The DV Show – Digital Video Podcast, Video Editing, Camcorder Reviews, Videography The DV Show - Digital Video Podcast, Video Editing, Camcorder Reviews, Videography Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:23:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 6 Body Positions That Will Take The Place of Your Tripod Fri, 14 Feb 2014 03:47:03 +0000 Jeff asks: I hate lugging my tripod around just to get steady shots for the quick stuff. I usually just lean against a wall with my video camera but was wondering if the professionals had more tricks up their sleeve.

Answer: Jeff you came to the right place. Here are 6 little known body positions that will take the place of your tripod (thanks to These tips apply to video and DSLR cameras and will keep your shot steady and maintain your professional composure without looking like a twisted limb contortionist: (yes we actually encountered a wedding videographer who stabilized his camera between his two knees while standing – believe it!)

1. Keep that shoulder close

I am definitely a right eyed photographer, but this tip that I learned from “The Moment It Clicks” by Joe McNally, requires that I shift for a moment to my left eye. What I’m doing here is raising my left shoulder, and bracing my left elbow into my rib-cage (no arrow for this one). For further stability, you can pull your right elbow in to your chest. As always, exhale completely before depressing the shutter to avoid introducing shake.

Sit the camera on something flat

Possibly the most obvious practice but often the easiest and most reliable approach is to simply sit your camera on a wall, chair, table or anything rigid. The only problem with this approach is that you are limited in how you can orientate your camera; placing it on a chair will mean you can only shoot straight ahead.

Hold Your Breath and pan

Breathing is necessary but sometimes it gets in the way of moving video – if you are trying to be the tripod then you must make yourself as steady as possible. Taking a deep breath and holding it will reduce your natural tendency to sway (very slightly, but enough to ruin a long exposure shot) as the air enters and leaves your lungs.

Avoid The Zoom

If you are using hand held camera techniques try to zoom out as much as you can. The more you are zoomed in the more the shakiness at the edge of the frame will be obvious and distracting to the viewer.

Bring It Into Your Body

If you do not have a strap you can do essentially the same thing by just resting it against your chest. Cup the camera with both hands and prop your elbows against your chest for stability. Try bending your knees just slightly to absorb any shock. If you are going to be doing this for quite a while try raising the camera up to shoulder level and rest your head on the eyepiece.

Lean against something

Often you can put your arms around a pole, if one is available, and lean one shoulder into it, giving you an anchor to steady yourself with. Kneeling is also a simple and effective way to reduce shake – by lowering your centre of gravity you are less prone to wobble.

Use the Machine Gun Hold

This next technique is sometimes referred to as the machine gun hold. I rarely use this technique as I find it awkward and difficult to maintain for more than a second or two. Just because it doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t for you. . . give it a try.

Don’t use the LCD screen, use the view finder instead

Although there are arguments for and against using the LCD screen on a camera, for long exposure shots I would say it is definitely a no no. When using the viewfinder you tend to hold your camera away from your body, as much as arms length perhaps. This will simply lead to increased blurring as holding outstretched arms still, even without a camera, is a difficult task. It is better to use the viewfinder and keep the camera in tight to your body – it is much easier to lock your arms steady against your chest.

Wrap the strap around your elbows

What this does is introduce tension in your camera’s strap so the strap is taut, constraining it from moving in at least one direction, relative to your own body. I’ll explain the setup as best I can (I’m assuming you’re right handed and are using a DSLR yes?):

* Hold your camera in front of you, letting the strap hang down.
* Put your right arm through the strap, past the elbow, and bring your hand back out around the outside of the left part of the strap.
* Hold the camera as normal and dig your elbow into the strap.
* Depending on the length of the strap you should be able to increase its tension by tilting your right arm accordingly.

Sit down and Create a Tripod With Your Knee

You can create your own tripod by resting your elbow on your knee while in a seated position. Again, bring that other elbow in for greater support.

Those are just some of the many possible ways to minimise shake that I use. Are there any more you can think of? Do you stabilize your camera in other ways?

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Talent Freezing In Front of Camera? Here’s What to Do: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 20:58:11 +0000 Tony asks: How do you get talent to be comfortable in front of the camera? I’m tempted to hold up a toy and talk like a baby to get them to at least smile. Is there something I’m doing wrong? I turn the camera off they’re at ease – it gets turned back on they get stiff and nervous like a deer caught in headlights. Some even start mumbling inaudible comments. Help!

Answer: One trick of the trade is not to reveal when the camera is on. Even hide your camera’s tally light – which is the #1 reason why anyone in front of a camera freezes up. Tally lights can can scare off quite a few people from acting naturally.

The tally light is a bit of a misnomer. People relate it to live broadcast television. When the red light is on, you’re on the air. Remember “The Brady Bunch” episode where little Cindy Brady was on Game show and just before the show went on air in the studio the host said “When the red light goes on, (pointing at the television camera) we’re live”. Then the countdown 3… 2… 1… Blink, goes the red tally light on the studio camera and poor little Cindy just glares into the red light like a deer in the headlights. And stayed that way the entire game. Well your tally light can have an effect on people very much like that. I’d have to say little Cindy’s reaction is a bit exaggerated but it can make many people uncomfortable. So much so that they just can’t behave like themselves. A true anxiety can set in. It’s called being camera shy.

There’s many levels to camera shyness and it’s something you should keep an eye out for. And that tally light can be the switch that turns on, or should I say, “turns off your subject.

So if you think your tally light is causing problems or notice some people are acting differently because of it you can usually turn it of. Higher end camcorders will have a simple switch to turn it off. While others might have it in a menu setting. If you have a camcorder that doesn’t have a way to turn off the tally light then simply put a piece of electrical tape or better yet a piece of gaffers tape over the light. Gaffer tape is less likely to leave any gluey residue like duct tape or electrical tape.

Some don’t have to even worry about this because a lot of low end camcorders don’t have a tally light.

Thanks to for a great answer


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Truckload of Free Video Editing Software Thu, 30 Jan 2014 19:43:30 +0000 Gabe asks: I’m a student just starting out with video production. I have a new video camera but not able to bust the budget with editing software seeing that money is so tight. I’m looking for a step up to make what I produce look more professional. Thanks!

Answer: There are actually a few that fit the bill – and they’re all free!

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Ten Ways for Churches to Use Video Right Now Thu, 30 Jan 2014 02:09:58 +0000 Paul asks: How can my church use video other than the usual recording sermons? Any creative ideas?

Answer: Jon Barnes from Pumthuggee puts it best:

#1. Announcements:

Instead of using a traditional PowerPoint slide show, use a video instead to draw extra attention to a special event. You can play it before and after the service as well as posting it to your church website.

#2. Pastors Video Blog:

One way for pastors to reinforce sermon points or to share other real life experiences to encourage and challenge the congregation is to create a video blog. This could be done weekly, bi-weekly or monthly depending on your time and resources. This helps add a personal touch that can reach the entire congregation with minimal work. No need to get fancy at first, just sit at your desk and start yakking!

#3. Testimonies:

Video can be a great aid when presenting people’s testimonies during a service or special event for those who do not like public speaking. It is also helpful for situations where someone that is scheduled to share is unable to attend the service or event. If the person on video is ok with it you could even collect these and add them to an area on your website called “life changers” or “real-life.”

#4. Event Follow Up:

Using video to provide a summary of an event is a great way to keep the congregation informed, to thank volunteers and allow others to see the success of your event.

#5. Mission Trips:

Video is a great tool to use for informing others about upcoming trips, to connect a missions team with the congregation and for recording actual trip events to share once the team is back home.

#6. Missionary Updates:

Incorporating missionary video updates is a way to keep the congregation connected with the many missionaries that your church supports overseas. It provides a face to those who are far away as well as provides visual insight into the world and work of missionaries. Skype is also a tool that could be used to conduct a “live” update as well.

#7. Sermon Illustrations:

Websites like let you search by passage, topic or holiday to find exactly the right kind of video content for you to use in a sermon. There are a lot of great videos available on every conceivable topic; funny, serious and everything in between. Feel free to check out our sermonspice videos HERE.

#8.9. Visitor and Welcome Videos:

If you’ve ever been new to church you know how important it is to have a welcoming environment: the people, the facility, the overall experience you have while you’re there and after you leave. A church welcome video is a great way to provide a campus tour for such locations as the children’s nursery and bathrooms. You can also introduce staff and provide a preview of the Sunday morning experience. You can post this on your church website and include it in a welcome basket.

#10. Ministry Spotlight:

In order to highlight certain ministry needs, you can provide a ministry spotlight video to communicate growth, needs and updates. This medium allows for a more focused visual update among all the busyness of a Sunday morning and often has a better chance of emotionally connecting with potential workers than a simple request for help.

I hope these ideas serve as a tool to enhance the good works you are already doing at your church. May you be encouraged and challenged to try new things as you serve the Lord and minister to His people.

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Tilt Shift Video: The Dirty Details Thu, 30 Jan 2014 01:35:33 +0000 Zoar asks: For my work requirements, I need to make a time-lapse tilt-shift video now. Some others told me that I can record one with a tilt-shift lens. What are the techniques for taking video using a tilt shift lens?

Answer: If there’s any video effect that’s more fun to look at than the time-lapse, it’s tilt-shift video, the camera trick that makes a normal real-life scene look like it’s actually built out of miniatures. Tilt-Shift technology can create images with a very shallow depth of field, making the image in focus appear miniature. So if you want to create an illusion of miniaturization, to make the video seems as if it is shooting a model set not a real world, you can apply this great effect.

To see what we mean watch this video

In general, tilt-shift effects can be produced by expensive equipments such as medium or large format analog cameras and expensive DSLR lenses, and Tilt-Shift video editors. The former one always costs you lots of money and needs more professional skills.

