Archives for February, 2009 | Main

February 25, 2009

Next Adobe TimeSaver Video is LIVE: Going Tapeless with a Tape-Based Camera.

Watch a bigger version here:

February 22, 2009

The Most Uncomfortable Chair EVER!

Overall, I’ve had a FANTASTIC weekend in Prague. This is the first time visiting the city, and even though it’s really cold, I’ve enjoyed everything – the food, the people, just the overall atmosphere. It’s such a beautiful city.

Today, I’ve been sequestered in my hotel room prepping some custom content for this week’s road tour through Bratislava (on Tuesday) Prague (on Wednesday) and Warsaw (on Thursday). I’ll be covering a little of everything Production Premium related each day over a 5 hour period. If you are in the area, definitely stop in and say hi.

For those who follow me on Twitter (KarlSoule) you’ll know that I’ve had some issues with my hotel room chair. Something I’ve never been able to understand is why hotel chairs are most often chosen for style over comfort. Case in point:


I’ve been sitting on this piece of lucite for the past 6 hours, off and on, and I officially declare it is the MOST UNCOMFORTABLE CHAIR EVER!! 🙂

With that rant done, I’m back to work. See you later in the week.

February 20, 2009

Why you should use Adobe OnLocation…

This past week, I had someone at Broadcast Video ask me why we have a product like OnLocation, since the capture utility in most NLE’s can capture live video from a FireWire port. Oh, let me count the ways:

1. Monitoring Tools. OnLocation is much more than a direct-to-disk capture program – it also helps set up shots, detects potential problems in shots, and can make you a better shooter overall.

2. Calibrated Field Monitor. By running a short calibration routine in the Field Monitor, what you are looking at is accurate. Compare this to the average LCD display on a camera, which doesn’t display accurate brightness, color, or contrast, and on many cameras, cuts off 10% of the picture.

3. RAM Buffering. Adobe OnLocation uses some great under-the-hood coding to ensure that it won’t drop frames. As the video comes in, it’s buffered into RAM first before going to the hard drive. Unlike the capture or log & transfer function in your NLE, OnLocation is an application that was designed as a field recorder first and foremost.

4. Live Waveform and Vectorscope monitors. These scopes and monitors are VITAL for seeing problems that may not be noticeable to the eye. If you don’t know how to read these scopes, you NEED TO LEARN. They are very easy to read once you understand what you’re looking at. It only takes about 10 minutes, and the benefits are huge. Go to the OnLocation Help to find out, or keep checking here for some upcoming examples.

5. Quick Back-and-Forth between record and playback. OnLocation is designed as a field recorder, so it’s very easy to review shots, then keep shooting. Instantly review what you just shot. You’ll stop shooting “one more for safety,” and you’ll leave sets with the confidence you get what you came for.

6. Continuity checking. OnLocation has a Split Screen feature that can help match recorded shots with a live camera, making it very easy to dial in the camera to match.

7. Adding Metadata. OnLocation makes it easier to add metadata into your recorded footage during acquisition. The sooner you get metadata into your assets, the more you’ll benefit. Using the Shot List placeholders, you can have metadata in OnLocation before you even shoot, so you won’t have to type it in later.

See what I mean? Once you start using OnLocation for shoots, you won’t want to go back. It’s included with Premiere Pro, Production Premium, and Master Collection for BOTH Mac and Windows, so go check it out!

February 19, 2009

Broadcast Video Expo Wrapup

Thanks to everyone this week for all the love at Broadcast Video Expo! Our Adobe theatre was absolutely PACKED the entire show, with lots of interest in CS4. Even in the Panasonic booth, as soon as I began demoing our P2 workflow, the theatre was left with standing room only. Just a phenomenal show. I’m still waiting to see final attendance numbers, but this show had the floor traffic of shows of yore – people packed in the aisles.

I’ll leave you with one pic of the Adobe Theatre, showing my friend Angie Taylor in mid-demo. Again, every seat full, people sitting on the floor, and standing 4-deep in the aisles:


Headed to Prague as I type this – really looking forward to my first visit in Eastern Europe!

February 16, 2009

Everyday Timesavers!

There’s a new series on AdobeTv to be aware of called Everyday Timesavers, featuring Rufus Deuchler, Julianne Kost, Greg Rewis, Paul Burnett, Jason Levine, and myself. Over the next few weeks, you’ll see short videos covering just a few of the ways that CS4 can save you time in everyday tasks. Jason is leading off the Production Premium videos, showing how the new Speech Search works, and can save TONS of time finding the clip you’re looking for. Check it out!

February 15, 2009

This Week’s Schedule…

I’m safely in my hotel room on the West side of London. I’ll be at Earl’s Court 2 this Tuesday – Thursday doing a variety of presentations. If you’re in the area, please say hi.

Each Day:

10:15am – See an overview of CS4 Production Premium at the Dreamtek booth.

1:45pm – 2:30pm – See P2 Workflow with CS4 Production Premium in the Panasonic booth.

4:15pm – See an overview of CS4 Production Premium at the Dreamtek booth. (Not happening Thursday – show closes early.)


11:30am – The CinemaDNG Initiative: Find out about Adobe’s mission to bring RAW workflows into the video space.

For the Production Premium sessions, I do take requests, if there’s something specific you’d like to see. 🙂

February 12, 2009

Not using 64-bit Vista yet? You should…

It’s time. The perfect storm has finally come together to move to 64-bit Windows computing. For a long time, people have asked about 64-bit Windows XP, and I’ve never given it the thumbs-up. There were too many driver issues with it, and it was never widely adopted. Microsoft used Vista as the official crossover point from 32-bit to 64-bit, and it shows in the amount of drivers that are available for it.

