New Book is Off to the Printer

This is a book that I’ve wanted to write for a LONG time.

Video Made on a Mac: Production and Postproduction Using Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite

Richard Harrington I have just returned my final comments for the new book Video Made on a Mac. We are now compressing the 5.5 hours of HD video lessons that come with this book. This book is SO awesome... (I am not objective, but its the best book I've ever written). If you work with Final Cut Studio and/or Adobe Creative Suite... You need this book. We have filled it to the brim with time saving workflow and practical advice.

Here’s the official blurb – You can order it here on Amazon (it’ll ship in a few weeks).

On a Mac, the sky's the limit for creating professional video. With all the tools available though, it can be a daunting task to decide which ones offer the best solutions for combined efficiency and high-level results. How can you effectively communicate your vision to clients and crew? How should you calibrate your camera for multi-camera and green screen shoots? Is it better to do your keying in After Effects, Motion, or Final Cut? How should you set up your edit suite for efficiency and accuracy? How do you manage large amounts of media and a multitude of formats for multiple software applications?

In Video Made on a Mac, you'll learn the answers and much more. Chock-full of practical advice and step-by-step instructions, each chapter provides insight on the critical components of production and postproduction that can make all the difference when you're up against a tight budget and schedule. The accompanying DVD supplies you with project files and high-definition footage so you can follow along with the examples, as well as 50 training videos. Whether you're an advanced Mac user or just beginning to incorporate Adobe Creative Suite into your Final Cut Studio workflow, you'll learn to apply best-practice techniques to all your video projects.


I am Officially on Twitter

I am officially on Twitter...
you can follow if you'd like: 1. Random thoughts. 2. Cool links from Smart Friends 3. Breaking News. If my babbling doesn't bore you...

The Rise of Field Monitors

I just wrote a new article for ProVideoCoalition about the rise and evolution of field monitors for HD production.

I’ve recently spent a lot of time evaluating our production processes looking for ways to improve efficiency.  There were two motivating factors.  First, we’ve pretty much abandoned Standard Definition production, relegating it only to live web events where we are streaming the content or where the client demands it. 

Second, I was working on a new book,
Video Made on a Mac: Production and Postproduction Using Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite with Robbie Carman.  In it we try to evaluate ways to efficiently integrate Apple and Adobe software into best practices for production and post.

We discovered a lot along the way, in particular that “field” monitors have taken on a whole new life of usefulness. Here are a few of the things we discovered in the last few months of HD production.

You can read the full article here.

Conference Schedule

Just wanted to let you all know what shows I am expected to speak at over the next few months. There are a handful pending, so I may update the list.

Photoshop World October 1 - 3, 2009 – LAS VEGAS, NV
New York Post|Production Conference October 5 - 8, 2009 – NEW YORK, NY
PowerPoint Live October 11 - 14, 2009 – ATLANTA, GA
DIgital Media DC December 1- 3, 2009 – WASHINGTON, DC
Editors Retreat JANUARY 13-16, 2010 – MIAMI BEACH, FL
Macworld Expo FEBRUARY 9-13, 2010 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA
National Association of Broadcasters APRIL 10-15, 2010 – LAS VEGAS, NV


Two Funniest Videos Ever Made (About Type)


Move Projects from FCP to AE Seamlessly (and Free!)

Footage ©Kuhn Foundation, from the series Closer to Truth Cosmos. Consciousness. God.
I am always on the lookout for things that can make my life easier… sleep in a can, comfortable shoes, great software.
If you use Final Cut Pro and After Effects… do I have a find for you!  I just finished a new book called
Video Made on a Mac, and in the process of writing about Motion Graphics workflows, I’ve discovered an absolute gem, from a little place called Popcorn Island. Read More...

High Definition Client Review with Apple TV

My production company, like many of yours, has jumped with both feet into the HD waters.  Production is easier than ever with great tapeless acquisition formats.  Post keeps getting simpler with powerful desktop solutions and great breakout boxes.  Seems like the only place it really falls apart is the client review stage.

Sure, you can compress HD clips for web delivery.  Problem is most clients don’t have the monitor resolution, RAM, etc. to view HD (and don’t even get me started on color and contrast issues with the average PC monitor).  You could burn a Blu-ray disc, except at $12 a pop (plus rush courier) that gets pretty expensive (and time consuming). So what’s a discerning post company to do? No the answer is not VHS… it’s Apple TV.


