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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High Definition Client Review with Apple TV


My production company, like many of yours, has jumped with both feet into the HD waters.  Production is easier than ever with great tapeless acquisition formats.  Post keeps getting simpler with powerful desktop solutions and great breakout boxes.  Seems like the only place it really falls apart is the client review stage.
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Sure, you can compress HD clips for web delivery.  Problem is most clients don’t have the monitor resolution, RAM, etc. to view HD (and don’t even get me started on color and contrast issues with the average PC monitor).  You could burn a Blu-ray disc, except at $12 a pop (plus rush courier) that gets pretty expensive (and time consuming). So what’s a discerning post company to do? No the answer is not VHS… it’s Apple TV.

Read More...
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Final Cut Studio Documentation and Workflows Now Online

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Need to know the latest about Final Cut Studio? Want to look something up about ProRes from your iPhone? Hate those big printed manuals that waste paper?
While its not a revolutionary step (others like Adobe have already placed their docs online) it is still a welcomed event. Some might wonder if trimming the manuals out allowed the huge price cut?
Regardless… the manuals and an even better Workflows document are now online.
The Apple documentation team has converted all of the documentation for the web.  It is freely searchable and can even be linked to if you need to point to a specific article to help a colleague (an even nicer way to say RTFM).
You’ll find them here at
http://documentation.apple.com/
A great document is also the “Final Cut Studio Workflows.” It’s a little hidden within the Final Cut Pro help library:
http://documentation.apple.com/en/finalcutstudio/workflows/
It offers great ideas on how Final Cut Studio applications fit into a post-production workflow.  You’ll also find practical guidance on how Final Cut Studio apps work with one another.
Enjoy.

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Want to Know What’s New in the “new Final Cut Studio”

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Like many of you, I went digging to find the most information about the new Final Cut Studio release.  Sure.. there are tutorials and flashy pages on Apple’s site.  These have some great info… but I’m a details kinda guy.  After so poking and prodding… I found these great documents. 
The
Final Cut Studio Product Overview shows the new features with great descriptions.  It’s easy to navigate and serves as a menu of what to explore. The document clocks in at 66 pages
Most importantly (for quality nuts) the
ProRes white paper offers in-depth technical information about the Apple ProRes codec.  This was just updated to 4:4:4:4… that is fantastic as we have a lossless codec with embedded alpha channels.  Goodbye Animation codec and your sluggish performance.  Read all about it in 22 informative pages.
Start Reading!
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Final Cut Studio Price Shocker

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Yes we all new it would eventually come… the “new Final Cut Studio” was announced. We’ll let the cheers and moans begin after a few days of testing the final release (just ordered mine 30 minutes ago).
But there are a few surprises.. mainly price! Here’s the great news (especially in this economy)
Final Cut Studio 2 – NEW was $1,299
the new Final Cut Studio – NEW is $999
Here’s the best news Final Cut Studio 2 upgrade – was $499 - $699
the new Final Cut Studio upgrade – is $299
I have confirmed… doesn’t matter which version you are upgrading from… I took it right to Apple and got a straight answer.
That is $299 for ANYONE to upgrade from a full copy of Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Studio (except Student or NFR copies).
More on new features soon… but let me just say:
In the current economic client, it’s truly appreciated to see software pricing that respects the long-term customer.  This is a no-brainer upgrade… speed and power without pinching your wallet.  Thanks Apple… I mean it!
Full press release
HERE
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Get the Latest P2 Software

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Just last month Panasonic updated their P2 software and drivers.  Of course its not always easy to find where this software lives.  Sure you can bookmark the page, but seems like I always need it when I’m in an edit suite or trying to help someone else out through their problems. So, I have solved the problem once and for all (I hope).

While the software is available at https://eww.pavc.panasonic.co.jp/pro-av/support/desk/e/download.htm that is just too hard to remember.

I used the TinyURL service to shorten it to
http://tinyurl.com/p2swdl. Just think P2 Software Download and you’ll remember it.

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Apple iWork 09 Book Trailer

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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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A Good Deal on Time Machine

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I just got this email from Apple about a special on Time Machine.

“Save $30 on a 500GB Time Capsule. Time Capsule works with Time Machine in Leopard to back up your Mac computers wirelessly and automatically. And as a MobileMe member, you can access files on your Time Capsule drive over the Internet, wherever you go.”

Use this Promo Code at checkout:
T2N3L7GJE8

The code might be a one-time use.... so try it (first come first served).

