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By Ashley Kennedy | Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Don't Reinvent the FX Wheel: Change Video Effects en Masse

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The creative process is exactly that: a process: You try things out, change your mind, make mistakes, and shift your goals.

This happens a lot in video effects editing. You try things and tweak until they’re just right. Then once you’ve got it, you often need to apply the effects to all of your clips en masse.

But there’s a difference between applying effects to many clips at once (which is generally pretty easy) and going back and changing effects of many clips at once (which may not be as intuitive). That’s what we’ll look at in this week’s Video Post Tips Weekly—in Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, and Avid Media Composer.

By Ashley Kennedy | Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beyond Pleasantville and Sin City: Secondary Color Correction

2014_10_22_VPTWa

For newbies, the process of secondary color correction may be reduced to references to the movies Pleasantville or Sin City.

If you’ve seen those movies, you know what I mean; selective colors emerge dramatically from a mostly black-and-white world.

While this may be easiest to understand with such stark differences in color palette, secondary color correction is actually a great tool any time you want to perform color replacement—and most of the time, you’re dealing with much subtler adjustments.

What is secondary color correction?

Simply put, it’s when you isolate a range of color, saturation, and brightness values and make adjustments in only that range—with minimal or no effect on the remainder of the color spectrum.

In this week’s Video Post Tips Weekly tutorials, we’ll take a look at how to perform secondary color correction in both Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X.

By Ashley Kennedy | Friday, October 17, 2014

Going — and staying — slo-mo with the iPhone 6

using slo-mo with the iPhone 6

Over the weekend, my local fire department held an open house where they set lots of stuff on fire. So I did what any video enthusiast would do: I took plenty of slo-mo footage—of the flames, the smoke, the water spewing from firehoses—with my new iPhone 6.

Bringing that footage into editing software, however, isn’t quite as cut and dry as you might think. So I wanted to show you some of the things I learned—in case you ever want your slow-motion video to have a life outside of your iPhone.

By Ashley Kennedy | Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mask Tracking Made Easy — in Video Post Tips Weekly

mask tracking in video

The video frame is a big, wide world. Often there’s a lot going on in there, and not all subjects within the frame can be treated equally.

What if you want to brighten up a face—but you want the rest of the environment to remain in relative darkness? And what if that face is moving? And for added difficulty, what if it’s also coming toward you and rotating?

You can see what issues arise if you treat the entire frame equally. Instead, you’ve got to hone in and grab control of the pixels that define the face, brighten up that area, and then track its movement over the duration of the shot—while leaving everything else alone.

Fortunately, with masking and tracking technology, you’re able to do this relatively easily. So in this week’s Video Post Tips Weekly, we’ll demonstrate mask tracking in Premiere Pro CC (both the 2014 and 2014.1 versions) and Avid Media Composer. And while tracking isn’t available in FCP X, I’ll show you how to apply a simple mask and use keyframes to achieve similar results.

By Ashley Kennedy | Sunday, October 12, 2014

Filmmaking Under Fire: Making Movies in Syria with lynda.com

2014_10_13_SyrianFilm

Film editor Danniel Daoud was screening a cut for his director recently when missiles began striking less than 2 kilometers away. Danniel turned up the volume of his speakers to drown out the incredible blasts.

“I moved the audio sliders up so the directors wouldn’t hear the sounds—so they are not scared,” said Danniel*. “I tell them it is more safe inside than in the streets. This is what parents do for their children, as well.”

Danniel lives in Syria—a country currently entrenched in international crisis and civil war. Not only must he live among threats of physical violence, but as a creative professional, he must also deal with stifling restrictions imposed upon his country by other countries because of Syria’s complex ties to war and terrorism.

By Ashley Kennedy | Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Think Sync: Matching Audio to Video in a Digital World

2014_10_08_VTPWsync

Matching audio to video has been standard practice in the movie industry since the early days of film. This workflow, known as sync sound (or double-system sound), simply refers to recording audio separately from the visuals—and then later joining them together in post-production.

In this week’s Video Post Tips Weekly topic, Think Sync: The double-system sound workflow, we’re going to see how this nearly 90-year-old tradition relates to today’s digital video workflow (especially among popular cameras like DSLR’s).

And fortunately, we’ll see that the once-manual process is now almost completely automatic.

By Ashley Kennedy | Wednesday, October 01, 2014

New Post-Production Series Kicks Off with Master Clip Effects

2014_10_01_VPTWmasterclip

This week kicks off my new Video Post Tips Weekly training series, covering all-things-post-production.

Each Wednesday, I’ll teach a specific technique or workflow—but I’ll be covering it in multiple nonlinear editing (NLE) platforms like Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, and Avid Media Composer. This is a great opportunity for you to just watch the movie(s) applicable to your preferred NLE—or you can watch each movie and start to build a vocabulary for how other NLEs tackle similar operations.

It’s my goal to make the series a cross-pollination of editing tips that familiarizes editors with a wide variety of techniques and software.

This week’s topic, master clip effects, explores a really exciting development in editing that allows you to correct or stylize your clips right at the master clip level—rather than applying effects to individual clips in your Timeline. Specifically, we’ll be looking at how to do this in Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X.

By Ashley Kennedy | Friday, September 12, 2014

Hollywood Gender Divide: Women in Post-Production Speak Out

Scene from the 1913 film

Scene from the 1913 film “The Evidence of the Film”

In the very early days of film, nearly all editing positions were held by women. Female editors, or “cutters” as they were called, were known as the stitchers and menders of the craft. The work was all done by hand; it was low-paid and women rarely received screen credits for their work.

Fast forward to a century later, and although advancing film technologies have made the work easier and more efficient, the proportion of women editing motion pictures has gone from a majority to a low minority—extending the Hollywood gender divide to yet another area of motion picture-making.

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