Rolling My Own Short URLs:

Several weeks ago, I heard about YOURLS (get it?), a personal url shortening service. I had tossed around the ideo of using it, but never got around to it. Then (my url shortening service of choice) announced they were shutting their doors, then they weren’t, now they’re “community owned.”

So, just last week I registered to host a YOURLS install, as well as a landing page for my various profiles online. The service is private, meaning only I can post urls to shorten, but it will handle all posts on this blog. At the bottom of each post (eg, Short URL:, you’ll see a short URL listed. It is also included as a <link> tag in the head of the page for auto-discovery. It’s a nifty service.

My Amazon Store

So I decided to create my own Amazon affiliate store. I figure there’s always people looking for recommendations on products, especially in the film/video field. My store is mostly for post production and includes peripherals like the Wacom Intuos4, books, storage devices, and even a T-shirt.

One thing I’m really trying to do is make sure I only add products I own or  have personally used and can recommend. If I haven’t at least used it, it won’t go there. With that said, I gladly welcome recommendations on anything you think should be added.

How to Install Final Cut Studio 3

Yesterday, Apple quietly announced the new Final Cut Studio. The “what’s new” page actually has some nice features, though many I’ve talked to are surprised this is a full point upgrade to Final Cut Pro (myself included). There’s already comprehensive posts covering the new features and what they could mean. I really don’t have much to add.

Today, however, I am posting perhaps the most important link: How to Install Final Cut Studio 3. This is spot on from my own experience and a very comprehensive guide.

[via @editblog]

3D Breakdown – Ice Age

ia3comparisonCaught this yesterday and forgot to post it. Jeff Gabor posted two quicktimes. First, a 4-screen breakdown of several character animations for the latest Ice Age movie: Reference, Blocking (rough animation), Splining (model refinements), and Lighting. The other is an evolution reel, from rough poses all the way through final polish.

They’re large quicktimes, so be warned, but it’s worth the wait to get a small glimpse at how complex 3D scenes are built. All too often, it seems animators and designers want to jump right in and work on the final product, skipping steps. This is a reminder that as with nearly everything, it’s best to start from a general, big picture perspective, then refine as you go along.

[via Motionographer & someone on Twitter, but couldn’t find it anymore]

Why Film Editors Complain Alot Today

I was going to write up a post on the recent ACE pre-announcement—which is apprently all the rage lately—that they are giving their first ever technical award to Avid Media Composer. This award is also meant to be a snub against Apple, whom ACE feels is not listening to their concerns. As I said, I was going to write this post. Norman Hollyn took the words from my mouth.

Sorry folks, but that’s just the beginning of it. and complaining about not being consulted about our editing platform of choice reminds me of the days when some editors refused to move off of film because it “just wasn’t right.” I’m trying to think of how many editors who refuse to edit digitally are working today. The answer to that would be — none.

The Importance of Planning

If there’s one thing I hate, it is producing work I’m not proud of.

In the past couple weeks, I have been conspicuously less active on Facebook, Twitter, and of course, this site. The reason is simple: I was spending all my time (10-14 hours/day for two weeks) on a project that was not properly planned.

This can happen on occasion… actually, it happens more often than I’d like. The problem isn’t so much the extra time put into the project (though now that I have a 10 month old daughter, I’d like to spend more time at home). Rather, the problem is that the end product isn’t nearly as good as what it could have been. Instead of spending time polishing the edit and making sure everything was just right, I was just getting things done.

Unfortunately, I cannot go into specifics for many reasons. But I will say this:

On any project, make sure you ask all the important questions up front and get solid answers. And as a post production worker, the sooner you can get involved, the better. There is nothing worse than others assuming/expecting you to be able to do something under certain constraints.

That is all.