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18 January 2009 @ 09:53 pm
Vid chat: effects and personal blocks  
This is a speculative vid chat. Or a pre-vid-chat post. I feel a bit sheepish calling it a proper vid chat because it's a very personal post, but at the same time, I'd love other vidders to feel they could share their own experiences with these issues, and since I want to start vid chats up again this year, I thought I may as well just leap in.

I've come to the conclusion that my block with effects is mental/emotional as much as anything else. It stems from certain core beliefs I hold about myself:
1. I'm not good at tech. (I'm a vidder despite tech, not because of it.)
2. I don't have as sophisticated a visual mind as some vidders.
3. I don't have a natural instinct for where to use effects and am quite happy to just use hardcuts a lot of the time.

I'm also very conscious of the 'less is more' rule with effects and terrified of breaking it clumsily in my first attempts to do things.

I've been envious not only of experienced vidders who use effects in a sophisticated way, but also of newer vidders who confidently try out effects, even if they're not perfect.

The more I thought about this the worse it got. Sure, I may not have a natural aptitude for effects, but I also don't necessarily have a natural aptitude for vidding! I work hard at vidding, and I should therefore work hard at effects too. But I've noticed that when I go and try and read tutorials or watch demonstration videos on YouTube, all sorts of internal self-talk comes up: 'this is boring', 'I don't understand this', 'is this even useful, anyway?' 'why the hell am I wasting my time on this, I could just be vidding!' Which often leads me back to vidding the same way I always have.

Recently, daybreak777, callmeonetrack, chaila and I have decided to have an 'Insane February Vidding Project'. My intention with it is to push myself out of my comfort zone and for me that means: effects. But already the worries are setting in. My biggest issue is: how do vidders know when to use the effects they do? So many vidders have said to me something along the lines of 'oh, I just find out about effects when the vid demands it' or 'I learn effects when I want to do something new in a vid'. To me that approach is unfathomable because I don't picture my vids with effects in them. I feel like I need to a) learn an effect, b) find out why it's useful, c) think of ways to apply it. In that order. That seems to be back to front for many vidders.

Talking it over with daybreak777, something else came to light. I am scared--yes, actually scared--to look closely at the way other vidders use effects. Now that I've realised that, I'm already embarrassed. That's so SILLY! Of course I should be using other vids as examples and looking at what works and doesn't work. So what's holding me back?
1. Inferiority complex. When I examine other vidders' work, I invariably freak out about my own (in)abilities and shut down emotionally.
2. A feeling that it's 'cheating'. The idea that I should do it all the hard way, learn from manuals, discover things for myself, not look at a vid and think 'hey, that's nifty, I could apply that somewhere else...'
3. Anxiety that I won't be able to see the effects or know what they are, let alone how to recreate them. (Well how will I know until I try?)

I'm hoping that acknowledging my block will be the first step to overcoming it. Because it's starting to really annoy me! ;) At the same time, I'm still not sure where to start. So I wanted to ask other vidders:
- how did you learn about effects? did you learn by doing? by reading/watching tutorials? by studying other vids?
- how do you know when to apply effects? do you see them in your mind's eye when you are imagining your vid? or do you find out where to use them only once you get into the editing? has your awareness of where to use them improved over time?
- do you have or have you ever had a creative/emotional 'block' of the kind I described (not necessarily about effects)? how did you overcome that?

What I REALLY want to ask is: what are your favourite effects? how do you use them and why? what are the most useful effects/tricks you have learnt? how did you learn them?

But that would be cheating. Or would it? How do other vidders feel about effects? Do they stress you out or do you love them? Would you like to have a vid chat about effects, and if so, what sort of questions would you pose to people? (I'm worried that my lack of effects know-how would be a drawback in hosting it.) Any/all responses welcome.
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: curiouscurious
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on January 18th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
I will reiterate that "Middleman" is my favorite vid for anything ever. I don't know how many times I've watched it, because it's PERFECT :D
Aww, thank you so much! *trying really hard not to feel sad that the love that created it has died*

you have to work through stuff, because if you feel the need to say something, then you should, no matter what others have done
I agree with this absolutely in principle!! It's amazing though how difficult it is to remember it in practice. ;) But if I hadn't, 'Middleman' would never have got made, so it bears reiterating: thank you!
Diana: Project -- Cherbutterfly on January 18th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
- how did you learn about effects? did you learn by doing? by reading/watching tutorials? by studying other vids?

