One of the most asked questions we get is "what software do you use?". When it comes to video production and graphic design, ideas and story are always going to carry your project, but software and tools can definitely help get you there. Thankfully, there is a lot of great tools that we get to use that help make our job easy and more streamlined so that we get to focus more about creating than trying to figure out how to do something. Here's a list of what we use.
The main software bundle we use at Highlands is Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe is one of the industry leaders in software for video production, motion graphics, graphic design and web design. We use a lot of their apps. These are the main apps that we use for video production:
- Adobe Premiere Pro - video editing
- Adobe Media Encoder - video encoding
- Adobe Audition - sound editing
Magic Bullet Suite is an invaluable collection of software and plugins that brings your great tools for color correction, finishing, and film looks. The great thing about the Magic Bullet Suite is that all the tools are used right from within your NLE (video editing software). If you purchase it, make sure you get the non-profit discount, which is 50% off!
Pluraleyes was one of the most life changing discoveries of my whole life. Ok, not really, but it's really amazing! It syncs your video with external audio in seconds! Very helpful if you are shooting DSLR video and recording audio with an external recorder. Pluraleyes is made by Red Giant (the same people that make Magic Bullet Suite) so make sure you get the non-profit discount for this application as well!
Davinci Resolve is an industry standard color correction application. It is definitely one of the best, and how we got the look on this At The Movies promo. One of the great things about Resolve is that there is a FREE version with most of all the features available. It is great, but definitely a more advanced software.
If you aren't a Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber and don't have access to Adobe Media Encoder and need a way to encode and compress video, MPEG Streamclip is an amazing option! We used this application all the time before we had Adobe CC, and even still use it sometimes!
If you have ever wanted a application that will do a screen capture and record your system's audio at the same time, iShowU HD is the perfect application for the job. We use it a lot and love it!
In addition to having great microphones and preamps, we also have great audio plugins to help us get great audio for our videos. Waves makes super high quality plugins that music studios use all over the world. They also make some great plugins for post production use as well. Here's a list of plugins that we use:
- C6 - the C6 is a great plugin for shaping vocals. It is a great multiband compressor and dynamic EQ.
- CLA Classic Compressors - a great set of amazing compressors and limiters. They really help with vocals and an overall mix.
- NS1 - the NS1 is a very simple noise reduction plugin that sounds great.
- Renaissance DeEsser - a great DeEsser that reduces the "ess" and "shh" sounds.
- Restoration - a fantastic bundle if you have really problematic noise in your audio. We use this when the noise is too much for the NS1. The Z-Noise plugin is a lifesaver.
We use mostly us After Effects for just about everything that even comes close to Motion Graphics. We also use it to composite and special effects for any videos.
This is a great 3D program to use to even further your motion graphics. If you thought After Effects was complex C4D is even more so.
The motion graphics world is huge on plugins, so here is a list of our most used ones:
- Video Copilot Optical Flares - This is for creating those sweet JJ Abrams style flares as well as creating less seen ones.
- Video Copilot Element 3D - 3D program that is within AE, and is pretty well made
- Trapcode (Mir, Particular, Form) - From 3D abstract shapes of MIR to the particle control of Form and Particular this is one of our most used plugins.
- Rowbyte TV Distortion Bundle - Add really subtle distortion and texture to your work or go crazy and make it all twitchy and 90's VHS like.
- AE Scripts - you'll find other useful plugins here that may fit your workflow even better than these do.
We use mostly Adobe CC apps to do graphic design at Highlands. Here's a list of the apps:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe InDesign