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I have been selling IPhone 6S Plus videos but I only shoot in 4K, so can't sell them on Alamy.

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Next dumb question -- Is it possible to reduce the size of these big video files? I don't have an especially speedy Internet connection, and uploading batches of 225-500 MB files will be a slow process.

 

Am I missing a compression step?

No, your aren't really missing anything of core compression technique. If you're preparing your full HD clips (1920 x 1080) clips for Alamy (.MOV files at 95% quality) the only way to reduce the file size is to (1) remove any audio from your clips, (2) use 92% quality (the usual norm), (3) trim the clip somewhat by removing some redundant frames (not keyframes through), (4) reduce clips to half-HD size (1280 x 720) ... it does improve the acutance somewhat. In fact I sell (elsewhere) many more clips of 720p. Also, please do have a look at the following link (kindly bear it, a bit lengthy) and see if you can get something useful out of it. Cheers.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUPh2t8b0gg

 

 

Thanks very much for the info and link. I'll check out the video. My current Internet upload speeds are OK for still images but too frustrating for large video files. I'm working on fixing that.

 

BTW you mentioned saving at 92% quality previously. Is 95% an Alamy requirement? It doesn't sound like much of a difference.

 

Alamy's video submission specifications require quality at 95% ... sorry if I mentioned 92% in the earlier post ... 92% does remain the accepted norm though at most places. File sizes may in fact gain a lot if your export at 95% instead of 92%.

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I have been selling IPhone 6S Plus videos but I only shoot in 4K, so can't sell them on Alamy.

Oh 4K files can be easily exported as 1920 HD ones ... if at all you are keen about submitting at Alamy ... and of course files thus downsampled gain very substantially in their acutance !

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Next dumb question -- Is it possible to reduce the size of these big video files? I don't have an especially speedy Internet connection, and uploading batches of 225-500 MB files will be a slow process.

 

Am I missing a compression step?

No, your aren't really missing anything of core compression technique. If you're preparing your full HD clips (1920 x 1080) clips for Alamy (.MOV files at 95% quality) the only way to reduce the file size is to (1) remove any audio from your clips, (2) use 92% quality (the usual norm), (3) trim the clip somewhat by removing some redundant frames (not keyframes through), (4) reduce clips to half-HD size (1280 x 720) ... it does improve the acutance somewhat. In fact I sell (elsewhere) many more clips of 720p. Also, please do have a look at the following link (kindly bear it, a bit lengthy) and see if you can get something useful out of it. Cheers.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUPh2t8b0gg

 

 

Thanks very much for the info and link. I'll check out the video. My current Internet upload speeds are OK for still images but too frustrating for large video files. I'm working on fixing that.

 

BTW you mentioned saving at 92% quality previously. Is 95% an Alamy requirement? It doesn't sound like much of a difference.

 

Alamy's video submission specifications require quality at 95% ... sorry if I mentioned 92% in the earlier post ... 92% does remain the accepted norm though at most places. File sizes may in fact gain a lot if your export at 95% instead of 92%.

 

 

Thanks for the clarification. I've had some initial success submitting (not here unfortunately) 92% quality videos now that I've upgraded to a speedier Internet connection. Turns out they were HD after all.

 

Judging by what has been accepted so far, I get the feeling that it's best to concentrate on non-editorial subjects rather than editorial ones (unless releases are available). Is that a fair assumption?

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Great info and here are my newbie questions:

I have a ton of unedited video taken on various cameras and my iPhone and when I look at the kinds of clips seen on TV, I know some have potential. I just need to figure out how to edit them. No clue how to edit - I have iMovie on my Mac - is that sufficient? Any good links to learn how to use it?

Any other software I should consider? 

For travel stuff that might be editorial only - worthwhile or not? Would backgrounds used on TV be considered editorial? i.e. if you have say boats in a harbor with people in it, is it worth uploading? Especially if they're tiny and unrecognizable. 

Thanks! 

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I took a free iMovie class at my nearby Apple Store to learn how to edit my iPhone 6S Plus videos shot in 4K. 

Edited by Lisa
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Great info and here are my newbie questions:

I have a ton of unedited video taken on various cameras and my iPhone and when I look at the kinds of clips seen on TV, I know some have potential. I just need to figure out how to edit them. No clue how to edit - I have iMovie on my Mac - is that sufficient? Any good links to learn how to use it?

Any other software I should consider? 

For travel stuff that might be editorial only - worthwhile or not? Would backgrounds used on TV be considered editorial? i.e. if you have say boats in a harbor with people in it, is it worth uploading? Especially if they're tiny and unrecognizable. 

Thanks! 

