New Book is Off to the Printer

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This is a book that I’ve wanted to write for a LONG time.

Video Made on a Mac: Production and Postproduction Using Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite

Richard Harrington I have just returned my final comments for the new book Video Made on a Mac. We are now compressing the 5.5 hours of HD video lessons that come with this book. This book is SO awesome... (I am not objective, but its the best book I've ever written). If you work with Final Cut Studio and/or Adobe Creative Suite... You need this book. We have filled it to the brim with time saving workflow and practical advice.

Here’s the official blurb – You can order it here on Amazon (it’ll ship in a few weeks).

On a Mac, the sky's the limit for creating professional video. With all the tools available though, it can be a daunting task to decide which ones offer the best solutions for combined efficiency and high-level results. How can you effectively communicate your vision to clients and crew? How should you calibrate your camera for multi-camera and green screen shoots? Is it better to do your keying in After Effects, Motion, or Final Cut? How should you set up your edit suite for efficiency and accuracy? How do you manage large amounts of media and a multitude of formats for multiple software applications?

In Video Made on a Mac, you'll learn the answers and much more. Chock-full of practical advice and step-by-step instructions, each chapter provides insight on the critical components of production and postproduction that can make all the difference when you're up against a tight budget and schedule. The accompanying DVD supplies you with project files and high-definition footage so you can follow along with the examples, as well as 50 training videos. Whether you're an advanced Mac user or just beginning to incorporate Adobe Creative Suite into your Final Cut Studio workflow, you'll learn to apply best-practice techniques to all your video projects.


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Move Projects from FCP to AE Seamlessly (and Free!)

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Footage ©Kuhn Foundation, from the series Closer to Truth Cosmos. Consciousness. God.
I am always on the lookout for things that can make my life easier… sleep in a can, comfortable shoes, great software.
If you use Final Cut Pro and After Effects… do I have a find for you!  I just finished a new book called
Video Made on a Mac, and in the process of writing about Motion Graphics workflows, I’ve discovered an absolute gem, from a little place called Popcorn Island. Read More...
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Use After Effects to Transcode your HD material to 50 Formats

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I wanted to share a little work in progress file.  I find After Effects tremendously useful for resizing video.  In fact I use it often to pre-process footage before applying additional codecs.

What I’ve put together here is a Resizer project.  It allows you to quickly convert an HD file (720 or 1080) to 50 different output formats.  The file is quite simple to use, and covers output sizes ranging from SD, to Presentation Software, to Web, to iPhone.

This is a work in progress… but I’d love to get your feedback.  To learn how to use it (and get the file) keep reading....

First off… download the resizer template from here (
Resizer_Template.zip). It is an After Effects CS4 project. There are two files, both are identical.  The .aep is a project file, the .aet is a template file that will create a copy automatically when you open it.

Read More...
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Learn Flash and After Effects for Free

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Two totally free resources to learn Flash and After Effects. These come from the new book After Effects for Flash / Flash for After Effects: Dynamic Animation and Video with Adobe After Effects CS4 and Adobe Flash CS4 Professional. This book is really great and I hope you enjoy the first two chapters.

After Effects Essentials for Flash Users

Flash Essentials for After Effects Users


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Color Range Command in Photoshop

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Crop and Straighten Command in Photoshop

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When scanning images, it’s often possible to fit more than one image on the scanner bed. Scanning multiple images at once can save input time when loading images into Photoshop. Fortunately, the Crop And Straighten Photos command picks up and keeps the efficiency going.

  1. Place multiple photos on your scanner. For best results, you need to keep 1/8 inch between the images in your scan. If the Crop And Straighten Photos command does not succeed (which is rare), you should process the individual images using the Crop tool.
  2. If you’re working in a multilayered image, select the layer that contains the images. If you only want some of the images, draw a selection border around one or more images.
  3. Choose File > Automate > Crop And Straighten Photos.

Each image should be cropped, straightened, and moved into its own document window.


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Want a Free Book?

