1 2 Previous Next 50 Replies Latest reply on Aug 14, 2008 6:04 AM by Jim_Simon

    To make a video look even better...

      Hi there.
      I have one question.
      I directed and edited this video:
      http://vimeo.com/1474127

      It was recorded with a Sony HDR-FX1. The quality is good, and I'm happy about it. I worked on it in Premiere CS3 and it looks good.

      But..what kind of camera, and what settings must I upgrade to, to have that more of a "real music video" look? Especially the colors.

      Do you have any tips for me?
      Greetings
        • 1. Re: To make a video look even better...
          Jim_Simon Level 8
          OK, how do you say that last name?

          For altering the 'look' of any kind of video, I very strongly recommend Magic Bullet Looks. That software is so good, I can no longer produce without it.
          • 2. Re: To make a video look even better...
            Level 1
            Hehe Jim. Let's say I got many different spellings on my last name thru all the years :P

            Magic Bullet Looks? Is that a easy software to work with? And how does it work really?

            So it doesn't really matter what camera I rent? I mean if I renta Sony HDR FX-1 or Canon XL-H1, it doesn't matter?
            • 3. Re: To make a video look even better...
              Level 1
              Oh, and one more question.
              I'm pretty new to the Adobe game.
              Do I have to work with After Effects, or is it not necessary. I've only bought Premiere Pro CS3, but I hear I also need AE...?
              • 4. Re: To make a video look even better...
                Dag Norum Level 2
                Enek,

                Check out the demo of the Magic Bullet Looks:

                http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/categories/color-correction/magic-bullet-looks/

                Many of the pre-sets can be a bit "strong", but make a good starting point. They have a video, check the tutorials on their site, which shows pretty well how to use it.

                I agree with Jim, Looks is good.

                Dag

                EDIT: AE is a very nice tool to have, and has a bit steep learning curve, but needed or not, well it's for me now. Maybe get into Premiere first and then dive into AE is smart?
                • 5. Re: To make a video look even better...
                  Level 1
                  Well, I'm on page 650 of 1000 in the Adobe Premiere CS3 Bible :)

                  AE has a bit steep learning curve you say. So it's a bit harder to learn it, than Premiere?
                  So the difference between Premiere and AE, is that in AE, there are more effects?

                  Do I need AE, if I get the MBL 1.1?
                  Or is the PPro CS3 and MBÖ 1.1 enough to make good video production?

                  The MBL 1.1 looks really good. And if you say it's that good, I'd better bring our those 400 bucks and go get it.

                  So how does it work? I encode a project in Premiere, and then import it to MBL and edit it there?
                  • 6. Re: To make a video look even better...
                    Dag Norum Level 2
                    Enek,

                    About Looks:
                    Download the demo to see: 1. Important! If t works on your computer (It needs certain graphics cards, which is well worth the money anyway), and 2. See how it works (it's a plugin that works inside Premiere).

                    It's possible to unlock the demo if you decide to buy it.

                    Dag

                    EDIT: Oh, about AE, download the demo of that also. When you install, be quick to look for tutorials because the trial period is 30 days, and that's not much for such a bear.
                    • 7. Re: To make a video look even better...
                      Level 1
                      Dag, I have a
                      ACER M5100-5F7N AMD Phenom 9500 Quad,
                      8192 MB RAM,
                      1500 GB hd,
                      DVD+-RW,
                      ATI X2600 PRO 512-1919 MB,
                      HDMI
                      USB 2.0
                      FireWire
                      Memory Card Reader 9-1
                      Windows Vista Home Premium

                      I think my machine can handle it, since it's brand new.
                      I'm gonna download the demo and check it out.
                      • 8. Re: To make a video look even better...
                        Steven L. Gotz Level 5
                        After Effects can be very easy to use, or, it can be very hard to use, depending on what you want it to do.

                        I can teach people to make a titlein motion in a few minutes. Expressions can take a lot longer. Some things I may never learn. The best way to start is to take the lessons on Lynda.com or get the Total Training DVDs. Then buy the books by Chris and Trish Meyer for the really fancy stuff. There are also a lot of free tutorials on the Creative Cow forums.
                        • 9. Re: To make a video look even better...
                          Level 1
                          Steven, but is I work with Premiere and Magic Bullet Looks.
                          How close can I come what I can achieve with AE?
                          • 10. Re: To make a video look even better...
                            Steven L. Gotz Level 5
                            There is nothing that Magic Bullet can do that you can not do by yourself in Premiere Pro using color correction. But it is so much easier using Magic Bullet.

