From Stills to Motion Part 1: DSLR Video For Beginners | David Miller | Skillshare

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From Stills to Motion Part 1: DSLR Video For Beginners

teacher avatar David Miller, Multimedia Artist For Primordial Creative studio

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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.

      From Stills To Motion intro


    • 2.

      Frame and Aspect Ratio


    • 3.

      Frame Rates


    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.

      Wrap Up + Project


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About This Class

When I got my first DSLR that could shoot video, I had a number of questions how to use it effectively because I understood that shooting quality video is a skill clients desired and often expected of photographers.  In a multimedia world, only being able to work with still images isn't enough.  

This class will address all the questions I found myself asking during my own learning process.  There's a lot to cover, so I've split this class into multiple sections.  In Part 1 we cover frame rates, aspect ratio, manual settings, specialty gear for sound, lighting, and more!

Meet Your Teacher

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David Miller

Multimedia Artist For Primordial Creative studio


I'm David, a multimedia artist in Phoenix, and my studio is Primordial Creative.  I have always been interested in the visual arts from an early age- drawing, painting, and clay- but around my high school years I became interested in photography for the social aspect of involving other people, the adventure inherent in seeking out pictures, and the presentation of reality that wasn't limited by my drawing skills.


One thing in my work that has stayed consistent over the decades since then is I have an equal interest in the reality of the lens next to the fictions we can create in drawing, painting, animation, graphic design, and sound design.  As cameras have incorporated video and audio features, and as Adobe's Creative Cloud allows for use of a ... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. From Stills To Motion intro: Hey there, this is David Miller. I'm a Phoenix Arizona multimedia artist, and my studio is primordial creative in Tempe, Arizona. I'm here to talk to you today about moving from still photography to motion. That's right. We're gonna learn about shooting video. And this is a process that I learned a few years ago because I had been a still photographer for a long period of time when I got a DSLR camera that shot HD video and I realized I could make movies and I could expand my skill set quite a bit by shooting video , not to mention charge extra. For that knowledge, there was a big learning curve. There are a lot of things you need to consider when shooting video that are very different from shooting still photography. There are also a lot of things that are very similar between shooting, still photography and video. So this class is going to bridge the gap between still photography and working in video. Hopefully already have some skills about shooting. Still photography, like setting manual exposure manual focus. But if you don't, I will do my best to explain those as we come upon them throughout our video in 2016. Still, photography is not as valued as it once waas, and there are a few reasons for this. One is that everybody has a camera, so everybody thinks of themselves as a photographer. Also, people don't spend as much time on a still image as they used to. Things like Instagram mean graze picture in the world. You look at it for a second, you hit like and scroll right past it. They don't stop you in the tracks the way they used to. Therefore, people aren't is willing to spend this much money on still photography for commercial or artistic purposes as they used to. However, making a good video is a skill that a lot of people struggle with. So that means you, as the freelance photographer, can charge more because you have a skill set that is not considered common knowledge or is considered much more valuable than shooting a still photograph that looks great. Your product for this class will be to shoot video and use a few of the special effects and tips and tricks that I'm going to show you post the link to that on a scale share product page, and you can host your video as a private video on YouTube or venue with that another way. Let's get started. 2. Frame and Aspect Ratio: so the first area I want to cover is orientation and aspect ratio. Now we all have seen Web videos where people have gotten their phone and shot it vertically . And for some things like Snapchat and instagram stories, that makes sense because your intended to watch this stuff on a phone. For the majority of video content, it's intended to be watched on a horizontal screen. Therefore, I would recommend always shooting with your camera in the horizontal position. I feel like this is common sense, but how many Web videos do I see where people defy this rule and you end up with two huge black areas on the side of your video, and when you expand, it doesn't expand its full range. So always shoot in the landscape orientation unless you have some kind of nifty special effect in mind. And I guarantee that 90% of those times that special effect won't come through now. Aspect ratio is the relationship from one side of your frame to the other has faras sizes. A traditional photograph is four by six. A traditional HD video is 16 by nine so nine inches tall, 16 inches across. It is a lot wider