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Autodesk Smoke 2013: it really changed for the better

Autodesk Smoke 2013: it really changed for the better

And at a new lower price of $3,495 it'll find its way into a lot more edit suites

By Scott Simmons | April 16, 2012

Autodesk has been saying for quite a few weeks now that Smoke is changing and they were right. What was previously a very high-end, very expensive, somewhat inaccessible piece of post-production software is now a very high-end, much more affordable (though still expensive for many) and more approachable piece of post-production software. The biggest news of all is that Smoke for Mac has gone from $15,000 down to $3,495. The second bit of news is that it should be a lot easier for editors to use.

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9th Annual Editors’ Lounge Panel Predicts a Cloudy NAB

Will post production move to the cloud? That was just one of the many questions speculated upon during the ninth annual Editors' Lounge Pre-NAB panel discussion on where the future of post is headed.

By Terence Curren | April 15, 2012

The panel was hosted by Alpha Dogs, Inc. and Key Code Media, and the event drew an audience of well over 100 production and post-production professionals, all eager to learn what's in store at NAB 2012. attendees were welcomed by panelists that included; Debra Kaufman, Associate Editor at Creative COW (as moderator) Terence Curren (Editor/Colorist and Founder of Alpha Dogs Post), Mark Raudonis (VP of Post Production, Bunim/Murrary Productions), Steve Cohen (Film/TV Editor and author of "Avid Agility) and Michael Kammes (Senior Technology & Workflow Consultant, Key Code Media).Some of the subjects covered in part one include:0:00 Introductions1:39 Who is under NDA?2:25 Editing for the internet7:15 Drawbacks to the 3D experience10:28 Apple in the "post PC world"15:47 Quality of internet content18:08 How do we monetize internet content? Read More

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My top 5 (or so) Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 features

There's a lot packed into the upgrade. It's not perfect but it makes a big leap forward.

By Scott Simmons | April 12, 2012

The cat is out of the bag on the Adobe CS6 Production Premium. It isn’t shipping yet but I’ve been able test out some of the CS6 products for a few weeks now. While there’s big additions and changes in the entire Creative Suite my first and main focus was to see just how Premiere Pro has changed, what new features have been added and what hasn’t been addressed as of yet. Overall, Adobe continues to make Premiere Pro a better product that will let you "edit your way". It isn’t perfect (no NLE is perfect) but it’s a lot better than 5.5 … and 5.5 was pretty good itself. Here’s my top 5 (or so) features in Premiere Pro CS6 and a couple of comments on what is still missing. Please forgive some wonkieness on PVC if you're not seeing certain images as we've been having some server issues recently that they are working to fix. A reload of the page might help.

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My NAB 2012 Post|Production World classes

Shameless self-promotion about the NAB conference classes that I'm leading in just a couple of weeks.

By Scott Simmons | April 03, 2012

I’m very excited to once again be teaching several classes at the 2012 NAB Post|Production world conference. It’s going to be much busier this year than years past as I’m teaching five total classes from Monday through Wednesday. If you aren’t going to NAB or attending the conference then please forgive this self-indulgent post about those classes that I’m leading. Hey, I’m just happy to be here at all.

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Baselight for Final Cut Pro is one of the most powerful legacy FCP grading plugins ever

It's a little sad to see such a new, powerful tool come along this late in legacy FCP's life

By Scott Simmons | March 19, 2012

At NAB 2011 FilmLight surprised most everyone with a preview of their Baselight for Final Cut Pro plugin. It was surprising because I think many people expected them to release a lower cost, Mac-based version of their flagship Baselight color grading tool. Instead they showed a different strategy that looks to revolve around very powerful color grading plugins and interoperability with the full Baselight systems. The FCP plugin had been in beta for a while and was just released. For $995 Baselight for Final Cut Pro can be yours.

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PsF’s missing workflow, Part 10:  FCP X

How to deal with 25PsF and 29.97PsF with Final Cut Pro X

By Allan Tépper | March 14, 2012

In parts 1-3 of the PsF's missing workflow series, we introduced the terms benign PsF & malignant PsF, and revealed the PsF status of several AVCHD cameras from 3 manufacturers. In #4, we did the same with several HD recorders. In #5, we revealed how one recorder manufacturer is offering its own software to counteract the hostile HDMI output found on many cameras. In #6, I published an open letter to all pro AVCHD manufacturers. In #7, I covered how to deal with PsF with Premiere Pro CS5.5. In #8, I showed how ClipWrap is an excellent solution for many Mac editors. In #9, I discussed PsF with the sub US$100 Adobe Premiere Elements 10. Now in part 10, I’ll cover how to deal with 25PsF and 29.97PsF with Final Cut Pro X.