                            After Effects adds a completely different set of capabilities. You don't need AE to do color correction, but you do need it to do some of the fancier compositing.
                            • 11. Re: To make a video look even better...
                              Jim_Simon Level 8
                              I'm going to have to disagree with you a bit on this one Steven. I find there are quite a few things Looks can do that might not be possible, or at least impossible to figure out on your own, using Premiere native effects.

                              One thing I like is that using the Looks Exposure effect to brighten up a scene, not only do you get measurements in f-stops, but Looks doesn't seem to add any grain or wash out the video like brightness, gamma and other Premiere native tricks do.

                              Another is the Looks Telecine tool, the 3-strip tool, the Vignette and Soft Focus tools, etc. I won't say it's impossible to do these things with just Premiere. But I will say it'd be near impossible for me to figure out how on many of them.

                              It is well worth the $400. Once you understand the tools Looks offers, you will have your video looking like the pros. (And that's probably because even the pros use Looks to get that 'look'.)
                              • 12. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                Level 1
                                Not good news for me...right?

                                • 13. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                  Dag Norum Level 2
                                  Newest graphics card driver?

                                  And/or, maybe take a look here:

                                  http://toolfarm.com/phorumNew5/list.php?14,page=1

                                  (I'm logged in, so I don't know how that link works for those who are not)

                                  Dag
                                  • 14. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                    Level 1
                                    Dag, my computer is 2 months old...

                                    Dag, I have a
                                    ACER M5100-5F7N AMD Phenom 9500 Quad,
                                    8192 MB RAM,
                                    1500 GB hd,
                                    DVD+-RW,
                                    ATI X2600 PRO 512-1919 MB,
                                    HDMI
                                    USB 2.0
                                    FireWire
                                    Memory Card Reader 9-1
                                    Windows Vista Home Premium

                                    I can't believe it can't handle it!
                                    :(
                                    • 15. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                      Dag Norum Level 2
                                      The thing with drivers is that they are usually not new with new PS's or new cards. Please check your drivers, it could be as easy as that (no promises).

                                      Dag
                                      • 16. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                        Level 1
                                        With drivers you mean?

                                        I just ran the dxdiag to check what graphic gard I have exactly, and it gave me this result on the screen:
                                        • 17. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                          Dag Norum Level 2
                                          Videokort drivare (sorry, my Swedish is not good, being a norrbaggar)

                                          Check the ATI homepage for new drivers for your video card (graphics card).

                                          Dag

                                          PS! It's bedtime for me, and should be for you also :)
                                          • 18. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                            Jim_Simon Level 8
                                            I found the ATI 8.6 driver caused a problem with Colorista. I had to roll back to 8.5. Newest isn't always best.
                                            • 19. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                              Level 1
                                              If people come to me to make Music Videos it's not just because I purchased Magic Bullet. It's also 20 years of experience. The video you shot does not look professional for reasons beyond color or frame rate (albeit I would recommend 24 progressive in all cases).

                                              (1) Your depth of field close to infinite on virtually every shot.
                                              (2) There are few if any close ups and super close ups.
                                              (3) The art direction is non-existant.
                                              (4) The performance is mediocre.
                                              (5) The cinematography is flat with a very low key to fill.
                                              (6) Tracking shots are rare and non-dynamic.
                                              (7) The story structure and style is out of line with expected icons.

                                              I will leave it at that for now. But you're just not quite there yet. May I recommend you do a 20% zoom in on all shots and reframe to tighten it up. You don't hold on master shots in a music video.

                                              This is not the 80's anymore.

                                              Good luck.
                                              • 20. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                >The video you shot does not look professional for reasons beyond color or frame rate

                                                On that one I would have to agree. In all honesty, the shot choice and editing do mark it as "less than MTV quality".

                                                But, we all start somewhere. My first wedding video was a joke compared to what I do now. And some of my local competition still makes me look like "Uncle Charley with a Handycam".

