Like a lot of people these days, I have drunk the Adobe CC kool-aid. I love the way Premiere, just works. As far as workflow, the dynamic link library is a godsend: the way you can embed After Effects clips, and jump out to Audition, Speedgrade and Prelude just makes my professional life that much simpler and well worth the price of admission. I do understand that $60 a month is a bit rich for some and there are now some great options if you don’t want to spend a dime/penny.
When I was starting out your choices were pretty limited (I struggled with Microsoft Movie Maker for more time than I care to remember) but now there are some great, fully-featured options. Some are free versions (cut down versions) of NLEs you can buy (the freemium model); some are standard freeware offerings. All of the following will get you up and editing your footage for no money. These are my top 5 recommendations: Click for more
Although it goes against everything we guerrilla, one-man-band video-makers hold true, there will come a time when you can’t do it all by yourself. I have done enough shoots where I’ve flown into town with a modest suitcase and carry-on, turned up to the location an hour or two early, scouted, set-up three cameras, separate audio, lighting, run the whole thing myself and caught the red-eye home wrangling data cards in a cramped coach seat. Yes it’s possible and, if you can do this, and especially if you have done this before, you will constantly be expected to work this way because it doesn’t get much more frugal than a one-man-crew. Click for more
At their best explainer videos make abstract, complex concepts clear. That’s exactly what IBM’s Watson explainer video achieves. Even though 8 minutes seems dauntingly long for an explainer video these days, they pull it off. The visuals actually expand on the considered script so that, even my Mom could follow and understand which is precisely the point of a good explainer video.
I was at Adobe Max this year when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella came on stage to talk about the Surface Pro 3 and their deepening collaboration with Adobe. His speech featured this video:
Although a lot of the applications and features showcased in the video were prototypes I, like many others in the room, was just starting to think that maybe I should look into a Surface device when Nadella announced that everyone in the room was getting a Surface Pro 3 to take home. It took a couple of seconds to sink in and then the room went nuts. It was like a geeky version of Oprah’s car give away: “You’re getting a Surface, and you’re getting a surface. We’re all getting a Surface!”
This wasn’t the first time this year that Microsoft has given away thousands of these machines to get them in the hands of influencers and out on the street: they’ve given them to journalists, analysts and techies but this was the first time they’d targeted creatives. It’s a pretty bold move on their part because the creative field has long been dominated by Apple. I’d guess that 9 out of 10 laptops I saw at Adobe Max were MacBooks and, at work, where I prefer to use a windows desktop, I am the anomaly. Microsoft want this to be a machine that’s all things to all men. They want it to be accepted in the corporate world as well as on university campuses, worldwide, coffee shops and in creatives’s designer messenger bags. They also want it to replace both your iPad and your MacBook Air and their TV ads are challenging the Macbook Air’s dominance in the ultrabook category. Click for more
Easy light wrap in After Effects – light wraps sell green-screen matte’s, making the composite footage look much more realistic but they’re usually really complicated to pull off. Can’t wait to try this method myself.
It’s a bit of a different inspired this time, and not one directly to do with video. Instead it’s a designer who speaks directly to the ideas of working your creativity and finding your own voice; James Victore.
I’m not a designer. I don’t know if James Victore is a great designer but I do like his work. I discovered him because I stumbled into his session at AdobeMAX this year entitled How to Tap into Your Creative Voice and Make Work That Matters. What creative wouldn’t want to go to a presentation with that title?
The lecture was well worth attending and is worth your time too but it lead my to James’s video series, Burning Questions. In each five minute video he address a viewers question and, although these are designer-centric questions, the issues are those all creatives face: inspiration, doubt, motivation, etc. These short, informal videos are like having a personal mentor on tap. He’s talking directly to you about questions you probably have. I’ve been working my way through them and I’m finding them incredibly inspiring. I hope you will too. Click for more
I get sent to a few conferences each year. Most of them I working so Adobe MAX is the conference I actually look forward to attending and I get the most out of. For me, in my second year of attending, it’s the perfect mix of the geeky and the artistic.
It’s flattering to be labeled a creative after years of being a hard-core geek, although, I do feel a little bit of a fraud when some speaker looks out into the crowd of six thousand and calls us all “kick-ass creatives”. It does make me want to go away and make sure that my portfolio is up to date, and is the best it can be, so that I feel more like I truly belong in this tribe. This is one of the many reasons that I love Adobe MAX: I go away inspired to create and fight for another year. I may have spent the last two months tweaking a hundred boring screencasts but I leave MAX determined to push harder and find those projects that will make feel like I earned the moniker, “kick-ass creative”.
It is easy to forget that you are Adobe’s paying guest when you’re all fired up to change the world, which probably means that they’re doing a lot right. Creative Cloud has become the defacto standard for a huge majority of creatives. Unless something changes, I can’t imagine not having to pay Adobe every month for the rest of my life – I can’t do anything professionally, or on any of my passion projects, without my CC subscription. Adobe have me, and many others, just where they want us. And yet, I don’t feel any resentment for paying my CC membership as Adobe pushes to develop new tools and expand existing ones, especially when you get to meet Adobe’s agents and they are all so approachable and enthusiastic.