Post Longer Videos on YouTube


Non YouTube partners are starting to see longer time limits for their uploads. If you have no strikes against you for copyright infringement or other reported issues as well as held an account for some time, then you may get blessed. It doesn't seem to be anything you can request, rather just wait for it to roll out over time.

You can find more details on the
YouTube blog.

YouTube won't officially say "how" long the limit is (I've uploaded a clip that was over an hour with no problems).

Here's the official release –


New Web Video Book

The staff of RHED Pixel just finished updating our web video book. This book significantly expands our original book on podcasting. We've added coverage of lots of brand new things. Here's the official listing:

Want to create professional quality web video that stands out in a crowded playing field? Gain a complete understanding of the opportunity, limitations, production, and distribution process with this book. Step up from the flip-cam experience with this solid introduction to professional planning and production techniques, ensuring that your video meets the same standards you set for every other element in your communication program.

  • Follow the RHED Pixel team as they detail every step of the way with engaging illustrations that demonstrate the process from concept to distribution including:
  • Preproduction planning of concept, scope, budget, and casting
  • Web-specific techniques for audio, lighting, and videography
  • Detailed overview of editing and encoding of web video
  • Effective branding and storytelling aids including b-roll, images and motion graphics
  • Distribution alternatives including HTML5, Flash, podcasting, RSS, and website hosting
  • Effective techniques to promote and monetize your video

Now available for pre-order.


Create a Client Screener Disc

Check out this video to learn more about creating a screener disc for your clients.
This a sample of the 6 hours of video included with the book
Video Made on a Mac.
You can also visit the website in order to download sample files.


Free Music for Video Projects

A nice source to find royalty free or public domain licensed music you might want to check out

"The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads. The Free Music Archive is directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet.
Every mp3 you discover on The Free Music Archive is pre-cleared for certain types of uses that would otherwise be prohibited by copyright laws that were not designed for the digital era. Are you a podcaster looking for pod-safe audio? A radio or video producer searching for instrumental bed music that won't put your audience to sleep? A remix artist looking for pre-cleared samples? Or are you simply looking for some new sounds to add to your next playlist? The Free Music Archive is a resource for all that and more, and unlike other websites, all of the audio has been hand-picked by established audio curators."

A Great Article on Filmmaking Apps for the iOS

Here's a great article on cool application for the iPhone and iPad. Twenty-two apps that help video pros and filmmakers.

"The iPad and iPhone have taken the world by storm. Only very recently have filmmakers started to see their potential in a production environment. The iPad has only been out a few months and we are already seeing it used in some very creative ways.

For this feature we have rounded up some of the best and most useful Filmmaking Apps that our Deal Leader Steve Jobs has approved for the App Store. As more filmmakers explore the possibilities with these powerful mobile devices, we are sure this list will continue to grow"

Get the whole article here –

| Review

One of our favorite services has to be This robust site let’s you publish your video to many outlets (including nontraditional ones like TiVo and internet connected TVs). In fact the company claims that its network “reaches more than 80% of Americans on the Internet and a growing number of television households.”

We really like how flexible is in that you can choose your distribution format. You have options to use Flash, MPEG-4, QuickTime, and more. Their player is also highly customizable and can be fully branded to your site or brand.

The service has both a free version and a paid version at $8 per month. The paid version offers priority encoding so your files are available in multiple formats. This is a great feature as it lets others re-syndicate your content using a player of their choice. The control panel for the site is very robust, and gives you complete control over targeting specific networks and social media sites.


Free Windows Media Encoder

Windows Media Encoder is dead... In it's place is the Expression Encoder 4. There's a ton of new features, but the biggest for me is that it finally recognizes QuickTime files. If you are on a Mac, you'll need to run it under VMWare or BootCamp. But it's a free application (with a more advanced version for free). Be sure to check it out —


TubeMogul Review

The OneLoad service from TubeMogul ( offers both a robust free version (which allows for 100 videos per month) and a scaled paid service with advanced features for large publishers (priced at $50 per month and up). The principal benefit here is that it offers a single point for deploying videos to the top video and social networking sites.

You first set up accounts at any of the 30 sites supported by TubeMogul. You then upload a video to TubeMogul’s site and it is sent onto the other sites. This means you need to spend a little time setting things up, but once you’ve published more than two videos, this method is substantially faster. The site also offers detailed analytics (for supported sites), that can show real-time viewership, geographic tracking, stream quality and more.

Free Final Cut Pro/Motion/AE Plug-ins

I always like free stuff... especially
good free stuff.

Here's the link –


A great book on green screen

If you've been looking for a comprehensive guide on greenscreen this is it. Jeff covers everything from preproduction through shooting and post. Jeff's a great teacher who's passionate about his subject.

You can get a few samples of the book
here for free, but be sure to check out the whole thing.

  • See how to plan, set up, and execute your shots to reduce fixes in post
  • Choose the right keying process for your project
  • Master basic shooting setups and live broadcast keying
  • Understand proper lighting and how to match subjects to the background
  • Create a working storyboard and learn how to select and direct talent
  • Composite your footage and fix problem shots
  • Work creatively with virtual sets, motion tracking, and match moving
  • Master techniques that apply to all compositing software and plug-ins


The Share Menu in Final Cut Pro

FMC trainer Richard Harrington demonstrates how to share and publish projects in a variety of formats.


Use Apple Pro Apps? Time to Update.

Use FCP, Aperture or Logic? Be sure to download the Apple ProKit 5.1 update to fix memory leaks –

About ProKit 5.1 (Leopard & SnowLeopard)

This ProKit Update fixes issues with user interface software resources that are shared by Apple's professional applications.
  • The issues addressed include:
  • Corrected an issue with improper scrolling behavior.
  • Resolved memory leaks for improved performance.
  • Addressed layout of interface elements in certain application alert windows.
The update is recommended for all users of Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Aperture, Final Cut Express, Soundtrack, Logic Pro and Logic Express.
Get it here –


Video Data Rate Calculator for iPhone

AJA Video Systems, a leading manufacturer of professional video interface and conversion solutions, announced today the release of AJA DataCalc. AJA DataCalc is a free storage requirement calculator designed for video professionals and is available now as a free download from the Apple iTunes Store here.

The Economics of Music

"Of the new titles released last year, almost 99 percent of them didn't sell enough copies to let their creators earn a living from CD sales, and almost 95 percent of them didn't sell enough copies to cover the most basic expenses involved in their recording."


Check out the article Selling CDs is no way to make a living.


