YouTube Video Editing: Develop Your Signature Style | Becki Peckham | Skillshare

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YouTube Video Editing: Develop Your Signature Style

teacher avatar Becki Peckham, Video Editor, YouTuber

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Standing Out Online


    • 3.

      Setting Your Tone


    • 4.

      Project Setup and Assembly


    • 5.

      Music and Sound Design


    • 6.

      Color Grading: Basics


    • 7.

      Color Grading: Style and Tone


    • 8.

      Titles and Visual Effects


    • 9.

      Honing Your Process


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Level up your video editing by finding your signature style!  

Excited about post-production but not sure where to turn after learning the essentials? Join Becki Peckham, half of the self-taught duo behind the hit YouTube channel “Becki & Chris,” to learn powerful video editing techniques that will instantly improve your productions. Known for her cinematic vlogs and videos, Becki shares her step-by-step approach to help you hone your eye and create standout videos your audience will love.  

With hands-on lessons in Adobe Premiere Pro, you’ll learn how to:

  • Develop your tone and a unique visual language 
  • Source music and sound effects to create compelling audio
  • Create stunning titles and visual effects with less effort
  • Tell moving stories that connect with your audience

Plus, Becki will reveal how to create a cohesive brand across your social media platforms and website, so your audience can spot your content wherever they go!

Whether you’re a DIY filmmaker, aspiring social media star, or freelance content creator, let Becki teach you how to up your editing game and put a unique stamp on every video you create. 


This class is designed for students with a basic understanding of post-production who are looking to hone their editing style. Becki works in Premiere Pro, but whatever editing program you’re comfortable with will do the trick.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Becki Peckham

Video Editor, YouTuber


Becki Peckham is a graphic designer by trade, self-taught photographer, and one half of the YouTube channel "Becki and Chris". Originally from Newfoundland, Canada, Becki ran her own micro marketing company on the island for 8 years alongside a home renovation blog before moving across the country to Vancouver, BC. This is where both she and her husband started their YouTube journey. After moving to Buffalo, NY, the channel started to gain traction and turned into a full-time job for Becki.

