Skip to main content

Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 8 of 37

Waveforms and Scopes


Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 8 of 37

Waveforms and Scopes


Lesson Info

Waveforms and Scopes

Here's what this monitor really does that is pretty amazing. It allows us to check exposure and it allows me to pull up what's called a waveform monitor. So if I pull up a waveform monitor, it's gonna show me where my exposure is. Now in this exposure, I can see that I'm overexposed because, yeah I can see that I'm slightly overexposed based off the levels of target. Where the levels of that target is sitting. And right here, it's important because now I know that if I actually jump down this exposure slightly, I can get my scene within latitude of exposure. Now I'm going to explain what these forms and scopes mean right now. The other powerful thing about this thing is also something called a vector scope. A vector scope is crucial because it tells me where I am in white balance and it tells me how saturated I am in relation to where that center point is. Okay, so these are things that may be so daunting and scary when you talk about it, when you look at it but again, I didn't know ab...

out these three years ago. I still was doing content. I am only telling you about it now because I think it's important for us to learn about what we call waveforms and scopes. Okay, so a waveform, confusing, really, really confusing but it's a great way to visually check yourself on set. Because there are some things that sometimes we just don't know where we're at and we've just got to check the overall scene value as opposed to just the exposure of the person. So, waveforms and scopes are And I'm going to give you guys a clinic on it, so we're gonna learn about these right now. It's my favorite part. So, this is what we call a waveform and in this specific format it's called an RGB parade, red, green, B, parade 'cause they're coming after each other right? Like a parade. How much black or how much white. Meaning, am I overexposed or am I underexposed? Okay, you guys follow me on that? I'm probably going to get hammered on this, the proper term is luminance. Holes on the lines here. So we read a waveform based off of zero to 100 IRE. And IRE stands for Institute of Radio Engineers I think. And the reason that plays into affect is because all this does is measure amplitude and we can discern the level of video signals by finding out their amplitude as they come through this waveform monitor. So, black is at like 7.5. So this may be kind of confusing right now but if you look at a chart, if you look at... This chart, what do you see? You see black, you see gray, you see white. Black, gray, white. Can you see what I mean? Black's at zero, gray's at 40, white's at 80. Am I on exposure? Yes I am. So here's how it looks moving forward. It's always going to show left to right. If you have a chart this way, they're gonna stack up. So you can very easily tell if you're one, white balance 'cause if you're white balance, all three colors will be right on the same IRE level. If this was shifted up, what would I be? Mid tones? Red mid tones too high. You follow? If this was shifted up, what am I? Green mid tones, too high. If this was shifted up, green shadows too high. Got it? So show the chart like this, not like this 'cause it gets very confusing this way. (audience laughs) Don't do this, alright? Hey look! How do you read a waveform? It's always left to right. See, it's always left to right. But this is the left side of the frame and the right side of the frame. In this areas it's the left side of the frame and the right side of the frame. So here, left side of the frame, right side of the frame. Black, mid tone, highlight. Here, middle, black, mid tone, highlight. On the right side. Here, black mid tone, highlight. You kinda see it? So when you actually look at something that's why you can't do it like this. It makes it difficult for you to see where your black and your mid tones and your highlights are. What does this mean? This is a real scene. Where's the chart? The charts here. If I'm only looking at this part of the screen, where's my target? The target's here, here and here. Black, mid tone, highlight. What's wrong with the image guys? They're all blown out. Blown out! Over! I need to bring that down, I need to bring that down, I need to bring that down. So my shadows, mid tones and my highlights must come down. Can you see how this is valuable? Can you see how it's valuable? It's a real time test on your exposure. So what do we do in post? We do this, we can bring these values down in post. We can bring these values down in production, before we get to post. That's the power of a waveform monitor. It's a second level check. Because let's pretend I've got a screaming background and it's just super hot, just completely overexposed. If I only meter for the subject and couldn't run to the background to meter it, that waveform