Digital Film Making Manual.doc


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Digital Film Making Manual.doc

  1. 1. “Introduction to Digital Film Making” has been written solely for use by the E. M. Hart Senior Center Class By Heman Lee
  2. 2. DIGITAL FILM MAKING Learn how to create great home videos using a Digital Video Camcorder and Microsoft Movie Maker that comes standard with your new Windows’s XP system. Now you just need the know-how to bring your visions to life. See how easy it can be to create, edit, and add special effects to your movies using Windows Movie Maker. Add voice-over, music soundtrack, and tiles to make your movies more polished with special effects and professional-looking transitions between scenes. Share your video over the internet or create a video CD or DVD to share with friends and family. They will be amazed on what you can do. Ten Helpful Tips for Shooting Great Videos 1. Use manual focus if your camcorder has it. 2. Set white balance at every location. 3. When shooting outdoors, keep the sun behind you. 4. Plan your shoot. Shoot to the plan. USE A SCRIPT. 5. Use a tripod or other image stabilization device. 6. Use plenty of light. Learn the basics of 3 point key lighting. 7. Be sure and get several angles both close up and wide of the same sequence, then do cutaways for “fill shots”. 8. Move the camcorder only when necessary. 9. Shoot to edit. In other words, build the house according to the architectural drawings. 10. Keep your average shot length between 5 and 10 seconds. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 2 5/20/2010
  3. 3. Projects for Video • Biography • Events (B-day Party) • Vacation • Short Trip • Wedding • Holidays • Hobbies or Interest • Sports • Greeting Card • Insurance Video • Educational – “How to” • Technical Information • News Reporting • Disaster • Short Film • Youtube • Monologue digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 3 5/20/2010
  4. 4. Beginner Mistakes First, avoid the beginner mistakes that nearly everyone makes when they pick up a video camera . The worst offender is the constant zooming and panning that pervades every shot. Before you reach for that zoom control, think about why you're doing it. Do you really need to get a closer look at your subject? Or are you just playing around with that zoom because you can? If you can't think of a really good reason to zoom or pan, don't. Keep in mind, some directors like Spielberg and Hitchcock have shot entire feature films without zooming one single time. Instead of zooming, consider stopping tape and moving in closer to your subject. Then, you can edit it later. If you must pan (moving from side-to-side, moving up or down is called a "tilt"), move slower than your instincts tell you to. Almost every beginner video has a pan that is so fast that it elicits laughter among the initiated Try not to zoom in or out too much during a scene. But don't lose a shot by avoiding zooming altogether. Just do it as gently as possible. And, once you have zoomed in or out, hold that view for a few seconds. By the way, forget about your camera's digital zoom. Manufacturers love to trumpet how a camera has a 200x digital zoom on top of the 10x or 20x optical zoom. It is hype. The only thing that counts is the optical zoom, which is determined by the physical elements of the lens. Most cameras have about the same range of optical (physical) zoom lenses. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 4 5/20/2010
  5. 5. Digital Zoom Digital zoom is simply a program in the camera that enlarges the image by interpolating pixels. It looks horrible. Don't use it. Shoot from a variety of angles. Vary the scene. Once you know you've gotten the shots you wanted, move around. Shoot from the sides, from behind, from on high and down low. Keep the camera running while you move around. The video may be useless, but the audio could be valuable to us in building the scene to tell the story. Pan slowly. Panning is the movement of the camera from side to side. Take it slowly. Don't jerk back and forth during the pan. If you make a mistake, start all over again. Hold the shot steady for a few seconds before you start the pan. Hold it steady for another few seconds when you are done. Hold shots for about 10 seconds. This is particularly important for scenic or vacation shooting. If you've got a great shot of the Eiffel Tower, count to ten while you are recording it. Remember that you're not taking a snapshot. Once you've got it, Shoot it again from another angle. Get a closeup. Get a wide angle. Variety is a key ingredient to movie- making. Get "establishing" shots. Establishing shots are scenes that tell viewers where they are. So, if you are taping on a family vacation to Disney World, get a few shots of the entrance or of Mickey Mouse greeting people when they arrive. If you forget to get them on the digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 5 5/20/2010
