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Rediscovered Gem: World Builder

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I recently stumbled back across this great video. Perhaps it was meant for Valentine's Day. The storytelling and visual FX work are both top notch.

A strange man uses holographic tools to build a world for the woman he loves. This is a short by filmmaker Bruce Branit.

Enjoy... and remember to tell those you love how important they are.


Photoshop's Calculations Command � 206 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington demonstrates how to create an alpha channel through combining more than one individual channel details by utilizing the Calculations Command.
Be sure to also check out the new book � Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5


Animating with the Puppet Tool


In this video tutorial Richard Harrington shows a quick technique used to animate and selectively warp an image inside of Adobe After Effect. Richard uses masking and refine edges to prepare the animation inside Photoshop.

Plus, I actually make a monkey dance (really)!


Video is a Team Sport


This is the hardest message for most photographers to accept. You cannot truly make a professional video in isolation. Am I saying that one person can do everything No. But can they do it well Consider the following.

  • Video projects often have firm deadlines � Whether it an air date, a live event, a corporate meeting, or a project launch. Deadlines are standard in the world of video, having a team means bench strength and safety in numbers.

  • You l make more money doing what you do best � How many photographers are magazine publishers Do they sell the advertisements and write all the stories What about when publishing a book... do they fire up their personal printing press The point here is that a photographer should do what they do best. That tends to be direct the talent, pick the locations for shooting, lens the project, and carry their creative vision through the editing and graphics stages. I am not saying you should avoid editing or motion graphics, but you may be pretty slow (especially when you first start). I say try anything three times� but if you find you hate the work or you are turning down other jobs... then its time to move on. You can always find people who want to do parts of the job you are weakest at� plus they’ll likely be far faster than you. This will let you shoot more and line up more business through your contacts.

  • The creative mind is like a hive � Adding additional people that you trust can really lead to a better product. I find that having other professionals around keeps me from slipping into my old habits. It also leads to creative discussions that push the envelope and lead to a better outcome.

I'll be presenting two full sessions to help professional photographers who want to move into video. Come learn the ins and outs of business at the
American Society of Media Photographer's Strictly Business 3 Conference (Philadelphia & Chicago).


Free Adobe Creative Suite 5 Ebook


I've written a
free book for Adobe about how to get more done with After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere Pro and more.

xplore the creative possibilities of DSLR video editing with Adobe Creative Suite 5 software. This paper provides tips and tricks for navigating Adobe Premiere� Pro CS5, Photoshop� CS5, Photoshop CS5 Extended, After Effects� CS5, and other CS5 components to help you along the way."

The book is 100% Free, and contains all sorts of great knowledge.

  • Working in the timeline of Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Get more done with Adobe Photoshop
  • Get organized with Adobe Bridge
  • Working with audio
  • Adobe After Effects Advanced techniques
  • Good shooting practices and Production Techniques
  • Sharing and publishing your video

You can download the free eBook with tips for DSLR and Creative Suite at

For more on the fusion of photography and video, check out From Still to Motion.

If you enjoy the ebook, please leave a comment . It means a lot and lets Adobe know people are reading and appreciate the book.


Three New Apple Video Training Titles about the iPad (Plus Free Copies)

In these new online videos, author and trainer Rich Harrington provides a complete tour of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. Each complete video features more than 40 segments dedicated to performing a specific task. Apple Video Training: Pages for iPad � In this Apple-certified guide to Pages for iPad, master trainer Rich Harrington takes you on a comprehensive tour. You’ll learn everything from customizing existing templates by adding your own graphics, charts, and styles to creating documents from scratch. Featuring over 40 videos, each one is dedicated to a specific task in Pages. So it's easy to find exactly the information you want whether it's help with the basics, like touchscreen controls, or more advanced tasks like inserting graphics with wraparound text. You'll learn all you need to know to create dynamic personal and professional projects.