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Why an iPad is like a 4x5 view camera, and why you’ll need a black “focusing cloth”

By Allan Tépper | March 12, 2012

In case you hadn’t heard yet: Apple has just established the iPad (2012) as a viable HD video camera (among many other things). Back in the days when still photography was done with 4x5 view cameras, photographers used something called a “focusing cloth”… defined by Merriam-Webster as: “an opaque dark cloth used to cover the rear of the camera and the head and shoulders of the photographer in order to exclude most of the light except that coming through the lens”. In the case of still photography with a 4x5 view camera, it was primarily to help the photographer focus. In the case of the ultra-glossy iPad screen when used outdoors to shoot HD video, you’ll need it even to see the screen properly, in order to compose and assign the subject for autofocus and exposure… and even to start and stop the recording. In this article, I’ll cover what an iPad has in common with a 4x5 view camera, show a iPad tripod mount, a “focusing cloth”… and make a request to FiLMIC PRO, Hoodman USA and Zacuto.

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Tip Tuesday: Disable a clip in the Avid Media Composer timeline

It's not as nice as a built-in clip enable / clip disable contextual menu but it works.

By Scott Simmons | February 21, 2012

In honor of TipTuesday over on Twitter I thought I'd share this simple Avid Media Composer tip that I use to counter the lack of a clip enable / disable feature in Media Composer. It's all about saving an effect and getting easy access to that saved effect. There's actually several tips in here that can be used for most all effects in Media Composer. Read More

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Testing the 7toX Final Cut Pro 7 to Final Cut Pro X conversion

We finally get a tool to do what we thought would be possible from FCPX v1.0.0

By Scott Simmons | February 12, 2012

When Apple released the latest Final Cut Pro X update there was a very important 3rd party utility released right alongside the 10.0.3 update that finally allowed the importing of legacy FCP7 projects into FCPX. It wasn't entirely surprising that it was Intelligent Assistance releasing 7toX for Final Cut Pro. I say that because they had already created Xto7 (to move projects from FCPX to FCP7) and are arguably the best company for creating high-quality XML workflow tools for the FCP universe. There's been tons of blog posts about 7toX for Final Cut Pro since its introduction but most of them are nothing more than a here it is here's the link kind of thing, including one of my own. Many have taken a simple sequence to try this conversion but my thought was to throw everything at 7toX for Final Cut Pro and see how well it did ... or didn't work. Read More

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Q and A with Bunim/Murray’s Mark Raudonis about their recent Avid switch

If you haven't heard they have moved from FCP7 to Media Composer

By Scott Simmons | February 08, 2012

Back in January news broke that reality television producers Bunim/Murray were switching their post-production facilities from Final Cut Pro to Avid Media Composer. This probably didn't come as a great shock to anyone who follows post-production as the release of Final Cut Pro X had left many people (especially those in the broadcast world) a bit stunned at its lack of broadcast features. There was a lot written about this subject but I had a few more questions so I spoke with Bunim/Murray's senior vice president of Post Production Mark Raudonis as he has been the public face of this switch. Our Q and A follows. Read More

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Kicking the tires on the Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 Multicam update

The ease of setup and managing multicam clips makes this the best FCPX update yet

By Scott Simmons | February 06, 2012

As we all know by now Apple released their promised update to Final Cut Pro X that added multicam. It's only been a week and there's already a lot of articles and tutorials about how this new feature works. I sat down with it some over the weekend to kick the tires and see how it performed. What follows are some thoughts, notes and observations as I was working with it. I was especially curious as to how it might work for music videos. Read More

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Avid now lets you edit video on your iPad for US$4.99. Should you?

A first look at Avid Studio for iPad, and an extrapolation as to what it can mean for pro video editors in the short and longer term.

By Allan Tépper | February 02, 2012

I was privileged to find out a few hours in advance of the public announcement of Avid Studio for iPad, since Avid contracted me to translate and localize the press release, as fortunately they often do. There was something about this press release that really intrigued me. It wasn’t so much the specific advantages that Avid Studio for iPad has over other editing apps for iPad, like offering both Storyboard and Timeline views in a single iPad app, or being able to import source material from anywhere inside or outside of the iPad. It was more the fact that the announcement was coming from Avid, and the spirit of the two quotes that appear at the end of the press release. In this article, I’ll give a first look at the app, define what it is (and what it isn’t), and extrapolate about what this can mean for video editing in the short, mid, and long term. Of course, I’ll include those two quotes that intrigued me so much. Read More

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Update Alert: Final Cut Pro X goes to 10.0.3

