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BlogMany editors would be happy with a Mac version of new Lenovo notebookFriday, August 14 2015

At SIGGRAPH this week, Lenovo previewed an interesting notebook they describe as a ‘Mobile Workstation’ AnandTech reports:

Lenovo will offer the new P series with up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory […] Also part of the new Xeon will be Thunderbolt 3, and both models have this connectivity.

[…]

There is also up to 1 TB of PCIe SSD storage available, and up to a 2 TB hard drive. In addition to the Thunderbolt, there will also be HDMI 1.4, mini DisplayPort 1.2, ExpressCard, SDXC, and of course what workstation would not have Gigabit Ethernet, so the P Series has this as well.

[…]

Other than the larger display, the P70 can also be had with a DVD-RW drive, but hopefully but the time it launches they will at least offer Blu-ray as an option.

Speaking of the displays, Lenovo has packed some pretty impressive sounding displays into both models. The P series will offer a 1920x1080p as the base, with optional touch, and there is also a UHD 3840×2160 IPS offering as well.

Looks like a great specification for a new MacBook Pro for mobile editors.

The CPUs these computers will use are the newly announced mobile versions of the Xeon chips used to power late 2013 Mac Pros.

Thunderbolt 3 was announced in June. It offers 40 Gbps and more power for peripherals.

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BlogApple’s Final Cut Pro X timecode overlays experimentThursday, August 13 2015

For many years Final Cut users have been asking Apple for an overlay layer that shows the timecode of clips at the play head. Chris Hocking of LateNite Films tweeted some evidence of some Apple experimentation:

You can only enable Guards in Final Cut by accessing the Debug preferences.

If you want to risk modifying your copy of Final Cut Pro X to make the hidden debug preferences visible, follow the instructions on Chris Hocking’s blog post, or watch my YouTube video showing how it’s done.

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BlogCloud-based DCP service: What next?Wednesday, August 12 2015

Here’s an interesting service for editors who need to create a Digital Cinema Package for distribution.

AutoDCP:

Drop Apple ProRes or other video files into your Dropbox folder and automatically create DCPs!

After you install the application, a special AutoDCP folder appears beneath the Apps folder within your Dropbox folder.  This folder can be managed and shared just like any other Dropbox folder.  And AutoDCP works anywhere Dropbox works including Mac, PC and Linux platforms.

Simply drag your video files (such as Apple ProRes files) into the AutoDCP folder and the application makes DCPs automatically!

Two service levels to meet your needs

Our expedited service utilizes a dedicated machine and begins creating your DCP immediately. Our economy service uses system resources as available to save you money.

Having someone else’s hardware and software providing post services could be very useful.

For example, imagine a service that would take all the footage in a Final Cut Pro X timeline or event and use audio recognition technology to generate a new Final Cut library that has the same clips but with metadata added so that all spoken dialogue appears as text in Favorite titles.

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BlogAvid’s new target: YouTuesday, August 11 2015

In the last year the case studies Avid chooses to report on on its blog have changed. As well as regularly reporting on aspects of making studio feature films…

August 2014:

We’d take a 2.40 frame and decide where it’s going to be when viewers see it displayed in regular, non-IMAX theaters. I did versions of the tilt scan for setting the 2.40 look from the IMAX frame using the Avid resize effect. Then the assistants replaced the Avid footage with a black-and-white trackable grid pattern, which we then rendered out and delivered to EFILM.

October 2014:

The Expendables 3 features a huge cast of A-list action stars, which posed a major challenge for the editors. “You’re trying to fit in a lot of big personalities, and a lot of big sequences,” Sean says. “There are about 17 main characters in this movie, so we needed to make tough decisions about which individual character stories got told.”

…they’ve started to report on much smaller films:

June 2015:

Because of the film’s small budget, I served as both the editor and the VFX artist. And as you can tell from the following photo, the production scrimped and hired a total noob as my assistant.  He turned out to be a lazy punk, uninterested in performing his DIT and assistant editor duties.