  6. 6. way in, get them on the way out. Any number of images can work to establish a scene. Signs work well, but it is also fun to be a bit creative. Beware of backlighting. A backlit scene is one where there is a bright light behind the main action. Picture a bride and groom standing on a stairway in front of a large window on a bright sunny day. Uncorrected, your camera's light meter will probably try to expose the scene so that you can see what is outside the window. As a result, it will darken the whole image, leaving the bride and groom lost in shadow. Some cameras have a prominent built-in backlight correction button conveniently located in the controls. When you activate it, you are telling the camera to overexpose the scene so you can see, in this case, the bride and groom (there will be no detail in the window). This is a very useful feature. If your camera lacks this feature, you may want to learn from the manual how to do it by hand. Video cameras are pretty easy to operate. Most people don't read the manuals. Usually, you don't need to. In this one case, it may be a good idea. Use a Storyboard Once a concept or script is written for a film or animation, the next step is to make a storyboard. A storyboard visually tells the story of an animation panel by panel, kind of like a comic book. A good shoryboard then become the blueprint for the film making process. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 6 5/20/2010
  7. 7. Camera Angles The shot angle is the level from which you look at your subject through the camera. Eye-level angle - One of the most commonly used shots is the eye-level shot. Why? Because it's the perspective most familiar to us - we usually see things from our own eye-level. This angle also causes the least discomfort because we're used to it. If you're shooting a person, and you want to make it an eye-level shot, make sure you shoot at their eye-level, not yours. Low Angle - In this shot the camera looks up at the subject, making it seem important, powerful, or perhaps larger than it is to the viewer. For example, you might be sitting on the ground looking up at someone who is standing. High Angle - In this shot the camera looks down on the subject, decreasing its importance. The subject looks smaller. It often gives the audience a sense of power, or makes the subject seem helpless. In this case, you'd be higher than the other person (maybe they're sitting, or maybe you're standing on a desk) looking down on that person. Basic Camera Movement Pan - A shot taken moving on a horizontal plane (from left to right, right to). If you want to show a frisbee flying across a field, you might use this shot to follow the frisbee from one person to another. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 7 5/20/2010
  8. 8. Tilt - Camera movement in a vertical plane. (up or down) If you want to show a tall building but you can't get it all in your shot, you might start at the bottom of the building and go up to the top. Zoom - This shot moves you closer to the subject, into a Medium Shot or Close Shot. If you are looking at the Golden Gate Bridge, and you want to see individual people walking across it, you might zoom in. Reverse Zoom - This shot moves you farther away into a Medium Shot or a Wide Shot. If you have a close up shot of a flower, and want to see the entire field that the flower is in, you will reverse zoom. Composition and Framing Your Shots There are many ways to compose a shot, depending on your goals. You want to be aware of what is in the shot and what isn't. Ask yourself, can I clearly see what I intend for the viewer to see? Rule of Thirds - this classic rule suggests that the center of the camera's attention is one-third of the way down from the top of the shot. Headroom - A term used with shots of people. This refers to the space above the subject's head. You'll see different amounts of headroom left, depending on the intent of the creator of the video. In general, if you're standing right in front of someone, you'll see that they have space all around them - they aren't cut off by a digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 8 5/20/2010
  9. 9. frame. By leaving headroom, or space beside them, you are imitating what you see in real life. Talking/Walking Room - If you are interviewing someone or have video of someone talking, you generally do not want them looking directly at the camera (again, depends on your goals - certain situations may call for that). Generally you want the person to be looking off to the left or right of the camera a bit, towards where the interviewer is sitting. When you do this, frame your shot so that there is some talking room. That is, you want to leave some extra space to the side of their face as if you were going to draw a dialogue box in for them. This space is "talking room." If the person is talking to another person on camera, this is shown as space between them. Walking room, if the person in motion, gives them space to walk to. It leaves space in the shot for the action, whether it be words or walking. Tripod Use To use a Tripod, or not to use a Tripod? that is the question And the answer depends on what you are trying to do. If you're chasing your subject or want to imitate an earthquake you probably won't use a tripod because you need to be moving. Or if you want to give the viewer the impression of walking or running, then you may not want to use a tripod. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 9 5/20/2010
  10. 10. Basically, if you want a stable, smooth shot, use a tripod whenever possible. If you do not have a tripod, invent one. Your body is a natural tripod. You can also lean up against a tree or a wall or sit on a chair for stability. Proper set up - use a wide "footprint." You and I have two legs. Tripods have three. When our legs are several feet apart, creating a wide "footprint" you and I are more stable, harder to push over. It's the same for a tripod. The farther apart the legs are, the more stable it will be. Tripod Motion - when you use a tripod, you securely attach the camera to the top of it. The camera can now be moved in two ways - pan (side to side movement) or tilt (up and down). See the Camera Movement sheet for more information on pans and tilts. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 10 5/20/2010
