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Editing tricks

Posted By sonic7 7 days ago
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sonic7
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Back when 'film' was the only medium available for the capture and preservation of moving images, film editors would physically 'cut' and splice a work print.
Once complete, it would be necessary to 'conform' the master negative to match the editing decisions from the work print.
But it became more involved when 'dissolves' (or any transitions for that matter) were to be included.
I'm fairly certain they used an 'A' and a 'B' roll approach, with each reel containing 'alternating shots', (opaque film in between) - so that extra (overlapping) frames were available for optically printing the transitions onto new film stock.....

Enter iClone - and a 'similar' situation can occur.
That is, you can have your shots all laid out 'on the time line', and as the 'movie' is played, the various cameras 'cut' exactly where needed. So far - so good.
So you render out your 'masterpiece', place it into a non linear editor and synchronize to your master audio - fine.
But now you decide you'd like to include quite a few *transitions* .... - however, since you only have a 'cut' version sitting on your time-line, you don't have the extra overlapping frames necessary to create your transitions ....
There must be a clever way to overcome this.
Any 'editors' come up against this?

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Kelleytoons
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If you're talking about a still shot it's really straightforward -- you just lengthen the last (or first) image to whatever length you need (I do this all the time for fade in/out shots -- just drag that frame out as long as you need).

However, if there is action in the scene you either need to render some more of it or perhaps retime it (all the quality video editors have the ability to retime sections of video, either slowing down or speeding them up -- pick a section, retime it slower, and use it for your transition).  The good news is that unlike film because it's digital there is little to no quality loss in doing either of these things.



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I always render each camera angle for a given scene, for the length of the scene. And each scene is usually a separate project or maybe more.
Then in post I have each angle and I can decide then how long the shot should last. This is the only way I can work, I'm always changing my mind in post so, for me, this gives me the most flexibility. Wink


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@Mike .... Yes - like you say, 'still images' can be  s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d  out to length - that wouldn't be a problem .... Ah yes, splitting and stretching one or two seconds at the beginning & end of even 'action scenes' could certainly work in a lot of situations too ....  thnx  Smile

@Mark .... Yes - I'm always changing my mind as well - and not just in post! w00t   I think your suggestion might be the way to go (rendering out each camera's FULL coverage). Like you say, this offers the most flexibility. - You've got me thinking, this even allows for FX to be applied across the entire track for a given camera angle - (once it's positioned on the NLE time-line), so yeah - seems worth the extra effort.... thnx  Smile

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sonic7
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By the way - this 'post' is for 'editing tricks' - so any and all thoughts are welcome - whether it's simple camera switching done inside iClone, or working in a NLE, or even in a node based editor - whatever - so if you're an editor or even have only 'basic editing skills' - this is where to post if you have something to share ...

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OK .... I'll mention a 'common' issue that's encountered by 'newer' users of 'Sony Vegas' or 'Movie Studio' or similar software.....
If your final rendered video doesn't look 'quite right' - maybe it's 'jerky' (no matter how may times you repeat the replay), then 'possibly' your answer is:
● Set your 'Project Settings' AND 'Export Settings' to MATCH the 'Video Settings' of your INPUT VIDEO ....... particularly respecting 'frame rate' ....
If all 3 of these are in agreeance, you should achieve 'perfect' output footage ..... Smile
Steve.

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Please be patient with me ..... I don't always 'get it' the first time around...
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Just a few notes: the A & B Roll was for final printing and was usually reserved for 16mm negative cutting.  This is because the permanent cement splicing for final negative cuts (as opposed to the tape-splices for temp editing) were visible across the frame line of 16mm (and not of 35mm, so A&B wasn't usually necessary).  Dissolves were made by fading out one roll while fading in the next.  In 35mm, all dissolves were considered "opticals" and were printed separately, then spliced into the final negative.  If you watch an old 35mm movie you can see the image quality change before a dissolve. This is the extra generation introduced by printing the dissolve separately.  Improvement in film stock and printing technology made the process less visible by the eighties, but it is common in films (especially colour films) of the forties-sixties.

