Video Analysis Made Easy – Using Dart Trainer Software by Jonty Skinner & John Walker (2003)


We are going to give you just a brief history of where we have gone in terms of video so you sort of understand where we are coming from. We kind of took over this area of tech support and started being bold in this department distributing information to coaches. One of the biggest areas was video. We had this huge library of tapes and tapes and tapes and it wasn’t just VHS it 8 mm film and all kinds of stuff in the library. We had no functional way to get it out to coaches and athletes short of reproducing tape after tape after tape and that gets pretty old after a while. It is very encumbering so we started looking at video packages and eventually we came across a package called Dart Fish. To be honest with you Dart Fish VI – there are a bunch of different ones out there – they all have the same basic tools. They have the same basic resolution, packaged for the most part.

I think there are some things that Dart Fish does with their system that is a little better than others, but what really makes Dart Fish superior is that they have a cataloging or organizational system in their product that makes it extremely easy to go and look for information or look for clips. Maybe if you are just an individual masters swimmer and you only have your clips on your hard drive it is easy for you to figure out where everything is. That’s nice, but if you are a coach and you have two or three hundred swimmers or a hundred swimmers and you have clips on all those swimmers plus you have clips of swimmers on the elite level– then it becomes really hard to find what you are looking for. One of the things we loved about Dart Fish was the fact that it made it very simple to find a clip on backstroke or a clip on American record holders or world record holders – which ever way you want to catalog it.

What we will show you today might look very easy and it is going to take a bit of a learning curve to learn it, but we feel it is worth your while to do that. We feel, obviously, the visual side of the sport is probably the quickest and easiest learning tool that you can get. And we are hoping as this stuff starts to flourish and that more and more people get involved with it. The more people buy the system the easier it is for us to distribute video to you.

The second part of that is that everyone wants to have the ability to review Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin, Ed Moses – those types of people because they want the best athletes on their system. So that when they are sitting with their athlete they can say okay you are at the top, Ed is at the bottom, can you spot the difference?

Well it took John probably a good hard six to eight months working many, many hours with athletes, agents, to get to the point where he hammered out a contractual agreement, I think we have about 18 athletes? 21 athletes? now who are aligned with the system because things just aren’t free these days. You just cant get things for free – not the way they used to be ten or twenty years ago. So anytime we distribute tape or videotape from our department and it is a tape of an individual athlete, technically we have to sell it to you. In selling it to you we have to give part of that funding to the athlete and then we keep a small portion of it in terms of our own expenses so we are hoping the system works. We are hoping the system flourishes and that after a while as we get down the road there would be many, many systems around the country and as well as not just the systems, but also what we call a Dart Swim CDs which I will explain a little bit later. That is basically the background of where we come from.

This is the basic environment that we work with – the basic software. The software can range anywhere from the basic trainer which is about $400.00 to the real high end Pro Suite which is almost $3,000. We have worked really hard with Dart Fish to get a product that is very suited to coaches and athletes and we feel like they are constantly improving their product and we are constantly working on them to improve their product to the basic trainer side. The next step is in the action process which allows you to basically set up a TV on your deck, connect it to your computer to a camera. I could be standing over here and your athlete could be over there with the guys with the video camera and with a remote control you can basically click it every time you want that camera to record. Then when the athlete gets out you can be working with this person and the athlete gets out and you say okay review and have it all set up – its basically the same process as the basic, and that costs a little more, almost around $1,000. And then the pro version beyond that, but the 400 level, bank for the buck, cant beat it. The viewer CD is a very basic part of it – it will cost you about $30.

Then ultimately what we want to do is try to get as much of our video library out to you. Down the line we envision creating what we call a video mall where anyone and everyone can come in and go shopping and basically say okay, I would like to see Natalie Coughlin kicking under water, check that box. I would like to see Michael Phelps butterfly above water, check that box and go around a check a bunch of boxes and then at the end of the thing you get billed for whatever you are shopping cart contains and it all gets sent out to you. Hopefully down the line, directly – just right through the internet, but at this point we might have to do CD. We have started this whole process out with a sampler CD. We have one for men and one for women that contains some of the elite athletes in their swimming that you can use as part of your library – your reference library and that is kind of where we started the process and we are working our way from here. Again, just so you understand – this is a cottage industry by itself and basically we are trying to run it within our department by a bunch of guys that had to take courses in how to become a lawyer this summer and writing contracts and stuff. It is not really our expertise.

