Constructive help with video in post...

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by acearchie, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Hi guys,

    I have learnt a lot from these forums and really appreciate all the opinions that everyone has given me over the years.

    I have a slightly different request at the moment though.

    I am in the process of editing together a video of shots that I have collected from over the summer.

    I haven't reached the end of the video but I have reached a point where I realise that I am not happy with the video and could do with some input. It's currently edited to the beat however, it seems to get a bit repetitive and since the song is quite loud and powerful cutting off beat seems to make the edit seem odd.

    I would like to be able to add some compositing effects to it to spice it up and make it look more visually interesting but whilst I know how to create them in After Effects I am not quite sure they would best be implemented.

    Here is a link to the video:

    The password is: summer2011

    If you could please give any feedback on what you think of it in it's current form, pacing, editing and maybe some input as to what effects I could create in After Effects to make it more visually exciting?

    The video is not graded at the moment and therefore all the colours look a little washed out. I also uploaded in SD so it's not as sharp as the source material. Please also ignore the sound levels at the beginning as I haven't adjusted them yet.

    If you have any words to share, good or bad (although constructive comments would be appreciated) I would be most grateful!

  2. ppc_michael, Sep 11, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011

    ppc_michael Guest


    Apr 26, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hi! I have a few suggestions for you:

    • The handheld shots in the car are very jittery. Try to smooth out the movements with stabilization either in FCP or with AE's Warp Stabilization (CS 5.5). Not to make them completely static, just to smooth out the jitters.
    • I don't think many of the shots match the energy of the music. Perhaps try to incorporate more controlled pans/tilts/moving shots. The ones that were in there worked pretty well, I thought. If there aren't enough...
    • ...are you completely married to that song? :D Usually if I'm intending to put music behind something, I'll figure out the majority of the clips I want to use, get a feel for their pacing and mood, then decide on a song that compliments those things.

    As for cool effects and transitions to use, I'm always a fan of the occasional flashy light-leaky film effects such as this...

    Keep it up! Editing montages like that can be very difficult to get right.
  3. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    its hard to say whats wrong with it since Im not close to the project.
    Now since Im the public viewer (not sure if Im the intended viewer) I have my own opinion. So far I love it. Some of the grading (not sure if you did some or not) looks great and yes I do notice the washed out ones but some of them for some weird reason paints a realistic color of what was going on in the shot. Once you grade something like that (again this is my opinion), you tend to overdo or color it to death making it look like every other graded shot. Think of lens flares and how they were so abused back in the day. Now I see so many graded shots along with the vignette look almost so dated now.
    There are cop-outs that I still like. Such as JJ Abraham's lens flares (totally abuses that in every movie he's part of) but again depending on your audience of course. If this was for personal use then go to town ;)
    The only thing I can think of for pacing is the wheel chair scene. I got the point maybe cut back on some of the shots or shorten. It felt like it dragged. Now if something dramatic happens like a good old fashion crash into a brick wall then it could pick up the pace. Sorry that sounds cliche but Im human :)
    Again keep in mind that Im viewing this as the public mostly.
    If this was a video of my friends and wanted to use it as a keep sake then its priceless :)
    Other than that its still good work and would like to thank you for sharing it to the rest of us ;)
  4. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I really think it's going great... very cool!

    Maybe it's my video player, but the face cuts to the beat didn't seemed timed to the music quite right. I wonder if you're timing them off something besides the main guitar/drum hits, or if my player is off.

    I love some of the washed out shots. Don't color grade them all by any means; there were a couple that could be punched up though - - :42-:44 and :52-:55, car driving by.

    For After Effects, you could play with separating out color objects and making the rest black and white on some of those shots. The one of the guy on the rocks with the waves coming in is almost done for you, haha. Maybe also play around with frames. By that I mean things like create a film negative frame, and slide the pictures along frame by frame so to speak, or making artificial frames that then move and reveal more of the video and create picture-in-picture effects, if you follow.

