Monday, February 10, 2014

Restoring Video With Premiere Pro and YouTube

A shot from the Super-8 film, The Race.
A shot from the Super-8 film, The Race.
I was recently going through some of my old college-era films. Some of these films were the projects that I began to develop my skills as a storyteller. As I said last week in "Creative Professionals: Learn By Doing", I was one of those who learned best by immersing myself completely in a project.

I decided that while I had some time, I would restore some of the old Super-8 films. The restoration included de-interlacing them, removing some of the dirt around the edge of the frame and removing any music that I did not have the proper permission to use.

To perform the image restorations, I decided to use Adobe After Effects. This would give me control over the picture, as well as getting rid of some of the dirt on the frames and making it a progressive image. Since every shot was going to be run though Adobe After Effects, I decided I would do the edit in Adobe Premiere Pro. Doing so would enable me to take advantage of Adobe Dynamic Link and not have to deal with the import and export of my digital assets.

For those of you not familiar with Adobe Dynamic Link, it's a capability of the Adobe Creative Suite to share assets internally, without having to render anything out of the native application first. Not only did Adobe Dynamic Link come in handy, but I was able to take advantage of the Rate Stretch Tool in Premiere to keep different sections of the film timed properly.

Finally I needed to find a replacement for any of the music tracks that may have been used without obtaining proper permissions. Luckily YouTube has a solution to that. YouTube offers an Audio Library of royalty-free music, meaning it's free to use in any of your productions. There was a large enough selection for me to find pieces that fit the mood of each of the films I was restoring.

For those of you just starting to build a portfolio of material, it is very important to steer clear of using copyrighted material unless you have written permission. It might seem like a good idea at first, but if you would like to show your work to any audience outside of your immediate family, you can't do so if you don't own the rights.

The Race was shot on the campus of the University of Massachusetts and features an automobile race without cars.

Breakeatin' is a short film about a guy who can't get enough to eat fast enough. Since it was shot in the 80s it features breakdancing as well.

Turf's Up follows a surfer as he leaves the shore in search of the perfect dune to surf.

All three Super-8 films were produced using an animation technique called "pixilation". Pixilation is a technique of using stop-motion to animate people.

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