The Free Public Beta of Fusion 8 for Windows AND Mac is here


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August 28, 2015
by Joe Marine, nofilmschool

Blackmagic Fusion 8 Public Beta

Blackmagic Fusion 8 Public Beta
The public beta of Fusion 8 for Windows and Mac is here.

The compositing and 3D application used by a number of Hollywood films was purchased by Blackmagic about a year ago, and they released version 7 for free, along with a $1,000 studio version containing more advanced features and options. While version 7 was only available on Windows, version 8 is now available for both Windows and OS X, and the $1K studio version will be available for Windows, Mac, and Linux when it’s finally released.

Here’s a general overview of Fusion from Rick Young:


For a whole lot more on this article from Joe Marine and to download the beta software, click here.  Head on over to the Fusion page to download.

Per the Blackmagic website:

The world’s most advanced visual effects
and motion graphics solution!

Fusion is the world’s most advanced compositing software for visual effects artists, broadcast and motion graphic designers and 3D animators. With over 25 years of development, Fusion has been used on over 1000 major Hollywood blockbuster feature films! Fusion features an easy and powerful node based interface so you can construct complex effects simply by connecting various types of processing together. That’s super easy and extremely fast! You get a massive range of features and effects included, so you can create exciting broadcast graphics, television commercials, dramatic title sequences and even major feature film visual effects!

An Illustrated List of Icons, Symbols and Alerts in Final Cut Pro X


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August 27, 2015


I don’t think there is anyone outside of Apple who knows what all the icons, symbols and alerts in Final Cut Pro X are, much less what they mean. Still, I had some extra time this weekend and decided to put together an illustrated list.

So, here are more than 50 icons and indicators, grouped by the panel in which they appear, with a short description of what they mean.

NOTE: For the most part, I excluded icons which you click to do something; in other words, buttons.


Blue indicates something that is active (turned on), gray is something that is inactive.


A Library.

An Event

An Event with Missing Media

A folder in the Library containing Smart Collections or, in an Event, containing keyword or smart collections; used for organization.

Click here for a MUCH longer visual list of FCPX icons and buttons by Larry Jordan…


Free: ‘How to Fake a VHS Look in After Effects’ by Caleb Ward


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August 26, 2015

by Rocketstock’s


Create a realistic distorted VHS look using this free After Effects template.

VHS Featured Image

If you’re trying to give your footage a nostalgic VHS-style look, After Effects is the perfect program. However, sometimes making footage look the “right kind of bad” is just as hard as making it look good. To make the process easier, we’ve created a free After Effects template to help you create a realistic distorted VHS look. Just follow these easy steps:

Step 1: Download and Install Free Font

How to Fake a VHS Look in After Effects: Install Free Font

Download the free ‘VCR OSD Mono’ font from DaFont. Simply follow the link below and click the download button. A zip file will be downloaded. Double click the zip folder. A .ttf file should appear in your downloads folder now. Simply double-click and install the font onto your computer.


Step 2: Download Free After Effects Project File

How to Fake a VHS Look in After Effects: VHS Distortion

Download our free VHS Distortion project file here on RocketStock. If the project file looks eerily familiar, it’s because it’s a variation of our free Digital Distortion project file. However, this project includes one extra slider called ‘VHS Lines’.

Step 3: Drop Footage in ‘Drop Footage Here’ Composition

How to Fake a VHS Look in After Effects: Drop Footage Here

Once you download the file, open up the project file. It is down-saved to work in any version of After Effects CS5.5 and above. Drop your footage into the bottom of the ‘Drop Footage Here’ composition.

Step 4: Change Text As Needed

How to Fake a VHS Look in After Effects: Edit Text

Change the text in the ‘Drop Footage Here’ composition. Make sure your font is set to ‘VCR OSD Mono’.

Step 5: Export out ‘Final Output’

Jump into the ‘Final Output’ composition and render your footage. You can change the way your project looks and feels by selecting the ‘Magical Place’ composition and adjusting the various sliders inside. You can also get some pretty cool digital distortion style effects by turning up the ‘Color Boxes’ effect.

How to Fake a VHS Look in After Effects: Roller Rink VHS

Be sure to read the article as well as download the After Effects file via Rocketstock here.

Have any tips for simulating VHS footage? Share in the comments below.

AND… get 13 free 4k Light leaks… premium clip based light leaks for video editors & motion designers at Rocketstock.

Getting iMovie world travel maps into Final Cut Pro X


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August 25, 2015


FCPX imovie maps banner1

Use the generator directly in Final Cut Pro X

Yes this is possible and probably the quickest way to get the maps (and background generators) into FCPX.

Simply put your animating globe of choice onto a timeline in iMovie. Here for the example we have put three back to back, one rotating globe, one flat map and the plain zoom. It doesn’t really matter as long as you have one on the timeline and don’t worry about destinations e.t.c.

FCPX imovie maps 3

Then go to the File menu and select ‘Send Movie to Final Cut Pro.’ Take your hands off the keyboard and watch the magic happen…

FCPX imovie maps 4

A new Library and Event are made in Final Cut Pro X. In the new Event, you will find a project, and in that project you will find the maps that we made in iMovie.

FCPX imovie maps 5

Here’s the clever stuff. The maps are not movies, they are the map generators from iMovie and we can prove that by looking at one in the inspector.

FCPX imovie maps 6

Read the rest of the story from here…

Do Your Crews Need to Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?


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August 24, 2015


Corporate and independent video producers with video crews and location production services worldwide

During the hustle of production paperwork can easily fall through the cracks. This includes release forms, location agreements for smaller one-off shots, and most importantly, non-disclosure agreements.

Not having cast or background talent sign a non-disclosure agreement can create various problems for your production down the road, and can be a considerably damaging issue if crew members do not sign them.