[stream provider=video flv=x:/ mp4=x:/ ogv=x:/ img=x:/ embed=false share=false width=590 height=332 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=fixed /]

Fun Apps

[appbox appstore 417005566]
[appbox appstore 482906037]
[appbox appstore 395953517]
[appbox googleplay com.jellybus.tiltshiftfree]
[appbox googleplay com.jellybus.tiltshift]

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Recording Great Audio with your Smartphone Wed, 29 Jan 2014 18:26:09 +0000 Eli asks: I’m using a Samsung Galaxy and an iPhone for the first time to record some corporate videos. The sound quality is not that great. Any suggestions on making it better? Can I use an external microphone?

Answer: Audio is always a problem with Smartphones and even tablets. The mics are used mainly for phone conversations and less for video production. While most jacks do appear to welcome an external microphone with the standard mini-jack, most do not. They require whats called a 3.5mm 4 conductor TRRS jack. Because of this special adapter, an entire ecosystem of accessories has formed around overcoming the audio limitations of your phone.

Here is an excellent video with all the details:

[stream embed=false share=false width=590 height=332 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false playlistfile=x:/ repeat=always responsive=fixed /]

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Polarizing Filters Change Everything Fri, 17 Jan 2014 21:12:42 +0000 Emily asks: I have been reading about polarizing filters, and many sources recommend their use for most (if not all) landscape shots…regardless of the presence of water or sky in the scene. The reason? Wonder if the same effect can be achieved using software like Adobe Photoshop. I would rather invest in software.

Answer: A polarizing filter changes the way your camera sees and treats light. If you would like more color and detail in any landscape shot it’s time to step your game up by shooting with a polarizing filter.

How does it benefit my footage?

Think about trying to shoot on a beach. Water is a particularly reflective surface, and to a naked lens it will appear predominantly white because of the glare. When using this kind of filter, you will notice a change in how your camera sees those reflections and glare. It also has the ability to change the vibrancy of colors. In your beach shots the blue will be deepened and intensified. The greens of foliage will become more vibrant, and shooting through glass or trying to capture any kind of reflective surface will become much easier.

Water and sky contain a multitude of colors and textures that add interest to your shots– it’s a shame to lose out on these details! That’s where polarizing filters come in.

[stream provider=video flv=x:/ mp4=x:/ ogv=x:/ img=x:/ embed=false share=false width=590 height=332 dock=false controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=fixed /]

5 uses of a polarizing filter

1) Cut reflections off car windows

When you are driving down the road, nasty glare can affect just how much you see the faces inside the vehicle. By using a pola, you can choose exactly how much reflection you want to keep of overhanging trees or buildings on your windshield, or you can choose to eliminate all reflection to see deeper in the vehicle.

2) Create smoother looking skin without reflections

Skin tones can become pasty and without reflection but if you’re looking for a very creamy look to an actor’s skin tones this filter can come in handy.

3) Darken pavement and roads

If the sky is reflecting off the pavement or road you’re shooting, instead of bringing out a water truck to wet down the road so that it looks nice and black, screw on a pola to take out the reflection and make it a deeper shade of charcoal.

4) Create a bluer sky

This only works if you are shooting 90 degrees off the sun’s direction. If the sun is in the East, then polarization will be good shooting North and South. If your sun is in the South, you will have best polarization East and West. If you are 45% off of these coordinates, then you will get half of the effect. I find this process very useful in creating color contrast, which I feel is incredibly important with HD.

By using the pola to dial the sky reflection off of the leaves and grass, you get a deeper shade of green. This works for many colors that pick up sky refection as well.

5) Lens Protection

Another benefit of fitting a polarizing filter to your camera (or any kind of filter) is that you put an extra level of protection between your expensive lens’s glass and anything that might scratch or damage it. A UV filter is probably a more appropriate filter for protective purposes but a polarizing filter is definitely more preferable to break or scratch than your actual lens.

Not a fan of software

It seems video editing software and colorizing software can do most anything with your video now a days. So why bother with all those cumbersome filters? The answer is that most of them are still superior to the techniques used with a computer and nothing can match the real deal. Plus, if the video is more accurate coming out of the camera, less time and effort will be needed in post processing.

Watch out!

Polarizing filters reduce the amount of light entering your camera, forcing you to use longer exposures. This in turn increases the risk of camera-shake, so when using polarizing filters, always take care to keep your camera steady.

Polarizing filters will only have the effect shown here on bright sunny days. If it’s overcast or cloudy, they’ll have little or no effect, so it’s best to remove them. Likewise indoors or at night.

Sometimes polarizing filters can make the sky an unrealistic color. To avoid this, adjust the outer ring for a lesser effect, and also consider taking two shots, one with the polarizer and one without in case you end up preferring the latter.

Before rushing in

Get your hands (and drop a wad of cash) on a filter, grab a pair of polarized sunglasses for a little test drive! Simply position them in front of your camera’s lens, rotate to find the best result, and shoot.