I already have one and these work great.

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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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A Change in the Market – Apple Releases HD Movies for Sale

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Seems like times are changing... Apple (and more importantly, movie studios) have decided to start offering high-definition movie sales and rentals through the iTunes Store. This is yet another sign that consumers want digital downloads (and are willing to pay a fair price). Let’s hope more studios come on board.

Starting today, movie fans can purchase box office blockbusters for download in HD for $19.99 from iTunes, and films will be available as iTunes Movie Rentals in HD for $4.99 within 30 days after release. Customers can enjoy these films in HD on their Mac or PC and on their widescreen TV with Apple TV, as well as in standard definition on their iPhone or iPod with video.

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New Podcast on iWork

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I recently had a chance to shoot a bunch of podcasts with Alex Lindsay and the great folks at Pixel Corps.

“Learn how to get the most out of your mac at Work! From iWork to communication to databases to networking hardware – MacBreak Work will help you MACsimize your productivity!”

Be sure to check out the new show, MacBreak Work.

You can view it on the
web or subscribe for free in iTunes.

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PeachpitTV: Using Vibrancy in Aperture

Author Richard Harrington demonstrates using the vibrancy slider in Aperture.




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Apple Releases Pro Apps Updates

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Apple has just released a set of Pro Applications Updates which improve reliability add add new features. The applications included in the update: Final Cut Pro 6.0.5 Compressor 3.0.5 Color 1.0.3 Shake 4.1.1. Here are some of the highlights of the updates (the full list is here).

Improved High-Precision Rendering – This means improved reliability and quality when rendering still images and footage in high-resolution formats.
Improved AVCHD Support – This affects the Panasonic AG-HMC150 C and the Panasonic HDC-SD9 Camcorder
Improved Support for Metadata Imported from P2 Cards
Improved Format Support for Color –
Color 1.0.3 provides support for XDCAM 422 media and for the RED plug-ins for Final Cut Studio.
Improved EDL Handling – Accuracy and reliability during EDL import have been improved.

To Download Files

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PeachpitTV: Quick Tips for Using Aperture

Author Richard Harrington shares tips on how to do some basic adjustments to images in Aperture.

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Aperture 2 Quick Tip – Now on iPhone

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We’ve partnered with the cool folks over at mDialog to bring you our Aperture show... now on Apple TV and the iPhone. To view our episodes on your phone, just download the free mDialog application from the iTunes App Store.

“The mDialog application is always available as a free download worldwide from Apple's App Store on iPhone and IPod Touch, or at www.itunes.com/appstore/ or click on the link on the mDialog site.”


Be sure to download and try it out.... it works great and is absolutely free.

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Double Your iPhone Battery

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I know some of you hate iPhone posts (sorry)....

But here’s something I just had to gush about.... The
mophie Juice Pack iPhone battery is shipping. I had the original battery pack, but with the new form-factor for the 3G phones, I had to upgrade. Here’s the specs:

  • Standby Time – Up to 350 hours
  • Talk Time – 6 additional hours on 3G | 12 hours on 2G
  • Internet Use – 6 additional hours on 3G | 7 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Audio Playback – 28 additional hours
  • Video Playback – 8 additional hours

This device is absolutely
awesome and lets me get through a long day of business.



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Double Your iPhone Battery

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I know some of you hate iPhone posts (sorry)....

But here’s something I just had to gush about.... The
mophie Juice Pack iPhone battery is shipping. I had the original battery pack, but with the new form-factor for the 3G phones, I had to upgrade. Here’s the specs:

  • Standby Time – Up to 350 hours
  • Talk Time – 6 additional hours on 3G | 12 hours on 2G
  • Internet Use – 6 additional hours on 3G | 7 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Audio Playback – 28 additional hours
  • Video Playback – 8 additional hours

This device is absolutely
awesome and lets me get through a long day of business.



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Photoshop CS4 – Masks Panel




Richard Harrington shows you what’s new with masks in Photoshop CS4 and how to use them to non-destructivly add transparency to an image.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our iTunes version.
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Video Compression Workshop – Helpful Advice (part 3)

This is part two of our article on effectively compressing video for the web and multimedia. Be sure to read part one if you haven’t done so.

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Need to get your video delivered to your audience? Then there’s probably going to be some compression involved. Don’t let hardware or software get in your way. Let’s take a common sense approach to getting your video out there.

