Lexar Box shot

Offloading images and videoclips without the wait: the Lexar Professional Workflow Reader Solution

With the proliferation of video frame sizes beyond 1920×1080 pixels, memory card readers have become a major bottleneck in the production process. The Lexar Professional Workflow Reader Solution is a high-speed reader system that lets you transfer images from up to four memory cards simultaneously. The solution consists of a four-bay reader hub and independently sold reader modules that can be used both as a module and a stand-alone reader.

Best Practices & Analyses

ColorKit

Crumplepop ColorKit: quickly colour grade footage

A couple of years ago I reviewed Crumplepop’s ColorKit plug-in for Final Cut Pro X. I wasn’t too impressed with it and criticised the plug-in’s interface and on-screen controls. Recently, I wanted to colour-grade some GoPro Protune CamRAW clips and started working in Da Vinci resolve first, then switched to SpeedGrade CS6 and ended up with Red Giant’s Magic Bullet looks. They all looked like overkill, forcing me to go through fat user guides again, because I don’t use these applications often enough to remember their workflow by heart. Then I thought: why don’t I try it with ColorKit again? I rediscovered that plug-in and found it fit my needs perfectly. Better yet, tuning the clips took me about 10 times less effort and time than with any of the other solutions.

Report: CatDV video production DAM analysed

How you manage your digital assets in large part determines how much money and time you lose over finding the right image, audio or video clip for a job. That’s the reason why DAM (Digital Asset Management) systems were developed in the first place. However, not all DAM systems are created equal. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of DAM: systems that are designed mainly to find, use and archive assets, and systems that also optimise the production process. CatDV belongs to the second kind.

Click the headline to read the full intro and/or download the free 7-page report.

How-Tos

More stories

Lexar Box shot

Offloading images and videoclips without the wait: the Lexar Professional Workflow Reader Solution

With the proliferation of video frame sizes beyond 1920×1080 pixels, memory card readers have become a major bottleneck in the production process. The Lexar Professional Workflow Reader Solution is a high-speed reader system that lets you transfer images from up to four memory cards simultaneously. The solution consists of a four-bay reader hub and independently sold reader modules that can be used both as a module and a stand-alone reader.

Amarra 3

Amarra 3, the high end audio player

Amarra is an audiophile music player for the Mac. I tested the full Amarra player, which allows you to play FLAC as well as DSD music files. Sonic Studio also released Amarra sQ, an equaliser specifically developed to enhance streaming music such as iTunes Radio or Spotify streams.

CatDV Web Client

Report: CatDV video production DAM analysed

How you manage your digital assets in large part determines how much money and time you lose over finding the right image, audio or video clip for a job. That’s the reason why DAM (Digital Asset Management) systems were developed in the first place. However, not all DAM systems are created equal. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of DAM: systems that are designed mainly to find, use and archive assets, and systems that also optimise the production process. CatDV belongs to the second kind.

Click the headline to read the full intro and/or download the free 7-page report.

Alien Skin Exposure 6 with cinematic effect

Alien Skin Exposure 6 offers more effects, better workflow

You can enhance your photos by giving them an accurate look of film with or without grain. You can opt to composite using textures, add borders, and change bokeh, but rarely will you get all those features in one filter that you can use from within the major image catalogue apps such as Lightroom and Aperture as well as Photoshop. Alien Skin Exposure 6 has everything you need and works as a stand-alone application with batch processing functionality as well.

PiPinator

The wildest Picture-in-Picture effects with PiPinator 2

One of the most appealing video effects must be Picture-in-Picture (PiP). I have seen it used in feature films as well as in news reports. In Final Cut Pro X you can easily create a PiP effect using the built-in Resizing, Rotation and Skewing effects, but if you also want to animate the effect and give it a really nice PiP look, you’ll be busy for a couple of days tweaking and keyframing. And perhaps you’ll end up deciding to do it all inside Motion. In contrast, the Final Cut Pro X plug-in PiPinator 2 does it all with sliders, reducing your two-day nightmare to a gratifying process that needn’t take more than a quarter of an hour.

EditReady

Fastest transcoder on the market: EditReady 1.0

Divergent Media recently released its EditReady tool, a fast transcoding utility for video production pros. EditReady transcodes media from any QuickTime compatible format to one of the ProRes or DNxHD formats, as well as to H.264. It supports metadata and custom file naming. EditReady looks simple but is pretty powerful — but that’s not why you will want to have a copy.