  11. 11. Equipment DVD RAM Instead of writing to a video tape, this type of camcorder uses a Mini DVD-R disk. The advantage is that you can transfer the video to your home computer simply by taking the DVD out of the camera and inserting it into your computer’s DVD drive. Note: Most DVD drives will accept the Mini-DVD-R disk. MiniDV This is the most common format for most Digital camcorders still use videotape (most use a format called MiniDV) Hard Drive or DVD RAM The type has a built-in hard drive just like a computer. The advantage is speed and capacity which can range from 10 – 120GB. Also, n o tape or disk to buy. However, you must use USB or Firewire in order to interface with your home computer. HD The new High Definition format gives you enhance picture quality that can be displayed on your new HD TV. The problem with this format is the lack standardization for HD video format (HDV, XDCAM, AVCHD). I would wait a few more years before deciding to buy this type of camcorder. Flash Memory The faster growing type of camcorder is the Flash Memory type. This type of camcorder is small, usually the size of an digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 11 5/20/2010
  12. 12. Apple Ipod or compact digital camera. This type is good for short quick videos to send via Email or upload to Youtube. The disadvantage of this type is that the video quality will be less than a full size camcorder. Analog VHS, VHSC, 8mm/Hi8/Digital 8 - More inexpensive than DV camcorders, 8mm camcorders record at a high resolution and can usually record up to 2 hours of quality recording on each tape. Sony introduced the Digital 8 series of camcorders which records data digitally onto Hi8 tapes. This type will require additional hardware to convert analog video to digital format, so it can be edited by digital editing software. See Other Hardware list below for list of analog converted. Converters can be iinternal (PCI adapter) or external box that can be connected via standard USB 2 cable. Most internal capture device also has TV tuner input. Camcorder Type Cable Additional Additiona Hardware Software Analog Tape RCA/S-Video Yes USB Driver Digital Tape 1394, USB Yes USB Driver Hard Drive 1394 or USB No No Mini DVD USB No No Flash Memory USB No No Your Camcorder may come with additional software and drivers to facilitate the transfer process. If you have Windows XP or higher, with standard USB 2.0 support, no addition hardware or software is required for most Flash or HD memory type camcorders. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 12 5/20/2010
  13. 13. CONNECTING YOUR DIGITAL CAMCORDER TO YOUR PC The digital camcorder is one of the most popular home products of all times. Camcorders have made shooting videos simple, quick and fun. You can make your home videos even more enjoyable by copying them to your PC, editing them, adding titles and removing those unwanted scenes. Video editing software like Video Edit Magic can help you edit your home movies to make your memories last forever. You can also convert the edited videos to an appropriate format and create a DVD or upload them to an Internet server and share your memories with family and friends. Checklist for connecting a Camcorder to your PC To connect your camcorder to your Windows PC, you require: A FireWire 1394 or USB Port on your PC. Microsoft © DirectX version 9.0c or higher. Appropriate connecting cables (usually bundled with the camcorder). FireWire Port and USB 2.0 Connection A Fire Wire Port (also known as IEEE 1394 or Sony i.Link) allows users to connect digital video camcorders and other peripheral devices to their PCs, and transfer videos or other data at high speeds. Most digital camcorders also have a USB 2.0 connection and this USB connection can be used to capture the video as well as the photo snaps taken by the camcorder. Be sure your PC has a USB 2.0. While a USB 2.0 device can transfer data using a USB 1.1 connection, the transfer rate will be dramatically lower, and video capture may not be successful digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 13 5/20/2010
  14. 14. Most new PCs have a FireWire port or a USB 2.0 connection available. If your PC does not include these ports, you will need to purchase a FireWire expansion card at any computer store. Connecting Cables There are are two types of FireWire connectors– 4 pin (left) and 6 pin(right). The FireWire port on the PC usually has 6 pins, while FireWire port on a laptop computer usually has a 4 pin port. Two pins are for providing power to FireWire devices like printers, scanners or external memory. A digital camcorder’s FireWire port (usually called DV out or i.Link) usually has 4 pins as the camera does not need to power other devices. This means that in most cases you would need a FireWire connecting cable with 4 pins (for DV out of camcorder) on one end and 6 pins at the other end (for your PC) So when you are shopping for a FireWire cable, look for either 4 pin to 4 pin or 4 pin to 6 pin. FireWire 800 FireWire 800 cables use a 9-pin configuration. Six of those pins are the same as the six pins in the 1394a connector (shown above). Two of the added pins provide a "grounded shield" to protect the other wires from interference, and the third added pin does nothing at this time [ref]. Because FireWire 800 is backward-compatible with FireWire 400, there are a variety of adapters available to facilitate the combination of both standards on the same bus. There are also two types of FireWire 800 ports available: a "bilingual" digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 14 5/20/2010
