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Thread: Taking a video to the next level

  1. Default Taking a video to the next level

    Hello gents and gals. Im sure this topic has been discussed in length, so pardon my repeat question. I was hoping i could be directed to a good how to, or tutorial, or just get some pointers on making that armature video pop, and look more professional. Im talking about finishing touches and post production, lens flares, color correction, e.c.t. Im using Sony Vegas. I am not ready for complex tools and procedures, just some tips on the basic tools that should be used to finish up any edit.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IDtrucks View Post
    Hello gents and gals. Im sure this topic has been discussed in length, so pardon my repeat question. I was hoping i could be directed to a good how to, or tutorial, or just get some pointers on making that armature video pop, and look more professional. Im talking about finishing touches and post production, lens flares, color correction, e.c.t. Im using Sony Vegas. I am not ready for complex tools and procedures, just some tips on the basic tools that should be used to finish up any edit.
    Thanks!
    Some of below as part of the answer, some as general info for those lurkers who read but never post.....

    Much of what makes a good video is actually in the "shoot-for-the-edit" part, then the edit can progress much better in the first place. Lots of people could make awesome videos if they just record (and be steady) a couple of seconds earlier and held on to the shot for a couple of seconds more before pressing stop in order to give themselves some 'handles' to edit with.

    For shooting:

    Steady shooting (not hand held wobbly). video is enhanced by cameras that move, but only in a controlled and smooth way. if it's shaky as hell then it's unwatchable for many people.

    Good framing - don't cut off the heads or limbs at any joints (elbows, wrists, ankles etc)

    Don't abuse the zoom function - zooming in video is not natural - so try to edit out the zooms!

    Good exposure (try not to use automatic modes!)

    Good Audio (this is something most people forget!). People can put up with a poor shot from time to time but if the audio is bad they won't watch it.

    Good b-roll (cutaways) and good additional ambient audio to help transition from shot to shot without it being 'jarring'.

    In editing:

    Establishing shots to give context of where you are before diving in to what's happening

    For cuts, good pace, don't hold a shot too long, don't cut too soon - too many people think they need to include everything - when it only ends up with a boring shot. Sometimes less is more.

    Don't cross dissolve too much - TV & Hollywood rarely cross dissolve but amateurs do it a lot

    Don't use cheesy dissolves and transitions - they scream amateur

    L & J cuts on the audio to enhance transitions from one location to another - helps build anticipation that something is about to happen (J cut) and helps smooth that transition in to the next scene (L cut).

    Good colour correction - this can mean multiple colour corrections even within the same frame. I rarely have just one colour correction in a scene. Get a good overall white balance in the first correction then add layers of corrections to add vignettes (draws the viewer's eyes to specific areas) and to help enhance or reduce the appeal / distraction of other areas.

    Any backing music needs to compliment, not take over. I see way too many videos where the music is TOO LOUD! Make sure it dips when anyone is speaking.

    Timing of cuts to the beats and bars of music is a major deal and helps the brain concentrate and seems natural. If your music and video cuts are out of sync (by that I mean the shots cut between beats of music rather than on them) then it's actually harder to watch and so less enjoyable.

    In terms of the complex tools and procedures, often they are what really make that final 2% of a video that really stands out, but if you don't want to learn them then that's understandable.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Partington View Post
    Some of below as part of the answer, some as general info for those lurkers who read but never post.....

    Much of what makes a good video is actually in the "shoot-for-the-edit" part, then the edit can progress much better in the first place. Lots of people could make awesome videos if they just record (and be steady) a couple of seconds earlier and held on to the shot for a couple of seconds more before pressing stop in order to give themselves some 'handles' to edit with.

    For shooting:

    Steady shooting (not hand held wobbly). video is enhanced by cameras that move, but only in a controlled and smooth way. if it's shaky as hell then it's unwatchable for many people.

    Good framing - don't cut off the heads or limbs at any joints (elbows, wrists, ankles etc)

    Don't abuse the zoom function - zooming in video is not natural - so try to edit out the zooms!