 

There are lots of issues wrapped up in your handful of questions. I'l pick out just a few:

 

You need to decide where you are going to submit video and look at which video format/codec (s) they require. If you can identify a format/codec which is common to all you are best using that. I use MOV/Photo-JPEG, which is quite old and is better suited to HD than 4K, but pretty well all the agencies accept it.

 

If you have used a variety of cameras you may find each camera saves its video files in a slightly different format. You'll need to identify the native format for each camera and check whether your editing software of choice can read it. In some cases you may need to convert it to an intermediate format for editing. Do lots of research on the internet and video agency forums. The native format for some older cameras may be so highly compressed that it is useless for further editing and submissions. Research, research, research.

 

Basic editing can be done very simply with a free programme called MPEG-Streamclip. DaVinci Resolve is a very good program, also available free as Philippe says, but it is aimed at professionals. I've been editing video for years and it took me quite some time to work out how to use Resolve. It is very powerful and it would be very easy to overcook the editing, especially when  colour correcting. Tons of internet tutorials available but there have been lots of versions (currently v.13) and the tutorials prior to v.11 may not easily translate to the current version. For years I used Adobe Premiere Elements but I was never very happy with the control I had over colour correction and I now use Resolve exclusively (with MPEG-Streamclip to convert Resolve's final output to my preferred MOV/P-JPEG format) Again, spend a lot of time in research and tutorials to find your feet.

 

If you have been shooting handheld you may find footage is not always going to be accepted. Generally you should assume the footage should be shot from a tripod or dolly. Shaky handheld footage can sometimes be rescued using stabilization software (built in to Resolve) but it has limitations.

 

Not all agencies accept editorial video. Others have differing standards on what constitutes unrecognizable people. My own approach is to follow Alamy's guidelines for still images - if there is any part of any unreleased person in a shot then I can only upload it to those agencies which take unreleased editorial. I sell quite a bit of editorial video so, as long as you treat it correctly in terms of how you categorize/release it, it has potential.

 

Getting video right takes time and effort, but the rewards can be worthwhile. I find video takes a different mindset, so nowadays I set out to take either video or stills, not both at the same time. I do shoot the occasional still when videoing, but I think the end result is usually inferior to a dedicated stills shoot.

 

Have fun.

Edited by Joseph Clemson

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If you have mac then Xcut pro is one of the best. I find it very easy to edit/cut files down to size,remove sound tracks,colour correct and stabilise footage. If you can't stabilise it in Xcut then chuck it in the bin. Rendering and saving is also straight forward. Then use compressor to change to HD or what ever. Having said that i still have not got my head round the X cut library but with large 4k files its easier to transfer them to an eternal hard drive.

 

Regen

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Which do you videographers prefer, manual focus or auto focus for shooting video clips?  I've had decent luck so far with AF, but MF would seem to make more sense in some instances.

 

Thanks for the additional free editing software suggestions. I'll check them out. 

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I have been selling IPhone 6S Plus videos but I only shoot in 4K, so can't sell them on Alamy.

I have the iPhone 6s, are you saying it can shoot 4K???

Do you have a holder/tripod for your phone?

I saw a video on utube, was the link in a thread here? Showing a beautiful video, I think of London, shot from an aircraft using a gimbal or some device. It was amazing footage.

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Yes Betty. On your iPhone 6S or 6S Plus, go to Settings, Photos & Camera, Record Video and select 4K at 30 fps.

Edited by Lisa

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Which do you videographers prefer, manual focus or auto focus for shooting video clips?  I've had decent luck so far with AF, but MF would seem to make more sense in some instances.

 

Thanks for the additional free editing software suggestions. I'll check them out. 

 

Manual focus is essential. Autofocus may start to hunt for focus during a shot and ruin it. Using manual focus can be a pain on small camera screens, especially in bright sunlight, so I often use autofocus to fix on my subject, then switch to manual focus to prevent it changing during the  shot. I usually fix the focus and switch to manual before trying to set the exposure too.

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Wow - lots to learn and think about - great advice - thanks. 

 

I've shot a fair amount of video using a tripod, but I'll have to learn all the editing first - going to try an iMovie class as Lisa suggests, but will also check out the free software others have mentioned. A couple of years ago, our town's local TV station was offering free video editing classes with X cut pro ( ?)  (the pro Mac software ) and was also going to allow people to use their equipment to shoot video, but there wasn't enough interest so it was cancelled. After that I sort of gave up on my idea of doing much video, but have shot some when I've been out with my tripod - and also some hand held, so we'll see how that stuff is. Hopefully, I'll have plenty of time this winter to learn all these programs and give it a try. 

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Hi Guys

How many frame You set in post production I heard that 24/per second is the most proper, maybe it changed?  