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How to Make a Video for Non-Profits Wed, 27 Feb 2013 15:14:05 +0000 Arty asks: we’re a small non profit who is realizing the importance of video to spread our message. How do we get started? What are some tips you can offer?

Answer: With YouTube pumping out 2 billion video streams a day, one thing is clear: Video matters. Although it may seem intimidating, using video as part of your nonprofit’s online presence has become surprisingly cheap and easy. If your nonprofit is getting ready to use the power of video, this video offers 34 tips and examples for creating short films about non-profit organizations and international projects. It is focused on 3 primary areas: directing and producing, shooting in the field, and editing.

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Getting Video into Avid Studio for iPad Wed, 14 Mar 2012 15:18:59 +0000 Andrew asks: I just purchased Avid Studio for the iPad. Loving it but I feel it is limited to video recorded from the iPad itself – from the camera roll. I have a video camera that has an output plus a memory card. Is there a way to get this video into the iPad so I can start editing?

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How to Import an iPad iMovie project to FCPX Wed, 29 Feb 2012 15:28:28 +0000 Rick asks: How can I import an iPad iMovie project into FCPX?

Here is a quick tutorial video and step by step step instructions to get the job done:

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Hiring Freelancers for the Extra Work Wed, 29 Feb 2012 14:40:34 +0000 Joseph asks: My video business is booked every weekend until August. I am now starting to get offers to cover events on weekends that I am already booked for. My business is sales of individual videos.

Should I just hire someone and pay them a base rate, or base it on a percentage of the sales?

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The DV Show Podcast for February 27, 2012 Sun, 26 Feb 2012 12:38:24 +0000

Running time: 34:25

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Download MP3 file Should you invest in high end equipment when pocket cameras are just as good? Which multi camera video switcher should you purchase? Controlling camera shake caused by loud music. Where to find quality, affordable voice over talent for free and wedding video music choices that will quickly land you in jail.

Show notes:

Webcasting studio equipment suggestions – all out super studio
Vibration suppression pads
Buy your own neoprene
Decisions, Decisions: Flip HD vs Playsport vs Kodak Zi8
Software based video switchers
Using multiple microphones on a camera
Tons of Voiceover Talent for Your Video Productions
Extract date/time stamp
Extract date/time stamp
Elite Videographer
Become a Premium Subscriber

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15+ FCPX Color Correction Tutorials Wed, 07 Sep 2011 01:25:07 +0000 Will asks: I’m thinking of purchasing FCPx but not clear on it’s color correction abilities. Does it have the color correction tools of Apple Color? Are they faster and more powerful than those of earlier versions? Can we see video tutorials?

Answer: There’s a tremendous amount of color correcting and grading power hidden inside the new interface, and by the time you’re finished watching these videos, you’ll have it unlocked.

See for yourself:

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Side by Side Comparison: FCP7 vs FCPX Wed, 17 Aug 2011 15:45:26 +0000 Alan asks: I’ve learned to use and love FCP7 and thinking of upgrading over to FCPX… or is it an upgrade? Does it have all of the same features? is it faster? effects are all there? I would like to see a side by side comparison. Thanks!

Answer: Two guys from Clearhead Media took the time to do a non-scientific comparison of the two and came up with some very interesting results:

[vimeo width=”555″ height=”312″][/vimeo]

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3 Ways To Trick FCPX into MultiCam Editing Wed, 17 Aug 2011 02:45:28 +0000 Don asks: I film live musical performances using a three-camera setup. Using Final Cut Express, I typically bring the clips into a multi-track timeline and sync the clips to the master audio. Then to create the edit of the performance, I go through the performance and essentially select a camera angle by cutting it out of it’s track and dragging it up to a fourth video track. Is this approach to a synchronized multi-camera edit possible/practical in FCPX? Or is there a different approach/workflow that FCPX encourages that will get the same effect?

Answer: Pretty much the same technique.

Previous versions of FCP actually had a dedicated multicam feature. The ability to synchronize your raw footage in real-time was priceless.

When it comes to multi-cam editing for FCPX, Apple intends to restore this feature in an update, calling it “a top priority.”

Until it does, here are three workarounds to make it happen:

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Indiana State Fair: How to Sell News Footage Mon, 15 Aug 2011 03:08:15 +0000 Jason asks: I just watched the Indiana State Fair stage collapse. After first being shocked, and after a few views, I couldn’t help but wonder why the videographer didn’t keep that unique footage he shot and sell it to major news outlets? It’s all over the web and on national and international news. I’m sure he could have made a bundle if he knew how. If I get into a situation like this how could I sell the footage I have? it would be nice to know.

Answer: First off, just like you, our immediate thoughts were not that of the quality of the video or how much money the videographer could have made if he/she sold the footage, but on prayers and condolences for the families and friends of all 5 people who perished. This was a tragedy that no one saw coming.

Could the videographer make a little cash on what was shot? Absolutely. Is it a bad thing to put your hand out after shooting such a tragic event? Being the only one having a broadcast quality money shot – should you exchange it for cash? Some say yes. Some say no.

