I just discovered another really cool thing I can do using Creator 10. I’m in the process of creating an anti-smoking sketch for the state of Florida (yes, another YouTube contest, only this time I’m not in it for the prize since the prizes are only going to be doled out to legal residents of Florida). I think smoking is just gross enough that I’m willing to dedicate some of my time (let’s call it pro bono work) to bettering humanity.
As I've said before, it’s always more visually engaging when a video is augmented with interesting photos, unusual clips that help tell the story, etc. So I visited my favorite stock photography site, istockphoto.com (you can buy royalty-free stuff pretty cheaply there) and found this awesome video of a lit/smoking cigarette on a black backdrop. I was able to take that clip and “overlay” it onto my video by first creating a solid black panel in my production, then adding the mpg as an "overlay on the internal panel." The results are pretty stunning (considering I’m no pro I think this looks pretty darn cool).
Once I finish the piece you’ll get to see another cool effect in which I’ve taken what looks like a smoke-filled room and inserted myself in it, again just using footage that has a solid background and then mirroring the same background in the panel where I’m overlaying it so that the end effect is a seamless image (you can’t see where the image and panel behind it come together – or apart as the case may be).
Sometimes I find myself in a position where I have a mental block...I’ll get stuck on something – either trying to come up with some new angle I haven’t already tried….or exploring a new setting I haven’t exhausted a zillion times (I think that’s a real word actually). Surfing the web for ideas can help. You probably know you can go to google.com and perform an image search for the topic you’re working on. All kinds of things come up – some you may have never thought of – and often this can create new ideas or build on the ideas you already have.
For example, there is a section in my anti-smoking song that speaks to putting something “sweeter in your mouth” and I was able to find an image of a giant lollipop against a white backdrop. My plan is to take footage of me against a white backdrop, and then layer that into the panel with the enormous sucker and sort of wrestle with its sheer magnitude (the lolli will most definitely be bigger than me in the final cut). Kinda fun, right? It’s just a way to jumpstart the thinkin’ when you’re tired of the same old footage.
Let's say you recently went camping or on a fishing trip (or whatever floats your particular boat)…it’s way more fun to “delight” (that word is something a grandparent might use but it delights me nonetheless) the people who will be watching your photo slideshow or video with random photos of say Bigfoot or a massive hammerhead shark that you “caught effortlessly.” Know what I mean? F-U-N.
But if my idea of fun isn’t necessarily yours, that’s ok too. Stick to the footage you actually shot yourself and add neat transitions and effects between segments. My favorite transition is the “dissolve” feature because I love the way one image fades slowly as another comes up on screen. It’s such a softer effect than jumping from shot to shot. And with borders (like the “old photo” or “newspaper collage”) you can make what was a more ordinary series of photos something that jumps off the screen.
Do I sound like I’ve been paid to wax on? I’m feeling a bit prolific even for my own standards….but as I write this, my boyfriend is putting the final touches on a marketing plan that I’m supposed to be writing - so I’m attempting to look very busy so he’ll keep on going. More later! ;)