Entries in Tutorial (5)


Tutorial - Video Handles and PSD files

Frederick Van Johnson asked me why he couldn't cross dissolve to his titles... it actually took me a bit to figure out why it was a problem because I normally don't bring Photoshop documents into FCP... I know you can, I know WHY people do it, I just choose not to participate. Anyway, here is an explanation of video handles and why you DON'T want to use PSD docs in Final Cut, or at least, if you do, know what you are getting into.

I've been cyber robbed.

Ever hear of Final Cut Tips? Its a web site that has, well Final Cut Tips. So, tonight I'm following links on Twitter and I find this site and its always interesting to see other peoples video tutorials online... So I look at one about about keyboard shortcuts. Then the next one I look at is all about how to convert 5D footage...

I think, this will be interesting. I'VE done a tutorial about how to convert 5D footage. I wonder how it compares... well... except for the aspect ratio of the file, ITS EXACTLY MINE... Not like, "oh look, they did my tutorial" (I've seen that too...) but they took my file off of YouTube, they recompressed it, they screwed up the aspect ratio, (mine was HD theirs is 4X3) and then they put their logo on it. TACKY.

Now, besides the thing is stealing views from MY site, I take GREAT offense to the fact that the borked the aspect ratio.  I take great pride in stuff like that and spend a lot of time dealing with the best ways to show Macs online.

Oh and the worst part about it, (actually the aspect ratio and the logo are bad) was that there was NO CREDIT, no where on the page. 

They even took my comments and tags from my YouTube post.

So anyway... if any of you have ever done any tutorials onlline, you may want to check this site... they obviously have no shame in stealing material.

One more thing... I love sharing cool stuff I've seen online. I link to peoples work all the time. I usually have a few nice things to say about them. So the idea of linking to other peoples work and crediting it to them is fine with me... but this incident is just not cool.

Grabbed from their site tonight.


Auto Save Vault in Final Cut Pro

Actually some editors don't like the fact that Auto Save kicks in when you are about to do something but in fact it may be a real blessing that its been bugging you ever 30 minutes (or so) if you crash in the middle of a big project and you have not developed the "Save All Twitch". (Command-Option-S)


I want a 5DMK2... maybe?

Earlier today I got an email from a guy I haven't worked with for about 20 years. He was asking me about the Canon 5DMK2 and the Canon 7D and wanted to know my thoughts on them. Its a common and recurring question but most of the time it is a discussion that doesn't happen between guys with 25 years experience in the business.  Face it, the HDSLR 'craze', if you will, has been more commonly picked up by 'the kids'.  (Generalization I know...)

After spending a bunch of time on the email response to his question, I figured I should probably share it here. So, in no particular order, these are some major compromises you need to be willing to deal with if you are going to try to work with a HDSLR.


You DO realize you have to transcode the footage just to begin...

Since you tend to cut on Avid, if you are going to transcode, maybe you would prefer just transcoding to some Avid codec, (I owned an Avid for about 3 months in late 97, early 98 and got ride of it, HATED it. so I don't know any Avid tips at all) 

You DO NOT want to try to edit the H264 files right from the camera... it blows!!!

7D v 5DMK2

Also, you may prefer the 7D, you can shoot 24P NOW, (there may be a 24 FPS firmware update for the 5D soon, and if you want LONG lens options the 7D's cropped sensor gives every lens you own a 1.6 magnification right off the top, and you still get the fun DOF for the most part.


Regardless of which camera you get you MUST buy the Zacuto Z-Finder...

One of the main problems with the Canon DSLR's is that they were never meant to be used as video cameras. When you put it in Live View, or video mode the eyepiece becomes non functional. This means that you need to use the LCD on the back of the body. This means that you need to hold the camera away from your body and it makes it nearly impossible to see if anything is in focus.

There are multiple companies that make loupes to view the back of the camera... I've tried a couple.. and the Z-Finder is the one you want. Its as simple as that.

Costy yes,  but once you look thru it you'll NEVER regret it the $400 bucks you spend on it.


And don't forget the Audio... both canon cameras have HORRIBLE audio subsystems. HORRIBLE, don't expect to use it for anything but a scratch track. you NEED to dual record on another device, think of it like going back 20 or 30 years and shooting film with a Nagra...

Many people are using the Zoom H4N...

The Zoom H4N is a great little gizmo,  300 bucks and has a ton of features including onboard compression and the ability to record 4 tracks at once, 2 on the built in stereo mics and two XLR inputs, (BIG drawback, ONE level adjustment shared for the two XLR inputs.


So anyway, those were the notes that I shared with my friend, I hope it can be helpful to you too.


UPDATE: 100313

Neutral Density Filter

Another thing that is missing from the 5D MK2 and 7D is neutral density. Traditional video cameras usually have some sort of filter built in but not on the HDSLRs. You have to remember that in the photography world you can adjust the amount of light that hits the sensor with the shutter speed. If you are trying to create a filmic look you really can't or shouldn't be messing around with your shutter speed. Because of this you need to have some ND available. 

The Singh-Ray Vari-ND gives you from 2 to 8 stops of ND by just rotating the front ring and is vital if you want to control your DOF in the bright sunlight. 


Tutorial - Find your files... Disk Tracker

This is a great app that allows you to find files on drives that have been unmounted. I use to keep track of TONS of drives and it allows me to search for files or browse the contents even if the drive is sitting on a shelf back at home.