Videography

Information and Facts

What is Videography?

Videography is the art of using electronic media to capture and make videos or films. The term is very broad and can be captured on numerous electronic media such as digital photography cameras, camcorders, videotapes, mobile phones and so on.

The Process of Videography

There are three main steps when creating films and working with videography.
The three main steps are:
  • Pre-production
  • Production
  • Post-Production

Pre-production: Pre-production is the process of gathering and preparing everything needed for creating a video or film as well as planning a plot and writing any scripts. Things that need to be prepared as things such as collecting any video cameras needed and any other equipment, props, actors and so on.

Production: This step is the process of filming and capturing the subject. The production phase is an important stage within videography.

Post-Production: This stage is after all the filming has been shot. In this stage the film or video will be edited and have music added to it if necessary. Titles, credits and other things are also added in this process.


Basic Equipment

In videography equipment can range from simple objects for small or simple videos to more elaborate and expensive equipment for films and other media. Common equipment that is used in videography are:

  • A Camera (A video camera, a digital camera, tablets,etc)
  • A Tripod (Not essential, but is greatly appreciated for more level and even filming)
  • Lighting (This can vary from basic lamps to more professional lighting. Outdoor lighting is often also used but may vary with weather and time of day)
  • A Computer or Device that has Editing Software on it (This is helpful in making your finished footage look more professional and can be used to add titles, credits and so on)

Video Codecs and File Formats

There are thousands of different codecs designed to enable us to view films and open video editing software. Some popular file formats are:

  • MPEG-4 AVC
  • MJPEG
  • DV
  • HDV


There are also many different kinds of file formats that are used for Videography taht are very common amongst computer users such as :


  • AVI
  • ASF
  • Quicktime
  • RealMedia
  • Matroska


Both codecs and file formats are important to have on one's computer as they enable us to view and open various kinds of files that anyone may encounter.

Aspect Ratios

There is a selection of different ratios used for films and videos. An aspect ratio is the size and length of a video when played. Different sizes are made to fit different screens used for computers, cinema screens and other forms of viewing videos or films. Different sizes include:

  • 1:33:1 ( Also known as 4:3. Used for more older televisions and computers)
  • 1:5:1 (Also known as 3:2. Used for classic 33 mm film)
  • 1:66:1 (Also known as 8:5. Sometimes used for wide screening)
  • 1:77:1 (Also known as 16:9. Used for HD viewing.
  • 1:85:1 (A common standard used in US Cinemas)
  • 2:39:1 (The current standard for widescreen viewing)

Lighting (Common and Special)

Film making in the past, in it's infancy (Pre-1910) usually used natural lighting from the sun which lit a set or area. Reflectors were often used to centralize a light source to make it more brighter.

But these days electrical lighting is often used. Natural light is still common for outdoor use but may, as in the past use reflectors or a brighter source of light directed to the subject being filmed.

There are many kinds of lights that are used for creating a feel in a scene to make it appear to a certain condition or feel. Nighttime shots often need additional lighting as on-camera it will often appear to dark than what it really is in person.


Large lights often are used for outdoor scenes when natural light is not bright enough. These would shine onto the subject to create a more clear and visible area that looks good on scene.

Filming scenes such as a room lit by candlelight need additional light to make it appear realistic. Unless a high quality camera and correct lenses are used, filming without special lighting will make the scene appear too dark on camera. There are many techniques that are used to recreate the appearance of natural candle light. Soft lighting of a similar colour, such as an orange-like light bulb on a dimmer can be used to recreate the orange glare on walls and other areas that may need to be lit. These of course are hidden. Backlighting from behind that camera may also be needed. Techniques such as using reflectors to help put out more light from the candles are often also used. More blue like lights are also used on windows to create a nighttime sky. This and the candle light helps greatly with creating a natural look.

Different shades of lighting create a mood that helps set what is going on. A scary, horror scene often appears not to be bright and colourful, but dark, grey or not pleasant. A spring morning amongst a tree lined street will appear bright but not harsh. The time of day is often a vital part of high quality filming if shot outside. This makes it look far more realistic.

The art of lighting in Videography is very broad and goes on to more sophisticated forms and so on.

Clay Animation- What is it?

