Archive for July, 2011

Apple FCPX: Not what you think it is

Published by | Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Let’s come out and say it: The launch of Final Cut Pro X has been controversial. With FCPX, Apple has released a new piece of software that is not only different from its previous version, but completely different from any other application in its field. I wouldn’t dare tell you whether these changes are right or wrong for your editing workflow. I’m not a journalist or an evangelist. I can’t even say that I’m a video editor—I gave up the freelance editing life nearly three years ago. What I am is a teacher. This is a great time to work for, because what editors need most right now is to learn what Final Cut Pro X is really capable of.

Lately, it seems like the Internet has gone crazy over FCPX. Initially, the word was that professional editors were angry about the drastic changes in Final Cut Pro X, while consumers and amateur editors were curious about this new editing tool. But in the last few days, I’ve seen that tide changing a little bit. Professional editors seem to be giving FCPX a bit of a chance. They are learning that it introduces incredible new tools like clip auditioning and connected clips. They are learning that some of the bad things they’ve heard are simply not true, like the rumors that said Final Cut 7 and FCPX could not be installed on the same machine or the rumors that said 3rd party plug-ins were not supported. They are hearing announcements directly from Apple saying that certain valuable features are going to be added via software updates, including Multicam and support for exporting XML.

As a Training Producer, I’ve been working closely with author Abba Shapiro, feverishly pushing to record and publish FCPX training in the library as quickly as possible. I’ve been learning incredible things about FCPX that have honestly changed my perspective. Abba knows things about this application that nobody else in the world knows about, short of the engineers that built it. I’m thrilled that he is working with to get that knowledge out to the world.

Also, I just finished listening to episode #250 of the Macworld Podcast, hosted by another author, Chris Breen. In this show, Chris interviewed Gary Adcock, a well known Final Cut and video production veteran. Gary paints a very enlightening and balanced picture of the FCPX release, the reactions of pro editors, and the true potential of the application. It’s clear from listening to Gary that the more professionals learn about FCPX, the more their attitudes are changing.

All of this leaves me with the following conclusion: I can almost guarantee that FCPX is not what you think it is. This is truly a case where learning everything you can about an application is one of the most valuable things you can do. I am extremely proud to be a software trainer right now, and to work closely with Abba Shapiro, an even better software trainer. It’s a joy to watch Abba assemble a piece of training that I know will immediately effect the lives and professional development of thousands of people. When we published Creating an Effective Resume, I felt the same way. Building something that will help people make the right choices in their professional lives is extremely rewarding.

I hope you check out our FCPX courses when they are released in the Online Training Library®. And I hope those courses help you make informed decisions for your next video project, whether that be a feature film or cherished family video project. Abba Shapiro is working on two FCPX courses that will be released this month. Here is a quick look at the first one, Migrating from Final Cut Pro 7 to Final Cut Pro X.

Behind the scenes with Stefan G. Bucher

Published by | Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

From our most recent Creative Inspirations release, Stefan G. Bucher, Designer, Illustrator, and Writer, the documentary team is pleased to share some images from our location shooting. We covered a lot of ground with Stefan, from his workspace, to the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, to Skylight books for his book release celebration. As you’ll notice from the film, Stefan doesn’t exactly keep daylight hours. Other than our shoot at his alma mater (Art Center College of Design), we shot entirely at night, including wandering the streets of Pasadena at 3:00 a.m. in search of late-night groceries. The crew is still catching up on sleep. Enjoy!

Series director Scott Erickson with cinematographer Tony Cruz at Stefan’s workspace in Pasadena, California.

Scott and Tony moving through the ‘worm hole’ at the Echo Park Time Travel Mart. (Tony is not blurry, he’s time shifting).

Mmmmm.  Bold mammothy flavor from the Time Travel Mart.

Cinematographer Mia Shimabuku at Skylight Books shooting the release party for Stefan’s latest book, You Deserve a Medal: Honors on the Path to True Love.

Deke’s Techniques: Shooting and assembling a stereoscopic photo

Published by | Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

In this week’s free Deke’s Technique, you’ll see how to create a classic anaglyphic stereoscopic 3D image in Photoshop. Anaglyph images are created by superimposing two slightly different perspectives of the same scene, with each version seen by only one eye or the other, resulting in a sense of depth when your brain fuses the two images into one. In this case, Deke shows you how to create an image intended to be viewed through the old-school red (left) and cyan (right) glasses.

In order to achieve this classic effect, you have to first correctly shoot a pair of images with a slightly shifted perspective, like the ones shown below shot by’s own Jacob Cunningham. You can see in the top two images (each with a simulated filter applied), slightly means slightly—as in the distance between your two eyes. Then the two images are placed on separate layers in the same file, and the color channels are turned off so that each of your eyes (with the requisite glasses on) sees a slightly different image. Then, your brain does the rest.

If that’s not enough depth for you, members can see an exclusive video in the Online Training Library®, in which Deke (again with the help of Jacob) demonstrates how to create a stereoscopic image with an object projecting out beyond the screen plane.

So grab your cardboard glasses and come experience Deke in 3D! And come back again next week for another free (3D) technique from Deke.

Related links:
Deke’s Techniques
courses on Photoshop in the Online Training Library®
courses by Deke McClelland in the Online Training Library®