MommyCast on front Page

A show that is produced in my studios, MommyCast, is one the fron page of iTunes. A big congrats to the team behind the show. The featured episode is on the swine flu outbreak and is worth checking out for important information on staying healthy.


How to Keep Your Body Happy When Chained to a Computer

This article was originally written for inclusion in the first edition of Photoshop for Video. I present it here as I think the information is important (despite the publisher cutting it).

by Dave A. Anselmi
You all know the feeling—that annoying “nag” in your wrists, that stinging or “tingling” feeling down your forearms, perhaps that aching pain in your shoulders and neck. At first it was a minor annoyance… and now, sometimes you find yourself “rushing” your edits, or perhaps even not editing at all, because of the pain.

You’re not alone. As more and more people become “knowledge workers”, doctors and therapists are seeing more and more cases of Computer-Related Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI), or colloquially, “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome” (CTS). And Non-Linear Editors are especially susceptible, what with their long hours sitting in the dark, ‘hunched’ over a keyboard, moving the mouse back and forth.

The Case for Ergonomics

Here I’ve gone and given you all sorts of things to try with your computer. I would feel guilty if I didn’t bring up ergonomics. The goal behind ergonomics is to design the work to best fit the worker. Highly repetitive tasks are prone cause physical problems. The goal is to prevent back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and other musculoskeletal disorders.

How serious is the problem? Very. According to the U.S. department of Labor, approximately one-third of all occupational injuries are directly tied to over-exertion and repetitive motion. These injuries
cost employers over $20 billion in worker compensation each year.


Get the Latest P2 Software Get the Latest P2 Software

Just last month Panasonic updated their P2 software and drivers.  Of course its not always easy to find where this software lives.  Sure you can bookmark the page, but seems like I always need it when I’m in an edit suite or trying to help someone else out through their problems. So, I have solved the problem once and for all (I hope).

I used the URL shortening service to trim the long URL.
While the software is available at that is just too hard to remember. We used the TinyURL service to shorten it to Just think P2 Software Download and you’ll remember it.


Adobe Creative Suite $200 Off

Just thought I’d share that Adobe extended their discount offer on Creative Suite 4.

For a limited time, your version of Adobe® Creative Suite® 2, Creative Suite 1, Macromedia® Studio 8, Studio MX 2004, or Production Studio software qualifies you for up to US$200 off on eligible upgrades to Adobe Creative Suite 4 software. Don't hesitate, this
offer ends April 30, 2009.

A Change in the Market – Apple Releases HD Movies for Sale

Seems like times are changing... Apple (and more importantly, movie studios) have decided to start offering high-definition movie sales and rentals through the iTunes Store. This is yet another sign that consumers want digital downloads (and are willing to pay a fair price). Let’s hope more studios come on board.

Starting today, movie fans can purchase box office blockbusters for download in HD for $19.99 from iTunes, and films will be available as iTunes Movie Rentals in HD for $4.99 within 30 days after release. Customers can enjoy these films in HD on their Mac or PC and on their widescreen TV with Apple TV, as well as in standard definition on their iPhone or iPod with video.


New Book for After Effects and Flash Users

I have literally just sent the last changes to the last chapter in. The brand new book After Effects for Flash | Flash for After Effects is going to print. I am quite proud of the book and it explores some amazing things. The book is designed for Flash and After Effects users, and is meant to teach them how to use both programs together (along with Creative Suite 4). The book explores some pretty revolutionary things, but also has great primers to get new users up to speed fast (you can’t put a race car on your cover if the book doesn’t cover serious ground).

The official blurb
Adobe Creative Suite 4 brings together two powerful animation tools, each of which has its own specialized features and workflow. Learning to integrate Adobe After Effects and Adobe Flash Professional gives you more options for your animations and effects and the power to integrate video and motion graphics into a richer user experience. In this book, authors Richard Harrington and Marcus Geduld lead both types of users, those who are more familiar with either Flash or with After Effects, on using the programs together for maximum efficiency and creativity.

After walking you through the core features of both programs, the authors then explore advanced uses for each application. Each chapter focuses on a particular function of the program, teaching you how to create content for Flash with After Effects, enhance your projects using 3D environments, create professional-looking video with Adobe Media Encoder, and add interactivity, accessibility, and searchability to your video. You’ll also get hands-on experience using the project files on the accompanying DVD.

Within these easy-to-follow, step-by-step lessons, you’ll learn to:
  • Seamlessly exchange projects and assets between After Effects and Flash
  • Shoot green screen material correctly, work with Keylight, and utilize embedded alpha channels
  • Create dynamic text, vector-based animations, and “animated” video using the tools in Adobe Creative Suite 4
  • Work with 3D cameras and lights and create 3D environments
  • Convert Flash to broadcast and DVD standards with After Effects
  • Use Adobe Media Encoder for professional results
  • Create interactive controls and use cue points in your video
  • Optimize video for accessibility and use Adobe® Soundbooth® for video transcription
  • Use ActionScript in your projects for more innovative animations

Get your copy now.... it really has some fun projects and cool things in it.


Alpha Channels : Creative COW : Photoshop Tutorials

In the Photoshop tutorial from Creative COW, learn how to make an alpha channel based upon the luminance in an image. Alpha channels allow you to store transparency in a graphic. This is part of a series of Photoshop tutorials from


3-Way Color Corrector – Final Cut Help

This video tutorial reveals a little known fact of color correcting different actors in a scene with the 3-way color corrector in Final Cut Pro. This tutorial is presented by and is part of a video tutorial series at


90 Percent of Problems are Cable Problems

Most people assume the worst when their edit system starts acting up. If you’re getting a signal or device control problem, it might not be your machine (or even your software). A $10 cable can tear down an entire edit session. Follow these steps:

  1. Shut down the computer to avoid any improper dismounting of media drives.
    2 Isolate the suspected “problem” device.
  2. Be sure to reseat both ends of the cable.
    4 If that doesn’t work, try swapping out the cable.
  3. Continue to add devices until the problem recurs. Then repeat this cycle.

You might be surprised how many times this works.

Remember, there’s more than just FireWire cables; there are USB cables, RS-422 cables, monitor cables and extensions, and fiber-optic cables. Even your audio and video cables (RCA, BNC, XLR) could be culprits. “What, no video? Oops, my RCA came unplugged.”


Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.


Final Cut Help - Animating Text with Keyframes part 2

Join Apple Certified Trainer Mason Dixon as he shows you how to animate text with keyframes in Motion. Part 2 of 2.

