[guest post]: Using Light leaks

3 Nov

What are light leak overlay effects, how to use them and why you’ll love them.

Light leaks are an essential effect for video editors to have in their editing arsenal. They can add warmth, texture, emotion and depth to footage, resulting in artistic videos that are unique and refreshing. To learn the what, why and how of light leaks, read on!

What are light leaks?

“Light leaks” began back in the analogue days of film, where film was generally shot on celluloid. In those days cameras had light-tight chambers that protected the camera’s film, however every now and again, a tiny gap or hole in the camera body would stream through the light-tight chamber and expose the camera film to extra light. This additional “leaked light” would then diffuse across the film, creating an interesting flare of light across the image.

Light leak effects for fcp and adobe

 
100 years ago this accidental “light leak” effect was the bane of every filmmaking professional – after all, it was considered a mistake and an accidental effect on the film. However over the years, new generations of film-makers have developed a polar shift in this mentality, and have actively sought to include the effect in their footage, both pre and post filming.

Why would you want your footage to look like a mistake?

Put simply, light leaks are no longer considered a mistake.  The artistic flare of light that light leaks create has been appreciated for what they really are; exciting and abundantly interesting looks that can turn an ordinary shot into something really special, adding a specific tone and feel to video projects.
They are also great for -
  • Transforming a dull shot into artistic footage.
  • Adding energy to footage through rapid and colourful light leak overlays.
  • Creating a cool vintage feel.
example of light leak lens effects

lady pouring drink with light leak video effects

How to achieve a light leak look – In camera or in post?

Though light leaks can still be created in camera (by exposing film to streams of light through the light-tight chamber), this process gives the film-maker limited control, and can cause damage to the camera and footage. More often, filmmakers will decide to apply the light leak effects in post as this gives them more control over when, where and how to place the light leaks.

When should I use light leak effects?

Light leaks in Wedding videos

Using light leaks in wedding videos can have an enormous effect on creating more romantic, soft and alluring footage.
For example, the wedding shot below was held in spring in an idyllic country wine estate. While the footage is beautiful, it is still a little ‘flat’, and there is opportunity make the shot stand out.

wedding light leak video effects for download

A way to do this could be to use light leaks to add extra warmth and color to the edit, such as adding a golden sunset tone to give the shot a more romantic feel. By adding warmth to the image without overpowering it, the shot has been transformed into a perfectly captured moment from your clients wedding day.

light leak lomo video effects, overlays and transitions for free download

Light leaks in Action Sports Videos

Sports is all about action – and overlaying colors and movement from light leaks can be the perfect accompaniment to your footage.
Imagine you are editing a new surfing video. The impressive shots of the surfers cutting “sick” on the waves, with loud music behind the footage could be great, but is there a way to make the shot a little more memorable?

Surfer carving a massive wave. Without light leaks.

In this scenario, you’ll need something a bit edgier than the soft light effects used previously in the wedding video. Instead you could consider using light leaks with with stronger reds and oranges (as appears when you come to the end of a reel of film stock).

surfing footage with light leak film burn effects

Light leaks in Music videos.

Music videos are entertainment, designed to take us away from our everyday life into bite-sized mental vacations where we experience the beat, the drums, the atmosphere of the music.
In saying that, if you’ve been hired by a band to edit their latest music video, you’ll need to ensure the video your editing does just that. Take the example below of a rock band. Their footage is in black and white, and though it kind of displays energy in the movement of the drummer, the shots kinda boring.

No light leak effects on music video footage.

What you need to do is add energy. Using light leaks with a series of streaking blue tinged light leaks and flares, you can make the video look much more interesting, vibrant and exciting.

 drummer with light leak effects being used on video footage

How do I use light leak effects.

As you can see, light leaks can transform footage that is dull to something extraordinary - all you need to do is decide what emotion or atmosphere you want to capture, and use light leaks as the tool to get you there. In this next part I’ll show you how easy it is to introduce them into your next edit.

Here’s a step by step break down how to use light leak effects in two of the more common editing platforms, Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro.
As a rule, any editing software that allows ‘composite’ or ‘blend’ modes to change will work with post production light leak effects.

Step 1 – Import your light leaks into your edit software.

For FCPX
Select FILE > IMPORT > MEDIA (keyboard shortcut = command + i) and choose the light leaks you want to import from the finder window.
Another way is to click on the import media button displayed below -
import footage into final cut pro x
For Premiere Pro
Select FILE > IMPORT (command + i for mac, ctl + i for PC) and select light leaks from popup window.
import footage into premiere pro cc

Step 2 – Choose the light leak you want to use!

