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Video Compression Workshop – Helpful Advice (part 3)

This is part two of our article on effectively compressing video for the web and multimedia. Be sure to read part one if you haven’t done so.

Need to get your video delivered to your audience? Then there’s probably going to be some compression involved. Don’t let hardware or software get in your way. Let’s take a common sense approach to getting your video out there.

Pick Your Power

There are tons of compression tools out there, but the pro apps offer important features like batch processing, multiple architecture support, and customizable presets. The five most popular options are:

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10 AQT Recovering Skies – Aperture Quick Tip

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use Aperture to recover over exposed skies in your pictures.



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113 UAP - Converting RGB to Grayscale - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington explains how to convert a RGB image to grayscale in a way that gives you precise control over the image.



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Video Compression Workshop – 10 Steps to Better Compression (part 2)

This is part two of our article on effectively compressing video for the web and multimedia. Be sure to read part one if you haven’t done so.

1.) De-interlace your video: Most video files are interlaced, which means that half of one image is blended with half of the next. On a Television this produces smoother motion, on a computer it produces junk.

2.) Lower your audio standards: Most users are listening to computer audio on tiny speakers. Cutting your sample rate to 22 or 11 kHz and the sample size to 8-bit will often produce unnoticeable audio changes but huge space saving.

3.) Shrink the window: While you don’t need to make video postage stamps sized. But reducing the window to half size creates a file that is 25% the file size of the original. That’s a BIG savings in space.

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Collaborative Note Taker for Mac

SubEthaEdit - $35 [Mac] http://www.codingmonkeys.de
Having creative sessions and want to keep notes? This application is the perfect note taker. It allows you to collaborate on one open document across your network. It’s also rendezvous enabled so it’s easy for other Mac users to join in. Nice features such as color-coding for each user as well as time stamping make this a flexible tool.

If you need some groupthink without the use of a projector... then this is a perfect tool.
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Avoid Import Blues for After Effects

It’s very common to use Photoshop and Illustrator to prepare content for import into Adobe After Effects. Here are some practical tips to avoid problems when merging the software.

Import Tips

  • Double-Click in the AE Project Window
  • Shift-Click Multiple Items
  • Organize in Folder and Option+Drag (Alt+Drag) from Desktop
  • Keep file names less than 27 characters long

Photoshop

  • Assign unique names to each layer
  • Avoid using layer sets unless you want the layers to come in as a nested composition
  • If layers are not needed, reduce your render burden by importing as a flattened file such as a PICT, TIFF or TARGA
  • If you have applied an adjustment layer in Photoshop such as Levels, consider applying the effect directly to the individual layers in Photoshop instead

Illustrator

  • Be sure to use layers in Adobe Illustrator to split up elements
  • Change AI preferences to use AICB format (not PDF) for proper Copy/Paste
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Video Compression Workshop – An Introduction (part 1)

Successfully getting a video file delivered to your audience usually means it will be compressed (heck it’s often compressed just so we can work with it in the first place). Making the video file available to your target audience is your goal, but the challenges of hardware, connection speed, and even operating system can affect the decisions you make. Let’s take a common sense approach to getting your video out there.

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Create a Form Letter with Apple Pages


Oftentimes you’ll need to create a form letter to send to multiple clients (such as an address change or a promotional letter). If you’d like to personalize these letters, Apple Pages makes it easy to insert data you’ve defined for contacts in Address Book. This can save you time because you can reuse a letter, envelope, or other document for multiple people. This feature is generally called a mail merge.
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14 Questions to Ask Before Building a Website

I don’t live in the world of website creation every day... but I’ve been putting up sites since the launch of Mosaic back with PageMill 1.0. I may be a little slow.. but here’s fourteen questions I recommend getting answers to before you build a site (feel free to comment and I’ll expand the list).

