Tulip Kaleidoscope

This is video #48 of my #100videoclips project. It is also the solution to a problem that I’ve had for a while….

Nearly a year ago, I created a bunch of short kaleidoscopic video clips, and I’ve been trying to figure out ever since how to publish them online. I have wanted them to be reasonably high resolution but also able to run in an endless loop. But I haven’t gotten it to work until now.

I assumed animated gifs on Tumblr would be the way to go. Unfortunately, Tumblr has a file-size limit of 1 MB — or something: It’s not really clear, but I can never get larger gifs to do anything more than just sit there (that is, not animate).

Video clips like this just don’t do well as animated gifs: The gif format doesn’t handle video clips like this very efficiently, despite limiting them to only 256 colors. My 3-second gif files were generally between 3 and 10 MB, for full-color mp4 video files that were 1.5 MB or less.

(I do have another version of this as an animated gif, but the file size is twice as big, with lower resolution, so I prefer this method. I feel like this opens up a lot more possibilities.)

I thought of using Instagram video, but I couldn’t figure out how to get around the limitation that videos only be created on their phone-based app.

I found some hack work-arounds, but they seemed ridiculously complicated, so I just moved on to other things.

In the last couple of days, I decided to look at it again. I read a few tips and watched a couple of tutorials until I had enough information to figure out what would work for me. And it turned out to be fairly simple.

Basically, the Instagram app will (now) use any video on your phone’s storage. So, you just have to get your mp4 video into the right directory (DCIM on my Android phone) and then access it through the Instagram app.

I’m using the File Commander app to move files around, along with Box online storage, but Dropbox or Google Drive would work just as well.

The steps are these:

  1. Create the video and save it as .mp4. I use PremierePro, and I make them 1080×1080, so they are already “Instagram” square.
  2. Copy the video to your online storage. In my case, I just put it in my Box subdirectory, and it gets uploaded to my online account.
  3. Use File Commander (or something similar) to connect to your Box account and copy the the video file, then paste it into to your DCIM folder.
  4. Open Instagram, access the video from your gallery and process it like any other IG video.

This video is #48 for my #100videoclips project. I may be putting up quite a few more of these.