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131 UAP - Managing Workspaces - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to customize your workspace in Photoshop CS4.


131 Understanding Adobe Photoshop - Managing Workspaces - Watch more funny videos here

Want to go hands-on with the image files? Get the book.
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Books.


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90 Percent of Problems are Cable Problems

Most people assume the worst when their edit system starts acting up. If you’re getting a signal or device control problem, it might not be your machine (or even your software). A $10 cable can tear down an entire edit session. Follow these steps:

  1. Shut down the computer to avoid any improper dismounting of media drives.
    2 Isolate the suspected “problem” device.
  2. Be sure to reseat both ends of the cable.
    4 If that doesn’t work, try swapping out the cable.
  3. Continue to add devices until the problem recurs. Then repeat this cycle.

You might be surprised how many times this works.

Remember, there’s more than just FireWire cables; there are USB cables, RS-422 cables, monitor cables and extensions, and fiber-optic cables. Even your audio and video cables (RCA, BNC, XLR) could be culprits. “What, no video? Oops, my RCA came unplugged.”



fcpbook

Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.






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Editor's Retreat – "Virtually Free"



If you’re an editor, be sure to check out the Editors Retreat. This great event is a lot of fun and a wonderful learning experience (I’ve been 5 times its that good). The price is lowered, but you need to put a reservation in ASAP.

“With respect to the current economic times and in response to your requests, we are pleased to announce a price reduction for 2009 Editors Retreat. By shortening the length of the Retreat by one day, we’ve managed to cut the price from $3,150 to $2,300 without losing any of our key sessions.

The Retreat now includes:
• 4 days and 3 nights of sessions and activities
• All-inclusive resort stay
• See more here

And, a package of give-aways for each attendee worth $2,400 to include:
• A Full Pass to the 2009 NAB Post-Production World Conference in Las Vegas! (Valued at approx. $700)
• An Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium! (Valued at $1700)

With all of the give-aways and savings you actually receive more than the price of the retreat!

Join us for an amazing conference of advanced sessions, networking, creative workshops, award winning keynotes, raffles and unlimited access to representatives from Apple, Adobe and Avid!”
Registrations must be submitted before December 10th, 2009 with a 30% down payment. Visit www. EditorsRetreat.com for more info.



 
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Photoshop Brush Shortcuts

I often see people struggling with brushes in Photoshop. Brush control is essential for many tasks besides painting, you’ll need precise control for masking, retouching, and creating selections. With this in mind, here are my favorite shortcuts for getting things done.


For more on Photoshop, check out the latest book: Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS4
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Tech Shopping Deals

There are lots of shopping deals this weekend.... Here are a few that I’ve already taken advantage of.

Delkin Devices25% off and free shipping. This includes a Blu-ray burner, multiple types of card readers (I ordered a 4 card reader to load from 4 Compact Flash cards at once)! Use the code HOLIDAY during checkout.

equinox – Makers of useful software utilities like Coverscout (to get iTunes artwork) and several templates for OSX mail. I ordered the tube stick bundle for $99 that lets you record over-the-air digital TV signals to your Mac, then transcode them for use on iPod or iPhone. Several bundles that are 50% off.

Mophie Get the JuicePack for iPhone and iPod Touch. Doubles your battery life and makes for a long day of web work on the device. Take 25% off this weekend. Use the code gobblegobble3G.

Hop you enjoy... I get nothing from links... this is just what I spent money on and thought the deals were good.


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Two Important Updates from Adobe

I’m a big fan of what’s possible with Adobe Bridge. The latest edition has added great web galleries and contact sheets. Adobe has tweaked Bridge CS4 and added headers and footers to PDF contact sheets and slideshows. The web galleries are also tweaked to offer smaller file sizes. You can download the update for Mac and Windows from Adobe.com.

Additionally, Camera Raw for Photoshop CS4 (
Mac|Win) adds some much-requested improvements
  • Targeted Adjustment Tool (TAT) for on-image adjustments
  • Output sharpening for print or screen output
  • "Snapshots" for saving multiple sets of settings per file
  • You can find out more here. Thanks to John Nack for pointing these out.
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130 UAP - Setting Preferences - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to customize Photoshop CS4's preferences so the program works best for you.


130 Understanding Adobe Photoshop - Setting Preferences - The funniest videos clips are here

Want to go hands-on with the image files? Get the book.
Like the podcast? Subscribe for FREE.
Want more training? Check out our
Books.


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Apple Releases Pro Apps Updates

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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What’s That Exclamation Point?

A lot of new users call us up asking about that exclamation point or nice green check mark on their image. We tell them that Final Cut Pro has an Artificial Intelligence engine, and it’s approving of the shot or edit. Or, if there is an exclamation point, then there’s content that’s inappropriate for people younger than 18. They thank us and hang up the phone.

After about five minutes, they call us back and ask if we were pulling their legs. Well, Final Cut Pro does have a secret AI engine. If we told you more, we’d be put on double-secret probation, but the exclamation point and checkbox actually mean something
else.

They’re used to determine if your video is broadcast safe/legal. An exclamation point means you’re not broadcast safe, and a green checkbox or one with an up arrow means you’re okay. Now how did this get turned on? Well, the keyboard shortcut for this is Control + Z, so people often accidentally hit it when trying to do an Undo (Command + Z) or a Fit to Window (Shift + Z).



fcpbook

Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.






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129 UAP - Converting Image Modes - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to switch between image modes in Photoshop CS4.


128 Understanding Adobe Photoshop - Pixels in Depth - Click here for another funny movie.

Want to go hands-on with the image files? Get the book.
Like the podcast? Subscribe for FREE.
Want more training? Check out our
Books.

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New Photoshop Book is Shipping

I am proud to announce that my new book, Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS4 is now shipping. This is the second edition of the book and it is fully updated for CS4 (even if you’re using CS3, you’ll find it a big help.) The book covers all sorts of great new features in Photoshop and I significantly revised it with nearly 100 new photos.

The book is on sale at
Amazon for 30% off, and adds some great new stuff.
The book is on sale at
Peachpit’s website for 35% off. If ordering from Peachpit, use the discount code UAPTWO at checkout.


We’ve made our podcast series totally interactive for our book readers (more in a few days).

You can access a free chapter on Automation
here.
You can view an excerpt from a chapter on color correction
here.

The books are in my hands and shipping from both
Peachpit and Amazon.

If you like the book... PLEASE
write a review (I’d really appreciate it).

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Podcasting is NOT Dead

I just need to rant for a second... I am sick and tired of people claiming that podcasting is dead. The truth is that it is far from it. While the names and flavors may change, podcasting is alive and well. Here’s what I have spent the past week doing.

I spoke in New York City for 3 days at the
NY Post Conference. I was joined by great podcasters like Paul Vogelzang of MommyCast, Dusty Wright and Richard Burns from Culture Catch, and Alexandra Gebhardt from Inside Mac. We had healthy crowds with great questions. There were also big companies there, like TiVo and HP, as well as representation from several universities. I also had some great meetings with Apple and mDialog... two great companies with cool things coming.

Read More...
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Aperture 2 Quick Tip – Now on iPhone

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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Scott Kelby's Holiday Gift Guide is Great


Noted author Scott Kelby has released his annual gift guide. What’s great about the list is that there are some really cool tools on there for photogs and even hobbyists. It’s nothing but the coolest photography and Photoshop gear.

“Since many of you are new to the gear guide, I wanted to let you know how I make my picks each year, and why I think it’s different than most other guides you’ll find out there these days. Put simply, every item in here is stuff I actually use, it’s stuff I’m crazy about, and now it’s become stuff I can’t live without (which is sad, in a way), and it’s the same stuff I recommend to my friends (well, my friends with room on their Visa cards).”

I agree with several of his picks, already using things like the Hoodman Loupe and Boda Bag myself. Be sure to check it out.
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Double Your iPhone Battery

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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Exposure Blending with Photoshop

Looking for a great article on mixing exposures? Then be sure to check out this great article by Sean Duggan.

“One classic technique that digital cameras make very easy is blending more than one exposure together for contrast control, increased dynamic range, or creative purposes. A variation on this technique is to apply different RAW-conversion settings to a single RAW file and then combine the files into a single image. Let’s explore both approaches and look at the proper camera technique behind the scenes.”

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Cloning an Image in Aperture

Besides repairing, the Retouch brush in Aperture offers the ability to clone within an image. This works well to copy pixels from one area of an image to another as a way to hide imperfections or repeat objects. The cloning option is fast because it doesn’t attempt to blend pixels.

1 Press X to select the Retouch tool.
2 Select the Retouch HUD and click the Clone button.
3 In the Retouch HUD, adjust the brush Radius and the Softness.
4 Hold down the Option key and click the area you want to sample.

Tip
It’s often better to take a few strokes to build up the texture. Be careful as you clone so you don’t introduce stray strokes.

5 Brush over the area you want to clone.
6 Repeat brushstrokes as needed.

Tip
If you get an unintended stroke, you can choose Undo. If you return to a retouched image you can also delete a Retouch brush stroke at any time by clicking the Delete button in the Retouch area of the Adjustments pane. Note that brush strokes can be deleted only in reverse order because they’re recorded sequentially.

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127 UAP - Recovery in Camera Raw - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to do recovery in camera raw to post-process your images before opening them in Photoshop.


127 UAP - Recovery in Camera Raw - The most amazing bloopers are here

Like the podcast? Subscribe for FREE.
Want more training? Check out our
Books.

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Adding Captions to Flash Video

Looking to make your web video more accessible? Then be sure to check out this great article on adding open captions to Flash video. If you are doing video work for the government, then this is often an absolute must.

“The really great thing about this feature, from our perspective as designers and developers, is how simple it is to accomplish and manage. If the timing is out or a caption is wrong, you simply change a few words or numbers in the XML file.”


This tutorial makes it really easy and I suggest you check it out.



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Photoshop CS4 – Color Range Command



Richard Harrington shows you how to use the color range command and how CS4 makes it even easier to make a localized selection.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our
iTunes version.
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Photoshop Disasters Makes Me Laugh

We’ve mentioned them before... but the website Photoshop Disasters has a wealth of great new posts. You just gotta check them out...


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How to Fix Apple Compressor

If you’ve ever had issues launching Apple’ Compressor software, you’re not alone. The software seems to frequently get stuck and fail to launch. Fortunately, Digital Rebellion has a free tool to fix the issue called Compressor Repair.

“Apple's Compressor relies heavily on a service called Qmaster in order to work. Qmaster allows you to split rendering tasks across multiple machines in a render farm but it is still required even if you are only rendering on a single computer.The link between the two is so important that if the Qmaster service fails to launch, Compressor will be unable to submit batches. Should this occur, Compressor Repair checks for problems that could be preventing Qmaster from operating correctly. It checks for missing files, incorrect permissions, and attempts to manually start the qmasterd process.”



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Photoshop CS4 – Little Things



Richard Harrington shows you the small but important updates and features new to Photoshop CS4 .

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our
iTunes version.
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124 UAP - Making Masks With Channels - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to make accurate selections and masks using channels.


124 UAP - Making Masks With Channels - Funny blooper videos are here

Like the podcast? Subscribe for FREE.
Want more training? Check out our
Books.

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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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Photoshop CS4 – Printing



Richard Harrington shows you new printing features in Photoshop CS4 , including the ability to do 16-bit printing.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our
iTunes version.
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Enjoy the Podcasts? Support a Good Cause.


I will be walking on October 25 to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. If you are able to, would you consider making a small donation to the cause? Every dollar raised goes to help in the fight against diabetes. Someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 21 seconds, this is quickly becoming the leading cause of death in America. America's Walk for Diabetes is my chance to give back (and yours as well). If you find this blog helpful or entertaining, please consider making a $5 donation. Thanks!

-Rich Harrington
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Photoshop CS4 – Dodge, Burn & Sponge



Richard Harrington shows you the improvements that Photoshop CS4 brings to the dodge, burn and sponge tools.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our
iTunes version.
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Photoshop CS4 – 3D Features



Richard Harrington shows you how to use 3D layers and 3D models in Photoshop CS4 .

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our iTunes version.
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Need a Little Help?

Adobe has unveiled the help menu for Photoshop CS4 online... so if you want to check out some of the new features in-depth just head on over to their site – http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Photoshop/11.0/

You’ll find that the help system is still coming online fully... but there’s some great stuff to check out. Think of it as an appetizer until the real thing ships later this month.

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Photoshop CS4 – Enhanced Panoramic Photomerge



Richard Harrington shows you how to use smart objects and how they have been improved in Photoshop CS4 .

