Tips & Tricks
- Wednesday, April 03, 2013
- Some new GoPro videos created by our Users
We are getting very excited about some of the new features that will be included in the next update of trakAxPC. We are currently working on this update and it will be available soon and will include features such as chroma-key/green screen and new cropping tools. In the meantime, we thought we would share some of the excellent GoPro videos created by some of our users. If you have questions or queries about using your GoPro, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Check out these videos and remember to click on the “HD Settings” icon on the videos for the best quality image.
And finally for all our fishing friends - 2013 Beauty & The Beast Lake Trout by Matt Pelletier
- Wednesday, March 20, 2013
- Why is there letterboxing in my YouTube or GoPro videos?
Why is there letterboxing or pillar boxes in my videos? This is a question we have seen and heard many times and is one users can find quite confusing. It basically comes down to two things: the aspect ratio your original footage was taken in i.e. the resolution setting chosen on your camera, and the aspect ratio you choose when exporting and uploading your video file. For example, I often see videos taken with a GoPro camcorder which contains video images, as well as still images. As the video is playing, you will notice the video images uses the full width of screen and when a picture enters, there will be pillar boxes on the sides of the image. This is because the GoPro camera only shoots still images in a standard 4:3 aspect ratio, while the video was shot at a popular widescreen resolution such as 1080p or 720p (16:9 aspect ratio) (see example video below).
YouTube now uses only 16:9 aspect ratio for its media player. If you are uploading a non-16:9 file, it will be processed and displayed correctly as well, with pillar boxes (black bars on the left and right) or letter boxes (black bars at the top and bottom) provided by the player. If you are using trakAxPC to export a video and you want it to fit the player perfectly, export your videos at the following resolutions:
The YouTube player automatically adds black bars so that videos are displayed correctly without cropping or stretching, no matter the size of the video or the player. For example, the player will automatically add pillarboxing to 4:3 videos in the new 16:9 widescreen player size. If the player is re-sized (i.e. when embedded on another website), the same process takes place so that 16:9 videos are letterboxed when the player is sized to 4:3. Similarly, anamorphic videos will be automatically letterboxed when shown in either 16:9 or 4:3 sized players. The player can only do this if the native aspect ratio of the video is maintained.
If letterboxing is added to a video before it is uploaded (i.e. in the case of creating a 4:3 video from a 16:9 master), the widescreen player will add pillarbox bars too, resulting in black bars all around the video (windowboxing) and a bad viewing experience (see the diagram below).
In trakAxPC, before you create your video you can choose your target frame size and aspect ratio for your video using the “Target Frame Size” drop down menu in the Mixing screen. Target Frame Size can be changed at any time before the mix is exported. To learn more about selecting Target Frame Sizes, please click HERE
- Thursday, January 24, 2013
- Creating a Photo Light box for your Product Shots
In this short video, I show you how quick and easy it can be to create a simply, yet effective photo light box for your product shots. This photo light box will help present your products in their best light and is perfect for anybody wishing to take simply shots that will be displayed on your website, in your shop or on promotional material such as brochures, newsletters, flyers, etc. The video demonstrates step by step how to create this light box and displays some example product shots at the end.
Make sure you use a tripod when recording your footage and capturing your shots. If, perhaps, you are not overly happy with your photos or your lighting, you can always retouch them using a free photo editing application such as Google’s Picasa and administer any edits that maybe required.
For the video itself, I simply used our Nikon CoolPix P7700 camera and a tripod. I kept moving the tripod around to try and keep the video interesting with different angles and shots. For the text, I simply downloaded this free ”YummyCakes” font from dafont.com to give the text that handwritten feel. Finally, I used our transparent PNG title bar which is available to download free here.
So why not give it a go and see how this simply contraption can really improve your product shots!
Here is a list of what you will need for creating your own light box -
2-4 sheets of white tissue paper
1 piece of matte white poster board
1 piece of matte black poster board
12” (30cm) ruler
Pencil or pen
Scissors & Box cutter
- Wednesday, December 05, 2012
- How Fill Shots & J and L Cuts can improve your Video Production.
An important part of the video production process is what we call recording “Fill Shots”. “Fill Shots” are the shots which lead from one scene into another or can be faded in over a narration. Basically, every piece of footage you shoot (other than a direct interview) is a fill shot. You can never really have enough “fill shots” and probably most of the footage you record will end up on the editing floor. However as a rule, it is always best to take more footage than you think you need. For example, you may have recorded some of footage which you think was fine on the day but during the editing process, you noticed that the camera or tripod wobbled or the light suddenly changed ruining your shot. This is why it is important to have extra back-up footage which can help when editing the final video. Below, I’ve attached a video which gives an example how fill shots can be used to connect an interview and link the video together as a whole.
