September 14, 2017 | Author: jesuscgl | Category: Camera Lens, Camera, Tablet Computer, Television, Tripod (Photography)
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Turn Your Tablet Into a Teleprompter page 50


Cost-effective shooting solution


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Dual SD Card Slots with simultaneous HD- and Web-version dual recording

20X Optical Zoom Lens with Intelligent Optical Image Stabilization

Introducing the XA20, Canon’s full-featured, Wi-Fi® compatible, compact professional camcorder designed to seamlessly fit your HD workflow. Our new full HD 1920x1080 HD CMOS Imaging Sensor with high-sensitivity and wide dynamic range offers up to 35Mbps MP4 and AVCHD recording capability, simultaneous HD- and Web-version dual recording, and slow- and fast-motion recording. A Canon 20x High Definition Optical Zoom Lens with Intelligent Optical Image Stabilization enables you to capture precise and sharp video, while two phantom-powered XLR Audio Inputs with Manual Gain Control deliver accurate sound. With built-in dual-band 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, the XA20 gives you reliable signal transport. You can also manage settings and operations remotely with its wireless control capabilities.

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Bolex is Back In Color and Monochrome

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Go From Dreamer to Director

print © 2013 Canon U.S.A., Inc. All rights reserved. Canon and DIGIC are registered trademarks of the Canon Inc. in the United States and may also be registered trademarks in other countries. Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance. All other product and brand names are trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

Videomaker’s Directing Toolkit is designed to give you pro-level directing skills, fast!





22 How to Create a Cable News-like

38 Increase YouTube Visibility with

Interview Over the Web with Skype

Channel Collaborations

The scenario is simple: we have an interview we’d like to conduct. The host and interviewee are far apart from each other, and travel of any sort isn’t in the budget. How should we proceed? by Peter Zunitch

YouTube has implemented many ways to connect with like-minded media consumers and creators of the moving image worldwide, but cross-promotion & collaboration may be the best tools yet. by Morgan Paar

30 Secrets to Streamline Your Workflow

44 Create a YouTube Studio in Your Room

While organization and creativity may not always go hand in hand, having a few assets at your disposal can help expedite the creative process and make your video production projects painless. by Dave Sniadak

22 On the Cover Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera


There is a distinct advantage to having your own YouTube studio. It will bring a level of professionalism and sophistication to what you shoot, regardless of its square footage. by Marshal Rosenthal


Columns 2 Viewfinder The New TV By Matthew York

50 Basic Training

DIY Tablet Teleprompter By Kyle Cassidy

54 Profit Making Cash in Your Content By David G. Welton

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Departments 4 5 6 60

What’s On Quick Focus New Gear Ad Index

Reviews 8 Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera By Adam Vesely

12 Sony FDR-AX100

61 Lighting

15 Audio-Technica ATH-AG1

The Essential Green Screen Kit By Chuck Peters

Narrative Filmmaking Shot Assist Tools Explained How to Pull the Perfect Key Make Movie Ideas a Reality Story Arc and Freytag’s Pyramid


58 Editing

Tune Software for Peak Performance By Chris “Ace” Gates

Next Month

Volume 29 • Number 02

Camcorder By Adam Vesely Headset By Ty Audronis

17 MAGIX Video Pro X6

64 Take 5

5 Inspiration and Organization Tools for Video Editors By Chris “Ace” Gates

Editing Software By Doug Dixon

19 Dell P2815Q

Ultra HD Monitor By Ty Audronis

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VI D EO MA K ER >>> A UGUST 20 14



VIEWFINDER by Matthew Y ork

Videomaker empowers people to make video in a way that inspires, encourages and equips for success. We do this by building a community of readers, web visitors, viewers, attendees and marketers.

The New TV

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Not so many years ago — recent enough that many of us can remember — TV programming was controlled by a very small group of wealthy and influential people who owned and operated the three big TV networks, ABC, CBS and NBC. Television was anything but democratic. It was very limited. The only viewpoints expressed were those of the head honchos at the big studios. These elite network executives decided which programs would be produced and which would not. The idea of making TV at home was unimaginable in that day. Before long, over-the-air broadcast had expanded with more channels, and soon cable came on the scene. Cable TV, and subsequently satellite, gave viewers a far wider range of entertainment options, and exposure to more broad and varied points of view. In the 1990s we experienced the desktop revolution, when camcorders came into the mainstream and digitizers and capture cards allowed early adopters who were willing to crack open their computer cases to install new hardware, to edit video on their PCs. With the introduction of the DV recording format and IEEE 1394 FireWire technology, the ability to shoot and edit “broadcast quality” video, became affordable enough that many could make media at home on their computer. Today, broadcast TV is a dinosaur that may be teetering on the brink of extinction. The new video king is online. From DVR recorders, to ondemand services like Netflix, to video distribution portals like Vimeo, the web has opened the way for anyone with a camera and an Internet connection to be a broadcaster. YouTube estimates that 100 hours of video are uploaded to its site every minute. According to its published statistics, more than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, and more than


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6 billion hours of content are watched monthly — almost an hour for every human on earth. We have come a long way in the democratization of TV since those early days of the big three broadcasters. Now, video is ubiquitous. Access to production equipment is no longer a hindrance to producing media. Consumer hobbyists and professional broadcasters often own and use the same equipment. History is happening right now. You are part of it. We are writing a new chapter in the history of visual communication. Distribution to a global audience is available to anyone online. Today, everyone is a journalist. A documentarian. An entertainer. An educator. An activist. There is an audience for every program, no matter how small the niche. As producers of media in 2014, we have the opportunity to reach an audience larger than those early television executives could have imagined. The question is, what will we do with this opportunity? Inform, instruct, inspire, entertain. Join the global conversation. The world is waiting to see what you’ve got.

Matthew York is Videomaker's Publisher/Editor.

For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17011 in the subject line.

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Videomaker (ISSN 0889-4973) is published monthly by Videomaker, Inc., P.O. Box 4591, Chico, CA 95927. ©2014 Videomaker, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without written consent of the publisher is prohibited. The Videomaker name is a registered trademark, property of Videomaker, Inc. Editorial solicitations welcomed; publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited material. Editorial-related photos and artwork received unsolicited become property of Videomaker. Single-copy price: $5.99; $7.99 in Canada. Subscription rates: one year (12 issues) $19.97; $29.97 in Canada (U.S. funds); $44.97 Foreign Delivery (prepayment required, U.S. funds). Send subscription correspondence to Videomaker, P.O. Box 3780, Chico, CA 95927. Back issues of Videomaker are available for order online at or by calling Customer Service at (800) 284-3226. Periodicals postage paid at Chico, CA 95927 and additional mailing offices. Canada Post International Mail Sales Agreement #40051846. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Videomaker, P.O. Box 3780, Chico, CA 95927. CANADA POSTMASTER: Please send Canadian address changes to: IDS, P.O. Box 122, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 6S8. Videomaker makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, with respect to the completeness, accuracy or utility of these materials or any information or opinion contained herein. Any use or reliance on the information or opinion is at the risk of the user, and Videomaker shall not be liable for any damage or injury incurred by any person arising out of the completeness, accuracy or utility of any information or opinion contained in these materials. These materials are not to be construed as an endorsement of any product or company, nor as the adoption or promulgation of any guidelines, standards or recommendations.


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Go Mobile

Quick Focus

Reading on the go? Find Videomaker on your iPhone and iPad along with apps that help video producers on location. Go to

August 2014

What’s on The Videomaker Community Speaks Out QUESTION: From Arthouse: So I have a bit of a dilemma. I’ve recently purchased a $8500 ‘cinema’ camera (with lenses) and I got it on credit so I still have to pay a lot of it back. I run a small video production company so I can pay it off through various client projects but recently I’ve been approached by a camera [rental] company who are interested in renting out our camera to their customers in return for 50/50 split of the rental charge. The [rental] company has assured us that if anything were to ever happen to the camera it would be covered by insurance that the person hiring the camera would be forced to take out before being able to hire it in the first place. I was wondering if anyone had any experience of this or any strong opinions? What would you do?


REPLY: From fx1shooter: I would offer my services but NEVER rent out my bread and butter! If something happens to it you may have to delay a 100% paying job because you don’t have it. If you don’t use it sell it to the rental office and tell them if you do need it. You will rent from them. My 2 cents worth! Keep shooting! See more at: http://www.videomaker. com/r/771


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Hoid Pro Videomaker Webinars

Controlling Depth of Field Once you understand the power of depth-of-field, the next step is learning to control it. Find out how use different methods to get the look you want.

Canon C100 VS 5D Mark III We take the Canon C100 and the 5D Mark III out for a spin to compare the footage and form factor, and find out which camera gives you the best bang for the buck.

Correction In the July 2014 issue of Videomaker on page 17, we incorrectly stated that as a weakness, the HP Z1G2 used an mSATA SSD rather than SATA. In reality our configuration had two SATA SSDs in addition to the mSATA SSD for boot. We regret any inconveniences that may have occurred due to this error.

Videomaker has announced its upcoming Fall/Winter schedule for training webinars. Held once a month, these one-hour webinars allow you to interact with the Videomaker editors as they teach essential techniques to creating high quality video, with lots of time for Q&A. Upcoming titles include: DSLR Video Production, Titles and Graphics For Video, Audio for Video, Camera Movement and Composition and Post Production Workflow. Visit webinar for the schedule and content details.

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Talk to us online! Love Videomaker? Tell the world! Share your videos, find extra content, talk to us! We want to know who you are. V IDEOMAKER >>> AUGUS T 2014

Sun Surveyor

($13.53, Android)

($6.49, Android; $6.99 iOS)

Hoid Pro is a specialized media player, and the first that supports the H.265 format. In addition, Hoid Pro will play back Apple ProRes and MXF files. Obviously, this type of application isn’t for everyone, especially considering the price, but for pros who need to be able to view recently compressed 4K files or ProRes files that just came off a cinema camera, Cinemartin's Hoid Pro looks like a great option. Otherwise non-Pro and Gold are available. Other pro codecs supported include XAVC, XAVC-S, AVCHD and more.

Sun Surveyor is the type of app that’s essential for location scouting, as it tells you exactly where the sun or moon will be at any particular time. Rather than going to a location at a specific time, Sun Surveyor empowers you to location-scout wherever you want, then use your smartphone to find out exactly where the sun will be on the day and time you’ll be shooting. Not only does this help you estimate what your shadows will look like, it may also help you take stunning landscape time-lapse videos, using the sun or moon in creative ways.

Adobe Voice (Free, iOS) Adobe Voice is a free app aimed at creating “explainer” videos. These are the kinds of videos other mobile and web apps use to explain how their service works. We’ve all seen these before: xylophone or ukulele music over mainly animated graphic visuals with a easy to understand, friendly voice-over. Adobe Voice takes the normally complex process of creating animated video and makes it easy, then helps you share it via Twitter, Facebook, email or your own website.

Every month the selection of video apps on both the App Store and Google Play gets better and better! This month we look at a range of apps, from the highly specialist Hoid for Android, to the more consumer-friendly Storehouse for iOS.

Storehouse (Free, iOS) Storehouse is a unique app that uses video, photos and text to create compelling stories, shared across multiple devices via the app itself or a web browser. You can think of it as a classy digital scrapbook. Once you’ve collected a handful of media, simply lay it out using Storehouse’s easy to use story editor. The final results are extremely visually compelling stories that really can’t be achieved on Facebook or other, more traditional media sharing platforms.

contents For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17376 in the subject line.

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VI D EO MA K ER >>> A UGUST 20 14


NEW GEAR A Summer of Post-Production Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Tablet Computers are an ubiquitous part of any video production, from planning in pre-production, all the way to final finishing in post-production. Tablets and mobile devices have entered into the landscape that was once occupied by laptops. They’re able to accomplish many tasks but are limited in what they can do. A tablet is great for pre-production, scripting, storyboarding and scheduling. They’re even used on set to slate takes and run teleprompter software, but they’re not viewed as technology that can handle true postproduction tasks. Just like it happened with laptops, the capabilities of tablets are changing. Microsoft announced the forthcoming Surface 3 tablet, a tablet that is able to run the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of applications. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a power packed tablet, expanding on the computing power of a laptop with the functionality of a tablet. The Surface Pro 3 is 12-inch tablet

with a screen resolution that comes in at a sharp 2160 x 1440. It's powered by a 4th generation Intel Core processor, i3, i5, or i7, making it able to handle desktop Windows applications such as Adobe Creative Cloud. Users can take advantage of the Surface Pen and multi-position kickstand to express their creativity with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and even draw masks in Adobe After Effects. Internal storage on the Surface Pro 3 comes in options of 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. Pricing ranges from $799 for a Surface Pro 3 with 64 GB of storage and an Intel i3 processor, to $1949 for a model with 512 GB of storage and an Intel i7 processor. Microsoft has stated that Surface Pro 3 units should begin shipping this summer.

Introducing Blackmagic URSA, the world’s first user upgradeable 4K digital film camera!

Video Copilot MotionPulse Some of the best videos are made great because of their sound design. This means that one of the best tools a video editor can have is a collection of high-quality and useful sound effects. Big cinematic sounds are what’s needed to create videos of epic proportions. Video Copilot, the makers of Element 3D, Optical Flares, Action Essentials 2 and more, have announced the release of their MotionPulse Sound Design Tools. MotionPulse Sound Design Tools is a collection of over 2000 sound effects in 24-bit 96KHz quality, WAV and MP3 files. Video Copilot is known for their cinematic style products, and MotionPulse Sound Design Tools fits in with their existing product line. The set features five libraries: Machines, Signals, Organic, Velocity and Impact. The sound effects contained in each library perfectly coincides with the library’s name. Machines are well designed, complex mechanical sounds. These mechanical soundscapes are often desired, but in the past were only found on the desktops of precision-obsessed sound designers. Signals is filled with glitches, scratches, statics, distortions, pulses and other electronic noises. Organic is

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Blackmagic URSA is the world’s first high end digital film camera designed to revolutionize workflow on set. Built to handle the ergonomics of large film crews as well as single person use, URSA has everything built in, including a massive 10 inch fold out on set monitor, large user upgradeable Super 35 global shutter 4K image

filled with lifelike sounds, liquids, lifeforms, meat slices, medical and more. Velocity includes a variety of swishes, drones, atmospheres and more. The featured sound effects all come through as high quality volumetric sounds. Impact is a collection of crashes, hits, impacts debris, bass drops and trailer hits. They’re perfect for punching up critical points in an edit. MotionPulse Sound Design Tools are exactly what one would expect from Video Copilot. The libraries are ideal for trailers and high-energy action pieces. Each individual library is available at $49.95. The MotionPulse BlackBox, containing all five libraries, is available for purchase from Video Copilot as an instant download for $149.95. Video Copilot is also offering a bundle deal of MotionPulse BlackBox and Shockwave Particle FX, 50 HD rendered particle elements for a price of $199.95.




sensor, 12G-SDI and internal dual RAW and ProRes recorders. Super 35 Size Sensor URSA is a true professional digital film camera with a 4K sensor, global shutter and an incredible 12 stops of dynamic range. The wide dynamic range blows away regular video cameras or even high end broadcast cameras, so you get dramatically better images that look like true digital film. The extra large Super 35 size allows for creative shallow depth of field shooting plus RAW and ProRes means you get incredible quality! Dual Recorders Blackmagic URSA features dual recorders so you never need to stop recording to change media. That’s critical if you are shooting an historical event, important interview or where you just cannot stop shooting! Simply load an empty CFast card into the second recorder and when the current card is full, the recording will continue onto the second card, allowing you to change out the full card and keep shooting!

User Upgradeable Sensor Blackmagic URSA features a modular camera turret that can be removed by unscrewing 4 simple bolts! The camera turret includes the sensor, lens mount and lens control connections and can be upgraded in the future when new types of sensors are developed. This means your next camera will be a fraction of the cost of buying a whole new camera! Choose professional PL mount, popular EF mount and more! Built in On Set Monitoring! Say goodbye to bulky on set monitors because you get a massive fold out 10 inch screen built into Blackmagic URSA, making it the world’s biggest viewfinder! The screen is super bright and features an ultra wide viewing angle. URSA also includes two extra 5” touch screens on both sides of the camera showing settings such as format, frame rate, shutter angle plus scopes for checking levels, audio and focus!

Blackmagic URSA EF



Blackmagic URSA PL



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Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera

Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera


Sensor Size/Type: Super 16-sized CCD Video Format: 12-bit Adobe Cinema DNG (RAW) Resolution/Frame Rate: 2K (24/30), 1080p (24/30), 720p (24/30/60), 480p (24/30/60/90) Recording Media: Internal 256/512GB SSD and Dual CF slots Display Size/Resolution: 2.4" 320x240 Lens Mount: C

Bolex is back! b y A d a m Ves el y


n March 2012, Joseph Rubinstein started the Digital Bolex campaign on Kickstarter to create a camera that would bring the charm and desired look of 16mm film to the digital age using a Super 16-sized sensor and a RAW-based codec that helps preserve image fidelity. That Kickstarter campaign was a great success, and nearly two years later the Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera came to the market for those looking for the nostalgia of working with 16mm cameras without the hassle of using actual film. Everything from the form factor to the sensor choice comes together to

create an unusual blend of the old and the new, providing an opportunity for those willing to work with something that is a little different than what the mainstream camcorder market is offering. The big question is, can a camcorder that is designed to emulate a specific look and feel be useful for a variety of cinematography needs?

