Finishing: QC Edit Points
Other things that I look for are things called gaps and flash frames. Now, when you're editing, sometimes you don't get two clips right next to each other. You may have snapping turned off. You might've done some sort of trim. And when you're watching a show, think about this, 1/30th of a second of black, that's called a gap or a flash frame, a lot of times you don't see it, especially if you're not trained to see it, the more you edit, the more you'll see it. And what you will see, is you'll see it in stuff on broadcast. You'll become tuned to it. But you want to make sure that you don't have that, so, what I like to do, is I like to jump to each edit. Now, there is an option, if you up here underneath the help menu. I'm gonna go ahead and type in gap. That says go to gap. Next gap is sequence is, keyboard shortcut is the semicolon key. Let me zoom in so you can see that. Shift and Option, or, in case of Windows, it's Alt, and it goes to the gap, and you can say next track, previous t...
rack, whatnot. This is useful, but sometimes it's like, "Oh, I forget all this. "I'm just gonna look at every single one of my edit points." And I don't want to necessarily find a gap, I want to look at all my edit points. So, we learned that the up and down arrow keys will jump us to our edit points. And here I just jumped and I found a gap. But I do want to point out that sometimes we have things on multiple tracks, right? And by default, if you only have this one track checked, it's only gonna look our jump to edit points on that track. Whether you're using this for your finishing, or you're just editing and you want to just jump to point, sometimes you want to be able to jump to an edit point on a track above, or an audio track, without having to go turning things on and off. So, instead of using the up and down key, use the Shift + Up and Down key. So, it's just a modifier. And that will have you stop at every single edit point on your timeline. So, I'm gonna zoom in here, because you'll notice that, let me go ahead and trim this. Let me just switch to my trim tool. There we go. I was actually trimming it. And I'm gonna just artificially throw something right here. I'm gonna actually cheat. I'm gonna hold down the Option key and make a copy of it. Why? Because I want to remind you that when you drag with the Option key, it's very easy to make a copy of something. So, I have an edit point, and this edit point, you know, it doesn't necessarily line up with anything. So, if I hit the down key, do you see? I missed it completely. And I also miss anything that'll be on the upper track. If I hold down the Shift, it does stop at that point. So, I use the Shift key. You notice, it did stop at all my audio, and that's because this was turned on. If this is turned off, and I don't hold down a modifier, it misses it. So, what you need to think, is that if you don't want to use the modifier key, if you want to make sure you use stop, and sometimes that's the case, just make sure all your tracks are turned on, and that's the right side. Again, this is confusing, and we'll kind of touch on this throughout. Left side is anything that you're bringing in, and kind of says, "I'm targeting to bring it in." Remember, we need to turn it off if we didn't want to bring an audio. We can turn it off if we didn't want to bring a video. So, that's bringing things in on the left side. This is controlling things that are already inside or on your sequence. So, if it's turned off, that says I'm going to ignore it. So, I want to turn it on. Now, I'm gonna make this big, because I want to point something out here. You may end up with a lot of video and a lot of audio tracks. The default is, you know, three video, three audio. When you make a new sequence, there's actually an option to create new ones. You may need to create new ones while you're editing. I'm gonna throw this out. To create new ones, where do you think you would go? Now, we talked about, and I'm not gonna make you answer, it's a rhetorical question, just in case you were panicking. Where you would go to make something new, would you go under help, go into window? Well, it's a track, so it's probably inside my sequence somewhere, because that's what I'm modifying. So, that would be one of the places I might look. Again, if you're in a Mac, you can always just type in track, and there you go. You can add or edit. And conveniently, there it was. It was directly in sequence, add tracks, actually, it's not add to tracks, I actually want to add a track. There we go, add track. There we go. Still is in sequence, it's just in a different location. Add tracks and delete tracks. Do I normally go to that? Absolutely not. I'm inside my sequence. I'm quick. I don't remember where the dropdown is. What did we talk about earlier on? You don't know where it is, try right clicking in the area that you think something is gonna happen. There it is, add track. Add audio submix; these are some tracks we were talking about. So, I could go ahead and I could add tracks, and you'll get a pop up. Let me zoom out a