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Peachpit is offering a cool deal. Try out Safari Books Online and get a free book. Of course, you’ll have questions.

Q: What’s
Safari Books Online?
A: It’s a ton of books you can read online from publishers like Peachpit, O’Reilly, and others.

Q: Is it really
free?
A: Sign up for the trial... order a book. If you don’t like, cancel within the 10-day trial period. Otherwise they bill you for first month (which is about the cost of a book).

Q: Which Books are Free?
A: There are 10 to choose from.

  • Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS4 – Stephanie Sullivan, Greg Rewis
  • Building Findable Websites: Web Standards, SEO, and Beyond – Aarron Walter
  • A Project Guide to UX Design – Russ Unger, Carolyn Chandler
  • Online Communities Handbook – Anna Buss, Nancy Strauss
  • Mac OS X Leopard Killer Tips – Scott Kelby
  • The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes –Joe McNally
  • The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers – Martin Evening
  • The Photoshop Elements 7 Book for Digital Photographers – Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski
  • Facebook Me! A Guide to Having Fun with Your Friends and Promoting Your Projects on Facebook –Dave Awl
  • SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate – Joel Postman


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Handouts from Boston Authors Video Workshops

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I recently spoke at the Authors Video Workshops in Boston. The event was sponsored by the BOSFCPUG & Focal Press. Over two days, I spoke on three topics I am passionate about: Photoshop, Final Cut, and web video.

Here are some of the promised resources.

Photoshop For Video

Professional Color Correction in Final Cut Pro

Producing Video Podcasts and Web Video

Enjoy... reviews on Amazon and iTunes always appreciated.


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New Book for After Effects and Flash Users

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I have literally just sent the last changes to the last chapter in. The brand new book After Effects for Flash | Flash for After Effects is going to print. I am quite proud of the book and it explores some amazing things. The book is designed for Flash and After Effects users, and is meant to teach them how to use both programs together (along with Creative Suite 4). The book explores some pretty revolutionary things, but also has great primers to get new users up to speed fast (you can’t put a race car on your cover if the book doesn’t cover serious ground).

The official blurb
Adobe Creative Suite 4 brings together two powerful animation tools, each of which has its own specialized features and workflow. Learning to integrate Adobe After Effects and Adobe Flash Professional gives you more options for your animations and effects and the power to integrate video and motion graphics into a richer user experience. In this book, authors Richard Harrington and Marcus Geduld lead both types of users, those who are more familiar with either Flash or with After Effects, on using the programs together for maximum efficiency and creativity.

After walking you through the core features of both programs, the authors then explore advanced uses for each application. Each chapter focuses on a particular function of the program, teaching you how to create content for Flash with After Effects, enhance your projects using 3D environments, create professional-looking video with Adobe Media Encoder, and add interactivity, accessibility, and searchability to your video. You’ll also get hands-on experience using the project files on the accompanying DVD.

Within these easy-to-follow, step-by-step lessons, you’ll learn to:
  • Seamlessly exchange projects and assets between After Effects and Flash
  • Shoot green screen material correctly, work with Keylight, and utilize embedded alpha channels
  • Create dynamic text, vector-based animations, and “animated” video using the tools in Adobe Creative Suite 4
  • Work with 3D cameras and lights and create 3D environments
  • Convert Flash to broadcast and DVD standards with After Effects
  • Use Adobe Media Encoder for professional results
  • Create interactive controls and use cue points in your video
  • Optimize video for accessibility and use Adobe® Soundbooth® for video transcription
  • Use ActionScript in your projects for more innovative animations


Get your copy now.... it really has some fun projects and cool things in it.


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Free Photoshop and After Effects CS4 Tutorials

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The fine folks at Focal Press have decided to release two free updates. The popular books Photoshop for Video and Creating Motion Graphics both have free updates for the Creative Suite 4 release.

Even if you don’t have these two books (which I’d really suggest you check them out)... the CS4 updates are absolutely free.

