Investing in studio monitors is a good idea when it comes to mixing and mastering your sound. The biggest problem with using any speaker set while mixing sound, even fancy Bose speakers, is these commercial speakers aren’t made with a flat EQ and all have different factory settings. When mixing your audio on regular speakers your mix will be made for those speakers, so if you have a sub and lot of bass and someone listens to the mix on their speakers without a sub it will sound very high pitched . The mix will sound high pitched because the audio was mixed with bassy speakers and you would have reduced the bass too much since the speakers added their own bass.
What Studio Monitors are made to do is give your the most neutral sound possible so that when you mix your audio it will be best suited for all speakers types and you won’t have to worry as much that it won’t sound right on different speakers. It is always a good idea to listen to you final mix on several different system like headphones, car speakers, etc… so you can get an idea of the audio in different environments.
Here is a great, short to the point video on the debate on curves vs levels, and how you can get a lot more control on your color correction using curves. Not saying it’s bad to use levels because I know there is a hand full of people still using levels, but this might change your mind if your thinking of making the switch to Curves.
Technically cross processing is an effect done with certain chemicals while developing old school film, but as always it can be recreated digitally pretty easily. Using a Curves adjustment change the red and green channels to an S-shape curve, while changing the blue channel to a reversed S-shape, better explained here Cross Process. While doing some research I really liked the “Cross Process” effect with something called, “high clarity”, I found here High Clarity. Don’t follow these exactly, you will need to vary the setting based on the photo you are using, due to different colors, and overall lighting.
After I put these two together I got something I thought look pretty good.
I also found a free download called “light leaks” – light leaks – that are some pretty cool stock images that you can screen over photos. Something I tried quickly –
After you get your animation/movie/video rendered and touched up normally your going to want to add sound. A lot of animations use a song or soundtrack now days and don’t add sound FXs. Adding sound FXs can be an annoying task after you’ve just spent 5+ hours creating an animation but it is well worth it to put a little time into adding sound FX. One simple edit that goes a long way is audio panning (shifting the audio more to the left or right channel instead of keeping it centered). Most programs now days will let you do surround 5.1 speaker panning too. What this means is if you have something break on the right side of your animation, pan a “breaking” sound a little bit to the right speaker instead of just having the sound play evenly out both speakers. This will create a much more realistic feel as the sounds are heard more like they would be in real life.
Here is an amazing example of what you can do with audio panning. (You have to close your eyes and use headphones for this to work.)
Picture by Bruno Misseeuw
A great place to check out some pretty cool and inspirational videos:-
The Vimeo HD Channel, hand picked videos by the Vimeo Staff – http://vimeo.com/channels/hd#25446891
Final Cut Pro has been one of the industry’s standard video editors for a while, but now there is Final Cut Pro X (aka iMovie Pro). Apple recently released Final Cut Pro X, and totally remade the interface. Final Cut has been turned into just an advance version of iMovie. Final Cut has taken itself off the leading edge of video editors. My prediction now is that Adobe Premier Pro will be adopted by most of Final Cut’s long time users, and become a new industry standard.
Here is a little clip showing just how good Final Cut Pro X really is: