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How to Do an Add Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5001
I keep hearing from folks who are looking for the Add Edit tool in Adobe Premiere Pro. It's there, just under a different name. As you edit in the timeline, you may want to change the length of a shot.

Here are a few quick editing techniques you should know:

  • Razor – Press Cmd+K (Ctrl+K) to split a clip at the playhead.
  • Razor All Tracks – Press Shift+Cmd+K (Shift+Ctrl+K) to split all tracks at the playhead.
  • Clear – Press the Forward Delete key to remove a selected segment and leave a hole behind.
  • Ripple Delete – Press Shift + Forward Delete to remove a selected segment and close the gap in the sequence.

How to Do an Add Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 30, 2011 at 5:15:33 amComments (2) AdobeVideo

More Questions Raised by the Final Cut Pro X FAQ


Apple just posted an FAQ document that addresses the top questions. This is a certainly step in the right direction (open communication always is). I respectively submit my commentary and additional questions to respect additional clarification.

Gary Adcock contributed to this article and added clarification.

Readers, please add to this list in the comments section.


Can I import projects from Final Cut Pro 7 into Final Cut Pro X?

“Final Cut Pro X includes an all-new project architecture structured around a trackless timeline and connected clips. In addition, Final Cut Pro X features new and redesigned audio effects, video effects, and color grading tools. Because of these changes, there is no way to “translate” or bring in old projects without changing or losing data. But if you’re already working with Final Cut Pro 7, you can continue to do so after installing Final Cut Pro X, and Final Cut Pro 7 will work with Mac OS X Lion. You can also import your media files from previous versions into Final Cut Pro X.”

  • If we are willing to lose some data, what could be imported?
  • Can we import the bin structure of a project to use existing organization?
  • You say that there is no way to translate or bring in old projects. Can we definitely take this that there will be no way now or ever?

Gary thinks that the question becomes how much can be brought in and how much of the previous structure is not translatable to the new app. Gary thinks that it should be possible to import the media files into a FCP X event. Folders and subfolders could carry over the existing naming conventions and folder nesting as Smart Collections and use the folder structure to achieve hierarchy via keywording.

Can I import my video directly into Final Cut Pro X as I could in Final Cut Pro 7?

“Yes. Final Cut Pro X allows you to import video from a wide range of devices, including many AVCHD-based cameras and DSLR cameras. You can find a list of supported cameras here: The list will grow as we continue to test and qualify new cameras.”

  • We also use decks to ingest media too, what about them?
  • Any plans for device control for decks and standard protocols?

Gary thinks that third-party tools will be required for acquisition and playback of tape-based media, and are not yet available. He feels that Log and Capture is gone. Options like serial control will be in the hands of the hardware manufacturers.

  • How about third party capture cards?
  • What about Firewire based capture devices like the AJA IO HD?

Gary says that there is billion dollar ecosystem built around Final Cut Pro. He feels confident that there will be devices and they will be able to do more that output a Mirrored Desktop signal. He is of the opinion that this is the number one priority at this time for Apple. However he wants that just like how most three year old capture cards do not work with FCPX, users should not expect older capture hardware will likely need to be replaced too.

"Some camera manufacturers will need to update their import plug-ins to work with the new 64-bit architecture of Final Cut Pro, and we are working with them to provide these updates as quickly as possible. Until then, you can use your camera manufacturer’s import software to convert video for Final Cut Pro X."

  • Which manufacturers are you working with?

"For example, Sony offers an XDCAM Transfer application that allows you to convert XDCAM video without transcoding so it can be imported into Final Cut Pro X. You can find more information here: If you are working with RED cameras, you can use the free RED software REDCINE-X, designed to transcode RED RAW video to ProRes for use in Final Cut Pro X:”

  • What if we don’t want to transcode to ProRes (defeats the purpose of Raw workflow for many)?
  • What about Arri Alexa?
  • How about camera raw formats for time-lapse?
  • Any plans to recognize the advanced metadata created by high end cameras? Many use FCP7 XML side car files, how do we access this data?

Gary points out that Raw is a viable workflow for many users, however, that long form or documentary projects have always done the Online / Offline process to keep the overall media size somewhat manageable.


Can I edit my tape-based workflow with Final Cut Pro X?

"Yes, in a limited manner. Final Cut Pro X is designed for modern file-based workflows and does not include all the tape capture and output features that were built into Final Cut Pro 7. Final Cut Pro X does support FireWire import for DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO 50, DVCPRO HD, and HDV. In addition, companies like AJA and Blackmagic offer free deck control software that allows you to capture from tape and output to tape."

  • Are you saying that anything to do with tape, outside DV and HDV, is up to third-parties?
  • What about other decks (such as those from Panasonic) that can use FireWire to pass DVCPRO and DVCPRO HD data?
  • What APIs have you opened up? In other words what features are possible if third-parties choose to use them?

Does Final Cut Pro X support multicam editing?

"Not yet, but it will. Multicam editing is an important and popular feature, and we will provide great multicam support in the next major release. Until then, Final Cut Pro X offers some basic support with automatic clip synchronization, which allows you to sync multiple video and audio clips using audio waveforms, creating a Compound Clip that can be used for simple multicam workflows."

  • By next major release, do you mean version 2?
  • Historically there has been approximately two years between major versions, can you comment on a timeline more specifically?
  • By simple multicam workflows , do you mean two angles?

Does Final Cut Pro X support external monitors?

"Yes. If you have a second computer monitor connected to your Mac, Final Cut Pro X gives you options to display the interface across multiple monitors. For example, you can place a single window — such as the Viewer or the Event Browser — on the second monitor, while leaving the other windows on your primary monitor. Like previous versions, Final Cut Pro X relies on third-party devices to support external video monitoring. We’ve been working with third-party developers in our beta program to create drivers for Final Cut Pro X, and AJA has already posted beta drivers for its popular Kona card:"

  • Will we be able to mirror that second window to two places?
  • What color space is that second monitor going to function in?
  • How can we view a true video signal on that external monitor?
  • Any plans to support a second computer monitor and an external video monitor at the same time?
  • Will devices like the AJA IO Express and IO HD as well as Matrox MXO line work for laptop users and those with limited card slots?

Can I save different versions of my project?

"Yes. Final Cut Pro X automatically saves your project during the editing process, so you never lose your work. If you want to save a version of your project, with or without duplicate media, select it in the Project Library and choose File > Duplicate Project."

  • Will I be able to choose a Restore command to go back to a specific point in time?
  • Can I set a control for how often FCPX saves? Currently it appears that the app is literally saving every keystroke and movement.
  • Can I few separate states of an autosave so I can choose to compare two versions of a project based upon their time stamp?

Are keyboard shortcuts in Final Cut Pro X different from those in Final Cut Pro 7?

"Many keyboard shortcuts for navigation, start/end marking, and tools are the same in Final Cut Pro X and Final Cut Pro 7. Some keyboard shortcuts have changed to support new features. Final Cut Pro X offers powerful keyboard customization, and you can view and modify keyboard shortcuts at any time by choosing Final Cut Pro > Commands > Customize."

  • Is there a way to save my settings to move to another machine?
  • How can a user backup their settings?

Can I use my third-party plug-ins in Final Cut Pro X?

"You’ll be able to use them as soon as they are updated. Because Final Cut Pro X has a modern 64-bit architecture, third-party plug-ins must be 64-bit too. Final Cut Pro X already supports 64-bit Audio Units plug-ins. For motion graphics, third-party developers can build effects, titles, transitions, and generators as templates in Motion 5 for use directly in Final Cut Pro X. Developers can also build 64-bit FxPlug 2 plug-ins for Motion 5, and integrate those plug-ins into templates that can be used in Final Cut Pro X. These templates, together with any associated FxPlug 2 plug-ins, will work in Final Cut Pro X even if Motion is not installed on the computer."

  • In the future, will you release the plugin specifications before the day of software release to give developers adequate time to develop? It is very inconvenient to keep having your tools break because of secrecy.
  • Is there a way to create a bundle installer as well as to protect the work if you develop effects or templates using Motion?
  • Will Apple offer a market place (or open the App store) to help distribute these effects?

Media Management

Can I specify a scratch disk location?

"Yes. When you import media, you can specify the Event and the drive where you’d like to put it. You can also specify where you’d like to put your project. In Final Cut Pro X, a project and its rendered media always travel together in the same folder, so it’s easy to move projects between different hard drives and computers."

  • Many prefer to keep projects on one drive and renders and media on another drive, is this workflow possible?
Currently the only choice seems to be to keep the render files and project files together, which can place a performance hit on your system drive. The alternative is to place your project files on the media drive which makes project recovery difficult after drive failure.

Can I share projects with other editors?

