SuiteTake Changes, And The Future

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While posts have been a bit hit or miss lately due to our heavy work load, that doesn’t mean that we’re not getting some work done under the hood! I wanted to do a quick post to let you know some of the not so obvious changes we’ve made.

Videos
Because of the increasing demand on our server, videos are now hosted by Blip.tv. One of the new advantages is that you can now more easily play the video within the post, or watch it full screen. All video is also available in multiple formats so you can also download clips to your computer.

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Cut It Out!

Ah, the words of Dave Coulier have never resonated stronger in my life than in recent days. Sure there were times on the playground in 4th grade when Full House lingo may have been more frequent, but not until I started editing did I consider Uncle Joey’s catch phrase to become a way of life. In a situation where a nice After Effects sequence or a Motion graphic project could jazz up a portion of a video that needs a little jazzing, I look to my go-to secondary editing program: Photoshop.

You could say that I’m not skilled enough in After Effects and Motion to utilize them enough so I resort to Photoshop. Well, that would be mean to say, and you know what, I think your shirt is ugly and you have poor taste in restaurants. I like to think that I use Photoshop in a good enough way that it could be the program I look to for sprucing things up, just by cutting up and rebuilding photos. So despite what my Dad insists, Photoshop can be used for more than eliminating red eye in pictures of his dog.

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Windows on a Mac…Not the Microsoft Kind

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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.

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From the Assistant’s Chair: The Little Things

This is an ongoing study into the mind of an assistant editor, and the various small tasks he is assigned to.

An editing facility is a lot like an underground fight club. Except it’s cleaner. And more work gets done. And there aren’t any fights. It’s actually nothing like an underground fight club. But that would be awesome if it was.

Aside from misleading people with opening sentences, an assistant editor has many responsibilities that go beyond actual editing work. It’s these little things that are required of the job that not only make this place run infinitely times smoother, but they are also the reason that clients keep coming back. Having this delusion that these minor things are the most important aspect of the office is important in not only ensuring that you keep doing them, but it also boosts your ego and enables you to brag about your job to attractive women at parties.

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Entering the Third Dimension!

Have you ever seen one of those movies where the kid from Montana, fresh off the farm, goes to Hollywood because he has dreams of becoming an actor, because he was the best actor in his 75 student high school’s rendition of West Side Story? Then he gets to Hollywood, with his suitcase and his cowboy hat, and he’s walking down the street wide eyed and astonished at all the bright lights and weird people that inhabit the area, and he doesn’t know what to do with himself or where to begin? Well, I feel like that farm boy, except instead of going to Hollywood I’m using Cinema 4D, and instead of seeing freaks everywhere, I’m looking at complex menu screens and lots of buttons that I have no idea what they do. I mean, look at this interface, it’s scary for someone with no background in 3D to open this program!

A decision was made by the high council of elders, at their shrine resting on the peak of the volcano, that I would be the chosen one to learn how to use a true 3D program. But I have no experience whatsoever in this area. This is my first job in this industry out of college, and to be honest, I didn’t even use something as basic as Photoshop a single time while I was in college! Let’s just say the most experience I had working on 3D was when I watched WALL-E a couple months ago. So I was nervous at the thought of learning this program, but at the same time excited at the possibility of what I could potentially do. I suppose the purpose of this post is to show you what it’s like to first delve into a 3D program if you have no idea what you’re doing, and possibly how it’s not as scary as one may think.

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

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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.