The finishing touch: Making that CD fundraiser sing. (Office Technology).If you've been following this series, by now hopefully you have completed your promotional video, with the required transitions, music, and voiceovers. You've decided on the media (DVD-R (DVD-Recordable) A write-once (read only) DVD disc for both movies and data endorsed by the DVD Forum. DVD-Rs are often called "DVD Dash Rs" or "DVD Minus Rs" to distinguish them from the competing "Plus R" format (see DVD+R). or CD-R/VideoCD), and have burned the discs.
You'll want to send the disc out with an nice cover letter, explaining what the disc contains and why you have sent it. All of your effort, how-ever, can go down the tubes if at first glance, the overall effect of the pitch appears too amateurish. A little rough is fine. In fact, if your cover letter explains that your organization took the time and trouble to prepare and produce the video effort, your pitch can have some very positive impact.
Consider using a paragraph such as: "The disc we've enclosed details just how we go about saving those puppies. It may not be quite as polished as a professional video production, but we wanted to put most of our resources into our mission. To better accomplish this task, the documentary on the enclosed disc was filmed and produced entirely by our staff, with the effort volunteered in addition to the tasks that they normally handle. We hope that you'll look at the message contained, rather than how polished our presentation is right now."
Even with a message like this, it still makes sense to take some time and finish off your promotional disc with a bit of panache. A simple blank CD-R (CD-Recordable) A writable CD technology using a type of compact disc that can be recorded, but not erased (CD-Rs are "write once" discs). CD-R discs are used to master CD-ROMs, to back up data and to make copies of data for distribution. with a "Save Those Puppies" scrawled onto it with a special CD marker may fit the "unpolished" look. But a simple, yet presentable pre·sent·a·ble
1. That can be given, displayed, or offered: presentable gifts; presentable attire.
2. Fit for introduction to others: presentable relatives. message, goes a long way in both encouraging your recipient to view your message and to view your organization as both sincere and professional.
In finishing the discs or DVDs that you've burned, there are two ways that you can go. The less expensive of these is to print stick-on disc labels that will be affixed af·fix
tr.v. af·fixed, af·fix·ing, af·fix·es
1. To secure to something; attach: affix a label to a package.
2. to each disc. These labels cost about $15 per hundred, and you can buy a kit that includes a label applicator ap·pli·ca·tor
An instrument for applying something, such as a medication.
n a device for applying medication; usually a slender rod of glass or wood, used with a pledget of cotton on the end. that helps you center each printed label on the disc. That's important because with today's CD-ROM drives CD-ROM drives, which today typically means a CD-RW drive that is a combo CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW drive, come in a variety of speeds. The original drive (1x) transferred data at 150KB per second. spinning at several thousand RPM, an off-center label can induce a severe wobble wobble /wob·ble/ (wob´'l) to move unsteadily or unsurely back and forth or from side to side. See under hypothesis.
1. to the disc. I've experimented with most of the applicators on the market, and my two favorites are the Memorex, which has a spring-loaded platform, and the new Belkin Components CD-Launcher.
Stick-on labels are inexpensive, but don't look very professional, even when nicely printed. The best solution is a CD printer, especially if you intend to produce these discs on an ongoing basis, or produce hundreds of discs of each production.
These are special thermal or ink-jet printers designed to print directly onto a CD-R or DVD DVD: see digital versatile disc.
in full digital video disc or digital versatile disc
Type of optical disc. The DVD represents the second generation of compact-disc (CD) technology. . The blank discs are specially produced and have a top surface that's designed to accept the print. This surface may be a white coating onto which the ink is deposited, or a special transparent coating. The white coating gives a slightly brighter look to the finished disc. However, if the disc isn't completely covered, the white edges make the disc look like you've just stuck on a paper label. The transparent printable print·a·ble
1. Capable of being printed or of producing a print: printable negatives.
2. Fit for publication: printable language. discs, however, always appear as if they have been printed or silk-screened.
There are different discs for use in a thermal printer See direct thermal printer and thermal wax transfer printer. or an ink jet See inkjet printer. , and the printers themselves are specifically designed to accept a CD-R or DVD disc, rather than paper. There are several vendors in this market, some of which offer specially modified Epson or Hewlett Packard inkjet printers A printer that propels droplets of ink directly onto the medium. Today, almost all inkjet printers produce color. Low-end inkjets use three ink colors (cyan, magenta and yellow), but produce a composite black that is often muddy. that take a carrier into which you place one or two of the printable discs.
The Signature series printers from Primera Technology (www.primeratech.com) use a specially modified inkjet engine with dual cartridges, one monochrome the other a tri-color cartridge with cyan, magenta, and yellow ink.
Current models of the Signature series include the Signature IV and Signature Pro. The two are very similar except for print resolution and price. At $1,495, the Signature IV has a maximum print resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dip. The $1,895 Signature Pro bumps that resolution up to 2,400 x 2,400 dpi. Both turn out excellent quality images on the discs, and take about a half-minute per disc to print. Primera Technology also has an automatic disc loading system, called Composer, which inserts and removes discs from the Signature.
Both Signature printers come with the same label making software, SureThing. This application was developed by MicroVision Development (www.surething.com). The version that comes with the Primera printers, as well as the Belkin Components CD Launcher labeling system, is the LE, or Limited Edition. This edition does not provide the wide variety of templates that the full edition gives you. If you figure on printing a fair number of discs, spring for the latest full version of SureThing CD Labeler 3.0 Deluxe, it's only $39 from MicroVision Development.
One very nice feature of SureThing CD Labeler is. that you can use your own artwork on the disc you are printing. All of the applications for making DVDs or VideoCDs that we discussed in the last column have a provision for taking a screen shot and saving it in a standard still video format such as JPEG JPEG
in full Joint Photographic Experts Group
Standard computer file format for storing graphic images in a compressed form for general use. JPEG images are compressed using a mathematical algorithm. or TIFF.
The photo used for the first column of this series was placed onto the blank disc template. Text was added and the font and size was played with until the correct look was achieved. The result is shown in the screen grab that accompanies this column.
After you hit the "Print" tab, SureThing will ask how many copies you want. Key in the number of discs that you've burned, and the software prints a disc, then asks you to insert the next disc into the printer. As you remove each disc, place it into a jewel case The plastic container used to package an audio CD or CD-ROM disc. See tray card. . You can purchase these in 10,25, or 100 packs at most computer stores. When the discs are printed, use SureThing to create and print jewel case inserts.
That winds up the series on creating your own promotional video. Please remember that it takes a bit of practice to become proficient with the software tools and camcorder, so don't get frustrated frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: or impatient.
Let us know how your video turns out.
Ted Needleman is the former associate publisher and editor-in-chief of Accounting Technology magazine. He is now a technology consultant and writer based in Stony Point Ston·y Point
A village of southeast New York on the Hudson River north of New City. Its blockhouse, captured by British troops in May 1779, was retaken in July by Gen. Anthony Wayne's forces. Population: 11,744. , N.Y.