Solved Can you help me look better? Seriously :)

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Can you help me look better? Seriously :) was created by LivingFreeForever

I did a video for YouTube and I look horrid. All my wrinkles showed up and dark shadows. I know I had bad lighting(we won't say it is because I'm just old lol). I was wondering if on my Sony Movie Studio Plantinum 13...if there is a way to wash out or lighten or airbrush the video or just my face? Even a little would help :) Thank you.
14 Mar 2016 14:18 #1

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Replied by DoctorZen on topic Can you help me look better? Seriously :)

You can't airbrush in a Video Editing program.
The only thing you could try is a light Gaussian Blur, which you will find in Video FX.
Remember to turn everything off at least once a week, including your brain, then sit somewhere quiet and just chill out.
Unplugging is the best way to find solutions to your problems.
Peace :)
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14 Mar 2016 22:35 #2

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic Can you help me look better? Seriously :)

Hi Melody,

As Derek points out, you cannot airbrush in Movie Studio or Vegas. In Vegas you could animate a mask and apply the Gaussian Blur to just your face, but that is real tricky to keep the mask moving in alignment with your face movement.

In Movie Studio you could apply the Gaussian Blur within the shapes provided, such as a circle, and animate it with key frames, but that is not ideal either. And, BTW, if you try the Gaussian Blur, when Derek mentions 'light', my experience has been 'very light', such as starting with something like '.002'.

I'm sure you have thought of others means, but I will list a few. Using Movie Studio may be putting the cart before the horse. That is horse being the camera and post production being the cart.

You already mentioned lighting. Hard lighting gives hard results, probably not what you want. Soft lighting gives pleasant results. So any lighting you can use, the more defused it is, the better the results may be. For outdoor lighting, reflectors work great. My favorite is to place the talent just inside the shade, with a white reflector panel just outside the shade and the light reflecting from the sun aimed at the talent. This is best done earlier in the morning, or later in the afternoon (afternoon providing warmer light, and morning providing cooler light, warmer would probably be better for skin tones), as the angle of the sun is such that an alignment can be made better from the reflector. High noon is not a good time, but even during early or late sunlight hours, it's not always easy to work in a shady spot (by the way, the background also needs to be shaded otherwise the talent will be harshly back lit making for another problem). Of course if it is indoor lighting the limitation are only those by the lighting budget.

Another idea is to use a soft filter on the camera. These are available relative inexpensively and often come in a set of three, offering graduated scales. Depending on the filter and the camera, you may want to do manual focus (manual focus should be used if at all possible during any shooting), and/or some manual settings exposure settings. You may also have an exposure preset built into your camera, such as Portrait mode, which may help. Soften filters offer a means to blur facial features without over doing it and degrading the overall definition we get shooting Hi-Def. Of course it will reduce, to a small degree, definition, but we use them to achieve a happy medium.

Yet another idea. We all have facial features which may not be as good as those glamorous models making the big bucks. Those features may be in the nose, eyes, jaw bone, neck, ears, etc. Even if our features aren't bad, it is our perception of ourselves that may matter. For example, my wife has one of those faces, it is difficult for me to photograph/film and not get great results. She is what we refer to as photogenic. Me on the other hand, I have a face only my mother could love, and it belongs behind the camera and never in front of the lens! My mother-in-law has an attractive face, but there are some angles I try to avoid.

Angles, can improve or destroy our appeal for a subject. A quick experiment would illustrate what I mean. Sit comfortable in some decent lighting indoors or out. Flat lighting would be the best, so there aren't any harsh shadows on your face to interrupt the experiment. Have someone else film you from a distance that will allow for a head and shoulders shot with the camera about your eye level. They need to start to slowly move the camera around you. From far left (profile) to far right (profile). Then have them elevate the camera and do the same from one side of you (while you continue to look forward) to the other side profile. Again at a high elevation, and again higher. Then do the same with a lower elevation and lower, and lower. During these higher and lower elevation angles, we are talking about 10-15 degrees changes at a time, from far left profile to far right profile. This may take a few minutes to complete.

When you view this footage, you may find that some angles are more pleasing than others. If that is true, try to develop your sweet spot angle and use it when ever appropriate. Don't forget to experiment with some lighting, because shadows can change our opinion of the angle. Also, unlike news and reality shows, where the cameraman seems to be 2 feet from the subject during interviews (there is an old age reason for this), a moderate telephoto focal length, usually give a more pleasant perspective than normal or wide angle focal length settings.

Of course there is the age old makeup. Back when TV's were standard definition, news anchors and soap opera stars (who are always in those close-ups) would refuse to be filmed without makeup. When High Definition came along, they started using even more. I personally prefer no makeup (and as stated previously, no amount of makeup can help my ugly mug!), but a little makeup can sometimes go a long ways. It's a ladies personnel choice, some hate it and others will not leave home without. Even a lot of men wear makeup when in front of the camera. This topic would also include hair and jewelry/clothing.

