July 19, 2018

4 Elements You Can Add in Post to Give Your Footage More Style

Whether your footage needs fixing or you just want to give it a little makeover, these techniques might be just what you're looking for.

Despite our sincerest attempts at shooting what we need, sometimes we're still left with footage that is still lacking that special something. However, doing a little work in post can be a great way of adding a little style and texture to your clips when reshoots aren't an option. In this video, Josh Noel of Sonduck Film goes over four creative techniques you can use to give your footage a little pizazz, from adding film grain to even faking depth-of-field. Check it out below:

Let me just set the record straight: whenever possible, always, always, always try to capture whichever effects, characteristics, and elements you want your footage to have in-camera during your shoot. It's your best chance of ensuring that your footage ends up looking the way you want it to, and assuming that you can always "fix it in post" means leaving it up to chance.

Now, if it isn't possible to capture what you want in-camera, or if you made a few mistakes during your shoot, there are ways to potentially achieve the look you want with a little post-production magic. Noel shares four really handy techniques you can use to add an array of new elements and looks to your footage, including:

  • Depth-of-Field
  • Film Grain
  • Lens Flares
  • Camera Shake

It's fairly common for filmmakers to add film grain and lens flares in post (which is probably why so many stock footage platforms are brimming with these kinds of assets), but what about faking depth-of-field or adding camera shake after your shoot? These kinds of techniques can certainly be more labor-intensive and potentially horribly unnatural looking if done wrong, so the risk of making your footage look worse is slightly higher.

However, if done right, these techniques can actually save your buns if you weren't able to capture them in-camera during your shoot. For example, if you had to open up your aperture to shoot in low-light and weren't able to get the shallow depth-of-field you wanted, you could use Noel's fake DOF technique to add the look in post. Will it be as good as the real thing? Probably not, but if shallow depth-of-field is important for the shot, then you at least have a potential Hail Mary tucked away just in case you need it.

Again, if at all possible, it's best to get these elements into your footage during your shoot. Plan ahead, take care with setting up your shots, and make sure you have all the equipment you'll need. However, if it's just not in the cards, you do have some options in post that might help you out.

What are some other helpful techniques filmmakers can use to add style to their footage in post? Let us know down below.     

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