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By Ashley Kennedy | Thursday, December 18, 2014

Focus the Frame: Creating a Video Vignette

Ingrid Bergman video vignette

“Vignette” is one of those classic French words that has permeated the English language on a number of levels.

In the world of film, the vignette has been one of the most common lighting techniques for decades. And in recent years, digital post-production workflows have made the video vignette easier to create than ever before.

In this week’s Video Post Tips Weekly, we explore how to create vignettes in both Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X. And in this article, I’ll show you the merits of using different types of vignettes—as well as when the technique might become overused or cliché.

By Ashley Kennedy | Thursday, December 11, 2014

Speed Trimming Your Video Shots

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Whether you’re speeding up or slowing down your video footage, changing shot timing is a common editing function in all sorts of video projects.

However, instead of altering speed from scratch (where you determine the rate conversion manually), it’s often useful to be tactile about this operation—that is, by simply grabbing onto your shots and stretching them out or shrinking them down to match a particular duration in the timeline (where the editing software determines the rate conversion automatically).

In addition to this technique—called speed trimming—there’s also the ability to “Fit to Fill,” which allows you to edit a shot into a marked duration in the Timeline and force a specific speed change.

In this week’s Video Post Tips Weekly, we’ll explore some speed trimming and Fit to Fill strategies in both Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X.

By Ashley Kennedy | Saturday, December 06, 2014

Capture Family Video Footage That Really Tells a Story

Shoot creative family video footage for fun projects

When you break out your video camera at this season’s holiday gatherings, consider shooting something with more creative potential than just a hodge-podge of the day’s events.

With a house full of family members (a true captive audience!), there are so many fun things you can try—many of which can be turned into great gifts down the road, even if you just have a simple camera phone and limited editing skills.

Here are some ideas to try for great storytelling with family video.

By Ashley Kennedy | Thursday, November 27, 2014

Use Blend Modes to Correct and Stylize Overexposed Video

1-blend modes hero

Blend modes are the secret weapon of countless graphic artists.

Simply put, they allow you to combine multiple opaque layers and assign each layer a degree of transparency, which results in various types of blending. This lets you composite images, shapes, text, and other elements to build worlds of creativity—and are a common tool in programs like Photoshop and After Effects.

But did you know blend modes can also be a useful color correction tool in video editing software?

In this week’s Video Post Tips Weekly, we’ll explore how you can use blend modes to correct overexposed footage in both Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X. Next week, we’ll look at how to do the same thing for underexposed footage.

By Ashley Kennedy | Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tagging and Searching Your Video Clips

get smart strategies for searching your video clips

In video editing, it’s important to have smart strategies for labeling and searching your video clips —especially since we often work with projects that contain hundreds of clips.

It’s also important to do as much work as possible on the front end to help minimize time and effort on the back end; that way, you’re not constantly hunting and pecking through your bins for the perfect shot during the creative process.

By Ashley Kennedy | Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Nudges, Swaps, and Dupes: Try These Video Editing Shortcuts

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Video editing is like constructing a giant puzzle whose edges and shapes are constantly shifting.

Truly, the major (but fun!) work occurs once you’ve brought clips into the timeline and started making the finer adjustments within this fascinating puzzle. By trimming, nudging, moving, and rearranging your clips, you can tighten up or loosen your edits—thereby accelerating or slowing your viewer’s heartbeat and mind.

In this week’s Video Post Tips Weekly topics, we’ll be examining various video editing shortcuts for moving and manipulating clips in Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X.

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 | 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.

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