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Editing and arranging a still-image storyline

From: Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X v10.0.9

Video: Editing and arranging a still-image storyline

Taking still photos at a video shoot might seem a little redundant, but I believe our eyes see differently through a still camera than a video camera. Since you are not recording sound, you have to look more closely to determine what the image is saying, and still images can be powerful. Just ask a photojournalist, they can tell very compelling stories simply by using still images and an audio recording of someone talking. As part of a video project though, stills can add a needed pause or an extra dimension to your story. In the Project Library let's open the Stills project.

Editing and arranging a still-image storyline

Taking still photos at a video shoot might seem a little redundant, but I believe our eyes see differently through a still camera than a video camera. Since you are not recording sound, you have to look more closely to determine what the image is saying, and still images can be powerful. Just ask a photojournalist, they can tell very compelling stories simply by using still images and an audio recording of someone talking. As part of a video project though, stills can add a needed pause or an extra dimension to your story. In the Project Library let's open the Stills project.

This is an empty project. And remember in order to edit something like stills or audio we are going to first need to edit a video clip to establish the settings. Let's edit a clip from our Music selection. We have different clips. We have drumming, and kids playing xylophone, but we also have this lovely clip of kids singing and clapping together. Let's edit this into the timeline. Editing that clip now sets the settings for the entire project. Let's take a listen. (Video Playing) Well, as we have talked about throughout this course, it's always a good idea to adjust volume so that it's not overpowering, no matter what you do or how you're using it.

So we can adjust volume, we can also edit or trim the beginning of this, so it starts when they begin the new phrase of music. (Video Playing) Let's trim that, and let's drag the fader so that we fade in a little more gently. (Video Playing) Now this clip is really going to be the heartbeat, but not so much because of the visual, although that little boy is adorable, we are going to add stills over this music. But we also want another component to build a little more complexity.

So for that, let's go our Interviews keyword collection, and let's edit the section of Paul where he talks about the love of trees and family. (Video Playing) Paul: If people love their trees their coffee trees, then the coffee trees are going to be taken care of. Diana Weynand: This might be a really good layer to blend in with this particular project. So we've selected Paul. Let's move our playhead back to the beginning and connect Paul to this primary storyline.

Now that's fine, but we don't really want to see Paul. We could leave these clips as they are and put the stills above it, but I am going to prefer to drag Paul beneath the primary storyline because we're only ever going to hear him speak here. That will allow us to use the music group on the primary storyline and edit stills above it. Let's go ahead and move our playhead to the beginning, and take a look at some stills that we might be able to use to tell the story of love for family. And since we're hearing a music selection with kids singing and playing, let's look for clips of kids.

Here is a great shot of the kids standing next to the Kawomera sign. So let's connect that clip to the project. Let's look for other images of the kids. Here is a beautiful shot of the boy on the rock. So let's edit that. And as we are editing, we're connecting. Here is an image of a classroom and a teacher. Here's a nice shot of the kids on the xylophone. Here is another great shot of kids in the classroom. And here is a beautiful shot of a teacher at a blackboard, and I am going to press Shift+Z so we can see everything in the timeline, and it's not a bad idea to perhaps change the Clip Height so that we can see all of these clips together.

What we're seeing is three layers. We have three layers going on that are going to create a little bit of complexity. We have the still images of all the clips, we have the kids playing music and we have Paul talking about the love of coffee and community. We are going to want to do a few things here. First of all, we might want to put these in order. I think this boy in the rock is a great shot to start with. So if I reposition the boy on the rock, watch what happens. Because it's a connected clip, it wants to be placed above the first clip.

So I am going to undo that. You can't move clips around like you would in the primary storyline unless you either make a storyline of these clips, or make a compound clip out of them. Let's select these clips and make a compound clip of this group of clips. Now you have one clip that can be selected and moved, and one connection point to the primary storyline. To edit this, simply double-click and now you see a timeline that contains just those still images, and those still images are on a primary storyline of their own.