Mostly, by screwing around with options in the editor and seeing if anything works. I will watch other vids and go 'ooo!' that's neat, but watching other people's vids that way more often ends up being an exercise in what not to do (because I don't want to steal someone else's style) than anything else.

- how do you know when to apply effects? do you see them in your mind's eye when you are imagining your vid? or do you find out where to use them only once you get into the editing? has your awareness of where to use them improved over time?

I'd say that the first vid where I did an effect was on my Moulin Rouge vid and that was driven by practicality. The movie starts in B&W and fades into color and that really didn't work for the mood of my vid, so I introduced a red-stained middle state.

If something isn't working with hardcuts or a simple cross-dissolve, I would look around at the other options to make it look right with the sound.

A lot of it comes from the music. A lot. If the music says that something needs to be happening and the clip itself is right for the mood but not quite right for the sound, effects can make it fit better.

Some vids, I can tell that they need effects while I'm imagining them -- the SPN vids I did where both like that -- the color splashes for 'Prayer' were part of the first conception of the vid.

I believe that, like all other parts of my vidding, I've gotten better at it over time, definitely. Of course, if you just go by popularity, I peaked with "Affirmation", so, there you go. And that vid just has basic color-adjustment, effects-wise.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lollie yogabop_radar on January 18th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
watching other people's vids that way more often ends up being an exercise in what not to do (because I don't want to steal someone else's style) than anything else.
That's a fear of mine too, definitely! I would absolutely die if someone thought I was copying their style and I'm terrified of doing so inadvertedly. I avoid thinking closely about how other vidders use effects for that very reason. But I'm now wondering if that's not a little self-defeating. However, I do think messing around in the editor is useful--I just find it really hard to stick at because it seems so pointless.

If the music says that something needs to be happening and the clip itself is right for the mood but not quite right for the sound, effects can make it fit better.
Interesting! I think I just look for another clip. *lol* But I can definitely see what you're saying. I have avoided whole tracks because I thought they would demand too 'effects-y' an approach for me.

-- the color splashes for 'Prayer' were part of the first conception of the vid.
Wow! *impressed* so would you say your imaginative process now includes more effects-related thoughts as well as narrative than when you started vidding?
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on January 18th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
In my opinion, effects should only be used to enhance the story or the mood of the vid. If they don't do that then they shouldn't be used
Oh absolutely! That's one of the things that strikes fear into my heart about being so clueless about where to use them--I fear breaking that rule.

, I once did a vid that used a ton of effects in all sorts of ways just to see what I could do with them. It was interesting but by far not my best work.
Sounds like what my vidding project is going to be like! ;) I'm deliberately giving myself space to 'play' and NOT have to achieve any particular 'standard'. Did you feel you learnt from that vid?
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Audrey Tautoubop_radar on January 19th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Undo is a fabulous tool for this:)
Hee hee! That's so funny. I know that it is but sometimes I've had to remind myself it's there. Like if I try something and it looks terrible, my vision will be eternally ruined and irredeemable. (I'm such a hystrionic prima donna sometimes! *g*)

It made me more comfortable with what the effects looked like so that I had some sort of basis for evaluating
Cool! That's kind of what I'm after. I just need to get in there and check them out. And ok, they may look terrible, but at least i'll know how far away from the mark I am then. I should trust my own judgment in this.

I too enjoy limited effects vids very much. There are some highly effects-laden vids that I've really loved, but often the purity of the simple ones speaks more to me.
kiki_miserychickiki_miserychic on January 18th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
I am dreadful with tech. I've somehow managed to mess up submitting files for VVC every year. My lack of skill with tech creates new problems with every VVC year. I can't work an FTP to save my life. I just started using AutoGK with my last vid. I pretty much source by hitting a DVD with a big stick.

In reading about your 'Insane February Vidding Project', I'm looking forward to the results. I'm a firm believer that vidlets are an excellent method for vidding growth. Try it. One way to know if it looks and feels right is to experiment with it. I use effects pretty liberally in my vids. I like them. They're fun to play with, but I won't go as far as to say that I know when a vid demands effects. I'm a "throw it on and if it sticks, go with it" kinda vidder.

I don't see looking at the work of other vidders as cheating. As a matter of fact, I was e-mailing back and forth with milly the other day about effects. She was explaining a new effect she was working on so that I might be able to use it in my own vid. I think there's a general mood in vidding fandom of "Rip me off. I'll tell you how!"

