Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Framing shots, part of Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics.
- View Offline
In this movie, we're going to look at a few tips for framing video. By framing, I mean setting up and composing your shot, basically where do things exist in the frame. Think of it this way, almost as if you were a painter and the subjects and the set in your video, it's like your canvas, and because there are a lot of similarities there, it's good to know a few of the basic rules of design and composition for a painting or a 2D layout. Those really do help apply to your video.
For example here, when I was shooting this footage, I had this big old Seattle skyscape background and I had these guys that were the subject. So I decided to do, instead of putting things in the middle, which is what the amateurs tend to do that and that's not always a bad thing, but in most cases, it's better to align things to a one-third mark. If you were to align -- actually I have this overlay here of thirds, if we were going to divide this into thirds, we have this one-third line and it's considered better composition to align things along that line.
So I put these guys kind of together. I held the camera so that they were basically hanging around this one-third line. It's just better design to have your subjects hanging along one of these one-third lines rather than over too far to the left or to the right, or even in the center. Now, I am not the best cameraman at all, by any stretch of the imagination, and I didn't have this grid, obviously, as I was shooting this. So as I was shooting this, I kind of tried to do my best to keep them within that line. They went out of it a little bit, but basically they were kind of centered around where the third line should be.
And by the way, this principle, called the Rule of Thirds, is also applicable vertically as well. As a matter of fact, the points where the vertical thirds and the horizontal thirds would intersect are also good places to put single object. So if you maybe had like a ring on the ground, or something like that, you might want to put it at one of those points where the third lines would intersect. Now, one other tip for framing video. Sometimes things just don't work in terms of placing things on one-thirds. Sometimes you've got to deal with the set and kind of integrate design concepts in what you are trying to convey with your video.
In this case, I wanted these wrappers to look extra tough and kind of cool and powerful. They wanted to shoot around this bridge, so what I did is I tried to line up the main guy who is wrapping here, on the right, with the lines created from this bridge. And so we have here, what seem to be just a bridge and shadows and cars. But if you look and you're going to break this down to its essence, you would see some lines being created here by the shadows and by the bridge and these lines appear to be kind of emanating out from him.
This gives him this look that things are kind of exploding behind him, that he is powerful, he is larger than life. And that's kind of what I was going for, that all lines would point to this guy and make him look and appear to be more powerful because of this vanishing point. Now is that some kind of artistic rule or something? No, definitely not. But I just decided to use the set around me to convey and frame the shot, based on what I was trying to suggest by the subject matter.
- Working with P2 media
- Keying compositions using garbage mattes and green screen
- Using transition effects, lens flares, and 3D reflections
- Compositing with blend modes
- Understanding spatial versus temporal compression
- Recording, mixing, normalizing, and fixing audio