    Good exposure (try not to use automatic modes!)

    Good Audio (this is something most people forget!). People can put up with a poor shot from time to time but if the audio is bad they won't watch it.

    Good b-roll (cutaways) and good additional ambient audio to help transition from shot to shot without it being 'jarring'.

    In editing:

    Establishing shots to give context of where you are before diving in to what's happening

    For cuts, good pace, don't hold a shot too long, don't cut too soon - too many people think they need to include everything - when it only ends up with a boring shot. Sometimes less is more.

    Don't cross dissolve too much - TV & Hollywood rarely cross dissolve but amateurs do it a lot

    Don't use cheesy dissolves and transitions - they scream amateur

    L & J cuts on the audio to enhance transitions from one location to another - helps build anticipation that something is about to happen (J cut) and helps smooth that transition in to the next scene (L cut).

    Good colour correction - this can mean multiple colour corrections even within the same frame. I rarely have just one colour correction in a scene. Get a good overall white balance in the first correction then add layers of corrections to add vignettes (draws the viewer's eyes to specific areas) and to help enhance or reduce the appeal / distraction of other areas.

    Any backing music needs to compliment, not take over. I see way too many videos where the music is TOO LOUD! Make sure it dips when anyone is speaking.

    Timing of cuts to the beats and bars of music is a major deal and helps the brain concentrate and seems natural. If your music and video cuts are out of sync (by that I mean the shots cut between beats of music rather than on them) then it's actually harder to watch and so less enjoyable.

    In terms of the complex tools and procedures, often they are what really make that final 2% of a video that really stands out, but if you don't want to learn them then that's understandable.



    Thank you very much for the reply! Very good things to remember when actually gathering the footage! The project in question for me right now is actually a promo video for a local rafting outfit. So its not very high on the complex scale lol. Ive done enough playing around edits, now I want this one to look visibly better, quality wise, than the others. I always make sure cuts and shots are synced to the music. im fine tuning those down to the half second. I of course used no cheesy cuts. One blur and one fade in the beginning. I feel like i have a good grasp on shot lengths, by that I mean not including too much and making shots last too long.


    Its this most importantly:

    Good colour correction - this can mean multiple colour corrections even within the same frame. I rarely have just one colour correction in a scene. Get a good overall white balance in the first correction then add layers of corrections to add vignettes (draws the viewer's eyes to specific areas) and to help enhance or reduce the appeal / distraction of other areas.

    and this

    In terms of the complex tools and procedures, often they are what really make that final 2% of a video that really stands out, but if you don't want to learn them then that's understandable.


    that I think im going after.



    I assume it would be ok to post up the video once the initial editing is done and maybe get some suggestions?

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IDtrucks View Post
    im fine tuning those down to the half second
    That's not enough. Fine tune them to the frame. People with a sense of timing will immediately notice the difference and if it's wrong it can be seriously distracting. Half a second is a long time (12-15 frames). If you don't think it's that important, time shift the audio from some one speaking by half a second and see how easy / hard it is to watch them talk with the audio out of sync.

    Quote Originally Posted by IDtrucks View Post
    Its this most importantly:

    • Good colour correction - this can mean multiple colour corrections even within the same frame. I rarely have just one colour correction in a scene. Get a good overall white balance in the first correction then add layers of corrections to add vignettes (draws the viewer's eyes to specific areas) and to help enhance or reduce the appeal / distraction of other areas.

    and this

    In terms of the complex tools and procedures, often they are what really make that final 2% of a video that really stands out, but if you don't want to learn them then that's understandable.

    that I think im going after.

    I assume it would be ok to post up the video once the initial editing is done and maybe get some suggestions?
    Sure, go ahead, happy to have a look.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Partington View Post
    That's not enough. Fine tune them to the frame. People with a sense of timing will immediately notice the difference and if it's wrong it can be seriously distracting. Half a second is a long time (12-15 frames). If you don't think it's that important, time shift the audio from some one speaking by half a second and see how easy / hard it is to watch them talk with the audio out of sync.



