Tips for creating a cinematic video filter

Recently I created this Video Filter for a trade show we were attending: 

It shows off a few elements that you can use to make branded Video Filters with impact.

Here are a few tips for creating a video filter that will wow your audience.  

Tip #1: Choose a good soundtrack


The right soundtrack turns a captured video into something that commands attention.  

You can use sites like www.freepd.com to grab a Creative Commons "open source" soundtrack that is available for free use. There are many other sources of soundtracks available ranging from free to a few bucks to expensive. Don't use unlicensed music.

Tip #2: Crop the soundtrack and take note of beat changes


If you download a 2 minute song and your captured video will only be 10 seconds, it is better to crop the song down so the iPad won't have to download and store the whole song. We recommend not cropping it exactly, leave some extra room at the end in case you decide to extend the capture later. So maybe crop it down to 30 seconds. This is optional but recommended, especially if you will be deploying to multiple devices. 

There are many ways to crop the soundtrack. I downloaded a program called Easy Record and Trim from the Mac App Store. It is free for basic use like this. 

Once you have the soundtrack in a music editor, you can note where the beats in the music are by playing and pausing the soundtrack or just by looking at the soundwave (shown below). You can position the play head on the beats and then take note of the time, for example in the below example the time is 0.94 seconds. Then you can also grab the other spikes and take note of those times too. 

This is valuable because if you add effects based on the time of beat changes, the end result is next level.   



Tip #3: Use videos for foreground animated overlays


In the example video you can see the meteor slamming into the video wall. 

Setting this up was actually pretty simple. I purchased a video on Video Hive, in this case it was the Meteor but there are a lot available, this creator alone has a whole gallery of similar videos. If you get a video with Alpha Channel it makes it easy. But if you get a video with the effect on a black background, you can use the MULTIPLY blending effect to make the black disappear.  

Once you have purchased the video, follow these instructions: 
to slice up the video into individual frames. 

In this case, I opened the .MOV file in Photoshop, cropped it square, and then went to File > Export > Render Video

Read that article and take a look at the dialog screen that I used:  



Tip #4: Putting it all together  


The power of Fotozap is that you can mix and match various effects.  

For example in the example video you can see that there is a meteor animated overlay and then a text animated overlay that appears behind the explosion. This was done by adding two different animated overlay sequences, one with the above frames and another with the text that was above the meteor sequence on the Admin Site.


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