"Yes. You have several options for sharing projects. You can hand over just the project file, and the recipient can reconnect the project to his or her own copies of the Event. Or you can send the complete project and Event as a package to another editor. Final Cut Pro X includes options for duplicating, moving, and consolidating projects and associated media to streamline sharing between editors."

  • Will we gain the ability to trim unused media using handles? This allows a project to be consolidated to a smaller package.

Can I store media in locations other than my system drive?

"Yes. Turning off the “Copy files to Final Cut Events folder” option leaves the imported files where they are currently located. You can also move the project and associated media at any point during the editing process by dragging the project to another mounted hard drive within the Project Library."

  • Can we gain some easy setup options that make this simpler? I find that I need to take 11 steps in order to prevent transcoding. I must uncheck options for both import and automatic rendering?
  • When will we see support for many popular networked drives formats that are not HFS+? Many are also reporting issues with gigabit ethernet, please address?

Can I hide Events that I am not working on?

"Yes. You can hide Events in Final Cut Pro X by moving them out of the Final Cut Events folder. In the Finder, navigate to the /Users/username/Movies folder and create a new folder. Then move the Events you are not using out of the Final Cut Events folder and into your new folder. The moved Events will no longer appear in Final Cut Pro X. If your Events are located on an external drive, you can move the Events to a new folder on that drive, or you can simply unmount the drive."
  • Are you open to other options?
  • How about the traditional concept of a project file?
  • What about the approach of Apple Aperture which uses multiple libraries that can be easily switched between on import?


Can Final Cut Pro X export XML?

"Not yet, but we know how important XML export is to our developers and our users, and we expect to add this functionality to Final Cut Pro X. We will release a set of APIs in the next few weeks so that third-party developers can access the next-generation XML in Final Cut Pro X."

  • Are you saying that it will be the same type of XML that is supported currently by numerous manufacturers industry-wide? Or is this a new version?
  • In order for export to be useable, XML exports would have to be able to conform to the industry standards for inter-device communications
  • Will this ability cost us extra money like the OMF export option or will it be built-in?

Does Final Cut Pro X support OMF, AAF, and EDLs?

"Not yet. When the APIs for XML export are available, third-party developers will be able to create tools to support OMF, AAF, EDL, and other exchange formats. We have already worked with Automatic Duck to allow you to export OMF and AAF from Final Cut Pro X using Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP 5.0. More information is available on the Automatic Duck website:"

  • You say when the API’s are available... is that dependent on Apple or another company to make these available?
  • Are these features waiting on the hardware API set as defined for Lion?
  • What is the priority of these features? Is it this version or the “next major release”?

Can I send my project to a sound editing application such as Pro Tools?

"Yes; you can export your project in OMF or AAF format using Automatic Duck Pro Export FCP 5.0. More information is available on the Automatic Duck website:"

  • Any plans for native support?

Does Final Cut Pro X allow you to assign audio tracks for export?

"Not yet. An update this summer will allow you to use metadata tags to categorize your audio clips by type and export them directly from Final Cut Pro X."

  • Will this be a bundled feature or one that requires a third-party plugin?
  • Can we actually view and organize tracks in the timeline?
  • What about clips that are reused in different ways?
  • Will this still require a plug-in like the one made by Automatic Duck to fully function?

Can I customize my export settings?

"Yes. Compressor 4, available from the Mac App Store for $49.99, allows you to create a wide variety of custom export settings that you can use in Final Cut Pro X. The most popular export options and formats, including ProRes and H.264, are already built into Final Cut Pro X."

  • What about using the media manager to go to other codecs from companies like Cineform and Avid?
  • What about choice on import for more than two codecs?

PurchaseCan I purchase a volume license?

"Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, and Compressor 4 Commercial and Education Volume Licensing will be available soon via the Apple Online Store for quantities of 20 or more. After purchasing, customers will receive redemption codes they can use to download the applications from the Mac App Store."

  • What about 5 users licenses? 10 user?
  • How does a company purchase more than one license without using multiple credit cards or iTunes accounts?
  • How many machines can a single copy be installed on?
  • How many users can use it at once?

All in all, a good start in the right direction. Please add your questions below. Hopefully the official Apple document will keep growing.

More Questions Raised by the Final Cut Pro X FAQ Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 30, 2011 at 4:53:00 amComments (5) BusinessVideoApple

How to Render Less is FCPX

Got a great tip from a friend... You can work natively in Final Cut Pro X. You just need to change some settings to overcome its desire to eat up disc space. Start by launching Final Cut Pro X. Be sure to keep an eye out for Abba Shapiro's forthcoming title.

Playback Settings

You ned to adjust how media is played back as well as rendered.

Final Cut ProScreenSnapz001
  1. Choose Final Cut Pro > Preferences.
  2. Click the Playback button.
  3. Uncheck the Background render box.
  4. Check use original or optimized media.
  5. Set Playback Quality to Better Performance.

Importing Settings

Now it's time to adjust how media comes into the system.

Final Cut ProScreenSnapz002
  1. Click the Import button.
  2. Uncheck Create optimized media.
  3. Uncheck Create proxy media.
  4. Uncheck Copy files to Final Cut Events folder.
  5. Close the preferences panel.
There you have it... looks like its possible, it just takes some extra work to disable the many preferences that will want to transcode or render.

How to Render Less is FCPX Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 29, 2011 at 5:11:00 am AppleVideo

Not on Twitter? Now’s the Time.

Apple recently unveiled that Twitter would be tightly woven throughout the next version of their iOS.  IF you didn’t spot this trend, let me put it a new way: welcome to the tipping point.  Apple is about to make Twitter a default method for sharing news, photos, and information with your contacts.  Your phone will literally scan your address book and attempt to integrate Twitter throughout.

Now, some of you already use Twitter…which means you probably fall into three camps. You either love it, don’t know how to use it, or haven’t gotten past the confusing gibberish to even start.  Let me offer some advice to those who aren’t already benefiting.
Start by Following. Click the Who to Follow button and then look through recommended users as well as search for people you know.  Choose 50 people or brands that interest you and read them for two weeks.  See what they talk about and what information you’re finding out that you’d likely have missed if you had to search actively for it.

Keep reading the rest of the article here —

Not on Twitter? Now’s the Time.
Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 29, 2011 at 4:00:00 amComments (2) Social MediaBusiness