Digital Bolex


• Decent dynamic range • Robust codec • Inexpensive lenses • Solid construction WEAKNESSES


• Lackluster built-in LCD Monitor • Noisy high-iso performance • Limited documentation

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D16: $3,300, D16M: $4,000


If you are going to create a product with a retro design, the first thing that is always appreciated is consistency. Digital Bolex has done a fantastic job with this. Everything from the exterior design of the D16 and it's packaging, to the cool and hip marketing material on the Digital Bolex website has a cool, hip vibe that attracts the eye. The 2K CCD sensor, working in conjunction with the Cinema DNG RAW codec, completes the package by creating a 16mm film-like look with up to 12 stops of dynamic range. The D16 has a unique teardrop shape that tapers toward the back, and V IDEOMAKER >>> AUGUS T 2014

most of the buttons and controls have no labeling to detract from the minimalistic design. The detachable pistol grip, which includes a recording trigger, blends in perfectly with the D16’s design and provides a pretty comfortable operating mode for handheld shots. The lens features a C-Mount, which uses a threaded connector rather than a bayonet system like most modern mounts. On the top is a cold shoe mount for accessories, a small LCD monitor for settings and video monitoring, and basic function buttons for accessing the settings menu and to start or stop recording. One interesting aspect of the D16 is the fan vents on the very front, which allow hot air to be expelled from the camera body by a small multi-speed fan. The left side features a second cold shoe mount, two XLR inputs with phantom power, 4-pin 12V power input and output, and 1/8-inch headphone and composite video outputs. On the right side you’ll find two cranks, one smaller than the other, that can be used to control various camera settings and two small knobs for controlling the audio recording levels. On the back, below the control buttons, there is a small media door that reveals two CompactFlash slots as

well as a USB 3.0 connector for transferring files to a computer. The D16 has a very solid build quality and is much heavier than it appears. Weighing in at 8lb. without the pistol grip, the D16 is very dense and can get a bit heavy when operating handheld for an extensive period of time. The control surfaces are placed in appropriate locations for easy access while shooting, although it can be difficult to see the monitor on top and adjust settings if you are shooting using a tripod at head height. Overall, the smooth curves and classic looks make the D16 one the most unique looking cameras available. Audio/video I/O and side-panel cold shoe

Included Lens: None Audio In: XLR Inputs (2) Audio Out: 1/8" Headphone Video Out: HDMI, 1/8" Composite Other Interface: USB 3.0, 12/V 4 pin XLR In/Out Shutter Range: 45°-360° Shot Assist: Aspect ratio guides, zoom for focus ISO Range: 100-800 Battery: Non-removable, 4-hour life

Roll Film To put the D16 through its paces, we ventured out to a small community park in the California foothills on a bright, sunny day. The harsh sunlight and bright colors created a lot of contrast between lit and shady areas, so this was a great location to test the dynamic range of the Super 16 CCD sensor. We had four lenses to use with our D16: a 10mm fixed f/4, a 10mm f/2.8, a 25mm f/0.85 and a 50mm f/1.4. We also had a gradual neutral density filter we could use in place of adjusting the aperture for bright scenes. Three of the lenses had focus rings, but the 10mm f/2.8 did not and could only be focused by actually unscrewing the lens little by little on the mount itself. This proved to be a somewhat precarious proposition, as we were operating handheld at first and having the lens not solidly mounted created a sense of impending doom that was difficult to ignore. The other lenses worked as you would expect on any other camera that uses fully manual lenses. On the positive side, C Mount lenses are small, VI D EO MA K ER >>> A UGUST 20 14

lightweight and can be found fairly cheap these days. Operating the D16 handheld and being able to squeeze the trigger on the pistol grip to start and stop recording felt very natural and is a nice feature to have when grabbing quick shots that don’t need the stability of a tripod. The grip is easily removable and attaching a tripod plate in its place is just as easy. The small internal fan eventually fired up between shots but is set by default to turn off when recording is started. When the recording stops, it will start back up if the internals need cooling. We started to shoot some footage of the surrounding grass, ponds, and trees. One thing became quite apparent when shooting with the D16: make sure you have an external field monitor with you for focusing and setting exposure! We used the internal LCD monitor, which has an adjustable angle of about 5-10 degrees, has a very low resolution and has fairly poor viewing angles. These factors lead to some of our test footage being slightly soft in focus and some shots were overexposed. Attaching something like a Zacuto EVF solves this problem, but be prepared to factor that cost into the cost of the camera, because external monitoring is essential. The internal LCD monitor is OK for changing settings or checking your shooting parameters, but should probably not be used as your main monitoring source when shooting. While shooting with the D16, you’ll have to adjust a lot of settings before each shot, as everything is set manually. You won’t find anything that is automatic on the D16, so easy access to ISO, white balance and audio levels is a must for proper use. The D16 has two crank wheels on the side that can each be set to adjust one of many available settings including ISO, shutter angle, white balance and headphone levels. The clicky feel of the crank wheels made them a delight to adjust, but the D16 often lagged behind when adjusting the parameter assigned to the crank

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REVIEWS Digital Bolex D16 Cinema Camera

CompactFlash slots and USB 3.0 connection

documentation provided is very limited. There is only an eight page quick-start guide available on the Digital Bolex website at time of writing. There were a few settings for the LCD monitor that we wanted clarification on, so we visited the website to look for the full user manual. Where there should be a link to download a full user manual, there are the words, “Coming Soon.” It would definitely be nice to have a full manual available that documents every feature and setting for users that may not be familiar with all the terms used in advanced video production.

In the Cutting Room

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wheel. It also was not clear how much turning was required to adjust a setting. If you turned the crank one click, nothing changed, but turn too many clicks, and you’ll pass the setting you actually wanted. This imprecision made the crank wheels a little fiddly to use, but they worked OK for the most part. There are a few other quick-access features to help get things ready for shooting. You also can press the Enter button to zoom in the video to 100 percent and move the zoomed in section around to help with focusing. You can also press the Display button to turn on a set of helpful overlays with common aspect ratios or turn the monitor off completely. The audio levels have dedicated control knobs, which are used to adjust each channel individually. There is no built in microphone, so you must use an external mic through the two XLR ports to record any audio. Fortunately, the audio interface captures clean, 24-bit 96kHz audio, which sounded good from our small shotgun mic. The headphone jack can be used to monitor the sound, but if you are recording using one channel, the audio will only come out of the left or right headphone and not both. One small point of contention with using the D16 is that you must discover some things on your own as the


The D16 records using the Adobe Cinema DNG codec, which uses about 5GB of disk space per minute of footage. This robust codec plays a large role in providing the increased latitude and flexibility you have with the footage in your editing software. Before you can bring the Cinema DNG files into your editing software, they must be processed first by intermediary software in which you can adjust basic parameters of the footage including the color temperature and color profiles that are applied. Once this step is done, the footage can be edited similarly to many other professional codecs. The CCD sensor in the D16 uses a global shutter, which doesn’t produce any rolling shutter or Jell-O effects when panning the camera rapidly. This is nice to see in a world full of CMOS sensors, which are commonly afflicted with this behavior. However, CCD sensors can be affected by very bright sources of light and can cause strange vertical lines to appear when the pixels get “hot” and overflow into their respective columns. The dynamic range shown in our test footage was very good, showing detail in both bright and dark areas of the frame. Footage shot in low light using the maximum ISO setting (800) generated a high level of digital noise, but this can be used to enhance the 16mm film look, if desired. Digital Bolex also created a monochrome camera, the D16M, which is V IDEOMAKER >>> AUGUS T 2014

identical in design to the D16 except for the sensor. The CCD sensor in the D16M only captures luminance values, which results in a cleaner image with less digital noise than one captured with a full color sensor. Our test footage from the D16M had a smooth, pure quality that looks much more satisfying than desaturated color footage, and the image is very clear of digital noise. All the highlights have a slight glow to them and the overall effect the monochrome sensor provides is quite impressive. If you are interested in shooting in black and white often, the D16M is definitely a camera you should check out.

It’s in the can! The D16 and D16M Cinema Cameras are certainly interesting diversions from the mainstream camera market. There are some quirks involved in operating them, but the results you get are worth the trouble. Both of these cameras provide a unique form factor and sensor combination that produces a specific quality and experience similar to working with a Super 16 film camera. There is also something attractive about working with a fully manual camera that lets you do exactly what you want to the image. Whether it is for nostalgic purposes or simply to take advantage of the advanced codec and pure image quality, the D16 and D16M Cinema Cameras will be attractive to cinematographers that are looking for something different than the usual suspects. SUMMARY

The Digital Bolex D16 and D16M Cinema Cameras are solid options for cinematographers that want full manual image control and enjoy working with a form factor similar to the 16mm film cameras of yesteryear. Adam Vesely is a videographer/director of photography and a still photographer in Northern Calif. For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17006 in the subject line.

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Sony FDR-AX100

Sony FDR-AX100 Handycam Camcorder

MS card slot and buttons for switching to playback mode, enabling NightShot, and changing picture parameters. On the top there is a built-in 5.1-channel surround microphone and a hot shoe for mounting powered accessories. Overall, the FDR-AX100 does an excellent job of fitting all of its features into a small and substantial chassis that is easy to hold and operate.

4K Goes Mini


b y A d a m V es el y


ony’s Handycam line has been around since 1985 and a lot has changed since then. In this new digital age, things seem to get smaller, faster and less-expensive at an unprecedented rate. With the 4K revolution in full swing, professionals and consumers alike are clamoring to get their hands on equipment that takes advantage of the extra resolution and detail that 4K footage provides. One of the biggest issues preventing more widespread adoption of 4K is fact that most 4K equipment

Sony Electronics Inc. STRENGTHS

• Large sensor • Built-in ND filters • Built-in adjustable viewfinder • Excellent feel/build quality WEAKNESSES


• Excessive rolling shutter at telephoto • Non-standard hot shoe design • Only one memory card slot • Battery charges on camera

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is expensive and usually has a steep learning curve to operate. Also, most high-end 4K camcorders record at very high bitrates, which require more media storage, further increasing costs. Sony’s FDR-AX100 Handycam camcorder fills the gap between professional and affordable, recording 4K UHD video, using the efficient XAVC-S codec and is not much larger than Sony’s previous flagship Handycam models. The price point and ease of use helps to lower the barriers of entry for consumers and professionals to start using 4K workflows while seeing all the benefits it can provide.

Mini 4K The FDR-AX100 is in Sony’s Handycam line, which is traditionally aimed at consumers, but this camcorder has an appearance that oozes professionalism. The “4K” emblem proudly gleaming on the side announces the headline feature and the whole body looks fantastic. The high quality finish and texture gives off a professional vibe and the camcorder is well-balanced for a great feel in hand. Keep in mind that this is not a camcorder that will fit in your pocket, and nor would you want it to. Tipping the scales at 2lb., the FDRAX100 is definitely at the high-end of V IDEOMAKER >>> AUGUS T 2014

the Sony’s Handycam line in size and weight, but it is still small and light compared to Sony’s larger professional 4K camcorders. The lens hood and cover on the front are solid and can be easily removed and installed. Holding the FDR-AX100 with the built-in strap is comfortable and the controls for taking photos, starting, stopping recording and enabling the focus magnifier are within easy reach. There is a variable zoom rocker on top that is easily operable with the gripping hand. On the back is an articulating and flippable viewfinder and controls for the three built-in ND filters, including an auto-enable switch. The battery is mounted far enough from the tripod mount that it can still be removed when attached to most small-to-medium-sized tripod plates. On the left, you’ll find the 3.5-inch LCD touch display and below it, are buttons to enable manual modes for iris, gain/ISO, and shutter speed. There is a small dial toward the front to manipulate settings while they're set to manual mode. Above the manual dial is an auto/manual focus button and a switch to change the large lens ring between controlling focus or zoom. When the LCD display is open, it reveals a single SD/

We took the FDR-AX100 out to shoot the flowers and plant life that spring has brought about and we were very impressed by what we saw. The 3.5inch LCD panel has a high resolution and is easy to see when facing direct sunlight. The LCD display is also a touch screen, which is used to navigate the menu system and make changes to the configuration. On the home screen, there are touch buttons for starting recording and zooming, as well as a plethora of icons indicating the various settings of the FDR-AX100. Some of these settings only show up momentarily when first starting the camcorder, but a press anywhere on the screen will bring them back and they can be touched directly to bring up options for that function. This works pretty well, as it leaves your display uncluttered with settings information that you Controls beneath LCD and SD card slot

don’t need while recording. The menu system itself is a bit difficult to navigate as it is organized into unexpected categories. It is also frustrating that you can go three levels deep in the menu system, make a selection on one setting, then get kicked all the way back to the top level of the menus, having to drill back down if you wanted to change a second setting in the same area. There is an adjustable viewfinder that is sharp and bright. The viewfinder can be used for critical focus and is perfect for when you don’t want to disturb others with the brightness of the LCD display. The Zeiss lens and Exmor CMOS sensor combination on the FDR-AX100 produce a picture that is sharp and full of vibrant color. The relatively large sensor helps to create a shallower depth of field when used at the lesser f-stop values of the lens. The lens has a 12x optical zoom, which is controlled by a variable rocker on the grip. The rocker button is little and has a small amount of travel, so it requires a delicate touch if you want to zoom slowly. While the image is very clear at all focal lengths, it should be noted that we saw some pretty serious rolling shutter skewing when panning at moderate speeds while zoomed in. The lens ring has just the right amount of resistance and works very well for controlling focus and zoom. We found it to be more valuable to control focus, as the zoom rocker works better for smooth zoom movement. Focus can be made easier using the focus magnification feature which takes advantage of the LCD touch screen wonderfully. After pressing the VI D EO MA K ER >>> A UGUST 20 14

Focus magnifier

magnification button, you are asked to touch the area of the screen you want magnified and even after magnification, there are arrow buttons to move the area of magnification around the frame. The autofocus worked pretty well most of the time, but there were occasions when we zoomed the lens out to the widest setting while panning and the camcorder would stay out-offocus for several seconds before snapping back in. The FDR-AX100 features zebra stripes and peaking settings to help with adjusting focus manually and getting proper exposure levels. The FDR-AX100 features three builtin ND filters which help greatly when you are outdoors and want to use lower f-stop values in bright light. They can be set manually or there is an automatic function that will engage them when the smallest aperture is reached and the exposure is still too bright. The automatic ND filters worked pretty well in our testing, although there is a slight flicker to the image when the filter engages. The lens also features Sony’s SteadyShot image stabilization which definitely helped reduce jitter and vibrations when walking with the camera or when using the telephoto end of the zoom. However, when standing still, we saw the image stabilization exhibit some odd behavior, snapping to and fro rather than gently gliding as most optical image stabilization does. This was only noticeable at the long end of the zoom lens, but it is some-


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Sony FDR-AX100


Sensor Size/Type: 1.0" back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS Video Format: XAVC-S (UHD/HD), AVCHD (HD) Resolution/Frame Rate: 3840x2160 (24p, 30p), 1920x1080 (24p, 30p, 60i, 60p), 1440x1080 (60i), 1280x720 (30p) Recording Media: SD/SDHC/SDXC card, Memory Stick PRO Duo/XC-HG Duo Display Size/Resolution: 3.5" 1920x480 LCD monitor Optical Zoom: 12x Lens: 9.3-111.6mm f/2.8-4.5 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Lens Audio In: 1/8" (3.5mm) Audio Out: 1/8" (3.5mm) Video Out: HDMI Other Interface: Multi/Micro USB terminal

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thing to note if you plan on relying on telephoto handheld shots. One of the best things about the FDR-AX100 are the manual adjustment controls which allow you to control the iris, gain and shutter speed individually. After pressing one of these buttons, you use the small manual dial to adjust the setting. If you’d like to change a different setting, simply press that button, then adjust it with the dial. There is also a Manual button that can be longpressed to assign settings including exposure and white balance. This setup for manual adjustments worked pretty well for us when we got the hang of it, but you have to be careful to see which function you are currently manually adjusting before you press any buttons. If you press the button for the currently selected setting, you can accidentally kick the setting back to automatic, which could ruin your shot. The FDR-AX100 features a 1-inch sensor and performs pretty well in lowlight, but gain can be added when there isn’t enough light to properly expose


the image. Adding gain also adds noise to the picture, but it isn’t very distracting and doesn’t affect the color levels as much as we’ve seen in other camcorders that are similar in size and price. There is also the NightShot feature, which uses an infrared emitter to see in total darkness, though the color is heavily affected. It's worth mentioning that the lens hood should be removed when using this feature as it casts a shadow on your subject when using the infrared emitter to illuminate your scene. There is a built-in 5.1 channel surround microphone that has several manual settings that are usually found in more expensive, professional camcorders. There are settings to control the audio levels manually, reduce wind noise, make the microphone behave more directional and even try to cancel out the voice of the camera operator. It should be noted that the 5.1 channel recording is only available when using AVCHD; XAVC-S modes record in stereo. One interesting feature of the FDRAX100 is the built-in Wi-Fi capability that allows you to transfer video clips to your mobile device for instant sharing or use your mobile device as a remote control. In order to transfer video clips, you have to have enabled the Dual Recording feature which produces low bitrate MP4 files, in addition to the full-size video files when the camcorder is recording. The Sony PlayMemories Mobile app is available for both Android and iOS and is free to download. While our experience with the FDRAX100 was mostly pleasant, there are a few issues that keep it from being perfect. The first thing would be to include an adapter for the recessed, non-standard hot shoe so that you can attach third-party accessories like a field monitor or an external microphone. The FDR-AX100 has one media card slot, but it would be nice to have two for being able to record continuously from one card to another or recording to both simultaneously for backup purposes. Perhaps the biggest issue we encountered during our testing was that the FDR-AX100 froze up a couple V IDEOMAKER >>> AUGUS T 2014

Audio-Technica ATH-AG1 Headset

On-camera 5.1 mic

Best Gaming Headphones Ever?

times when changing resolutions and frame rates. This left the top half of the screen garbled and required us to remove and reconnect the battery to get the camcorder to function again. Issues like this may already be addressed with firmware updates, but we thought it was worth mentioning.

The Bottom Line Sony’s FDR-AX100 is a product that blurs the line between professional and consumer equipment and does so in a way that favors both groups. It still feels like a Handycam, but behaves more like a professional camcorder. If you are looking to jump on the 4K bandwagon but want to get a camcorder that is versatile enough to be used in both a casual and professional capacity, we highly recommend looking into the Sony FDR-AX100 Handycam camcorder. SUMMARY

The Sony FDR-AX100 blurs the line between professional and consumer camcorders and does so at an aggressive price point. It is small, easy to use, and relatively affordable. It also has a large sensor, a great lens and tons of manual controls. Adam Vesely is a videographer/director of photography and still photographer.

For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17102 in the subject line.

b y Ty A u d r o n i s


he specifications of the ATH-AG1 headphones are impressive for sure. Even some DJ headphones don’t have the specs these headphones have. Bass response down to 5Hz, and an upper-range to 35,000 Hz. Compare that to an average studio monitor at 56Hz-22,000Hz, and you can’t wait to hear what the headset can do. The massive 53mm driver units definitely fit a bass-head’s specifications, and you immediately imagine that you wouldn’t so much be using a headset as putting your head between two powerful speakers. With a closed-back design, and soft, huge, cushy ear pads; a seal should be formed around your ears and produce mind-numbing bass, and block out most outside noise. Really, by the specifications alone, they should sound spectacular. The reality is, when you consider the price, the sound quality is just OK. At $300, Audio-Technica clearly had to make a compromise between the speakers and the mic. The marketing claims they are an audiophile gamer dream. The unfortunate reality is that the ATHAG1 doesn’t sound any better than

the Sony Hi-Res Stereo Headphones that sport a list price of only $150, and significantly lower quality than the $180 Sennheiser HD 558. OK, so those are prosumer headphones, and don’t have microphones, so let’s look at something more in the gaming market. The top-of-the-line headset we found is the $250 Ear Force Z Seven by Turtle Beach. The specifications aren’t as nice, but the cans fit more snugly around the ears, and thus the bass response of the speakers sounds much better (and are a bass head dream). The ATH-AG1 headset does have good speakers, and you can hear the massive bass response, but it doesn’t sound very bassy. When tested using a boom sound on an 808 drum kit from a Roland Fantom synthesizer, it becomes really evident. An 808 boom is that very bassy kick drum sound that is so common in pop music that it’s even referred to in the song “Like a G6”. The 808 sounded more like a toy. Why? Because without a good seal around your ears, the sound escapes, and although the low frequency VI D EO MA K ER >>> A UGUST 20 14

response range allows the bass to be heard, it doesn’t move enough air to resonate on your eardrums. This is why custom in-ear monitors are desirable. They don’t have huge drivers, but the seal in your ear lets you hear bass. This sound leakage is probably because Audio-Technica went with a traditional round-design for the cans instead of over the ear headphones with an oval design. With the right seal around your ears, even an openback headphone (like the Sennheiser) will generate a better bass sound. If they were priced around $100, the

Audio Technica STRENGTHS

• Comfortable headband • Impressive looks • Included USB DAC WEAKNESSES

• Short cable • High price • Poor seal around the ears • Average sound quality

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Audio-Technica ATH-AG1


Form Factor: Headset Frequency Response: 5Hz-35,000Hz Maximum Input Power: 1,000 mW Connectors: USB, 1/8" (3.5mm) Stereo Cord Length: 3.3' (1m) + 6.6' (2m) adapter cable Transducer Type: Condenser Pickup Pattern: Cardioid Mute Switch: Yes Impedance: 38 ohms Sensitivity: 100dB/mW sound these headphones generate would be more than acceptable.

