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Re: New Project Opportunity - VERY IMPORTANT

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:15 pm
by Don
First, I appreciate the interest you all are showing, and the spot-on concerns voiced.
Second, I apologize for only now getting back into the internet swing of things...we're pretty far out here in Yellowknife, on the electronic frontier!

Now, onto your comments and concerns. I'll address you chronologically as posted:

Bob~ Thanks for the tree trumpet heralding announcing this opportunity! You're absolutely correct in recognizing an opportunity that shouldn't be missed. In your later post, you point to me as one who has all the answers...maybe I can get to the answers once the questions are asked, but more to the point, my only advantage is my conversation with Sheri Shannon (AF coordinator of us state coordinators), which I've posted in it's entirety. I can also address some concerns in terms of my grasp of AF from the inside...things like audiences, etc.

JamesP~ While I wouldn't want to impose any limits on media dispersion, my thinking so far has been in terms of internet exposure on websites; ENTS/WNTS, AF, my own AKBigTreeList site, and others as appropriate. This brings up the topic of copyright issues, and I'm not at all knowledgeable here, other than to say it's rediculously easy to implement.

Ed~ All good points...up until now, I'd been thinking the shortest length that gets the job done. Your comment about breaking up video by measurement type (girth, height, spread) has merit, and setting it up so that each type could be selected as desired, rather than a linear single video...the video could also be broken up by user type/accuracy level (layperson-BiltmoreStick; statelevel reps-Tangent; national staff-laser; dendromorphgurus-TapeDrop).
Media? I'd say website, but once video is done, it's easy to create CDs/DVDs for those wishing offline presentation media.

Will~ I understand your pessimism, for the last year I've tried diplomatically to engender change from within AF. Thing is, I don't think we want to give up, but should take advantage of opportunities that are in no small way eaked out by the collective efforts of ENTS in the past.
I like your comments on verticality, and the verticality issue is especially of value in measuring deciduous trees...don't remember the numbers, but a substantial number of national champion tree species are deciduous. Conifers also vary off of vertical, but not nearly as much, as a rule.
While I like Ed's idea on video by type of measurement, my current preference is by level of accuracy:
Tape Drop ~ Empirical direct measure, accurate to + or - __0.1?___feet
Laser Sine-Sine ~ Remote, accurate to + or - __1.0?___ feet
Clinometer Tangent ~ Remote, accurate to + or - __10.0___feet
Biltmore Stick, Shadow ~ Remotest, accurate to + or - ___20___feet
I like your point of our international membership, and what they bring to the 'tree measurement table'.

Andrew~ Your concerns are valid and will be good to review at each step along the way...your previous videos have shown a superior grasp of video presentation issues and we look forward to your continued input (both as 'actor' and 'director' !).

All~ As already mentioned, we can't fall prey to 'committee-itis' and talk this one to we have volunteers within striking distance of each other, with equipment and skills (video, climbing, lasering), ready to proceed?

Re: New Project Opportunity - VERY IMPORTANT

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:55 pm
by edfrank

This is what I am thinking. We should do the video in 1020i wide screen HD format. They should be broken down into a series of 5 videos. These each will be shot and edited to a 10 minute maximum format. Then they can be posted to Youtube. They can be linked on our website, and American Forests can link to the Youtube videos directly on their website. The entire thing can be put together on a single DVD for distribution with each of the segments as a chapter on the DVD.

These are the themes to address:

Video 1: Measuring Girth
A general introduction to the purpose of the video. The key points that:
a) girth is measured 4.5 feet above the ground level and perpendicular to the trunk axis.
b) Where to measure on a sloping site.
c) how to deal with low branches, burls or irregularities - measure at non-standard height but note the height of measurement
d) what is a multitrunk tree - why it is important not to mix measurements of single trunk and multitrunk trees
Illustration of the pith concept
e) how to measure girth on a multitrunk tree - measure above the merge and note height
f) the idea of basal flair of the trunk, odd shaped trees with pronounced basal flair

Video 2: Measuring Crown Spread
A general introduction to the purpose of the video. The key points that:
a) Crown spread can be measured using the average of the greatest and lesser spread through the mass of the crown
b) measurement by averaging multiple measurements across the entire crown
c) measurement of individual spokes from the outer edge to the side of the trunk or vice-a-versa.
d) brief mention of doing crown volumes based upon average crown spread, base of crown, top of crown, and crown shape referring them to the article I wrote on our website.
This would be a great place to include some measurement video from Larry Tucei with the impressive live oak spreads.