So you’ve imported your light leaks? Now you just need to treat your recently imported light leaks like any other footage – scrub through the light leak until you find a moment in the light leak you specifically want to use. Make sure you set the in and out points around this moment.
set in and out points in final cut pro
Final Cut Pro X
set in and out points in adobe premiere pro
Adobe Premiere Pro

Step 3 – Positioning.

In your timeline position the chosen light leak above your footage.
overlay light leak footage in final cut pro
Final Cut Pro X
overlay footage in adobe premiere pro
Adobe Premiere Pro

Step 4 – Change the blend mode.

Change the light leaks “composite mode” to screen.
In FCPX

Make sure you have the light leak layer selected in your sequence.
Then open the inspector window by clicking this button on the far right of FCPX layout.

changing composite and blend modes in final cut pro

Now, in the inspector window under ‘Compositing’ change the ‘blend mode’ to Screen.
changing blend mode in final cut pro
change blend mode to screen fcpx

In Premiere Pro

Double click on the light leak in your timeline.
Click on the ‘Effect Controls’ tab in your source window.
adobe premiere pro blend modes

Now click the triangle next to Opacity.
changing blend modes in premiere pro

There you will see “blend mode”. Change it to screen. Screen mode will give you that classic light leak look.

light leak video effects before and after

 
And there you have it!
All it takes to add beautiful, colorful and energetic light leaks in your edit is 4 easy steps – and you’ve effectively transformed your footage from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

What’s next?

Experiment, experiment, experiment!
There are so many ways to manipulate light leaks to give you truly unique and individual looks. some of these are:
- Change Color.
If you’re purchased light leaks that have an orange tinge, you can simply use your editing softwares color corrector to change the colour from a warm orange to a cool blue and give a completely different look to your video.
 - Speed
If you want to add energy to a sport video, or adversely, a chilled, cool vibe to a wedding video, simply change the speed of the light leak. The faster the light leak flickers on your footage, the more energy it gives to your shot.
 - Flip/Flop
Want the light leak to sit in the left of frame, not right? Thats easy, just flop the shot!
 - Use multiple light leaks at once
The beauty of light leaks is that you can customise them to be a truly unique effect specific to your video. If a light leak is kind of working in your video, but something is still missing, consider using more than one light leak at once by simply stack them on different layers.
 - Use other blend modes apart from “Screen”
The Screen blend mode gives you that classic light leak look effect, but some of the other modes can add a whole new dimension to your footage!

different blend modes being used with light leaks

Getting Started with light leaks.

First step – finding light leaks to use in your footage!
A few experienced video editors actually create their own light leaks, however this can be a lengthy process if you are just getting started in the video editing world.

At LightLeakLove.com we have a free sample light leak collection for users to experiment with! It’s available for you to download and use as much as you want, so you can experience how light leaks can improve your next video project. The free sample light leak collection features light leaks from LightLeakLove’s three most popular collections, so you can get a taste of what type of light leaks you’d like to use in your next vid! Download your free light leak collection here.

If you have any questions on how to use light leaks, or just want to chat about how/when is best to use them, just email us at hello@lightleaklove.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Also a really big thanks for Michael for letting us contribute this tutorial on how to use light leaks.

Light it up!
Charlie @ LightLeakLove.com

t.c. electronic desktop konnekt 6

29 Jul

 

a quick review of a nice little firewire audio interface and stereo monitor control the t.c. electronic desktop konnekt 6. really good for what is does for the money. i really like the audio quality of the mic input, headphone, monitor outputs and audio interface itself. its well made for the price-range. the audio level meter is a nice feature and is reasonable good. over all a good piece of gear for audio and video editors, even for podcasters I’d might say. So my setup for recording tutorials and stuff like that is the Rode NTG1 connected the the desktop konnekt 6 and its good and clean sounding 48V phantom powered mic (pre-amp) input.

one think about the firewire connection … yes its is Firewire 400 (which is common for a audio interface …. or at least was) now, I know firewire ports are kinda a rare thing on computers these days… but i have to say in compassion to USB its a much more solid connection and i don’t mean that in terms of hardware itself, just the data stream is better. with USB its more likely that you run in to odd issues like odd background noises and stuff (since USB was initially invented to connect hardware like a keyboard or a computer mouse) …. so keep that in mind

more info about the unit:

http://www.tcelectronic.com/desktop-konnekt-6/

Mic I used:

http://www.rodemic.com/mics/ntg-1

Mic Pre Amp on the DSLR:

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigpre/

episode I recorded with the t.c. electronic desktop konnekt 6 and the Rode NTG1:

Music by 6th Sense, Broke For Free, Anitek

shot with Canon 60D with a TAMRON 17-50mm f2.8 XR Di II VC

Blog:

http://film-sound-color.tumblr.com

Video

Audio Basics for Podcasts – PART 3: Basic editing

18 Jun

So now this is the (for now final) part 3:

I just want to show you some basic ideas in terms of audio editing. This its just a quick overview, you might have your own style and way to do things. Also your application might have different Tools. But this is just a “reminder” so to say of what might be essential to get good edits. Now, i’m usually a bit better, faster & more precise at this kind of editing but i really just wanted you to show some “hints” so you can start to get stuff done or might think about your workflow and stuff.

If you have any question, let me know … I’ll make sure to get back to you or even make another tutorial to answer your question.
Also here is the Link to the Blogpost from Vashi Nedomansky about 5 Audio EQ Tips for Filmmakers:

http://vashivisuals.com/5-eq-audio-for-video-tips-for-filmmakers/

Video

Audio Basics for Podcasts – PART 2: Plug-Ins and Settings

17 Jun

So now we are talking ….

Its part two and i talk a lil bit about what basic plugin you kinda have to use and what settings you might have to pay attentional to to get a podcast to sound nice or right for that matter.

I talk about basic EQ settings and essential frequencies and Compressor settings and essential hints for getting settings right. Keep in mind I used only the plugins that come with Audition so you kinda can follow a lil better but I usually use other 3rd party plugins (I show some of those as well) so in the end it might not sound as good as it might with the plug-ins i know. I just want you show the basic idea … you always have to make your own experiences and should bring your own taste and workflow into it (after a while). All that is just a start for you. Use your ears. In the end it “just” has to sound & feel right. ;)

Part 3 will be up soon … I will talk and show a lil bit of basic things in terms of audio editing and what is essential there. So stay tuned!

Also here is the Link to the Blogpost from Vashi Nedomansky about 5 Audio EQ Tips for Filmmakers:
http://vashivisuals.com/5-eq-audio-for-video-tips-for-filmmakers/

Video

Audio Basics for Podcasts – PART1 SETTING STUFF UP!

17 Jun


So this is the fist part of three. Its the basics about how i set up my edit-session in Adobe Audition. I talk a lil bit about Levels, Normalization and why its not helping that much if you have not the best recordings (like with a lot of spikes and plopp-sounds and whatnot) or all kinds of level changes and stuff. Its not that exciting… ;)

I promise the 2nd part will be a bit more practical but longer as well…. 

cheers!

stay tuned for part 2 …. you can find it here!

Review: Studio Speakers – Samson Resolv A6 vs. M-Audio BX5

20 May


IMG_8516

I’ve used quite a few Speakers in the last 12 years (or so) I’ve been working on Audiostuff. I started with some passive Tannoy’s (not so much a fan of those) but over the years i also used:

- Yamaha MSP 7 (great speakers) – around 1000 EUR for a pair

- EMES Black TV HR Active (unique / rare / kinda good but you really have to get used to them / technically a good concept tho’) around 1400 EUR for a pair

- Genelec 1032a (they are good / really analytic – don’t like the overall sound tho’)  around 1800-2000 EUR for a pair

- ME-Geithain RL 904 (unique german brand but quite common / really analytic / don’t like the overall sound tho’ you really have to get used to them) around 2500-3000 EUR for a pair

- Dynaudio BM6A (really loved them , great speakers) around 1300 EUR for a pair

- Fostex pm 0.5 (meh … not so good but better than any common, random plastic PC speaker) around 150-180 EUR for a pair

- KRK RP6 RoKit G2 (one of best speaker I’ve used esp. in that price range … great over all sound / powerful, quite balanced, good low-end, analytic but not too much, you actually can kinda enjoy listing to stuff) around 400 EUR for a pair

and i also used some KRK RP5 RoKit G2 on smaller workstations and as Surround speakers – around 290 EUR for a pair

So i really loved the last setup i had: a KRK 5.1 setup with 3x RP6 ‘s and 2x RP5′s. I used that the longest time and really got familiar with it … enjoyed using it.