How’s the mic? We tried this headset with games from “Call of Duty” to the R/C flight simulator “RealFlight 7.” In all the games we asked people how we sounded over the mic. The response was a resounding “um... OK I guess.” Skype, FaceTime, WebEx — all the same: “so-so” response. On recording (Pro Tools), it wasn’t passable as a professional voiceover mic, nor for any singing, though we wouldn't expect it to. We wouldn’t advise anything but a studio condenser mic for voice-overs, but this is Videomaker, so we had to try, right? With a frequency response of 100Hz-12,000Hz, the mic really isn’t The ATH-AG1's nicely-placed mute button

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suited for high-fidelity capture, but for YouTube gaming commentary, it’s definitely usable. When comparing the quality of the mic to another gaming headset, the Steel Series Siberia V2, the ATH-AG1 was notably better. The saving grace is that the mic is far enough away from your mouth to eliminate plosives, i.e., the popping sounds caused by your breath. Luckily there is a mute button for the mic in a convenient, but not bumpable spot. So, screaming out expletives can be held back from your teammates in games. The only complaint we had on the ergonomics of the ATH-AG1 headset was moving the mic out of the way. The pivot-point of the mic is a bit rough, and moves it up to a 45-degree angle. This puts the mic up on your eye. The only way to really move the mic out of the way is to move the flexible tube the mic is attached to. To move the mic out of the way, we'd prefer to not have to deform the mic post. With the ATH-AG1 headset, you do have to deform the mic post.

The USB DAC The USB DAC is truly plug and play. We tried this on a Dell XPS 8300 with Windows 7 64-bit. Within a few seconds of plugging in the USB DAC, the headphones were ready to go. However, after a day of use, a previously stable machine was suddenly crashing on the dreaded “blue screen of death” — even at idle. Upon investigation, the crashes were triggered by the existing sound card. After removing the sound card’s driver, the crashes went away. With some cards you may be stuck using the USB DAC as your sound card, or using your V IDEOMAKER >>> AUGUS T 2014

MAGIX Video Pro X6

sound card with only the standard 1/8inch plugs. Another point of strangeness, the headphones came with one audio cable extension cord. Well, they call it an extension, but it’s really an adapter. The headphones themselves use a standard 1/8-inch, 4-ring plug to couple the stereo headphones and the microphone to one plug. The adapter has one 3-ring headphone plug and one 3-ring mic plug. So, if your USB port is more than 3 feet away, you’re out of luck to plug into the USB DAC.

Pro Value by D oug D ix on

Should you buy them? Really, they’re not bad headphones. It’s not a terrible microphone. Sure the audio cables are a bit strange and the DAC can cause some conflicts on your system. Often with headsets, you either have great headphones with a terrible mic or a great mic with terrible headphones. Neither is the case with the ATH-AG1. However, when compared to anything within $150 of the price point, the headphones on the ATH-AG1 are either merely equalled, or vastly outclassed. They do look impressive. The initial impression when you see them is “whoa.” And putting them on does honestly feel incredibly comfortable, other than the leather cups that make your ears sweat. The ATH-AG1 doesn’t weigh down your head, the mic is out of the way, and the mute button is convenient. But $300? We were expecting a bit more for our dollar. SUMMARY

At a price of $300 you'd expect it to be the best headset ever. What the ATH-AG1 delivers feels like compromised sound quality to make up for exceptional comfort and a decent microphone. Ty Audronis is a professional in the television and film industry. He’s scored many productions, and worked as a sound designer in award-winning productions. For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17533 in the subject line.


ou may know MAGIX in the U.S. for its broad selection of consumer software for movie and music creation, photo and graphic design, and website creation. From a broader view, MAGIX has branches across North America and Europe, and is the multimedia software leader in Germany. MAGIX has a similar portfolio of professional software tools, including Samplitude Pro X for audio recording, mixing and mastering, Xara Designer Pro X9 for graphic and image design, and MAGIX Video Pro X6. MAGIX positions Video Pro X6 as a pro level video editing tool at $399. It’s a significant step up from MAGIX Movie Edit Pro and other consumer video editing tools, but with a traditional interface that should be familiar and comfortable when escaping the limitations of consumer tools. It’s strong enough with 64-bit performance, tools and special effects to satisfy the needs of small production companies such as wedding videographers or smaller broadcast stations. You might think of it as occupying the middle ground between consumer and pro, something like Apple’s nowdiscontinued Final Cut Express.

So how does Video Pro X6 stand up to prolevel expectations? The best way to find out is to take a tour through the application, highlighting its new and more distinctive features.

What’s New The big news for Video Pro X6 is the move to full native 64-bit support, with an optimized video engine for the Intel Core i7 and new H.264 and audio codecs and GPU acceleration for AVCHD export. With the additional 64-bit headroom, this version has also expanded support for Ultra HD and 4K including editing and export presets. It also adds two 64-bit effects plug-ins: proDAD Mercalli V2 to stabilize shaky videos and Red Giant Magic Bullet Quick Looks templates. The most impressive new editing feature is support for nested sequences. You can choose an entire video sequence and embed it as a movie object in a project so it can be directly edited with effects and animations. The effects section has also been redesigned, and the important video effects have been GPU-optimized, including an HDR effect. In addition to usability improvements like better editing handles and keyframe VI D EO MA K ER >>> A UGUST 20 14

ease in/out, Video Pro X6 also adds four new measuring instruments to precisely monitor your video: Vectorscope to calibrate and check color tint, Waveform Monitor to check levels, Histogram to correct over/under-exposure and RGB parade to analyze the brightness distribution of individual colors. These are GPU optimized to support real-time operation up to 4K resolution.

Input and Formats The first test of pro-level video tools is support for a broad range of devices


• Professional editing • Proxy editing, multi-cam, 4K, 3D, title editor, color corrector • Edit nested sequences as objects WEAKNESSES

• Missing some pro features such as RED support, closed captions • DVCPRO25/50/HD and AVC-Intra codec require additional fee • Limited optimization for variety of GPUs

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$400 ($15 disc optional)





MAGIX Video Pro X6


OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and greater Minimum CPU: Dual core processor with 2.0GHz (Quad-core processor recommended) Minimum RAM: 2GB Space for Installation: 2GB Graphics/VRAM: Yes with resolution of at least 1280x1024 License Restrictions: None to note Requires Internet Connection: On activation and formats, from Ultra HD consumer cameras to professional cameras. Video Pro X6 stands up very well here, with support for standard SD and HD video formats including AVCHD (progressive), H.264, ProRes, DNxHD, XDCAM, NXCAM, DVCPRO and AVCIntra (although these last two require an activation fee of $70). Video Pro X6 also supports current DSLRs, and is optimized for popular models including the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EOS 7D, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH3, and Olympus OM-D cameras. And it provides 3D import, editing and export.

Editing For getting your work done, Video Pro X6 provides a traditional editing interface design in a muted grey look. To help new users, it offers a simpliColor correction interface

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fied basic editing mode corresponding to Movie Edit Pro, with a drag-anddrop storyboard interface. The full, standard interface then provides dual program and source preview monitors above the timeline, with a media pool window for accessing content and effects and a project folder window to stash and prepare material. The timeline also offers a scene overview mode for quick organization and rearranging, and a multi-cam mode with up to nine source tracks and automatic audio synchronization. You can drag and drop to arrange content on the timeline, with options to move and group clips across one or all tracks. Other tools include time stretching and gap search to find areas of black frames, plus a built-in title editor with templates. For audio, there are advanced options to automatically recognize tempo to help you adjust video cuts to the beat of a music track, a real-time multichannel mixer that supports 5.1 surround sound, and a soundtrack mixer to automatically create soundtracks for various moods.

Effects The media pool tabs provide access to a wide variety of transitions and effects. The collection also includes design elements including collages, backgrounds and intros/outros. You can load, save and copy effects as your own presets. Then add keyframes to adjust the effect parameters over time, or use the effects curve overlaying the clip in the timeline to adjust and copy the animation. You also can apply effects masks per parameter to modulate the result of the effect based on the intensity of the mask. V IDEOMAKER >>> AUGUS T 2014

Dell P2815Q Ultra HD Monitor

Video Pro X6 supports the VirtualDub plug-in format (.vdf) for effects, as well as proDAD VitaScene and Adorage. The general audio effects are augmented with echo/reverb, timestretch/resample, and tools for audio cleaning.

Rendering and Export While Video Pro X6 can import and edit a variety of professional camera formats, its export is focused on traditional file, device, and Web formats. It exports to the standard PC-based video editing file formats, including AVI, WMV (HD), QuickTime and MPEG variants to H.264. It also transfers to digital camcorders, VHS recorders and mobile devices. And it provides disc authoring for DVD, AVCHD and Blu-rays with menus and chapters. For playback online, you can upload directly to YouTube, Vimeo, MAGIX Online Album and, or output as a Flash video for a website.

Pro Video After taking a tour of MAGIX Video Pro X6, you can see that it stands up well in providing many professional video editing features and flexibility at a mid-range price. If you’re stepping up from consumer tools, you’ll find that the interface is familiar and comfortable but without the limitations and restrictions. SUMMARY

MAGIX Video Pro X6 video editing software offers professional production starting at $400. It’s fully 64-bit, with support for 4K and pro cameras, and full of features including multicam editing, stabilization and scalable proxy editing. Additional bonuses, like nested sequences, make it even more interesting. Doug Dixon covers digital media at For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17100 in the subject line.

4K for Well Under $1K b y Ty A u d r o n is


K movies have made media professionals excited over the last few years. Now that prices have come down on 4K cameras, and technology has gotten better for post with a new plethora of 4K monitors, faster computers and better storage; it’s time to step up to the plate and get ready to add 4K movies to the average post production workflow. But, just as it was when the standards switched to HD from SD, 4K movies can be a minefield of buzzwords, resolution hedging, poor frame rates and shallow color space. Dell introduces their 4K monitor, the 28-inch P2815Q; painstakingly designed for post-production, and at a relatively reasonable price. Is it a viable monitor for the video professional?

What is 4K anyway? Unlike HD, which is measured in vertical lines (i.e. 1080p is 1920x1080 progressive), 4K is measured in horizontal space. 4K can be anywhere from 3,800 to 4,100 pixels, going across an image horizontally. For instance, a GoPro HERO3: Black Edition can shoot 3840x2160 and 4096x2160, while a RED ONE shoots at 4096x2304. Each is technically considered 4K video, but have a fair difference in pixel counts. The Dell P2815Q follows the standard of 3840x2160. To Dell’s credit, they don’t

mention 4K in any of their literature. Instead, Dell uses the “Ultra HD” moniker.

Drilling Into the Specs Let’s be fair, this is a beautiful screen. The colors are rich, the blacks are black and the design is great. With that out of the way, it could be a tad better. The 30Hz refresh rate at full resolution, and the 5ms response time can certainly be improved. But remember, this is a 28-inch 4K monitor priced at well under $1,000. Contrast that with the HP ZR2740w (2560x1440) at $900, and it’s a great value. Also, that 28-inch rating doesn’t get cropped off by the frame around the screen; it’s truly a 28inch viewable area. Great contrast — 1000:1 — and perfect viewing angles — 170-degrees horizontal, 160-degrees vertical — won’t leave you playing musical chairs with your client for optimal viewing and the anti-glare coating doesn’t affect clarity nor color. The P1815Q is lean too. The narrow frame will allow you to use multiple monitors without the giant gap to traverse when moving your mouse across the desktop. There are no speakers on the monitor. Some may wrinkle their nose at that, but a professional would be using powered speakers on a good sound device — not mixing using tiny speakers on their viewing screen. It’s VI D EO MA K ER >>> A UGUST 20 14

light at 11.4lb., so using third-party stands for your multiple monitors won’t rip the corner off your desk. This 4K monitor has a port for everything: a DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, HDMI (1.4), USB upstream and four USB 3.0 ports. It even has a DisplayPort out.

Alright, but how does it feel to use? Text is tiny. If you use this monitor for writing documents, you’ll need glasses. If you don’t need glasses, you soon will. Fitting that many pixels on a 28inch monitor results in breathtakingly clear imagery, but reading can be prob-


• Excellent price point • Great picture • Lightweight • Thin frame WEAKNESSES

• Low refresh rate • Software interfaces don't scale well

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Display Type: LED backlit LCD (Ultra HD / 4K) View Size: 28" Resolution: 3840x2160 Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 Input: HDMI 1.4, mini DisplayPort, DisplayPort, USB 3.0 Output: USB 3.0 (x4), DisplayPort Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Brightness: 300cd/m2 (typical) Frequency: 30Hz Colors Supported: 1.1 billion [1.073] Speakers: Optional speaker bar Stand/Mount: Included, adjustable height /tilt/pivot

lematic. Also, your wrist will soon need a brace. As icons and text gets smaller, exacting pixel-accurate clicking with your mouse will require more skill. The color is extremely accurate right out of the box, and the monitor has all of the familiar controls for setting it to your taste. Using a Huey Pro color calibration device and calibration software, barely made any difference to the image. Although we’d suggest using such a device on any screen, this screen seems to only need one for adjusting the monitor for the changing light conditions between open windows and office lighting. To which the P2815Q adjusted to the calibration software commands perfectly. The 30Hz refresh rate can be a little odd when editing 24fps footage. We used the 4K monitor primarily as a pre-

view monitor within Adobe Premiere Pro CC in a RED project. A professional in post-production will pick up on a slight strobe effect when editing footage at that frame rate. After about three hours solid of editing, this author felt a bit light-headed, so take some breaks. Nobody should sit at a computer without looking away for that long anyway. Let’s reiterate that the Dell P2815Q has amazing color and clarity. If you’ve ever been swimming and come up, then your ears unplug and you imagine you can hear like never before; that’s what this monitor is for your eyes. Considering the relatively low price, you’ll find yourself taking all sorts of things for granted. Remembering having to edit Continued on page 53

AMD FirePro W9100

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The Dell P2815Q monitor was tested using the AMD W9100 video card in a Dell Precision T7600. The performance of the W9100, in conjunction with the P2815Q 4K monitor, was impressive. Many effects were rendered real-time. At times, the high-quality 4K display was the only reminder you were pushing loads and loads of pixels. Diving down into the nitty-gritty, the W9100 represents a third of the performance improvement over it’s older brother (the D700), and roughly $1,000 cheaper than the NVIDIA Quadro K6000. Sounds amazing, right? It is, but nothing is perfect. Any software that uses CUDA to render (rather than OpenCL) will be left in the dust by systems running NVIDIA chipsets. The W9100 supports OpenCL, while NVIDIA supports both. What is CUDA? What is OpenCL? Simply put, command sets that video cards parse into 3D graphics. These are currently the two big boys on the block, and a lot of software developers (for instance Maya and The Foundry) that use OpenCL, while some prefer to sup-


port CUDA. So, all the benchmarks and scores in the world mean nothing if your video card doesn’t support the command set your software is trying to use. “But wait. I’m not a 3D artist.” Wrong. Believe it or not, if you use any postproduction software, you’re using 3D technology. Whether it’s for simple transitions, or highly intricate compositing, your computer is using 3D processing to do the heavy lifting. When you key out that green screen and put your weather reporter in front of a map, your computer is literally putting the layer of your reporter in front of that map in 3D space. The better your card can accelerate this process, the more real-time output you can do with more layers of effects, transitions and composites. Hence the need for a rip-roaring video card that can speak the same language as your software. So what video card is right for you if you have $4,000-$5,000 to spend? It completely depends on your software needs. We can tell you this: The AMD W9100 rips through 3D calculations like a minigun rips through bullets — obliterat-


ing lag time and giving you all the performance you could hope for, provided those 3D instructions are OpenCL. The final Luxmark score of 1306 will definitely make you happy. In Premiere Pro CC, editing non-proxied RED R3D footage was as easy and fast as editing HD XDCAM footage. Our only suggestion is that prior to spending the $4,000 — or saving the $1,000 over the Quadro K6000 — you may want to make sure you’re optimized for OpenCL and have no need for a CUDA-based card. With little performance difference between the W9100 with 4K and an average editing bay working with 1080p footage, this number-crunching beast of a video card will leave you giggling and working — not waiting for the machine to catch up with your creativity.

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How to Create a

Cable News-like Interview Over the Web

with Skype

Let’s explore what’s involved in producing a high-quality video interview session using web-based communications systems. How’s it done? How can we avoid the pitfalls? Is it even worth it?



he scenario is simple: we have an interview we’d like to conduct. The host and interviewee are far apart from each other, and travel of any sort isn’t in the budget. How should we proceed? In the old days one might set up a satellite feed, and with any kind of substantial budget that would still be a possibility, but at that point you could all but hire a local crew to shoot it for you. What if we could do away with all that? What if we could use cloud services?


Hardware & Software

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We’ll begin with Skype: the standard Internet communications tool combining free video chat functionality




with the capability for rather decent sound and picture quality. You’ll also need some type of desktop/laptop computer for all participants. At the time of this writing, Skype for iOS and Android is gaining support for conference calling, so some mobile use may be limited. There are many programs out there to record Skype video, but the two you should seriously consider are Ecamm Call Recorder for Mac, and Evaer for PC. These two programs (both less than $30) have the capability of recording each side of the conversation individually, in full resolution. You could use screen capture programs like Camtasia or QuickTime, but you

may find a drop in quality. Also, postproduction may be that much more complicated, as you’ll have to crop images and take out overlays. These programs capture the actual communication streams and nothing else. Linux users may conduct conference call or use a screen capture program. Configure the recorder to use sideby-side recording with the best available codec your computer can handle (H.264 is a good bet), and set a desired destination folder. The presenters do not need a copy of the recording software on their machines. Note that the recording programs can sometimes have strange side effects when conferencing more than two people.

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How to Create a Cable News-like Interview Over the Web with Skype Using the latest version of Skype and the latest recording program can avoid an insane amount of issues. In practice, it’s best to have each user on a wired broadband connection. The signal can often fluctuate in quality and wireless connections will only exacerbate the issue. Each person should use an external webcam, as they provide better quality that built-in cameras and place less strain on the CPU. The Logitech C920 is a great option as it provides HD 1080p at $100. You’re also going to want a USB headset, as using computer speakers can sometimes create an unwanted echo through the transmission, even with noise cancellation turned on. Companies like Plantronics make a wide variety of headsets that will fit any budget. Why use a USB headset over analog? You just plug it in and it works. Not everyone you record will understand how to install and configure analog headsets, and some may not have a mic input on their computer. Wireless headsets are generally less conspicuous but you’ll most likely notice a good deal more compression on the audio.

The Setup

Without question, the hardest part of the process is getting the call started. There are many things that can go wrong and sometimes the stars being aligned is the only way things end up working. You’ll need to develop extreme “remote directing” and troubleshooting skills, and be able to display an incredible amount of patience. Often it’s best to create a How-to/best practices manual to send out to each participant. If your presenters have no experience

with Skype, you’ll want to set up a pre-recording test session with each of them. During this time, call them on the phone and be prepared to walk them through downloading and installing the software. You’ll then need to help with installing the hardware. Luckily, it’s usually as simple as plugging in the two USB cables, waiting and then selecting them in the Skype audio/video preferences panels. The Skype interface is different from Mac to PC, however, so confirm with your speaker which computer they are using and be intimately familiar with both. Finally, you’ll need to walk them through logging in and connecting the video call. To avoid potential issues, all users will need to be accepted as “contacts” with the host account that initiates the call, and everyone should be on the same Skype primary revision whenever possible. If one caller for example has version 5.1 and the other has version 6.1, then they will be unable to communicate fully, but mixing 6.1 and 6.3 should be OK. Consider having a few generic accounts that you can lend out to your presenters on a temporary basis. This will allow your presenters to skip the hassle of registration, and has the added bonus of having all accounts pre-added to your contacts list. Before recording, check the general camera framing for each side and have them adjust lighting as best as possible. Ideally, they should not be sitting with a window behind them, and should have some sort of light on their face coming from next to or behind the camera. Don’t push the issue too much though, as you’re asking your talent to be your crew and too much fussing can lead to resentment and grumpy presentations. This is one time when some fixing in post may actually be preferable to live tweaking. A good tip

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How to Create a Cable News-like Interview Over the Web with Skype Most computers now come with webcams installed, but having one that’s detached from your monitor allows you more freedom with your camera angles.