Now we can take that boy on the rock and position it to the head of this particular compound clip, which at the moment is acting like its own project. So let's go ahead and put these in a particular order, you might have an order that you like. I am going to start with the boy on the rock and then go the kids drumming, and then I'm going to bring the students in. I like ending with the kids in the Kawomera sign, that's meaningful. So we have students, let's put the teacher in the middle here, and then coming back to the classroom with a different teacher. So we've positioned the clips.

Now we can go back. And a shortcut for going back to the previous project that's been opened, is Command+Left bracket, and now you see the changes that you made and you see the order that they appear. Let's listen to this. (Video Playing) And right away I have to stop because the music volume is too loud for me to concentrate on what Paul is saying. So I lower the volume and play again. (Video Playing) Paul: If people love their trees, their coffee trees, then the coffee trees are going to be taken care of.

And the trees have to produce food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and education for their families and their communities. Diana Weynand: Well, as you can see we've got something going here. It's not finished yet. These still images begged to be zoomed in on and we'll do that in another movie, and there are some other things that we can do to finesse this. But as a concept, it really is working to pull these stills together. Still images can capture expressions that are often too fleeting in video. They are especially powerful when they capture the amazing looks on children's faces.

So don't forget to integrate stills into your video project, or better yet experiment with creating a stills and audio project.

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This video is part of

Image for Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X v10.0.9
Effective Storytelling with Final Cut Pro X v10.0.9

40 video lessons · 12261 viewers

Diana Weynand
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 7m 12s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 34s
    3. A word about Final Cut Pro X versions NEW
      1m 18s
  2. 16m 21s
    1. Exploring different types of storytellers
      7m 9s
    2. Identifying story elements
      5m 9s
    3. Finding the essence of the story
      4m 3s
  3. 15m 6s
    1. Organizing footage into folders
      5m 29s
    2. Creating a disk image as a contained workspace
      4m 51s
    3. Importing folders and stills as keyword collections
      4m 46s
  4. 22m 52s
    1. Adding keywords to make clips accessible
      3m 33s
    2. Using favorite tags to call clips into action
      7m 16s
    3. Making notes to capture observations
      4m 1s
    4. Performing a complex search
      2m 28s
    5. Prepping clips for editing
      5m 34s
  5. 28m 47s
    1. Finding the meat of the clips
      5m 11s
    2. Don't be puzzled over your first edit
      4m 27s
    3. Creating project versions and developing story diversity
      5m 16s
    4. Putting story threads in order
      7m 25s
    5. Sculpting the story within the timeline
      6m 28s
  6. 46m 5s
    1. Trimming distractions from a story
      6m 48s
    2. Compounding thoughts into one primary story project
      9m 52s
    3. Evaluating the project for story content and pacing
      7m 1s
    4. Fine-tuning the edits in a project
      7m 36s
    5. Refining the primary sound bed
      7m 55s
    6. Organizing separate story segments into independent storylines
      6m 53s
  7. 24m 11s
    1. Storyboarding a narrative script using placeholders
      7m 22s
    2. Recording a narration track to explore script ideas
      4m 40s
    3. Changing pitch in a temporary narration track to identify different characters
      5m 27s
    4. Adding sound effects to create depth
      6m 42s
  8. 41m 2s
    1. Embellishing the story with cutaways to B-roll footage
      9m 3s
    2. Finessing cutaways to enhance the story
      5m 3s
    3. Editing and arranging a still-image storyline
      6m 22s
    4. Applying the Ken Burns effect to still images
      6m 33s
    5. Altering your story's "look" using the Color Board
      8m 4s
    6. Applying effects to enhance story elements
      5m 57s
  9. 28m 57s
    1. Retiming to lengthen or shorten music and clips
      6m 48s
    2. Adding freeze frames to end or start sections
      6m 40s
    3. Video finishing touches
      8m 6s
    4. Audio finishing touches
      7m 23s
  10. 1m 7s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 7s

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