Keyboard shortcuts-be a smart person!

As we known ,using  keyboard shortcuts when you use computer or some Software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe After Effects  can allow you to work faster, easier and make greater performance.

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I’ve been using Adobe Premiere Pro with a lot of basic shortcuts what I use most frequently in my editing that help me edit quickly and save seconds for my video making.According to Helpx.adobe.com,(2015),such as :Ctrl + C for Copy, Ctrl + X  for Cut ,Ctrl + V for Paste ,Ctrl + Z for Undo,Ctrl + Shift + Z for Redo ,Ctrl + A  for Select All, Ctrl + Shift + A for Unselect and so on.In our first class about editing our short video “LENNY” by Adobe Premiere Pro,Paul taught me the first keyboard shortcuts,”O”and”I”,means:Set Inpoint and Set Outpoint.It really shocks me how easy to cut my video so quickly on my timeline whenever I want.During I spent a lot of time for using Premiere .I learned lots of extra keyboard shortcuts to make my video project looks so effectively,such as:J, K, L for Rev, Play, Fwd ,L/R Arrows for Move one frame, -/+ for Zoom Out/In ,Home for Move to Start, End for  Move to End ,Page Up for Move to Next Cut, Page Down for Move to Prev Cut,Control + U for Reset my current layout when it gets disorganized and messy,Command + 1 for Audio Workspace,Command + 2 for Color Correction Workspace,Command + 3 for Editing Workspace.

After I made lots of research ,here are the most basic to advanced trimming shortcuts that I might not even know exist before.According to Lieu D(2014), ‘It would be the Panel Windows:Shift+1 = Project Panel,Shift+2 = Source Monitor cycles through open clips,Shift+3 = Timeline Panel cycles through open sequences,Shift+5 = Effects Control,Shift+8 = Media Browser.’

And to create a marker in a Premiere Pro sequence, use the shortcut “M”. I can see the markers in the markers Panel, so I can change their  length and add comments ,it is very useful for adding editing or producers .

After all,I still need to learn more keyboard shortcuts and more skills by Premier or After effects.If I want get more effectively ,only one way will be have more and more practice.

Reference:

Helpx.adobe.com, (2015). Print Premiere Pro CC Shortcuts (Mac). viewed  5 May 2015 , <https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/print-premiere-pro-cc-shortcuts-mac.html>

Derek Lieu,Posted on Jul 8, 2014 in Blog. viewed  5 May 2015, <http://www.derek-lieu.com/2014/07/08/26-simple-tricks-for-faster-editing-premiere-pro-cc/>

Lenny – First Fantastic Shoot!

In our class,we got an unprecedented task.It was so exciting work for us,and all of us were expected can have this kind of chance to shoot a real video with a real script.That was shoot a short video by ourself which named ‘lenny’ used the script by our teacher.We should divide into groups,and each person should take charge of each crew for the shoot.Because our group have so many persons,we must separate to two days for shoot.First day,I was the actor for lenny.Second day,I charge for the camera operator.

Before you turn on your camera:pre-production

When the first time I got the script,because the script is so short and looks so simple ,I just read it for several minutes.And I really believed I got the whole meaning and can handle  the shoot without any difficult.But when our group discussed with the script,I realized  that I missed many details,such like every scene about the requirement of lens.After the first meeting about lenny shot,I find some skills about how to prepared for the shooting be professional and effectively from internet and library.Firstly,I think about the suitable position for the coming shoot,such like if the climate can match the story’s prospect,and also consider the place is definitely safe for the group shoot. Secondly,I create storyboards with several clip-art images for camera setups,such like the shooting angle,high angle shot,long shot,full shot,close-up shot, close shot,medium shot,background,three-quarter shot and so on.Thirdly,I also set up descriptive layouts and settings for each scene and shot.Make sure the shot type, angle, movement and equipment, including zoom in or zoom out, and sometimes,several methods can be used in combination with.After these preparation,it really made our following shooting more easier and effectively.

Before you call out:action!

