The rule of thirds is an easy composition approach that may immediately improve your videography, however how does it work? And how are you going to use it to enhance your movies in post-production?
On this article, I’ll clarify every part you might want to know concerning the rule of thirds, from the fundamentals – what it’s and the best way to comply with it – to extra superior strategies, comparable to the best way to apply the rule to actual property footage, panorama footage, marriage ceremony footage, and extra.
I’ll additionally clarify the best way to modify your compositions in VideoProc Vlogger, the just-launched, beginner-friendly video modifying software program from the corporate behind the favored VideoProc program. (Bonus: It’s fully free!)
So when you’d like to enhance your movies within the area and within the modifying room, then let’s dive proper in, beginning with the necessities:
What’s the rule of thirds in videography?
The rule of thirds is a compositional guideline designed to make your visuals extra balanced and dynamic.
Particularly, the rule states that the very best compositions place key components a 3rd of the way in which into the body. It comes with useful gridlines:
The thought is straightforward, not less than in principle. When confronted with a scene, you – the videographer – ought to place key components someplace alongside the gridlines, and when potential, on the intersection of two gridlines.
(These intersections are referred to as energy factors, as a result of they enhance your compositions even additional.)
So when you’re taking pictures a mountain at sundown, you would possibly place the horizon line alongside the decrease horizontal gridline, then ensure that the digital camera pans till the principle mountain peak falls throughout an influence level. Make sense?
The rule of thirds isn’t actually a rule – only a guideline. However it’s an effective way to make your movies look professionally composed, and it’s a way used on a regular basis in motion pictures, TV, commercials, and extra.
In different phrases: You don’t have to comply with the rule of thirds religiously. However when you can be taught to include it into your taking pictures – when you can be taught to assume by way of the rule of thirds gridlines as wanted – then your footage will enhance dramatically.
Now, you may apply the rule in two primary methods:
- You’ll be able to plan out your pictures utilizing the rule of thirds, then preserve your topics aligned with the gridlines whereas recording.
- You’ll be able to file, then crop to fulfill the rule of thirds (when modifying).
If potential, it’s greatest to nail the composition in-camera; that manner, you don’t lose decision throughout post-production. Nonetheless, when you’re taking pictures at excessive resolutions and exporting at low resolutions, otherwise you aren’t too obsessive about pixel-perfect high quality, you may at all times modify your footage to nail the rule of thirds after your shoot is over, as I talk about within the subsequent part:
Making use of the rule of thirds in VideoProc Vlogger: step-by-step
VideoProc Vlogger is a robust new program designed to make video post-production fast, simple, and intuitive, plus it prices nothing. You’ll be able to obtain the software program here.
And in VideoProc, actually anybody can use the rule of thirds to boost their photographs; all it takes is a number of easy clicks. Right here’s the way it works:
When you’ve launched VideoProc Vlogger and began a brand new mission, you’ll have to convey your clips into the Media Library.
Merely drag and drop the related recordsdata onto the Library panel:
Or faucet Add Video, then flick through your recordsdata for the related footage:
Then drag the clips right down to the Timeline:
And also you’re able to go.
Step 2: Add horizontal and vertical guides to approximate the rule of thirds
VideoProc Vlogger means that you can simply create guides in your preview display. Our aim is to recreate the rule of thirds gridlines, like this:
First, you’ll have to determine the scale of your body. For this instance, I’m working with a 1920 x 1080 (HD) video. (When you’re unsure, you may at all times examine the desktop file, or you may click on the little i Information button on the clip thumbnail in VideoProc.)
Second, take the width and divide it by 3. Do the identical for the peak.
To make use of my instance, 1920 divided by Three equals 640, and 1080 divided by Three equals 360.
Subsequent, ensure the Present Rulers button is chosen:
Faucet the Horizontal Information button:
Then place two horizontal guides: one at round 640 pixels, and the opposite at round 640 x 2 (1280) pixels.
Lastly, faucet the Vertical Information button and place two vertical guides: one at round 360 pixels and the opposite at round 360 x 2 (720) pixels.
And there you could have it: a rule of thirds grid, proper in your Preview panel.
