Foxvideo Productions

March 2013

New series of web videos for The Peace and Hope Trust

I've just finished the 2013 series of web videos for The Peace and Hope Trust, this is the 3rd year they've asked me to do them and it's a project I look forward to every year. Although the basic messages and many of the photos are similar to the previous year's video's, it's a challenge to try and make it interesting to watch each year. Produced from selection of photo's taken by the actual team members and scripted afterwards, this year I was able to incorporate some of the plugin effects and music I've mentioned in this blog previously. (A fast internet connection is required to watch in HD, if the video stutters, click the small blue HD logo to turn the HD off)



Anyone who knows me knows I love my Final Cut Pro 7 system, I've been with Final Cut Pro since 2001 and v2.0.1. FCPX doesn't appeal to me, it's too much of a radical change from my established way of working, IMO Apple should have rewritten FCP for 64 bit rather than develop a totally new program and many FCP users left for Adobe when FCPX was launched, I still consider FCPX a great program for the YouTube generation rather than established editors.

Just recently I needed to 'make' an intro piece from scratch for a local charity, previously I'd have used After Effects, I'd had AE since it was originally CoSa (it came on 5 floppies!) and only dropped it when it went to Mac Intel machines only, so now I have to use Apple's Motion - it turned out OK'ish but AE would have made a better job of it and I went looking on Adobe's site at exactly what the new CS6 could do.

Adobe have a great resource of intro movies to their programs and some excellent tutorials for users who have switched, or thinking of switching at Adobe TV, just one that blew me away was the ability to do ADR from within Premiere (I could really have used that last week!), another was Photoshop's ability to import and work on video - ideal for a quick airbrush fix on a couple of frames, FCP functionality and shortcuts work in Premiere, many of the plugins I've bought for FCP will work within Premiere, Audition looked to be everything Soundtrack Pro should have been, Encore's ability to produce Blu Ray, the list just went on and on and I began to realise just how much Adobe had listened to users and what I was missing!

A lot of my stuff these days is "inverse budget" or charity / non-profit stuff so the chance to actually buy CS6 for the £1600 Adobe is asking is out of my price range at the moment but watch this space - Adobe here I come!

PS. Gwynne, yes you're reading it correctly and no, I've not been hitting the vino ;-)

Master template glitch in FCP 7 solved

For a long while now, I've had a problem using Master templates in both FCP7 and Motion, it was totally random, could appear anywhere after rendering and even appeared in a different place if I re-rendered, it drove me mad - see sample (lower right picture in the quad):


I thought I'd found the problem a while back, it seemed to disappear if I turned off the realtime videoscopes update but then it started to appear again, I tried everything, re-seating the graphics card, I doubled my system RAM to 12Gb, re-installed FCP7, upgraded from Motion 4 to 5, tried different codecs, rendered in sections and still got the problem.

I was working on a stills intensive program in FCP last week and I started to get all sorts of problems, even a couple of lockups which I never get in FCP, I also wanted to use some Master templates but couldn't so I had to find workarounds which also gave me problems when they rendered, so I investigated an GFX card upgrade.

Finally sorted it today - I changed my graphics card from an GeForce GT120 512Mb to an ATI 5770 1Gb - a quick render on an existing clip I've had problems with - no glitch, I can now finally use Master Templates without any problem.

Monitor calibration - yep, that old chestnut


My Dell 24" suddenly went haywire with it's colours recently, I clicked through all the monitor profiles, they all looked wrong, colours were washed out and grey's were tinged with blue, I'd not made any changes to the monitor settings and I've had this happen before and somehow cured it.

First, I pulled the graphics card and gave the fan a good blow out with an air duster and cleaned the contacts, then I checked the Nvidia drivers and reloaded them, no change. I use a DataColor Spyder 3 monitor calibration tool so I re-ran that with the supplied software, it still didn't solve the problem. I remembered using an open source freeware calibration program that worked with the Spyder 3 a long while ago, so I went looking it and found it - ArgyllCMS.

This is a Unix program and runs using Terminal - I'm no Unix expert and the Argyll ReadMe suggested a GUI - dispcalGUI, easy to find on the web.

The Argyll program installed into my Home folder, I plugged in the Spyder 3 and launched the dispcalGUI - it all looked to be working.

Screen Shot 2013-03-03 at 18.16.02

Setting it off I got the familiar coloured display blocks the Spyder 3 program used, an hour and half later (!) I'd got a profile, I installed it and my monitor was back to normal and looking good, I can only guess my Display Profiles had somehow become corrupted. I copied the profile to my other boot disk, used for Final Cut Pro 7 and re-booted, I checked that everything was back to normal and the monitor lives on!