Exploring Ideas

How to & why… Blogging, graphics, ideas & posts to support other blogs.

Aligning Video Clips

This post was prompted by a kind gift sent by the Battalion Hawk Bloggers. Knowing I have been clapping my hands together in order to mark video from three cameras, they thought they would send me a movie clapper board.


Here is some information on how it was used.

Clapper Board

Making a video…


Using one camera for each clip.


If we only use one camera, you don’t need to worry about aligning  video clips. You simply edit the video clips but how would you know which clip to use if your movie wasn’t shot in the order you wanted? This is where the information under the clapper board comes into play.


PRODUCTION: The name of the movie.

REGIE: While it means “rule”, this is where I would write the scene number.

CAMERA: If using more than one camera to record scenes, I would add the camera number.

OTHER: There is an information box where I can write other information.


Using more than one camera.


When I film, I often use up to three cameras to take a performance. Two are fixed to record  parts of the show and the third I call “MAIN” is controlled by me so I can zoom in on performers. The problem can be aligning the video from each camera. I need to have some way of seeing and hearing a point on each camera.


This is when I need to  clap the clapper together. All three cameras are pointing in my direction so all three will record me clapping the clapper board. When editing the clips from the cameras, I look for the spot on each camera’s recording where I hear and see the clapper come together. I then mark the position on each clip.


Look at the image below. The three blue rows are the video parts of the camera recordings whereas the green are the audio recording made by the camera. On each line you will see I have left a red marker. This is where I first hear and see the clap of the clapper board. I then slide each to line up the markers as you can see in the image.


video editor

Do you notice the start of each camera recording is in a different place?


This happens because I start each in turn. In this case, I started the RIGHT camera then the LEFT camera and finally the MAIN camera.  I then walked in front of the cameras and clapped the board.


Now the three camera recordings are aligned. I can trim off the unwanted parts at the beginning and start the main edit.


Below is the first time I used the clapper board. The same day I received the gift I had a call and was asked if I would film a music festival. The above video alignments are from this show. The clip will show me use the clapper board then I have added 15 seconds of one performance. The people’s faces have been deliberately blurred for privacy reasons. I will be starting to edit the performance soon but I took time out to write this post.



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