The couple document content in three broad pillars: travel, visuals, and home. They make videos about their home renovation projects, photography and video tutorials, helicopter travel, and also run an online photo club called "Pixel and Lens Visuals Club,” as well as a podcas... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: [MUSIC] The ideas and opportunities of making videos is endless. That starting point where you sit down and you start putting together a mood board and color schemes and building out a playlist that is my happy place [MUSIC]. Hi, my name is Becki Peckham. I am one half of the YouTube channel Becky and Chris. We make videos for the Internet about photography, video, graphic design, travel. We make videos about our life. Today's class is all about developing your signature style through your videos. Developing your own signature style will help you stand out from the crowd in this super-saturated world of social media. The end goal here is for somebody to see a piece of your work and recognize it as yours without even seeing who posted it. Today we're going to be talking about the techniques that I have learned over the years on how to develop your signature style in your videos. We're going to be talking through setting your tone before even starting filming, pacing, editing, choosing music. Then after we're going to talk about creating a cohesive look on all your social media channels. If you're just getting into making videos, you understand how your camera works, but you want to up your production value. This class is for you because we're going to deep dive into how to improve your videos in the edit. I hope by the end of this class you walk away feeling confident and inspired to start developing your own personal style. Super excited that you've showed up today. Let's get started. That's so weird. Let's go. 2. Standing Out Online: All right, welcome to our class. I'm so excited that you guys are here. This is a big step investing your time into learning a new craft or expanding your skills. By taking classes like this, you really start to take little nuggets away and store them in your back pocket. This is how you start to develop style, ideas that you can implement in your videos going forward. We're going to talk about style. What even is style? Style is the visual language that you use to tell a story. Style can really mean a lot of things. It could be the way your videos are edited, the music choices that you're using, the fonts and titles that you're using in your videos, what's actually in the shots. Also, the colors that you're incorporating in your set. The way you color grade your videos, and the types of shadow tinting you might use, or the way you shoot your videos in terms of a picture profile that you want to choose. These things all play into style and the way your videos look. Oftentimes we're drawn to certain types of films, or certain YouTube channels based on the way they look. This might not always be obvious to you, but take note next time you're watching a video or a movie. If you like it, really analyze the shot and try to figure out why you like it to see how style plays into the shot. Knowing what your style is, is not going to happen right away, so don't worry if you don't have a style right now. It all comes together with time. When it comes to style, there's no right or wrong way to go about it. It's all based on personal preference. The more things that you include in your shot that you like that represent you make your shot more unique and more on-brand for yourself. You might be asking yourself, "Why should I care about style? Why is this important?" There's a couple of reasons for this. One is to be uniquely yourself. It's difficult to set yourself apart from everybody else online. Social media is so block full of content. Coming up with your own style or developing your own style that represents you is going to make you stand out from the crowd and make it a little more unique. Also, it offers a little bit of structure as well. When you're not really sure what format you should go with, with your videos, or what to be posting on Instagram, or what your thumbnails should look like. When you have a style in place, it's almost like a little guide to show you what direction to go in when it comes to developing those thumbnails or developing video ideas for your channel. When I started a YouTube channel, it was basically just a documentary life. There was no real direction, and the stories ended up being just this running gun mishmash of document life. This is a family memory video. There wasn't really a value-added moment to these videos that we were making. Over time, as we developed style in the edit, it gave us a framework into figuring out what kinds of videos we're going to be making, and how to tell those stories properly. For example, we have a couple of different formats we use on our channel. We have a vlog format which is just running gun. We just follow whatever the story is happening, but it's color graded in a way that matches all of our other videos, as well as the thumbnail matches the rest of the thumbnails on our YouTube channel. But then when it comes to a tutorial, that's a little bit more of a structuring style of video where we either answer a question or give a problem at the beginning of the video, and then we want to answer that problem or question during the video, which is a value or takeaway moment. Then we have a title screen that comes down, and now we know when we are making a tutorial or project video, that that's the format we're going to go in, and now we know exactly what we need to shoot and say in that video to deliver that format in that specific style that we've chosen. Then when it comes to storytelling, there's even different styles and editing that we like to rely on when it comes to those things. For example, when something funny is happening, we like to toss in a really silly track, and just like hold on clips or zoom in on little facial expressions to hopefully make the audience laugh. Those moments for me, the entertainment factor is the value. Or if we want to flip and talk about something a little more serious, we can look at this clip where it's a little bit more of a serious, faster pace conceptual type of edit. This is how my work schedule looks. Five-thirty A.M, sky-train, get to the hospital at 6:00 A.M, prepare for rounds, 6:37 A.M, accept those patients, get a visit. There's still some style there that works with our look because it's color graded in the way that we color grade all of our videos. We're also using fonts that we use in other videos. These are ways that we've pulled style into our edits, and it makes some of these big decisions a lot easier when you're making videos every single week. We're going to be using my style as an example in today's class, but my style is not going to be the same as your style, and that's okay. That's why we're going to be talking through these techniques and concepts, so you can use your own unique eye to create your own style for your videos. There are a number of concepts that we're going to talk about in today's class. The first one being, setting your tone. This all happens before filming takes place because this is where the style is really going to be developed. I'm also going to throw in a couple of tips on how you can art direct your own videos using props and wardrobe. We're also going to be talking about editing, so assembly, pacing, putting together that puzzle, bringing that style through, and just improving storytelling right in the edit. Then we're going to touch on music and the importance of sound design. This is where that style is coming through as well. The type of music you're going to choose for your video will play through in how your video feels to your audience. We're going to briefly touch on color grading and how you can bring that style through the color palette in your videos. This can go as in-depth or not in-depth as you like, we'll touch on that later. We're going to talk about titles and visual effects and how you can incorporate some of those things without having to use after-effects or understand animation. Then towards the end, we're going to talk about expanding your style, creating this cohesive look and brand throughout all your social media platforms, Instagram, YouTube, and your website, even. We're going to be pulling in a couple of examples from my channel. The first being our most recent helicopter travel series called heading east, where we created this five episodes series which we fully branded out from the logo to the color scheme, the art direction of the videos, and then the whole edit itself. Then we're going to see how that contrasts with something a little more simpler like a vlog. If you want to follow along by picking up an old project that may be is feeling a little bit stale, you can use some of the concepts that we talked about in today's video to rework that project. You can use whatever editing software you like. I'm going to be using Adobe Premiere Pro because that's my favorite, but the concepts apply no matter what you're using. You don't need to be a professional editor to follow along on today's class. You just have to have the camera basics down part and understand how editing software works. Then we're going to talk through how to incorporate style into your edits. You have a couple of new tools that you can play with when you go to edit your next video. If you're looking to level up your editing skills or up your production value, this class will definitely help you do that. We'll help you create a cohesive look throughout your channel, throughout your social media and set you apart from everyone else. What I want you to do now is pick an old project that you need to rework or look at with fresh eyes and get ready because in the next lesson we're going to talk about setting your tone in your videos, and then later we're going to get into editing. 