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PowerDirector Showcase - Holiday on Madeira
RichardE [Avatar]
Newbie Joined: Mar 15, 2020 07:45 Messages: 6 Offline
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Hi everyone,

Here's a link to my YouTube video covering my holiday on Madeira in December 2019.

All done with Power Director 16, with some help from Affinity Photo, and Paintshop Pro.

Let me know what you think. The audio could be better at times. Voiceovers are mostly done using the mic in my USB webcam.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Apr 15. 2020 04:51

Senior Contributor Location: Darwen, UK Joined: May 15, 2008 04:32 Messages: 1949 Offline
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Hi Richard,

I’ve watched the video about 3 times in all, I like it for a chronological record of the holiday. As an outsider/casual viewer it is probably too long for comfort, but it’s still watchable! For a family member or friend, I suspect it’s a nice representation of the holiday highlights.

As a principle, if one doesn’t require a strictly chronological record, then it frees up the content to be presented in a more flexible story, whilst still showing the important aspects. It also allows the edit to be more creative and more free flowing because the emphasis is on selecting and presenting the highlights to show them off specifically, with no time order/constraint.

As an example: a 7 day 2 dives a day scuba holiday, if chronologically presented, is quite boring – boat, kit up, drop in, swim around, get out, surface interval, back in etc 14 times. I do often do a quick and dirty edit of a day for other divers, but the any final video is not strictly chronologically based but more an interpretation of the “highlights” to tell my own story – whatever that is!

Very few of us actually set out to shoot a story from start to finish, usually we compile our story as we go along, so naturally there are some good and some not so good parts, which somehow we try and patch together to make an interesting whole!

So, given your chronological approach, I liked the video – lots of good things to build on, particularly if you wished to be more interpretive in telling the story rather than following the chronology.

My cryptic viewing notes are below.

Choice of audio – maybe more Portuguese?
Like the atmosphere music in general esp @24:00 slide show
Constant black background – try out of focus scenes or colour boards? As @15:46, 25:10 etc
VO maybe get the volume constant across takes, unless a live scene??

Audio bed needed?

Panning Zooming 00:36 a little quick

Black background 00:56 too dramatic - good for museum stuff @26:27

Piece to camera @01:09
Look into lens not monitor

Cut at 01:48 better with a fade

Like the outtake

Like the gentle rotate on zoom and pan @08:45 care not too much too fast

Like the out of focus waterfall intro@15:46

Better use of fades @16:46 but a bit quick?

Effective transitions

Like fade to black @18:15

Cable car ride@19:00 touch too long or could do with VO?

Museum @25:30 like the black background, suits the content
Like the audio
Alignment of images @26:39 (bit picky but jars an otherwise lovely slideshow.)

Lizard shot nearly too long

Nice slideshow @28:49

Farmers market 29:50 audio not in keeping??

Chromakey maybe OK or a bit not OK??

So, feel free to get back at me or disagree. PM me if you feel more comfortable.

Adrian Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. (see below)
AMD Phenom IIX6 1055T, win10, 5 internal drives, 7 usb drives, struggling power supply.
RichardE [Avatar]
Newbie Joined: Mar 15, 2020 07:45 Messages: 6 Offline
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Hi Adrian,

Thanks for your comments. Very useful.

I have to agree with you that the video is probably a bit too long.

I take the point that it doesn't necessarily have to be in chronological order. I probably do this because a) I want to create a record of what actually happened, so I can remember it in a few years time, and b) because it makes it much easier to arrange the clips on the timeline. They just fall in in chronological order. Next time I make a video I might attempt to do it thematically. i.e. Put all the hiking stuff together, and all the museums and town based stuff in another section. Not sure.

Audio is a problem. At one point I did go looking for Portuguese and/or Madeiran folk music. (BTW One of the things I discovered in the process of looking is that Madeira is not the same as Portugal. Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal with its own government (since 1976).) I couldn't find much that was suitable, so went for something that would fit the mood, rather than something relevant. As you say, I may have got it a bit wrong with the farmer's market scenes.

Interesting that you liked the music for the slideshow at 24 mins. Initially I was looking for something light and airy to match the location above the clouds, and was a little concerned that the music was a little bit gloomy, but when the heavenly choir chimes in it really lifts it and I thin kit works really well. BTW. The source of the music (Incompetech - see credits at end of video) are a great source of instrumentals, but you need to be picky. Big improvement on the pounding dance music that seems to accompany so many videos these days.

Black background - laziness I suppose. But it is a neutral colour that really won't clash with anything. With any luck, if you're viewing it on a display with a dark border around it, or with a different aspect ratio, you won't see the join round the edges where the video ends and the border starts, but I'm not sure that is a good enough reason.

Constant volume (or lack of it) - my bad. I need to up my game on this. I'm actually doing the voiceovers using the microphone in a Logitech USB webcam, but at one point I switched over to a Rode Wireless Go, which seemed to do a better job on the brief ukulele interlude, but sounds quite different. I shall probably invest in a better USB microphone at some point. Possibly a Rode NT4 mini. I actually have a much better microphone with an XLR connector and a fancy mixer thing, but it's all a bit bulky, so it tends not to get used much. I also need to line my spare room with egg boxes since there seems to be quite a bit of reverb. Not sure I will go that far.