Yesterday:

Given the scale of the project, and the fact that I would be acting as my own assistant editor and liaison between later partners in the post production process, Media Composer was the logical decision.

Avid’s Tier 3

The change in case studies is due to Avid targetting a different market.

As quoted from a Seeking Alpha transcript of Avid’s Q1 2015 analyst call in May:

So we generally think about the media technology market in three tiers comprising a total addressable market of almost $8 billion. We define the three tiers as large media enterprises, businesses and institutions and finally individual creatives. It’s worth noting that there’s also a consumer market at the very low end of tier 3, which is not an area of focus for us. However, we do have tools for discovery so that nonprofessionals and enthusiasts can determine if they like to aspire to become a creative professional. (My emphasis)

There’s a video on Avid tiers on their investor relations website (Uses Flash and requires an email address to play).

In yesterday’s Q2 2015 call, Louis Hernandez, Avid’s Chairman, President and CEO:

We have had our early returns better than we expected, but we think that the Tier 3 leadership, the programs, the systems, the processes, those are still being put in place so we’re encouraged with the early returns there.

Other interesting Avid facts:

  • 12,000 paid subscribers (5,000 at end of 2014)
  • 25,000 MediaCentral licenses sold so far to Tier 1 accounts
  • Tier 1 is mostly buying still on a licensed perpetual model
  • Tier 3 market, a largely untapped by Avid – potentially amounts to $1.8 billion

While others have forced customers to move off of perpetual contracts on to subscription, we recognize that this model does not work for all of our customers

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BlogBig Final Cut Pro X events: Make them happenTuesday, August 11 2015

Without much fanfare outside Latin America, at the weekend Leo Hans and the Argentinian Association of Audiovisual Editors organised one of the biggest Final Cut Pro X-dedicated events yet.

Leo has written up a detailed report on the day at fcp.co:

We didn’t have learning centers here since Apple is not present in Argentina, but we do have resellers. So I started to teach FCP X to some friends of mine until one of the members of the board of EDA (Argentinian Association of Audiovisual Editors) offered help trying to find a location to hold that meeting I’d been thinking about for a long time.

Interesting that an professional editors organisation thought an initial meeting about Final Cut Pro X was worth supporting. Perhaps this is more likely in countries with less of an established high-end post industry.

Countries concentrating older workflows don’t yet consider those using newer tools much of a threat. This might change when local ad agencies and production companies start spreading the word to mulinational clients… “that Argentina ad works well, repurpose it for Asia.”

Maybe the EDA has a higher proportion of freelancers, who might not all be moving over to X, but need to be more open to newer tools and workflows.

We took the risk to ask the Audio-Visual District to use the main area, a tent for 330 people. And again, we ran out of space in a matter of hours with 450 people who signed up including those who wanted to stay in a waiting list.

An important lesson from Leo’s story: he didn’t wait for Apple to kick the Final Cut Pro X marketing into gear. He took on the task of spreading the word himself.

In this case it is a matter of the Final Cut community not waiting for Apple, but going out there and getting it done –  even if sometimes it’s down to just one person making it happen.

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BlogMacBreak Studio: Final Cut Pro X – Shiny 3D textTuesday, August 11 2015

Ripple Training have uploaded another free Final Cut tutorial to YouTube. This week it covers how to use two of their free plugins to make 3D type look extra shiny.

If you like Ripple’s style, subscribe to them on YouTube or download their free Mac application Lessons for Final Cut Pro X. It has a 8 free lessons with the option to download an additional 14 additional lessons through in-app purchases.

If you’d like to brush up on individual topics, I’ve made a playlist of 136 of their Final Cut-related MacBreak Studio videos. As Final Cut Pro X 10.1 changed the way timelines and footage are organised, I start the list explaining the new way of working, followed by most of the rest in order – apart from the content that has been superseded.

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