Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Final Cut Users Group [Seattle]

Jarrett attended the Final Cut user's group meeting last night. Below are his notes from that event. Thanks Jarrett for sharing!

The meeting last night went from 7 to 9 PM. The meetings occur every month on the last Monday in Guitar center building (the next one they are going over the new Final Cut that is being released next month), there is a door at the base of the stairs from the parking lot on the roof.

     The first section was a speaker talking about "seed" files and meta data. He was pretty much saying to number the original videos in a way that made sense to you...i.e If you import clips from video files name mv_1201 you can alter them to firstdayshoot_001 and such so at later times you will know what they are. Then to place them in a folder so that folder's info (meta data) had some use to you, like "firstdayshoot". Then when you are working, use a copy to work from so that your original data is not lost. Once you name the new files they should have something in the name to point back tot he seed files, like "intro_firstdayshoot_001". He does editing for a living and seemed very staunch on this.

The second speaker talked about Photoshop.

He showed the advantages of using the Shadow/Highlights adjustment allowing for the dark areas in images to come out. He pretty much warned of going above 30% on them.  This one is in the image-adjustments drop-down.

Next he covered image merging where he explained to get the best results a user needs to pivot from one point to take the images and not to move left or right. The newest algorithm that is in CS5 has been greatly improved.

Once the layers were flattened to make one large image he cropped the image a bit to get rid of the larger areas of negative space, then he used the magic wand to select the blank areas. Once he had a black area he used the expand border tool in the select drop-down, increased the selected area by 4 pixels, then selected the fill tool in edit (shift F5) and selected the content aware feature which allows Photoshop to run a few algorithms that will calculate what should be in the blank area. It works quite well in areas with more randomness, but in areas with defined linear patterns or such you can notice issues. The examples he gave was for removing a cow from a field works great, while removing one form a brick wall or beam background would not work as well.

Finally he went into the use of Smart Sharpen (filter-sharpen-smartsharpen), that it is best not to go above 60-75%. He opened the advanced tab to show all of its features. Next using the LAB color scheme (instead of RGB) he places Gaussian blurs on the A and B levels to get rid of the image dirt or noise. (according to him the blue channel has the largest amount of noise
  if you were looking to see any)
Finally he showed histogram usage for colors by going to levels-adjustments-levels (he was in RGB at this time), just saying the proper way to color correct was to switch between the colors in the histograms and to make sure the far left and right triangles at the base of the histogram graph are at the edges of the rise and fall of the displayed graph or mountain that it shows.
That is all that happened. If you are looking for speakers David may be game for it, he runs the group, he works with several companies, and I think he teaches. He is going to look into inter options for me as well and hit me up with which places may be looking, and what they are looking for. If you want to talk to him about the animation club you can email him at david@dicoverytools.com

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