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disc duplication

Disc Duplication or Disc Replication. That is the Question.

Duplication vs. Replication

Hiring a videographer company will provide you with services that are cost effective and will also give you professional results. Other than the usual production services, a good company can also help you create a distribution plan for your final product. You can distribute the final product as a file or post it to your website or a video site like YouTube. If you decide to distribute your program on disc, you need to know the differences between video replication and duplication. These two terms can mean totally distinct processes when making disc copies. Read more

Video Editing Training Videos for Business (Pt. 2)

 

In part one of “Video Editing Training Videos,” we talked about the use of motion graphics, animated text and b-roll. Part two will talk about the importance of audio, audio problems to look out for, lighting and other tips to make your training video engaging.

Audio is as Important as the video!

Audio is an often overlooked ingredient in a training video. Though there are some audio filters you can use, never believe that you can fix bad audio in the post production phase. Filming the presentation without putting a mic on the presenter is not a good idea because chances are that the audio will be bad and distracting. Shooting ‘out of the air’ gives the audio an echoey, tinny and/or otherwise unprofessional sound quality.

However, if you are facedtraining videos with the task of video editing a training video with bad audio, there is help. As I mentioned, there are audio filters that can tweak the audio to some degree, but unless you have a sound studio at your disposal, the audio will never sound natural or as good as it would if you used a proper lavaliere mic for the speaker.

Audio problems that could occur during video production

  • Intermittent room sounds. When shooting indoors, be aware of the possibility of a fan, heater, air conditioner, or some motorized machine making noise. Perhaps the speaker was away from the noisy offender, but the videographer might not have been. So good news is that the speaker didn’t have any background noise, but the mic on the camera picked up noise that was close to the videographer. This is more of a problem when shooting out of the air, than with a mic. However, even when you have a mic and you are getting a direct feed into the camera, never assume that the audio will be good or stay good. The only way to know for certain that the audio is good is to monitor the sound throughout the filming.
  • Intermittent external sounds. Uncontrollable sounds such as planes, trains and cars can cause a distraction, particularly if you’re not using a lavaliere mic. The best you might be able to do is position the speaker away from source of the sounds to minimize the disturbance.
  • Constant sounds.If you discover that there is a constant, unwanted sound in your audio, you may be in luck. Sort of. If it’s constant, you might try using an audio filter to eliminate that portion of the sound. The problem is that it could eliminate or distort other audio that you actually want in the video.

One of the ways to prevent or short circuit audio problems is to use headphones or have a dedicated audio person monitoring the sound. If someone has the sole job of monitoring sound, you can bet that they will hear things that no one else will hear during the shoot. If it’s a controlled shoot, where you can retake a shot, the audio person can yell ‘cut’ and you’ll have a chance to get the shot again – without the distracting sound. The trouble is that if you don’t wear headphones or have that sound person, everyone will hear the sound problem after your video is edited – which you don’t need in a training video or any other type of video production for that matter!

Lights, camera, action!

Lighting is, obviously, an incredibly important part of production and editing. If the footage is under-lit, it will distract from your overall video. This is sometimes an issue when filming a training session with PowerPoint slides. Everything is well lit when the speaker starts his or her presentation. But shortly afterwards, someone turns down the lights! Yikes! Where did the speaker go?

The obvious way to prevent this from happening to you is to discuss the lighting situation beforehand. Perhaps you can light the room half way, where it’s still good enough to see the presenter, but also good enough to watch the slides.

One way to deal with this is to have the lights on so that the presenter is well lit, but just shoot the PowerPoint for reference and edit the slides in later.

If you do have to brighten up some video, it is possible with filters, but when you brighten up the image, you lose some resolution. So it’s best to think through the lighting before the shoot, rather than trying to fix something in post production.

So as you can see, there are many issues that can come up when filming your training videos. Aside from preventing them and dealing with them as they occur in post production, there are other ways to make your training video the best it can be.

Make your training video fun

You can use actors to role play. John Cleese from Monty Python’s Flying Circus had a company called Film Arts that used to produce lots of training videos. One thing they did was to show what not to do and then show what to do. This was a very effective approach, as the ‘not to do’ portion of the video was often hysterical and though exaggerated, made the point of what not to do. Then they’d show what to do just to make sure people got it. This is a great technique to use, especially for customer service training videos.

Another idea could be to have popup over people’s heads to show what they are supposedly thinking. Or use on screen text to ask questions. Perhaps freeze the frame and superimpose questions for the viewer to ponder.

If you are considering creating training videos for your business and need assistance, contact Video One Productions at (773) 252-3352 or irwin@video1pro.com.

