You are here

Making a video crisp, smooth & vivid.

shadowkingpin's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 04/15/2012 - 12:02am

Greetings everyone! I have been trying really hard to get the quality of this YouTube user:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ger9exVd2I&feature=player_embedded

Well, I am currently filming with a Canon EOS 60D and sporting an 18-55mm IS lens with it. The program I am using for editing and rendering is Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11. I am having two issues: 1. No matter what I have tried, I can't pull out extreme and vivid colors like how Devin did in the Youtube video above and 2. No matter how I render the videos, they aren't as sharp, crisp and smooth. Is there a trick for pulling out hardcore amounts of color? Also, when I render, I render it to 24p from a 30p recording or 24p to 24p. Is there a trick to making videos heavily crisp like the video above?

I am sorry for sounding like such a newbie, but watching videos like there and from some of the artists on this site always motivates me to become a better filmmaker. Hopefully the questions were understandable and I look forward to everyone's reply!

Thanks!



doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 days ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

What Birdcat said. Also using uncompressed video streams instead of the compressed video that is stored in most cameras. Atomos Ninja is great for bypassing your cameras compression. When you deal with color correction in this type of footage, you are in a whole new world - and much easier to control. Lastly, for YouTube videos, I render to .mxf as this keeps the color space uncompressed. Yes even if your source footage is not uncompressed - It never hurts to output it this way to keep everything as clean as possible. That way when YouTube processes it, it is the best source footage it can be! The downside is a larger file size, but I don't mind the larger uploads if it helps quality.


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 days ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Also most cameras, especially once you get into prosumer arena tend to record semi-flat images. This is intentional as it allows for more creativity in post. Sadly I see so many videos out there in post where nothing was done to the contrast/curves. Makes for pretty dull looking footage.


shadowkingpin's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 04/15/2012 - 12:02am

Thank you so much for the replies guys :D It means a lot. The thing that is bothering me with my finished product is that before I render it, it looks quite good with color and such, but after I render it, it has this ghost effect and isn't smooth. As for camera settings, what do you guys suggest I do to kill the compression? Once again, thanks so much for helping me with this!



doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 days ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

The only way to "kill" the cameras compression is to be able to capture the uncompressed source via HDMI - such as using the Atomos Ninja. Anything captured in camera is compressed. This is not required and most people don't use this - I was just giving suggestions on making your video the best it could be. I was able to compare footage with a test a few months ago and it made quite a bit of difference though. The requirement for your camera is that it must support uncompressed output by HDMI - AND THEN you need a camera hat gives a clean output on top of that (some cameras you cannot completely clear the display information and it transfers via HDMI.)


ageless1's picture
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 02/13/2012 - 9:34pm

Timothy, an upgrade in lens quality would probably help to improve your results. While the consumer grade lenses such as the one you are using give reasonable results the difference between those and a professional grade lens, such as the 24-105mm L series, is fairly significant.


Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

Timothy, one thing you can try to do to get better saturation is to over expose by half a stop than the camera tells you to use.


shadowkingpin's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 04/15/2012 - 12:02am

So many great replies! I'll look into Atomos Ninja. Thanks so much Double! I will also look greatly into getting some better glass to help out with everything. Besides the 24-105mm L Series Lens, are there others that you might suggest that aren't above $1,500?

What settings do you all suggest I use when rendering to keep the quality? I know Bird suggested .MP4, but there are a ton of selections in the rendering area that use .MP4. I'm still pretty new at this, so hopefully someone can clear that up :S I tried working the settings some more and with the suggestion from Bird, I used more of the Color Curves to really pull out color. My biggest issue is how everything looks "Ghostly" in a sense and seems very laggy.

I've seen on YouTube where plenty of people with my lens can pull off smooth videos that are clear and not as ghost-like. Hopefully we can come up with something :S


shadowkingpin's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 04/15/2012 - 12:02am

I'm starting to believe that the major issue is the software I am using at the current moment. I think Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 being a cheaper program doesn't entirely render videos as great as Adobe Premiere & FCP do. Maybe I'm wrong. I just don't see what other problems there are.



ageless1's picture
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: 02/13/2012 - 9:34pm

Timothy, what settings are you using on your camera? To me it appears a bit over-exposed which will give the appearance of being blurred but it is actually glare. Maybe a good quality ND filter would help. Also if you are shooting in aperture priority mode (Av) try shooting with shutter priority (Tv) and a high shutter speed, 1/2000 to 1/4000 as this will help to reduce motion blur.

