Archive for July, 2009


installing the fcs3 upgrade

FCS3 upgradedI thought I’d chart out the process for everyone out there planning to upgrade to FCS 3 but not ready to take the plunge.  As a general rule, I never recommend upgrading your FCP version during an ongoing project.  Wait until your project(s) is finished, delivered and (hopefully) paid for.  This way you don’t get caught under a crashing deadline while troubleshooting a new bug or workaround that nobody, at least nobody available on the phone at 530 on a Friday, knows the answer to.

5 install time remaining

Jumping straight to the most important part of the install, make sure you’ve got a half day – yes, a full half day – to install the upgrade.  Personally, I got caught up watching Murderball and forgot to check in to insert the next disc a few times.  What’s your excuse going to be?  Hopefully napping.

1 fcs3 install screen

Also extremely important to note: before you go and plunk down the 300 bucks for the upgrade make sure you’ve plunked down the 2500 bucks (or more) for your Intel Mac Pro.  Yes, as you can see in the picture, FCS3 REQUIRES AN INTEL MAC TO RUN.  Sorry legacy G5, I love ya but it’s time to delegate you to the digitizing ranks from here on out.  Not sure if you’ll be able to digitize the new ProRes codecs included in FCS3, that will require a little bit of experimentation.  I’m keeping FCS2 installed on my MacBook Pro right now, I’ll let you know what I find out in the coming days…

Apple ProRes Comparison

This fancy-dancy bar graph can be found in the Apple ProRes White Paper.  Click on the pic above to download or here.  Quite excited to see how the ProRes 422 (LT), which will hereby be referred to as ProRes light, and ProRes (Proxy) look after digitizing.  Is ye olde offline and online Avid workflow coming back into fashion?  Looks like Final Cut Server will become more and more significant as production facilities want to digitize ProRes (HQ) but send ProRes light or proxy to their edit suites.  Am I sure I even want to be considering this as a possibility?  I guess we’ll also see how well the media manager does at reconnecting ProRes LT to ProRes HQ in FCP 7…

2 fcs3 choosing apps to install

Also, there’s an Extras folder on the FCS3 Install disc that includes, well, here’s the screen grab:

FCS3 Extras

Looks like the only update to DVDSP is right here kids, enjoy!  OK, so back to the install process.  Here’s the standard install config (which I went with):

3 fcs3 custome install

And here’s how much space it will require:

4 standard install size

Good to keep in mind that 40.3 GB of required space for all your MacBook and MacBook Pro installs.  Just opt out of the Apple Loops and what not, you’ll be fine.  Hope this has been a help to those of you wondering what to expect, maybe it even piqued your interest into some new possible work flows leveraging the new ProRes formats.  Before I forget, make sure you also check out the brand new FCS Help Library.  It’s the replacement for the manuals that are no longer killing trees and boosting monitors 10 inches off your desk.

proactively • upgraded • peter


fcs3 highlights


By now you’ve probably heard the news that Final Cut Studio 3 has dropped.  Very cooly, Ripple Training has already produced 19 free video tutorials from Apple Certified Trainers to help you get to know the FCS 3 upgrade.  Two of my T3 trainers, Mark Spencer and Alexis Van Hurkman, helped produce these so definitely check them out!

If you simply want to know what’s new click here, otherwise here’s my very quick highlights with linkage:

fcp 7

As you can read below, ProRes gets a few more mouths to feed in its family and even has options for offline workflows (wow, is offlining coming back in style?).

expanded prores family

For the full rundown get the ProRes white paper here.

43 safe

I was just working on a prject yesterday where we were superimposing a screengrab of 4:3 safe on a 16:9 HD timeline.  As more and more projects utilize legacy SD footage in an HD show it’s great to know that this simple yet very important feature has been added.

iChat Theater

This would have been awesome to use on the first season’s production of Sailing Channel Theater episodes and we’ll certainly use it in the future.  Our previous workflow was to turn Skype on the MacBook Pro and face it to the computer monitor so Dad and Jon could do remote viewing as I made final tweaks to the show.  Cool to see this is now integrated into FCP 7 andcan’t wait to try it out!

color 1.5

The number one Color update is fricking incredible and will literally shave hours if not full days off your color grade.

seamless roundtripping

No more futzing with your speed effects, still moves (with handles for dissolves!), and multicam clips in order to get them ready to send to Color.  Thank you version 1.5!

Secondly and very importantly, Apple has announced a new line of affordable third party control surfaces specifically designed to work with Color.

affordable control surfaces

Could I please stop mousing my way through Color and get some affordable surfaces to speed up my workflow?!  And thanks to Eddie Sullivan’s post on the FCP-L I was able to find a pic of the new Euphnix MC Color.

euphonix mc color

motion 4

It looks like Motion is getting much more full 3D-ish.  Shadows, reflections, and depth of field… oh my!  Click on the pic to get all the info you want.

more 3dish

Even more excitingly is the major placement of a new product I had never heard of before.

3d connexion

What an awesome looking mouse!  Exactly the kind of intuitive device that makes navigating in 3D space treasure, not a toruture.  I guess Apple is doing it’s part to stimulate the economy by allowing third party manufacturers to cash in on their product launches.  I bet Logitech’s stock jumps a few points today.

compressor 3.5

Curiously, Blu-ray dvd creation is listed under Compressor’s new features.

bluray disc burning

Hey, as long as it’s in the box I could care less what product does it.  Maybe this is an attempt to phase out people’s asociation with DVD Studio Pro as a delivery app?  Who knows.

Anywho, hope you enjoyed these highlights.  I’m sure there will be much more to come here in the days to follow with additional info, opinion, and general blather.

proactively • upgraded • peter


sailing channel theater episode 1 online now


Awesomely quick turnaround by the folks at WLIW 21.  You can see the premier episode of Sailing Channel Theater 2 days ahead of the broadcast premier by clicking on the link above or right here.  I’ll be getting back on topic with some traditional pro • active • ly insightful tutorials in a bit, but right now basking in the contentment of bringing my first independently produced series to broadcast and beyond.  Love the forward thinkery of WLIW 21 putting the full show up online for everyone to see!  Would love to hear any and all feedback on this show so if you watch it drop me a line.  At the very least, be sure to catch the hand drawn 12 second opening animation by up and comer Katie Better.  Starts at 35 second mark…

Soundtrack Pro was particularly helpful in fulfilling the audio prerequisites for the PBS Red Book, might have a video tutorial coming up here whenever I slow down.  The thing about producing and mastering two 30min shows for air each week is that as soon as you lay two off to digibeta, you gotta get to work on the next two.  And then try and to remember if you ate lunch!

proactively • proud as heck • peter


sailing channel theater premieres this weekend!


Following yet another considerable blog sabbatical, I’m coming back at you with a passionate what-I’ve-been-working-on post.   What the press release won’t tell you is Sailing Channel Theater is a father, son and son production with a lot of love and support from Mom, family friends and the sailing community.  If you’re outside the WLIW 21 viewing area, become a fan on Facebook and get a link to the full show (which we will be streaming following the broadcast premier) on TheSailingChannel.TV.

In the meantime,  I’ll be whipping up that compression and delivering two more episodes before the fireworks go boom this weekend.  Here’s the awesome press release from WLIW21.

proactively •  Happy Fourth of July! • peter

July 2009

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