OK, so it has come to my attention that we are officially at the beginning of the silly season.
Of course for me the silly season is that time of year when all the major video editing software companies roll out their updates in preparation for their own silly season… the Christmas New Year holiday period.
It is pure silliness for me because I have to find the time to download and test this years updates and get them all posted on to the site which unfortunately involves the practice of writing.
I particularly detest writing.
So far this year Magix have updated Video Pro X and just recently released the new version of Movie Edit Pro.
In keeping with their new “unmarked” model Video Pro X and Movie Edit Pro do not carry version numbers or even the year in their titles anymore.
This is all part of the new pricing system they are operating on which seems to involve an inital purchase that carries within it a year of updates.
After that it seems the software still runs but updates can only happen if you pay again for another year.
Their website says, “at a discounted price” but nowhere can I find what that price actually is.
I have reached out to them on this so we will see where all this goes.
CyberLink are due to be releasing updates for their “Director” series sometime around this month so I am guessing that will take us up to PowerDirector 15, PhotoDirector 8, Director Suite 5, AudioDirector 7 and ColorDirector 5.
And finally Corel have recently released the latest version of Pinnacle Studio taking us to version 20.
This one I don’t mind because I have already finished the review and you can read it here.
So because of all this activity this week’s Roundup may be looking a little thin!
Bear with me because hopefully it will all be over soon!
360° Editing – The New Marketing Darling!
What I have gathered is that for this year and moving into the next, the big bells and whistles feature is going to be (or already is in some cases) 360° editing.
Magix kicked this off earlier in the year by adding the ability to import 360° footage and work with it.
Unfortunately they didn’t really mention the fact that even though you could do that, all you could do with the footage was to then select one angle and add it to a normal 2D or 3D project.
With the new versions of Video Pro X and Movie Edit Pro they have addressed this little shortcoming and now you can fully edit these files and output to a 360° final file.
The new version of Pinnacle Studio 20 also offers this feature and is the reason why they enhanced their multi cam editing module to incorporate 6 videos at once.
360° degree footage requires the simultaneous shooting of six cams at the one time to achive the total surround effect.
I would expect that by the beginning of next year all the software makers at this level will have caught up on this and will be very loudly extolling the virtues of being able to edit 360° footage… even though the vast majority have to access to that footage or means to capture it!
Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate – Motion Tracking Tutorial
In light of the addition of Pinnacle Studio 20 to the DiyVideoEditor stable of acceptable software, I thought I might include this video for this week.
Pinnacle have added some great improvements to their motion tracking capabilities so what better than a video to let you see how it all goes down.
What Camera Should I Buy?
A while back I added a whole section to this site covering the subject of buying a camera or device for shooting video.
Because this part of life is absolutely saturated with marketing guff I thought some common sense advice might be in order!
It really is an area where the old saying of “blind them with science” applies or more accurately, blind them with technicalities they will never decipher!
Even though the series goes into every aspect of buying a camera in detail and in an understandable way I realized there was one basic point I missed.
That point is covered very well in the video below and it is, unless your cam is broken or you are absolutely certain you have exhausted it’s possibilities, the best cam is the one you have.
One of the most overlooked aspects of professional video making is the part the B-roll footage plays in the overall end look of the video.
For most amateur video enthusiasts watching professionally produced video can be a great way of learning just what those pro’s are up to.
Maybe you don’t know how they are doing what you see but you do see it and can then search for answers.
B-roll is a subject that does not come up much and there is a good reason for it.
You see well shot and well placed B-roll footage is not really noticeable.
It doesn’t come with a big sign that say this shot here is B-roll.
At an amateur level I guess you could describe B-roll as any footage that is not directly of the subject matter that you are showcasing.
Let us say you are shooting two people in conversation and one looks out the window.
You then cut to a shot of what the person sees out the window then cut back to the conversation.
That shot inserted there is technically B-roll footage and is considered B-roll because it does not necessarily have to be shot at the same time you are shooting the main footage of the conversation.
Now of course this is not a complete explanation of B-roll!
However understanding it and using it in your own projects can lift their level enormously and is a subject well worth reading up on.
More on Shooting Techniques
OK clearly at an amateur level we are certainly not going to be making too much use of extended panning shots using a Steadicam or even long shots using cranes!
However the reality is that by using at least some of the shooting techniques that are available to us we can certainly lift the level of our videos.
The first thing to learn about the various shots you can take is the effect they have on the audience.
It is quite amazing how powerful a shooting technique can be and how much it can serve to keep your audience interested in what you are showing them.
Probably the key to separating your projects from the rank amateur is the concept of shooting a particular way to evoke a specific response.