Archive for the 'Video' Category
The IT Training Conference is back this year, after the Statewide IT Conference. All of the sessions will be held on September 25th starting at 1pm in the Indiana Memorial Union. Enrollments are underway, and classes are filling up fast.
I create videos, podcasts, and other digital material for delivery via the Web. I want my work to be visually and sonically interesting, but I’m not a professional designer or musician, and I don’t have lots of money to spend on assets from stock photo, video, and music services. My solution is the Creative Commons.
Founded in 2001, the Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables content creators to share their knowledge and creations through free, legal tools. If you want others to be able to use your work only if they credit you with its creation, you can apply a license that states just that. There are licenses that give others the right to change your work and not give you credit, or change your work but state that the new work came from your original. You can disallow use of your work for commercial purposes or even dedicate your work to the public domain. Visit the Creative Commons website to learn about all of these options and others.
So, when I’m looking for background music for a podcast I can go to this page, http://search.creativecommons.org/ and run a search. When I find music I like, I add the music to my podcast and make sure I’m following the rules stated in the license.
The thing I love about the Creative Commons is that it helps make the Internet a place for openness and sharing; a place where everyone can participate. Their vision statement is this: “…nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity. ”
I encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful resource.
Creative Commons licensed works will have a logo like one of these attached to them:
Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011, after a six-year battle with cancer. Over the last few days there have been a multitude of online tributes to the brilliant visionary. I came across this YouTube video this morning, and I decided I had to post it on the IT Training blog. Jobs narrated this video clip as part of Apple’s Think Different campaign in the late 1990s. While I am not one of those individuals who always think outside of the box, I certainly know plenty of others who fall into this category. Therefore, I am posting this clip as a tribute to Steve and all others who find themselves “thinking differently.”
There are several new features in After Effects CS5.5, but the most impressive and frankly jaw-dropping effect that I’ve seen is the Warp Stabilizer. It sounds like something Captain Picard would need, but in fact it’s a way to stabilize camera footage.
When shooting film or video, there are several options for how to achieve camera motion while keeping the camera stable. If you’re a professional filmmaker, you might have access to a Steadicam rig, which uses gyroscopes to allow a camera operator to move freely while the camera stays still. However, for an amateur, this isn’t really an option due to the expense of such rigs.
But now in After Effects CS5.5 Adobe has introduced the Warp Stabilizer, which can take handheld camera footage, and stabilize it to the degree that it appears as if it was shot with a Steadicam. Stabilizing features have been part of After Effects for a long time, but the degree to which you can stabilize motion with this new effect is absolutely amazing. Watch this video to see an example of the stabilization and how to use this new feature.
The next feature we will look at is the Camera Lens Blur effect. On a real camera, we can change the focal length of the lens as the shot is going on, which is a way to point the viewer at specific parts of the shot. This is called Rack Focus, and is quite complex to complete on an actual film set. It requires excellent timing and a second camera operator, called a Focus Puller in order to change the focus as the shot is happening.
Now we can do this in software with After Effects CS5.5. As long as the entire shot is in focus, we can use this effect to blur out specific parts of the image, and animate it so that it mimics the focus of an actual camera.
We also have a new effect for the people who work in 3D. After Effects CS5.5 has added some new light falloff features that more closely mimic real world lighting conditions. This can improve the look of your 3D effects in After Effects.
Have you heard? Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 will be released soon. If you are like me, you are just getting used to the changes that came with CS5. What could Adobe possibly do to make us want to upgrade again so quickly?
While many of the new features in CS5.5 are simply small tweaks, probably the most alluring change has to do with processing speed. When CS5 came out, we learned that CUDA is an Nvidia technology that is used in GPU processing. This technology was used to speed up a number of processes in the last version of this application. Now, with CS5.5, there are even more effects, transitions, and behind-the-scenes processes that are affected by this technology. Adobe states that “…CS5.5 lets you edit faster than ever by offering industry-leading, cross-platform, native file-based workflows and GPU-accelerated filters and effects…” Does that mean my machine won’t freeze up when I try to use time remapping or when I attempt to work with the alpha channel of a clip? If so, sign me up!
Changes in this technology are also said to improve the process of dealing with mismatched media, such as frame rate differences, pixel aspect ratio differences, and frame size differences. This, too, sounds promising.
Many of the other changes that I have read about are not quite as significant. For example, there are quite a few changes that deal with audio. Videographers who use a dual-system sound workflow will probably appreciate several of the new features. Now it is possible to use In points, Out points, timecode, or markers from two or more separate tracks when synchronizing audio and video. In addition, users can now use a feature called Merge Clips to lock a video clip to a separate audio clip so that the two can be manipulated as if they were one asset.
Another small revision has been implemented to make the files and folders in the effects panel less clumsy and easier to work with. In CS5 there are 3 instances of every audio effect: one for mono, one for stereo, and a third for 5.1 audio tracks. It is necessary to select the effect that matches your audio track. In 5.5 Adobe has revised the audio effects folder so that one size fits all. Now each effect is only listed one time and when you apply the effect, Premiere automatically applies the instance of the effect that matches your audio track.
Yes, Adobe was definitely taking a good, hard look at the audio features in Premiere this time around. In fact, probably one of the most significant changes in the entire suite is the substitution of Soundbooth with Audition. The Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection and Production Premium editions will come with this new audio editing application. Since I have always liked Soundbooth and use its dynamic link from within Premiere often, I’m not sure how I feel about this change yet. More to come on this topic in future blog posts…
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 also makes it possible to attach a closed captioning data file to a sequence. While this version won’t allow you to output the closed caption text without the use of a third-party device and plug-in, at least it’s a step in the right direction.
Another significant improvement included with Premiere Pro CS5.5 is the ability to add keyframes directly into the timeline using the Pen tool or Selection tool without having to first enable keyframing. You will also be able to set keyframes without a modifier key.
I was also happy to hear that the trial version will include all the same codecs that are included with the full version. The trial version of Premiere Pro CS5 did not come with all of the codecs, and this caused a great deal of confusion for me and for many others. Apparently Adobe has learned their lesson here.
Lastly, if you currently use Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer, take note. This version of Premiere Pro supposedly makes it easier for you to import and export to, and from, both of these applications. This should make my colleagues in Media Productions happy.
For more information about Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5, visit any of the following links:
On October 26th at IU Bloomington, and October 29th at IUPUI, IT Training & Education will debut a new Adobe Soundbooth workshop.
Soundbooth is an application that can record and edit sound. It’s a very versatile application that can open video files and add sound directly to them as well. In the workshop, we’ll cover a lot of basic sound editing tasks like recording, noise removal, sound removal, and adding effects, but then we’ll have some fun by exploring the vast sound effects library that comes with Soundbooth for free.
Check out what we can do with some basic video, and Soundbooth CS5:
One of the more interesting Effects we can take advantage of in After Effects is the Write-On effect. It’s main purpose is to animate a brush as it’s moving. Many people use it to make it appear as if their signature is being drawn on screen.
However, by altering some settings, we can also make it reveal a drawing over time. This is a common effect used to make vines or trees appear as if they’re growing. In this video, we examine the different settings available in the Write-On Effect, and show how to make a drawing appear over time.
The Adobe Premiere Pro user interface can be intimidating for those just getting started with this application. While UITS IT Training & Education at Indiana University offers a fantastic STEPS workshop that will teach you how to create professional looking movies with this video editing package, participants who have never used an Adobe application before will feel more confident coming in to the workshop if they view the following tutorial first:
Since most of the other Adobe apps have a similar look and feel, this short video can also be useful for those getting started with Photoshop, After Effects, Flash, Illustrator, etc.