3. Setting Your Tone: We're going to be talking all about setting the tone for your video, and this is the step that happens before we even pick up the camera before we even start filming. This is like the planning stage of your video, where you figure out what the video is going to be about, what the vibe of the video is going to be, what the style of the video is going to be. These are all things that help set the tone of the video, which will help you plan out your shortlist and your shooting script before you actually set up your camera. Back when I started my YouTube channel, I didn't know that setting the tone for your videos was important, and therefore, I didn't have a direction in which to follow when shooting my videos. One of the first videos I publish on my channel on February 10th, 2015, this is now a private video, so you can't go and watch it, I basically compiled a bunch of clips from a room project that I did and paired it to music. It's not great, we're going to play it. What is this? [MUSIC] My husband looks really cute dancing. That's really sweet. We've had enough that. What is that? The shots are overexposed. I just picked a song and put the clips in it. There's no sound design, there's no diegetic sounds. You can't actually hear what's happening in the room. There's this disconnect feeling between me watching the video and what's happening in the video. No tone was set, no purpose was set. It was just clips edited as a montage to music, which can work in some instances. But we were doing a DIY project. There was no tutorial portion of this video. There was no, here's how you do it, here's what we're using. In this case, setting our tone before we had shot the video or figuring out what our video was going to be in the format of said video would've helped the viewer take away something from that video, so would've helped the viewer understand what was happening and would've helped the viewer learn how to do this project by just watching the video, but instead they just got a montage and some dancing. Now when I'm making videos, I ask myself a couple of questions before I even get started, and this is the planning portion of the video. I'll ask myself first, what is this video going to be about? I'll actually write down what that video is going to be about. The next question is, how do I want to present this idea? Is it in a tutorial format? Is it in a blog format? Is it like a mix of both? That's the decision you need to make before you start filming. The next question is, who is the audience? This is going to determine as well how you present the ideas in your video. Then the next one is music. What's the vibe going to be? Is this going to be a fast-paced, fun video? Is it going to be more of a serious video? Is it a tutorial? Does it need a soft sound track or are we trying to generate some hype? Do we need a really exciting track? Lastly, we need to decide on the look. What is the branding going to be or the color scheme going to be, or even like the fonts, if you're lucky enough to be handling the entire production end-to-end yourself. You get to make all the artistic decisions, the edit, the final music choices. It's really exciting because the opportunities are endless and what you put in your video and how you edit your video is all based on your personal preferences and the vibe and tone that you're trying to go for it. There's a couple of decisions that we can make to pull that art direction through your videos. We touch on this earlier, but let's talk about it again. We're talking about the colors that are in the shot, so in this shot here, we've got neutral muted tones. This is my personal preference and this come to be known that this is my brand now, people expect matte black from me. Therefore, matte black shows up in a lot of our shots. That's our color and that's the art direction style we go in. You can bring in colors in your clothing, your wardrobe, the accessories that are in your shot, the props, the wall color, or even backdrop paper that you're using in your shot really can make a difference in the way your shot looks and in the way that your shot color grades as well. Lighting is another thing that plays into tone and style as well. For a studio shot like this, I like a nice bright light on me. I don't like a lot of harsh shadows on my face, but if I wanted to have a little bit more of a casual style video, then I might opt to light my shot with window light, which is free and also beautiful, but feels a little bit more relatable depending on what your audience is. It really depends on personal preference and how you want to deliver the content. We talked all about setting your tone for your video, and it could feel a little bit overwhelming. Let's break this down a little bit further. I just have pulled up here my little mood board for our helicopter series heading east. This is something that I put together before I even start working on the video, before I even start filming anything. This mood board gives you an idea of the vibe and the tone of what the series is going to be just based on color palette, based on fonts. I have some notes here that says who the audience is going to be. In this case, it was anyone interested in a unique travel experience. The audience ranges from 20-40 years old and they're mostly male because in the past, that's usually what our helicopter videos draw, is a male audience. I got a couple of notes here as well on music choices. I know I want to use blues and rock music and then find different pacing within that genre to help with storytelling. High-energy parts of the videos and maybe some lower slower energy parts of the videos. Moving down, we have a color palette of, once again, muted tones, but we're bringing in more earth tones here. Our normal branding or color scheme is usually black, white, gray as you see in the set. But for Heading East, we went in a different direction. We went with a more muted khaki earth tones here. Moving down here, we have some sample textures and patterns. This is really important to me as a former graphic designer to start to create these different elements that I can pull from when it comes to creating social assets say for Instagram, Instagram stories or even titles. I can pull on these textures and patterns to really bring that vibe through the rest of the materials. When you're making videos, there's not often a lot of opportunities to show graphics because we're showing video, we're showing moving things. But when it comes to social assets, Instagram posts, social media, things that you're going to be using to advertise your content. That's when you can really drive home the tone through graphics, through color schemes and through textures. I also have a couple of fonts chosen here. As a designer, I don't recommend going with more than two fonts. I have three or four here. Gets a little sticky when you're getting into fonts, but choose two fonts that work nice together and then keep those consistent throughout your entire video. I also have here some sample imagery and this is just a reference to show me like, this is the color scheme. This is the way we want to go with the branding, the color grading, and post. How we want to post-process our images for Instagram. Then I got a little graphic here that shows a line drawing of a map, which is also inspiration for the series. Spending some time to nail down a little bit of a mood board can really help visualize a cohesive look and a full brand for the series. You might be looking at this and thinking, this seems like a waste of time. This is really overwhelming, but in fact, it's actually quite enjoyable to make yourself your hot beverage of choice. Sit down and just enjoy the process. Putting the work upfront will actually have you making fewer decisions later on down the road. When your head is wrapped up in filming, and shortlist, and what is this video, and what is the story, and what is the