The Friday Roundup – Shooting Tips, Audio Tutorials and Drones

Tips for Shooting Like an Editor

I’ve probably been banging on about this for years now but you know you can’t repeat the basics often enough in my opinion.

Easily the biggest problem the average amatuer video editor has at any time is that he or she is trying to polish a turd!

What I mean by that is that the average person has a limited skillset with which to work in the first place.

They are usually learning how to use their editing program and are not fully aware of what it can really do and even if they do, they don’t know (yet) how to actually do it!

But even with this limited scenario before them they could probably turn out something half decent IF… they had decent footage to begin with.

You see the biggest problem is not the editing, the biggest problem is in the shooting of that video in the first place.

Now I am certainly not saying that the only way to correct this situation is to learn how to be a pro videographer so that you can editing to a good result.

That’s not at all necessary.

But if you would just take the time to learn what it is you are supposed to be doing when you are getting your footage shot and do so with editing in mind, something magical happens.

Your time sitting in front of the computer suddenly becomes so much more enjoyable and you result so much better.

Following on from my previous blurb about improving you editing by improving your shooting here is another article to give you inspiration. Some really great tips here on types of shots you can use in your projects to add that little something extra to help you stand out from the crowd.

Masking Text

Just about every project you will create at some point will need you to add text of some description.

Even if it is only a brief title at the beginning that will at least “set up” the audience so that they know what is coming.

In most videos the opening titles and the end credits, even if it is just “The End” are the usual suspects when it comes to text.

Of course subtitles are another use of text as are “Closed Captions.”

Some people even go so far as to add text annotations to parts of their projects to provide background information or some kind of explanation as to what has just happened, is happening is is about to happen.

These can all be useful in their place but generally speaking they are presented in a pretty static manner or follow the scrolling text model.

In the video below Gripps goes into yet another way of using masks to spice things up and in this third installment on masks goes into some more advanced methods of spicing up your text.

Corel VideoStudio Pro X7, Masking Text

An Awesome Audio Editing Tutorial

One of the features of modern video editors especially at the hobbyist or consumer end of the market that has been improving remarkably is that of audio control.

I still believe that CyberLink are pretty much at the head of the field here with their built in solutions in conjunction with the audio editor they ship with PowerDirector.

However any audio editing solution is only ever going to be as good as the person running it, they are after all, just tools.

As far as freebies go you can’t really go past Audacity which is an incredible free audio editing program.

One technique you can use with audio editors is to get rid of unwanted sounds but the problem with that is that simply cutting that sound leaves “dead space” in the audio track.

That dead space is often such an obvious moment of unnatural total silence that it can be worse than the original.

In the tutorial below the guys from TechSmith outline a procedure for dealing with how to replace unwanted sound with ambient sound from your existing audio track. It’s an excellent tutorial and you can really learn a lot from it on how to get a track completely up to par for your projects.

How to Edit Narration in Audacity

Mobile  Taking Over

Probably the easiest way for anyone these days to share their video projects with friends, family or the whole world is to simply upload it to YouTube or Vimeo or some similar service.

In the past the slowly increasing mobile share of the market seemed to be introducing a complexity into the equation that many found difficult to deal with.

It seemed for a while that the only way of being able to create video that everyone could access was to create your one project in a multitude of formats and delivery paradigms in order to get seen.

With the adoption of HTML5 as a browser based (rather than player based) format and the adoption by YouTube and Vimeo of multiple format availability this is not not really a problem for most people.

This is really good news for all of us that upload video to the internet because the share of people using mobile devices to access video content is increasing at a phenomenal rate.

In fact it’s not just how many people are doing it that is astounding, it is just how much content they are consuming that is increasing exponentially.

  • Mobile Video Views Up by 400% on 2012, Set to Increase


With the introduction of HTML5 Video to the internet as the go to solution to replace Flash many people may feel a little confused or in the dark as to what it means.

Actually it doesn’t really mean much at all from a video creation point of view except that the need for you to include a player with your video if it is on a website is now a thing of the past.

Take a look at the article below to get an idea.

Finally Some Sanity at YouTube (Relatively speaking of course!)

One recent complaint from many YouTube users has been the removal or restriction of their uploaded videos or even in some cases, the banning of accounts due to the use of copyrighted music.

In some of these cases the actions of YouTube were certainly warranted but in many, the heavy handed approach by them was not received well.

This week YouTube have announced (finally) a new feature to help the uninitiated traverse this minefield.

They have introduced a new search function into their Audio Library module that will allow you to search the track you are intending to use.

Importantly, you can do this before you actually upload.

Once you have searched the track by name, YouTube will present a report to you that will let you know what restrictions, if any, will apply if you go ahead with it.

Conversely if it finds no restriction, it will let you know everything is OK and you are good to go.

Drone News!

Recently there was a rash of articles and speculation on the internet and in the mainstream media regarding the use of drones for shooting videos.

Based on one particular article in the Wall Street Journal it seemed that in the U.S. at least, the FAA was somehow going to implement a requirement that anyone using drones would have to hold a pilots licence.

At the time I looked at some of the headlines and because I don’t really see myself using s drone, didn’t really pay much attention.

Although I must admit that at the time I thought to myself that it seemed a little extreme!

Anyway, it turns out that just because something is on the internet it may not necessarily be true… who knew?

The key here is that the original WSJ article is best described as “speculative ” and “interpretive.”

Which as we all know in real language means they took one tiny little point, left out a whole bunch of points then wrote a whole piece based on whatever the hell came into their minds at the time based on what would increase circulation.

For a more considered approach, click the link below.

  • KEEP CALM: The FAA and sUAVs/Drone Rules Examined
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