little. How many video, how many audio tracks. So, you could start ending up with a lot more tracks. Just as an FYI, I'm gonna shrink this down for a moment. If you add a piece of video where there is no track, it'll create one, same thing for audio. So, if I'm building stuff, and I go, "Oh, no, I need to put on something "on that upper track." let me shrink this by hitting Shift, I'm sorry, Shift + Minus should shrink that down. There we go. If I drag anything onto to a track where there isn't one, it'll create a track. So, you have that luxury. But ... I want to show you a great little shortcut for turning these all on and off, because the last thing you want to do, is go through, and sit there and go, click, click. I mean, you're thinking, "Oh, it's only a few clicks." but every click adds up, and when you're editing for weeks, you know, you're saving a dozen clicks. So, if you hold down the Shift key, it lets you turn all of these on and off. So, instead of going one by one. And this is true for everything here. We haven't looked in heavy detail at some of these. This is more of an advanced editing skill. We want to get you base first. But while we're here, these are things such as visibility, it's an eyeball. We look in audio mute and solo, and, actually, the record things, so, if I wanted to mute everything or solo. But this is really nice. Let's say I want to look at the video that just my titles, and here's a good rule of thumb, we learn with audio at the very beginning, that I like to put narration on the first track, music on the second, sound effects, I also try to keep some rules for my video. Okay, so, for instance, I may try to keep all of my titles on a single track, because I know where to find them. It's flexible enough. I could put them anywhere as long as it's above. But if I maintain some consistency, it'll make things easier down the line. In this case, maybe I just want to look at all my titles, and I could isolate and turn everything else off, or maybe I need to turn all the titles off because I'm giving a version to somebody who's gonna put their own titles, because they have their own typeface, and I don't want to have to go through and find each one, I could just turn off that whole track before I export. So, maintaining some sense of methodology will help you down the road. So, again, if I just wanted to look at what was on track two, so, I want to turn off everything else, I could hold down Shift, I turn them all off. Now, without the Shift, I turn that back on. So, now I can isolate a single track to view without having to lots of clicks. Then, again, I hold down the Shift again, and I can toggle that all back on again. The same thing is true for some other elements here. You'll see that there are some padlocks. If you click on a padlock, take a quick peek at what happens to the clips on this line. You'll see there's a very light crosshatching. A padlock locks that track from being modified, and this can be great if you've done something and you don't want to accidentally mess it up. It can be a little challenge if you locked your video and then moved the matching audio, that's an example where you could accidentally throw something out of sync. But locking a track is great. Maybe you've done all the audio mixing, and it's perfect, and sometimes you'll notice, when you go to move something you grab that horizontal line in the audio track, and now you're actually making your audio softer or louder. If you recall, I have these lines here, and I mixed my audio, and now I'm moving things around, and I accidentally grabbed this, and, suddenly, boom, it's loud. So, if my audio is completely done, I may lock it. And that way I don't accidentally change the levels of my music. And then you can also click to unlock it. Again, Shift locks everything. Shift unlocks everything. And it's video and audio specific. So, that's just kind of a nice little thing to know. But this is one of the reasons that you watch it, because you may done an audio mix, and then when you watch, you realize, "Oh, I actually made this one clip really loud." Or I'll tell you, this is more likely what you'll do. You'll go through and you'll watch it, and, suddenly, there won't audio on the clip, and you'll go like, "Wait a second, where did it go?" And you want to catch that. If you didn't review it, you wouldn't catch it, because sometimes you go to move your mouse, and you might accidentally grab that and bring the volume down to zero, and you don't really notice it, because you're focusing on something else. You're thinking, "Oh, I just went to move it, "it didn't move." And then you go, and you play it, and it's like, "Where's Kenna's audio? "Her audio's not there." And this track is not there, 'cause it's muted. So, then you go in and you try to figure it out, and that's where some of the troubleshooting, "What did I do to mess things up?" So, you want to be able to sometimes lock things. But be careful that if you lock something, and you do an edit that should effect everything, that locked track will not be affected. Yes? There's a question.