concept, you're not going to have a lot of mental space to think about, what's the color scheme, what color should be wearing, what has to go in the background? Now you have this mood board to reference while you're shooting or developing your shot list or your storyboards. It's just one less thing you have to think about while you're planning your videos. Something else I like to do, which actually really helps you immerse yourself in a project is, I'll go through and develop a full playlist of a genre of music with different tempos. For instance, with Heading East, I picked blues and rock music. I just went through my favorite music platform and just build out an entire playlist of music that fit that vibe that I was going for. Then I actually listened to that playlist while I'm developing the mood board, while I'm designing things for the videos, while I'm even planning the videos. It really helps when it comes to planning because you can wrap your head around an entire vibe and just feel it throughout the entire planning process. That's not the only way you can make a mood board look. I want to show you a contrasting example of another style of video I do call the focal length challenge, where we just shoot a focal length and talk about it. This style of video, the format is a studio section, a blog section, and then back in the studio section, and then we show images. My mood board here still has that color scheme and it has the fonts I'm going to use. But instead of patterns and textures, I have sample icons here. That's just bringing it a little bit of a different style and it's an opportunity to bring through a little bit more of a branded moment that matches a logo. Then below I have the series thumbnails, so I have three thumbnails here so I can see that there's a consistency. I know the next time I do a video like this, this is exactly how the thumbnail is going to look, and this is a type of photo I need to shoot. Now it is your turn to do this. I've actually included a PSD and a PDF in the class resources. I encourage you to go download those and play around with them a little bit and start creating your own mood boards for your project. If you're working on that video project that you're struggling with, I recommend going on Pinterest and just starting with looking at images that inspire you, whether it's just color schemes or even photography and to start pinning things or saving things. Then you can start building your mood board from there. In the next lesson, we're going to dive into assembly and pacing and we can start to put that whole tone concept together in the edit. [MUSIC] 4. Project Setup and Assembly : We talked about, about style, but sometimes style isn't just about what's in the shot and what you're wearing, style can actually come through in the edit as well. When it comes to video editing, setting up your project and making sure that your project is organized and color-coded is so important. When you look at the timeline, you can say that there is this camera because it's this color. It's key. That's my biggest tip. We're going to look at a portion of our heading east project. This is actually the intro section to episode one and I'm just going to use that as an example and we talked about this project when we talked about the mood board so let's dive into it. I have a number of bins here for different things. We'll just walk through them. VO, which is voice over. That's the voice over part of the video. We have a folder for titles, a folder for sound effects, one for sequences and music. This here is the actual sequence. Then we have the footage and within the footage folder I always organize my footage by camera. In here you can see I have the folder for GoPro and a folder for my A7S3, which is my main camera. Within these folders is all of the footage from the shoot. In the GoPro folder there's only one clip in here, but in the A7S3 folder we have two days of shooting. For me and my workflow, It's important that I import my footage per shoot day and then within that shoot day is all of the files from that shoot. Now, some people might have a different workflow. If you'd prefer to do day 1, day 2, day 3 instead of the actual date, that's okay too. Just do whatever works best for you and that makes the most sense. I'm just going to start at the top my bin and we're going to just color code down. This is my formula. Feel free to pick whatever colors you want that make the most sense. I'm just going to go ahead and right-click and we're going to come down to label and I'm just going to tag that as Caribbean. For titles, I'm going to come down and label those as tan. Sound effects sequences and music, I'm going to tag those all as Caribbean as well. We're going to tag the actual edit, the sequence that we're going to be editing in as green. Then we're going to open up the footage folder and we're going to see our GoPro folder and our A7S3 folder. This is actually one of the most important color tagging parts when you have different cameras that require different types of color grading. I always take my GoPro clips as green so come down here and tag those as green. Then my A7S3 clips always stay as a color iris. If I had some footage in this bin here that was slow motion, say shot at 60 frames per second, I would tag that as mango and then interpret that footage to 24 frames per seconds so it played back slow motion. Don't feel like you have to use my color labeling format as yours. Pick your own, pick the colors that you like. If you don't like green, choose pink, magenta, wherever works. Just make sure that it's consistent for every single project you do so no matter what project you open, you know exactly what's footage, what's titles, and what is a sequence in your bin. We now have our project bin setup, everything is color coded, we're all organized, now we're ready to jump into the timeline. We are going to create a new sequence based on the settings in which we shoot our main camera angles. For me, I shoot everything on my A7S3 in 4K 4210 bit at 24 frames per second. In order to start a new timeline, you just come down to new item and go sequence and then this window pops up, you're going to come over to settings, and this is where you're going to change your parameters. You're going to put in all your settings in which you've shot your video. But the easier way to do this to ensure that you have the proper timeline settings is actually just take a clip from your main angle and just drag it and drop it right into the thing that says right here, drop media here to create sequence. Foolproof way to make sure that your sequence settings are correct. In order to do that, you open up your footage, A7S3 is my main camera angle, drag it and drop it, and the sequence settings match my main camera angle. We're just going to close out real quick because that's not the sequence we're going to use. We're going to use this one here, which is already partially edited. Now we're going to start going through footage and adding choice clips to the timeline. Culling footage or going through your footage can be very overwhelming and you don't really need to think about the edit at this point. This is just getting your favorite choice clips that work with the tone and vibe of your video and your outline, and getting them down into the timeline. What I like to do here is open my clips up in the source window, and I'll play through them sending in and out points for the choice portions of the clip that I like and then I'll send those down into the timeline. I've opened this clip and you'll see this looking a little bit gray. We shot this footage in SLAG-3, so it has a very flat look and we'll talk about bringing back that contrast when we talk about color grading. I'll start at the very beginning of the clip. I'll use the space bar to press play. As soon as we find a portion of that clip that we want, I'm going to hit I on my keyboard to set an in point and then I'm going to continue playing until that part of the clip is over that I want to keep. I'll hit O my keyboard to set an out point, and then I'll hit the comma keyboard command and send that directly down into the timeline. Using keyboard commands, especially at this phase in the editing stage is super key. It'll make this whole process go a lot faster. I'll do this for every single clip in my project whether it's one day of shooting, 10 days of shooting. It might be a lot of footage in the timeline and it can get a little bit overwhelming, but doing it this way ensures that you have key clips down into your timeline so that once you've gone through all your footage and put your choice clips down in the timeline, you can start all the way back at the beginning and watch it through in two x, two x speed and just start cutting out the bulk, cutting out the things that are not necessary to the story, not necessary to the vision, to the value that you're trying to get through in your video. Once you