Project Planning Sheet – Website


Objectives

1) What main points do you wish to make with your website? (No more than five)
2) Who is the audience? (Please be specific)
3) What is the market’s current attitude toward your company?
4) What objections to potential customers have to your company?
5) What do you want the consumer to think after they see your website?
6) What do you want the consumer to feel after they see your website?
7) What do you want want the consumer to do after they see your website?
8) What Five adjectives describe the look and feel of your future website?
9) Are there any special features or design ideas you have about your website?

Administrative

10) Who will be involved with creating the content of the website?
11) Who has final website approval?
12) What are your deadlines?
13) Is your domain registered? If so, what is the URL and where is it registered?
14) Have you selected a web hosting company?

NOTE: Please send any relevant documents or promotional material that will affect the content of your website


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9 AQT Identifying Color Clipping – Aperture Quick Tip

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how use Aperture 2 to identify and fix parts of your images that are over or under exposed.



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112 UAP - Converting RGB to CMYK - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to convert RGB images to CMYK for print while preserving your images colors.



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Adjusting Boost and Hue Boost in Aperture

The following tip comes from the Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 2 book published by Peachpit Press.

Let’s look at two adjustment controls in the RAW Fine Tuning controls group: Boost and Hue Boost. Aperture includes a set ofcamera profiles for all supported cameras.These profiles give Aperture specific details about each camera’s imaging characteristics,and are used to determine what color and contrast adjustments should be automatically applied to the RAW file.These adjustments are done to apply the optimal decode based on the manufacturer ofthe camera.

The Boost slider lets you control the degree to which this default adjustment is applied to your image.By default,the Boost slider is set at full strength,so your image appears with the full level ofcorrection.As you drag the slider to the left,the correction is reduced.The Boost slider is handy for times when you feel your images have too much contrast or are a little too saturated.

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8 AQT Exposure Controls – Aperture Quick Tip

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to adjust the exposure of an image using Aperture 2's exposure controls.



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111 UAP - Combining Software - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to tie your Apple software with your Adobe software, so you can use iPhoto or Aperture with Photoshop.



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Editors Retreat Returns



Recharge Your Creativity and Craft • January 28 - February 1 • Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Now in its third year, the Editors Retreat has become an annual gathering for the post-production elite. Highly experienced editors from the worlds of film, TV and video gather to network, exchange ideas, share tips and of course, have fun!

Past keynotes and attendees have included such names as Alan Heim, Sally Menke, Stuart Bass, Chris Franklin and David Helfand as well as Apple, Adobe and Avid experts and industry power users. Attendees have included representatives from HBO, FRONTLINE, MTV, Lockheed Martin, Harpo Productions and Telemundo.

Running for 5 days and 4 nights, the Retreat offers advanced sessions on post visual and audio techniques and features valuable insight into emerging trends and technologies. An equal amount of time will be devoted to discussing the creativity, craft and business practices of successful editors.

To ensure that only the best of the best attend, participation is subject to an application and screening process. Visit
www.EditorsRetreat.com for the full schedule and more details.

WATCH THIS YEAR'S VIDEO

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New Book for Teachers

I've got a new book that's going to press this week. It's a short one, but is designed to help teacher's use Apple's iLife and iWork in the classroom. I come from a family of teachers (having 5 elementary teachers and 2 college instructors in my immediate clan). I really hope this book inspires teachers to fully integrate digital media into their lessons.



Apple Training Series:
A Teacher's Guide to Digital Media in the Classroom

by Richard Harrington with Ted Lai
Price: $19.99
Release Date: August 8, 2008



Product Description
In this Apple-certified guide, Richard Harrington shows teachers how to integrate digital media arts into their existing curriculum using iLife ’08, iWork ’08, and practical, step-by-step projects. Developed in collaboration with the Pearson Education Foundation in accordance with the National Educational Technology Standards council, the book includes class-room tested guidelines from the Foundation's Digital Media Arts program, as well as inspirational profiles of successful digital media classroom projects around the world. Designed to be used with Apple Training Series: iLife ’08 and Apple Training Series: iWork 08, this guide covers everything from designing a photo essay to creating polished video projects, and will have teachers and students producing websites, podcasts, video blogs, and DVDs in no time. Students learn to:

• Express a Feeling: Create a photo-essay slideshow, add sound, and publish it on the web
• Make a Factual Case: Track data in a spreadsheet, organize it into charts, then deliver it as a Keynote presentation
• Make a Persuasive Case: Research an issue, develop an argument, and create a PSA in iMovie and burn it to DVD
• Solve a Problem: Reconcile income and expenses in a household budget and chart financial scenarios
• Tell a Story: Document the personal history of a community leader in a short, sophisticated movie

To order the book,
click here.



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7 AQT Histograms – Aperture Quick Tip

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to read Aperture 2's histograms, and use them to correct tone and adjust exposure.



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110 UAP - Combining Software - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use Photoshop to blur parts of your image to simulate lens blur.



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A Useful Post on Photographers' Rights

Noted author and podcaster Scott Kelby has a great interview on copyright, photographers’ rights, and release forms. This is truly great and worth checking out.

If you’ve been reading this blog for the past month or so, you’ve read my posts about photographers being harassed when shooting in public, and a lot of readers have chimed in with comments about what we can and can’t shoot, what our rights as photographers are and aren’t, our interpretations of copyright law, and so on. There’s just one problem; we’re not attorneys.

So, I contacted New York-based Intellectual Property Attorney Ed Greenberg, who’s a published author on the topic, and who has been dealing with photography copyright, contract, and creative rights issues for over 30 years, to finally get the straight no-nonsense scoop on all this.”
You can watch the interview
here. Enjoy!


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After Effects CS3 Shape Tools



Learn how to use the Shape Tools to create dynamic motion graphics elements. This tutorial was recorded as part of a session at the 2007 NY Post Production Conference (
www.nypostconference.com).

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Motion Graphics Meets John Lennon



I was over at YouTube posting a new tutorial.... came across a great clip that mixes multiple animation styles… this is VERY cool.  It’s nice to hear the man so off-the-cuff… yet wise.
“In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace. 38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon’s every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon’s boundless wit, and timeless message.”
Learn more about it
here (and yes… I missed this one somehow).

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Making Your Photos Look Great On DVD & More!


I was interviewed by MacEditionRadio.com about Photoshop and creating a portfolio. Here it is.. enjoy.

“At the 2007 Photoshop World in Las Vegas, I sat down with Peachpit Press and Focal Press author Richard Harrington, and we discussed the issues involved in creating DVDs that make your photographs look their best. If you have ever been confused about the proper resolution to prepare files for DVD, television, or video projection, then Richard’s Tips and Tricks will fill in the blanks! Rich is the author of “Photoshop for Video”, and “Understanding Adobe Photoshop: Digital Image Concepts and Techniques.” and if you are working with digital photography, Photoshop, or Lightroom, and need to show others your photos then listen in to this interview! Recorded at the National Association of Photoshop Professionals Photoshop World Conference, in Las Vegas, in September 2007 by Harris Fogel. Posted 6/28/08 (24:09)”



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Aperture Book Hits #1

Well... color me surprised.... my new book on Aperture Hit #1 on Amazon across several categories.



I’m not sure about the Digital Music category... but it also took top spot as the best selling Mac book as well.
You can check the book out here... if you’ve gotten the book and enjoyed it, can you please post a review as well.

Thanks!



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Laugh at Bill & Steve – The Silicon Apartment

What would happen if you locked Bill Gates and Steve Jobs in the same apartment (like Big Brother)? Well you get the risque comic strip – The Silicon Apartment (PG-13). The strip is really quite good and skewers both sides.
The Silicon Apartment

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109 UAP - Adding a Fill Flash - Understanding Adobe Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use Photoshop's powerful shadow/highlight filter to add a fill flash to a dark photo.



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© 2010 Richard Harrington LLC