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Panasonic AF-100: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Director Ian McCamey, Adam Wilt and myself take the AF-100 out for a spin in real world conditions.

By Art Adams | February 08, 2011

The Panasonic AF-100 is getting a lot of buzz as a possible HDSLR killer. We used it in the real world in place of an HDSLR, and now we know. And soon, so will you. Read on... Read More


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Quicktips 2011 Day 08: Add and Edit markers in FCP 7 for speed

February 8, 2011 - This Reader Quicktip was an addition to the FCP 7 update and one of the best

By Scott Simmons | February 08, 2011

This Reader Quicktip comes to us courtesy of Alex Ricciardi from Endless Picnic. It highlights the Add and Edit marker functionality that was added in the Final Cut Pro 7 update. Read More


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Quicktips 2011 Day 07: changing FCP filters lengths partially applied to a clip

February 7, 2011 - Moving and extending the length of a filter applied to only part of a clip is a powerful feature

By Scott Simmons | February 07, 2011

One particularly nice feature that Final Cut Pro allows you to do is to apply a filter to only part of a clip or a sequence nest. I find this particularly useful if I'm applying a non-realtime filter to a longer nest of clips and the filter effect will only happen for a very short time. Though I don't use it a lot it can come in handy. I don't want to lose the realtime playback for the entire clip when a small portion will only receive the filter. Thankfully FCP allows you to change the length and/or placement of that partially applied filter after it has been applied. Read More


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Quicktips 2011 Day 04: Save a comment specific column layout in FCP

February 4, 2011 - I like to save a specific bin column layout for comments only and then edit to my liking

By Scott Simmons | February 04, 2011

When you're using the View as List setting in a Final Cut Pro bin there are several columns that are labeled as comment columns of some type. All of those comment column headings can be edited and customized (as was discussed during the last 28 Days of Quicktips). I also like to save a column-only template for editing and taking notes. Read More


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Free Plug-ins for After Effects, FCE, FCP, and FCS (including Motion)

Core Melt gives away a package of 33 V2 effects

By Chris and Trish Meyer | February 04, 2011

Facebook in the new grapevine: I learned earlier this week courtesy of CoreMelt's Facebook news feed that CoreMelt (creators of the Lock & Load stabilizer for FCP, in addition to numerous other effects) was giving away a package of free effects (sorry - Mac only), ranging from transitions ImageFlow animations to footage enhancers (vignette, color correction, light rays, etc.) to several glitch-oriented effects to a nice suite of effects which generate graphics from audio files. Read More


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Quicktips 2011 Day 03: Scrub the FCP thumbnail column thumb

February 3, 2011 - You can scrub the thumbnail displayed in the FCP thumbnail column

By Scott Simmons | February 03, 2011

There's a thumbnail column with the Final Cut Pro browser. Call that column up and you can then scrub the thumbnail right in the Browser column. Read More


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Quicktips 2011 Day 02: Manifesto title tool can spell check

February 2, 2011 - The recent free FxFactory title update includes a title tool that can spell check

By Scott Simmons | February 02, 2011

One thing that's always seemed to be missing out of the built-in Final Cut Pro title tool, as well as the Boris Graffiti plug-in, is spell checking. I noticed the other day that the new Manifesto static title generator can spell check. This Quicktip was supposed to happen later in the week but after some Manifesto discussion on Twitter yesterday I moved it up. Read More


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Quicktips 2011 Day 01: Apply multiple FCP bin comments at once

February 1, 2011 - right + click to apply multiple comments to clips at once in FCP bin

By Scott Simmons | February 01, 2011

This is one of my favorite little gems when logging clips in Final Cut Pro. When using list view in the FCP Browser you can right + click (or control + click) on a single button mouse to apply different types of column criteria to multiple FCP clips at once. It's not just for Master Comment columns either but quite a few other user selectable columns as well. Read More


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After Effects Apprentice: The Video(s)

Visual learning based on our popular entry-level book.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 28, 2011