As to Editing Tricks -- I-clone is a switcher, not an editor. It preserves the time-line and doesn't let you move beyond that.  Cinematic editing (as in editing for cinema -- everyone's so busy being "cinematic" these days) breaks the time-line in order to create something that wasn't possible before.  I hate to sound like one of those film theory wankers, but editing ("montage") is the thing that separates cinema from the other arts (Kubrick pointed this out).  Editing is the alteration of time but moving little snippets of it around.  There are hundreds of books devoted to the concept, many of them written by wankers who sound a lot like me.  It isn't just the extrapolation of action or narrative (one event following another), but the creation of an aesthetic in the cut itself.  In other words, a great cut is when something happens between the two frames on either side of the edit -- a third idea is created.

You would think after prattling on like this, I might know something of value, but all I can tell you are my two basic devices: extending the movement with an over-lapping edit ( most actions, when extended, is often smoother), and cutting on action.  To do this, I block the scene in I-Clone, use the switcher to figure out the angles, then render out with overlaps of a few seconds either side.  That gives me enough room in an NLE to tighten it up or smooth it out.  But this Youtube piece is a great place to start looking for editing tricks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAH0MoAv2CI


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@bexley .... hi ....  - yes isn't it amazing to think they'd get away with splicing in those extra generation dissolves. I used to think "why don't they just print the entire movie 'beginning to end' to create a consistent level of quality". But then again, the quality loss on printing the dissolves was savage - so probably best they didn't. Plus the additional unnecessary cost. It was *very* noticeable if done within a long lead up shot - not so bad if on an actual shot change. But it does document well 'the lesser discernment level' of past audiences.
● Yes - amazing how much a cut can be made 'more believable' by adding a frame or two of overlap -  same action in both shots - I always think 'door opening'.
● I'd never heard slipping the audio under vision referred to as 'J' or 'L' cuts - (from your reference video), but makes sense given the 'shape' of those letters - plus it's a 'concise' way of describing them.
● Good you mentioned 'cutting on action' - to me this is what creates a credible flow of the film's action. The more it's used, (properly of course), the more believable the edit imo.
I'm yet to 'explore' the possibilities that come with truly 'creative' editing - closely linked to film 'direction'. (Directing's my weaknesses so I'm looking forward to learning) ..... Smile
● Btw thanks for the heads-up about iClone's time-line being more accurately called a 'switcher' rather than an 'editor'. I changed my reference to it up above. Smile

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Please be patient with me ..... I don't always 'get it' the first time around...
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iClone 7.21, 3DXchange 7.22 Pro, Character Creator 2.3, popVideo 3.01, Fusion9 free edition, Movie Studio Platinum 15 Suite

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Despite getting some great advice I will say one thing about the "switcher" versus "editor" -- in Kai's recent tutorial, where he uses the switcher, he at least implies if not downright states the real reason why you might want to consider using it at times versus a more "traditional" approach to editing as per film.

This is because unlike with film, animation takes a lot of time.  With film you can let your actors prattle on, as actors will, and don't really care too much how long the take lasts, with an eye towards fixing all in post.  In point of fact, you want "coverage" so it's ALWAYS better to have more than you need.  With animation, though, the opposite is true.  Your actors ain't gonna act without you, so the more "coverage" you provide the more work you are doing at the back end.

It's particularly significant in that the greatest amount of work in animation is with the actual animation -- posing and animating the people and doing the face work can be incredibly time-consuming to do right.  So in order to maximize your energies accordingly, you want to set up your sets tightly and only animate what you actually need.

Kai shows this by first doing all the camera work, and THEN animating the character's faces, because only then does he know exactly what he needs.  I think this is not a trivial thing to understand.  

Note there are always exceptions to anything -- if you are doing a lot of mocap you will have extra coverage built-in, and thus the need to animate is reduced.  Not eliminated, because there will always be cleanup involved.  I think of all of this as a balancing act -- making the best of the time you have often means compromises, and thus it's always good to have a very tight edit from which you are doing your final tweaks (don't be tweaking things and then decide you need to re-edit.  This is where proxies come into play, as your frames you have brought into your video editor can then be updated with the changes and automagically ripple through.

(And all of this is magnified when there are time pressures -- for our weekly animation series it was a lot more critical to get the edit of the scene together in the animation room rather than cut it afterwards, although we did cut the scenes together in our editor).






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