But then I changed my Job, I did go freelance (as you might know I work for all kinds of projects and people now – like for ScruffyTV (a lot of Podcast work there in addition to other stuff) and even more so on more audio based / orientated stuff) So anyway, I kinda had to leave my beloved KRK setup at my old workplace.

Anyway … now i thought, well lets see how good the cheaper stuff really is – since i got asked a lot what cheap Studio-Speakers people should get, people who just get started. I did quite some research and it seemed that most small and “cheap” speakers (like most 5″ speakers) are not so good for accurate and have not so good sound reproduction for any sound stuff, esp. if you have a pro’ish approach to / for your work. At the end of the day I was kinda left with really only two “low-priced” options:

The quite common M-Audio BX5 and the Samson Resolv A6 both of which got good some notes (so to say) for the low price they go for.

So i got both for a test-run

IMG_8511

First of the Samson Resolv A6. The price in Germany is around 175 EUR for a pair, which is actually quite cheap for a pair of 2-way 6.5″ speakers. And for that, they are actually surprisingly good. Keep in mind of a pair of KRK RP6 (same size, almost same spec’s) you pay around 400 EUR (and even that is considered a lower priced speaker). Now they have a lil bit of a lower end issue in terms of not quite power full and precise in that range (so really not like the KRK’s) But if you have a not so good room that actually can be good (if u have a good listing spot and get used to it)

also they are missing a bit in the higher mid range and maybe a little bit of too much emphasized in the 150-300 Hz area but that really shows only in a few tracks (and if u don’t have a perfect placement of the speakers). Over all they are quite good sounding. They have an open sound. For the price range analytic enough to get pro work done. The Stereo-filed is ok, actually good for a Studio-speaker in that price range. I actually was surprised how much really i can hear single instruments in some tracks / mixes.

They have a lil issue with some white noise in “Standby” but that actually should be not a big issue for mixing at all. You only will notice that when you have nothing playing. And if you want to dial in stuff like “noise reduction” on some audio recordings you always could use headphones to make sure its it ok, but really it’s not that bad at all – really just a little bit white noise.

Now, these speakers are quite big and kinda heavy, so for smaller rooms and for people “on the road” a bit too much maybe.

So for a common Edit-Suite setup it might e bit tricky to get a good placement. They are not as uncomplicated to place to get a good sound out of them. I always had the feeling the placement of the KRK’s was less “complicated”. It kinda was like the KRK’s sounded good everywhere. Anyways, sometimes its better to get smaller speakers (like the KRK RP5 RoKit’s – in that size really nothing comes close in the price range). But I did read that the smaller Samson Resolv A5 are not as good as the these bigger Resolv A6. So that is not really an option.

So, over all quite good speakers for the money. Are they as good as KRK RP6 RoKit’s? …not really. But the Resolv A6 are really usable esp. if you just get stared and have to keep your start-investment costs low. If you get experience with them, get to know them – so to say – you really can get work done!

Technical specs are good: a 2-way 6.5″ woven carbon fibre woofer with 75W, 1″ silk dome tweeter with 25W, (so overall 100W) frequency response is in the 40Hz-30kHz, there are XLR and 1/4″ balanced inputs and unbalanced RCA inputs its AV / magnetically  shielded and solid MDF case construction. There is a High Frequency adjustment knob that can be helpful if needed and actually is rare in that price range of speakers. The volume knob is a bit tricky to adjust in lower volume levels so it might take a lil while to get both speakers set to the same level but in the end it works. Oh BTW the low frequency port is on the front … what in my experience is better esp. if you don’t have “perfect” placement of the speakers. (too close to a wall / in a corner)

IMG_8691

The other candidates are the M-Audio BX5 – 177 EUR for a pair – (i got the older version so the newer BX5a might be a bit better but overall these are the same). The BX5′s are well made and actually have a good size for smaller rooms and the usual editing suite setup.

In terms of Sound, I’m not so sure. Even though they are quite powerful for the size and have a good strong low-end for the size, they really have a noticeable lag in the mid-range, so they really don’t sound open at all. if you have an orchestral track (movie score) for example there really is all the “wood” and open sound missing… you really have a hard time getting the room and clearness of a mix.

The high range is actually good, maybe a bit too “fine” but quite analytic with a somehow odd “rolloff” tho’. It sounds too sharp in a way.

