In this video, learn all of the tricky terminology in creating a video presentation.
- So the good news is that making videos is far easier than it's ever been. That's how this course can exist, and it's how you can make great videos without needing massive budgets. That said, you still need to know some key technical terms. Armed with that knowledge, you'll then be able to figure out pretty much everything else. So, first up, aspect ratios. This is one you've likely encountered before if you've ever dived into the settings on your television. The aspect ratio is used to describe the shape of the video frame in terms of how the horizontal relates to the vertical.
The most common aspect ratio these days is 16 by nine, also simply known as widescreen. This is the shape of any consumer television you can buy these days, and it's what 99% of television shows are made in. Go back a decade, and you used to also get four by three. A more square shape was the standard for TVs up until the early 2000s. It's rare to see new material shot in four by three, but it is worth knowing about it just in case you ever have to deal with archival footage shot in the 20th century or if you hear about it being referred to.
Something which has only become relevant in the last decade or so is the need to recognize and understand the difference between portrait and landscape. So the reason this is important is because phones these days all have pretty great video cameras, and in fact they're a completely respectable way to make a video. The problem is in terms of how we're used to using a phone. So, normally we're talking on the phone like this, or maybe we're sending a message. The temptation is that when we go to shoot a video, you hold it like this, and that's how you film it. But the problem with this is that it's in portrait mode, and that's the quickest way to reveal that you've made a video on the cheap, because it'll only fill the middle third of the frame.
What you actually want to do is rotate the phone around like this and shoot it in landscape mode. This means that it will fill the screen when you then play it back on a television. Next up is frame rates. This is actually fairly simple. Video and film work by displaying several still images one after another. Shown fast enough, this creates the illusion of motion. That's why they call them the movies. Frame rate is used to describe how many frames are used per second, both in the recording and in the playback of the video.
There are three common frame rates. 24 frames per second is how most feature films are shot and projected in cinemas. It's been the standard for over a century, barring the occasional high frame rate experiment like with The Hobbit films. Then you have 25 frames per second, which is the standard frame rate for television here in the UK and some other territories. And finally, you have 30 frames per second, which is the frame rate used for US television. You'll almost certainly stick to one frame rate, probably whatever the convention is in your country, but the good thing is that modern televisions handle this kind of thing pretty well.
And if you're uploading your video to the internet, then it's even less of a worry. The important thing, really, is to make sure that you keep your frame rates consistent. So if you're shooting at 30 frames per second, make sure that when you get onto the computer you also edit at 30 frames per second. So let's talk about resolutions. If you've done any kind of image work in the past, then you'll know the drill on this one. Video resolution is determined by horizontal and vertical pixels, and the most common resolution at the moment is 1920 by 1080 pixels. This is the resolution favored by consumer televisions, Blu-ray players, games consoles, and many computer monitors.
It's also the resolution you'll encounter most frequently on YouTube and Vimeo. You might sometimes hear this being referred to as 1080p. The p refers to progressive, which basically means that every frame is captured at full resolution. This relates back to an older method of capturing video called interlacing which is no longer really a thing, so you don't have to worry about it too much. And trust me, that is a very good thing. The main thing to know is that if you aim for 1080p, you're going to be good, because 1080p is what looks great on modern televisions, it looks really good online, and in fact it's kind of future-proofed as well, because even on newer 4K televisions, 1080p video still looks excellent.
And talking of 4K, if you're tempted to get a 4K camera, that's not a bad option. They can still shoot 1080. And in fact, even if you don't need to be producing 4K content, having that extra resolution can really help create pin sharp video. Of course, it's not quite that simple. There's another HD standard, which is 1280 by 720. If you've seen a TV labeled as being HD-ready, this is the resolution it probably uses. Again, this is sometimes referred to as 720p.
You then have standard definition content, which is still very common with broadcast television and DVDs. This is much lower resolution, at 720 by 480 in the US and 720 by 576 in the UK. At the high end, you also have ultra high definition, with 2K and 4K content. 4K televisions are becoming increasingly dominant, though finding 4K content to actually watch is still a bit of a challenge. Finally, let's tackle formats. Just like how images come in a variety of different types, be that JPEG or PNG or TIFF or GIF, videos also have a variety of different formats.
Now, some cameras will give you an option of choosing which kind of format you want to record in, but most of them are locked into a specific type. The three most common are MP4, AVCHD, and MOV. MP4, also known as MPEG4, is designed for high quality video while maintaining a relatively small file size, a bit like how JPEGs work for images. MP4s are especially fantastic for distributing and uploading finished videos. AVCHD is very common with video cameras, especially home camcorders.
It's not the fastest performing format, but most modern computers can handle it fine. MOV is the file type of the QuickTime format, which was created by Apple. To complicate things, a MOV file can actually use all kinds of different video types, including MP4, which we just talked about. This makes it quite versatile, but the big problem is that Apple no longer fully supports the format, especially on PC where it's no longer easy to download and install. If you're on Mac, that's not really a problem, of course. With any video file, you're always balancing quality with file size.
Entirely uncompressed video is super high quality, but the files are enormous. The trick is to find a format which balances quality and compression, and that's why MP4, AVCHD, and MOV are used quite a lot, especially in consumer cameras. It's because they offer a really good balance of quality and file size. There is inevitably a huge amount more to learn about each one of these topics. That's why video professionals still exist and know their stuff. But for the purposes of this course and the kind of videos that you're making, hopefully this will arm you with the essential information you need to be able to keep going forwards.
- Getting started with HitFilm Express
- Setting up a camera and lighting
- Making a shooting checklist
- Shooting on a green screen
- Transferring from camera to computer
- Converting video formats
- Importing videos into HitFilm
- Using essential editing techniques
- Using multiple tracks
- Making color corrections
- Working with keyframes and composite shots
- Creating titles and lower-third captions
- Exporting and sharing video