T351 Week 4 - Spring 2013
- Editing techniques & guidelines
- More Avid Media Composer & Graphics / Promo Graphic Exercise in lab this week.
Readings: Be sure to read Jim's Graphic Tips before this week's lab.
- This week in lab: Storyboard Exercise Critiques are due. / MC Editing 102 & Graphic workshop.
- Now is the time to plan your other projects! (Art
Video, Storytelling & Final Project) Draft an idea for your Art Video
and Storytelling project. Remember that the number one ingredient for
storytelling is conflict. This will be a partner exercise. Everyone
will pitch an idea in lab. We will discuss each story and its strengths
& weaknesses. The Art Videos will be solo projects. Final Projects
will be solo- unless a few of you want to work on a larger, more in-depth
- Next week we'll cover audio and reflector skills while shooting the Audio / News Exercise during
lab. In this exercise you will interview people on the street and produce a short news story.
- The week after is lighting. I'm going to show you some advanced
interview lighting techniques.
Editing can be fun or frustrating. Usually it is the latter when adequate footage doesn't exist, there is no clear plan or script to follow, or you are trying to do something that you don't know how to do.
You need two things:
- Understanding of the process & tools. This allows
you to focus on having fun and being creative. How to get more familiar
with the tools? Spend time editing.
Use the software, read the manuals and tutorials. Go to creativecow.net and
read the forums. Spend a lot of time doing it and you'll become proficient.
The only way you can get better is to spend time with the tools.
- Your ducks all in a row! Know what you want to do
in the edit room before you ever get there. Have your script, footage
logs, graphics, and music etc. Minimize the time you spend in an edit
session trying to figure out what shot comes next. (This is what should
be done in pre-production or at some corner cafe with a mug of your
favorite beverage.) When you edit, you should have a plan, or you
are wasting your time or someone else's money.
Continuity Editing techniques (See
cybercollege 50, 51 & 52):
Transitions - Do you know when to use these?
- Cut - the default transition. Happens in the blink of the eye.
Continuity editing refers to arranging the sequence
of shots to suggest a progression of events. This is a simplification.
In continuity editing we try to tell a story with many different shots.
These shots can come from multiple camera angles in a studio or from
multiple segments taken in the field. The idea is to assemble these shots
together to tell a story while preserving the illusion of time and space-
or manipulate it as we see fit.
Continuity Editing Video Example - (V for Vendetta)
In film and video production time is routinely condensed and expanded.
(When you are telling a story, cut out anything that doesn't develop
the story or character.) Someone gets a phone call asking him/her to
meet. How much do we have to see before he/she meets his/her date?
Occasionally an editor or director will want to drag out a happening
beyond the actual time represented. Expanding
time can heighten the suspense. (Think action/adventure movie-
A timer on a bomb is counting down to 0. Someone is working
furiously to defuse the bomb. We might have 15 seconds left on the timer
but the scene can take 1 minute! If the bomb does go off- we see it happen
4 times from different angles)
Causality & Motivation
This aspect of continuity editing addresses cause & effect. As viewers
try to figure out the story they look for answers.
see a bomb being placed underneath a table in one shot. This is followed
by two men sitting down to a picnic table in a park. We cut to a
shot of a kid looking up just as they hear an explosion.
While we assume
that the two men have been blown up (causality), we still want to
find out why (motivation).
Good storytellers will string us along for the
length of a movie so we can determine cause and effect.
In relational editing scenes which by themselves seem not to be related
take on a cause-effect significance when edited together in a sequence.
(Pudovkin's Man in chair intercut with: corpse, bowl of soup, child playing)
In thematic editing is also referred to as a montage. (South Park -/- Team America) Images are edited
together based on a central theme. In contrast to most types of
editing, thematic editing is not designed to tell a story by developing
an idea in a logical sequence.
Many different types of montages have been identified and studied. Sergei
Eisenstein (Battleship Potemkin) identified various types of montages.
Perhaps the best discussion can be found in Zettl's text, "Sight Sound
Motion". Zettl identified three types of montages:
- Metric - related or unrelated images used at equally spaced intervals.
This can be sped up into an accelerated montage
- Analytical - an event is displayed through thematic and structural
- Idea-associative montage - Two possibly unrelated elements are brought
together to create a third principle or concept.
One underlying theory that has been applied to montages (and especially
related to the last type) is the idea that the whole
is greater than the sum of the parts. Juxtaposing two separate
elements can result in a more powerful third meaning.
Parallel Cutting (referred to sometimes as cross cutting)
Parallel action takes place when the segments are cut together to follow
multiple story lines. These don't necessarily have to happen at the same
Parallel editing in the Godfather (example from Critical Commons)
The Opposite of Editing- the Plan Scene
A Touch of Evil - opening scene (Orson Welles)
The Player - opening scene (Robert Altman)
Editing Guidelines (Cybercollege 54 & 55) -----------------------------------------
Guideline # 1: Edits work best when they are motivated.
Guideline # 2: Whenever possible cut on subject movement.
Entering and exiting the frame. Following the rules of continuity if
someone exits the frame on the right to go somewhere, in the next shot
we'll see them entering from the left.
Guideline # 3: Keep in Mind the Strengths and Limitations of the Medium.
Television is a closeup medium.
Maintaining Consistency in Action and Detail.
You usually end up with several takes of each scene. Not only should the
relative position of feet or hands,
etc., in both shots match, but also the general energy level of voices and
You will also need to make sure nothing has changed in the scene (hair,
clothing, the placement of props, etc.) and that the talent is doing the
same thing in
exactly the same way in each shot.
