Monday, February 06, 2012

Meeting postponed a week to 13Feb

Contrary to previous news reports, we're not able to bring our usual programme to you this week.  The wefcpug meet has been put off to 13th Feb, Bristol BBC.   With luck you won't all have to hack your ways out of the snowdrifts (and our star speaker will have his voice back).

Early warning that there'll quite possibly be a splinter group meeting of the travelling section of wefcpug (Earls Court chapter) at the BVE exhibition in London, next Tuesday - being the 14th Feb.  If you're likely to be there on that day, email Phil or Richard or feel free to approach us in person with the code words (what are you drinking).  (This is as close to organisation we get.)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Sell your big mac, the future is here...

...the world has ended.   So it would seem in some quarters of the wonder interweb world.   The cause of the dismay?   A little app (and I mean app - for the iPad) called 'Avid Studio'.   I haven't tried it yet, lacking the vital hardware, but Elliot Bristow (and Richard) tipped me off.   According to the blurb, it's a video editing app for making storyboards, precision edits, with high-quality transitions, effects, and a soundtrack.  Cutting to the strapline 'easy enough for the hobbyist, powerful enough for the pro'.  Yes, there's 'export to Avid Studio' available.

So far so good, but the big news is the price - £2.99
Yes, you read it right, under three quid.   Not even worth claiming back the VAT (which you can't anyway because it's not a UK purchase).

Admittedly it's only out today, and untried and tested but I'm sure this hole will soon be filled.  Remember, it's an iPad app, search through iTunes, not even the App Store...
What's going on here?  It's a pretty aggressive move by Avid into the space we all thought FCP X was going to enter.  The price?  Well, Apple gets a cut of apps sold through the iTunes and app stores, so maybe Avid's thinking is to buy market share, get students and beginners familiar with the interface,  hence build a group of wannabe producers and craft editors who have grown up with Avid, but not share too much of the revenue of what's probably a loss-leader anyway.   Unless they sell thousands and thousands of course.  Being first is sometimes what counts in this space.

Based on my experience (watching someone else) of Avid Scorch - an impressive music score/transposition app for iPad at £1.99 - these guys know what they're doing.   Two real benefits for all of us:  at this price-point it's gotta be good for competition, and secondly there's now a good business case for buying that iPad.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

BBC generous with its cash

I just received this in my email today.   It can't be genuine, far too succinct (email and phone numbers erased to protect the innocent/gullible!).   Or maybe they do have a jacuzzi of cash.
British Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcasting House --(Lottery Dept),
Portland Place,
London W1A 1AA
Dear Recipient,
Your e-Mail has won One Million British Pounds (1,000,000.00) in our BBC IplayCash-Out Award For claims, Email us your (Full Name,
Address/Country & Mobile No) to: or Call 0703590XXXX (intl. +44-703-590-XXXX),
Jeff Leach
Lottery Presenter/ Coordinator on BBC One.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Are we there yet?

The promised 'upgrade' for FCP X made a stealthy appearance, as promised for early 2012, in the App Store yesterday (UK).   There's also an upgrade for Motion - both are free,  (or rather, included in the price you've already paid for them) and both are hefty upgrades, weighing in at well over 1GB each.  So don't try this on a limited broadband tariff!
Promised features include FCP X 10.0.3 are multicam editing and, in beta form only, video output for monitoring - using one of several interface cards/boxes (AJA, Matrox).  The multicam looks promising - the FCP description page has links to a couple of videos, here.  If camera toys are your thing, then you'll enjoy the 'Multicam Demo Video' - I did.
I like the look of the multicam tool, especially the manual choice of sync mechanism (marker, timecode, audio etc).   Too early for me to have tried it, but it promises to be a distinct improvement over the previous method for syncing multiple tracks of audio.  (Which I found unintuitive and disappointing on a project this month).
Two caveats about the video monitoring output:  it'll only work when the manufacturer of the interface box has finalised their driver (currently no statement from Matrox for instance) and it'll be OS X Lion only.   This will delay my adoption for several weeks, while I finish off the current batches of work.  And do remember these are flagged as beta product.
Also in the mix is a rework of the XML that FCP X uses - we are promised a richer set of descriptions, which will make it possible to export a project to DaVinci Resolve for colour grading - and who knows, to Soundtrack Pro (or whatever next) for audio dubbing?   They haven't promised that, though.
This change to the XML means that existing FCP X projects (and I believe events) will have to be updated when opened in the new app - this will be a one-way trip of course.  Echoes of previous FCP version changes, of course.
And the upgraded XML means there's now a convertor app, 7toX, for importing FCP 7 projects (or at least their XML) into FCP X.   The app is available at the app store, it's from Philip Hodgett's company Intelligent Assistance and is a very reasonable £6.99 download.   It won't answer all your prayers, and may lead to a lot of time spent chasing and relinking media - but fills a vital need for just about everyone, I'd think.  Thanks to Nick btw, who was the first to spot the appearance of this app.
So the work continues to bring FCP X up to speed.   More chat and personal reviews no doubt at our next meet, Monday next (6th Feb) 13th Feb*, if you can make it through the streets of Bristol, currently twinned with Omsk, as far as the weather is concerned.

*We've had to postpone a week because of illness.