3D – How and when it works

There's been many types of 3D films, but recently they've become more sophisticated

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 2 years, you’d have noticed a massive boom in the rise of 3D movies and games. There’s a lot of criticism out there about it – It doesn’t really work, it’s a gimmick being pushed down our throats, it’s simply not good enough, etc… Well, I prefer to take a more constructive approach when it comes to film criticism, so here I’m going to list both when it works and how it should be done.

Read the rest of this entry »


The massive video editing extravaganza! – 50 tips! Part 7

Heading onwards to tips 31 to 35!

31. Using multiple video and audio tracks. Tracks stack. Simple. Adding tracks is usually simple, and you can have a lot of them. With video tracks, the top one is the one that is seen. If it has an alpha channel or a chromakey effect, then you can see some bits below. Also using picture-in-picture effect allows the tracks underneath to be visible. Audio tracks act differently though. All audio tracks play at the same time, although they can be muted or turned on to solo allowing easy manipulation between tracks.

The Final Cut Pro timeline, one of many NLE programs that can do multiple video tracks

32. Syncing up video and audio. Most of the time audio and video will already be in sync. If you’re capturing the audio separately though, you will need to sync them up in post. Depending on how you filmed this depends on how difficult this would be. What do I mean? Well, it is possible to hook up an audio recording device up to a camera to sync up time codes. Syncing up timecodes means it’s fairly easy to sync it in post production, simply match the timecodes of the video and audio. If the timecodes don’t match, you can still match up the sound and audio using the clapperboard, combining the two the first frame the clapperboard closes with the sound.

33. Smoothing. Any form of smoothing destroys information. In essence, you’ll lose detail. Whether it’s a blur, pixelisation, de-grain smoothing, etc… If you need to do it, just be careful not to destroy too much detail, lest you make the picture more cartoon like.

34. Legal Colours. Monitors and TVs display things differently. Though it’s not always a problem with modern TVs, certainly older monitors will display colours differently. It’s why some suites have proper monitors, to allow us to see what the footage would be like viewing it on a regular television. Most of the time there’s some setting on editing suites to limit the colours to those that are legal on TV’s thus taking out potential problems later on. Nice!

AVID's safe colour limiter effect

35. Absolutes. When adjusting colour, be aware of the absolutes. Adjusting the colours can sometimes mean crushing the range a bit. What does this do? Well, instead of having smooth tones, you get patches of the same tones. This can happen with all colours as well as black and white. The least you have to adjust the colours, the better.

Groovy music videos (YouTube Saturday) – Part 2

Yep, it's THAT time of the week again!

And I’m back. Em here for the second – and final part – of this week’s YouTube Saturday. In case you missed Part 1, the music videos here have been chosen because: either a) They have their own narrative b) They’re visually interesting or c) all of the above.

So, without further ado, here’s the rest.

Coffee And TV is performed by Blur and directed by Hammer & Tongs. Apart from being an extremely story driven video, the ending is something quite special. It was part of the album 13.

Walk This Way as performed and covered by Run – D.M.C. with Aerosmith helping out on the cover and video. Why do I like this video? Well, other than being as old as me, it’s the bringing together of two subcultures it represents and it knowingly playing off on that whole stereotypes thing Paul was on about the other day. Part of the album Raising Hell.

Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) is performed by The Offspring and directed by McG. In a way this video has become more interesting as the years have passed, due to the fact that the protagonist in the video would be seen as completely normal by today’s standards. It was part of the album Americana.

Danger! High Voltage is performed by Electric Six, but I am unsure who the director was. It was part of the album Fire. My love for this video is in part based on the fact that I was banned from watching it in my parents house as a teenager as they were afraid of what influence it may have over my younger brother. Naturally, making a video with flashing crotches and boobs taboo in your household just drives interest and its sense of epic-ness. Plus, the interior design for the house is pretty groovy.

Thriller as performed by Michael Jackson and directed by John Landis, is part of the album Thriller. Obviously I couldn’t take a delve into some of my most favourite music videos without touching on this true classic. A short film in of itself, the special effects, make up and choreography are what I most enjoy about this music video. It is 28 years old this and year has yet to be surpassed.

Here ends this weeks YouTube Saturday. I hope that you’ve enjoyed the selection.