Apple Video Training: Keynote for iPad � In this Apple-certified guide to Keynote for iPad, master trainer Rich Harrington takes you on a comprehensive tour. Featuring over 40 videos each dedicated to performing a specific task in Keynote, you’ll learn how to create professional-looking presentations quickly. It's easy to find exactly the information you want, whether it's help with the basics, such as learning touchscreen controls, or more advanced techniques like creating tables and charts, or bringing your presentations to life with animated graphics and transitions.

Apple Video Training: Numbers for iPad � In this Apple-certified guide to Numbers for iPad, master trainer Rich Harrington takes you on a comprehensive tour. Featuring over 40 videos, each dedicated to performing a specific task in Numbers, you’ll learn how to transform your data into organized, professional-looking documents. You'll learn to customize existing templates or create documents from scratch, take control of tables and style charts. It's easy to find exactly the information you want, whether it's help with the basics, such as learning the touchscreen controls, or more advanced tasks like working with formulas and calculations.

Below are 15 digital voucher codes for use on Each code can be used once and will give a user access to the Keynote for iPad Online Video. First come, first serve.
Here are instructions for use:
  1. If you have a account, go to and log in. If you do not have a account, go to and create an account.
  2. On the Account page click the link for "Enter your code here" that appears under "Digital Product Voucher" in the right column.
  3. Click Submit.
  4. The video will be listed under Digital Purchases on your Account page; click the title to generate the download.

Here are the codes:

Selecting with a Channel � 205 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington demonstrates how to make an accurate selection utilizing the color channel details of an image.
Be sure to also check out the new book � Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5


Mastering the Photomerge Command (Part 1)

Photomerge is a specialized “mini-application� within Photoshop that assists in combining multiple images into a single photo. You can access it from either Photoshop or Bridge. Depending on the resolution of your sources and the speed of your machine, it can take a while to complete.

Read the full tutorial at TipSquirrel �


Edit to the Beat in Adobe Premiere Pro


In this Premiere Pro
tutorial Richard Harrington shows how to edit a group of video clips quickly to sync them to an audio clip by using markers and the automate to sequence command.


Master Adobe Camera Raw � Free Ebook

This is a re-post... but I was asked to share it again. Here's a free (and really good) way to learn all about the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in. This is a bonus eBook I wrote to go along with the book Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5. Its yours for free... I hope it helps.

UAP Using Camera Raw

Be sure to also check out the new book � Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5

Here's a nice review of the book too �


Photoshop World Orlando 2011 Dates and Info

I've been speaking at Photoshop World for seven years now... it truly is a great event and a ton of fun. Here are a few important updates for you to know.


Maximizing a Production Day

We typically build our production days around a 10-hour schedule. This allows about 7 hours of time for shooting and the other 3 for setup, breaks, and teardown. The important thing here is to pace yourself. Make sure you what you want to accomplish each hour you’re on set so you can measure progress or take corrective action.

While we try to maximize the day, we don’t try to kill the crew � there’s a difference:
  • Make sure you have enough help to load gear in and out so you get off to a good start. For that matter, be sure to use a rolling cart to cut down on wear and tear on your body and speed up moving times between locations.
  • Be sure to allow time for meal breaks. Keeping people from eating will only make them cranky and less productive. Try to bring some snacks and drinks on the set to keep people comfortable and from wandering off.
  • Keep the schedule reasonable. We try to not to let the client schedule the first interview for 8:00 a.m. We’ve often had to convey to the client, “If you schedule this for 8:00 a.m., it means we have to leave our houses at 4:30 a.m. in order to have to everything set up on time.�
  • We routinely have to remind clients that an eight-hour day does not mean eight hours of interviews. We also have to point out that it is a contiguous eight hours. You can’t schedule a crew to start at 9:00 a.m., then give them a five hour break in the middle of the day, and want them tape something that goes until 10:00 at night.
  • Be sure to work with your clients and gently educate them. Sometimes we’ve had to say, “Yes, we can do this. But we’re going to have two crews and we’re going to have a changeover period here and the second crew will step on to the set and continue into the night.� Be smart: Respect your clients and your crew if you want the best results.

To learn how to make great web video check out Professional Web Video.