Here is the action mentioned in the video.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our iTunes version.
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Free Filter Guide from Peachpit Press

My new book, Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS4 is off to the presses. I’ve gotten permission to release a chapter to you early (and for free). Here is our comprehensive guide to every filter in Photoshop as well as tips on how to get more out of your filter collection.

To download the free guide –
Click Here.

To order from Peachpit.com
CLICK TO ORDER – DISCOUNT CODE – UAP TWO - 35% OFF (Enter Code at Step 3 of checkout)
To order from Amazon.com
CLICK TO ORDER – 17% OFF





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Photoshop CS4 – Enhanced Smart Objects



Richard Harrington shows you how to use smart objects and how they have been improved in Photoshop CS4 .

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our iTunes version.
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Ready for the Upgrade?

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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Photoshop CS4 – Vibrance Adjustment



Richard Harrington shows you how to use the new vibrance adjustments in Photoshop CS4 to boost the saturation of a scene without affecting skin tones.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our iTunes version.
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New Photoshop Book Now On Sale


Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS4:
The Essential Techniques for Imaging Professionals

By Richard Harrington

List Price: $49.99 – Sale Price $32.49
DISCOUNT CODE – UAP TWO - 35% OFF


Photoshop is the foundation of every digital career. It is the most pervasive technology on the market. Many users think they know it, but in truth they have gaping holes. This book covers what a professional truly needs to know about Photoshop to be employable. For students (whether in formal programs, certified training centers, or self-paced) this book offers a chance to explore the many aspects of the program interactively.  The book cuts though the clutter and is unique in that it focuses not just on digital photography, but Internet, graphic design, multimedia, and video uses.

Readers will learn the basics in correcting, editing, sharpening, retouching, and presenting photos as well as work on specific projects/exercises, including: digital painting; preparing images for newsprint; designing a CD/DVD label, magazine cover, and advertisements; and building an electronic portfolio.

The full-color book includes a CD-ROM with hand-on exercises and practice images, access to a reader’s only Web site for bonus downloads and files, and access to the popular video tutorial Podcasts (150 at time of publication).
CLICK TO ORDER – DISCOUNT CODE – UAP TWO - 35% OFF (Enter Code at Step 3 of checkout)

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Importing iPhoto Images into Aperture

As an iPhoto user chooses to migrate to Aperture, they’ll likely have a large library of images to bring with them. Aperture offers twoasy ways to migrate iPhoto images into your Aperture library. Which method you select will vary depending upon your needs.

Migrating an Entire iPhoto Library

When you launch Aperture for the first time, a dialog offers to let you import your entire iPhoto library. You can choose to copy the images into your Aperture library or to simply reference the images in their current location. Even if you choose not to import your Aperture library the first time you launch, you can do so at any time.

Because Aperture and iPhoto are both manufactured by Apple, the two programs are designed to share information seamlessly. For example, any organization you did to create albums in iPhoto will translate into projects in Aperture. The EXIF, keywords, ratings, and applied adjustments are also maintained.


Importing an iPhoto library is very easy. To import your iPhoto library, do the following:
1. Choose File > Import > iPhoto Library. Aperture navigates automatically to your current iPhoto library.
2. Select the iPhoto Library folder using the file browser.

3. Choose the location where you’d like Aperture to store your images.
    • Choose "In the Aperture Library" from the Store Files pop-up menu to store imported masters in the Aperture library. This will allow Aperture to manage the images in its library architecture.
    • Choose "In their current location" from the Store Files pop-up menu to import the files as referenced images. This means the files are stored in their current locations on your hard drive.
    • Choose "Pictures" from the Store Files pop-up menu to store imported masters in the Pictures folder for the current user. The images are treated as referenced images.
    • Choose "Choose" from the Store Files pop-up menu and pick a folder where you want to store the imported masters as referenced images. You can also specify an organization method for the images by clicking the Subfolders pop-up menu.


4. Specify a naming convention from the Version Name pop-up menu. You can choose Master Filename from the Version Name pop-up menu to store your images using the current master filenames assigned by the camera. There are also several options for assigning custom names.
5. Click Import to add the images to your Aperture library.

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Photoshop CS4 – Camera Raw 5.0




Richard Harrington shows you how to develop your camera raw files with Camera Raw 5.0 and CS4.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our iTunes version.
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More Free Photoshop Tutorials I've Done



Looking for some more, free Photoshop training? Here are a few more tutorials I’ve done... these are from Peachpit.com. Enjoy!


Refining Edges in Photoshop CS4
Cropping in Photoshop CS4
Dodge, Blur, Burn, and Sharpen in Photoshop CS4
Aligning Images in Photoshop CS

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Two Great Tools for Blogs

Just a quick post.... there are two pieces of tech I’ve been using on my blogs (both are free).

Lijit adds a great search engine to your site. You can create your own search network including multiple blogs, facebook, youtube, linkedin, flickr, and more. This is really useful.

Widgetbox lets you turn your RSS feed into a blog widget that can be posted to numerous social sites. Very clean and will help extend your reach.

Be sure to try both out....



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Photoshop CS4 – Auto-Blend



Richard Harrington shows you how to use auto-blend to combine multiple exposures or layers in Photoshop CS4.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our iTunes version.
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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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Short List of New Features for Photoshop CS4

Here’s an overview list of new features in Photoshop CS4. We’ll be offering tutorials on these topics in the coming weeks.


Increased Productivity
  • Fluid canvas rotation
  • Enhanced Pan, Zoom, and large image navigation
  • More refined, natural results with Dodge, Burn, and Sponge
  • Next generation Adobe Bridge
  • Tighter integration with Photoshop Lightroom
  • Kuler for color harmony creation and sharing
  • N-up and multiple document view
  • More powerful printing options
  • Superior performance on very large images*
  • Extensibility with SWF panels
  • Unified tabbed interface with self-adjusting panels

Unrivaled Editing
  • Live, nondestructive corrections with the Adjustments panel
  • Re-editable, feathered, density-controlled masks
  • Enhanced Auto-Blend with seamless tones and colors
  • 360° panoramas
  • Extended depth of field
  • Camera Raw with localized adjustments
  • Enhanced Smart Objects
  • On-image controls for Curves, Hue/Saturation adjustments
  • Clone Stamp and Healing Brush preview cursor

Breakthrough 3D, Motion Graphics, and Image Analysis (Extended only)
  • Direct painting on 3D objects
  • Easy conversion from 2D to 3D
  • Editable 3D properties (scene, materials, meshes, lights)
  • New high quality interactive ray tracer
  • Create 3D composites with 2D images or other 3D objects
  • New, high-performance, non-modal 3D engine
  • Volume Rendering
  • Keyboard shortcuts enabled for the Animation panel
  • Enhanced preview of non-square-pixel images
  • Preview and export audio content and frame comments
  • Animate 3D objects and their textures
  • Enhanced Count tool
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Photoshop CS4 – Adjustments Panel




Richard Harrington shows you how to use the new adjustments panel in Photoshop CS4 to speed up your workflow.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our iTunes version.

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Photoshop CS4 – Adobe Output Module




Richard Harrington shows you how to use the Adobe output module in Bridge CS4 to make websites, PDF slideshows and web galleries of your images. This technology is slick and easy to use.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our iTunes version.
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Like Your Photoshop Videos in HD?

Would you like to watch our new Photoshop CS4 Sneak Peek videos in HD? You’ve got two options to choose from.

#1 iTunes Store
You can subscribe to or download all our videos absolutely free by visiting the iTunes store. By clicking subscribe, you’ll pay nothing, but get over two hours of free Photoshop CS4 Training. New episodes are released daily.



#2 Apple TV
Our show is also available on Apple TV in HD. A quick search for CS4 and you’ll find us.

I hope you enjoy... comments are very welcome (and encouraging).

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Photoshop CS4 Online Learning Center from NAPP


The fine folks over at the National Association of Photoshop Professionals have an online learning center with some great resources.

Here are my favorites to check out.


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121 UAP - The Healing & Patch Tools - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use Photoshop's healing and patch tools to fix blemishes in an image.


121 UAP - The Healing & Patch Tools - More bloopers are a click away

Like the podcast? Subscribe for FREE.
Want more training? Check out our
Books.

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Using the Color Range Command

Sometimes, a color (or range of colors) will be very present in your image. These colors can be used to quickly create an accurate Layer Mask. Even if the color cannot be used to select the object entirely, you can always harness the Brush tool to clean up stray areas.
1. Open an image with an area of continuous color you’d like to select.

2. Turn the Background layer into a floating layer by double-clicking its name in the Layers panel.
3. Choose Select > Color Range to make a selection based on a range of colors. Check the Localized Color Clusters option to reduce the selection area to just the chosen colors.
4. With the Eyedropper, click within the yellow area of the flower to make an initial selection. Hold down the Shift key and drag through other areas of the flower to add to the selection.
5. Leave the Fuzziness set to a low value (30-40). When most of the flower is selected, click OK to create an active selection.

6. Click the Add layer mask button for the layer. The petals will show well, but parts of the flower will be missing.
7. Add a solid color layer to make it easier to see your edges. Choose Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color. A purple layer will help things stand out nicely. Click OK and drag the solid layer below the masked flower.
8. Examine the masked layer closely. You will need to paint in part of the center of the flower. Additionally, some of the petals contain unwanted transparency. You may also have some leaves or stems that bled through. We can fix all of these problems quickly using the Brush tool.
9. Press D to load the default colors of black and white.
10. Select the Layer Mask attached to the layer.
11. Press B to activate the Brush tool. Adjust the size of the brush and its hardness settings so you have a smaller brush with a gentle edge (an 80-pixel brush with a hardness of 75% is a good place to start).
12. Paint in spotted or missing areas with white. You can remove any unwanted areas by painting with black.
13. When finished, you can save the image as a layered file such as a TIFF or PSD formatted file.
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Reasons to Upgrade Videos Over at Peachpit.com

Peachpit Press has released a cool series on reasons to upgrade to Photoshop CS4.



You can check out cool videos by:


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Photoshop CS4 – User Interface Changes



Learn about important changes to the Photoshop CS4 user interface.
- Refined workspaces
– Freely rotatable canvas
– Greater zoom levels
- Enhanced controls with panels
- Tabbed documents

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More Than One Billion Users Will View Online Video in 2013

Recently came across a new article about the growth in online video viewership. Be sure to check out what ABI Research has to say...

“Sparked by increasing broadband penetration and rising connection speeds available to a growing percentage of the world’s population, over-the-top video has seen phenomenal growth in very recent years. A new study from ABI Research forecasts the number of viewers who access video via the Web to nearly quadruple in the next few years, reaching at least one billion in 2013.
 
“The rapid expansion of broadband video creates opportunities across a number of market sectors,” comments senior analyst Cesar Bachelet. “A wide variety of actors aim to gain a share of this fast-growing market: not only content owners such as the BBC and NBC Universal, and Internet portals such as AOL and Yahoo!, but also a range of new entrants including user-generated content sites such as YouTube and Dailymotion, broadband video sites such as CinemaNow and Lovefilm, and Internet TV providers such as Apple and Zattoo.”

See the full article...
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Photoshop CS4 – Free Training Starts Tuesday 9/23

Check out our free training series – Photoshop CS4 Sneak Peek that starts Tuesday 9/23.

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120 UAP - Curves in Lab - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use Photoshop curves in the LAB color mode to isolate a color and make it pop.


120 UAP - Curves in LAB - The funniest bloopers are right here

Like the podcast? Subscribe for FREE.
Want more training? Check out our
Books.

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iPhoto versus Aperture – Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 in our series comparing iPhoto to Aperture. I invite you to check out the Apple Pro Training Series guide to Aperture 2 for more information on getting the most out of this powerful software.

Nondestructive Image Processing

Both Aperture and iPhoto offer nondestructive image processing.At any point during the image adjustment process you can restore your image to its original state.Although both iPhoto and Aperture feature nondestructive imaging,they take a different approach to achieve it.

Read More...
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Photoshop CS4 Just Around the Corner


Want to find out everything new in Adobe Creative Suite 4? Trust me... there’s some really cool things coming. Adobe has an invitation out to view their Web broadcast on September 23rd. But you do need to go to the sign-up page at www.adobe.com/go/somethingbrilliant.

By the way... we are going to be releasing something very special on the 23rd as well as a “thank you” to all our viewers. Be sure to stick around and keep an eye out.

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Aperture Podcast Gets Featured

It’s always nice to start your day and find out that Apple has listed you on their homepage for Hot News. Seems they like our new podcast on Aperture 2, which is a great program.



