The Friday Roundup – 4K Video, Editing Tips and Audio Scrubbing

The past five or so years have seen remarkable changes in not just the video editing landscape for the average user but also in the ways in which we can shoot footage in the first place.

“Back in the day” the only real choice for getting decent quality video was by using a dedicated camcorder.

Other choices such as still cameras did offer video but it was all quite awful and not just taken at poor resolution.

The video was captured to low quality video files that made editing either a nightmare or just not worth it.

In fact I can still remember writing posts on my blog about the foolishness of shooting on a still camera yet still be constantly fielding comments and questions from readers complaining that whatever camera took terrible video yet it said right there on the box that it would all be awesome!

Cut to today and it is a totally different picture.

Not only have still cameras, as a matter of survival, come up to the standard of the average consumer camcorder in terms of video quality but in many cases they have left some of the traditional manufacturers eating their dust.

On top of that we now have a range of mobile devices that are also competing within this space and they too are getting to the point of turning out some pretty decent quality.

In fact my previous stance of recommending only purpose built camcorders for video shooting has now almost completely reversed.

The state of things at the moment from my perspective is that the only people that would really need a dedicated video camera would be those operating in a professional or at least semi-professional environment.

For everyone else I just don’t see the need for it.

The only real advantage for the average person that a camcorder has is that of shooting convenience and comfort.

What I mean by that is that because camcorders are designed to shoot video they are ergonomically designed to better fulfill that function.

They allow greater physical control over the shooting process and are far easier to keep steady which is vital when shooting in high definition.

However many of us usually not in a position where we actually know what we are going to be shooting, where we will be doing it and when.

OK, we may know that we are going to a family event, or on holidays or to a party or whatever but as far as predicting what will occur and what we are going to shoot we are usually clueless.

The downside of a camcorder is that it is an extra piece of “stuff” that we have to drag along.

We may also need to have possibly one extra lens, just in case, perhaps an extra battery or two, some additional storage media and on and on.

This will all be in addition to carrying a mobile phone which we would be be taking with us anyway.

For anyone with kids you will certainly know that the name of the game is to be constantly stripping off unwanted or unnecessary baggage to keep yourself light, mobile and able to respond to an ever changing set of circumstances!

On the other hand mobile devices and still cameras which you were probably going to take with you anyway, offer that immediate ability to capture the action on the spot.

So What Does All This Have to do With 4K?

At the moment the marketing pressure to get your attention for any of these devices whether it be a camcorder, still camera or video capable mobile device is very intense and as usual this fierce competition results in features being offered that sound great but in reality are kind of not so great… or at least not so useful.

The “feature de jour” (apologies to my high school French teacher for that one.) is the ability to shoot 4K video.

The premise of this is that if high definition is better than standard definition and 2K video is better than high definition then 4K video must just be the bees knees and we all have to have it!

In fact if you check out the links below there is a link to an article that lists 20 cell phones that are now capable of taking 4K video.

Now I am sure that when you are looking for a new device for capturing your video that 4K thingy sounds amazing… I mean that’s two times as much as 2K!!!! Hello!!

Unfortunately as with most marketing there is a bit more to the story.

First, at 4K you are going to need some serious storage space to keep those files, your are probably going to be OK with editing it but you will almost invariably be going to downsize it to high definition so that other people can actually view it!

Check out the other link below to see what 4K really means.

J Cuts, L Cuts and Dead Space

There are million little tips and tricks that editors use to make video, a totally unnatural thing, seem natural!

One of these is the use of J cuts and L cuts to remove dead space! Simple! OK, maybe watch the video and you’ll get the idea

Some More Color Correction

This is a video tutorial by a guy called Steve Hullfish on Color Correction.

Bear in mind that the tutorial itself is being delivered at a professional level and the software and equipment he is using will look quite foreign to you.

He also is talking at quite a technical level but I think that if you just ignore all of that and watch what he is looking at in the image he is trying to correct and how he is going about it there is a lot to learn here.

Turn on the Audio While Scrubbing

This is just a very quick tip from Gripps specifically for Corel VideoStudio.

Often when you are scrubbing through the timeline to find a particular event where you wish to make a cut or add an effect or whatever that event is actually an audio event.

Generally the only way of finding it is by visually scrubbing through the timeline to about the place where you think it may be then playing the clip at that point to find the sound you are looking for.

This is how most editing programs behave by default.

However what you can do is switch the audio on so that it also plays when you are scrubbing making the process easier.

The reason audio is switched off for scrubbing is that it adds more work to be done by the computer and in some cases that work may be the final straw that tips you over into a crash or a freeze.

If you do need this feature at some point I would recommend turning it on when you need it then immediately switching it back off for normal editing.

Green Screen Tips

Finally this week some tips on camera settings for green screen.

Green screen is one of those features in most editing programs that is touted as being so simple to do and any idiot can achieve flawless results blindfolded cos’ it says so right there on the box!

The truth is that yes, most modern editors offer green screen and yes, they work.

The problem is that getting excellent results comes down to a bit more than a quick point and click in the editing stage.

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