Video Frame Rates: What You Need to Know
I have had a few questions this week on the subject of shooting and editing in some quite specific circumstances.
One of the problems that keeps coming up is that a lot of people are not really familiar with the effect certain file settings will have on the final result.
Things such as frame rates, data rates, resolution and on and on all play their part and if you don’t really have at least a rudimentary grasp of them it all goes bad very quickly.
So this week I thought I would spend a little time on frame rates.
For most people shooting at an mateur level there will be a relatively small variation in the frame rates they are offered but in many cases amateur shooters are not even aware there is a choice!
Some of the basic frame rates are 24fps which is the standard inherited from film shooting, 25 fps which is the standard that came from the mainly European PAL TV system, 29.97fps from the U.S. NTSC TV system and to be honest… on and on it goes!
On top of that there is the “interlaced” or “progressive” question and when you put it all together it has been quite a mess.
So, if you are dealing with footage that you are shooting now in a relatively new camera there is good news!
These days most devices are going to automatically eliminate the “interlaced” vs. “progressive” question altogether.
They are all pretty much set to progressive because the interlaced system was a carryover from old fashioned TVs.
These days TV screens and computer screens display on a progressive basis rather than by an electron gun at the back of the screen firing in lines down the screen to create the image.
If you are dealing with old footage then you are going to have to learn at least a little about all this before you will be able to achieve good results.
Probably the key factor to know about all of this is that when you are dealing with any footage from a video source you must retain the same frame rate throughout the project or at least as far into the project as you can.
If you are mixing footage from different sources that have different frame rates then you need to work out which frame rate will be the one used more than any other.
Set this as the final frame rate for your projects.
Before you introduce any of the different frame rate footage to the project, process it in your video editing software to change the frame rate.
This footage will have to be dealt with at some point and it is far better to do so before you begin editing than leaving it to the final render.
Leaving it to the end results in enormous pressure being placed on your computer system and is just asking for trouble.
Finally the main point in frame rates is that you select a common frame rate for your projects based on the final outcome you are looking at.
It is another example of the “shoot to edit” concept that all the pro’s use on a daily basis. To get some ideas on the suitability of some frame rates over others check out the video.
The Ultimate Green Screen Tutorial
As I mentioned in another section of this week’s Friday Roundup I have been getting some questions that keep repeating and one of those themes is green screen.
In fact this is a topic that never seems to go away and there is one major reason for it.
Over and over again I see marketing and advertising materials from video editing software makers enthusiastically extolling the virtues of their awesomely amazing green screen capabilities.
It’s all just a matter of one click and we are off to a Hollywood movie magical wonderland… not!
Here’s the real deal.
The software part of green screen is about as low tech as you can get and in fact even the most rubbish image editing software can achieve it in a still image.
All it really takes is the software to be able to isolate a shade of green and remove it digitally from the image or video.
It is only a little more difficult in video because it has to do it over and over frame by frame… but it is still a rudimentary process.
The problem people always hit when trying to execute green screen is that the results look crappy!
Well it doesn’t really matter which software you are using because remember, the process is dead simple.
The bottom line on green screen is that at least 90% of the result you will get is as a result of how you shot the footage in the first place.
There are a number of key points that must be dealt with in the shooting stage which if not followed well, will result in your fooling around at the post production stage going crazy.
So for probably the third time in recent memory here is what I believe to be the best green screen tutorial that is around.
It is by the Basic Film Maker and in this (long) video he covers every little detail about how to set up, light and shoot your way to green screen success.
Speed up Win 10 for Video Editing
I very often get questions (or complaints!) from people visiting this site about some software or another making their lives miserable because it just won’t do what it is supposed to do or does it badly.
At a very rough guess I would say that about 90% of these “problems” are not really the software at all but are in fact coming from other parts of the process.
Out of sync problems, crashes, freezes or a whole bunch of other things generally prove themselves to be very difficult to deal with because of one main factor.
That factor is that the user is so fixated on the software (because that’s what he is looking at) as the source of the problem, he or she fails to consider other options.
If I hit a glitch in my editing or rendering or if I get a crash or a freeze, the absolute LAST thing I consider is the software I am using.
The FIRST thing I look at is a list of other things that have caused the software to perform incorrectly.
Things like background processes running or other programs running at the same time that could be hogging resources.
File fragmentation on the hard drive or even corruption within a file that I am using.
It is only after I have exhausted all of these possibilities do I then start to focus on the software and even then I work on the assumption that if given the chance, the software would do what I want.
Like I said, in 90% of case I have found a solution to the problem long before I start looking at the software.
One final point to keep in mind is that Windows itself comes out of the box with an enormous number of settings that have been optimized for appearance, not performance.
These appearance based options use up resources and when you are editing high definition video you don’t need pretty, you need power.
The link below goes to a little tutorial on optimizing your Windows installation to release more resources to actual work rather than looking pretty.
In the final section under the advanced settings ask yourself in all honesty whether or not you really need to have your mouse cast a little trail as it moves across the screen?
Does it really need a shadow?
Take a look at all those setting and understand they are there to improve the look of your installation but in the process take up resources.
PIP Zoom Tutorial in CyberLink PowerDirector 15
One of the most powerful features that has been introduced into the world of consumer level video editing is probably about the un-sexiest thing you can think of when t comes to marketing.
That’s probably why it only ever seems to get barely mentioned in the glittering promotional materials!
The feature I talking about is keyframes. Still awake?
Anyway, keyframes are little markers that can be used to implement changes, filters effects etc at some point in a clip and then have that effect continue or change at a set rate until the next keyframe is hit.
It is the basis of PiP effects, masking, motion tracking and a whole slew of things you probably take for granted.
In the video below Malik runs through the process of using the PiP effect in PowerDirector and having the effect begin, change and end in a gradual way using keyframes.
The actual effect and the method of keyframing is common to most video editing software programs so even if you don’t use PowerDirector it is worth taking a look at.
Magix Video Pro X Updates
This week Magix announced some changes to their professional video editing suite, Video Pro X.
As far as this website goes I place Video Pro X at about the top of the heap in terms of who it is aimed at and to be honest for most people it would be a bit of an overkill!
However if you are looking to get into video production at a reasonable price on the basis of taking to a pro level then I highly recommend taking a look at this one.
The changes they have announced are with regards to the theor color correction and grading tools built into the program.
They have taken it from a natively 8 bit color set up that could handle 16 bit up to a natively 16 bit standard.
Given the plethora of HD footage around these days it was only a matter of time before they had to do this and so it is done!
Check the link below for a full rundown on what it means to the video editor dealing with high quality HD footage.
Post Production in Movie Edit Pro
Quite a while back now Magix posted an excellent article on their blog covering some of the main terminology that arises in the world of shooting video.
Rather than just given a dry definition of some of the main concepts they went into great detail on each one giving insight into what each term was and how it fitted into the overall of a shoot.
You can read that article HERE.
This week they finally backed it up with another excellent piece this time covering the various activities that we loosely gather under the term “post production.”
Post production actually refers to anything done after the initial shooting is done and although editing is part of it there are many others aspects to it.
The article covers these aspects and again gives some great insight into each and how it fits into the big picture.
On top of that the article is laid out in what would usually be the right sequence in tackling each part of the post production process.