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April 2010 Archives

automatic_duck_icons.pngEver needed to import your Avid sequences into Final Cut Pro or vice versa?  Automatic Duck makes plug-ins that translate edited sequences between Avid & Final Cut Pro, and even After Effects, Pro Tools, and other digital video editing tools.  In one step, Pro Import FCP imports your Avid OMF composition, builds all your video tracks, assembles your master clips and recreates many of your effects inside Final Cut.

The accuracy of the translation will amaze you.  Not only will all your layers come across in one import, but many Avid effects are translated into FCP equivalents.  Avid Picture-in-Picture parameters are turned into Scale and Position adjustments in the Motion Tab.  Superimpose effects are turned into Opacity settings.  Even keyframes are translated.

Automatic Duck also offers Pro Export FCP which integrates your Final Cut Pro system with Avid, along with Pro Import AE which transfers your Avid, Final Cut Pro, or Motion projects into After Effects and saves you time.  Media Copy is another of Automatic Duck's powerful applications used to move or archive sequences or projects.  You can learn about all of Automatic Duck's products at their website.

Mike Willats of Minds Eye Creative uses Pro Export FCP, and had this to say:

Having worked with Disney for so many years, I have several projects that have evolved year to year on Avid. There are many times I will return to sequences from years past to help complete my work.

This year we had to move everything to Final Cut Pro. I used Automatic Duck FCP Pro Import 2.0 and it has made this process seamless, allowing me to re-create these sequences in FCP with no problems.

Mike Willats

Mind's Eye Creative, Inc.

SketchUp is a fantastic design tool for many reasons.  Architects, urban planners and and landscape architects can now create designs and upload them to Google Earth to view their designs in the context of their locations....

google earth screen.gif

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Ever feel like you've over-used the standard sound effects included in Final Cut Pro & Soundtrack Pro?  Well at the NAB 2010 show, several companies were present showcasing their volumes upon volumes of sound effects and royalty free music libraries.  Here are a few companies to check out if you're looking for something fresh and new:


sound_ideas_icon.gifSound Ideas is one of the world's leading publishers of professional sound effects.  Prices range anywhere from $29 to $10,000 depending on how extensive a library you're looking for.  Available on CD, CD-Rom, DVD-Rom, and Hard Drives.  Sound Ideas also offers fully customized hard drives, where customers get to choose exactly what products, sample rate and computer platform they need and the drive is specifically made to order for their needs.  Sound Ideas features MetaDigger, a file scanning and metadata search program, and Soundminer, an audio file management system.

nonstop_music_icon.gifNonstop Music provides library music, custom music and news music packages to broadcasters all around the world.  With over 25 years in writing music for Hollywood movie trailers, TV network themes, commercials, and sports and with a wide variety of styles, genres, and categories makes it one of the most flexible libraries in the world.

videohelper_icon.gifVideo Helper is "production music for people who hate production music", meaning they write their music as producers, not just as musicians.  Once you sign up for an account with Video Helper, they will send you discs of their entire VideoHelper and ScoreHelper libraries...free...you don't pay anything up front, you only pay when you use the music.  Features over 2600 titles on 40 CDs, and Look & Load, their superfast search engine.

megatrax_icon.gifMegatrax is one of the world's leading production music libraries for film, television, advertising, and multimedia.  With over 25,000 fresh new cuts in every style, plus sound f/x the features the freshest and most original sound in production music.  With the MusicSource Search System, you can search, preview, and download music from a great assortment of Megatrax's best.

blastwavefx_icon.gifBlastwave FX develops next-generation HD sound effects libraries for professional audio production.  Royalty-free creative resources for audio professionals worldwide in post, broadcast, film television, video games, animation, radio, new media and beyond.  Blastwave FX delivers their products on DVD, USB flash drive, hard drive, and via download, and all of their products contain broadcast .wav files and/or mp3 reference files with embedded metadata.  Prices range from $25 to $5000 and up.  Blastwave FX features "free updates for life" with all their SDS hard drive libraries, and Blastwave FX search engine, where you can search, audition, drag & drop to any Mac or PC application.

5alarm_music_icon.gif 5 Alarm Music boasts "the largest independent music library in the nation" with over 40 different libraries, over 3000 cds, an extensive classical selection, and custom compositions.  They deliver any way you need it:  CD, DVD, USB 2.0 drive, Search & Download for Mac & PC, and many different formats including, mp3, wav, bwav, ftp, aiff, iTunes searchable, msoft, & soundminer.  5 Alarm Music is your music concierge.