Clay Animation, also known as Claymation is a form of stop motion animation that uses figures mainly made from Clay Animation enables someone who wishes to make a form of animation, without the use of drawing or creating images through other means.


Claymations are produced by taking single individual shots of a scene, then played back at rapid speed to create the sense of movement. Claymations use figures and subjects created entirely from clay which are moved slightly before each image is shot. Therefore once all images are put in order, it will give the appearance of a moving scene. They can be very laborious. About 12 images will produce only 1 second. This means that 720 shots are needed for one minute of video with 21,600 shots for 30 minutes.


But regardless how labour intensive it may be, it is very rewarding from all that hard work. Many different stories can arise and from making all the characters and the filming and editing, they can be just as good as cartoon animation.

How to Create a Claymation- Pre-Production

Creating a good claymation is just about the same in terms of process as it would be for making any film.

The first step is pre-production. This step involves a script or plan, which will be about what your video is and how it shall come out. It may include sketches of figures and moves, any words they may say and building sets, gathering materials and other things such as camera's, computers and so on. This is a very important step and creating a claymation without a plan and going straight to taking photos with only characters constructed within an hour can cause problems as the story in the end may look too simple and basic or rushed and not very good at all.

Production

The production stage during filming is a very vital step in creating a film. It is the step when you begin filming after all! During this step must arrange your set properly so it is in place. Before taking a single image it is necessary to put your characters into place and the background is alright. Take one single photo of them in place. It may be wise to take two or three other shots of them from different positions as it will be very difficult to recreate the shape of the figure once it is moved.

After that single photo, move part of the figure slightly. This may be moving a hand just slightly or move it forward. Remember you must create every second and a lot of movement will happen within that second. After that move it slightly again, take a photo and do the same step over and over. This is very tedious and you must be cautious as if you move the character to quickly you may ruin a days work of shooting! Keep doing the steps above until all filming is done.

Post-Production

This is the final step in the process. During this stage you will take all your footage and from there begin to edit them and put them into order. You may want to edit some photos to make them appear a certain way, such as black and white or sepia. But this again can be tedious as you may have hundreds of photos. If you wish to colour you film in certain colours it may be better to do it at the end once of the photographs have been all put into order. A good film editing software will be needed to put the photographs into order. Personally I find Window's Movie Maker sufficient and simple. There is far more advanced software but a simple program like the one I've mentioned above is sufficient.

You will need to experiment slightly with how long each image will appear before changing to the next. This can be any fraction of a second and you should aim to make it to what YOU think is best. Of course the images would be on the screen for a fraction of a second but this can generally vary and you may prefer and shorter speed which will make the figures look like they are going fast and so on. You may want to add titles, credits and so on.

Once this is done you film will be complete.

Creating Figures

The clay figures you will make will be your actors, so it is vitally important that you make them strong and sturdy so they don't break apart easily. You should have a good idea of what you want your characters to look like. You many want to sketch them or copy the sculptures from a photograph.

The supplies you will need are:
  • Clay- there is a broad choice of clay that can be used. Special modelling clay is available, but is not necessary. Common play-doh can be used or you can make your own using water and flour to make a dough. There are also many different kinds of colours and food dyes.
  • Wire- This is optional but helpful if you want characters to be able to stand up without large thick legs. You can cut various lengths of wire to create to create a sort of frame to build around. This will be helpful in making your characters strong.
  • Fabrics- This is optional and completely up to you. You may want to make your characters have realistic clothing but this can easily be done as well from using coloured clay put over the body.


From here you can begin creating you clay figure. You will need to form the frame if you choose to have one. You will need to construct arms, legs and body and so on depending on what you are doing. You will need to join them through wrapping the bits of wire around corners and so on.


After this you can start adding clay to the outside of the frame. You can put it and sculpt it to a shape you like and which looks good, This might be a quick step or very long to get detailed characters. If you choose not to use fabrics you can add coloured bits of clay to create clothing and other fashion items to make your character appear the way you want them too.


You may want to create any little props such as food, couches and so on.


This process is not hard but can vary from person to person and how long it takes. Overall it shouldn't be too hard.

Resources that may be helpful

Low Budget Film Lighting
Claymation - Teatime Adventure!