Google Chrome Speed Tests

Google did some pretty cool speed tests with High Speed photography.

Check out the "making of video" to see how they did it.


Web Safe Fonts

This is awesome... a colleague of mine Jason Cranford Teague, has posted some great resources about web typography. My favorite is this useful desktop pattern of web safe fonts.

There is also an incredible
directory of fonts installed on Mac and Windows computers.


Want a Free Book?

Peachpit is offering a cool deal. Try out Safari Books Online and get a free book. Of course, you’ll have questions.

Q: What’s
Safari Books Online?
A: It’s a ton of books you can read online from publishers like Peachpit, O’Reilly, and others.

Q: Is it really
A: Sign up for the trial... order a book. If you don’t like, cancel within the 10-day trial period. Otherwise they bill you for first month (which is about the cost of a book).

Q: Which Books are Free?
A: There are 10 to choose from.

  • Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS4 – Stephanie Sullivan, Greg Rewis
  • Building Findable Websites: Web Standards, SEO, and Beyond – Aarron Walter
  • A Project Guide to UX Design – Russ Unger, Carolyn Chandler
  • Online Communities Handbook – Anna Buss, Nancy Strauss
  • Mac OS X Leopard Killer Tips – Scott Kelby
  • The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes –Joe McNally
  • The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers – Martin Evening
  • The Photoshop Elements 7 Book for Digital Photographers – Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski
  • Facebook Me! A Guide to Having Fun with Your Friends and Promoting Your Projects on Facebook –Dave Awl
  • SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate – Joel Postman


New Media for New Government Facebook Group

Are you looking to stay up on the latest news and network with other new media professionals interested in efficient government? Be sure to check out this Facebook group which helps connect the public and private sectors in this important cause.

You’ll also find 6 hours of free video training to check out on their site. I’m one of the organizers of the group and I hope you can share this info with others. The group is free... the video is free... knowldge is free... let’s make a difference.

Here are the six videos you can watch (in HD even).
  • New Media Boot Camp slides
  • Facebook 101– Why all the Buzz? slides
  • Podcasting and Government slides
  • Blogging to Reach an Audience – Does Anyone Care What You Have to Say slides
  • It’s all About Mobility – Reaching Audiences on the Go slides
  • Producing Video for the Web – Best Practices for Big Results slides



Powering Audio Search for Video

“Across the Production Premium toolset, Adobe has provided increased support for metadata… [pause for audience applause]. What? You didn’t clap? Well metadata is pretty dang important—it can speed up your editing, improve collaboration, or even make your videos more accessible on the Web. Sure, it’s not as enticing as yet another tutorial on making things glow, but give it a shot.”

Continue to the
Layers Magazine website to see the full tutorial for free.

Handouts from Boston Authors Video Workshops

I recently spoke at the Authors Video Workshops in Boston. The event was sponsored by the BOSFCPUG & Focal Press. Over two days, I spoke on three topics I am passionate about: Photoshop, Final Cut, and web video.

Here are some of the promised resources.

Photoshop For Video

Professional Color Correction in Final Cut Pro

Producing Video Podcasts and Web Video

Enjoy... reviews on Amazon and iTunes always appreciated.


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


Editor's Retreat – "Virtually Free"

If you’re an editor, be sure to check out the Editors Retreat. This great event is a lot of fun and a wonderful learning experience (I’ve been 5 times its that good). The price is lowered, but you need to put a reservation in ASAP.

“With respect to the current economic times and in response to your requests, we are pleased to announce a price reduction for 2009 Editors Retreat. By shortening the length of the Retreat by one day, we’ve managed to cut the price from $3,150 to $2,300 without losing any of our key sessions.

The Retreat now includes:
• 4 days and 3 nights of sessions and activities
• All-inclusive resort stay
• See more here

And, a package of give-aways for each attendee worth $2,400 to include:
• A Full Pass to the 2009 NAB Post-Production World Conference in Las Vegas! (Valued at approx. $700)
• An Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium! (Valued at $1700)

With all of the give-aways and savings you actually receive more than the price of the retreat!

Join us for an amazing conference of advanced sessions, networking, creative workshops, award winning keynotes, raffles and unlimited access to representatives from Apple, Adobe and Avid!”
Registrations must be submitted before December 10th, 2009 with a 30% down payment. Visit www. for more info.


Tech Shopping Deals

There are lots of shopping deals this weekend.... Here are a few that I’ve already taken advantage of.

Delkin Devices25% off and free shipping. This includes a Blu-ray burner, multiple types of card readers (I ordered a 4 card reader to load from 4 Compact Flash cards at once)! Use the code HOLIDAY during checkout.

equinox – Makers of useful software utilities like Coverscout (to get iTunes artwork) and several templates for OSX mail. I ordered the tube stick bundle for $99 that lets you record over-the-air digital TV signals to your Mac, then transcode them for use on iPod or iPhone. Several bundles that are 50% off.

Mophie Get the JuicePack for iPhone and iPod Touch. Doubles your battery life and makes for a long day of web work on the device. Take 25% off this weekend. Use the code gobblegobble3G.