Google SketchUp is fast becoming the design tool of choice for design professions for many reasons.  Originally developed for use as an architectual design tool is quickly being adopted by graphic designers, landscape architects, interior designers and film makers.  One of the main reasons besides being a very intuitive design program is the easily accessible user generated 3D content available at the 3D warehouse.  There are a few ways to access this content from within SketchUp.... 

                                3D warehouse.gif

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citidisk_flashmem.gifThe CitiDISK FlashMem is a highly effective professional video asset.  It connects to FireWire-enabled camcorders to instantly record or capture footage digitally, eliminating the time-consuming process of digitizing DV/HDV/HD tapes into non-linear editing systems.  It is the world's smallest, lightest solid-state digital video recorder.  At only 6 oz, CitiDISK FlashMem won't weigh you down when trekking up Mount Everest in sub-zero temperatures or traveling the African savannah in high-vibration shoots.  On the go, on demand.  Optimized for extreme, hostile, or rugged conditions, it has no moving parts, and performs well in high altitudes. 

Capture footage digitally and to tape simultaneously into QuickTime or AVI files.  Features multiple DV/HDV/HD formats and audio sampling rate detection. CitiDISK FlashMem appears as an external FireWire hard drive on PC/Mac desktops.  Video clips are immediately editable/playable by most NLE software packages.  And there is a Quick Erase button, so you can conveniently with one-touch instantly erase or clean the file folder and free up hard disk space.  Brought to you by Shining Technology, you can check out the details on the CitiDISK FlashMem at their website, and on all of their other tapeless video recording products.  So instead of countless hours digitizing tape, CitiDISK lets you recapture your most precious resource--time. 
If you are a Macintosh user running Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer, there are a couple of rules in terms of drive format compatibility between Mac OS X and Windows.

hd_d2quadranext.gif

For the most part, when you purchase a new disk drive, it comes pre-formatted.  Typically, it's formatted as one large partition in a format called 'Fat 32'.  A Fat 32 partition is compatible with both Mac OS X and Windows.  Both operating systems can read/write to it.

If you choose to re-format your drive as Windows NTFS, Mac OS X can read the partition but it cannot write to it.  Therefore, I recommend that you leave your hard-drive formatted as one large FAT 32 partition if you plan on moving files back and forth between a MAC and PC.

The problem is, Windows will only you a maximum partition size of 32 Gigs for a FAT 32 Partition.  This gets to be ridiculous if you have a 1 TB drive.  You would end up with 30 partitions!

So, here's a trick to format you're drive as one large FAT 32 partition.......

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pages_icon.gifThe Pages App for the new Apple iPad is an amazing word processing program made for mobility.  So now you can create awesome looking documents on the go.  There are some great templates included and with the multi-touch gestures, you have all the versatility of regular word processing programs, such as style text, color, and textures.  Just touch, type, and tap.  You can even share your documents with anyone by exporting it as a Pages, Microsoft Word, or PDF file, or even by publishing it to iWork.com.  So anyone, anywhere, on any machine will be able to view your documents.

After downloading Pages from the App Store, a very user-friendly tutorial pops up so you can get to know Pages right away.  It was super easy.

pages_ipad_getting_started.gifmore about Pages after the jump...


milleniata.pngPrimera Technology and Millenniata have now partnered to introduce the first automated disc publisher to offer a 1000 year expected DVD archival life.  I had a chance to take a look at their new product at last weeks NAB show, and was quite impressed.  Some say DVD's are a thing of the past, but government institutions, businesses and consumers alike still need to permanently archive large quantities of digital information.  Milleniata's new Write Once, Read Forever optical technology sets a new standard of longevity for digital storage.

mdisk.pngCurrent DVD technology uses organic dyes and low laser power to burn marks into the data layer of a standard recordable DVD.  Over time, these marks become unreadable because organic dyes degrade in light, heat, and humidity.  But Milleniata's M-WRITER drive, uses a higher laser power to carve grooves in advanced materials new to optical discs which are unaffected by the elements.  Once written, the M-DISC is readable in current DVD players making access to information safe and reliable.  The included PTPublisher software makes it fast and easy to archive photos, videos, documents, audio and music and virtually any other digital information.  Complete product details are available at Primera's website

shot_logger_pro_icon.pngRed Lightning Software announced at NAB last week that they will soon be releasing a new product for logging clips as you shoot.  By annotating each shot with a clip name, shot notes, rating, type, scene and take number, and real time markers you will be able to edit instantly in Final Cut Pro with a completely organized and annotated clip list.  Shot Logger Pro syncs the logging notes to the corresponding video clips once you have transferred your footage to your Mac.  Preview each video after syncing and finalize the annotation and real time markers of each shot.  Then export to Final Cut Pro to start editing without wasting any time watching every clip and manually logging them days after you've shot them.