monitor allows me to leverage both the meter and the monitor to get the right exposure. You follow? Because I can see behind it with the monitor and see where the specular highlight falls. If the behind it falls higher, I can bring that down in the way of camera exposure. So I think I talked about using a waveform monitor right? Any questions? I know that was really, really fast. (audience laughs) Victor, not a question but just a quick like, that for me was one of those what I call "pause moments." Where it's like okay, I think I got that 'cause I understand exposure from photography but that is such the importance of having this class to be able to go back, understand, re watch, all of these things for those pause moments like that one. This is my favorite part in making this class was doing this section because it's so scary. And we're not done yet, we still have vector scopes. What's up? Yeah, forget production, let's do a post production. When you're in post production, how are you adjusting your white balance to get it where it needs to be? Excellent! So in post, I'll show this later in the class, Is that Adobe Premier? This is Adobe Premier. So you can do this in Adobe's Lumetri Color. Lumetri Color module or you can do it in Da Vinci. I chose to do it in Da Vinci and I'll show you how I did it. Basically, what you end up doing is in the previous slide here, we saw that the white value if definitely off white. So what you do is isolate the red channel inside of a three way color corrector and you bring down the red so that you can then match it in post to that, to get a natural color tone. And we'll talk about that in Da Vinci. And the best thing about Da Vinci, it's free. 12.5 is free. It's always free, it's great. So we talked about light-meter vs. waveform and how we can leverage both. Did you guys understand the concept there? I really wanna make sure we understand that because I can get an exposure value here but if I can't run to my background, the waveform monitor's gonna tell me if my background's out of gamut or not. That's huge! Because what matters is what I'm seeing on a screen and if that IRE value clips up and jumps up, I can pull down my camera exposure to make sure that I'm within latitude and it's between 80 and 7.5. 40's your mid tone. I see some heads nodding. (audience laughs) I love teaching, this is great. (audience laughs) Okay, cool! They do separate things, best used together. That's what you gotta remember. The more the cluster of light, the more the cluster of colors shifts away from the center, the more off white balance you are. Now, I'm gonna get my trusty teaching tool here. From center to out. That vector is the level of saturation in what is the here, the scian channel. If this line is straight from here to here, that means I'm on point with the color. That means I do not have a hue shift. If it shifts this way, that means I have a hue shift. You can see here, the colors are actually pretty far out. What that means is the further from the center the colors are, the more saturation you have in the image. How powerful is this tool? You can look at it and immediately tell that your blues are over saturated, they're shifted in hue and then you can see that there is no white balance somewhere, 'cause if there was a white balance, you'd see a white cluster somewhere right here. Let's keep talking. So here are the colors. You have one other vector that's really important called the flesh tone line. That's where you're gonna get clean flesh tones. So this is a really powerful tool and I'm teaching it to you guys now so that later on when you step into it you're not scared by it. People get really, really scared looking at these kinds of things. It's really not that bad. Alright, so the image on the left, skew towards blue. But as we take a look here, "Hey! This is what the chart's for." You show the chart, boom! The perfect white balance. Boom! Perfect color! Everything's on vector, except that green. It's slightly shifted. Now you can look at these scopes for two different cameras and begin to see in which way you need to shift in post to match them. Or use this target in post, use it in Da Vinci Resolve and Da Vinci Resolve will match them for you. Huge, huge huge! And yes, I'll teach that later. So that was a gear component. Obviously I didn't talk a lot about gear. What'd I talk about? The one thing I that I think is gonna be important for you as you progress into doing client profiles. Because vector scopes and waveforms are going to be something that's gonna save you because as cameras evolve and as you evolve, your knowledge base of the fundamentals of filmmaking and the fundamentals of just understanding how to read something is gonna play huge. 'Cause it's gonna prevent you from making a mistake. These are obvious things we do every time before we shoot. Because a white balance, you can't replicate. I didn't get white balance on some of the shoots and I spent hours grading. It sucked.