Here are some of the pieces of equipment that you might put together to get to the basic stuff – the cameras, the under water stuff. We are not endorsing anything – there are a lot of different products out there, all the way up to the device we really like is the mini-CD-DV deck that is in the bottom right hand corner. I will go through it in a little more in detail, but we feel like, depending on your finances and your environment, you could go to a kind of a basic setup as far as capture, review, and those kind of things. Or you could get a little more elaborate – a kind of a basic setup might look something like this: you have one under water lens, and as I said, there are a number of different products on the market that are all fairly similar. I am sure the product vendors say theirs are better than the others, but that is for you to take a look at. You have to go with a digital camera. If you don’t go to the digital camera you’ll have to find of converting device that converts your signal from analog to digita.l In this case we suggest you go through a digital camera. They are getting so much cheaper today that it is worth your while to go that route. The digital camera acts as a VCR or a converter to digital. Your computer which acts as a VCR or a producer and then eventually a TV set and that is a very basic setup. This basic setup probably costs you – probably in the range of $2,000 to $2,500 to put together. This depends on how big a computer you wanted to go as far as a laptop is concerned.

If you wanted to get a little more complex than that you might add a couple of little components. If you are out there in the exhibition area the Dart Fish people had a nice big plasma screen out there. That is probably one of our goals is to get one of those plasma screens because we don’t have one. Beware that if you get wrong information or a video from your computer to a TV that you are probably going to end up having to buy a scan converter so that the recycling rate of your computer is the same as the recycling rate on your TV. Some of the more modern day TVs that you buy today, you might not have the problem, but if you deal with some of the older ones, two or three years ago, you probably definitely can have that issue. Some people use a TiVo device connected to the computer as a storage medium. What we are going to use here is a video projection system and it is very convenient when we go on our national team trips.

Usually when we go on national team trips we will have a mini DV, a camera and a video projection system. We will set up a room. The athletes come in and they sit down and they feel like they are in a home theater because we will project the whole thing on a wall so that it is a full size wall of the race. They just sit there with the mini DV and they play their race as a mini DV and it works out very well. So depending on what your environment is or what you are looking for – or whether you want everyone to look at a small screen or you have a big screen and we are dealing with masters here so I figure there are some people in your organization that have some money. Some of these video projection devices are not nearly as expensive as they used to be in the old days and you can get them pretty cheaply today. It makes for a much bigger picture and probably a little easier to see.

The foundation CD we felt would work very well within the swimming community because it is fairly cheap. It’s $30 for the CD. On the CD you get a variety of different things, a bunch of starter clips for a library and what we call a player software. You get a complete how to in video. If you are questioning how you should do this, or what equipment you need, you got the complete how to on there as a library, filming management – everything you would need really. It is a great kind of library tool as well as the basic player.

As far as masters swimming is concerned, again, dealing with the economic market that you deal with in masters swimming it would make sense, as we saw it, that the athletes – the swimmers would buy the basic CD. Mom and dad would buy Suzy and Johnny the basic CD. They would take that basic CD, put it in their home computer and load it up. The coach would have the more involved basic trainer or the Pro Suite – whichever level you wanted to go to and they would just be handing out CD ROMS to the athlete. The athlete would take the CD ROM home and they would download their information on their home computer. You realize today that probably your kids at home in some cases, if you are older, probably are a little more versed in the computer technology and use of computers and digital technology than you are and probably a little more at home at throwing those things down into a CD ROM drive – dumping it down in the hard drive and reviewing it. Because it is real hard for us to put together a video mall without a lot of end users out there, we are hoping that the basic CD will be used that way. If it is just coaches and we have just 200 coaches out there using the product, the functionality of putting together a video mall doesn’t work. But it will work if there are thousands of end-users out there with the basic CD who are a bunch of athletes, and we could see that with masters swimmer. For some of you swimmers to put out $30 to get a tool that you can put in their hard drive where they can get information from you as well as information from the internet makes sense. Having seen some of the masters swimmers that come to the camp, they are as crazy about swimming as they ever were when they were kids, in fact they are probably crazier now – it makes sense.

We are going to get to a point where we start showing you some of the functionalities as far as the system is concerned on the computer. Again, we are going to try to keep everything fairly simple today, but you have got to have some things in place that capture your video and so we have a little camera up here today, just to show how easy it is just to capture some video. Then we will go through and just show you some of the tools in the environment that we like – that we like to use, that we think are very functional.

This is kind of a little difficult for us – kind of an infomercial here and we don’t really want it to be an infomercial, but just to emphasize a couple of things that Jonty said. The main objectives here – for us – from USA Swimming standpoint is to get elite athlete video to our members, as many members as possible and that extends to the masters family as well. The second is to be able to use the technology of digital video, which is really advancing rapidly and it is getting simpler. It is getting much less expensive and it is nothing compared to what it is going to be in a year – to be able to manage that and give that tool to the athletes and the coaches as well so.

Unfortunately we are not going to go into the reasons why we have to do an infomercial and there is a cost associated with it that is a pretty complicated issue, but we are trying to keep it as inexpensive as we can. We really do believe that this is a model that can work in a lot of programs and we tried to make it extremely flexible as Jonty talked about. We have options where you can utilize this software and this program for $20-30. There are also situations and models and tools that you can use that could probably support themselves that are in the $300,000 range so we are going through a lot of the functionality.

