The SuiteTake App Store

suitetake-app-store

And now, introducing the SuiteTake App Store! Well, ok not really. It just seams as though everybody is getting rich selling apps these days so why not jump up on that band-wagon? The proliferation of the iPhone App Store, and the many others imitators from Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and on and on, it’s important to take a step back every now and then and remember that they still do make cool apps for regular computers too. And it may be hard to believe but some of them actually aren’t flashlights.

The following is a brief list of 5 cool apps that we just love to have on all our Macs. All 5 are what I would call utility and workflow type apps, they’re not things like After Effects or Firefox, apps that are essentially the core function of your Mac. These are little ditties that just make life, and work, that much easier.

Everyone goes through a learning curve when it come to technology and computers. You begin as a novice and learn more and more over time until you become very streamlined and efficient with the tasks you do everyday, whether it’s crunching spreadsheets or compositing layers. Even though the latest and greatest versions of OSX and Windows have come a long way to improving upon the efficient user experience they still leave a lot of things up to third parties to fill in the gaps. For most of us there will come a time in our learning curve where we have become so advanced and efficient that our software actually gets in our way, we can think and process what we want to do much faster than we can type and click. These few apps go a long way in solving these types of problems.

Read moreThe SuiteTake App Store

Getting the most out of those fancy-schmancy online tutorials

getting-the-most-header_v2

Isn’t it annoying these days that there seems to be a new “how to” or “tutorial” blog about the video industry popping up every other day? Places like SuiteTake.com, those guys think they know everything and are the Steve Jobs’ gift to mankind…oh wait….

But seriously, these days there are a ton of free and very useful sites out there that offer a wealth of education about all things audio and video. And ok, I’ll admit that here at SuiteTake there are a few things we don’t know. (One writer, who shall remain unidentified for now, was railed by readers for not knowing what the “extend edit” button does, sheesh.) Whenever we have some down time here at SuiteTake worldwide headquarters I always cruise the tutorial sites looking for new ideas and techniques. But, it’s one thing to watch a tutorial and just think to yourself “wow, that was cool. I should try that sometime.” and another to actually advance you skill-set and knowledge through the tutorial. Here are a few things I do when watching or reading tutorials to get the most out of them.

Read moreGetting the most out of those fancy-schmancy online tutorials

Windows on a Mac…Not the Microsoft Kind

windows-on-mac-header

Ok ok, the title may be a little mis-leading but what’s the harm in trying to drive a little Google search traffic? The windows that I am referring to are the Final Cut Pro kind, not the Microsoft kind. I’ve always made a big case for workflow and editing efficiency here and no detail is too small when it comes to working smoothly. In fact, I’ve found that it’s often the little things that help the most when they are streamlined or annoy the most when they are clunky and rigid. If you never take the time to experiment and rearrange your FCP window layout and button bar arrangements you’re probably missing out on workflow efficiency gains. Here is my window layout and button bar arrangement and why I have things the way they are.

Read moreWindows on a Mac…Not the Microsoft Kind

Keeping your sanity…Working with Producers, Clients, and other “experts” at your job.

keeping_your_sanity_header_v2

If you’re an editor you work for somebody.

Even if you’re just a one man freelance shop – Johnny’s Productions – if you have work, you are working for somebody. You, or your sales staff, or your producer closed a deal and got you a gig, and that means you work for somebody. That person is your client.

Whether you just landed your first real job and are scrambling to actually learn how to use After Effects by tomorrow morning, or you’re “celebrating” your 20th year in the biz by reminiscing about the good old 1-inch days, the manner in which you interact with your client will determine whether or not they will be your last.

It’s no secret that being polite, listening, and working cooperatively are all necessary when working with clients but to keep the passion alive and the creativity flowing year after year you really need to develop relationships that work in harmony together and truly mutually benefit each other. We may hate to admit it but we do actually need our clients input and direction if we are to create a successful piece for them.

During my career as an editor I have found that there really are 2 primary ideas that need to be balanced when dealing with a client. No matter what your skill and experience level, and, more importantly, no matter their skill and experience level –  keen attention to these ideas can make all the difference between a great working relationship that brings you work for years to come or just another edit from H – E – Double Hockey Sticks.

Read moreKeeping your sanity…Working with Producers, Clients, and other “experts” at your job.

The Top-Ten Things I Wish I Knew About Final Cut Pro…Ten Years Ago.

top_ten

I’ve been an editor for a while now at several different shops. Through those days and places I have mostly been self taught until I ended up here with SuiteTake. At SuiteTake training and skill development is not just encouraged, it’s part of our daily responsibilities. Therefor, in the recent past my learning curve has increased dramatically.

The Top Ten things I wish I knew:

10. Shift and option dragging

9. Quick Ken Burns effect

8. QuickTime vs Quicktime Conversion.

7. The Black and code button.

6. Option 1,2,3 for transition alignment

5. Esc, tab, spacebar to navigate windows

4. Apply normalization to audio in FCP

3. Disable dropped frames warning.

2. Disable rendering with caps lock.

1. Map your keyboard.

The SuiteTake Take?

If you’re an experienced editor you probably know most of these already, however, if you’re just starting out like me so many years ago you’ll be putting yourself ahead of the game by learning these tricks now and not 10 years from now.

The following video tutorial demonstrates a list of 10 efficiencies and workflows with Final Cut Pro that I wish I had known from the start. If I had these often simple tricks in my pocket from day 1 I would have saved myself countless hours and heaps of frustration.

The Manual Duck

Ahhh the age old struggle between Final Cut Pro and After Effects. For what seems like centuries now us Final Cut Pro editors have been struggling with finding an efficient and, moreover, convenient workflow between FCP and After Effects. Sure, products like Livetype and Motion have come along and made life easier for some tasks but when it comes down to real motion graphics work and serious compositing nothing beats After Effects. Have you ever put Motion’s Primatte RT side by side with a key pulled from After Effects Keylight? To me there’s no comparison.

Coming from an editor’s chair, not a designer’s, it took me a while to really get up to speed with After Effects. In the past I was using AE infrequently for several reasons: 1. I didn’t know the interface and key commands well, 2. I didn’t know the software’s capabilities well, 3. I was intimidated by the rigid workflow between FCP and AE. All these factors equaled inefficent workflow and so I just usually opted not to use AE in favor of a faster and more flexible option like Livetype or Motion.

However, in the past year the work we have been doing has called more and more for serious graphics design and compositing, Livetype and Motion were simply not going to cut it. So I buckled down and really learned the After Effects interface, key commands and it’s capabilities. Through that hard work I quickly became much more efficent with AE and started creating some really cool stuff. But all this new-found efficency with AE itself still did nothing to help with a round-trip workflow to and from FCP. And if we can assume anything about Apple and Adobe there will probably never be an intergrated roundtrip solution between the two.

Read moreThe Manual Duck