Video Editing Archives

Virtual Set Design

Something that I have always been only very marginally skilled at is graphics.  Specifically I’m talking about creating completely new graphics on the empty canvas of a program like paint or GIMP.  As a matter of fact, except for doing occasional touch ups and slight modifications of existing pictures, I’m downright terrible at it.

That’s more of a problem than you might think.  You see, among the many ideas that I have for videos are several that require “virtual sets” which are basically pictures of the environment you want to use for the video so that you can, with chroma key, put your actors into it virtually in the video editor after shooting them acting against a green screen.

Several of these ideas require that I have sets with some really cool looking modern furniture, control panels, starship systems and so on.  I am NOT anywhere nearly good enough with graphics to create something like this from scratch and there’s no way I can afford to have a graphic designer make it for me.  This means that I either put the idea aside until I can afford one or just forget about it entirely.  Usually I end up having to forget about it completely because by the time I will have the resources to get the virtual set made that I need, the idea will no longer be relevant.

This is one of the things I hate about having to make videos on a shoestring budget.  So many good ideas get flushed down the toilet because I just don’t have the resources to make them.

It’s really quite infuriating.

Technorati Tags: chroma key, shoestring, shoestring budget, graphic design, virtual set, video, graphics, video editing

One Goal Achieved!

Last week I achieved one of my goals and only now have had time to post about it.  Back on March 17, 2009 I created what has since become my main youtube channel TinFoilChefDotCom.

At the start I was just doing cooking videos and not posting them very often at that.  Then in November of that year I started Vlogging about weight loss and my very major need to lose lots of weight because I had passed 350 pounds.

Videos started being a lot more frequent, almost daily until on Sep 23 I joined the youtube orbit, which is a group of vloggers who have committed to doing a video every day for at least a year (one orbit around the sun).

Over all this time my video making skills got better, the video quality improved and I’ve begun to find a niche or three that I’m not only comfortable with but I’m also having fun with.

Then last week, after applying for the second time, I achieved youtube partnership.  That achievement resulted in this video.

Enjoy it, I’m never going to do THIS particular stunt again.  :-)

Technorati Tags: Im a partner, beard, ask tfc, yto, tinfoilchefdotcom, partner, orbit, shave, coolness, last week, extreme

Lighting, The Heart Of Chroma Key

Anyone that’s used the video editing tool called Chroma Key, the trick of making a color transparent so that you can have a picture or another video clip visible behind your actor(s), can tell you that THE single most important factor in using that effect is lighting.

Oh, it’s possible to make it work (well, sort of) with poor lighting by using color correction tools to super saturate the green (or blue) screen and make it usable, most pros and experienced amateurs will agree that in the end there is no substitute for a well lit green (or blue) screen.

Now during the last several months I’ve had the advantage of the much brighter sun that’s available in my studio in the spring and summer months.  However it’s now autumn and we’re headed into winter.  That will mean months of dingy gray clouds with little to no bright sunlight to speak of.  Never mind light that is both bright enough and available at the time I need it.

Anyone that’s ever looked into studio lighting will know that it’s expensive stuff, even when it’s on sale.  Fortunately I have a couple of ideas that should do the trick.

The first is to wire up a couple of those insanely bright halogen headlights to a twelve volt power supply.  I they should easily be bright enough since I get almost completely blinded every time I’m driving at night when SOME inconsiderate moron doesn’t understand the courtesy of dimming their high-beams when there’s oncoming traffic!

The other, much easier option is to get a couple of work lights and position one on each side of the green screen for even illumination.  This will also have the advantage of being portable for those times when I’m shooting at some location other than my studio, something I hope to be doing more of over the coming months.

Technorati Tags: lighting, video editing, chroma key, studio lights, visual effect, studio lighting, lights

The Sounds of Success

In my ongoing quest to become a youtube partner and reach the point where I am earning a livable income from my videos one of the things that has repeatedly been a source of untold headaches is sound.  I am especially talking about music in particular.  Sound effects can be troublesome at times but there are fairly easy to deal with ways to handle that.

Music on the other hand can be a major royal pain.  Especially when it comes to finding something that works for the project at hand and is also free of copyright restrictions that would prevent it’s being used for commercial purposes such as in a youtube video that is part of their revenue sharing program.

I have spent a LOT of time scouring the net for solutions and I think I have finally found something that not only will take care of the issue but also will run on the computer equipment I’ve got instead of forcing me to buy something more modern (and not to mention expensive!).

Sony ACID Music Studio looks to be for all the world like it is exactly the program I’ve been looking for.  What’s more, it also looks like I have a good shot at being able to get it on sale as well, making an already good deal a heck of a lot better.

This program comes with literally thousands of music loops that can be mixed and matched into thousands of combinations that can then be edited and tweaked in several ways to not only make certain that it results in a completely unique piece of music but also it can let you be totally satisfied that the music is *right* for the scene you’re using it for.

I have wanted exactly this kind of a software package for a long time.  I am not a musician and haven’t got the first clue about composing original music.  With this program I don’t have to be able to read music or know a bunch of stuff about music theory or anything else.  I will simply need to pick the loops that suit what I’m doing and start tweaking them and adding more loops, tweaking everything until it’s dead on for what I’m doing.

In short, I think this thing is tailor made for people wanting to do a lot of serious stuff on YouTube or anywhere else.

Technorati Tags: i want this, software, music, wishlist, youtube, video, solution

Transporter Accident

I was watching a video yesterday that included a unique kind of transporter accident in the story.  Two people were beamed up but before they could be rematerialized, the transporter circuits suffered severe damage.  When folks had the chance to do some repairs they tried rematerializing the patterns that were held in it’s buffer.

Unfortunately, only one person appeared.  There was still one pattern in the buffer but the body that had appeared had the minds of both people in it.  This lead to an interesting series of conflicts that was made worse (and funnier) by the fact that one was an attractive, active woman and the other was a geek whose only good feature was the fact that he’s smarter than anyone else around… and knows it.

the flyThey eventually managed to get things sorted out and back into their own bodies but it got me to thinking.  It’s been a LONG time since I’ve seen the very first movie that involved a transporter accident … The Fly.  And I’m not talking about the 1980’s remake either.  I’m talking about the 1958 original with Vincent Price and the sequels that came after it.  What’s really cool is that I found them on sale in a single set!!

The Fly Collection is a set that has all three of the original classic science fiction slash horror movies in one place.  Say what you will about visual effects and film quality being less than what can be done now but on the other hand, they told a VERY intense story that scared the crap outta people without having to resort to filling the screen with gallons of blood or mountains of gore.

I think there was, in many ways, more art to telling stories in a visual medium then than there is now.  Don’t get me wrong, I love CGI and visual effects and I think they can be used in fantastic ways.  However at the same time you can do a heck of a lot with a good story and a director that knows how to lead the audience where he wants them to go.

Technorati Tags: video, vincent price, classic video, classic sci fi, horror, the fly

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