Here’s a quick summary of best practices for YouTube from OnlineVideo.net.
Remember Nike’s Greatness ad from about a year ago? The one with the overweight kid jogging that got so many people upset? (The one I wrote about here in support of?)
Well, Nathan has lost 32 pounds so far and is still going.
I ain’t saying “I told you so,” but I kind of am. That was a brilliant ad – it was inspiring to viewers, it was good for Nike’s bottom line, and it was ultimately good for Nathan Sorrell. Win-win-win.
If Adobe’s new Creative Cloud offering has done nothing else, it has generated LOTS of discussion. There are strong opinions both for and against, and many compelling arguments made by each camp.
But at the end of the day, there is one major concern I can’t seem to shake. Yes, I am fine with the idea of paying in monthly installments instead of all at once; yes, I like the idea of being always up-to-date with the latest versions; and no, I’m not worried that Adobe will suddenly stop innovating because they have everyone locked into 12 month contracts.
What does concern me, though, is what happens if (when) I one day stop paying. Let’s say I move all of my clients over to Adobe Premiere Pro. I spend the next three years doing all my client work in Premiere Pro, and everyone is happy. But then one day, for some reason or another, I decide there’s a better option out there. Maybe Apple fixes Final Cut and releases an upgrade that trumps everything Adobe is doing; maybe Adobe pulls an Apple and wrecks their own software; maybe another company that doesn’t even exist yet releases a game-changing product that works better than everything out there. Whatever the reason, I now want to leave Premiere Pro, so I cancel my subscription, stop paying my monthly fee and invest in something else.
Just like that, in an instant, I lose access to three years of work. All my clients’ projects, everything I’ve worked on in three years is gone because Premiere Pro stops working. It’s not like I can simply choose not to upgrade, move to another platform, but keep the old version around in case I need it (hello, Apple!). In the Creative Cloud world, my old version stops working, and I lose access to all my projects. A client wants a quick update to a video from last year? Nope. I want to build a new title sequence based on one I already made? Gone. I want to update my reel with my most recent work? Fail.
I love Adobe Premiere Pro. I am so happy I made the switch from Final Cut Pro 7 to Premiere Pro CS6. But this single concern keeps me from moving to Creative Cloud. I don’t know how this will eventually resolve itself, but I hear Lightworks is doing good things….
Everything you ever wanted to know about shooting time-lapse on the Panasonic AG-HVX200. Ready, go.
Section 1 – The Nitty Gritty
- Make sure the camera is set to P2 mode (via the switch on the back).
- In the Scene File settings, set Operation Type to Video Camera.
- In Recording Setup, set Recording Format to 720P/60P.
- In Recording Setup, set Rec Function to Interval.
- In Recording Setup, set Interval Time to your desired framerate.
- Exit all menus, and you should see “I-Pause” at the top of your screen. You are now in “interval pause” mode.
- Press the record button. You will see the “I-Pause” change to “REC” each time a frame is captured, so you know it’s working. After each frame, it changes back to “I-Pause.”
- To stop recording, turn the camera off. When you turn it back on, it will return to regular to regular 720P/60P mode. If you want to record another time-lapse, repeat steps 2-8.
Section 2 – The Deets
Using a 1 frame every 5 seconds interval, this is what you can expect:
- 10hrs * 60m/hr * 60s/m = 36,000 seconds. 36,000s / 5s/f / 60f/s = 120s = 2m.
- At 720P/60P, P2 cards use 1GB/minute of video.
Thus, if you shoot for 10 hours and play your video back at 60P, you’ll get 2 minutes of video, which will use about 2GB of space on your P2 card. If your project is in 30P, you can, of course, conform the video and get 4 minutes out of the same clip.
Section 3 – Advices
When shooting time-lapse, you’re probably planning to shoot for a while, and are likely tempted to plug directly into an AC power source. You should know, however, that if your power is interrupted at any point during recording, you will lose all video shot up to that point. Even though the method for stopping recording is to simply turn the power off, the camera is still using battery power to finish writing the file and shut everything down. So, if you’re 5 hours into a 10 hour time-lapse when someone trips over the power cable, you will lose all 5 hours and have to start from scratch.
A much better idea is to rely on battery power. Plug your charger into your power source and keep one battery charging while the other is in use. Break the file once per hour by turning off the camera, swapping the battery if necessary, then restarting your shot. Because it’s time-lapse, no one will notice the jump in your final product, and you’ll be protecting yourself against power loss, corrupted files, etc.
Two things I know about video editors: most of us use Macs, and all of us have a LOT of hard drives. If you’ve ever wondered where that project from three years ago got off to, NeoFinder is for you.
