Video Editing With Logitech G-13 Keyboard

Video Editing with Logitech G-13 Keypad

Logitech G13 for video editing

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I recently purchased a Logitech G13 after hearing how Editor Alan Bell A.C.E. uses one in combination with his Wacom tablet as his primary film editing devices. It sounds like a slick way to work and as an editor who is locked in to using keyboard shortcuts as often as possible and finds it a joy to memorise or devise new ones, I snapped up a G13 to give it a go myself.

Alan Edward Bell ACE - Logitech G13

In this post I thought I’d put together a fairly comprehensive ‘quick-start’ guide to anyone looking to use a G13 in their post production workflow. It really is a very versatile device and would speed up any creative working in After Effects, Premiere Pro CC, FCPX, DaVinci Resolve, Avid Media Composer etc. (or all of them!) There really are no limits to what you could use the G13 for, with a bit of imagination.

Headline Features of G-13

Video editing with Logitech G-13

Map each of the 22 G Keys to any keystroke, system shortcut, function key, macro, keystroke combination, alisas and mouse move you wish. Each profile contains three sets of mappings giving you 66 keys, plus the joystick and joypad buttons give you 7 more buttons to map in each set, totalling 87 programmable keys.

Customise the backlighting colour of each set of keyboard mappings, with three colours per profile, to help you visually keep track of what mapping you are in.

The LCD display will also toggle through several ‘applets’ which by default include profile selection, time and date, countdown/stopwatch, CPU and RAM usage as %, RSS Feed updates and email notifications.

You can also save up to 4 Profiles to the internal memory of the G13 to take them with you wherever you go. You can also export and import them via a simple XML too. Read on for a video tour and tips on editing with the G13

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Lightworks 12 on Mac – The Free NLE

Free Training For Lightworks 12 on Mac

Lightworks 12 on MacLightworks 12 for Mac OSX is now out of beta (as of two weeks ago) and freely available it’s Free and Pro versions and, now, across all three major operating systems; Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. But the development team aren’t resting on their laurels and the next 12.0.1 beta is already available if you want to be cutting on the bleeding edge!

Lightworks is available for free as well as in three payment options of £14.99/month, £99/year and a ‘buy outright’ price of £249.99 which means you’ll have to pay for up grades. The free version is far more limited than the Pro, with 720p H.264 as the maximum export resolution and codec.

If you’ve never heard of Lightworks before you might not know of it’s vintage heritage, or it’s modern day feature film pedigree, but Wolf of Wall Street was cut on Lightworks, so it can handle the complexities of media management and visual effects heavy workflows.

If you watch this two minute breakdown of a visual effects based commercial, where-in the 3D was created in Blender and all the editing, compositing and rendering were performed in Lightworks, you can get a sense of it’s capabilities.

Editor Brady Bretzel has posted a review of Lightworks over on Post Perspective.com which gives you a sense of how a working editor takes to using the software for the first time.

In the end, Lightworks is a standard professional-level NLE package. It is resolution, format and codec independent, it features a standard multi-channel audio mixer, realtime waveform and vectorscope, and even a library of color correction and effects. It has an in-depth metadata management search feature and even the ability to edit audio down to the ¼ frame, which is a really awesome feature to be packed into such an aggressively priced, full-featured NLE.

For even more free tutorials and useful resources check out the entire Lightworks category.

Getting Started with Lightworks 12

If you’ve never used Lightworks before then you’ll definitely want to check out the huge number of in-depth tutorials created by the Lightworks team, as well as the downloadable User Guide, Hints and Tips and other assorted fact sheets available from their site. Click through for over 20 more tutorials

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Learn Film Editing From Master Film Editors

Learn Film Editing From Master Film Editors

Before the internet I really have no idea how you would have the opportunity to learn as much, and in as much detail, as you can from excellent resources like these. In this post you’ll get a chance to learn from the editors of Star Wars, Super 8, Saving Private Ryan, Raiders of the Lost Ark and many more.

In the top video you can enjoy an hour long masterclass with Bad Robot editing duo Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey as they showcase scenes from Super 8 and Star Trek Into Darkness as well as a discuss the intricacies of their craft.

Here are a couple of gems from the BAFTA Guru Editing Archive.

Spielberg’s Editor Michael Kahn on Film Editing

It’s hard to think of a filmmaker who has shaped cinematic history more than Steven Spielberg and in these short clips you get to hear Spielberg’s editor Michael Kahn share his thoughts on various techniques involved in some of cinema’s most memorable scenes. Click through for a ton more videos!

