Making a video crisp, smooth & vivid.

Anonymous (not verified)

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!


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

try using the fx color corrector and color curves (gentle s). then render out as mp4 - i'll post screen shots later.

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


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 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: 3 years 4 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.


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

still not on pc - try rendering as progressive, not interlaced

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


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 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.)


Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 4 years 7 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.


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 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: 3 years 4 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?


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 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.


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

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


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

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


H. Wolfgang Porter's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months 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