Like the podcast? Subscribe for FREE.
Want more training? Check out our


Apple Releases Pro Apps Updates

Apple has just released a set of Pro Applications Updates which improve reliability add add new features. The applications included in the update: Final Cut Pro 6.0.5 Compressor 3.0.5 Color 1.0.3 Shake 4.1.1. Here are some of the highlights of the updates (the full list is here).

Improved High-Precision Rendering – This means improved reliability and quality when rendering still images and footage in high-resolution formats.
Improved AVCHD Support – This affects the Panasonic AG-HMC150 C and the Panasonic HDC-SD9 Camcorder
Improved Support for Metadata Imported from P2 Cards
Improved Format Support for Color –
Color 1.0.3 provides support for XDCAM 422 media and for the RED plug-ins for Final Cut Studio.
Improved EDL Handling – Accuracy and reliability during EDL import have been improved.

To Download Files


What’s That Exclamation Point?

A lot of new users call us up asking about that exclamation point or nice green check mark on their image. We tell them that Final Cut Pro has an Artificial Intelligence engine, and it’s approving of the shot or edit. Or, if there is an exclamation point, then there’s content that’s inappropriate for people younger than 18. They thank us and hang up the phone.

After about five minutes, they call us back and ask if we were pulling their legs. Well, Final Cut Pro does have a secret AI engine. If we told you more, we’d be put on double-secret probation, but the exclamation point and checkbox actually mean something

They’re used to determine if your video is broadcast safe/legal. An exclamation point means you’re not broadcast safe, and a green checkbox or one with an up arrow means you’re okay. Now how did this get turned on? Well, the keyboard shortcut for this is Control + Z, so people often accidentally hit it when trying to do an Undo (Command + Z) or a Fit to Window (Shift + Z).


Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.


Final Cut Help - Animating Text with Keyframes part 1

Join Apple Certified Trainer Mason Dixon as he shows you how to animate text with keyframes in Motion. Part 1 of 2.

Like the podcast? Subscribe for FREE.
Want more training? Check out our


Aperture 2 Quick Tip – Now on iPhone

We’ve partnered with the cool folks over at mDialog to bring you our Aperture show... now on Apple TV and the iPhone. To view our episodes on your phone, just download the free mDialog application from the iTunes App Store.

“The mDialog application is always available as a free download worldwide from Apple's App Store on iPhone and IPod Touch, or at or click on the link on the mDialog site.”

Be sure to download and try it out.... it works great and is absolutely free.


Adding Captions to Flash Video

Looking to make your web video more accessible? Then be sure to check out this great article on adding open captions to Flash video. If you are doing video work for the government, then this is often an absolute must.

“The really great thing about this feature, from our perspective as designers and developers, is how simple it is to accomplish and manage. If the timing is out or a caption is wrong, you simply change a few words or numbers in the XML file.”

This tutorial makes it really easy and I suggest you check it out.


How to Fix Apple Compressor

If you’ve ever had issues launching Apple’ Compressor software, you’re not alone. The software seems to frequently get stuck and fail to launch. Fortunately, Digital Rebellion has a free tool to fix the issue called Compressor Repair.

“Apple's Compressor relies heavily on a service called Qmaster in order to work. Qmaster allows you to split rendering tasks across multiple machines in a render farm but it is still required even if you are only rendering on a single computer.The link between the two is so important that if the Qmaster service fails to launch, Compressor will be unable to submit batches. Should this occur, Compressor Repair checks for problems that could be preventing Qmaster from operating correctly. It checks for missing files, incorrect permissions, and attempts to manually start the qmasterd process.”


Photoshop CS4 – Video Improvements

Richard Harrington shows you how to size pictures for video and work with video files in Photoshop CS4 .

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our
iTunes version.

Ready for the Upgrade?

Layers Magazine has a great artivle on their blog about what you’ll need to make sure your computer is ready for CS4. One important note for Mac users.... many of the applications require that you have an Intel processor... so keep that in mind.

“Working in tech, you almost take for granted being a gear junkie and having the most newfangled computer out there, but I’m sure there are a lot of you who want to make the jump that are unsure of what is technically needed, as well as other people out there that are ‘taking the plunge’ and getting the CS4 Suite in addition to a new computer to be able to hold it.”

Read more

Photoshop CS4 – Adobe Output Module

Richard Harrington shows you how to use the Adobe output module in Bridge CS4 to make websites, PDF slideshows and web galleries of your images. This technology is slick and easy to use.

Want the videos in HD?  Then check out our iTunes version.

PeachpitTV: Tech on the Road -Rich Harrington Talks Podcasts

Gary-Paul interviews video podcaster Richard Harrington at the Photoshop World '07.


New HD Survival Handbook Has Great Advice

I just got my hands on a new hnadbook for HD written by Philip Hodgetts of Intelligent Assistance. Philip is a great guru and has helped me out of several jams in the past. This new book is a 212 page PDF that is reasonably priced at $15.95.

“The HD Survival Handbook was written to answer the myriad of questions that arise when a video professional moves from working in the Standard Definition world up to the more complex world of High Definition.

From essential background information a video professional is expected to know, to summaries of the latest gear that would take you hours of research on the web, this handbook has it covered. The HD workflows area will help you avoid the pitfalls that have trapped so many others and be ready to meet your customers' demand for HD.”

The book works with all NLEs, but has deeper coverage of Final Cut Studio. What’s also cool is that you can buy just the sections you need. Philip sells the Production, Post Production, and Distribution chapters as separate downloads.

Here are two sample pages:
Here are the table of contents for each section:

Making Great Titles for your Next Video (Part 1)

You’re nearly finished with your video. You’ve picked the perfect music, gotten the editing done just right, and now its time to give credit where it’s due. No, there’s no need to tell your mom how much you love her (at least not in your video). But you do need to identify all those talking heads in your show. After all, it’s important to let your audience know who’s talking and why they should care.

Proper use of titles and lower-third graphics help your audience follow the action. They establish the credibility of your on-camera interviews. If you apply a few simple ‘rules’ they can even improve the quality of your entire piece and add to the overall style. Don’t freak out when I say rules; rather think of this as experienced advice. Choose to follow whatever makes sense for your show.

To build titles and lower-thirds, I recommend Adobe Photoshop. While there are several other tools out there, none have as big a user base or as many options. Think of Photoshop as a flexible friend, it’s great at getting you out of tight jams and creative bottlenecks. All of these tips will work with Photoshop 5.5 or newer (and most are timeless, working with all versions).