Video Editing Training Videos for Business (Pt. 1)

Now that we’ve covered effective editing techniques that are specific to promotional videos for business, we want to discuss video editing training videos for business. This post is the first of a two-part training videos editing series.

Editing an engaging training video

training videosWhen editing a training video, you generally have more latitude in all ways. For instance, you don’t have to make it as attention-grabbing a promotional video needs to be because you generally have a captive audience – your employees! However, if you want them to retain the information and not fall asleep at the 2 minute mark, the video still needs to be engaging.

Simplify the training video so it’s less overwhelming

If you’re explaining something that’s highly technical or requires a fair amount of explanation, it’s best to modularize it or otherwise break it into sections. Just the act of editing the content into smaller, bite-sized components will help the viewer digest each nugget of information easier.

Motion graphics to the rescue

Another way to make it easier on the viewer is through the use of motion graphics. Sometimes seeing an animation of a process superimposed over the video, along with voice over can help to drive the point(s) home. Animation or motion graphics add the element of surprise and mild entertainment to what could otherwise be a drab or boring video.

Animate that text!

Animated text is also very useful. Having an animated text build on the screen helps communicate to the viewer what the important take-aways are. You can have fun with these too. Here’s your chance to get creative with how you present the animated text. But don’t get too creative! Never allow the tools or bells and whistles to get in the way of or distract from the information you are trying to convey. Communicating the information is the main objective – not showing people all of the cool editing tools at your disposal.

The Role of b-roll

If you’re filming a presentation, you may want to include cut-away shots, otherwise known as b-roll. B-roll can be interspersed into the presentation to retain the viewer’s attention and to drill down on a point you want them to understand. For instance, in a manufacturing training video, you may want to show a close up of a drill press in action while listening to the presenters voice over.

 

If you need help creating training videos for your business or need assistance with any other video production, editing or duplication, contact Video One Productions at (773) 252-3352 or irwin@video1pro.com.

 

When to Use Motion Graphics & Animated Video

Motion Graphics – When and How To Use Them

animated video

Whether you need simple animated text or a fully animated video, motion graphics is the best thing to choose to add some spice to your videos. Motion graphics hold the key to making your video stand out while effectively conveying information in an engaging way to your audience.

What are Motion Graphics?

Motion graphics is a term used for graphics, video, and animation to create the illusion of motion. This term encompasses many different digital techniques including:

  • photo image animation
  • 2D animation
  • interactive animation
  • titles & text animation
  • graphics & logo animation
  • 3D animatics
  • cartoon animation
  • visual effects
  • 2D/3D animation
  • tracking and match moving
  • compositing for film or video
  • photo image animation
  • rotoscoping
  • 3D animation of text/ graphics

With video being one of the most effective and impactful ways to convey your message to the audience, motion graphics and animated video are high priority for businesses looking to woo customers, donors, and investors. They bring to life an otherwise static content, help convey a deeper meaning and provide better visualization and comprehension than static graphics.

Digital techniques help achieve dramatic effects and can reduce production costs requiring less effort and time. They can also be used for video bumpers, introductions, and to promote services in a new, exciting way. Give your clients an even more exciting option for the identity package you just created for them.

Whether you want to include glowing flashing text animations or swishy, glitchy, flashy, or rolling graphic elements, motion graphics is just the right tool to customize your animation as per your specific project needs. Our Chicago video production services include:

  • DVD projects: Designing animated menus and opening title animations for DVDs
  • e-Learning projects: Creating motion graphics for interactive learning and training videos for corporate houses
  • Film Projects: Graphic creation along with visual effects
  • Digital Signage: Visual style to communicate your key message

If you need assistance adding motion graphics or animated video to your production, Video One Productions can help. Contact us at (773) 252-3352 or irwin@video1pro.com.

A Guide on Green Screen and Chroma Key Technology

green screen

What is Green Screen?

Green screen videography has been around for many years. Green screen is used to give video editors the opportunity to substitute the green screen with any background. And there’s noting carved in stone regarding the color green. You could use blue screen or any other solid color background that you want. Just make sure that nothing in the foreground is the same color as the background.

This is because your video editor will ‘tell the computer’ to replace everything that has the color of the background with a different background, which could be anything. It’s a more affordable alternative than building some set backdrops, and is a great way to add special effects for any videographer. Your editor could replace the green screen with a beach screen, Mars or anything that works for you. You could also replace the green screen with a high- resolution photograph, stock footage or something you’ve shot yourself. It could be a still frame or moving video. The sky is the limit!

