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Recycle computers and electronics

October 25, 00

FCP has great Title Effects and it's called

overflow crowd at the Oct meeting-

So we decided to experiment with this October meeting with no RSVPS and it seemed to work quite nicely. Oh sure, there were too many people at times and not enough seats. There was the occasional fight in the hall over the last cookie(s). There was a time when we had to call the cops to break up a platform war, but all in all it worked, and we will continue to hold our monthly meetings without RSVPS, so help me God.

This months bonus hour was a real treat as we brought in FCP Guru and Dr. Rawstock instructor, Jim Foreman to give us all a demo on FCP's Log and Capture secrets, and Jim did not disappoint. Jim ForemanJim gave us all a nifty handout explaining what exactly he was covering complete with Screen shots and a detailed explanation written for the dummy in all of us. You would be surprised at how many steps you might be adding to your log and capture. Jim breaks it down to a simple 1,2,3 process and leaves us little room for error, which is good for those of us prone to that sort of thing.

He took us from preferences to Capture and explained to us the pitfalls one might encounter if you muck up something along the way. Get those settings right and all is well with the world, says Jim. Learn what every button on the Log and capture window means and does. Click away and see what happens. Understand the four quadrants of time code. Understand the difference between Capture Now and Batch Capture. Read the hand out and the manual. This stuff is simple, just don't guess. If you wish Jim's fine hand out on Log and Capture, just go on down to Dr Rawstock and tell em you are a lafcpug member and beg for one. Tell em Lowell sent ya. Thanks Jim for a very informative 45 minutes.

Real meeting was called to order at 7:15 and I made a couple of announcements, one of which is I need your ideas on future meetings, your tips and tricks, and generally anything you can think of to make us the most powerful User Group on the Planet. So send those ideas in.

Ned SoltzOur crack treasurer and all around good guy Ned Soltz was first up to start the conversation on the new QuickTime 5 preview release. Neds comments were quite favorable on QuickTime 5 but with certain caveats such as QT 5 breaks Echo Fire, Commotion DV , and causes strange and intermittent bursts of colored pixels on ones NTSC monitor.

The discussion on QT-5 can be quite complex and baffle even the most knowledgeable DV filmmaker. There are RGB values and YUV values and... moral values and such. There is the DVTK codec and DVTK beta to consider in the comparison test. There are different QT versions. This stuff can be fascinating or really boring. But it's stuff we got to know if we want to do professional work. So - knowing this, Ned gave us a killer presentation on QT 4 against 5 using samples of YUV rendered text and video of Hasidic Jews praying a the Wailing Wall in Israel. Not only that, he added a a techno music track to it all, so those of us who didn't understand a dang word of what Ned was saying could get lost in the toe tapping beat of these folks walking up to the wall and doing their thing. Cool, I say.

While Ned was winding down his comments I was on the phone, courtesy of our friends at ATT, with video guru and world expert on all things codec, Adam Wilt. adam wilt chartOne cannot do a presentation on QT 5 or codecs for that matter, with out the participation of Adam Wilt, so since he lives in Northern California, we brought him in via speaker phone to give his comments.

Adam Wilt has done exhaustive and possibly definitive side by side comparison tests on the QuickTime 5 preview release. Go to his web site and hang around there for a few hours and come away either brain dead or with EVERYTHING you want to know about codecs and QT 5. His conclusion? QT 5 ROCKS. It's fast, it works and it is a couple of bugs away from being THE professional codec we all deserve. But, he does not recommend you install it until it's final release. It is a BETA release after all.

Hans Fischmann, Content Manager of QuickTime TV also was present pointing out to us that most of Apples resources are going to OSX, and maybe just maybe we will get a final release of QT 5 come MacWorld in January. But don't tell anyone he said that . <g> Thank you Adam, Ned and Hans for your extraordinary work on this incredibly complex issue.

DV Guy and FCP Guru Steve Martin was up next, and Steve gave us a quick fifteen minute tour of just how exactly to prepare images in Photoshop for import into FCP. MartinAnd if you didn't know how to do this before, well- fifteen minutes spent with Steve you will.

Prepare those images at 720X534 RGB, and 72dpi, assuming you are not using a capture card. When you are finished doing your prep in PS, change it to 720x480 in the image size menu. Don't forget to uncheck the proportion box or you will scream a lot. Then Save as a Copy.

Yeah, yeah, the image looks weird, but once you import it into FCP and drop it into the Timeline, by golly, it looks right again. On the NTSC monitor at least, and that is what counts. Don't flatten the image unless you want a white background. Use Merge layers if you want drop shadows and other layers to come into FCP separately. Steve says why not do your drop shadows in FCP rather than PS. Makes sense. There are good articles on this very subject in Lisa Brenneis Book, 2-pops Library, and DV Companion. Thanks Steve for another great presentation.

