Indiana University
People  |    

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 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.
  • Next week during lecture, we'll review for the final exam. Come and you will definitely get a better grade!
  • Multimedia Exercise! It's a 5-point exercise due by the end of the week - 5PM Friday April 21. 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 P351 Spring 2017 final exam is scheduled (by the Registrar) for Friday, May 5 from 12:30 - 2:30 PM in Studio 5. (Expect it to take 35-50 minutes.) However we'll be holding an "exam review session" during our regular class time FInals Week: 10:10 AM Monday, May 1 in Studio 5.
  • New classes: Need applicants for X476 WTIU Production Workshop, Cinematography, and Short Film


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

Audio/Video Monitoring & Analysis

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 adjust the luminance and color. We can also make changes to the audio, affecting the gain, equalization, mixing and tracks.

It's important to ensure that video and audio levels are within the proper technical/legal guidelines. It's important that all video editors know how to ensure that audio and video levels are in the legal range. If you want to create videos for broadcast, it's important to understand at least the basics of color and gamma correction.

For TV, it's imperitive that luma levels don't go above 100 IRE and that the audio is consistent with the delivery specifications of the station. Here are a few sample technical delivery specifications for broadcast TV:

To do this we need a way to objectively monitor and assess our video and audio. While it's possible to use Media Composer's or Premiere's built-in scoping tools, editing software isn't the ideal way to provide this. There's limited real estate in terms of what you can have on the screen and video editing software really isn't designed for monitoring- it's optimized for editing. An ideal solution is to use an external waveform monitor and vectorscope. It's also good to have an RGB parade, a histogram, and audio level and phase information.

Broadcast reference monitors are wonderful to have but can be expensive and will provide bad feedback if not setup properly. (Here's a good article on how to setup your monitor from Apple.)

Regardless what monitoring you use, SMPTE color bars are the first place to start examining your signal and checking the appearance of your monitor.

Color - SMPTE color bars (generated from a camera or an edit system) should look like this:

On a waveform monitor you might see something like this:

Note the IRE values of the various colors. The maximum legal, allowable value for broadcast video is 100 IRE. The blackest black for digital video is 0 IRE.

The vectorscope display should look like this:

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.

Black Magic Designs Ultrascope

Professional editors used to have to spend $5,000-$10,000 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.

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

Basic Color Correction & Finishing

Color correction is the process of enhancing the visual appearance in regard to hue, saturation, and contrast.

Be sure you know how to perform basic color correction in whatever software you use.


Lut - Stands for Look Up Table. Here's a short clip explaining how they work.

Sadly, applying effects to a group of clips is a weakness of Premiere. One can copy and paste attributes but this is klunky.

To make your sequence broadcast-TV ready

  • Use drop frame timecode
  • Must be closed-captioned
  • Make sure all video levels are in the legal broadcast range (0-100 IRE for digital, 7.5 - 100 IRE for analog).
  • Make sure audio is within the legal broadcast range
  • Include 30-60 seconds of Color Bars at the start of your sequence (with the 1kHz tone at the appropriate level such as -20 dB)
  • Slate (important production info including: title, date, producer, running time & audio format, etc.)
  • Black (approximately 10 seconds or optional countdown)
  • Program start time of 01;00;00;00
  • Black video tail at end

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) refers to any format from 4K to above.

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.



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



Up to the P351 homepage