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How To Become A 2nd Assistant Film Editor

How To Become A 2nd Assistant Film Editor

How to become a 2nd Assistant Film Editor

2nd Assistant Film Editor Robert Sealey’s various post credits include Star Wars: Episode VII, Mission Impossible 5, Heart of the Sea, Edge of Tomorrow, Jupiter Ascending and World War Z. Oh, and he’s only 23 years old. So he’s obviously doing something right!

I met Rob at the recent Edit Fest London 2014, and he kindly agreed to answer a few interview questions over email, which he graciously found time for in his hectic schedule working on Star Wars: Episode VII here in London, although he’s recently moved over to working on Mission Impossible 5 too!

If you’re looking to find your way into the film industry I hope you’ll find Rob’s insights both encouraging and inspiring. My favourite quote from Rob?

Don’t be intimidated by the film industry…” Great advice.

Interview With Rob Sealey – 2nd Assistant Film Editor

2nd Assistant Editor on Star Wars VII

What is your film background?

I previously had no background in the film industry. None of my family has ever been a part of the film industry so I came into it fresh with no previous links other than my love and passion for film. 

What was your strategy to get into the film industry?

When getting started I began looking for jobs as a runner in a post production house as I knew that editing and post production was what I was most interested in. Once I was into a postproduction house I met assistants from a TV background who had worked in features. From their experience they suggested that I go on IMDB pro and email as many Editors, First Assistants, Second Assistants and Post Production Supervisors as possible.

I have heard a lot of people say they are worried about going freelance. My advice to that is don’t worry, get yourself out there. Being freelance is probably the best move I made for my career. From that point onwards I sent a personalized email to each person containing my CV out to about 20/30 people a day.

I looked on IMDB for people on every film I had watched. It was only a matter of time before I got a positive response. I got responses from nearly every person that I emailed (even if they couldn’t help me out) and then got the phone call about World War Z after a month of emailing! Click through for the rest of the interview

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The Making of Gone Girl

Inside the Gone Girl Post Production Workflow

David Fincher’s Gone Girl seems to have created the perfect storm for post production geeks (like me!) who are both excited by the prospect of a great Fincher film as well as a groundbreaking editorial workflow. Gone Girl is the first major Hollywood feature to be edited in Adobe Premiere Pro and conformed in After Effects.

This also means there are plenty of great making of articles, interviews and technical details to be digested. What’s most exciting is hearing that the Adobe team worked so closely with the Gone Girl post team, which hopefully transfers into a better piece of software for everyone.

Kirk Baxter on Editing Gone Girl

Kirk Baxter Gone Girl

In this 30 minute interview editor Kirk Baxter shares his process on working with David Fincher and his particular methodologies, as well as some of the intricacies of cutting particular scenes and moments. If you’re not seen the film yet you might want to wait to watch it first as there’s a fair amount of ‘spoiler’ detail in the interview. But it’s well worth a watch over on Moviola.com.

Post Perspective has a really focused interview with Kirk that covers a lot of the ‘craft’ elements involved in the editing of Gone Girl.

Variety’s Justin Chang says, “Kirk Baxter cuts the picture to within an inch of his life, while still allowing individual scenes and the overall structure to breathe.” What do you think he means by that? 
My interpretation of that quote is that it’s at an unrelenting pace. David and I are always on a constant quest to reduce screen time without reducing content. During that process I sometimes break it, but the nature of editing and the environment that I have with David, it’s not a problem because you just go back in and fix it. You find the sweet spot from the constant back and forth.

Click through for much more on editing Gone Girl in Premiere Pro

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New Features in Premiere Pro CC 8.1

New Features in Premiere Pro CC 8.1

The rapid pace of the continuous development of Adobe Premiere Pro CC is seemingly second only to that of DaVinci Resolve and in this new 8.1/IBC/Adobe MAX update there are a huge number of updates that should make your editing life easier.

In this excellent walk through (above) from Josh of reTooled.net you can quickly understand what’s changed, what’s improved and what still needs work. If you want to hear it from the horses mouth, you can check out Al Mooney’s energetic presentation at the recent Amsterdam Supermeet. Here is a quick list of some of the new features.

