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Old May 27, 2009, 11:59 PM   #1
grumbler
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First video project! AVCHD in FCP! Bacon!

My sister runs a dog training business and asked me to create a documentary/advertisement sort of thing for her. I shot several hours of footage with a Sony SR-11, edited together a four minute video in Final Cut Pro, created some end credits in Motion 3, and compressed in Compressor. Voiceovers were recorded in Quicktime using the crappy built-in mic, lol; everything was done on my first gen 17'' mbp.

I'm pretty proud of how it turned out. I'm sure there's tons of experienced video editors on this site-- since this is my first video, I'd love to hear any feedback (even if you're not a video editor!). I'm 17 years old.

Unfortunately, video has absolutely naught to do with bacon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMkr3vMIqDI

Last edited by grumbler; May 28, 2009 at 12:01 AM. Reason: replaced embedded video with link
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Old May 28, 2009, 01:25 AM   #2
Dr.Pants
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My two yen -

For your "on the move" sequences (such as around 0:27), due to the nature of how you film, you may want to make or buy a steadycam to make the entire clip smoother.

Really love the interview background around 0:20. The background around 1:33 and 3:22 (among other areas), however, makes a break in the otherwise colourful scenery. I would have used that backdrop exclusively if I had the choice of either one or two. Just more visually interesting. Considering the lighting, was this shot at two separate times or opposite sides of the yard?

The repeated scene at 2:05 that also occurred at 0:12 struck me a little. Although I have no idea on a different scene to use, I tend not to reuse footage. In your case, it may have been using what you had.

I liked the unsaturated feel to the film (or maybe its the monitor I am viewing it on). However, the MBP monitor is not that great (from what I hear) for colour-correction - I am not sure how you would go about it, but the sky around the beach areas tended to be darker then I would have expected. I'm not too hip on colour correction personally for me to give out advice, but the brightness around those areas could be better. I'm thinking this is a codec-conversion issue (clipping from AVCHD to w/e);when you transcoded you may have lost luminance values. I know its something that happens with HDV, but that may not be the case with AVCHD, but that's what it looks like to me [/rant]

That's what I think could be improved - other then that, I think you did an awesome job. A lot better then some of my classmates in my A/V class last year

EDIT - I'm assuming from your earlier posts that you are transcoding to AIC; I would recommend ProRes. But that's just me. IDK if it would have solved the beach issue, that could be the camera.
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Old May 28, 2009, 01:33 AM   #3
Fast Shadow
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The opening shot is too dark. They shouldn't be wearing hats or sunglasses, you can't make out their faces. For the still shots you should use a tripod and for the moving shots you should use a fig rig or a steadicam. You can build a useful version of either for very little compared to buying the real things. You can do a workable steadicam for $14 - www.steadycam.org

Oh and you should have some kind of title or intro.
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Old May 28, 2009, 02:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Pants View Post
My two yen -

For your "on the move" sequences (such as around 0:27), due to the nature of how you film, you may want to make or buy a steadycam to make the entire clip smoother.
Yeah I definitely need one of those. There were few shots that were really shaky; I used a Smoothcam filter- it fixed the shakiness but introduced some weird distortion from the short focal length. It's especially noticeable in the ending dog clip- it almost syncs to the music.

Quote:
Really love the interview background around 0:20. The background around 1:33 and 3:22 (among other areas), however, makes a break in the otherwise colourful scenery.
Unfortunately it started raining mid-way through the interview. If you look carefully, drops start appearing on the man's gray shirt. That's Hawaiian weather for you- sunny and rainy at the same time.

Quote:
The repeated scene at 2:05 that also occurred at 0:12 struck me a little. Although I have no idea on a different scene to use, I tend not to reuse footage. In your case, it may have been using what you had.
Ah, I wasn't sure about reusing footage. I'll make a point to not do that again.

Quote:
I liked the unsaturated feel to the film (or maybe its the monitor I am viewing it on). However, the MBP monitor is not that great (from what I hear) for colour-correction - I am not sure how you would go about it, but the sky around the beach areas tended to be darker then I would have expected. I'm not too hip on colour correction personally for me to give out advice, but the brightness around those areas could be better. I'm thinking this is a codec-conversion issue (clipping from AVCHD to w/e);when you transcoded you may have lost luminance values. I know its something that happens with HDV, but that may not be the case with AVCHD, but that's what it looks like to me [/rant]
AVCHD is a real pain to work with. Hmm, I'm not sure if I went to ProRes or AIC, now that I think about it. The sky is pretty dark and I'm not sure why. Maybe because the sand was really bright? I should invest in some filters. I didn't do any post color correction, at all. I'll work on that next time.

