Software to create Cosplay videos?

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#1 WCMorpheus on 4 years ago

Does anyone have any recommendations for video editing software? I recently attended a comic convention and took several video clips of various cosplayers (with their consent, of course) with my Canon SLR, and now want to make this into a cosplay music video. Thing is, I'm not sure which software to use.

I really like Windows Movie Maker, a freeware that came with my laptop, but it lacks a bit in the graphics and editing department. Additionally, it doesn't have a video stabilization feature, so some of the clips are a bit "bouncy."

I downloaded AVS Video Editor, which is user-friendly, but the videos are choppy during the playback, so I decided not to purchase the full version.

I've read reviews online about some software applications, but I would rather take advice from someone that actually uses the software for the creation of cosplay videos... or knows someone that made a cosplay video.

#2 WonJohnSoup on 4 years ago

The gold standard for now is Adobe Premiere CC. If by "graphics work" you mean motion graphics/animation stuff, most people use Adobe After Effects on top of Premiere, but in a pinch you could pull off most of the same stuff in just Premiere alone.

If you're looking for a one stop shop that's a king of all trades, I've heard Sony Vegas touted the most often for that. It has a reputation of being very stable while also rendering the fastest out of any of the editors. I believe most of the graphics type work are also in the same package.

Vegas used to be something crazy like only $99 but it's since gone up. Premiere CC is on a subscription basis and to me all the CC stuff is ridiculously good now and worth the affordable price.

You might hear of Avid, which is a professional studio level editor. The only real reason to use that kind of program is if you're working with hours (or days) of footage with multiple cameras. Final Cut Pro is still good but has since been displaced by Premiere, even among a lot of editing houses that are Mac-based. CC is just that good (and Apple upset a lot of peolpe with that last major update haha).

#3 kandell on 4 years ago

I've used Final Cut Express and Pro through school, and I used Adobe Premiere for work. Final Cut has (imo) a very user-friendly interface, but Premiere is definitely considered standard these days. It's used everywhere from newsrooms to various corporations (speaking from experience).

I would recommend downloading a trial of Premiere and playing around to see if you like it. If you do, a Creative Cloud subscription is pretty reasonable. If not, just remember to cancel the trial.

#4 WCMorpheus on 4 years ago

Excellent! Thanks for this, WJS and kandell!

I checked out some demos for Adobe Premier CC, and it looks like it can do anything and everything, but it doesn't look very user-friendly. Windows Movie Maker is beyond simple, and looks that way. Perhaps you have to tinker with it a while to get the feel for it. I'll definitely have to download the trial version and feel it out. Like AVS Video Editor, I'm guessing that the trial version probably has some limitations or annoying text in the final product until you purchase the software.

All I really want to do with the software is add after effects. For example, if I have a video clip of someone cosplaying the Flash, I want to be able to add a colored speed trail behind the character if they're running. I don't think that's anything too complex. Is this something that Adobe Premier can do?

#5 WonJohnSoup on 4 years ago

No problem, WC. As for Premiere CC trial, it's actually the full version with no restrictions that I recall.

For video effects stuff, check out Video Copilot. It's the beginner go-to for plug and play animation tutorials and plug-ins. I don't do much of any VFX myself so I couldn't give much more advice than that.

And did they do away with the Advanced/Novice mode in Windows Movie Maker? I recall way back when they had two different interfaces you could switch between, with the advanced having slightly more capabilities.

#6 WCMorpheus on 4 years ago

Thanks again, WJS!

I don't recall seeing an advanced/novice function for Windows Movie Maker; perhaps I've been using an older version. I know mine doesn't seem to have the stabilization function, which would have helped greatly. The video I just produced looks like I'm in the midst of having an epileptic seizure with the way the camera is bouncing around, and I thought that I was being perfectly still or moving in a straight line. *shrug* I didn't want to use youtube's stabilizer because it removes video quality and kind of makes it look like you're on an acid trip.

Here is the video that I made from Stockton 2015: [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqIz1n9fW-c[/url]

Do you have any advice to make this better?

#7 WonJohnSoup on 4 years ago

[QUOTE=WCMorpheus;4992818]Thanks again, WJS!

I don't recall seeing an advanced/novice function for Windows Movie Maker; perhaps I've been using an older version. I know mine doesn't seem to have the stabilization function, which would have helped greatly. The video I just produced looks like I'm in the midst of having an epileptic seizure with the way the camera is bouncing around, and I thought that I was being perfectly still or moving in a straight line. *shrug* I didn't want to use youtube's stabilizer because it removes video quality and kind of makes it look like you're on an acid trip.