To maximize picture, have all parties close any non-essential programs, including email and web browsers. Before hitting record, wait a minute or two after the call is started as Skype can take a few moments to warm up to its best picture quality.

The Recording

is to keep the camera a little wider, and heads a little more toward the center of the frame than you would normally place them. You can’t adjust the cameras during recording, but this allows you the maximum potential to re-frame in post. Given the medium, the quality loss caused by this will be all but irrelevant. Ideally you want all presenters to end up proportionally the same, but you don’t have to shoot them that way. Angle and stability of the cameras should take precedence over filling the frame. Inform the presenters that they should feel free to move, but try their best not to lean back or forward. This will not only make them really small or large on the screen, but can cause the most image breakup. Also, avoid backgrounds that move; the less non-essential movement the better.

To start a conference call, control (command) click the username of each participant in your contacts list and click Video Call. Alternatively, start with one and add others one at a time. Decide who will start and conclude the conversation, and inform all participants of the desired approximate duration. Participants who are only observing the conversation, and not contributing should mute their mics before you hit record. Give a 10 second countdown, warning everyone that you will mute yourself somewhere around five (if you’re not participating). At that point, turn off your camera and audio feed on the Skype screen and hit the record button in the recording program. This prevents irrelevant streams being sent to the recorder, and minimizes extraneous noise. The recording system can take a second or two to start after pressing the button so make sure your host doesn’t jump the gun. Unless you see a warning message, you can be pretty sure that the recorder is working just fine. Consider having the host mention that the video is being recorded via Skype. People are used to web quality videos these days and will be forgiving of a picture that is less-than-perfect, or that everyone is wearing headsets if they understand the context in which video was shot. Unlike almost any other video production, your guests should talk directly into the camera lens whenever possible. This will give the impression that they are talking to the audience as well as the other participants. They should also be aware that ideally they will be on screen from

beginning to end, so when they’re not talking they should not do anything they don’t want to appear on camera. A casual, yet aware presentation is the best approach for an Internet-recorded conversation. Be conscious during the talk that the audio is constantly clear, and be ready to interrupt if

you hear dropped words or see the picture fall below acceptable quality. If things get really bad, consider re-establishing the call. It can help, but it’s not guaranteed. Note that the recording programs should smartly filter out overlays (like the annoying “your mic is off” icon, and notification sounds

Additional Considerations

• Google Hangouts has a built in recording system and supports up to nine callers at once, but there is no way to disable the image from autofocusing on the current speaker. • Adobe Connect provides better remote control over the conference, but output is currently FLV only, and you must download the stream in real-time after the recording. • Screen capture programs are great recording alternatives, but not all will recognize every chat system’s audio as a valid input. • Approach producing remote recordings as professionally as you would any other production, and present yourself accordingly. • Time of day can be a big factor. Know your time zones and make sure everyone else does too. Try not to schedule your recording during peak Internet usage hours. • Examine your images carefully before shooting for possible offensive or identifying material in the background and have your talent remove it before recording. • Want to live stream your Interview? Try XSplit

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Troubleshooting Tips

• Have everyone check for updates to all software. • If headsets aren’t available, have everyone turn down their speakers as low as possible and disable the auto volume feature. Set levels manually. • Ensuring faces are lit brighter than the background help prevent color temperature fluctuations. • Black flashes on your screen don’t necessarily mean black flashes up in your recording. • Lower connection quality will result in audio/video sync issues. • Sometimes restarting the call and/or connecting people in a different order can make a stubborn video connection work. • Never assume your participants have working knowledge of their computer, let alone Skype. • Be aware that many universities and corporations have firewalls that don’t allow Skype. If you run into this issue, a service like can help in an emergency.

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VI D EO MA K ER >>> A UGUST 20 14


How to Create a Cable News-like Interview Over the Web with Skype

Camtasia allows for selective screen recordings. Simply dial in the dimensions and place the dotted green line around the part of the screen you want to record.

like other contacts logging on and off), but as a safety measure, consider disabling such notifications. Resizing the windows and accidental screen saver interruptions should not affect the recording, and it is okay to turn on your mic at times to talk to your presenters, as long as you’re muted when you first start the recording. Recording duration will be limited strictly to your hard drive space and codecs used. At the end of the recording, stop the capture system and then turn your hardware back on to finish the calls. It’s best to open the output folder and quickly check the recording before you let everyone go.


With Ecamm, the first thing you’ll want to do is open up the included Movie Tools and use the Split Sides of Conversation, which quickly makes a separate movie file of each presenter. Dragging your videos into your editing timeline at this time can be a hassle, as the frame rate is variable; a format which disagrees with most edit systems. To alleviate this, convert each to a DV stream using Compressor or something similar, adjusting the frame rate to a fixed standard FPS. You’ll find that the process is incredibly accurate, and syncing your presenters is as simple as lining up the first frame of each angle. Now is the time to fine-tune framing and color correction. Consider arranging the presenters so they are angled towards one another. Consider placing borders around the images to hide the edges, and filling the rest of the frame

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with a neutral background, lower thirds, bugs and other relevant information. A complete look will really make the production. Be aware that Skype’s modest frame rate and less-than-perfect picture can be an advantage during editing. You can sometimes hide jump cuts, deleted frames and dissolves within the image and average viewers will not even notice them. If you really must make an edit, or need to break up the monotony, feel free to go to a single shot of a person during a long speech. With practice, you’ll quickly establish twoshot and single looks that you can quickly switch between. Consider as well, any cutaways that can help demonstrate the topic, as these can cover edits in obvious places. If your edit system supports nested sequences, it’s a great help to build the single-person and multi-person layouts in separate timelines, and then drop them into a master timeline. This way, making an edit means simply cutting from one track to another.

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Final Thoughts

Understand that this is not an exact system. Results will vary and there are times when you will simply not get a satisfactory recording. There may even be times when you will have to postpone your conference. Inform all participants of these possibilities, and have a contingency plan in place. Should a participant have video trouble, but audio comes through, a graphic with an image of the speaker can go a long way to preserving clarity in communication without disrupting the interview. If possible, a backup recording system can also be a great reassurance. Hardware screen grabbers, though less than ideal for primary systems, are great for backups. Patience, knowledge and the proper preparation is key, but with experience a remote production is not only possible, but a revolutionary concept. It can save time, money and yield more than satisfactory results. You should never feel restricted by budget and distance. If you need that specific input from a source and can’t get there any other way, jump on the Internet, set up your chat and dive right in. Peter Zunitch is an award-winning video editor in New York. For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17030 in the subject line.

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Secrets to Streamline Your Workflow BY DAVE SNIADAK

Organization and creativity often clash in the production process. Sticking to these simple philosophies will enable you to turn around great content without the hassle of having to start from scratch with every project.


n life, crossing the line between idea and action is as simple as getting started. In a book about personal motivation, Scott Belsky penned this brilliant philosophy, “An idea can only become a reality once it is broken down into organized, actionable elements.” When applied to the video world, ideas that start with organization can mean the difference between delivering a great video quickly and burning countless buckets of midnight oil attempting to assemble every piece of the puzzle in a haphazard fashion. While organization and creativity may not always go hand in hand, having a few assets at your disposal can help expedite the creative process and make your video production projects painless. Before you start your next video project, listen to a few experts in the production industry and consider following a few of their simple words of wisdom.

Start a Self Assessment


In the video world, we all claim to be the expert of our own domain. Our video projects are always better than those of our brethren,

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VI D EO MA K ER >>> A UGUST 20 14


and our editing is always seamless and our finished product is worthy of screening at the finest film festivals the industry has to offer, right? Right. While this advice may not apply to you, take a step back from your edit bay and consider that maybe your workflow isn’t as streamlined as it could be. As you review your most recent projects, do you find yourself scrambling to locate video files? Are you constantly switching between multiple hard drives to track down content? Are you willing to admit that maybe, just maybe, you could use some post-production refinement before embarking on your next creative Y adventure? Admitting you have a A W E M A S problem is the first step. Doing THE EM TO H C U something to fix it is the next one. , E C S “M SI


Purging Old Habits

The easiest way to solidify a streamlined video production process is to realize the way you may have been doing things in the past aren’t the best way to do things in the future. This all starts ey with the way you begin Jeffrgerald z t the editing process. If i F you’re used to simply uploading all of your video files and other content into one general bin within your editing software, that’s perhaps the first place you can make a big change. Clear visions at the outset will help make for clean results at the finish. Jeffrey Fitzgerald, who leads all multimedia work for BioCentury, a biotechnology publishing company in Redwood City, Cali., summed this thinking up perfectly. “My protocol is probably different in that I consider myself an ‘experiential editor,’” Fitzgerald said. “This means I want all of the media ingredients on hand but still desire the freedom to let a story breathe on it’s own — apart from a rigid academic script. Much the same way musicians seem to make beautiful music, streamlining for me means understanding what I am trying to do and what the vision of the project is.”


Building Blocks For Better Beginnings

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The key is to organize all of your assets by the type of file you’re working with, while working within a template project workflow. Think of it




this way: A house is built on a foundation of concrete. This foundation serves as the base for all of your supporting elements that form the home. Much the same way, your video projects should be structured with a solid base. Determining what you’ll need to develop in the editing process begins in the pre-production phase of your video project. The easiest way to do this is to create a project template. Call it something like “Project Base” and work from there. As you build up this template for your video projects, create bins and assign names reflective of the type of content you’re working with — video, music beds, audio tracks, lower thirds, etc. Once you’ve done this, save the project and then duplicate it every time you start a new project. Be sure to do a “Save As” for the new project and name it according to your specific video project. “The most important part of the video production process starts in pre-production,” said Robert Weiss, who runs MultiVision Digital, a New York City-based production company. “Making sure that all resources are known and what the key message points will be. We need to essentially see the video on paper first. Going into post with a plan makes the effort that much more efficient.”

ing sequences, title slides, motion effects with interchangeable drop zones — you likely know that stock footage and template motion projects can make your post production life much easier. Utilizing online stock footage companies can be a great virtual partner in delivering excellent visuals at a decent value. While your project budget may not allow you to take the time to capture that breathtaking time-lapse of the Grand Canyon, or a high speed video of a model eating an apple in slow motion, integrating stock footage can be the driving force in creating memorable web videos. As far as using motion graphics templates, the resources you can find online from companies like can either be a stopgap in delivering the look you need, or it can serve as a valuable learning tool to create the visuals you want, but weren’t sure how to produce. “I find templates to be a good resource and great source of inspiration,” said Nick DiNinno,

who has been involved in several notable Hollywood projects. “Sometimes it can be as small as O a special effect, or a video EED T SEE THE N E clip that starts the creative Y “W TIALL ER FIRST. process.” N E S ES Additionally, using a N PAP ST WITH O O graphic design program like VIDE INTO PO Illustrator or Photoshop can HE G GOIN MAKES T H help you create polished lower thirds and title slides that can be PLAN HAT MUC A easily adjusted for each project. RT T .” Simply highlight the text or imEFFO FFICIENT age layer, duplicate it and adjust EE rt MOR Robes with the content you need for your is existing video project. Having highWe quality lower thirds and graphics in your video template should boost the production quality of your video projects and leave a lasting impression with your viewers.

Know When to Fold(er) ‘Em

Having bins and folders established in your video project will make the allocation of assets much easier. As you import video files, graphics or images, being able to simply drag and drop them into their respective bins will mean you or your editor will be able to easily find and manipulate the content without wasting time searching for the files one by one. That will mean, much like Kenny Rogers advised in his song The Gambler: “Know when to walk away and know when to run.” Set yourself up for an easy exit by doing the little things before you even shuffle the deck. All video production professionals know that efficiency is the key to effective video projects. Naming your folders, even taking the time to name your individual clips, means the little bit of time invested right out of the gate has prepared you for success once you sit down to polish your video project.


Stock Up on Common Content

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If you’re in the business of turning around web videos that share similar visuals — open-

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YOUTUBE ANNOTATION TEMPLATES If your business is producing web videos, consider building a template that gives you a closing slide to add to your video projects that feature annotated links to similar content. YouTube allows users to embed hyperlinks to other videos on YouTube by simply clicking on the video timeline and adding some information. Use your template to build a title slide or a series of lower thirds that can be selected in the YouTube video editor. From there, select from a drop down list of options YouTube Annotations offer. You can simply add notations to the screen, highlight certain elements within your video project, or even have selected portions of your video be clickable to other content. The goal with annotation is to drive views to your other video projects. If your video production work allows you to create web videos or series that can easily be shared, recommending other work within your existing video projects is a great way to deliver the content viewers want without a lot of extra work.

Keeping Watch

up to the task. In the past, you had less than a handful of video formats to choose from when ingesting or exporting your content. Nowadays, utilizing watch folders can save you the hassle of watching your computer painstakingly render your video files into your idyllic video format. Depending on your interpretation of the phrase “watch folders,” the term actually refers to the process of encoding a large amount of content into a desired video format. There are several software options when it comes to encoding your video files. O TES T Compressor is the standard AppleA L P M E E T C based platform, while Adobe’s MeR D “I FIN OD RESOU OF dia Encoder software plays nice on O E G C R both PC and Mac based platforms. A U E B ES AT SO M I offers exceptional E T R E G M O S AND resources for editors looking to . AS TION L A L R I take their encoding needs into A P INS AS SM , OR A the cloud. E B When it comes to deliverIT CAN AL EFFECT RTS I A C ing the goods to your clients, T A SPE LIP THAT S SS. “ using a cloud storage site like C CE O O E R DropBox or allows P D I V ATIVE E you to upload and deliver R C THE the files without the hassle k c of needing to protect a i N inno video link. Don’t run the risk of N i D having a file get out to the public before it’s ready for sharing, via a Vimeo or YouTube link, and trust

Anyone who’s been in the video world longer than five years knows that while variety may be the spice of life, it can wreak havoc on a streamlined video production process. Whether you’re using ProRes, AVCHD, HDV or XDCAM format clips, unifying your creative process by integrating multiple clip formats can slow your post production efforts to a halt if your computer isn’t

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Preset Preparation

Having your proverbial production ducks in a row before embarking on any video project is key to ensuring a streamlined workflow. However, there are ways you can integrate template-based workflow solutions into your video production. Start by determining the look and feel you want for your video files, then adjust your camera settings accordingly. Most prosumer level video cameras allow users to save certain settings. Whether you’re looking to shoot cinema-grade 1920x1080 at 24 fps, or 1280x720 at 60 fps to slow things down, being able to quickly and easily switch between video formats can save you time on location that can be better spent shooting, rather than setting the production specs.

Begin With the End in Mind

If there’s one thing utilizing a template-based workflow can do, it’s that it makes your end-result that much easier to deliver. Who wants to keyframe a motion graphics element over and over again if it can be replicated and refined with a few simple tweaks? Why waste a day rebuilding new title slides and lower thirds when you can simply change one piece of the puzzle and export a new graphic file? These questions, and many more, can be solved by using template-based video production processes. It make time to finesse your templates and your workflow before you are operating at maximum efficiency, but you’ll get there. Your video projects are sure to benefit from your streamlined approach to post production, regardless of the format of your video files. Dave Sniadak leads all creative work for a Minneapolisbased marketing agency. He also serves as a sideline videographer for the local NFL franchise. For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17151 in the subject line.

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• •1"1"Exmor ExmorR RCMOS CMOSsensor sensor with withdirect directpixel pixelreadout readout • •XAVC XAVCS,S,AVCHD, AVCHD,and and MP4 MP4recording recordingoptions options • •4K4Kultra ultraHD HDvideo videoatat3030fps fps • •Zeiss ZeissVario VarioSonnar SonnarT*T*Lens Lens • •0.39" OLED EVF 0.39" OLED EVF • •3.5" 3.5"XtraFine XtraFineLCD LCD • •Wi-Fi Wi-Fi/ NFC / NFCconnectivity connectivity • •Optical Opticalimage imagestabilization stabilization

• •1/2.9" 1/2.9"CMOS CMOSSensor Sensor(1920 (1920x x1080) 1080) • •XDCAM XDCAM422 422MPEG-2 MPEG-2Codec Codecatat5050Mb/s Mb/s • •10x 10xZoom ZoomLens Lens- 40-400mm - 40-400mm (35mm (35mmEquiv) Equiv) • •3.5" 3.5"LCD LCDScreen Screen(852 (852x x480 480Pixels) Pixels) • •HD-SDI HD-SDI& &HDMI HDMIOutputs Outputs • •Dual XLR Inputs / Timecode Dual XLR Inputs / Timecode & &Genlock GenlockI/O I/O• •DVCAM DVCAMRecording Recording • •Dual DualExpressCard ExpressCardSxS SxSCard CardSlots Slots • •Compatible Compatiblewith withXDCAM XDCAMDisc Disc& &EXEXFormats Formats

1/2.3"back-illuminated back-illuminatedExmor ExmorR R • •1/2.3" CMOSSensor Sensor• •3.5" 3.5"LCD LCDscreen screen CMOS DualXQD XQDMemory MemoryCard Cardslot slot • •Dual Records4K4Kvideo videoresolutions resolutions • •Records (Uptoto3840x2160 3840x216060P/50P) 60P/50P) (Up • 20x Sony G-Series zoomlens lens • 20x Sony G-Series zoom Recordsin in2K2Kand and4K: 4K:60p, 60p,50p, 50p,30p, 30p,25p, 25p,24p 24p • •Records Videoformat formatXAVC XAVCS Sformat, format,MPEG4-AVC/H264 MPEG4-AVC/H264• •XLR XLRaudio audioInput Input • •Video

Three1/2" 1/2"Exmor ExmorCMOS CMOSsensors sensors • •Three MPEGHD422 HD422atat5050Mbps Mbpsrecording recording • •MPEG HD4221080p 1080patat2424& &3030fpsfpsHD422 HD422 • •HD422 720patat24,24,3030& &6060fpsfpsFujinon Fujinon 720p 14xzoom zoom(servo/manual) (servo/manual)lens lens 14x DualSxS SxSmemory memorycard cardslots slots • •Dual FourChannels Channelsofof16-bit 16-bitaudio audio • •Four SupportsMXF MXFand andXDCAM XDCAMEXEX • •Supports workflows• •Articulated Articulated3.5" 3.5"LCD LCDscreen screen workflows Timecode& &Genlock Genlockinput input• •Cache Cacherecording recordingUpUptoto1515seconds seconds • •Timecode

15 15

Mega Mega Pixels Pixels


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XF300/ /XF305 XF305 XF300

CMOSSolid SolidState StateHD HDCamcorder Camcorder 3 3CMOS

• •64GB 64GBInternal Internaland andDual DualSDHC/SDXC SDHC/SDXC card cardslots slotswith withrelay relayrecording recording • •1920 x 1080 CMOS Image 1920 x 1080 CMOS ImageSensor Sensor • •Canon Canon10x 10xHD HDVideo VideoLens Lens • •8-Blade Iris and Manual Focus 8-Blade Iris and Manual FocusRing Ring • •DIGIC DIGICDVDVIIIIIIImage ImageProcessor Processor • •24Mbps 24MbpsRecording Recording(AVCHD) (AVCHD) • •3.5" 3.5"High-resolution High-resolutiontouch touchpanel panel LCD LCDand andEVF EVF • •Dual DualXLR XLRterminals terminals

