Posts Tagged ‘ apple

Hellevator, My New Short Film Written By Comic Book Legend David Michelinie

Greg Nappo as Jordan

It’s my first film in over 5 years, Hellevator is finally done! A little backstory: I asked David Michelinie (comic book creator on Iron Man — with Bob Layton, Amazing Spider-Man and more) if he’d like to write a short film for me. He sent me the script for Hellevator, a film that takes place mostly in one location, an elevator. Greg Nappo, a fantastic actor I’ve worked with in several films, took the lead role as high-strung sales executive Jordan Marley, and we shot the film in a studio, in front of a green screen.

Jeremiah Hall handled the visual effects (Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Boris FX), I cut the short film in Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5, and Grant Balfour composed the music score and provided sound effects. Check out the Facebook page here.

Here’s a clip from the film, which I hope to get into film festivals and some local, South Florida screenings:

Happy Birthday Final Cut Pro X!

Editing Hellevator in Final Cut Pro X

It was one year ago that Final Cut Pro X launched (along with Motion 5 and Compressor 4) to hype and, yes, controversy. Even I was hesitant, but with each update (including the biggies like 10.0.1 and 10.0.3), FCP X got more and better features, and of course 7toX made our lives easier, helping us translate FCP 6 and 7 projects over to FCP X. Even the latest update, 10.0.5, adds more stability and allows you to edit in full HD 1080p on the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, without going to fullscreen.

I have been using the app pretty much exclusively since 10.0.3 and 7toX came out, and I won’t go back to FCP legacy. I recently finished editing my latest short film Hellevator (more on that soon) in FCP X (which helped me learn this great app), and I’m really excited about the upcoming features Apple talked about in special NAB meetings. FCP X is a professional non-linear editing app that has changed everything I do when I cut. The features are incredible, including the meta data, keywords, smart collections, skimmer, magnetic timeline, Roles, multicam, third-party apps and more. Editing, sound and color, all in one app! And Motion 5 and Compressor 4 aren’t half bad.

Check out FCP.co’s timeline of FCP X history since it changed everything on June 21, 2011. And download and try out FCP X today, you’ll be surprised!

New Apple Hardware Includes New Line Of Thin MacBook Pros With Retina Displays

Today at the 2012 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple did some major updates to its line of hardware, updating the MacBook Air (and dropping the price), the standard MacBook Pro line, and introducing a brand new, thinner MacBook Pro line with Retina display, which Apple is calling their new ‘flagship line.’ Editing in Final Cut Pro X at 1080p on this 15.4-inch laptop will look great, as will photos in Aperture (both apps will be updated to the Retina display of 2880 x 1800, nearly 5.2 million pixels). The laptop will be pricey, starting at $2199, so this is a workstation-style laptop, aimed at the video editors, Photoshop and Aperture users and graphics/animation designers. All on sale as of today! By the way, looking at Apple’s MBP page, it’s appearing that the 17-inch MBP is history…

This new, thinner MBP also features up to a quad-core i7 2.7 GHz processor, up to 16GB of RAM, next-gen graphics (Kepler graphics, GeForce GT 650M with 1GB VRAM), HDMI out, two (!!) Thunderbolt adapters, USB 3 and 2, great speakers, and more. It’s .71-inches thin! Solid State Drives, too (SSD), up to 768GB, battery life up to seven days, 30 days in standby mode. Check out more photos and video at doddleNEWS.

Apple is teasing that a ‘major’ update to Aperture is coming, and we’re coming up on the first anniversary of FCP X’s release. Larry Jordan got some inside scoops from Apple on the next FCP X update, including a built-in audio mixer, dual-viewer, RED support and more. I’m guessing this FCP X update with higher resolution for the retina display will include the new features and improvements Apple talked to Larry about.

Yes, there was a Mac Pro update, but it was VERY minor, blink-or-you’ll-miss-it. Basically, according to The Verge, they bumped up the option of two six-core processors from 2.93 GHz to 3.06 GHz. No Thunderbolt, etc. And some other, minor processor updates, too, bringing the tech to the latest Intel processors.

Apple also introduced some adapters, including a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt, and Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet. iOS, hardware-wise (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Apple has sold 365 million units up to March 2012. Think about that for a minute, just astounding!

They previewed more of Mountain Lion which will debut on the Mac App Store July 2012 for $19.99 (!!), and the upcoming iOS 6 (Siri is improved AND can launch apps and will run on iPads, YES!), both of which look great. iOS 6 will debut this fall 2012, likely when the rumored iPhone 5 will be released. I’m pumped about these new, thinner MacBook Pros running Mountain Lion, I bet editing in FCP X will be a dream! Also, there are 125 million iCloud users, which is stunning. Notifications (like Growl, which I love), dictation coming to Macs, new version of Safari (I quickly adopted the beta back in 2003, that’s how much I wasn’t interested in Internet Explorer), tighter integration with Twitter, Facebook and other services, and more. Plus, their new and amazing maps/Flyover app, with 3D city models and turn-by-turn navigation.

