A new $6 application that we are rather excited about. Final Cut Library Manager not only lets you catalog libraries across drives, it also lets you free up space by deleting unwanted files safely.
Although the new FCPX Library style of file management from Apple is brilliant, we have to admit to not being the most tidy of editors when it comes to storing things in the right places. We also haven’t got time to go through each Event and delete files we don’t need any more.
The new Final Cut Library Manager from Arctic Whiteness performs a lot of the housekeeping jobs with Libraries, performing tasks automatically without losing any media. The GUI looks very clean and logical, displaying the information about libraries with coloured bars representing the amount of each type of file. Priced at just under $6 we think it’s a winner.
Tim Armes from Arctic Whiteness sent us some more information about the application. If the company sounds familiar, you would be right. They are the developers behind ‘The Touch,’ an application that added more touch gestures for editing.
Final Cut Library Manager is a great utility for running housekeeping tasks on Final Cut Pro X libraries. It’ll immediately find all Spotlight-indexed libraries and display them in one window so that they can easily be sorted and searched. Libraries may be cleaned to recover gigabytes worth of space by quickly and safely removing render files, proxies and optimized media files (users can rest assured that we don’t remove the optimised media if we can’t find the corresponding original media files).
Another small but oh-so-very-useful feature is Open Alone which will open a library by itself in Final Cut Pro to avoid having to manually close all the other libraries first. Finally!
We’ve worked extremely hard to make the interface as efficient, intuitive and beautiful as possible. The free version will run unfettered and allow everything with the exception of library cleaning (yes, users get Open Alone for free…). Nevertheless to celebrate the release of this product we’re offering the full version for a promotional price of just €4.99 (just under $6.00 for those outside of the Europe)!
Here’s a quick summary of the features:
FCP libraries are automatically found using Spotlight and listed together in one window
Choose which drives to include
Sort by name, size, date or even potential space savings once cleaned
Open the libraries with a double click, or open them by themselves in FCP using our Open Alone feature
Choose to delete Render files, Proxies and Optimized Media files for one or more libraries at once
Rest assured – the Optimized Media files for which the corresponding Original Media files cannot be found will be conserved
Regain huge amounts of disk space quickly and safely!
Keep it running whilst using FCP to see your libraries growing
Arctic Whiteness are very keen to hear your feedback on the product. One suggestion we would add would be the ability to catalog Libraries so that you can see what files are on disks when they are not plugged in. This would save the dreaded ‘What disk was that on’ scenario.
The price of just under $6 for Final Cut Library manager is a promotion, the app will eventually sell for about $11. For the cost of a few lattes we think it’s a great addition for any FCPX editor.
Matte Pack 01 is a set of free FCPX transitions that are extremely useful and are simple to use. Best of all, they are 100% completely free! With 16 unique matte wipes with variable delay and echo, you’ll find these useful on video or graphical elements. Built natively for FCPX and Motion 5, you’ll find these fast, snappy and ultra-responsive to adjustments.
To install, locate and double-click the Tangent FX | Matte Pack 1 Installer (Link below). After installation, Tangent FX | Matte Pack 1 will be located in your Transitions Browser after you restart Final Cut Pro X.
Applying a Transition
To apply one of the transition types, select Tangent FX | Matte Pack 1 in the Transition Browser. Next, select one of the 16 transitions, and drag & drop it on your transition point.
This is the number of echoes applied to the matte shape.
Delay is the delay in time for each “echo” of the matte shape.
Depending on the length of your transition, the number of echoes and/or the delay time, you will need to adjust the speed of the matte wipe completion using the Speed parameter.
Size: 1920 x 1080 maximum resolution
Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.6 or higher
Mac OS X v10.6.8 or OS X v10.7.5 or OS X v10.8.2 or later.
Like many of the effects by Idustrial Revolution, these give more than a wide variety of functionality and parameter choices in either the FCPX inspector or the simple onscreen controls. Either way, its easy to modify the default looks to suite your own taste.
I found a number of the tools quite useful and time saving. Among my favorites are the two Add Gloss effects that give text and graphics a neat 3-D “mac-look” with simple onscreen control. Others include Alpha Adjust and Make Alpha which instantly changes a white background to a transparent; 3D Spotlight, 3D Perspective Pro, Underliner, a very handy Tilt Shift, Adjustment Layer which works like After Effects in that you can add multiple FX and color correction options over your video, White and Black Crusher, Widescreen Matte, and Skyshader that makes your skies pop while leaving the rest of your scene intact. Guides Crosshair and Guides Centered are very useful rather than having to “eyeball” on screen text and graphics.
