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Alex: June 2009 Archives

Genius Gear ShopWe've been teaching digital video workflows for a long time, and we've gotten good at finding the right hardware to make those workflows run smoothly.  Finally, we're proud to share our gear finds outside of our classroom: introducing the Genius Gear Shop.

We're starting out small.  Today, we're launching with just a couple of the products that our students have liked best.  For each product, we're working on an honest, hands-on video review to explain why we think it's worth a look -- and we'll give you a discounted price if you'd like to buy it directly from us.  

Speaking of videos, we're also selling video walkthroughs and completed project files of several of our tutorials.  You're more than welcome to tweak the project files for your own projects.

Read on for an introduction to some of our new products ... or head on over to the store and browse around!
In order for a text super to be readable, the text should (obviously) stand out from the picture that you composite it onto.  In some cases, you can manage this on a one-off basis: if you have a single title, for example, you can (and should) allow the specific picture for the title slide to dictate how you style your text.

Other times, you'll want to have more confidence that your text will stand out regardless of what picture happens to be underneath it.  For example, you might use subtitles, series titles, and multi-purpose templates like lower thirds over a variety of pieces of footage.  For that matter, imagine that the video under your title pans from, say, a (dark) mountain over to (bright) sky: you need for your text to be readable over both settings.

Traditionally, folks have improved the contrast of their text using treatments like heavy, high-contrast outlines (see, for example, many subtitles); drop shadows; and heavy-handed styles like bevels.  All of these approaches can be useful, but there are a couple of strategies that might allow you to make more subtle choices that are still visually acceptable.

Read on for some theory and a couple of tips ...
Last week, a former student called with a question. He was trying to have a line draw on screen, from the top down. He did this by keyframing the scale and position of the line he wanted, but he found that his line kept wanting to scale from the top and bottom instead of just from top down.

There are two solutions to his problem, and both are important enough that I wanted to share them with all of our readers interested in Motion.  First, he could use the shape's anchor point to fix his problem with scaling. But there's also a completely separate approach to this problem, that might be more useful.
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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Alex in June 2009.

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