#1 – Build It Right

You have to get things started, might as well do it right. The first step to make great looking titles is to build them the right size. If your graphics get formatted incorrectly, they will have to be resized by your video software. This usually results in shakes, jitters, and strobing (while this may make for a good Saturday night, you won’t want this in your show).

The right size for graphics is a popular arguing point amongst video pros. The issue is that Photoshop 7 and earlier has used square pixels, which is the standard for computer graphics. The problem is that most video sources use a D1/DV pixel, which is rectangular in shape, or non-square. Don’t worry, short-term problem.

To make things easier, Photoshop 7 (and newer) has built-in templates. Use them. The sizes Adobe recommends work just fine and I have never had any problems with these dimensions.

#2 – Make a template

  1. Have an empty document open sized for your editing system (see above).
  2. Create a new (empty) layer, and name it Safe Title Area.
  3. Select All by pressing Cmd+A (Ctrl+A).
  4. Scale the active selection to 80% by choosing Select>Transform Selection, and then typing in 80% in the Options bar for width and height. Press Return (Enter).
  5. Load red as the foreground color. Then choose Edit>Stroke and specify four pixels centered. This is the title safe area.
  6. Lock the Safe Area Overlay layer by clicking on the Lock icon in the layer’s palette.
  7. Save your work.


Making Great Titles for your Next Video (Part 2)

This is part 2 in a series on making great-looking lower thirds with Photoshop.

#3 – Pick a cool font

Now that we’ve got most of the technical junk out of the way, let’s have some fun. Other than music, nothing says more about the character of your show than the fonts you use. Be sure to allow enough time (and possibly $$$) to pick a cool font. There are several options to consider when picking a font.
  • SERIF vs SANS-SERIF: Serifs are the little hooks on type. Serifed type (think Times) uses thick and thin strokes. Sans-Serif (think Helvetica) uses even-weighted strokes. Sans Serif usually reads better for video. If using serifed fonts, look for a bold or black version and avoid lines thinner that 3-pixels.
  • Style: Write 10 – 20 words down that describe your video. Get input from your client too. Use these words for guidance when looking at fonts.
  • Free or Paid: Free fonts (and overly cheap) fonts often have partial character sets. This may be an issue if you need special symbols (such as & ™ © or • ). You get what you pay for, but don’t worry, several independent font foundries sell great fonts for less than $25 per font.
  • Keep it in the Family: Some fonts belong to families (regular, bold, black, italic, etc). This is useful as you can use one font family and mix styles. This leads to a consistent design in your titles. If you want to mix fonts NEVER use more then two fonts in a title graphic.
  • Format: Many fonts come in different formats. Macs have historically used Postscript while PCs have used TrueType. Macintosh OSX can now read many “PC” true type fonts with no problem. A new format OpenType is also starting to pop up for sale.
  • Kerning: Some professional fonts have had the spacing between characters carefully tweaked. This balanciong is called pair kerning. If your type appears improperly balanced you will need to kern it. Move between characters using the left and right arrows. Hold down the Option key (Alt key) and press the left and right arrows to tighten or loosen pair-kerning.
Some places to look for unique (and often free) fonts:

#4 – Use good color

Can you match your own clothes in the morning? When you walk through a room do people point? By now you’ve likely figured out a few color basics (or have strategies that work). Here are a few more tips.
  • Avoid highly saturated colors. Bright reds and yellows will cause problems in video.
  • Use contrasting colors; if you were to use a color wheel, these would be colors opposite each other. If you want to use three colors, draw a triangle on the color wheel. Digital Anarchy sells a great product called ColorTheory that makes it easy to pick color combinations for two or more colors.
  • Pick up the Pantone book on color trends. This book offers interesting color combinations that always seem to end up the latest fashion.
  • Mix light and dark colors to maintain contrast. Dark on dark and light on light are VERY hard to read.
  • Use a contrasting edge on your type (such as a shadow or glow). This will improve readability.

#5 – Make it layered

If all you ever do is draw a box and put some words on it, you’re so retro that it’s not even cool. Video graphics these days use multiple layers and transparency to achieve good looks. I can go on for hundreds pages on layering techniques (see Photoshop for Nonlinear Editors, part of the DV Expert Series). Here’s some down & dirty tricks to take you to a higher level.
  • Use photos of textures in your bars. I often take pictures of light, reflections, lighting, water waves, etc. and mix these in with my graphics to add a natural depth. Simply place the texture above your bar and press Cmd + G (Ctrl + G) to group it. The texture is now applied just to the bar area below.
  • Use blending modes to achieve better looks. This is perhaps Photoshop’s coolest feature. While you can pick them from a list in the layer’s palette, I find it easier just to experiment. Highlight the layer you want to blend, pick the move tool (V), then press Shift + + or Shift + - to cycle through blend modes. Experiment, have fun, trust me it works!
  • Use layer masks to blend layers together. Use black and white gradients on your layer masks to create smooth transitions in mixing layers.
  • Fill an empty layer above your bar with a solid color or gradient. Tint your bar by setting this layer to the Color or Hue blending mode.

Making Great Titles for your Next Video (Part 3)

This is part 3 in a series on making great-looking lower thirds with Photoshop.

#6 – Layer Styles are your friend

While everyone knows about filters, many miss layer styles (or effects in older versions). These real-time effects combine good looks with speed and flexibility. When building titles, they are the way to go. You can use styles for shadows, glows, bevels, textures and more. Best of all they are stored within the document and can be easily modified.

Check out the following sites for more on Actions

If your edit system supports layered files, you’ll have to flatten your layer styles if you want to import the PSD document. I usually do this on a copy of the project, so I can go back to the original and make changes. The following steps can be saved as an action. Highlight the styled layer; then record the following action.
  1. Create a new layer and name it Flat. (It will be created by default right above selected layer.)
  2. Press Option+[ (Alt+[) to select the layer below to be flattened.
  3. Link to the layer named Flat.
  4. Choose merge linked from the palette’s submenu.
  5. Press STOP. (You can choose Option (Alt)+Merge Linked instead for targeted flattening).

#7 – Make it Readable

Video type needs to be big. When you are sitting less than two-feet away from your computer screen, 20 –point type looks great. When you are sitting 20+ feet away from the television, it’s worthless. Use bigger type. Here’s a simple test.
  1. Choose View> Actual Pixels.
  2. Press the F key twice to go to Full-Screen mode.
  3. Press Tab to hide your palettes.
  4. Stand up from your computer and look at it from the far corner of the room. How’s it look?
  5. Press the F key and tab to return to normal.