Of the 50-some options, there are indeed a handful I just couldn’t use in any of my projects. That’s not to say others won’t, such as 3D preditors and compositors, but I have no need for RGB Channel Adjust, RGB Time Adjust, Channel Swap, as well as the 1980’s Thermal Imager, Glow Edges, Glow Stars, and Lens Doubler effects. The Zoom Split Analysis option creates a side-by-side comparison of your original footage with a digital zoomed version of the same. However, the zoom effect quickly becomes soft, blurred and pixilated with increased zoom much like a point and shoot camera does once past it’s optical zoom and into the digital zoom function. Visually, I only see this option working best with 3K+ footage to keep both the original and the digitally-zoomed image crisp and clear.
Other traditional visual FX are convenient yet nothing to dwell on, including multiple color Fades, 8 Point Garbage Matte, Picture-in-Picture, Vertical and Horizontal Splits, Auto Zoom, Auto Rotate, and Subtitles. I do like the Security Camera look with tint and grain settings that can be altered and applied to any footage to create instant atmosphere. Think the ability to create a ‘Matrix’ green or ‘Dark Knight’ blue scene within a few clicks.
A generic Countdown Clock and Slate will save you a few minutes of time and available in 25fps and 29.97fps formats. A Telestrator is among the handful of highlighting and analysis tools within XEffects Toolkit that follows a path you set onscreen, handy for mapping projects.
by Denver Riddle from Color Grading Central via fcp.co
Denver Riddle from Color Grading Central has got some great products and he’s also produced the excellent free 15 part course on grading that we posted.
Denver has just released LUT Utility, a clever $29 plugin and application that automatically converts flat picture styles to the correct grade in FCPX such as REC709. This is no effect wrapped template, it’s a fully coded plugin that also works in Motion and even loads up its own system settings.
So should you be shooting in LOG on an Alexa, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Canon, RED or Sony, then this plugin will instantly show your footage with true exposure and colors.
It looks like a great plugin, especially as the plugin could be applied to an adjustment layer over the whole footage in a project for a very quick ‘one light’ grade.
What got us excited was the ability to import a LUT from Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve or Adobe’s Speedgrade. Yes that means that you can build a grade in those apps and then apply it directly in Final Cut Pro X without having to roundtrip. Amazing! We are not too sure what looks will actually get transferred over, things like vignettes probably won’t, we will ask Denver.
(We also had a flashback to the Apple Color days when we always said that making a grading droplet ‘look’ from Color would be super useful. Looks like Denver has done just that!)
Color Grading Central are also offering an extra range of grades called Osiris which you can buy with LUT Utility for the combined price of $89.
Idustrial Revolution has just released two new free plugins for FCPX.
The first is called Flare Lights, it’s a filter plugin that produces adjustable light streaks from the highlights on video. An on screen control gives access to the flare length and direction. More parameters in the inspector include the threshold for clipping, smoothness and the colour of the streaks. Go easy on the Star Trek look!
Also from Idustrial Revolution is Glow Darks. This effect plugin isolates low luminance within video and then applies a fully adjustable dark glow to the area. Exactly like the built in glow, but for darks. Uses for the plugin include adding ‘some punch’ to thin video without having to crush the blacks or alter the exposure curve. It can also help reduce noise in the blacks or be tweaked up to give a very stylized ‘dark’ look.
Next is a free pack of matte wipe transitions from Tangent FX. Called Matte Pack 01, there’s 16 unique matte wipe styles with variable delay and echo. Simple, elegant and of course free!
Lastly we have a new free effect from Fox Mahoney. Called Spirotechnics, the generator plugin is a collection of pattens that draw on the screen. As Fox states, the timing with Mark Spencer’s Siprograph tutorial is completely coincidental and the method used for the drawing is completely different. (Oscillator anybody?)
Red Giant BulletProof
The other half of your camera
You’ve got a great camera, you’ve got a great editor — how do you manage everything between them? BulletProof is a complete offload, prep and delivery solution that bridges the gap, with a workflow that simplifies how you handle footage every day. Import, backup, organize, color, deliver: BulletProof has your back at every step. Whether you shoot DSLR or a GoPro, BulletProof lets you focus on your story and get to the editor fast.
Backup Offload Your Files. Select clips from disks/cards, then import into a catalog with backup.
Organize Organize Your Files. View the whole catalog, and sort clips with folders and playlists.
Review Review Your Files. Play individual clips to check their color, quality and consistency.
Color Edit Color & Metadata. Apply first-pass color adjustments and add helpful metadata.
Deliver Deliver Your Files. Queue and export the clips as transcoded project-ready media.