NeoFinder (formerly CDfinder) catalogues all your hard drives and creates a database of all of their contents. You can then browse and search the file structures of all your drives without having any of them plugged in. So now when you can’t remember which of your 20 hard drives has Grandma’s 80th birthday party on it (don’t lie – everything you do isn’t for a fortune 500), you just fire up NeoFinder, search for your project, and let it tell you which drive it’s on. Easy.
So easy, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
NeoFinder is free for up to 10 drives, and after that it’s $39.99 for a single user. Mac only.
If you haven’t seen it, the ad – which ran during the London Olympics – features 200 lb 12-year-old Nathan Sorrell running down a lonely street, while Tom Hardy narrates about the greatness in all of us.
I think this is advertising at its finest. I would be proud to work for Nike or Wieden + Kennedy (the ad agency responsible) right now.
Some people believe the ad is exploitative. I couldn’t disagree more. With one sixty second spot, Nike has guaranteed that this one boy will be strongly motivated to get healthier, and inspired many like him to do the same. And if Nike gets a little press in the process, that just sounds like a win-win to me.
Backing up our data is important. We all know that. But particularly for creative professionals, our data is our livelihood. Lose one project due to hard drive failure, and your reputation is ruined with that client forever. And yet, so frequently I find that freelancers and even small companies don’t maintain adequate (if any) backups. Why?
Expense is always an issue, but with today’s hard drive prices, it’s no excuse for risking your client’s work and your reputation. If the confusion inherent in the backup landscape is your excuse, then I’m here to help. You don’t need a RAID array or a NAS or a SAN or a data locker to take basic precautions for data redundancy. Below is a simple, effective backup strategy I developed for a small production company I used to work for, and which I implement now in my own freelance practice.
Step 1 – The Archive
This is where your projects go to die. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. Let’s say they “retire.” Because you never know when a client will want an update to something you produced for them two years ago, or if you’ll want to go back and grab an old After Effects animation to use as a template in a new project. The Archive is where projects live after you think you’re done with them.
The Archive is simple. For every hard drive you need to keep archived material, you buy two. So if you have 1 TB worth of old projects, you buy two 2 TB drives. You put all your projects on one of them (leaving room to grow), and then you mirror it to the second. Whether you need one, two, or twenty drives, you keep them all mirrored, all the time. There’s no mismatching – each hard drive has an exact mirror. There’s no throwing projects just anywhere and then trying to remember to back them up somewhere else later, when you get a chance, and THEN trying to remember where on Earth either of those copies went. Projects enter The Archive chronologically, so when you need something you just need to remember approximately when you finished it, and then find that drive.
Step 2 – The Working Drive
Next, for active projects, you get a portable drive and a place to back it up, and do the same thing. If you’re a freelancer, that’s pretty much it. If you’re a company with multiple editors, you give each editor a personal portable Working Drive and a place to back it up. They keep all their active projects on that drive, and they keep it with them for those inevitable times when a client needs something unexpected over the weekend.
If you’re a freelancer, it works in the other direction – your Working Drive is always available to bring to a client’s location when necessary, and always has your current work on it. You can just buy two identical portable drives, but a cheaper solution is to back it up to another desktop drive. I use Time Machine to back up my portable to my Time Machine backup drive along with all my system files.
Step 3 – The System
Now we have a simple, elegant backup solution. Keep all current work on your portable Working Drive, and keep that drive either mirrored or backed up to a desktop drive. When you close the books on a given project, move that project to The Archive, make sure that it’s mirrored, then remove it from your Working Drive to reclaim the space for your next project.
You can perform the mirror backups manually, or you can use software to automate the process. If you’re on a Mac, Carbon Copy Cloner is a
free program that will keep two drives matched, always updating one to match the other whenever changes are made. (If you’re using a PC, then you probably have 20 different options, none of which actually work any better than CCC.)
Bonus Level – Off-site Backup
If you’re serious about backup, you need to also think about off-site backup. Keeping all your drives mirrored protects you in case of hard drive failure, but in case of fire/flood/theft/volcano, you’re still hosed. So if you want to take that extra step, it’s built into the system: just take those mirrors and keep them somewhere else. If you’re a freelancer, keep them at a friend’s or family member’s house, or store them in a bank safe deposit box. If you’re a small company, send the mirrors home with some trusted employees. You’ll need to retrieve them when it’s time to update the mirror, but c’est la vie, amirite?
Agitator Level – But what about the cloud?
If you’ve got Verizon FiOS or an OC-3 connection, by all means, just dump it all to the cloud and forget everything I said. Crashplan has some reasonably priced plans and comes highly recommended by the interwebs. But for the rest of us, HD video is far too massive to realistically back up to the cloud. It would take days of a constant streaming upload to backup just a few hours of footage. So please stop showing off; if we had FiOS in our area, we wouldn’t rub your nose in it.