If I do something too fast, and Jonty is going to kick me if I miss something, just stop me and we will go back and we will talk about things a little bit, but we are going to go through a lot of the functionality. I will try to mention which part of the program this is in and sometimes costs will come out so you know relatively what you are looking at. It is an extremely useful tool and we will try to cover the basic things. Also, I know this is supposed to be a practical end and we will try to cover some of the things that we are doing as a national team because we use this every day with our national team. As we and athletes as well, learn, we are getting a lot of great things that we are able to do with it so we will just start out. –

Basically I am going to go through the things that are on the $29. – what we call the player – which is what we envision as the athletes copy or your copy.

This is a situation where you can look at a lot of video which is the #1 objective here and this is on the Dart Swim CD that we talked about – $29.95. It is just like a VCR for your computer so you can see – this is the playing screen. I can go down and select a clip – maybe Jason Lee’s clip is here. I can drag and drop – it pops up and now it is just a basic VCR. I could also double click – it is really similar to your Windows environment. Over here are the buttons that you normally have like your VCR. We got play. So we will go through and I will play the video. I can pause it. I can use this to go frame by frame, forward and backward. You can go back again and this is a short clip, but I will run it again. I can go over here and I can choose the speed – right now we are at full speed – switch it to half speed – hit play and now I have slow motion and when it gets to the skill. I can switch it to quarter speed. Then the last piece that you can do with this is a little red arrow that is coming across here – it is called a scrub bar or a coaches clicker so you can come back and you can go back and forth and show the skill over and over again. Again, you can see the frame by frame capabilities goes as low as you can. It is actually 60 frames a second which is better than a video recorder because it splits the technology so that you get more information.

The limiting factor on the clip is that this is digital. It is saved in what is called an AVI file and there is a lot of information here so if you save it in the uncompressed form it is 3 megabytes second. So those clips become very large and the size is just limited by the size of your hard drive. There are a lot of compression options that you can utilize. Typically we work with – for stroke technique – 3-5 cycles so we work with 10-15 second clips. When we are done with them we usually compress them for distribution but we have full races and it just depends on your hard drive as to that aspect.

Again, those are the controls that you have. You can put it into a loop as well, just by clicking a button and so it will continue to play back and forth. The hard drive I have in my computer is 30 gigabytes – that is going to give you probably an hour to an hour and a half of video. One of the things that we will talk about or I might mention now is storage is a big thing to consider if you are doing digital video. There are lots of good opportunities for external storage that are coming up – the thing I have in my hand here is a firewire hard drive that you can just plug into the computer. That is about 48 – that is actually 48 gigabytes – it is about $200, but you can put all your video on that. That is about three hours of video – it is a pretty good library, but that external storage if you do it with firewire is very useful because one thing about the videos is if you have them on your hard drive they can clutter up some other things that you are trying to do.

These are stackable. You can chain link 1,394 of them together on top of each other before you actually get to a point where you could not chain another one to it –approximately 3 hours you said? Yes – that is uncompressed. We really recommend that you use this type of device, if you are going to get to a lot of video to store it on this type of device and even when you draw your video from this device there is no difference in terms of the way the video reacts in your environment. You probably want to stick with the firewire standard. They have a USB2 standard now and that is not quite fast enough if you are doing multiple videos.

Another question? Internet is a good place to look. There are lots of different companies. They go anywhere from these portable ones at 40 up to – you can get one that is still portable, about bread box size, that is up to 180 gigs right now and 180 gigs is a week of video or something like that.

Question? If that is coming in on the firewire how could you bring your video from your camera in on the firewire? It would be a different application? What John has here is a firewire driver – there is only one port, but there are firewire drives that have multiple ports. I have seen them up to three. And typically, I will edit on my hard drive on the computer and then transfer it over when I am done with it or when I have catalogued it.

Cataloging was another thing that we talked about that is the strength of the Dart Fish system or the Dart Swim System. You can see, I have the clips down here and it is just looking at one folder on my hard drive right now. I am not using the firewire drive, this is kind of my working folder and I probably have 300 clips in here. You can see as I go up and down and just by using the name I wouldn’t be able to know what was in each clip, but you can create your own cataloging system – whatever works for you. Then you just point and click. I hit the last name. Now these are all the clips I have from Kristy Kowal’s breaststroke in various areas. I could set this to look at my whole hard drive so you wouldn’t have to have a folder system. Wherever they are in your hard drive they are going to find it and be able to search through the cataloging system. Then all I do is double click and it goes up to view.

Question – do you have any suggestions for cataloging in terms of what you guys do?

I would say with anything we talk about today you try to fit it to what your vision of using digital video in your program is. We have 28 different categories. I am not showing all of them up here, but I can’t say what is going to be the best for you. Do you need to catalog it by group? Do you need to catalog it by the pool that they are at, or by the storage location, or by the event, or by the race? You know, it is just something to give some thought to. It is also, as Jonty – gave you a great, great schematics of how things work as far as your equipment is concerned, but it is going to depend on your pool setup, what you already have. Just give it some thought. There is a great – not great because we wrote it – there is a good video 101 on our website which is very similar to what you get on the Dart Swim CD. If you go in the coaches section of the website you can get a lot of discussion about what might work for you in different situations.

