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5 Ways Post Production Editing Can Improve Your Shot

Not all errors are noticed during production when a reshoot is possible. When mistakes happen that leave you feeling like your film footage is all but ready for the final cut, post production editing can be used to improve your shot in various ways. Whether you’re adding stabilization to a wobbly shot or balancing out an over-exposed scene, post production editing can be used to fix many common production mistakes. Check out these 5 ways post production editing can improve your shot.

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1. Image Stabilization in Post Production Editing

A shaky or otherwise wobbly shot can be hard for viewers to follow, and while your camera likely had built-in image stabilization, a shaky hand sometimes overpowers the technology it carries.

Post production editing tools can help to reduce any visible wobble that is seen in your footage so that you don’t have to spend time reshooting. When stabilizing an image in post production, consider the following:

  • Settings and tools vary in post production. Sometimes experimentation is key to getting the shot as stable as possible. Just keep trying until it appears balanced and smooth.
  • Simply adding post production image stabilization to a clip isn’t always enough. You will likely need to adjust settings to get the best outcome.

2. Repairing Shot Framing in Post Production Editing

A shot that is crooked or otherwise incorrectly framed can often be repaired in post production editing. Even simple framing changes can be used to re-center a scene or otherwise fix the framing.

Common adjustments to settings in post production editing include changes to the position, scale, rotation and perspective that will come together to adjust the framing of a shot however these changes can result in a slight reduction in overall video resolution so be aware.

3. Post Production Sound Fixes

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Poor audio is a common mistake made in production that isn’t fully recognized until we get to post production editing. However, post production sound corrections can be made in situations where the originally recorded audio peaks randomly or when noise interference leads to unacceptable quality audio.

Post production editing tools can repair the sound of your clips to some degree, but some situations will require additional creativity by the editor to fully repair. When all else fails, unfortunately, a reshoot or full audio dub may be necessary to rectify the problem completely.

4. Adjusting Brightness & Exposure in Post Production

Footage that appears to be overly bright or underexposed can also be repaired in post production editing for the most part. Underexposed footage can generally be corrected more easily than an image that is overexpose as brightening an image is typically easier than reducing the light in an image. Consider the following settings:

  • Adjust the exposure.
  • Balance the whites.
  • Reduce or increase highlights.
  • Add contrast.
  • Improve shadows.
  • Balance the blacks.

As you work on adjusting the various settings listed above, be careful not to make any drastic changes to the settings as a hard swing in either direction can lead to significant noise in your final footage.

5. Photoshopping the Shot in Post Production Editing

Perhaps the term is not technically “Photoshopping,” but removing something from a shot in post production is possible–and it doesn’t always require a reshoot! For instance, you may find that there is a graphic depicted on someone’s clothing or perhaps there is a brand label on a prop that you did not intend to show in your footage. These items can easily be removed with a few steps as follows:

  • Take still frames of each scene in which the changes will be made.
  • Using your image editing program, add a layer to the stills to cover up the graphic or branding on the item that you need to change.
  • Clone stamp to continue to cover the graphic or brand in future frames.
  • Adjust shadows and other elements in the scene until the footage is shown in the quality that is ideal for your video.