Before action ,I learned a lot of things must to done.Firstly,adjust the white balance is the most important things to do .Even with a piece of white paper are shooting in different environments, such as different time, different light sources,it will be a totally different deviation.Correctly record our eyes seeing,it’s the reason for adjust the white balance.If you forgot,It totally can destroyed your video.

Up to now I still  felt so disappointed with myself about our group first shoot.we did not check our equipment when we start to our location we find for shoot.Just until our group members set up the camera,the director give the actors proper location and begin to shoot that we found our camera could not record as we want.We spent a lot of time to try to fix the problem,but unfortunately we failed.So we waste our first time for shoot and make whole group member felt so depressed.Through this unforgettable experience,it is still vivid in my memory:CHECK ALL OF YOUR NEED BEFORE ACTION!

Think more than you want:post-production

After we finished our shoot,we began to edit our video by Adobe Premier.I just found that it is very necessary need to readjust the white balance first when the location,temperature and lighting conditions changing.During our Lenny shoot,when we change our location from building to the street,the light turns more shine,but we forgot to readjust the white balance,so our shoot shows more white like exposure,and hard to focus on the actors face.As we know, before we started shooting in the use of digital cameras, must adjust the white balance in order to obtain a satisfactory colour effect, when the conditions changing, also need to readjust the white balance, if the white balance of the camera is not correct, there will be colour distortion.

Then the question of composition is also very important thing need to consider.  For example, During the Lenny shoot we want to put the actor in the middle of the picture, but the left side of the scene will looks too much, but the right side is so empty,it will need balance the whole frame.Maybe can be appropriate the screen a little to the left, although the character is not the center of the screen, but the the effect of overall frame will be very harmonious, does not affect the actors leading position.

After all,I realized  that SHOOT is not only about camera ,it also need you focus on everything about how can make it perfect.

Colour Grade-Make your video look like film!

I am a shutterbug,full of passion for taking photos everytime and everywhere.So I can used the Adobe Photoshop pro.Fortunately,Colour Grade is not difficult for me to learn,because it is very similar with using the Photoshop to change the pictures colour.

In video clips different colour can build a totally different mood,so the bright colour always associated with energy,sunshine,happiness,power,determination such like passion, desire, and love.And the blue colour usually associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes freedom,loyalty, smart, confidence,faith, truth, and heaven.The dark colour often associated with elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery,fear and the unknown things. It also can has a negative connotation which is the symbol of grief.So colour grade is a very useful skill can make your video express your story environment in perspective.Most important of all is colour grade can make your normal video look like real film stock.

Colour grade also can correct video clips when that’s too dark or too light, or set the levels to meet broadcast requirements or to match colour from scene to scene. Effects can also adjust the colour and luminance to emphasize or de-emphasize a detail in one clip.

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Look at my original clip named ‘Before’,it looks like a normal sunny day’s shot, but you can see the second screenshot named ‘After1’I make the picture look more colder,some kind of like winter, can you believe it ? I just use three way colour corrector and bend the three colour grades towards deongaree and lavender tones to build a different environment.You can have a look at the third screenshot named ‘After2’I make the picture looks more darker,just looks like something mysterious will happen. I also use three way colour corrector and bend the three colour grades towards russetish and brown tones to build a kind of stranger woman.You also can notice the last screenshot named ‘After3’I make the picture totally black and white,just looks like the old video many years ago, can you image it?This time I use three way colour corrector and adjust the input level towards zero to build a totally fresh world.

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Look at my original clip called ‘Before’,it looks like a very free shot,two person just sit down in some kind of park near their house without any strange,but you can see the second screenshot named ‘After1’I make the picture look more sunny,such like a hot summer, can you believe it ? I just use three way colour corrector and bend the shadows towards red and the midtones towards yellow and also adjust the highlights towards white tones to build one looks like the sun is shinny brightly.You can have a look at the third screenshot named ‘After2’I make the picture looks more darker,looks like something mysterious will happen, can you image it ? I also use three way colour corrector and bend the three colour grades towards russetish and brown tones to build a stranger environment.You also can notice the last screenshot named ‘After3’I make the picture totally black and white,just looks like the old video with long history, can you image it ? I also use three way colour corrector and adjust the input level towards zeroto build a not real world.