If you watch the video from the start, you will see the first four video clips are our “Fill Shots”. These are shots recorded from different angles, cut together with no fades and followed by a J Cut (this where you hear the narrators voice before the corresponding video enters the frame). We then see Dan talking and been interviewed while working at his desk. For this shot, the camera has stayed in the same position throughout the entire interview process. The video is centralised on this main shot and interview, with all fill shots being edited around it. After this segment, we have an L Cut (where a new video clip enters yet we still hear Dan talking over the videos).
The video continues to be edited in this way, with fill shots being implemented between shots of Dan working and talking at his desk (basic J and L Cuts). This is a simple process which all aspiring videographers can implement and will instantly improve your video production and give it that professional look. To learn more about J and L Cuts and other tips and tricks, please Click Here.
- Wednesday, October 17, 2012
- Edit your new GoPro Hero3 footage with trakAxPC
GoPro is releasing the newest addition to their product range, the GoPro Hero3. This GoPro is Wi-Fi enabled and is their most advanced offering to date. The camera is now 30% smaller, 25% lighter and 2x more powerful than previous models. However, how do you edit this footage? Create cool split screens and effects? Create photo slideshows? Add Soundtracks? The simple answer - trakAxPC!
Now you can make a really compelling video using all the features and functionality within trakAxPC and your GoPro camera. Here are some videos by are users who are currently using trakAxPC to edit their GoPro footage. In these excellent videos, you can see the users are really taking advantage of our split screen / picture-in-picture effect as well as adding text and credits to their videos. trakAxPC also allows you to edit and mix your audio so you add soundtracks, as well as edit the original recorded audio from the camera.
Check out these videos and remember to click on the “HD Settings” icon on the videos for the best quality image.
Wakeboarding with Cables - Kenny Lam
Lotus Elise: Milligan vs. Wong - SlushBox1
And for something a little different, here is a little trip around some beautiful gardens in the heart of Tokyo.
- Friday, September 07, 2012
- How can I add a logo to my video using trakAxPC?
In this second installment of our quick tips video, we demonstrate how easy it is to add a logo or watermark to your video. This logo or watermark could be any image or graphic and can help you personalize your video and make it recognizable to others. For example, if you are creating a family video, you may wish to add your family crest to the video. If you’re creating a gaming video, you may want to add your avatar image or call sign graphic.
However, when one thinks of the word “Logo” one may automatically think of a business logo like the golden arches of McDonald’s or the swoosh of Nike. If you own a business, are you currently adding your business logo to videos? If not, why not? In business terms, a logo is really like your company’s identity and can symbolise what your business stands for. Having a professional well designed business logo will help make your business more visible and credible. It will also help build brand awareness with customers and potential clients, as well as distinguish your brand from your competition. You can also use this logo with all your marketing materials such as business cards, letter headings, social media, etc., and start to create brand recognition in the marketplace. If you wish to learn more about creating and producing business videos, please visit our trakAxBusiness website.
This quick tip video simply shows you how you can add your logo or watermark to your promotional videos. You can use either transparent PNGs, JPEGs or Bitmaps to create your logo or watermark. Learn how to quickly re-size and place your logo anywhere in the video output screen and how to use the “Always On Top” button so your logo will keep playing on top of other media in your mix.
- Wednesday, August 29, 2012
- How to create a split screen video in trakAxPC - a quick guide.
In the first of our new quick tip videos, we give a brief run through on how you can create a split screen video in trakAxPC quickly and easily. Split Screen, also sometimes referred to as picture-in-picture or a collage, is the process of adding multiple images (be it photos or videos) to the one output screen. This is a feature many of ours users incorporate into their videos and really allows you to be creative and use your imagination.
The great characteristic of the Split Screen feature is that it can be used in many different video environments. For example, in business videos, split screen can really add value to your video as it provides you with the opportunity to display multiple product shots in the same output screen. This can be really beneficial, as now potential customers can see a whole range of products quickly or view your products and services being used in practical situations.
The split screen feature can also be really useful for musicians when creating a music video. We have some really talented users who can actually play multiple instruments (very jealous) and who decided to record themselves playing. Using the split screen tool, they combined all the multiple videos in the output screen and created amazing videos. I have attached below some split screen videos created by musicians using trakAxPC. In this first video, Alex House plays an improvisational piece with multiple videos playing at the same time. All the video segments were recorded in one take. Great job!
In the second video by Daniel Young, he uses the split screen feature to great effect and fades in and out of him creating the track and screen captures of the software he uses.
You can also use split screens for everyday footage. Here we created a really quick family montage video using split screens and combining it with the “Slide In” and “Slide Out” effect. You can see that it can really bring to life your video clips and make the ordinary look really interesting. What not try and bring your old video and photo clips to life by making a cool split screen video? If you create something really interesting with the split screen feature, why not share it with us in our forum or on our Facebook page? We would love to see them!
For a more detailed and in-depth tutorial on creating a Split Screen (collage), please click here to learn more.