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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 12th, 2014, 06:53 PM   #1
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Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

OK, so one of my absolute LEAST favorite parts about editing our full video HAD to be tweaking audio during the toasts...up, and down, and up and down...but there have been a few recent threads praising levelator, and so I gave it a try and WOW, what a time saver when the audio's all over the place.

So I thought it would be interesting to see what everyone's favorite plug-ins or add-ons are...cheap, free, or completely worth every penny spent on it. My top three are:

Pluraleyes
Levelator
Neat Video (Doesn't save time at all, but definitely helps when people insist on dark reception lighting and we're working with a lot of gain!)

...and, go!
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Old May 13th, 2014, 02:54 AM   #2
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

Interesting you should bring this up - I've just been having issues with Pluraleyes.

I had a hard drive fail and so spent the past few days reinstalling software. Some software I had, I no longer had the install files for. Long story short - I've took the opportunity to upgrade a few things.

I had previously been using the original Pluraleyes - before Red Giant bought it. I reinstalled it and it was failing to sync lots of my clips. I then installed Pluraleyes 3. And I'm having difficulties with it. It says that some of my clips have an inconsistant frame rate??


Hopefully I can get to the bottom of it, but it made me realised how much of a life saver these add-ons can be!
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Old May 13th, 2014, 03:31 AM   #3
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

Latest lifesaver: MacDrive. Long story short: I edit on PC; badly needed access to a Mac-formatted drive; was tearing my hair out trying different options, and MacDrive just worked like a charm.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 06:14 AM   #4
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

Hi Katie

I must admit, that all I have used fairly often is Levelator ..it's a lifesaver when the un-miced priest suddenly wanders into the middle of the altar and starts talking. Not good audio but at least it's salvageable.

I used to have Mercalli but with the new cameras and a really good rod support that isn't used anymore.

I use 3 cams on ceremonies but just sync using the audio so I have no immediate use for pural eyes either.

I used to use a couple of ProDad plugins especially for fancy titles but nowdays brides are just as happy it seems with simple titles so that isn't used either.

For those using Sony Vegas, Edward Troxel's plugin is supposed to be really good and speedy too!

Good thread BTW! It might draw attention to plug-ins that we don't know about

Chris
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Old May 13th, 2014, 07:00 AM   #5
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

I second Neat Video. Works great but is easy to overuse it to perfect darker reception footage, spending excessive time on it. Still it works fantastic & is impressive in its improvement of low-light footage. I have one or two of Magic Bullet cheaper preset plugins, thought they would come in handy, but I haven't found them too, also easy to overdo it but can really be too much. Standard color correction can be just as effective (brightness contrast, curves, levels, blending modes). For me, the HVR-MRC1 card recording adaptor was a huge improvement over shooting to tape on my Sony cam.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 08:05 AM   #6
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I used to have Mercalli but with the new cameras and a really good rod support that isn't used anymore.
Mercalli is brilliant!

Main reason I don't use it anymore is that the latest version of Premiere has warp stabilisation built in, which is so easy to use that it's addictive -- you find yourself stabilising shots you wouldn't have bothered to stabilise before.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 08:41 PM   #7
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

Could I mention a photo plugin?

I've just discovered the Totally Rad plugins. No doubt there are plenty of other options out there, but this was recommended to me. The Pro Retouch actions I've found to be a real timesaver so far. Removing blemishes, making pores less obvious etc. Much better and faster job than me messing around with healing brush, content fill, clone stamp.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 09:19 PM   #8
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

Hi Adrian

A photo plugin on a video forum ...ARGGG!!! Nah,, that's great as we do photos too. I actually use Portrait Professional ... it's quite amazing and cheap as chips and does a great job where the makeup artist missed a bit! They actually have another editor which is community based so add-ins get updated almost daily and again crazy cheap but really effective .. you can add stuff like vignettes in seconds as well as thousands of neat effects all with one click! From the same guys it's called Smart Photo Editor and I think I paid the stupid price of AUS$39.00 for it. Also does Colour Pops in seconds ... really worth a look without killing the budget and a fraction of the price of Photoshop! Definitely they are my immediate "go to" apps for photo editing

Chris
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Old May 13th, 2014, 11:50 PM   #9
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

For me the multicam feature of Ultimate S. Unlike Vegas' multicam feature, Ultimate S does not affect the audio tracks and leaves them as they are, so regardless of which cam I choose I have complete control over the audio independently of the video.