Panning and zooming. I go through phases in this. When I first starting learning Power Director 16 I used the PiP designer a lot, but found it a little confusing and fiddly, so over time I started using Magic Motion - Pan and Zoom, and the motion designer. Half way through this video I started going back to the PiP designer, largely because it allows you to ease in, and ease out, which looks a lot better. The video at 00:36 was using magic motion.

Not looking into lens. I know. I'm trying to train myself not to do this, but the temptation is always there. As you have no doubt guessed, that was shot on a camera with a flip out screen - a Canon EOS M50 - much maligned, particularly for its limited 4K video - but I find it ticks most of the boxes for what I want at a very reasonable price (particularly with Canon's recent cashback deals). Some commentators prefer a screen that flips up over the top, or even underneath, the camera, but that would drive me nuts, particularly when using an external microphone (almost always), or a tripod (often).

I think the cut at 01:48 is actually a fade, but it is way too quick.

Glad you liked the slow rotate. Think I was just playing around a bit at this point, but I think it works. I don't have a great voice and sometimes it is best to just shut up and let the pictures tell the story.

Yes. Not sure about the fades at 16:46. Maybe laying it on a bit thick. I was after an effect where the images just wash over you like waves, but I probably overdid it, and the viewer struggles to keep up.

Cable car ride is a bit too long.

Alignment of images @26:39 could be better. I just couldn't get both top and bottom of picture frames to be horizontal.

Too much of the lizards. Yes. Probably.

Farmer's market music could be better.

Chromakey is a bit off. Need to fix up something a bit better. I just have a massive green sheet at the moment, and improvise with bits of bamboo and clothes pegs. Don't really have any fancy lights to illuminate it properly. Might invest in a decent kit, or a cheap popup background, but I don't have a lot of space. I noticed a slight tinge of green surviving around the edges, which seems odd since the green screen was behind me, but I suppose the angles were just right to reflect off my skin.

Anyway, thanks again for the feedback.
Senior Contributor Location: Darwen, UK Joined: May 15, 2008 04:32 Messages: 1949 Offline
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Hi Richard,
Thanks for putting the video up and allowing comments!

I nearly always come away with an improvement or a better idea for next time if folk are constructive in their comments, but it is sometimes difficult to just put one's hard work out there for random folk to judge.

I fully agree with the chronological approach, it's sometimes a choice and sometimes unavoidable - like a wedding, can't mix up the time line too much in such circumstances!

My point really was that it is possible for all of us to consider using a more creative, flexible approach to our video editing even though somehow the strict day by day events are intrinsically "comfortable". The great joy of NLE software is the non-destructive nature of editing and the huge flexibility it therefore offers. I've often noted the reluctance of folk to chop up their original footage, almost as if it will be destroyed if taken out of it's natural sequence!!

I have an example from a few years ago of just how much flexibility can be used to produce something completely different, to quote Monty Python!

I was commissioned to produce a "highlights" video of a studio launch of a solo artist ceramics exhibition, followed by a salon event with commissioned poetry and music sessions, culminating in a round table discussion between experts, with audience participation.

So I duly shot my selected footage - lots of stills and steady cam video of the studio opening, to catch the fluidity and vibrancy of the opening, followed by a 3 camera shoot (2 static and 1 manned) of the salon event. So far, so good.

Because of external events, resulting in the main ceramic collection – 12 Apostles - being purchased for permanent display by the Centre of Ceramic Art at York Art gallery I was requested to use the footage as the basis for a much more interpretive piece, based around the commissioned poetry work, to accompany the exhibition.

I can’t say how many hours followed, certainly nearer 200 than 100, working with the sculptor to turn the original pretty standard “record of events” footage into something more in keeping with the new aim. Everything was subjected to scrutiny - font design, colours, timings and image editing but the poem had to be included in its entirety, could not be re-shot and was the spine of the video.

I can’t claim to be fully appreciative of the artistic interpretations, I was led by the sculptor but the finished video bears not one jot of similarity to the original purpose of the original footage!

If you’re interested it can be found here:
12 Apostles - Loretta Braganza and Rommi Smith

It’s a personal example of shooting footage and then just ripping it up and making something else entirely!

Adrian Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. (see below)
AMD Phenom IIX6 1055T, win10, 5 internal drives, 7 usb drives, struggling power supply.
RichardE [Avatar]
Newbie Joined: Mar 15, 2020 07:45 Messages: 6 Offline
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That must have been a tough job. It must have been hard taking all the original footage and then bending it into shape for another purpose altogether. No re-takes either.

Reminds me of some of the stories I have heard on YouTube from wedding photographers. A friend asked the photographer to take stills at the wedding, and then, at the last minute, requested video as well, all for the same price. It is not uncommon for people to ask for this as "a favour", rather than paying for it, and they can be quite shocked when they see the bill.

I am not a professional photographer. I just do it for fun. However my niece is about to embark on a photography course. She has done one small job, but only got £25.

BTW. I am heading the same way as you regarding the number of hard drives. I have three in my desktop computer, but only 2 USB drives. I just never find the time or the inclination to delete much.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Apr 18. 2020 09:46

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