Storyboarding and Special Effects with your Camcorder

If you’ve used a Canon EOS digital SLR before, you’d have cone across something called Picture Style. Picture Style simplifies the control of image processing parameters (such as tone, contrast saturation, and sharpness) by offering different presets to suit various shooting requirements. In many of Canon’s newest camcorders this yea’ (such as the Legria HF G10, HF M41, and HF M40O), the company has introduced Cinema Style. It consists of three tools, namely: Story Creator, Cinema-Look Filters, and Touch Decoration. Here’s how you use them to make your videos better.

Story Creator

Think of Story Creator as an in-camera storyboarding tool. Better yet, it has five predefined themes for you to choose from (Travel, Party, Kids & Pets, Ceremony and Blog), along with corresponding lists of suggested scenes. In other words, you don’t even have to write the storyboard, you just pick and go along with one.

Once a scene has been selected, pressing the Start/Stop button would start the recording, and the clip would be stored automatically under the selected story and scene. You can record more than one clip for each scene, if you see a little icon at the bottom that says “8 sec”, that’s not how much space you’ve left on the recording media, or how much longer the battery is going to last. Instead, it’s the recommended recording length for this scene. Since it’s only a tip, you can ignore it. Suffice to say, you’re a so able to copy and move scenes within the same story aid category, as we I as between stories recorded in the same memory.

You can also record video snapshots, which are a series of short scenes (in 2, 4 or 8 seconds), by pressing the Video Snap button, followed by the Start/Stop button. You can playback your movies along with background music using tracks found in the bundled Camcorder Supplemental Disc, or in the built-in memory of the camcorder. Alternatively, you can use your own music by connecting an external audio player to the camcorder’s microphone terminal.

Touch Decoration

Perhaps the most fun feature of Cinema Style is the ability to doodle on your videos right within the camcorder. Because let’s face for many of us, having to do that later on the computer is just one step too many.

The decoration feature of the new Canon camcorders allows you to add stamps, animated graphics, captions, frames, as well as your own freehand drawings. You can even save your drawings aid stamps and recall them for future use. For added precision during navigation and drawing on the touchscreen, you can use the supplied stylus.

To use Touch Decoratior, simply hit the FUNC, button followed by the Decoration icon. The decoration screen would appear with various tools located at the bottom toolbar. The next step is a simple matter of selecting a tool and start using it. Remember though, you can decorate scenes as they’re being recorded, during Payback, or before conversion from high definition to standard definition. You cannot decorate them post shooting.

Cinema Lock Filter

Cinema-look filters are a godsend for people who want snazzy cinema effects but dread the thought of firing up any after-effects software. All you’ve to do is to engage Cinema mode and select the desired filter. A total of nine filters are available: Cinema Standard, Vivid, Dream, Cool, Nostalgic, Sepia, Old Movies, Memory, and Dramatic B&W. Other than cinema standard, each of the filters allows you to apply the effect using different levels (low, medium, or high).

If you’ve used Story Creator to plan and record your videos thus far, you can now play them back as a single video mat follows the order of the scenes. Because you can rate your scenes immediately after recording or during playback, compiling your best clips as a single video is as easy as selecting playback by rating.