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Old May 25th, 2011, 10:05 PM   #1
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Amateur Recital Video Editing

As some of you may or may not have seen, I've recently had a rather lengthy thread going in the "Wedding / Event Videography Techniques" forum and had a lot of help with getting some pretty good video to work with for the DVD Production. Here's a link to that thread...

Amateur Recital Video Production

Now I am in the editing phase and am pretty new to using Vegas (Pro 10) so I am looking for some help in this Vegas forum. We started some editing discussions in the other forum, but thought I would move the editing questions to a new thread here since my questions would fit in better.

*******************************************************************************
Here is my latest question from the "other" thread...

"I finally sat down last night to review the video that I captured with the CX160 cam. This cam was unmanned in the balcony so I didn't get a chance to immediately make adjustments once the curtains opened and the lights came on (another lesson learned). I manually set the exposure to a level I thought was going to be good but after reviewing last night I found it was too high (during playback the data code on the screen showed 12dB). About 2 hours into the show, I finally got a chance to go check this cam and noticed the exposure was too high so I took it down a few notches. The picture quality during playback improved drastically (now 3dB in data code). About an hour later, I went back to this cam again to swap media and felt that the exposure could still be adjusted down a litltle more, so made one more small adjustment. At this final exposure setting the picture was PERFECT (now 0dB in data code).

So in summary, the first 2 hours of footage from the CX160 is not useable in its current state. The next hour is good and can be used as is. The last 2 hours are perfect from my perspective.

Is there an easy way to have Vegas correct the exposure for those first two hours of video with the exposure set too high? I've done some searches in the forum on this topic and I can't find anything that an inexperienced user like me can easily understand."
********************************************************************************************

I am looking for advice here on how to possibly make some corrections to take away some of the "brightness" specifically from the dancers. I've tried several FX on my own, but I'm not getting anywhere with it.

The following is a sample clip (YouTube - ‪CLIP‬‏) and the clip can also be downloaded in it's original format from here (clip.m2ts).

The video does not look too bad on on my PC monitor, but the dancers are REALLY bright on my plasma TV when played back in HD.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 11:49 PM   #2
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

Try the levels control and then you may have to change color a little. In future you may find it better to set the CX160 at AE shift -3 or 4 with spot focus set on the center stage. It should be good for most things. Not sure if the CX160 has that range of AE shift but the SR11 and XR500 I have will do that but the newer CX700 I just got will not change that much.

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Old May 25th, 2011, 11:55 PM   #3
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

Hi Brad

The clip isn't that bad!!! Remember that the camera is looking at a very very dark background so it wants to lift the camera gain.

I'm guessing here but I assume that you have tried basic plugins like Sony Brightness and contrast????

Try dropping both sliders down to around -10 and then adjust the last slider so the FX is pretty much centered .... I find that sometimes you get a much better result by setting brightness to say -10 and then "play" with the contrast...you probably won't need as much contrast adjustment as you think.

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Old May 26th, 2011, 01:00 AM   #4
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

Interesting, had a play with the original clip for about the last half hr.
I agree, its not that bad, but, I can see why you may want it to be a bit better.
The bottom line is (as always) you cant unburn a chicken.
The details in the highlighted areas are gone, and you cant get them back,
but,
if you wanted to retrieve as much as you can, here's one way-
If you have Cineform render to that first,
If not, open your scopes to RGB parade, View-Video scopes.
Apply a colour corrector, what you are aiming to do is bring any clipped highlights down,
Lift your Gamma, Lift your contrast, drop your Saturation, Drop your gain.
watch your scopes, aim to get a very soft image in the middle of the spectrum.
Render it out to something lossless when you think its as good as its going to get.
Bring it back in, add some sharpen, add some colour, add some contrast.
You will end up with something different than what you had, whether its better or not is subjective.
If you were going to apply a film look or some diffusion, this process is worthwhile as you will stop anymore clipping than whats already happened.
But really..... its not that bad.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 01:41 AM   #5
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

forgot the pics
Attached Thumbnails
Amateur Recital Video Editing-orig.jpg   Amateur Recital Video Editing-graded.jpg  

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Old May 26th, 2011, 07:47 AM   #6
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

Thanks guys for the input! Maybe I am being a little picky here, but I'm not sure what to expect as this was my first time ever doing something like this. I agree that on my PC monitor, the picture is not that bad. However, when I watch it on my plasma TV, it looks a lot worse to me. Maybe it's my TV settings as Dave has mentioned in the other thread. Also, the final video will be delivered in DVD format, so I'm not sure how different the picture may look once I get the final output to that level. I guess I should try a sample to see.

The footage from this CX160 is only going to be used to cover up my mistakes that I made with the XR500 which was my main cam. The CX160 was fixed at the angle in the clips for the entire 5 hour show. The CX160 doesn't have the AE shift that Ron mentions, it only has a slider bar on the view screen to manually adjust the exposure. If I would have been manning this cam, I would have noticed right away that the exposure was too high and lowered it as needed (like I did when checking the cam after 2 hours). With the XR500, I did have the AE shift set to -4 and I got a great picture from that cam. However, with me being new to this world of videography, I made a lot of mistakes with XR500 that I would like to fix by cutting to the CX160.

