Periodically we will be posting reviews of products we deem worthy of attention. These reviews will be written by our members who we feel most expert in the field that the particular product demonstrates. As the list grows longer we will catergorize our reviews so they will be easy to search for and, we hope, helpful for the digital filmmaker.
If you have a product you are using and you would like to write an unbiased review for us, send an email to Michael Horton with your idea.
Reviews are the opinions of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the lacpug.
- Final Cut Pro 10.1 In-Depth
Normally a read of "Final Cut Pro - 10.1- A First Look" by Steve Martin and Mark Spencer of Ripple Training would be enough to get you started with the new features. However, with FCP 10.1, this is not the case. The media management process is now completely different and, as such, you are going to need a guide to understanding FCP's new media management.
- Shooting with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera by Rick Young
One of the newest cameras to hit the market comes from Blackmagic of Australia, a respected and long time supplier of video capture cards and accessories. In recent years Blackmagic has made a string of acquisitions including DaVinci Resolve, ATEM Vision Mixers, and Teranex image processors. The release of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera represents a new and bold direction for the company.
- AVID 6 Core Training by Steve Kanter
Our trainer of the day, Steve Kanter, has released a new video training series for Avid 6, and like your guide through the mystic valley, he will walk with you through thick and thin, and show you the ropes on your learning quest to master the Avid. With over a decade as a Final Cut Studio Master Trainer and Avid Certified Instructor, Steve Kanter knows exactly what you need to help you get up to speed on the Avid.
- Ripple Training's Compositing in Final Cut Pro X
It was good timing for me when I received Ripple Training's latest iTunes tutorial series on 'Compositing in Final Cut X', which focuses primarily on proper keying techniques, and how to handle and correct several possible issues that may arise when doing such work.
- Infinate Skills Apple Compressor 4 Tutorial DVD
This newly released tutorial DVD produced by Infinite Skills is designed for both the new user as well as users of legacy versions of Final Cut Studio.
- Final Cut Pro X Visual Quickstart Guide
Since the release of Apple's new Final Cut Pro X, supplemental DVDs, podcasts and books that have come out focused on learning Final Cut Pro X. Lisa Brenneis, now teaming up with Michael Wohl, reestablishes the newly named Visual Quickstart Guide for Final Cut Pro X as the reference book to have.
- Final Cut Pro X-Apple Training Series
For those wanting to get in on the ground floor of the new editing application that is Final Cut Pro X, Peachpit Press and Diana Weynand continue their long standing history of providing supplemental training via their Apple Pro Training Series of tutorial books. For those seeking certification in any of Apple's applications, it is these 'Training Series' line of books that one needs to use to prepare for the Apple certifications.
- FCP X Pro Series - Ripple Training
The Ripple Training FCP X tutorials, narrated by veteran Steve Martin, provide 1.41 GBs of video broken into thirty eight individual segments in iPad format. The bundle includes 1.33 GBs of tutorial media in representative project media formats -- .aiff sound captures and music beds, high definition h.264 video clips, jpeg production stills, and .wav sound effects.
- Rick's Tips - Inside the Mind of an Editor
Rick Young, a very accomplished working editor and videographer, has written a different kind of book. This is a book that not only offers a great many insights in how to use several of his most often used workflows and most important tools, but provides in depth and often amusing anecdotes regarding what it is really like to be a working professional.
- Jerry Hofmann's Final Cut System Set-Up
Final Cut Pro aficionado Jerry Hofmann’s 90 minute DVD provides a decade of experience about basic to advanced system, OS, hardware, and Final Cut Studio set up, and much more. Jerry starts with FCS and OS X installation strategies, discusses various hardware and software options, system, user, and AV settings, and finishes with how to set up an editing suite including which color to paint the walls (and why). Just about everything else Final Cut Pro hardware and software related is included. This is a must view for novice and expert, and a bargain at $49.95.
- Final Cut Express 4 - Express Yourself
As with all the other tutorial products from Ripple Training, the production values of this tutorial are excellent. Because some people who have purchased FCE are new, not only to FCE but new to the Mac as well, Steve Martin introduces the viewer to the Mac and provides the viewer with the information necessary for running Final Cut Express on the Mac.
- After Effects - Fast Forward
When I heard that Ripple Training was going to be producing their first DVD tutorial on Adobe After Effects it was good news. Ripple Training has set the standard of excellence in both the production values and comprehensiveness regarding any of the Final Cut Studio tutorial DVDs they have produced over the years.
- Lighting for Digital Video and Television
This is another book that requires that you take your time with it. There are too many goodies for you to want to rush through and miss something. It is certainly not a skim and scan novel but a very well written and informative book covering more than just lighting suggestions and positions.
- Moving With Motion
Moving with Motion, a Professionals Guide' is certainly one of the better Motion DVD tutorials I have used. While most tutorials of this type have a similar syllabus, what makes this tutorial stand out for me is its producer and narrator, Stephen Smith.
- Learning to Use Final Cut Pro 7 - Infinite Skills
Infinite Skills 'Learning to Use Final Cut Pro 7' tutorial disks, which can also be downloaded, functions differently than most of the tutorial DVDs I have seen and used. Infinite Skills uses their own application 'ClickMeToPlay' which enables you to view the tutorial's 7.5 hours and 164 individual instructional chapters on 3 tutorial discs and one Working Files disc which contains the media used throughout the tutorial.
- The Focal Easy Guide to Final Cut Pro 7
This is not the first Focal Easy Guide to Final Cut by Rick Young, who is the Editor of MacVideo, that I have reviewed but as I was reading through it, it caused me to think that if there was any book I could have had at my disposal when Final Cut Pro version 1 was released, this would have been my first choice for a number of reasons.
- Motion 4 Fast Forward by Ripple Training
...like most applications, Motion 4 cannot be learned in one sitting nor by reading one book, or moving along with one DVD tutorial. It takes time, patience and practice and as long as you are willing to devote the time, the rewards will be well worth the effort. Mark Spencer's 'Motion 4 Fast Forward' is just that, a jump forward for anyone wishing to become competent using Motion 4.
- Final Cut Pro 7 Core Training by Ripple Training
With every major update to Final Cut Pro, there is alway a flurry of tutorials to go with the update. However, not all tutorials are create equal. Some simply have 'What's New' added, folding some new information to an existing tutorial or, in the case of books, one is sent to a web site where you get an 'Addendum'. The new FCP 7 DVD tutorial from Ripple Training by Steve Martin was built from the ground up.
- Compressor 3.5 Apple Pro Video Series
For the first time, Ripple Training has produced an application tutorial available only from iTunes and which serves as the basis for those wishing to take the Apple Certification exam for Compressor. Downloading was quick and easy. Hosted by Brian Gary, there appears to be a new approach to this tutorial, which, for most, will be appreciated.
- Peachpit Press's Apple Pro Training Series
Steve Douglas reviews all the training books in the Apple Pro Training Series of Books from Peachpit
- Directing the Documentary
For those either making documentaries or thinking about it, this is the book to get.
- Final Cut Studio HD Workflow Vol 1
It has been some time since I have taken a look at what's new on the market of tutorial DVDs for Final Cut Pro Studio. I found this one from all4DVD and was not disappointed.
- The New Now
Philip Hodgett's new book "The New Now" is an informed, thoughtful, well-written and info-packed look at marketing strategies for traditional video, film production and associated services for today's digital environment.
- Digital Heaven's Final Cut Pro Killer Secrets
We all have to have a first in our lives and this is the first e-book I've ever really looked at. Being an avid reader I enjoy holding the book or magazine in my hands and feel a sense of accomplishment once finished. Never the less, there are some very real benefits to having easy access to Final Cut Pro Killer Secrets sitting there on your desktop.
- After Effects Expressions
Expressions in Adobe After Effects are just like the many tools you find within the application, but are different in that instead of manually adjusting the tools with sliders, rotational clocks and the like, you type in what you want the tool to do with both words and numbers.
- The After Effects Illusionist
I'll start out by saying that this is not an Adobe After Effects book for beginners even though the back cover says that it is suitable for the novice to advanced user. It is clearly aimed at the editor who has been using After Effects for some time, is familiar with most of its uses, the appropriate terminology, applications, and parameter controls.
- Sound Editing & Mastering in Soundtrack Pro
When Apple introduced Soundtrack Pro numerous editors saw it as a fun way to make their own musical scores without the worry of paying fees or the expense of buying royalty free music libraries. Yet, Soundtrack Pro has the ability to go far beyond that basic creationistic application which is where Steve Martin's latest product from his Ripple Training series comes in.
- DVD Studio Pro: Special Edition
DVD Studio Pro: Special Edition continues the tradition of introductory and intermediate CallBox training DVDs directed at the video professional. This particular instructional piece contains shortcuts, tricks, workflow, and tips targeted at the beginning and intermediate DVD Studio Pro user.
- The HD Survivial Handbook
Help has just arrived in the form of the "HD Survival Handbook (2008)" by Philip Hodgetts. Philip has been providing educational tutorials for us since FCP first shipped and not just about FCP workflow, keyboard shortcuts and the like, but equally about the more technical aspects of video editing. Philip's great gift is not just that he understand the technical aspects of video, but that he can write about all of this in a clear and concise manner, provide the information required, but in a way that non-tech savvy editors can understand and then employ.
- Real World Video Compression
A very new release from Peachpit Press, Video Compression by Andy Beach is well worth reading for literally anyone either new or experienced to compression tools and techniques.
- Final Cut Pro 6 - Beyond the Basics
Released recently is a new addition to the arsenal of Final Cut Pro based books, 'Final Cut Pro 6 Beyond the Basics' by Michael Wohl. This book is massive in length coming in at 678 pages and is designed to bring the editor from the basic workings and editing techniques used in Final Cut Pro to the next level of mastery.
- Up and Running in Compressor 3
Ripple Training just released "Up and Running in Compressor 3" by Brian Gary. Being a fan of Ripple Training tutorials and wanting to take a refresher course in Compressor 3, I decided to take a look.
- Ripple Training's 'Deep Dive into 3D' for Motion 3
Available both online or as a DVD edition, both at the same price, Ripple's latest contribution follows closely on the heels of their 'Motion 3 Fast Forward' tutorial DVD. Should you choose the online download, all media and project files for the DVD will be supplied as well. 'Motion 3 Deep Dive into 3D' is the sequential epilogue to the Fast Forward Motion 3 tutorial guiding you significantly deeper into Motion 3's myriad abilities.
- Final Cut Studio On the Spot
There have been several 'On the Spot' releases over the years for Final Cut Pro and After Effects. The one thing I liked about them was that they were packed with many time saving tips and techniques, little insights and tricks of the trade that no matter what your experience level may be, you might never have thought of.
- The Focal Easy Guide to Final Cut Pro 6
Aimed primarily at the new and intermediate user, Rick Young has successfully updated his Final Cut Pro 5 edition with new sections covering many of the new features found in FCP 6 and additional techniques designed to accomplish a quicker and more efficacious workflow and, more importantly, a deeper understanding of this venerable application.
- Visual QuickPro Guide: Final Cut Pro 6
With each new version of Final Cut, I anxiously await for Lisa Brenneis to dust off her accumulated notes and author her latest edition updating the long standing Visual QuickPro Guide published by the Peachpit Press.
- Panasonic P2 Workflow with Final Cut Pro and the HVX200
This DVD is a step-by-step primer on managing p2 card DVCProHD footage acquired with the HVX200 from pre-production through post to archival. But it doesn't stop there. Color correction, HVX200 hardware and software peripherals, metadata management, SD DVD authoring and more are examined all in a fast-paced, never miss-a-beat presentation.
- Motion 3 Fast Forward
Ripple Training is now shipping 'Motion 3 Fast Forward' as both a DVD based tutorial as well as an online version (1.37 Gigs) with a run time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. The online version includes all the same files that are found on the DVD; 12 individual chapter lessons and one complete movie of all 12 chapters called 'The Whole Enchilada'. The Project files and attending tutorial media are included so that you can work through the lessons in Motion while watching the movies, and ... as a sign of things to come, Ripple Training has included the entire 12 lesson set in the new 'Apple TV' format.
- Final Cut Pro 6 -Professional Editing in Final Cut Studio 2
For those who are just becoming familiar with the complexities of Final Cut, for those who wish to review, or for those who have intentions of becoming Apple Certified for Final Cut Pro, this is the must have book.
- Ripple Training's 6 on 6
There is no reason why anyone shouldn't expect a new onslaught of on-line, DVD, and book tutorials for the New Final Cut Studio 2. Steve Martin and Ripple Training are the first to hit the shores with six on-line tutorials enabling you to become familiar with the newest features to be found in Final Cut, perhaps, even before you have it installed.
- Apple Pro Training Series: QuickTime Pro Quick-Reference Guide
While the QuickTime Pro Quick Reference Guide is of excellent quality, I do bemoan the increase of price as compared to Brian Gary's last Quick Reference Guide for Compressor. Thirty dollars for a 138-page book seems to be a bit much.
- DVD Authoring in DVD Studio Pro
Ripple Training DVD tutorial DVDs have brought to the Final Cut Pro community some of the very finest tutorial discs for most of the applications this editing community has utilized. They bring consistent excellence and continuity to their discs and quality is always synonymous with each offering. DVD Authoring in DVD Studio Pro is no exemption to that rule
- Final Cut Pro Foundations
Final Cut Pro Foundations, prepared and produced by DV Creators, has focused itself for the new user who wishes to clear up the mysteries of Final Cut and learn how to begin editing quickly and painlessly.
- Compressor-Quick Reference Guide
This book is easy reading, easy to understand and easy to apply. As shown by the previously mentioned chapters, Brian Gary has you working with Compressor quickly getting you up to speed in a useful and sequential manner.
- Pro Apps Tips from Intelligent Assistance
What we have here is a genuine New Orleans gumbo, you're not 100% sure what's in it but you know you're in for a treat.
- Final Cut 101-Video Editing
While there are no shortages of supplementary tutorials for most Apple applications, many of them are a bit costly and will often speak over the heads of their intended audience. This disc, which is also available as an on line download from MacPro Video, is intended for the new editor using Final Cut Pro either for the first time or who hasn't quite gotten a handle on much of Final Cut's abilities. Created and narrated by Michael Wolh, who better to introduce the newcomer to Final Cut Pro than one of the founders who designed the application in the first place?
- After Effects Power Start
Adobe After Effects 7 has certainly made some changes since their last inception and the folks over at DV Creators has jumped in, gotten their feet wet and released a beautifully produced Power Start disc.
- Total Training for Final Cut Studio
So, its comprehensive you want? Total Training for Final Cut Studio: A Post-Production Workflow just about does it all for the new or experienced user of Final Cut Studio.