You may not be aware of it, but there have been several changes made to After Effects and Premiere Pro CS4 that make switching to 64-bit Windows a really good idea. Both applications can definitely take advantage of more RAM, and the only way to use more than 4**GB is to switch to 64-bit. For example, Premiere Pro CS4 will automatically use the additional RAM in a 64-bit system by making copies of itself in memory for every 4GB your timeline needs. With RAM as cheap as it is, getting 16GB or even more is an easy way of boosting performance in Premiere Pro. But you have to be running 64-bit to do it.

Now, before you get started upgrading, make sure your system has 64-bit drivers available for it. The one disadvantage of 64-bit Windows is finding drivers. Specific Vista 64-bit drivers are necessary in order to run your hardware – the regular 32-bit drivers won’t work. My home system uses an ASUS motherboard, and a quick check of the ASUS support site shows a full set of 64-bit drivers for my motherboard.

Also, make sure your copy of Vista has SP1 installed. Service Pack 1 is required for CS4, and you really don’t want to be running Vista without it. Most of the posts out there complaining about Vista instability were written prior to SP1, so keep that in mind.

Once you have everything in place – 64-bit Vista running, drivers installed, CS4 installed, here are some tips to maximize performance:

* For Premiere Pro, you don’t have to do much of anything. Just make sure you’ve upgraded to 4.01, since some of these changes were added in the free incremental update. Premiere Pro will now utilize more than 4GB of RAM in the system by making multiple instances of itself each time 4GB has been used.

* For After Effects, you’ll want to go into the Preferences – Memory & Multiprocessing panel, and adjust the amount of memory per core. AE will also instance itself, but it does this per CPU core, and each core can utilize 4GB.

Here are a couple of good resources for understanding how AE uses RAM:

(Thanks, Todd, for the links!)

For those Mac users still reading, both of these features are in the Mac version, so you don’t need to do anything special to use more than 4GB of RAM.

**4GB is the theoretical maximum under 32-bit Windows, but many applications won’t be able to use all 4GB of RAM due to OS overhead. For example, After Effects can usually only access 2GB of RAM in 32-bit Windows. There’s a hack to enable up to 3GB, but that’s the maximum. (Hack info is in the links above, if anyone needs it.)

February 11, 2009

Exercise on the Road

I’m currently gearing up for my next big road trip – I’ll be:

* In London for Broadcast Video Expo from Feb 17-19th.

* In Prague Feb 20-23, meeting with video customers.

* In Bratislava Feb 24th for a CS4 Production Premium day seminar – details to be posted later.

* Back in Prague for another Day Seminar on Feb 25th.

* In Warsaw on Feb 26th to wrap up the CS4 Production Premium tour.

This is my first overseas trip since December, so I’m really looking forward to it. However, I’ve been in an exercise routine during my home stay, and the one thing that blows up any regular exercising for me is a road trip. Inevitably, due to jetlag or long work hours, I don’t get the exercise that I need. I try to use the hotel gym if available, or go out walking, but I don’t always have the time. Any tips from other world travelers?

February 10, 2009

FCP Users: How to use Dynamic Link

I’ve already talked about the benefits of adding Premiere Pro to your arsenal of video production. Here, I’m going to give you an example of why using Premiere Pro with your FCP project can save you a LOT of time.

Here’s an example of a Final Cut project with some green screen footage. I want to composite that footage in After Effects.

I COULD do this the old way – **TAKES DEEP BREATH** export the clip, create a new AE Project, Create a new comp, take time Cmd-tabbing between programs to get the settings of the new comp to match the FCP project, import the footage into AE, begin compositing, render a test shot, import the test shot into FCP, compare it to my other clips, Cmd-tab back to AE, make changes, render another clip, import new clip into FCP….**WHEW!!**

Here’s the easier way using Production Premium CS4, including Premiere Pro CS4.01:

Start by exporting your project from FCP using the File-Export-XMP command. This will save an XMP version of your project.

Open up Premiere Pro. Create a new Premiere Pro project. Premiere will ask to create a new timeline sequence – don’t worry about the settings. We aren’t going to use the empty timeline for anything. Just use the default settings and name.

In Premiere Pro, double-click on the empty space in the Project bin. This will open up an Import window. Find and double-click on the XML file you created in the previous step. This will import your FCP timeline sequence, and all necessary media.

To activate a Dynamic Link to After Effects, right-click (or Option-Click) on the green screen clip in the timeline, and choose Send to AE Composition. After Effects will automatically open, create a new composition matching the settings of the clip, and get you ready to start keying.

When you want to see your comp in action inside your timeline, simply switch back to Premiere Pro, and scrub the timeline. Thanks to Dynamic Link, you don’t need to go to the render queue first and create a file – it’s ready to scrub inside Premiere Pro. To make changes, go back to AE, make changes, and jump back to Premiere Pro. Your changes update instantly.

February 10, 2009

Still Looking for AdobeTV Feedback…

At the end of January, I asked for your feedback on the AdobeTV show that Jason Levine and I co-host, Short & Suite. Thanks for your feedback so far – I’m working on some interesting ideas for episodes. I’d still love to hear more ideas, so feel free to comment.

Now, Rufus Deuchler, my friend and Design Evangelist on our team, has announced the name of his new AdobeTV show, and he too is looking for feedback on what to cover. If you have design topics you’d like to see covered, check out Rufus’s blog, and give him some feedback.

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