Answer 20 Questions

The 20Q Podcast Interviews – Video, Mac, Photo, Writers & More

Browsing Posts tagged Lynda.com

Story of being offline for eight days and without power for 6 days in Spain at the Costa Brava which doesn’t normally get weather like that. Trees fallen down, wires down, telegraph poles and pylons down. Me feeling down because I couldn’t do the podcasting work I normally do.

I also comment on using Kinemac, After Effects, and about learning what Motion can do to make a video animation fly through that could be an intro to the videos I make.

This video is made using my new green screen set up in my studio, with the new LED lights I have bought. These lights are work lights that I bought for 25 euro each at Lidl. I got five of them and I might buy another two or three. I used 4 of what I have to light the green screen and the other one to light the subject. I do have one more small video light that is the type you can fit on top of the camera but works well on a light stand as a fill light.
I did put some white gauze material over the light to soften the light and I might at some time see about getting some filters to put on them to warm the light up. Not too necessary because it is easy enough to colour correct in Final Cut. Still have to do some more working out to get the set up right but pleased with the results so far.

I also mention another Mac in the family. My 70 year old mom sent me a text message to tell me she was buying things in the Apple Store in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre in Birmingham. She got a white MacBook and iWork & one on one training to go with it. Tomorrow she will go into the store for them to move her data off her old Windows laptop.

Tell me how you would cope without email and power



Magic Mouse

Apple Magic MouseI have the Magic Mouse for a couple of weeks now and I have to say it is thumbs up all the way. I was listening to the Mac Geek Gab podcast this morning and Dave was going into huge detail about his experience with the mouse. One of thing he said was about the size of the mouse. It is not very high or thick, or tall and seems small, built for small hands. The comment was that Steve Jobs must have small hands. Well my hands are not that small but for me the mouse is a good size. I had suffered with some RSI pain for about a month prior to getting this mouse and now after using the Magic Mouse for a couple of weeks I now can shake hands with people when we meet without wincing. Definitely a big plus for me there.

Another problem that other people have reported is the tracking speed of the mouse, and perhaps needing to run a third party utility to get to work fast enough. Strangely I have not had that problem. I installed 10.6.2 before I started using the mouse, which could have been a factor with this, and the tracking has been good. I adjusted it to the speed I wanted in System Preferences and that was that. I am working with 2 screens on my iMac also and I can easily track the whole width no hassle whatsoever.

So if you have not had a chance to try one of these Magic Mouse rodents from Apple then I would say you should definitely jump in there and have a play at your local Apple Store.

FinalCut Express

I have been learning how to do things in FinalCut Express during the week and using Lynda.com to teach myself. It is taking some practice time to get my head around the roll, ripple, slip and slide tools but I am getting there. The training videos in Lynda are very good and makes the learning much quicker and in depth. Reading the PDF manual is painful in comparison. So far I have been working on one video with footage I took while at a friends’ horse riding school. I had some good shots in there and I managed to make a short movie with FinalCut Express without too much bother. I struggled with moving clips on the timeline and I still need to learn how to make the audio fade where I want it too. In this case I looked at the length of the audio required and opened up AmadeusPro to do the job for me, but it can be done in FinalCut Express.

Apple - Final Cut Express

In the Lynda training videos there are details on how to set up the preferences to work better. It seems the standard prefs are not the best for working with. If I had not got Lynda.com to work with I would never have found this out. There is always a gap it seems between the designers of software and the users, the lessons are from people that know the application inside out and that is a huge benefit. As part of my learning I have been watching the videos for Final Cut Pro also and there is a separate series that deals with LiveType, the application that deals with titling. I am quite impressed with that application.

I have noticed that there are some small differences between the Express application compared to the Pro but for the most part you can do all that you need in FinalCut Express. For instance one difference is the speed controls. I see that in Pro it is possible to have easing in and out of the speed of a clip or a selection of a clip, so that when ramping the speed you can do it with more finesse. There is no 3 way colour corrector in FinalCut Express, which I saw being used in tutorials on the FinalCut King site. So nothing major anyway and watching the tutorials for the Pro application are also helpful and not potentially confusing.

The first video I sent out of FinalCut Express is now on my , if you would like to have a look,