I generally learn effects the hard way by messing around with stuff and getting there on my own. Lately I've been conversing more with other vidders and exchanging ideas and methods. I really like working with other vidders now. One person does the dirty work for an effect, passes it around, others add and modify it, and pass around their other methods. I usually stay away from tutorials because they're not that great and it takes away opportunities for experimentation and learning. People have more quality learning by doing rather than someone telling them what to do.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on January 19th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
My first reply to you got lost in the ether. :( Alas!

I would never have guessed that you were bad with tech!

I am hopeful that my IFVP will eventaully result in something viewable by others--I'm going to use my four WIPs as practice ground for the effects, so I'll probably be posting snippets of them--not very interesting to anyone else. ;)

I think there's a general mood in vidding fandom of "Rip me off. I'll tell you how!"
That's cool! I've never got that sense but I suspect that's due to my own fears and shyness. I wouldn't dare ask another vidder about their effects because I've had this sense that it's an invisible line you don't cross and that people would get pissed off at newbies not doing the 'hard yards' the way they did. It's good to hear that that's an illusion on my part, at least in some parts of vidding fandom.

I've found talking about the creative process and narrative issues with other vidders tremendously helpful, but I haven't been able to break down that wall to talk about effects yet. I'm trying!

And yes, I found tutorials unhelpful too, with one exception being a colour-correction tutorial. I would have had NO idea where to start if I hadn't found that.
kiki_miserychickiki_miserychic on January 19th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
I'm am so bad with tech. It's sad.

There are very few vidders I know of that would be annoyed by someone, even a newbie, asking about how something is done. In the circle of people on my flist, I can't think of many who wouldn't write an explaination, put up screenshots, or something. Of the ones I'm good friends with, all of them would take the time for it.

I was extremely anti-social when I first started vidding. I had no idea how much of a help it is to talk to others about vidding.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clark basketballbop_radar on January 19th, 2009 02:27 am (UTC)
That's so lovely about your vidding friends! :) If/when I do work something out, I'd definitely be willing to do that for others. It seems that sharing information can only benefit us all since more vids = more awesome! :)

I think an awful lot of people start out quietly as vidders. My own way of reaching out to others is with the vid chat posts.
superheroes failing at oatmeal: ...oh adric.some_stars on January 18th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
oh, the tech, the tech /o\ I know I should feel good about being able to master as much of it as I have, but every single time I want to do something new or adjust for a different kind of source I have to learn all over again from scratch. And I'm pretty sure I'm not getting a fraction of my money's worth out of my fancy schmancy Premiere Pro, since I'm afraid of the manual. *g*

As far as effects...I've kind of just hurled myself against that wall the way I hurled myself against all the other stuff I had to figure out. I don't think I've used effects very WELL, but I have started learning how to use them at all, and I try hard not to look back at vids and critique them post-mortem but rather look forward and think about how to improve next time. I'm deeply unhappy with how I used a static/snow effect in my last vid, and how I used overlays the first time I tried them, but I feel better that I DID try, you know? and it's not like I'm low on new ideas to experiment with. *g*

When they come on the scene--when I get to the stage where I can visually imagine a vid in any kind of detail, a lot of special effects are in my mind that don't make it to the screen. Color manipulation especially, and effects that keyframe brightness/darkness--I imagine clips increasing in contrast/dilating out to whiteness, or "breathing" in and out of darkness(ie keyframing both the saturation and the opacity up, then back down). I imagine a loooot of overlays that I don't have anything remotely like the skill to pull off. That's why most of the effects I visualize don't make it into the final vid--I'm just not skilled enough to create them seamlessly.

The effects I do use--I picked up my ideas about when to use effects, where, what kind, from watching other vids and to some extent from watching movies and TV. Sometimes I want to directly copy something I've seen in another vid, sometimes it's just the general idea of fading to white or whatnot. And I either find a tutorial, or mess around in Premiere until I satisfy myself. I don't see the copying thing as 'cheating' at all--I mean obviously if I was vidding the same show and using the same clips and effect, that would be Wrong. But you get ideas for writing books by reading books, and the same is true of vidding.

okay, I don't think I had an actual point with ANY of that. to answer your questions--

