have something go wrong. Don't wait until the last minute! 
  2. There may be occasional slow-downs if the traffic to the site you are using increases. 
  3. Things may not always work the way you expect them to. 
  4. Don't be afraid to have something not work. 
  5. Don't spend too much time on a tool that doesn't seem to be working for you. Chances are that there is another tool that will accomplish the same task you are trying to complete.

Below is a list of tools that you may want to check out.

 

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/Internet1.jpg