Final Cut Pro X: Fast And The Best Multitasking Video Editor

I’m working on two distinct projects right now in Final Cut Pro X, including importing 90 minutes of a speech for a corporate client, allowing FCP X to analize the 1080p30 Sony EX1 footage, rendering the timecode generator I dropped over the primary storyline and export as a 640 x 480 QuickTime for my client. I needed to do some additional work on another project, a short film I produced and directed called Hellevator, written by comic book legend David Michelinie (Iron Man, Superman, Spider-Man). My long-time friend and colleague Jeremiah Hall is taking care of the visual effects and uploading 720p24 clips (the animation QuickTime codec) to DropBox for me to grab.

Editing Hellevator in Final Cut Pro X

So with the first project handling analysis, render  and 480p export, Final Cut Pro X (10.0.4) easily opened Hellevator up, and I was able to quickly replace green screen shots with finished ones. There was no lag, no spinning beach ball of doom, none of that. FCP X handled all the tasks without a problem, and didn’t skip a beat. Plus, broadcast monitoring is still working well with the new Matrox drivers and my MXO2 mini!

Oh, and did I mention that I’m currently cutting on a mid-2011 base model Mac mini with an Intel Core i5 processor (dual-core) running at 2.3 GHz, with an Intel HD Graphics 3000 and 8GB of RAM, along with a FireWire 800 external hard drive, and a Mercury Elite-AL Elite Pro Dual mini RAID from Other World Computing? Now, imagine if I were on a quad-core Intel Core i7 iMac or MacBook Pro? Final Cut Pro X is a true multitasking workhorse. As a long-time Final Cut Pro editor, since 1999, I’ve waited a long time to be able to do this. Also, be sure to check out Final Cut Pro X in Action, which showcases the team behind TNT’s hit show Leverage.

Apple Releases Final Cut Pro X 10.0.4, Motion And Compressor Updates

Apple has released the latest update to the revolutionary Final Cut Pro X, 10.0.4. It looks like a smaller update compared to 10.0.3, but still a good one that you should download via the Mac App Store. The update includes, according to Apple:

  • Improves image quality and responsiveness of broadcast monitoring with compatible third-party PCIe and Thunderbolt I/O devices.
  • Improves performance of multicam syncing and editing.
  • Adds language support for Simplified Chinese.
  • Adds a Share option for 1080p video on compatible iOS devices.

Assigns default audio channel setting for new projects to stereo.

  • Includes multicam metadata in XML project export.
  • Fixes an issue in which video superimposed over a background with an alpha channel could appear differently in Viewer before and after render.
  • Fixes an issue that caused some titles to be rendered again after each application launch.
What does 10.0.4 mean for users of the brilliant 7toX app from Intelligent Assistance? Co-creator (and genius) Philip Hodgetts said this on Facebook: “10.0.4 means that Xto7 now supports flattened multicam going from FCP X to FCP 7. It’s in the current App store version!” Sweet!!
Motion 5 has an update as well, to 5.0.3:
  • Improves loading time for projects.
  • Improves performance of text editing in Canvas.
  • Fixes issues with Fill Opaque enabled in images converted to Drop Zones.
  • Resolves a stability issue that could occur when deleting all characters with the Transform Glyph tool.
  • Corrects the pixel aspect ratio display of Anamorphic clips.
And, of course, Compressor is updated to version 4.0.3:
  • Ability to run Compressor as an encoding node on a Mac without a monitor.
  • Fixes an issue with exporting when logged in as an Open Directory user.
  • Improves performance when encoding mp4 and AVI files. (OH YEAH!)

As usual, backup all your events and projects before updating to FCP X 10.0.4.

Troubleshooting Final Cut Pro X

I’ve spent nearly all my editing time with Final Cut Pro X the past few weeks, and it’s tough to go back to FCP 7 (thankfully we have 7toX to help with converting our legacy FCP 6/7 projects to FCP X). I haven’t run into any problems, but if you do, there are plenty of answers, help and even apps to troubleshoot FCP X and keep things running smoothly. I linked to a brief troubleshooting guide from Apple recently, but this will present links to more extensive help guides.

1. Apple’s Final Cut Pro X support page, which is full of troubleshooting tips and tricks, forums, links and more. Also, be sure to check out the FCP X official specs page, plus minimum system requirements, and more. There are some white papers, too, including FCP X for FCP 7 Editors and FCP X Xsan: Best Practices. Submit your honest and helpful feedback to Apple about FCP X — they ARE listening, as Richard Townhill assured me recently.