The Final Straw that was FCPX

There has been a lot of collective wondering going on lately. People keep asking me and many others why we are so upset by the release of Final Cut Pro X. Why is it a bad thing? Both apps can still be installed ... right? The price is more affordable ... right? The needed updates will come eventually ... right?The release of Final Cut Pro X was the defining moment for many. In my line of work, I get to interface with a lot of video editors and other video professionals. I have spoken at numerous user groups and conferences. As a forum leader and podcaster for Creative COW, I have been hearing complaints for years. I also get to sit in edit suites with clients, and the waiting time on import as well as the 32-bit nature of Final Cut Pro 7 has caused a lot of impatient waiting in edit suites around the globe.Final Cut Pro X was supposed to fix this. At least that was the belief most held. It would be “awesome” we were told. I guess that can mean different things.People are not breaking up with Apple because of what Final Cut Pro X is. They are ending their relationship because their fears have been confirmed. I present with you a summary of the issues that have people freaked out. Please pass this list on to anyone who asks you what the big deal is. These are my 10 reasons that people are switching. These are just opinions. Opinions formed by my interactions with many and my professional experiences and connections.The Long WaitThe release of Final Cut Studio 3 was seen by many as a stopgap. DVD Studio Pro removed its HDDVD features. Color saw a .5 bump up. Other apps saw improvement but nothing “killer.” The biggest feature seemed to be the Share menu (which added several export capabilities and speed). In terms of life, it was an appetizer to hold us over to the main meal.Here is the summary of events according to Wikipedia ( 2007 – Final Cut Studio 2 [14]: Final Cut Pro 6, DVD Studio Pro 4, Motion 3, LiveType 2, Soundtrack Pro 2, Color, Compressor 3July 2009 – Final Cut Studio (2009) [15]: Final Cut Pro 7, DVD Studio Pro 4, Motion 4, Soundtrack Pro 3, Color 1.5, Compressor 3.5The pent up demand from 2007 made this feel like a four year wait form many. A wait filled with little communication about the vision or future. In tough economies, people want leadership that is visible and clear. They want to be able to talk to the companies that work with at industry events and trade shows, not just their local shopping mall.The Warning SignsThere were lots of warning signs that had people concerned about the future of Final Cut Studio. For example:
  • iPhoto got several key features like Faces and Places well before its professional sibling Aperture.
  • Aperture saw its priced slashed several times and its sales soar on the App Store. I think this proved to Apple that make applications approachable and affordable could make them more profitable.
  • The App Store model also doesn’t offer upgrade pricing. Currently, a person must pay nearly $400 to get three applications. In the past, they paid $500 for seven applications as an upgrade.
  • This article here ( does a great overview of the demise of Apple’s pro products like Shake, Cinema Tools, Logic, and more.
This of course takes us to the current release. People are nervous when updates to applications like Color, Soundtrack Pro, and Cinema Tools are gone. Broadcasters and large facilities which spent significant resources investing in Final Cut Server are also less than pleased. People aren’t sure what to think when such large holes are left open and no one is talking from the company.The Market EvolvesThere have been a lot of questions about how people could be jumping ship so quickly. How can you go back to Avid? Why are you switching to Premiere Pro? People did not make these decisions overnight. I myself stopped by both the Adobe and the Avid booths at this year’s NAB. Both companies have also been actively supporting user groups (even groups that use to be exclusively Final Cut Pro). Professionals have been looking over the fence since the release of Final Cut Studio 3.They want the following features:
  • Native Editing – True ability to import media without having to transcode first. We got that in FCPX sort of... it just keeps transcoding in the background.
  • 64-bit Support – We buy expensive computers, please see those processors and RAM so we can make our deadlines.
  • GPU Acceleration – This too is implemented in FCPX. Unfortunately the hardware requirements were released after FCPX and after many found out that their systems would not be supported by the new application.
  • Support for Third Party Hardware – Final Cut Pro boomed thanks to great manufacturers like AJA, Blackmagic Designs, Matrox, and others. The ability to use a wide range of hardware (as well as storage choices) was the key selling point to many customers. Products like Avid were a closed technology for many years (but even they have changed). Apple says they are open, but shipped a product which for the most part ignores or cripples third party hardware. Folks aren’t mad about the $299, its what that $299 does to the monitor, deck, and capture card (estimated price $10,000–$50,000). I have also heard from film editors and colorist who are baffled why they control surfaces for color grading and audio mixing don’t work.
Open StandardsIn a given week, I will use most of these formats: XML, layered Photoshop files, AAF, OMF. I will also capture and output to tape (far more often than I like to).With Final Cut Pro 7, Avid and Premiere Pro, I can exchange projects. I can go to ProTools, Audition, or Soundtrack Pro for an audio mix. I can send to Apple Color or DaVinci Resolve for color grading. I can export via XML and easily exchange footage with After Effects for compositing or motion graphics.Professionals want to run around the entire playground, not just sit inside a single sandbox (especially when that sandbox keeps getting smaller).Open CommunicationIn today’s market ... it takes vision. New products are not visionary if customers can’t understand them. Customers don’t want to be told what they want, rather they want to feel that their company of choice is listening.The amount of noise on the net over this release is insane. Look at Twitter with the hashtag #fcpx. Visit the Final Cut Pro X forum at Creative COW ( Read my response to the New York Times ( They changed their review the next day thanks to people like you.What’s missing in all of this is a statement from Apple. Instead they have responded through a few bloggers and trainers. What people want is a road map. What features do you intend to keep. What can we expect to see in the future. I know its difficult to say when... but something. I really like what Adobe did here – I also like that they are all over social media and blogs and forums. I can interact and I can get answers. That really does matter and is the greatest factor when it comes time to decide where I spend my money.Native/RAW WorkflowsI know we mentioned this point, but it bears repeating. Native and RAW workflows matter. Camera technology is amazing these days. Efficient codecs for storing video in high definition. Several camera even offer raw capabilities (whether shooting stills for time-lapse on a DSLR or market leaders like RED and Alexa).Last week I got the joy of working with Vincent Laforet ( for a few days. We did a bunch of Raw time-lapse and played with RED Epic footage in 5K HDR. My mind was blown away by what we could do with the source material. This is the future. By the way we have something in common, he’s switched to Adobe Creative Suite for our RAW and time-lapse workflows.But every day at my own shop we are pulling in tons of media shot on Panasonic P2 cameras and DSLRs. I can work with this material immediately in Adobe or Avid. While some say that you can in Final Cut Pro X, you’ll quickly notice a key difference. The material wants to transcode to ProRes. Even if you import natively, as soon as you adjust or modify it transcodes. It wants to transcode on import, you can disable it. But time and time again, as soon as I work with the files, they begin converting. In the course of a normal edit gigabytes of render files (even unused ones) pile up. Why can’t I pay the render tax on final export instead of filling up my drives with files I don’t want?An Existing EcosystemApple was a popular solution because it worked so well throughout the facility. We had hardware options for storage, capture, and monitoring. We had a rich system of supporting applications like Plural Eyes, After Effects, Photoshop, and more. We had thousands of plug-ins to choose from.We are told that we will have those choices. What I hear often is that Apple was so secretive that they have only released some of the technology needed at this point. Most developers and hardware makers got their copies of the software that I did.It’s a partnership. We bought into Apple because it was the captain with a great team behind it. What we get from others (and even Apple in the past) is support for entire workflows on day one of launch. People don’t want to give up on their total investment just to get a few new features. Especially when those features already exist in other tools on the market.The Version 1.0 ArgumentMost of the Apple Certified Apologists (not my term) keep arguing that this is a version one product. Don’t worry, the features will come. Surely we’ll see XML and multi-camera support and the ability to import projects. What makes you so sure?
  • When you launch Final Cut Pro X it says version 10.0. (For an interesting commentary see Steve Hullfish’s article –
  • When you have 11 years of functionality, you don’t expect to have to start over. (For a laugh, watch this –
  • There are paradigms that people want to follow. Just because you invent something new doesn’t mean you destroy the way people have worked for centuries. Good software is flexible, allowing people to work they ways they like. If a new (or “better”) way coms along, you let people choose to migrate at their own pace.
The Walled GardenSo here’s the truth ... when it comes to hardware, I give most of my money to Apple. I’ve been buying Macs since my days at Drake University in 1990. For more than 20 years, I’ve chosen Apple hardware. For ten years, I’ve stood in front of professional conferences and presented off Mac hardware.I’ve bought every iPod, iPhone, and iPad. I have filled my company with their products as well as my home. I think I’ve convinced more than 100 people to get an Apple TV. I am an Apple fanboy (but perhaps I am now recovering).I’ve started to use other people’s stuff. I’ve played with a Droid phone. We have some smoking fast PC’s in the office from Dell that just chew through motion graphics and video production tasks. I have more choice.Choice isn’t always good ... it can make support difficult. But choice is becoming less and less a factor with Apple products.
  • I cannot choose where I buy their software. The VAR network offered a valuable service of configuring machines and supporting them to many clients.
  • I can only get support on the software on day one from the two trainers they choose to give advanced access to the software.
  • I cannot choose third party tools or hardware with any confidence.
  • I have to wait months (if not longer) for small developers to catch up and get plugins working. Many are choosing not to or are at least taking a wait and see approach.
The Trust FactorThis takes us to the final point. Can you expect that the investment you make today will work in the future? Can you invest in training your employees so they are ready for the future? Can you trust Apple?I am going to speak no further ... that is a personal decision for you to make.-Richard M. Harrington, PMP

The Final Straw that was FCPX
Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:57:37 amComments (1) AppleBusiness

Motion Graphic Resource Books

A lot of resources are available that can impact your designs. The following list offers a few that we find most essential. This list is not exhaustive, but think of it as my "top picks."




Motion Graphic Resource Books Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 28, 2011 at 8:02:44 am Motion GraphicsResourcesAdobeApple

Blending Modes in Action – UAP 222

Instructor Richard Harrington demonstrates how to combine two layers based on their content using the Blending Modes tool.

Be sure to also check out the new book – Understanding Adobe Photosho...

Blending Modes in Action – UAP 222 Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 27, 2011 at 9:24:44 am AdobePodcast

Previous Final Cut Pro Updates Restored


It appears that Apple listened on one point (which is great). The software updates have been restored to Apple's website. Previously, many just pointed to the Mac App store to buy Final Cut Pro X. You were able to run the update through Software Updater, but it was difficult to access the files for backup.

  1. Go here
  2. Download the ones you need.
  3. Burn them to disc and put them with your Final Cut Studio install discs.

Thank you Apple.

Previous Final Cut Pro Updates Restored Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 27, 2011 at 9:18:31 am AppleVideo

A Public Statement on My Relationships and Recent Writings

Due to my recent writings, my thoughts and activities have come under much greater scrutiny. I think it is important that I fully disclose my involvement with technology companies as well as much of my day to day existence.

What is Your Primary Job?

The primary focus of my activities is as the owner of a production company in the Washington, DC area. I started the company in 1999. I have built my company’s infrastructure around Final Cut Pro and have used Adobe Photoshop and After Effects extensively. We also use a lot of other software tools as well.

