Education & Inspiration

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Using Dropbox for quick and easy client screeners

It's fast, easy and free

By Scott Simmons | January 08, 2010

Dropbox is an unbelievably handy online file syncing, file sharing and backup service that performs a lot of amazing tasks at a free or affordable price. I have been a .Mac/Mobile Me user for several years now so I hadn't used Dropbox until recently but now that I am using it I'm very impressed by the service. Check out the Useful Service for Editors: Dropbox article I recently posted on Studio Daily for more specific information on Dropbox. This article is about how to use Dropbox to make fast and easy QuickTimes for client screeners. Read More


My 2010 New Years Resolutions

My 2010 New Years Resolutions

At least these are my "professional" ones

By Scott Simmons | January 05, 2010

With 2010 now firmly established on my calendar and (kinda) in my mind it's time to turn my attention to the venerable concept of New Year's Resolutions. As one who makes resolutions annually and actually gives it a valiant effort to keep them all some of them, I wanted to outline a few professional resolutions that I have made to add to my personal ones. And since resolutions are really just goals I've always found my goals much more attainable when I write them down. So what better place to write them down than here on the Editblog. I hope someone holds me to them. Read More


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Today begins Backup Day

Let's all pledge to do a better job of backing up this year

By Scott Simmons | January 02, 2010

I think it's time I face the honest truth in that I don't do as good a job of backing up important files, projects and media on the computers in and around my life as I should. There's a couple of floating firewire drives that I shuttle from computer to computer and then SuperDuper a clone or a disk image to that drive. And since a backup is only as good as the ability to get to it and restore it I try to send certain important documents offsite into the cloud. But it's not with much regularity so I've decided to make myself a reminder to declare some point early in the month Backup Day! Read More


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More Avid Media Composer for the Final Cut Pro Editor

Looking at more of the Avid functions and tools

By Scott Simmons | December 26, 2009

Continuing on an article in the last Pro Video Coalition newsletter, The Basics of Avid Media Composer for a Final Cut Pro Editor, this article will look at a number of other functions and how they differ from Final Cut Pro to Media Composer. One of the main reasons why I'm writing these articles is that Avid offers a free, full-featured demo of Avid Media Composer 4 available for download. When I wrote the first piece that demo was only for 14 days. They have since upped the time for this trial to 30 days. That's great as it brings this demo in line with most free demos and even affords enough time to try to learn the in's and out's of the application a little bit better any maybe even use it on a real job. Read More


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Apple + Tablet = New Video Distribution Outlet?

Rumors of an Apple tablet device are getting too loud to ignore. What do they mean for us?

By Chris and Trish Meyer | December 24, 2009

As a long-time Apple user (and - full disclosure - Apple stockholder), I've learned long ago to take Apple rumors with a grain of salt. However, combine Read More


SFTP: An open letter to all software developers with FTP-only support

SFTP: An open letter to all software developers with FTP-only support

Regular FTP is quite dangerous; SFTP is much safer.

By Allan Tépper | December 15, 2009

You know who you are: Adobe, Apple, DVcreators, elGato, Telestream, and others. Even though we would love to have a utopian world -and a utopian Internet-, we are certainly not there yet. There are bad guys out there, and we can't afford to make it easy for them. That's why there are secure websites (https) and secure e-mail encryption (SSL). Fortunately, there are many good software programs that already support SFTP, including CoreFTP, Cyberduck, Fetch, Transmit, and Übercaster. And from Apple, even iWeb (starting with the '09 version) supports SFTP. So why don't Adobe Media Encoder, Compressor, DVKitchen, Turbo.264HD, and EpisodePro support SFTP too? All of these are professional tools, but for some unknown reason, they alarmingly all lack SFTP support as of the publication date of this article. Read More


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Canon 7D DSLR Operation 101

Basic how-to tutorial to quickly get you up and shooting on the 7D

By Matthew Jeppsen | December 15, 2009

Everyone's favorite video DSLR advocate, Tyler Ginter, has produced another video tutorial similar to his last (that one concentrated on the 5D MKII). This new tutorial focuses on the basics of how to set up and how to shoot video on the Canon 7D. In this tutorial, Tyler takes all the pain and suffering out of the menu and settings configuration process. If you want to get the fast track on how to shoot with the 7D, watch the video below... Read More


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How many Verizon FIOS users are in violation of new AUP?

Let's keep those comments on-topic, mmkay...