Green Screen Tips

It may seem obvious, but when you’re using a green screen for video production, make sure that no color in the foreground matches the color you want to replace in the background. Otherwise, when you’re in the post-production or editing stage of your video, you might find out that someone’s shirt is missing because they were wearing the same color as the screen. That’s why they chose such an offbeat green for green screen videography. Also, make sure the costumes correspond to the backdrop. No swimsuits in Alaska, for example.

When using actors, get them acquainted with the background, especially if it’s pivotal to the scene. We’ve all seen those weather reports gone wrong where the meteorologist has no idea where the cold front is on the green screen map. You’ll probably need to practice a few takes and let the actors see how everything looks, just so they have a better sense of the space.

The lighting also has to be right. Otherwise, you’ll see a silhouette and outline behind the foreground images and people, which will make them look as though they were cut out of a scrapbook. The background lighting has to be even too. If you have shadows, you’ll have problems in post-production. Even the best post-production editing studios can’t undo a serious lighting mistake. Select your green screen background first, and then light your set accordingly. That way the shadows match up and you don’t have weird lighting inconsistencies.

If you need a green screen in a small area (for a window in a scene, perhaps) a green poster board will do the trick. As you become more and more advanced in your video production you’ll likely want to invest in a proper green screen for a more professional look. If you’d rather skip the expense of owning your own green screen, try hooking up with Chicago video editing companies to do the job for you with guaranteed professional results.

Benefits of Using a Green Screen

In a recent entry on ReelSEO, Chad Vossen, president, Co-Owner, & Creative Director for 522 Productions, a creative video production company, wrote a guest post on the benefits of using a green screen. Some of his points are covered below.

  1. Branding: Because producers have so many options for ways to fill a green screen, a certain design, style, or method can be developed to make producers stand out from the pack.
  2. Save Time: When you are using computer graphics to fill a background, you never have to worry about building or breaking a set, looking for background props, and you increase the number of places that the video can be shot.
  3. Portability: Because green screens usually consist of a light metal frame and some green fabric, they are relatively light and easy to carry. They can be used just about anywhere which significantly eases the pressure of finding a shooting location.green screen

Chroma Key

One of the coolest tricks in a Chicago videographer expert’s arsenal is chroma key which is the process where a subject is filmed in front of a single-color backdrop, and then post-production replaces the color backdrop with an image. For example, weathermen (and women) on television use chroma keying to have various maps, videos and animations appear in the background in place of the green screen. When they’re doing the weather, they don’t actually see the background on the set, as the keying is done in the editing studio. Instead, they use a monitor in front of them to see what’s being projected behind them. Then they coordinate their actions similar to looking in a mirror image of themselves.

This process is incredibly popular in big budget feature films, especially science fiction and fantasy movies. But doing this at home, or in a small video production company is rather simple and cost-effective too. Even Video One Productions has its own green screen in the back.

 

If you are looking for help with any of your upcoming video productions, we’d be happy to help! Contact Video One Productions at (773)252-3352 or irwin@video1pro.com.

 

Chicago Motion Graphics Editor Gives Video Editing Tips

Chicago motion graphics editorWhen you’re using video production content to create motion graphics, there are some steps you’ll want to take before you get into the nitty-gritty. Our Chicago motion graphics editor has provided a few video editing tips for you:

Color Correct

Always color correct the videos first, even if the content came from a professional Chicago video editing services company. Make the colors uniform from start to finish before you begin the rest of your work and you’ll thank yourself for it later on. If you decide to go with a strong visual look, it’ll be that much easier to accomplish with a color-corrected video.

Rendering

If you’d like to get even more detailed working in a similar fashion, you can use your video editor software to render in separate passes. You can render separate frames for color, highlights, shadow and even speed of movement and tie them back together in a compositor. It might seem tedious, but it could give you a more professional look.

When your motion graphics look off for some reason you can’t quite put your finger on, you can try a z-depth render pass. If you’ve never used that before, it’s a grayscale image showing how far everything in your scene is from the camera. If you’ve edited your lighting a little weird, this could be the thing that shows you what’s wrong.

Video Editing Effects

Subtlety is the best tactic when you’re adding effects to your motion graphics. If you shift colors, just make them the best versions of those colors. Avoid the Instagram look of heavy-duty filters and instead go for a style that looks as if it hasn’t been edited at all. If you want a glow kind of look, use two identical layers of the same footage, then blur the top layer and reduce its opacity. You’ll have a look fit for professional Chicago video production companies that are not on every smart phone app.