than your for my six frame, and often times it has to accommodate something moving across the frame. You can imagine a person walking across the room or an animal running, or somebody playing sports in motion. So all of these things have to happen within the elongated frame you have, and you will get used to seeing this way if you shoot a lot of video, or if you walk around with one of the things that director usedto have little scope thing can print it out. You can cut it out. You can hold it in front of you before you set up your camera before you make your shots. I feel like this is a good way to get used to seeing in 16 by nine if it is so, if you're creating a portfolio or you're doing client work for other people, there can always be discussion about different aspect ratios, different formats. But since the majority of user experiences will be based upon the 16 by nine HD format, I feel like it's best for you to get used to shooting that way and creating your ideas that way, 3. Frame Rates: now I want to talk about frame rates and frame rates are how many frames per second are in your video. 30 frames per second or 29.97 is the standard HD frame rate. Traditional film movies were 24 frames per second, and a lot of the modern action thriller type films are shot at a higher frame rate to emphasize his actions, such as 60 frames per 2nd 120 frames per second and so on. If you were to shoot at a higher frame rate 60 frames per second, we could easily see how we can slow this down to 30 frames per second and create 1/2 motion effect if we shot at 120 frames per second, which is something my cameras don't do. But my GoPro does, Then I am able to slow it down four times to get a super slow motion effect. If you shoot at 29.97 24 frames per 2nd 30 face per second and you try to do some kind of slow motion effect, it's going to look very choppy and PC and not that great. Uh, in some cases. This is in effect you want, but I feel like to most people, it looks amateurish, so it is to be avoided. The frame rate that you are filming at is set up within your camera, so there is a menu there. Some cameras have more options than others. Each frame rate has a corresponding shutter speed, which is ideal to shoot at. If you were to shoot at 30 frames per 2nd 29.97 frames per second, double that number, you get 1/60 of a second as your shutter speed, which you set for the entire duration of your shoot. If I was to shoot at 60 frames per second, double that, my frame rate is one 1/20 of a second for the duration of the entire shoot. And the reason for this is this is what gives a natural look. Two. Your final product if you allow the camera to choose the shutter speed for you. If you haven't on full auto, you'll get some strange moments, such as cars driving by in the background that are totally sharp when they should be blurry and show motion 4. Sound: So next I want to talk about sound. And when we watch a video, we often think about the visuals, and we forget that the sound is a major component. You definitely notice it, though, if you have bad sound and bad sound could mean there's other things bleeding into your video that don't belong there. It could mean that if you have people talking and there's ambient noises such as like bags crinkling or dogs barking in the distance or traffic that covers up your dialogue, that's definitely noticeable because then the video doesn't communicate at all. And there's just bad sound where things don't match. Maybe something is really sharp and troubling, and another thing is kind of soft and muffled or there in an environment, and you hear the people talking. You don't hear any ambient noise at all, even though they're supposed to be room noise, crowd noise and so on. So let's talk about a few strategies and how we can get better sound in our videos. Number one is to use any kind of microphone except the one that's included on your camera. There's a couple of reasons for this. Number one is to use a microphone attached to your camera or an external device, rather than just using the on board mic on your camera. The reason for this is twofold. One. Those extra mikes are usually better than the mic that's on your camera, and two, because you're moving your camera around, you're making little friction noises. That stuff ends up in your video. And even if I were to just manipulate this on this, if I had this microphone in a button down shirt, my shirt was kind of crinkling. That sounds gonna come across. It's very noticeable in video, even though it might not be in real life, and it makes an unpleasant watching experience for your viewer. Number two is if you have a conversation between people, you would want to boom the sound, which means you have your microphone placed overhead aiming down on a person. This is better than aiming the microphone directly at the person, because what happens if I have a shotgun mic on my camera that's recording this and it's aiming at me. It's also capturing reflections from the wall, and that echo bounce totally shows up. It doesn't seem that way in real life again. But in the final video, you'll notice it. If you have the microphone boomed and its overhead and aiming down, then you're only capturing the sound of the people talking and not reflections from anything behind. Another tip with sound is it has to be synchronized with the video. So if my lips are moving, but the sounds out of my mouth are coming slightly before after, that's no good. An easy strategy, of course, to keep your sound and your video together is to have your microphone running into your