#8 – Make it See Through

Okay, you’re almost done. You just need to save the graphic for your edit system. Te best way to make sure everything comes in properly is to use a single layer graphic with an alpha channel. Depending on your edit system, you may need a PICT file or a TARGA file (check your owner’s manual).

There are several methods for creating alpha channels. In my opinion, this is the fastest and easiest.
  1. Turn off all layers you don’t want in the final graphic (including the background or placement image). Create a new (empty layer) and highlight it.
  2. Hold down the Option (Alt) key, choose Merge Visible. A composite layer is now created.
  3. Turn this layer off by clicking on the Eye icon.
  4. Hold down the Cmd (Ctrl) key and click on the layer name in the layer’s palette. The marching ants should encircle the layer.
  5. Switch to the Channels palette and click on the Save Selection as Channel button. Only have 1 alpha channel per document or your NLE will get confused.
  6. Choose File>Save As to Save A Copy as a PICT or TARGA with an alpha channel included. Photoshop 7 users who need TARGA files should download the free update to fix a bug with transparency

Video Compression Workshop – Helpful Advice (part 3)

This is part two of our article on effectively compressing video for the web and multimedia. Be sure to read part one if you haven’t done so.

Need to get your video delivered to your audience? Then there’s probably going to be some compression involved. Don’t let hardware or software get in your way. Let’s take a common sense approach to getting your video out there.

Pick Your Power

There are tons of compression tools out there, but the pro apps offer important features like batch processing, multiple architecture support, and customizable presets. The five most popular options are:


Great News for Adobe Media Player 1.1

Want to know more about the updated Adobe Media Player? Head over the Deeje Cooley’s blog for the straight info from Adobe.

There’s a lot of great things happening here for content creators.


Video Compression Workshop – 10 Steps to Better Compression (part 2)

This is part two of our article on effectively compressing video for the web and multimedia. Be sure to read part one if you haven’t done so.

1.) De-interlace your video: Most video files are interlaced, which means that half of one image is blended with half of the next. On a Television this produces smoother motion, on a computer it produces junk.

2.) Lower your audio standards: Most users are listening to computer audio on tiny speakers. Cutting your sample rate to 22 or 11 kHz and the sample size to 8-bit will often produce unnoticeable audio changes but huge space saving.

3.) Shrink the window: While you don’t need to make video postage stamps sized. But reducing the window to half size creates a file that is 25% the file size of the original. That’s a BIG savings in space.


Convert MPEG-1 for FCP

bbDEMUX – Free

I stumbled across this great piece of freeware when stuck with an editing problem. My client had some MPEG-1 files they wanted to edit together for their website. While I was able to import them into FCPand set the timeline to 320X240, I couldn’t get the audio to import. Turns out with MPEG-1 files, the audio and video are merged into one track (muxed). This great little app does nothing more then split them apart, but that’s all that was needed and its free!


Video Compression Workshop – An Introduction (part 1)

Successfully getting a video file delivered to your audience usually means it will be compressed (heck it’s often compressed just so we can work with it in the first place). Making the video file available to your target audience is your goal, but the challenges of hardware, connection speed, and even operating system can affect the decisions you make. Let’s take a common sense approach to getting your video out there.


Rebuilding Permissions

This sounds like something from etiquette class, but this little activity can save hours of headache throughout your system. In the Utilities folder in the Applications folder, there’s an application called Disk Utility. Under the First Aid tab there’s a button to repair permissions (Repair Disk Permissions). Select your drives and let it rip. You should run it a couple of times. It’s amazing how so many of those little quirky problems will go away.


Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.


Bill Mandates Captioning for Podcasts

A new bill has been introduced into congress that would target accessibility of web video. The "21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2008" (H.R. 6320) covers about a dozen areas. The proposed law has Internet video captioning requirements.

Eighteen months after its enactment, the Federal Communications Commission must set up regulations and deadlines for "an appropriate schedule of deadlines for the provision of closed captioning of video programming distributed to the public over the Internet."

Three kinds of video would be affected:
  • Material that has already been captioned for TV viewing
  • Live programming
  • Video that is "generally considered to be comparable to programming provided by multichannel programming distributors."
It is point three that is sticky. A whole lot of podcasts fall into this category. Closed captioning and transcriptions cost.... many podcasters see little if any profit from their shows. Always nice when congress sticks its nose in the Internet.

How about instead of sending money to worthless causes... they actualy fund this requirement.


Special Episode of Layers TV

I recently got a chance to co-host Layers TV with Corey Barker. The show is a great podcast that comes out each week on all things Adobe. They do a really great job with it and they had me on as a guest host to cover Adobe Production Premium.

“Corey is joined by guest co-host Richard Harrington to discuss working with video in Photoshop Extended, Premiere, and After Effects.
  • When working in Premiere, don't forget about the search menu that you can use to locate the effects you want
  • Change Color is a useful effect that you can use to target and adjust one color region of your video clip
  • There are also Shadow/Highlight adjustment options in Premiere
  • You can bring your video clips into Photoshop Extended and apply Photoshop effects to them
  • Make video clips into smart objects so that Photoshop will treat them as a single layer
  • After you have finished editing the video clip in Photoshop, go under the Export command and render the finished video
  • Get more information from Richard at Photoshop For
  • Use After Effects to make speed changes to your video clips. Remember, time is just another keyframe
  • If you want further video training from Richard, you can watch his classes at Kelby, or see him live at Photoshop World this September in Las Vegas”


Make Your Gray Skies Blue in Final Cut Pro

It’s not unusual for your skies to be washed out. This is often a problem, because video doesn’t offer the same dynamic range as film (the difference between darks and highlights). Fortunately, Final Cut Pro allows you to isolate the color correction, so you can achieve a fix just to the problem area.
1 Apply the Color Corrector 3-way filter, and access the filter’s visual controls.
2 Using the Select Color eyedropper in the Limit Effect controls, select the desired color you’d like to keep.
3 Click the key icon to view the matte. Use the Select Color eyedropper while holding down the Shift key to add to the matte. You can click in the Viewer or Canvas window.
4 Finesse the matte by adjusting the Width and Softness sliders for the Chroma, Saturation, and Luma values in the Limit Effect controls. When the desired color is clearly selected, there will be no holes in your matte. Also, adjust the Softening slider to improve the matte. You may get a better matte by using fewer limiting ranges.
5 Click the key icon twice to toggle back to View Final.
6 Adjust the color balance wheels and saturation of the shot.
You may need to add a second color corrector to finesse the scene or isolate another problem area.


Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.


Analyze Video Files on a Mac with Video Spec

Looking for a useful application to tell you more about your video files? Mac users should check out the free (and still in pre-release) Video Spec software tool. The tool is a little rough around the edges (it has one major bug which is the aspect ratio of DV and HDV is not reported accurately) but it is still truly useful.

• The latest version has been tested on Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard.
• It is compatible with PowerPC and Intel Mac (Universal Binary).
• This version is localized in english and french.


Soundbooth Beta Open to Public from Adobe

Adobe Soundbooth is a great tool to fix everyday audio problems and production workflows. It works well for video or Flash workflows and is built around a fairly intuitive set of task-based tools. Adobe is giving its customers a chance to play with Soundbooth CS4. If you are already a CS3 owner, the beta works until after CS4 is released. If you don't own CS3.... then it only works for 48 hours.

Here are some of the core features worth checking out:
  • Arranging audio files on multiple tracks
  • Making quick edits and applying fades
  • Matching volume levels with a single command
  • Removing unwanted noises and background sounds
  • Adjusting tempo and pitch
  • Recording and polishing voice-overs
  • Adding effects and filters
  • Previewing MP3 compression quality
  • Easily creating customized music — without musical expertise
  • With the new Adobe Sound Document file format you can take “snapshots” of your work-in-progress and undo changes made to your audio assets.


Get Photos from Aperture to Final Cut Pro

Sometimes third-party plug-ins fill obvious holes... this is truly the case here. Wouldn't it make sense to be able to quickly send photos from Apple Aperture to Final Cut Pro? You'd think that sort of thing would be built right in (its not). Fortunately the fine folks over at Connected Flow over an elegant (and free) solution.

“The Aperture to Final Cut Pro plugin lets you take your images stored in Apple's professional photo management application and send them directly to a video sequence in Final Cut Pro. From within Aperture, you can select photos, set their order and duration and select transitions between frames.”

The Aperture to Final Cut Pro plugin is a
free download and is provided on an as-is basis.


Timecode Burn-in and Encode in One Step

Timecode burn-in is used to assist in referencing back to parts of show. Typically this has been used on VHS tapes for producers so they can comment on shows, etc. These days it’s more common to use QuickTime files and DVDs for this type of work. Since you’re going to have to encode the video anyway (most likely using Compressor), why not add timecode burn-in at the same time?

Fortunately, a great new feature in Compressor 3 allows you to do this.
  1. Inside Final Cut Pro select the sequence you want to export.
  2. Choose File > Export > Using Compressor.
  3. Inside Compressor select the setting you’d like to apply to the file. With the setting active, select the Inspector window and click the Filters tab.
  4. Choose Timecode Generator.
  5. Change the settings for the Timecode Generator as you see fit.
  6. Apply the setting to the clip in the Batch window.
  7. Submit the job.

Note: If you’re trying to choose the Timecode Generator for an Apple preset you’ll notice there are no filters in the Filters tab of the Inspector. To be able to add the Timecode Generator to one of the Apple presets, you’ll have to duplicate it first (then it becomes a custom preset).


Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.


New Online Class – Photoshop and After Effects for Event Photographers

I've launched a new course over at Kelby Training called Photoshop and After Effects for Event Photographers. It's designed to help teach you new ways to show your images to clients? Learn how to quickly prepare images for use in video and on-screen. In this interactive lesson you'll learn how to prepare photos for PowerPoint, Keynote, and DVD slideshows as well as how to create attractive pans and zooms of your image.

You can watch the first three parts of the lesson for free and find out more on their site. The tutorial touches upon most of the Production Premium suite. You'll learn a bit about Photoshop, After Effects, Encore, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, and the Adobe Media Encoder

I hope you enjoy it.


Review of Premiere Elements 4 (4.5 out of 5)

“You might be thinking, “What’s consumer software doing in a pro magazine?” The short answer is that if you aren’t using the Adobe Master Collection or the Production Premium suite, you probably need Adobe Premiere Elements 4. Whether you work as an advertiser, designer, developer, or photographer, you most likely have an interest in making videos or DVDs.
Sure, Adobe offers the very capable video applications found in the Creative Suite product line but for many users, it’s hard to spring for the “whole enchilada.” When I sat down with Premiere Elements, I was immediately impressed. The product offers an easy-to-use toolset that addresses the needs of many users.

Here’s the lowdown: Premiere Elements only runs on Windows machines. If you’re a Mac user, you should be looking to iMovie and iDVD ’08 to fill the same needs. On the PC side, the market has been woefully underserved by offerings from Adaptec and Microsoft. With version 4 of Premiere Elements, Adobe clearly steps up to offer a dramatic redesign, combining power with ease of use (an Adobe trademark).”

You can read the rest of the review


Fly! (Trim on the Fly)

It’s possible to trim on the fly. This way you can listen for an audio edit or look for a particular visual cue. Just make sure the Dynamic trimmimg checkbox is marked.

  1. Enter Trim Edit mode, and press the space bar to cycle your trim. The sequence will play around your edit point and loop. The pre-roll and post-roll are set in the Editing tab of User Preferences.
  2. When you reach the desired edit point, press the I key to move your In point.
  3. Press the up or down arrow to move through the Timeline to your next edit point.


Like this tip? It comes from the book
Final Cut Studio On the Spot from Focal Press.


Adobe TV at NAB 2008 – Production Premium CS3 for Final Cut Pro Editors

Caught a great presentation from Steve Martin at NAB. It's all about using Production Premium with other NLEs like Final Cut Pro. Steve is a popular trainer (in fact one of Apple's main instructors). This one is helpful...

If you want more free classes... visit the
Adobe TV site.


Adobe Media Player Article Gets Longer Legs

The fine folks over at Layers Magazine have also published the article: Does the World Need Another Media Player? This time its had the benefit of being scrubbed by an editor (not just spell-checker). You can read it here:

A few folks have commented on the length of the article... here’s the Spark Notes version:
  • Flash Video is getting really popular
  • The Adobe Media Player will be easier for corporations, schools, and government to use due to Adobe's greater acceptance over Apple (and especially iTunes).
  • The media player supports several models that are attractive to content creators
  • The media player supports very rich statistics on media consumption
  • The application is going to move onto all sorts of devices and platforms in the near future.
  • If you are a podcaster... I predict the Adobe Media Player will have as great of an impact as iTunes did on podcast consumption.

The article is long... but worth the read... I promise.


