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P351 Week 5 - fall 2015

Announcements/Reality Check:

  • We're sharing Art Video ideas this week. You need a proposal and treatment now. You can take a little more time to work up your artistic statement.
  • This week in lab we'll continue exploring editing software and learn how to apply effects and animate still images. We'll also go through a Motion Graphics Pan/Scan Assignment.
  • Please remember to submit a critique to the "Storyboard/Continuity" folder in Oncourse before the start of lab this week.
  • Next week we'll carry out the Audio/News Exercise. Be sure to come to lab prepared with a hard copy of your paperwork and also have it uploaded to the Oncourse/Resources "Audio/News" folder before the start of lab! You'll need paper releases (or you'll have to get on-camera releases).
  • Interview/Feature Story - Now is the time to confirm with your subject the exact date & time of your shooting. (These should be shot sometime during Week 8 - October 12.) FWIW I like to dedicate about 45-60 minutes for setup. The interview itself won't take very long- maybe 20 minutes. After that you'll want time to shoot B-roll. Remember this exercise is an opportunity for you to demonstrate portraiture lighting and your B-roll/continuity camera skills.
    • Consider how you will introduce your subject and map the flow of your subject. (A few compelling shots cut artfully to SFX or music will go a lot further than someone saying who they are and what they do.)
    • These ideas can only be changed in the next week. After Week 6 you must stay locked in on your subject- so it's imperative that you get confirmation. Last minute changes result in a loss of the 10-point, Pre-Production component (20% of your grade).

The planning of your projects will determine their success. The proposals, treatments, scripts, and storyboards you create may land you a job or an internship. They show that you can create, visualize, think and plan your productions. They are excellent components to include in your website or portfolio.

Editing 101 (review)

Editing Techniques Review (know how to describe)

  • Continuity editing - shots together to tell a story while preserving the illusion of time and space- or manipulate it as we see fit.
  • Acceleration Editing - condensing time, speeding things up
  • Expanding Time - slowing down time
  • Causality & Motivation
  • Relational editing - shots which by themselves seem not to be related take on a cause-effect significance when edited together in a sequence. (Kuleshov's Man in chair intercut with: corpse, bowl of soup, woman on a divan)
  • Thematic Editing - 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. A good 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 elements
    • 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)
  • The Plan Scene / Long take (A very long shot - in a sense it's the opposite of editing.)

Here's a good look at Pudovkin's 5 editing techniques as explained by Evan Richards. These are: contrast, parallelism, symbolism, simultaneity, and leit motif.

Editing Guidelines (Cybercollege 54 & 55) Know these! -----------------------------------------

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.

Remember: 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 gestures.

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 another channel.

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.

Editing 102

Editing can be fun or frustrating. Usually it's the latter when adequate footage doesn't exist, there is no clear plan or script to follow, or you are unfamiliar with the tools.

You need a few 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.

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

EDL - Edit Decision List

  • While you're editing, Media Composer, Premiere & Final Cut are tracking every single edit. Edits are numbered and the source in/out & record in/out are logged along with the tracks (audio or video). For off-line edits, EDLs can be output and brought into an on-line house.

Jim's suggestions (nuggets of wisdom):

  • When shooting B-roll - be sure to capture "mini-continuity" sequences. These are 3-6 shots that follow the rules of continuity (just like in the Week 2 exercise you shot).
  • When editing B-roll, use the mini-continuity sequences you shot. Don't drop in a single shot, use several to make a grouping and establish a rhythm.
  • Cut B-roll on phrases, key words or to the soundtrack. Try to define a rhythmic pacing of images.
  • I like to build my edits with the soundtrack. Weaving dialog, music, natural sounds into a smooth flow seems to work better.

Editing Effects & Transitions

Final Cut, Premiere, and Media Composer all have fairly robust built-in effects such as chroma-keyers, ways to get picture in a picture, wipes.

Sometimes you want or need something better. This is where 3rd party plug-ins are useful.

Plug-ins are software additions that perform specific tasks and work inside your editing or compositing software. Some visual effects are impossible to carry out without assistance. Take for instance faking electro-magnetic interference. Here's a link to some good examples (Data Glitch from Rowbyte software).

Some useful plug-ins include:

Here is an article with Premiere Pro plug-ins- but most of these work fine or have versions for Media Composer & Final Cut.


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.

Photoshop screen grab

Proper Pixel Dimensions - Square Pixel vs Anamorphic

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 (Anamorphic) Widescreen 720 x 480 pixels

The full raster pixel dimensions for broadcast HD are:

  • 1080 ----- 1920 x 1080
  • 720 ----- 1280 x 720

For your 1080i projects you'll want to use the HDTV 1080p/29.97 preset.

Keep in mind that many HD recording formats use smaller horizontal pixel sizes and upconvert to the full size upon playback. Here are a few other common sizes:

  • HDV 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.

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 1.778):

  • 1920 x 1080
  • 1280 x 720
  • 960 x 540
  • 640 x 360

Week 5 lab --------------------------------------


  • Turn in critiques via Oncourse
  • Review video work so far. Any issues with shooting, editing, or continuity?
  • Share Art Video ideas.
  • Audio News Exercise - Look at example. We'll produce these next week.
  • Review LED lights and reflectors
  • Media Composer 102: More editing, effects, & output

Media Composer editing (cont.)

Students should know how to:

  • Set in and out points (i & o)
  • Insert & overwrite (V & B)
  • Lift & Extract (Z & X)
  • 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
  • Add black (E.g. title: black) at start and end of project
  • Export (sequence, section or still frame)

Media Composer Effect Editing Tutorials:

Review Jim's Graphic Tips (know these)

Week 4 Vocabulary (know these terms)

  • Continuity editing
  • Acceleration Editing
  • Expanding Time
  • Relational editing
  • Thematic Editing (montage)
  • Parallel Cutting (cross cutting)
  • The Plan Scene (Long Take)
  • Off-line vs On-line (editing)
  • EDL (edit decision list)
  • Plug-in
  • Safe action area
  • Safe text area
  • RGB color mode - Additive color mode (for video, web, CGI, etc.)
  • CMYK color mode - Subtractive color mode (for print)



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