Pick Your Power

There are tons of compression tools out there, but the pro apps offer important features like batch processing, multiple architecture support, and customizable presets. The five most popular options are:

Read More...
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Video Compression Workshop – 10 Steps to Better Compression (part 2)

This is part two of our article on effectively compressing video for the web and multimedia. Be sure to read part one if you haven’t done so.

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1.) De-interlace your video: Most video files are interlaced, which means that half of one image is blended with half of the next. On a Television this produces smoother motion, on a computer it produces junk.

2.) Lower your audio standards: Most users are listening to computer audio on tiny speakers. Cutting your sample rate to 22 or 11 kHz and the sample size to 8-bit will often produce unnoticeable audio changes but huge space saving.

3.) Shrink the window: While you don’t need to make video postage stamps sized. But reducing the window to half size creates a file that is 25% the file size of the original. That’s a BIG savings in space.

Read More...
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Convert MPEG-1 for FCP

bbDEMUX – Free

http://sourceforge.net/projects/macbbdemux
BBdemux
I stumbled across this great piece of freeware when stuck with an editing problem. My client had some MPEG-1 files they wanted to edit together for their website. While I was able to import them into FCPand set the timeline to 320X240, I couldn’t get the audio to import. Turns out with MPEG-1 files, the audio and video are merged into one track (muxed). This great little app does nothing more then split them apart, but that’s all that was needed and its free!

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Video Compression Workshop – An Introduction (part 1)

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Successfully getting a video file delivered to your audience usually means it will be compressed (heck it’s often compressed just so we can work with it in the first place). Making the video file available to your target audience is your goal, but the challenges of hardware, connection speed, and even operating system can affect the decisions you make. Let’s take a common sense approach to getting your video out there.

Read More...
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Aperture Book Hits #1

Well... color me surprised.... my new book on Aperture Hit #1 on Amazon across several categories.

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I’m not sure about the Digital Music category... but it also took top spot as the best selling Mac book as well.
You can check the book out here... if you’ve gotten the book and enjoyed it, can you please post a review as well.

Thanks!



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Laugh at Bill & Steve – The Silicon Apartment

What would happen if you locked Bill Gates and Steve Jobs in the same apartment (like Big Brother)? Well you get the risque comic strip – The Silicon Apartment (PG-13). The strip is really quite good and skewers both sides.
The Silicon Apartment

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WALL-E Rocks – Two Great Mac Jokes

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Just saw WALL-E with my son, and in typical Pixar fashion, it is awesome!

Two quick things I found hilarious for the Mac-Geeks out there.

First, there is a character in the film called Auto, who is an auto-pilot robot for the ship. The character’s voice is done by
Macintalk, the speech synthesizer included with the Mac back in 1984. It sounded familiar, and I confirmed it as the “actor credit” actually appears at the end of the film.

Second, there is a scene where WALL-E reboots... and yes, it is the Macintosh
startup chime that you hear. I found myself laughing out loud (and I think I was the only one within 20 rows of me who got the joke (geek!).



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Why Every Post House Needs an Apple TV

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There’s been a lot of ho-hum reviews on the Apple TV… too much of this, not enough of that… but these have all been focussed on the consumer space and the living room.  What I’m here to tell you is why video pros should care about the Apple TV (and why we swear by it in my shop).  Here are a few reasons we use Apple TV at my shop, RHED Pixel.

Read More...
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3 AQT White Balance – Aperture Quick Tip

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to harness the white balance command in Aperture to improve an image.










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The Mac OS X 10.5.3 Update – What it Means to Media Folks.

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I know a lot of folks who are hesitant to upgrade.... I admit, I've been burned by installing updates as soon as they come out... but hey, that's why I'm an early adopter. The latest Mac update looks to include several important bug fixes and enhancements. Here's a few that tip the scale in favor of installing.

  • Addresses an issue with stuttering video and audio playback in certain USB devices.
  • Fixes an issue in which certain attached hard drives may not show up in the Finder.
  • Includes additional RAW image support for several cameras.
  • Improves 802.1X behavior and reliability.
  • Improves reliability when using Time Capsule.
  • Fixes reliability issues with authenticated RSS feeds.
  • Addresses compatibility issues with Aperture 2.
  • Addresses reliability issues when performing a full restore from a Time Machine backup.

You can access the update through your Apple Menu.... I’ve been running it for several days and all seems happy. Additionally, several new pro digital cameras were added for Raw support.



