Post-Production: Unlocking the Secrets for Video and Photography

by Joost | Last Updated: June 20, 2022
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In photography, post-production refers to the use of software to alter or enhance a photo after it’s been taken.

In video, it’s pretty much the same, except that instead of altering or enhancing a single photo, you’re doing it with multiple ones. So, what does post-production mean for video? Let’s take a look.

What is post production

Getting Started with Post-Production

Preparing Your Files

Raw video footage takes up a ton of storage space, especially if it’s high-def. Before you get started, make sure you’ve got enough room to store it all. Then, you’ll need to select an editing format. Video is edited in a different file format than the one used for the final delivery, like MPEG. This is because you’ll need to access the raw footage for the editing stage, which could be hundreds of individual files from your shoot. Later, when you’re ready to export the final product, you can compress it into a smaller file size.

The two types of file codecs are:

Choosing Your Video Editor

Now you’ll need to pick your video editing software. Adobe Premiere Pro is a great place to start. Ultimately, which software you choose is up to you, but they all have their own add-ons, features, and interfaces.

Who’s Involved in Post-Production?

The Composer

Visual Effects Artists

The Editor

Foley Artists

The Three Stages of Video Creation: Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production

Pre-Production

This is the planning phase – the time to get everything ready for the shoot. Here’s what’s involved:

The people involved in pre-production include directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, storyboard artists, location scouts, costume & makeup designers, set designers, artists, and casting directors.

Production

This is the shooting phase – time to get the footage. This includes:

The people involved in production are the directing team, cinematography team, sound team, grips & equipment operators, runners, costume & makeup team, actors, and stunt team.

Post-Production

This is the final stage – the time to put it all together. Post-production includes:

The people involved in post-production are editors, colorists, sound designers, visual effects artists, and composers.

What Does Post-Production Entail?

Importing and Backing Up

Post-production starts with importing and backing up all the material you’ve shot. This is an essential step to ensure that your work is safe and secure.

Selecting the Good Stuff

After you’ve imported and backed up your material, you’ll need to go through it and select the best shots. This can be a time-consuming process, but it’s worth it to get the best results.

Editing Videos

If you’re working with videos, you’ll need to edit the clips together into a single movie. This is where you can really get creative and bring your vision to life.

Adding Music and Fixing Sound Issues

Adding music and sound effects to your videos can really take them to the next level. You’ll also need to make sure that any sound issues are fixed before you move on.

Correcting Color and Exposure Settings

You’ll need to make sure that the color, brightness, contrast, and other basic exposure settings are all correct. This is a crucial step to make sure your photos and videos look their best.

Fixing Issues

You’ll also need to fix any issues like crooked horizons, distortion, dust spots, or blemishes. This can be a tedious process, but it’s worth it to get the best results.

Applying Color Toning and Stylistic Adjustments

You can also apply color toning and other stylistic adjustments to your photos and videos. This is a great way to give your work a unique look and feel.

Prepping for Export and Printing

Finally, you’ll need to prep your photos and videos for export and printing. This is the last step before you can share your work with the world.

The Benefits of Post-Production

Fixing Small Issues

Digital cameras can’t always capture the world perfectly, so post-production is your chance to adjust for any issues that slipped through the cracks on location. This includes things like fixing color and exposure, making sure your work looks professional, and ensuring that your photos are consistent with each other.

Putting Your Stamp on Your Work

Post-production is also your opportunity to make your photos stand out from the crowd. You can develop a unique look for your work that makes it instantly recognizable. For example, if you take two photos of the same tourist spot, you can edit them to look like they’re part of the same collection.

Preparing for Different Mediums

Post-production also lets you prepare your work for different mediums. This could mean minimizing quality loss when uploading to Facebook, or making sure your photos look great when printed.

It’s worth noting that post-production isn’t a new concept. Even the great film photographers and movie directors spent just as much time in post-production as they did shooting.

Why is Photography Post Production Important?

What is Post-Production in Photography?

Post-production, post-processing, and photography post-production are all interchangeable terms. It refers to the tasks that take place after the photography has been completed on set. This is equally important for photography, movies, and dramas.

Two Different Methods to Process an Image

When a photograph doesn’t turn out as expected, it may require post-production. There are two different methods to process an image:

Post-Production Photo Editing or Photoshop Services

Post-production is a process in which a photographer can apply their creative vision to an image. This includes cropping and leveling, adjusting colors, contrasts, and shadows.