The other thing – Jonty described, we are fortunate and sometimes have the opportunity to have the highest cost equipment to work with. A lot of your programs can use this system with a 30 year old, oh not 30 year old, 20 year old VCR and you could still capture it on your computer. I am going to show you in a minute capturing from this camera and my computer doesn’t have a firewire card so I just bought a $40 converter and all of a sudden I can capture any signal onto my hard drive. So it is not necessary that you are going to have to buy all the equipment Jonty talked about. You just have to see what you have and put it together as to what’s going to work in your situation.

Why don’t I come back to that question – don’t let me forget, but compression is a real important part of this, but it is in a different section so let me come back. Again, this is the player. This is what comes on the $30. CD. So basically it is really good for looking at video. Anything I do, I am showing you kind of how I am working, but anything you can do to show to your athletes you can set it up so it plays full screen and you can use the keys. You can set the keyboard any way you like so that I have it set up so I can go forward and backward just by hitting a key so you can show it to your athletes as far as on deck review.

Jonty talked a little bit about the “in the action module” you could do this on the pool deck with a video you just captured. It is very flexible – what I am doing is I am trying to navigate very quickly so sometimes the picture won’t be that big, but you can control how big the picture is. I can control how much room I have to see my clips so I can go here. I can look at all my clips. I can move the windows around. It is just a basic windows environment so if you just click around you will see that you have a ton of options.

As I was saying, you are able to see the catalogs and the player, but you are not able to make your own catalog. You are not able to change the things that are in the cataloging system, but you are able to have your own library with this and then if you get a clip from your coach or you get a clip from our website or one of our CDs it is going to have the cataloging information in already for you so it is very easy to navigate through. Again, we are just talking about the player. The other thing that the player incorporates is the DVM port and a DVX port. Let me just show you quickly the cataloging is very easy to do. You know, I could go over here to notes and just click – here let me go to something that has some options: I can go to view, click and it gives me a drop down menu of the options that I need and I just click and that is my cataloging and it goes with that file. So – but that is at a different level of the program.

Question: If I have my video camera plugged into my computer and this software online hard drive I can drop an under water video tape and view it?
Yep – that is a perfect way to DV import so Jonty just plugged the computer into this little thing I have. I talked about the little firewire module and firewire is probably what you want. We have a little camera here – this could be any camera – analog – digital – it could be your VCR and then he is just going to kind of pick somebody who real excited to be here in the last part of the conference and we are going to hit so I just go down here. It recognizes the camera with green, I hit record and we are just recording right now. You can see the time here. It also tells you how much space is left and you can see that go down and using lots of my hard drive here every second – oops – sorry – I stopped it so it comes up here we have the video. Now that is on my hard drive – this girl is pretty excited in the back here – okay we can get her. So this could be a VCR, this could be an under water camera – we just happen to show you how easy it is. It plugs in. we haven’t had any problems with it recognizing a brand. I hear it sometimes says – in technology you always have these little bugs – the only thing I have heard is that Canon sometimes gives it a problem, but as far as under water cameras we work with the VCRs – we have had no problem – it recognizes it quickly and you can use it. So, it comes in and you can catalog it, you can put the categories list in here – I am sorry that I didn’t have that open and this gives you – you can then go down and select and I could select that before – you can see all the different categories we have. Let’s say I select a date and I select a swimmer I am working with them on a particular session. Then everything I record has that cataloging so it kind of gives you an automated cataloging system.

The reader – it is the player – it is the most basic thing that is on the $29.95 version so – everything so far is on that version. And then the last piece of that which is also on this is the DVX port. I can turn on the camera and it is going to recognize the camera and it is going to look at it now as – oops – I have to turn it on as a VCR so now it recognizes it as a VCR and I can choose any of these clips. I put them on a play list so now they come up. I didn’t choose them in any manner but you could choose all the breaststroke you have on Suzy Charleston. Or you could select all the meets you have, or a certain day. I can move the play list so I can grab it and I can pull it – move it anywhere I want. You can save this so you have it for future reference. I can take one out just by removing it, but it is a very easy way to make a highlighted film – very easy way. Now this goes out to the camera so you have brought it in. Now you have a DV export so you could also bring the film in – do the analysis – export it to a tape, also this is actually only to a tape but you could also export it to a CDRom, a DVD writer, another hard drive and we can email it with compression as well. You cant do the email with compression with the player version. Again, this is all those three things – the player, the import and the export are on that swimmer CD or that Dartswim foundation CD.

