Video has experienced explosive growth over the past several years, most notably during the initial COVID stay-at-home cycle. Not only are we consuming more video than ever before, but the number of video creators has steadily skyrocketed to fill those consumption needs. And, as you can guess, the top platform for video creators and consumers is YouTube (and speaking of YouTube, you should definitely subscribe to our channel and click the 🔔 icon to get notified of all our newly published videos 😉).
Video is where it’s at.
According to a recent Sandvine report, YouTube accounted for over 15% of all worldwide traffic during the global stay-at-home orders and over 25% of all mobile traffic by volume. In other words, a lot of videos have been created and consumed by people all over the world. As you can imagine, it’s more important than ever to ensure high-quality video, especially if you’re a new content creator who wants to grow your brand on platforms like YouTube, Patreon, or your own private platform.
Infographic source: Elite Content Marketer
I’ve put together these three tips to help you get the highest quality possible out of your videos, even if you’re not using top-of-line cameras and lenses. Whether you’re using your mobile phone or a high-end digital camera, following these tips will help you get high-quality video and improve your experience with video editing.
Tip 1. Planning makes perfect
Imagine that you’re a photographer who is about to fly off to some new destination. If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend days preparing all the necessary camera gear to pack. You’ll pour hours into researching every detail about your destination, from the weather patterns at that time of year to the direction of light at sunset for the location you’ll be photographing.
The same attention to detail with planning is just as crucial for video creators, if not more so. It’s an understatement to say that video is quite a different beast than still photography, and its requirements can sometimes be more stringent. For example, your camera will be locked at a specific shutter speed to achieve the desired frame rate in virtually all cases. As such, you’ll need to plan to have the proper hardware (neutral density filters, for example) to ensure correct exposure. Video files also chew up storage space on your media cards very quickly, so you’ll need to plan to have more than enough storage space and you’ll want to ensure some way to back up your recorded media while you’re on the road.
It’s also important to sketch out as much about your video as possible in advance, including producing a comprehensive shot list that not only includes your A-roll clips but also lays out all of the B-roll clips you’ll need to produce a well-rounded video. Fortunately, keeping a shot list journal doesn’t require a lot of overhead. I prefer to use Airtable to manage my shot lists because it’s cloud-based, and it allows me to filter and sort the clips that need my attention. Another benefit to maintaining a shot list is that it’ll help you remain focused so that you capture what you need. I’ve been on shoots without a prepared list and ended up with gigabytes of random video clips that I had to spend time reviewing and mostly deleting.
Tip 2. Ensure proper camera settings
I consider myself to be a hybrid shooter. In other words, I use the same camera to capture both still photos and video clips. This use case requires me to often flip between settings optimized for the intended output. The camera settings I’d need to expose a still photo tend to differ dramatically from the settings for recording a video clip. As you can imagine, there have been several times when I forgot to dial in the correct ones. Specifically, there are two critical video settings that I have failed to set correctly, and they are Frame Rate and Resolution.
Videographers refer to a video clip’s frame rate in frames per second or FPS, and each clip within a project timeline should conform to the same value. For example, you will notice some jitters during playback if you produce a video project using 60 fps but set your camera to 24 fps.
Fortunately, using Video Enhance AI makes it easier than ever to convert a video clip’s frame rate from one value to another. The AI-powered Chronos model allows you to specify the desired frame rate, allowing all of your clips to conform to your project’s requirements. Here’s an example where the left clip shows 24 fps footage conformed to a 60 fps timeline and the right clip shows the same clip converted to the 60fps using Video Enhance AI’s Chronos model. Do you see how much smoother the playback is on the right?
I also highly recommend reading my article covering the benefits of using Video Enhance AI to achieve stellar frame rate conversions.
In addition to a set frame rate, your video project will also have a fixed resolution that your clips need to match. If you’re working on a video project using 4K resolution but recorded video clips in HD resolution, the output results may look compressed or blocky. That’s because your video project calls for twice the resolution of the recorded clips.
That is another area where Video Enhance AI has saved me from myself. I can easily upscale a lower-resolution video clip up to 8K resolution without losing quality, thanks to AI-powered models like Artemis. I can also use the Proteus model to upscale while dialing in specific settings such as sharpening and anti-aliasing. Here are several examples where I used the Proteus model to upscale HD clips to 8K resolution without losing quality.
Tip 3. Keep your viewers engaged
There is plenty of data showing that viewers tend to give a video only a handful of seconds to pique their interest before abandoning it for another one. That’s why it’s so crucial that your video leads with visually-gripping content. It’s why so many YouTubers and vloggers open their videos with high-impact B-roll clips laden with special effects. One of the most visually catching special effects that viewers love is slow motion, especially when portraying a fast-moving object.
That is fine if you diligently follow Tip #1 and have planned to record the required slow-motion clips in advance. However, the more common scenario is that I’d film a clip that I hadn’t intended to slow down but chose to do so during post-processing. Historically, the methods I had available to perform this task resulted in pretty terrible clips because the interpolation process required to slow it down is quite complex.
Thankfully, the Chronos model in Video Enhance AI leverages deep machine learning to apply realistic frame interpolation, resulting in beautiful slow-motion clips. Again, it would help to read my article mentioned above on frame rate conversion to learn more about this topic. Here are several examples where I slowed down fast-moving subjects up to 2,000% using the Chronos model in Video Enhance AI.
By including visually-impactful clips, such as ultra slow-motion footage, at the beginning of your video, you’ll improve the chances of hooking your viewers as soon as they click the Play button.
Wrapping it up.
I hope these ideas inspire you to dive deeper into the world of video. It is both a challenging and rewarding endeavor, and these three tips will help you gain the confidence to produce amazing videos.
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