Final Cut Studio Documentation and Workflows Now Online

Need to know the latest about Final Cut Studio? Want to look something up about ProRes from your iPhone? Hate those big printed manuals that waste paper?
While its not a revolutionary step (others like Adobe have already placed their docs online) it is still a welcomed event. Some might wonder if trimming the manuals out allowed the huge price cut?
Regardless… the manuals and an even better Workflows document are now online.
The Apple documentation team has converted all of the documentation for the web.  It is freely searchable and can even be linked to if you need to point to a specific article to help a colleague (an even nicer way to say RTFM).
You’ll find them here at
A great document is also the “Final Cut Studio Workflows.” It’s a little hidden within the Final Cut Pro help library:
It offers great ideas on how Final Cut Studio applications fit into a post-production workflow.  You’ll also find practical guidance on how Final Cut Studio apps work with one another.


Want to Know What’s New in the “new Final Cut Studio”

Like many of you, I went digging to find the most information about the new Final Cut Studio release.  Sure.. there are tutorials and flashy pages on Apple’s site.  These have some great info… but I’m a details kinda guy.  After so poking and prodding… I found these great documents. 
Final Cut Studio Product Overview shows the new features with great descriptions.  It’s easy to navigate and serves as a menu of what to explore. The document clocks in at 66 pages
Most importantly (for quality nuts) the
ProRes white paper offers in-depth technical information about the Apple ProRes codec.  This was just updated to 4:4:4:4… that is fantastic as we have a lossless codec with embedded alpha channels.  Goodbye Animation codec and your sluggish performance.  Read all about it in 22 informative pages.
Start Reading!

Final Cut Studio Price Shocker


Yes we all new it would eventually come… the “new Final Cut Studio” was announced. We’ll let the cheers and moans begin after a few days of testing the final release (just ordered mine 30 minutes ago).
But there are a few surprises.. mainly price! Here’s the great news (especially in this economy)
Final Cut Studio 2 – NEW was $1,299
the new Final Cut Studio – NEW is $999
Here’s the best news Final Cut Studio 2 upgrade – was $499 - $699
the new Final Cut Studio upgrade – is $299
I have confirmed… doesn’t matter which version you are upgrading from… I took it right to Apple and got a straight answer.
That is $299 for ANYONE to upgrade from a full copy of Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Studio (except Student or NFR copies).
More on new features soon… but let me just say:
In the current economic client, it’s truly appreciated to see software pricing that respects the long-term customer.  This is a no-brainer upgrade… speed and power without pinching your wallet.  Thanks Apple… I mean it!
Full press release

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).

While the software is available at that is just too hard to remember.

I used the TinyURL service to shorten it to Just think P2 Software Download and you’ll remember it.


Use After Effects to Transcode your HD material to 50 Formats

I wanted to share a little work in progress file.  I find After Effects tremendously useful for resizing video.  In fact I use it often to pre-process footage before applying additional codecs.

What I’ve put together here is a Resizer project.  It allows you to quickly convert an HD file (720 or 1080) to 50 different output formats.  The file is quite simple to use, and covers output sizes ranging from SD, to Presentation Software, to Web, to iPhone.

This is a work in progress… but I’d love to get your feedback.  To learn how to use it (and get the file) keep reading....

First off… download the resizer template from here ( It is an After Effects CS4 project. There are two files, both are identical.  The .aep is a project file, the .aet is a template file that will create a copy automatically when you open it.


Online Delivery with Kyte

Author and video podcaster Richard Harrington discusses online video distribution with Cody Smith from at NAB 2009. Distributed by Tubemogul.

Apple iWork 09 Book Trailer


Learn Flash and After Effects for Free

Two totally free resources to learn Flash and After Effects. These come from the new book After Effects for Flash / Flash for After Effects: Dynamic Animation and Video with Adobe After Effects CS4 and Adobe Flash CS4 Professional. This book is really great and I hope you enjoy the first two chapters.

After Effects Essentials for Flash Users

Flash Essentials for After Effects Users


Searchable Video with Creative Suite 4

Adobe has a great new technology that makes video searchable. I’ve written a detailed tutorial available at

“With the proliferation of video on the Web, access to information is getting easier to find and understand (for most).  The challenge is twofold: first is getting people to find and search your video for the right information and second is if the individual has an auditory impairment, so much information is only available in the audio track.  This is why there has been such a big push to make video searchable online and more accessible. In this article you’ll use Adobe’s tool set to set up your video content for both goals.”


Lighting with Zylight Panels

New light panels for larger productions. Ultra portable lights.

Author and video podcaster Richard Harrington examines the new Zylight ( product at NAB 2009.

Color Range Command in Photoshop


A Personal Photo to Share


What almost two year’s means to my little girl’s feet.

Children are a blessing... make sure you remind yourself of that every day and keep children around (they make you a better person).


New Media for New Government Podcast

Two weeks ago, I told you about our new group on Facebook for those interested in New Media. Many of you asked us to post the training videos to iTunes. We did.

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


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