Get the free beta
The FREE BulletProof beta is coming soon. Click here to register for it.
BulletProof is a new app from Red Giant that fills a huge gap in the DSLR shooter’s workflow. You’ve shot this great footage—now what do you do with it?
Large productions with high-end digital cinema cameras tend to be supported by a full DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) cart with customized software and hardware. But where was the DIT tool for indies? Red Giant saw an opportunity to bolster the workflow of one of the most common types of shoot—the DSLR-based, small-but-capable indie crew. So about 18 months ago, we sat in Sean Safreed’s dining room in San Francisco and started sketching ideas for BulletProof.
The Other Half of Your Camera
If you’re a cinematographer hired to create gorgeous images, you have a tough choice to make about how “flat” to shoot your footage. Flatter is better (log is best) for color grading, but your client might not understand why all their footage looks like it got a milk bath. And even if they do, who’s to say that they’ll color correct it anything like what you had in mind? Or maybe, to your horror, they’ll just fall in love with the “flat look,” since that’s what they’ve been looking at in the edit.
Or you could bake in a look into your shots in-camera. The client may love the dailies, but they also may be disappointed with the lack of flexibility you’ve given them down the line.
Now that we have an abundance of cameras that shoot a broad dynamic range, flat or log image, shooters need a way to not only review color-correct dailies on set, but also to begin the creative process of color correction—if only to “set a look” that conveys the cinematographer’s intent.
When I shoot stills or video, I’m already thinking about what kind of color grading I’m going to add later. Lensing the imagery only feels like the first half of the image-making process. That’s why we’re saying BulletProof is the other half of your camera—it’s a safe place to offload, catalog, and prep your footage for the edit. You can add keywords, markers, and other metadata—including Colorista primary color correction and a variety of industry-standard LUTs.
If you’re an indie filmmaker working on a small scale, you still have all the needs of a large production when it comes to managing your precious footage. You need a checksumed, redundant archiving process. You need to check your shots on set. And you might not have a dedicated script supervisor to take notes, so you need a way to mark your good takes, your crummy ones, and even key moments within a take—whether it’s you cutting the footage, or someone else.
BulletProof allows you to add markers and even in/out points to clips. This metadata is included in the clips your export, so your editor sees your Circle Takes, Rejects, and Notes right in their NLE, effortlessly.
Maybe the coolest feature is BulletProof’s Playlists. You can add shots to a playlist and they’ll play back in sequence, respecting the In and Out Points you’ve added to each clip. This makes it fast and easy to create a mini-cut on set, so you can check continuity and move on to the next setup with the confidence that you’ve got your coverage.
Like Red Giant’s Grinder before it, you can easily export all kinds of variations on your footage. You might create H.264 web-friendly movies with color correction and timecode window burn for web review, color-corrected ProRes files for offline edit, and uncorrected ProRes HQ movies for the online. All of this is driven by presets that you customize.
These are all wonderful features, but my favorite feature is that BulletProof is simple to use. I wanted to design something that would be intuitive and easy for a busy and distracted director to use on their own, yet powerful enough for a dedicated DIT to be a hero for their director or DP. The left-to-right “panoramic UI” makes it abundantly clear where your footage is coming from, where it’s going to, and what’s happening in between.
I’m really excited about BulletProof. I know it’s going to change how I shoot, and make my communication with my editors even better. But I know that we can’t do it alone. However much I might shoot, there are those of you out there who shoot more, and under more pressing conditions. So we’re launching BulletProof in a new way for Red Giant—as a free public beta. You can sign up now and help us shape BulletProof into the shooter’s companion app that you’ve always wanted. This summer, the app will ship for $199—a price designed to make BulletProof an easy choice for shooters at every level.
Photo by @donaldberube. Note the tea.
One Froggy Evening
Last night I got to show BulletProof to over 1,000 people at the 13th annual SuperMeet. The crowd was very supportive even though I had almost completely lost my voice! I felt privileged to be representing the hard work of the amazing team at Red Giant who have been bringing BulletProof to life. If you’re at the show and you’ve come by the booth you’ll immediately understand why I love working with this company.
If you’d live to see more great NAB news, including Sean and I talking about BulletProof, check out fxguide’s amazing show coverage. You’ll find Mike Seymour interviewing us at about the 01:26:45 mark in Part 1.
Evernote isn’t a revolution. Like most of the technology products we tend to use regularly in our daily lives, Evernote is an evolution, a collection of good ideas that rolls into a single program the functionality of a half-dozen apps you would otherwise use separately.
