1. Preproduction v
vp1-1. Five skills
vp1-3. Keeping track
vp1-4. First impression
vp1-5. Successful scouting
vp1-6. Words of wisdom
vp2-1. Five production skills
vp2-2. Pep talk
vp2-6. Words of wisdom
vp3-1. Five skills
vp3-3. Grading and graphics
vp3-6. Words of wisdom
vp3-3. Grading and graphics
Grading and graphics are about adding computer-generated effects to your storyline. It is also a way to add style and adjust the video you shot.
What you will learn
You will learn about color grading, graphic effects, transitions, and motion graphics.
If you edit with a smartphone app, your options will significantly diminish. However, it can also be so much quicker and easier. But sit tight. There are still plenty of ways to polish your movie.
The first rule of color grading is to ensure that your image has a good black and white.
The easiest way to adjust the image is with a video editing program with a luma waveform guide on the left and an inspector with adjustment controls on the right.
In general, black is zero, and white is 100. We can see that the black is not quite zero, and the whites are over 100, so this image could use some adjustments.
Let’s lower the shadows in the inspector, so we get a lovely rich black. Next, we lower the highlights, so we get as much detail in them as possible.
There are several other scopes and controls to refine adjustments. But having good blacks and a good white makes your image pop.
Filter effects shortcuts all kinds of adjustments needed to create all sorts of looks. These filters often come with adjustment options so that you can tweak them yourself.
For example, a sepia filter creates a warm, soothing antique look. But you do not have to accept it as it is. Lower it from 100% to 25%, and you get a warm look that is not overpowering.
A gradient darkens or lightens a selected area gradually. I often use it to darken areas, making it easier to focus on the main subject.
There are all kinds of fancy transitions to get you from one scene to the next. Just drag one between clips.
But some of them can be annoying and even distracting to telling your story. A cross dissolve is a standard, most simple transition. It softens the beginning or end of a scene.
To make a clean break between scenes, place a one or two-second black space between them. Add a cross dissolve to the end of one scene and the beginning of the next.
The fade in and out can be lengthened or shortened by simply dragging the transition edge.
Behaviors, filters, generators, replicators, particle emitters, and motion graphics can be overwhelming.
Here’s a behavior called ‘write on.’ The easiest way to learn what’s available is to click each item and watch the preview.
After that, there is a bit of tweaking. So think of knowing motion graphics as part of your long-term strategy.
Grading and graphics are potent software tools to add magic effects to your video.
Many effects have become just drag and drop. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s available.
I recommend playing around with motion graphics software to learn about its vast potential to contribute to your video storytelling.