Software Demo Video – Smart Grid

Opower Smart Grid from Stracke Visuals Inc. on Vimeo.


Most demo videos out there don’t include an actual person using the product, and it’s for a good reason – it’s hard to do it right. Without the human touch you can make the whole demo video on the computer without shooting any live footage.  For this video though, it was very important that we show live human interaction with the product.  When I was talking to Opower about the best way to demonstrate the product, we decided seeing the product in use would be important to showing how easy it actually is to use.



We shot in studio on a white background that could easily be replaced.  Cooper, the computer operator, sat just out of screen so the camera shot from what would have been his point of view.


While we were filming with the camera, we were simultaneously recording a screen capture on the computer.  This way Cooper’s actions would line up exactly with what was happening on the computer.  The screen was then replaced in post to give us the seamless in and out effect.



When we switched to film the overhead angle, we dropped the table to the floor and had Cooper lay on the floor Thanks for being a good sport, Cooper!

We’re really happy with a final video that goes above and beyond a simple screen capture demo.

San Francisco App Video • Behavioral Demand Response from Opower

Opower has done it again! They are just now releasing a new product called Behavioral Demand Response which lets you be more in-tune with your electric power consumption.  So much so that you will know how much money you will be losing or saving just by adjusting your thermostat in real time. That’s just scratching the surface of what Opower’s Behavioral Demand Response is.  You can click here to read more about it from them.

[vimeo 73248614 w=800&h=450]


For this shoot we had less than a week to find a location and a family.  Lo and behold we did it!

Shooting this project was pretty straight forward and took us less than a day.  From the beginning Opower wanted to have some graphics on the shots to show in more detail about what was happening or what the subject was viewing.  So to make it more interesting than just flashing text on the screen we decided to go with an integrated approach, to make it look like the text was a part of the shot.


This was accomplished by capturing a smooth dolly shot on set and then using a 3D camera tracking tool in post to analyze the footage.


The biggest points are what the computer determined to be closest to the camera and then the smallest are the furthest away.  The computer then tracks those points through out the shot to create a new camera in the editing software that matches up with the movement of the real camera that took the shot.  Then it’s just a matter of inserting the graphics at the desired spot in the shot.  I wanted there to be some obvious parallax so I put the Facebook box on the coffee table so you could see the background and foreground move against the graphic.  In the final output it looks like the graphic is glued to the table.

Here are some more photos from the shoot.

Opower-BDR-1 Opower-BDR-2 Opower-BDR-3 Opower-BDR-4



Big thanks to Opower for a great shoot and the Perrys for being our fantastic power saving family!

iBird for Google Glasses • San Francisco App Video


The creator of iBird emailed me asking if it would be possible to make an example video for what iBird would be like on Google Glasses in just 2 days.  I said “Of course!”  This was all for the #ifihadglass competition where Google would choose some of the best ideas to receive Google Glasses before anyone else.  That would be a huge head start for any developer!  So we modeled our take of how iBird would work off the current sample that Google put out in this video.  For the competition all the videos had to be no more than 15 seconds.  Imagine the possibilities with more than 15 seconds!

[vimeo w=800&h=450]


What do you think?  Would that be cool or what?