PhotoSweeper

Photosweeper cleans out your photo libraries

One of the advantages of digital photography is that you can shoot as many photos of the same subject as you like without worrying too much about composition or, in the case of action photography, of whether your subject was in focus all the time. This advantage is also a disadvantage: you risk stuffing your disk with useless images you’ll probably never going to use. How do you get rid of those duplicates and near-duplicates? Doing it manually is one possible cure, but it’s a lot better for your nerves if you do it with the help of an app. PhotoSweeper assists you when cleaning out your image database.

LUT Utility

Look Converter and LUT Utility for 3D LUT colour grading in Final Cut Pro X

A 3D Look Up Table (LUT) strictly spoken is a colour management tool originally meant to bridge the differences between a digital workstation’s colour representation and movie film emulsions. Today, a 3D LUT is a full-scale colour grading component. The only problem is that not that many video editors support 3D LUTs while there aren’t that many 3D LUT management applications either. Look Converter therefore is a godsend for everyone who wants to create creative 3D LUTs, while LUT Utility is needed for using LUTs in Final Cut Pro X “natively”.

Astute Graphics Autosaviour

Astute Graphics Autosaviour saves you from a nervous breakdown

Adobe Illustrator can’t autosave its files, which frequently leads to designers losing their work or part of it. Astute Graphics has now released a new, free tool, called Autosaviour. The plug-in allows you to set auto-saving time intervals or remind you to save your work.

FxFactory Hawaiki Color

FxFactory plug-in Hawaiki Color enables colour grading inside Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X has a colour grading module, but the interface is non-standard and the capabilities are pretty basic. One FxFactory plug-in that tries to fix this is Hawaiki Color. It’s a plug-in that uses the traditional but familiar interface elements for colour grading: colour wheels and sliders, combined with numeric configuration fields. It extends colour grading inside Final Cut Pro X beyond the basics and is great to work with.

Snapheal Pro

Snapheal Pro heals images well

You can remove unwanted objects, skin blemishes and scratches using the Context-aware Spot Healing Brush tool in Photoshop CS6 and later. This brush allows you to quickly paint in the areas that need fixing. Its results are far from perfect from the first try, but with a bit of fine-tuning, you can make unwanted artefacts disappear in a couple of minutes. But what if you don’t have Photoshop? In that case, Snapheal Pro from Macphun is a nice alternative. In addition to making your models look skin-perfect, the app has the basic image adjusting tools. Snapheal Pro is a stand-alone app as well as a plug-in to Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture.

RGB parade

What can you do with a GoPro HERO3+ with firmware 2 installed and a Ninja Blade?

The HERO3+ Black Edition has new firmware since March 2014. Firmware v2 added new controls to GoPro’s flagship camera for setting colour, ISO limit, sharpness and exposure. Meanwhile, Atomos’ Ninja Blade added vectorscope and histogram overlays so you can evaluate the exposure settings of your camera. Atomos’ Blade series also supports colour calibration to ensure accurate colour. Use the two together and you get an ultra-cheap ultra-nice movie recording package.

Fisheye Fixer

Crumplepop Fisheye Fixer v2

The GoPro HERO3+ has a new recording/viewing angle: SuperView. Until now, you could only fix SuperView by trying to correct the distortion in mocha Pro, using the lens correction module. The problem with that module is the time it takes to come to an acceptable result for this extreme angle. You’ll have to experiment until you […]

Intensify Pro

Intensify Pro brings out details and adds contrast

When Google acquired Nik Software, many of us found a very nice and effective set of image enhancement plug-ins to be no longer available. Macphun, a relatively new developer of image editing applications, however, comes to the rescue with its stand-alone app Intensify Pro. Intensify Pro is also available as a plug-in to Photoshop, Aperture and Lightroom.

final cut library manager

Final Cut Library Manager: review

Working with Final Cut Pro X 10.1.x is a joy. There is one thing, however, that I don’t like that much: its built-in asset management system that was built on what used to be Final Cut Server. This DAM module enables you to manage your projects and events. With Final Cut Pro X 10.1, the system was reviewed and Libraries that hold everything together were introduced. But managing Libraries inside an editor with many windows and viewers is not efficient. Arctic Whiteness seems to have the solution: Final Cut Library Manager 2.