All views are mine and everything is IMO.
A lot of music videos are made simply by using a selection of images that reflect the gist of the song and what it’s about, or indeed just images of the singer/group involved.
As the usage of this method has been become widely used it has become quite acceptable as a means of enhancing the watching / listening experience.
Done right this type of video can be really emotive and effective to the viewer.
However, done badly and the whole experience gives no benefit to the songwriter/artiste.
As this is probably the most basic form of music video I do think it is important to make it look as good as possible.
Firstly, if you are finding the images on the internet (make sure they are copyright free)
or get permission from whomever the original image belongs to.
This usually just requires 1 or two emails back and forth.
There are lots of creative commons images available (and footage as well).Have a look at this video that I made for Colin and Kimberly. http://http://musicianstogether.com/video/UN2UY6D1M47D/Oh-Appalachia(I am particularly proud of having found the 'Public Domain' footage of the miner falling to his death, and the feet dancing without shoes).
Apart from the footage of Colin playing, everything else (images and footage)I acquired by tracking down the owner and getting permission or using 'public domain' footage that is there for the using.The thing about images from the Internet is that many times what you are seeing is a very low resolution, small image, or thumbnail of the image.
If possible try to find the original image that is of higher quality.Another option is to take your own pictures and use them.
Of course you may find a situation where you want to use a specific image but don’t have a reasonable quality or the image is very small.
Fortunately most times a photo can be cleaned up and/or enhanced in any of the photo editing packages available.
I personally use Photoshop.
Sizing images to obtain best Internet video:
Lets say you have 3 images that you want to use in your video.
They are all different sizes and different shapes.So what happens when in the video you have an image on a black background, fading out as another fades in?
For the time that it takes to happen, you have quite a messy looking 4 or 5 seconds of footage.
Especially when it happens many times throughout the video.Much cleaner if as below all images are the same size.
There is another problem with using different size/shape images and that is distortion if we make them the same size.If we plan to change an oblong image to a square image then there are a few solutions.
We could crop off the bits we don’t need to match the other images.
However if we don’t want to loose any of the oblong image we can stretch it to become a square image.
The image here has been stretched upwards.
The great thing about a music video is that we can get away with an awful lot, providing that it looks clean and well done.
When I used to film music videos, I always said to those taking part, "if you fall over", "and it looks good", "It's going in to video".As you can see above distorting the image is ok in this instance.
In fact at times a distorted image can look much better than the original, especially in a music video.
However we may want to make an image square, but not lengthen the man in the picture.This would apply especially if we had a face and did not want to distort it.
To do this we can add to the top and the base of the oblong image to make it square.
What I did here was to copy and paste the top (sky and clouds) onto the picture so that the pasted part ended in the same position on the image.
Then I stretched the top edge upwards to make the image square. I also did it on the bottom of the picture as well.
Because the joining edges haven’t changed position, the join edge is seamless.So distorting parts of an image whilst leaving other parts alone is one way of doing it.Here is another example.
In this one, I wanted the image taller but the stage to stay the same size.I stretched the image from the top of the stage top bar making the buildings taller.Another example:
Three examples of the same picture. Horse and wall stay the same size although the image size changes.When stretched the hill is higher but it works.If you are using video editing software to edit and make your video then the following may be helpful.
It would be a good thing to get all of the images for your video to the optimum size for your video editing software.
I won’t confuse you by going into wide screen or hd at this point. Lets just stick with the two most common formats.
The USA and some other countries use NTSC whilst PAL is used in the UK UK and some others as well.
Once your video is fully edited it will have to be saved or exported as a file for upload. (most editing software will do this).
If you are going to upload it to most video internet sites, they have software that will convert your video file into their preferred format for viewing.
It doesn’t matter which you work with in your editing (NTSC or PAL) because once its converted they become the same on the internet anyway.
I wont go into the differences between NTSC and PAL, (refresh rate, colour interpretation etc etc.I am only concerned with the size of the actual image/picture.
NTSC is 720 x 480 – PAL 720 x 576 (thats the image size).
If you have footage filmed in the USA that you want to use along with your images in the video then your size will be NTSC.
Although with a music video mixing different format footage can often work.
Likewise for the UK, PAL size.
I always edit using the UK sizes.
So lets get back to our images resizing.It would work best, if all your images match the format that you are editing in.
What you need is to have a blank master image (template) in your photo editing software that is the size that your editing is being done in.
Then all your images/photos should be resized to fit this blank frame.
When each image is saved within this template (with different names of course) all of your images will be the correct (equal) size to import into your editing software.
Remember that most conversion software will reduce quality for fast streaming, and bad footage can end up looking worse than it is.
So again, if you can find or use a higher quality or bigger images to start with, the video will be far superior.Making a big image smaller always sharpens it up.
Of course enlarging an image can lead to reduced quality. Often the image is so busy that it’s not noticed and that’s fine.
However if the image does loose too much quality, time spent cleaning the image will be worthwhile.
Below is an example of this:
The image sent to me was only 7kb, almost the size of a thumbnail image so increasing its size was bound to lead to trouble.
Had it been a picture of a person it would never have worked as shown in the example below.
The picture when enlarged has become blurry and looks mottled.
Imagine what will happen when conversion software alters it yet again for Internet viewing.
PAL is nearer to being square than NTSC.
Creating a blank screen in your photo editing software, and getting all of your images to fit that size and look good, will make for a great video,
and greatly enhance the viewing experience.My two preferred sizes are:
NTSC 720 x 480 – PAL 720 x 576
Flash optimizes both of these very well.
Feel FREE to add to this subject or Make Comments
I hope this is of use to some
God Bless Roy and Helen