Our storage networks are primarily Drobo. We use mostly Panasonic cameras and shoot to P2. We do use a lot of DSLR equipment (both from Canon and Nikon). We use AJA hardware for the most part. We are 80% + Mac shop, but we do have some Dell computers (as well as Windows installed on several Macs).

What Other Jobs Do You Hold?

I come from a family of teachers. I have taught university. I have taught online. I have taught at conferences. I usually get paid to teach, but I have spoken and done several free events. I have spoken at Apple stores (both paid and for free). I have worked at Apple’s booth at NAB. I have spoken at Adobe’s booth there too. Both of those positions were unpaid (though Apple covered my expenses, lodging, and airfare).

The bulk of my training has been around teaching video pros and photographers. I have an obsession with slide presentations (and a passion for Apple Keynote). My goal with training has first and foremost been to help people. My secondary goal has been to earn money to support my family. It is an economic reality that I need to make money for my teaching as it takes me away from my company.

Over the last ten years I have written approximately 30 books. These have been predominantly on Apple and Adobe software. I have also written about web video, DSLR video, workflow, and even PowerPoint.

I have made money as a podcaster for Creative COW. I have also been paid to blog by ProVideo Coalition. I have been hired to write for DV magazine, Creative COW magazine, Photoshop User, and Mac Design.

In 10 years, I have been fairly visible. The revenue I make is sufficient (although I certainly cannot quit my day job if I wanted to support my family). I have rarely been supported by advertisers or sponsors. I have made enough money from my training efforts to justify the time and effort (as well as to release hundreds of free podcasts and thousands of blog and forum posts).

Which Companies Have Hired You Recently?

I have been hired by the following companies to produce training or do video production services. This list is in alphabetical order for ease of use.
  • Adobe
  • Apple
  • Creative COW
  • Drobo
  • Focal Press
  • Kelby Training
  • Pearson Education

I have been approached by several others. I have turned down advertisements on my blog.

I have received products from many companies through the years. This ranges from software to review, to products to test. This list is not complete (as I cannot remember everything at my age). These groups have supported my efforts and training with equipment loans, not for resale software, etc. Most of these items are loaned, and have to be returned upon request. Again in alphabetical order.

  • Adobe
  • AJA
  • Apple
  • Artbeats
  • Dell
  • Digital Anarchy
  • Drobo
  • G-Tech
  • Hoodman
  • Matrox
  • Redrock Micro
  • Red Giant
  • Singular Software
  • Wacom
  • Zacuto

What Do You Edit With? 

I started on Avid at KCCI television in Des Moines, IA. Paid for my own classes out of my own pocket and learned it. I actively edited on Avid for about 7 years. I was an Avid editor at dhg Productions and PCI Communications. Also freelanced using Avid for several years (and still have a respect for the product today).

I started with Final Cut Pro on version 1. I still use it a whole lot (and it is the most popular application with our clients). My company did 90% of its editorial work in Final Cut Pro last year. We are migrating new projects to Adobe Premiere Pro in most cases, but have many clients and existing projects that will need to stay in Final Cut Pro 7.

I decided to get over my snobbishness and learn Adobe Premiere Pro about 2 years ago. I struggled, I whined, I complained. Then it got better. I used it for all my DSLR workflow starting with CS5. I’ve know switched to using it about 50% of the time for my work, and I am excited by the growth I see.

My own company is in the middle of being retrained. Like many things related to video workflow, I wrote it down and sell it as a book. If you buy it... I make 50¢. Let’s just say I live off my client work — my book writing is a bad addiction spurned by being bred from a family with 14 teachers in it.

Do You Have an Agenda? 

Heck no. I consider NLE choice like religion. That’s up to you. Except when it’s not. Like a client demands, or the shop you work for switches. I helped a lot of Avid editors learn Final Cut Pro (I mean A LOT). I’ve also started helping Avid and FCP users learn Premiere Pro. Use the tool you like if it’s up to you.

If you freelance... know all three (more money). If your job requires you to learn a new tool, do so. I regularly post links to great trainers, conferences, and educational products (not just my stuff).

I use what the job or the client demands. Do I like Adobe... yes I like where they are going and find it reassuring that they lay out a clear roadmap. I also commend Avid for being much clearer about where they are going and opening up support for AJA hardware, etc.

What I would like Apple to do is communicate its vision with words (not just software releases). I’d like to have time to transition and see both roads stay open while the bridge is under construction. As a pro, I cannot accept dramatic interruptions in my workflow. It saddens me that it is easier to migrate to other manufacturers and keep my Mac computers and AJA hardware working, than it is to migrate to the shipping version of Final Cut Pro X.

Do You Hate Apple/FCPX? 

Absolutely not. When I launched my company I was faced with taking out a second mortgage for an NLE or trying Final Cut Pro. I have been there since version 1. I built my company using Apple hardware and software from Apple and Adobe.

To this day I use both heavily. If you have any doubt.... look at the Final Cut Pro podcasts on Creative COW. I think it's a great tool for some users, really. But its not what I hoped for as it stands now.

I am currently working on training for photographers who want to edit DSLR material in FCPX. I am happy with it for that use, as I know it will be approachable to many photographers who find “traditional editing” confusing. If you like FCPX, I am genuinely happy for you. Getting new software should feel like birthday presents for a six-year old.

Do You Have Agreements with Companies?

I have multiple non-disclosure agreements and I honor them. I have never disclosed details about one manufacturer to another. I have (to the best of my knowledge) never disclosed anything improper to end users. This agreements are a necessity as they give me advanced access to the tools we all use.

This advance access lets me figure out problems. Some companies use this feedback and make their products better. I also can work on training products so they can be ready when the application ships (or as close to possible). These agreements are entered in so I can create a product that is ready when you need it.

My opinions have never been bought. I have never been told what to say. I have never colluded with a company to change the opinion of the market. I have been hired by companies to help them understand the end user. I have written and produced as well as reviewed and commented on efforts that impact the professional video industry.

Why are You so Vocal Now?

I have always tried to be fair in my opinions. And I always try to give software developers helpful feedback about their tools. I have been blogging for more than 5 years and release approximately 5 posts a week. I’m also active on Facebook and Twitter as well as contribute to several photography and Photoshop blogs.

My opinions raised through my writings and podcasts on the Final Cut Pro X release have been from the point of view of a facility owner who now has to retrain his own staff. I am also frustrated that my investment in hardware and training is currently being wasted by a product that seems to ignore both.

I am vocal because there has not been a clear public statement about the issues many pros are raising. I am vocal because there is not a shared plan to address migration. I am vocal because ten years of my company’s work is frozen to an application that may or may not run in the future.

As a trainer and author... these are good times. Lots of work and consulting to do.
  • I recently released a book on Premiere Pro for migrating editors. I had no inside knowledge on Apple’s plans. I decided to diversity my company and cross-train my employees.
  • I am currently writing two books on video editing for DSLR photographers. One is on Final Cut Pro X while the other is on Premiere Pro. I truly believe that both are great products for this segment of the professional workforce.
  • I have had lots of demands from both Apple and Adobe users to help them with problems. If you look at the training products I’ve released in the last 3 years you will see my focus has always been on collaboration. Helping pros and emerging pros to get their jobs done has been my goal.
  • I also weave business ethics and best practices into most of my content as I genuinely want to see our industry succeed.

In Conclusion

I hope this post does three things.
  • First, I have a legal obligation to reveal my professional relationships.
  • Second, I hope it helps readers and listeners understand my motivations.
  • Third, I would like the industry and Apple to engage in meaningful and professional conversations to ensure the long term health of the professional video industry.

These are challenging times. The economy is rough and competition is high. Please continue the debate with respect and integrity. Choose what is right for you. My opinions are not very important, I will be here to help in whatever way I can with the knowledge and skills I have built through the years.

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 26, 2011 at 12:41:25 pmComments (3) BusinessPersonalAppleAdobeAvid

Updates Below (and Will Keep Coming)

I've posted some minor updates to the article entitled My Response to David Pogue’s  “Professional Video Editors Weigh In on Final Cut Pro X”
I will continue to do so as people add useful clarifications and point out verifiable sources.

