Monday, 30 April 2012

Question - Digital Technology

This answer will look at how skills in the use of digital technology had an affect on the creativity of choices made during production. The answer will look at both the foundation portfolio, a 2 minute thriller opening sequence, and the A2 advanced portfolio, a 4 minute music video.

Our first task was to get used to gathering footage by use of a Canon HD camera. We thought the camera performed well and was efficient in capturing good quality footage. We found out that we shouldn't capture in high definition (HD) as the footage size would be far too large. High definition would also not be required. In the foundation portfolio our skill with the camera was not great and we had found it difficult to gather some shots but had the help of some other equipment such as a tripod to help us gather harder shots, such as a tracking shot. We had not really used any other footage for our video capture and relied on natural light for our lighting (not an amazing thing to do in a thriller sequence). I used a different camera for the advanced portfolio. A Sony SD camera was chosen. As HD was not required an SD camera would work well, the Sony SD camera also integrated with Microsoft computers well as well as Adobe Premiere Pro which was the editing software i was using at the time. Like in the foundation portfolio a tripod was used to gather most of the shots. But for the darker shots lights (torches) were used to brighten some of the shots taken in darker areas. Spotlights were also used to make silhouettes of the band members when getting pictures for the CD cover.

Integration with the Mac computer troubled us at first as none of the members of the group were comfortable using a Mac computer. But after some help we had figured it out. We used Final Cut Express, a Mac only video editing software, to edit the opening sequence together. We were able to learn many different skills which included the fundamentals of editing as well as some of the basic effects one could add to video. These included colour correction, changing the scene colour of the footage or parts of the footage, as well as effects that affected text. This meant moving the text, changing the colour and size of it. But i had not got the hang of using effects on Final Cut and had changed to something i had been a little more comfortable in, Adobe After Effects. This software was made to integrate effects into footage and i had used it to add text as well as change some brightness and contrast of some footage as we had let too much natural light into our scene. I had learnt a lot in After Effects and what you could do with it, i had used a masking effect which could cover the scene like darkness creeping up on you.
My skills in using After Effects and Final Cut improved when moving into the advanced portfolio, but during the year i had changed my video editing software from Final Cut to Adobe Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro was very similar to Final Cut in it's layout, but there were some differences which made it easier for me to use. I could use effects with Premier Pro more effectively and i could also edit footage better. Premier Pro had a cut, drag and drop footage where one could just cut a piece of footage and drop the visuals, audio or both into the timeline. This made it much easier to edit the music video for my advanced portfolio. Both Premiere Pro and After Effects were made by Adobe which meant integration between the two would be good. This gave me a peace of mind where if any complicated effects were needed i could make them on After Effects and then easily transfer it to Premiere Pro.

Over the last two years, digital technology has been a vital factor in making the production and allowing me to be as creative as i could be in both portfolios. I have gathered many skills in relation to using digital technology which has made me more effective at editing and gathering creative footage. I learnt much during the transition between foundation and advanced and this has allowed my skills in digital technology to grow and enhance my ability in filming.

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