By the next day the show was #3 on all of iTunes (beating every television network except for one show from HBO). So, thanks! And for those of you new to the site - welcome! Please look around and explore the many
books, training titles, podcasts and resources we have here.

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Music for Sharing with Kids: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo


I often find myself working around my kids... which means we share things like music and television. Every once in a while you find something you don’t mind sharing with them, such as Jack’s Big Music Show or Chuck E. Cheese.

Today, we saw a great concert for kids... by a rapper called
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. The show was great (the rapper has a long career of doing alternative rap with Granola Funk Express).



We bought the
CD, checked out his MySpace page. Its nice to find music you can blast without teaching your kids words you’d rather not like. Perfect music for working on deadline or just a long car ride with the kids.

Standout tracks include
2 Gotta Be Me
3
Luck
7
Family Tree
11
The Bluegrasshopper


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119 UAP - Zoomify - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use the Photoshop plug-in Zoomify to share high resolution images on the web.


119 Understanding Adobe Photoshop - Zoomify - Awesome video clips here

Like the podcast? Subscribe for FREE.
Want more training? Check out our
Books.

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New Site to Find Out All About Us

To make things easier, we’ve put together a new website for RHED Pixel Productions. Here you can find out information about all our podcasts, books, DVDs, and websites.

Feel free to take a quick browse and try out some of our new resources. I hope you enjoy!


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Camera Support Gives Your Wrist a Break

While at Photoshop World, I stopped by the Hoodman booth to check out new products. One in particular caught my eye. The WristShot Camcorder Support System takes the weight of the camera and transfers it to your forearm.

I tried a unit out and bought one... its a nice way to get stability and literally take a load off the wrist. The unit is designed to work with cameras up to 10 pounds. What’s also nice is that the unity includes a tripod adapter mount making it easy to switch from your standard tripod to the WristShot unit.

We did a video interview on the product and will have it up shortly. For now, check out the
company’s website.

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Just Got Back from Photoshop World

I just got back from Vegas... tucked the kids in... and sat down for a quick blog post. What a great event... this year’s Photoshop World was a blast. I taught several new classes that I really enjoyed (the resources are going up in a few days).

The show was a great chance to catch up with industry pros as well as friends. I managed to bump into two former students and several viewers of our podcasts.

Some of the highlights of the show:
  • Adobe announced that they will announce CS4 on September 23 (weird... I know)
  • I caught a few great classes from some top instructors
  • I saw some great new technology, blog posts forthcoming
  • Lots to talk about soon... tonight I am tired.
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New Photos from Red Rock

Here’s are two new slideshows I put together to show off four things.

1. Some new photos from Red Rock National Park on Las Vegas.
2. The new graphics plug-in
Sliver Efex from Nik Software.
3.
Animoto Music Videos.



4.
Photoshop Express Slideshows.

Enjoy and be sure to check out #2 - #4... if you are in Vegas... set aside half a day and visit Red Rock as well.


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Great Black and White Conversion Resource

  • Julieanne Kost from Adobe has posted a great resource for converting color images to grayscale using Photoshop.
PSCS3 Black and White Options via Smart Objects (20MB PSD file)
  • To use this template, first open and crop your desired image to 540 x 366 pixels at 72 ppi. Note: you can crop the entire image, or focus in on a smaller, more important part of it.
  • Flatten your cropped file and select "Save As" to save the cropped file as "FileNameFlatLowRes.psd"
  • Then open the template, click on any one of the smart object layers in the layers palette. Select Layer > Smart Object > Replace Contents, and navigate to select your cropped, low resolution, flattened file.
  • After the images are replaced, choose the best looking conversion, open your original high resolution file, and drag and drop the adjustment layer from the template to the high res file. Voila!

Be sure to check out
her great site for more resources.
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117 UAP - Repair a Sky - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use Photoshop to fix a sky that has blown out.


117 Understanding Adobe Photoshop - Repair Sky - Funny video clips are a click away

Like the podcast? Subscribe for FREE.
Want more training? Check out our
Books.

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New HD Survival Handbook Has Great Advice

I just got my hands on a new hnadbook for HD written by Philip Hodgetts of Intelligent Assistance. Philip is a great guru and has helped me out of several jams in the past. This new book is a 212 page PDF that is reasonably priced at $15.95.

“The HD Survival Handbook was written to answer the myriad of questions that arise when a video professional moves from working in the Standard Definition world up to the more complex world of High Definition.

From essential background information a video professional is expected to know, to summaries of the latest gear that would take you hours of research on the web, this handbook has it covered. The HD workflows area will help you avoid the pitfalls that have trapped so many others and be ready to meet your customers' demand for HD.”

The book works with all NLEs, but has deeper coverage of Final Cut Studio. What’s also cool is that you can buy just the sections you need. Philip sells the Production, Post Production, and Distribution chapters as separate downloads.

Here are two sample pages:
Here are the table of contents for each section:
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At New Media Expo


I am at
New Media Expo right now, attending classes and checking out new products and ideas. Emmanuel is here with a camera and we’ll be taping a bunch of interviews over the next 3 days. If you have a request of someone you’d like to hear from or a product reviewed, check out the list of tech (here) or speakers (here). We’ll do our best to get them for an interview.

Post a comment below and we’ll get some new episodes based on your requests.

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MommyCast Interview


We had Gretchen Vogelzang from MommyCast speak at the DC Podcaster Alliance Meetup. She gave a great talk on how to attract an audience. The meeting audio is here (she starts about 30 minutes into the recording). Download the files Meeting audio for Sat., 8-9-08, Part 1 and Meeting audio for Sat., 8-9-08, Part 2. You can download the audio recording here for free. Some really good ideas, be sure to check it out.
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Making Great Titles for your Next Video (Part 1)

You’re nearly finished with your video. You’ve picked the perfect music, gotten the editing done just right, and now its time to give credit where it’s due. No, there’s no need to tell your mom how much you love her (at least not in your video). But you do need to identify all those talking heads in your show. After all, it’s important to let your audience know who’s talking and why they should care.

Proper use of titles and lower-third graphics help your audience follow the action. They establish the credibility of your on-camera interviews. If you apply a few simple ‘rules’ they can even improve the quality of your entire piece and add to the overall style. Don’t freak out when I say rules; rather think of this as experienced advice. Choose to follow whatever makes sense for your show.

To build titles and lower-thirds, I recommend Adobe Photoshop. While there are several other tools out there, none have as big a user base or as many options. Think of Photoshop as a flexible friend, it’s great at getting you out of tight jams and creative bottlenecks. All of these tips will work with Photoshop 5.5 or newer (and most are timeless, working with all versions).


#1 – Build It Right


You have to get things started, might as well do it right. The first step to make great looking titles is to build them the right size. If your graphics get formatted incorrectly, they will have to be resized by your video software. This usually results in shakes, jitters, and strobing (while this may make for a good Saturday night, you won’t want this in your show).

The right size for graphics is a popular arguing point amongst video pros. The issue is that Photoshop 7 and earlier has used square pixels, which is the standard for computer graphics. The problem is that most video sources use a D1/DV pixel, which is rectangular in shape, or non-square. Don’t worry, short-term problem.

To make things easier, Photoshop 7 (and newer) has built-in templates. Use them. The sizes Adobe recommends work just fine and I have never had any problems with these dimensions.


#2 – Make a template




  1. Have an empty document open sized for your editing system (see above).
  2. Create a new (empty) layer, and name it Safe Title Area.
  3. Select All by pressing Cmd+A (Ctrl+A).
  4. Scale the active selection to 80% by choosing Select>Transform Selection, and then typing in 80% in the Options bar for width and height. Press Return (Enter).
  5. Load red as the foreground color. Then choose Edit>Stroke and specify four pixels centered. This is the title safe area.
  6. Lock the Safe Area Overlay layer by clicking on the Lock icon in the layer’s palette.
  7. Save your work.

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Making Great Titles for your Next Video (Part 2)

This is part 2 in a series on making great-looking lower thirds with Photoshop.

#3 – Pick a cool font


Now that we’ve got most of the technical junk out of the way, let’s have some fun. Other than music, nothing says more about the character of your show than the fonts you use. Be sure to allow enough time (and possibly $$$) to pick a cool font. There are several options to consider when picking a font.
  • SERIF vs SANS-SERIF: Serifs are the little hooks on type. Serifed type (think Times) uses thick and thin strokes. Sans-Serif (think Helvetica) uses even-weighted strokes. Sans Serif usually reads better for video. If using serifed fonts, look for a bold or black version and avoid lines thinner that 3-pixels.
  • Style: Write 10 – 20 words down that describe your video. Get input from your client too. Use these words for guidance when looking at fonts.
  • Free or Paid: Free fonts (and overly cheap) fonts often have partial character sets. This may be an issue if you need special symbols (such as & ™ © or • ). You get what you pay for, but don’t worry, several independent font foundries sell great fonts for less than $25 per font.
  • Keep it in the Family: Some fonts belong to families (regular, bold, black, italic, etc). This is useful as you can use one font family and mix styles. This leads to a consistent design in your titles. If you want to mix fonts NEVER use more then two fonts in a title graphic.
  • Format: Many fonts come in different formats. Macs have historically used Postscript while PCs have used TrueType. Macintosh OSX can now read many “PC” true type fonts with no problem. A new format OpenType is also starting to pop up for sale.
  • Kerning: Some professional fonts have had the spacing between characters carefully tweaked. This balanciong is called pair kerning. If your type appears improperly balanced you will need to kern it. Move between characters using the left and right arrows. Hold down the Option key (Alt key) and press the left and right arrows to tighten or loosen pair-kerning.
Some places to look for unique (and often free) fonts:
http://www.chank.com
http://www.acidfonts.com
http://www.fontalicious.com
http://www.fontlab.com
http://www.apollo26.com
http://www.girlswhowearglasses.com/fonts.html


#4 – Use good color


Can you match your own clothes in the morning? When you walk through a room do people point? By now you’ve likely figured out a few color basics (or have strategies that work). Here are a few more tips.
  • Avoid highly saturated colors. Bright reds and yellows will cause problems in video.
  • Use contrasting colors; if you were to use a color wheel, these would be colors opposite each other. If you want to use three colors, draw a triangle on the color wheel. Digital Anarchy sells a great product called ColorTheory that makes it easy to pick color combinations for two or more colors.
  • Pick up the Pantone book on color trends. This book offers interesting color combinations that always seem to end up the latest fashion.
  • Mix light and dark colors to maintain contrast. Dark on dark and light on light are VERY hard to read.
  • Use a contrasting edge on your type (such as a shadow or glow). This will improve readability.

#5 – Make it layered


If all you ever do is draw a box and put some words on it, you’re so retro that it’s not even cool. Video graphics these days use multiple layers and transparency to achieve good looks. I can go on for hundreds pages on layering techniques (see Photoshop for Nonlinear Editors, part of the DV Expert Series). Here’s some down & dirty tricks to take you to a higher level.
  • Use photos of textures in your bars. I often take pictures of light, reflections, lighting, water waves, etc. and mix these in with my graphics to add a natural depth. Simply place the texture above your bar and press Cmd + G (Ctrl + G) to group it. The texture is now applied just to the bar area below.
  • Use blending modes to achieve better looks. This is perhaps Photoshop’s coolest feature. While you can pick them from a list in the layer’s palette, I find it easier just to experiment. Highlight the layer you want to blend, pick the move tool (V), then press Shift + + or Shift + - to cycle through blend modes. Experiment, have fun, trust me it works!
  • Use layer masks to blend layers together. Use black and white gradients on your layer masks to create smooth transitions in mixing layers.
  • Fill an empty layer above your bar with a solid color or gradient. Tint your bar by setting this layer to the Color or Hue blending mode.
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The Most Important Piece of Paperwork for Your Projects

I often preach extensively about project management at design and creative conferences around the globe. The one piece of paperwork that I always emphasize is completing a scoping document for a project then getting the client to sign off and accept it. This one piece of papaerwork can solve all sorts of problems and is really worth the 2-5 hours it takes to write. The outline is as follows.

Project Scoping Document

( 2 - 1 0 p a g e s )
  • Project Name
  • Executive Summary
  • Background
  • Project Scope (High Level)
  • Project Objectives
  • Deliverables
  • Organizations
  • Interfaces Required
  • Assumptions
  • Constraints
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Risks
  • Rewards
  • Budgets
  • Schedules (Due Dates)
  • Project Team Readiness
  • Key Roles
  • Executive Sponsor
  • Project Manager
  • Business Experts
  • Technical Experts
  • Signature Lines - Sign Off “Charter”
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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.