Hop you enjoy... I get nothing from links... this is just what I spent money on and thought the deals were good.


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.”


Want to Win Photoshop CS4 or Other Cool Prizes?

So... we’ve been running a contest to win free stuff (we’ll be drawing in late November).

So far we’ve got three copies of
Adobe Photoshop, an assortment of Joby Gorillapods, and copies of Nik Software and Digital Anarchy plug-ins.

Cool right? Its easy to win (and your chances are very good). Simply watch the videos at or any of our embedded players.

With each video you’ll see a pencil shaped button. Click it to take a short (and I mean :45 seconds or less) survey.

You can take a survey one time only, that’s one time per video. Each survey counts as one entry. This means you have up to 15 chances to win prizes.

What are you waiting for? Free stuff is pretty cool.


Two Great Tools for Blogs

Just a quick post.... there are two pieces of tech I’ve been using on my blogs (both are free).

Lijit adds a great search engine to your site. You can create your own search network including multiple blogs, facebook, youtube, linkedin, flickr, and more. This is really useful.

Widgetbox lets you turn your RSS feed into a blog widget that can be posted to numerous social sites. Very clean and will help extend your reach.

Be sure to try both out....


New Site to Find Out All About Us

To make things easier, we’ve put together a new website for RHED Pixel Productions. Here you can find out information about all our podcasts, books, DVDs, and websites. Think of it as one-stop shopping where you can find all our training materials.

Feel free to take a quick browse and try out some of our new resources. I hope you enjoy!


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:

The Most Important Piece of Paperwork for Your Projects

I often preach extensively about project management at design and creative conferences around the globe. The one piece of paperwork that I always emphasize is completing a scoping document for a project then getting the client to sign off and accept it. This one piece of papaerwork can solve all sorts of problems and is really worth the 2-5 hours it takes to write. The outline is as follows.

Project Scoping Document

( 2 - 1 0 p a g e s )
  • Project Name
  • Executive Summary
  • Background
  • Project Scope (High Level)
  • Project Objectives
  • Deliverables
  • Organizations
  • Interfaces Required
  • Assumptions
  • Constraints
  • Evaluation Criteria
  • Risks
  • Rewards
  • Budgets
  • Schedules (Due Dates)
  • Project Team Readiness
  • Key Roles
  • Executive Sponsor
  • Project Manager
  • Business Experts
  • Technical Experts
  • Signature Lines - Sign Off “Charter”

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!


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.


After Effects CS3 Shape Tools

Learn how to use the Shape Tools to create dynamic motion graphics elements. This tutorial was recorded as part of a session at the 2007 NY Post Production Conference (


Cool Video Prodution Widgets for Your iPhone or Laptop

I often find I have too much information to remember (and for some reason people expect me to be able to spout pixel aspect ratio numbers like a multiplication table). Fortunately the fine folks over at Digital Rebellion has solved this (and for free). They offer several video widgets that do important math, these run on a web browser or iPhone (and a couple can run offline as well).

Video Footage Calculator – Calculates how much storage you'll need for your footage type and duration.
WebiPhone versionOffline version

Film Rate Calculator – Determines how much film you need for a particular scenario.
WebiPhone versionOffline version

Aspect Ratio Calculator –
Determines the aspect ratio for different footage formats.
WebiPhone version

Depth of Field Calculator – Calculates depth of field for many camera sensors.
WebiPhone version

Pixel Aspect Ratio Calculator – Determines relationship of Pixels for many digital formats.
WebiPhone version

Lens Angle Calculator – Helps calculate the lens angle for a given sensor size and focal length.
WebiPhone version

Power Load Calculator – Calculates the load on a circuit to see if it is excessive. You can also calculate the minimum circuit breaker size for the given load.
WebiPhone version

These tools are cool, free, and useful.... three points that make them a must have for my iPhone.


The Mac OS X 10.5.3 Update – What it Means to Media Folks.

I know a lot of folks who are hesitant to upgrade.... I admit, I've been burned by installing updates as soon as they come out... but hey, that's why I'm an early adopter. The latest Mac update looks to include several important bug fixes and enhancements. Here's a few that tip the scale in favor of installing.

  • Addresses an issue with stuttering video and audio playback in certain USB devices.
  • Fixes an issue in which certain attached hard drives may not show up in the Finder.
  • Includes additional RAW image support for several cameras.
  • Improves 802.1X behavior and reliability.
  • Improves reliability when using Time Capsule.
  • Fixes reliability issues with authenticated RSS feeds.
  • Addresses compatibility issues with Aperture 2.
  • Addresses reliability issues when performing a full restore from a Time Machine backup.

You can access the update through your Apple Menu.... I’ve been running it for several days and all seems happy. Additionally, several new pro digital cameras were added for Raw support.


Useful Article About Online Collaboration

There's a great article over at Pro Video Coalition about using web tools to collaborate with other creative pros. The article is written by Steve Hullfish who truly knows his stuff...