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Alpha Channels : Creative COW : Photoshop Tutorials

In the Photoshop tutorial from Creative COW, learn how to make an alpha channel based upon the luminance in an image. Alpha channels allow you to store transparency in a graphic. This is part of a series of Photoshop tutorials from www.creativecow.net.

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Video Preview - Photoshop for Video

In this Adobe Photoshop video tutorial from CreativeCOW.net, Richard Harrington explains how to output a digital video signal directly to a SD video monitor from Adobe Photoshop using a digital video converter via firewire and video preview controls. This tutorial is part of a series available at www.creativecow.net.



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Photoshop CS4 – Video Improvements



Richard Harrington shows you how to size pictures for video and work with video files in Photoshop CS4 .

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our
iTunes version.
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PSV#97 Making Cast Shadows - Photoshop for Video

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to make a show bug in Photoshop that can help you brand your show.





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Ready for the CS4 Upgrade?

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Layers Magazine has a great artivle on their blog about what you’ll need to make sure your computer is ready for CS4. One important note for mac users.... many of the applications require that you have an Intel processor... so keep that in mind.

“Working in tech, you almost take for granted being a gear junkie and having the most newfangled computer out there, but I’m sure there are a lot of you who want to make the jump that are unsure of what is technically needed, as well as other people out there that are ‘taking the plunge’ and getting the CS4 Suite in addition to a new computer to be able to hold it.”

Read more
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PSV#95 Making Lower Thirds Part 3 - Photoshop for Video

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to make custom lower thirds in Photoshop. Part 3 of 3.





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PSV#94 Making Lower Thirds Part 2 - Photoshop for Video

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to make custom lower thirds in Photoshop. Part 2 of 3.





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PSV#93 Making Lower Thirds Part 1 - Photoshop for Video

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to make custom lower thirds in Photoshop. Part 1 of 3.





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After Effects CS3 Shape Tools



Learn how to use the Shape Tools to create dynamic motion graphics elements. This tutorial was recorded as part of a session at the 2007 NY Post Production Conference (
www.nypostconference.com).

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Great Photoshop Actions for Video

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Here are a few of my favorite resources for Photoshop Actions. These save time and make you look good.

Tools for Television – Want to automate standard video graphics production tasks? Then check out Tools for Television’s Photoshop Toolbox for video-friendlyactions at http://www.toolsfortelevision.com.

Action FX – For complex text and special effects, check out the excellent site http://www.actionfx.com. There are several free actions as well as some to purchase.

Photoshop Video Actions – Upgraded to CS2 or CS3? Then be sure to check out the built in Video Actions that I authored with
Dan Brown for some timesaving automation tools.

PanosFX – A newer site that is really becoming one to watch isPanosFX (http://www.panosfx.com). This site has some incredible free actions as well as some very affordable and powerful tools for sale.

Adobe Exchange – If you’re not in a position to purchase add-ons to your system, there’s oneincredible free resource worth mentioning. With the release of Photoshop 5.5, Adobe launched a Web site originally called Action Xchange where users could share their actions; see http://www.adobe.com/exchange.




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PSV#80 Distressing Text Edges - Photoshop for Video

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use a patterned image to degrade the edges of your text for a unique text effect in Photoshop.












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Adobe TV at NAB 2008 – Production Premium CS3 for Final Cut Pro Editors

Caught a great presentation from Steve Martin at NAB. It's all about using Production Premium with other NLEs like Final Cut Pro. Steve is a popular trainer (in fact one of Apple's main instructors). This one is helpful...



If you want more free classes... visit the
Adobe TV site.



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Adobe TV at NAB 2008 – Photoshop CS3 Extended for Video

Want 30 minutes of free training on Adobe Photoshop CS3? Adobe had me in their theater at NAB giving lessons. Here's a recording from one of the days so you can see what was taught.



If you want more free classes... visit the
Adobe TV site.



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Adobe Demos Future Technology at NAB

Following up on my "Really Cool Adobe Announcements" post...

Adobe has actually posted their "secret" presentation from NAB. Hart Shafer talks about four cool things Adobe has up their sleeve.