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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Great News for Adobe Media Player 1.1

Want to know more about the updated Adobe Media Player? Head over the Deeje Cooley’s blog for the straight info from Adobe.

There’s a lot of great things happening here for content creators.



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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.

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

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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Collaborative Note Taker for Mac

SubEthaEdit - $35 [Mac] http://www.codingmonkeys.de
Having creative sessions and want to keep notes? This application is the perfect note taker. It allows you to collaborate on one open document across your network. It’s also rendezvous enabled so it’s easy for other Mac users to join in. Nice features such as color-coding for each user as well as time stamping make this a flexible tool.

If you need some groupthink without the use of a projector... then this is a perfect tool.
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Avoid Import Blues for After Effects

It’s very common to use Photoshop and Illustrator to prepare content for import into Adobe After Effects. Here are some practical tips to avoid problems when merging the software.

Import Tips

  • Double-Click in the AE Project Window
  • Shift-Click Multiple Items
  • Organize in Folder and Option+Drag (Alt+Drag) from Desktop
  • Keep file names less than 27 characters long

Photoshop

  • Assign unique names to each layer
  • Avoid using layer sets unless you want the layers to come in as a nested composition
  • If layers are not needed, reduce your render burden by importing as a flattened file such as a PICT, TIFF or TARGA
  • If you have applied an adjustment layer in Photoshop such as Levels, consider applying the effect directly to the individual layers in Photoshop instead

Illustrator

  • Be sure to use layers in Adobe Illustrator to split up elements
  • Change AI preferences to use AICB format (not PDF) for proper Copy/Paste
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Video Compression Workshop – An Introduction (part 1)

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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Create a Form Letter with Apple Pages


Oftentimes you’ll need to create a form letter to send to multiple clients (such as an address change or a promotional letter). If you’d like to personalize these letters, Apple Pages makes it easy to insert data you’ve defined for contacts in Address Book. This can save you time because you can reuse a letter, envelope, or other document for multiple people. This feature is generally called a mail merge.
Read More...
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14 Questions to Ask Before Building a Website

I don’t live in the world of website creation every day... but I’ve been putting up sites since the launch of Mosaic back with PageMill 1.0. I may be a little slow.. but here’s fourteen questions I recommend getting answers to before you build a site (feel free to comment and I’ll expand the list).

Project Planning Sheet – Website


Objectives

1) What main points do you wish to make with your website? (No more than five)
2) Who is the audience? (Please be specific)
3) What is the market’s current attitude toward your company?
4) What objections to potential customers have to your company?
5) What do you want the consumer to think after they see your website?
6) What do you want the consumer to feel after they see your website?
7) What do you want want the consumer to do after they see your website?
8) What Five adjectives describe the look and feel of your future website?
9) Are there any special features or design ideas you have about your website?

Administrative

10) Who will be involved with creating the content of the website?
11) Who has final website approval?
12) What are your deadlines?
13) Is your domain registered? If so, what is the URL and where is it registered?
14) Have you selected a web hosting company?

NOTE: Please send any relevant documents or promotional material that will affect the content of your website


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Adjusting Boost and Hue Boost in Aperture

The following tip comes from the Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 2 book published by Peachpit Press.

Let’s look at two adjustment controls in the RAW Fine Tuning controls group: Boost and Hue Boost. Aperture includes a set ofcamera profiles for all supported cameras.These profiles give Aperture specific details about each camera’s imaging characteristics,and are used to determine what color and contrast adjustments should be automatically applied to the RAW file.These adjustments are done to apply the optimal decode based on the manufacturer ofthe camera.

The Boost slider lets you control the degree to which this default adjustment is applied to your image.By default,the Boost slider is set at full strength,so your image appears with the full level ofcorrection.As you drag the slider to the left,the correction is reduced.The Boost slider is handy for times when you feel your images have too much contrast or are a little too saturated.

Read More...
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Editors Retreat Returns



Recharge Your Creativity and Craft • January 28 - February 1 • Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Now in its third year, the Editors Retreat has become an annual gathering for the post-production elite. Highly experienced editors from the worlds of film, TV and video gather to network, exchange ideas, share tips and of course, have fun!

Past keynotes and attendees have included such names as Alan Heim, Sally Menke, Stuart Bass, Chris Franklin and David Helfand as well as Apple, Adobe and Avid experts and industry power users. Attendees have included representatives from HBO, FRONTLINE, MTV, Lockheed Martin, Harpo Productions and Telemundo.

Running for 5 days and 4 nights, the Retreat offers advanced sessions on post visual and audio techniques and features valuable insight into emerging trends and technologies. An equal amount of time will be devoted to discussing the creativity, craft and business practices of successful editors.

To ensure that only the best of the best attend, participation is subject to an application and screening process. Visit
www.EditorsRetreat.com for the full schedule and more details.

WATCH THIS YEAR'S VIDEO

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New Book for Teachers

I've got a new book that's going to press this week. It's a short one, but is designed to help teacher's use Apple's iLife and iWork in the classroom. I come from a family of teachers (having 5 elementary teachers and 2 college instructors in my immediate clan). I really hope this book inspires teachers to fully integrate digital media into their lessons.



Apple Training Series:
A Teacher's Guide to Digital Media in the Classroom

by Richard Harrington with Ted Lai
Price: $19.99
Release Date: August 8, 2008



Product Description
In this Apple-certified guide, Richard Harrington shows teachers how to integrate digital media arts into their existing curriculum using iLife ’08, iWork ’08, and practical, step-by-step projects. Developed in collaboration with the Pearson Education Foundation in accordance with the National Educational Technology Standards council, the book includes class-room tested guidelines from the Foundation's Digital Media Arts program, as well as inspirational profiles of successful digital media classroom projects around the world. Designed to be used with Apple Training Series: iLife ’08 and Apple Training Series: iWork 08, this guide covers everything from designing a photo essay to creating polished video projects, and will have teachers and students producing websites, podcasts, video blogs, and DVDs in no time. Students learn to:

• Express a Feeling: Create a photo-essay slideshow, add sound, and publish it on the web
• Make a Factual Case: Track data in a spreadsheet, organize it into charts, then deliver it as a Keynote presentation
• Make a Persuasive Case: Research an issue, develop an argument, and create a PSA in iMovie and burn it to DVD
• Solve a Problem: Reconcile income and expenses in a household budget and chart financial scenarios
• Tell a Story: Document the personal history of a community leader in a short, sophisticated movie

To order the book,
click here.



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Rebuilding Permissions

This sounds like something from etiquette class, but this little activity can save hours of headache throughout your system. In the Utilities folder in the Applications folder, there’s an application called Disk Utility. Under the First Aid tab there’s a button to repair permissions (Repair Disk Permissions). Select your drives and let it rip. You should run it a couple of times. It’s amazing how so many of those little quirky problems will go away.



fcpbook

Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.






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A Useful Post on Photographers' Rights

Noted author and podcaster Scott Kelby has a great interview on copyright, photographers’ rights, and release forms. This is truly great and worth checking out.

If you’ve been reading this blog for the past month or so, you’ve read my posts about photographers being harassed when shooting in public, and a lot of readers have chimed in with comments about what we can and can’t shoot, what our rights as photographers are and aren’t, our interpretations of copyright law, and so on. There’s just one problem; we’re not attorneys.

So, I contacted New York-based Intellectual Property Attorney Ed Greenberg, who’s a published author on the topic, and who has been dealing with photography copyright, contract, and creative rights issues for over 30 years, to finally get the straight no-nonsense scoop on all this.”
You can watch the interview
here. Enjoy!


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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).

Comments

Motion Graphics Meets John Lennon



I was over at YouTube posting a new tutorial.... came across a great clip that mixes multiple animation styles… this is VERY cool.  It’s nice to hear the man so off-the-cuff… yet wise.
“In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace. 38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon’s every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon’s boundless wit, and timeless message.”
Learn more about it
here (and yes… I missed this one somehow).

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Making Your Photos Look Great On DVD & More!


I was interviewed by MacEditionRadio.com about Photoshop and creating a portfolio. Here it is.. enjoy.

“At the 2007 Photoshop World in Las Vegas, I sat down with Peachpit Press and Focal Press author Richard Harrington, and we discussed the issues involved in creating DVDs that make your photographs look their best. If you have ever been confused about the proper resolution to prepare files for DVD, television, or video projection, then Richard’s Tips and Tricks will fill in the blanks! Rich is the author of “Photoshop for Video”, and “Understanding Adobe Photoshop: Digital Image Concepts and Techniques.” and if you are working with digital photography, Photoshop, or Lightroom, and need to show others your photos then listen in to this interview! Recorded at the National Association of Photoshop Professionals Photoshop World Conference, in Las Vegas, in September 2007 by Harris Fogel. Posted 6/28/08 (24:09)”



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Aperture Book Hits #1

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



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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When in Doubt, Shut Down and Restart

Things can and do go wrong. A simple reset to your system is often the best way to “cure” software problems. Don’t just click Restart, however; let the system fully reset itself by shutting down. As a favorite engineer used to tell me, “Shut down, count to 20, restart—if there’s still a problem, then call me.”



fcpbook

Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.






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WALL-E Rocks – Two Great Mac Jokes

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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OT: Help Iowa Flood Victims & Listen to Great Music

My last home before Washington, DC was Des Moines, IA. A lot of friends and colleagues have been affected by devastating floods that most have overlooked. The short version, floods worse than Hurricane Katrina have been battering the Midwest... few have noticed.

One of my favorite bands, the Nadas, has an
online album to raise awareness and funds.

River Songs - Authentic Records' Flood Relief Benefit Bootleg


Contribute to United Way of Central Iowa's flood relief fund while reliving some of your favorite moments from Authentic Records Authentic Records' Flood Relief Benefit on Sunday, June 22. Please pay what you can for this exclusive download. All proceeds benefit United Way of Central Iowa.
1. Barkers Beauty - Fat Andy
2. Come Lay Down - She Swings, She Sways
3. Promise - Benjamin Wagner
4. The Friday Night Fight - Brother Trucker
5. Angels & Devils - Tony Bohnenkamp
6. Feel Like Home - The Nadas
7. Templeton Rye - The Nadas
8. The River - The Nadas

The download is free, but donations matter. Do what you can.


Technorati Profile

Comments

Great Photoshop Actions for Video

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-friendly actions 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 one incredible 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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Bill Mandates Captioning for Podcasts

A new bill has been introduced into congress that would target accessibility of web video. The "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2008" (H.R. 6320) covers about a dozen areas. The proposed law has Internet video captioning requirements.

Eighteen months after its enactment, the Federal Communications Commission must set up regulations and deadlines for "an appropriate schedule of deadlines for the provision of closed captioning of video programming distributed to the public over the Internet."

Three kinds of video would be affected:
  • Material that has already been captioned for TV viewing
  • Live programming
  • Video that is "generally considered to be comparable to programming provided by multichannel programming distributors."
It is point three that is sticky. A whole lot of podcasts fall into this category. Closed captioning and transcriptions cost.... many podcasters see little if any profit from their shows. Always nice when congress sticks its nose in the Internet.

How about instead of sending money to worthless causes... they actualy fund this requirement.



Comments

Advertisers Begin To Target Podcasts

A great article about podcasters and advertisers....
I’ve often scratched my head how I can gather 2 million people each month... but advertisrs still go with magazines that deliver less than 25% of that. This article from Investor’s Business Daily is an important read. It also features a colleague of mine... Scott Bourne.

Lend Me Your Ears: Advertisers Begin To Target Podcasts
Podcast audiences have branched out far beyond just geeks. And advertisers are starting to like them, too.
After having placed ads with Web sites and search engines, more advertisers are starting to spread their ad dollars to audio and video podcasts in an attempt to reach certain consumers.

Read the rest.



Comments

Saving Time with the Image Processor

The Image Processor command is an extremely useful production tool that will allow you to quickly reformat and size images to meet your workflow. The Image Processor script made its official debut in Photoshop CS2, but you can find also find it online under the name Dr. Brown’s Image Processor.

The Image Processor script can be used to convert and process multiple images. It differs from the Batch command in that you don’t need to first create an action. The image processor can be used for any of the following tasks:

  • To convert a images to JPEG, PSD, or TIFF format. You can also convert files simultaneously to all three formats.
  • To process a set of camera raw files using the same camera raw options.
  • To resize images to fit within a specified pixel dimension.
  • To embed a color profile into images or convert files to sRGB and save them as JPEG images for the web.
  • To include copyright metadata into the processed images.
  • The Image Processor can be used with PSD, TIFF, JPEG, or camera raw files.