1. My favorite effects right now: jump-cutting within a single motion (ie someone walking over to and closing a door, or a moving train, and it falls on a section with three major beats--jump cut a second or two further in the scene on each beat). I love how it combines the fragmented choppy feeling with a continuous smoothness. Then basic stuff like heightening contrast/highlighting particular colors/increasing saturation, that kind of thing--often keyframed so it changes over time.
2. I'm really really really rhythm/beat oriented, and that's how I form a lot of my emotional connections within a song, so anything that manipulates time/rhythm is like a giant emotional shortcut for me--a way to say things in purely visual language, which is kind of what vidding is about for me. I'm also really focused on contrast/levels, which again have an emotional resonance for me that I can't really explain verbally.
3. i learned both these things from other vids, which did them and I was totally knocked flat and couldn't put my finger on why, i just learned that I had certain big red buttons inside and if I pressed them I felt like I was EXPRESSING SOMETHING that was too big for words. Sometimes you just see a thing and it clicks.

LEAST HELPFUL RESPONSE EVER, i know. but it got me all excited!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on January 19th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
since I'm afraid of the manual. *g*
Haha, yes, I'm afraid of the manual of Final Cut Pro! ;)

but I feel better that I DID try, you know?
That's awesome. I like your idea of 'hurling'. I think I need to embrace it! So far I've used it with vidding generally, but not effects.

I picked up my ideas about when to use effects, where, what kind, from watching other vids and to some extent from watching movies and TV.
That's cool to hear! A friend of mine used an analogy with writing as well, and I think that's helping me to look at it less as copying and more as using skilled examples as inspiration to experiment myself.

I love jump cuts too! I have used them occasionally and adore them. I want to get better at them too.

Then basic stuff like heightening contrast/highlighting particular colors/increasing saturation, that kind of thing--often keyframed so it changes over time.
Ok, that doesn't seem basic to me at all! And I don't understand key frames. *hangs head* I can do one colour correction thingy which basically improves the saturation. But that's all I know. I often wonder if my lack of background in image manipulation (e.g. Photoshop) is a disadvantage there. Because I don't even know the basics.

I'm really really really rhythm/beat oriented, and that's how I form a lot of my emotional connections within a song, so anything that manipulates time/rhythm is like a giant emotional shortcut for me
Same! At least, I think I look at exploiting the timing and rhythmn a lot in my vidding.

i learned both these things from other vids, which did them and I was totally knocked flat and couldn't put my finger on why, i just learned that I had certain big red buttons inside and if I pressed them I felt like I was EXPRESSING SOMETHING that was too big for words. Sometimes you just see a thing and it clicks.
Fascinating! An instinctive trigger towards effects! I have yet to experience this... perhaps I should look at the vids I love most and look at what they've used?

It was a fabulous response: thank you! Get all excited! \o/
Talitha: jillicons sleeping princesstalitha78 on January 18th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
We've discussed this before, so I think you know that I suffer from the same sort of block in regards to tech. It used to trouble me because I thought that it made me a lesser vidder. But I don't think that any more. I think it just makes me a different vidder than those who use the shiny effects. I've come to the conclusion that there is room for the simplicity of good, solid cutting. Rather than trying to muster up a nonexistent interest in tech, I prefer to spend my time working with the source as it is, using the effects that are already in the source as its given to me.

I'm not going to start studying up on effects because I think it's something I should be doing to Improve Myself. If I run up against a vidding roadblock that absolutely requires me to learn an effect, I'll tackle it at that moment, or just defer that vid until a later time. I have so many ideas that are perfectly well served by the editing and narrative techniques that I already know; I'd rather get those out of my system first.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bellydancebop_radar on January 19th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
I think for me I just want to give it a go with this upcoming Project first, not out of a sense of duty, but out of a desire to make sure I'm not NOT using effects for the wrong reasons (i.e. inferiority complex) rather than the right ones (personal choice). I think it's completely legitimate to opt out of effects--and I too think I could make a lot of vids without them. I guess I just want to find out if playing with them will add anything to my vidding. If I find all it adds is frustration, then I'll go back to my usual ways. :D

And I second this: using the effects that are already in the source as its given to me.
I do that SO MUCH. I love doing it, I don't ever want to give it up. And that's a big tip I'd give to newer vidders--see what's already in the source that you can use!
Talitha: jillicons hippocharmtalitha78 on January 19th, 2009 03:54 am (UTC)
a desire to make sure I'm not NOT using effects for the wrong reasons (i.e. inferiority complex) rather than the right ones (personal choice)

Ah. That makes sense. I look forward to your Project. You're a brave soul. :)
hazy: HP: Expecto Patronumhazyshade on January 18th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
how do vidders know when to use the effects they do?

