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Nick Hope

Reef Life of the Andaman

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I made a load of updates to my DVD "Reef Life of the Andaman" and will be serialising it on my YouTube channel in weekly episodes over the next few months.

 

Besides the marine life, post-production geeks might be interested in the process I used in AviSynth to upscale it to HD. The footage started out as 576i PAL DV. After grading, repairing etc., I bob-deinterlaced it to 576-50p with QTGMC. For YouTube I dropped every other frame and did a Spline36Resize up to 720p, hopefully giving it the best chance of clarity for fake HD. For the DVD I resampled the 576-50p to 480-60p with MVtools (optical flow stuff) then reinterlaced to NTSC 480i. I really wanted to just start selling one NTSC version of the DVD as maintaining both PAL and NTSC version has been a headache, and this post-production process has finally allowed me to convert the original PAL to NTSC at a quality I'm happy with.

 

[youtubehd]Kk_oULwpyhc[/youtubehd]

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Nick nice work. Did you consider going 16:9? I think from your clip here, you could've gone 16:9 and make the HD look more authentic. Probably get a bigger drop in res but I think it's worth it. Would've cleaned up a bit of the topside motion as well.

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I did vaguely consider it Drew, but throwing away 25% of the 576 lines just seems too much cropping. The upscale method is good but 432->720 lines might be pushing it. I suppose I could have stretched some clips sideways a bit to achieve some of the wider A/R. Also there would be issues with reframing some clips that were shot "just right" at 4:3. The main reason I wanted 720p is because I've found it to be much superior to 480p on YouTube. I'll also use the black pillars for some subtle YouTube annotations. As for the wobbles well yes, but there won't be much more topside footage in the series.

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Here's part 2, featuring zebra sharks (known locally as "leopard sharks") and tawny nurse sharks, two of the most common species of carpet shark found in the Andaman Sea.

 

[youtubehd]khvzyYLLlA8[/youtubehd]

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So does anyone mind if I keep adding a dirty great YouTube HD video to this thread every week for the next few months? It could become the longest one-man thread on wetpixel...

 

Well anyway, here's part 3. A couple of cuddly big whale sharks at Richelieu Rock and one little one in Burma. I released low-res a version of this a few years ago, but that was of just the first encounter. Thanks to Horst Hinrichs who supplied the still image which is of me being chased across the Andaman Sea by the young whale shark in Burma.

 

[youtubehd]o6lpDsBYX6A[/youtubehd]

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Part 4 features 3 of the Andaman Sea's most common requiem sharks, which are "toothy" sharks in the family Carcharhinidae. First we have grey reef sharks in the Mergui Archipelago, then juvenile silvertip sharks at the Burma Banks, and finally whitetip reef sharks.

 

[youtubehd]ZzhZslpCstA[/youtubehd]

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Part 5 features stingrays. In particular bluespotted stingrays, Jenkins whiprays, and blotched fantail rays, culminating in an encounter with a large shoal of stingrays at Black Rock in the Mergui Archipelago.

 

[youtubehd]zOkkAMclvJ4[/youtubehd]

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Part 6 features giant manta rays from Thailand's Koh Bon and Burma's Black Rock, along with their smaller relatives, mobulas and eagle rays. The video describes how manta rays are currently threatened due to the increasing trade for their gill rakers. Feedback is welcome!

 

[youtubehd]pIcMKe30e5M[/youtubehd]

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Nick,

You've got a great voice for narration. Wish I had run into a whale shark at the rock both times I went to Thailand but that never happened. Why the 4:3 aspect ration on that one?

Great footage on all

Steve

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Thanks Steve! Too bad you didn't see a whale shark there. I know the feeling as I did 1000 dives in the Andaman Sea before I saw one, including many dives at Richelieu Rock.