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Look at my original clip named ‘Before’,it looks like an ordinary day, but you can see the second screenshot named ‘After1’I make the picture looks more darker,just looks like something mysterious will happen, it’s very match the enviornment that script want present to the audience.I use three way colour corrector and bend the three colour grades towards deongaree and brown tones to build a stranger environment.You can have a look at the third screenshot named ‘After2’I make the picture look more colder,some kind of like winter, can you believe it ? This time I just use three way colour corrector and bend the three colour grades towardsgreenish-black tones to build a different environment.You also can notice the last screenshot named ‘After3’I make the picture totally black and white,just looks like the old video,can you image it ? I also use three way colour corrector and adjust the input level towards zeroto build a fresh world.

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Look at  the video I shoot will be warmer than I prefer,I’d like to use the RGB parade scope to see how warm or cool the clips are in my video.I just used the temperature slider to adjust the shot on the primary layer’s overall setting. Finally, I can make fine adjustments to the highlights, midtones, and shadows of the shot using the various slider and trackball controls.

After all,I just learned the simple colour grade skills to change the videos present,I also want to learn Tints and Colour Washes and HSL Qualification and Hue Curves can make my video to a real film.

Reference:

Andrea, R 2014, ‘Industrial Media: Colour grading’, Film, TV, Video, Media, RMIT, viewed 4 May, 2015, <http://www.mediafactory.org.au/film-tv/course/>

lynda.com 2012, Premiere Pro CS6 Three-Way Color Corrector | lynda.com tutorial 2012, 23 April, viewed4 May, 2015, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-7SIzARjto>

Pawel Pawlikowski

Reality is always higher than art. That is the very essence of a documentary. When I finished watching the documentary ‘The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst’, I couldn’t resist appreciating the wonderful narrative perspectives and the inherently amazing plots. The clues are peeled layer by layer with the rhythm just right in place.

As the polish director Pawel Pawlikowski said, ‘One of the reasons I made documentaries rather than fiction films was because they give you more freedom and fun. (Macdonald, K & Cousins, M., 1996)’ Definitely it is the Bible of every documentary director who are really keen to distil a story, not just a form of art, but also the process and the spirit they want to deliver to the mass. Nevertheless, what we still remember after the films except the dazzling visual effects and the same pattern of line plots.

5

Back to the film ‘The Jinx’, so gorgeous works. It records the history, becomes the history, and finally changes the history. The clips and music are so fantastic and the bizarre shock and awful turning are more than imagined. Plus those controversial and charm people who are interviewed without any visual effects, my adrenaline hurricanes so intensely. Whenever I see those little white durst eyes, staring like two black holes, I am full of the feeling of being swallowed. Little white durst eyes and black holes is an analogy. In film, analogy is essential and vital. Analogy lies behind basic tasks such as the identification of places, objects and people. Analogy and abstraction are different cognitive processes, and analogy is often an easier one. This analogy is not comparing all the properties between a hand and a foot, but rather comparing the relationship between a hand and its palm to a foot and its sole(Michael A. Martin).

6

Why is this documentary so fascinating? I agree with what Pawel Pawlikowski said:’the most successful documentaries nowadays seem to be those made by people with a lot of time on their hands and stall their subjects for five or ten years.’Jinx is also a film which takes many years to make. Compare to other documentaries, it avoids a lot of arguments and plots which we have heard many times. Instead, it directly interviewed some of the key characters, such as catching off guard Bobby’s brother at the banquet greeting, which is never showed in previous interviews. The rhythm is perfect and six sets are totally not redundant cumbersome. In the documentary, the rhythm is significant. Rhythm generally means a ‘movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions'(Anon. 1971). Its narrative looks like Agatha Christie’s ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’, full of suspense. This documentary breaks through HBO’s usually consistent modern series style and it especially reflects an artistic sense of rhythm.

