Foxvideo Productions

Media Production

April 2015

Galerie, Perfect Effects 9 and Compressor (but not together!)

It’s gone a little quiet at the moment so I thought I’d mention a few Mac OS X programs I’ve been using recently. A long term project I’m helping out with involves receiving many old photographs then scanning, retouching, sizing and preparing to a printers specification for an upcoming book. The History Group I’m working with needed a way of keeping up and seeing what I’d done so far, one option was ‘contact sheets’ from Photoshop, then ‘print to PDF’ which worked reasonably well.

galeriescreenshot

I thought an ‘online’ album might be a better answer so looked for an album web generator, I found Galerie, a freeware OS X program, this is an ideal lightweight way of producing a web ready album of any amount of photos quickly, as usual I didn’t RTFM but soon had a folder with all the photos and web files ready to upload to a ‘hidden’ area my website via FTP, it looked good and the History Group seemed to like the idea as they could see what photos I’d done, complete with filenames to reference to the book draft they were writing. A useful feature is the many templates available for free download to give your album that 'professional' look.

In a recent OS X upgrade I’d ‘lost’ the ability to used another free program I used, Perfect Effects 8 Free, after a search online I found Perfect Effects 9 Free being offered by On1, a download, install and register (for free) and I had a working copy of version 9 on my Mac, for an occasional effects user, this program is amazing for the price!

free-effects

Yes, I get sent regular emails from On1 advising of tips, techniques (very useful!) and software upgrades (for a price) but these are a small price to pay for such a useful piece of software, it’s not a product I use on every photo as much of the photo work I’m doing ATM is more about basic restoration than enhancing but I’m looking to offer some of my library of personal photos free, for use as backgrounds for Bible texts on a friends Church based website, Perfect Effects 9 could well help with some of those.

The last thing worth mentioning is not about a program I’ve found recently, more about a new workflow using a program I’ve had for a long while, Apple Compressor. It came about from one of those ‘what if’ moments. Several years ago I’d produced a 6 minute promo video for a local Chapel, it went to DVD and the Chapel website, somehow while re-vamping the website, I’d lost the web version (it was there last time I looked Guv' honest), so I found the original edit master self contained file, edited out a small section that was no longer wanted and re-mastered, the only problem was it was all in 4:3.

I wanted to host it on Vimeo who now convert everything to 1280x720, the ‘what if’ came about thinking I could upscale in Compressor to 1280x720 (16:9) then use Compressor again on the result with a Vimeo web preset. I dropped the original into Compressor, applied the 1280x720 50P preset, the result was fine and gave me a 980 meg file - a little soft but that was to be expected, that file then went through Compressor again, this time with a Vimeo 1280 web preset to come out at 210 meg. Uploaded to Vimeo then embedded on the Chapel website to play at 640x360 it looked OK, a good result!

Just waiting now for an update on Wye Invader 2, set to sail from Sharpness to Brockweir shortly - the Wye Invader saga continues on and on……

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