    Sure, go ahead, happy to have a look.
    Thank you very much! Maybe a half second was even a bit long. i am always aiming right on the beat, so i think my guess of a half second was longer than what I strive for. Im very nit picky with music sync, especially in a video like that. Ill get it edited down to what I can and throw it up. I appreciate the help!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by IDtrucks View Post
    i am always aiming right on the beat,
    Seeing as you're in Vegas, this is what I (and most people I know) do in Vegas.
    Play the track on the timeline and press the "M" key on every beat (or whatever subdivision you think is appropriate). This places a marker at exactly the right place on the timeline. When you edit you snap your cuts to these markers (I don;'t mean evey one or this becomes very dull and hypnotic, aim for some variation - some shots lasting tho bars, some shots only half a bar and occasional very quick shots (eg where you get a rat-a-tat snare or something), just make sure the cuts are on the beats.

    To get it even more precice, when you are adding the markers, playback at half speed (there's a speed control at the lower left)

    One more thing - avoid getting every cut on the beat - This surprised me, but i analysed the Pharell Williams "Happy" official vids and noticed the cuts are rarely on the bar, and occasionally not even on a beat. What's more they seem to ve very short (single frame) disolves rather than hard cuts. Of course this may be a result of recompression for YT or similar but it just takes the edge off each cut.
    Tim

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    Wow - sorry I just read tim's comment without reading the previous posts and misunderstood the "beat" to be in the context of a story beat in a screenplay rather than a music beat - I got 3/4 of the way through tim's post thinking that he had gone mental - then had a glance at the other posts

    what he said

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Seeing as you're in Vegas, this is what I (and most people I know) do in Vegas.
    Play the track on the timeline and press the "M" key on every beat (or whatever subdivision you think is appropriate). This places a marker at exactly the right place on the timeline. When you edit you snap your cuts to these markers (I don;'t mean evey one or this becomes very dull and hypnotic, aim for some variation - some shots lasting tho bars, some shots only half a bar and occasional very quick shots (eg where you get a rat-a-tat snare or something), just make sure the cuts are on the beats.

    To get it even more precice, when you are adding the markers, playback at half speed (there's a speed control at the lower left)

    One more thing - avoid getting every cut on the beat - This surprised me, but i analysed the Pharell Williams "Happy" official vids and noticed the cuts are rarely on the bar, and occasionally not even on a beat. What's more they seem to ve very short (single frame) disolves rather than hard cuts. Of course this may be a result of recompression for YT or similar but it just takes the edge off each cut.

    Cool! I had not noticed the marker tool before. Very helpful!

    And I know exactly what you mean about not having every cut on the beat. I cant explain why it flows like it does, but those off beat cuts that you get at the right time are a nice touch.

  9. Default

    OK Im back. I got the video cut together and started to experiment with color correction. This is really my first time using color correction so im sure this is a ton of stuff to critique. I mostly used the color correction effect, with the 3 color wheels and gamma/saturation adjust, color curve tool, and sharpen. The color editing looked more drastic in vegas and my fear was over cooking it so I took it easy. But when it was rendered the amount of color correction didnt seem as drastic. In the video I have the edit on the left and the first attempt at color correction on the right.

    To me the actual editing is done. Im pleased at the clips and transitions and i have edited the volumes. The only thing left to actually add will be a credit roll at the end and some promotional text in the last 2 scenes. So if anyone notices anything off with the editing let me know! As far as the color correction, let me know if you noticed me using too much of something, not enough, colors look like crap...e.c.t

    Thanks!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cF84...ature=youtu.be

  10. #10
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    Nice job! You've got rid of the haziness in some of the shots and added quite a bit of "depth". The saturation was a bot overcooked for my liking (close to what I might use for a kids birthday party), but this is really a matter of taste. Well done.
    Tim

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