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By Robbie Carman | Friday, August 30, 2013

How to shoot a product shot: DSLR Video Tips

Take better product shots with DSLR Video Tips

Explore DSLR Video Tips at lynda.com.

Cars, phones, computers, clothes, and food are just a few examples of the plethora of products presented to us every day on TV and on the Internet. For commercials and many corporate videos, a product is the primary focus of the shot, so getting it to look its best should be your number one mission when shooting these types of projects.

Getting great product shots benefits from experience—but also a willingness to try new things with camera mounts, lighting, and motion. This week we’ll explore how to get a great product shot, including

By Robbie Carman | Friday, August 23, 2013

Recording Audio for an Interview

Get great interview audio on location.

Having clear, crisp audio tracks is essential for effective corporate videos, commercials, documentaries—and particularly critical for interview footage. Audiences are often willing to forgive small technical mistakes with video, but far less so with problematic audio.

This week we’ll set up to shoot an interview, and look at ways to improve audio recording quality on location. It’s easy to focus solely on capturing great visuals while shooting an interview; but audio that’s hard to hear, distorted, or runs together between interviewer and subject can quickly ruin a production–and possibly even require a reshoot. To help you capture the best audio with interview footage, this week we’ll discuss:

By Chris Meyer | Friday, August 23, 2013

Editing and Animating to Sound

Editing and Animating to Sound in After Effects

Although I’m primarily known as an Adobe After Effects user and motion graphics artist, my background is in the music industry. Over the years I’ve found a sympathy for sound to be a big benefit to video professionals: timing animations to your project’s sound increases the impact of your visuals. Inversely, strictly focusing on the visual elements of your edits without serving the sound can distract the viewer, and dilute the overall impact.

I’ve recently distilled years of experience creating visuals to sound into a two-and-a-half-hour video course of exercises and real-world examples, Editing and Animating to Sound in Adobe After Effects. I start with the basics of learning how to “read” an audio waveform to spot the timing of beats in music, and then cut video, build animations, and even drive effects using the audio in your project. I also include a list of “magic tempos” you can hand to musicians so they can create a soundtrack at a speed that makes editing and animating easier.

By Richard Harrington | Friday, August 02, 2013

Shooting under bright lighting conditions: DSLR Video Tips

Shooting in bright conditions

Explore this course at lynda.com.

On this week’s episode of DSLR Video Tips, we look at techniques to control exposure and depth of field when shooting under bright light conditions. Outdoor lighting can be too much for a camera, so it’s important to master the exposure triangle—the critical relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and film speed (ISO). Join us as we head back out on a real-world music video shoot for musician Jason Masi, and discuss ways to achieve total control over your focus and exposure when natural lighting is in abundance:

By Robbie Carman | Friday, July 19, 2013

DSLR Video Tips: What is a follow focus?

A DSLR follow focus system

On this week’s episode of DSLR Video Tips, we’ll look at a piece of gear called a follow focus that makes it easier to get repeatable, sharp focus. We’ll examine how a follow focus works, and techniques for using one in the field.

• Learn the benefits of using a follow focus, the essential parts of a follow focus system, and how to put one together.

• Learn how to set up marks for your talent, as well as marks on the follow focus—so that you can quickly repeat focus as objects or people move through the scene.

• Our special guest Kevin Bradley shares his techniques for operating follow focus, and Robbie tries his hand at the task of “focus puller.”

• After the shoot, we’ll head back to the studio to take a look at the results and discuss how the follow focus helped us, and what we could have done better.

By Richard Harrington | Friday, July 12, 2013

DSLR Video Tips: How Do I Shoot in Small Places?

Have you checked out the new and enhanced DSLR Video Tips series? lynda.com authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman head out into the field weekly to explore practical tips for all levels of shooters.

In this week’s episode, we tackle shooting in small places. You’ll learn how we get great shots where there’s very little room to fit a crew.

Learn how small lights can be hidden in plain sight to illuminate your subject without getting into the shot.

By Nicholas Brazzi | Thursday, June 13, 2013

Learn The Art of Color Correction: Artistic Color Grading on the Timeline

Last week, I wrote a blog post explaining why I find color correction so exciting, and why it’s often overlooked. Now it’s time to dive into the Art of Color Correction.

Simon Walker’s new course The Art of Color Correction: Artistic Color Grading on the Timeline looks at color correction as a storytelling tool and asks the question: How can color corrections help you communicate an emotional message? To answer it, Simon turns to people who built their life’s work around studying color, light, and shading—artists like Renoir, da Vinci, van Gogh, and even Edward Hopper.

Taking inspiration from some of the best painters in history, this course offers tips on deciding which color palettes and lighting schemes to apply to your video or film. Find out, for example, what you can learn from Rembrandt’s chiaroscuro technique to create tension in a scene.

The course starts with early Renaissance frescos by Michelangelo and Botticelli to demonstrate color saturation and contrast. Next it jumps to the heart of the Renaissance to learn how to work with limited palettes as da Vinci did, and create rich theatrical looks like Rubens. Visit with Impressionists Renoir and Degas to play with sunlight and shadow, and then create some romantic color styles. Finally, consider the work of colorists Picasso and Hopper to see how colors can affect your story.

We think you’ll enjoy how this course explores the history of visual art to help you make strong, effective decisions about your video and film production style.

Not a lynda.com member? Start a 7-day free trial today.

By Nicholas Brazzi | Thursday, June 06, 2013

Learn The Art of Color Correction with Simon Walker

The Art of Color Correction

As a video editor, I find color correction one of the most exciting areas of video post-production. I consider it an invisible art—vitally important, but most viewers have no idea that it happens at all.

So what is color correction, and why is it so important? The easy answer is that it’s a manipulation of the color in an image during post-production. Usually color correction is performed to maintain a consistency in color tones throughout a film or video. But very often, manipulation of color can also be used as a storytelling device. Films like The Matrix, Traffic, and O Brother Where Art Thou? are great examples of films that used a unique color treatment as a major storytelling element. Color correction is a standard process in filmmaking and video production, and easily as important to a production’s quality as sound and lighting. The lack of color correction is a common reason that amateur video can look low quality or unfinished.

Like most tasks in video production, color correction requires practice and planning. How do you learn it? First, learn to color correct for consistency across your project. Chances are, you didn’t shoot all of your scenes at the same location, time, or with the same lighting setup—and as a result, the color tones in your shots may be different. I recommend starting with one of the many courses on lynda.com that cover color correction and editing applications (listed below).

Next you should learn to create specific creative styles with color correction. Although the courses listed below get into stylistic topics, they focus mostly on software tools and correcting for shot-to-shot consistency. So I’m pleased to announce that next week we’ll be launching the first course in a new series titled The Art of Color Correction with author Simon Walker. Simon brings along some high-profile teaching partners: Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Renoir, and Hopper. I hope I’ve piqued your interest. I’ll post again when that course releases; until then, check out one of the courses below to prime yourself for The Art of Color Correction.

Color correction toolsPremiere Pro and Adobe CS users:Up and Running with SpeedGradeColor Correction with Premiere Pro CS5.5Premiere Pro: Color Correction and Enhancement

Final Cut X and Final Cut Studio users:Color Correction in Final Cut Pro XColor 1.5 Essential Training

Avid Media Composer users:Color Correction: Creating a Polished Look in Avid Media Composer

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