Editing workspace layouts

Editor Vashi Nedomansky shares his thoughts on what the best new features are in the update and in the image above (click through to his post to see it in high res) you can check out how Vashi lays out his editing workspace across two monitors. Click through for tips and tutorials on Premiere Pro CC 8.1

Posted in Adobe, Adobe Premiere Pro, Editing, Editor's Tools, Free download, Tutorials, Workflow | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mixing Light Review – Inside Colorist Subscription Site

Mixing Light Review – Colorist Subscription Site

How do you maintain visual interest over the length of a feature film as a colorist?

How do you handle a client who insists the grade looks wrong on their iPhone?

How do you use the LAB grading tools in DaVinci Resolve 11?

All these questions have thoroughly satisfying answers over on Mixing Light.com, the monthly subscription site for anyone interested in developing their colour grading skills for both what’s seen on screen and for what happens inside the grading suite.

Mixing Light was founded and is maintained by Patrick Inhofer (sign up for his sister site; Tao Of Color’s excellent and free newsletter here) Robbie Carman (check out some of Robbie’s previous training here) and Dan Moran (run your eyeballs over Dan’s excellent showreel site here). All three are professional colorists, who between them, have a long legacy of excellent online training, authoring technical books and generous involvement in the global colorist community. So, who better to learn from?

Mixing Light.com Review

What’s included in a Mixing Light.com subscription?

For $24 a month (or $249 a year) you get full access to an ever increasing library of colour grading and correction insights which currently stands at close to 200 video tutorials and several handfuls of extensive written articles on a wide range of topics covering everything from how to really make the most of the new features in the latest software releases, to the diplomatic intricacies of working with clients, managing grading sessions and building a creative career, as well as the hard graft involved in ‘colourist circuit training’, of learning to develop wildly different looks for the same camera-original image.

Fresh content is delivered monthly so you’re always guaranteed to have something new to learn. Plus you also get instant access to the combined wisdom and experience of the rest of the Mixing Light.com community, which features colorists working all around the world, as there is always a healthy and active discussion of each post to engage in. Last, but not least, you get access to Patrick, Robbie and Dan via the ‘mail-bag’ in which you can request help or insight into a particular topic.

Click through to read the rest of the review!

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DaVinci Resolve 11.1 Tips and Tutorials

DaVinci Resolve 11.1 Tips and Tutorials

With the release of DaVinci Resolve 11.1 (no longer in beta) there are a slew of new editing features and updates which are quickly covered in the video above. For a more detailed look at what’s new in DaVinci Resolve 11.1 check out the update read me on the Blackmagic Design site.

Editing in Resolve 11.1

Colorist and author Alexis Van Hurkman has posted a nice little write up about the new editing features in Resolve 11 on his blog, answer the question of whether Resolve can be used as a fully fledged NLE. The answer is a cautionary ‘sort-of’, but at the rate the BMD are adding new features and updates, there won’t be too much longer to wait till it is.

Resolve 11 editing is based on an editor-friendly source-record style paradigm, with strong track management in the timeline that makes it easy to segue from craft editing into finishing. You’ve even got the ability to customize the name of each track. Bottom line, editors from other environments won’t have to relearn everything to start cutting in Resolve, and beginners will find a nice, clean UI that I consider to be very approachable.

DaVinci Resolve 11.1 Tutorials

Knowing how to do the right things, in the right order is an important foundational skill for becoming a professional colorist. In this short tutorial Denver Riddle from Color Grading Central takes you through the process in 7 minutes.

Grading tends follow a fashion trend. The blockbuster orange and teal look became very popular, then the low contrast ‘log look’, now it seems that the look de jeur is the Fincheresque dark look. In this 5 minute tutorial from Presynkt Post you can learn how to create that ‘House of Cards/David Fincher’ look for yourself. Click through for a huge number of free tutorials!

Posted in Adobe Premiere Pro, Arri Alexa, Colour Grading, Compositing, Creativity, DaVinci Resolve, Editing, Editor's Tools, Review, Tutorials, Workflow | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Film Editing Keyboards, Mouse, Controllers and more

The Best Keyboards, Mice, Tablets & Controllers for Film Editing

Controllers for editing

As a film editor you’ll be handling a mouse, keyboard, tablet or other more exotic controller all day every day, so it is a sound investment to make sure you’ve got the very best tools for the job. In this editing gear round up, I’ve gathered together the best options for every kind of interface tool with the editor’s need for speed, ergonomics and cost all factor in.