Any good quality lens is going to be costly unless you can find someone who is selling a good condition second hand unit. The range of lenses is enormous and which one suits you will depend on what you want to shoot and what type of look you are going for. The two lenses I use the most are 17-40mm L series and 100-400mm L series but I don't do any mid distance shooting if I did I would use the 24-105mm L series.


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 days ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Yes it is overexposed for one. I even see some grain in the video which you would not really see in any decent camera shooting outdoors - the gain or ISO should not be that high.

The NLE rendering should make little difference. I would assume that Vegas Movie Studio, and Pro have pretty much the same options when it comes to rendering - MAYBE a few more micro management of controls in Pro (doubtful), but nothing that should really make a huge difference. What are your render settings? Project settings?

There is definitely something going wrong here as your camera and the NLE should be able to produce some great looking video. We just need to pinpoint what it is!

I would try to shy away from higher frame rates if possible (though I know DSLR is tougher to do this with than a dedicated video camera). Motion blur to an extent is actually good for video - otherwise you see a ton of strobing which to me is far more distracting. Find a good ND filter set to help this out.

You DO have quite a bit of fast movement with your camera, this also can make things not so pretty, especially with the compression inside the camera.

1) smooth your movements

2) lower your exposure

3) Add ND filter if possible, or turn up the shutter speed (higher shutter speed will really make fast moving and shaky video look worse IMO - but for the best fix of that refer to #1)


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 days ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Can you try uploading a small clip for your ORIGINAL footage straight from the camera to compare it with?


shadowkingpin's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 04/15/2012 - 12:02am

I shoot in the video mode at 30p. Maybe 24p would be better? I shoot with the Shutter Speed at 1/60th for 30p and 1/50th for 24p. I'm still confused on which is better for F-Stop increments: 1 or 1/3? I just looked more into ND Filter's and I believe you are right. Also, just as you mentioned, I need better glass because an 4.5 F-Stop Lens won't give me the cinematic quality I truly need. By the way, could rendering with VMSHDP11 cause any of these issues as well? Are there excellent settings that will keep better quality than others?


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 days ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

What is VMSHDP11? Codec? Never heard of it. ... Or do you mean the the NLE in general? That should not be an issue. What are your render settings? Also be aware that if you get a higher aperture lens, then you will need to fight more to keep the exposure down. Try upping the shutter speed first to see what you get. If you are shooting this at 1/60th or 1/50th with the lens wide open in outdoor daylight, you are surely way over exposing. You can also try decreasing the aperture to help, but this will also increase your DOF.


shadowkingpin's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 04/15/2012 - 12:02am

Oh! I am terribly sorry. VMSHDP11 is Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11. For rendering, I've tried the Blu-Ray settings at 25Mbps (1080p), and Internet Video settings (1080p). Maybe it's the fact that I render down from 30p to 24p? I just filmed some stuff outside really quick and will be uploading them tonight when I get off of work.


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

This is an early video I did using the Movie Studio version (Screenblast Movie Studio actually - what they called it in 2005):

http://youtu.be/C5KWi-YU0eM

I think you need to change your render settings to make sure you are rendering to MP4 with decent bitrates - here is what I use quite often for YouTube:

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


shadowkingpin's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 04/15/2012 - 12:02am

I just posted my new video. I fixed the ISO and the quality is a lot better. For some reason, the video came out smoother as well (Woohoo!). I used the settings that you posted for me Bird and everything came out great! The image is a little dark though, but a little messing around in Vegas can fix that :) Here is the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUjpyPS1rcc

I added some contrast to it and adjusted the color curves. I'm quite happy with the final product and I have all of you to thank greatly! You all are truly wonderful people and it means a lot that you helped me out with this ^_^


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

Hi Timothy -

Here is a screen grab from one of my current projects (meant to do this the other day). I almost always use color corrector, color curves & brightness/contrast on my footage (even stock). Notice the gentle "s" of the color curve. I also set my preview to FX Bypassed so you can the original footage compared to the final footage.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Timothy,

One thing I noticed the guys didn't mention, are you using the stock lens that came with the camera? If so, that's part of your problem. The other is the 'Tube itself. YouTube has awful compression even in 720p mode. Try uploading your stuff to Vimeo which has much better compression for SD and HD footage. Another thing, if you're shooting 1080p burn a version in 720p for web conversion. As for 'Test Seven', it's much too contrasty unless that was the specific look you were going for. You're blacks are crushed big time and your highlights are blown out. When using a DSLR, it's best to shoot 'flat' and do your corrections in post. You want to get a good tonal range so when you start finishing, you won't lose it during color enhancement.

Here's a DSLR timelapse clip where I did all of the above:

http://vimeo.com/17550689

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com