transcribing from video

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Tue Jan 2 05:05:44 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
January 1, 2006

> On Jan 1, 2007, at 7:23 PM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:
>> Actually, once ELAN is learned, then the issues that Kim  
>> complained about can be easily resolved as far as the forwarding  
>> and rewinding issues are concerned. ELAN allows the user to go  
>> through the video and essentially "bracket" the sections that he/ 
>> she wants to focus on. So you can go through the video and isolate  
>> each sentence or each phrase. Then you can play each sentence or  
>> phrase one by one in a loop if you want until you have got a  
>> transcription that you like. Quicktime or a VHS player cannot do  
>> that as easily. ELAN can be used in a general or detailed fashion  
>> depending on your needs.
>> For VHS to video, I tend to copy the VHS tape to my video camera  
>> and then load the video from the video camera into my Mac to  
>> convert it to Quicktime-compatible file. That's a Mac way. I'm  
>> sure something similar can be done on the PC.
>> Thanks,
>> Stuart

Gosh...I had no idea that Kim was asking about technology...I thought  
you asked me, Kim, how I transcribed video when I didn't even know  
how to sign years ago? and asked if it was my dance training that had  
helped? that issue had nothing to do with what technology I the purpose of the Video Transcription course will be to  
teach SignWriting and Movement Writing related to movement analysis  
rather than the technology issues...

Here is what Kim asked in her original message...

>>>> Kimberley Shaw wrote:

>>>>>>> I am wondering how on earth you were able
>>>>>>> > to transcribe from video when you were not yet a signer.
>>>>>>> >  Was it the dance training?
>>>>>>> >  Have all of you other signwriters got some special wisdom  
>>>>>>> to share with
>>>>>>> me?
>>>>>>> >  Or just useful tips?

And yes I have some useful tips...but not relating to technology ...  
relating to movement analysis... (see below)

Since technology was brought up however....

Let me share with you some of the ways I have used technology when  

In 1984 I transcribed a video of Bernard Bragg discussing SignWriting  
in ASL. That article was the feature story of our last SignWriter  
Newspaper Issue in 1984...before we stopped production of the  
Newspaper...I wrote the entire article by hand with ink pens, and I  
stopped a videotape machine frame by frame, with buttons on and off  
and pause, to do the painfully slow job...but it got done...I  
remember I was up all night...48 hours without do the  
video transcription...that was before I had a personal computer...  
someday I would like to re-write that article in modern SignWriting  
for publication because Bernard said some interesting things in ASL  
about writing ASL...

That technology, Kim, is too slow and not accurate enough, because it  
is hard to pause the video if you are still doing that  
then I hope you can get a video player, and hook it up to a computer,  
and make a Quicktime or other kind of computer video file from it...

I did that for the video transcription that I did of Darline's ASL  
Goldilocks in 1998...

We taped Darline in High-8 tapes...but whether it is High-8 or video  
doesn't matter...I got a player for the my case a High-8  
player machine...I rented it briefly...and hooked it to my Mac and  
copied the video into the computer and then returned the High-8  
playing machine to the place where I rented it from...then from  
there, I had video files that could be stopped and started right on  
your computer I own a High 8 player because I have so  
much High 8 ASL tapes...


What is my technique of movement analysis?...In the case of  
Goldilocks, I created a screen capture of the beginning and ending  
position of each sign (a photo from the video). I placed all the  
photos in sequence in vertical columns and wrote each beginning and  
ending position based on the photos, and placed the movement between  
the positions...then I went through the whole document and eliminated  
some positions, replacing the movement symbols with movement symbols  
that would give you information about the position you eliminated,  
until I had the vertical document I wanted...

The result looked like this web page:

but 64 pages of it!

Now I don't need to capture photos of the beginning and ending  
positions any longer, because I am so skilled and I see what is  
needed without going through that step, but it is a great way to  
begin...taking still photos of the beginning and ending positions  
also helps teach others about how to write the the photos  
are useful later for other purposes...

Val ;-)

More information about the Sw-l mailing list