Many After Effects users know us for our books Creating Motion Graphics (CMG) and After Effects Apprentice (AEA). CMG is intended as a deep reference for After Effects, while AEA is structured as a series of lessons to help a beginner or part-time user get up to speed more quickly with the key features of the program in a real-world environment. We're very excited to be taking the lessons in After Effects Apprentice and recording them as a video training series for Videos allow us to better explain what we're thinking when we choose a particular tool, effect, or parameter value - it's like being able to look over our shoulder and listen in on our brain as we work, and better conveys both the technical and creative process we go through. Not being restricted to the page count of a printed book also allows us to expand more into related features and techniques, and actually work through the Idea Corner and Quizzler challenges sprinkled throughout the book. We feel this additional background will make these videos useful both for people learning on their own, and for instructors who use AEA in their class.{C} Read More


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How about application parity between the Tangent Wave and Euphonix MC Color

Support isn't too far off but it would be nice if both control surfaces supported everything we use.

By Scott Simmons | January 26, 2011

When it comes to affordable hardware for post-production, "affordable" is often a relative term. What may be affordable for one is not necessarily affordable for another. Sometimes there may be limited choices for a particular piece of hardware so the price point is the price point and there's not much the purchaser can do about it. Color grading control surfaces are no different. While some applications like Apple Color and RedCine - X support both the Tangent Wave and Euphonix MC Color others, like DaVinci Resolve and The Foundry's STORM, don't. This article is a call for developers to support both. Read More


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2+ Hours of Free Video Training on Shatter

Brian Maffitt digs into his video archives, and shares.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 24, 2011

Many After Effects users are familiar with Brian Maffitt, founder of Total Training. Brian also ran a plug-in company called Atomic Power for a couple of years. His Evolution plug-in set was distinguished by 1) deep controls, and 2) hours of video training that came free in the box. Adobe bought Atomic Power and integrated most of the plug-ins into After Effects, including Shatter, Card Dance, Card Wipe, Caustics, Wave World, and Colorama. Most of the controls in those plug-ins haven't changed since AE version 4 (not CS4, but the 4 before there was CS). What does that history lesson have to do with today? Brian has started diving into his archive of video training, with the intention of making available for free still-useful material that doesn't fit into the current Total Training library anymore. He started by posting the 2+hours of training he originally created for the Shatter effect on Total Training's YouTube channel. Below are all 6 parts: Read More


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OT: If you’ve got a toddler and an iPad then you need a BubCap

It help keep those littler fingers from pressing the home button.

By Scott Simmons | January 23, 2011

This is a bit off topic of the usual post-production related stuff you might here but if you've got a toddler and an iPad then you've most likely got a toddler who wants to play with your iPad. While I've heard a few holier-than-thou arguments how some parents would NEVER allow their child to touch their iPad (not because they think the kid would break it but rather that it's not good for the child's development) I do let my 20 month old play with it from time to time. He loves it.The problem is that eventually he ends up pressing the home button and the fun ends. Enter the brand new BubCap. Read More


What $300 Buys These Days

What $300 Buys These Days

One of those "I sure hope this is true" stories...

By Bruce A Johnson | January 21, 2011

OK, folks, have a look at "Lazy Teenage Superheroes," a funny, really watchable (and slightly NSFW for language) 13-minute riff on science fiction: Read More


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To DRM or not to DRM? That is the question for today’s digital content producers

By Allan Tépper | January 20, 2011

Whether you are a video producer, music producer, audiobook producer, or the author of ebooks, if you sell your content, there's really no escape from the question: "To DRM or not to DRM?" If you aren't yet familiar with the acronym, DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, and basically refers to technologies which can limit digital content. Some DRM implementations aim to prevent copying at all, while others aim to limit the number of permitted copies. To give a familiar example, Apple's iTunes Store originally created its FairPlay DRM system which limited playback of a file to a maximum of five registered computers. However, as quickly as Apple was able to convince content producers (mainly record labels) that they were better off without it, Apple gradually began eliminating DRM and finished that process at the beginning of 2009. For me, the question "To DRM or not to DRM?" recently demanded an immediate decision when I decided to release my book Unleash GoogleVoice's hidden power as an ebook. Previously, it had existed only as a printed book. Although I had previously created digital video tutorials, the DRM decision for them hadn't come up because up until now, my digital video tutorials haven't been sold by themselves: They've been included with seminars and webinars. Read More