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Get Photos from Aperture to Final Cut Pro

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Sometimes third-party plug-ins fill obvious holes... this is truly the case here. Wouldn't it make sense to be able to quickly send photos from Apple Aperture to Final Cut Pro? You'd think that sort of thing would be built right in (its not). Fortunately the fine folks over at Connected Flow over an elegant (and free) solution.

“The Aperture to Final Cut Pro plugin lets you take your images stored in Apple's professional photo management application and send them directly to a video sequence in Final Cut Pro. From within Aperture, you can select photos, set their order and duration and select transitions between frames.”

The Aperture to Final Cut Pro plugin is a
free download and is provided on an as-is basis.


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From the Editblog: The RED Build 16 Warning!

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One of my favorite blogs to read is Scott Simmons' Editblog. He has a great post about some of the changes happening to the Red Camera and what it means to editors. It sounds like major changes are underway and any editors who plan to work with the footage need to catch up on the issues

”As a post guy I don’t follow all the RED camera firmware build drama but this one is worth noting. We had a RED camera owner in the shop the other day and he mention that the new camera firmware build was going to be a big deal and the RED team was going to have to rewrite RedCine and RedAlert and the codecs and everything else. As a post guy that made me take notice! I checked the Red User site and there is a post from Jim Jannard the RED ****** and he mentions just that.”

Be sure to see the full post
here.


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New Aperture Book is in My Hands

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I came home tonight and found a copy of Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 2 sitting on my door step. I'm quite happy with how the book came out (especially since we were able to work in all of the new features in the 2.1 release). The book should start shipping within days... you can order it here. In the mean time (here are some features you won't want to miss).

Customize the Default Adjustment Set
Specify exactly which adjustments you want to appear by default in the Adjustments Inspector/HUD. Two new commands — Add to Default Set and Remove from Default Set — are accessible in the Action pop-up menu for each adjustment in order to configure these settings.

Keyboard support in Adjustment Panels
Make precise image adjustments using the arrow keys on your keyboard to drive the various sliders in the Adjustments Inspector/HUD. To activate keyboard control, click once in the numeric field of an adjustment control (such as Exposure). You can then use the arrow keys to increase or decrease values. Hold down the Option key when using the arrow keys for even more precise adjustment. You can use Tab to move to the next adjustment control (and Shift-Tab to move to a previous control).

Read More...
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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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Aperture Book – Now with 2.1 Updates

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The Aperture book is DONE and off to print. We worked in complete coverage on Aperture 2.1 which has some great new features. I've logged a lot of time with the application and wanted to offer some insight on the best of the new features in the free 2.1 update.

  • Dodge & Burn Plug-in – This plug-in offers much more than just Dodge and Burn. You'll also find brush-based tools for Contrast, Saturation, Sharpen Fade, and Blur. The plug-in also opens the door to third-party development (including some cool tools from nik Software.
  • Customize Default Adjustment Set – You can now specify which adjustments appear by default in the Adjustments Inspector/HUD.
  • Updated Crop Tool – The crop tool has been simplified. The new UI makes it easier to preserve an image's original aspect ratio, match the aspect ratio of your display, or use one of the standard preset aspect ratios.
  • Flip Images – You can now flip or flop images horizontally or vertically within Aperture.
  • Save Books as JPEG or TIFF images – This means you can now submit books to several third party websites.

The book will be out very soon... you can
order it here.


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Apple TV Rocks

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I took the plunge and got an Apple TV for our living room (we already had one in the office). The Device is cross-platform and works really well. Apple updated the software in February and added some great features. Here's what I like the most:

  • The HD Rentals work great and look on par with Blu-ray
  • Movies are affordable, priced between $2.99 and $4.99
  • Downloads start to play in less than 5 minutes
  • I can watch podcasts on the big screen (it's weird to watch yourself in HD)
  • Accessing music, movies, and photos from any computer in the house is near instant
  • The device is easy to hook up
  • My three-year old can figure it out
  • YouTube's expected switch to bigger image size will be great


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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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21 Years of Apple Evolution

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When I look at what Apple has accomplished its been an interesting journey. The company has released a ton of great products (and also a few clunkers). I have found a great image that lets you see much of the product line laid out chronologically. After all, you can't get to the great Mighty Mouse without first passing the "hockey puck."

It really is pretty interesting to
see the "big" picture. Be sure to click on the graphic so you can zoom in and view.


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Two More Classes on Kelby Training

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Two more of my classes are now online at Kelby Training.