Thank you for keeping the discussion going and keeping things civil.
Updates here –

Updates Below (and Will Keep Coming) Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 24, 2011 at 8:44:20 am BusinessVideoAppleDSLR Video

My Response to David Pogue’s  “Professional Video Editors Weigh In on Final Cut Pro X” *Updated*

Before I begin ... let me say this.  
  • David Pogue is a fine gentleman who I have met several times.  He is smart, he is generous in his knowledge, and he is fair. He is not a shill and his article was trying to be helpful (I commend him for getting Apple to answer questions).
  • He is not a video editor. Nor does he try to pass himself off as one.
  • I am sorry this response is SO long. It's technical and it's important I be clear and detailed (I've already been criticized and accused of being an Apple hater or colluding against them).
*Updated – 6/24 8:05 AM – I just got a great phone call and a few emails. I am inserting some updates in Orange. I will add corrections and clarifications as they come in (and I can verify).
Here is the original article –
I would like to briefly respond.  But before I do, a brief overview.
  • I have been a certified instructor for all the big A’s that make video editing software.
  • I have produced Final Cut Pro tutorials which have been given away for free for years as podcasts through iTunes.
  • I have written several books on Final Cut Pro (as well as other products). 
  • I do use other company’s tools (always have).
  • My opinions here are based on owning a 10-person video production company which has built its infrastructure around Final Cut Pro for 10 years.
  • I am not even going to touch on the challenges of completely retraining my staff and myself on something that is so radically different.  You thought people whined when Microsoft added the Ribbon to Office...go look at what editors are saying in the App Store reviews.  Remember only people who actually BOUGHT the application are allowed to rate it.
Hopefully that’s enough context...  Let’s begin. (Red is Pogue’s summary of the complaint.  Blue is his answer (with input from Apple).  Green is my response.

Complaint: There’s no multicamera editing. In the old FCP, you could import the footage from various cameras that covered an event (say, a concert) from different angles simultaneously, and then easily cut back and forth between them while editing. It was a star feature of Final Cut, and it’s gone from FCP X.”
Answer: Apple intends to restore this feature in an update, calling it “a top priority.” Until it does, here’s a stopgap facsimile of multicam editing: If you drag two clips into parallel timeline tracks, you can choose Clip->Synchronize Clips. By comparing their audio tracks, the program aligns the clips exactly. Now, each time you select a piece of the upper video track and press the V key (“disable”), you are effectively cutting to what’s on the lower video track.”
My Take: Final Cut Pro could previously edit up to 128 angles.  While that is a tad excessive for most, using three to nine angles is very practical.  We regularly cut programs such as talk shows, concerts, and events using this feature.  The method described by Pogue is like telling a NASCAR driver to turn over their car, strap one roller skate on, and push as fast as possible with the other foot.
*Updated 6/24 8:27 AM –In order to edit a lot of angles, you used to have to use several hard drives and they had to be really fast. We'd also off the option of using a a flavor of the Offline RT codec, then easily relinking. It was complex (at times), but powerful.

Complaint: You can’t share a project with other editors. In professional editing companies, editors routinely exchange projects. But in FCP X, “all of your project organization is now globally contained in the application rather than in your project file. You literally have to give that other editor your entire computer,” writes one blogger.
Answer: Not true. You can share your project, your files, or both.
If the other editors already have the raw video files, you can hand over the project file. The other editors can inspect the Project Library; on its Info panel, they can click “Modify Event References” to reconnect the project to their own copies of the media files.

If the other editors don’t have the raw files, the various commands in the File menu let you move the project file, the media files, or both to another computer on the network, to another hard drive or whatever.
My Take: I am glad that some of my initial fears are wrong.  However this command is much less robust than the previous Final Cut Pro media manager.  It seems to lack the ability to force a file to reconnect or to invoke a search if the file says it can’t be found.  The Media Manager seems to also lack ability to trim media with specific handles to make the media smaller.  
You also have the ability to transcode to only two flavors of ProRes (a proxy file or a high quality file).  Previously you could manage the project to any installed codec (format) that you wanted (including third-party formats).  This made collaboration and exchanging media with others much easier. There are five flavors of ProRes... why can I only choose two of them (let alone everything else).

Complaint: You can’t freely organize your media files. “There is no way to customize the organization of the project media,” gripes one blogger.
Answer: You can customize the organization freely if you’re willing to understand the new keyword tagging system. Dragging a clip into a folder essentially applies a new keyword to it.
My Take: I am glad we have these options.    But there are fewer ways to customize the view.  You can’t seem to add custom columns.  There are collections, but not the simple ability to use folders and nests of folders to organizer.  Imagine if you had no folder structure on your Mac hard drive.  Just Spotlight.  You could only organize by tagging keywords onto all your stuff. 
You also can’t organize media while any background tasks are running. Such as rendering, transcoding, stabilizing, etc. Background tasks are frequently happening as things automatically render.  Change a color effect, it renders.  Adjust the size it renders.  In the past you would choose when to render.  Now you have to keep opening the Background Tasks panel and canceling. 
*Updated – 6/24 8:30 AM – You can make folders in events with a right click on the event in the Event Library. It is very different in appearance than FCP 7, but does seem to work better than I thought. I stand by my lack of creating custom columns as well as the challenges of constantly looking from the far left edge of my screen to the right to see the Events Library and Inspector panels. Wish I could move panels next to each other.
Complaint: No Reconnect command when media is offline. When media is offline, you get a red screen with an exclamation point. There is no Reconnect Media command, as there used to be.
Answer: True. Then again, the old Reconnect dialog box got people into a lot of trouble; they often reconnected a project to the wrong files, or the wrong versions of files.
FCP X assigns a unique behind-the-scenes identifier to every single video clip. When you reconnect the missing hard drive, your project reconnects to its original files automatically, even if you have moved them around or renamed the hard drive. You can’t reconnect to the wrong thing.
My Take: I am glad that some of my initial fears are wrong.  However this command is much less robust than the previous Final Cut Pro media manager.  It seems to lack the ability to force a file to reconnect to a new version (such as an updated graphic file) or to invoke a search if the file says it can’t be found. Finding the information is a little tricky and involves opening a panel. It also appears that you also can’t invoke the reconnect command unless the media is offline.
While the command COULD get you into trouble if you made bad choices.  It also gave you important controls that professionals really needed.

Complaint: You can’t assign audio tracks. “We send all our audio files out for ProTools mixing,” writes one editor in an e-mail. “We always put narration on Track 1 and 2, interviews on Tracks 3 – 6, and so on. So our audio engineers know exactly what’s on which track. But FCP X’s ‘trackless’ design makes that impossible.”
Answer: For now, you can use a utility called Automatic Duck Pro Export 5.0 ($200 to upgrade) to create and manage these tracks automatically when you export to ProTools. Apple says  it will restore this feature to FCP X.
My Take: That’s $200 to upgrade from a full version of Automatic Duck (not a $200 upgrade to FCP).  It’s $500 new.  Gone is also the version to map specific output when going to professional tape formats (a frequent requirement for professional delivery). In fact if its not HDV or DV, tape support seems to be gone all together.
But it's not just ProTools output.  Several of the exchange methods are gone. XML is the biggest deal which would allow this tool to continue to communicate with the now discontinued Apple Color, Davinci Resolve, Adobe After Effects, and many other tools that people use for special purposes and collaboration.

Complaint: No custom frame rates or custom frame sizes. Editors are complaining that you can’t specify unusual frames-per-second rates or frame dimensions.
Answer: Not true. When you create a new project, you can specify any frame rate or size you want, right in the Import dialog box. You can also change the frame rate or size when you export the finished product — if you’re willing to spend $50 on Compressor.
My Take: Sorry ... you are 95% wrong.  If you choose custom in Final Cut Pro 7, you have the option to enter just about any size or rate. When I choose custom in FCPX... I can choose from several standard options.  But I can’t enter any value. If you choose Other, your choices are:
  • 640 x 480 or 960 x 540
  • 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, or 30

Final Cut Pro 7 was resolution independent.  You could enter custom sizes, pixel aspect ratios, and frame rates.  This made it a great tool for producing irregular sized videos for web or presentation use as well as doing things like custom video walls for installations or retail.
Changing the frame rate on export is not what we’re asking for.  Being able to work with a setting that matches footage or lets you work with custom settings as needed is gone.  You also cannot save you own easy setups or sequence presets that let you store the settings you’ve made for easy access.