So, in that process, you're just talking about, if you have inadvertently dropped the audio, do you have a way to go back to what you had it originally set at, or do you have to guess and bring it back up?
Good question. So, you've accidentally dropped the audio, can you go back to where it was? It depends how long ago you did it. It's unlikely. You can always undo, but you'll undo everything you've done after, to figure it out. So, if you did it like two hours ago, you definitely don't want to go back in time. One thing you can do, and this is, again, very useful, and we've touched on this in some of the lessons, is there is a history panel. So, you can look at, basically, I think it's the last 20 edits that you did, and you can see if you did some sort of, modifying a parameter, audio would be a parameter, to try to track it down. Most likely, what I would do, is, one, first try to figure out what it is, 'cause we know what we did, 'cause we just did it, but you're gonna go, "What did I do?" And you can't figure it out. And, eventually, you will come to it. So, sometimes with the audio, I would actually, I might load this into my source monitor, and I'd look at the effect controls, and then sometimes if I can see that my volume is down to zero, if I know to look for that. So, it's little thing like that. But ... Usually if you've done any kind of a mix, where you have keyframes, the odds are, if you're gonna grab it, only part of it is gonna brought down to zero, because, remember, you're grabbing a lie. But, yeah, sometimes you might have to go back and redo or reinvent the wheel. It's easier then undoing and redoing. Rule of thumb, be conscious when you grab a clip that you didn't grab. If you grab it and it doesn't move, think to yourself, "Did I just move my audio levels?" And, of course, audio is the only thing that is affected as opposed to video, you can move around. But that's a good point. And I love gotchas, because we all get them, and if I make a mistake, or tell you about something I've made as a mistake, hopefully, you won't make it, or if you do, at least you'll have this aha moment, saying, "Well, I remember in lesson," you know, "that Abba said." So, what I would do, so, we've talked about jumping up and down the timeline using the Shift key. So, I would jump down. I'm just using the Shift key, and jumping between edits. And you notice, again, I'm thinking, "Why am I not seeing anything?" Do you guys know why I'm not seeing anything? 'Cause I turned off my, I believe I turned off my video, if I recall. I mean, I'm seeing only Kenna, so, let me go ahead and make sure that I don't have a single track turned on. Oh, I know what I did, I threw her onto the top track. Okay, there we go. So, I'm gonna hold down the Shift key, and I'm just gonna step through, and this is gonna take me to each of the edit points. I'm noticing something here. Do you notice there's a little bit of a luminance shift? So, in my brain I'm saying, "Let me zoom in and take a look." So, I use the plus key, and I go in, and let me zoom in for you, and I can see, of course, I just hit that edit point. Zooming in is not something you normally do while you're editing, so people can see. So, let me go back and do that again. There we go. Find that point. There we go. Zoom in here. Zoom in here. There is some sort of bizarre thing happening here, and it's actually two things. I see that there's a dissolve. I was fading into this clip, and I see some noise here, something is odd here. So, I'm gonna remove the dissolve, remove the transition. And one of the things, when I go through, if I see a transition, I'll actually scrub through the transition, because you may have done an edit, you say, "I wanna dissolve." you throw the dissolve on, you're tired, you go to the next one. But maybe, as we talked about with transitions, when you look at that dissolve, maybe there was a camera flash, or maybe the camera panned real quickly, and just as it's fading out or fading in, you see some sort of motion, and your brain registers it, but it's not necessarily true. Let me know the other thing, and then I'll take the audience question. So, I also, this is a remnant of a previous edit. I've replaced a shot, and I literally have one frame of an edit. And if I watch that and play that, it's a, but you really don't know what it is, but you know there's something there. And, again, as a regular viewer, you probably never see this stuff, 'cause it happens all the time. When you're putting something out, you want to see that there's a shift. And if I did that shift down, I would actually see that there's an issue. So, I would go in. Several ways to fix this. I basically want to do some sort of a trim edit, close it up a frame from one place to the other. And that's one of things that I'm looking for when preparing to export. Yes?