Step 1: Choose>File>Scripts>Image Processor.

Step 2: Select the images that you want to process. You can use the open images or navigate to a folder to select images.

Step 3: Select a location to save the processed images. You can choose the Exports folder you created previously on your Desktop.

Step 4: Select the file types and options you wish to convert to.
  • Save As JPEG – This sets the JPEG quality between 0 and 12. You can also choose to resize the image and convert it to sRGB color profile.
  • Save As PSD – This sets the PSD options. You can also resize the image and choose to Maximize Compatibility.
  • Save As TIFF – This saves images in the TIFF format with LZW compression. You can also resize the image.

Step 5: You can choose from other processing options.
  • Run Action – If an action is loaded into your Actions palette, you can run it on the image during the process.
  • Copyright Info – You can add copyright metadata to the image.

Step 6: Click Run to process the multiple images.


Comments

Special Episode of Layers TV

I recently got a chance to cohost Layers TV with Corey Barker. The show is a great podcast that comes out each week on all things Adobe. They do a really great job with it and they had me on as a guest host to cover Adobe Production Premium.

“Corey is joined by guest co-host Richard Harrington to discuss working with video in Photoshop Extended, Premiere, and After Effects.
  • When working in Premiere, don't forget about the search menu that you can use to locate the effects you want
  • Change Color is a useful effect that you can use to target and adjust one color region of your video clip
  • There are also Shadow/Highlight adjustment options in Premiere
  • You can bring your video clips into Photoshop Extended and apply Photoshop effects to them
  • Make video clips into smart objects so that Photoshop will treat them as a single layer
  • After you have finished editing the video clip in Photoshop, go under the Export command and render the finished video
  • Get more information from Richard at Photoshop For Video.com
  • Use After Effects to make speed changes to your video clips. Remember, time is just another keyframe
  • If you want further video training from Richard, you can watch his classes at Kelby Training.com, or see him live at Photoshop World this September in Las Vegas”

DOWNLOAD THE EPISODE


WATCH ONLINE
Comments

DVD Menu Design in Photoshop CS3 Extended

Layers Magazine just released my tutorial on DVD Menus with Photoshop CS3 Extended. Love the intro they give (hah!).
“Now up is the incomparable Richard Harrington. Richard has a tutorial for making a DVD menu in Photoshop CS3 Extended that will have you creating great DVD design with little fuss. Richard will also be doing stuff in Layers TV very soon, so be sure that you check that out as well. Click on the link below to get to the tutorial.”
Richard Harrington - DVD design using Photoshop CS3 Extended

Comments

Photoshop for Video Featured on Photoshop User TV

Watch each week as “The Photoshop Guys” (Dave Cross, Matt Kloskowski, and Scott Kelby) from the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) share the hottest Adobe Photoshop tutorials, the latest insider tricks, and the coolest timesaving, job-saving shortcuts to make your time in Photoshop more productive, more efficient, and more fun.

Be sure to check out this week’s epsiode of Photoshop User TV. Scott Kelby had me on the show for an interview and a couple of quick tips.

Watch Episode Online
Download Episode 138

Comments

Refillable Sandbags

If you go on any professional video set, you’ll see sandbags in use as a protective measure to secure light and audio stands. But traveling with 250 pounds of sandbags can get expensive (and heavy). Instead, try refillable sandbags, which travel light.

When you get to your location you can fi ll them with sand, rocks, or whatever else can be found nearby. A popular model by Lindcraft is made of durable Cordura Nylon with a heavy-duty zipper with a hook-and-loop cover fl ap to keep it shut. www.lindcraft.com/product_details/RS.html.
Comments

Scanning Advice

Seems like a lot of folks have forgotten (or never learned) how to scan photos. With this is mind, I offer some practical scanning advice. Several problems can be introduced by those using antiquated scanners with a distinct lack of skill. To get the best results, try the following:

  • Before scanning an image, ensure you have the latest software needed by your scanner. You can always check their websites or use Version Tracker. Having problems with a lack of support on the OSX side for older scanners. I recommend checking out VueScan from Hamrick Software.


Read More...
Comments

Why Every Post House Needs an Apple TV

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...
Comments

New Aperture Podcast

In the category of so new the paint is still drying.... I present to you the Aperture 2: Quick Tip podcast. You can find the first two episodes online now (as well as embedded here for streaming).

To see the show online and subscribe in a web browser:
iPod iTunes http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=282371245

Looking to learn all about Aperture 2, Apple's powerful image-editing and organization software? Whether you are new to Aperture or an experienced pro, there's a lot to learn. Aperture 2 is a major update, adding over 100 new features as well as support for a wide- range of digital SLR cameras. This podcast is based on the best selling book, Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 2 and features co- author RIchard Harrington. Join us each week for a concise, but detailed look at the useful tools and workflows used by imaging professionals. 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. 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. To learn more on the software, be sure to check out the Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 2 book.”

Comments

Photoshop Disasters: Laugh & Learn


One of my favorite sites that I like to check out on a regular basis is Photoshop Disasters. The site is a freakshow gallery of Photoshop gone wrong. The site is driven by user submission and acts as both entertainment and education. There mission:

“Have you seen a truly awful piece of Photoshop work? Clumsy manipulation, senseless comping, lazy cloning and thoughtless retouching are our bread and butter. And yes, deep down, we love Photoshop.”

Be sure to check the site out, it’ll make you look at things a little differently.

Comments

What is Photoshop World?

In case you’ve neverr had a chance to go, here’s a quick look at all things Photoshop World. The event is a ton of fun and a chcne to get some of the best instruction available.


Comments

Configuring Aperture for Multiple Displays

The following tip comes from the Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 2 book published by Peachpit Press.

Once the displays are attached, you’re ready to configure Aperture for multi-screen viewing. When two displays are connected to your Mac, Aperture considers the main display—the one with the menu bar—to be the primary Viewer. The other display is the secondary Viewer. By default, the primary Viewer displays the Aperture application.

Let’s specify the function of the secondary Viewer.
Read More...
Comments

Make Your Gray Skies Blue in Final Cut Pro


It’s not unusual for your skies to be washed out. This is often a problem, because video doesn’t offer the same dynamic range as film (the difference between darks and highlights). Fortunately, Final Cut Pro allows you to isolate the color correction, so you can achieve a fix just to the problem area.
1 Apply the Color Corrector 3-way filter, and access the filter’s visual controls.
2 Using the Select Color eyedropper in the Limit Effect controls, select the desired color you’d like to keep.
3 Click the key icon to view the matte. Use the Select Color eyedropper while holding down the Shift key to add to the matte. You can click in the Viewer or Canvas window.
4 Finesse the matte by adjusting the Width and Softness sliders for the Chroma, Saturation, and Luma values in the Limit Effect controls. When the desired color is clearly selected, there will be no holes in your matte. Also, adjust the Softening slider to improve the matte. You may get a better matte by using fewer limiting ranges.
5 Click the key icon twice to toggle back to View Final.
6 Adjust the color balance wheels and saturation of the shot.
You may need to add a second color corrector to finesse the scene or isolate another problem area.



fcpbook

Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.






Comments

Cool Video Prodution Widgets for Your iPhone or Laptop

I often find I have too much information to remember (and for some reason people expect me to be able to spout pixel aspect ratio numbers like a multiplication table). Fortunately the fine folks over at Digital Rebellion has solved this (and for free). They offer several video widgets that do important math, these run on a web browser or iPhone (and a couple can run offline as well).


Video Footage Calculator – Calculates how much storage you'll need for your footage type and duration.
WebiPhone versionOffline version

Film Rate Calculator – Determines how much film you need for a particular scenario.
WebiPhone versionOffline version

Aspect Ratio Calculator –
Determines the aspect ratio for different footage formats.
WebiPhone version

Depth of Field Calculator – Calculates depth of field for many camera sensors.
WebiPhone version

Pixel Aspect Ratio Calculator – Determines relationship of Pixels for many digital formats.
WebiPhone version

Lens Angle Calculator – Helps calculate the lens angle for a given sensor size and focal length.
WebiPhone version

Power Load Calculator – Calculates the load on a circuit to see if it is excessive. You can also calculate the minimum circuit breaker size for the given load.
WebiPhone version

These tools are cool, free, and useful.... three points that make them a must have for my iPhone.


Comments

Analyze Video Files on a Mac with Video Spec

Looking for a useful application to tell you more about your video files? Mac users should check out the free (and still in pre-release) Video Spec software tool. The tool is a little rough around the edges (it has one major bug which is the aspect ratio of DV and HDV is not reported accurately) but it is still truly useful.

• The latest version has been tested on Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard.
• It is compatible with PowerPC and Intel Mac (Universal Binary).
• This version is localized in english and french.


Comments

Are You in Europe? I'm coming there...



For the second year in a row, I'll be coming back to Europe to offer training. I'll be speaking at the
NAB European Post-Production Conference on a variety of topics.

Sunday 26 October 2008

  • Producing Video Podcasts: Key Lessons Learned

Monday 27 October 2008
  • Creating a Graphic Identity for Your New Media Projects
  • Compressing Audio and Video for Web Delivery
  • Getting it Live: Multicam Techniques

Tuesday 28 October 2008
  • A Sense of Perspective with Vanishing Point
  • Seeing a New Light: Final Cut Pro Color Correction

Wednesday 29 October 2008
  • Creating Graphics for Avid Editing Systems
  • Get the Most from After Effects CS3

If you're based in Europe, I hope you can
come by.




Comments

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

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.



Comments

Soundbooth Beta Open to Public from Adobe


Adobe Soundbooth is a great tool to fix everyday audio problems and production workflows. It works well for video or Flash workflows and is built around a fairly intuitive set of task-based tools. Adobe is giving its customers a chance to play with Soundbooth CS4. If you are already a CS3 owner, the beta works until after CS4 is released. If you don't own CS3.... then it only works for 48 hours.

Here are some of the core features worth checking out:
  • Arranging audio files on multiple tracks
  • Making quick edits and applying fades
  • Matching volume levels with a single command
  • Removing unwanted noises and background sounds
  • Adjusting tempo and pitch
  • Recording and polishing voice-overs
  • Adding effects and filters
  • Previewing MP3 compression quality
  • Easily creating customized music — without musical expertise
  • With the new Adobe Sound Document file format you can take “snapshots” of your work-in-progress and undo changes made to your audio assets.


Comments

Get Photos from Aperture to Final Cut Pro

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.


Comments

Timecode Burn-in and Encode in One Step

Timecode burn-in is used to assist in referencing back to parts of show. Typically this has been used on VHS tapes for producers so they can comment on shows, etc. These days it’s more common to use QuickTime files and DVDs for this type of work. Since you’re going to have to encode the video anyway (most likely using Compressor), why not add timecode burn-in at the same time?

Fortunately, a great new feature in Compressor 3 allows you to do this.
  1. Inside Final Cut Pro select the sequence you want to export.
  2. Choose File > Export > Using Compressor.
  3. Inside Compressor select the setting you’d like to apply to the file. With the setting active, select the Inspector window and click the Filters tab.
  4. Choose Timecode Generator.
  5. Change the settings for the Timecode Generator as you see fit.
  6. Apply the setting to the clip in the Batch window.
  7. Submit the job.

Note: If you’re trying to choose the Timecode Generator for an Apple preset you’ll notice there are no filters in the Filters tab of the Inspector. To be able to add the Timecode Generator to one of the Apple presets, you’ll have to duplicate it first (then it becomes a custom preset).



fcpbook

Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.






Comments

Useful Article About Online Collaboration

There's a great article over at Pro Video Coalition about using web tools to collaborate with other creative pros. The article is written by Steve Hullfish who truly knows his stuff...

“A few weeks ago there was a short but interesting thread on CML-pro (The Cinematographer’s Mailing List) about how to collaborate with other creatives on a production team using web-based tools. The original poster wanted a solution – a “group scrapbook” - that would allow a small pre-production team to share images, photos and notes. Expanding on the idea a little further, it would be good to be able to communicate across the group, share schedules, comments and video.
There were basically six good solutions presented by members of the list:
  • Google Sites – basically a free on-line website creator.
  • Celtx – free software that links to free shared web storage specifically for film and TV productions.
  • BackPackIt – subscription-based team collaboration website
  • BaseCamp – subscription-based team collaboration website
  • Picassa Web – on-line photo sharing
  • .mac account with iWeb – simple website creation with annual subscription for serving.