Shot Logger Pro features:
  • Annotate each clip
  • Instant editing in Final Cut Pro
  • Real Time Markers
  • Set media in & out points for each clip
  • Intelligent take number indexing
  • Export annotated clips to a text file
shot_logger_pro.pngSupported cameras include RED, Panasonic P2, Sony XDcam, Canon SLR, HDV, DV and more.  Shot Logger Pro will vastly increase your productivity when it comes time to edit.  You can download the Shot Logger Pro NAB flyer here, and be sure to check out Red Lightning's website to see their other Final Cut Pro integration products.

mantis_monitor_arm.pngMonitors in Motion featured an awesome mounting solution for the iMac at last week's NAB show.  Monitors in Motion manufacture gas assisted monitor arms and wall mounts made from recycled aluminum.  The functionality provided by their mounts becomes obvious as soon as you use one; better ergonomics, easy adaptability, and more desk space. 

The Mantis model features a special Mac adapter made specifically for iMacs up to 20 lbs, and soon coming out with model for iMacs up to 30 lbs.  The gas assistance built into the Mantis provides easy, fluid movement of the display without the need for additional locking mechanisms.  With variable tension and adjustable head, it gives you the ability to angle your iMac to the correct viewing angle with smooth movement and finger tip control.  The Mac adapter also accomodates the Apple 24" Cinema display.  The brushed aluminum matches and accents the high quality design of Apple's computers and displays beautifully.

Along with the Mantis model, Monitors in Motion has several other mounting products and accessories available including aluminum keyboard stands for standing situations, and multiple monitor solutions.  Check out their website for the many possibilities.  Monitors in Motion is so confident in the products they make that they offer a lifetime guarantee on all of their products.

 monitors_in_motion.png

photoflex2_greenscreen.gifHere at GeniusDV we're constantly getting asked, "can you recommend a good portable green screen?"  Yes we can.  At this week's NAB show, I came across the perfect portable green screen.  The Flexdrop2.  It's wrinkle-free and is a fast and easy-to-use reversible portable backdrop that you can take anywhere.  One side is chroma blue and the other side is chroma green to aid the two variations of Chroma Key technique.  It measures 5 x 7 feet, collapses down to 1/3 its size and comes in a neat carrying case.  The finely woven fabric prevents bleed-through from the other side, and the matte fabric prevents colored light from reflecting back on your subject, which means better control of your background drop-in image.  The double-riveted frame is strong and sturdy, yet flexible enough for folding. 

The Flexdrop2 is great for DV and perfect for digital compositing.  Made by the popular Photoflex photogear company, you can check out their website for more details and other green screen backdrops made by them.  They offer a 3-year warranty on this particular product, and the best feature yet?  Retails for about $160 from many of their authorized dealers.  You can't beat that!

Check out this article for green screen keying in Final Cut Pro & Motion, or if you're an Avid user, keying with the Spectramatte.  And remember, we have training classes for Final Cut Pro, Motion, Avid Media Composer, and After Effects, so check out our schedule and give us a call.

flexdrop2_greenscreen.png

proprompter_ipad.gifNow the first teleprompter made specifically for the Apple iPad is here.  ProPrompter HDi attaches to pro and consumer cameras and uses a specially designed iPad bracket to securely hold your iPad whether you use a steadicam, jib, or handheld.  It mounts to your camera quickly and easily.  Created specially for mobile teleprompting and the ProPrompter App with remote control, makes ProPrompter HDi the perfect teleprompter for studio and field use.

proprompter_app.gifFeatured at this week's NAB show, the ProPrompter HDi kit includes the HD 16:9 hood & mirror, anti-reflection mask, camera bar mount, handheld grip, ProPrompter iPad bracket, and hood lens sock, all inside a custom waterproof military-grade case.  The kit normally retails for $995, but you can get the NAB show special pricing for only $850.  (Customer provides their own iPad and ProPrompter App is available through the App Store for $9.99)

ProPrompter HDi is the ultimate full size mobile teleprompter since no AC power or external batteries are needed seeing that the iPad has a 10 hour battery life, not to mention being able to read it in bright sunlight.  Check out ProPrompter's website for more details and show specials.  
cpc-jpgIf you have the need to do Standard Definition or High Definition closed captioning, check out CPC.  They offer closed captioning software the does not require a closed captioning encoder.