- Start Editing Now
Start Editing Now, produced by Videocraft Workshop has taken a new approach with this 2 DVD disc tutorial set. Designed to get the new editor up and running with the correct approach, Start Editing Now contains 4 basic lessons covering straight cuts and cutaways, pacing of the video and dialogue and the use of the B-roll footage to avoid jump cuts, and affect scene pacing.
- MacVideo Magazine
Several days ago I received a package from Rick Young which contained his newest venture, MacVideo, a full color magazine devoted to video on the Mac platform.
- How to Setup, Light, & Shoot Great Looking Interviews
Vortex Media has come out with a fifth way to learn the art of lighting interviews with an excellent and inexpensive 60 minute DVD which covers just about all you need to be aware of and learn for lighting interviews.
- Color Correcting in FCP 5
At four hours, this tutorial covers everything from the most basic through the very advanced and is meant for all users, from the beginner to the more accomplished.
- Hands On HDV : A Complete Guide to the Sony HDR-HC1, HVR-Z1U & HDR-FX1
Bottom line is that both of the Vortex Media tutorial DVDs are finely written and excellently produced. With so many features in common between these camcorders, I was able to glean just about everything I needed. When I go back to them I am certain I will be able to derive even more. I can't imagine anyone not preferring to use 'How to Shoot Like a Pro with the Sony HDR-HC1 or the Sony Z1U or FX1' over the supplied manuals.
- Getting Started in Final Cut Pro 5
My biggest beef is 'Where the heck was this tutorial disc when Final Cut Pro first came out? I sure could have used it in the stone age of non-linear editing applications. Aimed at the beginner to intermediate user of FCP this tutorial disc is just the ticket to getting a new user up and running with confidence in what they are doing.
- Inside Soundtrack Pro
There are a number of books and tutorials out for Soundtrack Pro and DTMS has its own as well. Consisting of 5 hours of video based instruction divided into 25 lessons, the DTMS is certainly a disc worth considering for the beginner or advanced user.
- The Art of Encoding Using Compressor
Bringing some clarity to the "art and science" of video compression for distribution is Ripple Training's DVD-ROM 14-chapter series entitled "The Art of Encoding using Compressor." This comprehensive narrative teaches by example, and tips using supplied content that ranges from HDV to web compression.
- Inside Motion 2
Digital Media Training has released Inside Motion 2. This new training DVD-ROM is an extension of the Motion 1 Training DVD, which I have reviewed already here.
- Optimizing Your Final Cut Pro System
I think the title of this book "Optimizing Your Final Cut Pro System" is a bit of a misnomer. The sub-title " A Technical Guide to Real-World Post Production" is more to the point.
- KenStone Unplugged
What we have here is the acoustic Ken Stone, the down and dirty Ken Stone, the nitty gritty, get it under your fingernails Ken Stone. What you get is the best of Ken Stone to date. Thankfully, as Apple software and editing challenges evolve in the future another "Best of" is still awaiting us a few more years down the road.
- Final Cut Pro 5 - Apple Pro training Series
There is no question that Diana Weynand and Peachpit Press have succeeded at presenting Apple's Final Cut Pro 5 in a manner conducive to sequential learning. If you already have the Final Cut HD volume you will find that coverage of new features as well as completely different media makes it a worthy purchase. If you are just starting out with FCP than this book provides you with a great way to learn.
- Inside DVD Studio Pro 4
All in all, what we have here is an excellent updated version of an already fine DVD tutorial on DVD Studio Pro. The media supplied with the disc was well shot and easy to use. Most importantly, it was a simple thing to follow along, go back to 'hear it again' and where I had questions, the tutorials provided the answers.
- Final Cut Pro 5 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickPro Guide
To the uninitiated, this is not a FCP book on how to be creative with a load of tutorial projects to follow along with. This is a reference book that brings you up to date with all the workings of Final Cut Pro including, as one would expect, important references to the many new features found in version 5.
- The Art of Encoding Using Compressor
It would seem that Brian Gary understood my dilemma when he created his "The Art of Encoding Using Compressor" tutorial DVD. From the very start of this tutorial it is quite clear that Brian is a 'compressionist' (grin), it is obvious that he knows compression and Compressor and his comfort with this subject is evident, transcending what could be overly dry and tedious material.
- Inside Editing with Final Cut Pro 5
"Inside Final Cut Pro 5" is an updated version of "Inside FCP 4" and "Inside FCP HD 4.5" and while the 5 version covers all the new features of 5 very thoroughly, many of the lessons from version 4 and HD 4.5 have not been changed.
- Getting Started with Final Cut Studio
Getting Started with Final Cut Studio is addressed to the new user of Final Cut Pro, Motion, Studio Pro and DVD Studio Pro 4. It is not meant as a complete and comprehensive reference tool or as a 'How 2' for the many special effects and creative motion graphics that may have inspired them in the first place.
- Getting Started With Motion - Apple Pro Training Series
I've created a monster. Sitting on my desk is the newest book hot off the Peachpit Press, Getting Started in Motion, an Introduction to Motion Graphics by Mary Plummer which is a part of the Apple Pro Training Series.
- Ripple Motion Tutorial 5 and 6
Steve Martin and Ripple Training now bring forth two more additional tutoring sessions for the ever-expanding number of editors using Apple's Motion.
- Creating Motion Effects in Final Cut Pro
Like several of the Ripple Training products I have been fortunate enough to view, this DVD brings the user along at an easy pace with sequential activities and tasks. This disc is directed to any user of Final Cut Pro from the beginner to the advanced user simply because it is so full of useful tips and tricks, many of which I had forgotten about and some that I had no idea existed.
- Motion for Mac OS X: Visual Quickstart Guide
Motion has been shipping for several months now and there are several excellent Motion tutorial books on the market. These books teach by providing lessons and exercises along with video material to work with. A good way to learn Motion. So with several good books out there why would one be interested in the Motion for Mac OS X: Visual Quickstart Guide?
- Easy Guide to DVD Studio Pro 3
Now this book is different, wonderfully so. Addressed more so to the newer user of DVD Studio Pro 3 than to the experienced professional, Rick Young's book is magnificently studded with beautiful color graphics and illustrations that make it a joy to look at and use.
- Inside Editing with FCP HD/4.5
Ask any video professional about high definition formats and you'll likely get eight different answers. What is confusing is that all of them would be correct. The good news is that a new DVD ROM training series from DMTS brings some clarity to the mix. The companion disk to the "Inside Editing with FCP HD/4.5" series dedicates two hours to exploring the nuances of HD.
- Behind the Seen (How Walter Murch edited Cold Mountain Using Apple's Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema)
This book tells the story of a journey, a journey on a road never traveled before. It is a suspenseful story filled with twists, turns and obstacles, the outcome, not always certain. It's a thriller but don't look for this book in the Fiction section at your local book store.
- Apple Pro Training Series: Motion
This is the first major book on Motion to arrive within the Apple editing community and it is all I had been hoping it would be. In actuality, this book serves as the text for the Apple Motion Certification program and provides a thorough documentation of the many possibilities and levels that Motion has to offer.
- Inside Motion
It is my distinct pleasure to review Magnet Media's DVD-based Motion training tutorial. This trainer is over 4.5 hours of training, broken down into several categories to really help you get started quickly and easily wherever you left off on training yourself in the ways of Motion.
- Ripple Motion Tutorial 3 (creating DVD Motion menus in Motion)
Steve Martin began working with the DV GUYs website developing QuickTime tutorials you could download, use and learn from. Many of those tutorials are still up on that website and Steve's own Ripple Training site. Point is, Steve has been at this for a long time as one of the leading teachers of all things Apple. It stands to reason that he would produce some incredible tutorials for the Motion program and he has.
- Motion PowerStart
Once again DVcreators.net is first to market with "Michael Wohl's Motion Powerstart" tutorial. Ken Stone Reviews
- Exploring Apple Motion: Digital-Tutors
Motion, like Live Type is simple and intuitive on the outside, but for those who aspire to integrate all there is to know, a deeper delving into the program is mandatory.
- Michael Wohl's Motion PowerStart
This DVD-ROM instructional piece provides in three chapters a surprising in depth analysis of some basic, and advanced features in Motion. And like any good movie, the creators have the left option for a series of sequels to explore additional features of Motion.
- Magnet Media's "Inside DVD Studio Pro 3"
Magnet Media has composed their DVD-based DVD Studio Pro 3 training on this same principle that Apple uses: to provide both an easy and advanced interface to the authoring process. With this DVD you begin with the basic mode, and as the lessons progress you will grow into the advanced lessons, with Apple's advanced mode leaving you with all the knowledge you need to drive this application...
- Magnet Media's Zoom In - A DVD-Based Magazine
Zoom In is a Quarterly DVD Magazine from Magnet Media and "is a way of bringing industry expert interviews and tutorials to an audience much more quickly than was possible before."
- LiveType PowerStart
Over the past number of years, since the introduction of FCP 1, DVcreators.net has been producing excellent tutorials that have guided us through, not only FCP, but other Apple applications that work with and support FCP...The LiveType PowerStart DVD Tutorial is no exception.
- Final Cut Pro HD (4.5) for Mac OSX: Visual QuickPro Guide
As night follows day, each time Apple updates Final Cut Pro, Lisa Brenneis updates her Visual QuickPro Guide for FCP. The FCP 4.5 free update also know as FCP HD contains bug fixes, program tweaks, a few new features, changes to old procedures but is also about the inclusion of the new video format, DVCPRO HD.
- Final Cut Pro Advanced Techniques
This self-paced training DVD in nine video chapters discusses numerous tips and tricks, time savers, media management and other techniques for working FCP HD 4.5. Moderated by Steve Martin, of Ripple Training...
- Inside Adobe Photoshop CS
Magnet Media has produced another winner in its impressive Digital Media Training Series (DMTS)
Inside Adobe Photoshop CS: Working with Digital Photos is an interactive training DVD that is a tremendous resource at a tremendous bargain
- DV Enlightenment
DV Enlightenment is the first tutorial from DVcreators.net's new DV Cinematography series and is a complete course in Professional lighting for the beginner, for people ready to learn the art of lighting. If you sit down with this 55 minute tutorial you are going to come away with an excellent understanding of lighting, not just the basics of lighting but how to use light to help tell your story.
- DVD Authoring with DVD Studio Pro 2
..." For the individual either just learning or the editor already fairly knowledgeable of SP-2, this is a book best read cover to cover. Learning is sequential and, to his and the books credit, Jeff Warmouth builds upon each and every step.
- Motion Graphics and Effects in Final Cut Pro
'Motion Graphics and Effects in Final Cut Pro' is just what the name implies, a book that teaches how to create special effects using the tools available in FCP.
- Inside After Effects 6
Inside After Effects 6, by Magnetic Media, is basic introduction to Adobe's latest incarnation of After Effects, perhaps the premier software-based cross platform animation and compositing program available today. The Director-based DVD provides in twenty-four lessons a simplified introduction to After Effects 6.0 in the context of developing a specific project, which is included on the DVD. This is not an explanation of AE's new tools in version 6. Instead, it introduces After Effects itself.
- Practical Color Correction
Practical Color Correction is the newest addition to the Intelligent Assistance stable of tutorial products which include; Final Cut Pro, LiveType, Calligraphy, Boris FX, Boris Graffiti, Boris RED, Cleaner, After Effects and Media 100i.
- Inside Mac OS X: Panther
David A Saracino says."I'm a strong believer in video based learning aids, particularly those, such as this one, that provide random, interactive access to the tips, suggestions, and troubleshooting. This DVD is well organized by chapter and section, and the video and narration is nicely paced and informative. More than that, the price is right..."
- Book Review: Final Cut Pro 4 - On the Spot
While this book could be called a FCP 4 tutorial, that would be a misnomer. This is not your typical 'tutorial' type book. Rather, it is a book filled with some 350 techniques, tips if you will, that will enhance both the speed and ease with which you work in FCP and also the creative level that you work at. Each technique starts with a general explanation, then provides step by step instructions which are supported by screen shots.
- Killer Titles:Intelligent Assistance for LiveType and Calligraphy
Okay, so what is "Killer Titles"?. Good question. It is, of course, a tutorial for LiveType and for Calligraphy, both of which ship with FCP 4. But the way that this product works is unique to products produced by Intelligent Assistance. It is a split personality tutorial and functions in several different ways depending upon your needs.
- Ripple Training On Line Tutorials
Taking a cue from the Apple iTunes store's 99 cent per song download Steve (Martin) has developed a series of 6 to 8 minute QT tutorials for a number of different Apple Applications: FCP 4, FCP 3, FCE, DVD Studio Pro 2, LiveType, Shake and Soundtrack. Ken Stone reviews.
- Final Cut Pro 4 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickPro Guide
The four essential pieces of hardware that you need to run Final Cut Pro 4 are a Mac, a monitor, a DV device or capture card and Lisa Brenneis' book 'Final Cut Pro 4 for Mac OS X'.
- Inside Final Cut Pro 4.0
Magnet Media has produced some fine titles for this purpose and I've reviewed several in the past. This one, however has a new direction, in that it focuses on people already familiar with FCP who want to learn what's new and how best to take advantage of all that is in FCP 4.
- Inside DVD Studio Pro 2
Magnet Media's Inside DVD Studio Pro 2 visual tutorial provides over 6 hours of complete visual training broken down into four sections. Alex Alexander reviews.
- Digital Filmtree's Final Cut Express Training DVD
While this is clearly a tutorial for the beginner, the tutorial does move into advanced areas of editing and includes topics such as Nesting, Color Correcting, Motion Graphics, Audio, Special Effects, importing Photoshop files, all essential elements in producing a professional project.This is an excellent tutorial. It's what I have come to expect from Steve Martin and DigitalFilm Tree.
- Zoom In
Magnet Media, who also brought us "Inside Editing with Final Cut Pro", now debuts a brand new concept: a bi-monthly DVD video magazine for video professionals.
- Final Cut Pro 101; The Basics & More
For around $50, this has to be one of the least expensive training videos on the market. Jerry Hoffman teaches the basics of setting up and editing in Final Cut Pro 3."
- Digital Filmtree's Color Correction for Final Cut Pro
"The reason that this 'Color Correction' tutorial succeeds so well is simply the quality and clarity of the lessons and its excellent organization. DigitalFilm Tree has set a very high standard. You really have to view this product to see how good the tutorials are." -Ken Stone-
- "In the Blink of an Eye" by Walter Murch
Ben Bryant reviews the book many call the definitive book on the "art" of editing.