• •Exmor ExmorAPS-C APS-CCMOS CMOSsensor sensor(AVCHD (AVCHD/ / MPEG2-SD) MPEG2-SD)• •Add Addlenses lenseswithout without being locked on a lens brand or being locked on a lens brand orlens lensmount mount • •Supplied Supplied18-200 18-200servo servopower powerzoom zoom • •E-mount E-mountinterchangeable interchangeablelens lenssystem system • •Use UseAlpha AlphaA-mount A-mountlenses lenseswith with 15‐point 15‐pointphase phasedetection detectionAFAF • •Mechanical Mechanicalshutter shutterStill StillPicture Picture • •3.5’’LCD 3.5’’LCDPanel Panel• •Records Recordsononmedia mediacard cardand andFMU128 FMU128Simultaneously Simultaneously • •Record onto Memory Stick/SD/SDHC/SDXC/HXR-FMU128 Record onto Memory Stick/SD/SDHC/SDXC/HXR-FMU128(Optional) (Optional)

16.1MPExmor ExmorAPS-C APS-CHDHDCMOS CMOSsensor sensor • •16.1MP IncludesE-mount E-mountf/3.5-6.3 f/3.5-6.318-200mm 18-200mm • •Includes OSSzoom zoomlens lens• •A-Mount A-Mountcapable capable OSS withoptional optionalA-mount A-mountlens lensadapter adapter with XGAOLED OLEDelectronic electronicviewfinder viewfinder • •XGA Directpower powerzoom zoomwith with • •Direct variablezoom zoomspeed speedcontrol control variable OpticalSteadyShot SteadyShotimage imagestabilization stabilization • •Optical Comprehensivemanual manualcontrols controlsexpanded expandedfocus, focus,zebra, zebra,and andpeaking peaking • •Comprehensive • Quad Capsule Spatial Array Surroundmic mic(5.1 (5.1channel) channel)Mic/Headphone Mic/Headphonejacks jacks • Quad Capsule Spatial Array Surround

RecordHDHD1080/720 1080/720onto onto • •Record CompactFlash Flashcards cards Compact 50MbpsMPEG-2 MPEG-24:2:2 4:2:2recording recording • •50Mbps 1/3"2.37Mp 2.37MpCMOS CMOSsensors sensors • •3 31/3" 18xCanon CanonHDHDL series L serieslens lens • •18x DIGICDVDVIII IIIimage imageprocessor processor • •DIGIC 1.23MpMpLCD LCDmonitor monitor • •4"4"1.23 1.55MpMpColor ColorEVF EVF • •1.55 Overand andunder undercrank crank • •Over

#CAXA10 #CAXA10........................... ...........................$1,499.00 $1,499.00



16 16

Mega Mega Pixels Pixels

XF305 Step-up Features:HD-SDI HD-SDIOutput, Output,Genlock Genlock& &SMPTE SMPTETime TimeCode Code XF305 Step-up Features: #CAXF300 ..........................$4,999.00 #CAXF300 ..........................$4,999.00

#CAXF305 ..........................$5,999.00 #CAXF305 ..........................$5,999.00

PMW-300 PMW-300



Over300,000 300,000products, products, Over yourleisure. leisure. atatyour

Professional ProfessionalHD HDCamcorder Camcorder

3-CMOS 3-CMOSNXCAM NXCAMFlash FlashMemory MemoryCamcorder Camcorder

DigitalCinema CinemaCamera Camera Digital


• •1/2.84” 1/2.84”HD HDCMOS CMOSsensor sensorwith withRGB RGBprimary primarycolor colorfilter filter • •20x 20xHD HDZoom ZoomLens Lens• •2 2x xSD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXCcard cardslots slots with withrelay relayand anddual dualrecording recording • •Canon CanonDigic DigicDVDV4 4image imageprocessor processor • •Built-in Built-inWi-Fi Wi-Fitechnology technologywith withFTP FTPtransfer transfer capability • Optical image capability • Optical imagestabilization stabilization • •3.5” LCD screen and color viewfinder 3.5” LCD screen and color viewfinder • •2 2phantom-powered phantom-poweredXLR XLRaudio audioinputs inputs • •Native Native24p 24pand andslowslow-and andfast fastmotion motionrecording recording

• •Three Three1/3” 1/3”Exmor ExmorCMOS CMOSsensors, sensors,with witha aClearVid ClearVidarray array • •Capture Captureuses usesMemory MemoryStick StickPRO PRODuo Duo/ / SDHC SDHCCards, Cards,with withrelay relayrecord record capability capability(optional (optionalHXR-FMU128 HXR-FMU128 flash flashmemory memoryunit) unit) • •20x 20xwide wideG Gseries serieslens lens • •HD-SDI & HDMI HD-SDI & HDMIoutput, output,SMPTE SMPTE Time Code in/out, Dual Time Code in/out, DualXLR XLRinputs inputs • •Built-in Built-inGPS GPSsystem system • •3.2” 3.2”Xtra XtraFine FineLCD LCD

Large4/3-type 4/3-typeMOS MOSsensor sensor • •Large Microfour fourthirds thirdslens lensmount mount • •Micro Usesstill still& &cinema cinemalenses lenses • •Uses TwoSDHC/SDXC SDHC/SDXCmemory memorycard card • •Two slots(RelayRecording) Recording) slots(Relay • AVCCAM Recording • AVCCAM Recording 1080i/p,720p 720pvariable variable 1080i/p, framerates rates frame Opticallow-pass low-passfilter filter • •Optical HD-SDI,HDMI HDMIoutput, output,Dual DualXLR XLR • •HD-SDI,

1/2"Exmor ExmorHDHDCMOS CMOSsensors sensors • •3x3x1/2" 14xFujinon FujinonHDHDSeries Serieslens lens • •14x 50Mb/sHDHDrecording recordingatatMPEG MPEGHD422 HD422 • •50Mb/s InterchangeableEXEXlens lensmount mount • •Interchangeable HD-SD/SDIand andHDMI HDMIoutputs outputs • •HD-SD/SDI RecordtotoSxS, SxS,SD, SD,Memory MemoryStick, Stick, • •Record XQDcards cards• •Semi-shoulder Semi-shoulderstyle style & &XQD camcorder• •3.5" 3.5"color colorLCD LCDviewfinder viewfinder camcorder Advancedsignal signalprocessing processing • •Advanced Timecodeand andgenlock genlockinterfaces interfaces• •Optional Optionalwireless wirelessadapter adapter • •Timecode



#SOPMW300K1 ................. $7,999.00 #SOPMW300K1 ................. $7,999.00

PocketCinema CinemaCamera Camera Pocket

CinemaInterchangable InterchangableLens LensCamera’s Camera’swith withEF EFMount Mount Cinema

ActiveMicro MicroFour FourThirds ThirdsLens LensMount Mount • •Active Super16mm 16mmSized SizedImage ImageSensor Sensor • •Super AppleProRes ProRes422 422(HQ) (HQ)atat220 220Mbps Mbps • •Apple 3.5”LCD LCDwith with800x480 800x480Resolution Resolution • •3.5” UsesSDXC SDXCand andSDHC SDHCMemory MemoryCards Cards • •Uses Lens included Lens notnot included EN-EL20Compatible CompatibleRechargeable RechargeableBattery Battery • •EN-EL20 • HDMI, LANC, 3.5mm Audio Input andOutput Output • HDMI, LANC, 3.5mm Audio Input and RecordsFull FullHDHD1920x1080 1920x1080CinemaDNG CinemaDNGRAW RAW • •Records PortableDesign Design(5"(5"Long Long& &12.5 12.5oz)oz)• •1313Stops StopsofofDynamic DynamicRange Range • •Portable

CanonEFEFand andZeiss ZeissZEZEmount mountcompatible compatiblelens lensmount mount • •Canon 2.5Kimage imagesensor sensor• •12-bit 12-bitRAW, RAW,ProRes, ProRes, • •2.5K DNxHD,and andCinemaDNG CinemaDNGRAW RAWformats formats DNxHD, Superwide widedynamic dynamicrange range• •5"5"display displaysize size • •Super Variableframe framerate raterecording recording • •Variable Recordstotoremovable removable5”5”SSD SSDdrives drives • •Records SDIvideo videooutput outputand andThunderbolt ThunderboltPort Port • •SDI IncludesDaVinci DaVinciResolve Resolveand andUltraScope UltraScope • •Includes Uncompressedand andcompressed compressedrecording recording • •Uncompressed

#CAXA25 #CAXA25...........................$2,499.00 ...........................$2,499.00

Lens Lens notnot included included

AG-AC130A AG-AC130A/ /AG-AC160A AG-AC160A

XF100 XF100/ /XF105 XF105

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#SOPMW200 .....................$6,299.00 #SOPMW200 .....................$6,299.00

InterchangeableLens LensHD HDCamcorder Camcorderand andLens Lens Interchangeable

#CAXA20 #CAXA20........................... ...........................$1,999.00 $1,999.00

Hands-on Hands-ondemos demos

#SOPXWZ100 .......................$5,499.00 #SOPXWZ100 .......................$5,499.00

HD HDShoulder ShoulderMount MountInterchangeable InterchangeableLens LensCamcorder Camcorder

XA25 XA25Step-up Step-upFeatures: Features:HD/SD-SDI HD/SD-SDIoutput output• •Pre-record Pre-record3-sec. 3-sec.buffer buffer

The Themost mostknowledgeable knowledgeable Sales SalesProfessionals Professionals

#SOFDRAX1 ..........................$4,499.00 #SOFDRAX1 ..........................$4,499.00


Professional ProfessionalHD HDSolid SolidState StateCamcorder Camcorder

XA20 XA20/ /XA25 XA25

Over Over70,000 70,000square squarefeet feet ofofthe thelatest latestgear gear

PXW-Z100 Step-up Features:• • XAVCIntra Intra422 422MXF MXF PXW-Z100 Step-up Features: 4K4KXAVC •3G-SDI• •Slow Slow& &Quick Quick• •Wi-Fi Wi-FiRemote Remote •3G-SDI


XA10 XA10

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PMW-200 PMW-200


PMW-100 PMW-100


4K 4KUltra UltraHD HDCamcorder Camcorder

HD HDProfessional ProfessionalCF CFCamcorders Camcorders

3-MOS 3-MOSHD HDHandheld HandheldCamcorders Camcorders

• •1/3" 1/3"CMOS CMOS1920 1920x x1080 1080CMOS CMOSsensor sensor • •Dual DualCFCFcard cardslots slots • •50Mbps MPEG-2 recording 50Mbps MPEG-2 recording • •Canon's Canon'sMPEG-2 MPEG-24:2:2 4:2:2color colorsampling sampling • •60p/60i, 60p/60i,30p, 30p,24p 24pMXF MXFFile FileFormat Format • •10x 10xHD HDzoom zoomlens lens • •3.5" 3.5"920K 920Kdot dotLCD LCDmonitor monitor • •Stereoscopic Stereoscopic3-D 3-Drecording recordingcapabilities capabilities • •Dual DualXLR XLRinputs inputs• •Waveform WaveformMonitor Monitor

• •3x3x1/3”, 1/3”,2.2 2.2MP MPCMOS CMOSsensor sensor- 18-bit - 18-bitdsp dsp • •22x 22xoptical opticalzoom zoomlens lens • •1080p 1080i 60/p30/p24 & 720p60 1080p 1080i 60/p30/p24 & 720p60 • •Three Threerings; rings;Manual ManualZoom, Zoom,Focus Focus& &Iris Iris • •Dual DualSD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXCcard cardslots slots • •AVCHD AVCHD& &DVDVrecording recording(SD) (SD)modes modes

Cinema2.5K 2.5K/ /Production Production4K4K Cinema


AG-AC160A AG-AC160AStep-up Step-upFeatures: Features:

XF105 XF105Step-up Step-upFeatures: Features:HD/SD-SDI, HD/SD-SDI,SMPTE SMPTETime TimeCode, Code,Genlock Genlock

• •HD-SDI HD-SDI& &LPCM LPCMaudio audiorecording recording • •59.94 59.94HzHz/ 50 / 50HzHzswitchable switchable • •Slow/quick Slow/quickmotion motionrecording recordingmode mode

#CAXF100 ..........................$2,499.00 #CAXF100 ..........................$2,499.00

#PAAGAC130A .................................... #PAAGAC130A ....................................

#CAXF105 ..........................$2,999.00 #CAXF105 ..........................$2,999.00

#PAAGAC160A .................................... #PAAGAC160A ....................................

AG-HPX250 AG-HPX250/ /AG-HPX255 AG-HPX255



Lens Lens notnot included included

Production Step-up Features:4K4K super35mm 35mmsensor sensor Production 4K4K Step-up Features: super #BLCINECAM ....................................... #BLCINECAM .......................................

#BLPRODCAM4K ................................. #BLPRODCAM4K .................................


EOSC100 C100 EOS

3-MOS 3-MOSHD HDHandheld HandheldCamcorders Camcorders

EFCinema CinemaCamcorder Camcorder EF

35mmFull-Frame Full-FrameInterchangeable InterchangeableLens LensCamcorder Camcorder 35mm

• •Three Three1/4.7" 1/4.7"HD HD2.19MP 2.19MPCMOS CMOSback back illuminated illuminatedsensors sensors• •1920x1080 1920x1080native nativewith with variable variable60p, 60p,60i, 60i,30p 30pand and24p 24pframe framerates rates • •Five-Axis Five-Axisoptical opticalimage imagestabilization stabilization • •Dual DualSDSDMemory MemoryCard CardSlots Slots • •12x zoom (f/1.5) and 25x 12x zoom (f/1.5) and 25xdigital digitalzoom zoomlens lens • •3.5" 3.5"LCD LCDscreen screen& &LCOS LCOScolor colorviewfinder viewfinder • •SixSixscene scenepresets, presets,and andseven sevenprogrammable programmableuser userbuttons buttons • •Interval IntervalRecord, Record,Pre-Record, Pre-Record,Record RecordCheck, Check,Last LastClip ClipDelete Delete • •AVCCAM AVCCAMHD HDRecording RecordingModes Modes• •Two-Channel Two-ChannelXLR XLRAudio AudioInputs Inputs

• •3x3x1/3”, 1/3”,2.2 2.2Mp MpCMOS CMOSsensor sensor- 18-bit - 18-bitdsp dsp • •22x 22xoptical opticalzoom zoomlens lens • •HD-SDI HD-SDI& &HDMI HDMIoutput output • •59.94 59.94HzHz/ 50 / 50HzHzswitchable switchable • •Slow/quick Slow/quickmotion motionrecording recordingmode mode • •P2P2card and DVCPRO card and DVCPROmode moderecording recording • •1080p 1080i 60/p30/p24 & 720p60 1080p 1080i 60/p30/p24 & 720p60 • •Three Threerings; rings;Manual ManualZoom, Zoom,Focus Focus& &Iris Iris

Super35mm 35mm8.3MP 8.3MPCMOS CMOSsensor sensor • •Super CanonEFEFmount mountwith withEFEFcontacts contacts • •Canon DualSDHC/SDXC SDHC/SDXCmemory memorycard cardslots slots • •Dual Exceptionallow lowlight lightsensitivity sensitivity • •Exceptional and wide dynamic range and wide dynamic range DualXLR XLRaudio audioconnectors connectors • •Dual DIGICDVDVIII IIIimage imageprocessor processor • •DIGIC Fullmanual manualcontrol controland andfocusing focusingaids aids • •Full Multiplerecording recordingmodes modesand andframe framerates rates • •Multiple Highresolution resolutionEVF EVFand andintegrated integratedLCD LCDscreen screen • •High

24.3MPfull-frame full-frame35mm 35mmExmor ExmorCMOS CMOSHDHDsensor sensor • •24.3MP E-Mount,and andA-Mount A-Mountwith withincludes includes • •E-Mount, LA-EA3A-mount A-mountlens lensadapter adapter LA-EA3 1080/60i/60p/24p• •Quad Quadcapsule capsule • •1080/60i/60p/24p microphone with XLR option microphone with XLR option Tru-FinderOLED OLEDviewfinder viewfinder • •Tru-Finder witheye eyesensor sensor• •3.0" 3.0"LCD LCDscreen screen with Uncompressed1080 1080HDMI HDMIOutput Output • •Uncompressed MemoryStick StickPRO PRODuo/PRO-HG Duo/PRO-HGDuo, Duo,SD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXC • •Memory CinematoneGamma Gammawith withcomprehensive comprehensivemanual manualcontrol control • •Cinematone


• •Remote Remoteterminal terminalforforstudio studiocontrol control #PAAGHPX250 .................................... #PAAGHPX250 ....................................


#PAAGHPX255 .................................... #PAAGHPX255 ....................................

GY-HM600 GY-HM600/ /GY-HM650 GY-HM650

Lens included Lens notnot included

EOSC300 C300 EOS

Lens included Lens notnot included


CineAltaDigital DigitalCinema CinemaCamera’s Camera’s CineAlta

ProHD ProHDENG ENGCamcorder Camcorder

CinemaEOS/PL EOS/PLCamcorder CamcorderBody Body Cinema

• •1/2.3" 1/2.3"12Mp 12MpCMOS CMOSimage imagesensor sensor• •3"3"touch touchscreen screenLCD LCDand andLCOS LCOSEVF EVF • •3.76-37.6mm 3.76-37.6mmf/1.2-2.8 f/1.2-2.8JVC JVCHD HDGTGTlens lens• •Optical Opticalimage imagestabilization stabilization • •10x 10xoptical opticalzoom, zoom,16x 16xdynamic dynamiczoom zoom • •Records Records28Mbps 28MbpsAVCHD AVCHD1080/60p 1080/60p • •Dual Dualsnap-on snap-onbattery batterysystem system enable enablehot hotswapping swapping • •Two TwoSD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXC memory memorycard cardslots slots • •High Highframe framerate, rate,upuptoto 300fps recording 300fps recording

• •Three Three1/3” 1/3”(1920 (1920x x1080) 1080) 12-Bit 12-BitCMOS CMOSsensors sensors • •Dual DualSDXC/SDHC SDXC/SDHCcard cardslots, slots, dual-backup, dual-backup,continuous continuousrecording recording • •MPEG-2 MPEG-2/ AVCHD / AVCHD/ H.264 / H.264Recording Recording • •23x 23xFujinon Fujinonwide widezoom zoomlens lens • •F11 F11Sensitivity Sensitivity• •Optical Opticalimage imagestabilizer stabilizer • •3.5” 3.5”LCD LCDscreen screenwith withfocus focusassist assist• •HD-SDI HD-SDIand andHDMI HDMIconnections connections

Super35mm 35mmCMOS CMOSsensor sensor • •Super DualCFCFcard cardslots slots • •Dual Multiplerecording recordingformats formats • •Multiple HD-SDI,HDMI, HDMI,XLR XLRaudio audio • •HD-SDI, • Canon DIGIC DV III imageprocessor processor • Canon DIGIC DV III image • Timecode I/O, Genlock Syncoutout • Timecode I/O, Genlock in in& &Sync MbpsMPEG-2 MPEG-2EFEFororPLPLlens lensmount mount • •5050Mbps CanonXFXFCodec Codec- 4:2:2 - 4:2:2color colorsampling sampling • •Canon High-resolutionVFVFand and4",4",1.23 1.23MP MPLCD LCD • •High-resolution High-Speed,Slow-Motion, Slow-Motion,Time-Lapse Time-Lapseand andStop-Motion Stop-Motion • •High-Speed,

8.9MPSuper Super35mm 35mmCMOS CMOSImage ImageSensor Sensor • •8.9MP andHDHDRecording Recording • •2K2Kand HighlyModular ModularDesign Design • •Highly SxSPro+ Pro+media mediacards cards • •SxS DynamicRange RangeRated Ratedatat1414Stops Stops • •Dynamic NativeFZ-Mount FZ-Mountand andPL-Mount PL-MountAdapter Adapter • •Native OlivineLithium LithiumIron IronPhosphate PhosphateBatteries Batteries • •Olivine OptionalAXS-R5 AXS-R5docking dockingrecorder recorderenables enables • •Optional and2K2Kresolution resolutionvideo videorecording recordingin in16-bit 16-bitRAW RAW 4K4Kand

#CAC300EF........................................... #CAC300EF...........................................

