FilmForth User Guide

Adding Pictures and Video

In This Document:

  • Introduction
  • Adding Pictures and Video
  • Using Transitions
  • Additional Information


Pictures and video objects are one of the most important parts of your video project. FilmForth can import many image and video types to help you on your way to completing your project. FilmForth supports all of the image and video types in Table 3.1. The type of file matters because it can affect the image quality (e.g., color depth and compression type) and features (e.g., animation and transparency).

Portable Network Graphics. An image file format. Originally designed as an open-source alternative to GIF format. Supports 24-bit and 48-bit color and transparency with lossless compression.

Joint Photographic Experts Group.  An image file format. Supports 24-bit color. Has variable ‘lossy’ compression which reduces file size and quality.

Joint Photographic Experts Group.  An image file format. Supports 24-bit color. Has variable ‘lossy’ compression which reduces file size and quality.

Bitmap. An image file format.Supports various color depths. More suitable for graphics than photos. The files are not compressed and are lossless.

Graphics Interchange Format. An image file format. Limited to 256 colors (8-bit). Most suitable for graphics with few colors and very simple animations. Compression mostly comes from limiting the color palette. Once color encoded, the format uses lossless LZW file compression.

“Weppy.” A Google-developed image format intended to replace GIF, JPEG and PNG formats as a more efficient media file. Designed to have significantly smaller size than any other format while supporting full color, lossy and lossless compression, transparency and animation.

MPEG-4 (Motion Pictures Experts Group). A video container that can hold video, audio, and subtitles. Highly compatible. Generally used for higher-quality video.

Windows Media Video. A video container that can hold video, audio, and subtitles. Equivalent to the ASF video file format.

A video file container format created by Microsoft. This format is older and losing traction to other, more modern file formats.

A Google-developed video format. Designed to have smaller size than many other formats. Often used for HTML5 streaming. Quality may be lower than other video file types because of trade-offs between file efficiency and quality.

Transport Stream MPEG-2. A streaming file format used for storing video files on DVD.

A 3GPP container that can hold video, audio, and subtitles. Generally used for 3G mobile phones.

An Apple-developed iTunes proprietary video container format used for streaming. Comparable to WEBM, but with higher quality potential.

A container that can hold video, audio, and subtitles.Developed by Apple and created to be cross-platform compatible with other operating systems.

Matroska Video files. A video container that can hold video, audio and subtitles.

Advanced Video Coding High Definition (AVCHD) format video files. The standard format used by some portable video recorders.

MPEG-2 Transport Stream. A video container that can hold video, audio, and subtitles. Usually used for high-definition video storage (e.g., Blu-ray).

Table 3.1: Supported File Types

Adding Pictures and Video

Pictures and videos are a key component of videos you will create in FilmForth.Adding them from existing files is simple.

  1. Open the project you want to add pictures or video to in FilmForth.
  2. Click the Add Object [+] button to the right on the Timeline display. A Windows Open screen will appear.
  3. Using the Open screen, navigate to the place where you have stored the object you want to incorporate into your video.
  4. Click on the object to highlight it in the file panel.
  5. Click [Open]. The object will be added to the project timeline immediately after the last object in the timeline.

Edit Image Objects

Several features are included in FilmForth to help you control the objects that you add to the timeline. This feature bar becomes available at the bottom of the program screen when an image object is selected in the timeline panel (see Figure 3.1). To apply the functions just click on the feature. The descriptions for each object appear in Table 3.2 and contain any additional information necessary for applying the tool. Controls are context sensitive because still pictures and video objects are fundamentally different. Exit all features using the blue [Back] arrow to the left of the feature bar.

Figure 3.1: The transition Icon

This feature enables users to split an active image object into two parts at the point where the timeline indicator is positioned. The duration of the objects will add up to the duration of the original object. Simply position the red timeline indicator over the active object and click the [Split] icon.

Clicking this function opens a timeline slider bar that allows users to control the start and end times individual objects. Click the object that you want to control in the timeline and then click [Trim] to reveal the slider control.

This function opens volume control sliders for imported video objects. There are controls for over-all volume of the object (0% to 200%) as well as fade-in and fade-out duration of up to 5 seconds each. Click the video object to activate it in the timeline and then use the sliders to control the volume features

When imported video objects have an audio component, this feature can be used to separate the audio on the timeline as its own object. Click the video object to activate it and then click the [Detach Audio] icon. The audio object will be created for you on the timeline.

This feature will duplicate a graphic object. Click on the object that you want to  duplicate and then click the [Duplicate] icon. The object will be replicated immediately to the right of the active object on the timeline.

Clicking this deletes the currently active image object.

A video object can be temporarily frozen using the Freeze Frame feature. You might do this to pause a video to label highlights or for other creative purposes.

To create a freeze frame, click on the video object to be frozen to activate it, place the timeline cursor at the point where you want the video to freeze, and then click the [Freeze Frame] icon. The video object will be split into three parts which represent the video object up until the placement of the timeline indicator, the frozen frame, and the continuation of the video object. Control the duration of the frozen frame  by clicking on it in the timeline to activate it and click the [Duration] icon to access the duration slider.  The duration defaults to a 3 seconds but can be anywhere from 0.1 to 10 seconds.

Rotate will pivot active graphic objects 90 degrees with each click. Click on the object to be rotated in the timeline to activate it and then click the [Rotate] icon to shift the object 90 degrees per click.

Flip allows users to flip objects horizontally. Click on the object in the timeline to activate it and then click [Flip] to change the horizontal orientation.

Effects can be applied to graphic objects to adjust color and shading. Several different effects are available. To apply an effect, click on a graphic object to activate it and then click the [Effects] icon. The available effects will be revealed. Simply click the desired effect to apply it to the object. Click the “Apply to All Video Clips” to apply to all the objects in your video at one time. To remove the effect, click [None].

Table 3.2: Additional Features for image objects.

Using Transitions

When more than one graphic element is added to the timeline, a transition icon is added between the objects (see Figure 3.1). You can easily control the transitions between the objects by accessing the transition feature. 

Figure 3.1: The transition Icon

To Adjust Transitions:

1. Click the Transition icon between the graphic objects where you want to control the transition. This will display the transition options over the Timeline window (see Figure 3.2 ).

Figure 3.2: The transition options

2. Click the desired transition option to choose the behavior of adjacent objects. The object entering the preview will appear to push the existing object off the screen in the direction of the arrow. By default all transitions are set to None.

3. [Optional] Change the Transition Duration by click-and-drag on the sliders position indicator (see Figure 3.3 ). The transition time can be anything between 0.1 and 0.5 seconds.

Figure 3.3: The Transition Duration indicator

4. Click the [Back] arrow box at the left of the toolbar to exit the Transition Options.

Additional Information

To edit your videos, see:

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Learn how to make awesome videos with FilmForth from our blog!

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