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Episode 12: The Digital Fashion Shoot

Air Date: July 16, 1998

 

Imaging in the Internet age

 

What would a show about the Toronto Fashion Incubator be without an actual fashion shoot? This week, IBM's Tom Vassos lets it all hang out as he oversees a fashion shoot of designs by resident designers Crystal Siemens and Serena Deparis. However, staying true to Tom's role as the TFI's Internet guru, this is a 'digital' fashion shoot, using a variety of tools to create a series of digital images that can be manipulated on the TFI's Aptiva computer system, and used on the TFI's web site. With his trusted entourage of photographers, Tom captures dozens of photos of the model, Lisa, wearing Crystal and Serena's fashions, with the final products in a digital medium. These are done with:

 

Photo Scanning Services

The least expensive and simplest way to create digital images without investing in any special equipment is to simply use a digitization service, such as the "Scan to the Internet" service available at Blacks (http://blacks.photonet.com/). You simply take pictures with your regular camera, drop the film off for developing at the nearest Blacks store, and pay an extra five dollars per roll to have the pictures digitized. Five working days later, your pictures are up on the Blacks web site for you to look at, download, in addition to ordering prints and personalized gifts (of course, your privacy is maintained with a password). Though your digitized photos are kept online for 30 days, you can pay extra to keep them online longer. If there isn't a Blacks outlet near you, you can find a similar service offered by Kodak's PhotoNet (http://kodak.photonet.com/cgi-pv/ok.pl?0/aboutPhotonet.html). While this is an inexpensive way of creating digital pics, the five day turnaround time and the added cost of developing the roll makes this option less convenient and possibly more expensive if you plan to take many digital photos.

 

 

Digital Cameras

The Kodak DC120 Digital Camera

A more convenient and more expensive method of creating digital pictures is with a digital camera, such as the Kodak DC120. These cameras, which are often similar in size to regular 35mm cameras, store the pictures as digital images, as opposed to using film. These digital images are stored within the camera's own memory, or on small removable storage devices called 'flash cards'. The quality of these images, measured in pixels, will depend on the camera (the greater the number of pixels, the better the resolution of the image), and some cameras even allow you to vary the image quality for each picture. Of course, the greater a picture's resolution (hence, number of pixels), the more memory is required to store it.

The Flash Card Memory of the DC120

To view or manipulate these images on your computer, you simply hook up the camera to your computer or insert the flash card into a specially-designed interface and download the images. Once the images have been downloaded, you can wipe the memory of the camera or flash card clean, and start taking more pictures.

Kodak Logo

Digital cameras come in all shapes and sizes, varying in the types of features offered (such as built-in flash, additional memory, auto-focus, etc.) and image resolution. For more information on what features to look for in a digital camera, visit Kodak's Digital Learning Center (http://webs.kodak.com/US/en/digital/dlc/) and Kodak's catalog of digital cameras (http://webs.kodak.com/US/en/digital/cameras/DCSGateway.shtml)

 

Digital Video Cameras

The Hitachi MP-EG1A Video Camera

The next step up in digital imaging is the digital video camera, such as the Hitachi MP-EG1A. These video cameras, instead of recording video on magnetic tape, contain a hard drive (much like the one in your computer) which stores the images as .mpeg files (the Hitachi model is able to store up to twenty minutes of full-motion video) or as .jpg files (when the camera is in 'still' mode, functioning as a digital camera).

Though digital video cameras offer the versatility of being able to shoot live action and download it immediately onto your web site or attach it to an e-mail, the MPEG format is still not like watching television on your PC. Because of the level of compression used, movement in the video clips is best described as 'herky-jerky' and the size of the image is limited to an eighth of the screen (you can expand the image to use up the entire screen, but the image becomes very 'blocky' and the action does not synch up to the sound very well, making it resemble a badly-dubbed chop-socky from the Seventies). Furthermore, despite the high level of compression, the file sizes are quite large, resulting in long download times. For example, the video clips of Lisa rotating in Crystal and Serena's fashions only last for about fifteen seconds, but take up over 2 megabytes of hard drive space and each take about ten minutes to download with a 33.6 kps modem connection.