I examined each of these concepts for a project I’m beginning. There are pros and cons to each approach and I figure that you might benefit from all of my legwork.”

You can check out the
entire article here.

Comments

New Online Class – Photoshop and After Effects for Event Photographers

I've launched a new course over at Kelby Training called Photoshop and After Effects for Event Photographers. It's designed to help teach you new ways to show your images to clients? Learn how to quickly prepare images for use in video and on-screen. In this interactive lesson you'll learn how to prepare photos for PowerPoint, Keynote, and DVD slideshows as well as how to create attractive pans and zooms of your image.

You can watch the first three parts of the lesson for free and find out more on their site. The tutorial touches upon most of the Production Premium suite. You'll learn a bit about Photoshop, After Effects, Encore, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, and the Adobe Media Encoder

I hope you enjoy it.


Comments

Photoshop World Schedule Announced


The schedule for the new Photoshop World has been announced and I am very excited.. I'll be teaching four brand new classes that I hop you all will enjoy.

Building an Electronic Portfolio (Using DVD, Presentation Software, and Web Galleries)
Looking to expand your photography or design portfolio? This in-depth class will teach you how to create dynamic electronic portfolios to showcase your work. Learn how to prepare your images for the screen, then take them to new places such as the Internet, DVD, and Presentation software.  This session will help you show your portfolio to more people with less expense.  If your looking for easy and innovative ways to showcase your work, don't miss this important pre-conference session.

Creative Animation with the Puppet Tool
Looking to create animation from photos?  Learn how to combine layered Photoshop files with After Effects Puppet Tool to  quickly add natural motion.  You can bend, warp, and animate both raster images and vector graphics, including still images, shapes, and text characters.  In this session, you'll learn creative possibilities for creating animated elements for use in video and multimedia projects.  

Advanced Motion Control 3D
Clients, Producers, and After Effects Artists alike have fallen in love with bringing pictures to life. Want to learn how to create movement "within" a photo?  This popular class has been fully updated to show you even more techniques for using Photoshop files for creative story telling.  Learn how to use 3D cameras, lights, particles, and the Vanishing Point feature to create exciting animations that capture the imagine and engage your audience.

Creative Chromakeying
The use of green-screen and blue-screen is a popular technique for both video and film special effects.  In this informative session you'll learn how to create virtual environments from photos, then key your video using Photoshop or After Effects.  A special emphasis will be placed upon using After Effects' powerful keying technology like Keylight as well as strategies to help with the production of the chromakey shoot.

The conference is September 3-6 in Las Vegas... be sure to check it out!



Comments

Near NYC? Check Out Rocketboom.

If you're near New York City, you might want to check out the NYC Podcasting Association event featuring Andrew Baron of Rocketboom.

When: Thursday, May 29, 7:00 PM

Meeting Description: We'd like to welcome Andrew Baron as this month's speaker. Andrew is best know for the hit videoblog Rocketboom. Andrew will talk about the current state of the industry; Where is the ad market at? Where is traditional media at in moving online? What options are avail to startups? What happened to Podshow and Podtec? What's wrong with Revision3 and Next New Networks?

Andrew Michael Baron is the creator and founder of the popular daily videoblog, Rocketboom. He is also the lead writer and producer of the show which has garnered international notoriety.

In Austin during the 1990s, Baron played in bands, ran a visual and performing art gallery and worked a variety of tech jobs. After receiving a BA in Philosophy from Bates College (Maine), Baron graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Design and Technology in 2003 from Parson in New York City. He was teaching graduate classes at Parsons and MIT when the notion of Rocketboom came to him. Although he has little interest in television (and did not own a TV set during the past decade), Baron has always been inspired by the implications of the democratization of media.


Comments

Great Tutorial on Vanishing Point Exchange

Steve Holmes has a great tutorial over at Layers Magazine on using the Vanishing Point features in Adobe Photoshop and After Effects. The tutorial is totally free and Steve does a great job.

“Without a doubt, the best new feature in After Effects CS3 is the Vanishing Point Exchange with Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended. Creating very believable 3D movements from quite simple 2D digital photographs has to be seen to be believed, and the best thing is it’s a pretty easy process. However, there are a few caveats to keep an eye out for, so let’s take a trip into the world of two-dee three-dee!”

Check the whole thing out
here.


Comments

TWIP Podcast Episode #25 - Rich Harrington’s New Aperture Book

I just appeared on the latest episode of TWIP (This week in Photography). The show is hosted by Scott Bourne & Alex Lindsay
We discussed the new book
Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 2 (Apple Pro Training Series). Here are a few highlights:
  • As both a photographer and author, his challenge in writing books like this one is to remember that the purpose of the software is not to bring something out that wasn’t there, but rather to enhance something that (for whatever reason) you couldn’t capture. We’ve all been in those situations where time is so short that you don’t get the lighting quite ideal, etc.
  • Right now, use of an Aperture plug-in works much like a round-trip to Photoshop. A new version of the image is created, edited via the plug-in, and “returned” to Aperture’s control. Granted, you never alter your original image, so you never lose the ability to go back and start again on a process that utilized a plug-in. Ultimately, true non-destructive plug-ins might happen, but there’s no absolute way to know with Apple being so tight-lipped about their development process.- The book covers a wide range of output targets including prints, books, web use, iPhone, AppleTV, etc.
Comments

Episodic Viewing of Podcasts

Deeje Cooley from Adobe shares some interesting thoughts about episodic viewing of podcasts. Don't miss this great post on what's possible with the new Adobe Media Player.

“There is a better way. More and more, TV shows are being (re)distributed as RSS feeds, which allows for a completely "on-demand" experience. What's more, the coolest feature of Adobe Media Player, called "Storyline Subscriptions", takes advantage of the reverse chronological order inherent in RSS to deliver every episode of a show, in order, from the beginning, at a pace determined by each individual viewer.


Most video RSS aggregators will pull the most recent episodes of a show, which is great for news and magazine-style shows. But for story-based shows, viewers really want to start from the beginning, in order to follow the story arcs and character developments. When you subscribe to a show in Adobe Media Player, you can choose to either pull the N most recent episodes, or choose to pull N episodes starting with a specific episode, usually the first one. And of course you can change these settings, on a per-show basis, at any time.”
Be sure to check it out.


Comments

Nice Tutorial on Using Motion for Pan & Scan Effects

A trainer that I respect a great deal has released a free tutorial. Mark Spencer offers a free tutorial on Motion Control effects with photos:

“Animating photos is a staple effect pioneered by celebrated documentarian Ken Burns. In this tutorial Mark Spencer shows you why you should be doing these types of effects in Motion rather than Final Cut Pro.”

Click here to watch Mark's tutorial


Comments

Review of Premiere Elements 4 (4.5 out of 5)

AMAZINGLY CAPABLE VIDEO SOFTWARE FOR WINDOWS
“You might be thinking, “What’s consumer software doing in a pro magazine?” The short answer is that if you aren’t using the Adobe Master Collection or the Production Premium suite, you probably need Adobe Premiere Elements 4. Whether you work as an advertiser, designer, developer, or photographer, you most likely have an interest in making videos or DVDs.
Sure, Adobe offers the very capable video applications found in the Creative Suite product line but for many users, it’s hard to spring for the “whole enchilada.” When I sat down with Premiere Elements, I was immediately impressed. The product offers an easy-to-use toolset that addresses the needs of many users.

Here’s the lowdown: Premiere Elements only runs on Windows machines. If you’re a Mac user, you should be looking to iMovie and iDVD ’08 to fill the same needs. On the PC side, the market has been woefully underserved by offerings from Adaptec and Microsoft. With version 4 of Premiere Elements, Adobe clearly steps up to offer a dramatic redesign, combining power with ease of use (an Adobe trademark).”

You can read the rest of the review
here...


Comments

NIN – The Times are Changing

One of the first bands I fell in love with during college was Nine Inch Nails (actually back then, it wasn't a band). The seminal record, Pretty Hate Machine was a mash-up of Prince Samples and Orchestral Scores from Stephen King and Clive Barker films (along with many other sounds). Since then Trent Reznor has continued to evolve/

Yesreday they‘ve releases The Slip—a new 10-track album—for free on
http://theslip.nin.com/. The record is available in virtually every flavor of DRM-free digital format, all you need to do is give them your email address. The album will eventually be available in traditional formats as well. This move mirrors those of both Radiohead and Prince.

Read More...
Comments

New Aperture Book is in My Hands

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...
Comments

Fly! (Trim on the Fly)


It’s possible to trim on the fly. This way you can listen for an audio edit or look for a particular visual cue. Just make sure the Dynamic trimmimg checkbox is marked.

  1. Enter Trim Edit mode, and press the space bar to cycle your trim. The sequence will play around your edit point and loop. The pre-roll and post-roll are set in the Editing tab of User Preferences.
  2. When you reach the desired edit point, press the I key to move your In point.
  3. Press the up or down arrow to move through the Timeline to your next edit point.



fcpbook

Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.






Comments

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.



Comments

Adobe Media Player Article Gets Longer Legs

The fine folks over at Layers Magazine have also published the article: Does the World Need Another Media Player? This time its had the benefit of being scrubbed by an editor (not just spell-checker). You can read it here: http://www.layersmagazine.com/column_adobe_mediaplayer1.html.

A few folks have commented on the length of the article... here’s the Spark Notes version:
  • Flash Video is getting really popular
  • The Adobe Media Player will be easier for corporations, schools, and government to use due to Adobe's greater acceptance over Apple (and especially iTunes).
  • The media player supports several models that are attractive to content creators
  • The media player supports very rich statistics on media consumption
  • The application is going to move onto all sorts of devices and platforms in the near future.
  • If you are a podcaster... I predict the Adobe Media Player will have as great of an impact as iTunes did on podcast consumption.

The article is long... but worth the read... I promise.




Comments

Interesting Video to Explain Podcasting




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Lockernome Comments on Adobe Media Player




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Resources from Adobe E-Seminar


I taught an Adobe E-Seminar yesterday called "Creating a Graphic Identity for your Web Video and Dynamic Media." The class itself will be posted next week. Here are a few resources I identified during the class.

1.
Two motion graphics projects.
2.
Advice on rendering in After Effects.
3.
Resource Slides
4.
Photoshop for Video Podcast (free)
5.
Producing Video Podcasts show (free)

The two books mentioned are
Producing Video Podcasts and Photoshop for Video.



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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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School of Podcasting Interview about Video Podcasting

Thanks to the School of Podcasting for having us on the show. I had a chance to catch up and talk with the host about what folks need to think about when moving into the world of video podcasting. The interview also features my co-author (and business partner) Mark Weiser.

You can get the interview for free right here (
http://www.schoolofpodcasting.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=330803) and you should also check out their other shows which offer great perspective.


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Really Cool Adobe Announcements

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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Time to Comment on Advertising and Measurement Standards

The Association for Downloadable Media just unveiled Advertisement Unit Standards and Download Measurement Guidelines. They'd like public comments on both. They encourage public comments in order to refine and enhance the documentation. The public comment period will end on May 16, 2008. You can download and comment on the draft standards for advertising and measurement here. The open comment period will conclude May 16, 2008.



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Come See Me at New Media Expo

I'll be presenting at this year's New Media Expo in Las Vegas. The event runs August 14-16 and I hope you can come out. My class is called:

Producing Video Podcasts with Multiple Cameras
Want to cut down editing time and give your show more polish? Learn how to create video podcasts using multiple cameras. Join veteran podcaster Richard Harrington as he shows how to harness multiple angles to improve your show. From concerts and live events to demos and interviews, multiple cameras will help you tell your story. Learn how to setup and match your cameras as well as essential editing techniques. This workshop will make multi-camera productions a snap.



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Two Updated Final Cut Pro DVDs

I just released two newly updated Final Cut Pro discs. We updated our Absolute Training for Final Cut Studios Disc 1 & 2. Both DVDs are full current for Final Cut Studio 2 and include hands-on training files as well as HD resolution training and iPod files.

Apple Final Cut Pro
Volume 1: Getting Started in Final Cut Pro
Volume 2: Going Deeper in Final Cut Studio

Also, you may have missed that we recently released the following titles. These also include HD and iPod versions on the same disc.

Apple Color
Volume 11: Introduction to Color
Volume 12: Advanced Color
Bundled for Savings

Apple Motion
Volume 13: Getting Started with Apple Motion
Volume 14: Going Deeper with Apple Motion
Volume 15: Advanced Techniques with Apple Motion
Bundled for Savings



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Notes from DC Podcamp

Thanks to the organizers of DC Podcamp for having me out. It was great to meet so many podcasters from my own neighborhood. As promised, here are my notes.

