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July 29, 2011

Road to Singapore

It’s been several months since I’ve posted anything here. Part of that has been because of my constant time on new Facebook groups, on Twitter, and elsewhere. The other major change in my life is definitely part of the Video Road. I’m now stationed in the Adobe Singapore office.

Why Singapore? Well, to answer that, I have to first answer the question, “Why Asia in general?” The truth is that I’ve always found Asia to be one of the most energetic and dynamic parts of the world. This region is growing so rapidly, and the Adobe video business is really riding that wave over here. We are seeing a big growth in areas like broadcast worldwide, but the potential for growth in the next couple of years here in Asia-Pacific (or APAC) is huge, and I want to help it however I can. Earlier this year, I got the opportunity to come back to the region on a video tour, and it reminded me how much I’ve missed the area. Last year was a domestic-only travel year, and while I loved the Hollywood visits, my heart missed the world traveling; the world exposure to different production worlds, different challenges, etc.

Out of all of Asia, Singapore is the most cosmopolitan city. There’s a little bit of everything here. One thing my world travels has taught me is that America is the biggest exporter of chain branding, especially for restaurants. You name it, and we have it here. (It’s also a place for American chains that can’t survive in the USA – read this article to see more.) Still, the culinary adventures are numerous. 2 highlights so far – getting the kids to try Century Eggs one night (which I love) and to try the King of Fruit, Durian, the next. (not as well received.) The culture here is definitely the most “western” of the large Asian cities, but there’s still a wonderful blending of cultures. It does remind me a lot of San Francisco without the hills – a big city with a lot of diversity, but with a unified branding and identity.

It’s all still so new here – my furniture hasn’t even arrived, and I’m meeting with clients and planning travel in the region. The family is still getting used to it all. Most of my family had never left the USA before, so this was quite the adventure for them. I still have to get my daughter to remember to look right when crossing the street (instead of left like back home.) The humidity is really foreign to me, having grown up in the arid Sacramento valley. My body is still adjusting to that.

People keep asking me how long I will be here – although this is a 2-year contract, I’m treating it for the time being as a permanent relocation. I can’t predict the market in 2 years, but I love the location, the people, the culture, and well, everything about Singapore so far. :-) Some of the other expats that live here came over on even shorter contracts, and just never left. So, we will see what the future holds.



November 15, 2010

Great posting on Scaling in Premiere Pro CS5

If you missed Todd Kopriva’s posting on Pro Video Coalition, you should read it now:

Great technical read on what algorithms are used by Premiere Pro depending on which mode (software or hardware) the Mercury Playback engine is run in.

Check it out.

May 25, 2010

New RED Mysterium-X Support now available

For those who attended the RED supermeet in Las Vegas, you may remember me showing an example of Mysterium-X support in Premiere Pro and After Effects, including support for FLUT color science.

That support is now available on Labs right here:

Todd Kopriva has a great article about it here:

May 19, 2010

Stump the Karl…

Recently, I presented at a user group down in San Jose, the Bay Area Professional Video Association, showing off CS5 for over an hour. Thanks to Dan O’Hara and the rest of the BAPVA board for having me down!

I was asked a question that I didn’t have an answer to, or, rather, I thought I had the answer to – Do chapter markers from Premiere Pro come through in a Dynamic Link to Encore? And, if the chapter markers are updated in Premiere, will they automatically update in Encore?

Well, the answer to the first part is yes, chapter markers in a Premiere Pro timeline do transfer across into Encore. I got that right.

The second part I sort of got right, but I missed an important step. If you go back to Premiere Pro, and alter the chapter markers, it’s true that the chapter markers don’t automatically update, but it’s easy to tell Encore to update them. Right-click on the timeline in Encore, and choose “Update Markers from Source” as shown here:


Now, keep in mind that when this is done, ALL chapter markers are reset to what they are in the Premiere Pro sequence, and you’ll lose things like Poster Frames. But, the important thing is that you can do it. Special thanks to Dan for catching this, and tweeting me the answer.

I need to create a signature prize, like the old Marvel No-Prize, to hand out when someone catches me making a mistake like this one in a live presentation. :-)

December 29, 2009

Using a Flip MinoHD Camera with Premiere Pro CS4

Happy Holidays!