get your entire timeline cut down, we're going to talk about adding music and sound design to your videos and how that can really bring your story telling to the next level. [MUSIC] 5. Music and Sound Design: We're going to dive into music and sound design. There's a couple of different ways that you can use music to help drive a story. First is if you have a genre of music, picking different types of tracks that have different pacing will really help tell different emotions in a story. For instance, something that's higher energy might mix with a more higher energy scene, like going somewhere or doing something that's really fun and exciting, versus having a slower song where maybe we need to slow it down a little bit. We're showing maybe a morning scene where we're just waking up, there's a sunrise happening and it's a little bit more relaxing. You can use a bunch of different types of music in one genre to help pull the tone through a story, but then also give the audience their ups and downs with the emotions that you're trying to get across in your video. The second thing you want to keep in mind when you're using music with your videos is that if you have dialogues and if you're vlogging or you're doing a tutorial and you have an underlying music track there, you want to make sure that that music track is not too loud and that it's not competing with your voice over. There's nothing worse than when you turn on a YouTube video to try and learn something and the music track is so loud that you could barely focus or hear what the teacher is trying to teach. For YouTube, you want to make sure that your voice track is set to about minus 12 decibels and that your music track is at least minus 21 or lower. It's really important that the music that you're choosing for the video fits with the pacing of your edit and the vibe that you're trying to go for. We usually like to use Chillhop type music on our channel for the majority of our videos because that's a part of our style and a part of our brand. But for the helicopter series that we talked about heading East, we'll use a lot of blues and rock tracks, as we mentioned in that mood board section of this class. We're going to look at this example from a section of Episode 5 of our helicopter series heading East. As I mentioned, we already built out this playlist so I'm picking songs from the playlists that match the mood board and the vibe that we're going for. I also want to make sure that any edit we're including sounds that you would normally hear in a scenario where we are, but then also amplifying some of these moving camera transitions with whooshes and things like that just to amplify that edit. We have the edit finished here, the sound design is done, it's all mixed, but we're just going to break it down. I'm going to show you how some of these sound effects and diegetic sounds help bring the story across. Here's the edit. After watching that, you can start to break down a couple of these little sound effects that we added, like the sound of the plane flying through the air, the sound of the helicopter firing up. We're including those sounds in the video because if they were missing, you will feel a disconnect between the video and the audience watching it. They won't feel like they're there. There's elements missing. Including these sounds that would normally be in a video is really important in helping tell a story. If we scroll over this airplane clip, you can hear the airplane in the sky. If that wasn't there, you don't get that essence of we're at an airport, we're hearing the airplane. It's important to see what's in the clip and then add sound effects that match what's in your videos. When it comes to adding other types of sound effects, if you have whip pans adding little whooshes to accentuate that transition can help. For instance, even a time-lapse instead of no sound at all, we can add a little sound effect that sounds like this. It sounds like the sky is going by really fast. If you have a point in your edit where you're doing a whip transition or transitioning from one clip to another in a bit of an interesting way, you can accentuate this with sound designer sound effects. For example, we added a little whoosh in-between here and that just accentuates the edit. That just adds a little bit of a different element that's not just the normal diegetic sounds that you're hearing, but it just adds a little something to the edit that makes it a little bit more interesting. We're going to have a look at this edit really quickly with all of the sound effects turned off. It's just the music track paired with the visuals. This is a great track, but I like that track a lot. But you're missing that element. You're missing the firing up of the helicopter and hearing the airplane going across so it really does make a difference having those sound effects included. When we're looking at reworking that old project, sometimes it's best to actually just strip all the music that you had out and start fresh. We're looking at our mood board, we have our edit done, we're going to look at it, and now we're going to analyze what better music choices can I make for this edit? Where can I include diegetic sounds or sounds that we're hearing in the video clips? Trees rustling, airplanes flying by, footsteps, and then how can we mix that with a proper music track that evokes an emotion to just bring that edit to the next level? Don't be afraid to try a bunch of different tracks as well. Sometimes when you're listening to your playlist, you'll think like, this is the song, it's so good. Then you pop it in your timeline and you play it back and you're like, this doesn't match with the vibe of the edit at all. Don't be afraid to get rid of that track and try a couple of different ones to see what fits. I definitely recommend if this is something that you're going to be doing often to invest in a music subscription service. This is so important when you're doing commercial videos or even YouTube videos. You want to have a big library to choose from, a lot of options so you're not using the same songs all the time. Then you have options also to just pull different types of tracks for different kinds of stories. I have a number of different resources that I lean on heavily when it comes to making videos in terms of music. Musicbed is one of my favorites. They have a lot of high-quality tracks. Epidemic Sound is another one. They have a lot of really great Chillhop music. They also include stems so you can grab the instrumental, the melody, the drums just from your chosen track, so you can use elements of different kinds of songs to help build up a story. It also includes sound effects too, which is super helpful to have, as we mentioned, sound designer is so important so having that there as a little library moment is helpful. is another one that I like to use if I'm doing commercial jobs for people, where I need maybe a different style of music license that covers me for a different variety of platforms, so that's another really great one. That's three places that I lean on heavily. Musicbed, Epidemic Sound, and We have our edit completed, the music is in, the sound design is in. We pretty much have a video. Now we really need to polish it off with color grading. In the next lesson, we're going to walk through color grading, a little bit of the basics of the lumetri Color panel, and then how to deal with log footage, which can be very confusing, so stay tuned for that. 6. Color Grading: Basics: Color grading is a little bit of a beast in itself. It's something that you're probably not going to add to your video workflow if you're just starting out because the learning curve to learn how to color grade is quite substantial. This lesson isn't really going to be a super deep dive into how to color grade, it's going to be a little bit of an overview of my process. But if you want to learn how to color grade your videos from start to finish, we'll use some classes in the class resources down below, and you can check those out and continue your learning. Color grading is the last step you're going to want to do when you finish your edit. You know exactly what the vibe is, you know what the edit looks like, the types of music you've chosen. The color grade is going to add a little bit of interest and style to your edit, and this is where we can pull style through your whole channel and have your videos have a recognizable feel and tone based on your look and your branding. Now, with color grading, it could be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. I'll walk you through a little bit of my workflow here. We're back in Episode 1 of our helicopter series, Heading East. This is the intro. I'm going to use the Lumetri Color panel to color grade my video here, but you can use whatever software you're using. The concepts apply, the tools will look slightly different, but exposure, white balance, curves, these are all things that