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Which do you videographers prefer, manual focus or auto focus for shooting video clips?  I've had decent luck so far with AF, but MF would seem to make more sense in some instances.

 

Thanks for the additional free editing software suggestions. I'll check them out. 

 

Manual focus is essential. Autofocus may start to hunt for focus during a shot and ruin it. Using manual focus can be a pain on small camera screens, especially in bright sunlight, so I often use autofocus to fix on my subject, then switch to manual focus to prevent it changing during the  shot. I usually fix the focus and switch to manual before trying to set the exposure too.

 

 

Thanks for the tip. I've started experimenting with a couple of legacy manual focus Minolta lenses (28mm and 50mm) that I have. They seem ideal for video, no zooming of course.

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Hi Guys

How many frame You set in post production I heard that 24/per second is the most proper, maybe it changed?  

 

I've been sticking with my camera output -- 29.97 fps, I believe.

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Is it worth investing in a slider (rail system), the compact type that mounts easily on a tripod? There are all kinds of them on ebay in all price ranges. What should one look for when buying a slider?

 

P.S. I'm in the "testing the waters" stage when it come to making video clips, and I don't want to spend a lot of cash. I can also see that video has become a very crowded and competitive field, but what else is new, eh?

Edited by John Mitchell

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I don't have an expert opinion based on experience on sliders, only a gut feeling and some playing around with DIY equipment.  

 

Viewers do like the additional visual dynamics sliders can introduce, but foremost, the subject of the clip is paramount in the buyer's decision. My own feeling is that timelapse clips benefit more from a slider than ordinary footage. 

 

I have played around with DIY sliders.What that has shown me is that any movement needs to be smooth and predictable, which almost inevitably means motorised. Hand operated sliders can produce usable footage but this will not be easy to achieve with normal movies and impossible with timelapse.

 

If you go for a slider do look for one with a recognised upgrade path to a motorised version. Also make sure the system can take the weight of the camera kit you intend to use on it. Bear in mind that you may want to use the slider at an angle to introduce horizontal and vertical movement , so any operating mechanism will ideally need to lift the weight of your camera as well as slide it sideways.

 

I don't think sliders can be done both well and cheaply. I guess I'm in the same boat as you as I can't afford expensive kit, so I am trying to learn more about how to get more out of my DSLR with the occasional venture into the field of timelapse. One thing I've pondered is a motorised rotating head, which gives some of the dynamics of sliders but are cheaper and simpler to use.

 

Choosing the right subjects to film is probably the most important thing to do, over and above techniques and equipment.

 

I have little expertise here, but hopefully my comments will get the ball rolling for others better qualified to comment. 

Edited by Joseph Clemson

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I don't have an expert opinion based on experience on sliders, only a gut feeling and some playing around with DIY equipment.  

 

Viewers do like the additional visual dynamics sliders can introduce, but foremost, the subject of the clip is paramount in the buyer's decision. My own feeling is that timelapse clips benefit more from a slider than ordinary footage. 

 

I have played around with DIY sliders.What that has shown me is that any movement needs to be smooth and predictable, which almost inevitably means motorised. Hand operated sliders can produce usable footage but this will not be easy to achieve with normal movies and impossible with timelapse.

 

If you go for a slider do look for one with a recognised upgrade path to a motorised version. Also make sure the system can take the weight of the camera kit you intend to use on it. Bear in mind that you may want to use the slider at an angle to introduce horizontal and vertical movement , so any operating mechanism will ideally need to lift the weight of your camera as well as slide it sideways.

 

I don't think sliders can be done both well and cheaply. I guess I'm in the same boat as you as I can't afford expensive kit, so I am trying to learn more about how to get more out of my DSLR with the occasional venture into the field of timelapse. One thing I've pondered is a motorised rotating head, which gives some of the dynamics of sliders but are cheaper and simpler to use.

 

Choosing the right subjects to film is probably the most important thing to do, over and above techniques and equipment.

 

I have little expertise here, but hopefully my comments will get the ball rolling for others better qualified to comment. 

 

Thanks for your reply. Very helpful. I haven't ventured into the world of time-lapse. However, as you say, finding appropriate subject matter is the real challenge. Equipment is secondary.

 

After looking around at various agencies, I can see that all the obvious subjects have been video-clipped to death. However, I'm amazed by how many really bad videos there are of where I live. So that is giving me some idea of where to start. I certainly don't expect to make a pile of money with video. Nonetheless, it's something new to try. and I'm enjoying the learning curve.

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After looking around at various agencies, I can see that all the obvious subjects have been video-clipped to death. However, I'm amazed by how many really bad videos there are of where I live. So that is giving me some idea of where to start. I certainly don't expect to make a pile of money with video. Nonetheless, it's something new to try. and I'm enjoying the learning curve.

