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Hardware Based Video Editing Documentation

Greetings friends. I have finally released a hardware editing video! (link below)

In this video I explore some of my layering techniques, some very brief technical things, and exploration in general. I recommend you watch the video before reading the documentation :-)

Before I dive into the documentation, I quickly wanted to note a few things...

1) First off, it's been a very long time since I've done any sort of commentary on top of video. With that being said I hope you can look past my rambling and still absorb the material! I will be working on improving my commentary for the next video :-)

2) Also, I wanted to mention is that I had an interior struggle for awhile on how, when, and if I should do a video like this. Part of me wants to keep these hardware machines secret and another part of me wants to share my craft and be more open about what I do. I realized that for me, it is not healthy to be so secretive with what I do especially since I enjoy sharing art and communicating with the community. Ultimately I decided that yes, I will be more open about this form of art and I hope that this decision is understood by those who may wish to keep things lower key.

3) Lastly, if you have any suggestions on how to make these videos better, please let me know! I am open to constructive criticism. I don't know where this stuff will go but if I do end up really committing and regularly sharing stuff like this, I want it to be as digestible as possible. Thanks!


I will keep this documentation short and let the video speak for itself however I do want to put in writing some explanation regarding the technical jargon, the layering techniques, effects management, and the mindset in this video. Hopefully you will find them valuable in some way.

  • Technical Jargon: First and foremost I am a very dedicated CRT TV user and generally prefer that method of capture over a capture device but with my limited space and still unpacking from my move, I did not have the luxury of using a CRT TV in this video for capture so I had to resort to a capture device. Because I was using a capture device, I had to limit the distortion output because capture devices are a little less tolerant of distortion than a CRT. I also mentioned a preview screen. I wanted to clarify that a preview screen is used to navigate the interior menu on the middle machine that you saw in the video. The menu allows you to access more options, effects, and controls. Lastly, I reference "channels" a lot. A channel is one stream of video. So a two channel mixer can have two separate streams of video. A four channel mixer can have four, and so on. Hope this clears up a few things regarding a few technical aspects!

  • Layering: Layering is very important in any video editing environment, both digital and analog! Similar to audio effects, what you put first will be affected by the next thing and so on. This is important to remember. For example, consider you have motion in your video scene, perhaps a transition that is automatically moving between two different channels. If you then add a color effect on top of this, the color will affect the transition and motion as a whole. In this scenario you could instead put that color effect before the transition motion. This can be done by inserting the color to one of the two channels the transition is switching between. This is done by literally swapping your hardware around and putting inputs and outputs in different orders. Once you've made this change, the color would come before the motion, and you've got one channel with color and one without that the transition is switching between. This is just one example out of the endless options you have when it comes to layering in video editing, and in analog where your options are super limited, creating variety in any shape or form will expand those options greatly.

  • Effect management: This is goes hand in hand with layering techniques. Effect management is more so theory rather than technique you could say. In other words, what looks better when it comes to your layering. In my personal opinion, splitting your main source into two different effects, one being motion/geometry and another being color, then linking those back to a mixer to transition between is a great starting point. This "theory" allows for differentiation between your two channels (because one is motion/geometry based and the other is color based) and it just looks cool! Analog video can get really messy really fast since it is so lo-fi, so preserving your image while injecting as much style and variation is a hard balance to find.

  • Mindset: When it comes to any form of art, your mindset matters. I am often plagued by having a misplaced mindset when I create art. I create as a meditative outlet first and foremost. It is the most healing thing that I know of. Sometimes though, thoughts of the world and internet and views and validation begin to creep in and that greatly disrupts my creative process. I bring this up because when you fire up that gear, you want to be in a purely explorative, creative, and organic mind. This will allow you to find new variations, try new things, and feel your best! When I made this video I felt so relaxed and happy and without any overwhelming standards for myself and in the end I think some cool flavors were created! I can't stress this enough... Consider your mindset! You will be much happier and much more productive :-)

Thanks for reading this mini documentation! I hope that you learned something new or found something about this interesting. Shoot me a DM if you have any thoughts or questions. Take care!

- Hightosis

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