#SOPMWF5 ...................... $16,490.00 #SOPMWF5 ...................... $16,490.00


12 12

GYGY -HM650 -HM650Step-up Step-upFeatures: Features:WiFi WiFiwith withApps AppsforforiOS/Android, iOS/Android,Live Live

transmission transmission(streaming), (streaming),Secure SecureFTP FTPFile Fileupload uploadviaviaWiFi WiFi

#JVGYHM600U .................................... #JVGYHM600U ....................................

#JVGYHM650U .................................... #JVGYHM650U ....................................

Prices, cations, Prices,specifi specifi cations,andandimages imagesarearesubject subjectto tochange changewithout withoutnotice. notice.Manufacturer Manufacturerrebates rebatesarearesubject subjectto tothetheterms termsandandconditions conditions(including (includingexpiration expirationdates) dates)printed printedononthethemanufacturers’ manufacturers’rebate rebateforms. forms.NotNotresponsible responsibleforfortypographical typographicalor orillustrative illustrativeerrors. errors.©©2000-2014 2000-2014B &B &H HFoto Foto& &Electronics ElectronicsCorp. Corp.

#CAC300PL .......................................... #CAC300PL ..........................................

Store&&Mail MailOrder OrderHours: Hours: Store

Sunday10-6 10-6• •Mon.-Thurs. Mon.-Thurs.9-7 9-7 Sunday Friday9-1 9-1ESTEST/ /9-2 9-2DST DST Friday SaturdayClosed Closed Saturday

24 24



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UsedEquipment Equipment Used

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Shoulder ShoulderMount MountAVCHD AVCHDPro ProCamcorder Camcorder

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212-239-7770 212-239-7770

AVCCAM AVCCAMHandheld HandheldCamcorder Camcorder

AG-HPX255 AG-HPX255Step-up Step-upFeatures: Features:

800-947-9925 800-947-9925 212-444-5025 212-444-5025


PMW-F55 Step-up Features:4K4K /2K/HD /HDRecording Recording PMW-F55 Step-up Features: /2K #SOPMWF55 ....................$28,990.00 #SOPMWF55 ....................$28,990.00

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full screen

Lens included Lens notnot included

Page3 3 Page


Increase YouTube Visibility With Channel Collaborations Nathan Nathan Moore Moore

Lana Lana McKissack McKissack


efore the appearance of the Internet and, more specifically, the birth of the social video-sharing website YouTube in 2005, building an audience for even a single film was a monumental endeavor. Now video producers can start to build an audience with the clicks of a few computer keys. And for those who want to invest a bit more time and effort, collaboration can earn you many more active audience members. YouTube has implemented many ways to connect with like-minded media consumers and creators of the moving image worldwide in their nine-year existence, but cross-promotion & collaboration may be one of the best tools yet. Let us show you how you can grow your audience in ways you may never have thought possible.


On its most basic level, YouTube makes it easy for filmmakers to reach people interested in watching the types of videos they are producing. For example, if a filmmaker made a four-minute video about an organic, permaculture chocolate farm in Panama, tags would be added upon upload such as “organic,” “permaculture,” “chocolate,” “Panama,” “Central America,” etc. This

contents full screen print


Videomaker Videomaker

DeStorm DeStorm

Wayne Wayne Brady Brady


Wheezywaiter Wheezywaiter

Freddie Wong Wong Freddie

Ryan Ryan Higa Higa


GoPro GoPro

Devin Devin Graham Graham Jacksonville Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars Panasonic Panasonic

Phil Wang Wang Phil

way, anyone searching for any of these topics would have an easier time finding this video. However, we need to go one step further. The foundation upon which you will build a large fan base starts with subscribers, not just viewers. You may have watched videos where the creator implores you to “Like” the video and “Subscribe” to their channel. Having large view and like counts are important, but a large number of subscribers opens all new doors.


Many will subscribe to your channel if they like the vein of your work. Keep this in mind when uploading videos. You probably want to keep your channel to a specific niche. For example, your travel video channel should not be filled with videos of your nephews and nieces or your best video game results. Put those clips on another channel. Stay specific and fans will want to see what your next production by subscribing to your channel.

Like-Minded Creators

Chances are, if you’re fortunate enough to have participated in one, you learned a very important lesson on your very first day of any video production class: Know your audience.

It gets deeper. YouTube is now encouraging more advanced users to think beyond the concept of

your immediate fans and followers and to engage directly with your fellow YouTube creators. By fostering relationships with like-minded producers, you can grow your own audiences even faster than previously possible. In as few words as possible, collaboration is working with other video creators to cross-promote content between channels. For example, the travel video channel Nomadic Frames (full disclosure: the author’s YouTube channel) could search out similar travel video type channels such as The Perennial Plate and Eight Miles from Home. As of the spring of 2014, Nomadic Frames had only 12 subscribers and fewer than 10,000 views. The Perennial Plate had almost 2,000 subscribers and close to a quarter of a million views, where Eight Miles from Home was just shy of 3,500 subscribers and was quickly approaching half a million views. It would be a tremendous advantage to Nomadic Frames to make it easier for Perennial Plate’s and Eight Miles’ subscribers to find a direct path to Nomadic Frames’ travel videos. And as Nomadic Frames grows, their fans will most likely be interested in the videos of Perennial Plate and Eight Miles.

Collaborating takes time, it’s not just a click of a button. You will need to foster relationships, plan events with your collaborators and execute them. Lets look at a few ways that YouTube suggests you take advantage of collaboration.


Demographic is defined as the statistical data of a population, according to In simpler words, what type of people are, or should be, watching our videos? If we’re shooting GoPro footage of base-jumping or whitewater kayaking off of 20-foot waterfalls, are we interested in spending a lot of time trying to partner with producers who make video for senior citizens or nomadic goat herders in the Sahara Desert? Probably not. Identify and understand your audience.


Organize an appearance in your collaborators’ video and vice-versa. If a picture is worth a thousand words, video is worth a million. If you can’t physically appear in your collaborator’s video because they live 5,000 miles and an ocean away, video Skype in or produce a preVI D EO MA K ER >>> A UGUST 20 14

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Increase YouTube Visibility With Channel Collaborations Stephen Anderson

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Lindsey Stirling shot video and send it to them so it appears within their program. Consider video chats or Internet Hangouts with each other. And the easiest appearance could be a shout-out or positive mention.

Frames talks to Perennial Plate’s subscribers, Nomadic can send them a link to their own food/ restaurant videos, which will hopefully impress viewers enough to inspire them to subscribe to Nomadic Frames’ YouTube channel.


How To Find Collaborators

Help their audience find your channel by using annotations, playlists, links or any other way within the video or in the About section of their video’s YouTube page.


It takes a lot of time and effort to organize a collaboration, but your work doesn’t stop there. Once the “collab” is live, you should be present and active with your potential future subscribers. Leave comments on the video’s page and be sure to answer any viewers questions, tweet on Twitter, post on Google+, put something up on Facebook, pin to Pinterest, post to tumblr, Instagram and even LinkedIn. Remember, we said it wouldn’t be as easy as a click of a button but a bit of personal interaction can go a long way.



If Nomadic Frames is going to collab with The Perennial Plate, who make videos about food around the world, then Nomadic Frames should showcase some of their videos about food in a customized playlist. Then, when Nomadic

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There are a few ways beyond a random search to find fellow filmmakers to collaborate with but one of the most efficient, according to YouTube, is through the YouTube Top Fans tool. Sign in to your YouTube account, click on your profile picture in the upper right corner of your YouTube page, click on the Video Manager link which will appear in blue just to the left of your profile pic and click on COMMUNITY on the left side of the page after the jump. If you have a large enough number of subscribers, you will see a Fans link option appear under the word COMMUNITY. If you don’t, like Nomadic Frames doesn’t, you won’t see it. Get more subscribers! Another page Nomadic Frames does not have access to, due to not having enough subscribers is the Insights page. Insights lets one see which videos their fans are watching and the channels they have subscribed to. This could be a treasure trove if you have a large following. You will need to connect your YouTube channel to Google+ to utilize Insights. Another, more obvious technique, not to mention easier, is to find which of your fans are also

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creators. This maybe more time consuming, but anyone with any amount of followers can do this without having to worry about connecting to other forms of social media or having the right amount of subscribers.


A big collaboration success story happened to Sarah Dussault, a.k.a SarahFit who, at the time of publishing, has more than 170,000 YouTube followers. “If I could pinpoint the specific events during my YouTube career that really helped propel it to the next level, it honestly has to do with collaborations and working with other YouTubers,” said SarahFit, during an interview with Tim Schmoyer of “Surround yourself with successful people and don’t be afraid of competition… build those relationships that you already have,” SarahFit said. “If someone starts getting really popular or you start getting much more popular than someone else, don’t lose that friendship. I still am very good friends with a lot of different YouTubers that started at the bottom and now they’re way above me and if I had just stuck my nose up at them

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Increase YouTube Visibility With Channel Collaborations

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in the beginning, I would have missed out on a lot of cool opportunities.” SarahFit reached out and custom-built a workout for one woman who tweeted that she needed flatter abs, expecting nothing in return and the woman gave SarahFit a shoutout in a video a couple of months later. That single mention brought SarahFit 10,000 subscribers, which was a lot for her at the time. “Foster those relationships somewhere off of YouTube... also help them out through other social medias like Twitter.” Collaboration can come in many forms. Here is a fine and funny example of celebrity collaboration between comedy crew Barely Political (more than 3,500,000 subscribers at time of print) and the world’s most famous skateboarder, Tony Hawk: Tony Hawk Skateboarding Secrets!

Unorthodox Collaboration

One of the more unusual collaborations, and one of our favorites, comes from Jerusalemborn Ophir Kutiel, better know as Kutiman. To produce his ThruYou project, Kutiman collected sound bites, samples and other audio bits from musicians on YouTude to create entire songs and finally an album. ThruYou received more than 10 million views in about two weeks. This earned him a mention in Time magazine when they named it one of the “Best Inventions of 2009.” After this touch of fame, well-known acts such as

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Maroon 5 came to Kutiman for collaboration.

Third Party Collaboration

Third party apps and websites are beginning to get in on the collaboration gig. FanBridge makes Channel Pages, which they call a “collaboration engine for YouTube channels & video marketers.” It is easy to set up and it is YouTube Certified. It is free to list your channel and there are paid sponsor opportunities. Once you sync your YouTube account you can search for collaborations and be found by other mediamakers or a wider content creator community. There are articles written about Channel Pages in Forbes and other internet and tech publications if you want to learn more or just go to their website. 855-244-5800

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Get Down to Work

Collaborating is not easy work. You’ll have to put in time and effort, but by collaborating with like-minded video creators, you can accumulate audiences far bigger than previously imagined. Plus, you might just make a few new filmmaking friends. Morgan Paar is a multiple award-winning filmmaker and photographer who specializes in travel video, audio and stills. Paar earned two degrees in film production and he produces media, teaches filmmaking and consults from his base in New York City. For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17133 in the subject line.

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Create a

YouTube Studio in Your Room


A home studio in a small room will enable a setup for shooting professionalquality YouTube videos.

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hooting video has become almost totally automated on the consumer end. Once the camera has been turned on, it can take over doing many chores a human once had to, such as focusing the image or adjusting the color balance. This has led to the misconception that when shooting inside a room, it can be left “as is” and the camera will take up the slack. But that’s erroneous, because the room influences and affects the final video. Does that mean you have to build a home studio in a big room in order to shoot YouTube videos? Do you have to spend a lot of money to build your YouTube studio? Does that the room have to be devoted entirely to shooting? No, to all three questions.


But it does mean that the basics for capturing video and sound must be put into place. And time must be spent looking for equipment from a number of sources, such as the local hardware store, photo store and online retailers. Still, there is a distinct advantage to having your own YouTube studio setup, since it will bring a level of professionalism and sophistication to what you shoot.


In a small room, the ability to shoot full-length body shots may not be possible. Half-length may be the norm; for example, a TV newscasterlike setup where the talent is seated behind a table. So the next step is to create a “dead zone” in the room both for what the camera can hear and an “on-air zone” for what it will see.

Light Control

Let’s look at light control first. Any external lighting must be eliminated. For example, windows must have blinds, curtains or masks that remove any light from entering. This might require using black velour on V IDEOMAKER >>> AUGUS T 2014

a curtain rod that can go in front of the window shades to further cut off light. You might need to apply black fabric directly to the windows with tape to seal around the edges (painter’s tape, for example, is a temporary tape that won’t pull up paint or damage the material it has been placed against). Doors must also be dealt with, but the majority of light-leak will be confined to the floor and can temporarily be taken care of by using a thick towel to reduce the draft or for a more permanent solution, make a skirt from a dark, light-trapping material that hangs down from the bottom of the door.

Sound Control

Extraneous items in the room should be removed to lessen sound vibrations in general, although couches and other dense items — not wood — will absorb sound rather than reflect it. Carpeting will be of aid here also, but if there is no carpeting, carpet remnants can serve the purpose. The number of these required will depend on the volume of the floor in theory, but in reality it will be a matter of

trying different amounts in different locations on the floor while recording, then listening to how it sounds, and repeating with varied placement until the sound quality is desirable. As a matter of course, sounds can be muffled using such means as weather stripping around windows and doors and closing up any holes or vents. Removing extraneous sounds from the room can prove more difficult, especially if the person is an apartment dweller. Loud noises from neighbors can be dealt with by asking the neighbor making the noise to refrain from what they are doing or by changing one’s schedule to avoid the times noises are at their highest. Street noise must also be taken into account, shooting at the time when the garbage truck rumbles down the street makes little sense when another time can be used instead. With these physical liabilities dealt with, creating an aural dead zone can be accomplished through the use of sound absorbing panels. Similar in nature to those that go under a speaker or subwoofer to muffle the sound, these panels reduce the reflection of sound as it bounces off the walls. They are available from different companies, for example, Auralex Acoustics. The size and shape of the room dictates the number of panels that will be needed, but more important than number is their actual placement. Working

DSLRs, like this Canon EOS 70D, are a great option for a home YouTube studio, as they are inexpensive, versatile and produce a great image.

with sound deadening panels which will go on walls and the ceiling, will require the same kind of trial and error as that of the rugs noted above, but as an inexpensive aid to all this, there are digital sound level meters which provide the means for matching the overall audio response to that of the acoustic environment and seeing how the “noise pollution” is being affected. If possible, the voices or sound sources that are going to be recorded should be those used for the various tests.

Studio Setup

The physical items that will be on-camera should be chosen with VI D EO MA K ER >>> A UGUST 20 14

care, for example, if a person is going to be seated behind a table, the table shouldn’t be one with a highly reflective surface. Chairs should be simple and also avoid having reflective qualities (wood is better than chrome) and should be of neutral color with no discernible pattern on the fabric. If the on-air zone extends to the floor, then clean, neutral lowpile carpet is best. Plain white or colored photographic rolls of paper that are hung at the back of the set and swept down and extended past the camera’s view can provide a floor as well (requiring replacement after a shoot, as feet/shoes will leave marks and indentations).


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Create Create aa YouTube YouTube Studio Studio inin your your Room Room

LED lights provide nice, soft light, are dimmable and consume a small amount of electricity. Unfortunately, they often cost more than their tungsten counterparts.


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There are two choices here: traditional video cameras and DSLRs. Video cameras come in varying types, but most possess a zoom lens of some magnification. However, these cameras are notorious for not having good wide-angle coverage. What could be more problematic is whether there is enough space between the camera and subject. This can best be determined by creating the setup in the room, aiming the camera and seeing exactly what restrictions the view presents. Niceties such as creating a shallow depth of field with a wide fstop or tight close-ups are a function of the camera, not the space. Some accommodation between camera and space might be necessary filters and creative camera angles taking up the slack, but in general, if there’s a problem between camera and the room, first see if there’s another room that can be used. Getting a new camera might seem like the last resort, but if it is unable to provide the desired results because it just isn’t capable, then it might be time to replace it with a model whose features suit your needs. If a DSLR is to be used for shooting the video, there’s the advantage of being able to change the lens to suit the room, rather than relying on the zoom feature. Typically speaking, a 50mm


lens will provide a view that is welldesigned for waist-up shooting and will not distort when brought closer. It also has a shallow depth of field that is well-suited for use when the background is close to the foreground subjects. DSLRs can adjust exposures manually with f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO. When space really becomes an issue, a wide angle lens, like a 35mm lens, can make up for the lack of space. However, care must be taken against the image being distorted around the edges. An overall solution for many will be to get a zoom lens that provides a range such as a 18–135mm lens.


The basics of good lighting remain the same regardless of the size of the room: for a standard single subject lighting scheme, the usual three-point lighting design is desired. You place two lights on either side of your subject at 45-degree angles and the third behind or above your subject. Alternately, if you have one light with a softbox or diffused light source, you can set it slightly to the side near the camera position to create an overall diffused lighting scheme. Both the soft box and individual lights might have good success at being bounced off a wall or the ceiling. Whether this works or not requires trial and error. V IDEOMAKER >>> AUGUS T 2014

In any case, the separation of the person from the background must be such that any shadow can be eliminated, such as being “thrown” to the side (this will be evident with green screen). Test your exposure levels and move the lights forward or back, depending on if you need more or less light. Place some gaffer’s tape on the floor, marking the lights and camera tripod position for future shows. Incandescent light sources can be purchased locally or online and most producers will find buying a kit that consists of a set of reflectors and stands is better than going a la carte. Although they cost more, LED lights provide a stable and consistent light source without any of the heat issues of incandescents. Heat can also become a greater issue for incandescent lights and should be monitored closely. Changing the intensity of the lights can be done by physically moving their position or through the use of dimmers, which must be rated for the voltage that will be coursing through them. In either case, do not tax your AC power by having all the lights plugged into the same AC outlet and, if possible, a separate surge protector extension should be used. Additionally, high-quality extension cords are recommended to ensure stability and safety. A decision on which type of lighting to use for the YouTube studio must be made. Tungsten lamps generate greater heat than LEDs, and both types of lighting can be dimmed to alter their intensity. Also there are many LEDs that can be had with dimming built into the product. LEDs have another advantage: they have a greater shock resistance and are less likely to be damaged from being moved over time. Filters to convert the 3200K of tungsten to 5500K (daylight) are readily available but will require mounting on holders placed in front of the lights. These filter holders will also need accessories, such as bar doors, flags, etc. to allow for control of the light. Another source of broad lighting for a YouTube studio can come from

daylight-temperature fluorescent light strips. These can be suitable for casting light on backgrounds or from walls to provide ample illumination in small areas. However, unlike stand-based lights, these lighting strips will need to be solidly attached/mounted to the wall and are far more invasive. But when the room has low ceilings that preclude the ability of raising lights up high, having these light strips attached can be an effective solution.

Audio Capture

Sound is as important as video, and since only limited adjustments are possible with a camera’s built-in microphone, you should always use an external microphone. As for which microphone to get, it depends on where the mic is to be positioned. For example, Blue Microphone’s Yeti USB mic is designed for tabletop use, while Audio-Technica’s ATR-6550 provides

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Lavalier mics are the go-to mics for small YouTube studios for a reason: They’re easy to use and capture audio from a single speaker very well.

a shotgun directional mic that can be used out of view, but near the camera’s position. Shotgun mics, with a supercardioid pickup pattern, are great since they’re designed to gather in sound from only

one direction and can avoids unwanted sounds. Using a shotgun mic will require a stand so as to control placement, and making sure that it doesn’t cast any shadows on the subject is an obvious concern.