And yet, another idea, is personality. I watched several of your videos you and Ric posted on your YouTube channel. I think you have a great personality and personally I didn't notice anything horrid about your appearance. Personality goes a long ways to reinforce our persona on film. Unlike still photographs that catch us in one millisecond of time, when the camera is rolling we have an opportunity to show off, so to speak, in front of the crowd. A little constructive criticism can be extremely helpful in our ability to develop as an on screen personality. I think Derek is a perfect example of these. Most of his tutorials focused on the monitor and we could hear his voice. Lately he has been jumping in front of camera and letting his persona fly. I think most of us would agree, we like seeing him in front of the camera and better relate to his character when off-screen, as well as, when he post in the forums.

........Just some thoughts. And again, I'm sure you have probably already thought of these. Oh sorry, I can't help myself, Just one more....

If you haven't already, consider spending a little time watching some online tutorials about still photo portraiture, based on camera techniques. Not all still photo techniques apply to motion pictures, but many of the principles do. After all, motion pictures are just a series of stills.
Best Regards......George
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16 Mar 2016 08:00 #3

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Replied by LivingFreeForever on topic Can you help me look better? Seriously :)

Thank you so much George for going in depth. Since I'm not so computer savy. I think I just need to remember my lighting when video recording. We are almost always outside. Usually we are on the move but sometimes not. I have never heard of a reflector. If I go on Amazon is that what I should look up? Is there an official name for this product?
That one video I was talking about was with me in the garage. I thought I looked horrid but I know there are people who look worse than me so I just put it up this time. I originally wanted to go outside by the palm tree where I know video has looked good in the past, but my neighbors were next door in the driveway and I know they would come over and we would be chit chatting for an hour and I'd never get the video done lol.

Believe it or not I modeled as a teenager(mainly because of my hair for those posters they put in salons). But I had people to tell me EXACTLY where to turn my head. up, down, tilt, etc...I never really paid much attention to what was the best side or angle of my face. Now I have to pay more attention.
Yes, makeup. I need new makeup. I hate wearing it because of the hot weather and humidity but it sure helps when one is on there way to 50 lol :)

I'm not a morning person so most my video is afternoon and sunset time. We are in Southwest Florida, so the sun is VERY bright and I end up squinting. I have to take my glasses off to see my smartphone screen(glasses are for far away seeing)...that is what I'm using for now...except we us the GoPro for timelapses. Ric is going to go into the Gulf of Mexico to get underwater video. We hope to get a surf board for some more fun :)
Our Galaxy Samsung S6 Active has a different filters. I just discovered them this week. I will practice using portrait and the other modes and see what results we get.

My true personality still hasn't come out all the way on the camera. I'm very shy((in front of the camera) so getting in front of the camera has been a VERY scary thing for me to do. I feel a bit akward but I feel after 80 videos Im SLIGHTLY getting more comfortable. A couple hundred more videos...well...maybe then I'll come across a little better lol :) Ric too is shy until he gets comfortable. He orginally didn't want to be in videos but he liked cameras in the past but really never got the time or money to get into it until now. We are both enjoying learning to grow on YouTube, learning to video, and edit. It is a lot of work but a lot of FUN work lol :) Having a channel forces us to put up new content, so we are foreced not to be lazy and get out there and keep learning.
Thanks a million Geore for taking the time to help us out. We REALLY apprecaiate it. THANK YOU! :)
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16 Mar 2016 09:24 #4

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic Can you help me look better? Seriously :)

Hi Melody,

Do a search for 'Collapsible Circular Reflectors Disc'. There are many available different sizes, with various sides like silver, gold, and white. I think if you only have one, 40-45 inch would work well, folds up pretty small, and a good starter. An assistant can hold it in poition or you may want to pick up a lighting stand and grip to hold in in place. Keep in mind if you are filming yourself, it's going to take some trial and error to position the reflector so it is center properly on your face. It's almost always worth the effort to increase soft/warm lighting. Best of Luck.
Best Regards......George
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16 Mar 2016 10:30 #5

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Replied by LivingFreeForever on topic Can you help me look better? Seriously :)

Thank you again George. You are the best! Well...along with Derek lol :) Melody
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16 Mar 2016 12:46 #6

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Replied by Richard Jones on topic Can you help me look better? Seriously :)

Although I haven't used it, I'm told there's quite a useful free Plug In for smoothing out wrinkles and freckles called "Smart Smoother" which you can download from Mike Cash's website at mikecash.com (or it might be 'crash' and not 'cash' --- sorry, can't remember and don't have my file records with me!))

Richard
21 Mar 2016 23:00 #7

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Replied by Richard Jones on topic Can you help me look better? Seriously :)

PS. Now I think about it, I think Bill Myers has a demo video of how to do this on his
s web page ( www.BillMyers.com ). Sorry I forgot about this.

Richard
22 Mar 2016 01:30 #8

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