01 Video Podcasting Essentials – Slides
02 Directing Video Podcasts – Slides [ENHANCED - VERY LARGE FILE]
03 Creating a Graphic Identity for Your Podcast – Slides [ENHANCED PDF]


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More on the Puppet Tool – Hands on Files and Bonus Video

I promised these hands-on practice files about the Puppet Tool a while back. To make it up to you (my loyal viewers) I've included an extra sample.

To get the hands on files click here.

To get a bonus video tutorial -
click here.

(Thanks to the fine folks at the
New York Post Conference for letting me post this).



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NAB Show 2008 Conference Notes


Thanks to all the great people who attended my classes at NAB this year. It was a ton of work to prep (and I must admit I needed some rest when I got back home). As promised, the class notes and resources have been posted to the Handouts section (be sure to browse for other resources as well).

Here's the list of what's available.

01 Fast Start with Adobe Photoshop for Video Pros – Slides | Book Sample
02 Video Podcasting Essentials – Slides
03 Selling Podcasting to Your Clients – Slides
04 A Sense of Perspective with Vanishing Point – Slides | Practice Files
05 Creating Movement within Photos with After Effects CS3 – Slides | Practice Files 1 | Practice Files 2
06 Directing Video Podcasts – Slides
07 Project Management for Video Pros – Slides
08 In-Depth: Video Production for the Web – Slides
09 Creating a Graphic Identity for Your Web Video – Slides [Enhanced PDF]
10 Render Faster: Wait Less and Play More in Adobe After Effects – Slides
11 Storyboard Techniques with Adobe Photoshop – Slides
12 Creative and Animated DVD menus using Photoshop – Handouts
13 Automating Broadcast Design with Photoshop – Slides
14 Seeing a New Light: FCP Color Correction – Slides | DVD
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’Toon Your Video in Adobe CS3 Production Premium

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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3D[in] Photoshop CS3 Plug-ins

I recently wrote a detailed review on using Strata's new plug-ins for Photoshop CS3 Extended.

“With Photoshop CS3 Extended, Adobe significantly expanded the power to work with 3D models. Many users were excited by the ability to add 3D objects and modify their textures, but modeling and advanced rendering functions were missing.

Strata offers a suite of plug-ins called 3D[in] Photoshop CS3 Plug-ins. It’s important to note that these plug-ins only work with Photoshop CS3 Extended, but that shouldn’t be viewed as a limitation. With these plug-ins, you can essentially run the core set of Strata tools as linked applications that launch from within Photoshop, then return the results to Photoshop. Now you can match a 3D object to the perspective and lighting of a photo, create new 3D layers, and generate Live 3D Web and PDF pages from Photoshop designs.”

For the rest of the review,
click here.


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Photoshop for Video featured on Planet Photoshop

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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Final Cut Server World Tour


Apple has launched a road tour in support of Final Cut Server. I got a chance to look at this at NAB and I must say it is impressive.
The tour is going to hit several cities:

Hollywood – May 13 | New York – May 22 | Chicago – May 28
Korea – May 28 | Washington, D.C. – June 3 | Beijing – June 3
Mumbai – June 11 | Seattle – June 17 | Sydney – June 18
Singapore – June 18 | Hong Kong – June 24 | San Francisco – June 26
Taiwan – June 27 | Atlanta – July 2 | Dallas – July 8

“Beginning in May, Apple takes Final Cut Studio 2 and Final Cut Server — Apple’s new media asset management and workflow automation software — on tour around the world. Attend a free, in-depth seminar that features workflows used by some of the industry’s leading film and video production companies. Apple experts will give step-by-step demonstrations that reveal how each of these customers used Final Cut Studio 2 and Final Cut Server to achieve exceptional results.”

Find out more or register
here.



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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:

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.

“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.”



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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Interesting Story About Microsoft and Yahoo

Looking for a little insight into the proposed acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft? Looks like web video is one of the major influences. Check out this article over at Variety Magazine.


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NAB Video Blog

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

The Red Scarlet: A First Look


Adobe Media Player at NAB 2008


On the Scene at NAB 2008


The AJA IO HD with Gary Adcock


The Litepanels Micro


The Litepanels Micro


Hope you Enjoy!


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This Bag is Awesome – My thoughts on the Boda Dry

At the recent Photoshop World conference, I picked up a new camera bag. This one is a lens bag, and is designed to condense your camera bag into a few lenses and essential gear. Be sure to check out the BODA Dry (a ton of the Photoshop World instructors and staff picked up on this). Here's what's cool.



  • The bag hold 4+ lenses (including long lenses)
  • It's very comfortable with both a shoulder and a waist strap (I find the shoulder strap more comfortable, but the waist strap fits well and has hip pads like a backpackers pack).
  • The product looks durable with waterproof bullistic cordura and even a very tight zipper to keep rain out.
  • It has a media card wallet, lens changing pouch, and even business card case.
  • The gear is designed to be used with one hand (and the thoughtful construction shows).

I used the bag while hiking around Red Rock (outside Las Vegas) and it was a true joy. Very comfortable and very easy to use... I still love my Kata bag for lugging the gear, but when I trim down to go mobile... this one is great.

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Photoshop Express is the Future of Digital Imaging (For Many People)

I finally gave in and checked out Photoshop Express from Adobe... and I must say I am impressed. No, it doesn't replace Elements (and certainly not Photoshop), but it is very, very cool.



Here are the core features
  • Upload up to 2GB of photos (for free!)
  • Sort images to keep them organized
  • Easy to use editing tools let you do all sorts of tasks like Crop, Rotate, TOuch-up, remove red-eye, change focus, sharpen, white balance, and add fill light (plus more).
  • Share your photos with a Gallery (customized photo displays are supported)
  • Upload them to your Facebook page, blog, or anywhere else online.

My thoughts? It's awesome! Here's why this matters to pros and even hobbyists.
  • First, it brings Photoshop to more people, ensuring a healthier life for Adobe.
  • Second, it's free! 2GB of storage is useful.... I am loading up images that I often use to teach with as well as a few portfolios I'd like to share.
  • Third, New Media.... it's catching on and apps like this are truly exciting to all ages.

Be sure to
check it out... good stuff!

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Aperture Book – Now with 2.1 Updates

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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Refillable Sandbags

If you go on any professional video set, you’ll see sandbags in use as a protective measure to secure light and audio stands. But traveling with 250 pounds of sandbags can get expensive (and heavy). Instead, try refillable sandbags, which travel light. When you get to your location you can fill them with sand, rocks or whatever else can be found nearby. A popular model is made by Lindcraft, and is made of durable Cordura Nylon with a heavy-duty zipper with a hook and loop cover flap to keep it shut.

You can check them out here


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Apple TV Rocks

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

While you may be tempted to rely on an Auto White Balance feature on your camera, don’t. These can be overly sensitive to things like a passing cloud. Instead, just keep an eye on your monitor or viewfinder while shooting.

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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Animoto Creates Rocking Slideshows



Looking for something different? I discovered
Animoto at this year's SXSW conference... Load up your photos, pick a song, and within a few minutes you have a rocking music video. You can use their cleared music or load up your own. Thirty-second movies are free, full-length videos cost $3. You can get a full year's access for $30.

The whole process is a piece of cake. Be sure to check them out – 
here. You can post the videos to a website, download them for an iPod, or even use YouTube to share. The videos you download

Here are a two more of mine that you can check out.






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Learning After Effects

I often get asked.... how should I learn After Effects... the answer is slow and steady. After Effects is a tough puzzle that is well worth learning. After Effects is a relatively expensive piece of software with an enormous feature set. It is not a tool that you can just sit down with and pick up in a few hours. If you're going to spend that much money on a piece of software, do not try to figure out that piece of software on your own.

Learning After Effects requires you to spend some time with the program and follow a structured learning regimen. Some of our favorite After Effects learning tools include:




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Important Video – Slightly Off Topic

Today is Diabetes Alert Day.

My company helped produce this video about an important public issue. Please watch.

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Photoshop World is Next Week


Going to Photoshop World next week? If so I hope to catch up.

Here’s my teaching schedule.

Wednesday, April 2
04:45p-05:45p Building Your Portfolio Online

Thursday, April 3
Motion Graphics Track
08:15a-09:15a Put Your Portfolio on DVD
10:45a-11:45a Typography in Motion
06:00p-07:00p Motion Control 3D, an Introduction

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Nice Review of iWork ‘08 Book

I just got forwarded a nice review on the Apple Training Series book on iWork ‘08.

“Apple’s iWork applications are quite easy to use. However, if users want to go beyond the meager instructions given in the little pamphlets that come in the box with the software, Apple Training Series: iWork ‘08 is a great way to extend their knowledge of the software.

The applications in the iWork suite are designed to be easy to use from the get-go. Install, launch, poke around a little, do a little dragging and dropping, enter some text, and ...Shazam!.. get surprisingly good results. However, the ease with which users can use the software initially might prevent many from realizing the full potential of the iWork apps. Working through the lessons in Harrington’s manual, The Apple Training Series: iWork '08, will take users to the next level.”

“Richard Harrington has come up with a real winner for Mac users who are serious about developing new and valuable skills with The Apple Training Series: iWork '08, though it may be overkill for casual users of the iWork applications.”

You can read the full review
here – You can get the book here

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Cool Site for iWork Users

Numbers is a really useful spreadsheet program that comes in the Apple iWork suite. I'm a big fan (I wrote the official book after all). I just stumbled across this great website called NumbersTemplates.com that offers a ton of free templates that makes Numbers even more useful.

Some of my favorites include.

Project Management Template
Baseball Scorecard
Scuba Log

If you are on the fence, don't be. The application suite costs $79, has a 16% market share, and reads and writes all of the Office Formats.

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New Photoshop Book – I Need Your Input

A new edition of the book, Understanding Adobe Photoshop has been ordered. I want this book to be really great (we're going to keep the best of the last version but add a ton of new stuff). What I'd really like to know is what do you want. More exercises, clearer explanations, more humor? Please tell me... I really do want to know.

Please use the comments below and let me know what you'd like to see. I promise that everyone who replies will get a special download when the book is closer to done. I can't comment too much on timeline, the exact title, etc.... but I promise you'll like it!

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New Book on Video Podcasting is Out

Our new book called Producing Video Podcasts is shipping. We're really happy with how its turned out. It's a comprehensive title that explores all aspects of producing video podcasts (as well as web video).

If you are a budding podcaster or a multimedia professional I strongly encourage you to check out the book. Here are several links to give you a good idea of what its all about.

The Book:
To OrderRead Chapter 1Table of ContentsIndex
The WebsiteThe Podcast

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21 Years of Apple Evolution

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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Double the Size, Quadruple the Rest

Many video podcasters are embracing larger video podcast sizes. While the 320X240 size is well-suited for portable players like iPods, those viewing on laptops and televisions prefer the image clarity offered by larger sizes. But what’s the impact of using a 640X480 podcast?

  • File sizes are approximately four times larger.
    • Download times are approximately four times longer.
    • Hosting and delivery costs are approximately four times greater.

Don’t be discouraged, just be sure that you can afford to give people what they want and that they are willing to wait for that larger size. Some podcasters take the “easy” way out and offer both sizes. This strategy can work against you though as your show’s ranking on the iTunes charts can be negatively impactd as each version is tracked seperately.




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What's Your Angle?

While it may seem a little cliché, another way to refine your show’s concept is to ask the standard Who, What, Where, When, and Why questions.

Who – Who is going to watch the show? Who is going to host the show?

What – What topics will the show cover? What genre or format will it use?

Where – Where will the show be recorded? A studio? On location?

When – When will the show come out? Weekly? Monthly?

Why – Why would a viewer subscribe to the show? Why would they come back for another episode?


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What's Your Preference for the Podcast

It's that time of the month... we'd like your input for the monthly survey.

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Open Television Network Launches

Podcasters looking to monetize their content have a new option called the Open Television Network, powered by klickTab. The site has been under development for a long time and has now launched.

“klickTab is a unique service that lets you create single item, or channel feeds (aka podcasts) where there is a charge per item downloaded.

As a content owner, you create an account for yourself at
http://www.opentvnetwork.com/contentowners.  You can check out the process through the screencasts on that page, along with some resources on encoding, hosting and protecting content.

Once you have created an content owner merchant account, you then create the feeds (podcasts) and add items to those feeds. We provide you with an embed code that has the klickTab graphic and all necessary code behind it so that a viewer customer can click on the link, enter their email address and password and download the link to iTunes or Miro. In iTunes or Miro they can browse the previews (trailers) you provide, buy content items, manage them, view and/or synchronize to an iPod or stream to an Apple TV.”