  15. 15. port accommodates both FireWire standards, while a b-only port accepts only a FireWire 800 connector. Physically connecting your camcorder to your Windows PC using a FireWire port is easy. Plug the IEEE 1394 connecting cable into the PC and the camcorder. We recommend making the connection before turning on the camcorder. When you turn on the camcorder, it should be automatically detected by Windows XP. TROUBLE SHOOTING Many camcorder users have faced problem connecting a camcorder to their PC. One of the most common problems is “nothing happens” after connecting the camcorder to the PC. The New Hardware Wizard does not run and Windows fails to detect the camcorder. This can mean one of the two things: Either the DV port on the camcorder (or computer) is not working or the FireWire cable is faulty. Try a different FireWire cable. If the camera is still not detected by the PC, try connecting it to a different PC. If the Camcorder is still not detected, then your camera's DV port is most likely at fault Confirming that the FireWire Port on you PC is working fine You can check the status of the FireWire port with the Device Manager. To open the Device Manager, right-click on My Computer and then click on Properties. Select the Hardware tab and click on Device Manager. If you cannot see the FireWire controller (probably listed under "IEEE1394 Bus host controllers") in the list, then it is not properly installed. If you see a yellow exclamation mark, then you need to install the drivers, which are usually on a CD that comes with digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 15 5/20/2010
  16. 16. the FireWire card. (These instructions are for Windows XP. They will vary slightly for other versions of Windows. Other Software Windows Movie Maker 2 (Version 6 on Vista) .is only one of many software available for the home video editing market. Here are a few to look at: Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 12 (Highly Recommend) Cyberlink PowerDirector 7 Ultra Adobe Premiere Elements 4 Corel Video Studio 11 Corel DVD Movie Factory 6 digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 16 5/20/2010
  17. 17. Hardware – Analog Video Converters Dazzle Video Creator Plus (External) Pinnacle Movie Box Plus (External) $150 ADS Video Express $50 ADS DVD Express X2D - $89 Hauppauge Win-TV GO PCI - $190 Laptop: 4 pin to 4 pin PC: 4 pin to 6 pin FireWire Diagram 6-pin layout 4-pin layout digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 17 5/20/2010
  18. 18. Using your DV Camcorder to Capture Analog Tape You can use transfer your old VHS tape to your PC if you have the “DV Pass- Through” feature on your camcorder. You will probably have to put your camcorder into “VCR” mode, and “record pause” mode. The first step in capturing video by using DV pass-through is to connect the analog and DV camera. Then connect the DV camera to the computer by using an IEEE 1394 port. The following diagram show several different configurations you might depending on the available connections on your analog video camera to your DV camera. The connection type you use is determined by whether you're using an analog video camera or a VCR and by what type of jacks exist on the analog device. There are two way to connect the analog input, either S-Video for RCA input. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 18 5/20/2010
  19. 19. Video Formats QuickTime Apple originally developed the QuickTime Movie (.MOV) video file format for the Macintosh, but then extended it into a cross-platform video data format that also can be used on the PC. As a result, QuickTime has been widely adopted as a portable format for cross-platform applications; an application can be shipped on one CD-ROM and contain a single set of video files which will play on both Mac and PC. The QuickTime format is also commonly used for posting video files on the Web for downloading. The QuickTime file format also has been selected as the basis for MPEG-4, the next-generation audio/video standard. AVI Audio Video Interleave (.AVI) format is Microsoft's counter to Apple's QuickTime. AVI is the file format used by Microsoft's first video system, Video for Windows (VfW), and now used by its successor architectures, ActiveMovie and DirectShow. The big advantage to AVI on the PC is that it is built in to Windows. To use QuickTime on the PC, you need to first install it, which requires an additional step when you install a new application that uses QuickTime, or a rather large download from the Internet. QuickTime 4 makes this easier by allowing you to download it in smaller components. Theoretically, AVI should mean an end to file format worries for PC users: If you create AVI files using the built-in compression formats, you can be sure that any other Windows user can play the file. However, this only works if you stick to the built-in compression formats. Once you start using newer, better compression algorithms to get higher quality or smaller file sizes, the file will not play on other machines unless you provide the corresponding codec to be installed along with the file. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 19 5/20/2010