So, you just said, you saw that there was a cross-dissolve, and you also said you saw some noise, what do you mean by noise, and how did you see it?
By noise, it was an anomaly, which the anomaly was underneath the dissolve, something still felt wrong. And how did I see it? Experience. But go with your gut. If something feels wrong when you're focusing down, looking at this edit point, zoom in, use that plus key. You can actually create a keyboard shortcut just to go to each, magnify each edit point, but I use the plus key a lot. Just hit it until I see the edit point. And that's where you sometimes will see there's an empty space, or you'll see there's an extra frame or two of something. But a lot of it is just watching and saying, your brain knows something's wrong. And until you zoom in you can't figure it out. And this was a double problem. This was not only the dissolve was hiding the extra frame, well, we had an extra frame. So, it just something to keep in mind. And the more you edit, and the more you start doing this finishing step, the more it becomes a knee-jerk reaction to say, "I better look closer." And that's where I said earlier, one of the challenges, is you start watching broadcast television and you start noticing this stuff. You start noticing continuity errors. You just don't want to keep pointing them out to your family, friends, and partners, 'cause they'll stop watching TV with you. But, there's one of the things. So, I would simply go through, Shift, up, down, this is a flash frame. This is one frame of blank video. If I'm looking at my timeline, do I see that? Absolutely not. If I'm watching this clip, do I see that? Maybe. I could've blinked at that point. Those happen all the time. And you just need to go in and use shift and find it, 'cause it'll stop at that point, and you need to extend one of the clips one way or the other. Okay, so, you do a trim, and hope that there's media there. If not, you have to do some slipping and sliding and manipulating, and we learned how to do all that. So, those are some things, when I look at the list, I want to actually play all my transitions again. Sometimes you even scrub through them. And that's why I said you don't want to do this when you're tired, because you're like, "Ugh, okay, good." And then you watch it like a week later. I've seen stuff like six months later. I mean, the clients' never said anything, and I was like, "I can't believe I delivered it with that "and nobody spotted it." But we learned it about that. And, you know, there's always gonna be that one person watching things frame by frame, and then posting on IMDB or something, oh, but that's me. So, that's one of the things that I like to do. So, we're checking for flash frames, checking for gaps, using the marker notes. I made a note to fix some colors. So, this would something that, you know, you may go through and color correct as your step by step, but then when you watch the show, that's when sometimes you go, "Oh, are my shots transitioning smoothly from each other? "Or does something look a lot more saturated "than the previous one." This is like a last check. Hopefully, you've done some of this while you've been editing, but sometimes you throw a shot in last minute, and you forget, so, you're looking for like luminance shifts, or color changes, something only to the degree that would distract your viewer. You don't want to go back and start doing color balancing again. But at this stage, you want to be able to change things. Now, I wrote a note that I wanted to go ahead and balance this. I might go ahead and, you know, I'm running and gunning. I'm just gonna open up the color panel. We've learned the color panel. And maybe I'll just go in and say, "Maybe I'll be lucky." And if I do a ... I gotta have the clip selected. There we go. Is it this one? I believe. Yes, it is that one. I'm gonna just see if I did auto. Not really a big fan. But, eh, it kind of make sit a little better. It's a little dark. I'll probably bring out the highlights. But, you know, bring up the vibrance, stuff that we lit, color correct, wait, that's tint, vibrance, there we go. And then I would see if that's better, but, you know, how does that blend? And in this case, actually, it made it brighter, but from an aesthetic point of view, now it pops too much, and also looking at the shot that it was next to, maybe I color balanced all the people, but then this is so purple, that everything now, my eyes have adjusted to this. And now it's going, oh, the colors look to green, because I've just looked at purple. Your eyes have been fooled. So, that's what I'm looking for, is just smoother flow between shots. And if I need to fix it, and maybe I don't