- Final Cut Pro 3 - Editing Workshop (2nd Edition) by Tom Wolsky
Ken Stone reviews the 2nd edition to Toms fine book of tutorials for FCP
- Intelligent Assistant for Boris Graffiti 2
"For those of you not familiar with Intelligent Assistant it is not a book, tape or CD/DVD. It is like a digital encyclopedia, all content is indexed, linked and searchable. It is unique in that it is installed onto your computer where it is ready to be called up at a moments notice. For Power Book users on the road this is invaluable. IA can be left open, floating above your application while you work. So what is Intelligent Assistant?" Read all about it
- Photoshop 7 - Savvy
Lets face it. Knowing just FCP is not enough any more. There is all those graphics programs that go along with it. Might as well start with PhotoShop.
- Beginner's Final Cut Pro: Learn to Edit Digital Video
Beginner's Final Cut Pro' is a book for anyone who is just starting off with FCP
- Nonlinear/4 A Field Guide to Digital video and film editing
This is the book you need to read before you tackle Final Cut. Ken Stone reviews
- The Little Mac OS X Book OS 10.1 - By Robin Williams
Mac OS X: The Missing Manual - By David Pogue
2 new OSX books to add to your library
- Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide OS 10.1
This book is true to the Peachpit Press Visual QuickStart Guide tradition, coming in at under 300 pages.
- Final Cut Pro 3 and the Art of Filmmaking
Is a handsome book. It is printed in 'landscape' layout and features full color images throughout.
- InSession Training Series: Final Cut Pro 3
This 2 DVD instructional set is the first "self paced Title" to be certified by Apple
- Final Cut Pro 3 for Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide
The latest version of the must have reference guide to FCP, by Lisa Brenneis. "The "Grand Mommy" of the FCP books. VQP was out of the block first and sold a 'gazillion' copies when word spread that the manual that came with FCP version 1.0 was less than compelling."
- The Easy Guide to Final Cut Pro
At 128 pages, "The Easy Guide to Final Cut Pro is very much a 'hand book', a 'primer' if you will. Short, clear and to the point. It provides an excellent quick introduction into FCP editing. It will get you up and running on FCP in short order."
- Final Cut Pro 2 Bible
Weighing in at 3 pounds 4 ounces and standing 1,094 pages high is the Macworld Final Cut Pro 2 Bible. A review by Ken Stone.
- DV Companion 3.0
A review of Philip Hodgetts latest version of the must have helper for Final Cut Pro.
- Editing Techniques with Final Cut Pro
"If you are new to FCP and editing this book by Michael Wohl is a must. 'Editing Techniques with Final Cut Pro' along with one of the other 'Basic' FCP books will provided you with an excellent library that will go a long way to helping you learn your craft." This review includes 3 excerpts from the book
- Making Awesome iMovies
Another great CD tutorial from DVCreators. This is not just about imovie. It's about pre-production, production, AND then iMovie.
- Inside Editing with Final Cut Pro 2
HyperCD training in 1-3 CDs to learn setup and use of FCP via work on a real-world project
- Final Cut Pro PowerStart 2 CD Rom Not a sequel to PowerStart but a brand new tutorial for beginner and advanced FCP user
- Secrets of Final Cut Pro 2
20 tutorial projects on one CD by DV Creators
- (Understanding) Final Cut Pro
Video Training tape for Final Cut Pro
- Video Compression (with) Cleaner 5
Video training tape for Cleaner 5
- Extreme Editing
Video Training Tape for Final Cut Pro
- AE Companion
Intelligent Assistant for After Effects
- DV Companion
Intelligent Assistant for Final Cut Pro
Plug-ins that work with FCP, FCPX and Motion
- CHV Text FX V2.0
True, FCP X now offers a basic scrolling Text generator, but it is very limited and so, once again, CHV comes to the rescue, offering an updated Text FX Collection for FCP X and Motion 5.
- Ripple Tools for FCP X
As of this writing, FCP X now stands at version number 10.0.7, gaining many new features and abilities since it was first released. What has also matured are the FCP X plugins from Ripple Training. Not only do they offer much needed effects like an 8 and 16 point (garbage) matte, missing from the stock FCP X effects, but the way that we use them and the way that we learn how to use them has evolved as well.
- CrumplePop's HDR for GoPro
Once again, CrumplePop, makes my life a whole lot easier with their very latest plug in called 'HDR for GoPro'. I know, it's rare that I feature two reviews about products from the same company two weeks in a row, but I stumbled on the HDR (High Dynamic Range) for GoPro plug in, played around a bit and knew I had to give it a quick write up.
- CrumplePop Fisheye Fixer for GoPro
CrumplePop recently came out with their Fisheye Fixer plug in for Final Cut Pro X. It is designed to straighten out the horizon and push those curves back into straight lines. Once downloaded and installed in FXPX, the Fisheye Fixer can be found in the Utilities folder of your FCPX's effects menu.
- Callouts Text Plugin for FCP X
Ripple Training, long renown for its high production values found on their DVD tutorials has released a unique set of text plugins, named 'Ripple Callouts, for Final Cut Pro X.
- Noise Industries' Nattress Curves Plugins for Final Cut Pro 7 & X
New on the market but certainly not new to the Final Cut Pro world is Graeme Nattress' set of 4 Curves Plugins. What we have here is the latest in curve based color correction tools which function in both Final Cut 7 and X as well as Adobe After Effects.
- GenArts Sapphire Edge for Final Cut Pro X
GenArts Sapphire Edge has been in production for some time now with compatibility for Final Cut Studio, but only with the recent release of Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 has GenArts updated Sapphire Edge plug-in effects software for FCP X.
- CrumplePop's 'ToneGrade' Plugin
While CrumplePop has updated their split screen plugin previously reviewed here CrumplePop Split Screen Plugin and actually made improvements to it in that, for the Final Cut Pro X update, you can add color corrected clips to the many split screen options which will retain the color correction, this review will focus on CrumplePop's completely new plugin, ToneGrade for Final Cut Pro X.
- CineGrain Film, Light and Looks FX & Footage
CineGrain has produced a large collection of the many film characteristics that, used judiciously, should probably never be noticed by the viewer but can give the film the extra oomph it needs to create its' mood.
- PHXY Color
PHXY a company, which produces various color and keying plug-ins sets for Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, Motion, and Adobe After Effects, has aligned itself under the Noise Industries and FX Factory engine. Therefore, in order to use the PHXY filters you must already have Noise Industries' FX Factory installed.
- Re:Vision Effects-Twixtor Version 5
Twixtor does for time remapping whether for slow motion or speed remapping footage what the new time remapping functions in Final Cut Studio aspires to. This is not to say the Final Cut's speed tools were not improved in Studio 3 but, from what I can see and test, it does not perform quite as well as Re:Vision's Twixtor.
- Red Giant's Magic Bullet Denoiser
Low light = video noise, there is no doubt of that. Of course there are many other factors that contribute to video noise but the entire focus is where to go from here, when you have footage that simply can't be re-lit or shot. I have tested many 'denoiser' filters and have only found one or two that did a commendable job. However, as a result of their use there was definitely some softening of the image.
- PluralEyes - for Synchronization
Singular Software has come out with PluralEyes, now in its 1.2 version, which provides automatic synchronization with or without time code enabling you to sync your multiple audio and video layers seamlessly.
- Boris Continuum Complete 7 FxPlug Review
I have been so privileged to test-drive the new incarnation of Continuum Complete 7 FxPlug for Apple Motion. I have spent a lot of time in the last few weeks with Continuum Complete 7 FxPlug, and still feel that I have only scratched the surface of what I think is an amazingly massive collection of filters, effects and generators for Motion Graphic Artists and Editors.
- Boinx FotoMagico
Boinx has recently released its FotoMagico software application that is compatible with both Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express and Adobe After Effects users which allow you to easily and quickly create your own slideshows containing text, music, transitions and other photo animations.
- Crumple Pop's 'Revealer' and 'Metal'
Crumplepop must have an ambitious staff as for the last couple of years they have been regularly producing interesting and useful plug ins for Final Cut Pro and Motion.
Keylight is a powerful plug-in from UK's The Foundry, (maker of the high-end Nuke compositer/VFX program). Keylight is used on chromakey shots in virtually any major feature film you can think of. It comes from a product developed specifically for motion picture chromakey work, normally bluescreen production.
- CHV Electronics Updated Distortion Collection Version 4.0
While the CHV Electronics Distortion collection has been around for some time now, Christoph Vonrhein of CHV Electronics has now completely re-written the previous version. This latest version of the venerable Distortion collection, in addition to providing a new plug-in not found in the previous version, addresses and fixes all alpha-channel issues and is now fully compatible with Final Cut 7 and Snow Leopard.
- Luca FilmFX & Light Transitions
Luca Visual FX is a new company that has simplified the entire process by developing their own Film and Light transitions that are easily applied and may be modified to taste. The Film Transition package comes with 30 individual effects and the Light transitions collection arrives with 33. Almost all the effects are less than 2 seconds long.
- Red Giant's Magic Bullet Mojo
Color correcting with Final Cut Pro's 3 way color correction and scopes is one thing, achieving certain cinema graphic looks is another. While Magic Bullet Looks provides an excellent starting off point for many of these looks, tweaking the appearance and just settling upon the great many choices within MBL can be as time consuming as when working in After Effects.
- CrumplePop Split Screen Plug-In
CrumplePop has recently brought out a new plug in for Final Cut Pro that makes the job of creating any number of different forms of split screens as easy as one could imagine. In actuality, you get two plug-ins; one with roughly 70 different split screen appearances and the other provides customizable sets of blocks so as to make your own forms of split screens.
- Gee Three SlickFX
When Final Cut Pro first made itself known I recall trying to buy, borrow or copy any 3rd party plug in I could find. Now I have more than I will ever need, use or want. However, for many editors who have not amassed the numbers I have, the search for a good collection of filters, generators and transitions produced by Gee Three SlickFX may provide you with another valuable choice from which to choose. Each of these sets of plug ins requires Mac OS 10.4 or higher, Final Cut Pro 5.1.2 or later or Final Cut Express 4 or later and will work on both Intel and Power PC Macs. All plug ins can be located in the library/plug-ins/FxPlug folder.
- Digital Anarchy's Beauty Box
Beauty Box is a skin retouching software, which uses Face Detection to identify skin tones at the same time as it preserves important facial features. It is, by design, easy to use and intuitive even though the downloadable manual provides a considerable amount of additional and useful information, which helps to clarify many of the manually adjusted parameters that Beauty Box incorporates.
- Neat Video Noise Reduction
The bane of all videographers is the video noise created as a result of many factors, one of the greatest of which is the noise resultant from shooting in low light situations. There are a number of 'reduce noise' filters produced by several 3rd party plug in companies, certainly some are better than others and, based upon my experience, some are almost completely ineffective.
- Boris Continuum Complete 6 Review
Just ask yourself what is it that you cannot do in Apple Motion but always wanted to be able to do. I am sure, that in most cases, creating 3d objects will come top of the list. Well, I am pleased to say, fear no more, because you will be amazed to learn that all of those things are now possible by using Boris Continuum 6.
- CoreMelt's 'Lock & Load' Stabilizing Plug-in for Final Cut Pro and Motion
While there are some similarities between Lock & Load and Final Cut Pro's 'Smooth Cam' or Magic Bullet's 'Steady' in that they all work on the basis of scaling up after analysis, it is the differences between these choices that really make CoreMelt's Lock and Load stand ahead of the pack.
- Noise Industries FxFactory Pro 2.0.8
That's $399.00 only to those who do not already own FxFactory, for everyone else the new Noise Industries version 2.0.8 is an absolutely Free download available on the Noise Industries website. Now long established as one of the leading 3rd party plug- ins and effects companies, the latest version of FxFactory comes with two new plug ins, the Spot Light (multiple) filter and the Organic Dissolve transition.
- nVeil Visual Effects Software
It is not often that something this different, this unique comes across my desk. So yes, I am pretty excited about it and its potential use by graphic designers and editors. nVeil is a Graphics application that appears in Motion and Final Cut Pro as a plug in filter.
- CoreMelt's Complete V2
Long associated with Noise Industries plug-ins and software, CoreMelt has branched off and gone on its own separate path. In doing so, the folk at CoreMelt have further developed their own collection of transitions, filters and generators and, with that development, produced some outstanding and exciting new features all designed to work in Final Cut Studio, Express, Motion, and Adobe After Effects CS3/CS4.
- The Grading Sweet 3
There is no question that without good color correction tools, many editors would be in a heap of trouble. No matter how good the shooter, or how capable the lighting tech, achieving continuity in color is a chore often fixed in postproduction. This is where the Grading Sweet 3 set of plug-ins comes in.
- Red Giant's Magic Bullet Steady 1.1
The Steady filter is fairly intuitive, easy to apply and considerably quicker than Final Cut's Smooth Cam filter. That it doesn't create additional analysis media to fill up your hard drives is a major plus for any one whether they are using a tripod or hand holding.
- Ripple's Designer Motion Templates
There are few times when I come across products having value added "hidden in the details". Ripple Training's "Designer Motion Templates" falls squarely in this group of outstanding products. Not only is Ripple supplying a great product in and of itself, it's supplying training which is as good as it gets.
- Loader - smart import solution for FCP
So, here's the problem you're constantly facing: Staying organized.
You import items into Final Cut Pro. Did you organize where they were on your hard drive before you imported? After? What about that mp3 you pulled from iTunes? What's your best plan for backing up?
- DV Kitchen
DV Kitchen is a stand-alone application that combines many different functions into one professional program. Integrated batch encoding and uploading (via FTP) for publishing high quality video, images and audio. SampleLab for testing different encoding settings. TimeFreezer for exporting stills from video clips. Bitrate Budget Calculator for estimating the right bitrate settings for your clips. Media Publishing that automatically generates your HTML code for you and makes publishing your webpage a one-click process. When you launch DV Kitchen the 'Main Console' window opens, at the top right are tabs used to access other functionalities of DV Kitchen.
- CHV QC Integration FX V1.6
The QC Integration FX 1.6 is comprised of 85 plug in transitions, filters and generators designed to be used as they are or work within the quartz composer to enable you to create and save your own plug ins, or even to create and sell them to others. In order to create your own FX for yourself or for sale, you must first have Quartz Composer found on your OS installation disc installed.
- Yanobox Motype 1.0
Designed to work within the Noise Industries' Fx Factory application for Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, Motion, and Adobe After Effects, Yanoboxs' Motype is a single text animation FX plug-in with multiple presets designed to create some very creative text applications.
- Red Giant Software's Magic Bullet Instant HD Advanced
Back in June 2006 I reviewed Magic Bullets' Instant HD, a program designed to help the editor incorporate Standard Definition footage into an HDV or HD sequence. It was designed for users of Final Cut Pro 4.1+ and Adobe After Effects 6.0+ and worked its magic by up scaling the source footage. It did its job well though it was not accompanied by the easiest workflow in the world.
