Workstation on a Budget

As part of my Tickle King documentary project it became necessary for me to put together a better home edit suite than my laptop. It’s been a long time since I actually needed anything with any real power at home, so I needed to start from scratch.

I’ve built plenty of computers in the past, and postulated about building others, but this is the first one I’ve actually put together for the purposes of editing in quite a long time. I figured I’d detail exactly what I built and share the outcome. Continue reading

Wipster – Client Video Sharing

It’s been quite a while since I did a lot of work for varied clients. Way back then it was a constant pain to share our edits with clients and get their feedback. We were either sending DVDs or uploading files to places like YouTube, then exchanging emails.

At the time I looked for better options, but nothing I found seemed affordable or usable.

Fast forward a few years and the work I do doesn’t really require that type of client feedback so I’ve stopped looking. Therefore I was surprised to learn about Wipster – a new(ish) web-based service designed to do exactly what I needed a few years back. Not only that, they are a Kiwi company!

Anyway, they gave me a demo account (but you can try it for free anyway) so that I could see what they’d made and tell them (and you) what I thought… So what follows is a review of what Wipster is offering and my thoughts on the services based on my reasonably varied post-production experience.

I also have two free one-year business accounts to give away — check the end of the post for details!

Continue reading

What Makes a Pro?

When we have discussions of editors, editing and post-production software we often get hung up on the word professional – this was especially the case during the arrival of FCP X where many commentators were criticised for writing off many working editors as not being professional by insisting that FCP X wasn’t suitable for professionals.

So who is a professional?

Continue reading

Don’t Buy Rotolight

In the age of the internet there are many reasons we might choose to buy or not buy a specific product. We have a wealth of knowledge (and opinion) at out fingertips. At its most idealistic the internet is a place to share ideas and information. One factor we can consider much more easily now when purchasing is the character of the company. Continue reading

Media Composer 7: 25 New Features

Editor editor Wim Van den Broeck (@editorbelga) has put together a great set of slides highlighting, in brilliantly simple fashion, 25 new features in Media Composer 7.

It should probably be pointed out that Wim is not an Avid employee, so these images are not official Avid marketing material.

If you’re not following Wim on Twitter, you probably should me. Me too while you’re at it.

Media Composer 7: Titler Pro

If you’ve ever made titles in Media Composer it’s probably safe to assume two things: You’ve been frustrated by Title Tool and baffled by Marquee.

Avid Title Tool from 1994

Avid Title Tool from 1994

The Avid Title Tool is simple and efficient, it works pretty well and is surprisingly useful, but it’s also very limited. If you ever stumble across a manual from a very early version of Media Composer you’ll probably not be surprised to see that the Title Tool looks reasonably familiar.

To combat this limitation Avid introduced Marquee in the early 2000’s (initially in Avid DS, then in Media Composer on Windows and later also on the Mac) – while some people insist that Marquee is a powerful and versatile tool (it is), most people complain that it’s confusing and unintuitive (it is). In practice this means there’s a few people who manage amazing things with Marquee, while most people swear whenever they accidentally launch it.

Suffice to say titles have been something of a weak point in within Media Composer. People either make do with the Title Tool (entirely possible in many cases) or use a more versatile and general purpose tool like After Effects.

This has always struck me as a little disappointing given that Avid also offer some amazingly powerful titling tools in their Avid Deko and Avid Motion Graphics products. They even have a plugin version of Deko called Postdeko (it’s very pricey).

Clearly Avid have seen the need for a more flexible titling option and they’ve struck a deal with NewBlueFX to include their powerful and intuitive Titler Pro with Media Composer 7. It’s a GPU-accelrated WYSIWYG titling application that runs as an AVX plugin from within Media Composer. It has animation, lighting, textures and 3D functionality (among other things).

But there’s a catch (don’t worry, it’s not a huge one) – Media Composer 7 ships with version 1.0 of Titler Pro, but the latest version from NewBlueFX is 2.0 and the new version adds a bunch of great new features (better 3D extrusion contol, animated textures and improved lighting).

Fear not, however, the 1.0 version that ships with Media Composer 7 is still very functional and intuitive. And, as the proud owner of a copy of Titler Pro 1.0, you’re entitled to upgrade pricing if you want the newer version – a mere US$100.

There’s a basic overview video below, and a whole lot more tutorials on NewBlue’s YouTube channel.