Some of the real strength as a coach for the analysis tools really comes in when we switch to the analyzer. I don’t have enough time to go over everything that this does but we will go through a few different things. I am just going to go and work with a single image right now. Actually the biggest thing I think that this does for you as a coach is the multiple image so I can go up to four images and I can go side by side so if I choose this clip again. I can watch his relay start. Then I can put my 10 and under all-star relay start here and they are side by side. I will just happen to bring Neil Walker in side by side and then we can look at them. I can go up to four clips so I can put more on here. I can also go top to bottom.

This is the other thing that we really use a lot is just the basic syncing of the video. I am using the blue bar here. I am just holding it, clicking it and then I am going to go right where he touches. There are two things – when you get to the point where you are syncing up video you use your bar – your blue bar to get you into the territory that you want to use to get close to. It is a lot easier to use your arrow keys after that to get it to perfect. You start sitting there with your mouse and you start using that bar to get it to where you want to go – you can have carpal tunnel pretty soon because you would be going back and forth and back and forth before you get it so get it close and use our arrow keys. You will notice that when he is working with a specific side of the video that video will light up as being highlighted. Once you have that video highlighted you can work with the bar or you can work with the arrow keys to advance or move the video back.

When you are in this environment and you actually want to work with and advance both videos at the same time you have a choice. You could come back down here to your VCR tools or you use the control – you hit the first control button and your arrow keys and it works the same way. So you can see while Jonty was describing that I just synced them up based on the touch so you can watch them. You could sync up a right and a left arm view, but what I just did there, it took me about ten seconds to do. Two years ago that would have taken a major TV station 20 minutes to do. So this technology is going very fast. It is very easy to use.

I am going to go back and kind of keep it simple and work with one image for the moment. There are couple of things that we can do. We can work with how close we are. We have a zoom option so I can go and if I want to look at something and I want to keep everything else up I can go and look at this guy or I can look and read his _____ okay? The girls will love that, but that is something that you can use. The other thing is you can actually zoom on certain parts of the image; so if I want to see what his feet are doing I am going to keep zooming into his feet. I want to center it so I am going to move it down here and then it is going to stay zoomed on his feet and we can watch what his feet are doing okay? And then we can just go right back out. Or if we didn’t want to look at his feet any more, we want to look at the touch so we move down here, go back and now we are looking at a different part and see the finish. There are a lot of things that you can do to really analyze the situation by using the zoom.

Right – I am sorry. We switched from the player – this is in the analyzer version – yeah there is a difference. There are more tools there – there are far more tools – import/export, cataloging, organizational tools in the player than they ever will have in Windows Media – they don’t have the stop action in Windows Media player. They can advance and back it, they can’t scrub it. There are many of those things that they cannot do. I wouldn’t – unless it is just a basic person who is looking at something for basic value, I wouldn’t even recommend that route. But you are right – with any of these files they can just plug the CD in and play it full speed on their computer. But the differences are that you can’t do the slow motion or the frame by frame. Those are the primary differences.

Question? Do you put all these filters on when you export it?

You mean with the enlargements and stuff like that? Right, you create a whole new AVI file with its own name and you save it as that and that just becomes another file. We will go thru that – that goes back to the compression as well and we will talk about that in a moment.

We have some drawing tools. These drawing tools have lots of options. I can highlight the feet. I can change the color on that so I can go make it red and with the yellow. I can change the insert. I can change the shape of it so I can make it fatter or not as fat. You have some other options if I want a clean slate I just hit this.

I am going to go back. Some of these have a tracking characteristic now that is pretty useful. If I go to this point – put the x there – go on tracking for a fast motion, now the idea and I might have to help it out a little bit is that it is going to follow – lets go in a little bit – it is going to follow that point thru the motion – lets see how it does. Sorry – let’s try that again. Now I am going to have to help him out a little bit the arm is getting in the way. You can see that – at this point they are about a month away from making that tracking pad to give you the option to make it actually a line path so once the motion has gone thru you actually have a line in its place. You will actually be able to see the actual path of the hips on the guy.

Question: when you buy this program do you get upgrades?

They will to some degree – you know they will go thru levels of the product. They will say okay? We are going to bring out the product as it is today and there will be a couple of functional upgrades that will come – they will be mailed to you thru mail and then they will come out, maybe two years from now and say okay? We have a major upgrade that is going to cost you 30-40 dollars to do the major upgrade. You are buying the upgrade – not the whole thing. We are dealing with an outside company and we have worked real hard to get them down to the prices we have gotten to. In fact we had them down as low as $299 and they just screamed and hollered and kicked and fought us because they couldn’t make a profit on it. Well there are a couple of options. A couple of things are happening. One thing that I can say about the upgrades is that there is going to be an additional cost – probably, right now, the standard way they are doing it is 40 or 50 dollars for the CD upgrade cost. They are developing this extremely fast and are constantly improving it. They are putting in many things that we are asking them for specifically for swimming so those upgrades will be coming about every six months I would guess.

