… for Visual Effects

Tip #1106: Share Your Favorite Tutorials

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Share your favorite tutorial websites in the comments.

(Image courtesy of Pexels.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

With so many effects packages out there, and so many web sites providing tutorials, I’m curious about which tutorials or web sites you find the most helpful.

Share your favorites in the comment section below and I’ll highlight them in future Tip Letters.


Please rate the helpfulness of this tip.

Click on a star to rate it!

… for Visual Effects

Tip #1107: Boris FX Tutorials

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Dozens of tutorials covering all the Boris FX products.

Four of the tutorials on the Boris FX website.

Topic $TipTopic

I was exploring the Boris FX website and discovered a gold mine of video tutorials for 22 different host applications and spanning 23 categories, including:

  • Boris Continuum
  • Mocha Pro
  • Sapphire
  • Primatte
  • Particle Illusion
  • and more

Videos are organized by:

  • Category
  • Product
  • Feature
  • Host
  • Difficulty level

Here’s the link so you can explore on your own.


… for Visual Effects

Tip #1108: Beginner’s Guide to DaVinci Resolve

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This is a thorough guide to learning Resolve.

(Image courtesy of Blackmagic Design.)

Topic $TipTopic

Earlier this year, Paul Saccone and Dion Scoppettolo co-authored the “Beginner’s Guide to DaVinci Resolve.” This PDF is geared for people who prefer to learn by reading, rather than watching.

Published just a few months ago, this covers all the key features of the software, including audio and effects, that you need to know to use Resolve effectively.

Paul was the Senior Director of Marketing at BMD until he left a couple of months ago to join Frame.io. Dion is a Senior Product Marketing consultant and still working with Blackmagic. Prior to Blackmagic, both Paul and Dion were part of Apple’s Final Cut Pro team.

Here’s the link to get your free copy.

EXTRA CREDIT

Even better, because this is a PDF, you can download it to study at your own pace without needing to be online.


… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1096: Select the Right Proxy Format

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

For most projects, choose ProRes; though use H.264 where file size is critical.

Ingest options for Media Browser, indicating the default proxy options.

Topic $TipTopic

Premiere continues to improve its proxy workflow, most recently by adopting the ProRes family of codecs across all apps, both Windows and Mac. When it comes to creating proxies, we can now choose between four different codecs:

  • H.264
  • ProRes
  • CineForm
  • DNxHR VR

If you want the smallest possible proxy file size, H.264 is the choice. However, this is not an efficient format to edit, especially on older computers.

My personal preference is ProRes, though CineForm is an excellent alternative.

The DNx options are specifically for 360° VR video, either monoscopic or stereo.

NOTE: Resolution refers to the frame size of the proxy file: full resolution, half resolution or quarter resolution. For most projects and rough cuts, half resolution is the best balance between file size and image quality.

EXTRA CREDIT

UHD Proxies, in case you were wondering, use ProRes Proxy at 1/4 resolution, which makes the files efficient to edit, but small in size at 960×540.


… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #1097: Creative Color Tints

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Shadow & Highlight Tints are quick ways to affect the dominant grayscale values in an image.

An image as captured (left) and after tints were applied. (Image courtesy of J. Putch and “Route 30, Too!“)

Topic $TipTopic

There’s an unlimited range of looks and emotions we can evoke with the color tools in Premiere. Here’s a technique using two tools I haven’t worked with before to boost the emotion in a scene.

In the screen shot, the image on the left is how it was shot. The image on the right was adjusted using three settings in the Lumetri Color > Creative panel:

  • Vibrance was decreased 30% to reduce saturation.
  • Shadow Tint was pushed deeply toward dark blue affecting the darker portions of the frame.
  • Highlight Tint was pushed slightly toward red.

Look how much more stressed and anguished she looks, just in changing these simple settings.

The benefit to using Shadow and Highlight Tints is that you can quickly alter the color balance of a scene by affecting shadows, which our eye responds to at a much deeper level than highlights.

EXTRA CREDIT

When altering saturation, Vibrance is a better tool than Saturation, because Vibrance only affects mid-tone values.


… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1078: Discover PostPerspective.com

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

PostProduction.com is a go-to source for stories, interviews and product reviews.

Randi Altman, Editor-in-Chief, PostPerspective.com.

Topic $TipTopic

If you haven’t explored the PostPerspective.com website, you are missing a treat.

Editor-in-Chief Randi Altman has a multi-decade career covering our industry. A few years ago, she founded PostPerspective.com to provide online, in-depth coverage of our industry.

Typical stories include interviews with the folks behind the camera, analysis of production and post-production techniques, equipment reviews, and tracking personnel as we move about the industry.

Here’s the link: PostPerspective.com.


… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1079: How to Get More YouTube Subscribers

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Increasing YouTube subscribers comes down to leveraging your marketing.

(Image courtesy of Pexels.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is a summary.

If you’ve been hustling away on YouTube for a while now, chances are you’re already well up to speed on all the major tips for growing your subscriber base. (Publishing videos on the regular, cross-promoting on social media, making primo content, etcetera, etcetera).

But what if you’ve tried all of those things and you’re still flailing around in sub-1000 subscriber territory? And now you’re asking yourself “how do I get YouTube subscribers and push the needle forward?”

Here are the seven steps they recommend:

  1. Enable YouTube’s Automated Pop-Up Subscription Link
  2. Collaborate With Other YouTubers
  3. Use Playlists To Retain Viewers
  4. Make Your Thumbnails Simply Irresistible
  5. Self-Promote in Facebook Groups, Subreddits, and Amazon Reviews
  6. Fill Your Titles With Super Relevant Keyword Phrases
  7. Make Video Intros a Standard Practice

Visit the article, linked at the top, for more details.


… for Random Weirdness

Tip #1080: Filmmaking Fundamentals: Blocking

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

These five videos illustrate different ways to handle blocking a scene.

(Image courtesy of PremiumBeat.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Jourdan Aldredge, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is a summary.

When watching amazing cinema, there are many aspects you’ll notice right away and often remember forever — great lines of dialogue, breathtaking action sequences, and beautiful cinematography. However, one film element that often gets ignored, but is still crucially important, is blocking.

Before we go into learning from the masters, let’s go over some of the basics of scene blocking. Scene blocking covers everything that has to do with placement and movement between characters, props, and camera(s) for every shot and scene. Unless you’re shooting a documentary or a certain type of improvised action, most film scenes are tightly controlled, blocked, and rehearsed so that every movement and action is accounted for.

Finally, the most important part of any scene blocking is the camera. In many ways, the camera — which represents your audience and POV — is the primary character in your scene. Consider your camera placement, its framing, and any (or all) movements that you might employ, from simple pans to complex tracking shots, when working on your scene blocking.

In this article, Jourdan provides videos illustrating:

  • How to block a scene
  • How Hitchcock blocks a scene in “Vertigo”
  • How Scorsese blocked a scene in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
  • How Akira Kurosawa using blocking
  • How Kubrick, Spielberg and Inarritu blocked scenes

SUMMARY

When you’re finally shooting your scenes with your carefully defined blocking in action, it’s helpful to treat each shot and scene as its own mini-movie. You have your actors ready to go in their starting positions, you have your lights set and queued up for any adjustments, and your camera is rehearsed and ready to move. Once you call action, you’re really just recreating the stage play that you’ve blocked and mapped out — now it’s your job to shoot it to the best of your ability.


… for Apple Motion

Tip #1084: Effects Playground: Time Tunnel

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This is a fun, fast and fascinating effect, with lots of opportunities to play.

The “worm hole” effect described in this article.

Topic $TipTopic

Ever wanted to travel through a worm hole? Now you can – and Motion creates it. (This looks better when it is moving than as a still.)

Here’s how to create this:

  • Drop Generators > Cellular into the Viewer.
  • Select the Cellular element, then, in Inspector > Generator change:
    • Gradient change the color on the right. (You can use any other color scheme you like.)
    • Size: 3
    • Speed: 0.5
  • With the Cellular element selected, apply Filters > Stylize > Slit Tunnel. Then, in Inspector > Filters, change:
    • Speed: 5
    • Perspective: 0.3
    • Glow: 0.02
    • Change the glow color to radioactive green.

Done.

EXTRA CREDIT

  • Position and/or animate the center of the tunnel elsewhere in the frame.
  • Replace Slit Tunnel with Slit Scan and watch what happens.

… for Apple Motion

Tip #1085: What’s a Replicator?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Replicators create patterns from one or more shapes.

A spiral replicator with the Oak color gradient pattern applied.

Topic $TipTopic

A Replicator creates a pattern from a single object or a group of objects. Traditionally, we think of a pattern as a rectangle, but, in Motion, we have a lot more options.

Replicators can be use to repeat a logo to fill the screen as the background for text, or creating interesting patterns, or, well, just about anything, really.

NOTE: A key difference between particles and replicators is that particles have a “life,” the duration that a particular particle is displayed on screen. Replicated objects “live” forever.

Replicators can take different shapes, including:

  • Point
  • Line
  • Rectangle
  • Circle
  • Burst
  • Spiral (see screen shot)
  • Wave
  • Or a custom geometric form

Replicators can also change color across the pattern, as this screen shot illustrates.

EXTRA CREDIT

Animate Replicators by applying Behaviors > Replicator > Sequence Replicator

.