I would love to know this as well. Because I'm always second-guessing myself. So many effects in early vids used to be pretty cheesy and it got me scared to use them, to be honest.

As a result, I tend not to use them unless I *really* feel they're needed, and it's usually to highlight an important part of the music or theme. I'm pretty hopeless at them, to be honest. I recently tried to do a vid using a zoom technique I've seen others use and it was a disaster! It really knocked my confidence.

Which is why it's great to hear other people's thoughts on the subject.

I know a vidder who is in a block right now because they feel they need to invent or master a new effect to revitalise them and their vidding. I don't put nearly as much importance on effects, but I certainly understand the thrill of putting an effect out there that has the WOW factor. Very often it will be the use of effects in a vid that make me sit up and applaud.

Hmm. This rambling mess of thoughts should at least let you know you're not alone in your effect insecurities!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex fascinated with youbop_radar on January 19th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
it got me scared to use them, to be honest
Ahh, yes! I think I got scared by other people's cheesy effects. ;) Almost the same thing!

I recently tried to do a vid using a zoom technique I've seen others use and it was a disaster! It really knocked my confidence.
Yikes! See, this sort of thing worries me... but hopefully if I play with them in my Project, if it turns into a trainwreck, I can just go back to my WIPs and make them sans effects as I'd initially intended. :)

I know a vidder who is in a block right now because they feel they need to invent or master a new effect to revitalise them and their vidding
Thanks for sharing that story. There are dangers for all of us. I'd not like to be so reliant on effects that I needed one in order to vid, but at the same time I hate the idea of their being a big 'Wrong way go back' sign over anything related to effects in my vidding.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Clex here with youbop_radar on January 19th, 2009 02:24 am (UTC)
Since I can't "picture" effects in my vids, I just don't use them.
Same. :D But I have noticed that a few little things have crept in... like jump cuts. I love them in other peoples' vids and I found an organic place to use one or two in my own recently. I guess if I spent more time noticing effects in other peoples' vids that sort of thing might happen more. DB says she had to work at it, but I was really impressed with her email to us in which she laid out some good examples.

But there's like 4 billion of them. *is befuddled*
Hee hee! If you work any out let me know. I know two in FCP: crossfade and fade in, fade out. Oh and once I used 'page turn' to be deliberately cheesy. That's it. There are also 4 billion available and I am sure that some of them must be useful on a semi-regular basis but can I work out which? No, I cannot. Some of them, I paste on to clips and they look like nothing at all. *monumentally confused*
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Audrey Tautoubop_radar on January 19th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
HEE. I don't know! I can't work it out either! As far as I can tell, crossfading is exactly the same as fading one clip into another. And yet I have this sneaking suspicion that there are subtle differences at work. The fancy words are confusing!! There are all these other fades listed in FCP. What are THEY for? (I'm at work or I'd name them.)
Call Me OneTrack: Margene Yay!callmeonetrack on January 19th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
Thanks for bringing this subject up Bop. (You know I'm on the same page as you with this topic.) I am eagerly soaking up everyone's comments.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bop_radar TWbop_radar on January 19th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Me too! *soaks* It was a relief to hear that you were much like me with this issue. I'm determined to explore further... I think I'll enjoy the observational approach to effects, rather than forcing myself through tutes.
klia: puffsklia on January 19th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
Popping in late to say, I can totally relate to both of your 3-point lists. I'm baffled/intimidated by tech and effects. And I'm not artistic *at all*. When I look at some of the stuff other vidders do, I'm forced to acknowledge the fact that, well, my brain just doesn't work the same way; I usually have no idea how, technically, the effect was created or, more importantly, how the vidder dreamed it up in the first place. My brain just goes, "Buh...?"

OTOH, I come from the days of 2 VCRs, when there was no way to create effects, so I still lean toward clean, minimalist vids, and tend to think less is more. How's that for paradoxical? ;)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Audrey Tautoubop_radar on January 19th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
or, more importantly, how the vidder dreamed it up in the first place. My brain just goes, "Buh...?"
Yeah, that's the imaginative stumbling block I have as well. I like hearing other people talk about what they do though, because it gives me some insight into the choices they make.