All the Creative COW Podcasts on One Page


Just wanted to let you know that you can now find all the
Creative COW podcasts on one page. I am a co-host on several shows.

  • DSLR Essentials
  • Photoshop for Video
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Final Cut Help

There are HOURS of free video training here.... plus several other topics. Be sure to check out the
page. Most shows are available in both HD and SD versions.


Motion Graphics Salary Survey

If you'd like to better understand the different compensation levels available to motion graphics designers, there's a good report that was just released.

The report analyzes different pay available based on experience, job title, and region worked. There's also good data about tools used (software and hardware) as well as working conditions. As they say, knowledge is power... and the report offers a good glimpse into the factors that can influence better pay and working conditions for designers.

The Motion Graphic Design Census is an unofficial web-based survey written by Bran Dougherty-Johnson and Jake Sargeant and hosted by Motionographer in 2009. Whether you're a designer or a business owner, this is good data for benchmarking.

The 2010 Census is available now.

The 2011 Census is currently collecting data.


Essential Questions to Ask at the Beginning of a Project


Through the years, we’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way. While every project is unique, it often seems that the problems remain the same. Here are a few questions we always encourage asking at the start of any video project:
  • Who is our customer Projects often have many parties involved. Be sure that you know who you’re responsible to keep happy.
  • What is the purpose You need to know what the video is trying to accomplish.
  • How will we measure success Determine which factors will be used to judge the success of the project.
  • What do we want to say Identify the goal of the piece and the message that the audience should walk away with.
  • What resources do we have Decide who will be assigned to the project. Establish if there are any assets or resources available to the project that should be utilized. Make sure there are no assumptions being made about what you have to work with
  • What is the budget Never discuss approach without having an idea of your financial constraints. Creative types often get swept up into big ideas without knowing what the project can support.
  • What are the deadlines Equally as important as budget is schedule. You need to understand any major milestones so you can schedule work and adjust your approach to match the available time.
  • Are there any customer requirements Never make assumptions. It’s always a good idea to ask the clients if they have any specific needs or requirements for the end product. You’ll often be surprised how important details can go unspoken until the very end of the project.

To learn how to make great web video check out Professional Web Video.


Five Great Resources on Copyright


Do you understand your rights as a content creator Here are five great resources to learn more (and they are all free)


Want Better Web Video Keep it Short.

Here’s a simple idea: Keep your web videos short. It is better to have ten 4-minute episodes than one 40-minute episode. We try to keep our web videos to less than 10 minutes (in fact less that 5 in almost all cases).

Web videos tend to be consumed during things like work breaks, downtime, and airplane flights. Others will use them during commutes on the morning train or the subway. Think of web video and podcasts as portable, on-demand learning or entertainment. Remember that your audience is often watching web video on portable media players with small screens. Be sure to keep the total run time low to avoid viewer fatigue.

In the training videos we produce, we try to limit topics to one per episode. And if a single topic takes more than 10 minutes to explain, then we’ll split the video into two or three parts. This way the viewer can download Part 1 and start watching it while they’re waiting for the rest to download or be released. There’s nothing wrong with multiple parts. That’s the whole concept of serializing a web video into an actual series that builds up a subscription and viewership base.

To learn how to make great web video check out Professional Web Video.


Making Selections in Photoshop with Calculations

Learn to perform Channel Operations. Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to make great selections using channels in Photoshop.

Your Right to Take Photos of Federal Property

Like to take pictures Well you may have run afoul of shooting photos of federal buildings (which is pretty easy to do in DC where I live). Here's a useful federal directive that you should print out and put in your camera bag.

Federal Protective Service Information Bulletin of Aug. 2, 2010, emphasizing "the public's right to photograph the exterior of federal facilities" from "publicly accessible spaces such as streets, sidewalks, parks and plazas." It also states that in a field interview, "officers should not seize the camera or its contents, and must be cautious not to give such 'orders' to a photographer to erase the contents of a camera."

Download it here �


Don't Miss the ASMP Strictly Business Conference