Evernote was designed for individuals, but businesses have been adopting it in increasing numbers, finding unique ways to put it to use. Evernote itself has taken notice of this, and later this year it will be launching Evernote for Business, which could elevate Evernote’s business utility even further.
Meanwhile, if you’re new to Evernote, or are just dipping your toes into it, here’s how to put the little app that could to its best use.
Get started with Evernote
Evernote is a hybrid system of offline and cloud-based features. You’ll need to create an account when you first download Evernote; you can then install the software just about anywhere. In fact, the more places you install it, the more useful it becomes. Evernote is available for the Mac and Windows and all mobile platforms, so no matter how multi-platform you are when you work, there’s nothing keeping you from running Evernote on every device.
Evernote’s core functionality is in storing your notes and keeping them organized and synchronized, in real time, among all your devices. It pays to understand a bit about Evernote’s terminology, which isn’t always intuitive, before you start filling the app up with content.
In Evernote terms, every page you create is its own Note. Notes are most useful when organized into various Notebooks, essentially a folder full of notes. Setting up notebooks tends to be easier on a computer than in a mobile app, so it’s a good idea to configure your notebooks ahead of time on a PC, even if you leave them empty to start. A group of notebooks is a Stack. Just drag one notebook to another to automatically create a stack. (Right-click to rename it.)
For example, if you used Evernote to keep an archive of payroll, each paycheck would be a note, each employee would be a notebook, and various classes of employees (full-time, part-time, contractor) might be a stack.
When you create a note, you can give it multiple Tags, by clicking the “Click to add tag” button in Windows or the Info button (an i in a circle) in the mobile app. Tags are especially useful when you’re embedding nontext content, since everything in Evernote is searchable. They’re most useful when you have common but more general terms that you might want to search across all of your notebooks: “2012 taxes,” “personal,” or “urgent,” for example. Adding content from within the mobile app may be less intuitive than it should be to new users. To create a note on the go, navigate to the notebook you want to work in, then click the oversized plus-sign (+) button at the bottom of the screen.
Speaking of adding content, one of Evernote’s major features is that you can add all types of content to the archive, not just text. The program supports PDFs, images, audio recordings, sketches (with the Skitch plug-in), webpages (with the Web Clipper browser plug-in), and more. Evernote has a rich plug-in ecosystem, which you can explore on the Evernote homepage if you want to delve even further into special types of content.
Finally, we come to Evernote’s marquee feature: Sharing. Everything you create in Evernote is automatically shared with your various installations of the software unless you specify otherwise when creating a notebook. (Note that you can’t change this behavior later.) By default Evernote synchronizes all installations of the software every 30 minutes; or, you can press F9 to initiate a manual sync.
You can also share content with other Evernote users. The easiest way to do this is to right-click a notebook and select Share Notebook. You’ll be prompted to enter email addresses or to create a public link to the notebook that is accessible via the Web. After accepting the invitation, the recipient will find the shared notebook under the Shared tab on the left-hand navigation pane in Evernote. Note: To share notebooks with full read/write access, the owner of the notebook must be a Premium user ($5 a month), which comes with additional features like extra content and the ability to make text within PDFs searchable. Otherwise, notebooks are shared as read-only.
Now that you’ve got a handle on the basics, it’s time to put your new Evernote skills to better use. Here are some ways that small business owners are elevating Evernote beyond the obvious.
Upgrade your note-taking
At its core Evernote is a juiced-up note-taking system, but you can get more out of it if you make use of the software’s multimedia capabilities. Joey Price, CEO of Jumpstart:HR, says, “I record the audio of client meetings while jotting down notes in real time. We manage a lot of different clients, and sometimes taking notes in shorthand isn’t enough. Being able to replay the audio back once I’ve left helps me re-immerse in my thought process and generate new ideas to help our clients.”
Archive essential emails
Storing email permanently in a webmail folder or within Outlook is usually fine, but it means you have to have access to your inbox in order to read it. Evernote gives you a couple of options for upgrading the way email is archived. First, Outlook users can use the “Add to Evernote 4” button that appears in the toolbar to send the full text of an email to Evernote as a note at the touch of a button.
Not an Outlook user? Use the “email to Evernote” capability to send any message directly to Evernote. When you create your account, Evernote assigns you a custom email address to use. Just forward notes or received messages to this address, and they’ll automatically be converted into notes behind the scenes.
Keep tabs on inventory
Evernote may not be robust enough to replace your inventory-management software, but it’s an excellent tool for keeping tabs on the various items you sell, along with basic pricing information. If your business involves a smaller number of SKUs, you can even use Evernote as a way to showcase your wares from any device. Just add a photo, details, and prices, and Evernote turns into a handy mobile portfolio that you can update anytime.