Class Description


  • Confidently make a movie from start to finish
  • Expand your photography skills to motion pictures
  • Tackle pre-production and post-production essentials
  • Capture video and audio expertly
  • Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition


Photography and videography have several things in common -- but what about factors like audio and telling a story using video editing? In this filmmaking class designed for photographers, learn how to use the DSLR or mirrorless camera that you already have to capture high-end videos. In this start-to-finish course, you'll master everything from planning to post-production. The goal of the class is to teach anyone how to create a video from start to finish.

Dive into video production from the planning and pre-production phase, where you'll learn how to choose an idea, scope out locations, research the client, and more. Jump into video gear -- and what's really necessary on a low-budget -- and learn the essential filmmaking tips for recording. Discover how to capture excellent audio and tackle those B-Roll shots.

But this filmmaking course doesn't just teach you how to use editing software -- you'll learn the editing process, start to finish, from storyboarding to exporting. Work in Adobe Premiere Pro to perfect your footage and Adobe Audition to fine-tune that audio. Tweak color in DaVinci Resolve. Add soundtracks, titles, and keyframes. Then, finalize and export your project.


  • Photographers eager to add motion pictures to their repertoire
  • Beginner filmmakers
  • Self-taught filmmakers ready for additional insight

SOFTWARE USED: Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve


Previously a photographer, Victor Ha is now a filmmaker. His experience working with both stills and motion pictures helps him guide other photographers through the same process, from photo to video. He's known for his straightforward, practical teaching style that's easy to follow along with.


  1. Class Introduction

    In the first lesson, meet your instructor and learn what to expect during the class. Know what's up ahead by pinpointing the goals for this class at each production stage.

  2. Putting Ideas Into Motion

    Start the filmmaking process with an idea. Learn how to flesh out ideas and turn them into successful projects.

  3. Client Profiles

    Video projects come in many different forms, from cinemagraphs and short films to commercials and features. A client profile is a type of video telling a story about a person or business. Learn what's involved in this simple video type as an easy format to get started with.

  4. Choosing Your Subject

    Video projects start with a subject -- but just how do you choose? In this lesson, Victor discusses how to narrow down your ideas to choose the best one.

  5. Scouting Locations

    Part of the planning process is scouting out different locations, an essential part of pre-production. Learn what to look for when scouting out different locations and how to spot good camera angles. Then, work with that information as you prep for shooting.

  6. Researching the Client

    Understanding the client -- and what they are looking for in a video -- sets the stage for a successful video project. Learn how to research your client and the essential pre-production questions to ask.

  7. Choosing Equipment

    You don't need an elaborate amount of gear to shoot video -- Victor goes through the essentials for video, and how that list may change for different products.

  8. Waveforms and Scopes

    Waveform monitors show a visual of the video's exposure. Using waveforms along with vectorscopes can help you get the best results in camera as you shoot. While confusing at first, these tools offer big advantages on set.

  9. Shooting Strategy

    Build a strategy to organize those thoughts from pre-production and create a shooting schedule for the project. Incorporate these factors into a shooting strategy for success.

  10. Interview: Setting Up for Success

    The interview is an essential style for filmmaking. In this lesson, learn how to set up an interview for the best results, including audio suggestions and pitfalls to avoid.

  11. Prepping for the Interview

    Before you head into the interview, have a list of questions -- and practice asking them. Master the essentials for interview prep, including research.

  12. Capturing Audio

    Video and audio go hand-in-hand. Gain tips for capturing the best audio for your video, from dual system sound and setting levels to working with audio gear.

  13. Capturing Room Tone

    By recording the ambient noise in the room, unwanted background noise is easier to edit out. Learn how to capture the room tone and tricks to create better audio by adjusting the room.

  14. Audio Q&A

    Audio is scary stuff -- learn from the most frequently asked questions from students like you.

  15. B-Roll: 3 to 1 ratio

    B-Roll is supporting footage for your video, helping to add interest and fill gaps. In this lesson, learn why B-Roll is important -- and how much you need to shoot.