So in the end I have to say they are not as good as the Samson Resolv 6A. One good thing is tho’ that these speakers are quite common in home studios and even edit suits so people are used to them and it might be possible that you “have to” / might use them at some point.

Technical specs are ok: it’s a overall 70W speaker with a 5″ woofer and 1″ tweeter, magnetically shielded, balanced XLR and balanced/unbalanced TRS inputs, volume control (that actually works good and smooth). The low frequency port is on the back of the speaker  … what in my experience is tricky / not so ideal esp. if you don’t have “perfect” placement of the speakers. (too close to a wall / in a corner) so i kinda noticed a bit of a low end “overload” for some tracks i played … not too bad just something you might keep in mind.

In conclusion: If you don’t have the funds, have to save some money you really could get away with the Samson Resolv A6. They really sound good/ok for the money. If you have the funds go with the KRK RP6 RoKit G2 tho’.

I really would not recommend the M-Audio BX5(a) even though they are common (oddly ;-))  and small they really just sound not right / not good enough to compete with the SAMSON’s or even more so with the KRK’s at all.

At the end of the day – if you really want to deliver a good mix – you really should check speakers for yourself – listen to your reference tracks on them.

As for all speakers  – even the expensive ones – you have to get to know them, you have to get experienced with them (so to say). But don’t get any random audio speaker that doesn’t sound “right” for you.

Audio101 – Quicktip – Audio in Premiere

20 May

These are some quick tips for more precise audio work in Premiere Pro …
Setting up your workspace and switching your sequence to Audiounits so you can line up audio clips better in your sequence.

THIS IS THE VIDEO I WAS WORKING ON IN THAT PROJECT: vimeo.com/66087839

blog: film-sound-color.tumblr.com

music (via VIMEO MUSIC STORE):
6th Sense

Voice-Over was recorded with the SAMSON G-TRACK …. test & review will be online soon

QUESTION: 1.78:1 vs. 2.39:1 …what do you like?

15 May

this my latest project i shot and edited / color graded…

here is the thing well i can’t decide what version works better…the normal 16:9 / 1.78:1

or the 2.39:1 version…

let me know what u think:

16:9 / 1.78:1

————

2.39:1

————

UPDATE: Thanks for all the feedback here, on twitter, facebook, LiftGammaGain Forum … seems like the 2.39:1 version is the winner … even the basketball girls like it more … ;)

Update: New Tutorial Page

15 May

… a new Tutorial page is updated and there will be more in the coming weeks & months.
If you have any software or workflow question, please let me know in the comments section i will see to get to it as soon as I can.

Audio101 – What is a Submix

————————————-

EDITING 101: QuickTip PremierePro Video Usage

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Audio101: Quicktip – Soundmix in Premiere Pro

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Editing101: PremierePro – The Pancake Sequence

————————————-

EDITING 101: QuickTip PremierePro – Import a template sequence

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FCPX BTS: retiming & conforming footage

 

 

the tutorial page can be found here

NAB 2013

26 Apr

NAB and Audio:

So sadly time did run away way too fast at NAB … again … who knew ;)

… so i had not as much time as i would liked to have spend for audio stuff but i eventually saw few things in terms of audio.

1st big thing is ProTools 11 (of course)! With all the new stuff in that update it is the most advanced audio post production software again. Its full 64bit, new awesome plugins and plugin system and Enigne, better Mixer, Bussystem, Levels and finally Offline-Bounce and so much more good stuff … ProTools is back! ;)

avid.com/protools11

In terms of Audio Monitors

Sadly I did not saw or look for RCF they have some nice studio speakers i was keen to hear

rcf.it

But I had the chance to listen quickly to the Focal SM9 … they sounded awesome but are a bit too big and a lil expensive

focal.com  even though they have smaller systems … also in the higher price range … I really like the sound tho’

But then again i still think KRK Studio-speakers are the best u can get for the money. Even though i have to say i’m getting to like the Samson Resolv A6 i use at the moment. Even tho’ i think i might upgrade to KRK’s again at some point … I just trust them a bit more ;)

krksys.com

And then there was the Tascam DR-60D of course …. a bit big but nice solution …. very pro but not too expensive… should be a solid audio unit for the money.

tascam.com

Well guess thats it for now.

Stay tuned for a Samson Recolv A6 vs. M-Audio BX5 “review”, also i quick look at some but get Podcast-Mic’s and some quick tutorials on video and sound in the next few weeks!

In the meantime … ROCK ON!

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