I think you know, if you chose not to upgrade you are going to have still a very functional solid program. As far as training is concerned, they have a great tutorial that comes out on CD and it uses some good technology where they actually are speaking to you and you see the mouse moving around just like I am now except they have produced this CD to go to the screen. And there are no books. They do most of it thru – they have an online help –CD’s as an educational tool. They also have, and this is the higher end where we are probably going to go they have a university level course where you can actually get credit at some universities to learn how to use the software as well.

Question – what is the name of the software?

This is – what we are working with right now is DartFish DartTrainer Software.

We didn’t mean to scare you by the university thing. Well I would say that is the best way to learn. If you sit down and play with it for half an hour you are going to have a vast majority of the functions that it can do. There are some that I am just still learning because I hit the wrong button and boom.

Michael – I bought Version 2.5 that you are using right here and it comes with two CDs. One is the a program and the other one is a series of tutorials. Each tutorial teaches you one or two skills so you kind of take what skill you want to learn to do first and they are pretty easy to learn. I learned a program pretty graphically and you could take the parts that you are interested in learning first and I found it a lot easier to use and learn the program than like trying to read thru a manual. And in a tutorial you just highlight whatever that icon is on the left or right and it just pops out a screen that says exactly what it is and then shows you just like John described – what that function does. In action it shows you as it is and you pick it up pretty quickly.

You can do angles. You can type text, on the video – this will continue and the question was asked before – you can export any of this that you do to a new AVI. Just looking at the different functions they have – they have a wide range and these have improved rapidly. You can go to a straight line, if I can get – I don’t know why I cant pick up that edge. These tools especially are useful in swimming for body line and you can do a lot of creative things with it. You can do basic digitizing with this particular tool – just going frame by frame through and choosing the points and get either a stroke pattern line or a center of mass line – whatever you choose to do.

They also have measurements – this is a good one. You can put grids on it so this is especially good. I don’t have a breaststroker up here at the moment but if we have a breaststroker up, these vertical lines are especially good to look at momentum and the cyclical motion of the velocity. You can change these grids – make them farther apart or closer – of course I cannot do it right now because I am giving a demonstration, but. You can. You can make the grids wider, smaller. The grids are going to stay in place. Yea, but you can make them wider you know, either way.

Question: When you save files do all those grids save on file?


Here is another interesting function that you can use and I am not sure why I am not picking these up. The grids are going to be over the image so as the camera moves the grids will move as well. Or you want it stationary if you were looking at velocities but it is going to be on the top of it so it will move.

I am going to switch and it is going to give me an option to save this so if you have something you do consistently with one of your swimmers, like say a comparison, you could save that – say I am going to do – again I am just picking on Jason here but say I am going to do some drawings or some analysis of Jason’s start I get that all set up. I save it as a project and leave this space open then I can bring any of my swimmers in that I film in the same way – drop them in here and do the comparison. The export would be so you have Neal – the export you just go here – save as movie and then it gives you the options of how you want to export it.

And they give you some base options here, but you can customize these and the program goes in and looks for any compression software you have on your computer and gives you the options to compress it. It depends on what you have, but the very least that you get is the windows encoder which gives you a lot of options and you just play around with it and figure out what works best for you as a combination of motion and image. You can get some real useful images that right now are being compressed at about 50 times so when I said a second is 3 megabytes you know, we are looking at 1/50 of that in a good compressed image. But then I would just choose this – you just choose where you want to save it and then I type it in and it goes through the saving process.

Question: What is your advice to save two options?

You can save this to anywhere that you would save files. So you could direct it to go to your hard drive, you could direct it to go to a CD recordable drive. DVD recordable – you could send it to a VCR like we discussed before. You can also email it so it becomes a file that you can email to your distribution list on your masters team or you know, into another computer if you want to transfer it to another pool. Just make sure that when you are going to go the email route that you are going to take the compression rate and make it easy to send it by email, depending on your system. I mean some systems start bulking at 2 megabytes in an email so you need under a meg. Very easy – a decent sized clip to under 1 meg. There is still a functional video that is pretty reviewable by the person on the other end. It wont be perfect – it wont look like this, but would still be reviewable and the list of options that John showed you on that list and he went from DV and TSC to the low end which is almost 50 times the original size, depending on where you are going to send it.

Tthis is a very useful thing. This is also a distance measure. This is something that we have used a little bit. It is very accurate. If you have a known distance – say we have a meter stick somewhere or something we can calibrate the distance by touching the ends of that and then any line we draw will also give us the corresponding distance so an example would be, lets say that that is a meter long. Then any line I draw from that point forward is measured. For this person from the wall is going to be 2.03 meters and we tested this and it is very good. It is very accurate if you have a good reference frame. That gives you a good range of all the things you can do here.

The next option would be what we call the basic production CD which is the $30 version and then once they bring it into that environment it drops down into the file folder system you have within that DartSwim CD and they can review it – just the way we showed you at the beginning of the lecture. To add your own videos to it you need to analyze your soft ware. Yes, compare your video – for your athlete what you could do is, you as the coach – you could have the analyzer used there on a split screen and have two different people – sync them up exactly where you want, write notes on the screen, put angles on the screen – save it as a movie, send it to your athlete and the athlete has the split screen affect, but it is manufacture produced by yourself.