I've already tried playing around with some FX in Vegas - level controls, brightness and contrast, etc. I couldn't come up with anything better than the original myself. Thanks to Gerald for making some adjustments on my clip and posting some samples. I like what you've done, but I think overall the entire scene got too dark and would be too much of a contrast when cutting from the XR500 to this.

I think I will just live with the picture the way it is and just make as little cuts as necessary to this cam.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 10:13 AM   #7
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

Yes, it does get dark,
If you move to After Effects (if you had access to it)
you can do this in about 90 sec with a Luma matte and then correct that without darkening your whole scene.
Attached Thumbnails
Amateur Recital Video Editing-afx-luma-matte.jpg  
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Old May 26th, 2011, 11:50 AM   #8
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

"However, when I watch it on my plasma TV, it looks a lot worse to me. Maybe it's my TV settings as Dave
has mentioned in the other thread."

Might well be the tv settings if the unit has not been calibrated. Manufacturer and store settings are often pretty bright. They think it gives the tv "punch." Do you have access to another tv? Also, try it on an LCD tv.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 01:06 PM   #9
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Ridgeway View Post
I think I will just live with the picture the way it is and just make as little cuts as necessary to this cam.
For this first project I think that is a wise choice. I would just play with the levels a little in the 160 footage where you cut to that camera so that it matches the footage from your XR500. It doesn't have to match perfectly but just to make sure it doesn't become shockingly overexposed. With the change in angle or focal length it should be unnoticed to the average viewer.

-Garrett
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Old June 6th, 2011, 09:00 PM   #10
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

Hello everyone - it's been a while! After a nice vacation, I'm deep into the editing of my recital video and obviously back looking for advice!

I have created titles which I want to appear at the beginning of each performance. Below is a link to a sample. My intention is to have the sparkling stars and the phrase "Studio L - Dancing with the Stars - 2011" at the beginning of every dance and the name or title of the dance will change just below accordingly. Is my banner and title too big? Is it too redundant to keep using the same banner on every performance. I am personally pretty pleased with how it looks, but this is my first attempt at such a task and I am looking for opinions of those with experience.

YouTube - ‪Banner Sample.m2ts‬‏

Thanks!
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Old June 7th, 2011, 12:02 AM   #11
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

Hi Brad

Downloading the clip now, I think it's an easy "save", let me see what my typical tweaks can do, it's not that bad on my calibrated monitors.

The banner looks pretty good, but you might want to consider a traditional "upper thirds" all the way across to make it look a bit more pro? It's still "cool" <wink>. Watch a few news or sports broadcasts for ideas.

I would suggest you look at deinterlace options... the "combing" is pretty distracting IMO, also might try rendering your output to 24p, that's my typical final render - makes for a more filmic look, and smaller file sizes. You may or may not like the cadence of progressive, but I've found Vegas seems to render out 24p fairly clean - you may want to test a short clip and see if you like it or not.

There are a few blown out areas, but try "brightness and contrast", playing with the contrast center - you can use multiple FX instances with different centers. The other FX is Sony Color Corrector - fiddle with the gain and gamma slider settings, they might help a bit. I didn't get great results as the framing is a tad wide, and there's definitely a few spots where there's just too much blown out, but it was possible to improve it a bit. If it's only for cutaways, it's not quite as critical, and hopefully you won't need it much, IIRC you mentioned you got it tamed down later in the show, so perhaps you'll have to just tweak certain parts...

Last edited by Dave Blackhurst; June 7th, 2011 at 12:41 AM. Reason: Additional info
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Old June 7th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #12
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

I kind of agree with Dave about putting the banner all way across the frame. Also, I might dial down the opacity of the banner (making the dark background more translucent) and would probably just give the name of the dance and the dancer(s) rather than repeating the name of the whole show for each dance. Those are just personal preferences, though, and I do not see anything wrong with what you've chosen. Frankly, if you are pleased, then it is good enough.

Not sure why redundancy would be a problem. Seems to me that it would be necessary with as much video as you have, plus it ties things together.

Because this is a dance recital (high motion, high contrast), and because you will be supplying the video on DVDs, I'm not sure I understand Dave's suggestion about rendering for 24p. For dance recitals, I render to interlaced DVD formats. While I've experimented with 24p and 30p for my own entertainment, I've never been happy with the results for recitals on DVD.

I suspect that the combing is an artifact of web video and, for that, Dave may well be correct. If you will be posting some of it on, it may be a good idea to do a separate progressive render for that.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 12:32 AM   #13
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

Are your titles in the title safe zone? I try to format my titles so they are still easily visible when the DVD is played back in panscan mode on a 4:3 CRT television.