Complaint: No support for RED digital cameras. The RED camera is a favorite of filmmakers; it records incredibly high-resolution video directly to a hard drive. But FCP X can’t import its files.
Answer: Apple is working with RED to create a plug-in that will give native RED support to FCP X. In the meantime, you can set your RED camera to shoot and capture video in the QuickTime format, which FCP X imports just fine. Or you can use RED’s free conversion program, which converts its own files into the Apple ProRes format, which FCP X loves because it’s so much faster and easier to edit than the native RED files.
My Take: David, you don’t understand why people choose to shoot RED.  The benefit of shooting raw video is the same benefit as pro photographers choosing raw stills over JPEG.  Shooting or converting to QuickTime throws away A LOT of information and latitude in adjustments.
What pros wanted was the same level of control they get in Adobe Premiere Pro or Red Cine X.  The ability to truly grade color, work with high dynamic range features and more. They also need greater controls on media management and reconnection.  The reason why pros are so furious is that Apple and RED had the closest working relationship in the industry.  People don’t understand why the program would ship without support.
*Updated – 6/24 8:40 AM – It's not just RED... it's other Raw formats too (like Alexa). A few pointed out that we have 4K sequence presets, but no easy workflow for getting in 4K footage.
Complaint: No ability to pause or fork the Autosave. Final Cut Pro autosaves your work as you go. Editors complain, therefore, that they can’t save different versions of a project as they go along.
Answer: You can duplicate your project at any time, thus freezing it in its current condition. Just click it in the Project Library and choose File -> Duplicate Project.
My Take: David... have you ever been affected when an application like Microsoft Word crashed?  Sure you could open up the last version you CHOSE to save ... but sometimes the Auto-Save comes to the rescue and you get back work you would have lost.
You could choose when and how often FCP auto-saved.  It also stored multiple versions automatically.  This let you go back in time when clients changed their mind.  It also could save you if a project became corrupt.  While these don’t happen every day ... they happen more than we like. The new method requires you to choose to backup, not set an interval.  Isn’t this why Apple invented Time Machine in the first place (which does let you choose how often to backup). I don’t know how Time Machine and FCP project files will work ... but I am less than confident that I will have the same level of control I do now.
*Updated – 6/24 8:33 AM – Several point out Lion's autosave abilities. I can't comment further as I don't have it running since it's not shipping. What about those who can't go to Lion however?

Complaint: Can’t specify the scratch disks. In previous versions of Final Cut Pro, you could choose individual hard drives for storing your project’s render (preview) files. But if you didn’t know what you were doing, things could get messy. For example, you might store the project on one drive, and then render files on another; then, later, you would open up the project when the render-file disk wasn’t available. You would have to re-render the whole project.
Answer: In FCP X, the render files are stored on the same disk as the project, so they don’t get separated. You can still store your files on any drive; you determine that by where you store the project file.
My Take: Duplicate the project also starts to spread files out to more folders.  Those renders, pre-computes, and cache files are with the project.  You choose to duplicate, there’s more to copy.  That means time and disk space.  In the past, these render files were in a folder of your choosing.  Duplicating the project was no big deal as the project just looked at the files in the same folder that you specified.  Less time, less disk space (which in my world means saved money, happier clients, and a greater chance of dinner with the family).
Also this level of control is less than before.  I could choose to but my project files in one place and renders on another.  Like I said before ... most people choose to split their project files to a different location than render files and media files.  This is because the project file is usually small, and you want to back it up (or even keep it on a USB thumb drive for easy portability).  The media and render files on the other hand need to be on a performance hard drive.

Complaint: Can’t output to tape. Videotape is on the way out  — you would be hard pressed even to find a camcorder that takes tape anymore — so it’s not built into FCP X. This is one of several ways that FCP X is clearly a program designed more for the future than the past.
Answer: You can buy tape-deck control programs like AJA VTR Exchange and Black Magic Media Express. AJA and Black Magic are two major makers of add-on circuit boards for professional video editing. These apps work with their boards.
My Take: Tape is NOT dead (although we’d like it to be in many cases).  Tapes don’t demagnetize though like hard drives on a shelf.  They also outlast hard drives in most cases.
TV stations want tape.  My government clients want tape.  My nonprofit association clients want tape. Tape is typically required by the vast majority of clients that professionals serve (those that make their living editing video).  
David... Print is dead.  It’s on it’s way out.  Could the New York Times stop printing newspapers tomorrow?  You may want to (environmental concerns, costs of paper and delivery, those annoying children who throw newspaper and yell that they want their $2 back)?  Print is not dead ... neither is tape.  Are they dying? Yes... a SLOW and PAINFUL death.
When Apple killed the floppy disk, you could still buy them yourself and hook them up.  Even though Apple doesn’t let you burn a Blu-ray disc, they let you buy a burner yourself.  The built in the “hooks” that let hardware and software manufacturers connect.
In the past, companies like AJA and Apple collaborated closely.  When Apple would ship software, new hardware would be out. In fact, old hardware would have updates that made it work too.  These devices often cost $1,000–$5,000 dollars. We have five of these devices in my offices.  They are currently serving as paper weights when we launch Final Cut Pro X.
So you say just use the old version.  But how long will Apple ship updates and support the old software.  What happens when your computer fails and you have to buy a new one.  Will you be able to install 5 year old software on it? 
Never mind the fact that pro customers feel they deserve to get to use a 64-bit editing application.  Why? Because other companies have 64-bit applications on the Mac that edit video quite well AND support the same hardware that Final Cut Pro 7 supported.

Complaint: Can’t export AAF or OMF files. These formats are successors to EDL. They let you export your project to other programs, like Avid, Quantel or Pro Tools, for more sophisticated editing.
Answer: Automatic Duck ProExport 5.0 adds AAF and OMF exporting to FCP X. There will be other companies offering similar export plugins (including EDL, by the way), once Apple publishes its XML programming guidelines (API).
My Take: Why are pros mad? Because all of these formats (as well as EDL and XML were supported). David, how would you feel if you couldn’t get your photos out of iPhoto?  You could sync them to your iPad ... you could look at them on your Mac.  But printing? Opening the image in Photoshop? Handing it off to a website authoring or page layout tool?  Nope.
These exchange formats allow professionals to collaborate.  Would you like special effects, great color correction, and a superior soundtrack in your next Hollywood film? Not gonna get it (or at least not yet).  We’re told we have to wait for third-party folks.  Who all have to rewrite their tools to standards that aren’t even fully clear or released.
I also have heard from many plug-in developers crying foul.   A couple people seem to have had early access and knowledge.  Apple lists two plug-in packages on their site.  What about the 100+ companies that had tools working before?  We now must wait ... and hope these companies can afford to redevelop and redeploy.  We’ll also have to repay for tools that worked just fine because these (often small) companies will have to scramble to redevelop their tools to keep their customers.
Speaking of secrecy...  there’s a lot of confusion throughout the reseller community that helped ensure local sales and support for Apple products. The training companies seem to be confused and their trainers are too. I am not allowed to say more here.

Complaint: Can’t connect an external monitor. Pros work with Final Cut on the Mac screen, but they prefer to view the actual edited video on a dedicated second screen. While Final Cut Pro X works just fine with a second computer monitor — you just choose Window -> Show Events on Second Display (or Window -> Show Viewer on Second Display) — there are complaints that it can’t connect to an external video monitor (TV), which pros feel offers better color fidelity.
Answer: Just as before, you need a Mac Pro with a video-output card in order to connect a TV monitor. Apple expects that the output-card companies will soon offer the necessary drivers for FCP X; AJA, one of the major makers of these boards, already offers beta versions of such drivers. Apple is working with Black Magic to offer drivers for its boards.
My Take: You have several mistakes here ... but I would make the same mistakes if I tried to talk about the professional printing presses your company uses to make newspapers.
  • You do not need a Mac Pro.  Several manufacturers made devices that use FireWire connections.  They also use the Express Card slot (which seems to be on the way out).  We suspect that Thunderbolt will help here too (Blackmagic showed this at NAB this year).
  • It’s not a TV.  We use higher quality monitors.  Often with unusually connections like HD-SDI or professional component connections. We also run the signal out the hardware tools that help us calibrate and legalize the color for broadcast (just like how you have to fix out of gamut images for color printing). The method Apple has now does not let us see a true video signal.  It also doesn’t work if you have two computer monitors and a video output card attached.  It’s one or the other (at least according to the AJA documentation).  Be sure you READ that documentation ... it’s filled with apologies. The signal Final Cut Pro X sends out is not in the correct color space or proper size. David, I’d like you to switch the New York times to consumer inkjet printers...  tell me if that would work for you?
  • What about the others? There are more companies besides AJA and Blackmagic Design. What’s happening there? The lack of information is what scares professionals.  People want a road map ... especially in this economy.  I know companies need some secrecy.  The keyword is some.

Complaint: Can’t import old FCP files.
Answer: As I noted in my column, this is true; your old projects are stranded forever in the older FCP program. You’ll have to keep both programs on your hard drive, and edit the old projects in the old program. When you install the new FCP, your old copy is safely preserved.
My Take: This is partially true. Many users have reported problems with having both on the same system.  Apple even has a very detailed and useful article on the topic ( 
This document provides critical information.  It’s not called out in the App Store.  It’s not called out in the installer.  Apple could have released it two days before Final Cut Pro X and said “Get ready for Final Cut Pro X.”
Nope... no communication or warnings on how to avoid potentially large problems. In fact I found out about the new software from Twitter.  It didn’t even make it to the Apple home page.  The article I mentioned isn’t on the product page or even the support page in a prominent position.
The application is also not “safely” preserved as you have to move things back and rename things if you want to actually use the applications in many workflows.  Apple says “Note: Final Cut Server, Podcast Producer, Software Updates for Final Cut Studio (2009), and some third-party workflows and tools may require that the Final Cut Studio (2009) applications remain in their original location in the Applications folder.”
Also, would you accept that you couldn’t open up your iPhoto library with future versions of the application?  How about if all the music you imported into iTunes would no longer play and all your organization and playlists were gone. Oh, and what if Adobe decided that Photoshop CS5 (the 64-bit version) couldn’t open up files from the past.
The argument of "finish your project before you upgrade" is crazy. Clients always come back with changes. Filmmakers decided to make updates and re-release. Even hobbyists want to go back and look at something they did and potentially reuse some of their editing. Even if both applications are properly installed, you can’t have them open at the same time. Want to look over a FCP 7 project, you can't launch both apps as it will prompt you to close FCP X.

