While I would rather have better control of the title-/sction-safe within the built-in overlay, this is the next best thing. DH Widesafe from Digital Heaven. The downside it that it uses a video track and will cause re-renders if you use it frequently. Still, it’s better than nothing.
One of the more tedious tasks in post, with the exception of rotoscoping, is just setting up a project. A while back, we discovered the usefulness using a template folder to keep everything consistent. Thomas Tomchak at Suite Take goes into great detail about project templates. But we were still duplicating folders, copying and pasting, and renaming multiple files before we could get started. I decided to make the write my own software to make things easier. The result is Post Haste.
Post Haste really just does one thing, but does it well: automatically generates a project folder for you. All you have to do is enter information such as project number, client, etc. and Post Haste will create a project folder with files in place and renamed. It’s customizable to allow up to five fields of information and auto-fills certain fields such as date, editor, or suite. Take a look.
Post Haste is completely free. There are no nag dialogues about how you should give me money. Really, I wrote the program for myself to make things easier. But to make things interesting, I’m releasing Post Haste as “luchware.” If you find it useful, consider buying me lunch.
I’m about to launch something tomorrow. Just a preview:
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.
The Widescreen filter in Final Cut Pro can be anoying for two reasons: you have to apply it to each clip and it leaves transparent bars instead of a true matte. I’ve been using the method described here for quite some time now. Me being me, I assumed it was common practice, but perhaps not. So I’ve decided to share my extensive matte collection with everyone.
Below you will find a zip archive containing PSD files in common resolutions/formats (including HD & RED) with the following black mattes:
- 1.33 (4:3)
- 1.5 (3:2)
- 1.78 (16:9)
- 2 (2:1)
- 2.39 (2.35)
Enjoy and feel free to share. The files are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Aspect Matte (Zip Archive)
I work with complicated software and various engineering and hardware problems every day. Such is the life in post production. The average consumer should not have to deal with the issues I deal with. That is why there are software bundles like iLife to make things easier.
Christopher Dawson, technology director for a Massachusetts public school district disagrees. He thinks software like iLife is too easy and impairs students:
It simply hands so much to the students that they struggle with software (whether Windows, Linux, or even pro-level software on the Mac) that isn’t so brilliantly plug and play. Yes, iLife rocks in many ways, but the level of spoonfeeding it encourages actually makes me think twice about using it widely, especially at the high school level.
So his argument is that some software is difficult to use, therefore easy software should not be allowed.
When working in a professional setting, yes, you need to understand your tools inside and out to better understand how to get your work done. I see the effect lack of knowledge has all the time with edits we get back from freelance editors working in Final Cut Pro at home. We get 16:9 anamorphic footage edited letterboxed in 4:3 sequences, tapes captured as stereo instead of split-mono, extraneous use of layered plugins to achieve a “look,” 24 layers of video with 76 layers of audio, most of which are empty… the list goes on.
That said, these are technical problems and not creative ones. When you’re in school (especially high school), little should stand in the way between the creative vision that is in your head and the final result, including software. There’s no reason for students to know NTSC frame sizes, what 3:2 pulldown is, or the difference between RGB and YUV, that is, unless they want to learn more. In which case, let them grow out of the simple software and use the more advanced packages.
As for the assumption that using easy software causes students to struggle with more compliated software? I’ve been on both sides. Many, many times, it doesn’t matter what you’re used to, complicated software is still complicated.
If high school students are having trouble picking up “pro-level software on the Mac,” it’s not because they’re used to plug-and-play. There’s a reason it’s called “pro” software ((For the record, I started out on Media100 as a freshman in high school, then moved to Premiere & Final Cut Pro my junior year. I would’ve killed for something like iMovie where I didn’t need to make sure I captured my video as Motion JPEG-A through the Aurora card for it to play back out successfully)).
[via Daring Fireball]
I was looking over a portable drive to make sure we had all the footage for a project. This is what I had to dig through (project name has been obscured for confidentiality):