With the exception of dailies, a crew will be on your shoot every day of production and can be privy to more details than talent. Here are a few specific reasons why you shouldn’t forget to have crew sign NDAs.

For more on why Non-disclosure Agreements are so critical to the production of your video and overall state of your business, view this video below and click here…


Have You Heard? Free Plugins from Ripple Training!


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August 21, 2015

by Ripple Training

Check out the free and pay plugins, as well as a plethora of free tutorials from my favorite, Ripple Training.  Here’s just a taste of a few of what the have to freely offer you…


Optics is a Final Cut Pro X plug-in that creates a first-person perspective through different sets of camera viewfinders, scopes and binoculars.

Free Plugins


Add animated light glints to your 3D titles

Color Balance

Manipulate color balance and contrast using familiar color wheels


Larry Jordan’s Video Compression Quick Start Guide


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August 20, 2015

by Larry Jordan

I’ve written a lot about compression. So, in this article, I want to provide a Quick Start Guide containing key points you need to know about video compression.

Key Point 1

Compressed file size is totally dependent upon bit rate.

The smaller (slower) the bit rate, the smaller the resulting compressed file. Bit rate is measured in bps (“bits per second”).

Key Point 2

However, image quality is dependent upon five factors:

  • Frame size of the compressed file
  • Frame rate of the compressed file
  • Compression codec
  • Bit rate
  • The amount of movement between frames

However, it is also true that a higher quality source file will yield better results than a source file that looks awful.

Key Point 3

The file size of the source file is irrelevant to how small it will be when compressed. The compression settings, not the source file, determine final file size and image quality.

As a corollary, the frame size of the source (master) file should be equal to, or larger than, the compressed file size. Enlarging an image always makes it soft.

Key Point 4

Most compression software today works by only compressing that portion of the image that changes from one frame to the next.

For portions of the image that are the same from one frame to the next, the compression algorithm basically says: “Repeat from the last frame.”

Key Point 5

It is harder to compress something that is moving than something which is still. Moving images generate more artifacts.

Therefore, a good way to test your compression settings is to compress a very short – 3-5 second – section containing typical movement. If you can get movement to look good when compressed, you can get the rest of your movie to look good as well.

Key Point 6

When judging image quality, always compare the compressed file to the master (source) file. Never compare one compressed version to another.

Key Point 7

Because of how compression software works, it is impossible to accurately predict the file size of a compressed file before compression starts when using a variable bit rate (VBR).

A series of still images will compress to virtually nothing, because there is so little movement between frames. However, a dance recital shot with a handheld camera requires a huge file because every pixel is changing from frame to frame.

Key Point 8

VBR compression yields smaller file sizes and generally higher image quality than CBR compression, but it takes longer.

1-pass VBR is much faster than 2-pass because, in general, 1-pass compression harnesses hardware acceleration to speed compression. However, 1-pass image quality may suffer and file sizes will be larger, when compared to 2-pass.

Key Point 9

When judging image quality, if it looks OK to your eye during playback, it probably is OK. If you see small, flickering rectangles dancing in the image, you are seeing compression artifacts. Increase the bit rate and recompress.

Key Point 10

Different codecs yield different results. Not all codecs will look good at the same bit rate.

For example, MPEG-2 files used on DVDs need to be twice as big as files compressed using MPEG-4 to achieve the same image quality; However, MPEG-4 files can’t be played on a DVD, though they can be played on a Blu-ray Disc.

H.265 files, when that codec becomes widely available, will be about 30% smaller than the same files compressed using H.264, yet offer similar image quality.

Key Point 11

MPEG-4 audio requires 64 kbps per channel for best quality. A mono clip should be set to 64 kbps. A stereo clip should be set to 128 kbps.

If you are compressing human speech, set the sample rate to either 22,050 samples or 32,000. If you are compressing music, set the sample rate to 44,100 samples. In all cases, set the bit depth to 16-bit.

Key Point 12

Transcoding from a smaller format (AVCHD) to a larger format (ProRes) does not generally damage image quality.

Transcoding from a larger format (ProRes) to a smaller format (H.264) does reduce image quality. Compress files as little as possible and never recompress a compressed file.

Key Point 13

YouTube always recompresses your files. Always. Therefore always compress files for YouTube using very high bit rates so that YouTube has data it can safely throw away during compression without damaging your image.

Key Point 14

At the risk of starting a bar fight, here are some suggested bit rate settings you can try when compressing your own files using the H.264 codec. (Keep in mind that there is no perfect setting that works for every movie. Please test your settings.)

Frame Size Bit Rate (in kbps)
480 x 270 500
640 x 360 1,000
960 x 540 1,750
1280 x 720 2,500
1920 x 1080 5,000
YouTube 10,000


Video compression can be very complex. However, the more you understand about how video compression works, the better your compressed images will look.

And be sure to check out Larry’s Tip of the Day and Free Resources!

Need Some ‘Reel’ Inspiration?


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August 19, 2015

by Vimeo and Premiumbeat

The Best Showreels & Demo Reels

The Best Showreels & Demo Reels

Our favorite showreels from around Vimeo. Representing the best in cinematography, color grading, motion graphics and video editing. Need music for your demos or videos? Check us out:  And click here for almost 600 inspirational video reels.

For example:




Typography: Inspiration!


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August 17, 2015

Need some inspiration when it comes to typography?  Have you bought Mister Horse, but STILL need some help with ideas?  Look no further than your Vimeo backyard.  Keyword search Typography will find tens of thousands of examples of what the best videos on Vimeo have to offer in the way of titles, fonts, and looks.

Check it!

Here’s my favorite: (note: you may have to log into your account first before this link will work)…

Kinetic Typography Channel



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