- Noise Industries' FXFactory Pro 2.0.2
Motion Graphic Effects Package Update
Noise Industries continues to refine, update, and expand its FXFactory motion effects package. The company is responsive to user feedback, and responsible in its development package. It quickly hammered out an update to FXFactory when an earlier version proved incompatible with p2 card input.
- Core Melts' PolyChrome Transitions
The collection of Core Melts' PolyChrome transitions is a set of 40 transition effects, many of which are absolutely necessary within the editors' arsenal of production tools. Compatible with both Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express, the PolyChrome collection of transitions are GPU accelerated on PPC and Intel Macs which will help cut down on your rendering time.
- Magic Bullet Suite 2007
Don't let that $799.00 scare you off before you read this. In the new Magic Bullet Suite you are actually getting four separate applications which can be used in Final Cut Pro, Motion 3, Adobe After Effects, or all three. Magic Bullet Looks, MB Frames, MB Colorista and Instant HD make up the entire suite.
- idustrial Revolution's SupaWipe
Wipes have been used as transitions for as long as I can remember. In a sequence, more often then not, they represent the passing of time or a jump to a different location. In feature films they fell out of favor until George Lucas brought them back in a major way in his Star Wars series of epic Science Fiction movies.
- Digital Anarchy's ToonIt 1.0.2
You have surely seen the many commercials on television and in film where the actors have been transformed to cartoon versions of themselves. It is not a hard process to create but it can be time consuming...
- Boris Continuum Complete 5 FxPlug
BorisFX Software's recently released BCC5 FXPlug for Motion and FCP6 is as close to a perfect art collection as you'll find. Wide ranging, diverse, and powerful, this collection provides options for just about everyone's palate.
Conduit is a nodal-based compositor. Instead of working with layers in programs like Final Cut, Motion and After Effects, it uses a flow-chart design similar to programs like Shake and Nuke.
- Particleillusion Pro Emitters Collections 10-12
For those who find themselves spending endless hours creating special effects in Motion utilizing the particle generators to create flowing water, lower thirds, dynamic texts, animated backgrounds and FX of all kinds, look towards particle illusion to enable you to cut your editing bay time by half or more. Actually, particleIllusion is more powerful than Motion's particle emitters ...
- Core Melt Image Flow Fx 1.0.1
Noise Industries and Core Melt have brought to their ever growing number of plug ins an exciting new package of 12 Fx plug ins designed to make the creation of motion graphics using still images that much easier. This is not your typical slideshow presentation but is an excellent time saving set of plug-ins which allow you to select multiple styles of frames with your images, adjust animation with multiple presets or manually set animations, and control of tempo.
- CHV FxPlug Emitter Plugin
There are a number of basic differences between a Motion stock emitter and the Particles Heaven FxPlug plugin. For starters, Particles Heaven is not an emitter, it is a generator and is found in the Generators section in the Library. Additionally, unlike a stock emitter, Particles Heaven's particles are all independent of each other.
- SUGARfx for Final Cut Pro
Video Wall Pro
Cinefest Plug-in Package
Video Wall Pro, and the other plug-ins mentioned here provide excellent tools for creating a variety of motion effects in Final Cut Pro and Motion. If you are a novice, you can start with a stock preset and augment it to meet your particular needs. Or you can mix and match various parameters in 2D and 3D space to create a custom look. Because these are FxPlug-based filters and generators, speed in rendering is directly related to the power of the GPU.
- Lyric Media Final Cut Plug-ins
Lyric Media has been in business for sometime now having collections of tracking and drawing plug-ins for Final Cut Pro as well as others. This new collection comes to you as a collection of over 50 different video effect filters, many of which provide several of the image correction, photographic and stylized effects found in Photoshop only now applied to video as well. The Lyric Media Final Cut Plug-ins have been separated into Special Effects, Masked Effects and Mattes folders once installed on your system.
- CHV-Electronics Shining FXPlug Plugins
Plain and simple, Christoph Vonrhein and CHV-Electronics has done it again. With an ever updated collection of excellent plug-ins behind him, he must never be satisfied with his accomplishments for here we have now a new bundle of filters he has entitled Shining FX.
- wondertouch Pro Emitters for particleIlusion
For those of you who have not discovered the wonders of wondertouch's particleIllusion, I can only ask 'Why not?'
- Nattress' Big Box of Tricks
Graeme Nattress's latest contribution of plug-ins, which includes eight separate sets of filters, one set of transitions and one of generators. Each group of filters contains several usable and some eclectic plug-ins.
- Digital Anarchy's Plasma FX 1.0
With Plasma FX, a set of 26 filters, there is almost no learning curve. Application of any of these filters is simple and greatly intuitive whether you use them in Final Cut Pro, Motion or After Effects. Plasma FX 1.0 is built to run in Adobe After Effects 7.0 and higher, Final Cut Pro 5.1.2 and Motion 2.1.2 and only in Macintosh OS 10.4 or higher.
- FxFactory 1.0.1 Final Cut Studio/Motion
Noise Industries has released FxFactory for Final Cut Studio, a collection of real time visual effects packages available for Final Cut Pro and Motion. More than thirty transitions, generations, and filters are available as a compositing package for Motion and an editing package for Final Cut Pro.
- Volumetrix Light Plug-ins
I just spent a good part of my weekend putting off writing this review so I could have a ton of fun just playing with the Volumetrix plug-ins for Apple's Motion and Final Cut Pro Studio. It wasn't time wasted as there really is so much you can do with these two plug ins...
- CHV-Electronics FXPlug Plug Ins
Now we are again treated to Christoph's latest contributions to the Final Cut Pro community with two small collections of plug-ins, the Magic 3D FX and the Morphing FX sets. Both bundles utilize the newest FX plug-in architecture from Apple, which allows for higher render speeds and better system compatibility. Having been introduced with Apple's Motion 2, it is now also available for Final Cut Pro 5.1.2.
- DVFilm Maker
DVFilm Maker is a unique product designed to provide the Film Look that so many are seeking when shooting with their DV cams.
- Instant HD
When I heard that Red Giant software, already well known for the Magic Bullet Suite, had come out with a conversion plug-in for After Effects, Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro that would enable the editor to up-convert standard DV video into a variety of HD formats, I just had to take a look.
- Digital Film Tools 55mm Plug-ins For FCP
For those looking for a set of Final Cut Pro Plug-ins featuring wowy, zowy transitions and filters full of exciting shard breakaways, 2 & 3D animated turns and flyaways, morphs and motion trackers....well, time to look elsewhere. They exist, but just not here. This is a very specialized set of plug ins, subtle in their effects but immeasurably more useful to the artist editor who is not just satisfied with the look and feel of standard video.
- Sapphire Plug-ins for FCP 5
Sapphire plugs, previously available to the Adobe AfterEffects and Avid community is now here for the Final Cut Pro user as well. The entire package comes with over 175 plug-ins separated into 4 'boxes' which can be purchased separately or bought as a full bundle. They don't come cheap but there is real quality in this package and you get all that you hope to.
- Dissolve Factory by Buena Vista
When using the standard Final Cut Pro cross dissolve the pixels from both the source and destination clips fade at equal rates, their transparency equitable on both ends. Nothing wrong with that but suppose we could make that dissolve just a bit more interesting, a touch more dynamic, a little less dull?
- Ampede LayerLink 1.1 for Motion
Enter LayerLink for Motion 1.1, a $119.00 plug-in that imports Illustrator multilayer files (including CS) as a project in Motion with separate layers for each of the layers created in Illustrator.
- Boris Continuum Complete 3.0
By David Saraceno. After spending three weeks working with this impressive array of FCP plug-ins, I'm convinced its name should be changed Boris Continuum "Wow."
- 55mm Digital Optical Filters for Photoshop
Digital Film Tools has created an amazing set of filters in the 55mm filters package which offer an enormous degree of control and flexibility, they work extremely well, the effects generated are excellent.
- Boris Continuum Complete 3.0
By Steve Douglas. A year ago I read a review of Boris Continuum 2.0 and was highly intrigued. I knew of the Boris reputation for quality but I also knew of its reputation for having a high learning curve
- Magic Bullet for Editors
One more opinion on MBE by David Saracino. "Magic Bullet For Editors (MBE) consists of two elements: the Look suite of filters designed to emulate film; and Misfire, which adds film-like "damage" to your video.
- Magic Bullet for Editors
Two years ago, a friend told me about this "amazing" piece of software that would take 60i video and convert it to 24p (twenty-four progressive frames per second) making it look "just like film." In addition, I was told that the software came with a "Look Suite" which contained customizable controls and presets that simulated different film stocks and "looks."The software was called "Magic Bullet..."
- New on my Cluttered Desktop - The Final Installment
Ned Soltz clears his messy desk for the final time and reviews:
Contour Design ShuttlePRO v2, DVRig Pro, Soundtrack Additional Loops, Handwritten Volume 1 for LiveType, LiveType Central for LiveType, Screen Caffeine for LiveType, and A Luna Blue LiveType: 01. Whew!
- Drawing Tools
Drawing Tools is a set of very interesting and useful generators for constructing geometric shapes and lines in FCP and FCE.
- ANIM Jewels NTSC and PAL - by CGM
The Anim Jewels collection of motion graphics consists of 4 separate themes, 1) Earth Collection 2) Wedding Rings 3) Background Patterns and 4) Curtains, Album and Flags. These can be purchased as separate collections or as a package containing all.
- A Plethora of Plug-Ins and A Peck of Programs
Ned Soltz once again clears his desk of all that messes it and takes a look at CGM Plug ins Vol 3 for FCP and FCE, Curious gFX, 55mm 3.0.1, and G Film and G Standards converter. Whew!
- CGM DVE Complete Digital Video Effects for Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express
CGM DVE Complete are 131 filters and transistions from Vol 1, 2 and 3 of Klaus Eperlie's CGM DVE plug-ins for FCP and FCE. Steve Dougas reviews
- Sapphire AE 1.0 for FCP
The long-awaited release of the GenArts Sapphire filters for AE has come! And, as an added bonus, Sapphire AE 1.0 is fully compatible with FCP.
- CHV-Electronics - The Clone Collection
"When Christoph of CHV asked me for suggestions for FCP plugins it took me exactly 2 seconds to reply. "I want a Clone tool like the one found in PhotoShop". Now a short time later I am working with two Clone tools from CHV. The Pre Defined Clone tool with built in shapes and a Variable Shape Clone tool that lets you create an exact custom shape with up to 24 settable points to outline a shape."
- Automatic Duck Pro Import FCP/Automatic Duck Pro Export
In development for several months, designed to leverage the industry standard Open Media Framework architecture with FCP's and Avid's new XML metadata support, Automatic Duck's Pro Import/Pro Export plugins for Final Cut Pro have arrived, and they prove to be a quackerjack duo in getting FCP's and Avids to talk to each other.
- Special Effects Filters for Apple's Final Cut Pro 3 & 4
As FCP grows in popularity and usage we are seeing more and more third party support. There are now a number of players selling plugins for FCP. While each of these different vendors offer many similar types of plugins, it seems that each package has a few unique plugins that make the package worthwhile. Such is the case with G Filters.
- Eureka Plugins for FCP 4
A long time ago, in a version far far way, when the Universe was rendered in RGB, there was a 'first' set of plugins. We knew not their origin nor creator, we knew only the name, Eureka. The forces of YUV swept in around the time of 1.5. driving the leader of Eureka, 'Romantic Text' from the Galaxy. Now, re-written for YUV and FCP 4.0.1, Eureka is back.
- Automatic Duck Pro Import 2.0
Automatic Duck has now been upgraded to Automatic Duck Pro Import 2.0 with increased capabilities and merger of multiple import filters for a variety of applications into one import plug-in. The result is that a sequence exported from Final Cut Pro 3 as well as Avid systems can be brought into After Effects or into an exciting new product which will be shipping in the near future, Boris Red 3GL.
- Magic Bullet Suite + Century 16:9 Adapter
Steven Galvano takes a very comprehensive look at the Magic Bullet Suite of plug ins as well as Century Optics' 16:9 adapter for the GL1 Camcorder
- Boris Continuum Complete
Ken Stone reviews the latest BCC plug in packaage. Says Ken: "After loading Boris Continuum Complete 2 into FCP, I went through the Effects Menu. I guess that it was a little bit like wandering around NAB and looking at all the new and exciting video equipment, there is almost too much good stuff."
- The FCP Plug-In Scene:
Product Updates and A Way-Cool New Product
Ned Soltz looks at updates to CGM, Effects Essentials, Twixtor, and the brand new Text Anarchy from Digital Anarchy
- Virtix Plug-ins for FCP
Virtix Effects consists of 30 Video Filters which install normally into the FCP plug-ins folder. Just merely reading the effect titles fills the user with anticipation that such a relatively inexpensive package can achieve so many effects.
- CHV-Electronics - Final Cut Pro Plugins - The Text Collection - Credits and Sub-Title
CHV-Electronics - Final Cut Pro Plugins by Christoph Vonrhein is the new kid on the block and these plugins up the ante. Feature rich, these new plugins are Vector based and work at the sub pixel level, producing excellent motion graphics.
- The Quest For Film-Look
A look at Dissolve Factory and 55mm, 2 sets of plug ins that achieve the quest for a "film Look."
- Digital Anarchy's Psunami
Psunami is primarily an Adobe After Effects plug-in whose focus is to create realistic, almost photographic quality, water and atmospheric scenes.
- 2 New Plug in Packages for FCP
Ned Soltz reviews Artmetic Plug-Ins For FCP and Effect Essentials 1.1.1 for FCP
- Swim 1.1
Plug in for FCP and AE from the makers of Elastic Reality that make your Pond Ripple plug in look more like Pond Scum.
- Joe's Filters 3
A set of 24 plug ins for Final Cut Pro 1.25 and above.
- CGM DVE Vol.2+
Digital Video Effects for Apple Final Cut Pro
"CGM DVE Vol.2+" is a set of 35 filters and transitions for use in Final Cut Pro 2 and 3. In addition to the professional plug-ins the package also includes a series of Final Cut Pro workshops and 67 "soft wipes."
- CGM Transitions and Filters Vol1 For Final Cut Pro
56 video filters, transistions and 67 softwipes to use with FCP
- RealSmart Shade/Shape
Plug-in to add shade, depth and luster to your titles and logos
Plug-in to speed up and slow down your clips
- Knoll Light Factory
Series of plug-ins for FCP and After Effects
- Reelsmart Motion Blur and Video Gogh
After Effects plug-ins that work with FCP
- Flashpoint Tabletop Tripod
Designated the 'PTT1H' Mini Tabletop Tripod, I was very pleased with the quality of the tripod's build. The legs are made from a sturdy aluminum which have no flex or bend-ability to them so that bending out of shape after many uses should not be an issue for the future.