The glamour of film or documentary lies in analogy and rhythm. When we use these elements in the film or documentary, the charm will appear in different aspects of film to audience.

References

Macdonald, K & Cousins, M. Imagining reality, (p. 389-392). London: Faber & Faber, 1996.

Michael A. Martin, The Use of Analogies and Heuristics in Teaching Introductory Statistical Methods

 Anon. The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary II. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Stop-motion Animation

I am an Animation Enthusiasts,full of passion into how can make one animation by myself.So I spent a lot of time to think about my animation story and learn the technical skills such like using the Adobe After Effects Pro.Generally speaking,Stop-motion animation is relative with the animation technique. It is original from shooting technique so that it applied in film long time. Excellent products of stop-motion animation are pretty attractive.

From some research works, I deeply feel that if I want to produce a perfect work, the expression of detail and technique is the most important. The reason why I want to make a stop-motion animation is a lovely toy rabbit which was bought by my friend. Obviously, I like it very much. However, I always have an idea that I want to endow the rabbit life. Suddenly, when I pay attention to the stop-motion, the idea comes true.Firstly,I began shooting with a camera. But it was not simple as my original imagination. The process was formidable to me, because I forgot the most vital process: design a script and have a plan to execute it. When entered into the practice, I began feel the difficult one after another such as scene layout, light adjustment as well as the operation of the rabbit and so on. Other problems occurred, for example, my friend knocked over the tripod carelessly. We must start it again. When all of shootings finished, I began processing the photos with after effects software. Unfortunately, I found that the strength of afternoon wind and the light intensity were inappropriate. So faced these problems, I had to repeat it to coordinate the process again. From the above others’ work and my individual experience, I learned from many ideas, techniques and detail description to stop-motion animation. All of them are pretty essential and vital. The above analysis is my understanding and reflection about stop-motion animation through my personal experience.

I have some ideas about “Paper War” directed by Zhang zhe and Wang xulong from Communication University of China. Firstly, in the process of manufacturing process, many preparations must be done. The workload is heavy. Many prototypes and pictures are made and it is a tiring journey. Actually, these preparations are necessary to every films but the cost may be high in stop-motion animation. The following pictures are a part of process in preparation.

Graph 1: Pictures in preparation

Note: pictures in the process of preparation, they are used in film

Sources: “Paper War”, Communication University of China

In my opinion, the most significant part is not only in this part, because the design of a film is the key point. Obviously, the design and development of script is crucial to a stop-motion. The reason is that the following actions are origin from it. An excellent script is critical as following graph 2.

Graph 2: Scripts in preparation

Note: Script in “Paper War” and design process

Sources: “Paper War”, Communication University of China

Secondly, in the editing procedure, the production staff must consider some techniques. The shot transition is the way in which two of these individual shots are joined together (Bernard F., Dick, 2010). For instance, in “Paper War”, some skills of transition are applied. Stop motion has very rarely been shot in stereoscopic 3D throughout film history. However, there are some innovations in the film and show the transition from 2D to 3D. As following pictures, a role of the film is from 2D plane to the 3D space from a plane of wall to table lamp. Another role catches up with the front by paper airline. It is also from 2D to 3D. However, finally, the most interesting result is that they integrate in 2D space.

Graph 3: 2D -3D transition

Note: Scenes from 2D-3D

Sources: “Paper War”, Communication University of China

Another example, a stop-motion animation is directed by Weng jie and Sun wei: “The snow mountain temple”. In the film, many techniques are utilized such as atmosphere rendering, the use of light as well as focal length adjustment. In the first act, snow is drifting in the sky and a lonely person emerges. It renders an atmosphere of loneliness. It is difficult to describe this kind of scene in stop-motion animation, though it is simple in the general film. The use of light is another character in animation demonstrating the texture of picture. As following pictures graph 4 and graph 5.