Technically, I’m off this week, but I had to share a small technical tidbit you may not be aware of. My friend and boss, David Helmly, just sent me a wonderful Christmas gift – a Flip MinoHD video camera, in a special CS4 Production Premium – colored edition!


If you’re not aware, the Flip MinoHD works natively with Premiere Pro CS4 without any need for re-wrapping or transcoding the files. In fact, you can play the clips direct off the camera inside of Premiere Pro.

The secret to doing this is picking the right timeline sequence: The MinoHD uses the exact format of MP4 file that the Sony XDCAM-EX camera uses. So, for North America, choose the XDCAM-EX 720p 29.97fps sequence preset when you create a new timeline, and you’ll be editing the MinoHD clips natively with no red or yellow bar in the timeline! Very cool stuff!

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Have a Happy New Year, and I’ll post again after the holiday break!

December 2, 2009

Mercury Engine and RED

With all the new news about the Scarlet camera series from RED, I’ve gotten a couple of emails about how the new Adobe Mercury Engine will work with RED footage.

If you go to this video on Dave Helmly’s wonderful AdobeTV show:

and scrub to about the 9:20 mark, you’ll see some examples of how the Mercury Engine plays back RED footage. Dave has 4 RED R3D files (full 4k files!) playing back in the Multicam monitor in real-time. He also shows real-time chroma keying of RED files. Incredible.

November 19, 2009

New episodes of Short & Suite

June 11, 2009

New Short & Suite episode as well

Not to be outdone, Short & Suite has several new episodes as well! Here’s the latest episode with me, as I talk about some of the new Premiere Pro CS4 features:

February 6, 2009

NLE Shootout shows the flexibility of Premiere Pro

I meant to blog about this earlier, but it slipped my mind. A couple of months ago, Dennis Radeke represented Adobe at an NLE shootout in the Boston area, where all of the top players were in attendance – Avid, Apple, Grass Valley, and Sony.

Part of the challenge was to import a BUNCH of different types of media on a timeline, create some picture-in-picture effects, animate a PSD file, import some audio clips, and make the whole thing play without rendering. needless to say, with Premiere Pro’s very flexible playback engine, it accomplished the task in about 5 1/2 minutes.

Here’s what Dennis had to say about the experience.

January 30, 2009

More Books…

I got a lot of requests on more book recommendations for Production Premium users or beginners out there. Here are a few additional titles that I’d consider ‘essential’ reading.

For Shooting: The DV Rebel’s Guide by Stu Maschwitz Stu’s guide covers a LOT of tips and tricks how to get shots, from using natural lighting to taking advantage of inexpensive steadycam techniques.

Good After Effects Starter Guides:
Creative After Effects 7 by Angie Taylor. This book is a guide through everything you need to know about AE. While I’ve put this book in the “starters” category, it’s a full lesson in AE, including lots of advanced techniques. Angie also maintains a companion web site with additional tutorials found here.

Another good starter book would be After Effects Apprentice by Chris and Trish Meyer. Beautifully layed-out book that takes a lot of time with core theories of AE animation techniques. If you are trying to see what AE can do, this one will walk you through the basics of the different uses of the app, and it’s a good icebreaker into Chris & Trish’s more advanced AE book

More advanced AE Books:
Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects by Chris & Trish Meyer This, along with Angie’s book, are the bibles on what you can accomplish with After Effects. Highly recommended.

AE CS4 Visual Effects and Compositing Studio Techniques by Mark Christiansen This book focuses on tricks used in real-world studio situations, and every time I pick this book up, I find another pearl of wisdom. There are many ways to accomplish tasks in AE, but Mark shows how to do things fast and right the first time. And, these techniques have been battle-tested in real life situations. Good stuff for the advanced user.

Other useful books to consider:

Photoshop for Video by Richard Harrington Great book for getting the most out of Photoshop for video graphic design. Don’t overlook the bonus chapters on the DVD as well – lots’ of good stuff in there.

The Non-Designer’s Design book by Robin Williams This book is primarily geared towards the print world, but many people I’ve talked with in the video world have never taken a design class – this book is a great primer for understanding color theory, text design, and repetition in design elements. I think anyone designing lower third graphics or opening graphic intros can benefit from this book.

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