should be accessible in your color grading program. As I mentioned, we shoot all of our videos in S-Log3, and we do this to capture the most dynamic range possible in a clip. You'll see that the footage coming out of the camera is super flat. You don't have the shoot log. This is definitely personal preference. If you choose not to shoot log and you just want to shoot a standard picture profile, definitely make sure that your images are exposed properly in camera because clipped highlights and clipped shadows are a tell-tale sign of an amateur-looking video. A clipped highlight means that you're overexposing your highlights and clipped shadow means you're underexposing. You want to make sure that you expose correctly in camera if you're not going to be doing a lot of post-processing or shooting log and converting it and doing the full color grading process. The first thing I like to do when I start color grading my videos, we've got everything color-coded and set up so that when we start adding in our adjustment layers , everything is organized. The first thing I like to do is bring in that utility light and convert my log footage to Rec. 709. I'll just add an adjustment layer. I like to work on adjustment layers because I can use one adjustment globally for the entire timeline versus having to edit every single clip. This is up to you, personal preference on workflow that you choose to do. This is what works for us. People tend to do it a little bit differently, so it's up to you to choose what is the best workflow for you. I'll take that adjustment layer and I will pop it on top of my footage and drag it over my entire timeline because I know that all of this IRIS-tagged footage is A7S III shot in S-Log. On this adjustment layer, I'm going to add my utility LUT, a LUT stands for lookup table, and that's just going to add back in that contrast. It's like a mathematical equation, almost like a curve that you're putting on top of your footage to bring back that contrast. Now, I don't actually recommend using presets and LUTs to color grade your footage, but when it comes to converting log to Rec. 709, their utility LUT is a great use case for using a preset. If you are not shooting log, this does not apply to you. If you're not shooting log, just hang on, we'll talk a little bit about that in a second. Using the Creative tab in the Lumetri Color panel, I'm going to add that utility LUT here, and that's going to bring back contrast to our log footage. This is actually a custom LUT that we built for our Sony footage, so these are all available on our website. The link is in the class resources. We're going to add that here. You can see that as soon as we added that, it brought back contrast. If I turn it off, it's very flat, and if I turn it back on, it's bringing back contrast. Now that we have the utility LUT added, we're going to start doing the basic color correction. I also like to do this on adjustment layers because there are some points in some videos that we shoot where there's one scene with a bunch of clips that need the same adjustment. It doesn't make sense to individually adjust those clips, we'll just make one adjustment layer and do one global adjustment for those clips. I like to put my color correction adjustment layer below the log to Rec. 709 adjustment layer because I feel like we get the best results in this way. We're just going to do the same thing. Drag this adjustment layer to cover the entire edit, and we'll start chopping it up as we go through. We're just going to go right back to the beginning of our clip and we're just going to start going through and neutralizing all of the clips and adjusting the exposure so it all looks good. We're just going to zoom in here and look at this one clip. I'm actually just going to look at a couple of these clips to see if they look about the same, and they do. We're just going to cut that adjustment layer over these four clips here. We're going to make one adjustment and see how it looks and then we'll check all of those clips to make sure that they match. Starting with the first one, we're going to click on that adjustment layer. We're going to come over to our basic Corrections tab here, and we're just going to go through and adjust the temperature or the tint to make sure that the white point looks neutral. Sometimes I like to start with using the eyedropper tool if there's something that's neutral in the scene. The car here is white, so I'll take the eyedropper and just eyedropper the car. Made a little bit of a difference here. Took some green out of the shot. It slid the temperature slider towards the more warm tones and it is looking pretty good. I'm going to just have a look over here at my scopes and we're going to make any adjustments to make sure that this shot is looking neutral. Using the scopes and the parade, I'm going to go through and adjust my exposure, highlight, shadows, and contrasts. Again, this is a little bit outside the scope, no pun intended, of this lesson. [LAUGHTER] Highly encourage you to go check out a more in-depth color grading course if you want to learn more about how to properly adjust your images using the scopes and your RGB parade. I'm just going to go through and adjust the exposure. It's looking a little bit bright. We've overexposed because we were shooting in S-Log3. We're just going to bring that exposure down a little tiny bit. We're going to adjust our highlights. Again, I'm looking at the RGB parade here. I'm making sure that our highlights aren't touching 100 IRE, and I want to make sure our shadows aren't hitting zero IRE. We don't want pure whites and pure black. That's why we shot log, to preserve some of that dynamic range. Let me go through and adjust this clip and then we'll come back and have a look at the before and after. [MUSIC] If we turn off that adjustment layer, you can see it's very like blue and bright, and a little bit jarring. Then if we turn it back on, it's a little bit more neutral. Now, the whites don't seem like they're completely blown out. You can see a little bit detail in the car there. Now we'll just continue doing that for the rest of the footage. We're going to make sure that all the clips match, all the white balance is correct, all of the exposure is correct. I'm just going to scroll over to the next clip. My adjustment looks decent there, and the next one, decent there. We can move on to the inside shots. This is going to have a different correction. We're going to use the same techniques to go through all of these clips, neutralize everything, and that will set us up for color grading. [MUSIC] 7. Color Grading: Style and Tone: Now we're looking at a timeline. We have the primary color correction done, so all the clips are neutralized. We've got that utility lot on here, if you're shooting just a regular picture profile that's a step you can ignore. We're going to go ahead and start walking through our color grading process. This step is really cool because it's another element where you can bring branding into your videos, style into your videos, tone into your videos, and even start developing a feeling in the color grade. Let's just go through the process. It's the same. We're going to add an adjustment layer here. Again, going to drag that adjustment layer on top of our entire edit. What you see here in 10, that's our title. We want those to be on top of everything, we don't want those to be affected by any adjustment layers in the timeline. Once again, color grading is going to be personal preference. It totally depends on the tone that you've set at the beginning when we talked about planning your videos, that's going to determine how you're going to color grade. You don't have to do this step. You can just put your video out there however you want to, but if you want to add some style style your videos, this is a great way to do that. My process when it comes to color grading is once we have neutral base point, I'm going to start adding blue to the shadows and adding a little bit of warmth to the highlights. Now, you don't have to do this, this is just my personal preference. Looking at the Color Wheels and Match Tab here we've got three color wheels: one for the highlights, one for the mid tones, and one for the shadows. As we start adjusting these parameters, they're going to start affecting whatever part of the image we're selecting. If we go to the Shadows, Color Wheel, and we start dragging this target down towards blue, you'll see the shadows starting to tint blue. Now, we want to be careful, we don't want to go too extreme unless extreme is the look you're going for, but sometimes easy does it on the corrections, where you're just adding a little something different to your shot without overpowering it with color. Now, a lot of people tend to use lots for this part of the process, and I actually don't recommend using lots. They can be a really great starting point where you can add lots to your footage to see what