To focus on the answer to your question on how to sell news footage, whatever it may be, we found a great post from Bruce Wilkinson at detailing what he has learned:

Main Affiliate/Co-ops Groups:

  • Fox News Edge (Only FOX Stations)
  • ABC News One (Only ABC Stations)
  • NBC News Channel (Only NBC Stations)
  • CBS News Path (Only CBS Stations)
  • CNN News Source (Anyone that is will to pay the monthly fee to belong)
  • NNS (Made up of CBS, FOX, and ABC Stations)
  • APTN (By contract)
  • Reuters (By contract)

Item 1: A large number of network stations also get CNN footage. If you sell your footage to CNN first the other co-ops may not be as inclined to buy it since they will not get as much affiliate demand since their affiliates are already getting it from CNN. (This logic applies to NNS as well I assume)

Item 2: You can sell video on a show by show basis. Good Morning America, Today, and World News or whatever. You do not have to sell footage on a network wide basis. For the really right stuff $5,000.00 per show or network is not a crazy number.

Item 3: When selling to a local maket be REAL clear that they do not own the video you are selling to them. They are only buying the right to air it locally. They can only contribute to their affiliate services what they own and they do not own what you gave them. You sold them only a right to use it on their newscast only.

Item 4: A station can never offer something to an affiliate service that they do not own. ie getting it from another news service. Example. You sell footage to NBC News Channel and an NBC station in Maine uses it because the event happened near their market. That same Maine Station is also a CNN News Source subscriber but they can not then offer that material to CNN. Moral: This policy may allow footage to be sold to four or five co-ops before demand dries up.

Item 5: You should embargo by station call letters not areas. Areas and regions are too vague. ie Is Bakersfield part of the LA market?

Item 6: Local stations will not pay more for exclusive national use versus exclusive local use. Local stations do not get paid for contributions to their respective services. Moral: Use the little guys to tease the big guys. Do try and use them to cash out since they only care about their local competition.

Item 7: Know exactly where your video is going when you sell. CNN USA, Headline News, CNN International, CNN NewsSource? You could say the same with NBC and MSNBC and NBC News Channel. All of them. You can even break it down futher by WEB use, photo, and if you have sound by radio. Some networks have relationships with networks overseas which could be a market to sell to as well. Moral: Know exactly where you video is going to see the light of day before you sell it so you do not unknowingly exclude other potential buyers. (Getting the above in writting from the buyers Rights and Restrictions person is ideal)

Item 8: Reuters use to and still may have rights to everything NBC News Channel has for international rebroadcast. So for example if you sell something to NBC News Channel be sure they are not going to give it to Reuters or you can forget about selling it to NHK Japan, BBC, or anyone in South America. APTN may have a similar deal with ABC ect and never assume what is minor news here is not crazy big news in London, Tokyo, or Rio.

Item 9: For the most part everything above gets honored. When a mistake is made and caught the offender usually pays what the market rate would have been for the footage. Mistakes are also pretty hard to follow for most stringers. Moral: Get DSS with lots local stations though out the country and maybe even a few stations overseas.

Item 10: When you sell something of national interest to a local station it would be good for them to actually contribute that footage, WITH RESTRICTIONS, to their affiliate service versus just sitting on it for their own use. Its free advertising to the bigs and depending on the restrictions you would still need to be called before its used. The peril here is if your local does not include the restriction correctly and they contribute it you have let your video out to the world and you may never get it back again.

Final: Money shots do not happen every day or even every year so its easy not to have to think about all this. When it does happen the people you will be dealing with will have the upper hand because they do this EVERYDAY. As a group we can help prepare ourselves. Its simple, National News has made it clear that they are now “for profit” organizations. Why would anyone blame the content providers for having the same philosophy.

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Video Business Website Review #2 Wed, 10 Aug 2011 03:43:57 +0000 This video is a supplement to our webinar called Principals of Effective Website Design for Video Business – which was recorded live in our studio.

In the webinar, we mentioned taking a look at more videographer websites and giving advice on ways to improve. Dozens were submitted to us for review – we’re just catching up on most of them now.

By the way, the high quality video recording, project files, digital handouts and the MP3 audio version of that webinar are all available for immediate download for Premium subscribers.

Today we visit: who mentioned participating in the webinar and applying the principles to their new design…let’s see what they got.

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20+ Rogue Plugins and Tools for Final Cut Pro X Sun, 07 Aug 2011 03:20:11 +0000 Tony asks: With previous versions of Final Cut Pro there were tons of plugins and tools to enhance the software. Where did they all go? With Final Cut Pro X  it seems like you just purchase and download with no plugin support. What gives? Any resources or a tool that can make the transition to what I payed thousands of dollars for?

Answer: Amidst the excitement for the dramatic FCPX release, it’s still  ‘not ready for professional use’ which keeps Apple tight lipped about any 3rd party plugins or enhancements.

