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By Robbie Carman | Tuesday, November 11, 2014

DaVinci Resolve: Get to Know the Contrast & Pivot Controls

Contrast and Pivot are useful controls in DaVinci Resolve

When it comes to setting contrast in a shot, DaVinci Resolve has a lot of tools you can leverage.

Some popular tools like curves, the primary sliders, or the 3-Way contrast rings are generally pretty intuitive.

But there are two controls in Resolve that I use all the time to set contrast—and until you’ve had someone explain them and see how they work together, they can remain an enigma.

So let me introduce you to the Contrast and Pivot controls as a powerful way to set and adjust contrast.

By Ashley Kennedy | Wednesday, November 05, 2014

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

2014_11_05_VPTW1

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 | 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 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.

By Seán Duggan | Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Using Layer Masks with Video in Photoshop

video_layermasks_07

Photoshop has been able to handle video for several versions now, but the video features got a big upgrade with the CS6 release—in the form of a Timeline panel. This was significant because the timeline interface has long been a fixture in other dedicated video editing programs.

The nice thing about working with video in Photoshop is that you can rely on all the skills and techniques you already know about working with layers, adjustment layers, and layer masks. The ability to use layer masks with video layers allows you to create some really interesting custom transitions and composites for your video projects.

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