Hello there, Natalie here. So, I promised in the last post to talk about working in a video editor and effects software. Then, let’s begin.
Now, disclaimer here, I am not going to claim to be the best video editor out there. I am not even going to claim that my process, tips or tricks are even good advice. This is just how I function in a software that I taught myself how to use.
Stepping into an editing software can be daunting, there is a lot on the screen, and even more you generally do not see(until you click on all the menu buttons and then your head explodes because you are like “what are all these magical tools?!”). Anywho, you move past that and the first thing to do to start working on editing a video would be to import your media files. Do you remember in the last post I talked about how the team would capture footage of the gameplay? In making a game trailer those are the main media files you would be editing, along with some art and sound files. Next, what I like to do is organize these files into folders. In an editing software there is usually a menu where your imported files will be located and in that menu, you can make folders. I generally create an “Art”, “Sound”, and “Raw” folder. An “Art” folder: for any files that are visual but are not in themselves videos, a “Sound” folder: for sound, and finally the “Raw” folder for the raw, uncompressed videos.
Since you have imported your files, now you can start editing! Depending on the software you are using you might have different tools and steps you want to take before getting into editing in the timeline. For instance, in HitFilm there is a tool called the trimmer which allows me to select a sequence of frames in a video asset and then drop that sequence into the timeline. In essence cutting away any extra frames at the beginning and end of the clip, leaving only the meat of the scene.
Finally we get to the editor where most of the work takes place, the timeline. This is where the art of editing begins. Here you will decide how scenes cut together and flow to create one succinct story. However, first you have to add the clips. I just sort of drop everything into a general order based on the storyboard for the video. Then I dive in head first into the frames and cut and refine as I go until I start to feel the flow of the video. Once I have that then it just takes a little more refining work till I am happy with what I have made. Now there is a fancy technique of converting clips into what is called composite shots so you can add VFX work to the scene, but since, in making this game trailer, I never touched on that I won’t discuss it here.
For me, the hardest part of editing is the audio work. I find it difficult because at least for the I’m Too Lazy trailer, when the gameplay was recorded the recording did not capture the sound properly. So, when the raw videos were played the sound associated with them was like grinding metal, nails on a chalkboard, or whatever worst sound you can imagine. This caused me quite a problem cause now to make the video believable I had to add and then balance game sound clips with the trailer music. As you might, imagine it was a headache. Generally, in editing, you do not have to do that much work for audio. More often than not when making a final version of a video you will be adding in pre-made and refined sound clips that you just have to trim, place properly, and adjust the audio levels. Even better, you just might have to adjust the levels of the audio that comes with your clips.
After all that is done, the final stretch of editing involves tightening up those transitions and effects you might have. Refining is the most important step, and spending most of your time polishing your work will show much more than restarting your work over and over again. Lastly after everything is done and polished you export the videos in whatever format suits you and you are done.
I hope some of you have found this insightful and that I have not misled any of you with my own personal take on editing. Keep checking back at this site for more posts in the future!
The stench of blood lingered in Sentry’s nose, and chilly night air made his eyes water. His feet pounded on the ground beneath him as he ran, his lungs aching for air. He didn’t know where he was. Yet, he had the strange feeling he’d been here before. He tossed his head from side to side, struggling to find anything familiar. But, all he could see was endless trees and shadows. There was no moon hanging in the night sky, only the light of cold glittering stars. Panic was coursing hot through his skin. Every fiber of his being was screaming escape. He felt like he was being hunted down. He swallowed, his spit like cotton. He tried to go faster, but it was like he was trying to run through mud. Low hanging tree branches lashed across his face, making his cheeks sting. He didn’t care. He kept running. He was becoming more and more aware of something chasing him.
Sentry choked over gasps of terror. Whatever it was was, it was getting closer. He swerved right, using his hand and the trunk of a tree to try and slingshot himself forward. He dodged and weaved through the trunks of trees, forcing his legs to keep moving. He felt like he’d been running for twenty minutes when whatever was chasing him backed off. But, even after the feeling was gone he ran for another five, too scared to chance it.