 

This series is all made from standard definition 4:3 DV footage, upscaled from 576i to 720p. I pillarboxed them all to 16:9 (1280px wide) with the black stripes simply so I could use the area at the top left for the annotations linking to the first and previous episodes. If I upload the whole DVD later, I'll probably just upload it at 988x720 without the pillarboxing. As a partner I'm allowed to upload custom thumbnail/preview images. The preview images you see are all 16:9 1280x720 because that's what YouTube recommend. I thought I may as well use the full size, even though the footage is pillarboxed.

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Part 7 features 11 different species of moray eel.

 

[youtubehd]x2QVSzreZhY[/youtubehd]

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Nice Nick. Have filmed all those species at one time or another. Loved the hunting shot, I always like behavior clips. I wonder just how many species there are of morays.

Steve

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...I wonder just how many species there are of morays.

According to Wikipedia there are approximately 200 species of marine morays.

 

Here's part 8, featuring the tiger tail seahorse and it's long-snouted relatives, the cornetfish and trumpetfish.

 

[youtubehd]OhHSRdQ439I[/youtubehd]

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This week's episode features pretty, colorful, tropical reef fishes in the order Perciformes, including batfish, butterflyfish, angelfish and surgeonfishes. Much of the footage is from the Similan Islands.

 

[youtubehd]0liBnH0xlr0[/youtubehd]

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Part 10 features groupers and big fishes... the brown-marbled grouper, potato cod, humphead wrasse, green humphead parrotfish, and great barracuda. It then moves on to trevallies.

 

[youtubehd]WFAY8kSYvOo[/youtubehd]

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Part 11 features pufferfishes, boxfishes and porcupinefishes, 3 families of fish in the order Tetraodontiformes found in abundance in the Andaman Sea.

 

[youtubehd]xDa2HctD8cs[/youtubehd]

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Part 12 is a bit shorter than usual, and features scrawled filefish, and 5 species of triggerfish found in the Andaman Sea.

 

Watch until the end to have a laugh at me being completely uncool while being attacked by a titan triggerfish.

 

By the way, at this size on Wetpixel, these videos look a lot better viewed at 720p HD than at lower resolutions. Set that with the little gear symbol at the bottom right of the video.

 

[youtubehd]zVcJBLmaVH8[/youtubehd]

Edited by Nick Hope

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Part 13 features various types of crustacean found in the Andaman Sea: Spiny lobsters, shrimps, and at the end, a couple of very aggressive little swimming crabs.

 

[youtubehd]GYWtj5q_MVc[/youtubehd]

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In my ongoing efforts to create the slowest-loading page(s) in Wetpixel history....

 

Part 14 features molluscs from the Andaman Sea. First we take a look at cowries, then sea slugs including pretty nudibranchs, and finally the fluted giant clam.

 

[youtubehd]5WkkJUDD4ao[/youtubehd]

Edited by Nick Hope

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I got an email from my uncle who lives in Washington State the other day (He sends me loads of cool stuff including NASA videos) well one of your Reef life videos came through ... He was really impressed and really wanted my opinion on this 'Fabulous film' ...

 

Impress my Uncle ... Impress me :)

 

Well done Nick

 

Dean

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Wow, I've arrived! :) Do you remember which video it was Dean?

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Lol... Sorry it was your Dakuwaqa's garden video... He tagged it 'possibly the best underwater video you will ever see!' ... Theres praise for you ;)

 

Dean

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I think a few on here might have something to say about that! But thanks for passing that on, Dean.

 

Part 15 features fishes forming schools. Snappers, cardinalfishes, barracudas and trevallies are all included.

 

[youtubehd]l9p_5uUDYKI[/youtubehd]

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Part 16 looks at the ways in which marine animals avoid detection by predators and prey, either by physically hiding, or by camouflage or mimicry. Stingrays, tilefish, octopus, ghost pipefish, frogfish, scorpionfish and stonefish all feature.

 

[youtubehd]UB7tqiL-Eqs[/youtubehd]

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Part 17 features marine animals that defend themselves with venomous spines; Lionfish, crown-of-thorns starfish, and sea urchins.

 

[youtubehd]2fE2gIARQWA[/youtubehd]

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