- Nocturnal Lights M700i Underwater Video/Spotter Light
When first I received two of the new underwater video lights produced by Nocturnal Lights, a well known company in the underwater community, I had some serious doubts about these lights being used effectively for any video systems that were not limited to the small point and shoot genre of underwater systems. I was wrong, very wrong.
- Que Audio Sniper PRO Kit for the Zoom H4n & DSLRs
When filming with a DSLR or any camcorder one runs into another issue; the built in mics never produce an audio quality that is very usable. When you are shooting in a run and gun style, having to drag along extra stands is not very practical. Que Audio has come up with a mighty feasible solution to these problems in the form of a highly useful little kit to be used with the Zoom H4n or DSLRs.
- Flashpoint DG600 Monolight
Adorama, long known as a large video and photography retailer, has now dove into the production market with their own line of equipment. The Flashpoint DG 400 & DG600 Monolight strobes are two photographic strobes that should be seriously considered as an economical investment capable of doing the job well without completely emptying your wallet.
- Lite Panels Croma Light
Recently LitePanels sent me the Croma to play with. This is a lightweight fixed-flood junior softlight with extras, designed for news and event videographers and DSLR shooters.
- Dive and See DNC-5" Underwater Monitor
For the DSLR user filming topside, there are several external monitors available that do a better job of enabling you to see and focus on your subject as they can be moved to different positions either on the hot shoe of the camera or even off camera depending upon the length of the HDMI cable you are using. The underwater shooter doesn't have the convenience of being able to place an external monitor 5 feet away or under a sun hood.
- GoPro HD HERO2
When the original GoPro was introduced into the market it immediately filled a niche for a great many people who would probably have not gotten into video or whose budgets simply didn't allow for it. As I used the first GoPro HERO to come out, all I could think of was that I wished I had had one when I spent my twenties jumping out of planes every weekend. The current group of skydivers,motorcyclists, BMX riders, skateboard pros and amateurs alike grabbed onto the GoPro like a thirsty man jumping into a desert pool at an oasis.
- Matrox MXO2 Thunderbolt Encoding and Broadcast Monitoring
When FCP X first shipped there was no 'Broadcast Monitoring' feature. With the release of FCP 10.0.3 there was a Beta version of 'Broadcast Monitoring' and now with the FCP 10.0.4 update, this feature is now ready for prime time. It was time for me to add 'Broadcast Monitoring' to my new iMac NLE. As I had a good experience with my early Matrox MXO, plus the fact that Matrox has a Thunderbolt adaptor to be used with their existing hardware, I decided to add the Matrox MXO2 LE MAX with Thunderbolt adaptor to my rig. I would like to point out that all of the currently shipping Macs, iMac, MacBook Air, MBP, and even the Mac Mini, all have Thunderbolt. The only Mac not yet equipped with Thunderbolt is the Mac Pro.
- Keldan Luna 4 V Underwater Video Lights
Keldan, still distributed in the U.S. by Nocturnal Lights, producers of their own excellent underwater lights, has just introduced the Luna 4-V for underwater videographers. Unfortunately, the dive conditions in the San Diego area this past winter have been very poor and, thus, my testing was completed in a pool environment. Never the less, I was able to evaluate just what this little powerhouse of a light can do.
- Promise Pegasus RAID - Thunderbolt
"I work with FCP and Photoshop but know nothing about the intricacies of setting up and maintaining a RAID. So this was the big attraction of the Promise Pegasus RAID, you don't have to know anything to have it work properly. It's 'Plug and Play' right out of the box."
- Accusys A08S-PS RAID PCI Express
The Accusys A08S-PS RAID system comes with 8 hard drive bays so that eight 3 terabyte drives may be installed for a total capacity of 24 terabytes. It arrives with several power converter plugs for different countries, a PCIex4 cable, 2 rear panel keys, a quick start guide, screw pack, low profile bracket, a heavy duty power cable and installation CD.
- Editors Keys SL 300 USB Microphone and Vocal Booth Pro 2
Not until around 2007 did I hear or use a decent USB microphone and there have been great improvements to them since. Back in early 2010 I reviewed the Editors Keys' first USB microphone and Vocal Booth combination and came away impressed with the microphone and astounded with how much an improvement was made when using the vocal booth in a fairly vibrant room. Editors Keys - Audio Studio
- Drift HD Camcorder
I have reviewed several of these small cams. Often their only disadvantage is that their extreme light weight makes holding them steady almost impossible without a small tripod to help out. Yet it is that disadvantage that also provides the exciting, seat of your pants footage advantage that camcorders like the Drift HD provide.
- SmallHD’s DP4
Those that say that good things come in small packages must have had SmallHD’s DP4 in mind. This diminutive on-camera monitor packs a bunch of features in a reasonably priced, well-built, and versatile package. Its scaling function, low weight, small size, and HDMI connectivity make it attractive for DSLR users, and the additional YPbPr port provides monitoring capabilities for a host of other camcorders.
- Marshall V-LCD50-HDMI 5" DSLR Monitor
As the move by many towards use of the DSLR for video, practical monitoring of the imaging becomes necessary as reliance upon a DSLR's own LCD screen is not always workable.
- K-Tek Norbert DSLR Camera Mounts
With the increasing number and uses of DSLRs for both photo and video use, both stabilization and ergonomics become issues to contend with.
- Oregon Scientific ATC9K Camcorder
On the heels of the latest of a series of small helmet mountable camcorders arrives the Oregon Scientific ATC9K.
- Keldan Luna 8 LA-V High CRI LED
At the apex of current underwater light technology arrives the Swiss made Keldan Luna 8 LA-V-CRI underwater video light which I had the pleasure of trying out on a recent trip to Kona, Hawaii. Keldan, though Swiss made, is distributed by the California company, Nocturnal Lights, whose own lights I have reviewed in the past with fairly glowing coverage of their own excellent quality and outstanding service.
- OWC Mercury Electra Pro 6G 240 GB SSD
We recently reviewed OWC’s Mercury Extreme SATA III 6G SSD drive, and we very, very impressed with its performance, particularly when editing data rate intensive high definition codecs using it as the 2011 MPB boot drive. OWC has since released its Mercury Electra Pro SSD line, a 6G SATA III SSD priced lower than the Extreme, but with near identical peak data rates.
- ThinkTank's Airport Addicted
I opened the bag and just knew that this one would be perfect for me. The Addicted bag appears short and squat to the eye but it can hold an awful lot of photo gear.
- OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 240 GB SSD
One of the least heralded, but technologically significant features of the 2011 MacBook Pros is a SATA III 6Gb/s bus. Install a SATA III compliant SSD into the main drive bay and write/read specs can exceed 550MB/s. These specs bring startling new capabilities for a mobile Final Cut Pro editor. High data rate codecs such as Pro Res 4444 could be edited straight from the internal SSD boot drive. But is such a set up sufficiently reliable and predictable for every day mobile editing? What downsides exist? Is it possible to edit uncompressed high definition video off a SATA III boot drive? Are all 2011 MacBook Pros compatible with SATA III? That’s what we set out to discover.
- Zoom H4N
I recently reviewed the Zoom H1 recorder with favorable results. The H4n does, however, take a giant leap from H1's solid foundation and heads into the stratosphere with a multitude of additional functions, a tremendous improvement in build and handling quality and greater recording flexibility.
- Tachyon XC HD Camcorder
A cottage industry of relatively high performance, low cost POV camcorders have hit the market with lightening speed tapping into the great flexibility, and previously ultra expensiveness, that these tiny camcorders now easily fulfill.
- F & V Z96 LED Light
F & V has produced a light weight, camera mountable LED light in the Z96. The HDV-Z96 is fairly small at 5" x 1.77" x 3" and weighs only 6 ounces without the 5 AA regular or rechargeable batteries that power it. Without the white diffusion or red color filters that come with it the Z96 light produces a very clean and natural color at 5600k.
- Zoom H1 Recorder
Quality audio is one part of the editing equation that no one should forget. And yet, too many do just that and put aside audio concerns until it is too late. For those filming with the newer DSLRs on the market that provide high quality HD video on top of their photo capabilities, the need for a good microphone or recording device like the Zoom H1 is mandatory.
- Eizo CG245W Self-Calibrating Computer Monitor
The Eizo ColorEdge CG245W is a 24.1" monitor aimed for use by editing and graphics professionals working with both still or moving images. It is designed and constructed solely by Eizo and nothing is outsourced so that all quality control and testing is done 'in house'.
- Think Tank's Logistics Manager
Sometimes we have a shoot that demands more equipment than can fit into any carry on and that is where Think Tanks Logistics Manager roller bag comes to the forefront. With its external dimensions of 15.75" W x 30" H x 11.5" D and internal dimensions of 13.75" W x 27.5" H x 8.25", the Logistics Manager is far too large to be considered as a carry on for air transportation, and while it is certainly sturdy enough to be checked in at an airport, I would not recommend doing so since I would never trust TSA and baggage handlers who couldn't care less about my precious equipment at any airport.
- Gitzo Microphone GB1540 Boom Pole
There are several alternatives to the cam's own microphone. There are lavaliere mics which have several valuable advantages for the videographer, and there are quality XLR shotgun and hand held microphones which also serve a variety of useful purposes in many situations. But what about those times when you don't want a microphone to show up in a scene? That's when we rely upon an external microphone attached to a boom pole.
- Litepanel's Hybrid LED Light
Litepanels has been a major player for the introduction and use of LED lights for on camera video lights. First with their Litepanels Micro, soon to be followed by its somewhat larger and more durable Litepanels MicroPro, and now, for both camcorders and still imaging cameras, comes the MicroPro Hybrid.
- Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 Mercury Playback Engine NVIDIA CUDA Acceleration - Quadro 4800 Mac
The performance of any engine is dependent on the sum of its parts. Nothing proves the point more clearly than the engine that powers Adobe’s Premiere CS5 Macintosh. A rebuilt, but familiar Premiere CS5 coalesces three key technologies into the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine to facilitate a powerful editing environment for today’s demanding video codecs.
- CalDigit USB3 AV Drive
Enter CalDigit’s AV drive, a Mac compatible SuperSpeed USB3 external hard drive bundled with either an ExpressCard 34 or PCIe card and a custom Mac driver.
- Contour HD Camcorder
The Contour HD Camcorder came nicely packaged in its own plastic case and, of course, I made sure I had the small water-tight housing meant for snorkeling that came with it. At first glance, it reminded me of a infinitesimal Red One cam simply because of its matte black finish and very solid feel. Of course, it is not in the Red One's league but I was quite impressed with what it offered for the price.
- Editors Keys SL 600 USB Mic
The SL 600 is very capable of providing broadcast quality recordings to the home editor, especially when using the Vocal Booth which can be bought as a package along with their SH 10R monitoring headphones.
- Eye of Mine Underwater Housing
An offshoot distribution company called Eye of Mine decided to come out with their own version of a housing for the GoPRO HERO HD cam which has a large flat port which enables the camcorder to achieve both focus and a lessening of the fish eye type of clips it records
- Stardom 2.5” Pro Drive 2520
One unique engineering feature of Apple’s Mac Pro desktops are four easily accessible internal removable drive sleds. One drive sled holds the boot drive, and remaining three drive sleds can be populated with single 3.5-inch SATA drives. Or you can go a different way. Stardom’s Pro Drive 2520 provides an ingenuous two-drive 2.5-inch RAID 0 enclosure that easily installs in each of the three remaining drive bays, or can be used as a boot drive.
- GoPro HERO HD Cam
While there are a few different models of the GoPro HERO camera, those differences relate primarily to the types of attachments and mounts that comes with the HD HERO. Naturally, I took the one with the fully waterproof polycarbonate housing which comes with a depth rating of 180 feet/60 meters. That's deeper than the majority of divers ever get to, though I will get deeper once in awhile if there is something worth filming. Normally most divers dive between 40 and 100 feet, snorkelers about 15 feet and surfers, well, they stay topside on their boards most of the time.
- SOHOTANK ST8
OK, here’s the deal. You want a RAID PROTECTED Raid, and you are a do-it-yourself kinda editor…really hands on. There are lot of choices out there for all-in-one solutions, but you, like me, might like to do things yourself. Or, you want to start small and add as you go…but not get too crazy with the cost. I think I found a pretty good solution to that.
- Holophone's PortaMic PRO Surround Microphone and SurCode for Dolby Pro Logic II software
In the past, in order to achieve true 6 discreet channel audio, one would need to have at least six separate mics, stands or booms, their mixer and probably another couple of microphones to 'walk the audio' from one channel to another like you would pan a camcorder when following an actor. Holophone's PortaMic PRO Surround Microphone makes that fantasy a reality by incorporating 5.1 discreet microphones within one egg-shaped sturdy plastic container mounted on its own control box.
A simpler and far more cost effect method to decode the audio from the Holophone PortaMic Pro is to take advantage of the easy to use SurCode for Dolby Pro Logic II from Minnetonka Audio. SurCode for Dolby Pro Logic II converts your 5.1 surround soundfiles to the Dolby Pro Logic II format by matrix-encoding the Center, Surround, and LFE tracks into the Left and Right tracks.
- The Steller Lighting Diva Ring Light
If your background is in still photography, videography or filmmaking, you have undoubtedly seen and taken notice of the results from using ring lights. From Hype Williams’ visually groundbreaking late ‘90s music video work to high fashion, beauty and glamour photography, the ring light is the weapon of choice for image-makers who want to show faces in the most flattering light possible. The ring light gives the image a distinctly clean, soft and modern look.
- Panasonic HDC-TM700 Camcorder
It is unusual when marketing hype matches reality; more so when “full HD” is the primary selling point. After spending ten days evaluating Panasonic’s recently released HDC-TM700, I’ve had a change of heart -- due in part to one new and one improved selling point. The 3MOS 1/4-inch cam is a half step faster than previous versions, and produces surprisingly good footage in challenging low light situations.
- StormChaser WindCutters
While the supplied foam windscreen that comes with many shotgun microphones is just fine for indoor use where air movement is minimal, when shooting outdoor scenes or interviews, considerably more attention must be paid to blocking unwanted wind noise from interfering. Fortunately there is an easy and inexpensive fix for this problem.
- Trek-Tech Essentials Kit
Trek-Tech’s Essentials Kit consists of four lightweight tripod modules and table top tripod that travel conveniently in Trek Pod Go! PRO's carrying case. Included are a set of MagMount ball heads, a tripod clamping arm, and a small pan/tilt/swivel head. The kit weighs about 28 ounces, breaks down to under two feet, and qualifies as carry-on luggage.
