Music Videos, Beats and More

Giz – ‘Dark World’ music video ft. Vanessa, by Avene

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Click here to view the video on YouTube

Giz – ‘Dark World’ music video featuring Vanessa

This is the video I wrote about in my post here a couple of weeks back, shot entirely on my Canon S95. For more information about the shoot, I suggest reading that article. Now, I’ve only just managed to post it up here. I wanted to grab a few before and after shots to show you all how the original video looked, and how it looked once cleaned up using a bunch of different plugins in Sony Vegas Pro 10. As  I mentioned in the other article, this is the first music video I’ve shot entirely at night using the S95, and in this case too, without any special lighting. After that Red Head light exploded, I decided not to use the Red Heads again that night, instead, using whatever light there was available.

The first image below shows how the pool scene looked with no lighting at all apart from the lights from within the pool itself. As you can clearly see it was quite dark there! Click on this image or any other images below to view the full size frame taken from the video.

Giz - Dark World, Vanessa, pool scene no light

Next up is another poolside shot of Vanessa, and once again, a frame taken straight the original video footage with no processing done to it. Apart from the pool lighting, the only light here came from a single white LED light on a mobile phone that Giz was holding. I can’t remember what phone it was exactly, but I think it was the Blackberry. If not, it would have been his iPhone4. As you can see in the photo below, the light from the LED isn’t that bad. Of course there’s video noise in a few of the dark areas, but overall it doesn’t look too bad. Definitely impressive for a camera as small as the S95.

Giz - Dark World, pool shot before with LED light

Below is the after shot, a still frame taken from the final completed video with effects added. I put all these pool side shots on a single track in Vegas, and effects to the track as a whole. Beforehand, I removed the noise from all these poolside video takes using the Neat Video plugin for Vegas, which did a great job as always. The plugins I used for all the poolside shots were as follows: BCC (Boris Continuum Complete) Film Process –> Fill Light –> Chroma Blur –> AAV ColorLab –> BCC Glint –> BCC Safe Colors –> Add Noise –> Sharpen.

Giz - Dark World, poolside shot, after with effects added.

As you can see, the results aren’t that bad. Show this to any video professional, tell them the lighting came from a mobile phone LED and it was filmed using a pocket sized point and shoot camera. Will they believe you? I don’t know, but compared with how the original footage looked, I’m more than happy with how it turned out. One thing I especially like is much nicer her hair looks in the final shot.

In case anyone is wondering why I added noise, I’ll explain why. Neat Video can sometimes cause banding artifacts in video if you apply too much noise reduction to a clip. This is what happened here. But add some noise to the video and it will cover up most, or nearly all of that banding. It worked on these shots, and as a result I used the noise throughout the whole video to keep the look consistent. In Vegas it was the Add Noise plugin I used with a setting of 0.040. Although I’ve since decided that was too much and now set it to 0.020.

Below is another before and after comparison. This time the bedroom shoot. What’s significant here is that the shot was lit using candles, plus Giz’s iPhone LED which provides the blue light in the shot. The candles worked better than expected. You can see a photo of them in my previous post here. The room originally had no light at all.

Giz - Dark World music video, candle shot before

In the after shot below, similar improvements have been made again. Nothing too exciting, but the noise has been removed, the colours have been brought out more and the fine noise added the entire video can be seen here too.

Giz - Dark World music video candle shot after

This last comparison was from the garage area where most of the video was shot. Still quite dark down there, but not too dark for all that was shot there. The advantages of having a camera with decent low light capabilities really make a difference when shooting in locations like this. In this particular shot below, I did notice more video noise than normal. You may not be able to see it as clearly in the screen shot below, but when viewing the actual video footage, it did stand out. In fact, this was one of the very few shots where the shutter speed had been reduced to 1/30 second, which I believe is the slowest on the S95. Most other shots were all 1/50 second.

Giz - Dark World music video - bars shot before

Below is the after shot. What probably stands out the most here is what I’ve done to the skin tones. To be honest, I don’t remember doing this intentionally, but this is how it turned once I’d started making a few tweaks to the colours. And once again, most of the video noise has been removed.

Giz - Dark World music video bars after

Lastly, below I have included a screen shot of how the completed video looked. I’ll try and include a screen shot like this for all the videos I do from now on, to show how complex they can become. Something to note here is that we only shot one chorus, or at least the multiple takes of it. As you can see in the screen shot below, the timeline is set to measures and beats. As I wrote about in my article here about why I believe Sony Vegas is the best for music videos, this allowed me to easily copy all the takes I’d synced up to the first chorus, the only one we shot, and place them on the timeline where the 2nd and 3rd chorus’ begin without having to resync them. Even though Giz decided against using the last chorus.

Giz Dark World music video edit screenshot If you have any questions or wish to leave a comment, please do so below.

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About Avene
Sydney based artist specialising in creating music videos, cinematography, music production & beat making, digital art, sound design & photography.