  16. Planning for B-Roll

    B-Roll should help tell your story -- so what should you capture, especially when the scene doesn't seem so interesting? Find out how to plan for B-Roll and ideas for the most interesting shots.

  17. 5 Rules to Capturing B-roll

    Use these guidelines to capture better B-Roll for your project, from gear tips to determining what's important.

  18. Using B-Roll to Shape an Edit

    B-Roll is secondary footage -- learn how to tackle video editing with B-Roll in mind. Then, jump into editing with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.

  19. Introduction to Footage Review

    After recording, you may have hours of footage -- how do you decide what goes in and what stays out? Make footage review less daunting by tackling your fears first.

  20. Asset Management

    Organizing footage saves time and helps you get a jump start on that edit -- but the organization doesn't have to be elaborate. Learn how to manage the assets for your film project.

  21. Edit Setup

    Before you edit, preparing helps get the film project off on the right foot. Learn how to prep for editing, from working on audio first to identifying mistakes.

  22. Edit Audio in Adobe Audition

    Victor suggests photographers edit audio first to get the aspect that we're least familiar with out of the way. Build an understanding of audio editing and skills for using Adobe Audition, including eliminating that room noise.

  23. Syncing Your Footage

    Set up for a successful edit by creating "goal posts" and allowing enough time to reach each one. Start working on the edit by laying out the timeline and syncing footage.

  24. Conceptual Storyboarding

    Building a storyboard guides the edit and helps you tell a story, without meandering away from what's important. Create a successful story -- and learn why Victor creates his later in the process -- by working with a storyboard.

  25. Editing Choices

    Video editing is full of choices -- but you can always change your mind. Learn how to get over hurdles and make the best choices for your filmmaking project.

  26. Selecting a Soundtrack

    Soundtracks give your edits a tempo -- but what song should you choose? Victor talks about choosing neutral soundtracks, avoiding songs you already know, understanding copyright, and everything you need to know about soundtracks.

  27. Building the Rough Cut

    Start turning that storyboard into an actual edit by building the rough cut. Learn how to shrink down long footage, decide what to cut and what to trim, and start organizing footage.

  28. Refining the Story

    Take that rough cut and turn it into something less rough. Start moving footage around to match that storyboard. Victor explains the "meat and potatoes of editing" -- going through footage, listening, cutting, and repeating that same process again.

  29. Adding B-Roll

    With the shape of the video in place, work in footage from the second camera and B-Roll footage to fix continuity issues or simply add more interest. Develop not just an understanding of the editing software, but a workflow for editing your film project.

  30. Rough Cut to Final Cut

    Move from that rough cut to the final cut with an overview of the last stretch of the editing process, including mastering transitions, color edits, and polishing that timeline.

  31. Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

    Create color-graded videos inside DaVinci Resolve. Learn how to use the software, import and export, and color grade your project.

  32. Three-Way Color Corrector in DaVinci Resolve

    A three-way color corrector allows you to fine-tune RGB values. Walk through the basic color correcting process to correct issues like color cast.

  33. Export from DaVinci Resolve to Adobe Premiere Pro

    With the color correction finished, be sure to export your file properly for a seamless transition back into Premiere Pro.

  34. Add a Title in Adobe Premiere Pro

    Adding text and titles in Premiere Pro is simple. Learn how to add text frames to your video project without leaving Premiere Pro.

  35. Export Project from Adobe Premiere Pro

    Once your edit is finished, it's time to deliver. Learn how to export your project from Premiere Pro.

  36. Adding a Keyframe

    Keyframes are simply markers in the video that signify the start and the end of a change. In this lesson, Victor uses keyframes to adjust the audio of only a small portion of the video.

  37. Creating Multiple Projects from Your Edit

    With the main project done, what else can you build from your material? In this lesson, Victor discusses additional options to add to smaller supplemental projects to your main work.


Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video