When you’re fearful about by accident adjusting your guides, you may at all times hit the Lock Information button:
Step 3: Use the rule of thirds to judge (and crop) your footage
After getting your rule of thirds gridlines in place, I like to recommend taking part in by way of your footage, paying cautious consideration to key components, together with:
- Horizon strains
- Vivid, eye-catching objects
- Some other essential topics
Ask your self: Are these key components steadily aligned with the rule of thirds gridlines? If the reply is “Sure,” then you definately’re doing nice – however when you come throughout a clip the place the reply is “No,” you may merely choose the Crop device:
Then modify your footage till it’s rule-of-thirds compliant.
Professional tip: If potential, make sure the side ratio of the crop matches the unique side ratio of the footage; in any other case, you’ll have to scale the footage (and also you’ll lose components of the body within the course of).
When do you have to apply the rule of thirds in VideoProc Vlogger?
Whilst you can technically use the rule of thirds at any stage in your modifying course of, I extremely advocate you add the gridlines and consider your composition on the very starting of your workflow.
Compositional association tends to have an effect on every part a few recording, from its temper to its preferrred colour grade to its preferrred velocity, so it pays to find out precisely how your composition will look earlier than continuing with every other edits.
Case research: the best way to apply the rule of thirds in real-life conditions
Up till this level, I’ve defined how to make use of the rule of thirds, however I haven’t talked a lot about frequent conditions you’ll run into when filming and the way you should utilize the rule of thirds to boost your footage.
Let’s check out a number of doubtless situations:
Actual property videography
In actual property filming, you’ll wish to pay cautious consideration to a couple options, together with main home equipment, eye-catching furnishings, wall strains (i.e., the purpose the place one wall ends or intersects with one other), and ground strains (i.e., the purpose the place the ground intersects with the wall).
Goal to place wall strains alongside vertical gridlines and ground strains alongside horizontal gridlines:
You can even place equipment and furnishings edges alongside the gridlines and (ideally) at energy factors, just like the kitchen island within the instance above.
By the way in which, it’s typically higher to pan than to seize static pictures, however be sure to transfer into the ultimate composition. In different phrases, pan till the scene meets the rule of thirds, then lower.
Taking pictures at evening can go many alternative methods, however I do advocate you consider the horizon line; as I talk about within the subsequent part, you’ll wish to place it alongside the highest or backside horizontal gridline.
This clip might use a little bit of rule-of-thirds adjusting:
As an illustration, I’d crop on the prime to emphasise the foreground (and eliminate the boring sky).
I may align attention-grabbing topics with the horizontal gridlines, just like the busy highway on the left-hand facet.
When filming landscapes, at all times examine the horizon line. In uncommon instances, it could possibly work to position this dead-center – however usually, I like to recommend positioning it alongside the highest or backside horizontal gridline.
Which possibility is best? That relies on the scene. In case your footage contains quite a lot of foreground curiosity, comparable to a river, rocks, or perhaps a rustic cabin, then you definately’ll wish to reduce concentrate on the sky by positioning the horizon alongside the highest gridline:
But when your footage accommodates little or no foreground curiosity and/or a ravishing sky, the reverse is the way in which to go.
Generally, your meals compositions ought to function a essential dish or essential meals merchandise, typically surrounded by different supporting dishes, meals gadgets, or utensils.
You’ll wish to place your essential topic alongside a gridline or at an intersection level. You’ll additionally wish to take note of the desk edge; if it’s current in your composition, it could sit most naturally alongside a horizontal gridline.
Right here, you may see the pitcher of syrup, which sits alongside the highest gridline, positioned above dessert, which sits alongside the underside gridline:
Wedding ceremony videography
Whereas marriage ceremony scenes embrace a lot of variation and could be considerably unpredictable, you would possibly intention to place the completely satisfied couple alongside the 2 vertical gridlines. Try this clip, the place the bride and groom begin within the middle of the display…
…however finally align completely with the rule of thirds gridlines:
Starry sky videography
As with panorama videography, you’ll have to examine your horizon strains rigorously. You’ll doubtless wish to place the horizon alongside the decrease horizontal gridline; that manner, you may emphasize the attractive sky:
Nonetheless, in conditions with particularly attention-grabbing foreground components, you would possibly place the horizon alongside the higher horizontal gridline as a substitute.
Rule of thirds in video: closing phrases
Now that you just’ve completed this text, you’re nicely geared up to make use of the rule of thirds in your personal videography.
Simply keep in mind my tips about composition, and you should definitely obtain VideoProc Vlogger so you may consider (and modify) your compositions after taking pictures!
Digiarty, the creator of VideoProc, is a paid associate of dPS.