The Bottom Line: Apple has followed the typical Apple sequence: (1) throw out something that’s popular and comfortable but increasingly ancient, (2) replace it with something that’s slick and modern and forward-looking and incomplete, (3) spend another year finishing it up, restoring missing pieces.
These are fair statements. Remember your feelings on iMovie ’08 (  Apple reversed course and continued to make the previous version of  iMovie available.
With Final Cut Pro X, Apple discontinued to entire Final Cut ecosystem in one swoop.  Final Cut Server, Color, Soundtrack Pro, Cinema Tools, and DVD Studio Pro.  "So what" you say ... just use the old one.
  • But you can’t buy the old one from Apple any more.  In fact I have been told that many resellers were asked to ship their stock back to Apple. 
  • Many were waiting to upgrade from older versions until Final Cut Pro X shipped. Now they find out their computers won’t work with the new Final Cut Pro.Several computers aren’t supported due to their graphics cards.  Even machines that are slated to work on Lion may not work with Final Cut Pro X because they lack Open CL compatibility.  Here is the list (
  • The exact same time the new product started shipping, the old one went away. Yes, some stores still have inventory, but not Apple (apparently). The existing stock will run out and people don’t know if will be refreshed.
  • There was not sufficient details warning people about compatibility issues.
  • If you go to Apple’s webpage and try to look up old documentation or links about the old Final Cut Pro, it redirects you to the new page.  If you visit the support page and try to download an update to a previous version (often needed after changing machines or doing a software restore). Guess what, its sends you to the App Store to buy Final Cut Pro X. I tried several of the links on the support page (  Go see what happens

Professional editors should (1) learn to tell what’s really missing from what’s just been moved around, 
I agree, but the training and support industry is scrambling to catch up.
(2) recognize that there’s no obligation to switch from the old program yet
That is correct.  But pros were told it would be “awesome.”  I guess that word means different things to different people.  And if you need to update your old software, most of the links on the downloads page keep sending me to the App Store to buy the new one.  Subtle, I know.
(3) monitor the progress of FCP X and its ecosystem, and especially (4) be willing to consider that a radical new design may be unfamiliar, but may, in the long term, actually be better.
Most in the Final Cut Pro community like change.  They also wish that the investment in time as well as thousands in equipment would continue to be supported.
David, your article was helpful and answered many questions for me.  I know you can reach me on the phone.  I raise a few more questions that maybe your Apple contacts can answer.
Will I ever be able to import a layered Photoshop file? This is a common workflow that lets editors easily work with graphics.
*Updated – 6/24 8:41 AM – You can import the file (I knew this) but layers are flattened. Motion supports this workflow, but Final Cut Pro X no longer does. This was a common scenario.
What about volume licenses?  How do companies buy multiple copies for the employees to use?  Do they really need to set up an iTunes account for each and need to use elaborate combinations of credit cards or gift cards?
What about educational licenses? Apple gained much of its success from students who learned it in school then moved into the workplace.  Students always got a discount as did schools.  What about them?
What is the intention with the apparent decimation of the previous ecosystem? Are the broken links and missing documents temporary?  Will we be able to buy the application in 2 months (or next year)?  Will there be software updates ... if so for how long?
Will there be physical distribution?  Broadband access is not a reality for much of the world.  I have interfaced with editors in Africa where broadband is scarce.  I have also talked with several who pay by the megabyte for data (and pay a lot).  There are many places in the world where the user will pay far more to download the software than to purchase it. What if I need to reactivate (such as after restoring from a backup) but I can’t get Internet access?
In conclusion, I appreciate your article.  You attempted to get to the bottom of things.  I hope I have opened some new doors here for you to knock on.  Keep making the world a better place for techno geeks.

*Updated – 6/24 8:42 AM – My good friends and regular technical editor Gary Adcock tells me he is dotting my i's and crossing my t's. That there are a few other 'little' things. He has to get his own article published before I can incorporate his comments here. But he's a genius and I look forward to this conversation continuing.

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 24, 2011 at 4:01:00 am AppleVideoDSLR VideoBusinessPersonal

Photshop Layer Comps – UAP 221

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use layer comps, an easy design tool in Photoshop CS5 utilized to manipulate layers.

Be sure to also check out the new book – Understanding Adobe Photosho...

Photshop Layer Comps – UAP 221 Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 20, 2011 at 9:01:36 am AdobePodcast

New Triple Exposure Podcast Episodes

  • 3expodcast
Have you checked out the new Triple Exposure podcast I am doing with Scott Bourne (@ScottBourne)? The show tackles all sorts of topics related to Time-lapse, High Dynamic Range, and Panoramic photography. It's a totally free show and I hope you check it out.

Free Podcast Feed on iTunes
Triple Exposure iTunes Podcast Feed

Non iTunes
Free Non iTunes Podomatic Page
Non iTunes RSS Feed

New Triple Exposure Podcast Episodes Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 19, 2011 at 9:01:00 am PhotographyPodcast

How the World Sees Copyright (Sort Of)

A humorous take on copyright law. I agree with the principles, but the implementation is awful.

How the World Sees Copyright (Sort Of) Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 18, 2011 at 9:01:00 am BusinessHumor

How to Make a Seamless Transition to FCP X and Lion


I just want to point you to a great article over at Creative COW that addresses a timely topic.

"Forget all the rumors and speculation about Final Cut Pro X, Creative Cow Contributing Editor David Roth Weiss delivers nothing but facts as he guides you through the steps necessary to partition your Mac system drive with a cool multi-boot setup that will allow you to easily and efficiently switch back and forth between different versions of Final Cut Pro, between different operating systems, or all of the above."

Be sure to head over for the whole article.
A must read.

How to Make a Seamless Transition to FCP X and Lion Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 17, 2011 at 9:01:00 am VideoResourcesApple

Photofocus Podcast Tackles Tough Questions

I had the chance to be the guest host on the Photofocus podcast recently. Scott Bourne produces a great show that answers questions from the audience. We dug deep on some great questions. Be sure to listen to the show and you can learn about:

  • Panoramic Film Cameras vs. Digital
  • Arial Photography
  • Transporting Hard Drives
  • Cell Phone Cameras Replacing DSLRs
  • Posting Photographs Similar to Another Photographers’
  • Lenses or Camera Bodies – Where to Invest?
  • Filters for Beach Photography
  • Video Camcorders vs. DSLRs
  • Color Calibration for the Web
  • Video Stabilization with a Monopod

You can check the show out here –

Photofocus Podcast Tackles Tough Questions Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 16, 2011 at 9:01:00 am PhotographyResourcesPodcast

Adobe Premiere Pro Timeline Shortcuts

Adobe Premiere Pro Timeline Shortcuts

Be sure to check out the new book too – An Editor's Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro Timeline Shortcuts Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 14, 2011 at 10:01:00 pm AdobeVideo

My Free Ebook on Adobe Camera Raw

This is a re-post... but I was asked to share it again. Here's a free (and really good) way to learn all about the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in. This is a bonus eBook I wrote to go along with the book Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5. Its yours for free... I hope it helps.

UAP Using Camera Raw

Be sure to also check out the new book – Understanding Adobe Photosho...

Here's a nice review of the book too –

My Free Ebook on Adobe Camera Raw Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 13, 2011 at 10:01:00 pm AdobePhotography

Auto Align Command – UAP 220

Instructor Richard Harrington demonstrates how to piece multiple images together into one image utilizing the Auto Align Command.

Be sure to also check out the new book – Understanding Adobe Photosho...

Auto Align Command – UAP 220 Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 12, 2011 at 10:01:14 pm AdobePodcast

My New Photoshop Training is On Sale

by Richard Harrington
Make Photoshop Come to Life in Your Video Production
List Price:
$49.95 $39.95
Automating Photoshop: Photoshop for Video
Get the most out of Photoshop in your video productions, learning Photoshop from COW Leader Richard Harrington. In this DVD, Richard, author of one of the top ranked Photoshop books, focuses on automating Photoshop and other power user techniques for video artists.

