T351 Week 10 - Spring 2013
Misc Announcements / Reality Check
- MultiVisions is scheduled for Friday, April 5th. There will be a Media Showcase competition. A PDF with submission info can be viewed here.
- Production Applications for fall classes are not available yet. (Out of my hands)
- Art Videos - Please do your best to have your Art Videos completed and in the drop box as close to the start of lab as possible. We'll start watching the Art Videos around 10 AM.
We'll review as many as possible in lab this week. (Next week in lecture
we may review some of them.)
- Storytelling Projects - Please be sure to bring in your proposal and a well thought out *treatment. We'll pitch and select these in lab this week. Your group will then have one week to come up with a final shooting script. I'd like either a 2-column script or a drama script with key sequences storyboarded. Please feel free to share your stories/treatments with me if you want advice. As soon as your group turns in a completed script, you can begin shooting your storytelling projects. Most of next week's lab time
will be dedicated to you to carry out your storytelling production.
- Remember KISS - Keep it simple!
- Get real actors!
- Avoid unnecessary dialog.
- Everyone in a group is expected to edit their own version. You can make a case for sharing an edit if you have a plan that provides everyone with activities and input to the final edit.
- You'll shoot these next week. No lab - it's work time
- The week after next they will be due (after a little bit of lab edit time).
- Shovel Ready example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElbbUUN7A7o
- Final Projects - I'd like to meet with each of you regarding your final project sometime in the next two weeks. Your final pre-production work is due in two weeks.
- Your Final Project is worth 65 points:
- 20 points: Project design which includes: program proposal, treatment, script & other supporting pre-produciton material.
- 40 points: Production & legal paperwork (releases, music clearances, etc.)
- 5 points: Critique.
Looking through the various project proposals, I noted that some don't know how to write a treatment.
Treatments are really helpful in developing the flow of your production. (and for getting a good grade!) Used in all types of audio/visual productions from music videos and cartoon to documentaries and movies. They are much quicker and easier to manipulate than scripts. This is why we work up a treament first, before writing a script.
Some people like to use notecards, one for each scene. They can then be rearranged and re-sorted to come up with the best flow.
Simply Scripts: webpage linking to treatments and scripts
I always use these (and I'm from the school of don't do it if you don't have to) unless it is for something extremely short, like a 60-second commercial.
- Advanced Production & Editing Concepts including:
- Project management
- Archiving projects & file management
- Useful shortcuts (match frame, split edits, extend edits)
- Off-line / On-line editing
- Time code
What makes a first-rate video?
- Every scene, shot, and sound is there for a reason and has a purpose.
- The message / storyline is clear (usually introduced near the beginning)
- All audio and visual elements are strong
- Video has good composition, interesting angles, dynamic camera movements, and subjects are well lit.
- Audio is well recorded
- Attention to visual and sound design
- Graphics and effects are well thought out and integrated with the video
- Ausio levels are consistent and sound design adds an additional level of meaning
- Editing demonstrates varied pacing and rhythm
Advanced Editing Concepts
The concept of advanced editing implies an
inherent need to work efficiently. Post-production editing suites can
cost a thousand dollars an hour to rent. Both producer and editor are
under the gun to work quickly and efficiently.
The producer shouldn't be in an edit session wondering what shot to
use. Most major decisions can be planned in advance and made outside
of costly studios or editing suites.
Remember: It's possible- and highly recommended- to plan every
shot in advance. This is what scripts and storyboards are for.
Outside of planning, we can save money and time with
Keep the big picture (objective and audience) in mind when developing the treatment and then the script.
A strong script and a well-developed preproduction plan is your key
to a sucessful production. When working on any large-budget video or
industrial for corporate clients, always focus on making
This is a script that has been carefully scrutinized and has been checked
off on again and again. If it
isn't in the script it isn't in the video! This way any changes
after the script has been approved are billable.
Children's Museum example (script change after it was approved)
Now is the time to consider graphics, what kjnd of "look and feel" you want and also the sound design. Are you having the music scored, using a production library? Is there a visual design template to follow? Just as you don't want to search for shots while
editing, you don't want to spend time wondering what color the graphics
should be or what font to use. Test and try fonts and other visual
design elements ahead of time. Prepare graphics in advance.
(I usually make a few mock-ups of
templates to run by my client before editing)
It's also important to develop detailed production schedules. Consider
the most efficient way to shoot a production. It's typically not in the
order of the script. It also help to take the script and all of the various
locations and develop shot sheets. These tell you what shots you need
at any given location.
When you have multiple locations, talent, a half dozen crew members, and two trucks of people and gear to haul around, it's important to have a solid production plan. It's also important that you know how long it takes to unload gear, set lights, hook up audio and get levels. Otherwise you're going to waste money and people's time. (not good)
Check out this example for a special episode of The Friday Zone, which was all about cicadas:
- Take care to properly set the time code
and record test tone / color bars.
- Be sure to always shoot at least 5 seconds of pre-roll before cueing
action/talent and allow for post-roll at the end of each shot.
- Record extra naturla sound (30-60 seconds)
- Check recording
- Carefully and consistently label your reels/cards as you shoot.
After the shoot, the footage needs to be logged and the producer
often needs a copy of the reels/footage. This
way he or she can select the right takes without taking up an edit room.
Window Dub / Timecode print
One of the first things you should be able to make for your producer
is a window dub or timecode print.
This is a copy of the program or footage which has the timecode numbers superimposed
on the screen.
You can output these in FCP, Avid & Premiere.
To make a window dub in FCP:
- Place the source reel footage into a new sequence.
- Under Effects, select Video Filters, Video, then Timecode print
- By default, the effect create a TC generator, you need to
go to the "filters" tab and change the generator selection
- With a fast enough system, you shouldn't have to render this effect
- Also note that you can use this filter to output a timecode print
of your master sequence as well.
Ideally when you go into the first edit session you should have:
- Target audience, objective, and script
close at hand
- Footage logs - and transcripts
- All reels/cards/media clearly organized/labeled
- Clear vision of visual and sound design
I usually have a folder containing all of this which lives in the box
of tapes for any particular project in the edit suite. This way the other
editors or PAs have access to it at all times. My master project folder
containing all of this plus the signed releases and anything else gets
filed under my client's name in my file cabinet
I also maintain an electronic folder that contains the proposal, treatment,
script(s), footage logs, text for lower thirds and credits, computer
graphics, animation files, and any other files associated with the project.
This gets backed up onto disc and saved somewhere safe.
Assuming our project management is under control, we can move on to
specific techniques. (We can review the shortcuts for these during lab
Logging and digitizing footage & media management:
Whenever possible log and transcribe your footage! It really does save time.
Keeping track of your media, being able to Identify the reel/card # in the editing application is key to succesful,
worry free editing. If you follow the proper procedures while logging,
accidents such as crashed hard drives will turn into minor annoyances,
not major catastrophes.
(The hard drives in WTIU crashed right after I had digitized most of
my Elkinsville footage and after I'd spent a week editing. We were able
to rebuild the project in a single day.)
Always be sure to copy any media you want to use in your project into
your master media folder. Do this before importing the media.
If you import directly over the network, or from a mounted ZIP or CD,
FCP will expect that drive or disk to be mounted in order to access your
So if your client hands you a CD containing their new logo, what will
you do with it?
Drag & drop to Import footage
Often you'll have a whole folder full of pictures, graphics, and/or
sounds, maybe grouped into subfolders. You can import a whole folder
along with its subfolders by simply dragging it into FCP's browser window.
Using vectorscopes, waveform monitors and TBCs:
Video signals can be broken down into two components: luminance and
chrominance. Luminance is the brightness component & chrominance
is the color component.
A good editing suite will have a vectorscope and waveform monitor set
up, so that the video levels and color can be objectively monitored.
It's easy to make graphics in Photoshop too bright, but if you keep your
eyes on the waveform monitor, you can tell when the signal reaches 100
Waveform Monitor - A device used to examine the luminance portion
of the video signal and its synchronizing pulses. The scale starts at –40 – goes
to 0 then up to 120 IRE Units (IRE = Institute of Radio Engineers). One
f-stop translates into about 20 IRE units The major setting to be aware
NTSC/analog Black should register 7.5 IRE on a waveform monitor.
Digital (ATSC) Black shold register at 0 IRE.
White White shouldn't be any hotter than 100 IRE on a waveform monitor.
Vectorscope - A vector display measuring device that allows visual
checking of the phase and amplitude of the color components of a video
signal. They are especially useful when used with color bars, as the
display face has targets that show both proper phase and saturation.
NOTE: You can't adjust or manipulate a video signal with just
a waveform monitor and vectorscope. They simply let you examine the
signal. You must use a TBC, a camera control unit or other device to
modify the signal.
TBC (time base corrector) - A piece of equipment used
to correct instabilities in analog video signals, provide synchronization
between video signals, and adjust phase differences in signals to correct
color or make them consistent with other signals. TBCs usually have a "proc
amp" (short for processing amplifer) which lets you adjust the video's
brightness, hue, saturation and setup.
- Basic proc amp adjustments include
- Chroma (amount of color)
- Phase / Hue (actual color)
- Brightness (amount of gain or brightness)
- Contrast (on some)
- Setup (aka pedestal) A signal elevating the black level and all other
portions of the video signal
If you have a copy-protected VHS tape or DVD that you need to dub,
you can run the video through a TBC. It strips the old sync, which
has been modified to create dubbing problems, and replace it with new
FCP and Avid provide computer-generated waveform monitors and vectorscopes.