Graeme Nattress, one of the best known NLE software developers, has not heard a peep from Apple  – complete silence. Nada, zilch, zippo. And developers are always the first to know. It’s therefore highly unlikely that any old plugins will work in FCPX on the day of – or after this first release until Apple gets things in order and gives the official green light.

If you depend on third party plugins, we recommend that you keep a copy of FCP7 on your system for serious work and use the time to get to grips with the new UI of FCPX.

In the meantime, some die-hard Final Cut Pro users like Alexandre Gollner, Leo Hans,, and (to name a few) just couldn’t wait and took the time to create some really cool plugins and tools that you may find useful.

Here are some of the best ones we scoured around the web for and collected thanks to tons of our viewers and listeners, Creative Cow, Youtube, Vimeo and

And this is not it…there will be more to come.

1. 8 Point Mask

8 Point Mask is a filter that lets you create a garbage matte with up to 8 points. Create curves between the points instead of straight lines. This allows you to easily create a mask to extract almost any element you need.

Each point can be turned on and off independently, so you only have to position the points you need, and the points can be animated using keyframes, allowing you to extract a moving object for instance.

If the Motion Templates, Effects and Keying sub-folders aren’t in your Movies folder, create them before first. You don’t need to have Motion installed on your Mac to use this effect.

2. And don’t forget the 7 Point Mask with On screen controls (B Spline)

Much more flexible than the Mask that comes with FCPX

Watch this demo video the plugin in action

3. 12 Classic Generators for Final Cut Pro X

Are you missing some of the classic generators from FCP7 when you moved over to FCPX?

Introducing 12 classic Final Cut Pro Generators that have been published for use in Final Cut Pro X. If you’ve used legacy versions of Final Cut Pro, you’ll immediately recognized these generators. Because of FCP X’s new architecture, these generators are blazingly responsive, and include some new interface enhancements courtesy of Motion 5’s new publishing and rigging features. The best part is, they are FREE and we’ve even included a movie explaining how to install and use them.

4. Dimensions effect: Helpful for making videos with non-standard frame dimensions

Alex4D Dimensions is a Title Generator effect that mattes the edges of a project so the visible area has exactly the pixel dimensions you specify. It helps you make videos with frame dimensions that aren’t available as standard in Final Cut Pro X.

View a demo tutorial of this plugin in action

5.  Face Blur & Pixelate face

Effect preset enabling you to obscure or highlight faces quickly.

Built in presets:

  • Blur Face
  • Pixellate Face
  • Face Outline
  • Face Highlight

Keyframe the mask position using the on screen control in the viewer.

5a. Disguise is another face blur effect

This effect has an onscreen control and is easily keyframed.

Watch this demo video of the plugin in action

6. Multi Gradient Blur Effect

This blur effect can be used to mimic selective circular and/or linear focus.

It is a Title Effect (without text) so you can edit it as a connected clip on top of the video you want to apply it to and adjust the length as needed.

In the effect controls (which you will find when you click the “title” button in the inspector) there is a pop-up where you can choose between the following Blur Types:

  • a circular gradient blur
  • a single linear gradient blur
  • a double gradient blur
  • a combination of the circular gradient blur and the double linear gradient blur

There are on screen controls for the start end end points for both the linear blurs and the centre of the circular blur. These parameters can also be altered numerically in the inspector and keyframed if needed.

7. Liquid screen effect

You can use this effect on Titles (including the caustics – if the Title is JUST text then the caustics will just “play” on the text) — just click on the Video tab (to the right of Title and Text at the top of the inspector to get to the parameters.

Watch this demo video of the plugin in action

8. Camera aperture effect

This is NOT a transition. This is a fully customizable effect – you make your own animation by keyframing the generator.

Some features:

  • Position the aperture anywhere; scale (more of a 3D zoom); set/animate aperture opening; *lens flare* effect with several customizing parameters.
  • Generator can be used as a lens/light flare effect only.

To install: unzip the file and drag the Multi Gradient Blur folder to your User/Movies/Motion Templates/Titles folder.

Watch this demo video the plugin in action

9. Timecode reader

The “timecode” effect in FCPX only generates, but if you use the “timecode” effect from this plugin and publish it to FCPX, it will read the original timecode and you can make a timecode burn-in movie.

10. Sound only transition

Experienced editors know that many jump cuts can be made less jarring if you add an audio cross fade.

Here is a very simple transition that doesn’t modify video edits, but as Final Cut Pro X adds a cross fade by default, the transition is ‘Sound only.’

You can also choose to have the audio cross fade to happen before, at the same time as, or after the video edit.

11. Colorist Toy Box

Essentially equivalent to SC Sharpen Tools, without the sharpening aspects. Extra color blending modes added, Aura effect enhancements and an “Intensity” mix added (was missing from the sharpen tools.)

Watch this demo video the plugin in action

12. iPhone video recording simulation effect

Drag this FCPX effect onto a clip in your timeline and watch as your footage is magically transformed to simulate a video being recorded on an iPhone. In the inspector you can choose between varying levels of hand shakiness and background blur/bokeh.