I still lean toward clean, minimalist vids, and tend to think less is more
So do I, really! I love a clean, simple, elegant look in other people's vids. I guess I'm just curious to know what I'm missing out on. ;) I could well decide to go back to an effects-minimal approach after playing for a while.
mystical van of doom: mer homemadepornvoldything on January 19th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
I kind of OVERINDULGE when it comes to certain effects. I want my vids to look shiny and colourful to match the mood of the songs I usually use. I also go all the way when I'm working on something, idk angsty, that requires darker tones and sharper contrasts.

Mostly I just listen to the music and imagine what it looks like, if it makes sense? A clean beat asks for a sharp cut, a stream of notes maybe asks for fading between the scenes. What I like to do is imagine what an official music video would look like, with x footage and x song, without caring if it's way out of reach from what I can actually do with my vidding programs and then... try to do those things in whatever way I can, with what I've got.

I say make a vid playing with ALL the effects, just for you and you alone, so that when it's time to make your next vid your mind will be more open with the new things you can do that can add to your work :D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on January 19th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
Ohh, I like hearing this! It's good to hear from the other side of the spectrum. So you play with colour and contrast to reflect mood? Cool!

I like your imagination tips too! That's really cool. And yes, that's kind of what I want to do with my vidding project. Make effects for the sake of it just to open things up, and then hopefully I'll be a bit more adventurous in my 'real' vidding.
brokenmnemonic: Clois - Strange Timebrokenmnemonic on January 20th, 2009 11:47 am (UTC)
2. A feeling that it's 'cheating'. The idea that I should do it all the hard way, learn from manuals, discover things for myself, not look at a vid and think 'hey, that's nifty, I could apply that somewhere else...'
Why do they have writing classes? Art classes? Theatre trips? Gallery trips? So that we can go and see what others have done and be inspired. it's not cheating to see someone do something else well and want to be able to do something similar. If you create exactly the same clip with exactly the same effect and then use both in your own vid, I think you're on morally dubious ground - but seeing how someone else does something and working out ways to use that same technique yourself is a combination of inspiration and learning, as far as I can see.

3. Anxiety that I won't be able to see the effects or know what they are, let alone how to recreate them. (Well how will I know until I try?)
This one is a definite problem. I think it's difficult - even very difficult - to find that combination of music and clip and effective effect, all tangled together. I've seen a couple of effects I'd love to use, but I can't work out any point in the vids I've worked on recently where the effect actually enhances the clip, rather than simply being there for the sake of it.

So what is this insane Feb vidding challenge thingy?
daybreak777: viddingdaybreak777 on January 20th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
So what is this insane Feb vidding challenge thingy?
Ooh! I want to answer this one if Bop doesn't mind. IFVP is something that sdwolfpup did a few years ago. Basically, it's like writing drabbles to sort of learn quicker. At least that's how I think of it. At the time, she solicited for prompts from her reading list. And she committed to making fifteen vidlets in a month or something. In each, she tried to push herself and learn something new. More description is here.

My goal is simply to get back into vidding. Also, I find that there is less pressure with vidlets or drabbles. They aren't betaed, no one expects them to be perfect, and they are short. Each of us is going to focus on what we want to learn and just producing something in a short amount of time just to see what happens. I find that the long stretches for me between vid projects isn't exactly helping me learn.

Also, with something short, I'll hopefully be less of a perfectionist. :-)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TSCC Cameronbop_radar on January 20th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
t seeing how someone else does something and working out ways to use that same technique yourself is a combination of inspiration and learning, as far as I can see.
I know you do this and I admire it, though I was so chronically uncomfortable with it for so long personally. I'm definitely adopting a new attitude! Thank you for the encouragement.

As for Feb vidding challenge, mine is a little different from daybreak777's. Basically each of us is choosing a different target or goal for the period that we're vidding (early Feb). Mine is to learn effects and I'll be producing vidlets just of those effects. So my plan is to use my WIPs--hoping that eventually these things can come together and something can grow out of the learning frenzy. ;)
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Ameliebop_radar on January 22nd, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
I don't know how you could EVER be lamo! But, thanks for your point--it's a terrific one and got me thinking.

Just because you make the same aesthetic choice in every vid doesn't mean you're not making one!
Absolutely.