The Best Keyboards For Film Editors

Editors Keyboards - Premiere Pro CC

Keyboard shortcuts are the hallmark of a speedy editor. The more shortcuts you’ve got memorised the faster you will be. Learning all the shortcuts of course takes time, and if you’re new to a piece of software it will take even longer. That’s why keyboards like the ones from UK based Editor Keys (and their US sister company KB Covers) can be very useful.

If you’re a Mac user then you’ll know that keyboards come in two standard flavours – those with a digit keypad at the far right and those without. Personally I have the full length keypad at home where desk space is abundant and I prefer it for quickly tapping in time-codes etc. But I’ll definitely be picking up a wireless one without the keypad, as it’s smaller form factor makes it far easier to tuck into a ruck sack for freelancing gigs. Plus it will wirelessly connect with my iPad.

Keyboard Ergonomic Quick Tip – Keep the B key lined up with your belly button – especially if it has a keypad which will throw your alignment off if you place the entire keyboard in front of you symmetrically – so that your hands and wrists are not awkwardly placed.

avid media composer keyboard

Returning to the options for learning keyboard shortcuts, Mark from EditorsKeys was kind enough to send me a couple of silicon slip-on covers to try out. They do have dedicated keyboards as well, but the silicon ones are both highly portable and provide a lot more flexibility when switching between different software. Plus you can return to your original keyboard for fuss free tying in a jiffy.

You can get silicon keyboard covers for all the major NLE’s (Avid Media Composer, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X) as well as for applications like Photoshop, Pro Tools, Logic and more. They also have keyboards for the wireless and Macbook Pro keyboards so you don’t have to lug your full length keyboard around just to get the benefit. You can also get clear covers if you want to take something hygienic with you when moving to a fellow editor’s sweat encrusted keyboard – a hazard of the freelance trade! Click through to read the rest of this huge post including Wacom Tablets, Controllers, Mouse and More!

Posted in Adobe Premiere Pro, AVID, Colour Grading, DIT, Editor's Tools, FCP-X, Free download, Review, Workflow | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Understanding Avid Media Composer 8

Understanding Avid Media Composer 8

Avid Media Composer 8.1 was recently released, which has brought with it a bevy of new improvements, which you can find out all about in this post. But if you are on an older version of Avid and still haven’t moved to one of Avid’s new licensing options to get the upgrade, is now the time to do so? These questions will be answered too.

But before we get to all that you should definitely check out the latest Avid Rough Cut with Alan Bell A.C.E. on editing the VFX heavy The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in Avid. (Though you will have to hand over your contact details for the privilege.)

Avid Webinar with Alan Bell ACE

Should I Buy Avid Media Composer 8 Subscription?

When Avid announced Media Composer version 8, it was also the start of a new era in how you can actually buy the software. Like Adobe before them, Avid have moved to a subscription model which starts at $49.99/month for an annual contract or $74.99 for a monthly rolling contract. Whether you should sign up to Avid’s new subscription model depends on a few factors.

If you already own Media Composer 6.5 or 7 and you want to keep getting the updates that will arrive in 2015, then you will want to wait to pay for the $299/year support contract till sometime in late December, that way your 1 year support contract clock will start at the last possible moment, but you do need to do it before the end of 2014!

If you don’t already own any version of Media Composer the annual subscription is the cheapest way to purchase the software at $599/year. If you buy Media Composer as a perpetual license it will be $1299 + $299 for every year you want to keep it up to date.

So after 3 years the price difference is only $98 with $1799 (3x annual subscription) Vs $1897 (perpetual+ 2 years of support). Oliver Peters’ has an excellent breakdown of the different options and scenarios which is well worth a read.

Let’s say you bought Media Composer with the Symphony option – $1299 + $749. Hypothetically, by the end of the first year, Media Composer | Software has moved up to v8.5 and then you decide not to renew. From that point on, your version is “frozen” and cannot be upgraded. A year later, Media Composer | Software v10 comes out with enough compelling features to get you back on board. You cannot renew your v8.5 software license to upgrade, but instead have to purchase the current version Media Composer and Symphony again. Now you have two licenses: MC v8.5 and MC v10. Both work, but the older one is not upgradeable while the newer one is, as long as you renew its support contract after the end of the first year from the time of purchase.

If you want to rummage through Avid’s FAQ on Media Composer 8 and the new licensing options jump here. You can even download a pdf of the different licensing options and their price comparisons. Below is a playlist of 20 How-To tutorials on all things related to the new options. Click through for the new features in MC 8.1, tutorials and much more!

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