fix this with a color change, 'cause I want them both to be true, maybe I go, I need to put in a dissolve. Sometimes maybe you're going from a really dark scene to a really bright scene, and you just don't want the audience to like go boom. And it's not like you're going from like one setup to another one, you just happen to be, you know, you're shooting this part of the room, and people are milling around in a dark area, and now you're shooting like something bright. It could be distracting, even though they're both technically accurate. So, you're looking to smooth that out. So, that's one of the things I do with the color correcting. And then I go through and I do the same thing that I do with my eyes, I relisten to my audio. I will often even mute our solo a track. Remember, soloing, you just listen to one track. Muting means you will turn it off, maybe I'll turn off music, and I just want to hear my voiceover to see if everything's good. I usually try to do some mixing while I'm editing, but I may go through. And I can see here that Kenna gets pretty loud. I can see in the waveform. And I may come back and say, "You know what? "I'm gonna go ahead and just tweak the keyframing here." You know, just put some points here on my timeline, bring that down a little bit, and listen to it and make sure that we don't have that loud pop. And you can get very precise with your audio. You can get beyond the frame level. You can actually get down to the sample level, you know, 48,000 samples. You probably don't want to do that. But you can get very precise. And that's what I do. I listen to the audio and make sure, okay, does everything sound okay in just the voice track? Let me listen to the music track. Let me listen to my ambient sound, independently. And then I have to listen to it all together, 'cause, remember, as I indicated in the audio lesson, audio is additive, so, when you start blending it together, is it getting to loud? Is it sounding right? And you can't just worry about the meters, because some people's voices punch through better than others. Some people's voices are muddy. James Earl Jones could talk in the middle of Times Square and you would hear him clearly. Amazing voice. We all don't have that amazing voice. So, even though his levels might be right, and you can hear him, and then you put your levels in, you may not be able to hear yourself. So, you listen, and it's based upon frequency, higher frequency, lower frequencies of our voices, just clarity of our voices. So, you may need to bring the voice up or bring the voice down to balance everything. So, really, what this is, is it's a balancing act, you're looking at it, you're looking for the mistakes. You're looking at your text that you typed in. Hopefully you followed the advice of getting the client to give a piece of paper, I'm sorry, a document, a digital document that you can copy and paste into. But I always go back and reread all my titles. And if it's something spelling, I spell it backwards. I go and I read it backwards to make sure, because your brain will miss things like double thes, but if you're reading it backwards, especially like a croll, a croll is a combination of a scroll and crawl, by the way, which doesn't exist, by the way, on television. But if I'm looking at text, or if I type something in, I read each word backwards. Not each letter backwards, but each word. And then you sometimes see if you're missing something, 'cause our brains, you know, we scan. We're lazy. We're tired. So, those are all the things that I like to do as the finishing, and make sure everything is good. And then I'm ready to export it. My show is good. It's blessed. Sometimes if I have somebody in the studio, or in my house, or I go to the hotel room next room, knock on their door, I have somebody else watch it with fresh eyes, 'cause they'll see something that I may not. So, that's one of the tricks I do. And the other trick I do, is if I have the luxury of doing it before I put to print it, but I even do this after I export it and before I deliver, is if you watch the show that you've just created, sitting next to somebody, you will see things you never saw as an editor, and they don't have to even open their mouths. 'Cause you're watching, and you go, "Oh, that was just too long." or, "I can't believe," 'cause you're looking at it with fresh eyes, 'cause you're thinking, "What are they thinking?" They could be asleep. Well, hopefully they won't be. But you will look at it with new eyes. So, I always try to watch a show with other people. And then I have a whole new view of it. So, those are some of things that I like to do in what I call the finishing area of my show, or prepping for the edit.