- Azden SGM-1X Shotgun Microphone
Azden's SGM-1X shotgun microphone was designed for the advanced shooter with low budget pockets. With a frequency response of 80-18,000 and a Signal to Noise ration of 65db, this Super Cardioid patterned microphone leads you to believe that you will achieve the sound quality you were hoping for.
- Editors Keys - Audio Studio
My bottom line for the combination of the SL 150 Microphone, the Portable Vocal Booth and Dual layered pop filter is that it is a really fine and affordable fit for any editor desiring a good, clean sound quality. I do wish the SL 150 recorded in 48kHz or even 96kHz but, other than that, I give this package a real thumbs up.
Enter Wi-Fire from HField technologies, a $59.95 lightweight antenna that connects to a USB port on your Mac or Windows laptop. The device looks like it shouldn’t work. Once set up and configured, however, this dimunitive antenna identifies significantly more wi-fi connections than your built in wi-fi card and at great distances.
- iStoragePro iT2PKTV Portable RAID Drive
The Pocket View RAID unit is a solidly built triple interface two drive RAID enclosure from an ostensibly new kid on the block, iStoragePro.
- Focal XS 2.1 Multimedia Sound System
The Focal XS 2.1 Sound System comes in with both an excellent price as well as the superior sound qualities that are missing from so many home computer systems. While it wouldn't be fair to compare this system to multi-thousand dollar studio monitors, I find that the Focal XS 2.1 Multimedia speakers will surpass most of the speakers currently found in many editing bays and stack up nicely even against those ultra expensive audio monitors.
- Matrox CompressHD
Anyone involved with delivering video content knows how incredibly efficent and stunning beautiful the h.264 codec is. It produces exceptional video quality at impressively low data rates for both streaming and stored formats. It is used for streaming and messaging video delivery, popular web sites like YouTube, Vimeo and ExposureRoom, and it is the codec of choice for blu-ray discs. The downside: encoding to h.264, even on powerful computers, takes forever.
- Think Tank's Multimedia Wired Up 20
Think Tank has introduced a modular set of bags that fit and work together. Especially so for field shooting, the Multimedia Wired Up 20 system provides all the component bags for a one man band.
- Panasonic's AG-HPG20 Portable Recorder
Many of us utilizing the P2 workflow have been seeking a quicker, smaller and simpler method for managing media during P2 shoots. The U.S. $5,295.00 AH-HPG20 fits the bill nicely.
- Interfit Super Cool-lite 9 Studio Lighting
Interfit Photographic has put together the Super Cool-lite 9 kit for those who require quality lighting at an economical cost. It arrived at my home in a sturdy, large double box.
- Lightpanel's Micro Pro
There are many who have employed and relished the Lightpanel's Micro for its ease of use, long lasting light, and relatively inexpensive cost. I know some who never leave home without it. But, there are many who wanted more in this vein from Lightpanels and they have delivered in the form of the new Micro Pro.
- ThinkTank's Humongous Bazooka Tripod Case
My newest Manfrotto tripod is a bit long when packed up and, being bizarrely obsessive about taking care of my equipment, it was Think Tanks' Humongous Bazooka Tripod case that I thought would do the trick.
- CalDigit VR Mini
Recently, I got my hands on one of CalDigit's VR minis and so I took it for a spin...
I decided to do the testing (and this review) entirely on a 13" MacBook Pro because the mini really seems positioned as portable storage compared to its desktop big brother the VR. The first thing you'll notice about the mini is obviously its size and the fact that it really does look like a miniature version of the full sized VR.
- Manfrotto 547B Tripod and 701HDV Head Combo (701HDV,547BK)
There's no question that having and using a good tripod with an equally good head is of paramount importance for any shooter no matter what genre of film or video they approach. For those getting into video for the first time there seems to be different stages in their tripod evolution.
- OWC Mercury Pro 8x Blu-Ray Pioneer BDR-203 External Quad Interface External 8x Blu-Ray Burner
Apple’s no show at the blu-ray party hasn’t deterred one Mac accessory company from marketing its own Mac compatible internal and external blu-ray burners. Other World Computing has offered blu ray burners for the Mac for some time. Over the past year, it has increased burn speeds four-fold, provided Toast 10 Standard version as a bundled option, and lowered pricing. Its latest entry is a quad interface 8X external blu-ray burner that is attractively priced at $359.99.
- Azden 105 LT Series Wireless Microphone System
As most videographers learn quickly enough, on board camcorder microphones are very limited in terms of their audio quality and capabilities. There is no single microphone that is perfect for all occasions, yet getting good audio is crucial to any video production. Most viewers can tolerate less than stellar visuals, however tolerance for poor audio is slight.
- MXL USB. 009 Microphone
It has been some time since I have reviewed a USB microphone and in the MXL USB.009 we have something extra special. Just by opening the extravagant silver aluminum flight case and feeling the weight and heft of this mic you know that extra attention was paid not only to the performance of the microphone itself, but for long haul usage by developing a microphone with quality in mind.
- Herman Miller's Embody Chair
If there any of you who are bound to your computers for long periods of the day, and I am sure that there are, you will have experienced the stresses to tissue and muscles, restricted blood flow, and spinal discomfort that extended sitting can cause.
Back in 2007 the guys at Data Robotics came along with the Drobo - a neat little RAID device that won hearts and minds (and a load of awards!) with its no-nonsense approach, simple scalable design and BeyondRAID disk management system. Now they have released the DroboPro a bigger more scalable Drobo for those with larger data needs or indeed appetites!
- Elgato Turbo .264 HD
When I reviewed the original Elgato Turbo .264 back in 2007 I received numerous inquires from many disbelieving readers amazed that it was all it was stacked up to be. I demoed the original Turbo to a few groups and some friends who worked for Apple who immediately went out and purchased one for themselves. After all, how could you not want to save a ton of time and effort while not sacrificing video quality?
- Bits Limited Smart Strip
Keeping yourself afloat financially while the economy tanks is not easy to do. Every bit saved, however, does help and the Bits Limited Smart Strip offers both lower power bills and protection for your computer and home theater equipment at the same time.
- Impressions of the Panasonic HPX-171
Just spent most of the last week shooting with Panasonic's HPX-171. For those unfamiliar with the Panasonic camera range the HPX-171 is the European model, the equivalent of the US model, the HPX-170. This camera shoots DVCPro HD, or standard definition DVCPro, or DV to P2 card.
- Voyager HDD Dock
Archiving solid state video media is either CONVENIENT, RELIABLE, or INEXPENSIVE, but seldom all three. DLT or LTO tape solutions are reliable, but are slower than random access devices, and usually pricier. Single or dual layer DVDs are time tested, but are constrained by limited capacity. Blu-ray burners and blank media are still expensive and long term storage is still untested. HDDs have two strong positives: convenience and inexpensive, and the highest negative -- they can and eventually will fail.
- Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro
As the technology of video grows and provides an ever more improved image, the need to monitor that image for accurate color correction and composite appearance becomes ever more important. Thus, the videographer must make use of a high-resolution monitor enabling him/her to truly see the details of the clip and the image consistency throughout their sequence. The differences between what one sees in the canvas of their NLE and what is displayed on a good external monitor can be extremely significant.
- Matrox MXO2
...wouldn't it be great to really view our sequences in broadcast quality, to be able to correctly see the color corrections we make, the filters and motion paths we apply, and fine tune them to broadcast standards? The Matrox MXO2 device allows us to do just that either at your home or office at your editing bay, or on location off your MacBook Pro and a good field monitor.
- APC Surge Arrest-Performance Series
Most people use surge protectors simply because they afford you the ability to add multiple components into one power outlet. However, it is the protection a good surge suppression device can provide that is their most valuable asset.
- Gorillapod - Diminutive Tripod for Tight Spaces
Some jobs require both handheld and locked down shots in environments that are inconsistent with full-sized sticks. Others dictate that you travel lightly, shoot handheld, and quickly grab some steady shots as well. In these situations, a small tripod may not be sturdy enough to be trusted with an expensive camcorder. A large tripod would take too long to set up and would be too intrusive for the shoot. What you need instead is a small, strong and inexpensive gorilla.
- Lowepro Commercial AW Camera Bag
When it comes to taking care of your photo and video gear one absolutely must consider how to properly protect and store everything in your kit. This is especially so when you are on the move from home to the shoot or are in traveling mode in the field.
- Light & Motion's Fathom 90-Degree Lens
Any videographer worth his or her salt knows that without a good port on their housing, their images will be reduced in color saturation, resolution and, often size. While a bit more expensive than standard plastic ports, for those wanting to film up to their camcorders very highest standard, the Fathom glass lens, by Light & Motion, is the only way to go.
- CalDigit HDOne
In early 2008, CalDigit announced their new line of 20Gb/s External PCIe raids called HDOne. The HDOne model is positioned as a low cost ePCIe 3Gb raid capable of raid 0,1,5,6 and JBOD. The HDOne ranges from a 2TB to an 8TB unit and (BHphoto.com) has a list price of about $2,200 for the 2TB unit and $7,600 for the 8TB unit. A 2TB raid 5 unit for around $2,200? This is pretty remarkable!
- Light and Motion Sunray 2000 Video Lights
When I first saw the Light & Motion Sunray 2000 underwater lights in their proto type stage, I recall salivating at the thought of getting to use them one day.
- Lowepro Dry Zone Camera Bag
There's not a videographer around who has not been caught in a downpour at one time or another when on a shoot or simply lugging their gear to the airport. It has happened to me a great many times in my travels around the world and usually when I am far from shelter. For the photographer or videographer wishing they had a waterproof camera bag, Lowepro has introduced 2 bags, the DryZone 100 and 200, which do the job and ease the mind.
- CalDigit HDPro
There's only so much that you can actually write about when you're reviewing a drive system and it gets harder all the time because there are many great products out there, but I've been taking a CalDigit HDPro PCIe RAID for a spin - even got it some work on a film for a couple of weeks - and I thought I'd share my thoughts.
- Three Tools for Tapeless Video Media Backup/Editing
Solid state or tapeless video workflow provides many benefits to the video professional, but there are challenges as well. Most quickly evaluate strategies to backup, archive, and retrieve footage shot to solid state cards from Panasonic and Sony, or to direct to edit HDDs. No strategy is perfect, however. David Saraceno looks at 3 possible solutions.
Camcorders like the HVX200 provide benefits and present challenges. Their smaller size and weight facilitate a less obtrusive presence while shooting, but it's a challenge to stabilize handheld shots particularly when compared to shoulder mounted cams.
- FloLight LED500 Light
Commercial LEDs were introduced 40 years ago, but only recently have emerged as an option for the video professionals. It's not surprising that the evolution took so long. First generation LED lights required more watts per lumen, and were grossly inefficient compared to the incandescent bulb. How things have changed.
Litepanel's newest offering capitalizes on the latest LED technology providing softlight production in an extraordinarily efficient and compact package. Quality light is no longer limited to those who have the deep pockets to afford it.
- DYMO DiscPainter
If you regularly print CD/DVDs on a tray-based inkjet printer, you know the whole process is a little wonky - - which literally means crooked, off-center and askew. At best, these printers require patience and a couple of resets to print a disc. But as the only low cost print game in town, they were a necessary evil -- until recently. DYMO, a leader in label printing, has implemented a radial print technology in a dedicated CD/DVD printer that sprays ink onto a spinning disc.
- OtterBox Laptop Case
Any expensive investment is worth protecting. Soft cases do a good job of cushioning a laptop from potential damage but there is certainly no guarantee that they will be able to protect your laptop from every mishap. OtterBox, a company known for making hard-shell protective cases for everything from iPods and cell phones to cigar cases and GPSs, has recently released their OtterBox 7030 Laptop Case.
- elgato turbo.264
Another look at the USB device slightly larger than a thumb drive that greatly accelerates H.264 encodes, particularly on slower Macs.
- Elgato Turbo.264 Video Encoder
The Turbo.264 is designed to convert your videos using H.264 files for exporting to your iPod, Apple TV and iPhone. It is slightly larger than a USB thumb drive at approximately 83mm x 30mm x 12mm in size and, for those using it on a laptop, a short USB extender cable is supplied providing you room to plug in on your often crowded Macbook.
- G-RAID mini 320GB/5400
Every so often, a product comes across my desk that sets the standard for its class. I had read extensively about G-Technology HDDs over the last few years, and when I got the opportunity to review its bus powered multi-interface G-RAID mini 320GB/5400, I jumped at it.
- Caldigit HDPro Storage Solution
Supports Raid 0, 1, 5 or Raid 6
2.0TB to 8.0TB Capacity
- Video Image's Balance Beam
Not everyone has at their disposal a tripod of such quality that jerkiness and stuttering during pans are not sometimes a problem. Smooth panning takes practice but even the experienced shooter finds from time to time that a tripod stutter can demand the need for extra takes. Trig Simon has created a novel tool designed to alleviate panning problems while creating smooth pans from beginning to end.
- VIDLED DELUXE LED Light: dayLED-40
Many on cam or mobile lights use fluorescent bulbs, although the kid on the block -- LED lighting -- has enjoyed growing market acceptance, and for good reason. LEDs are characteristically different than fluorescent bulbs. They are highly efficient light sources, generally last longer per battery charge, can produce white light, and are among the most durable of all lighting.
- CalDigit S2VR Duo and Firewire VR
"Who is CalDigit? Where did this company come from? Well, they used to be an OEM company...meaning that they designed products for other companies to sell. In fact, they helped design quite a few G-tech products in including the G-RAID....the drive that won BEST IN SHOW at MacWorld the year it was introduced. I have two of these drives and love them."
- Snowball Professional USB Microphone
USB microphones have never really had much of a good reputation. The Snowball is not a cheap microphone by any sense of the word, and I'm not referring to price. It is not a toy mic with horrid colorations, no bottom end, and a sound that reminds one of someone stuck down a well somewhere in Kansas.
- FireStore FS-100 DTE® (v.3.0 firmware)
With the release of v.3.0, the FS-100 provides some increased functionality, and impressive capabilities. Recording directly to QuickTime in a variety of functionally equivalent pNative QuickTime formats, further economizes getting footage to your computer for Final Cut Pro users.
Originally engineered as a wireless audio receiver holder for professional digital video cams, the JimmyBox (large) doubles as a lightweight, economical and sturdy cage to house the FS-100 DTE (see lafcpug review) under a HVX200.
- Box-FS Holder for Focus FS-100
The Box-FS Holder for the Focus FS-100 (see lafcpug review) is a redesign of the company's previous fastening system for securing DTE devices to the HVX200.