Sentry shakily slowed to a stop, panting so hard his chest hurt. He braced himself against a tree, coughing. What the hell was that? He asked himself. He looked around, once again, trying to get his bearings. But, there was nothing. The ground was flat, there were none of the natural rises and dips that the forest normally had. All the trees looked the same. Exactly the same. Like they’d been copied and duplicated over and over. The trunks were the same size, and all the same height. What is this pla- His thought was cut off abruptly as he felt a vice like grip on his upper arm.
Sentry attempted to whirl around, but cold fingers had already wrapped fully around his arm. He looked back in horror at a dark shape that was looming out from behind the tree. Returning panic thrashed in his stomach.
“Let me go!” He screamed. He knew it was pointless, but it was the only thing he could think to say. Not surprisingly, another hand shot forward and Sentry felt long fingers curl around his throat. It’s fingernails were long and curved like talons and pricked at the delicate skin of his neck. Before he could lash out, he felt himself being lifted off the ground.
No. No, no, no. Not again. Sentry’s subconscious pleaded. The shadow person had no definition, no facial features or anything recognizable. The waves of fear that were crashing over Sentry were unparalleled. It’s vibe was that of death itself.
It’s nails pressed harder into Sentry’s skin and he let out a choked grunt when he felt the nails pop through his skin. Hot blood started rolling down Sentry’s neck, pooling in the dips of his collar bones and the hollow of his throat. Sentry kicked his feet, but just like before he couldn’t land anything to get the monster let him go. Eyes watering Sentry stared down at the monster. It’s edges weren’t solid, they wisped off like a Kyo. His eyes followed the thin shape of its arms that lead to their hands. Black smoke began to billow off of it. The smoke started at its shoulder and began traveling down its arm, and towards the hand gripping him by the neck.
More raw fear pulsed through Sentry and he let out a strangled cry. He kicked more, trying to get free. It couldn’t end like this. The smoke kept coming and finally he felt it ghost across his skin. The black plumes drifted upward into his nose. It had no smell as it passed into his airway and filled his lungs. Sentry suddenly felt paralyzed, like all the feeling had drained out of his body. His vision swam, and he couldn’t focus on anything around him. The cold night air felt distant, and the trees looked like smudges of russet brown. He felt like he was weightless. Like he was drifting through the air again. Only this time he wasn’t.
Sentry’s senses crashed back onto him. He felt like fire was spreading over his body, searing his nerves and making his skin broil. He took an involuntary gulp of air. His lungs felt like they were being squeezed, like balloons someone was trying to pop. Sentry couldn’t think over the excruciating pain. His eyes rolled backwards, and his body started twitching. His could feel his limbs convulsing but he couldn’t do anything to stop it. Liquid bubbled at the back of his throat and the sharp tang of his own blood hit his palette. He couldn’t breath anymore, and two names danced on the edge of his consciousness.
“I’m sorry,” Sentry gurgled out. They were barely recognizable as words. The pain was too much. “I’m sorry you died like this.” Sentry was trying to piece together words. “I de- I.. I deserve…”
“Sentry!” Thundered a clear familiar voice. Sentry sat bolt upright, his hands curling like vices into his bed sheets. His heart was racing, and he glanced around wildly. He was at home, in his room. He panted, his eyes finding Syukkä. Her pupils were blown wide and her fur was sticking up. Sentry coughed, throat dry. “It was a dream Sentry,” Syukkä said gently. She scooted closer to him. He nodded at the she-wolf, dazed. His vision blurred again and he felt wetness on his cheeks. He was crying. He lifted his hands and wiped at his eyes. He was no stranger to nightmares, but he’d never had one like that. Or maybe he had, and just couldn’t remember. Sentry let out a shaky breath, his hands catching his attention. He felt sick again and leaned over to grab his gloves that were laid on his desk. He pulled them on with an averted gaze. Still somewhat stunned he reached out to Syukkä, petting her.
Malcolm knows the best way to tell a funny joke is is to explain all the elements to your audience.
(Also, Malcolm, poor you. How annoying it must be that you’re expected provide evidence on top of everything else as to why starting the war is totally justified. Doesn’t anyone care about you and how busy you already are with your normal shouting at and insulting people schedule?)