Despite these drawbacks, if your business requires quick access to full-motion video, and the various stakeholders of your business have relatively high-speed Internet connections, then a digital video camera just might be the best all-around imaging solution, giving you the ability to take both video and still images.

 

The Results

Before

During

After

 

First up were the designs by Serena:

 

Three shots of a Black Knit with Orange Fur Trim, and Rubber Skirt and Top, two done with the DC120 (right), and the other digitized from a regular photo via Blacks' "Scan to the Internet" service (left).

 

Three shots of a White/Black Knit Top with Long Knit Skirt, taken by the Kodak DC120.

 

 

 

A shot of a White and Black Rubber Jacket, digitized via Blacks' "Scan to the Internet" service.

 

 

To view a full-motion video captured by the Hitachi MP-EG1A of Lisa in this Asymmetric Unitard, click here (of course, you'll need an MPEG player to properly view it).

 

 

A series of still photos of Lisa in this Asymmetric Unitard were taken with the DC120, each at a different angle. These images were then pieced together into a short animation.

 To view the animation, click here.

 

Next, Lisa tried on a few of Crystal's fashions:

 

A Crystal Siemens design, seen via a digitized photo from a regular camera (left), and from the DC120 (two right).

 

Something more casual seen through the lens of the DC120.

 

 

 

A series of still photos of Lisa in this Elegant Evening Wear were taken with the DC120, each at a different angle. These images were then pieced together into a short animation. To view the animation, click here.

 

 

A full-motion video was also taken with the Hitachi MP-EG1A. To watch the video clip, click here (of course, you'll need an MPEG player to view it).

 

Hot Links

 

Want to learn more about the topics covered this week? Then check out these great web sites and resources:

 

Photo Digitization Services

 

Information on Blacks' Scan to the Internet Service

http://blacks.photonet.com/

For just five dollars a roll, you can have pictures from your regular camera digitized and put on the web

Kodak's PhotoNet Online Service

http://kodak.photonet.com/cgi-pv/ok.pl?0/aboutPhotonet.html

If there isn't a Blacks in your area, try Kodak's PhotoNet Online

 

Digital Cameras

 

Kodak's Digital Learning Centre

http://webs.kodak.com/US/en/digital/dlc/

A great resource on taking digital pictures and using them in your documents.

Kodak's Catalog of Digital Camera

http://webs.kodak.com/US/en/digital/cameras/DCSGateway.shtml

Information on all of Kodak's digital offerings

Kodak's Page on the DC120

http://webs.kodak.com/US/en/digital/dc120/

Information on the features and specifications of the DC120

Reviews of the Kodak DC120

http://www.computers.com/reviews/comparative/capsule/0,26,0-21-257997-471573,00.html

http://www.zdnet.com/products/grids/digicam/pcm_dc120.html

See what the experts think of Tom's digital camera

 

Digital Video Cameras

 

Hitachi MP-EG1A home page

http://www.hitachi-ce.com/MPEG.htm

Information on the specifications and features of the MP-EG1A

Review of the Hitachi MP-EG1A

http://www.cnet.com/Content/Reviews/JustIn/Items/0,118,205,00.html

Read why the MP-EG1A is the digital video camera to get

 

Cast

 

Mark Schneider		CTV - Host of "Digital Desktop"
Tom Vassos		IBM e-business Advisor and Host of "This New SoHo"
Serena DeParis		Fashion Designer
Krystal Siemens		Fashion Designer
Lisa			Model
Stefania Gianvito		Photographer
Anthony Leong		Photographer

  

Production Credits

 

John Slonmiski		Camera
Anthony Leong		Senior Web Editor


All episode summaries and supplemental information written by Anthony Leong, with material and assistance from Tom Vassos, his book Strategic Internet Marketing, and Mark Schneider.


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