Audio was – was that the question – do you use audio?

I will tell you audio is available in the producer version which is on the highest end – it is the $3,000 end – actually I think for masters coaches it might be something to consider investing in, but I will talk about that in a minute. Any other questions on this area that we are looking at?

Question: I just wanted to know what the difference was in levels, you know, the $400 to the $1,300 program:

This is $400. The main difference is, we talked about the player on the athletes CD – this is extremely powerful and I think most coaches can really do a lot of interesting things with this. This is in the $480 – actually I will put a plug in there on a little deal until September 15 where you can get a bundle of things for $399 so it is a pretty good time to buy, but basically it is a $480. There is one level up that involves the on deck coaching where you have more of a _____ actions so you can control your camera with a remote control, have it set up and ask your athlete while you are coaching to go over and look at what you just taped. Do a comparison and it is pretty useful. The other end is the producer end and I will just go there very quickly. This is actually more of a remote coaching tool. This is something you can do over email or via paper or however you want to do it. Let’s say that I want to do the analysis of the start I just pull up the producer. I can name it. I can put in general comments, I can do it in text. I can also go here and this is something I just added which was the audio question that we had earlier. If you have a microphone in your computer you can hit this – record your comments and then it goes into this format that we will look at. So I choose general comments and then I choose key positions so then I can go through the video and say – so I can say something about – the swing phase. I can type something in this or put an audio comment in. I go forward and I am watching it. I see something I don’t like. I choose a different area. I call this the take-out phase. And again for each section you can write notes, talk over – those kinds of things and again it is the producing end.

There are some things when you start playing with this is – it is not just the fact that you can kind of look at one athlete versus another athlete – you can even take an athlete and I have done this many times with athletes and it has really shown them a lot about themselves, especially in freestyle or backstroke. Coaches, where you use this the most and you split screen it and you look at the athletes left side versus their right side. You can set up something like that. You can take the person on the top screen and you have him swimming across the pool looking at their right side and on the bottom of the screen you put him across the pool and you are looking at the left side and it is kind of hard when you see two swimmers go across the pool like that. But, the program allows you to flip one so they both swim the same way. You can sync them up and you just have to make sure you label it correctly so that you know that the bottom one is the right arm and the top one is the left arm so you know which is which. You sync them up, step them forward and you realize there is a total difference between how they swim with their left and their right arms. Remember again that you have the ability when you do something like that to really focus the screen in so that you can look at the components that you want to look at. Even if I take the video and that person is the core of the screen you can magnify in to where you get the majority of it. Granted, when you magnify there is some pixilation in the product, but you can focus and really show an athlete how different their left side is from their right side. I find that freestylers especially –its one of those things that really makes sense when you try to explain to a freestyler that you have like a hop along stroke or a giddy up catch up type stroke, but it doesn’t really come through until you put the sequence and you have them swim it at the same rhythm back and forth. They see that their right arm is traveling through the water much faster than their left arm and their hip rotation is very different on the right side than the left side. All of a sudden some of those things you try to get across to them ring true. So, just comparing an athlete to themselves is one of the biggest tools you can have with freestyle and backstroke.

Here is the product. Here is the final – so just quickly you get a report that looks like this that you could email it to an athlete –it gives the general comments. If you have audio comments the athlete can click there or they can have multiple analyses so they could see last weeks versus this weeks. You can go to the key positions and the comments come up as well as the audio comments and you could have as many of these as you like. You could also play the full video so you can watch that no – this is the producer which is the highest level. Then they can get a slide show here that they could actually print out and give them when they get home. This is easy to email. This is a medium level preview which is probably with this length of clip is probably about two megs.

Question: one has the basic version and you want to move up to the next version – can you do that?

Yes, it would be very expensive, but you can do it. They will try, but if you are you – I would say they wont. That’s good to hear. That has been a bone of contention in the past, but basically this is what I see an area if this interests you and you have an aptitude and a real interest in technique, you could make some pretty good money to support use of this in masters swimming.

You know, this is something where you could ask an athlete who is 100miles away to email you a video or to send you a CD. You create this and email it to them and then you have long distance coaching or even the kids that you have – the athletes that you have, you could be doing this and charge – it is very easy to do. It is very easy for you to do with your laptop and quick and I think it is a very valuable commodity – you charge a decent amount of money.

You don’t want any commission off anything that you produce? No. you can also – I didn’t show you – you can publish this to a website as well so if you have a website you can publish it to the web. Lots of things you can do.