You
SO need to watch this... trust me. BTW (for those of you waiting... they did show OnLocation for Mac in this demo).



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Does the World Need Another Media Player?

Adobe released the Adobe Media Player software on April 9, which allows a customizable, cross-platform media player experience. Built using the Adobe AIR runtime, the media player harnessed the power of Flash to create a rich media experience. To complete the experience, Adobe adds support for both RSS feeds and H.264 video, two of the open standards used by the podcasting movement.
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What does this all mean? I had a chance to sit down with Deeje Cooley, who serves as an evangelist for Adobe’s Dynamic Media Organization (and formerly as the product manager for the Adobe Media Player). Cooley was tasked with bringing the product to market and he shared insight into Adobe’s motivation for the product and goals for its role in the market. Unlike competing products, the Adobe Media Player has chosen to focus on being a video-only player.

“The growth of video online, the dramatic growth of flash as the video delivery mechanism of choice… there was a ripe opportunity to take advantage of all these events around the industry,” said Cooley. “We started to build an RSS aggregator and quickly recognized that video was going to be a significant media online and so it became a video RSS aggregator. And so that’s really the birth of the Adobe Media Player.”

MUCH MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Read More...
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Really Cool Adobe Announcements

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Adobe showed some awesome stuff at NAB. My favorite was a future version of Premiere that transcribes your footage, then makes the transcription searchable for both editing and publishing to the web. I was going to do an in-depth write-up.... but then I got busy (still will).

In the meantime. Check out this article for details.
http://www.peachpit.com/blogs/blog.aspx?b=a75e92b0-f44f-4dfb-9eb4-96920bcaddc1
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’Toon Your Video in Adobe CS3 Production Premium

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Want to create a cartoon effect for your video? Be sure to check out this step-by-step tutorial I wrote for Layers Magazine.

“Sure, clients want it…that “cartoon look.” But let’s face it; good animation is hard to come by. Unless you have a gaggle of animators locked in your closet, you’ll need to get creative. Sure, you could break out the pencil and paper (or maybe even try shadow puppets), but we’re here to offer you a different solution. By harnessing the power of Adobe CS3 Production Premium, you can convert video frames into vector art into film-resolution movie files. Curious? It’s all possible with the power of the Production Premium.
Read on.”



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Photoshop for Video featured on Planet Photoshop

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Thanks to Planet Photoshop for making Photoshop for Video their pick of the week.

“This week I recommend Photoshop for Video by Richard Harrington. This book covers the information you need to implement Photoshop into your video workflow. It covers using channels effectively, setting up automation, creating interesting effects, and much more. If you want to get a better handle on working with Photoshop in your video workflow then this is the book for you. Richard is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and After Effects and is an instructor at major events like Photoshop World and NAB. His visual communications consultancy, RHED Pixel, creates motion graphics and produces video and multimedia projects. Richard also has a blog at RasterVector.com and another at PhotoshopForVideo.com.”

Be sure to check out the rest of the site for a ton of great tutorials and video tips.



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Get the Adobe Media Player Now!

This is an excerpt from an article to be released in full later this week:

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Adobe released the Adobe Media Player software on April 9, which allows a customizable, cross-platform media player experience. Built using as an Adobe Air application, the media player harnessed the power of Flash to create a rich media experience. To complete the experience, Adobe adds support for both RSS feeds and H.264 video, two of the open standards used by the podcasting movement.

What does this all mean? I had a chance to sit down with Deeje Cooley, who serves as the evangelist for Adobe’s Dynamic Media Organization (and formerly as the product manager for the Adobe Media Player). Cooley was tasked with bringing the product to market and he shared insight into Adobe’s motivation for the product and goals for its role in the market. Unlike competing products, the Adobe Media Player has chosen to focus on being a video-only player.