Watch this demo video the plugin in action

13. 3D lighting plugin

3D lights parameters from motion. But quite nice for creating lighting effect for grading etc.

14. FCPX Transition Effects x 4

A pack of 4 FCPX transition effects, including Flash Frame, Wind Blur, Swish Pan and Organic Transition. (Unzip the attachment and drag each individual effect into your Motion Templates/Transitions folder – preferably make a new folder inside there.)

Flicker Flash and Blur dip to color

Essentially what you’ve got is a transition that “randomly” changes the opacity of the transition layers as they mix between each other, with an added “random” luminance flicker and an optional color overlay flicker for which the default is black.

View a demo tutorial of this plugin in action

15. Photo Album Effect

This effect is built by Robbert-Jan van der – the same guy who made the Classic SLR Viewfinder template that is included in this collection. This great looking photo album template  is complete with translucent flysheets.

Wedding videographers pay attention to this!

View a demo tutorial of this plugin in action

16.  “Camera” Effects – Super 8 Look, Tilt Shift

Two camera style effects:

  • a Super 8 look with correct aspect ration frame and film damage, colour filters, etc.
  • a tilt shift filter to simulate popular in-camera miniature photography effect

Not perfected yet by any means so any suggestions for improvements gratefully received – the principles of the template are all there, so it’s just finding the right controls to give you what you want.

It’s kind of a “lens/film plane perspective effect with very shallow depth of field, much like selective focus but it can run horizontally or vertically through the frame. The Focus area gets narrow or wider depending on the silt and shift.

17. Classic SLR Viewfinder effect

This effect simulates a classic SLR viewfinder.

You can keyframe the focus and exposure sliders, give the needle some random fluctuation and when you activate the build out checkbox you get a flipping mirror at the end.

View a demo video of this plugin in action

18. Retro, levels and letterbox filters from Andy Yoong

Apple’s Motion 5 makes it easy to create filters for FCPX so the author of this plugin decided to do it himself. He made three so far. Find them in the download:

  • Alpha channels, giving a retro look as default
  • Letterbox with offset and opacity control
  • Simple levels adjustment

19. 3D Transform

Once you apply this effect, you can set the position of a clip in 3D space, and angle of rotation in X, Y and Z directions. More importantly, you can keyframe these values and more to create 3D animation.

20. Picture-In-Picture w/Drop Shadow & Borders


  • Image position, size, rotation.
  • Border on/off, width, color, type (regular/bevel) angle, opacity.
  • Drop Shadow on/off, blur, angle, color, distance, opacity.

21. Animated traveling star field generator

22. Starburst transition

23. The Ultimate Versatile Adjustable Frame Effect

This is pretty much everything you should need to create any kind of picture-in-picture, split screen or other effect. Three variants of the theme – choose which one you like best.

Controls include:

  • Box position, scale and rotation;
  • Source image position and scale;
  • Mask Scale;
  • Drop Shadow Opacity, Color, Blur, Distance, angle and fixed source option;
  • Corner roundness;
  • Feather and fall-off;
  • Border On/Off, width and color;
  • Fade in and fade out option.

Also available with onscreen control of box position.

and last but not least…

24. Waving flag template

More to come…

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7 Sources of Free Music for Video Sat, 06 Aug 2011 20:44:32 +0000 Will asks: I want to stay safe by using royalty-free music in my videos. Any resources you can point to where I don’t have to pay a small fee and use it forever without worrying?

Answer: Below is a list of generous Free Royalty-free Music Download Sites for Videos that allow you to do just that.  All they ask for is a credit at the end of your videos:

  1. – A small selection of tracks you can use free for personal or commercial use. Just credit somewhere in the description box (Example: Music provided by:
  2. –  Music personally created by Rickvanman.  Available for other people to use safely in thier YouTube / amateur film projects AND COMMERCIAL PROJECTS etc. without the fear of royalty breaches and lawsuits, as long as you clearly accredit / attribute the work.
  3. – Use these free background music tracks for YouTube videos, advertising, education, videos, photos…etc.  You only need to link to our website from yours:  “Music by JewelBeat. Download your free music and free sound effects at”
  4. – You may use these tracks free of charge in your video, film, audio and multimedia productions. All you need to do is mention “Music by” in your credits.
  5. – For each and every single song, all you have to do is credit the songwriter – Peter John Ross ( and the music is yours to use for free.
  6. – The music on this site is free to download and play, free to rebroadcast in any form for any purpose, free to play in public, free to publish for profit, and free to sample. There is no copyright on this music.
  7. – Musopen is focused on improving access and exposure to music by creating free resources and educational materials. They provide recordings, sheet music, and textbooks to the public for free, without copyright restrictions.


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Big List of Supported Cameras: Final Cut Pro X Fri, 05 Aug 2011 20:29:41 +0000 Shawn asks: I have a Panasonic HD camera that records in AVCHD. The files have an “.MTS” extension on them. I’m using Final Cut Pro X and trying to get the files to import using the “Import” function under “File.” No luck. Do I have to convert these files using another program. If so, what’s the best way to do the import without losing any quality?

