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final cut pro x

My contribution to this week’s Free Effect Friday is a new free Final Cut Pro X transition: Alex4D Switch Channel.

For more information and download link, visit my website: Alex4D.com

alex4dcom-new

Switch Channel was inspired by my ‘Bad TV a4d’ effect plugin. I liked how it made the image roll up or down. I thought it would be good if as it rolled, another clip could appear. I realised that this transition would simulate the display of old TVs from the 70s and 80s – especially those without remote controls. When you turned the knob or punched a button on the TV it would take a while to retune and  handle the information coming in from the new channel.

This transition works well when you want to change the subject, or when you want the next shot to interrupt the current shot – or for a momentary aside. If you want to simulate switching through many channels, add the shots to your timeline and apply the Alex4D Switch Channel transition between them. Select all the transitions and type Control-D and enter a low number such as 5 or 6.

If you want a temporary interruption – such as a comment from an interloper – use pairs of Switch Channel. With each pair choose different Roll directions for the first and the second: for example roll up to start the interruption, and roll down when you return to the main story.

Here is a video showing what it can do:

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Many people are waiting for Apple to fully commit to ‘fixing’ TV. Following on from disrupting the music industry with the iPod and iTunes Music Store and the mobile phone industry with the iPhone and iTunes App Store, when will Apple take on broadcast TV? Also, is their answer TV hardware or software?

“It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

One of the most repeated excerpts from the official Steve Jobs Biography, ‘Jobs’ by Walter Issacson, still prompts questions. On the eve of every Apple product announcement event, we wonder whether this time we will find out what Steve meant.

Apple TV hardware

Over six years ago Apple announced their TV ‘hobby’ product: The Apple TV. A small device connected to HD TVs designed to store, stream and play back TV shows and other 720p digital content via a network-connected Mac or PC. They made a point of not promoting it as a major platform at the level of the Mac or iPod. They described it as a product that would help Apple explore future media possibilities. Apple didn’t want analysts to presume that Apple TV would be a second market-disrupting product in the same way that the iPod and iTunes Store was.

Over the years since March 2007, Apple have slowly evolved their hobby.  In January 2008 a software update removed the need for a Mac or PC to purchase via the iTunes Store. Steve Jobs:

Apple TV was designed to be an accessory for iTunes and your computer. It was not what people wanted. We learned what people wanted was movies, movies, movies.

September 2010 saw the biggest change in the Apple TV: the ‘2nd generation’ version dropped the internal hard drive. It was also much smaller and much less expensive. The current 3rd generation Apple TV has a faster processor and more streaming services at full 1080p resolution.

Why does Apple TV remain simply a (very profitable) hobby for the iPhone, iPad and Mac maker? The complex TV and film market in the USA and worldwide.

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My contribution to this week’s Free Effect Friday is a new free Final Cut Pro X effect: Alex4D Inside-Outside.

For more information and download links, visit my website: Alex4D.com

Alex4D-website

Inside-Outside is based on an effect I created for myself when I shot some interview footage too soft and didn’t want to oversharpen it. The prototype version slightly sharpened the interviewee’s face and slightly blurred everything else. This made their face look clearer than when I oversharpened it – and it hid my mistake.

It is especially useful for some DSLRs because their built-in sharpening isn’t very good, so camera people advise us to turn the sharpening off and sharpen with more control in the NLE.

Seeing as it sometimes helps to direct people’s view by brightening the subject and desaturating the surroundings, I added brightness, contrast and saturation controls to the inside and outside areas of the effect.

Here is a video showing what it can do:

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Links covering Final Cut Pro X 3D, Final Cut running on odd devices, Motion 5 animation, 4K, end credits …a Simon Ubsdell special.

3D competition

Last week I posted a link to some FxPlug test movies showing 3D model manipulation in Motion 5. This week it looks like motionVFX have upgraded their planned mExtrude plugin to do much more than extrude 2D text and logos.