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“The growth of video online, the dramatic growth of flash as the video delivery mechanism of choice… there was a ripe opportunity to take advantage of all these events around the industry,” said Cooley. “We started to build an RSS aggregator and quickly recognized that video was going to be a significant media online and so it became a video RSS aggregator. And so that’s really the birth of the Adobe Media Player.”


getamp
The Adobe Media Player is immediately available as a free download for Windows and Macintosh platforms from http://www.adobe.com/go/mp.




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NAB – Lite Panels Micro and MAtrox MXO 2

I just got back from NAB this morning... here are a handful of videos we produced while on the road.


The Litepanels Micro


The Matrox MXO 2





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NAB – New Book and AJA IO HD

More from the NAB Show Floor.

On the Scene at NAB 2008


The AJA IO HD with Gary Adcock



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NAB – Red Scarlet & Adobe Media Player

On the road at NAB... here are a handful of videos we produced.

The Red Scarlet: A First Look


Adobe Media Player at NAB 2008




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Don't Use Auto White Balance

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Looking for an easy way to white-balance on a shoot? I just discovered the useful Whibal White Balance Reference Cards.

Here's what I like:

  • Lightweight and single-card format.
  • Light Gray, certified to recommended Luminance
  • Includes Black and White Spots
  • Focus and Sharpness targets
  • Sturdy and Easy to Pack (it even floats)
  • Affordable
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PSV#67 Depth of Field Blur - Photoshop for Video

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use depth of field blur to create backdrops for use in chroma keying.





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New Podcasting Book About to Ship

My podcasting book is now off the presses and on its way to stores.

Here's Chapter 1

The initial reviews are in:

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"This guide is full of solid information from people who know online video and are in the trenches doing it. It's a must read for anyone who wants to produce professional video podcasts." – Jason Van Orden, podcasting consultant and author of Promoting Your Podcast

"Required reading.Starting with a clear analysis of the nature and business of podcasting it covers the essentials of production and finishes with the all-important topics of delivery, RSS feeds, publishing, and hosting." – Tom Wolsky, vp editorial, National Podcasting System, www.nationalpod.com

"WOW, the accumulated knowledge from 1000s of hours of planning, production, post and delivery essentials delivered in a simple, concise fashiona professional resource manual that needs to be a part of every video production library" –. Gary Adcock, digital artist and technology trainer

"Not just a book about Podcasting, but a full primer on professional audio and video production and digital publishing that is lavishly illustrated and full of practical tips." – Philip Hodgetts, president and ceo, Open Television Network openTVnetwork.com

You can order the book here.


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GridIron Flow Demo Movie

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I saw this very cool product at Macworld Expo called Flow. It is a revolutionary workflow management technology designed to work with Adobe and Apple software. The product took Best of Show (and for good reason). You can see it in action in a video demo on their site. 

"Flow is a revolutionary approach to digital content management that dramatically simplifies the design process for creative professionals working on graphic design, web and video projects. Flow automatically tracks your work from idea to end result and manages your assets and applications for your most complex projects- all without changing the way you work."

Flow isn't shipping for a while, but GridIron is accepting
sign-ups for beta testing.


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Compressing with Stomp

Author and video podcaster Richard Harrington explains how you can compress your video for podcast with Stomp from Shiny White Box.



Like the podcast? Subscribe for FREE.



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New Book on Video Podcasting

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Those who know me personally, know I am very passionate about podcasting. I have been hard at work for the last year on a new book on just that, video podcasting. My business partner, Mark Weiser, and I have taken many of the hard lessons learned at RHED Pixel and put them into a book. The book is full color and richly illustrated, plus there will also be a companion website and podcast launching in January.

The book ships in February, but you can get the biggest discount by pre-ordering it from Amazon.com.


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Photoshop World Schedule Announced

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The new schedule for Photoshop World Conference & Expo is posted. Visit the updated website to see the offerings. The conference is to be held in Orlando, FL on April 2-4, 2008. Here’s the link. I'll be teaching a few classes on the show floor (which are free) as well as these great classes on using Photoshop for video and multimedia.