your footage can look like, but lots are not a one size fits all type scenario. Oftentimes that people develop lots based on a couple of clips and if you apply them to your shot which isn't shot in the same lighting, or with the same colors, or even with the same cameras, the light might not look the way it should on your footage as it did from the person you bought it from. They can be a great way to learn, but I definitely recommend learning how to use your tools so you can start developing your own style from scratch, and honestly, this is the best way to do it. To understand all of your tools just makes you an all round better cinematographer, photographer, videographer. We're going to drop these back a little bit, maybe bring this down a little bit to teal color. We turn that off and on, you can see it just added a little something to the shadows. Same with the mid tones here, we can take this target and go all the way extreme up to the reds. It's actually affecting most of the image because there's not a lot of highlight and shadow in this shot. It's a very even exposure. We can double click this to reset it and bring that up a little tiny bit to just see what that does. If we turn that off and on, it just makes it a little interesting. We can go back and add a little bit more blue to the shadows, and it's all about massaging the settings here. You don't have to do one adjustment and then live with it. You can go back and forth, move between the color wheels, and curves, and your exposure, and just adjust it until you like how it looks. Again down here with the highlights, we can show you what that looks like. It doesn't affect the shadows at all, it's just affecting the highlights. We can move this to a little bit more of an orange tone. We turn that on and off, it made a little bit of a difference here but I'm not loving the tone so open up your curves and start changing tones here as well. This is just another parameter, another way that you can adjust colors in your images, just to give you an example, hue vs saturation is where we can select a certain hue in the image and take down the saturation of that. This is really helpful, say, if you're shooting with a GoPro and you have these neon greens or neon blues in your shot, you can take down the intensity of those colors selectively, and it makes your shots look a little bit better and it's easier to match that footage to something like from a Sony camera. Just for an example, if we make two points here on the curve to select our reds and we just bring that down, this is not something that I would do, but just to give you an example, you can see that it basically desaturated the entire skin tones and then the red and the stop button. If I turn that on and off, you can see what that did. Curves is a very powerful tool to add to your arsenal, and you can make a lot of difference in the way your clips look by using curves. We'll reset that. Again here we can do the same hue vs hue, we can actually select a tone and shift the hue of that tone, which is really helpful. To give you an example, let's change the hue of this red. I can use a eyedropper, an eyedropper this red. You can see that it isolated the red here in the curve with three points. So if I take that middle point and just drop it down, you can see that it's changing the color red to green, or if I move it up, change it to purple or blue. As I move it, you can see that there's colors that show up here to show you what hue you're changing it to, which is super helpful when it comes to isolating certain tones in your images and making them look a little bit better. We're going to turn that off because that looks a little bit silly. I could sit here for another hour or two and tweak out this color grade to make it look how I want it to. It's all trial and error. You understand the tools and it's just about reworking the curves, the shadow tinting, and just getting a look that you like. I'm going to pop open a project and show you my final color grade on this. If we look at the same clip that we were just working on, this is the final color grid that I have here for heading East. If I turn that off, you can see that it is a little bit more stylized, we've shifted the hues a little tiny bit. If we scroll over to even this GoPro clip here, if I turn off the color grade, you can see that it's neutral, but the blues are very blue, and when we turn on the color grade, we've actually shifted those blues to be a bit more of a teal-y turquoise-y color. That's the joy of using curves. You can push these tones around to make subtle adjustments in your color that actually make a really big difference to your end product. Another example of using curves to change the tones of your colors. If we look at this clip here, you can see there's a bunch of green trees in the background. If I turn off the color grade, you can see that the trees are actually very green. We've selectively adjusted the tones in that green, changed them to a more desaturated, warmer look, which just adds a little bit of a stylistic look to the color grade. It's a little bit something different than, say, a normal green that you would find outside, and it's fun to play around with these tones that we've set out in our mood board and try to incorporate them in our color grade for the end product. That's my basic workflow on how I color grade a video. I recommend to you to get in there and play around to just slide the sliders around and see what they do and manipulate things and just get a feel for what parameters change what in your image. We just added color grading to our workflow. Next up, we're going be talking about titles and visual effects. 8. Titles and Visual Effects: I love adding titles and little slide-down moments to my videos because it allows me to bring through some of that visual branding to incorporate the fonts that I've chosen in my mood board, the color schemes that we chose. This is another area where you can bring through that stylistic element. We're going to pull up this little segment from our helicopter series heading east where we did these little airport tours. Every time we stopped in every single episode, we made it really quick, really fun, and we used the same music every single time and we used the same format every time. What I did in this instance, we'll just have a quick look at it is I designed this slide down to differentiate the airport tour sequence from the rest of the episode. This will be the first installment of our airport tour series. [MUSIC]. I designed a little slide down that just said, this is the airport tour, this is the airport that we're at and we just use the color schemes and elements from our mood board in this slide. Now, this is pulling on my graphic design background. I am not an animator. I don't know how to use After Effects that well, so the easiest way for me to incorporate some of these graphic design elements is by designing these slides either in Photoshop or Illustrator, bringing them in as a JPEG or an Illustrator file. Then using keyframes in the Effect Controls Panel to animate them, which adds a little bit of movement without having to have an entire knowledge of a new piece of software. Basically, what I do for a lot of my little titles that I add is just slide them down with a slide sound effect to emphasize that movement and then slide them back out of the frame again. It's just a JPEG or an Illustrator file with a motion keyframe animation done in the effect controls panel. Let's just have a look at that real quick. We'll zoom in. If you look over here in the motion portion of the Effect Controls panel, you can see that I've put in a couple of keyframes here to animate that slide. If we Zoom in, we can see that there's a position keyframe here. I've just animated that. Then we've added little slide sound effects. If I turn off all of my audio here and just turn on the sound effect. We'll just play this through and see what it looks like and sounds like. You can see it just slides down, [NOISE] comes into frame and then we cut right to the second clip. Again, I'm not doing any fancy animation here. This is a very simple and effective way to add a little bit of a graphic element without having to have the knowledge of After Effects, just we talked about, using presets or lots for your videos. If you're not really sure how to do any animations you're new to it. You just want to drag and drop and change the type scenario. Then you can buy these little templates to use in your videos where you can just change the font and change the type and customize it to your videos. Now, other people can also buy these, so you might see them show up in other people's videos, but it's definitely an easy way to up your production value in your videos. There's a couple of things you want to keep in mind when you're adding type or titles. The first thing is if you are shooting for YouTube, you want to make sure that your type is big enough