CCC gets preview of new video technology Editing system could transform computer design

April 21, 1996|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

To hear Ed Goldberg tell it, he and his students at Carroll Community College are some of the first witnesses to the next wave of the computer revolution.

They're getting an early look at a new computer video editing system that makes it possible to edit videotape on a computer screen, much like editing copy on a word processor.

According to Mr. Goldberg, the technology, called nonlinear video editing, will eventually allow the average person to produce high quality videos using a computer, just as desktop publishing made it possible for anyone with a computer and the proper software to be a graphic designer.

"This is probably the hottest direction that computers are going in," said Mr. Goldberg, the college's only full-time instructor in computer-aided design, computer graphics and multimedia.

"The VCR and the video tape recorder are becoming obsolete; in a few years they'll be replaced by the computer," he said.

Mr. Goldberg's work as a writer for Computer Video, a trade publication, made it possible for Carroll Community College to obtain the state-of-the-art nonlinear video editing system. Editors at the magazine asked Mr. Goldberg to test the equipment for an article.

"Very few people around the country have the whole system," said Mr. Goldberg, who was a Baltimore architect and industrial designer before he started teaching five years ago. He's been at Carroll Community College for the past two years.

Mr. Goldberg's presence at the school has brought a higher profile to the college's work in computer-aided design. In the fall, he and a student used computer animation technology to design a virtual reality video of Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the altar constructed for the visit of Pope John Paul II.

"I would like to think that we are in the forefront of computer graphics," said James P. Bruns, vice president of academic affairs at the college.

"Professor Goldberg has been able to establish his reputation to such an extent that software companies are beginning to send their trial versions to us," he said.

Last week, Mr. Goldberg demonstrated the video editing system at the college, using a computer to shuffle videotaped images into a desired sequence.

"I was able to tear that piece of video up and put it together in all kinds of different ways just like with a word processor," Mr. Goldberg told a group of students and college administrators at his presentation.

He said the new technology produces images of broadcast quality and eliminates the tedious and time-consuming videotape-editing process of constant rewinding to find the exact spot on a tape.

The computer video editing equipment consists of a 300 megahertz Aspen/Alpha processor, one of the fastest processors manufactured; a Digital Processing Systems "video capture board"; and Speed Razor software made by a Bethesda company.

"As the video comes into the computer, the board compresses it and drops it onto the hard drive," Mr. Goldberg explained.

The equipment costs about $18,000, a steep drop from the $200,000 price of two years ago.

"Like everything else in technology, it will get better, smaller and cheaper," Mr. Goldberg said.

He said the technology has practical applications for the advertising, architecture and graphic design industries and for companies that make in-house commercials or training films.

As director of business and industry training at Carroll Community College, Ellen Willis saw some immediate potential uses for the video technology.

"Since I work with businesses I recognize the ability to make really quick training ads, so we can show businesses the type of training we do," Ms. Willis said. "It also helps businesses create their own marketing tools."

Within five years, Mr. Goldberg predicts that the impact of computer video editing will extend to the average person's daily life.

"Your friend is not going to send you a photo of where they've been," Mr. Goldberg said. "They're going to send you a movie or video and it's going to be high quality."

Pub Date: 4/21/96

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