Answer: Earlier versions of FCP support more cameras than FCPX does – this is partly because Apple techs are still testing and qualifying new cameras. Also, some camera manufacturers will need to update their import plug-ins to work with the new 64-bit architecture of Final Cut Pro.

These updates are happening as quickly as possible with you’re camera brand mostly out of the way.  Meaning Panasonic is pretty much up to speed with most of their cameras. If you only have the mts – m2ts files, without the structure, you can use this program to recreate the structure and then import from the camera.

Sony is up to speed as well – they offer an XDCAM Transfer application that allows you to convert XDCAM video without transcoding so it can be imported into Final Cut Pro X.

If you are working with RED cameras, you can use the free RED software REDCINE-X, designed to transcode RED RAW video to ProRes for use in Final Cut Pro X.

Check to see if you’re camera is all caught up with this handy little camera compatibility guide.

Just click, tell it your camera and get the info…way to easy:

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Forget Zacuto Rigs: 4 Clever Uses for a Tripod Fri, 05 Aug 2011 17:19:04 +0000 Ryan asks: I’m on a budget and can’t afford the much wanted Zacuto rig for my DSLR camera. What alternatives would you recommend to do a half decent job where the viewer will have a different experience and I would have more comfort shooting?

Answer: An alternative to Zacuto: Your tripod. Alex Sican produced a great video series entitled “Clever uses of a tripod”. The tutorials’ aim is to show you how to utilize your tripod in clever, unorthodox ways. The methods promoted in these videos work excellently with video DSLRs because the cameras are light and easy to maneuver and carry when on a tripod. For the first week, Alex prepared a tutorial showing how to use your tripod like a Zacuto rig the following weeks he shows even more techniques.

Just click the links below to start watching. Enjoy!

A free alternative to Zacuto: Your tripod

Body mount camera rig

Ground level shots

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30+ Useful FCPX Tips & Tricks Thu, 04 Aug 2011 03:01:00 +0000 Anthony asks: I just purchased FCPX and like what I see but it seems like I’m going to spend some time getting used to the new interface and new way of editing. Do you have any training videos available where I can get up to speed quickly in the most important areas?


[stream provider=video embed=true share=true width=565 height=600 dock=true controlbar=bottom skin=stylish_slim.swf bandwidth=high autostart=false playlistfile=x:/ playlist=bottom /]

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The Right Way to do Video Storytelling Wed, 03 Aug 2011 15:37:42 +0000 Sal asks: I meet interesting characters during my travels on a daily basis. Some of these people would be great to interview on video and already have a basic setup to get it done but would need some simple tips to how to make it look great. Any advice?

Answer: This is a video tutorial we found on Vimeo that covers the basics of planning and conducting a single-camera interview for human interest and feature stories – we’re sure you will find it very helpful as it covers all of the bases to get you up and running with a quality video.

[vimeo width=”555″ height=”416″][/vimeo]

Produced by Bob Phelps – Video Instructor – Porter County Career Center – Valparaiso Indiana
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Filming Dental Implants Sat, 09 Jul 2011 16:28:16 +0000 Question: Any recommendations for video equipment of dental implant procedures? The focal range would be narrow for intraoral shots. I just do not know where to go for this information. Any help would be appreciated.

Answer from As I do not have any experience with dental photography or video, I’ve forwarded your question to a dental photographer I know.

She recommends fixing a camera to the dental light or the dentists head to film intraorally, and (if possible) have a small DV camera to capture the parts of the procedure done outside the mouth. Based on my own experience I would probably prefer a light-mounted camera to a head-mounted, as the latter tends to shake more.

There are two Sony camera models available that can be used both on the light and the head. The DXC-C33 is a medically approved 3CCD standard definition camera. The camera head can be fitted with lenses with a C-mount lens mount. In this case, a telephoto lens would be recommended, as the camera will be mounted at a distance and with a narrow target (the mouth). The camera has bot Y/C and firewire outputs, but is not supplied with its own recording unit.

Another option is the HXR-MC1. This is not medically approved, and does not have an interchangeable lens. It is, however, a high definition (HD) camera that records on Memory Sticks.

The camera is splash-proof and is fitted with a 10x optical zoom lens. Sony HXR-MC1 (HD video, no medical approval). Photo: Sony.

Thanks to Sterile Eye for this post
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Macro Videography: A Whole New World Fri, 24 Jun 2011 05:19:05 +0000

Arlanna asks: I’m a Entomologist (one who studies insects) wanting to get into macro videography. Where do I start? what equipment would I need?

Answer: Macro video is basically an extension of macro-photography with only a few differences. The main difference is in light aquisition. You need a lot of light to take a macro photograph, with big strobes. It’s extremely difficult to get the same amount of light constantly on a small subject. You also have to be very steady. A photograph can be handheld, a video can’t.

Shooting macro video also requires a specific set of equipment. Here is a video with all of the details:

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