  20. 20. MPEG Meanwhile, the MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) standard is becoming more popular, especially for high-end video applications. Support for the first version of MPEG, the MPEG-1 format, is now built in to Windows and QuickTime. MPEG video is typically stored in its own common MPEG file format (.MPG). The second version of MPEG, the MPEG-2 format, provides better quality and smaller file sizes, and is starting to be supported in some video tools. As a result, in order to play a "MPEG" file, you may need to check further to see if it contains MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 format video. WMV Windows Media Video (WMV) is a compressed video file format for several proprietary codecs developed by Microsoft. The original codec, known as WMV, was originally designed for Internet streaming applications, as a competitor to RealVideo. Windows Media Video (WMV) is the most recognized codec within the WMV family. Usage of the term WMV often refers to this codec only. Its main competitors are MPEG-4 AVC, RealVideo, DivX, and Xvid Capturing Video If you have an analog or digital video (DV) tape camcorder, you need to do a process called Capturing in order the transfer the video to your PC. Transferring video from a digital camcorder and capturing it onto your hard-drive can be difficult. That’s because digital video creates enormous file sizes that can be difficult to save onto your computer’s hard drive. Until recently, video capture was the hardest step for the home video maker as it was fraught with hardware digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 20 5/20/2010
  21. 21. conflicts, system crashes, and dropped frames … and tended to progress toward splitting headaches. Another problem with capturing, it the time it takes. Capturing is the real-time process. For example, if you have a 2 hour tape, it take the same time to capturing it into you PC assuming to other conversion need to be done. Encoding is the process to converting your DV file to one of the many video format available (AVI, MPEG, WMV). However, before you capture video in Movie Maker 2, you have to answer an important question: What format do you want to capture into? You see, Movie Maker lets you capture in both the traditional DV-AVI format, and also in its own WMV format. Each has its own merits, so I’d like to tell you more about each of these formats so you can make an informed decision. The DV-AVI format The first format you capture into is DV-AVI. This format, also known as DV or “digital video” is the video compression format that your camcorder captures onto tape. Thus, when you film a video, your camcorder saves the video information onto magnetic tape as a series of “0s and 1s” in the DV-AVI format. This digital format is great, as the video is saved at an outstanding resolution of 720x480 pixels running at 30 frames per second. In other words, you are getting video that is potentially higher quality than a commercial DVD. DV-AVI is the capture and editing format of choice for all other video software programs and any video- related software will recognize and work with this format. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 21 5/20/2010
  22. 22. Importing Video If you have one of the latest Hard Drive or Flash Drive video camcorder, you DO NOT need to go through the complicated Capturing process. Like many digital camera on the market, you just usa the standard USB 2.0 cable in order to connect your camcorder to the PC. Window XP/Vista operating system will have the built-in program will to allow you to access the device as a external hard drive or removable disk. That is because the camera already has encoded your video in to one of the common format we discussed above. CODEC FORMAT Format Extension` Quality File Size Comment DV .avi Very High Very Native format on DV camcorder. Large MPEG-2 .mpg or m2p High Large Good to video CD format MPEG-1I .mpg or Medium Medium VHS quality mpeg WMV .wmv Low to High Small to Good for uploading to or emailing Medium DixX .divx Low to High Small to Good for streaming movies Medium QuickTime .mov Medium to Small to Apple movie standard High Medium DVD .vob High Very Good for making DVD video, but long encoding process. Large digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 22 5/20/2010
  23. 23. Film Talk CLOSE-UP SHOT: A close range of distance between the camera and the subject. DISSOVLE: A transition between two shots, where one shot fades away and simultaneously another shot fades in. FADE - A transition from a shot to black where the image gradually becomes darker is a Fade Out; or from black where the image gradually becomes brighter is a Fade In. HIGH CAMERA ANGLE: A camera angle which looks down on its subject making it look small, weak or unimportant. JUMP CUT: A rapid, jerky transition from one frame to the next, either disrupting the flow of time or movement within a scene or making an abrupt transition from one scene to another. LEVEL CAMERA ANGLE: A camera angle which is even with the subject; it may be used as a neutral shot. LONG SHOT: A long range of distance between the camera and the subject, often providing a broader range of the setting. LOW CAMERA ANGLE: A camera angle which looks up at its subject; it makes the subject seem important and powerful. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 23 5/20/2010
  24. 24. PAN: A steady, sweeping movement from one point in a scene to another. POV (point of view shot): A shot which is understood to be seen from the point of view of a character within the scene. REACTION SHOT- 1.: A shot of someone looking off screen. 2.: A reaction shot can also be a shot of someone in a conversation where they are not given a line of dialogue but are just listening to the other person speak. TILT: Using a camera on a tripod, the camera moves up or down to follow the action. ZOOM: Use of the camera lens to move closely towards the subject. digital-film-making-manualdoc2705.doc Page 24 5/20/2010