Animated GIF's and Videos


Since the early days of my homepage in 1997 I was interested in building of animated GIF's and editing of digital videos on the computer, respectively. The garden railway offered an optimum field for experiments - unfortunately the old computer (Pentium I) was too slow for editing videos. Since november 1999 a new one came into service with 600 MHz's (in between a new one with a processor K5 (AMD) after the old motherboard had been smoked off )-: ), 256 MB RAM and ca. 40 GB hard drive space. Then I was able to tackle these tasks. Video-recording /-editing had been carried out up to the end of 2003 with an AV MASTER 2000 video card in connection with SCSI hard drive (SEAGATE Barracuda), I use the software MediaStudio Pro v. 5.2 by ULEAD with the relating tools.

An example of a new video intro

Unfortunately, Windows 98 SE didn't allow a working without any problems - the video cart doesn't allow any different operating systems like Windoows 95/98 or Windoows NT, respectively. On the way of looking for a new and sophisticated equipment for video editing a "switching" has to be done if I intended to continue my video work. The result - since may 2004 I'm "on the good side of the power" (-; From Intel it went to Apple, from Windows to Mac OSX with the relating tools - Finalcut Pro, DVD Studio Pro sowie Motion. Some specs of the new machine: Apple PowerMac G5 with 2,5 GBytes RAM and 410 GBytes hard drive (intern) + 200 GBytes hard drive (extern) and a 20 inch screen (Cinema). Now, video editing can be funny too (just take a short look here of the configuration of all components)...

The video takes are realized with 2 little digital cameras by Sony (TRV 950E and HDR-HC1) equipped with objectives by Zeiss and a Panasonic NV-GS75, serving simultaneously as WebCam. The recordings are made with S-VHS quality. These compact cameras allows video shots on the rolling railway cars delivering very interesting perspectives. This resulted to a construction of a special designed camera wagon which imitates the human way of seeing and produces therewith real-life video images.


First projects had been still realized without an own camera such as a little video of 1 hour I made for a New Year party. Several video clips from the Internet were edited together (dancing baby) to show all the possiblities of this equipment to people who are not interested in computers. These clips were converted to TV standard PAL and re-recorded on videotape to show it to an interested audience. Finally, non-computer-users realized why I can employ myself on the computer for hours. On the other side, I got a good opportunity to get an thoroughly acquaintance with the hardware/software. In the meantime, these occasional jobs became to a regular work with new mediums keeping not only both machines on full working level.


In the meantime, I finished my first complete films - for example, I was again in Sinsheim for the fourth European Live Steam Meeting and got some material there - being already edited and finished as a video cassette amongst others being available for interested ones. Other meetings of garden railway fans had been filmed by me but submarine shooting during diving stays in the Red Sea in Egypt widened my horizon too. The increasing length of the filmms (the most longest film I ever made was the 1. Great Garden Railway Meeting in Schkeuditz/Germany 2002 lasted more 1 hour and 42 minutes) brought the old windows equipment to their limmits (and me to the edge of desperate for more than one time (-; ). With increasing time I tackled the difficult field of narrating my films but I had to confess that I need some glasses of wine to relax the tongue for making my comment more naturally.


Some little remarks relating video: Like photography video is in contrast to the other illustrating arts a very democratic art - everyone who can get a video camera possesses the opportunity to create everlasting evidences of the presence as documents of the contemporary history for future generations. In the past, only artists who could perpetuate themselves on paper, canvas or stone had this special privilege. Even the users of 8 cinefilm as predecessor of this recording technology remained more or less an "elitaer" club due to extensive efforts to make simple films. Only the technical possibilities by computers with high performance processors extends this to film editing because a corresponding equipment is available to an ever increasing number of film amateurs.

In addition to this fact, a change happens now from the analoguous cassette to digital disc and the majority of private recordings want to be saved for future times. By doing this we encounter the paradoxon that the content of the video cassettes is very often more precious than the equipment made this. Now we don't find any computer being delivered without any possibilities to connect with video equipment. The clear borders between profs and amateurs or video and computer, respectively, of earlier times smear slowly. But - before a new wave of new Spielberg's, Bergmann's or Fellini's overwhelm us, some work had still to be done and this will not be an easy thing to do ... Ok folks ... let us make some art ... (-;


The creation of animated GIF's on the old computer (Pentium I) and relating software was still a patient-demanding work. In the meantime, a faster machine allowed the realization of it with a better software where I'm using the GIF animator by ULEAD. My aim is to get little GIF files for low download times - one has to consider that all files (an animated GIF too) have to be downloaded first before seeing. If they are too big the surfer stops downloading and goes to the next web site - which shouldn't be the result of these nice little artworks.
On my whole homepage you can find examples of animated GIF's being majorly created by myself. In between several other homepages contain GIF's of mine. Even in films, they had been used too. In relation with it, I missed due to the paralyzation of my hands and fingers very hardly the capability of creating drawings of my own. Even this makes up the fascination of these images - they become unmistakable and mean a little bit of individuality. To create this, I would be glad about every help.


This also applies for the video equipment. Normal VHS cassettes as well as S-VHS cassettes can be copied to the computer, the material can be edited there and recopied back to VCR. The new equipment with the "bited apple" makes "only" the processing of digital material from the camera to DVD possible. Although I use this equipment mainly for my own purposes, the creation of video clips on cassette or CD-ROM or DVD for other interested people too doesn't mean any problem to me as long as the wheel-chair gets access to the locations.
If you are interested in it please send me an email.

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