My New Photoshop Training is On Sale Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 11, 2011 at 10:01:00 pm AdobeMotion Graphics

How to Make Your Camera Work with Adobe Camera Raw

I recently came across a great post from one of the developers on the Photoshop team. It's called "Why doesn't my version of Photoshop or Lightroom support my camera?" by Jeff Tranberry.

Jeff offers a logical workflow that explains how to stay current, how to confirm the status of your camera, as well as a workaround using the Adobe DNG converter. It's a great article and worth the read –

Speaking of DNG, be sure to watch this useful video which explains the format.

How to Make Your Camera Work with Adobe Camera Raw Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 10, 2011 at 10:01:00 pm AdobePhotography

Better 360˚ Panoramic Photos Using Photoshop Automation

I've posted a new article over at the Triple Exposure website on 360˚ Panoramic Images.


“As many explore panoramic photography, they off stop short (at least of making a full 360˚ arc). The truth is that its gotten much easier to make a fully actualized 360˚ image. If enough photos are taken, then a large panoramic image can be made. These photos can then be turned into an interactive panoramic for the web or brought into Adobe After Effects to serve as a backdrop for chroma key footage.”

You can read the whole thing at –˚-panoramic-photos-using-photosh...

Be sure to also download the special Photoshop Action mentioned in the article.

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 9, 2011 at 10:01:00 pm AdobePhotography

Adobe Reveals its Video Plans for Next Several Years

Join Jim Guerard, vice president and general manager of Professional Video, as he discusses the massive shifts happening in the industry today, how Adobe is responding through rapid innovation, and the company's pillars of focus moving forward.

It's always great when the companies that make the tools that I use are actually open. Here's where Adobe is going. Listen close to some of the points (it's a tad dry... but trust me... LISTEN to what's being said).

Managing App Development

Here are my slides from the 7th ANNUAL INNOVATIONS IN E-LEARNING SYMPOSIUM. Sponsored by the Defense Acquisition University and the George Mason University Instructional Technology Program.

With the increase in mobile computing the use of apps has significantly risen. Whether you're targeting mobile phones or tablets, an app can be a cost-efficient way to reach your audience. In this workshop, you'll learn the major steps involved and how to manage application development(even if you're not a programmer yourself).

Join Richard Harrington, a certified project management professional as he unlocks the development process.

  • Learn how to identify your distribution options and register as a developer.
  • You'll also learn how to target your audience and refine the functional goals of your application.
  • Learn how to assemble your development team and efficiently develop graphic and video assets.
  • Discover multiple methods for authoring applications including software as a service, authoring tools, and programming.
  • Learn how to test your apps then submit them to marketplaces for distribution or use ad hoc methods for small groups.
  • You'll also learn practical approaches for marketing your application to your target audience.

You can download the PDF here

Managing App Development Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 8, 2011 at 5:23:18 am AppleAdobeMicrosoftiPad

Trying Out Blending Modes

Blending modes are an integral part of both design and color correction workflows as they let you mix the content of two or more layers. Part of the reason many pass on blending modes is that they are hard to use if you don’t know which one you want. The truth is that the list can get a little long and if you aren't familiar with them, it can get a little confusing.

Here’s a much better way to experiment:
  1. Select the layer or layers you want to blend.
  2. If using Photoshop, choose the Move tool (In After Effects, you can skip this step).
  3. Press Shift + = (Shift plus Equal) to scroll through the list.
  4. To move backward, press Shift + – (Shift plus Minus) to return to a passed blending mode.

Trying Out Blending Modes
Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 7, 2011 at 7:19:00 pm AdobeMotion GraphicsVideo

Creating a Panorama – UAP 219

Instructor Richard Harrington demonstrates how to take several photographic images and stitch them together to create one panoramic image.

Be sure to also check out the new book – Understanding Adobe Photosho...

Creating a Panorama – UAP 219
Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 6, 2011 at 7:19:00 pm AdobePodcast

Robyn Plus Lights and Steadicam

I always like creative music videos. This one is very simple in some ways, yet elegant. It's a single take Steadicam shot. Then toss in some really interesting lighting cues. Cool video concept.

Robyn Plus Lights and Steadicam Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 5, 2011 at 7:19:00 pm MusicVideo

How to Be Awesome with Photoshop Actions

The Actions palette provides a video-friendly graphic user interface (GUI) for computer programming. Here’s some general advice to get results quickly.

  • Brush strokes, cloning, and most manual tools from the toolbox do not work. There are several alternatives, such as using a Gradient Fill layer instead of the Gradient tool.
  • To play a single step of an action, double-click on it.
  • Change Your Mode. Button mode lets you launch actions quickly; it’s in the Actions palette’s submenu. You’ll need to disable it to get recording and editing features.
  • Get Accelerated. Set the Playback Options from the Actions palette submenu to play back an action accelerated. Photoshop can process faster than it can redraw the screen.
  • Be Batchful. You can choose File>Automate>Batch to run an action on an entire folder of images. You can batch multiple folders at once. Create aliases or shortcuts within one folder that point to the desired folders. Be sure to click the Include All Subfolders option.
  • Be Safe. Back up your custom actions to two folders, the default location and a secondary backup. This way, a reinstall or upgrade won’t blow your custom actions away.
  • Change Your Rulers. To create an action that will work on all files, you must record some commands with the rulers set to percentage.
  • Size Specific. Use File>Automate>Fit Image to resize images for a specific height or width.
  • Be Careful Where you click. Photoshop will record the names of layers as you select them. This may cause playback issues, because the action will look for specific names.
Use keyboard shortcuts to select layers and such so that the action won’t look for a specific name for that step.
  • Choose layer above Option+] (Shift+Alt+])
  • Choose layer below Option+[ (Alt+[)
  • Choose top layer Shift+Option+] (Shift+Alt+])
  • Choose bottom layer Shift+Option+[ (Shift+Alt+[)
You can also arrange layers with shortcuts.
  • Move the current layer up the layer stack Cmd+] (Ctrl +])
  • Move the current layer down the layer stack Cmd+[ (Ctrl +[)
  • Move the current layer to the top Shift+Cmd+] (Shift+Ctrl+])
  • Move the current layer to the bottom Shift+Cmd+[ (Shift+Ctrl+[)

For more on actions, check out Automating Photoshop – GET IT HERE –

How to Be Awesome with Photoshop Actions Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 4, 2011 at 7:19:29 pm AdobeMotion Graphics

DVD Menu Sizes

A DVD menu can come in two shapes, standard (4:3) or widescreen (16:9). The sooner you learn these sizes (and to accept their limitations) the sooner you’’ be designing your next project.

1. Launch Photoshop CS or newer.
2. Choose File > New…
3. From the New document preset list choose on of the following options:
  • NTSC DV 720 X 480 (with guides) for a standard 4:3 menu commonly used in North America or Japan.
  • NTSC DV Widescreen, 720 X 480 (with guides) for a 16:9 menu
  • PAL D1/DV, 720 X 576 (with guides) for a 4:3 menu used in Europe and other parts of the globe.
  • PAL D1/DV Widescreen, 720 X 576 (with guides) for a 16:9 menu used in Europe and other parts of the globe.
4. Click OK to create the document.
5. The guides added to the document identify the title safe region. All objects meant to be seen must fall onside them. The outside region is similar to the ‘bleed’ area in a print project.
  • Action Safe – The outside box. All elements meant to be seen should fall inside of the inner 90% of the menu. Still design the background edge-to-edge.
  • Title Safe – The inside box. All text elements meant to be read should fall inside the inner 80% of the menu.
6. Start to design.

DVD Menu Sizes Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 3, 2011 at 7:19:00 pm Motion GraphicsVideo

Four Tips for Better Video Type

Remember when you were a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons? Did your Mom or Dad yell at you for sitting to close to the TV?

“You’ll go blind!”

Well that’s good advice to remember. Type for the Television screen is very different then for print or web. Here are four things to keep in mind:

  • Use a larger point size. Stand up and walk 20 feet away from the computer screen. Can you still read it?
  • Be sure to anti-alias your type. Check the character panel for anti-alias methods for smoother edges at low-resolutions.
  • Layer styles help readability. Don’t over-bevel, but a light bevel can help. Also add a contrasting edge with either a glow or drop shadow
  • Sans serif fonts are often easier to read on television sets. If using a serifed font, be sure to use a true bold version, not a Faux Bold effect.

Four Tips for Better Video Type Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 2, 2011 at 7:19:00 pm Motion Graphics

Time Repmapping Footage in Premiere Pro


There are many options to change the speed of clips, including the rate stretch tool, time remapping to achieve a variable speed value, and using After Effects own remapping abilities to fine tune your results.

See it here –

Time Repmapping Footage in Premiere Pro Republished by Richard Harrington

Posted by: Richard Harrington on Jun 1, 2011 at 6:35:00 am AdobeVideoMotion Graphics

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