The massive video editing extravaganza! – 50 tips! Part 4

And swiftly moving on to tips 16-20:

16. Stuck? Leave it until later. You can’t seem to get a piece of footage right, no matter how it looks? Skip it for now! There’s no point in obsessing over one bit if you’re leaving less time to work on other bits. Remember: done is better than perfect! Come back to it at the end, you may even have a few new ideas on how to tackle the problem!

Thick blue line to the left for marking in, thin blue line on the right for the mark out

17. Know how to split frames properly. We’ve all done it. You’re on a frame and you cut it. You stick something in between only to find that there’s now a single frame of something you don’t want pasted onto the beginning of something you do want. Are you cutting before the frame shown or between this one and the next? It depends on the editing program used, but AVID actually has 2 lines rather than 1 for this very reason. Marking in and out points, you should understand that marking in means the left line, marking out means the right. Learning this will stop you cutting a frame off from time to time.

18. The alpha channel – how to create one. First, the alpha channel is a transparent layer. You can doodle on the alpha channel and have it so that you can see video underneath it. Handy! But how to create one? There’s a few methods based upon what you want to do with it. Titles are easy, the title tools usually have it so that the background is alpha. With importing graphics, you can use their alpha channel – although make sure the codec supports it. Something like .gif or .png does. .jpeg and .bnp don’t. In terms of video, .flv files seem to be able to accommodate alpha channels.

19. The alpha channel – how to use one. As mentioned above, the alpha channel is a transparent layer. So, you keep it on top of everything else and have the background playing underneath. As far as I’m aware, the standard way of doing this is to put the alpha-channel media onto the highest video track. Pretty simple.

The alpha channel will often have a checkered background

20. Plan your effects. If you’re going to do a special effect in post-production, make sure that you’ve done some tests to make sure that you get the results that you are expecting. It also makes it quicker when it comes to the actual editing of the film as there’s less need to experiment to get the desired effect as you know exactly what you need to do and how to achieve it.  All you then need to do is tinker with the settings to get the best out of the shot.

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