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.


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.

Photoshop Tips with King Reginald of Shropshire


Oh!  Hello!  I was not expecting thee so soon!  I assume thou art one of my many peasants, and I have a strict rule forbidding peasants to look me in the eye under penalty of death 😉  but I will make an exception for thee today.  So thou have probably never actually met me before, I am King Reginald of Shropshire, and I am your King.  Some of my hobbies include slaying dragons, drinking mead, and grilling up some hot dogs on the beach.  But recently, I had the local wizard MerMac create your mighty King a device which he has called a “computer.”  It has the light of a thousand candles!  My favorite thing to do on this “computer” is spend all day browsing FaceParchment.com, hooking up with some old warriors from knight school that I have not talked to in like FOREVER! (btw, Sir Gallahad has gotten faaaaaaat…!)  But MerMac only conjured up two programs for me, Minesweep and Ye Ole Photoshop.  Having gotten instantly frustrated with Minesweep, I then focused my attention on Ye Ole Photoshop, WHICH I FELL IN LOVE WITH.  Let me show thee what I’m up to today.

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Inspired Editing – CHIFCPUG Presentation Video

Have you ever been fear stuck while looking at an empty timeline, with no idea where to start? Are you sometimes creatively challenged and questioning your career choice? Have you ever wanted to learn how to fly a plane? If you answered yes to the first two questions, this post is for you. I can’t help with the third one.

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From the Assistant’s Chair: Making DVD Labels

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

There was this heavyset kid in my high school who constantly had stains all over his shirt.  It was disgusting; it was as if he never washed his shirt.  Food stains, drink stains, dirt stains, indescribable stains, whatever they were they were all horrifying.  One day someone started calling him The Venus CrapTrap.  Then everyone started calling him The Venus CrapTrap.  Then rumors and jokes started to form around him being able to statically attract filth to himself, as if he were able to walk into a room and all of the garbage in the room would fly across the room and stick to him.  I’m sure it didn’t make his life very easy, as everyone had this unfair perception of him based on his filthy shirts.  I happened to eat lunch with him a few times, and he was an all right guy.  He was just unimaginably lazy.  But he was really smart, interesting, and an all around likeable chap.  But he had the label of being a horrifying beast based on his external appearance.  Now you see where I’m going with this?  DVD labels are the same way, the content on the disc may be awesome, but if the label is trash, it will put people off from the whole thing.

By the way, Mike (The Venus CrapTrap) now works in a warehouse.  I know you’d like me to say he’s now better than all the people who used to put him down, but he is seriously one of the laziest people I’ve ever met.

I make a lot of simple DVD labels for clients around here, in a program called Discus.  There are a few do’s and don’ts, and I’d like to share a few tips to make sure no one is giving your label a bad label.  

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Eternal Backup of the Spotless Drive (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second of a two part series on the Quantum A-Series LTO drive. You can find part 1 here.

Once Quantum released the unbelievably fantastic Version 3 upgrade three months ago, any minor inconvenience we were having with the tape drive seemed to disappear. They really did a great job listening to client comments and fixed virtually every problem that needed to be addressed. The interface is more fluid (you used to not be able to adjust the size of the windows), and there is no longer a self-destruct button next to the eject button. There is now an automatic preventative measure in place to no longer lose the table of contents (a problem we had early in its use, it appeared worse than it actually was). We can fill the tapes up as full as we want (we used to need to add a cushion of space to prevent filling the tapes “too full”). I can now let my pals < and ? into the drive without concern. Oh, they can invite the rest of their friends as well, the blacklist is lifted! There is still only a 97 character limit for filenames, but only once in a blue moon do I export FCP movies titled…

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