How To Video-Evaluation

When I first received the brief I was very pleased to see that we were making a how to video as just a few weeks ago I had made a how to video for a skateboarding website with Tom Harrison. As the brief was in pairs and we had recently done a how to video we decided to pair up to produce another. At first we started to mind map our ideas and we eventually came up with an idea of another skateboarding trick, which, we thought would work well and would be interesting to follow the individual stages. The trick is called a 360 Flip. We started off by going outside and documenting the stages off the trick. He preformed the trick and I observed whilst noting each stage that I could see which would help someone to perform the trick. We thought that as the trick was an advanced trick that we would need to make each stage quite precise and suitable to teach someone that could already skate the trick. After we had gotten a good idea of the multiple stages of the trick we began work on places that we could use as a suitable set for the filming. After a few days of thinking of a set we had come up with an idea that we thought would be more interesting for the viewer and had a detailed shot list from which we could work. We were thinking about slow-motion cameras and how it would be useful for the trick as the movement was quite fast for a HDV camcorder and due to the frame blend of the slow-mo plug-in of Final Cut it would be hard to create a smooth motion. In one of the sessions with Matt we asked him about the slow-motion record function that the Sony HDR-FX7E has but when he demonstrated it the quality of the function was quite poor and not suitable for the style of video that we wanted to create. He told us about a plug-in for After Effects made by Re:Vision called Twixtor, it is a programme that creates a mesh over a frame and works out what objects are moving and creates a sort of motion tween to the next frame creating an incredibly smooth slow-motion effect. We began to research into the plug-in and what it could do and came up with the idea of a Matrix style pan around on the run up to the trick. Once we got this idea I downloaded a trial version of the plug-in off the Re:Vision website and began to learn the software using tutorials off of the Internet and some old footage that I had of Tom doing some 360 flips. I was finding the plug-in quite difficult and college had not yet got it in so Matt was unable to tell me what I was doing wrong so I started to panic a bit. We decided the best thing to do was to go and shoot the footage and then see how the Twixtor dealt with it. On the day that we went out to film the weather was awful and our plan of filming against this white wall (as Twixtor would work best against a plain background) in Addingham went out the window. We had to go to the underground car park at the university and set up a generator and lights to give appropriate lighting to the set. Luckily we had planned for the shooting at night so the set lighting was the same so it was quick and easy to set up. The filming went really well and we quite quickly got the shots we needed due to the detailed shot list that we had created. We took the footage we had shot and began to edit it together in Final Cut which we had both used quite a lot before so it came together quite quickly. Once we had the sequence order and appropriate timing of the shots we went to Matt about Twixtor and fortunately he installed the plug-in on our computer and taught us how to use it to make our video look how we imagined. After quite a lengthy time of playing around with the software and fixing our mistakes our video started to come together and after we added the sound using the programme Soundtrack to complete our video. We used the programme Compressor and then DVD Studio to create a finished How To video.

I think that I have learnt a lot during this brief and I hope that I can carry the skills forward into the second part of the brief.

I think that during this project we worked well as a team coming up with good ideas and creative solutions to the bad ones and overall I am very happy with the final product.

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