                                                While shooting and editing are generally improved with experience and education, the actual 'look' of the piece can be very much improved in just a few minutes with MB Looks (if you ever get it to work).
                                                • 21. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                  Eddie Lotter Level 4
                                                  >I found the ATI 8.6 driver caused a problem with Colorista.

                                                  8.7 is now available. Hopefully it will be kinder to you.


                                                  Cheers
                                                  Eddie

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                                                  • 22. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                    I'm afraid to try it.
                                                    • 23. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                      shooternz Level 6
                                                      >There is nothing that Magic Bullet can do that you can not do by yourself in Premiere Pro using color correction.

                                                      Thats a far stretch and not actually fact Steven!
                                                      • 24. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                        Level 1
                                                        Magic Bullet saved me many times. On Premiere 1.5 if works like magic. Word for the mother.
                                                        • 25. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                          Level 1
                                                          > f people come to me to make Music Videos it's not just because I
                                                          > purchased Magic Bullet. It's also 20 years of experience. The video
                                                          > you shot does not look professional for reasons beyond color or frame
                                                          > rate (albeit I would recommend 24 progressive in all cases).

                                                          Hi jujufactory.
                                                          Thank you for your honesty, but let me tell you the story about this shooting.

                                                          The artist/rapper is living in USA. I live in Sweden. Since the trip for me over there was quite expencive, we decided to try something different and rare. He rented a camera (Sony FX-1). I tryied to write down all the tips I could give him about filming. (light set, zooming, different angles....)
                                                          Then took some friends and family with him and they filmed some 3 hours footage. Then he sent me all that on a external hard disc to me, and it was my time to try to make something of it.

                                                          So, if you don't look from the video scenes itself, what can I try to do in Magic Bullet Looks to try to make this video look better?

                                                          In Premiere Pro CS3, I edited the brightness & contrast, the color and the luma curves.

                                                          Thank you all for the words. I've got thousand of ideas of how to shoot in my head, but I'm just getting started.
                                                          • 26. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                            Level 1
                                                            Here are my recommendations:

                                                            (1) Cut faster. You hold on the shots too long. The problem is worsened by the fact the performances are mediocre.
                                                            (2) Do a 20%-30% zoom in and reframe. There are way too many long shots and medium close ups. You need close ups. Real close ups. The added grain will not be a problem and it will look more stylized.
                                                            (3) Forget the mono-colour look. Go for bright colors. This gold metallic look is boring.
                                                            (4) Avoid all shots with white backgrounds. This is not a washing powder commercial.
                                                            (5) Create shadow effects. The shots are too flat and flood lighting is boring.
                                                            (6) The music is pretty boring. Yet try to cut on the rythm. It will add dynamism.
                                                            (7) Try to add movement by doing video rotations. With the 20%-30% zoom, you have leadway. Try using effects software to add some lightning movements.
                                                            (8 ) Use the multi-screen technique co create a mozaique of screens from different takes. This will give the viewer many things to look at.
                                                            (9) The actor is trying to be funny and he is playing parody. Cut the thing like a parody. A parody is a work which makes fun of another work. What exactly is the video parodizing?
                                                            (10) Use effects to get the backgrounds out of focus. The infinite depth of field is just killing this video.
                                                            (11) Nothing prevents you from overlapping two images and create interesting effects. Right now it's just boring.

                                                            If you apply these recommendations it will be the difference between night and day. You may call my agent later. Good luck.
                                                            • 27. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                              Level 1
                                                              Hi again jujufactory.
                                                              First of all, thanx for taking your time.

                                                              Then, when I read those 11 points that you write down, I don't get much of it. In my year with APP CS3, I've never done any of the mentioned above. I guess I have to read thru the whole 1000 pages Adobe Premiere CS3 bible, to understand all that, right?

                                                              And about MBL, it works now, but is it suppose to take so long time to render? Only 4-5 scenes take like 30 mins to render!

                                                              Thank you again for your time. I come from being a pro athlete, to this. I've always had an interest for videos, and when I started with Movie Maker 3 years ago, and then AP Pro 1.5 2 years ago, and now CS3 last year, I've notice that my mind never sleeps. I've got so many ideas! But I gotta learn all this first...
                                                              • 28. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                                Level 1
                                                                Once you apply these 11, I'll teach you 11 more.
                                                                • 29. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                  Looks is a render hog. It will take time.
                                                                  • 30. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                                    Level 1
                                                                    > Once you apply these 11, I'll teach you 11 more.