But for me personally I feel a difference between making the same choice over and over because it's one I choose deliberately and making it over and over because it's the only thing I know to do. I'm going to be very amused if I learn a whole lot of new things and then decide to use none of them, but I think it's entirely possible. :) I'll still feel a hell of a lot better about the choices I do make then though!
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: FNL Tyra lolzbop_radar on January 23rd, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
as if each scathing and dismissive comment had 'lim' in place of 'effects'
Awwwww noooo! That's terrible. But I so sympathise with taking it personally: I managed to build up a complex about the fact I don't use complex effects in no time at all! And I am SO sure that all more tech-savvy vidders look down on me. ;p

In my view the best way to understand 'effects' is to learn Photoshop
Eeeeek! I am so sure you are right but my heart just sank. Because once upon a time I tried to do that, went into a depressive slump as a consequence, and concluded that I was a complete dunce when it comes to that program. And then I found vidding and was all 'YIPPEEEEE! I can be creative without using Photoshop!'

But I'm totally laughing because that is probably the Secret Truth I have been avoiding subconsciously and you just called it...
Becka: crossbonesbeccatoria on January 23rd, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
Late as usual! ;) But I shall comment anyway.

I'm in a weird place with effects because I feel my development in that area is hampered by using WMM which can't do a lot of the things other programs can do. I still feel very uncomfortable when I choose to use effects, largely because I want to be sure the vid needs them, but I have been coming around to them more. Mainly, I think, because I vid in a program that requires me to create most effects fairly manually, I didn't really realise I was starting to use more effects for a long time. I was just...doing what I always did - manipulating the footage, and achieving a result.

As I said, I'm not a fan of flashy effects for no reason if they're used to cover up bad editing. And I rarely think a vid needs effects to succeed. But I also think that there's nothing wrong with the aesthetic of putting colour washes or filters or...whatever they're called over vids routinely. I actually wish I had a vid program where I could learn about manipulating the colour tones, or picking out certain colours, etc.

I started using more effects as I started making vidlets. (Well, I started before that too, but that's when I really started thinking more consciously about effects). I really can't praise vidlets enough as a learning tool. I don't even know when my brain switched from never thinking in terms of effects to starting to give me those sorts of ideas. I still don't routinely get ideas like that, but I know my brain can do it now.

I also completely agree with whoever it was upthread who said that everything we do is an effect. Jump cuts are just hard cuts, but I absolutely argue it can be used as an "effect" in the same way as changing the colour saturation or slowing or speeding up footage or using grayscale.

When I think about the "effects" I used in my most recent vidlet project learning-curve series, I absolutely count the one where I compulsively and constantly jump-cut to give it a mechanical feel at odds with the romantic music, just as much as the one where I split the narratives of Saul's pre- and post-cylon journey by grayscaling one and super-brightening the whole thing to give it an unreal feel. Just as much as the one where I literally cut the entire thing into 0.10 second chunks and brightened every other one to give it the feel of a flickering television screen. Or the one that was black-and-white and faded in and out of colour. Somewhere in there my brain just...flipped and started coming up with these ideas.

But it was definitely a journey that, for me, didn't start until maybe my sixth or seventh vid. And it was a slow one. "Well, all I'm doing is fading to black rather than to another clip. That's not an effect." Then, "Well all I'm doing is slowing this bit of a clip down so he moves on the beat. That's not an effect." Then one day, "Well all I'm doing is compositing four separate vidlets into one vid via splitscreen effects. That's not an...oh wait."

Basically I think your attitude is healthy. If the idea you have doesn't scream out, "I need an effect," then it doesn't. And there's no point trying to force one on it. It won't help your vid. But eventually, you may find that you discover something new you can do in your program that you try, "just once," and you like. Or you get an idea that does need you to learn something new. Just like most of us started vidding because we got an idea that did require us to learn, not because we decided to vid first and then tried to work out what we wanted to vid.

I don't really have any tips unless you're specifically looking for help with WMM, which I doubt. I do like time toggles though. I find them really useful for synching movements to the beat when there's more than one movement in a clip that I want to fall on more than one beat. But just speeding up parts of the clip (by splitting a continuous clip into several sections and then only speeding up some) you can either obviously, or invisibly, make sure that your characters are closer to "dancing" to the music.

I'm also far too fond of the brightness button which is why I usually ban myself from touching it. ;)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Ameliebop_radar on January 25th, 2009 06:07 am (UTC)
Somewhere in there my brain just...flipped and started coming up with these ideas.
Good to hear! Thank you! I like the advice about taking a 'natural' approach and seeing what happens.