that you can read it on your phone. When we're editing on a big screen, it's really easy to see a font that's down in the corner. But if you watch that on your phone once it's scaled-down really small, can you still read that type? Just ensure that your type is large enough to be readable at its smallest format. The second thing you want to make sure of is that the fonts or typefaces that you're picking out aren't too thin that they start to disappear at a smaller size as well. Then suddenly you can't really read what's happening. Be aware of that. Another thing you want to keep in mind is the colors that you're choosing for your type as well. There's certain colors that just don't work together that are really difficult to look at. Red text on black, for example, or black text on red is very impossible to read. Makes your eyes go wiggly, same with yellow text on blue. If you're experimenting with using different color combinations and they might look good on your big screen. Export a portion of that and look at it on your phone and see if your eyes play any weird tricks on you. Also, if you're using white text on a background, just make sure that you can read it. Oftentimes, using white text on footage can be difficult. Be aware of that if you're also using white fonts over your footage. When you're on the hunt for fonts to use in your video, you might be really tempted to use a lot of them. There's so many fun ones. How can you choose? I want to use this one and this one. If you aren't a graphic designer and aren't really sure what fonts work together and how to make those fonts work in a cohesive way. I definitely recommend picking no more than two fonts to use. Pick one font for your heading, one font for a subheading, and just use that throughout your videos. When I'm building a mood board and picking fonts for my videos, I start to build out a little bit of a style guide so I know where to use what font when. For example, in our videos, we like to use location title. I have a little layout done that says, this is the font you're going to use and the size it's going to be, and this is where it's going to be positioned in the video. Anytime that I have a location title up, it's going to be in the same spot, in the same font size, in the exact same font. It's consistent through one video or through a series of videos. We're at a point now where we've talked about all of it from start to finish, setting the tone all the way through editing music and color grading and now title. At this point, you should be able to look at that old project and have a bit of a better idea on how we can improve that and finish it off. Next up, we're going to talk about honing your process and applying all the tools we talked about in this class beyond just your video. [MUSIC] 9. Honing Your Process: Honing your process will take time and it's not going to settle in right away. You have to put the time and effort into it, but the more you make, the more you create, the easier all of this stuff becomes, and the easier and quicker it will take for you to fall into a format that you like and start developing that cohesive look for your channel. I have been on this journey to find my style ever since I graduated from design school. I went from doing self-branding in this very colorful color scheme to shooting all sorts of different styles of photography, different lighting schemes, just trying to figure out what was me? What was my brand? What was my special look? Honestly, it took a number of years before I started to feel comfortable in what that was and it still ever evolving. Once you start to get that format and you start practicing, now try creating a moodboard or a brand board for your entire look between your Instagram, your YouTube, your website, Twitter, products if you have them, a blog if you have them, you want people to start recognizing your work without seeing your name or who posted it. This here is my pretty rough brand board dump. Basically took all of the elements for my branding and just plopped it in here. With our channel we have a couple of different lengths. We have our channel, Becki and Chris. We have a series called the focal length challenge. We have a photo club called pixel lens visuals club on Facebook, we have product lines, we have downloadable products on our website. When it comes to designing all of these things, they should all have a cohesive look and feel. This is like all of it here. We have our logo, focal length challenge logo. We have our secondary logo, which we use on different things, and you can see that there's a consistent feel here. We've used this same fonts over and over again in different formats to give a little bit of a different feel to certain elements of our brand, but it all works together. Pixel & lens logo down here is very similar to the focal length challenge video, so that when somebody sees it, they recognize that as our work. We're using the same fonts throughout too. You can see these little thumbnails here are thumbnails that we use for our log utility list that we saw on our website and those match with the labels that we made for our candles, which we were selling a little while ago. These fonts also pull through on this custom tape that we designed for boxes, for packaging when we have products. Over here are some Instagram story slides where we were advertising some of our new products that we have. Again, you're seeing our logo repeated here. Everything has a cohesive feel and as well, the color schemes are very similar. A lot of neutral, black, white, gray, that's our main color scheme. Then we introduce some walnut here as well, which is not something that you would normally incorporate in brand colors but because we do home decor, it's important for us to bring some of those home decor elements into our branding as well. We have a number of icons that we use here as well. This little camera, these little x's, these all play in part into our custom tissue paper that we have for our products, for packaging stickers, things like that. Then some of these images here are just examples of what thumbnails could look like for our channels. This is the look that we've developed. Again, very black and white, devoid of color here, with just the skin tones being the only color in the pictures. When you're working with a brand or client on a project and you're not really sure what you should be doing, whether you should be doing it in your [inaudible] or theirs, just be open. Communication is so important. Ask them what their expectations are, what are they looking for, and also ask them why they hired you as well. Did they hire you to create work that looks like your look, or did they hire you to create work that looks like their work? Once you put into practice everything we talked about, it becomes much easier to mold your style depending on who you're working with and what the client is looking for. Also don't be afraid to collaborate with other people too. If you're into video editing, but don't have much interest in graphic designer, much knowledge there, you can hire a graphic designer to help you with your branding, or you could collaborate with a graphic designer and maybe they could create some branding for you and you could create a video for them. It's fun to work with other people who have different skill sets. And it could definitely bring your videos to the next level by delegating some of those tasks to somebody else. I encourage you to keep practicing, keep going through this entire process, hone that process in, figure out what you like, what you don't like. practice makes progress and I'm super excited to see what you guys create after watching this entire class. 10. Final Thoughts: Congrats, you made it all the way through this entire class. I hope you feel inspired and ready to rework that old project with fresh eyes. Just a quick note before you start, this project or even your next project, to make sure that you have a color calibrated monitor. You want to make sure that if you're spending all this time developing a mood board, picking color schemes, and then learning how to color grade, that your color is going to be accurate on your screen and then look correct on other devices, on your phone, your TV, etc. We talked about a lot of things today and you might find it a little bit overwhelming, but don't forget that practice makes progress. The more you implement all the tools we talked about today, it will become easier and you'll start to get a feel for what your style is. Whether it's a full finished project or even just a small portion of your edits. I encourage you to post your projects in the project gallery below and I look forward to seeing them. Thank you so much for coming on this journey with me and who knows, maybe one of these days I'll be able to spot your work just based on the way it looks from everything you've learned in today's class. Thanks for watching and we'll see you next time.