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Create a YouTube Studio in your Room

Collapsible green-screens are incredibly handy in tight spaces. Simply clamp one to a stand, or even lean it against a wall, and you’re all set.

A lavalier mic, on the other hand, has the advantage of being less noticeable while also picking up the sound from the person wearing it, if carefully placed. These mics vary in price and sensitivity, and many can be used with wireless transmitters. This then permits the subject free movement without the constraints of wiring to deal with. Generally, condenser mics will work well in a small YouTube studio environment, though more expensive than dynamic, they are well suited for indoor use and their output is louder and better detailed. Since there is no single standard for the quality of the audio that will be transmitted from YouTube to listeners, or the speakers or headphones on which they are heard, the selected mic must capture clean and clear sound with as little distortion as possible.


It’s important to note that what the camera sees behind the person should never be distracting. This includes furniture, posters or family photos on the walls, doors, cupboards or anything that isn’t intentional for the theme of the video you’re shooting. For instance, if you’re shooting a video on a DIY home improvement expert, strategically placed tools can add to the look, as long as its not over done. Background material can be taped to the wall for temporary use or through the use of spring clamps and C-stands if the surface can be held together. Another option is to have a multipurpose background. The basic background can consist of a paper roll — white or any color desired as gotten from a photo supply house or art center — that is attached to a cur-


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Controlling incandescent or LED lighting in a small area can be difficult. For this reason, the use of a soft box might be the best solution. A soft box is essentially a covering that goes over a light with space between the light source and the front of the box to allow for the diffusion material to spread the light out. This light has a broader range of coverage and also removes the sharp shadows that direct lighting can produce. Fill lights can be dispensed with in most cases as a result. On the negative side, contrast is also lowered and must be compensated for, and they often take more space than the light fixture alone. If using a soft box in your studio, be sure to use one made of non-flammable material.




tain rod. The sides of the rod can be held in place with clamps attached to tall photographic stands. If you don’t have stands, but need a background solution, wooden rods that are taped to dumbbells or which have been encased in a pail that has been filled with quick-drying cement can hold a paper roll. The paper can also be covered with stylistic touches, such as fabric, or have streamers or balloons attached to it to create an entirely different background. If you’re planning a virtual background, there are a variety of green screen options. The easiest are fabrics, being fairly easy to handle in larger sizes, the main disadvantage are wrinkles in the fabric, as they must be ironed out or they will cause irregularities in the lighting. If you don’t care that it’s green, you can find special chromakey paint to use on a smooth wall for a permanent setup. By using a green screen, most editing software can take the final video and insert a background of your choosing — be it a simple white wall, a window view into a garden or a scene from Star Wars. Unlike years past, green screen technology for home use has reached levels that do not require a steep learning curve or cost thousands of dollars.

Finishing the YouTube Studio

Having a dedicated room to shoot your YouTube videos is a luxury that many may not be able to afford. But even if the accoutrements must be assembled and then disassembled each time a video is to be made, there’s no getting around the need for creating a visual and aural environment that makes what is being shot the center of attention. This can be done by approaching and attacking each of the problem areas that video and audio will encounter in the room and solving them in a patient and straightforward manner. Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology and consumer electronics freelance writer located in Los Angeles. For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17142 in the subject line.

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b y R u ss F a i r l e y

DIY Tablet Teleprompter Tablets such as the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab have equipped budget-conscious video pros with more options, up to and including building a makeshift teleprompter. Photos by Russ Fairley

Way back in the nifty 1950s, the television finally gained some traction. It took a few decades for TVs to find their way into most of our homes, though they were commercially available since the 1920s. Televised news broadcasts overtook the newspaper and radio as the principal news source for families. A new era of mediabased tools and video technology was underway, paving the way for generations of future Videomaker readers. In 1950, a year before the first video tape recorder was invented, a couple of crafty folks founded a company dedicated to advancing film and television. The idea was to build an active scrolling cue card system that could help the talent deliver lines on camera without being required to memorize large amounts of text in short periods of time.

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The small, wire constraints included with most frames work perfectly for holding the prompter glass in place.

What You’ll Need

The company they founded was called TelePrompTer, and what they invented was a mechanical device designed to scroll large printouts of a script in the vicinity of the camera in time with a speaker. Mechanical teleprompters took off, and talent, from U.S. presidents to talk show hosts, utilized them. They were used on television for decades, even as recently as 1992 on the Johnny Carson show, where they had resided since the show’s inception. The idea with these mechanical teleprompters was fantastic, but there was one small problem — the talent couldn’t look at the camera and read teleprompters at the same time. This was fine for certain programs, but for shows like the evening Apart from the teleprompter mirror, you should be able to find everynews, they didn’t thing you need at the local craft store. fit the bill.


We recommend having an extra pair of eyes handy for quality control purposes.

able. In much the same way, tablets such as the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab have allowed budget conscious producers some even more accessible options, up to and including building a teleprompter from scratch to house a tablet. The practice of building a teleprompter from scratch has become popular in the last few years, particularly because the parts aren’t terribly complex and the screens are becoming less expensive and more widely available. So, maybe we should build ourselves one for use with a tablet. There are plenty of nicely-built examples online to draw from, and this is one example adapted from a cool DIY prompter devised by J. Alan Meier of HeyJustJ. This rig is cheap, simple and looks decent enough to bring it to a client’s site. Plus, if it doesn’t suit your needs, a couple of quick searches should bring you some other options.


That problem was short-lived. In 1953, Jess Oppenheimer, the creator, producer and head writer for I Love Lucy, needed his prompters to allow his stars to give testimonial-style commercials directly into a camera. We all know that eye contact implies sincerity, so the on-camera teleprompter was born out of necessity.

What is it?

In its simplest form, the modern teleprompter is comprised of a few basic components. A monitor or tablet projecting an image of text, a place to rest that monitor or tablet, reflective glass held on an angle over the monitor and a hood to cover a video camera aimed through the glass. The hood’s job is to keep the camera in a completely dark spot so it doesn’t show through the glass and keep the camera lens from seeing the glass. Professional models have valuable features such has variable speed control remotes, which allow an operator to follow the cadence of the talent working from the teleprompter. In recent years the advent of the LCD monitor has helped advance the teleprompter, allowing them to become smaller, lighter and more afford-

• A couple of cheap 8" x 10" plastic or wood picture frames — black, if possible • Two small hinges with small screws • Some Velcro • A bit of .5" plywood–enough to fit inside an 8" x 10" hole • Some black fabric • Some wire coat hangers • A large elastic band or small black bungee cord • Some strong glue, staples, finishing nails and any form of light adhesive. • Drill, screwdriver, tape measure • Optional: an 8" x 10" piece of real teleprompter mirror (beam splitter mirror)–about $45 from

Before applying the hinges, make sure both frames are as centered as possible with one another.

Step One: Prep the Frames

Take the two picture frames and remove the cardboard backing and that sweet sample shot the manufacturer sticks in there. For the frame that will become the tablet tray, remove the glass, and then glue, screw and/or nail the 8" x 10" piece of wood into the bottom of the frame so that it is flush with the bottom of the frame and leaves a lip on the top side. Be careful not to split or break the frame if you choose to nail or screw it in. Screw a 15mm rail block onto the bottom of the wood to allow the teleprompter to mount to a tripod rail system. Alternatively, it’s possible to find a 1/4" or 3/8" threaded wood insert, which can accept a tripod head or plate. The rail system is preferred because a camera can mount to the

These small hinges should be all it takes to keep the two frames together.

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Dell P2815Q

same set of rails as the teleprompter and remove the need for a second tripod, but both methods work fine. For the frame that is to act as the reflector, if you decided to go with a real prompter mirror, insert it now. Use the frame’s small wire restraints, which usually lock in the cardboard and glass to now just lock the glass in place. If you choose to skip using the snazzy teleprompter mirror, the original glass from the picture frame will work, but won’t reflect quite as well. Place the lower tray, opening-side up on a table or workbench and center the second reflector frame, glass-side down on top of the lower tray. This is what your final hinge arrangement should look like.

On what is to be the hinged side, screw a hinge onto either side of the top frame and then screw the hinges into the lower frame. Using small screws there shouldn’t be an issue with splitting the frame. Take a couple of snipped pieces of a wire hanger to create small braces for the teleprompter. Pieces of equal length around 7-8” should do the trick–they’re easy to trim later on with wire snippers. Bend each end of both of them 90 degrees so they can fit in the holes drilled in the frames. Drill holes just large enough for the wire braces along the sides of the upper and lower frames. Match them up on either side by measuring before drilling. Test out the angles you’ll get using the braces and add extra holes to allow for different setups. To keep the wire braces from popping out of the holes, slide a large elastic band around the lower frame and slide it up until it covers the braces and keeps them in place.

Step Two: Finish ‘er Off

Now it’s time to put a hood in place. First of all, take your fabric, blankie, shirt or sheet — whatever you chose to use — and cut it into a piece large enough to wrap ¾ of the way around the teleprompter and hang far enough Two bent wires will hold the top frame up while the teleprompter is in use.

THE BEST APPS WILL ALLOW FOR USE OF A REMOTE CONTROL, ADDING A PROFESSIONAL TOUCH. back to fully cover whatever kinds of video cameras you might put in there. If this is going to appear in front of clients, hemming rough edges with a sewing machine isn’t a bad idea. Take some small rectangles of Velcro and stick them to the top edge of the reflector frame as well as one piece on each side of the base frame about three-quarters of the way toward the front of the teleprompter. Some Velcro comes with a peel off adhesive side, which is great, but if it doesn’t, use strong glue or a staple gun to lock those pieces in place. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to toss a staple or two in each piece just to be sure. Match up the opposite Velcro piece on the hood material affixed using staples then attach the hood to the teleprompter so that it sticks smoothly along the top frame and covers the

This is what the final setup should look like before the black cloth is applied.

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sides of the device by sticking to the bottom frame Velcro. As a precaution, it’s recommended to put Velcro on the back of the tablet and into the tablet tray to lock it in place. Some people may choose to skip this step, but it never hurts to protect an investment. There are plenty of variances that can be made to this design, but this guide should help with getting started. If this is a bit daunting, there are other options to get a tablet close to the camera. You can purchase mounts that attach to a microphone stand to hold a tablet in place. If the talent stands far enough from the camera, it’s still possible to read off-camera without being too noticeable.

Getting Rolling

To use this new wonder, open the teleprompter and lock it in place with the braces and elastic band, sit a tablet in the tablet tray within the bottom frame, mount a camera to the rails the teleprompter is mounted to and pull the cover back over the lens. Then there’s direction for the speaker. Experiment shooting at different distances from the teleprompter to see how noticeable eye movement it. The further away from the camera the better, but there will be a distance where either the framing is off or the speaker can no longer read the teleprompter. It’s been fun building a teleprompter, and it’s all ready to shoot with, but there’s a bit more to it. Placing a tablet into the prompter is half the battle, but how does that text file, Word document or PDF make itself seen on the prompter glass and scroll automatically? Like most things, there’s an app for that. Plenty of them, in fact.

What’s app, Doc?

Whether using iOS devices or one of the myriad devices running Android, there are quite a few decent options for prompting software. The best apps will allow for use of a remote control, adding a professional touch into the mix.

Teleprompt+ for iPad is pretty much the industry standard teleprompter app for iPad. Text can be imported from Dropbox or Google Drive, or entered directly in the app. Text can be mirrored so it appears properly on the teleprompter, and the speed of text playback can be controlled on the iPad itself or on another device on the same network. If using the iPad to VGA adapter, the text can be output to an external device, which would prove handy for the teleprompter operator. Other notable iPad prompting apps include Prompster Pro, iQPrompter, Prompterous and ProPrompter. For Android devices there are similar options. PromptWare Plus covers all of the same bases as Teleprompt+, with portrait or landscape text scrolling. Mirrored text is also in there, of course, as well as an option to control speed with a custom wireless remote. Other notables in the Android market are Android Prompter, VisioPrompt and EZ Prompter. A version of Prompterous is also available for Android.

Prompting a Conclusion

DIY projects are fun and rewarding, and in some cases they can solve a problem. Building a teleprompter allows videographers to gain great experience and expertise with the device before showing up to a client site, or before dropping major dollars on a proper prompter purchase. Is a DIY solution perfect for every job or in place of a professional teleprompter and operator? Not really. It’ll work perfectly for personal videos, but for professional gigs it is recommended to use a professional teleprompter and a separate operator, to keep camera operators and directors focused on operating the camera.

Continued from page 20

4K movies in low-resolution proxies, and then having to re-edit when re-uprezing the project because of flaws never noticed with proxies? Editing 4K movies now has the post-production workflow of editing for HD. Computers are faster, video cards are beefier and 4K monitors such as this Dell P2815Q are far more financially justifiable. Crowding around a workstation for dailies and editorial reviews is far more efficient than the entire post production department schlepping down to a theater for minor reviews.

The Bottom Line This 4K monitor is fantastic. Sure, it has some minor flaws with refresh rates and pixel response time. However, you’d be extremely hardpressed to find another 4K monitor to seamlessly integrate into your 4K workflow with better quality in this price range. We’re pleased that Dell spent their manufacturing and design budget purely on the quality of the display, and no useless features such as integrated webcams and speakers. It’s when you get into your work, and don’t notice anything — no hindrances, no generating proxies, no wondering if colors are accurate — and can concentrate on what you’re producing, you know you’re seeing quality. It's much like visual effects, where it's what you don’t notice that’s the real prize. In that sense, and virtually every other, Dell has done their job splendidly. SUMMARY

With its impressive image quality and amazingly low price, the Dell P2815Q 4K monitor gives you the freedom to work, and is definitely a must-get.

Russ Fairley is the owner of Russ Fairley Productions Inc., a turnkey video production company. He also founded After Effects Toronto and hosts RFShow.TV.

Ty Audronis is an expert in post-production workflow. He’s consulted on workflow and technology for several global, high-end post-production houses.

For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17021 in the subject line.

For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17116 in the subject line.

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b y Da v id G. We lt o n

Cash in Your Content Your videos could earn you cold,


YouTube ads take three forms (left to right): display ads, overlay in-video ads and TrueView InStream ads.

hard cash by monetizing your online content. Let’s take a closer look at the path to making money with your video production skills. The currency of online advertising is CPM, which literally means “cost per mille” — mille is Latin for thousand. If we apply this cost-per-thousand metric to online advertising, then CPM is the cost of one thousand impressions — an impression is a single ad shown to a viewer. You can earn a slice of that revenue.

YouTube is King

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YouTube was created in 2005, acquired by Google in 2006 and is indisputably the largest online digital video warehouse. YouTube states that more than one billion users visit each month. Collectively, hundreds of millions of YouTube users upload 100 hours of video every single minute. YouTube created its “Partner Program” in 2007 allowing video producers with a free YouTube account to enable the monetization feature through their settings dashboard. The program now includes more than a million people earning money from their YouTube videos. Thousands of channels — a collection of videos under one account — are making more than $100,000 a year, according to YouTube. So how do you go about turning your videos into cash on YouTube? Most importantly, you must own 100 percent of the content — that means you hold worldwide commercial usage rights to both the audio and video content. Say you have a cute video of a pre-school ballerina who comically misses a cue while performing to a copyrighted song. You may have a video with huge audience appeal,


TrueView InStream is akin to advertisements viewed on broadcast TV. In most situations, the ads precede your content. Depending on the length of your work, ads may appear during or at the end of your production — like your favorite sitcom. Like live broadcast TV, it’s not possible to avoid these in-stream commercials. However, but there’s a problem if copyrighted music is playing in the background. The only solution is to acquire the rights to the song, and that can get expensive and complicated.

Ad Varieties

ads. Partners have a choice of allowing embedding or not. Overlay in-video display ads are banner ads that appear near the bottom of the video window, minimally obscuring your content. The opaque ads appear at about the 10-second mark and, if desired, can be closed by the viewer. The ads minimize automatically if the viewer does nothing. Since they are impossible to ignore, overlay in-video ads generate more revenue than display ads. You can opt out of including these ads on your YouTube channel.

YouTube ads take three forms: display ads, overlay in-video ads, and what YouTube calls TrueView InStream ads. Let’s take a closer look at each type. Display ads are 300x250 pixels and take the form of typical Google-style webpage ads — remember, Google owns YouTube. Once registered in YouTube claims that YouTube’s Partner mobile viewing comprises Program, display 40% of global ads appear by deviewing time fault on partner’s % pages. When a viewer clicks on one of these ads, you earn money. If you embed % your video in another website, YouTube supports you won’t take 61 languages advantage of the 80% of Y ouTube traffic moneymaking comes from outside the U.S. potential of these




YouTube claims that 75 percent of their InStream ads are skippable after five seconds of viewing. You can opt out of these too, but these ads can potentially pull in the big bucks. YouTube is available on hundreds of millions of mobile devices. YouTube claims that mobile viewing comprises about 40 percent of global viewing

time. Speaking of global, YouTube supports 61 languages. That’s a good thing because the video warehouse giant reports that 80 percent of its traffic comes from outside the U.S. Paid subscriptions are yet another method to monetize your YouTube content. If you have a channel with more than 10,000 subscribers, you



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submit tips using their credit card or PayPal account. For more social networking reach, Tip activity can be shared to million subscribers Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google+. billion views Step up to PewDiePie has more than Vimeo Pro for 26 million subscribers and more than 4 billion views. $199 per year to Estimated monthly earnings ranging from take advantage of $169,000 to $1,400,000. Vimeo’s on-de*SocialBlade estimate mand service that allows viewers to can activate this option. For viewers, rent or buy your content. Launched channels offer 14-day free trials, folin 2013, Vimeo On Demand is a direct lowed by subscription rates beginning distribution system that allows video at $0.99 a month. producers to set their viewing price, Product placement has become format (stream or download) and a necessary evil for healthy revenue geographic reach while maintaining streams in many broadcast television full ownership. Vimeo offers in-player series. For instance, Toyota paid to be in- transaction support, enabling produccluded in scripts of the award-winning ers to sell work on their own sites or sitcom Modern Family. Sure enough, embedded elsewhere. you’ll find several shameless plugs for Filmmakers have posted more than the Toyota Prius throughout the show. 6,000 titles to Vimeo On Demand covOnce YouTube producers find large ering a broad range of subjects since audiences, they may choose to increase its launch. Content creators keep 90 their earnings by including product percent of revenue generated, while placements — also called “brand Vimeo hangs onto 10 percent. Viewing integration” — in their work. However, prices start at $0.99. YouTube may decline to monetize proSelling tickets to viewers to watch ductions with product placements. The a live video event is another way to best advice is to check first. monetize your work. Going live can bring immediacy and excitement to your content. offers a paid Paid Access service, starting at $99 per month, In 2004, Vimeo launched its videowhich allows producers to sell access sharing website — this competitor to live pay-per-view events. Ustream actually beat YouTube to the web. handles the viewer’s Pay Pal and credit Vimeo’s statistics pale in comparicard transactions, leaving you free to son to YouTube's, but nonetheless, it boasts more than 26 million registered focus on creating something compelling for your viewers to watch. members and reaches an audience Direct sales of DVDs and Blu-rays of 170 million each month — not too are yet another way to turn your work shabby. Vimeo attracts serious filminto cash. Amazon offers an Individual makers and offers fewer unrefined Plan that allows a maximum of 40 productions — like GoPro cameras sales per month. This plan charges the attached to anything that moves. seller $0.99 per item, a referral fee of For $9.95 per month — or a price 15 percent of selling price and a closbreak of $59.95 per year — Vimeo ing fee of $1.35. Step up to unlimited Plus allows members to activate a sales with the Professional Plan for virtual “tip jar.” Happy viewers can




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Subscribe to Videomaker $39.99 per month plus the same fees of the individual plan.

and Save up to 76% off the Newsstand Price

Path to Success

There’s at least one company with the mission of helping people find more success with their YouTube channel. For a slice of your profits, Maker Studios, owned by the Disney Company, specializes in helping YouTube content creators hit it big on the global stage. One Maker Studios success story is a YouTube channel called PewDiePie (pronounced PEW-dee-pi) run by Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, a Swedish video game commentator. According to — a free website that estimates the earning potential of YouTube channels — PewDiePie has more than 27 million subscribers and has amassed more than four billion views. These numbers translate to SocialBlade estimating monthly earnings for PewDiePie ranging from $169,000 to $1,400,000. Not bad, even at the low end. Aaron Lobnitz, a 23-year-old California college student and avid video gamer, is adept in how to earn money through YouTube. However, he’s realistic about his slender chances of becoming the next PewDiePie. He does remain optimistic though, in YouTube’s moneymaking potential. “YouTube content is a great way to drive traffic to your website and then advertise a product to them,” Lobnitz said. For example, Lobnitz uses affiliate programs like iTunes and Amazon, which offer a slice of sales that originate from the owner’s website. Maybe your chances of scoring the next huge YouTube viral sensation seem distant. Possibly a more realistic goal might be to earn enough cash to buy that next piece of gear you’ve been dreaming about. Whatever your aspirations, go out, create some compelling content and watch the cash stream in. David G. Welton is a professor of Media Studies. For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17124 in the subject line.