Photoshop for Video - Working With Photos
Richard Harrington uncovers techniques essential for video editors who are working with Photos in Photoshop. He shares his best practices for working with graphic and still images in a video environment.

Photoshop for Video - Technical Essentials
Join Adobe Certified Trainer Richard Harrington, as he uncovers the Technical Essentials of Adobe Photoshop CS3 for video professionals and enthusiasts.

You can access all the classes online for only $19.99 per month (besides mine there's a ton of great stuff up there).


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Aperture 2 – What's in it for You?

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Forgive the short blog posts... I'm a little busy for the next two weeks finishing this:

“Fully updated for Aperture 2, this comprehensive book-DVD training combo starts with the basics of image management and takes you step by step all the way through Aperture's powerful photo-editing, image-retouching, proofing, publishing, and archiving features. Aperture 2's new features are completely covered, including a new RAW-image processing engine, a streamlined interface, powerful new adjustment tools, and added integration with Mac OS X and other Apple products for instant web publishing and one-click portfolio syncing. Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 2 delivers comprehensive training - the equivalent of a two-day course - in one project-based book. You'll learn time-saving techniques for sorting, ranking, and organizing images, effective methods for correcting and enhancing images, plus efficient ways to display images for client review, apply metadata, update your online portfolio automatically, and much more. Real-world exercises feature professional photography from a variety of genres, including photo-journalism, sports, wedding, commercial, and portraiture. All the files you need to complete the exercises are included on the DVD.”

And by fully-updated... its a completely new book with all-new photos and a ton of cool new things.

In the meantime... check out these free
online videos and my review: Top 10 Reasons To Upgrade to Aperture 2.


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Troubleshooting Apple Compressor

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A lot of folks use Apple's Compressor to create podcast video files. That is when its running. I use Compressor all the time and think its a great application that harnesses the power of Apple hardware and software... but it can be a bit buggy.

Apple has posted a useful article on what to do when Compressor isn't starting up properly or performing normally.They offer basic troubleshooting steps to remedy the situation. This is the right place to start if you are attempting to to submit a batch and you see the following message:
Unable to submit to queue. Please restart your computer or verify your Compressor installation is correct.

Check out the whole article here.



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New Class on Kelby Training

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From Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider Blog

We’ve posted our first online class from Digital Video Guru (and Photoshop World Instructor) Richard Harrington, and it’s one a lot of people have been asking for: Getting Started with Apple Motion. Here’s the link to Rich’s new online class over at KelbyTraining.com. Note: We’ve got a lot more classes coming from Rich very soon, so stayed tuned! (That’s TV talk. I thought Rich would appreciate that type of jargon).



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New DVDs on Apple Motion

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I've just completed three new DVDs on Apple Motion. We shot the titles in HD, and the screen quality is awesome. On each title you get a regular DVD, iPod ready files, and HD files for viewing on a computer or Apple TV. There are three volumes at $59 each or a bundle of all three for $139. Each comes with hands on lesson files and a lot of cool stuff is covered.

“From beginner to master in one set, these three DVD’s will take you step by step through Apple Motion and have you ready to tackle complex projects in just hours. Join Richard Harrington in this three DVD set of clear, concise training that will have you producing higher quality work with Apple Motion in no time.”

You can get the training from
VASST.com. If you want a discount code... Post a comment and I'll send it to you.


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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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Amazon has Final Cut Studio On the Spot at a Special Price

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Just wanted to let you know that Amazon is running a special on the new Final Cut book I co-authored. They've got the book for less than $20 (thats a third off the cover price).

Book Description
Packed with more than 500 techniques, this book delivers what you need to knowon the spot. It is suited to editors of all experience levels, whether you are:
  • Migrating from another NLE
  • Upgrading to Final Cut Studio 2
  • Seeking a handy reference to raise your proficiency
Read More...
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Apple Updates QuickTIme

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Lot of bugs lately with QuickTime (especially in pro video applications). We've personally seen issues in both Final Cut Pro and After Effects.

Apple has released a new update to QuickTime... lets hope it's elusive “improves compatibility with third-party applications” actually means something.
Visit
http://www.apple.com/support/quicktime/ for more information.



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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.



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Multi-camera Editing

Video podcaster and author Richard Harrington shows you how to edit a multi-camera shoot for your video podcasts.



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Compressing with Turbo.264

Video podcaster and author Richard Harrington explains how to compress your podcasts fast using the Turbo.264.



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Useful Mods for Mac Leopard Users

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Like many out there... I find some of the cosmetic changes in Leopard are bothersome. Fortunately, a donationware application named
Xspinner does the trick.