Resources from Adobe E-Seminar

I taught an Adobe E-Seminar yesterday called "Creating a Graphic Identity for your Web Video and Dynamic Media." The class itself will be posted next week. Here are a few resources I identified during the class.

Two motion graphics projects.
Advice on rendering in After Effects.
Resource Slides
Photoshop for Video Podcast (free)
Producing Video Podcasts show (free)

The two books mentioned are
Producing Video Podcasts and Photoshop for Video.


Adobe TV at NAB 2008 – Photoshop CS3 Extended for Video

Want 30 minutes of free training on Adobe Photoshop CS3? Adobe had me in their theater at NAB giving lessons. Here's a recording from one of the days so you can see what was taught.

If you want more free classes... visit the
Adobe TV site.


Adobe Demos Future Technology at NAB

Following up on my "Really Cool Adobe Announcements" post...

Adobe has actually posted their "secret" presentation from NAB. Hart Shafer talks about four cool things Adobe has up their sleeve.

SO need to watch this... trust me. BTW (for those of you waiting... they did show OnLocation for Mac in this demo).


School of Podcasting Interview about Video Podcasting

Thanks to the School of Podcasting for having us on the show. I had a chance to catch up and talk with the host about what folks need to think about when moving into the world of video podcasting. The interview also features my co-author (and business partner) Mark Weiser.

You can get the interview for free right here ( and you should also check out their other shows which offer great perspective.


Really Cool Adobe Announcements

Adobe showed some awesome stuff at NAB. My favorite was a future version of Premiere that transcribes your footage, then makes the transcription searchable for both editing and publishing to the web. I was going to do an in-depth write-up.... but then I got busy (still will).

In the meantime. Check out this article for details.

Come See Me at New Media Expo

I'll be presenting at this year's New Media Expo in Las Vegas. The event runs August 14-16 and I hope you can come out. My class is called:

Producing Video Podcasts with Multiple Cameras
Want to cut down editing time and give your show more polish? Learn how to create video podcasts using multiple cameras. Join veteran podcaster Richard Harrington as he shows how to harness multiple angles to improve your show. From concerts and live events to demos and interviews, multiple cameras will help you tell your story. Learn how to setup and match your cameras as well as essential editing techniques. This workshop will make multi-camera productions a snap.


Two Updated Final Cut Pro DVDs

I just released two newly updated Final Cut Pro discs. We updated our Absolute Training for Final Cut Studios Disc 1 & 2. Both DVDs are full current for Final Cut Studio 2 and include hands-on training files as well as HD resolution training and iPod files.

Apple Final Cut Pro
Volume 1: Getting Started in Final Cut Pro
Volume 2: Going Deeper in Final Cut Studio

Also, you may have missed that we recently released the following titles. These also include HD and iPod versions on the same disc.

Apple Color
Volume 11: Introduction to Color
Volume 12: Advanced Color
Bundled for Savings

Apple Motion
Volume 13: Getting Started with Apple Motion
Volume 14: Going Deeper with Apple Motion
Volume 15: Advanced Techniques with Apple Motion
Bundled for Savings


’Toon Your Video in Adobe CS3 Production Premium

Want to create a cartoon effect for your video? Be sure to check out this step-by-step tutorial I wrote for Layers Magazine.

“Sure, clients want it…that “cartoon look.” But let’s face it; good animation is hard to come by. Unless you have a gaggle of animators locked in your closet, you’ll need to get creative. Sure, you could break out the pencil and paper (or maybe even try shadow puppets), but we’re here to offer you a different solution. By harnessing the power of Adobe CS3 Production Premium, you can convert video frames into vector art into film-resolution movie files. Curious? It’s all possible with the power of the Production Premium.
Read on.”


Final Cut Server World Tour

Apple has launched a road tour in support of Final Cut Server. I got a chance to look at this at NAB and I must say it is impressive.
The tour is going to hit several cities:

Hollywood – May 13 | New York – May 22 | Chicago – May 28
Korea – May 28 | Washington, D.C. – June 3 | Beijing – June 3
Mumbai – June 11 | Seattle – June 17 | Sydney – June 18
Singapore – June 18 | Hong Kong – June 24 | San Francisco – June 26
Taiwan – June 27 | Atlanta – July 2 | Dallas – July 8

“Beginning in May, Apple takes Final Cut Studio 2 and Final Cut Server — Apple’s new media asset management and workflow automation software — on tour around the world. Attend a free, in-depth seminar that features workflows used by some of the industry’s leading film and video production companies. Apple experts will give step-by-step demonstrations that reveal how each of these customers used Final Cut Studio 2 and Final Cut Server to achieve exceptional results.”

Find out more or register


Get the Adobe Media Player Now!

This is an excerpt from an article to be released in full later this week:

Adobe released the Adobe Media Player software on April 9, which allows a customizable, cross-platform media player experience. Built using as an Adobe Air application, the media player harnessed the power of Flash to create a rich media experience. To complete the experience, Adobe adds support for both RSS feeds and H.264 video, two of the open standards used by the podcasting movement.

What does this all mean? I had a chance to sit down with Deeje Cooley, who serves as the evangelist for Adobe’s Dynamic Media Organization (and formerly as the product manager for the Adobe Media Player). Cooley was tasked with bringing the product to market and he shared insight into Adobe’s motivation for the product and goals for its role in the market. Unlike competing products, the Adobe Media Player has chosen to focus on being a video-only player.

“The growth of video online, the dramatic growth of flash as the video delivery mechanism of choice… there was a ripe opportunity to take advantage of all these events around the industry,” said Cooley. “We started to build an RSS aggregator and quickly recognized that video was going to be a significant media online and so it became a video RSS aggregator. And so that’s really the birth of the Adobe Media Player.”

The Adobe Media Player is immediately available as a free download for Windows and Macintosh platforms from


NAB Video Blog

I just got back from NAB this morning... here are a handful of videos we produced while on the road.

The Red Scarlet: A First Look

Adobe Media Player at NAB 2008

On the Scene at NAB 2008

The AJA IO HD with Gary Adcock

The Litepanels Micro

The Litepanels Micro

Hope you Enjoy!


Animoto Creates Rocking Slideshows

Looking for something different? I discovered
Animoto at this year's SXSW conference... Load up your photos, pick a song, and within a few minutes you have a rocking music video. You can use their cleared music or load up your own. Thirty-second movies are free, full-length videos cost $3. You can get a full year's access for $30.