- Specialist Keyboard for Apple Final Cut Pro
The bottom line on World Tech Device's Specialty Keyboard for Final Cut Pro is that this is the perfect keyboard for someone who is just learning Final Cut and needs to see or be reminded of the many shortcuts that will make their job easier.
- DVMultiRig Pro
In many ways, the DVMultiRig Pro is the Swiss Army knife of camera mounts and braces. It can be used as a basic shoulder mount, as a "multirig stabilizer" in the "fig rig" genre or as a "steadicam" with the stabilizer rod and belt holster.
- MyVu Video Glasses
The glasses are so slim you can easily see the world around you, over the top and even through the glasses-- transparent tinted viewspace on either side of the screen. This design offers what MicroOptical's founder Mark Spitzer calls "situational awareness."
- HVX 200 - Streets of Birmingham
Having shot with the HVX-200 for a couple of hours on the streets of Birmingham I've got to say the Panasonic HVX- 200 feels like any other camera I have ever used. It feels like a camera should, all the controls are in the right place, it feels good. I've heard reports that it's chunky, some people have said it's ugly and bulky - I don't have any of those problems at all. I like it!
- Tiffen's Steadicam Merlin
Tiffen's diminutive Steadicam Merlin was a pleasant surprise, both in delivery and performance. The zippered soft case and fitted foam neatly held the device, stainless steel balance weights, dovetail mounting plate, screws, manual, and instructional DVD. A certificate of authenticity personally signed by its designer, award winning Garret Brown, was included. The Merlin, sans cam and weights, was an impressive 13 ounces. It was something that you might find in a Sharper Image or Apple Store.
- First Look- Arriflex 416
Got a chance to play with the Arriflex 416 this past week at NAB and talk with Klemens Kehrer, the 416's design engineer and Marc Shipman-Mueller, its product manager. Here's what I found out.
- Warm Cards - White Balancing System
Anyone who uses a digital camera, being it a still camera or a video camcorder will want to set his/her white balance. Often much time is spent setting up a shot, trying to achieve that "special signature look" that is either characteristic of our style of shooting or desired by the client.
- Gates Underwater Housing for the Sony FX1 & Z1U
Now that you have invested your hard earned cash in order to buy that High Definition Video Sony FX1 or Z1U you've been wanting, trying to decide which underwater housing to slide it into is a major concern to any underwater film maker. The Sony FX-1 and Z1U are both expensive camcorders for most, and wanting the utmost in protection for them is of prime consideration.
- Lacie D2 DVD+/-RW External Burner LightScribe 16x Technology
In a perfect world, a CD/DVD burner would be fast, reliable, Macintosh compatible, inexpensive, and would easily produce graphic/text labels. LaCie's LightScribe version of its D2 DVD+/-RW external firewire burner meets or exceeds most, but not all, of these lofty expectations.
- SeriTek/1SEN2 External Dual Drive
Enclosure and Serial ATA PCI adapter Card
The SeriTek/1SEN2 bundle, reviewed here, consists of a two-port external Serial ATA PCI adapter, and an external dual-bay enclosure. The product is easy to install, configure and use. Moreover, the overall package is emblematic of value, solid construction, and excellent workmanship.
- Blackmagic Design Decklink HD Pro, HDLink and Apple 23" Cinema Display
Monitoring solutions for high definition (HD) video, wether it be for 720p or 1080i can get very expensive. CRT based monitoring solutions are pricey indeed, especially when you look at the extreme costs for the optional HD SDI input card. CRT monitors have been the professional choice for monitoring video. However, as the world is moving from standard definition (SD) to high definition, the rules are beginning to change.
- WiebeTech ComboGB 60GB/7200RPM Portable Drive
There is much to applaud and little to criticize in the design, finish, and accessories provided for the ComboGB portable drives from WiebeTech. Although more pricey than those available from other sites, it is evident that company's attention to detail makes the slight price difference a minor factor...
- Lenses for HD, DV and 16:9
A look at the next generation of distortion-free underwater lenses
A pair of visionaries at Fathom Imaging, originally a brainchild of JBV Optical Products and Micro Optech, is working to provide our industry with the highest quality distortion-free lenses to accommodate the new generation of high-definition and wide-screen format digital camcorders and still cameras.
Jay Garbose takes a look at these high quality underwater lenses.
- Cinewave 4 for FCP 4
Walter Biscardi is a leader in both the Final Cut Pro and Pinnacle CinéWave forum communities at CreativeCOW.net where Cow members have long appreciated his friendly and insightful input. In this article, Walter explores the new powers found in Pinnacle's CinéWave 4. Walter is a longtime user of CinéWave, having used it in many projects in his studio where he serves a long list of corporate and broadcast clients. How does the new CinéWave meet his demands and expectations, along with those of his clients?
- Varizoom StealthDVX Zoom Controller
Noah Kadner got a chance to use the StealthDVX Zoom Controller from Varizoom on a shoot, and reports his favorablefindings in this "mini" review.
- Logic Keyboard
Gretta Wing Miller plays around with the Logic Keyboard for FCP and tells you what she thinks
- Panasonic DMR-T3040 DVD Video Recorder
"...reading reviews of iDVD3 and all the problems being reported with it, I started to think about alternative ways to produce dvd's for my video business. I began looking into the concept of owning a stand alone DVD recorder deck. "
- Apple Xserve Raid
With up to 2.5TB of capacity and tools for remote management make this RAID solution a powerful data storage system.
- Panasonic AGDVX100 / Sony PD-150 Comparison Shoot
A "real world" comparison shoot between the Panasonic DVX100 and the Sony PD-150
- Photoflex's SilverDome NXT Softbox Kit
A look at the sensual Silverdome plus a brief look at Photoflex's On-Camera "News-Gathering" Light
- Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer
Who says you can't use a mouse with a scroll wheel with FCP
- AJA Kona Capture Card 2.0/2.1
A review of the only capture Card available (as of this writing) that supports OSX
- A Review of Two Alternative Camera Eyecups
Ira Raider's i-cuff Viewfinder Camera Eyecup and VideoSmith's Ikkup Rubber Eyecup are compared
- Aurora Igniter with the Sonnet Tempo ATA100 card
Review of both products including SoftRAID striping software
- Professional Mini Disc Recorder
The HHB MDP-500 is reviewed
- Low Cost Shotgun Microphone Comparison
Audio Technica AT835b, Azden SGM-2X, Sennheiser K-6/ME-66/ME-67
- RT MAC Does Video Editing Right
A review of the Matrox RT Mac Card for Final Cut Pro
- Post Op EZ Keyboard for Final Cut Pro
Keyboard shortcuts made easy?
- JVC SR-VS10U Mini DV/S-VHS Recorder
Dual mini DV and S-VHS deck in one
Jog shuttle device for Final Cut Pro
-Software- Software you can use with or along side FCP
- SEVENTH HEAVEN: SEVEN NEW FEATURES IN THE NEXT PREMIERE PRO
Someone must have told Adobe to keep a checklist of requested features from their user base. This next version of Adobe Premiere will add a lot of features.
- Prosoft's Data Rescue 3
ProSoft Engineering has had their data recovery software out for some time but not many people know about it yet. You might never need it, but should the time come that you do, you will be happy that it is there as it does what it says it does, it can recover those lost files and unexplainably trashed media.
- Event Manager X
Event Manager X provides you with complete control over which Events and Projects shall remain visible or not. Hiding these events, when you do not need to work on them or are reluctant to share their visibility, allows Final Cut Pro X to open more quickly.
- Pro Media Tools 1.1
For those of you that haven't yet got Pro Media Tools or might not have heard what it is - well it's is a suite of workflow tools from Digital Rebellion that simplifies media management and workflow bottlenecks that many of us encounter on a daily basis.
ClipWrap is a Mac only application designed to make an HDV or AVCHD file compatible with your NLE application whether it be Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Avid, or Adobe Premier Pro. A great many of today's camcorders record to a variety of media types whether they be to hard-disk, Compact Flash or SD cards. These transport files tend not to be suited well for post production, especially on a Mac. I've learned that no one size or application fits all. This is where ClipWrap comes in to save the day.
- Digital Hotcakes' 101 Transitions
Loaded with a variety of fun and colorful transitions ranging from disco balls and piano keys to a number of different national flags, graduation caps and even a rubber duckie, these transitions are easy to use and might well fit any editors needs depending upon the project.
- Adobe's New Subscription Service
I must admit that, at first, when hearing of Adobe's plan for a subscription option for photographic and video editing applications, I was a bit skeptical. I thought, why get an application only for a short time when you can have it for as long as you like. Then I thought of the practicality and economy of it and it started to click and make sense.
- Pixelmator 1.6.5
Pixelmator is a relatively new application and, as such, it is not yet a full powered photo editing application like Photoshop, but it is much like Photoshop. It employs the same type of palettes, tools, adjustments and menus. Almost all of Pixlmator's keyboard shortcuts are the same as Photoshop's.
- Photoshop Elements 9
So, why am I looking at PS Elements? The reason is quite simple. With a multitude of new Final Cut Pro users, many people want or need Photoshop but balk at paying $699.00 for the application. It is lot of money. The question here is; 'for Final Cut Pro users, does Photoshop Elements ($79.99) contain enough tools and features to be used in place of the more expensive Photoshop?'
- Adobe Photoshop's Lightroom 3
Lightroom has been around for a number of years. In this 3rd incarnation there have been several improvements and added features. Not every photographer needs the massive depth and complexity of Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3 is capable of bringing out the best in your photographic images using Lightroom's intuitive interface and enhancements. As with Adobe's CS5, Lightroom 3 is now also a 64 bit application saving you time with its significantly increased speed and performance.
- Footage Firm's Super Slow Motion Royalty Free Footage
It's been almost a year since I last reviewed Footage Firm's Time Lapse Collection of royalty free footage and I see they haven't lost their touch. Given the opportunity to take a look at their latest collection of super slow motion offerings I wasn't going to turn them down.
- BBC Nature Sound Effects Library
The BCC has collated years and years of all the audio they have captured related to the sounds of nature into one large collection consisting of 70 categories and 18,368 different audio wav files. The entire collection was delivered on a 500gig Lacie d2 Quadra external drive with eSata, firewire 800, 400 and USB 2.0 ports for full compatibility and connectivity to either Mac or PC users. Pro Sounds Effects, the company that now markets the BBC collections, has now partnered up with Lacie for delivery of their large and small sound effects libraries with the smaller delivered on Lacie's Rikiki compact hard drives.
- Up close with the Resolve
This was one of the biggest news at the 2010 NAB Show. Blackmagic Design acquired Da Vinci Systems, and I had the opportunity to check out the new Resolve. The software was still in development when I met it, but already had pretty impressive features to boot.
- Loader v2.0
Every now and then a product comes along that just makes your life easier. You know, something that’s no muss, no fuss, no flashy bells and whistles, just really stupidly-obvious useful. I don’t think I would be going too far out on a limb to say that Loader is one of these products.
- Digital Rebellion
For some time now, users of FCP and FC Studio, have had a friend watching their backs. His name is Jon Chappell and he runs the 'Digital Rebellion' web site. Jon's site is not full of tutorials nor the latest plugins, no HD video clips, reports on the latest capture cards or interviews with important people. What Jon's Digital Rebellion web site offers us is tools.
- Production Premium CS5 - Photoshop
Why discuss CS5 Photoshop as a video editing tool? The answer is two fold. Photoshop is an indispensable content creation tool for the video professional. Its unique capabilities enable editors to prepare graphics for video, create titles, logos and backgrounds, enhance images, utilize mattes and masks, and it provides basic video editing capabilities as well. If you edit video for a living, Photoshop is an essential tool.
- Footage Firms Time Lapse Collections
Time-lapse clips are, no pun intended, very time consuming to record. If you are still using a tape based camcorder there is a lot of wear on your transport and, if outdoors, there can be the detrimental affects of the weather on your equipment that can cause difficulties down the road. Therefore, sometimes purchasing and using royalty free footage truly can be the most frugal approach.
- Artbeats Stock Footage Collections
If any reader has followed my reviews over the years, especially when reviewing software, they have noted that I always make mention of the presence, or lack there of, helpful tutorials designed to ameliorate the new user's learning curve. The Artbeats collections of footage is not software that one needs to learn to use, but how footage can be used in a milieu of ways can often be an enlightening occasion.
- Prosoft's Drive Genius 2
Prosoft's Drive Genius 2 is like a Swiss Army knife of maintenance tools which comes equipped not only to more efficiently maintain your hard drives but also to provide management and optimization tools. When first installed, either off the Drive Genius 2 DVD, or directly off your hard drive, a unique, graphical, animated interface comes up.
- DV Shade Easy Looks 2.5
DV Shade EasyLooks 2.5 is a similar 'looks' color correction, creation tool similar to a few of the correction applications already on the market, but like all similar things, there are differences as well.
- Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection
The Adobe Master Suite is actually a complete collection of all the applications found in each separate suite issued from Adobe. There are other collections such as the Production Premium, The Design Premium and Web Premium, which contain most but not all of the applications, depending upon the Suites' theme and purpose, and for many, these other suites might just be all you need. In addition, all of the applications other than OnLocation CS4 and Encore CS4 can be purchased separately.
- App Zapper & App Delete
Unlike plug ins which can simply be dragged to the trash from their perspective folders, many applications like Final Cut Studio and the Adobe Suites, create various folders, caches and preferences buried within the confines of your hard drive.
- Sonicfire Pro 5-Scoring Edition
Having been a regular user of the SmartSound music application since its earliest inception, I have been able to witness its' evolution from an easy to use music program, supplemented by a small collection of music discs and audio FX, to its' current 5.0 version. Sonicfire is now highlighted by an almost massive library of diverse music and the ability to truly customize any audio selection.
- Two New HD Footage Collections from Artbeats
Flat out and hands down, Artbeats continues to produce some of the very finest royalty free footage available. Their ever-growing library of collections has evolved into the standard by which other collections should be judged. These two collections, Grow! 2 HD and Liquid Ambience 2 HD offer pristine shots, a good variety of clips, and beautiful color saturation.
- Cinema Craft Encoder MP Plug-In for Compressor 3
The Cinema Craft line of encoders set the bar within the entertainment industry for Standard Definition DVD, MPEG-2 compression and then once again with AVC/H.264 High Definition encoding for Blu-ray discs. Their résuméof SD titles is quite impressive: The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Spiderman 3, King Kong, Pirates of the Caribbean, the list goes on...
- Sound Ideas 'Underwater' Series
Having been referred to the Sound Ideas website I found yet another company producing royalty free effects and music. They have a very large and seemingly limitless library of different music forms and effects to choose from so, this time, I focused on the Foley effects rather than the music.
