Why Everyone Should Use Video Scopes for Color Correction
So let’s stop for a minute and talk about color correction and color grading.
For many amateur editors there is a knowledge that you can do so much to improve the quality of the video images you are getting in your projects.
There is also the knowledge that these days most fully loaded editors will offer color control at the level of not just correcting color but also grading color in your footage all the way through to using LUTs.
So what’s the problem?
Well the problem is knowing how to do it!
Years ago every time I went into the fine tuning color controls of any editing software I was using the end result was usually me sitting there staring at a bunch of stuff I didn’t recognize.
After staying at that level for a while I then progressed to the point where I could adjust a few things and maybe get a better result.
The main problem I kept hitting was this.
I would look at something on the screen, fumble around for a while and possibly get to the point where the video seemed to look better than it did before.
I would at a later time return to that same project and be absolutely horrified! What was I thinking?!
It would look awful and for the life of me I could never get past that point… until I discovered something.
I found out that after a very short time of looking at colors, especially on computer monitors, your eyes begin to change your perception of the colors you are seeing.
This is even worse if you are looking at the same color or set of colors for and extended period of time.
That’s why you can do something with color one day then come back to it later only to discover it seems now to be totally different.
The answer to that problem is a system already built in to your color module and that is the system called scopes.
Learning to use scope takes all the guesswork and interpretation out of the color correction or grading process.
It is simply a software solution that analyses any image and shows you what is there so that from that point forward you can correct or grade accurately.
The upside is that they are pretty straightforward to use, the downside is that they look totally forbidding!
Take deep breath and dive into the world of scopes, you will be glad you did!
Add Realistic Camera Moves to your Shots
One of the most obvious ways for you to add a little camera motion to your video clips is to use the pan and zoom or at least the pan OR zoom feature in your editing software post shooting.
Hey, Ken Burns built an entire career out of it!
Now having said that one of the main things you should be aware of is that effects like this can go very cheesy, very fast!
Never has the “less is more” mantra been so apt!
Check out the video below for some simple uses of either pan and/or zoom to create some camera movement interest.
While I am on the subject always bear in mind that when you zoom in on something in a video or in a section of video you lose definition. That’s just a reality of using that effect.
However the degree to which you lose definition and the degree to which you can zoom in has changed these days given our access to higher resolution videos.
Back in the days of standard definition you could only zoom in fractionally before the degradation in the image began to show enough to be noticeable.
These days high definition provides a little more leeway at the bottom end of the scale simply due to the better quality images you begin with.
At the top end of the scale you can take some 2K or 4K footage, load it into a 1080p project then zoom in a whole bunch before it gets noticeable.
Stop Motion Animation with VideoStudio
This is a pretty good run through of using the Stop Motion module in Corel VideoStudio covering all the little settings in there that you have to get right.
However given the fact that stop motion is just… well, stop motion, most of what is in here actually applies to just about any stop motion module in any software that has it.
So if you are interested in setting out to make the next Wallace and Gromit stop motion spectacular this would be a pretty good place to start!
Octopus Cinema: First Open Source Camera
I stumbled across this article regarding an open source cinema camera this week and though I would include it because I think it is pretty interesting.
Last week in the Friday Roundup I included an article covering the history of Blackmagic Design and how they had disrupted the video and movie making industry.
First by releasing DaVinci Resolve as a very reasonably priced editing and post production solution and then by releasing their range of cinema cameras that undercut and out performed almost everything on the existing market.
Perhaps this new camera will be the next step towards cinema grade footage being available to everyone.
360 Video Editing in Pinnacle Studio
The video below is a fairly complete walk through of the 360 Video editing module in Pinnacle Studio 22.
Realistically there is a whole lot more to the pinnacle 360 feature set but this video at least gives a pretty good look start to finish of what you can expect to find there.
As I mentioned in my review of Pinnacle it represents probably the peak of video editing software at the consumer or prosumer level.
Generally speaking Pinnacle offers everything all the others offer but then when you dig deeper you invariably find a whole bunch more features and control.
PowerDirector – Three Ways to Change the Proportional Look of a Project
There are often times when you may be faced with using footage from different sources or shot in different aspect ratios or orientations.
For projects like this it can often be a real pain to try and find an orientation, aspect ratio or even a proportional “look” that suits all of that mismatched footage.
The key to taming beasts like this is understanding how to adjust and control the proportions of your project to get the best out of all the footage.
The video below is a walk through in PowerDirector of how to access and adjust the necessary controls to achieve this.
Just watching it myself I feel pretty certain that most video editing software can be manipulated in pretty much the same way even if a few of the knobs and dials look a little different.
How to Make A Beautiful Slideshow in Minutes – CyberLink PowerDirector
This is a full run through of using the Slideshow creator module in CyberLink PowerDirector 17.
It covers accessing the module, the steps you need to follow to create the slideshow, all the little settings you can control (or not!) and a few tweaks to make it all look good.