camera, so their record at the same time, if you have more than one camera or you have your audio recorded on a separate device such as a computer or on external audio recorder than what you'll probably need is one of these . This clapboard creates a loud sound, and it lets me know where I start rolling sound where I start rolling the video and I can synchronize those two. When I look in my computer editing programs, see the loud peak created by that sound next to the action of me doing it. So one thing that's very common in a movie is they'll have a conversation take place someplace very noisy, like a bar or sporting events or a bike rally or something like that. And in the movie, they can fake that this is a bar by dropping in ambient bar noises later, if you're filming in real life amongst sports fans, motorcycles so forth. What's more important than realism is that we understand what your characters or the people you're interviewing actually say. So you either need to find a way to lower the ambient sound, the bikes, the sports, etcetera. Or you need to find a way to drop in the dialogue at a later point. And this is very common. It's called a D R. 80. Are is where the dialogue is recorded in a studio, and then it's usually lip sync to what the actors air saying. And sometimes it's very noticeable in a film when the way that somebody's voice sounds changes so radically from where it was a couple seconds ago. But what's most important is if people you can hear what you're saying and if they can't understand what you're saying, it's frustrating again leads to unpleasant viewing experience 5. Lighting: So let's talk about lighting and lighting you'll be using when you shoot. Videos will be continuous light, meaning your flashes are pretty worthless when you're shooting videos. In the olden days, they used hot lights and they're super Brian. What? They're super hot and the actors makeup would melt because they'd be sweating and it would wear them out. Nowadays we use led is what you're cold and generally rated to daylight. It can also put warming filters on them so you would have your white balance that daylight , which is how I'm shooting this video that you're currently watching when you have tons of footage and you put it together in the end. One of the problems people have is that the color shift so dramatically because either scenes were shot on different days at different times of day is very common when people shoot movies that they shoot him out of sequence. A movie that is not shot out of sequence and uses daylight exclusively is the revenant Leonardo DiCaprio. And because they chose to go that route that could only shoot maybe one or two hours a day , which is a very punishing way to shoot a video going back toe lighting, though the lighting does not match between your scenes, what people commonly new is called color grading. And this is where you change the color of your entire film. So it is very, very similar in tone. Uh, there's a cool YouTube video about Jurassic World. You should check it out. It's comparing it to the original Jurassic Park by somebody who really like the original dress in part and didn't care for a drastic world. But one of the things I feel they got wrong is there saying that the coloration and Jurassic World is kind of fake and weird looking versus, uh, the vibrancy of the film that Steven Spielberg made in the early nineties. Color grading goes to the theory that the colors that we present in our images could be still, photography could be video. They're there to evoke a mood and to help tell the story. And I think that's a good thing. I think we shouldn't rely solely on everything being what nature gave us when we shot the picture, or what the led lights gave us. We should bring some artistic sense to our color, and so that's what color grading is all about. 6. Editing: So let's talk about editing software, the primary Softwares that people use our adobe premiere. If you were deeply ingrained into the adobe system and you're only paying for the creative cloud, you have access to Premiere and after effects, which is a more fine tuning, special effects graphics type program. There's Final Cut Pro, which is something that's really common with Mac users, and a lot of movies have been cut on. That professional Hollywood editing system would be avid, just a little more beyond what most beginners and video editing would be using. And then there are a couple free options. There's Windows Movie Maker, which is what I actually started on when I had Window Systems and Apple II movie. There's pros and cons of probably everything. All I can really say about Windows movie Maker and Apple I movie is that they're both free . You're working with a single track on them, which means that you don't have layers of video that you can cut. If you have to camera angles. It's very difficult to get them to align and switch between the two camera angles. Um, if you do not have any sort of software that you're paying for. If you're using a free option, I wouldn't get discouraged because everybody starts that way. They have to work through the basics before they start the big stuff. Adobe Premiere Pro is the one I'm most familiar with, and it's the one I liked most. Of course, I'm fully integrated into the adobe systems. They do pay for my creative cloud subscription, and when you have every program available to you there very symbiotic, they talk to each other. So if I need to do some special effects or in motion graphics in a piece of footage, I can kick it over to after effects. Open it up, do my business there, send