Archives for February, 2008 | Main

February 27, 2008

Deep South Y’all Wrapup

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I had the opportunity last week to work with Robert McDaniels, a member of the Education team here at Adobe. We covered 2 different events, one in Birmingham, and one in Tampa. The events were sponsored by the AIGA, which is one of the oldest and largest organizations for design professionals. In both cities, it was a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd.

Robert and I covered a lot in the 3+ hours, including web, print, and video workflows. I found it interesting that the attendees came from all 3 parts of design, and almost all of them now have to work outside of their core area of expertise – print people jumping into video, web people creating PDF’s for print, etc. We really are seeing the age of the “renaissance designer” that has to move between disciplines when necessary.

Out of my video workflow demonstration, I think seeing video in Photoshop was a big hit among the print crowd. Using a tool they already know and love to manipulate video is really exciting. The Puppet Tool in After Effects also gets high marks from both the web and print crowd because of the ease-of-use factor.

I’m looking forward to later this week – I’m doing a Blu-Ray authoring class tomorrow night in San Francisco. Blu-Ray is a very hot topic now that the format war is officially done with, and we have a nice solution for early adopters.

February 15, 2008

Manipulating Time…

I’ve gotten some questions lately about how to do Time Lapse shots with Adobe tools. There’s actually a fantastic way of recording Time Lapse directly off your DV/DVCPRO/HDV camera using a laptop computer and OnLocation.

Start by launching OnLocation, and connect your camera to your laptop via FireWire. If your camera isn’t automatically recognized, right-click anywhere in OnLocation, choose Devices, and choose your camcorder from the list.

Starting a timelapse clip is easy – just push the red record button that has a clock face on it, found here:

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By default, the time lapse option will record 1 frame per second, but you can customize that rate very easily. Click the Menu button on the Field Monitor, and look for a value called TmLps Frequency, shown here:

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Altering this number will do different things depending on the native frame rate of the signal you are working with. The number refers to the amount of frames to skip before recording another frame. So, for example, this will mean different record rates if you are working with a 30fps video signal vs a 60fps video signal. The best way to determine the rate is to use the charts found in the Help menu, which I’ve replicated here:

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Use the above chart if you are working with DV or DVCPROHD signals to determine frame rates. So for example, if I was working with an NTSC signal being recorded at 30fps, and I wanted to record a frame every 15 seconds, I’d set the value to 450. To record 1 frame a minute, I’d set it for 1800.

With HDV, there are slightly fewer choices because of the long-GOP nature of HDV. Here’s the chart for HDV:

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In most circumstances, OnLocation only records the I-Frames from the HDV signal, resulting in a slightly larger file size than a typical HDV file of the same duration.

Normally, OnLocation will keep recording time-lapse footage as long as there’s hard drive space. However, it’s possible to set a recording limit in the menu. If the TmLpse Net Frames setting is set to a value other than 0, OnLocation will record frames up to the Net Frames value and stop. For example, if I set the Net Frames value to 360, it will record 360 frames, and stop automatically.

February 12, 2008

Wrapup from London

Well, I had a wonderful time in London at Broadcast LIVE / Video Forum UK. The show had an attendance of over 10,000 people. Video Forum is a special show for me, because it was the first trade show I attended as an Adobe employee. This year saw larger crowds than last, and a packed theatre schedule.

The Adobe booth had 2 different theatres, and I had 5 45-minute sessions in Theatre 1. 2 sets of classes were back-to-back, with the first covering Production Premium CS3, and the other covering Premiere Pro CS3 in-depth.

Now, I’m pretty OS-agnostic these days, and feel comfortable in both MacOS and Windows, so demoing is always a conundrum. I love showing off Production Premium on the MacOS since it is new to the platform, yet I also like showing OnLocation (which is one of only 2 utility programs that have to run under Windows.) This show schedule worked beautifully, with back-to-back classes. I started in MacOS, showing how great the workflow is between the applications. Then, at the 5-minute break, I jumped over into Windows, and started my Premiere Pro class there. It gave people an opportunity to see Premiere Pro in both operating systems, and see how well it performs in either.

The theatres stayed packed with people, even on the last day of the show, and there were LOTS of questions, especially from the Mac community. I think the flexibility of Premiere Pro, and the interoperability between Pr and Ae is really turning heads in the Mac community.

I also got an opportunity to hang out a bit with my friend Angie Taylor.” Angie runs a site called www.creativeaftereffects.com and has a book out by the same name. I’m forever learning new tips and tricks on Ae thanks to her. Check out her site – it’s a great resource.

February 4, 2008

In Dallas

I’m in Dallas in a darkened hotel room working on a top secret project. I’ve been staring at my computer screen for the past couple of hours, looking at the face of the man who will become a legend of Rock and Roll…. Johnny Encore.

All will be revealed soon…

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