Running late as usual and with very little time left before the break, lafcpug HeadCutter Michael Horton decided to not bump himself again from the line up and plowed forward to show and tell of his historical documentary , "The Forgotten Grave." Michael HortonThe story of Sarah Edmonds, a woman who dressed as a man to fight in the American Civil War, this 13 minute film just won first place in the Zoie Fest Woman to Woman film festival. Utilizing still pictures downloaded from the Library of Congress, extensive use of FCPs motion tracking features, free sound effects, (go to and type in Free Sound Effects) and the voices and help of good friends, this project came in for the budget of Zero Dollars. Due to time constraints, Michael was forced to race through the presentation utilizing the fast forward feature on the DSR-20 supplied by Dr. Rawstock. However, comments overheard during the break suggested that Mr. Hortons Documentary was worthy of high praise and certainly Academy Award consideration. (when you are HeadCutter you can write whatever you want)

After a break for smokes and chit chat, it was time to bring on our Key Note speaker and BorisFX everything expert, Tim Wilson. Tim was on the end of a grueling 2 week trip across the country demoing Boris FX to various UGs and and other folks and we were his last stop. You wouldn't have known it judging from Tims enthusiasm and down right love of all things Boris.

It's been said that FCP has a great titler and it's Photo shop, but after seeing Tim Demo Boris Graffiti, I think it is safe to say that FCP has a great titler and its called Graffiti.

Graffiti is a plug in for FCP and does everything the professional titler wants it to do, from one click text crawls, 3D, 2D, tracking, blur, key framing, animation, you name it. This is one cool app and Tim made it look simple. Heck, it IS simple. There is even tutorials and techniques online at plugin central on how to use this program if you don't like manuals. Graffiti has 14 special FX filters including Lens Flare, which actually works. He showed us, trust me.

You can change character styles at the individual character level for goodness sakes. You can pick your colors even form the finder level. Like one of those icon colors up in the menu? Well then, use it. Tim showed us how to do a Star Wars like text crawl, a nifty "Sands of Time" effect where letters break up into grains of sand and fall gracefully to the ground and numerous other effects this summary has 'not the space to go into. Just real cool stuff and a lot of fun watching Tim share his knowledge. If you are a User group of folks interested in getting a demo of Boris , ask for Tim. You won't be disappointed.

Ramy KatribNext up was filmmaker Ramy Katrib who showed us a clip from his documentary, "Particles and People." This doc concerns itself with a gigantic machine in Loma Linda that is used to disintegrate cancer tumors from patients who otherwise have inoperatable tumors due to the tumors position in the body. A highly watchable movie, it was filmed with a Canon XL1 camera and edited on FCP and finally color corrected on a Da Vinci Color Corrector which Ramy has a great knowledge of. Kind of makes you want to go to Loma Linda and see this thing. Lord knows, I wouldn't want to be subjected to this machine, but judging by the patients who appeared in this documentary, this monolith of a machine works.

Finally our last Show and Tell presenter was none other than our ace secretary of lafcpug, Doug Lindeman. Doug gave us an eyeful and earful of highlights from his documentary, "Angels Ladies."

Doug lindemanAngels ladies is about a couple from Eugene Oregon who gave up their Mortuary business and moved to Nevada to run a Brothel. Yeah, thats what I said. This is a alternately funny and poignant film on the "end of the road" for Nevadas famed prostitutes, the community they live in, and the couple who run the business. A sure fire hit for any film festival that picks it up, Angels Ladies will be screening for the New York Press Nov. 9, and then will be screened for the public at the "Screening Room," Nov. 10 in NYC. More details can be had at by clicking here.
We all wish Doug much luck and know if NYC has good taste, then this film is sure to be a hit.

World famous raffle was up next and our friends from Dr Rawstock donated T-shirts and Hats. Our good friends Charles McConathy and Cawan Starks from Promax donated T-shirts, Lisa Brenneis Books, a way cool copy of Digital Juice backgrounds, and the excellent FCP How2, Extreme Editing Video Tape. Boris FX donated a copy of graffiti and finally 2-pop.coms Ralph Fairweather donated himself for 2 hours of whatever you want to talk about concerning FCP. Now there is a prize.

Some of the winners included: (we screwed up and did not get all the winners names, so if you want your name in this summary, write me and you can show the world you were lucky for one day in your life.)

Michael Horton- Dr Rawstock T-shirt
Boris Graffiti- Kathleen Lantos
Digital Juice - Karen Rasch (?)
Ralph Fairweather - Steve Williams

Very special thanks to Dan Brockett for taping this months meeting

See ya all next Nov 29 for the continuing drama of lafcpug

Michael Horton