it back to premier, and no one's the wiser. When you're editing video footage, you're operating on a timeline, so you have sequences nested within sequences and they follow a linear path, which is your timeline. You have sound that is linked to your video that you can unlinked if you need to wipe it or replace it. But this is extraordinarily useful because you can edit the video independent of the sun. You can edit the sound independent of the video you can not quite sure what also want to say about that. So when you're editing video, you have a timeline from the start of your video to the presumed end of it. And what's common is that you have a whole pile of footage. Let's say the recent interview session I did was over an hour long. I only needed a video that was about three minutes to seven minutes long. So I have a huge pile of stuff that needs to fit into this small compact box. And the most logical way to proceed there is cut down the individual sequences to their smallest packet. Add them to the timeline, and then, when I have these small sequences, edit them together to be the final sequence, which is my 3 to 7 minutes long interview video choosing what to edit. It's very, very difficult. Often times we watch a movie and you find out after the fact that there was some important information, Uh, that was shot and put in the movie, and then they kicked it out for time. So some recent examples include Suicide squad, Batman V Superman. These movies had pieces that were left on the cutting room, floor or DVD extras. And a lot of fans were like, Why wasn't that in the movie that would have made this story so much clear? I can always speak to why people cut things out of movies, but as an editor of my own projects, I understand you have to be very, very ruthless to have an extraordinarily long movie, extraordinary long video, something that's 15 minutes long worth of interviews. Nobody will watch it. And if nobody is watching it in the video is worthless. Whatever tells this story most effectively, plus whatever is crucial information, that is what makes the final cut of your video. And I would encourage people who are beginners to look a YouTube videos and see what your own threshold for tolerance is. How long can you watch a video before you turn off? Speeded up? Check the time. How long can you actually stay engaged? And I believe for the average user, it's something around 1 to 2 minutes, people will sit through video at me like OK, I got time for that. But anything longer, they're really weighing how important this is to their lives. If this is going to be a valuable use of their time, and if it's not, they turn it off and they forget about it. And maybe they didn't even get to the point that you were trying to get to in your video. If you had a a theme or a lesson, or you were trying to make a a commercial product that he wanted somebody to to actually buy into at the end of your video. If it's too long and it's too boring, you don't cut enough to keep the energy moving. They're not gonna watch it now. Cutting between scenes. Uh, this is, of course, individual taste, but this is one way we can keep up visual interest in our videos. I feel like modern video watchers expect a cut every 5 to 10 seconds, and if a piece of footage runs 20 seconds long 30 seconds long, they will lose interest Superfast. This is one of the reasons why younger people have a hard time watching on old TV show, where the camera is just sitting in one spot. They had a single camera, uh, and maybe even some older movies, because I believe does, er nez from I love. Lucy started the dual camera system, but a lot of older shows in a lot of older movies. They had a single camera. They let it run and right at the person and there was no other visual information. There was no camera movements. There was nothing to keep you, uh, invested in what you're watching. You're just looking at the same person's head and shoulders. You're looking the same person's face over and over and over, and it is very boring. We know from psychology that in the real world, most of communication is through non verbal gesticulations. The way we said, the way our eyes are is not so much what we say. And in the video world, it's even more so. So if this entire video was just me sitting in the chair and you looking at me, it might feel like we're having a conversation, and in one sense, that might feel natural. But in another sense, it would be very, very boring to watch. So when you edit your videos, make sure there are cutaways to other things. If somebody is giving a monologue, if this is some kind of like acting video, have them do something. Don't just have them sit at a table and shot flat straight on. Maybe show what they're doing with their hands if they're doing a crossword puzzle there drinking out of, ah, a cup of coffee. Anything like that is a cool visual cue. If there's something else happening around the world, if we can cut to outside of the house if it can shoot through the window, these are different ways of making your footage mawr interesting and also giving you more things to edit to. 7. Wrap Up + Project: so that wraps up part one of our dive into DSLR video. Part two will be out shortly on the skill share channel. In the meantime, I'd love to see what your preliminary videos look like. Shoot some footage, edit it into a 32nd sample clip. Post results to our skill share project page as a private YouTube or video link, check out my skill share channel for more adobe premiere classes if you want some more video editing ideas and talk to you next time.