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Your Daily After Effects Fix

A few resources for regular doses of information and inspiration.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 20, 2011

I've mentioned previously that Todd Kopriva's Region of Interest blog is one of the best sources of essential After Effects information. And it still is. But a few additional sources have really blossomed as constant fountains of After Effects goodness:

Read More


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2010 Motion Graphics Design Census

Parsing the results of the latest survey of who makes how much in our field.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 18, 2011

The unofficial, web-based Motion Graphics Design Census for 2010 is now available from their web site. It compiles over 5500 responses - distributed roughly evenly between the US and non-US - into a series of responses about age, software, and - primarily - income. Of course, it's only a survey of those who responded rather than the industry as a whole. Also, not everyone responded to every question - for example, only 219 self-employed artists offered how much they charged per hour, and most of the charts are based just on US respondents. With those caveats, here's what stuck out for us: Read More


Classic Visual Effects Knowledge

Classic Visual Effects Knowledge

How-to videos and documentaries from the 90s.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 17, 2011

Chris Zwar - After Effects power user and occasional PVC contributor - shared on the After Effects list that Peter Sciretta of /Film had recently compiled the first 12 episodes of Discovery Channel's Movie Magic documentary series. As it was recorded in the mid-90s, a substantial portion of the effects are "practical" rather than done in the computer. Nonetheless, it's a good background on matte paintings, miniatures, stop motion, pyrotechics, and similar techniques, plus a reminder of how easy we have it to day compared to the early days of computer graphics. Read More


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Google political move stifles web video distribution & complicates our workflow

Google has thrown a monkey wrench in present & future recommended practices

By Allan Tépper | January 16, 2011

In case you didn't hear yet, Google recently announced the elimination of support for H.264 in HTML5 video in its popular Chrome web browser within the next few months, in favor of WebM (VP8) and Theora video códecs. Despite Google's official justifications for the move in the name of openness, many analysts (including myself) see this as a political move against Apple, and even hypocritical since the Chrome browser has contained (and will continue to contain) an embedded Flash player. Our logical conclusion is that Google's next step will be to drop support for H.264 in its Android operating system too. This happens after H.264 already has achieved support from Adobe, Apple, and even Microsoft. Up until now, Google's Chrome browser has directly supported H.264 with HTML5's video tag. Before this shocking below the belt punch, many content producers were well along the way of offering HTML5 video with H.264, playable as raw or automatic fallback to the same file embedded in Flash if the browser didn't support it in HTML5, as I have covered in my seminars. However, as we see the writing on the wall, this will likely no longer be sufficient for the ever popular Android devices as they likely become updated to newer versions which would purposefully exclude H.264 playback, especially considering the poor Flash performance on most of the current Android devices that even support it at all. So within a short time, the preferred video códecs for Android devices will likely be WebM (VP8) or Theora, while for Apple iOS devices (AppleTV, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch), it will remain to be H.264. Read More


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BG Renderer 2.0

A popular After Effects script gets a major upgrade.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 12, 2011

Lloyd Alvarez is a top-notch After Effects user who has also developed a handful of very useful scripts for the program. One of his most popular is BG Renderer, which launches instances of After Effects in the background to render compositions while you continue to work in the foreground. Lloyd just announced BG Renderer 2.0 with After Effects CS5 compatibility, plus a whole host of new features. Read More


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DaVinci Resolve for Mac review online

It took awhile but I finally finished the article for Studio Daily

By Scott Simmons | January 12, 2011

It took awhile (and a couple of Resolve articles here on PVC) but I finally finished my full DaVinci Resolve for Mac article that went online today over at Studio Daily. It's quite lengthy but as I was working out my ideas and thoughts on the application I began to realize just how deep an application Resolve for Mac really is. Read More