 

 

My first video project is an hour-long (or more) documentary intended for a wide audience via DVD (I like jumping in at deep ends), on a historical subject of local significance. It's written and presented by a friend so as the cameraman I don't have to worry too much about the content and instead I'm concentrating on image quality and visual appeal. Like others have said, I can't afford to splash out on expensive gear so I'm trying to make the most of the constraints of static camera equipment. One person who's seen clips of the film said it clearly showed my background as a still photographer, which doesn't surprise me as all the shots are statically filmed and any movement is within the frame. But I feel that trying to emulate motorised zooms, sliders or trolleys manually will inevitably give the film an amateurish look. Everyone who's seen bits of it says it's visually very appealing.

 

One thing we've found over the year we've been shooting, which is relevant to your comment above, John, is that as we explore the local area for ideas and locations, we come across other smaller topics of great interest and add them to a list of short films we plan to do in the future. Many of the scenes we've shot, and would be shooting for future films, are ideal for being extracted as clips for sale through a library.

 

In terms of equipment I've broken my limited-spend rule in only one area, and that's sound. The sound capabilities of a DSLR are pretty poor compared to its visual capabilities, and I invested in a couple of lapel mics (cheap at £20 a piece but good quality) and a Tascam DR60 external recorder.

 

Alan

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After looking around at various agencies, I can see that all the obvious subjects have been video-clipped to death. However, I'm amazed by how many really bad videos there are of where I live. So that is giving me some idea of where to start. I certainly don't expect to make a pile of money with video. Nonetheless, it's something new to try. and I'm enjoying the learning curve.

 

 

My first video project is an hour-long (or more) documentary intended for a wide audience via DVD (I like jumping in at deep ends), on a historical subject of local significance. It's written and presented by a friend so as the cameraman I don't have to worry too much about the content and instead I'm concentrating on image quality and visual appeal. Like others have said, I can't afford to splash out on expensive gear so I'm trying to make the most of the constraints of static camera equipment. One person who's seen clips of the film said it clearly showed my background as a still photographer, which doesn't surprise me as all the shots are statically filmed and any movement is within the frame. But I feel that trying to emulate motorised zooms, sliders or trolleys manually will inevitably give the film an amateurish look. Everyone who's seen bits of it says it's visually very appealing.

 

One thing we've found over the year we've been shooting, which is relevant to your comment above, John, is that as we explore the local area for ideas and locations, we come across other smaller topics of great interest and add them to a list of short films we plan to do in the future. Many of the scenes we've shot, and would be shooting for future films, are ideal for being extracted as clips for sale through a library.

 

In terms of equipment I've broken my limited-spend rule in only one area, and that's sound. The sound capabilities of a DSLR are pretty poor compared to its visual capabilities, and I invested in a couple of lapel mics (cheap at £20 a piece but good quality) and a Tascam DR60 external recorder.

 

Alan

 

 

For what you are doing, Alan, in making compete video films, the sound equipment is a good investment. For most contributors to stock libraries it is better to omit sound altogether unless it is absolutely unique and relevant to the clip. Background sound on a clip is usually just an irritation, discarded by the editor, and they will source the sound they require separately.

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Is it worth investing in a slider (rail system), the compact type that mounts easily on a tripod? There are all kinds of them on ebay in all price ranges. What should one look for when buying a slider?

 

P.S. I'm in the "testing the waters" stage when it come to making video clips, and I don't want to spend a lot of cash. I can also see that video has become a very crowded and competitive field, but what else is new, eh?

 

I'm using a Walimex Pro slider which works well for me. As you probably know  ;) I mainly shoot nature, so I need at least a 100 cm long slider when filming in a forest or along little waterfalls or even statues. Fun to do and I very much like the motion effect which looks a lot more interesting than just panning, but it sounds easier than it is. It is incredible hard to track or pan in a smooth way. A little trick is using a rubber band and pull on that instead of pulling directly on the video head's handle. The rubber band acts as a shock absorber. I sometimes track AND pan at the same time which requires two rubber bands. One for pulling the camera along the slider, the other one for panning. Of course you need a sturdy tripod and good quality fluid video head in the first place. 

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

Thanks for the info.The Walimex locks like an impressive rig. Don't think I'm willing to put out that kind of cash, though.

 

I assumed that nature videographers just wore green (for camouflage) roller skates. B)

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This video is very strictly tongue in cheek, but if anyone is looking for stock video ideas;

 

https://youtu.be/SrKSJrkIZmg

 

The truth hurts sometimes.

Edited by John Mitchell

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