Here is the video that I made from Stockton 2015: [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqIz1n9fW-c[/url]

Do you have any advice to make this better?[/QUOTE]

What kind of camera are you using? If you're going for some of the more popular ones you see on youtube lately, rendering the music video out in 24p frames per second cadence would help. Right now it appears to be 60i. You may also want a camera that shoots in 60p, as the majority of the popular videos are utilizing slow motion. Rendering 60p out as 24p gives you 2.5x slow motion.

The biggest thing as you already noticed is the smoothness. Stabilization plugins in editing programs have gotten impressive but they can't fix all the issues and leave a lot of strange artifacts. And none of them come close to just having a true steadicam with in-lens stabilization. If you're using a small camera, just buy a $65 steadicam stabilizer: [url]http://www.amazon.com/Hague-MMC-Motion-Camera-Stabilizer/dp/B007VYT0ZE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439959320&sr=8-1&keywords=steadicam+hague[/url]

Get that and keep the motion going. Most of your shots are with you standing in place and those usually don't look very good.

As for the editing itself, I would keep the clips shorter if you're using 60i cadence. For the transitions I would shorten the fade transitions or better yet, dispense with them completely. The general rule is if you can't explain in words exactly why you would use a transition, then you don't.

#8 WCMorpheus on 4 years ago

[QUOTE=WonJohnSoup;4992914]What kind of camera are you using? If you're going for some of the more popular ones you see on youtube lately, rendering the music video out in 24p frames per second cadence would help. Right now it appears to be 60i. You may also want a camera that shoots in 60p, as the majority of the popular videos are utilizing slow motion. Rendering 60p out as 24p gives you 2.5x slow motion.

The biggest thing as you already noticed is the smoothness. Stabilization plugins in editing programs have gotten impressive but they can't fix all the issues and leave a lot of strange artifacts. And none of them come close to just having a true steadicam with in-lens stabilization. If you're using a small camera, just buy a $65 steadicam stabilizer: [url]http://www.amazon.com/Hague-MMC-Motion-Camera-Stabilizer/dp/B007VYT0ZE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439959320&sr=8-1&keywords=steadicam+hague[/url]

Get that and keep the motion going. Most of your shots are with you standing in place and those usually don't look very good.

As for the editing itself, I would keep the clips shorter if you're using 60i cadence. For the transitions I would shorten the fade transitions or better yet, dispense with them completely. The general rule is if you can't explain in words exactly why you would use a transition, then you don't.[/QUOTE]

I used a Canon EOS rebel t5i for the making of this video. Sure didn't look like it; I need to adjust the camera settings, obviously. I thought about using my small 18.1 Megapixels Cannon Powershot, but I wanted the best quality possible. Thing is, it's kind of difficult to carry around a bulky camera when you're in costume, and this dslr is a bit cumbersome. I'm also paranoid of clumsy people bumping into it when I'm in a crowd.

Regarding the transitions, I always wondered why the professionals (Sneaky Zebra) never used any transitions; I suppose they take up too much precious time. Personally, I always thought the cinematic fade out looked cool.

Much to learn, I still have. Before I spliced everything together, I noticed that I wasn't a very good director; motion and actual posed shots are few and far between... and then again, some people just didn't want to move. I have to be more assertive to get people into place. I just didn't want to be "that one" a-hole camera guy that people complain about.

Thanks for the tips! I'll implement them if I attend the next Wizard World in San Jose, CA.

#9 WonJohnSoup on 4 years ago

Actually, I meant moving as in the camera op moving. Having the talent move AND the camera move is best but for cosplay I feel like static poses for the cosplayers can work a lot of times because the audience wants to check out the details of the costume. And most cosplayers aren't really 'trained' to move naturally on command.

Transitions can be used and they're there for a reason, but the issue is that it's like shooting out fireworks after every single line of a song at a Beyonce concert. It lessens the emotional impact of the transition to the point that it starts to detract rather than add to the project. Used sparingly and at the right moments AND used in a way where it's invisible and "not noticed but still felt" is the key to making transition effects effective.

The t5i is kind of an indie flimmaker's dream. It has 60p, so you can set it to that. Then in the editing suite just stretch it down to 40% speed. But once you do slow mo it's even more important to keep the camera moving otherwise it's just awkward if it's slow mo and nothing's moving. Happy shooting, bud!

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