Video 3: Height Measurement 1 of 2
A general introduction to the purpose of the video. The key points that:
a) the goal of the American Forest Big Tree Program - to get people involved in forests and trees
b) measuring height using the distance/angle/tangent method
c) measuring trees using the stick method - the page for it on Scott Wades website is my shot at explaining the methodology
d) Problems with these tangent based methods: sloping ground, leaning trees, mis-identified tops, not being far enough away to see the top, etc. Some general examples of the magnitude of these errors without specific reference to errors in the AF database. Suggest more accurate methods like ENTS, Pole, and Tape Drop mentioned in the next video.

Video 4: Height Measurement 2 of 2
A general introduction to the purpose of the video. The key points that:
a) outline of some of the problems with other methods
b) ENTS laser/sine methodology
c) Pole measurements
d) Tree climb and tape drops
e) Summary, mention also surveying with total station

Video 5: Overview of advanced measurement
A quick overview of some of the other types of measurements ENTS are conducting. These include
a) trunk volume - climb and tape wrap, reticle methods
b) crown mapping
c) site characterization - Rucker indexes, LIDAR, ground shape modeling
d) data management and analysis
Overall summary of the video series.

I want to point out there is a video on Youtube showing Colby Rucker demonstrating the laser/sine method. I propose that people interested in the project provide more detailed storyboards along the themes I have suggested, or as modified by subsequent discussions. Those with video capability or interest, create a video on one of these themes faking it if you don't have the exact footage you need to see about content and pacing considerations.

The goal should be to develop a specific shot list by the Fall Forest Summit and to take a day or two either before or after to shoot the key shots needed to complete the video set. One of these should be a tree climb of a tree in the open so that the tape drop height, and the tape wrap trunk volume can be taped. If it were at the edge of the field the other methods - tape/clinometer, and stick method could be demonstrated.

Ed Frank

Re: New Project Opportunity - VERY IMPORTANT

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:10 pm
by edfrank
“If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but
rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” -Antoine de

Re: New Project Opportunity - VERY IMPORTANT

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:53 pm
by edfrank
AndrewJoslin wrote:As we move forward and nail down a content outline it will be worth considering pro quality video (3-chip camera) and sound. Keith Heyward shot my measuring climb of Joe Norton with pro quality gear and it shows. Keith considers it a toss-off with minimal editing and titling work but you can get an idea of how broadcast quality video really makes a difference. During the climb Keith implemented two different wireless mikes (one on the ground, one on me) so he could choose what sound source to use during editing. Starting at minute 10:13 there's a great segment where Bob talks about the difficulty of measuring pines with multiple leader tops, this is the kind of segment that would be excellent in the AF video.-AJ

Your point about pro quality video is well taken. The pro cameras have bigger sensors. Three chips allow greater resolution and better color saturation. Many pro cameras shoot uncompressed video. On a big screen there is clearly a difference. Still, my AVCHD camcorder shoots much better pictures than did my older three-chip Cannon GL2 dv camcorder. I think the primary distribution will be via the web through a series of videos hosted on Vimeo or YouTube. Given the size constraints on the video that can be posted, I don't really think the additional quality of a pro camera will be easily discernible, if at all, in a web based video platform. The biggest difference between the videos that seem professional and those that look amateurish is the sound quality. A quality edit also has background music, for the most part there are no hand held shots where the image shakes. There isn't bounceback when a pan or tilt stops with a quality tripod. Most of these problems can be overcome if care is taken in the shoot and in the edit. Using a 1080i format also means that it will be more feasible for more different people to participate in the process. The video that is shot can be recorded to a flash drive or SD card and mailed off so that people away from the thick of things can participate. There likely needs to be one editing style, one main narrator, others can play a role and talk on camera, but there should be one main narrator - I nominate Bob to do this. We need innocuous instrumental music for the background, and it needs to be something consistent throughout the entire video. I think that we can do this with the HD cameras we have.