Better yet, if you don't have the time to close caption your own videos, you can hire them to do it for you!

There closed captioning software is also compatible with Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere.


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Using the Edit Selection Tool, or the Range Selection Tool, to select a portion of your sequence to render quickly in Final Cut Pro is just another one of those great little shortcuts to help us save time.  Say for example you have a large sequence with all kinds of transitions, filters, or effects, and you want to see how just a portion of it is going to look.  Rather than rendering out the entire sequence, you can use this great little shortcut: GGG.  That's all there is to it.  Press the G key 3 times and then click & drag the portion of the clip or clips that you want to render.  Now you can press Cmd+R, and it will render just that range you've specified, and take a lot less time doing so.  This way you don't have to render an entire sequence and waste time. This accomplishes the same result as the traditional method of setting in and out points to achieve the same goal.

ggg_shortcut.gif

inout_render.gifCheck out this article for more tips on how to use the edit selection tool effectively.  Here at GeniusDV, we can teach you more shortcuts, and much smoother workflows.  Check out our class schedule and give us a call today.


Apple Motion is pretty amazing when it comes to creating customized effects.  Check out this simple light streak effect.  

continue reading for a full transcript of this Apple Motion video tutorial....
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With the recent release of the iPad, Final Cut editors will no doubt be producing content for the iPad. The million dollar question becomes, how? I'm sure in the near future there will be some Apple presets for accomplishing this goal, but until then we can certainly get by.

Let me first say that the iPad rocks, and there are going to be endless video opportunities for this clever little device. Since the iPad's resolution is 1024x768, there are no simple output options for creating video specifically for the iPad. However the Apple TV settings are a great choice for exporting all of your non 1024x768 sequences. The iPad will letterbox the video, and when viewing from the landscape position, will give you the ability to fill the screen.

iPad_video_final_cut_pro.gif


iPad.gifThe day we've all been waiting for has finally arrived...Apple's iPad release.  Ok, so being one of the smarter ones to actually reserve my new iPad ahead of time, I waited in line for about an hour (half the time for someone who had not reserved); Then finally it was my turn.  I'm now the proud owner of an iPad.  Was it worth all the hype, you're wondering.  With only a few hours of "playtime" under my belt, I must say, it's way too early to tell.

So what do I love so far about the new iPad?  The look, the feel, yes, it's similar to having a blown up version of an iPod touch; but, right off the bat, just being able to see the whole screen without causing a major migrane, is a plus for me.  I love checking my emails, facebook, surfing the web, and seeing my calendar without having to squint.  The size is perfect...not as bulky as a laptop, easy to hold, so sleek and ergonomic.  The setup was super easy. You do have to have the latest version of iTunes 9.1, but otherwise, very user friendly.  I was amazed how quickly apps launch.  Makes my iPhone seem sleepy.  And speaking of apps, I'm also amazed at how many apps are already available for iPad thru the App Store, not to mention the number of free apps available.  I immediately downloaded The Weather Channel, iBooks, Netflix, Facebook, & Text+, just to name a few...all for free.  Of course I added a couple of my favorite games, and I'm still shopping for a few other apps to purchase.  Next, I'll be testing out the new iWork apps available for the iPad and will let you know how that goes.

more of my iPad review after the jump...


One of my favorite Final Cut Pro plug-ins makers has done it again.  CoreMelt has 7 new plug-ins as part of it's newest update to ImageFlow, Delta V, TRX and Shatter plug-ins sets.



CoreMelt's plug-ins are easy and fun to use.  You can download their 15 day free trial to see what it's all about!


Here's a quick video tutorial on creating 3D titles with Final Cut Pro.

Boris Title 3D in Final Cut Pro is a text generator you can use quickly to design basic titles without having to go to a third-party application.  The term Title 3D can be a bit misleading however; the Title 3D tool doesn't actually render anything in true 3D space.  It simulates titles that look 3D by adding a drop shadow.  Title 3D adds a bit of creativity that fools the eye into thinking the characters are truly 3D.

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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