The whole process is a piece of cake. Be sure to check them out – 
here. You can post the videos to a website, download them for an iPod, or even use YouTube to share. The videos you download

Here are a two more of mine that you can check out.


Learning After Effects

I often get asked.... how should I learn After Effects... the answer is slow and steady. After Effects is a tough puzzle that is well worth learning. After Effects is a relatively expensive piece of software with an enormous feature set. It is not a tool that you can just sit down with and pick up in a few hours. If you're going to spend that much money on a piece of software, do not try to figure out that piece of software on your own.

Learning After Effects requires you to spend some time with the program and follow a structured learning regimen. Some of our favorite After Effects learning tools include:


Double the Size, Quadruple the Rest

Many video podcasters are embracing larger video podcast sizes. While the 320X240 size is well-suited for portable players like iPods, those viewing on laptops and televisions prefer the image clarity offered by larger sizes. But what’s the impact of using a 640X480 podcast?

  • File sizes are approximately four times larger.
    • Download times are approximately four times longer.
    • Hosting and delivery costs are approximately four times greater.

Don’t be discouraged, just be sure that you can afford to give people what they want and that they are willing to wait for that larger size. Some podcasters take the “easy” way out and offer both sizes. This strategy can work against you though as your show’s ranking on the iTunes charts can be negatively impactd as each version is tracked seperately.


Two More Classes on Kelby Training

Two more of my classes are now online at Kelby Training.

Photoshop for Video - Working With Photos
Richard Harrington uncovers techniques essential for video editors who are working with Photos in Photoshop. He shares his best practices for working with graphic and still images in a video environment.

Photoshop for Video - Technical Essentials
Join Adobe Certified Trainer Richard Harrington, as he uncovers the Technical Essentials of Adobe Photoshop CS3 for video professionals and enthusiasts.

You can access all the classes online for only $19.99 per month (besides mine there's a ton of great stuff up there).


Troubleshooting Apple Compressor

A lot of folks use Apple's Compressor to create podcast video files. That is when its running. I use Compressor all the time and think its a great application that harnesses the power of Apple hardware and software... but it can be a bit buggy.

Apple has posted a useful article on what to do when Compressor isn't starting up properly or performing normally.They offer basic troubleshooting steps to remedy the situation. This is the right place to start if you are attempting to to submit a batch and you see the following message:
Unable to submit to queue. Please restart your computer or verify your Compressor installation is correct.

Check out the whole article here.


Adobe Updates Device Central

Adobe offers a great application called Device Central as part of their Creative Suite bundles. The application makes it easy to test graphics, Flash, and video content and simulated mobile phones and other devices. Adobe just published another update that adds support for more phones and devices.

You'll need to log on with your Adobe ID (they're free). This is important to check out for mobile content creators.
If you are not familiar with Device Central, be sure to
check out this overview.


Testing the Feed

FEED Validator
There are lots of things that can break an RSS feed. A misplaced character, a misformed date, the list goes on. Fortunately testing a feed is easy. Once you have your feed and media available online, you’ll want to test it. The easiest way is to visit where you can enter the adress for your feed. If there are errors in your feed, they are clearly identified. The website also offers suggestions and links to more information on how to fix common problems. This website is invaluable and shoot be a part of your testing process.


New Class on Kelby Training

From Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider Blog

We’ve posted our first online class from Digital Video Guru (and Photoshop World Instructor) Richard Harrington, and it’s one a lot of people have been asking for: Getting Started with Apple Motion. Here’s the link to Rich’s new online class over at Note: We’ve got a lot more classes coming from Rich very soon, so stayed tuned! (That’s TV talk. I thought Rich would appreciate that type of jargon).


New DVDs on Apple Motion

I've just completed three new DVDs on Apple Motion. We shot the titles in HD, and the screen quality is awesome. On each title you get a regular DVD, iPod ready files, and HD files for viewing on a computer or Apple TV. There are three volumes at $59 each or a bundle of all three for $139. Each comes with hands on lesson files and a lot of cool stuff is covered.

“From beginner to master in one set, these three DVD’s will take you step by step through Apple Motion and have you ready to tackle complex projects in just hours. Join Richard Harrington in this three DVD set of clear, concise training that will have you producing higher quality work with Apple Motion in no time.”

You can get the training from If you want a discount code... Post a comment and I'll send it to you.


Amazon has Final Cut Studio On the Spot at a Special Price

Just wanted to let you know that Amazon is running a special on the new Final Cut book I co-authored. They've got the book for less than $20 (thats a third off the cover price).

Book Description
Packed with more than 500 techniques, this book delivers what you need to knowon the spot. It is suited to editors of all experience levels, whether you are:
  • Migrating from another NLE
  • Upgrading to Final Cut Studio 2
  • Seeking a handy reference to raise your proficiency

New Plugins for Broader DVCPRO HD and P2 Support

This is just awesome, Calibrated Software has a bunch of new plug-ins on tap that make it possible to work with MXF and DVCPRO HD codecs. This will streamline P2 workflow for both Mac and Windows users, as well as make it easier to move DVCPRO HD material to a PC. I promise a detailed review soon. The codecs cost $49 each. Here's the info.

QuickTime P2 MXF/DVCProHD Decode Components for Apple
For playing P2 MXF Files and QuickTime DVCProHD Files on Mac OSX (Intel) and importing native P2 MXF Files into Final Cut Pro Studio 2 Applications (see Read Me)
Please note: The P2 MXF plugin has NOT been tested in long form projects in FCP Studio 2 Applications and the DVCProHD Codec should NOT be installed if the Apple DVCProHD Codec is already installed.
Download BETA 1.0.0 (Build 18) for OSX 10.4 (Tiger) - Intel Only
Download BETA 1.0.0 (Build 18) for OSX 10.5 (Leopard) - Intel Only
Download Read Me
Download License Agreement

QuickTime P2 MXF/DVCProHD Decode Components for Windows
For playing P2 MXF Files and QuickTime DVCProHD Files on Windows (see Read Me)

Download BETA 1.0.0 (Build 18) for Windows
Download Read Me
Download License Agreement


H.264 Video in a Jiffy

If you need to create H.264 video files fast... be sure to check out the Turbo H.264 from Elgato. This USB sized device offers a dedicated H.264 encoding chip for less than $100. In our tests... we were flying through video compression tasks. For example, we recently encoded a bunch of hour long video, each taking about 7 minutes. The speed is amazing and the quality is very good. The new software they've released even lets you customize your export templates for custom sizes and data rates (several presets for other portable media players are included).

The Best Price we've found is $89.