                                                                    This 11 that you mention. Will the Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 bible teach me that? Or do you have any other tips how I can learn that?

                                                                    Thank you againfor taking you time.
                                                                    • 31. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                                      Level 1
                                                                      The key advantage of Premiere is that it is very intuitive (Unlike After effects which is impossible to figure out). I never read the instructions for Premiere. I just try everything and sooner or later I figure out what can be done. Just make sure you know how to use effects and blue screen. For example, to put the background out of focus, one way to do it is to matt out the foreground and replace it with blue screen. Set the rest slightly out of focus and super impose the out of focus footage onto the original footage. While it isn't perfect, you can get away with it as long as the foreground isn't all over the place. I managed to get two documentaries broadcast on French TV using this technique. Your video should be no problem as the character barely moves. Render and move on to the next step. If rendering loss is a problem, use the Aspect codec or even better yet: the Prospect codec. It speeds up rendering time a lot. I will not mention you need a fast PC to get things done.

                                                                      Here's a video I did by simply using the Z1 and Premiere 1.5: http://www.vimeo.com/1503306
                                                                      The video is a huge hit. It's not the tools but how you use them.
                                                                      • 32. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                                        Steven L. Gotz Level 5
                                                                        What needs to be learned isn't in a book about software. Editing music videos requires a lot of watching of music videos to find the style you like. Then a lot of practice mimicking the style.

                                                                        The fact is that jujufactory had a director who supplied him with visually interesting shots and then he cut them in a professional style. I like the use of exagerated color and some of the glow or shine effects. And I have to admit that the music was more interesting as well.

                                                                        The footage you have may be able to be saved, it is hard to tell. Try it a few different ways. Make it more exciting. Find a way.
                                                                        • 33. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                                          Level 1
                                                                          Steven... ahum... I am the director. :)
                                                                          • 34. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                                            Steven L. Gotz Level 5
                                                                            Well, then you did a good job.
                                                                            • 35. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                                              Dag Norum Level 2
                                                                              OK, time to take the leaf off my mouth.

                                                                              Steven, even though I promised to never respond to any of Mobutu's (aka now Jujufactory) threads, well, this is not his thread so:

                                                                              His video is fine if you like synthesized music, or afro-pop with sexy behinds moving around. The cuts are fine, but still: What's the story?

                                                                              Is it a good job to tell something about "oh I'm so hot, please miss me when I'm gone" which is what most of the other music-videos do?

                                                                              I found the music in Juju's video quite boring and stereotype, no life and no meaning except for sexy behinds basically, what's new about that?

                                                                              20 years of experience, yeah that's a good line, but according to his own homepage, http://www.b-mol.com/, it seems like that's the only music video he has ever made.

                                                                              His 11 points, and maybe 11 more, if that comes from one job, OK he may have some points, but I don't buy it completely, Enek should find his own way!.

                                                                              There are others that have a point to their music videos, and they seem to know how to use for example After Effects:

                                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glR4q-xBWzc&feature=related

                                                                              If you understood Brazilian, you would get my point. Maybe you'll get it anyway, even though the music can be a bit weird to some.

                                                                              Dag

                                                                              EDIT: Eh, Brazilian, meaning Portuguese spoken the Brazilian way.
                                                                              • 36. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                                                Level 1
                                                                                Dag, now that you've emptied your bag of pent up anger against me and that you've done your outmost best to come up with ways to cut down my video do can we go on with business and keep this thread on topic? The question is not whether you like this video (frankly I don't give a sh-t about what you think), the question rather is whether we can help Enek improve his video. I have given him 11 ways to do it and I showed him an example. What have you done besides being a jerk as usual? Nothing. So I recommend you say something productive for a change. Thank you. ;)
                                                                                • 38. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                                                  Mortimer IOU Level 2
                                                                                  I deleted the two previous posts (from Dag and jujufactory), because they do not contribute to what so far was a pretty good thread giving Enek the feedback he requested. Hopefully this action will prevent a total flame out. Wishful thinking?
                                                                                  • 39. Re: To make a video look even better...
                                                                                    Level 1
                                                                                    I'll try to put up another video we did with a JVC 101. It looks really good for relatively little effort. It's really a matter of getting the essentials during production.
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