- Abaltat Muse
According to Albaltat's website, it is 'unique professional soundtrack composition software' which allows the user to 'create original, royalty free, broadcast quality soundtracks in minutes. . .'
- SilkyPix Developer Studio 3.0E
When Michael Horton asked me if I wanted to review a raw photo converter, I said "Sure." I thought that a simple raw image converter review should be pretty simple. Comparing a few of the same images run through this converter and my favorite, Adobe Camera Raw. Boy, was I in for a surprise.
- Visual Hub
This time I will start with a bottom line. Visual Hub is simple to use and takes three minutes to learn. It enables you to compress any sequence quickly and cleanly. You don't need extensive training, or a PhD in computer engineering to master Visual Hub.
- Adobe CS3 Production Premium Suite
The CS3 Production Premium suite, optimized for Intel Macintoshes and incrementally certified for Leopard, continues Adobe's legacy of excellent, useful and widely-supported applications for video professionals. The new bundle adds a few wrinkles as well. Premiere returns to the Mac after a multi-year absence, Encore is welcomed to the Mac, and Adobe includes Windows-only On Location CS3 in the Mac suite for use in Bootcamp on Intel Macs.
- DVDxDV Pro
I really haven't had the need to rip files from DVDs in the past, yet I found the need recently and was concerned with any loss of resolution I might find when doing so. It was suggested that I take a good look at DVDxDV Pro and so I had a go with it.
- Sonic Fire Pro 4.5 Network Edition
Sonic Fire Pro has been available for some time now having evolved over the years from its original Smart Sound application. When Sonic Fire 4.0 was first released it came with several new features that were far more than fluff. What they called 'Mood Mapping' was really the ability to affect the tone or mood of any of the Strata series music pieces to fit the needs of the video.
- Adobe Creative Suite 3-Production Premium
While Apple continues to more fully integrate their applications within Final Cut Suite, the same goals have been brought to fruition by Adobe with their new Adobe Creative Suite 3-Production Premium.
- GridIron Nucleo Pro 2 for Adobe After Effects CS3
It was a year ago that I first became aware of GridIron's Nucleo Pro 1 and was impressed with how much easier it made my workflow when using Adobe After Effects. With the advent of GridIron's Nucleo Pro 2, I thought it was worth the time to take a second look to see what, if any, new features they had come up with.
- Jumpbacks HD Animations
Ethereal, Base Camp II and Subtle Impact Collections
- Digital Hotcakes High Definition Series
Generally, footage and animation houses can be very expensive. They do save time and, thus, money, as opposed to getting to similar destinations and shooting the same scenes yourself or working at creating animations in Motion or After Effects. However, with the Digital Hotcakes collections, money is not going to be the issue, as their footage collections are not going to break anyone's bank and present a most reasonable price alternative.
- Artbeats Mayhem HD Collection
Having reviewed two of the Artbeats HD Water Collections I was given the opportunity to take a solid look at one of their new releases, the Artbeats Mayhem HD portfolio.
- Three for 3D
For filmmakers who want to stretch their skillsets, a range of excellent 3D programs exists for Macintosh and Windows these days. Here I'd like to introduce three of my favorites: Kinemac, SketchUp and Cinema 4D, which represent small, medium and large of these applications.
- Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression Suite
The Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression Suite, capable of running either on a Mac or PC, brings with it several new features and capabilities not the least of which is much improved support for H.264, speed boosts for both pre processing and encoding, the ability to run natively on the Intel based Macs and DVD burning straight to disc.
- GridIron Nucleo Pro for Adobe After Effects 7.0
Nucleo Pro is specifically designed to maximize CPU usage that results in both faster previews and renders. It has been designed strictly for this purpose for those on multi-processor computers and what a benefit you will reap when you see what it can do.
- Digital Hotcakes Home Movie Essentials Vol 1
Digital Hotcakes animations have been on the market for quite some time. They have had numerous collections available for the video hobbyist and professional relating to weddings and worship, animated backgrounds of all kinds, water animations and much more.
- HD Log Gold
As its core, HD Log Gold is a highly customizable database used to log analog, digital or previously captured video files. The Gold version of HD Log can also capture video using firewire and serial interfaces.
- Artbeats HD Water Effects Vol 2
After having reviewed Artbeats Water Effects Vol. 1 last year and being very impressed with the sparkling quality of their HD collection I was most interested in seeing what the second volume would have to offer. I was not disappointed in that this collection, though somewhat smaller, offers stunningly produced, highly detailed water animations aimed at the producer/editor looking for only the most exquisite images.
- Final Draft 7 and Final Draft AV
On vacation from film editing 20 years ago (Final Cut Steenbeck V 3.0), I got myself an Atari ST, started writing, and explored script automation. I built a dream specification for total scriptwriting support. I even sent it to a British company who like the spec. End of story, except that, in the beginning was the need.
- MetaSAN by Tiger-Technology
MetaSAN is a SAN solution for OS X, Linux and Windows, but in this review, I'll only be talking about how it works under OS X, and especially how it works with Apple's Final Cut Pro video editing software.
- LiveType Expansion Packs
Two years following its first expansion pack debut, LiveTypeCentral reenters the fray with the release of three new collections of design elements, canned animations, text treatments, objects, textures, and templates for version 2 of LiveType.
- Kinemac 1.0
Kinemac 1.0 offers real-time 3D animation and presentation abilities using OpenGL acceleration and QuickTime support. Add drag-and-drop capabilities for scrolling and 3D text, images, movies, and audio, and you've got something special.
- particleIllusion 3 for Mac OSX
I spent the last six weeks working with particleIllusion 3 for Mac OSX. The OS X app is equal to the capabilities of its PC counterpart, and is surprisingly versatile. It ships with over 1300 particle emitters of virtually every effect or look you can imagine. Some are surprisingly "un-emitter like," if that is a word.
- Digital Heaven's MovieLogger
If content is king, here's a coronation cloak. MovieLogger is a text-based logging tool for QuickTime movies, mounted in a clean and useful interface, and represents the next of a line of productivity-enhancing products from Digital Heaven.
- Artbeats - HD Water Effects 1
Lets face it, HD and HDV is here to stay and pretty soon the used equipment market for mini dv camcorders will be flooded with equipment for sale from those who will earnestly try to upgrade to the newer and better quality formats. As we have seen with the various editing NLEs which have upgraded their own software to HD and HDV compatibility so we will see third party plug ins as well as animations gearing up for this next generation of editing quality.
- DV Matte Blast for Motion 2
This is one incredible piece of software.... Its applied quickly, is thoroughly effective and works in real time. I threw on some old, somewhat poorly lit green screen shots in Motion 2, applied the DV Matte Blast as one would do with any filter, made a couple of minor adjustments and viola, an excellent final product.
- DV Matte Pro
For those who have been involved in the process of chroma keying or for the hobbyist who has longed to pretend he was the weatherman at his local station, chroma keying is far more involved than the uninitiated might think.
- G-Man Video - Animated Backgrounds
I've reviewed many sets of animations over the last few years; some were better than others though all of them were good and had something to offer. Just recently I heard someone mention the G Man Animations and, though never having heard of them, looked them up and received a healthy sampling of what they had to offer.
Although many Mac users may consider it sacrilege, we're faced with delivering content for a Windows world. Whether it's the corporate client who's banned QuickTime from their servers or simply reaching the masses of Windows users who fear installing QuickTime, deliver we must. Flip4Mac, by Telestream, enables Mac based content creators to deliver Windows Media 9 files
- Photo to Movie 3.1
Software applications targeted at creating the popular "Ken Burns" effect using still images remain a work in progress. Invariably, they are either inexpensive, and produce less than satisfactory output. Or they are pricey with good output, but hard to use.
- PhotoZoom Pro
One reality when taking video captures to print is the constrained video resolution of 720/480/72 dpi. The video will look fabulous on a 60-inch plasma screen, but still images intended for print are, for the most part, unacceptable in both size and resolution. PhotoZoom Pro may be the answer
- Compression Master 3
Two new applications have been released that allow you to encode Windows Media 9 on your Apple computer. One is Telestream's Flip4Mac, a Quicktime export component used within Quicktime Pro (and eventually within other Quicktime based applications like Cleaner and Squeeze). The other is the focus of this review, Popwire's Compression Master 3.
- Total Training for After Effects 6.5
If Adobe After Effects 6.5 is a buried treasure, then the 13 DVD-Video training set from Total Training is a detail-rich treasure map designed to unlock its secrets. Hosted by Brian Maffitt, long-time After Effects aficionado, and Total Training's Director of Animation Training, Steve Holmes, the DVDs provide a detailed look, within the context of real projects, at Adobe latest incarnation of After Effects, v.6.5.
- Adobe After Effects 6.5 Production Bundle
...Adobe continues the legacy in version 6.5 with dozens of new features, performance enhancements, new, and re-released plug-ins that refine a feature rich, versatile interface. While it doesn't have the real time capabilities of Apple's Motion, its hardware requirements aren't as stiff. AE also offers Z-space, parenting, and expressions -- something as yet missing in Motion. AE is supported by dozens of 3rd party developers, web sites and other resources.
- Total Training for Adobe After Effects 6.5
If Adobe After Effects 6.5 is a buried treasure, then the 13 DVD-Video training set from Total Training is a detail-rich treasure map designed to unlock its secrets.
- Post Holes
Producing inexpensive, well-keyed green screen footage has always been a challenge for motion graphic artists. Not only is it difficult to create correctly lit backgrounds, but the actual keying process is inevitably part art and part science, and often produces uneven results. Enter Post Holes,
- SoundSoap Pro
BIAS-Inc has released SoundSoap Pro, the advanced version of their noise reduction plug-in, SoundSoap. At $599 list, SoundSoap Pro is a significant jump up from the $99 SoundSoap, but half the price of the comparable Waves Restoration Bundle.
- Sorenson Squeeze 4 Compression Suite
For those Mac users who have been creating high quality Quicktime Movies for the internet, the leading software for the last three years has been Discreet's Cleaner 6 with the Sorenson Video 3 Pro codec installed. It seems like we have been waiting ages for something better to come along. With the release of Sorenson Squeeze 4 Compression Suite, the wait may now be over.
- Snapz Pro X 2.0
Screen and/video captures can be an important aspect of any production environment. Recording screen movements in OS X is an entirely different issue for those of us who produce tutorial CDs or DVDs or have similar uses. In most cases, recording via a scan converter has been the only, and pricey option. However, Ambrosia Software's release of an OS X version of its classic SnapZ Pro capture tool has changed the equation.
- DVD ThemePak for DVDSP 2 and iDVD 3/4
The templates that ship with iDVD and SP 2 are of very good quality, the problem is that there are just not enough of them.
- SonicFire Pro 3.1
"While Final Cut Pro 4 has come out with a super music creation application in Soundtrack, it is very time consuming to create complete musical pieces from scratch. While I find Soundtrack a whole lot of fun and extremely addictive to use, I find that I still utilize the Sonic Fire Program a great deal for its simplicity of use..."
- MovingPicture Producer
The so called "Ken Burns" effect, popularized by the documentary film maker of the same name, has breathed new life in the art of using still images to tell a story. David Saraceno evaluates MovingPicture Producer (MPP) which functions as a standalone program that works independently of an editing program.
- ProAnimator 3.0
With the arrival of Zax Dow's ProAnimator 3.0, for Macintosh and Windows, comes new functionality and ease of use in creating sophisticated animated logos.
- SheerVideo Pro codec for Mac OS X
Video codecs - the clever software that compress and decompress your video footage for a variety of uses, come in many kinds. The two main kinds of codecs are those that achieve smaller files by throwing away information (lossy codecs) and those that preserve every bit of information (lossless codecs). BitJazz make some fairly serious claims for their SheerVideo codec, but fortunately, these claims are easy to test.
- TFDVDEdit 2
TFDVDEdit 2 is not a stand-alone DVD authoring package, but instead a sophisticated .IFO and .VOB editor. This refers to the .IFO and .VOB files contained inside the VIDEO_TS folder of any DVD project that has been sent through the BUILD (Multiplexed) process after authoring. One of the biggest reasons you would likely buy this application is that you are looking to fill some kind of a shortcoming in your own authoring application.
iStopMotion is the brain-child of two live-action animators in Munich who longed to be able to do in video what they had achieved as kids in Super8. Yet their solution goes far beyond the constraints of traditional stop-motion photography, in which a single frame is shot, objects are slightly moved in the frame, another frame is shot, and so on, to simulate live action.
- LiveType Central
LiveTypeCentral recently "went live" with its web site that offers various add ons to LiveType. Its first efforts are both nicely done and affordable.
- BIAS SoundSoap
SoundSoap is a product from BIAS, Inc. (maker of Peak and Deck, versions of which are variously packaged with Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro) which claims to make removing noise one-click simple.
- FCP 4
Steve Martin gives us a hands on sneak peak at some of his favorite features in this, the latest and perhaps greatest version of FCP set to ship in June 2003.
- iDVD 3
Ken Stone has some things to say about the latest edition of iDVD. And not all that wonderful either.
- Final Cut Express
Steve Martin gives his impressions and removes the confusion surrounding Final Cut "Lite"
- Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0
Ken Stone takes a look at PS Elements and asks, "Can Elements pull the load for Final Cut Pro?
- A Final Cut Pro user looks at Avid Xpress DV 3.5
A Final Cut Pro User takes a look at XDV 3.5, takes it for a spin, and tells you all about it.
- Boris Graffiti 2.0
Billed as an "Integrated 2D and 3D Vector Title Animation" application, but it truly is much more. This is an extremely powerful animation program.
- Introducing DVD Studio Pro 1.5
A look at what's new in DVDSP 1.5 by DVD Guy Bruce Nazarian
- Automatic Composition Import for FCP
From Automatic Duck, this magical app allows you to seamlessly export your entire timeline complete with clip positions, rotations, dissolves, even keyframed animations from FCP to After Effects with a couple clicks of the mouse.
- India Pro Special Effects Titler
Tool to quickly create over 1300 dynamic effects from the supplied pre-animated DVFonts, textures, and objects.
- Totally Hip's HipFlics and Sorenson Squeeze
Review of two brand new "affordable" compression tools from two companies that know how to do it.
- Color Theory
Plug in for Final Cut Pro that takes away the guessing when choosing color combinations.
- Final Cut pro 2.0
Hands on review of the new upgrade to FCP
- Deck 2.7
multitrack Audio recording, editing & processing solution
Soundtrack Creation For All Your Production Needs
- Cleaner 5
Video compression tool
- Commotion Pro
Compositing, painting, keyframing and other tools for creating visual effects.
- DVD StudioPro
DVD authoring software