If the DVD is intended to be played in the lobby of the dance studio for promotional purposes, then it makes sense to put the title "Studio L - Dancing with the Stars" everywhere. In this case, one might arrange tiny 10 second highlights of each performance along with b-roll, special effects, sound bites and other advertising in a near random sequence that repeats for an endless loop.

If the DVD is intended for home viewing I would only put "Studio L - Dancing with the Stars" at the beginning, intermission and end, or maybe just at the beginning.

Interlaced 60i on DVD is good for dance.

Last edited by Eric Olson; June 7th, 2011 at 02:56 AM.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 01:21 AM   #14
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

HI Brad,

Good to see that you are coming along with your recital video. It looks pretty good. I consider bringing the banner down to the lower thirds. For me it's what is more often done and has a more familiar feel. I'd consider replacing the "Studio-L..." in the larger font with the dancers name and if you can get the name of their dance or song title I'd put that in the second line. I agree to only have the Studo-L... at the beginning, intermission and end. I'd also have the date come up at the beginning. It's always good to have that so when people watch it a few years from now they can recall when it was. For the way the titles appear, rather than having the top line fade in and the lower line fly in from the left, consider having the top line fly in from the right as the lower flies in from the left. Have them start and finish at the same time. Then have them fade out the same way, either a uniform dissolve or both continue across the way they came in.

I'd also play with having the black background opaque. Maybe make it about 70%. that will lighten things up a bit and give a higher end feel. For the lettering I'd also experiment with using a drop shadow to give it some dimension.

As Jay brought up this being a dance recital and there being a lot of high contrast and movement is the exact reason you'd want a progressive frame rate. I'd usually suggest 30p for dance recitals. But I have shot and produced 24p videos for them too. It really depends on the mood and feel the studio wants. But the key is to start out with the frame rate you want to end up with. If you shot the video in 60i, unless you have a good converting software I would not deinterlace it. Vegas does not do a good job nor do many other NLE's out there, including Premier or FCP. The reason you want to use progressive for high motion or high contrast events is that the interlacing becomes more noticeable and is even more pronounced with the larger screen LCD's now. Most later model DVD players output progressive video and it's what LCD screens really look better with. With the faster motion, the difference between the alternating fields becomes more noticeable. if there were no motion it wouldn't matter. And here's the best part, if you shoot in a progressive frame rate, then interlace the final output, when it's shown on an interlaced tv or progressive tv it will look exactly the same. It's the same as PsF. That's how you get a 1080/60i Bluray to essentially be a 1080/30p video. But again, the important thing is to shoot for your final delivery. I don't think I've shot 60i for a couple of years now.

I'm now in the thick of getting a recital punched out that I shot over this last weekend. Two shows on Saturday and Sunday so I'm currently sitting on 220GB of raw footage that's getting transcoded into Cineform AVI's now. Then it's a quick edit and master the DVD's. Gotta get it don't quickly because I've got another show to do this Saturday. I hate how all the dance studios like to have their recitals around the same time. Here, we have at least three shools who have their recital on the same weekend every year.

Well, good luck and keep us posted on how things are going.

-Garrett
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Old June 7th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #15
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Re: Amateur Recital Video Editing

Thanks for the input on the titles. I'll play around with them some more. My wife was the one who told me that she didn't think the "Studio L..." portion of the title should be on every title. I wasn't sure if I agreed hence my posting here for advice from you pros. I think I will remove that portion as it can be part of the Menu screens at the beginning and part of a credit roll at the end. Plus the DVD cover and label will also contain that information so I too am now thinking that it's a little overkill.

I really like the flashing stars in the title, but I'm having a hard time resizing and playing with its properties because it is an animated gif. Maybe I'll shoot for another option. Most titles are only going to show the name of the song being performed. I have about 12 solo dances and then another 45 group dances and I won't be able to list the names of all the performers in the larger groups. I'm learning as I go so it took me a long time to create the title in the posted clip. So far, I've only gotten through editing those first 12 solos so I've still got a lot of work to do and not a whole lot of free time to do it.

I haven't thought a whole lot about the rendering part of this project as I was thinking that would be one of the final steps. I know nothing at all about interlaced vs progressive. I believe all my video was shot at 60i. I think I rendered the clip that I posted on youtube as Sony AVCHD (mt2s) with output setting the same as original (not sure though) but I'm not sure what YouTube did to it as it was uploading.

The final output of this project needs to be DVD format for home viewing. The dance studio has nothing to do with the video. I have about 60 orders for the DVD which I am assuming came from family of performers and staff at the studio. My goal was to create this as a 2-disc set. I am hoping I can maintain some good quality and still be able to fit about 5 hours worth of footage on 2 discs. Right now I have the entire performance broken up into 5 segments each as individual projects in Vegas. I will be outputting them from Vegas and bringing them in DVD Architect to create menus and then ultimately to the DVD format. I haven't really played with any rendering settings from Vegas yet, but was hoping to experiment with some smaller clips at some point. I've read a lot on this forum about this and I can honestly say I'm confused and have no idea where to start so if anyone has any good suggestions on render output settings to DVDA, please let me know.
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