Looking for a Chicago motion graphics editor for your next video editing project? Leave a comment below, call us directly at 773-252-3352, or go to video1pro.com

Why You Should Hire a Professional Video Editor (Instead of Doing it Yourself)

If you need something done professionally, hire a professional. This goes for video editing as much as it applies to plumbing and handling a legal matter. If you want to leave a professional impression with your potential clients, hire a professional video editor.

To be fair though, it does depend on the type of job you need done as to whether you truly need a professional for all situations. You could go to YouTube and learn how to fix a leaky faucet, just as you can find resources to teach you how to do video editing.

But to attain the knowledge and experience required to do a truly professional job doesn’t happen after watching a couple of YouTube videos. Just as it depends on the depth of the plumbing issue, the type of edit you’ll need will determine whether or not you absolutely should hire a professional.professional video editor

Training Videos

For instance, if you want a training video edited that you plan to use in-house, you may get away with cutting it yourself. Put in some titles, edit out the bad stuff and you’ll have a basic video that your employees can view.

Then again, there’s the viewability issue. Is a rudimentary video going to capture the viewer’s interest long enough for them to absorb the material? Would motion graphics better help to keep them engaged? Perhaps.

The length of the video is also a factor. If you’re showing employees a 30 minute video, you need something to break things up. Either take a physical break or you need to make the video somewhat compelling. You may need some tasteful special effects, motion graphics, music, creative titling, computer graphics, plus other elements to make this a watchable video that will engage your employees, rather than bore them. These are elements that would be hard to achieve by yourself if you don’t have the right knowledge.

Promotional Videos

If you need a promotional video production for your company, you definitely need to have this professionally edited. Viewers of your video will judge your company based on the quality of your video because a great video translates to a great company. And the opposite is also true. At least in the mind of the viewer. And that’s all that counts!

Hire a professional video editor

You need to have the correct amount and combination of elements that only an experienced editor will know to include. For instance, you want the pacing to be appropriate. You want the right combination of quick cuts and a slow down so that people can absorb the material.

Even though a promotional video is supposed to get people excited, people still have to take a breather and not have everything come at them like a barrage of stampeding horses. I suspect you have been subject to one of those videos where you’ve been knocked over by the special effects, fast cuts, loud music, etc. only to wonder what the heck you’ve just watched. That’s the opposite effect that you want for your promotional video. It should be fast moving, but digestible. It should have motion graphics, but done appropriately and sparingly.

To get a better idea of what we’re talking about, here’s our Chicago Video Editing Demo:

Need a professional video editor for your next Chicago video production? Contact Video One Productions at (773)252-3352 or irwin@video1pro.com.

Chicago Video Editors Explain the Process

There are three major aspects to video production. Pre-production, production and post-production. Video editing occurs when you put everything together for your video. Most Chicago video production companies offer video editing in addition to their production services.

chicago video editors - professional video editing

The Video Editing Process

Video editing starts with assembling the best shots of the footage that was hopefully filmed according to the script. You do have a script I hope! I say this because some people start shooting with the hope that they can assemble something during editing that will get their message across. Not always so! First the script. Then the production. Then comes the editing!

Video editing can be accomplished on various levels of quality. Aside from assembling the best shots, you’ll need to come up with the appropriate types of transitions between shots, special effects, text, graphics, music and other elements that will make your video entertaining, informative and motivating.

Generally, cuts and dissolves are enough for any video production. It’s revealing that a novice has edited a video when we see all sorts of special effects and transitions thrown into the production. Professional editing means clean, clear editing that communicates something very specific- not just throwing special effects in where it’s not appropriate.

Text also has to be used judiciously. For example, you shouldn’t cover a face with text. And the size of the text needs to be of the right scale. And don’t use text on every shot. The voice over for the video should provide most of your message. Much like giving a PowerPoint presentation, text should only be used to reinforce big points and not repeat everything the voice over narration is saying.

Motion Graphics

There are still and motion graphics. Still graphics don’t move. Motion graphics do. You take a look at our motion graphics page to see what they look like. Motion graphics done well take much expertise and the patience of a saint, as it can be very tedious to time everything just right, making sure everything looks professional and communicated clearly.

Remember: the goal of any video production is to communicate, not to show off skills.

Music

Music also ‘sets the tone’ for your video. No matter what your personal taste in music is, consider the taste of your audience, the type of video you’re producing and the pace of your video. You can find many music libraries you can purchase music from by Googling ‘music libraries’. You can expect to pay anywhere from $25 to license your music, depending on how you plan to use it. The music library website of your choice will spell out the terms of your purchase, so you’ll know what to do to make it legal.