This image shows a plugin working in Motion 5, it would take minutes to turn this into a plugin working in Final Cut Pro X:
https://twitter.com/motionVFX/status/374476152636579840/photo/1

Run Final Cut on your camera?

The problem some filmmakers have with DSLR rigs is that they are very unwieldy.

Here’s the tale of building a camera that pays homage to the revolutionary portable 16mm cameras of the 60s and 70s by incorporating a surprising ingredient:
http://blackbettycameras.com/building-betty-2/

Applifying Final Cut Pro X

With a subscription to Parallels Access, you can operate a copy of Final Cut Pro X on a remote Mac  using an iPad. Most reviewers say that it is better than previous remote access applications, but it is expensive – it is being sold as an $80 a year service instead of as a $25 iOS app.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFe3TxNUgYI

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As part of the MacPro preview at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple mentioned that “The Final Cut Pro team is hard at work on a version of Final Cut Pro X that will support all the performance and graphics capabilities of this machine.”

The current version of Final Cut Pro is 10.0.9, so it looks like Apple is numbering Final Cut updates in the same way as OS X. Free updates are numbered in 10.X.1, 10.X.2, 10.X.3 format, major paid updates will numbered in 10.0, 10.1, 10.2 format. So Final Cut users expect the 10.1 update to be at least as radical as the difference between OS X 10.0 and 10.1. Also like OS X, non-users don’t expect Final Cut Pro X to be ready for prime time until version 10.2 at the earliest.

So the 10.1 update needs to

– Reassure current users that Final Cut Pro X is evolving quickly enough and is following the right path

– Convince users of other editing applications that Final Cut is a better solution than their current systems

– Sell the new MacPro (also a controversial product – because of upgradability and compatibility issues)

Since Final Cut Pro X was launched in July 2011, people have been pointing out missing features. More recently lists of missing features have become feature requests. For the canonical list, visit Richard Taylor’s FCPX.TV site for the Top 101+ Requests for Final Cut Pro X 10.1.

Beyond specific features, I’m also interested in four themes for 10.1:

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Links covering a new application from Intelligent Assistance, legacy Final Cut Studio tools, a 3D future, Final Cut Pro X 10.1 update price, the Amsterdam Supermeet, a step towards black level understanding and a free plugin maker for Final Cut Pro X who is known for his unconventional plugin names…

Producer’s Best Friend

Intelligent Assistance have launched a new tool: Producer’s Best Friend – which is secretly an editor’s best friend too.

It extracts lots of useful information from Final Cut Pro X projects and events. Timelines are stored in projects, content is stored in events.

Although Producer’s Best Friend can report on the majority of information manipulated by Final Cut Pro, it is limited to the information that can encoded in Final Cut’s XML format.

One of the features I’m looking forward to in 10.1 is an update the the XML format to include much more timeline information. That would support lots of interesting third-party applications: http://assistedediting.intelligentassistance.com/ProducersBestFriend/

Don’t forget Final Cut Studio!

Oliver Peters wrote a post reminding us that as well as pushing Apple to improve Final Cut Pro X, we shouldn’t forget the tools still available to us in Final Cut Studio.

We can still make advanced DVDs in DVD Studio Pro, fix many problems with Soundtrack Pro, do advanced colour grading in Color. We can even use Final Cut Pro 7 to save GB of disk space using its still more advanced media management tools. Every once in a while I like to have a little more control over my audio that X can provide, so I turn to Soundtrack Pro to sort things out – even now that Logic Pro X has arrived.

I’ll deem Final Cut Pro X a full success once we never need to turn to Final Cut Studio again!
http://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/the-nle-that-wouldnt-die-ii/

3D

SceneKit is the part of Mac OSX that can be used to create, modify and display manipulate 3D models. Apple provides kits like these to make it easier for developers to add 3D animation to their Mac applications (this article shows some of what it can do – in iOS apps as well).

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