Video Editing Level 5

Practice Test



You will have access to DaVinci Resolve in the class

Resolve is a professional NLE ( Non-linear Editing ) suite used across the Film Industry.

You can cut and move footage in a similar way to cutting and moving audio in Reaper.


Motion Picture Experts Group

.mp4 H.264 is the most common format for transmission online

H.265 a smaller format but takes more processing power to encode

Used to master DVD Video ( 4.7 GB ) and Blu-ray Disc ( 50 GB )

An opensource alternative to MP4

.mov, Apples propriatry video format

Matroska is an open-source standard mainly used for Blu-Ray rips

Video file are complicated by the facts that we have containers ( file names ) and codecs, which can be different.

For example, you can store a H.264 MP4 inside a .mov

Video containers guarantee compatibility with several codecs.

Codecs compress and decompress video information.

RAW Video can be recorded on high end cameras - RAW files are very large and can be difficult to work with - however, they represent the maximum possible quality and colour depth.

Blackmagic RAW
Apple ProRes RAW
Cinema DMG
Magic Lantern MLV


The resolution is the number of pixels on screen at any one time

720 x 480 NTSC
720 x 576 PAL
1280 x 720 HD
1920 x 1080 FHD
3840 x 2160 4K ( Consumer )
4096 x 2160 4K ( Pro )

Frame Rates

12 Animation
24 Film
25 PAL
48 HFR
50 PAL
60 Slow-motion

Filming at a high frame rate allows us to reduce the speed of the played back footage in order to create a slow motion effect.

Slow motion is generally used to increase the emotional impact of a scene or to highlight small details that would ordinarily be missed.


Depending on your location you will be exposed to different cameras - the equipment available in class will be

Nikon L340 Bridge Camera
Nikon D3300
Canon Legaria HF G40

All Digital Cameras rely on a CCD ( Charge-Coupled Device ) in order to convert light into an electrical signal.

All of these cameras are capable of recording good quality video

A selection of external microphones, lights and cages are available


A Common way to capture video is using a DSLR ( Digital Single-Lens Reflex ) due to their relatively affordable prices and good quality images.

Increasingly Mirrorless and Phone Cameras are becoming viable for good quality video capture.

Common brands for both DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras include;

Sony Alpha
Panasonic Lumix

SD Cards

Not all SD Cards are created equal - contemporary cards are measured in Gigabytes ( GB ).

SD Cards also have different speeds, which can be confusing - SDXC is required for FHD ( Full HD Video ).

SD Cards

Broadcast Cameras
Historically broadcast cameras did not need to record footage, only broadcast it.

This has led to them developing independently for news and live television.

Common Broadcast cameras include;

Sony PDW Range
Sony EX3 Range
Canon XF Range

Dedicated Cinema Cameras

Historically the cameras used for film have been very expensive, however it is now viable for a small company or freelancer to buy or rent a cinema camera. Cinema cameras generally require a lot of additional equipment to use - they are not ‘point and shoot’.

Common brands include;

Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera
Sony CineAlta
Arri Alexa
Panavision Genesis

Chroma Keying

Chroma Keying ( Green / Blue - Screening ) allows us to replace all the pixels of a certain colour with another image. This is commonly used to switch in a replacement background or overlay.


Transitions should be used appropriately. A fade to black or dissolve indicates the passage of time.

Quick cuts maintain location.

An establishing shot ( external ) can be used to cement location.


The subject of the scene should be on the left looking right.
Characters should respect screen direction and move from left to right.
Wolf looking at ice

Rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is a simplification of the Golden Ratio, in short it estimates the ratios that human being intrinsically find appealing in nature. By lining our subjects up with one of the cross sections on the above grid we can have confidence that our composition will have appeal.


Symmetry can be tempting - as it can be visually appealing, however, it can also appear mechanical or artificial. If you are unsure it is best to avoid symmetry in film.

POV ( Point of view )

Point of view footage, sometimes called First-Person footage, shows the action from a characters point of view. This can be used to create a sense of authenticity and is often used in found footage movies.


Titles are graphics and text used to inform the viewer about what the are watching. They commonly include an introduction - location name - Characters name - and credits.

Simple Titles are often more effective than overly complicated Titles.

Colour Grading

Colour grading is the process of balancing the colours on screen to give the best output. This process is similar to adjusting the colour / brightness / exposure in photo editing software.

Compression Techniques

Video compression techniques encompass Image and Audio techniques.

Since some frames, or large areas of frames do not differ significantly from one another there are some compression artifacts unique to video.

As the file expects us the watch the video in linear sequence, unexpected scrubbing can produce unexpected artifacts.

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These days we only have to worry about one video cable - HDMI ( High-Definition Media Interface ).

However - there are different implementations of HDMI which give different results.

HDMI 1 specification supports 1080p at 60 fps

HDMI 1.4 specification support 4k at 30 fps

HDMI 2.0 specification supports 4k at 60 fps


Software Video Editing has many advantages - such as being able to randomly access scenes and video.

However, a large disadvantaged is the need to render your footage when you are finished.

Rendering is a CPU, RAM and GPU intensive process - so in order to edit video we should seek out the highest spec computer we can find.


If you have any spoken elements, it is important to write a script or screenplay.

This could include multiple characters or it could just detail a short voice-over



As part of your planning process it is essential to create a storyboard.

A storyboard is a visual layout of how how expect your film to play out.

Extra information including audio and camera movements must be included.