This provides an excellent way to check levels for graphics and when
applying video effects (these are often too bright for legal video).
Note that when capturing DV footage in FCP's log and capture tool, you
can't control the proc amp settings (color, brightness, setup, etc).
You'll find that the "clip settings" are greyed out. This is
because you are transferring footage that's already been digitized. However,
when you are wokring with a third party capture card (Like an AJA or
Cinewave) you can modify the video signal through the proc amp settings.
If your miniDV footage is too dark or needs color correction, you must
do this by either applying color correction or a filter.
Color Bars are electronic reference signals generated by cameras
or post-production equipment. They should always be recorded at the head
of a videotape to provide a consistent reference in post production.
They can be used for matching the output of two cameras in a multi-camera
shoot and to set up video monitors. In general there are two types of
bars full field and SMPTE (split). The SMPTE bars are more useful.
When digitizing source footage, it's always a good idea to capture some
of the bars from the beginning of each reel. This lets you check the
digitized footage to ensure color accuracy.
Strive to get consistent audio- especially with dialog
and narration. Don't just trust just your ears, but use the audio meter
to make sure all of your clips reach the same level. For example, you
might choose -14 as the average level to reach for your spoken narration.
As you add or edit narration, make sure it reaches -14 consistently.
Use markers to edit video to the beat. Play your
video in real time and press the m key to set markers. Thes will act
as a visual guide to edit clips to.
Check sequence settings - these can differ from the
clip settings. If they are different, you'll have to render your clips.
Know how to add tracks. Adding tracks is easy to
do in FCP. Just control click on the background of the timeline (not
in a track) and select "add track". You can also add and
delete tracks in the drop down sequence menu.
Linking and Unlinking tracks - You sometimes want
to link or unlink tracks. Select the tracks and choose link or unlink
from the drop down "Modify" menu..
Splt edits, also known as J or L edits, can be made
in many ways in FCP. The easiest way is to select the Roll Tool (press
R), and while holding down the Option key, drag the edit point left
Extend edit is a quick way to bring a clip to wherever
the timeline is parked. To use it first highlight the transition you
wish to extend, plave the time indicator where you want to extend it
to, then press the e key.
Match frame - Have a frame in your timeline that
you want to find the original clip for? Put the time indicator over
the highlighted frame in the timeline and press the f key. Voila your
clip will load into the viewer. (This also works in Avid) Also, if
you want to locate the clip in its bin, place the time indicator over
the highlighted clip and press the F key. Your clip should be shown
in the Browser.
Applying effects to an entire sequence - There are
many reasons why you might want to apply an effect to an entire sequence.
For instance you might want to add a letterbox, or apply a color treatment
to give it a particular "look". Simply nest your edited sequence into
another, and apply the effect to the new sequence.
EDL (edit decision list) Most editing applciations
can import and export EDLs. In FCP, once your program is complete,
you can generate an EDL through File -> Export EDL. (more on EDLs
If you want to use After Effects or some other software to add animation
to a clip, you'll need to be able to access the clip from the aniation
software. If you're working on the same computer, you don't have to export
a clip. Instead use the browser (F9 key) and find what it's called and
where it's located. Then you can gop to After Effects and simply import
it from where it's located. After Effects won't change your original
clip- but will create a new movie which you can import into your project.
File Management and Archiving
We can't keep all of our data forever. There are several scenarios you
need to know how to deal with:
- Deleting the media when finished with a project
- Freeing up space by deleting unused media
- Archiving your project so you can access it later.
Become familiar with Final Cut Pro's Media Manager. Use it to back up and archive
your project. It is a good way to condense projects by getting rid of unused media. I've got a short article on how to use it on my website.
Off-line & On-line
Traditionally one of the purposes of off-line systems were to create
EDLs that could be brought into higher-end on-line systems. The first
non-linear editors (D Vision and early Avids) were sophisticated off-line
systems that could not only generate an EDL, but let the editors work
with VHS like quality. With advances in technology non-linear editing
system got steadily better, and today off-the-shelf PC or Macs are
capable of editing on-line video.
Time code is an electronic numerical signal recorded or embedded into
the signal, which allows videotape and multitrack audio machines to
be synchronized with frame accuracy. With time code, each frame or
location on a tape is assigned a unique number. This allows us to access
that specific frame or location on the tape precisely, again, again,
and again with frame accuracy.
Here in the US with our NTSC standard, weve been taught that
video runs at 30 frames per second- actually its 29.97. While
we count it on a 30 frames per second basis, video runs at 29.97 frames
During recording, a videotape recorder (capable of recording timecode)
assigns a unique timecode number to each frame of video, which is recorded
along with the video information. Its format is like a 24 hour clock
xx:xx:xx:xx. "hours" range from 00 to 23, "minutes" range
from 00 to 59, "seconds" range from 00 to 59, "frames" ranges
from 00-29 (NTSC)
There are two ways to count or create timecode (which can usually
be selected on the VTR) basic, (non-drop) frame and drop frame.