Chicago Video Editors

As you can see, there are many moving parts to video editing. Many times businesses and consumers will shoot video and then ask a professional video production company to edit it for them. Regardless of how you approach producing your video, don’t skimp out on this important aspect of your production.

If you have any questions about video editing or would like assistance in your next video project, please feel free to contact our Chicago video editors at 773-252-3352 or irwin@video1pro.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Audio Considerations for Your Video Production

Audio Tips for Videography

audio tips for video production

Imagine a movie without sound effects! Gone are the days when simplified video was appreciated and admired, because there were no sound options. Today, you will not find anyone who can tolerate a video without sound and music. Adding creative sound and music can do wonders for your video. Below are a couple audio tips to consider for your video production.

Audio Considerations

One of the biggest mistakes most people make during video production is to cram dialogue and sound effects on the same microphone simultaneously. Your first audio consideration should be to first record narration, dialogue, and sound separately and then put them together on a mixer so that you get a professional sound.

Room Tone and Ambient Sound

When filming indoors, your camera will easily pick up room noise. This includes, but is not limited to, the buzz of fluorescent lights, hum created by electrical appliances and the echo of sound waves thrashing against the walls. If you seek to deaden harsh sounds, it is important to film in a room with curtains, carpets, curtains, and cushions!

However, in order to capture an event outside, you have to deal with a lot of background noise or ambient sound, including squawking sirens, bird chirping, passing traffic, etc. While filming outside is a challenge, experts are experienced enough to deal with the cacophony of sounds. Alternatively, if you want to leave some space in your video for these sounds of everyday life, make sure there is no effect on vital dialogue or voice over. Of course, you can control the volume levels while editing. However, it is always better to capture the sound effectively at the source. A reliable company, such as Video One Productions, will make things a little easier if you are unhappy with the sound recording done at the source. However, once two sources are on one track of audio it will be impossible to separate them.

Dialogue

Another important audio consideration during video production is to capture the dialogue as is, while making sure it is much louder than the background noise. Some amateurs think that zooming the camera in on a person also zooms the microphone. In reality, this isn’t the case. Though recording human voices might seem like a challenge, working around other sound sources creatively when interviewing people or recording dialogue can still give you good results.

kHz and Bits

A camera with an external mic input will beautifully capture the sound in alignment with the video. However, if your camera lacks this feature the mic on the recorder will play the same role to record high quality audio. In that case, it is important to record audio in an uncompressed format (.wav), which can be easily compressed later, so it will help to start with a high quality source. Regardless of which format you use for audio recording, you cannot ignore the audio sample rate, which must be similar to the sample rate settings of your video. A mismatch between the two would mean your audio and video tracks will start slipping out of sync and gradually come apart over time. Our Chicago Video Production experts will give you audio tips on how you can use the video footage and clap sound to synchronize each other.

If you need a Chicago video production company for video production, video editing or duplication, contact us at (773) 252-3352 or irwin@video1pro.com.

Video Editing 30-Second Commercials

How to Edit Short Video Commercials

In previous blog posts, I discussed the different approaches to editing a marketing video, event video or training video. However, even when it comes to editing the same genre or type of video, differences have to be considered based on the audience and by the type of product, service or event that the commercial is promoting.

We recently edited two commercials for two theatrical events. However, our approach was very different for both spots. “We Gotta Bingo“, opening at Chicago Theater Works is a fun, energetic dinner theater experience in the same vein as “Tony and Tina’s Wedding”.

video editing commercial photo 1

We also edited a commercial for “Kunlun”, opening at the Auditorium Theatre. “Kunlun” is a large-scale Chinese musical performed by the Musical China Theatre Troupe. It’s a serious, ‘Broadway theater’ type of production.

Video editing commercial photo Kunlun

The two commercials were similar, in that they are both 30 second spots promoting a theatrical production. However, differences in our approaches include the pacing, tenor, music, voice over, duration of edits and other elements.

For the fun, gaudy production of “We Gotta Bingo“, we used quick cuts, quirky camera positions, various special effects, lively and fun music, and a more enthusiastic voice over narrator.

For the “Kunlun” spot, we went with locked down shots, slower pacing, fewer special effects, and more sophisticated music and voiceover.

Always keep your audience in mind when video editing a commercial or any other video for that matter. Always ask yourself what it’s going to take to speak to the audience that would naturally be attracted to this type of performance (or product or service). Then everything will flow from those answers.

If you would like to discuss video editing in any genre,  feel free to contact irwin@video1pro.com or call (773) 252-3352.