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Jim Krause | Classes | P351 Video Field & Post Production

Week 14

Advanced Techniques for Post-Production

Reality Check/Announcements

  • Final Project - Aim to have a rough cut by the end of lab this week. If you do you'll be in good shape for next week. We'll watch Final Projects starting promptly at 9AM in lab next week. Lateness will result in a point penalty.
  • Next week during lecture, we'll review for the final exam.
  • Multimedia Exercise! It's a 5-point exercise due by the end of the week - 5PM Friday April 20. I just want to make sure you can output an HD video in the right codec and proper aspect ratio and post it to a video sharing website.
  • Final Exam: The Spring 2018 (scheduled by the Registrar) is 5 - 7 PM Wednesday, May 2 in Studio 5.. (Expect it to take 35-50 minutes.)


  • Advanced Editing Tools & Techniques:
    • AV Monitoring & Analysis
    • Color Correction
    • 2k & 4k

Technical Delivery Specifications

For professional video editors, it's important to deliver media with video and audio levels within the proper broadcast safe or legal guidelines.

Sample delivery specifications for broadcast TV:

While the specifications might seem daunting, knowledge and the right tools make the process relatively easy to achieve. In order to create videos for broadcast, it's important to understand the basics of color and gamma correction and the tools avalable to monitor and objectively analyze the signal.

Video Monitoring & Analysis - the Basics

When shooting video we are primarily concerned with framing, focus, color balance, and exposure. When we're editing video we can't do much to fix bad framing and focus, but we can make adjustments to luminance and color. We can also make changes to the audio, mixing tracks, changing volume and equalization, and applying effects.

To do this, one needs a way to objectively monitor and assess video and audio signals. While it's possible to use Media Composer's or Premiere's built-in waveform displays, editing software isn't ideal for this. There's limited real estate on screen and editing software is optimized for editing, not monitoring. Ideally, one would have an external broadcast reference monitor and waveform and vectorscope display.

Broadcast reference monitors are excellent tools, but can be expensive. (The Sony BVM-X300 V2 monitor above retails for $45,000.)

Any monitor will provide bad feedback if not setup properly. An inexpensive HDTV or 4K monitor can work fine- as long as the hue, chroma, brightness, and contrast have been setup properly.

Regardless what monitor you have, the first step is to use a reference signal, such as SMPTE color bars. With re the first place to start examining your signal and checking the appearance of your monitor. (You can generate these with almost any profesisonal camcorder or edit system.)

Step #1: Setup your monitor. Here's an article on how to setup your monitor from Apple.

HD SMPTE color bars look like this:

Color bars on a waveform monitor:

Color bars on a vectorscope:

Step #2: Monitor the signal (E.g. external waveform/vectorscope display)

There are many options of external waveform monitors and vectorscopes available. (Link to B&H listings)

Black Magic Designs Ultrascope

Professional editors used to have to spend $5,000-$40,000 for dedicated monitoring gear. Now it can be had for about $700 (+ the price of a PC) with Black Magic Design's Ultrascope. There are three versions: a PCI card version, a dongle version (which you can use with a laptop in the field), and a stand-alone rackmount version. The display looks like this:

ultrascope display

It provides:

  • RGB Parade
  • waveform monitor
  • vectorscope
  • histogram
  • audio levels & spectrum
  • video monitor
  • error logging

Error logging is an important and significant feature. It automatically looks for non-legal video and audio elements. You essentially: turn on the logging, start playing your footage, and go to lunch (let the entire program play and be logged). It records the errors and the time they happened.

If you are interested in learning more about color correction and preparing programs for broadcast I highly recommend Scott Carmichael's Color Correcting and Finishing class.

With a properly setup reference monitor and some form of signal monitoring you can begin making technical and aesthetic adjustments to your media.

Safe Text Area, Revisited

Adding & framing graphic info - Even though the move to 16x9 HD broadcast happened back in 2009, many are still offering 4x3 SD content. Commercial work often needs to comply by using a 4x3 center cut safe zone. In the example below 4x3 guides have been overlaid into FCP's existing 16x9 safe action and safe text guides.

The image above shows a 4x3 mask placed underneath FCP's 16x9 safe action and safe text guides. Many video cameras have a variety of viewfinder guides you can toggle through.

Here's a link to a 15-second spot that had to fit inside the 4x3 safe action and safe text areas:

Post-Production/Editing Resources

To make your sequence broadcast-friendly

  • Use drop frame timecode
  • Must be closed-captioned
  • Video levels are in the legal broadcast range (0-100 IRE for digital video)
  • Audio channels are in phase and levels are within the legal broadcast range
  • Leader (placed before the program start) which usually includes:
    • Color Bars (with 1kHz tone at the appropriate level such as -20 dB)
    • Slate (production info such as title, date, running time & audio format, etc.)
    • Countdown
    • Program start time of 01;00;00;00
  • Black video tail

Jim's Portable Edit Setup:

When I'm traveling light and need to edit, I rely on my MacBook Pro with a 2nd monitor. To monitor my video I use a small 7" monitor- the ikan D7w (pictured below). The reason I use this one is that it's got a built-in waveform monitor, and vectorscope. It has both HDMI and HD-SDI loop-through inputs and is large enough to provide critical info for focusing but small enough that it can be attached to a camera.

The ikan D7w Field monitor:

ikan D7w image

Premiere lets you add additional monitors. Once one is plugged in go to Premiere Preferences / Playback. You'll want to check the box under "video device" next to your monitor.

Under the "Window" menu you can choose "Reference Monitor" to open an additional monitor if needed.



2K, 4K, Ultra HD and beyond................

HD is great but there's something even better: 2K and 4K. Check out the wikipedia entry on it.

Here's a pretty good visual comparison of the various formats:

2K provides only slightly more information than HD. 2048 pixels per line compared with 1920. But the format was embraced by the digital cinema industry. The Phantom Menace introduced the world to Digital Cinema. Digital Cinema is not about production- but the distribution of theatrical content. Digital Cinematography refers to using a digital workflow to create films.

Most have ignored 2K and focused on 4K, which essentially provides 4 times the information as HD.

Just as HD comes in varying pixel dimensions for broadcast and recording 4K comes in different sizes as well. Most variations of 4K have 4096 pixels per line.

Want to shoot in 4K?

UltraHD (Ultra High-Definition) at this point refers to any format above 3840 x 2160.

It's possible to produce and deliver content at even much higher resolutions. (E.g. 10k 10328 x 7760 pixels). Here's a link to a 10k timelapse video shot in Brazil.

Camera technology worth noting ................

High speed (high frame rate) cameras:

Motion control Jibs


  • 2K
  • 4K
  • Broadcast Safe levels
  • Color Correction
  • Digital Cinema
  • Digital Cinematography
  • LUT
  • Ultra HD
  • Waveform monitor
  • Vectorscope



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