And thanks for the tips. I like jump cuts as an effect too, and I definitely play a lot with speed--I'm a bit of a movement junkie that way.
acridnymacridnym on January 24th, 2009 10:24 am (UTC)
I think special effects get a bad rep (at least in the anime community) from newcomers who open up the transitions panel in WMM and just can’t contain themselves. I gravitated over to liveaction vidding from the AMV (anime music videos) world where the effects debate would occasionally pop up. When it did, there would be an underlying assumption that a vid can have effects or it can have emotional impact but it can’t have both. Which seemed wrong to me but almost every AMV I’d seen at the time backed it up.

AMV4000’s Crying Angel vid was almost the counter-example I wanted. The lip-synch sometimes undermines the vid’s serious tone but the effects (and it has hundreds) so carefully mirror the song, I was drawn in. The characters’ struggles took on an urgency I hadn’t felt when watching the source. (The vid was also the first use of the dreaded shattered glass transition that I thought actually worked).

“Slot A” by Wicked Amp was, for me, the vid that shot down the idea that special effects can’t be anything more than glitzy fluff. Despite the tons of effects used, they never overwhelm the vid. In fact, the visual complexity brings to the fore the character’s chaotic life and how it eats away at her. It’s not a question of whether the effects add to the vid - they’re an integral part of it. Take them away and the vid would not have told the same story.

About your fear that copying an effect you see seems like cheating: it seems to me that the more drenched-in-effects vids you watch/study, the less influence any one particular vid will have on you. (Although, I don’t think it’s cheating to be inspired by a small range. Maybe not as artistically satisfying but not cheating).

Right now, the few effects I use work quietly in the background. I use visual similarities to draw parallels between characters or situations. I’ll remember two shots having a similar mise-en-scene but then, rewatching, find that one has to be cropped and resized a bit because it shows the character from the waist up and I need it to show her from the shoulders up. Or she’s on the left side of the screen and I need her on the right (horizontal flip is becoming my new best friend). Small stuff like that.

I use the same technique beccatoria describes of only speeding/slowing one part of a split clip in order to synch an internal motion with the beat (not so much in Premiere but I got so much mileage out of it in WMM). I’ll also slow the speed to linger on an expression or object that the source cut away from too soon.

I turn to effects when something cool happens in the song - a talking drum or a crazy xylophone solo or the instrumentation drops away, leaving nothing but a voice against a stark percussion (I’m a sucker for that) - and I know I have to do something to reflect the great sound the song has given me. In these cases, I feel like I am paying tribute to the music, not the source footage.

I find I’m visualizing more effects as I become more interested in AU pairings. Masking is the holy grail. When I can mask, I can do anything. I was hoping I’d turn out to be one of the “less is more” vidders so I’d never have to worry about saving up for After Effects. Alas.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Batgirlbop_radar on January 25th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC)
there would be an underlying assumption that a vid can have effects or it can have emotional impact but it can’t have both
Huh. Yeah, I see how such an opinion could come to pass, but I definitely disagree with it. Effects can and should be used to heighten emotional impact.

it seems to me that the more drenched-in-effects vids you watch/study, the less influence any one particular vid will have on you.
Good advice! I watch a great many effects-heavy vids but I will start paying more and more attention to them, I think.

I know I have to do something to reflect the great sound the song has given me. In these cases, I feel like I am paying tribute to the music, not the source footage.
Mmm, a few people have talked about reflecting the music in effects, and I'm starting to feel flickers towards that myself--I can sense with some tracks that some added visual 'pizzazz' may lift them.

so I’d never have to worry about saving up for After Effects. Alas.
Hee! Yeah I can see how AU pairings would lead you down that path... I'm putting masking on the list of things to master, though i'm usually such a canon vidder I've not found a natural need for it yet. But I have a feeling once I know about it I'll find reasons to use it. ;)
theanonsisters: [pd] can’t we say alive again?theanonsisters on September 4th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
I'd love to learn Photoshop and AfterEffects, I'd like to try out Illustrator and learn kinetic typography but I find Adobe products so SO unfriendly. I need a tut just to 'start a new project' with Adobe!

On Vegas I like the transitions you get when you put your clips on different tracks and change the track properties. It looks nice to do a fade from a regular track to an 'add' or a 'lighten' track

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: FNL girlsbop_radar on September 5th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC)
I find Adobe products so SO unfriendly.
Oh god, SAME!

Thanks for sharing the transitions tip!