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Picture Elements

by Richard Harrington

A certified instructor for Adobe and Apple, Rich is a practiced expert in motion graphic design... Read More

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Master New Keyboard Shortcuts in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6

Master New Keyboard Shortcuts in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6

Learn new keyboard shortcuts to speed up Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.

By Richard Harrington | April 23, 2012

Learn about new keyboard shortcuts in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Read More


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Moving Footage From Final Cut Pro to After Effects

Learn how to seamlessly move footage without wasting time or disk space.

By Richard Harrington | October 02, 2009

Getting your footage from Final Cut Pro to After Effects is a very common workflow. In fact, so many people choose to work this way that there are several free and for sale workflow tools on the market. While the task may seem as easy as a batch export, there is often precious metadata and organizational work that you'll want to take from Final Cut Pro into After Effects. Read More


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Blu-ray and Final Cut Studio

How to author Blu-ray discs with the new Final Cut Studio

By Richard Harrington | October 29, 2009

There's a good chance that HD has become a major player (or even the only format) in your work. With the latest incarnation of Final Cut Studio, Apple offers several ways to deliver HD. You can of course go back to tape or create downloadable and streaming H.264 files. Most requested though, is the ability to create Blu-ray discs. Read More


Final Cut Pro to YouTube

Final Cut Pro to YouTube

Learn how to get the best YouTube videos from Final Cut Pro

By Richard Harrington | May 19, 2008

What people tend to forget is that you are sending YouTube a master for them to compress; therefore, send the highest quality you can, that fits within their limitations. is well know for being the busiest video-sharing site, but unfortunately, YouTube uses the much older Sorenson Spark codec for their video encoding. This was the "improved" video format for Flash 7 but is based on the very old H.263 video conferencing codec. Even when new, this was an old, inefficient codec.Many people send YouTube an already compressed video, and are disappointed when they see the quality that results on YouTube. That's because most of the information was first thrown away by the encode before upload, so there was little quality left to be encoded to Flash 7.The goal is to give YouTube a master that they can use for encoding: • YouTube has two limitations: no more than 10 minutes per video and no larger than 100 MB per video. • YouTube converts everything that is uploaded to Flash 7 video at 320X240 (although they've started to also do 640X480 in H.264). • Remember the good old days of VHS distribution? You wouldn't give the duplicator a VHS copy of the show to duplicate. No, you'd give them the highest quality master you could. Therefore, to get the best quality from YouTube, give them a high quality "master" that is close to 99 MB.Here's how to pull this off: 1 Use QuickTime Pro or Final Cut Pro to exports to .mp4 with H.264 video. 2 Export as MPEG-4 with H.264 and set the size to 320X240. There is no point providing more resolution than YouTube's finished size. By going direct to that size means that you can devote bandwidth to making that master look great, instead of sending excess size that will be scaled down. The bonus is that you get to control de-interlacing and scaling. 3 From here on there are two choices: calculate the maximum data rate that will keep the file under 99 MB, or use some general purpose settings.Thanks to Phil Hodgetts for this guest tip.Like this tip? It comes from the book Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press. Read More


Photoshop Disasters

Photoshop Disasters

Laugh & Learn

By Richard Harrington | June 07, 2008

One of my favorite sites that I like to check out on a regular basis is Photoshop Disasters. The site is a freakshow gallery of Photoshop gone wrong. The site is driven by user submission and acts as both entertainment and education. There mission:"Have you seen a truly awful piece of Photoshop work? Clumsy manipulation, senseless comping, lazy cloning and thoughtless retouching are our bread and butter. And yes, deep down, we love Photoshop."Be sure to check the site out, it'll make you look at things a little differently. Read More


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DSLR Field Test

We Put Three Cameras Through Their Paces and Try Out Some New Gear as Well

By Richard Harrington | November 26, 2009

DPs Jim Ball and Matt Gottshalk set the cameras for our studio test. Lenses and camera settings were matched as closely as possible.

I am truly excited by the convergence of technology that is occurring with DSLR cameras and video recording. The format allows for the recording of some truly amazing images due to sensor size and lens selection. But like all technologies, it suffers from some constraints that need to be overcome. Read More


A More Intuitive 3-Way Color Corrector for Adobe Premiere Pro CS6

A More Intuitive 3-Way Color Corrector for Adobe Premiere Pro CS6

Learn about the updated 3-way Color Corrector in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.

By Richard Harrington | April 27, 2012

The 3-way color corrector gets a lot more powerful and easier to use in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Read More


Creating Panoramic Backdrops for Green Screen

Use Photoshop to stitch photos for backdrops

By Richard Harrington | July 09, 2008

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Adobe CS6 Announce Date Revealed

Adobe CS6 Announce Date Revealed

The Adobe CS6 Public Announce Date is April 23, 2012.

By Richard Harrington | April 22, 2012

Want to know what's up with Adobe Creative Suite 6 and the Creative Cloud? Read More


The Rise of Field Monitors

The Rise of Field Monitors

Field Monitors See Significant Improvements and Increased Importance in Wake of HD Productions

By Richard Harrington | August 28, 2009

I've recently spent a lot of time evaluating our production processes looking for ways to improve efficiency. There were two motivating factors. First, we've pretty much abandoned Standard Definition production, relegating it only to live web events where we are streaming the content or where the client demands it. Second, I was working on a new book, Video Made on a Mac: Production and Postproduction Using Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite with Robbie Carman. In it we try to evaluate ways to efficiently integrate Apple and Adobe software into best practices for production and post.We discovered a lot along the way, in particular that "field" monitors have taken on a whole new life of usefulness. Here are a few of the things we discovered in the last few months of HD production. Read More