By Matthew Jeppsen | December 08, 2009

This is a bit off the normal video topics, but deserves some attention as we have the whole comment thing here for each article. Being a bit off-topic, it's actually rather ironic, considering what follows...I'll explain. It seems that Verizon has changed the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for FiOS users. And oddly, a good percentage of FiOS users are probably already in violation of the new AUP. Read on... Read More


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DSLR Video and Aliasing Artifacts

V-DSLRs, OLPF, and hoity-toity French words

By Matthew Jeppsen | December 04, 2009

If you are shooting video with one of the hot new DSLRs, you are probably aware of the aliasing issues found in some of your footage. If not yet, you will at some point. Just keep shooting, it will show up. Fine detail aliasing has always been an issue for any camera system, but it's particularly prevalent in DSLRs as they lack an Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF) that is specifically tuned for video. In the case of the 5D & 7D, engineers at Canon have also chosen to sample a limited number of lines from the image sensor to downsample to 1080p. This is quick solution, but not the highest quality way of doing things; it creates aliasing image artifacts, and reportedly limits the resolution of the cameras at around 720p. It's almost as if these tools were primarily designed as still cameras! How strange. At any rate, I've learned to warn my clients before interview shoots not to wear shirts with fine detail patterns, as they will moir© faster than you can say "how the hell do you pronounce that word?" Read More


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Release the Hidden Graphics Processing Power in your Macbook Pro

Why you might not be getting max performance from your MBP, and how to fix it!

By Matthew Jeppsen | December 02, 2009

Since sometime in late 2008, Apple's 17" and select 15" Macbook Pro models have included not one but two graphics processors, the nVidia 9400M and 9600M GT. It is my understanding that by default the laptop uses the integrated lower-wattage 9400M, which includes 256MB RAM and helps extend battery life. It will run the main laptop display and push an external display as well. The additional nVidia 9600M GT graphics option is actually a discrete internal PCI-E card featuring 512MB of RAM and offers significantly faster Motion GPU rendering performance. You can see both of these cards listed separately in your System Profiler. So how do you tell which card you are using, and how do you switch between the two cards? I'm glad you asked, grasshopper. Read on and I'll tell you how... Read More


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Ripple Training Releases New Final Cut Pro and Motion Tutorials

Comprehensive World-Class Training for Flagship Final Cut Studio Applications

By Mark Spencer | December 01, 2009

Final Cut Pro 7 Core Training: This 5 hour + tutorial is the culmination of our 10 years delivering Final Cut Pro training in both the classroom and on video. The result is Final Cut Pro 7 - Core Training which encapsulates our mission to provide no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point explanations that won't waste your time, yet provide a thorough real-world context for understanding the big picture.Motion 4 Fast Forward: The title of our tutorial is also our mission: to get you up to speed in Motion 4 faster than you thought possible, while empowering you with the skills and techniques necessary to confidently approach any motion graphics projects you or your clients can dream up. This tutorial has a 4 hour running time and includes over 80 project files. Motion 4 Fast Forward is available in DVD or iTunes Editions.See a detailed table of contents and watch movie excerpts at Ripple Training. Read More


Don’t Work for Peanuts

Don’t Work for Peanuts

Beware of Bottom-Fishing Producers

By Mark Spencer | December 01, 2009

Here's the text of an ad I saw on craigslist just last night:"I need someone to create 10 original Motion 3 templates in broadcast quality 1080i60. Each template must be between 20 to 30 seconds in length and use a 3D effect of some sort. Pay is $200. Perfect work if you are talented and fast. Please have samples of your work available for me to see. In your response please let me know what your turnaround time for the templates would be. You should be able to send me a quicktime version for approval, before we exchange final payment and sending the of the files. Again, this must be an original template. This will probably turn into a regular monthly or bi-weekly task for the right person."Really? 10 original broadcast-quality templates for $200? I've been working with motion graphics for years and have created what I would call broadcast-quality templates, and each one took me a few days to create. I understand that there are plenty of folks looking to break into this (or any) industry who are willing to work for cheap or for free in order to get a foot in the door - I did it myself back in the day - but I would never advise anyone to take a job like this. If the producer is really looking for original, quality work, then they should pay for it - and no one who is capable of providing original, quality work should be giving it away for free.One more point to my little rant. Notice how the ad promises that it will "probably turn into a regular task" - well, I'll tell you from personal experience (and I've heard many other folks say the same thing): once you do a job for someone, you have locked in your price. Doing that first job at a discount in order to get more work at full price just doesn't pan out that way. If you are a newbie looking for experience, you may have to work cheap or work for free for to get experience and make connections. If you are good at what you do, then charge what your time is worth! Send these types of producers the message that they can't rip off artists that spend years learning their craft. Read More


11 Excellent FCP Tips & Tricks

Settings & Best Practices that can limit your weeping & gnashing of teeth

By Matthew Jeppsen | November 29, 2009

Editor/Colorist Oliver Peters has posted a really nice collection of Final Cut Pro tips that are bound to save you time and effort. His suggestions are not "how to use", but more about Preferences, Settings, and project setup options that can help you avoid the gotchas of editing with FCP. There are great tips here for novices and seasoned editors alike. Check it out. Read More