Cropping and Leveling

The crop tool can be used to alter the size of the photo horizontally and vertically to achieve the perfect level. For example, a rectangular photo can be cropped into a square. Cropping can also be used to fit the photo into different formats and ratios.

Adjust the Colors and Contrast

The color saturation tool can be used to adjust the colors of the photo in various ways. From a warm look to a cool, impactful look, the photo can be made perfect. Contrast can be adjusted by lightening or darkening the photo. The temperature of the photo can also be adjusted.

Remove Unwanted Elements

Horizon adjustment can be used to remove unwanted elements from the photo. This can be done by using the clone stamp tool to cover up any unwanted elements.

Tips and Tricks to Get the Best Out of Post-Production Photography

Have a Vision

Before you even open Photoshop or any other photo editing software, have a clear vision of what you want your photo to look like in the end. This will save you time and make the task easier and faster.

Pre-Visualization

As a photographer, it’s important to pre-visualize a photo before you start editing. This will help you get the most out of your post-production and make sure the photo looks great in any format.

Ensure Same Depth

Half the job is done when you take the photo. After that, make sure the pictures you are processing have the same depth as the original.

Be Creative

Processing is an art, so make sure to use your creativity when post-producing a picture. Master the tools you need to get the best results. It’s up to you whether you want to use processing or not.

Post-Production: A Comprehensive Guide

Transferring Content

When it comes to transferring content from film to video, there are a few options:

Editing

Editing is an essential part of post-production. It involves cutting, trimming, and rearranging the content of the film or TV program.

Sound Design

Sound design is an important part of post-production. It involves writing, recording, re-recording, and editing the soundtrack. It also includes adding sound effects, ADR, foley, and music. All of these elements are combined in a process known as sound re-recording or mixing.

Visual Effects

Visual effects are mainly computer-generated imagery (CGI) that is then composited into the frame. This can be used to create special effects or enhance existing scenes.

Stereoscopic 3D Conversion

This process is used to convert 2D content into 3D content for a 3D release.

Subtitling, Closed Captioning, and Dubbing

These processes are used to add subtitles, closed captions, or dubbing to the content.

The Post-Production Process

Post-production can take several months to complete, as it includes editing, color correction, and the addition of music and sound. It’s also seen as the second directing, as it allows filmmakers to change the intention of the movie. Color grading tools and music and sound can also be used to influence the atmosphere of the movie. For instance, a blue-tinted movie can create a cold atmosphere, while the choice of music and sound can further enhance the effect of the scenes.

Post-Production in Photography

Loading the Raw Images

Post-production starts with loading the raw images into the software. If there’s more than one image, they should be equalized first.

Cutting the Objects

The next step is to cut the objects in the images with the Pen Tool for a clean cut.

Cleaning the Image

Cleaning the image is done using tools such as the healing tool, clone tool, and patch tool.

Advertising

For advertising, it usually requires assembling several images together in a photo-composition.

Product-Photography

Product-photography requires several images of the same object with different lights, and assembled together to control light and unwanted reflections.

Fashion Photography

Fashion photography requires a lot of post-production for editorial or advertising.

Mixing and Mastering Music

Comping

Comping is the process of taking the best bits of different takes and combining them into one superior take. It’s a great way to get the best out of your recordings and make sure you’re getting the most out of your music.

Timing and Pitch Correction

Timing and pitch correction can be done through beat quantization, making sure that your music is in time and in tune. This can be a great way to make sure your music sounds great and is ready to be released.

Adding Effects

Adding effects to your music can be a great way to add texture and depth to your sound. From reverb to delay, there are a range of effects that can be used to give your music a unique sound.

Conclusion

Post-production is an essential part of creating a high-quality video or photograph. It involves selecting the right editing format, choosing the right video editing software, and working with a team of talented professionals to bring the project to life. To ensure your post-production process runs smoothly, make sure you have enough storage space for the raw footage, use an intra-frame file codec for editing, and use an inter-frame file codec for delivery. Finally, remember to adhere to the storyboard and screenplay created during pre-production, and use the right sound and visual effects to create a polished final product.

Traditional (analogue) post-production has been eroded away by video editing software (great choices here) that operates on a non-linear editing system (NLE).