In basic (non-drop) timecode, each new frame of video is assigned
the next higher number (06:01:00:29 becomes 06:01:01:00)
The problem with basic non-drop timecode is that the frame numbers
drift from the actual elapsed time of a program.
Imagine you've been asked to assemble one day's worth of programming
for a TV station. You could set your timecode display to start at 0,
then assemble your programming. When you got to 24 hours you could
call it a day (har har) & go home. If video actually ran at 30
frames per second you'd be fine & you'd have a job waiting for
you the next day.
Let's assume a 30 frame per second rate as our basic timecode readout
leads us to believe and look at a day:
24 x 60 minutes = 1,440 minutes.
1,440 minutes contains 86,400 seconds.
86,400 seconds x 30 = 2,592,000
But video actually runs at 29.97 frames per second. That's a 3/100ths
of a second difference from 30 frames per second.
There are actually 2,589,408 frames of video in a 24-hour period.
24 x 60 minutes = 1,440 minutes.
1,440 minutes contains 86,400 seconds.
86,400 seconds x 29.97 = 2,589,408
2,589,408 frames of video in a 24 hour period
2,592,000 (using 30)
- 2,589,408 (using 29.97)
+ 2,592 frames of video difference / 29.97 (frames per second) = 86.5 seconds.
That's almost a minute and a half too much programming!
If you went by your counter and stopped when it reached 24 hours,
your program would be cut short almost a minute and a half. However
if you were smart you would use drop frame time code totally bypassing
real time issues.
Drop frame time code is harder to calculate, but it provides a numbering
system that is more accurate, timewise.
In drop frame time code, the frame numbers 0 and 1 are removed from
each minute except for every tenth minute (starting from the first).
That is, minute 00, 10, 20, 30 and so on, do not have any frame numbers
dropped, but all other minutes do.
You can tell when something is drop frame because the time code display
has semicolons (06;01;00;29 becomes 06;01;01;02)
EDL (edit decision list)
Edited programs often need to be rebuilt or re-edited from the raw ingredients
or source files they were created from. When a program is edited, you
can create and save an EDL corresponding to the master tape or master
sequence in the timeline.
An EDL is a simple ASCI text file that describes the events. Once created,
an EDL can be used to re-edit the project. A good EDL allows sequences
to be recreated with frame accuracy, including placement and types of
Most editing systems- both linear and non-linear, create an EDL as you
assemble or create the project. Each edit made adds a decision in the
|Title: Johnny's Big Adventure
|REM: Format: CMX 340/3400
|FCM: Non-drop frame
|REM: Record times are non-drop
What’s in an EDL? (Structure)
The EDL usually starts with a title, date and the time code information
(drop-frame, non drop frame). Comments are preceded by the REM flag.
Each edit becomes an event in the list. A single event describes the
reel names or source, (BL means black), track type (V, A1, A2), and transition
(cut, wipe, dissolve or key) along with the source tape time code in
and out points, followed by the record tape time code in and out points.
Note that events with dissolves take two lines to describe the event.
They might start with a cut, then the dissolve that takes place.
Remember that semicolons (;) denote drop-frame and regular colons (:)
signify non-drop frame.
The EDL created by an editing system is typically unique to that system,
but follows one of a handful of standard formats:
- CMX 340 (2 audio tracks)
- CMX 3600 (4 audio tracks)
- Sony 2000 (4 audio tracks)
- Sony 5000 (2 audio tracks)
- Sony 9000 (4 audio tracks)
- Sony 9100 (4 audio tracks)
- Grass Valley (4 audio tracks)
Creating Good EDLs
- Use standard transitions
- Don't use custom effects
- Keep careful track of reels and names
List Management Software
Imagine you have a good EDL, but one of your source reels gets dubbed
to another tape. During the dub process, the time code wasn't regenerated,
but started anew.
Assigning a new start time for a reel is just one thing list management
software lets you do. You can also adjust your list in a variety of ways.
You can also map your EDL from drop to non-drop, add & remove edits, & even
remap wipe codes for different switchers.
Not to be confused with EDLs
Good editing or EDL software will let you extrapolate a batch capture
Batch capture lists can be used to automatically recapture media in an efficient
way. (Can capture clips in order off of the tape, even if they don’t
appear in that order in the program) Should let you work with one reel at a
time in multi- reel projects.
Vocabulary (Know and be able to define these terms)
- Color bars
- Media Manager
- Pedestal (aka setup)
- Proc Amp
- Setup (aka pedestal)
- Timecode (DF vs NDF)
- Waveform Monitor
- Window dub
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