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Photography Books for Cinematographers

Simple principles to improve the images you make

By Matthew Jeppsen | November 27, 2009

David duChemin is offering 50% off his Craft & Vision photography ebooks...use discount code BLKFRIDY to make these $5 titles just $2.50. He has made the promo code valid until December 7. So get them while they are hot!Titles include:* Drawing The Eye - Creating Stronger Images Through Visual Mass* Chasing The Look - 10 Ways to Improve The Aesthetics of Your Photographs* TEN - Ten Ways To Improve Your Craft. None of Them Involves Buying Gear* TEN MORE - Ten More Ways To Improve Your CraftThese books are aimed at photographers, but there are wonderful lessons here for cinematographers. I've personally purchased Drawing The Eye and Chasing The Look and am loving them. They are beautifully laid out, and the info is fresh and relevant. A steal at $2.50. As a side note, I have more Black Friday Deals for Video Geeks listed in this post. Read More


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FCP:  an annoying delete, duplicate bug found while I was remapping the FCP keyboard

If it's not a bug then it needs to be documented in the user manual

By Scott Simmons | November 22, 2009

When I'm working I'm always in a constant state of awareness about how I can change my keyboard mapping to make my workflow faster and more efficient. The keyboard manifesto argues that changing Final Cut Pro's default keyboard mappings can make your editing faster and more efficient. But it's also important to be aware of changes that you might make. I never would have expected a couple of keyboard changes to cause me an hour of confusion and rebuilding a timeline but that's what this FCP bug did. Read More


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Anatomy of a Spot: Commonwealth Club

RED brings a quality boost to a low-budget quickly-shot spot.

By Art Adams | November 16, 2009

In this economy one has to stretch every production dollar as far as it can go. This doesn't mean compromising on quality, though: keeping things simple can yield huge dividends. This includes knowing when it's okay to shoot with available light, and when natural light needs a little help. Read More


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Trish & Chris, Unplugged

A two-part interview by John Dickinson of Motionworks.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | November 14, 2009

We recently had the pleasure of being interviewed via Skype by John Dickinson of Motionworks for his excellent Unplugged series, where he chats with people who either create After Effects plug-ins (such as Peter Norrby of Trapcode or Zax Dow of Zaxwerks) or training (such as Brian Maffitt of Total Training or Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot). It was a freewheeling affair - we thought he was going to cut out that intro when we were making faces at him, and yes, those are margaritas we're drinking - and we covered a lot of ground, including the early days of After Effects, how we got started in the industry, what we do for inspiration, our opinions on the training market, and our philosophy of learning a complex program such as After Effects for motion graphics production. We hope you enjoy it.

cllck here for Part 1 on the early days, and breaking inclick here for Part 2 on the training landscape, and what we do for inspirationThe content contained in our books, videos, blogs, and articles for other sites are all copyright Crish Design, except where otherwise attributed. Read More


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Automagic part 2: mocha for Final Cut

If you need to gather tracking data to pass to FCP then this is the app for you

By Scott Simmons | November 13, 2009

I am not a VFX artist. I think that if I could plug a data pipe straight into my brain and download an entire profession right into the gray matter ala The Matrix it might be some level of visual effects expertise. It's amazing what you can do with affordable desktop software but even something as accessible as Adobe After Effects can take a whole career to master. It's also amazing at the level of quality that one can achieve with all of the other desktop applications that are out in the world today. I received a copy of Imagineer Systems' mocha for Final Cut a while back but I hadn't had the time or the need to really use it. But at a recent automotive shoot for The Garage Blog we were looking at footage and someone commented that we should have put our own logo license plate on the cars before we drove them (never mind the fact that such a license plate doesn't exist). Idea! I can do that in post and mocha for Final Cut will be the perfect tool. Read More


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World’s Only “Death Oompah” Band Gets Virtual Reality Music Video

The Tiger Lillies sail to a virtual arctic wasteland for their new album "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

By Art Adams | November 11, 2009


An accordion-playing lead singer; a drummer who occasionally uses a doll instead of drumsticks; and a song based on the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Just another day on set with one of the most macabre bands in existence: the Tiger Lillies. Read More


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Review: After Effects Camera Training

Rob Birnholz helps you master the AE camera in this new tutorial from the Toolfarm Expert Training Series.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | November 03, 2009

Motion graphics artists used to animating in 2D in After Effects will find that working in 3D space takes a lot more patience. You need to consider how to set up the 3D views, move layers in 3D, and animate cameras and lights. Rob Birnholz' training series tackles the camera portion of the equation (watch a free sample and the Table of Contents here). (If you've already purchased this training series, don't go just yet; I promise to share some personal tips and advice as I go...) Read More