Collaborate on projects
Building an agenda for a meeting either with staff or with clients is usually a tedious, email-based affair. But share a notebook from within Evernote, and the process becomes much more collaborative. Agendas can be built and refined on the fly right up until the meeting begins. Brainstorming sessions can take place asynchronously, and each participant can add notes whenever the mood strikes them instead of being limited to a single brainstorming session. Got a big event to plan? Evernote can keep a dozen subcontractors on the same page.
Integrate with Getting Things Done
Evernote is a natural tool for the productivity obsessed, and while you can probably figure out how to add it into a Getting Things Done workflow, one Web programmer has done the heavy lifting for you, thanks to this 15-minute configuration guide. It’s definitely worth a look if you’re a GTD freak.
Track expenses, pay employees, and prep for taxes
No, Evernote can’t cut a check, but it can keep tabs on who got paid what. Justin Lugbill of Lugbill Designs uses Evernote to replace the shoebox full of receipts. You can scan or take a snapshot of each receipt, and then save it to Evernote. Says Lugbill, “Every receipt that I get, whether it’s paper or an email confirmation, I forward to my Evernote account.” Different expense categories each get their own notebook, and employees have their pay stubs archived and organized in separate notebooks, so Lugbill can easily look up any given check. The end result looks more like a bookkeeper’s chart of accounts than a to-do list.
Archive analog notes for posterity
The conference rooms of the world are covered with whiteboard notes that are promptly erased by the evening cleaning crew, just as many a hotel bar is littered with note-covered cocktail napkins that are swept away into the trash. No one wants to have to be the guy who copies this information down into digital form, and with Evernote you don’t have to. Jesse Waites of PNTHR.com says he snaps photos of anything drawn or hand-written outside the office and drops the picture into Evernote. As noted earlier, Evernote can convert handwriting in PDFs into plain text for you. It even scans images for text and saves that text separately.
Stash software keys
What do you do with all those software keys you get for registering purchased and downloaded software? If you’re ultra-organized, you might save them in a file that you store on your computer… which you have to hope you remember to back up or print out before you wipe your hard drive (at which point you may actually want to use them again). Simple solution: Forward all registration-code emails to Evernote and drop them all into a notebook, and you’ll never lose them again.
Remember a name
Business cards have a nasty tendency to end up in stacks (or the trash), which makes them virtually useless to both the giver and the receiver. Evernote makes for a great repository for contact information. Just snap a picture of the card, and let Evernote’s OCR go to work. Add notes and tags to remind you why exactly this person was important. Alternatively, you can use Evernote Hello, which, while it isn’t specifically designed with business cards in mind, does let you use Evernote as a sort of souped-up contact manager.
Spy on competitors
David Handmaker of Next Day Flyers says Evernote makes competitive analysis on the Web easy. “I’m also a huge fan of Skitch [the Evernote add-on that lets you edit and annotate screenshots and images]. I, along with many of my team members, use it frequently to take screenshots of our website or our competitor’s sites, and we mark it up to highlight important information. The functionality and ease of use is fantastic. Plus it saves our company money, as now we don’t have to buy as many Photoshop licenses for the team.”
PluralEyes lets you sync audio and video clips without timecode, clappers or any special preparation. And now you have a chance to try out PluralEyes 3 (for free!). This version is a major upgrade which is more interactive, faster and dependable.
Synchronize Video & Audio Clips Quickly & Affordably
PluralEyes® works with your favorite video editing tool to instantly sync all of your multi-camera video and audio tracks – eliminating complicated camera set-ups, timecode, and hours of tedious manual syncing. Save time and money, reduce frustration, and free yourself to focus on the creative editing process.
How PluralEyes Works
Step 1: Record Video & Audio
Complete your dual-system audio, multi-camera, or multi-take shoot. There’s no need for any advance preparation, such as connecting cameras, recording timecode, or using clappers.
Step 2: Prepare Files
Using your favorite video editing tool (PluralEyes is compatible with Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Media Composer, and other leading software), create a new sequence, then add all of your shoot’s audio and video clips to the sequence. Be sure to give each recording device its own track.
Step 3: Sync Files with a
Open PluralEyes, then click the “Sync” button. PluralEyes synchronizes all of your video and audio tracks automatically, so you can start the creative editing process using a layered timeline or a multi-angle display.
With the new Canon C300 cameras rolling out into the world one hoped that Canon would quickly release format and driver plug-ins for all the major NLEs so we could start importing the footage. With Tuesday’s release of the Canon XF Plugin for Final Cut Pro 2.0, most NLEs are supported now, at least on the Mac.