  • Customize the Dock
  • Change the look of the menu bar
  • Use Widgets outside of the Dashboard
  • Customize the default Save and Print dialogs in all applications
  • Tweak Finder settings
  • Run system maintenance scripts
  • and access system utilities and system logs
The biggest changes I like are making the menu bar opaque again, showing file paths in windows, and tweaking the Dock. The application is highly recommended as it is very stable and does not have to keep running after the changes are made.


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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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Great Mac Shareware Bundle

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I've taken part in MacUpdate's bundle deals for a while now... here's their latest and greatest. This deal runs out soon.

“MacUpdate has partnered with 11 Mac developers to bring you a great software bundle. You can buy this bundle for $49.99 instead of $666.74, a savings of $616.75 This amazing offer is time limited so buy today.”

Here are my favorites from the bundle
  • ForkLift – A useful FTP application
  • RapidWeaver – A great website and blogging tool, how this website is made.
  • Xslimmer –Trim an applications by removing universal versions (going to just PPC or Intel) as well as Internationalization files.
  • Yep – A really cool cataloging tool for PDF files
  • SRS iWOW – Makes iTunes sound great on a laptop.
  • XMIND 2008 Pro – A mind-mapping application that helps creative types get their ideas down.
  • iStabilize – A REALLY good image stabilization program for shaky footage.
  • PulpMotion – A surprisingly useful motion graphics tool with some cool templates


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Final Cut Studio On the Spot – 3rd Edition is Shipping

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I am very proud to tell you that the new book Final Cut Studio on the Spot is shipping. This third edition has a ton of new things including dedicated chapters on Multi-camera Editing and HD (and the audio chapter is HUGE). In told, more then half the book is new... so if you own a past edition, this update is worth it (and if you don't have it.. then go now). This time Robbie Carman came on board with some helpful tips and tricks.


  • Optimize system performance
  • Create impressive titles with Generators, Motion, LiveType, and Photoshop
  • Work quickly with buttons and keyboard shortcuts
  • Color correct to save vital shots, and keep them broadcast legal
  • Fix and mix for professional-quality audio
  • Design and import graphics seamlessly
  • Integrate with other applications including Motion, Soundtrack Pro and Color
  • Manage media and backup strategies
  • Export and publish finished projects to tape, DVD, or the Web

Get the book
here for the best price.


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In-Depth Review of Mac OS X Leopard

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The website ArsTechinca has posted an in depth review of Leopard (a full 17 pages, in fact). The review takes a very deep look at the new features and the core technology. Of interest to designers is the effect Leopard will have on Adobe and future developments for 64-bit computing.

If you are a Mac user, take the time and give it a read. You'll learn a lot about some of the less obvious changes.



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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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iDisk Tip

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Have an iDisk? They are a useful part of a .mac account that allow you to store and backup files to an Internet hard drive. If you use an iDisk with clients, it can get a little tricky for clients to figure out how to access your iDisk using Apple's iDisk utility. An easier way is through a web browser. Just have your client type http://idisk.mac.com/your iDisk name and they'll be connected.

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Saving Space on a Mac

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When a Macintosh application is installed, it tends to install several language localization files on your drive. If you have a robust Applications folder, these files can quickly add up to gigabytes of space. On a laptop, this can be particularly bad. Instead of manually performing a 'seek-and-dstroy' mission, you can harness the power of DeLocalizer. This useful piece of freeware will remove all non-American English localization resource files that you specify. This useful program lets you customize which languages to remove and can save you a lot of space on your drive.

For more information click
here.



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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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Automating FCP Project Backups (Works for others too!)

Over at RHED Pixel, we've finally come up with a reasonable backup strategy for our FCP systems. Figured I'd share for those of you who need it

1.
Target One Folder – We save all FCP projects to an FCP folder on the internal drive.

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2. Use Backup Software – We've started using Data Backup from Prosoft. I like this package because its affordable and I have had great experiences with the company's other software like Data Rescue and Picture Rescue. This package allows you to pick a folder for backup. My favorite feature is its robust scheduling tools.

• Simply purchase a 1-4 GB USB thumb drive and plug it into your system.
• Then set Data Backup to automatically open as a login item (right click on its icon in the Dock at choose Open at Login).
• Then choose to set a schedule for backup and target the thumb drive.

May your project files find a safe haven.... All for about $150 a machine (software plus thumb drive).



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