Beef up your video production skills

for as little as $1.39 an Issue contents

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b y Ch r i s “A ce ” Ga t e s

Tune Software for Peak Performance Running complex software can

Optimizing Adobe After Effects

tax your computer resources, and force digital traffic to slide over to the slow lane. Every editor should dig into their software settings, so they can fly in the fast lane and get to their destination on time. A look under the hood of video editing software can be daunting. There are a lot of parts that can be tweaked to customize how everything runs. A video editor doesn’t need to be a certified engineer to optimize their software, but it sure helps if they’re a little bit of a shade tree mechanic. With a little fine tuning and some basic maintenance, a video editor can get their video editing software to run like a finely tuned sports car. A video editor is usually concerned with what they can do with their video editing software, not what they can do to their video editing software. For this reason there are many

video editors who never take the time to figure out how their system can be optimized, and instead keep everything running using the default presets. Fortunately, video editing software publishers, such as Adobe, Avid, Sony Creative and Autodesk make it pretty easy for the average video editor to pop the hood and harmlessly monkey around with their system’s settings.

After Effects’ Preferences pane can be intimidating to the uninitiated. To improve performance, skip the General tab and go straight to Display.

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poured into the task of video editing and not slowing things down.


The Basics

There are some simple adjustments a video editor can make to their video editing system to help it run at optimal performance levels. These adjustments are all based on the assumption that a video editor’s computer hardware is up to date and is able to handle the latest video editing software. Having the minimum amount of RAM required by the software doesn’t always cut it when an editor is trying to get creative. Hard drive space can be an issue as well. Even though system architectures have changed over the years, it’s still a good idea to have video editing software installed and running off of the system drive. Source media, on the other hand, should be stored on a separate drive that’s fast and has the throughput to play the media in real time. When it comes to running the system, a video editor should do a clean boot up of their machine. A fresh start often takes care of little glitches from a machine that’s been running for a while. The video editing software should be the only program open at the time of operation. This helps insure that all available system resources are

Adobe After Effects is a standard piece of video effects software that is widely used by video editors. Part of what makes Adobe After Effects so powerful is not only its robust tool set, but the ways it can be optimized to help speed up the video editing workflow. It serves as a great example of how to optimize software, as it’s highly integrated with computer hardware and is commonly used in a video editor’s workflow, regardless of which editing platform they work with. The first place a video editor should go to optimize Adobe After Effects is the Preferences menu. You can access this menu under the Adobe After Effects menu on a Mac, or in the edit menu on a PC. Finding and experimenting with the preferences menu in most video editing software can result in enhanced system performance. In Adobe After Effects, under the display tab in the Preferences menu, a video editor should check the box to Hardware Accelerate, Composition, Layer and Footage Panels. By default, After Effects uses software processes to render everything. With this check box clicked, After Effects will take full advantage of the system’s hardware.

The hardware components of a video editing system play into how the video editing software performs. Hard drive usage plays a factor in system performance. Under the Media and Disk Cache tab of the Preferences menu, a user should make sure that Enable Disk Cache is selected and then choose a folder for the disk cache location. The folder should be on a fast drive that is always accessible to the system. An SSD is optimal, as there are no moving parts or mechanical systems to depend on. Just as hard drive usage is an important part of hardware and software integration, so is RAM allocation. The more RAM made available for video editing software, the faster the overall system will perform, but there is a catch. If the computer itself doesn’t have enough RAM to perform properly, it will weigh down on the video editing software. The trick is to allocate the maximum amount of RAM possible to the video editing software in use, while still making enough RAM available for the computer to operate. As stated earlier, it helps to only have the video editing software open when working on a project. After Effects helps the user allocate RAM under the ‘Memory and Multiprocessing’ tab of the Preferences menu. A video editing software’s working environment can be adjusted to optimize its perfor-

Adobe After Effects Secret Menu Just like In-and-Out Burger, Adobe After Effects has a secret menu. Video editors can’t place an order for a 4x4 or an Animal Style burger off the secret menu, but they can disable their layer cache to optimize Adobe After Effects for big renders. It’s a menu that doesn’t normally show up in After Effects, and can only be found if the video editor knows how to call it up. This is more of a leftover artifact from the early days of After Effects, but it still comes in handy from time to time, and better yet, it’s a fun fact to know. If a video editor is having problems rendering out of Adobe After Effects and continually gets an “out of memory” error, the secret menu is the way to go. In order to get to the secret menu, the user needs to hold down the ‘Shift’ key, navigate to the Adobe After Effects menu and select Preferences > General (On a PC, it’s in the edit menu). Once the Preferences window opens the user can let go of the shift key. The navigation menu on the left hand side of the window should have ‘Secret’ as the bottom option in the menu. Inside the ‘Secret’ menu, the user can check the ‘Disable Layer Cache’ button

and set the number of frames at which Adobe After Effects will purge the layer cache while rendering. It works best to purge every 0 or 1 frames. This will increase render time, but it will take care of those pesky “out of memory” errors.

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by C huc k P eters 42nd Street Photo ________________ 43 B&H Photo/Video & Pro Audio __ 35-37 Blackmagic Design ________________ 7 Canon ___________________________ C4 Digital Bolex _____________________ 11 Eagle America Sales Corp. _________ 55 Glide Gear _______________________ 41 Glidecam Industries Inc. ____________ 3 Glyph Tech Inc. ___________________ 27 JVC Professional Products _________ 25 Kino Flo _________________________ 33 Libec Sales Of America ____________ 21 Litepanels (VITEC GROUP)_________ C3 Shure, Inc. _______________________ C2 VideoGuys _______________________ 49 Videomaker Instructional DVD Make Music Videos _______________ 47 Videomaker Subscribe ____________ 57 Videomaker Subscription Alert _____ 55 WeVideo _________________________ 41 Zoom North America ______________ 29

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mance. Adobe After Effects has no shortage of environmental adjustments. The composition window of After Effects is where a video editor does much of their work and where they are able to view a project in progress. The video editor doesn’t always need to view their project at full resolution. The system will run faster if the resolution of the preview in the composition window is decreased, because it uses fewer system resources. There is an adaptive resolution icon at the bottom of the composition window. When clicked it gives the video editor the following options: Off (Final Quality), Adaptive Resolution, Draft, Fast Draft and Wireframe. Off (Final Quality) uses the most system resources and is the slowest. It helps a video editor to be precise in their work and to see the highest quality image they’ll be able to output. Adaptive Resolution is a great option for working fast because the resolution of the composition window is contingent on what the video editor is doing. If there is nothing happening, the window will display a full resolution image. If the video editor is working, such as adjusting a parameter, the system will give a fast draft preview at a lower resolution. Once the adjustment is made the window will return to full resolution. The wireframe view is ideal for working fast when blocking multiple high resolution assets or 3D content. It shows the video editor a wireframe bounding box of the assets without rendering any of the image. There are some simple workflow tips that will change a system’s speed. If a project needs to be finished in 32-bit color, it’s okay to do the initial work at an 8-bit color depth and then switch over once the set-up of the project is completed. The thing to remember here is that some effects will work at an 8-bit depth but are not able to perform correctly at 32-bit. Performing an offline edit of high-resolution video files, such R3D 4k, will be less taxing on system resources. The user can turn off effects when working on a V IDEOMAKER >>> AUGUS T 2014

The Essential Green Screen Kit With these simple tips for creating and lighting a green screen, editors will have a far easier time pulling clean keys. The secret to success is to shoot with the edit in mind.

Settings panels vary widely from software to software (like this panel inside Avid Media Composer), but most of the same basic options are found in all of them.

project to speed things up. The project will hold up as long as the effects are turned back on for the render.

Life in the Fast Lane

The road to success for a video editor is a long one, but it’s wide open and the only speed limits are technical ones. You’re best served by being your own mechanic. By getting your hands dirty, you can maximize the performance of your video editing software. All it takes is familiarity with what options for optimization are available. The best way to learn how to customize video editing software is to talk shop. Taking the time to chat about what’s going on under the hood doesn’t just build camaraderie, it’s a great way to gain knowledge and share advice. A little tinkering can soup up the most stock video editing system and turn it into a hot rod editing bay that cruises in the fast lane. Chris “Ace” Gates is a four time Emmy Award-winning writer and video producer. For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17054 in the subject line.

Shooting great green screen shots and pulling clean chromakeys may seem daunting to the uninitiated, but with the continual improvements the industry has made to camera and editing technology, going green is easier than ever. A producer with a high quality video camera and an editing application like Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, or Sony Vegas Pro, already has the expensive parts covered. The rest is paint, light and technique. The good news is that greatest difference between gorgeous green screen shots and crummy chromakeys isn’t about the cost of equipment. It’s about knowledge and execution; and those can be taught. So let’s take a closer look at the key components of setting up and shooting good green screen footage to help achieve optimally clean chromakeys in the edit suite.

How It Works

The reason for these color preferences is a very practical one. In order to pop a person off of the background, the color behind them must be distinctly different than any color on them. Any part of the subject that is too similar in color value to the background risks becoming fully or partially transparent, and that will never work. The bright, hideously ugly green that is commonly used for chromakey effects is a favorite because it is vastly different than the color tones found in skin, hair and, in most cases, clothing. Therefore, for the purposes of this

While the technique is often called “green screening” in casual conversation, the technical term for the effect is chrominance keying, and the color green, though preferred by many producers, isn’t really a requirement. Chromakeying is a process of isolating and replacing any color value within a frame of video with another image. Any color you can shoot can be chromakeyed, so you can key out a blue sky, a purple bedroom wall or a yellow sticky note. However, TV, video and film professionals generally prefer two colors: bright green and bright blue.

discussion we will base our technique on using the color green.

Going Green

One of the first considerations before building out a green screen set is size. If the scripts calls for chromakeying a sock puppet into outer space, a few pieces of poster board may be plenty. However, if the goal is to shoot a full-body shot of a subject, the green screen must be much larger. For full head-to-toe chromakeys, the green screen will need to fill the entire frame behind the subject as well as the floor. C-stands and clamps can keep a roll of green paper up and taut during a shoot.

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For best results on this scale, look into one of the many professional green screen products on the market. These may be permanent fiberglass cycloramas or foldable fabric backdrops. In most cases, a combination of waistup and head-and-shoulders shots will work well enough. Shots of this style can be accomplished with one of several low-cost, homemade green screen backgrounds that can be set up fairly quickly. Experiment by building your own green backdrop using fabric, paper or paint. Remember, the key is color, not molecular makeup. Head to a local hardware, hobby or fabric store and see what is available. • Fabric: Head to a fabric store and look for bright green cloth sold by the yard. Make sure the material is not too thin or shiny. Thin, shiny fabric will not take light evenly. The more thick, opaque and matte the material, the better. Also be aware of width. While you can purchase bulk fabric in any length you like, you may be limited by the width of the

strip. You can certainly overcome this limitation by sewing a seam, but if that seems like too much work, consider using another approach. • Paper or Plastic: Affordable green screen backdrops made of paper rolls or foldable plastic are commercially available. These work well when suspended on a frame or hung between C-stands. You can also make your own green screen by piecing together several bright green poster boards that can be purchased at any department store or hobby shop. While not the ideal solution, some tape along the seams on the back side can net a workable hunk of green for a couple dollars. There is bright green gaffer's tape if you want to get fancy. • Paint: With a little paint, any available section of wall can become a green screen set. Any home hardware store with a paint section will have a whole host of green paint swatches that can work for your chromakey color. The national chain hardware stores will mix up small samples for around $5 each. It might take two or three sample containers to get all the paint needed to paint a large enough area, but with a paint roller and $20, any empty wall can be transformed into a special effects backdrop. Paint is still a viable option even if a wall cannot be dedicated. Instead of painting a wall, consider painting a couple 4x8-foot pieces of wall panel or insulation board. They take paint well, and can be hung for shooting, then taken down for storage.

Lighting the Wall

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Soft lights are ideal for green screen lighting, as they minimize problematic shadows.



Once the paint has dried, it’s time to throw a little light on the wall. The secret to successful green screen keys is to light the green wall as evenly as possible. The wall must be lit up nice and bright for optimal chromakey results. No one should expect to get good results by merely setting up the wall and shooting with available light. Because the computer needs to key out a narrow color range, the goal is


Because the subject will be composited over a new background, camera moves, whether in the form of handheld shots, loose tripod drags, pans, tilts or zooms, are not good partners for chromakey shooting. To get this right, you’ll have to mark your wall and track your camera in post-production, which can be really tough to pull off correctly. Shooting chromakey with the camera solidly locked into position on a sturdy tripod is a much simpler process. Unless you’re adventurous, set your framing, hit record and step away from the camera. It can save you hours in the edit room.

to minimize any shadows or shifts in shade. Bright hot spots are as harmful as dark areas. There are a few ways to go about lighting a chromakey backdrop evenly. Which technique you should use, depends largely on the lighting gear you have available. • Tubular Fluorescent Bulbs: Affordable tubular fluorescent lights are a simple hardware store solution for casting even light on a green screen set. This can be achieved by hanging one or two lights slightly in front of the top of the set, and on the floor facing up. The number of fixtures will depend on the size of the wall. • Tungsten Lights: Small and medium sized walls can be lit with one or two tungsten fixtures. Start with a single light placed on a low stand directly behind the talent, pointing back at the wall. Soft lights distribute the light more evenly, but you can also try using a hard

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light with an adjustable beam set to flood, with diffusion over it. For head and shoulders shots, this may be all the set lighting that’s necessary. For larger sets, dedicate two additional lights positioned in front of the backdrop and out to the sides. These can be physically moved closer to, or farther from the set to adjust where the beam falls and with what intensity.

Separate the Subject

The last piece of the puzzle is lighting the subject. One of the most common mistakes that causes failed chromakey shoots is positioning the subject too close to the wall. It’s important to put as much distance as possible between the subject and the set. This is important because light bounces. Light reflecting off of the green screen can create a green halo around a subject’s hair, shoulders and skin that will wreak


havoc when trying to pull the key in post-production. A subject too close to the backdrop can also cast catastrophic shadows on the set. It is best to not try to light the subject with the lamps that are being used to light the wall. Instead, pull the subject away from the green background and light them with a separate set of lighting instruments. If you can, use a backlight with a minus green gel over it to help counteract green spill from the background. Likewise, make sure that the lights for your talent do not spill onto the background and wash out the color.

Camera Considerations

There are a few camera considerations that chromakey shooters need to know before they roll. One important tech spec is color subsampling. Cameras and codecs that compress color at 4:2:0 or 4:1:1 color sampling lose chromi-

nance information, and neither of these sample rates is an ideal option for pulling clean keys. For ideal results, the footage should be shot with a camera using 4:2:2 color space (or better, 4:4:4). With a smooth, evenly lit green screen backdrop and a well-positioned subject, shooting high quality chromakey footage is a breeze. Most of the magic of chromakey happens before the shoot, in building and lighting the set, and in post production when the key is performed. With these simple tips for creating and lighting a green screen, editors will have a far easier time of pulling clean keys. The secret to success is to shoot with the edit in mind. Chuck Peters is a 3-time Emmy Award Winning writer and producer. For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17038 in the subject line.

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10:04:26 AM



5 quick production tips by C hri s “Ac e” Ga t e s

5 Inspiration and Organization Tools for Video Editors Organization is a big part of video editing. A video editor is best served by being surrounded with tools that provide optimal organization.


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t’s easy to understand the need for a file structure when it comes to video editing, but how much thought is given to the organization of ideas and inspiration? A video editor needs a constant intake of ideas and inspiration, otherwise their video editing will start to look more like a template and less like a crafted vehicle for communication. Ideas are all around us and inspiration can strike at any moment. A video editor just needs to be aware of it and turn that inspiration around and put it into projects. Coming up with ideas is a small fraction of the bigger picture. Video editors should have a way to capture that inspiration and a method of organization so they can easily access those inspired ideas. Here are five readily available tools that can be used to capture and organize ideas.

is needed. Other social media platforms, such as Pinterest and Tumblr, are good for capturing ideas from various websites and storing them under the user’s profile. Social media isn’t going away, and if used right it’s a powerful tool for the creative mind.

Social Media

This makes it super easy to jot down ideas at a moment’s notice. Evernote is able to read text in images, making pictures and image files searchable by the words in the image. If the user were to take a picture of a book at the bookstore and upload the image to Evernote, the title of that book is now tagged in Evernote and the user never had to write down any text. Evernote allows inspiration to be captured and accessed when needed.

Social media is good for more than cat videos and cupcake recipes. The different social media platforms have built-in tools that provide a simple means for organization and can be useful to the video editor. Video sharing sites, such as YouTube and Vimeo, are filled with amazing videos that should be a great source of inspiration. A video editor can do more than scour these sites for interesting techniques, they can “like” the videos that stand out to them. If a video editor has a profile on either YouTube or Vimeo, they can go back through their “likes” to find videos they found inspiring. This helps in a pinch when deadlines are approaching and a creative spark



Evernote is a free note taking and organization app. It’s cloud-based and platform agnostic, meaning as long as any user has an internet connection they can access it from any device.


A Notebook

Creative people have used pen and paper to capture inspiration for centuries. It doesn’t require any power or an internet hookup; it’s a reliable tool. There is something special about V IDEOMAKER >>> AUGUS T 2014

the tactile feel of writing and drawing ideas out by hand. It’s quick, easy and there’s no learning curve. Plus, it’s fairly inexpensive.

Scratch Folder

What is a scratch folder? It’s not manilla, it’s simply a folder the user keeps on their computer, or an external hard drive, to hold any digital pieces of inspiration they come across. Video editors are used to keeping folders filled with sound effects, music beds, stock video clips, and other types of content that they use over and over again. It’s not a far stretch to make a new folder for the sole purpose of collecting inspiration.




Let’s be honest. More than anything, video is about images. The best way to capture an image is with a camera. Sketching comes in at a close second, but it takes a lot more time than the click of the shutter. Cameras are a ubiquitous part of our culture, mobile devices are rated by consumers on how good the internal camera is. Capturing images is easy. By combining a camera with one of the other organizational tools mentioned, a video editor should be able to easily build their own image library for the purpose of inspiration.


Chris “Ace” Gates is a four time Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. He is a big fan of animation and transmedia storytelling. For comments, email: [email protected], use article #17400 in the subject line.

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