You can find more details on their
site and in this article.


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Two More Classes on Kelby Training


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?

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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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:

"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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New Podcast Advertising and Traffic Standards to Be Announced

Mashable.com, the Social Networking News site reports that “the Association for Downloadable Media has finally announced a date for when they plan to release their long awaited Advertising and Sponsorship Standard and Guidelines for Traffic Measurement - April 16th. The announcement will be made during the upcoming San Francisco ad:tech conference.”

Click here to read the full article.


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Troubleshooting Apple Compressor

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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Adobe Updates Device Central

Adobe offers a great application called Device Central as part of their Creative Suite bundles. The application makes it easy to test graphics, Flash, and video content and simulated mobile phones and other devices. Adobe just published another update that adds support for more phones and devices.

You'll need to log on with your Adobe ID (they're free). This is important to check out for mobile content creators.
If you are not familiar with Device Central, be sure to
check out this overview.


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Richard Harrington on the Plugged-In Podcast

Richard Harrington was recently a guest on the Plugged-In Podcast (presented by Toolfarm). The show was taped at Macworld and features several guests talking about the latest in Digital Media.

  • Coby Rich – Sorenson Media
  • Larry O'Connor – Other World Computing
  • Richard Harrington – RHED Pixel
  • Jon Schilling – CalDigit
  • Marlon Braccia – Shiva Entertainment

You can listen to the show here


Comments

Washington Business Journal Article on Podcasting

If you think podcasting is just for kids, you might be missing the next big thing
Richard Harrington looks out on the small crowd of businesspeople sitting on red plastic chairs in RHED Pixel's Falls Church studios. Dressed in black, topped by a subtle black-and-white pinstriped velvet blazer and hoop earrings, he is the epitome of geek chic.

The audience has come to hear Harrington talk podcasting. These folks already are convinced there is something to podcasting, but they are trying to determine if it can help their businesses.”


Read the full article for free at their website.


Comments

Field Production Strategies for Video Podcasting

Podcast and New Media Expo 2007: The rules of the studio don’t apply the same in the field. In this session you will learn how to properly capture your video content outside of a controlled environment and unpredictable lighting and background noise. You also learn how to achieve the best results when encoding files for various output devices. See how the experts retain overall quality with an overview of the latest methods and technologies. This session will also share best practices for multi-camera productions.


Download mp3:
Distributing Video in Various Formats: How To Make the Right Choice (1:00:46 min 27.9 MB)


Comments

Testing the Feed

FEED Validator
There are lots of things that can break an RSS feed. A misplaced character, a misformed date, the list goes on. Fortunately testing a feed is easy. Once you have your feed and media available online, you’ll want to test it. The easiest way is to visit http://www.feedvalidator.org/ where you can enter the adress for your feed. If there are errors in your feed, they are clearly identified. The website also offers suggestions and links to more information on how to fix common problems. This website is invaluable and shoot be a part of your testing process.


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Adobe Photoshop CS3 ACE Exam Available

Think you know Photoshop? Want to prove it? Then pass the Adobe Certified Expert Exam. The Adobe Certified Expert exams are now available for much of the Creative Suite 3 product line including the Photoshop CS3 re-certification and ACE exams. You'll find additional information including Preparation Guides on the Adobe site. Prices are $50 for re-certification and $150 for the ACE exams.


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New Class on Kelby Training

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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Blu-ray Wins?

Digital Media Wire has a very interesting article about the fate of HD-DVD. Seems Wal-Mart had dropped HD DVD (along with Best Buy and Netflix).
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Toshiba "is expected to pull the plug on its HD DVD format in the coming weeks." THR noted, however, that Toshiba says no official decision has been made. "Given the market developments in the past month, Toshiba will continue to study the market impact and the value proposition for consumers, particularly in light of our recent price reductions on all HD DVD players," Jodi Sally, VP of marketing for Toshiba America Consumer Products, told THR. Toshiba had hoped that slashing the prices on its HD DVD players last month would help bolster sales, but subsequent sales data from NPD showed that Blu-ray maintained its wide sales lead despite the move.  



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New DVDs on Apple Motion

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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Educators Scholarships to Photoshop World



Photoshop World Conference & Expo – April 2-4, 2008 – Orlando, Fl
The National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), today announced a call for nominations for its third annual Dean Collins Educational Scholarship for 2008. The
Dean Collins Educational Scholarship is awarded annually to one high school or college educator nominated by his/her student(s) to provide the recipient an opportunity to attend NAPP’s annual convention – Photoshop World Conference & Expo. The scholarship also includes round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, a one-year NAPP membership, and subscription to Photoshop User magazine.

The deadline to submit nominations for the Dean Collins Educational Scholarship is Friday, February 29, 2008.


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Apple Releases Aperture 2

Major Upgrade Features Improved Interface, Faster Browsing & Enhanced Image Processing

Press Release: CUPERTINO, California—February 12, 2008—Apple® today introduced Aperture™ 2, the next major release of its groundbreaking photo editing and management software with over 100 new features that make it faster, easier to use and more powerful. With a streamlined user interface and entirely new image processing engine, Aperture 2 also introduces new imaging tools for highlight recovery, color vibrancy, local contrast definition, soft-edged retouching, vignetting and RAW fine-tuning, and lets users directly post their portfolios on the .Mac Web Gallery* for viewing on the web, iPhone™, iPod® touch and Apple TV®. At a new low price of $199, anyone can easily organize, edit and publish photos like a pro.

The new update is great.... I'm actually co-authoring the official Apple book on the software now. More details soon.



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Own Photoshop Elements? Wanna Upgrade?

This one is almost too good to be true...

You can upgrade from Photoshop Elements to Photoshop CS3 for only $299. For those of you math geniuses... yes its cheaper to buy Elements, then upgrade, then buying Photoshop outright.

Click here for the offer.

"An offer this good doesn’t last forever. Move up online at the Adobe Store by 2/29/08.
To order by phone, call 1-800-585-0774 and mention offer code 27105. Have your Adobe Photoshop Elements serial code ready for verification."




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GridIron Flow Demo Movie

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

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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New Plugins for Broader DVCPRO HD and P2 Support

This is just awesome, Calibrated Software has a bunch of new plug-ins on tap that make it possible to work with MXF and DVCPRO HD codecs. This will streamline P2 workflow for both Mac and Windows users, as well as make it easier to move DVCPRO HD material to a PC. I promise a detailed review soon. The codecs cost $49 each. Here's the info.

QuickTime P2 MXF/DVCProHD Decode Components for Apple
For playing P2 MXF Files and QuickTime DVCProHD Files on Mac OSX (Intel) and importing native P2 MXF Files into Final Cut Pro Studio 2 Applications (see Read Me)
Please note: The P2 MXF plugin has NOT been tested in long form projects in FCP Studio 2 Applications and the DVCProHD Codec should NOT be installed if the Apple DVCProHD Codec is already installed.
Download BETA 1.0.0 (Build 18) for OSX 10.4 (Tiger) - Intel Only
Download BETA 1.0.0 (Build 18) for OSX 10.5 (Leopard) - Intel Only
Download Read Me
Download License Agreement


QuickTime P2 MXF/DVCProHD Decode Components for Windows
For playing P2 MXF Files and QuickTime DVCProHD Files on Windows (see Read Me)

Download BETA 1.0.0 (Build 18) for Windows
Download Read Me
Download License Agreement


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Speaking at NAB

Looking for some great training on post production, podcasting, or new media? I'll be speaking at several conferences located at this year's NAB conference.


Choose the training you need at NAB Show 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Podcasting Summit    April 11 - 13
This is a can’t miss conference for podcasting professionals and anyone interested in diving into this evolving content delivery method.

New Media 2.0 - Creating and Delivering New Media to New Audiences    April 14 - 15
This new conference is designed for content creators looking to harness the power of the Internet for increased distribution and new audiences.


Post|Production World Conference    April 11 - 16
The largest event of its kind anywhere, this conference delivers high-level training on the latest production and post-production techniques and software.

Producer | Director Workshop    April 11 - 13
This new conference is designed for those content creators who are charged with managing and developing content. Learn new techniques for planning and managing successful video and new media projects.



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Apple Updates QuickTIme

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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New Report on Podcasting

We're always only the lookout for news on podcasting, here's a new report from eMarketer.com.

Heard the Latest About Podcasting?
http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?1005869

Here's the highlights.



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Photoshop World 2008 in Orlando


The World's Best Instructors Coming To Orlando
Get instruction and inspiration from more than 40 of the most recognized and respected names in the industry.With more than 100 class sessions, and learning tracks dedicated to everything from photography and graphic art, to motion graphics and Web design, Photoshop World has something for you.
For a complete list of instructors, learning tracks, and class sessions, visit www.photoshopworld.com.






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Useful Mods for Mac Leopard Users


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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Great Field Monitor for HD and SD

We recently "bit the bullet" and bought a "real" HD monitor for our field productions, the Panasonic BT-LH80W . This one is pricey (street price is $2200) but its a great monitor. We can mount it on the HD camera for field work, hang it in a carrier for the director (think a Flava Flav clock) and even run it off batteries.

  • Designed for studio and field applications
  • 7.9-inch low-power, lightweight monitor
  • Built-in waveform monitor
  • Compatible with 1080/24 psf, 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i

For more information
www.panasonic.com/broadcast.




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New Options for Web Galleries

Looking for a better way to show your images on the web? Adobe has boosted Bridge with new web galleries.

"
Adobe® Media Gallery (AMG) for Adobe Bridge adds quick, powerful Web gallery creation to Adobe Photoshop® CS3, Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended and the Adobe Creative Suite®. AMG makes it possible to create HTML or Flash-based galleries from any of the file formats supported by Bridge; adjust the galleries using the built-in preview; and export the results or upload them via FTP."

The add-on is free... and works great with easy preview and FTP options. You can download the free plug-in at
http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Adobe_Media_Gallery.


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An International Survey on Podcasting

This international survey has a lot of information on podcasting. The survey size is a little small, so the numbers are skewed a bit... but it is still a good read. You can download some of the statistics at: http://podcastersurvey.com/ipcs07.pdf. Some of the interesting findings include:
  • Podfading seems to be a minor problem at the moment
  • The European podosphere is commercially less ambitious
  • Podcasting is not only attracting "techies"
  • Podcasting is about identity and relationship management
  • Most are interested in sharing information and expressing of opinions


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Two New Discs on Color

I just wanted to let you know that our new training on Apple Color is shipping (Motion will be coming very soon as well).

Absolute Training for Final Cut Studio, Vol. 11
Introduction to Color
Join Apple Certified Trainer Jeff Greenberg as he takes you through the basic and intermediate features of Apple Color. As a leading presenter, trainer, and creator of multimedia content, Jeff guides viewers through the most important features in Apple Color. His presentation style empowers users to get up and running in Color immediately.

To Order


Absolute Training for Final Cut Studio, Vol. 12
Advanced Color
Join Apple Certified Trainer Jeff Greenberg as he takes you well beyond the basics in Advanced Color from VASST. This DVD is designed for users who want to take advantage of the high end features found in Apple Color. As a leading presenter, trainer, and creator of multimedia content, Jeff’s presentation style allows viewers master the advanced features in Color quickly and easily.

To Order


By both and save....



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Useful New Book on Final Cut Pro Workflow

I just picked up a new book that I highly recommend on maximizing your efficiency and workflow with Final Cut Pro. Be sure to check out Final Cut Pro Workflows: The Independent Studio Handbook by Jason Osder and Robbie Carman. The book has a lot of coverage on integrating graphics with Final Cut Pro and is truly useful.

“Today's digital production tools empower the small team to produce multimedia projects that formerly required large teams. Orchestrating a production requires more than proficiency with the postproduction tools. Final Cut Pro Workflows: The Independent Studio Handbook offers a cookbook of postproduction workflows that teams can follow to deliver an array of products to their clients. It describes appropriate postproduction workflows, team roles and responsibilities, and required equipment for some of the most common media productions.”

With an easy style and great depth,
Final Cut Pro Workflows: The Independent Studio Handbook is an enjoyable and important read. Osder and Carman offer a diverse background and extensive experience with Final Cut Pro.




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New Resource Site Launches – Final Cut Help

I've launched a new resource site called Final Cut Help to offer you more news on Final Cut Studio as well as centralize all of my Final Cut resources and training products. Here are a few things you may like.



As always... comments and requests are very welcome.



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