“A few weeks ago there was a short but interesting thread on CML-pro (The Cinematographer’s Mailing List) about how to collaborate with other creatives on a production team using web-based tools. The original poster wanted a solution – a “group scrapbook” - that would allow a small pre-production team to share images, photos and notes. Expanding on the idea a little further, it would be good to be able to communicate across the group, share schedules, comments and video.
There were basically six good solutions presented by members of the list:
  • Google Sites – basically a free on-line website creator.
  • Celtx – free software that links to free shared web storage specifically for film and TV productions.
  • BackPackIt – subscription-based team collaboration website
  • BaseCamp – subscription-based team collaboration website
  • Picassa Web – on-line photo sharing
  • .mac account with iWeb – simple website creation with annual subscription for serving.

I examined each of these concepts for a project I’m beginning. There are pros and cons to each approach and I figure that you might benefit from all of my legwork.”

You can check out the
entire article here.


Near NYC? Check Out Rocketboom.

If you're near New York City, you might want to check out the NYC Podcasting Association event featuring Andrew Baron of Rocketboom.

When: Thursday, May 29, 7:00 PM

Meeting Description: We'd like to welcome Andrew Baron as this month's speaker. Andrew is best know for the hit videoblog Rocketboom. Andrew will talk about the current state of the industry; Where is the ad market at? Where is traditional media at in moving online? What options are avail to startups? What happened to Podshow and Podtec? What's wrong with Revision3 and Next New Networks?

Andrew Michael Baron is the creator and founder of the popular daily videoblog, Rocketboom. He is also the lead writer and producer of the show which has garnered international notoriety.

In Austin during the 1990s, Baron played in bands, ran a visual and performing art gallery and worked a variety of tech jobs. After receiving a BA in Philosophy from Bates College (Maine), Baron graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Design and Technology in 2003 from Parson in New York City. He was teaching graduate classes at Parsons and MIT when the notion of Rocketboom came to him. Although he has little interest in television (and did not own a TV set during the past decade), Baron has always been inspired by the implications of the democratization of media.


Episodic Viewing of Podcasts

Deeje Cooley from Adobe shares some interesting thoughts about episodic viewing of podcasts. Don't miss this great post on what's possible with the new Adobe Media Player.

“There is a better way. More and more, TV shows are being (re)distributed as RSS feeds, which allows for a completely "on-demand" experience. What's more, the coolest feature of Adobe Media Player, called "Storyline Subscriptions", takes advantage of the reverse chronological order inherent in RSS to deliver every episode of a show, in order, from the beginning, at a pace determined by each individual viewer.

Most video RSS aggregators will pull the most recent episodes of a show, which is great for news and magazine-style shows. But for story-based shows, viewers really want to start from the beginning, in order to follow the story arcs and character developments. When you subscribe to a show in Adobe Media Player, you can choose to either pull the N most recent episodes, or choose to pull N episodes starting with a specific episode, usually the first one. And of course you can change these settings, on a per-show basis, at any time.”
Be sure to check it out.


Nice Tutorial on Using Motion for Pan & Scan Effects

A trainer that I respect a great deal has released a free tutorial. Mark Spencer offers a free tutorial on Motion Control effects with photos:

“Animating photos is a staple effect pioneered by celebrated documentarian Ken Burns. In this tutorial Mark Spencer shows you why you should be doing these types of effects in Motion rather than Final Cut Pro.”

Click here to watch Mark's tutorial


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 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.


NAB Show 2008 Conference Notes

Thanks to all the great people who attended my classes at NAB this year. It was a ton of work to prep (and I must admit I needed some rest when I got back home). As promised, the class notes and resources have been posted to the Handouts section (be sure to browse for other resources as well).

Here's the list of what's available.

01 Fast Start with Adobe Photoshop for Video Pros – Slides | Book Sample
02 Video Podcasting Essentials – Slides
03 Selling Podcasting to Your Clients – Slides
04 A Sense of Perspective with Vanishing Point – Slides | Practice Files
05 Creating Movement within Photos with After Effects CS3 – Slides | Practice Files 1 | Practice Files 2
06 Directing Video Podcasts – Slides
07 Project Management for Video Pros – Slides
08 In-Depth: Video Production for the Web – Slides
09 Creating a Graphic Identity for Your Web Video – Slides [Enhanced PDF]
10 Render Faster: Wait Less and Play More in Adobe After Effects – Slides
11 Storyboard Techniques with Adobe Photoshop – Slides
12 Creative and Animated DVD menus using Photoshop – Handouts
13 Automating Broadcast Design with Photoshop – Slides
14 Seeing a New Light: FCP Color Correction – Slides | DVD


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:


New Resource Site Launches – Final Cut Help

I've launched a new resource site called Final Cut Help to offer you more news on Final Cut Studio as well as centralize all of my Final Cut resources and training products. Here are a few things you may like.

As always... comments and requests are very welcome.


Podcasting Forum at Creative Cow

If you are looking for an online forum about podcasting, then be sure to check out Creative COW. The Creative COW forums (Communities of the World) offer support for lots of different technical tools for video professionals. You can search past posts for answers or ask your own questions. Their podcasting forum is new... but has a lot of useful forum hosts who will try and help.

Creative Cow Podcasting Forum