A big update adds multicam, manual relinking, broadcast monitoring and the ability to move a project over from FCP7

By Scott Simmons | February 01, 2012

Is it early 2012? It is and Apple has kept its promise with an update that takes Final Cut Pro X to 10.0.3. The promised features are there as well including what looks like an interesting and well thought-out multicam implementation. Broadcast monitoring is there too but it's labeled as a beta implementation though if the drivers are there it should work. And they said it couldn't be done but it has been: there's now a way to easily move a Final Cut Pro 7 project to Final Cut Pro X that's made possible by an updated XML and a 3rd party software product. Read More

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AJA’s Io XT w/ Thunderbolt is now available, but it is not Riker: What’s the cover-up?

Why are William Riker and Leo Laporte involved in a Pegasus cover-up?

By Allan Tépper | February 01, 2012

AJA is now shipping its US$1495 Io XT, AJA’s first Thunderbolt device which I covered in detail when it was first announced in September 2011. Some of you have asked me whether the Io XT is the same as the prototype code-named “Riker” product that AJA showed at NAB back in April 2011. The answer is no. This article will explain why the Io XT is not Riker, review the currently-available Thunderbolt audio/video i/o devices I’ve covered so far (including the Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID), and clarify William Riker’s involvement in the Pegasus cover-up, as well as that of Leo Laporte, who recently declared Thunderbolt to be “D.O.A.” and “too late” on MacBreak Weekly. Even though neither is true, I think Leo had a very good reason to say those things. Read More

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Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID5 from PROMISE

The high-performance video RAID5 you need for today's modern Mac-based video editing systems

By Allan Tépper | January 31, 2012

As many ProVideo Coalition readers may recall, I have written about disk arrays from PROMISE before, although the last time it was primarily to be used with a computer with an eSATA port. Now that all Mac computers (except for the MacPro tower) use a Thunderbolt port, many are looking for a disk array which will have the appropriate connection and that will be at least as fast as what they got previously with eSATA. In this article, you’ll find my results with the Pegasus from PROMISE, used both with a Mac Mini and a MacBook Air. You’ll also find PROMISE’s official position on journaling or non-journaling with this device, since this was not previously documented anywhere to my knowledge. Read More

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Tangent Element panels are now shipping

DaVinci Resolve isn't listed as being supported as of yet. Hopefully soon.

By Scott Simmons | January 27, 2012

Word came out today from Tangent Devices that the first Element panels are now shipping. If you don't remember the Element is Tangent's newest color grading control panel that uses a modular design that is four separate pieces that can be purchased separately. They are designed to work together to make a more full featured panel than the Wave with trackballs and rings, knobs and buttons and transport controls if the buyer so desires. As for supported applications, Assimilate SCRATCH and Apple Color are two more common applications on the list but the one many people are asking about, DaVinci Resolve, is (so far) missing. Read More

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The 11th Annual San Francisco FCPUG SuperMeet

This Friday 1/27/2012 -- See, Get Seen and Win Big Prizes!

By Clint Milby | January 24, 2012

If you're planning to be in the San Francisco/Bay Area this Friday, then you have a great opportunity to attend the most renowned user group meetups in the world, the FCPUG SuperMeet! Read More

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Update Alert: Magic Bullet Suite 11.2

Avid Media Composer 6 support for Magic Bullet Looks is the big highlight

By Scott Simmons | January 22, 2012

Red Giant Software must have been doing some work over the holidays (that or they've had a busy 2012 thus far) as just over week ago we saw an update to Magic Bullet Suite. Beside offering full Mac OS X Lion compatibility the big news is that Magic Bullet Looks now runs in Avid Media Composer 6. Read More

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3D Compositing Fundamentals

3D Compositing Fundamentals

Go beyond layers!

By Grant Kay | January 13, 2012

When I tell people that Smoke has 3D compositing capabilities, I sometimes get a skeptical reaction - asking if I *really* mean 2 ½ D compositing. So I end up explaining that in the case of Smoke, I really do mean TRUE 3D compositing. Answering this question numerous times led to the development of my recent series of tutorials on 3D compositing using Action in Smoke. Read More

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Is There A Future For Editors

Will we be outsourced or automated out of existence?

By Terence Curren | January 13, 2012

In this latest episode of "The Terence and Philip Show" we discuss the outsourcing of editing jobs, remote (a.k.a cloud) editing and automation in production. What's happening now and how will it evolve in the near future. Philip also sneaks in a preview of an interesting show he'll be involved with in 2012.Click the link below and join the conversation.Since we recorded this show, another automatic editing application went live. Check out Magisto Read More

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