Motion Graphics Track:
  • Put Your Portfolio on DVD
  • Motion Control 3D
  • Typography in Motion


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Wacom Bamboo Fun is a Great Value

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I recently picked up a new tablet for home use... it's actually for my three-year old who seems a bit too fascinated with the tablets in my office. Becuase budget was an issue, I picked up the new Wacom Bamboo. What I thought was merely a replacement for the old Graphire tablets is so much more. It's easy to set up, very responsive, and fun to use.

The Bamboo comes in a standard version, simply called Bamboo, which is targeted towards Windows users who need signature abilities for their documents as well as a few other perks. The "Fun" version costs $20 more (unless you go for the larger one, then its $120 more).

The tablet has four programmable buttons as well as a touch wheel. It also comes with a full version of Adobe® Photoshop® Elements and Corel® Painter™ Essentials. What surprises me is that the tablet costs the same as buying Photoshop Elements as a stand-alone application. The tablet is a nice addition to a home workstation and would be a great entry point for a new tablet user.




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Useful Article on Photoshop Automation

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I just gave a useful class (at least people there thought it was) on Automating Photoshop. We touched on Actions, Scripts, Droplets, and Automation commands. I have a few notes pulled together on the topic and wanted to share them here.

Photoshop Automation Techniques

If you want a lot more on using Photoshop for Video, be sure to check out the book
Photoshop for Video from Focal Press.



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New Scripts for Photoshop CS3

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Adobe's Russell Brown has produced a great new collection of FREE workflow scripts for Photoshop CS3 & CS3 Extended. Be sure to check out Dr. Brown's Services 1.9.2 which offer some great features for video.
"Background Remover," "Interpret Video," "Fit Video to Audio," and "Slide Show" scripts take advantage of Photoshop CS3 Extended's new video capabilities.

If you want to save time, download
Dr. Brown's Services 1.9.2



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New York Post|Production Conference

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I just had a great time at the New York Post|Production conference. For three days media pros gathered in New York movie house for the latest in digital media tools. I had the opportunity to teach a lot of new classes as well as show some of my favorite techniques. Here's the notes and a few demo files to play with.

01
Photoshop CS3 for Motion Graphics and Video | Book | DVD Available
02 Apple and Adobe – A Great Toolbox | Project X | Resizer Template
03
Beat the AE Render Queue
04 Media Management in Final Cut Pro | DVD Available
05 How to Sell Podcasting Services to Your Clients
06 Things You Might Not Know About After Effects CS3 | Puppet Tool Files | Vanishing Point Files
07 Multicam Editing Strategies in Final Cut Pro
08 Field Production Strategies for Video Podcasting
09 Creating a Graphical Identity for Your Video Podcasts (enhanced PDF)
10 Motion Control 3D | Demo Files | VPE Demo
11 Advanced Color Correction in Final Cut Pro | DVD Available



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A Possible Solution for P2 Cards and MacBook Pros

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So, we've recently taken the P2 plunge at my company. These are the cards that are used in Panasonic’s HD cameras that allow you to record high-def video without needing tape. While the cards are great, it is a little hard to load the footage into the newer mac laptops. That's because the cards are shaped like the old PCMIA cards... and new modern laptops have switched to using the ExpressCard format.

Enter this useful device from
Duel Systems.

”The DuelAdapter™ seamlessly converts input from PCMCIA cards designed for cellular broadband, wireless networking, video, audio and memory expansion to an ExpressCard compatible format. Data can be transferred at rates up to the full speed supported by the ExpressCard interface — five times faster than USB 2.0! The DuelAdapter is easy to set up — just install the driver, insert the adapter into your notebook’s ExpressCard slot and plug your PCMCIA card into the adapter.”

The product IS mac compatible... but I have yet to test it... We plan on ordering ours soon though.... so a detailed report to follow.


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3D Made Easier

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While at the National Association of Broadcaster's show, I picked up a copy of Zaxwerks' ProAnimator. This product is both a program and a plug-in. It is useful for creating animated text or logos. You can import Adobe Illustrator files, 3D models, or type original text in using any system font. It's fast and easy and give impressive results.
For more info.


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