    You have a whole lot of really amazing footage, and plenty of opportunities to get crazy with transitions. You could use the momentum of something moving out of the frame with a transition to another shot where something is flying into the frame. That always makes things interesting!

    Nice job so far!
  5. acearchie, Sep 12, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011

    acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Firstly I wanted to say thanks for taking some time to help me out. It's always nice when you can get someone else's opinion as when you spend a lot of time on something you can miss something that is very obvious to a first time viewer!

    When I am happy with the edit I am going to go through the clips and use mocha to help stabilize them. I may refilm some of the opening shots as the first character is actually me so I had to get someone else to film it who is not so familiar with the DSLR filmmaking. Unfortunately it's my car so I can't do a swapsie with the driver and camera (wo)man. I did that first scene in a rush as it was probably the only day of sun we have had this summer!

    I feel what you mean with the music. In my head it seemed great (consciously trying to pick songs as I was shooting random clips) but in the edit the shots don't seem full enough to match the strong beat. I do like some of the shots with the music and I was thinking of perhaps pretending the radio goes out of signal (i.e. cut back to the car shots) before joining the middle of another song (which would feature lots of shots with fire which we were foolish enough to be playing around with) and finally cut to a more mellow emotional song that may fit some of the slower paced shots. Thanks for pointing this out though as I think I needed someone else to say it to properly take it into account.

    Through Uni I have access to the artbeats film clutter set so I may have a dabble and see if any of them fit!

    Thanks for your kind words. The idea of a visual "keep-sake" is exactly what I am going for so I'm glad it feels like that.

    I haven't taken any of the clips into Color which is probably what I will use depending on how much time I have but I agree that some of the shots actually look quite nice "out of the box"

    The wheelchair scene was a difficult one and one that I came back to re-edit an shorten some of the clips. I was then stuck with a gap before the next sequence cut in so I found another clips of the "skidding". Since I have more clips of the wheelchair in a later fire sequence (don't ask! :p) I can afford to get rid of some of them and then fill the gap with something else or bump the rest of the sequence forward.

    Thanks for the feedback. I think in my haste to get the video online I exported my 50fps timeline at 24fps meaning that the synch points aren't as to my edit so I hope it will be that but I did notice that it's not quite right when watching it back in vimeo.

    The first shot that you mentioned looks really nice when I played around with it in the color. The second was a bit harder as there is such a large range between the shadows and the highlights but I have managed to make it pop a bit more.

    I may try some selective colouring but I was thinking that I may try to use some composites as transitions as you have said (i.e. have people walking into the frame and then have the background follow them a few frames later) it will require a heap of roto on my part! But you only live once I suppose!

    The other effect that I wanted to try out was slowing down using twixtor (recorded everything at 50fps but none of the shots seem to have good motion/action for this) and maybe try the freeze frame effect as found in this video maybe when my friend is sliding on the beach.
  6. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    I felt that and that is why my opening remark was that its hard to judge when Im not close to the project :) Ive seen enough work in my past that critique is not my forte. Beauty and art is in the eye of the beholder. Yes sounds corny but with my experience Ive created things that was close to my heart but then trashed by clients who dont see the same vision.
    If you told me your project was for PSA for Safe Driving or if it was an add for a soda drink then maybe I can have an opinion.
    Well I dont and I felt that it was a keepsake type of piece and again thank you for sharing to the world :)
  7. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all your help.

    The end of the summer caught up to me pretty quick so I made all these changes last saturday night (which ended up being sunday morning) and in the end didn't have enough time to make it exactly how I wanted.

    Here is the link if anyone is interested in seeing the finished article.

    Thanks again for all the positive help that was given to the original video which helped me craft the final film!
  8. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Funny just saw an Davinci exhibit yesterday and read this quote from him "Art is never finished, only abandoned." ;)
    Ill check your clips asap.

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