There might be better multicam options out there, I don't know, but I'm happy with Ultimate S.
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Old May 14th, 2014, 12:02 AM   #10
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

I've been using use multicam in PPro, for only 6-12 months. It's definitely made a big difference. Not only is it a lot more efficient to edit the formal parts, but (a) the result is better (I can see anything interesting going on -- I don't miss anything); and (b) it's also easier to make changes afterwards -- switching to a different camera.

Incidentally, if Katie's original question could be expanded beyond software, having a laptop (purchased late last year) has also made a big difference to me. Not only does it mean I can render two things at the same time, but my new laptop leaves my poor old desktop behind in terms of processing speed. I created a BluRay ISO a couple of days ago -- took around 18 hours on my desktop to create a 23gb file. Installed Encore on my laptop and tried it again this morning on the laptop -- 1 hour.

Ridiculous...

Still find it easier to edit on a desktop, though; and definitely seems to be a better option in terms of grading.
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Old May 14th, 2014, 08:57 AM   #11
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

The Creative Impatience plugins for Premiere/AE are really handy - great time savers for making vignettes or feathered crops (it was such a pain having to round-trip into AE just to add a feather to a really basic lower third, for example).


I also have the Film Impact transitions (I think they only cost about $20?). and again, these fill a big hole where Premiere Pro stock version is lacking - the flash transition in particular is great for weddings.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 11:42 AM   #12
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

It has to be Neat Video - Saved my life in gloomy reception rooms - I would use it more but even on my fast rig it's soooooo slow :(
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Old May 15th, 2014, 11:51 AM   #13
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

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It has to be Neat Video - Saved my life in gloomy reception rooms - I would use it more but even on my fast rig it's soooooo slow :(
I agree that Neat Video has saved me several times.

I'm at a lowly 12.2fps for processing at 32 bits per channel (my other machine is only 3.2fps!!!) but at half the real time speed it's not too bad. If it were real time (which it is for SD) then it wouldn't be too bad.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 12:22 PM   #14
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

I have the usual suspects - Pluraleyes, Mercalli Standalone, Neat Video, Levelator. The only one I use routinely is Pluraleyes.

Mercalli performs great in my tests but since I usually shoot from tripods monopods or clamp cams, and since my cams have good inbuilt stabilisation I haven't yet used it in anger.

Again my cams are clean in low light so Neat Video gathers dust.

I need to try out the Levelator more. I was put off by it apparently not going to be updated any more.

On the stills side - a word of warning - for want of a better word: All theses Totally Rad, Kubota, Pfister, et al special effects are soooo 2007 :- ( Clients used to pay good money for that but now you don't tend to see those sorts of effects used except in niche markets. It would be rather like using in video all those OTT bollywood effects and titles you see from some Asian-market suppliers.

Skin softening, making eyes into glass with pupils surrounded by pure white, thinning arm fat, etc is very much a USA market thing. In the UK we tend to think now that we should not go beyond what the makeup artist achieves, and do the rest with good lighting and composition. Portraiture can be different though if you are marketing an escape from reality.

Clients can do their own special effects on stills now at the drop of a hat using phone and pad apps so their black magic allure has diminished considerably.

On One Software seems to be positioning itself as the go-to alternative to Photoshop now that Adobe has the subscription model. Another option is Gimp. If you do a lot of stills processing though you really need software than can batch process large numbers of images unattended, I'm not sure which can do that at present.

Pete
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Old May 16th, 2014, 09:42 PM   #15
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Re: Your favorite "Add-On's" that have made your life so much easier!

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... thinning arm fat, etc is very much a USA market thing.
There's no filter invented that could thin the arms of a kiwi bride ;) (too far?)
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