Foxvideo Productions

Media Production

September 2016

Cheap training!

I’m one of those people who always reads the manual last or uses it to look up something specific, I’m also a big fan of downloadable training courses over online training as they are ideal to load to my Mac laptop and watch even when you’re offline or have a patchy connection. I visit appshopper.com (Mac OS & iOS only!) daily, I spot the training Apps I think I want or I’m interested in and bookmark them (you need a free account for this) then, when the Apps are discounted from the normal price Appshopper emails you.

Just recently I’ve managed to obtain full training series on aspects of Final Cut Pro X, CSS and HTML, audio capture and editing and advanced Photoshop and photography techniques from Ask Video, each download runs for between 70 and 90 minutes and covers many chapters in short bites of around 4 to 5 minutes. Their catalogue usually lists the titles for £14.99 each but they do discount down to £2.29, by bookmaking them on Appshopper I’ve bought 6 different titles this week for a total of £13.74 instead of £89.94.

I’ll agree there’s some stuff in these I already know and that I’m familiar with but there’s always something new to learn, one of my recent additions was on Adobe Camera RAW (ACR), I’ve been using this for years, I can tweak the sliders as well as anybody but there were options I’d never used or seen the need to learn but the Ask Video covered these and now I know about them I’ll use them in the future. A case in point is the photo below, taken at 07.00am it was to replace a similar photo on a website I took 3 years ago, I shot RAW and you can see the original RAW photo (a direct conversion to jpeg for the web) and the ACR manipulated version using new tips from the training course, after I’d uploaded it to the TRAC Centre Facebook page it had 13 likes before the end of the day!

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When I last looked at the full Ask Video catalogue virtually all their training downloads were £2.29 but by the time you read this they could well have gone back up to £14.99 so check out Appshopper, create an account and bookmark anything you’d like but don’t like paying full price for - you may have to wait a while but a substantial saving is still a saving!

Whatcha been up to Dave?

It’s been a funny few weeks, no major projects on, no new bits of kit to mention but a lot of smaller projects.

A ’Summer Camp’ for kids at the Tom Roberts Adventure Centre gave me the chance to use Quelea again, I tried this free cross platform Church projection software last year and liked it, it’s been updated twice since my last version so I tried the latest version before the camp, unfortunately I found a few problems playing some videos and Powerpoints, the user forum was very helpful with a developer trying to help but I ended up reverting to v2016 Beta which worked flawlessly with both video clips and Powerpoints over the 4 evenings. The Centre’s website then needed updating with photographs from the camp, easily done with a photo gallery in Rapidweaver.

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Websites seem to be becoming a major part of what I’m doing at the moment, a OMB video business I’ve had contact with for years wanted to re-brand his site, make it responsive and more up to date , I suppled a beta version using Rapidweaver which he liked and after around 4 days fine tuning the site went live shortly after.

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Another of my websites wyeinvader.uk needed a makeover, it had become more popular than was first envisaged with many new additions and was starting to look a little untidy, the ‘Theme’ change was quite easy but it took time to make it all work and link to the right pages, I’m certainly enjoying using Rapidweaver and now starting to learn a little more CSS than I would from reading a book!

Wye Invader Two also took another little trip, this time to Bristol. I’d spent some time explaining to the guy’s how to use the new DN-60 recorder with the FX1 and they came back with 3 x 32Gb CF cards and 2 x 32Gb cards from the SJ4000 so there’s lots of editing to do in the next few weeks. (Only the Wye Invader skipper would take a Narrowboat down the River Severn and under the Severn Road Bridge in a Force 5, gusting 6!)

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I’m really trying with FCPX but finding it really trying! Yes, I’m finding my way round it and it does do some stuff really well but…. I keep getting the following error!

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In the 15 years I used FCP 7 you could count the amount of lockups or crashes on the fingers of two hands, since using FCPX I get an error and immediate crash around every 3 to 5 hours. My system is a MacPro Quad with 12Gb RAM, a 1Gb GFX card, a Blackmagic Intensity card, OS X 10.11.6 and FCPX 10.2.3 on a ‘Clean’ system drive with no other Apps loaded other than Blackmagic’s software - you can’t get a much leaner system! There are many instances and mentions of the error on the FCPX forum’s but no one seems to have an answer I’ve not tried, thankfully the program always comes back exactly at the same point it crashed, it’s just VERY annoying.

One interesting point for me is Blackmagic's DaVinci Resolve 12.5, this totally free version is what FCP 8 should have been, I've got it loaded and still trying it out so it's too early to say how good it is but so far, it's not crashed out on me like FCPX does so watch this space.

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After a couple of attempts, including having one sent back to China by British Customs (!) before it was delivered, I’ve finally got a ‘sunshade’ for my iPhone to use with the DJI Phantom I have on loan, so it’s off to the 22 acres of the Tom Roberts Adventure Centre on Friday for a day off and a bit of a play.

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