A brief introduction to the course
In this couse, we’ll explore the basics of digital video and cover some background definitions and concepts. We’ll also dive into Premiere Pro. We’ll start making some video too.
- Get started with basic digital video concepts.
- Develop knowledge of Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
- Create and edit video using Adobe Premiere Pro.
- Be more confident users of digital technologies.
What is Digital video?
Digital video is motion picture content produced with digital tools. Instead of using film, today’s cameras record images digitally to a variety of digital media, including MiniDV tapes, in-camera hard drives and SD cards. Unlike the linear style of editing required with film, digital video editing is nonlinear. This means that the movies you make don’t have to be cut up and rearranged in the order that you film them. You can move pieces of your movie around in the editing software freely and do not have the restrictions of film reels.
Pre-production is the first stage of filmmaking and focuses on the art of storytelling. Every good video is really a story at heart, even if it’s an instructional video.
Production is the stage where you film or procure your content. This stage is usually the shortest, and it’s a lot of fun if you've put in organized work and thoroughly planned your shots during pre-production.
Post-production is the magic. This is where you'll edit your video together to make your movie. We’ll be using Premiere Pro to edit our video
Now that we know some basic terms and definitions, it’s time to start organizing the workflow we’ll use in the course. Watch this video
Class 1: Creative Challenge
Watch the following tutorial and create a short “Vacation” commercial in Adobe Premiere Pro.
Complete a technical and/or a creative challenge in Adobe Premiere CC. Create a Vacation Commercial using found video and audio assets. Edit the video so it is 15 seconds long. Export the video as an MP4 (H.264) and host on Vimeo, Youtube or something similar.
Watch example assignment below
Built your Knowledge
In the last class we set ourselves up and started working with the basics of video production. In this class we will go a little deeper into the concepts of film making and build our knowledge about different shots we might use when making video.
The Shot Planning your shots ensures a better video. Shot composition is all about framing your subject on camera. Different shots have different meanings and are used to communicate different visual messages. Together they can tell a compelling story to the audience without words, direct the eye to important focal points and often have innate psychological meanings.
Let’s take a look at examples of 11 basic shots.
Head room. The amount of space between the top of the subject — for example a person’s head — and the top edge of the frame. The appropriate amount of headroom is relative to the shot, but in general it should not be too close to the edge or too far away from it.
Lead room. Also referred to as nose room, this is the amount of space between the subject and the right or left edge of the frame. Lead room should be greatest between the subject and the direction in which they’re moving. For example, if the subject is running from the left to right in the frame, there should be more lead room between the subject and the right edge of the frame. The exception to this would be perhaps if the focus is on what the subject is running from, in which case you would leave space between the subject and the edge behind the subject.
Rule of thirds. This rule is tried-and-true for composition of all visual images, from painting to digital photography to video. The rule states that an image should be divided into 9 equal parts, three vertical and three horizontal. The important or focal objects should fall in the intersections of the lines that divide the image. Try looking up some of your favorite movie shots and applying this grid over them. Most will adhere to the rule of thirds. Watch this short video to get a full understanding of the rule of thirds:
Depth of field is more or less what’s in focus within the three major planes of view: the foreground, midground and background. An image with a shallow depth of field only has one of these planes in focus. An image with a great depth of field usually has all three equally in focus.
180 rule. This rule applies when you're cutting from shot to shot. The rule states that there’s a line, the line of action, that should be drawn between interacting subjects, and that cameras should only be placed on one side of the line. For example, if you're shooting a dialogue scene you’d draw a line down the center between the two subjects, then place one camera pointing toward the first subject and the second camera pointing toward the second, but both cameras should remain on the same side of the line. The reason for this rule is that if editing shots from both sides of the line it would make for a disorienting scene. The cameras represent the eye of the viewer, and the viewer would not be able to hop over the subjects to change focus.
Psychological closure. This term refers to the way the mind completes, or doesn’t complete, an image when information about a subject is implied. If you cut a person off at one of the body’s natural cut-off points, the viewer’s mind doesn’t complete the image, so it looks as if the person is missing body parts. For example, if you frame a shot of a person and their knees are even with the bottom edge of the frame, the viewer will see a person with no lower legs. Instead, frame people to be cut off between these points so that the parts not displayed are implied.
Now it is time to flex your creative muscles and apply your skills to a creative task. Please feel free to adapt this task if you feel you can improve on the challenge.
Class 2: Creative Assignment
Watch the video tutorial by Matthijs Clasener using Adobe Premiere Pro CC and demonstrating how to go further with Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Create a short video (30 seconds maximum) adding your own clips, audio and graphics as well as adding transitions, effects and titles to your Class 1 Assignment. Upload your final video to Vimeo or Youtube and share the link. Most importantly have some fun with these assignments.
In this course, you accomplished the following:
- Dived deeper into the world of digital video production
- Completed either the technical challenge or the creative challenge (or both)
- Bookmarked important links and saved important dates for the course
- Created a digital assignment.