Guideline # 4: Cut away from the scene
the moment the visual statement has been made.
New verses familiar subject matter. New elements need more screen time
to give viewers a chance to comprehend them, as opposed to pre-established
(or well-known) elements.
Varying tempo through editing
A constant fast pace will tire an audience; a
constant slow pace will induce them to look for something more engaging on
Guideline # 5: Emphasize the B-Roll. An example of this is a feature
story revolving around interview. The interview should look and sound
strong, but it's the B-roll that holds the viewer's attention.
Guideline # 6: The final
editing guideline is: If in doubt, leave It out.
Five Rules for Editing News Pieces (cybercollege)
- Select stories and content that elicit an emotional reaction
- If you have complex subject matter, take your time with it
- While we try to match audio & video, if the video is overly complex,
keep the audio simple (and vice-versa)
- Don't introduce important facts directly before strong visual
elements. Put them afterwards and they will be remembered better.
- Stick to a beginning - middle - end structure.
- When using B-roll, don't just use drop in one shot. Always use at least a
few shots to make a grouping and establish a rhythm.
- Shoot shooting B-roll, remember the rules of continuity and shoot
keeping the 180 degree line in mind. You should end up with a collection of "mini-continuity" sequences. (For example if shooting a painter,
shoot an artfully composed establishing shot. Stay on one side
of the line and shoot close-ups of his face, his hands, and his canvas.)
These mini-continuity sequences will cut together beautifully as B-roll.
- Cut B-roll on phrases or key words. Try to define a rhythmic pacing
On-line v Off-line editing
- Off-line is not intended for broadcast. You can create a rough draft
and/or an EDL
- On-line produces the broadcast master
What are good graphics?
Review Jim's Graphic tips.
It's important to create your graphics
at the right size in order to avoid having to render or re-sizing them in the
editing program. Photoshop CS makes this easy.
Just use their built-in templates. They have templates for most formats in wide use. When you start a new document in Photoshop, use the corresponding template, found under the "Film & Video" presets.
DV is always 720
x 480 regardless of whether its 4 x 3 or 16 x 9. The difference is how
the pixels are displayed. PS CS provides templates for both:
- DV (4:3): NTSC DV 720 x 480 pixels
- DV (16:9) NTSC DV Widescreen 720 x 480 pixels
The full raster pixel dimensions for broadcast HD are:
- 1080 ----- 1920 x
- 720 ----- 1280 x 720
However many HD recording formats use smaller horizontal pixel sizes and upconvert
to the full size upon playback. Here are a few other common sizes:
1080: 1440 x 1080 pixels (Use this if you are a T351 student shooting & editing HDV1080i)
- HDV 720: 1280 x 720 pixels
- DVCPro100 1080: 1280 x 1080
- DVCPro100 720: 960 x 720
Be sure to read Cybercollege Unit 26 and Jim's Graphic Tips before this week's lab.
Outputting movies the right size for YouTube (Square vs. Non-square pixels)
Some of you have noticed that some of the movies posted to popular video sharing sites (such as YouTube) are stretched or squeezed the wrong way. This is because the movies have not been exported at the proper pixel dimensions. To do this you must understand the difference between square pixel and non-square pixel formats.
4:3 TV is an aspect ratio, which can also be expressed as 1.333
16:9 (the aspect ratio for widescreen and all HDTV) can also be exressed as 1.778
If you want to ensure that a movie will be posted and display at the proper size (without being stretched or squeezed, or unnecessarily letterboxed) just do a little math and choose pixel dimension that equal something close to 1.333 for 4:3 or 1.778 for widescreen. Here are some that will work. Choose the size as large as possible that doesn't exceed the video sharing site's specifications.
4:3 Square Pixel Sizes (X/Y will equal 1.333):
- 800 x 600
- 640 x 480
- 400 x 300
- 320 x 240
16:9 Square Pixel Sizes (X/Y will equal roughly 1.778):
- 1920 x 1080
- 1280 x 720
- 960 x 540
- 640 x 360
Week 4 lab -----------------------------
- Turn in critiques
- Review Storyboard / Continuity Exercises / Are there issues with
shooting, editing, or continuity?
- MC 102: More editing, effects, & output
- Graphics lab / Photoshop demo / In-class exercise
- Drama / storytelling exercise planning time
MC Editing. Students should know how to:
- Set in and out points
- Insert & overwrite
- Use the Add Edit
- Add tracks, sync tracks & lock/unlock tracks
- Assign source tracks & patch and unpatch to destination tracks
- Import graphics and audio
- Use keyframes to adjust audio levels
- Add effects
- Apply effects to a section of filler
- Make a freeze frame
- Export a still frame
- Add black (E.g. title: black) at end of project
- Export a movie
Review Jim's Graphic Tips (know these)
Graphics Lab exercise (10 points):
Overview: You'll make a keyable graphic (title or lower third for example) for your storyboard/continuity
sequence and save it as a single-layer TIFF graphic called your username in the Dropbox.
Design a keyable graphic for your project. It should contain:
- At least one text element
- At least one shape
- At least one other visual element (image, design, etc.)
Place a 1920 x 1080 (full-raster HD) single-layer TIFF saved
as your IU login name (mine would be jarkraus.tif) in the T351 Oncourse/Resources/Graphics folder.
Bring in your materials for the news story
/ audio exercise.
Start planning your Art Video and schedule your Interview/Feature Story.
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