Graph 4: Snowing scene                                                  Graph 5: The scene of entering

Note: Atmosphere rendering                                          Note: Use of light

Sources: “The snow mountain temple”                        Sources: “The snow mountain temple”

Meanwhile, the character of focal length adjustment is described vivid so that the emotion of the film expresses incisive. In the film, it conveys the feeling that the leading role cherishes the memory of time with wife. In fact, the technique of expression is common in general films. Nevertheless, it is rare in stop-motion animations.

Graph 6: The scene of memory

Note: Focal length adjustment

Sources: ‘The snow mountain temple’

In one word, many new forms are applied in the stop-motion animation and the content of animation is more affluent. Many techniques of expression are utilized in the stop-motion animation. I believe that it is valuable experience. In this process, ideas and design is most vital in my opinion. Then, the innovation applied in the film attracts eyes of audience. Without doubt, the execution and reflection are necessary to every one of us.

Reference

‘First animated film’, Guinness World Records, Retrieved 5 January 2013.

Bernard F., Dick, 2010, Anatomy of Film – Sixth Edition. Bedford/St.Martin’s. ISBN 978-0-312-48711-9.

Richard Leacock

I believe that every documentary has its own character in narrative technique. From the paper of Tobias, ‘I had been raised on my father’s plantation in The Canary Islands. We grow bananas, tomatoes, we made cement pipes and pumped irrigation water. Of the more than 200 men and women that worked there, I think about three could read and write (Tobias, M. (ed.), 1998)’. Particularly, we can change a perspective to treat this issue. When we shoot a documentary, we should consider the perspective from different angles.

For instance, if we want to make a film about plant including bananas, tomatoes, we should describe the scene from the perspective of plant that is from the plant itself. A simple example of documentary, ‘Kingdom of Plants’, it expresses the feeling of plant.

1

In my opinion, plants are the foundation of organic sphere. The wisdom of plant is far beyond the people’s intelligence and imagination. Combustion rock rose to expand their territory. Meanwhile, new 3D technology is becoming a significant part of the success. It reveals a whole new dimension in the lives of plants by using 3D time-lapse and pioneering techniques in 3D macro photography from beginning to the end.

2

Certainly, there are some comparisons which the documentary has provided. In documentary, we usually apply some methods to demonstrate the difference or change like comparative montage. At the beginning, the term of “montage sequence” has been used primarily by British and American studios, which refers to the common technique as outlined in this article (Reisz, Karel, 2010). It is significant to a film or a documentary that the sequence is how to arrange. It is mentioned in the paper of Tobias that ‘What am I looking for? I hope to be able to create sequences that when run together will present aspects of my perception of what took place in the presence of my camera. To capture spontaneity it must exist and everything you do is liable to destroy it – beware! Filming is searching for and capturing the ingredients with which to make sequences (Tobias, M. (ed.), 1998).’

3

4

Different sequences will construct different situation that describe different meanings to the audience.  The director casually shoots a few shots that he presumes will be used in the montage and the cutter grabs a few stock shots and walks down with them to the man who’s operating the optical printer and tells him to make some sort of mishmash out of it. He does, and that’s what’s labeled montage (Don Siegel, 1997). In cross montage, two cross cutting action occur at the same time in different space so that a tense atmosphere and a strong sense of rhythm shaped. In the micro film, ‘Awaiting’, which is directed by Jiang Digui in Korea, the cross montage is applied in it. The scene of a young woman and an old woman appeared in different time and space crossly profoundly expresses the time span.

Different ways can describe different scenes. Moreover, same scenes can express different meanings through different techniques like montage. Maybe it is the essence of film or documentary.

References

Tobias, M.(ed.), the search for reality: the art of documentary filmmaking, (p. 43-50), CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 1998.

Reisz, Karel, (2010), The Technique of Film Editing, Burlington, MA: Focal Press. ISBN 978-0-240-52185-5.

“Don Siegel,” Who the Devil Made It, Peter Bogdanovich, Alfred A. Knopf, 1997, p. 724-725. Interview made in 1968.

Richard Leacock