12th Annual Video Review of Computational Geometry

Preparing Submissions

Submission Requirements

This year there are several options for submitting videos/multimedia. Below are all the technical requirements; restrictions on length and accompanying descriptions are described in the Call for Videos and Multimedia.

Physical submissions. As in previous years, we accept VHS tapes with your video and audio; we also accept DVD. In both cases, we prefer NTSC, but PAL submissions are also possible. If neither VHS nor DVD is possible, we also accept MiniDV, but we would prefer an electronic submission in that case. Of course, VHS is the lowest quality of these three options. Physical submissions must arrive for the video chair by February 7, 2003, so they must be sent significantly earlier.

Electronic submission. Electronic submission is strongly encouraged. We accept MPEG, AVI, and Quicktime formats with or without audio tracks. Such video must be compressed using a free and readily available codec; your submission must specify which codec you use. For the final version, and ideally also for the submission version, the video should be encoded in very high quality. The resolution must be 720x480 and 29.97 frames per second (NTSC). For MPEG submissions, detailed instructions are included below. For AVI submission, we recommend the lossless codec huffyuv. For Quicktime, we recommend the lossless animation codec. Audio can be encoded within the video file or submitted separately in WAV, AIFF, or MP3 format.

Multimedia. We also offer to generate the video ourselves by running a submitted self-driving program. In particular, we accept PowerPoint slide-shows (with an optional voice-over), as described below, and Java applets. Only Windows programs can be accepted at this time. The audio can be generated by the program (or included in the PowerPoint file) or be submitted seperately as described under Electronic submission.

Submission process. To submit large files electronically, do not send them in email. You can either email a URL from which the files can be downloaded (see below), or upload the files to our FTP server (recommended). To automatically obtain an account on our FTP server, send email to socg03v@theory.lcs.mit.edu with the subject "REGISTER". Your email will receive an immediate response with detailed instructions on how to login and upload your files.

No matter how you submit your video, you should email the video chair so that we can keep track of your submission. Please attach your 1- or 2-page video description (in PostScript or PDF format) to the email. If you cannot use attachments, either include PostScript in the email body, or send a URL, or upload to the FTP server. In addition, your email cover letter should state the following:

  1. The title of your video
  2. The authors
  3. Email address of contact person (the From email header should suffice)
  4. Information about how to access your files, either:
  5. Any specific instructions for displaying/running your files
  6. If you submit electronic video and/or audio, you must specify what format and codec(s) you use.

PowerPoint slide-shows and voice-overs

One of the easiest preparation methods is to prepare a PowerPoint presentation, and then record a narration. In general, you can submit PowerPoint slide-shows with or without voice-overs.

To prepare a slide-show with voice-over, load any PowerPoint presentation, and select "Record Narration..." from the "Slide Show" menu. Press the "Change Quality" button and select the highest quality audio (48kHz, 16 bit, Mono, 93 kbits/sec, or 48kHz, 16 bit, Stereo, 187 kbits/sec). Then hit "OK" a couple of times and start recording. Naturally, you will need a microphone (or some other source of audio).

To prepare a slide-show without voice-over (so that you can send us the audio track separately), you just need to set the "slide timings" in the presentation. The easiest way to do this is to select "Rehearse Timings" from the "Slide Show" menu and interactively click through the slides at the right times. To modify the duration of an individual slide, select "Slide Transition" from the "Slide Show" menu and enter the desired time into "Advance slide Automatically after".

In either case, save the open PPT file and you are done. To watch the video, select "View Show" from the "Slide Show" menu. We will probably be rendering the PowerPoint at 640x480 resolution with 32-bit color, so you should test your presentation at that resolution if possible.

We recommend that your PowerPoint presentation includes animations. There are a wealth of animation options in all versions of PowerPoint; look at the "Custom Animation" option from the "Slide Show" menu. In PowerPoint 2002/XP, you can even animate objects along arbitrary curves.

Preparing MPEG-2 video from still frames

If you submit in MPEG format, it must be in MPEG-2 prepared for NTSC video (each frame is 720x480 and 29.97 frames/second) and encoded at a bitrate of 8 Mbits/second. This format is precisely what will appear on the DVD.

There are several MPEG-2 encoders available. One freely available encoder that we recommend is mpeg2encode (the reference implementation of the MPEG-2 standard). Available for download are

mpeg2encode requires the definition of a rather complex parameter file. To save you time and make encoding almost effortless, we provide a sample parameter file. All you need to do is modify the parameter file to specify the naming convention of your files, and run the following command:

mpeg2encode parameter_file output.mpg

For more details, the documentation is in doc/mpeg2enc.doc.