Some videos I’ve edited for the UK Pyrotechnics Society

Sidney Alford’s keynote presentation at the UKPS AGM 2012

Editing this in Final Cut Express took a very long time, not aided by doing it probably an hour at a time over several months. As Sidney was moving around a lot I needed to switch between footage from three different static cameras. Each was a different format and resolution, so getting them all into the one timeline at the right proportions and scale was quite a nightmare. I probably had to try 20 to 30 different exports before getting the cropping, proportions and de-interlacing right across the whole lot. The quality between the three cameras also varies, so although it was exported in HD, not all of the footage was HD and it shows quite obviously.

The sound was also an issue, as we had no proper sound recording and microphones on the day, it was all recorded on the cameras’ on board mics. In the end the audio from the nearest camera was used, although the level of noise was a problem, as well as the varying sound levels as Sidney walked towards and away form the camera. I used a free app called The Levelator to get the level as consistent as possible, and a couple of audio filters to try and remove the hiss, hum and background noise. The end result is far from excellent, but a lot better than the original source audio, so overall I’m happy with what I achieved.

Shaped Charges Demonstration at the UKPS AGM 2012

Footage from three different cameras were used for this, including some nice close up shots from my camcorder. Once the footage was all imported and munged to the same proportions this one wasn’t too bad to edit.

Fireworks Display at the UKPS AGM 2012

Very basic, no real editing other than to remove some empty bits of footage. I have yet to figure out how to video fireworks properly though with regard to focus, as several of my own YouTube videos will show. Auto focus struggles a lot of the time, but on the occasions I’ve tried using manual focus my camcorder screen is not high enough resolution to see when you get the right focus. It can look nice and sharp on the little preview screen, but when you get the footage onto a computer it looks blurry. I think this is where higher spec equipment comes into its own.