Learn More Contact Now

September 2008 Archives

After Effects Heart beat.jpg
It is time to put the finishing touches on your new heartbeat. After you animate your beat from left to right I think that adding a glow really makes the path look great. You can flavor the glow to taste but if you make color A a bright yellow and color B a bright green you will make a great looking heart beat. You can also add to your animation by adding a lens flare to the leading edge of your heart beat. You will need to add the lens flare with a new solid and change the mode to overlay or soft light. It is up to you and what looks best to you. The flare will need to be animated by hand with key-frames but it does not take long. If your animations is quick enough you will only need aprox. 15 keys. I like to set the flare brightness to about 60% and use the 35mm lens type. This flare is has many applications and uses so I hope you at least enjoyed building this flare and hopefully you can use it in your productions in the future.

Make sure you look at our hire a Personal Genius page. We will customize any class just for you and come to your location. This is a very unique service the will help you get the most our of you After Effects application.

When you are previewing a clip in the Viewer in Final Cut Pro, there is an easy way to do a quick check of your in and out points, without having to move the playhead. By holding down the Control key and pressing the left arrow or the right arrow the Viewer will show you the In and Out points currently set in the Viewer.

After Effects path.gif
Now that you have started practicing and perfecting your heart beat it is time to go to the next step. If you have set the beat to music or not it is time to add the stroke effect. The stroke effect is used for many things in After Effects but this is one of my favorites. As soon as you add the stroke you will probably notice the the size of the stroke is too small. I like to set my brush size to around 5 to 7 pixels depending n the size of my composition. I also set the stroke color to green and make sure you set the path to mask or your stroke will not know where to go! After Effects stroke effect.gif The rest of the settings you can set to your flavor except start and end. This is how you animate the heartbeat. Scrub the end setting and watch your stroke go from left to right. Set a key frame at the head of your comp and move down apox. 2 seconds down the time-line. You can adjust the keyframe up and down the timelineto get the timing you need........stay tune for part three!
Sign up for our next After Effects class and do not miss out on a great opportunity to learn the best effect programs in the industry today.

What if I told you, that it's possible to edit an entire sequence without having to mark any IN or OUT points? You probably would think I'm crazy.

One of the most useful editing features within Avid Media Composer / Avid Xpress, is the replace command. Unfortunately, it is probably one of the most under utilized features.

This is because the function most be mapped to the keyboard or Avid interface. Most Avid users are familiar with the red overwrite command. I urge editors to learn how to use the replace function instead of always using the red overwrite command.

replace_edit_blue_arrow.gifThe replace command is a blue sideways arrow. In some ways it functions like the overwrite command, but provides additional control of the content. You can find the 'blue replace arrow by navigating to the Tools / Command Pallete menu.You'll need to map it to either a blank space within the Media Composer interface, or to a key.

avid_command_palette.gifHere's how the blue replace function works:

Since the dawn of time - filmic time, at least - we visual types have liked to fool around with visual effects.  And since the dawn of NLE plugins to help us do that, they've been something of a black box.  Sure, they've got a couple of knobs to adjust the effects' parameters - but at the end of the day, we're in the habit of shoving our footage into the plugins without any idea of what goes on behind the scenes.

Enter Final Cut Pro's FXBuilder.

Finally, we can look inside of most of the effects and transitions that ship with Final Cut - and tweak them, and even write our own, if we're feeling ambitious.

After Effects Heartbeat.gif

Over the next several days I will teach you how to make your very own heart rate monitor using Adobe After Effects and nothing more than an animated stroke. You first need to make a composition any size that fits your your intended project. When you are constructing project like this it is always important to make the compositions larger than you might need. You can always decrease the size of scale but if you try and increase it will run into pixelation issues.

To begin start with: Layer>New>Solid and create a black solid the size of your composition. (Note: The reason you want to build this on a black solid is just in case you want to lay this over video is some sort of mode the black will allow for this). Next with the pen tool draw out your heart beat across your layer. You can make this a simple or as complex as you wish. If you have a heat rate sound effect you draw your heart beat to match the waveform of the heart beat audio file. Once you have drawn the heart beat you now need to add a Stroke Effect to the solid layer in your composition.

I will let you experiment with the stroke effect for now and try and predict how you might animate the beat. Meanwhile make sure you sign up for our next After Effects class or let us send a "Personal Genius" to you!

Using AVCHD has become very popular, and there are a couple practices that make it more streamline in Final Cut Pro. First of all when ever possible transfer the contents of the AVCHD camera to a folder on your Mac. This will free up your camera to get back to work, or at least not be on. In the field this would be good battery budgeting, Transfering the contents of the camera hard drive to a folder will also increase the responsiveness in the Final Cut Pro Log and Transfer, since it will not be communicating thru the USB. Oddly enough I have not noticed a dramatic difference in the ingest time when the hard drive contents are accessed directly from a folder on the hard drive of my Mac.

The transferred contents of the cameras hard drive can also be a great way to archive the media. Since the media as it comes of the camera is compressed, it is very possible that the entire contents of the compressed media will be significantly less than what is captured. Especially when you are ingesting the contents without setting in and out points. For example if you were to ingest the entire contents of a camera that totaled six minutes, it would be four times larger after it was ingested.
WacomTablet.pngIf I've not sold you on these things - and I swear I'm not a shill - I imagine some of the examples later in the series will.  So let me just get it out now: my advice on choosing a tablet if you decide you want one.  I'm no professional tablet man, so take my advice for what it is - just one video guy talking to another.

There are a handful of companies making tablet products, but the long-time industry leader is Wacom.  Their hardware doesn't require much TLC, it's packed to the gills with productivity features, it plays nicely with a whole array of input devices, and it will outlive you.  Well, maybe not you, but it will outlive, say, your pet ferret.  Having played with friends' off-brand tablets, and felt how heavy pens can get with batteries in them, and been annoyed by their strange calibrations, I think I'd definitely stay brand-loyal if I were to buy another.

mpeg_steamclip.gifMoving your files from a DVD to a hard drive will decrease the processing time and integrity when using Mpeg Streamclip. Mpeg Steamclip is a great free software from Squared5 that allows you to easily convert DVD's in their Mpeg2 form, to Quicktime movies to be used in Final Cut Pro. Mpeg Streamclip has many other uses, but the DVD to Quicktime conversion is why I use it.

This Avid Media Comopser training tutorial for Avid Marquee demonstrates how to create simple but yet stunning looking titles that include 3D extrusion, beveled edges, and textures with lighting effects.

Avid Marquee is an incredibly powerful 3D titling package that is included with the latest version of Avid Media Composer.  The lastest version of Avid Xpress also includes Marquee.



Receive FREE Tutorials by email:


    Avid Media Composer Training
  • Enrollment Cost: $50.00
  • 84 Media Composer Lectures
  • Includes Practice Media
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Official Certificate of Completion
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Click to Enroll for 10% off!
    Final cut Pro X Training
  • Enrollment Cost: $20.00
  • 60 Final Cut Pro X Lectures
  • Includes Practice Media
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Official Certificate of Completion
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Click to Enroll


This page is an archive of entries from September 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2008 is the previous archive.

October 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.