Quote:
That's what I think could be improved - other then that, I think you did an awesome job. A lot better then some of my classmates in my A/V class last year
haha, thanks for the feedback, man.

Quote:
The opening shot is too dark. They shouldn't be wearing hats or sunglasses, you can't make out their faces. For the still shots you should use a tripod and for the moving shots you should use a fig rig or a steadicam. You can build a useful version of either for very little compared to buying the real things. You can do a workable steadicam for $14 - www.steadycam.org

Oh and you should have some kind of title or intro.
I didn't even think about the sunglasses thing. I'll definitely keep that in mind for future vids. A Stedicam shall be my next project.

I didn't do a title because I thought it might bore people away. What's a good format for an intro?
Thanks for watching!
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Old May 28, 2009, 02:53 AM   #5
Fast Shadow
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Originally Posted by grumbler View Post
I didn't do a title because I thought it might bore people away. What's a good format for an intro?
Thanks for watching!
Speaking from personal preference I don't like intros with title cards and cheesy music, so my suggestion would be a lower third with maybe the name of the business and the topic of the video, and maybe the URL to the website that's visible for the first 10 or so seconds of the video? That way you won't bore people away (you're right about that) because the show will already be in progress.

Something like

My Sister's Awesome Business - How to Make Your Dog Awesomer
www.awesomedogs.com

I really can't wait until hypertext can be embedded into video files (besides flash) so you could literally click the URL on the video and it would pop open a web browser pointed to that site.

Last edited by Fast Shadow; May 28, 2009 at 03:00 AM.
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Old May 28, 2009, 08:53 PM   #6
Dr.Pants
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Quote:
AVCHD is a real pain to work with. Hmm, I'm not sure if I went to ProRes or AIC, now that I think about it. The sky is pretty dark and I'm not sure why. Maybe because the sand was really bright? I should invest in some filters. I didn't do any post color correction, at all. I'll work on that next time.
Well, the reason i bring this up is because I know that HDV record to the YCbCr colourspace, which can have high luminance values that mathematically get chopped off when transcoding to an RGB codec - there has to be some steps to preserve quality. You might be able to see this in Final Cut with its waveform scope, although you would only see what happened after transcoding... But I do not know what colourspace AVCHD records to, it might just be RGB.

EDIT - personally, I think there would be more knowledge of problems with going to AVCHD to ProRes or AIC - however, I would go with ProRes just because I happen to think it is better to work with. My opinion. However, I am beginning to think that it is not a colourspace issue and more something with the camera. I'm also sure you might be able to bring out some of the values that colour the sky and sea... Once again, not too up on colour correction.
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Old May 29, 2009, 09:17 AM   #7
KeithPratt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Pants View Post
Well, the reason i bring this up is because I know that HDV record to the YCbCr colourspace, which can have high luminance values that mathematically get chopped off when transcoding to an RGB codec
You've got that the wrong way round. YCbCr uses 16-235 of the full 0-255 range. RGB uses the full range, so if you convert to that you are not "clipping" anything.

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Originally Posted by Dr.Pants View Post
But I do not know what colourspace AVCHD records to, it might just be RGB.
It's not. Practically nothing at least nothing consumer is RGB. ProRes, AIC, HDV, AVCHD, DV, etc., etc. are all YCbCr. If you grade in Color or do some work in Motion you will be working in RGB space. For all else you will stay in YCbCr.

It's not really as simple as all that, but those are the basics.
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Old May 29, 2009, 10:37 AM   #8
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Thanks for clearing that up. I really get screwed up in the technical details.
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Old May 30, 2009, 05:27 AM   #9
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If I set my camera to the shiny new "xvcolor", does that effectively cause the camera to record in RGB color space? Does Final Cut care about xvcolor? Or is that information lost along with the Dolby 5.1 that the camera sucks in?

Rhetorical question: why does this editing process suck so much?
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