We are kind of running low on time. I wanted to quickly go back to some of the things Jonty talked about. I was just – you know, we were thinking about how to do this as far as demonstrations and I was thinking about trying to find some ideal clips but sometimes you can see the power of it in just seeing some really nasty clips that would be difficult to work with normally. So I am just going to pick a couple of clips from the World Championships and show you some of the things that we did with them. This is a Kristy Kowal start. One of the things I want to do is – go back to full speed – so if you are just looking at that it is not – if you want to look at her kick it is probably not going to tell you anything just watching the video based on what we got there. By using this software I can move it around and now I get – even though I only have one cycle I can tell a great deal about what she is doing with her feet. You know, just by the forward and backward motion. We could do angles. We could do anything, but that is not what I consider a great video clip to look at the kick, but using this it becomes a very good video clip to look at her kick.

Now if we want to compare it to Amanda Beard – we use a totally different type of video clip – let me play the Amanda Beard clip so you can see an example of what we are working with. Ignore this side, but this side is the other one we are working with. Obviously I was way behind her and couldn’t catch up. With normal video we wouldn’t even use that video – sorry, but in this case I am going to use this frame and I am going to go back and use Kristy’s kick. Now something Jonty talked about. They are going two different ways, so I select her side and now all of a sudden they are going the same way. Now, Kristy we have a good picture of her. We want to get a little closer to Amanda so we zoom to bring it closer. Now I want to sync it up so they are at the same point – use your arrow keys – this is roughly the sync point that we want. Now we can go frame by frame or we can draw this in any manner to do the comparison. I see that she is out of the picture so I pull her up again and you can see that there are some similarities or there are some comparisons. While we are looking at this we actually see that Kristy Kowal had some problems with her kick. What we were finding just from these two clips was that Amanda was getting her heels higher early on in the kick.

You guys can all see that these athletes do some pretty strange things when you slow it down and actually look at how flexible they are, but that is just an example of something we did just with those two pieces of footage that normally would be considered not very useful for that purpose.

Question: So you have those two films – you can actually cut those two little cycles and tape it again right?

Yes. What John will do right here real quick is set the limits on how far you want to begin the clip and where you want to end the clip – he will show you real quick – so I use this little key to set what they call a cue-in and you can see this part went gray. Now the white part is all that is going to play. That is going to play to the end of this clip. I can pull it out here. Okay? That is as much as I want. Now we are only going to show that part. If I hit export. I can save to a movie or email it, and it is only going to record that part. And that is probably what you want to do. You just cut it and you get to what you need. So we import it. You cannot be really accurate every time you bring video in, but being able to start it and then stop it exactly where you want it to be. You are better off not cutting the corners and getting the bigger chunk. Then you can come back at some point later in time and trimming it down to what you want.

When you work with DartFish for the first time, it is going to ask you a number of questions. One of the questions it is going to ask you is where you want your videos to be stored or saved. It is probably best if you decide up front where you want them. Anything you input is going to go to that destination file. After that you can move it to any other folder in the universe, but every thing that comes in goes to that destination file. It is best if you keep that destination file in an area that is like a work space. And anything in there is going to be stuff that you are going to work with. Once you get a product or a movie or you make a new AVI file you can move it to another folder so that it is not confused.

If for some reason or other you get into DartFish and you forget to do that, you have to click next, next, next and go into tools/options and you get a bunch of different tabs up there so you can go back and change a lot of your initial settings that you have when you first start. One other thing that is very useful for is, and probably would be useful for you in developing educational material, is that you can, in addition to exporting as a video, you can export it as a Jpeg or a bitmap file so you can use the clipboard and use this camera to take a picture of whatever is on this screen. You can get a good shot of her flexibility. If you want to show your athletes how important it is for this flexibility, I can go over here and hit this and now I have taken a picture and it is going to be saved wherever I ask it to be saved.

You can put that into a word document or you can put that into your email and just send that if you don’t want to send the whole video. So I might show it like it is now, or I can pick those angles up any time. Once you put them down they are down. If you don’t get them in the right spot you can erase them and do it again and put them wherever you want and keep changing them. The amount of opacity that you have to highlight the angle can be changed if you want it there at all.

Question – do you have a printer set up – can you print that right off?

Into a picture – sure. It would probably be – I mean you would end up printing the screen. I suppose I could do it if I went to full screen but right now it would print this computer screen. So I would just find the picture that I had an put it in a work document and print it, but one of the things that is tough is that the biggest thing that we want to do here is get people to look at great video and have good tools to look at it.

I have kind of been playing in this computer world and it is very easy to learn but the best stuff is when it is full screen and we didn’t play much full screen today. But as I said, I have in this one folder probably 300 clips and it is a very useful library. I can look at any range of skills, any range of athletes just with a click or two of the mouse. Before we would have to go through mountains of tapes. Actually we just went through that process in the last couple of weeks of trying to look at races that we hadn’t captured here and it is very difficult. This has become your video library as opposed to that big shelf in your basement or in your office.

We ran through this very quickly and I appreciate everybody’s interest. We are the last talk of the conference, but are there any other questions that we can answer?

Question – can you put big corrections side by side with it?

You could. Whatever is in on a tape. You could do one side of what she was doing wrong and then after she corrected on the other side.

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