2. Richard Taylor of FCPX.tv has a massive list of troubleshooting tips and tricks, and it’s extensive and very helpful.

3. Digital Rebellion has a set of Pro Maintenance Tools that can help keep Final Cut Pro X running smoothly. It’s a suite of apps that includes Preference Manager, Project Repair, Plug-In Manager, FCS Remover, Compressor Repair and many more. It’s affordable, and a must-have suite of apps.

4. 100 Final Cut Pro X Questions Answered, from last July, but still worth a look.

As with my Final Cut Pro X third-party plug-ins and apps, training and certification pages, I’ll keep this troubleshooting page updated with links and tips.

7toX Works Perfectly

So I was editing in some projects that were started in Final Cut Pro 7 in 2011, and today was the day to put them to bed, get them uploaded to a website that’s launching soon. After about 4 hours, I was getting frustrated with waiting for FCP 7 to finish rendering, the time it took to export a QuickTime conversion, having to move clips around manually to avoid collisions and so on. For the fifth and final video, which was A-rolled with a little B-roll, I wanted to work faster. After working exclusively in it, I knew that using Final Cut Pro X would make my life a lot easier. Prior to that, I’d spend maybe 65% of my editing in FCP 7, the rest in FCP X. It was time to use 7toX, Philip Hodgetts and Gregory Clarke’s terrific new app.

So I exported an XML file from FCP 7, did the conversion in 7toX — it happened fast, then opened the project in Final Cut Pro X. (Here are detailed instructions on Assisted Editing’s website.) Pretty much everything transferred over without a problem, except some Boris Title 3D credits I did. No problem, I deleted them and used FCP X’s titling feature to take care of it. It had to render, of course, which it did in the background (and was very fast). I finished B-rolling, and even let FCP X do some intelligent color correcting, which I then touched up manually.

I know, I know, why did it take me so long? I guess I just resisted the temptation to start transferring legacy FCP 7 projects to FCP X, because there’s always that worry that I may end up having to do more work to clean things up, which I didn’t on this particular project. I resisted at first, but I’m glad I finally did. 7toX works, and it works great.

Final Cut Pro X Troubleshooting Basics From Apple

Apple has published a troubleshooting basics guide with plenty of links for pro editors to access, in case they’re having trouble with the revolutionary NLE. You can access it here on Apple’s support page. There is plenty of good information, including how to back up FCP X Events and Projects, supported media formats and cameras, and much more. These are the basics, but you can always get more help and troubleshooting tips from the Apple Support page and forums, websites and forums like Digital Media Net (plus their forums), DV Info Net, FCP.co and others.

Hat tip: FCP.co

New Final Cut Pro X Plug-Ins, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 For Videographers

The floodgates have opened, and we’re getting a TON of quality Final Cut Pro X plug-ins and third-party apps. I’m actually going to be reviewing some of them soon, but I wanted to share some links to the latest and greatest for FCP X. My friend Graeme Nattress (who works at RED) has released Levels and Curves for FCP X, and you’ll need FxFactory to purchase it (or try it out), same with his excellent Film Transitions plug-in. Irudis has released their free Tonalizer/VFX LITE (similar to their PRO version) plug-in, and the legendary Twixtor is now available for FCP X. FCP.co discusses how it compares to FCP X’s Optical Flow. Also, FCP.co talks about ClipExporter, a very affordable app that will get a single or multple clips out of FCP X for visual FX purposes, etc.

My good friend and colleague took at look at the new Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, and its capabilities for videographers. I like Lightroom 4 a lot, and feel that its video capabilities are terrific for photographers shooting some video, but mostly pictures. If you’re a heavy-duty videographer and editor, and you love Adobe, Premiere Pro is terrific for organizing and editing pretty much any video format.

Sorry I have blogged lately, but I was out of town, then playing catch-up. Back to the usual FCP X and other film/video/TV blogging!

My Review Of The Matrox Thunderbolt Adapter

Matrox has some pretty cool all-in-one devices with their MXO2 line, which can handle video capture, conversion, broadcast monitoring and much more. I’ve had an MXO2 Mini for a couple of years, and used it regularly to capture BetaSP footage in Final Cut Pro 7, with a 17-inch MacBook Pro with an ExpressCard/34 slot. That Mac went away, and since I didn’t have a Mac Pro (with PCI-Express), I couldn’t use the MXO2 anymore. Until Thunderbolt changed everything, the new Apple and Intel technology that allows for blazing fast 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second) transfer speeds. With the Matrox Thunderbolt adapter, I can now use my Mac Mini with the MXO2 Mini and capture analog footage, and a whole lot more.

Plus, all of Matrox’s new MXO2 devices feature software that’s optimized for the technology, plus takes advantage of Final Cut Pro X‘s broadcast monitoring (see this press release). Be sure to check out my review at Digital Media Net.