The MacCast » 2006 » December

Stuff, Guts, and Video 004

Written by: James Alguire

Categories: Mac Pro

This episode I’m discussing object oriented editing. Now, at first, that may sound a lot like programming and I did steal the term from object-oriented programming but the core idea is the same. Take a larger project and break it down into smaller reusable chunks. By dividing a project up into discrete sections it can make the project easier to manage. So how do you break a video project down into smaller reusable chunks?

Each project type determines how well this technique works, but it can be especially beneficial to event videographers. Let’s look at shooting a wedding as an example. A wedding can typically be organized into several distinct sections:


Additionally there could be a pre-wedding party where the families meet.

Pre-ceremony can be divided into: Preparations and Set up, the Newlyweds and Wedding Party Getting Ready and Photos.

The reception can be broken down to: Arrival and Mingling of Guests, Arrival of the Newlyweds, The Dinner, Toasts, First Dance, Cutting of the Cake, Garter Toss, Bouquet Toss, More Dancing and Fun, Guest Interviews, The Departure of the Newlyweds, and Post Reception Madness.

What’s nice about this is that most weddings pretty much follow the same format. So, shoot one wedding and edit it together and you have a template for the next wedding. This can also work for Birthdays, Retirements, Bar/Bat Mitvahs, Roasts, etc.

Because Final Cut Pro treats sequences as if they were video clips, create individual sequences for each discrete component or section of the project, and combine the component sequences together in a final master sequence. This can streamline the editing process, as each component sequence or “object” can be edited more quickly with greater focus.

When working with a group of editors, each sequence can be assigned to a different editor and combined by a supervising editor, again creating a more efficient workflow. Another benefit is when changes are made. In most cases, only the component sequence needs to be adjusted. Changes made to the individual sequences are automatically updated in the master sequence.

Once a project is set up this way it can be used as a template for similar projects. So for the next wedding (or other event) project open up the previous Final Cut Pro project and save a copy. Import the new footage and use replace edits to replace the old material with the new material. A few title and style changes later the project is ready for output. This helps finish event projects more quickly, allowing you do do more events per year.

This technique may not work equally well for all projects, but if you think about how the project is organized and how it can be broken down into smaller bites, it can definitely help make editing faster and more fun.

See you next episode.

Mac Developers team up for Child’s Play Charity

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff, News

childsplay.jpgHere is a great opportunity to spread a little holiday cheer this season and pick up a great Mac app or two at the same time. 12 Mac developers have teamed up
Child’s Play, a Seattle-based charity started in 2003 by the guys at Penny Arcade. Child’s Play collects donations of toys, games, books and cash and delivers them to sick kids staying in children’s hospitals across North America and the world. To date the charity has collected over a million dollars in donations.

This year several Mac developers have joined the cause and organized Child’s Play Day. On Thursday December 7th if you purchase any one (or more) of the 17 products from the 12 developers listed below, 100% of the proceeds from your purchases will be donated to Child’s Play. To participate you just make a regular purchase through the various online stores (on Thursday) and then the money will be collected and sent to the charity. It’s simple and you will help bring the joy of gaming to a sick child over the holiday season. Of course, you can also donate directly to Child’s Play by visiting

Chimp Software (Store)
iRooster — Wake up to the world’s best music–your own–with iRooster, the Mac OS X alarm clock.

Clickable Bliss (Store)
Billable — Helps you keep track of the billable services you perform for a client and then lets you create and manage invoices based on those services.

Code Sorcery Workshop
Pukka — Fast, light productivity booster for people who use the bookmarking service. Multiple accounts, tag completion, private bookmarking, full AppleScript support, keyboard navigation, Growl, and much more. Stop waiting around and start bookmarking faster!

Elgebar Studios
Freeze Frame — Allows you to completely freeze an application, making it use absolutely no CPU cycles.
Pencils Down — Lets teachers create tests quickly and painlessly.

Flying Meat (Store)
VoodooPad — A personal desktop wiki. You put your brain in it.
FlySketch — Draw, highlight, everywhere.
FlyGesture — Move a little, do a lot.

Happy Apps (Store)
WebnoteHappy — Organize and remember the web pages that matter to you with WebnoteHappy – a better bookmark manager with tagging, note-taking, and integration.

Houdah Software (Store)
HoudahSpot — Your files at your fingertips. HoudahSpot is the frontend most Spotlight users don’t know they’re missing. Find files you didn’t know you had.

Martian Technology (Store)
SlingShot — The easiest way to keep your iTunes music (and your files) in sync between two Macs.
LifeBoat — Back up your important data on your external drives, instantly.

Mere Mortal Software (Store)
Safe Place — Securely store your passwords, credit card numbers, software activation codes, or any other information you want to keep handy and safe from prying eyes.

Knox — Simply secure encryption and backup.

Prosit Software
iDictionary — Dictionary & Thesaurus Tailored For Your iPod
App Stop — Take Control Of Your Applications

RQS (Store)
Rolling Credits — Make typographically stunning — visually pleasing — completely unboring movie credits.

Just in the past few days, the digital protections (or DRM) in which TiVo wrapped its recorded programming were defeated to allow the content to be played on a consumer’s networked device of choice. And I’m sure I’m not the only member of the MacCast community who has been waiting for the TiVoToGo functionality, but I’m excited at the possibility of watching even more recorded content on the go.

What I find interesting is that in the few days since this hack was made available, some previously held DRM hostages are wishing they had never been freed.
Continue Reading »

Parallels BETAThe latest build of Parallels Desktop, the Virtual Machine software which allows Intel Macs to run Linux and Windows in a Mac window alongside Mac OS X, has just been released and I’ve been running it all day – so here’s a quick look at it.

For anyone unsure about using Beta software, don’t worry. This is very stable. I’ve been running Photoshop, some video editing software called TMpegEnc and everything worked just great.

If you avidly watch the videos section on as much as I do, you know how frustrating it can be when you occasionally come across a video which requires Windows Media Player. And you can guarantee it’s always the video you really want to watch which refuses to work even using the Flip4Mac Quicktime add-on. Before Parallels came along this meant having to either wait for someone to post a converted version somewhere else, or loading the link on your Windows PC (if you have one). Or how about those sites which simply refuse to run in anything other than Internet Explorer, or those which require Windows Java?
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Naughty list? Guess what’s in your stocking?

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Random Thoughts

Santa’s got a whole new kinda coal this year and it’s brown.

This popped up on YouTube and I just had to share. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Two is good, three is better. New Mac solutions from Matrox.

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: News

matrox-1.jpegFor the longest time, I have wanted to hook up 2 displays to my Mac Laptop. Thanks to Matrox and their New DualHead2Go and Triplehead2Go, my dream can come true. The DualHead2Go and the Triplehead2Go are both palm sized boxes that hook up to your MacBook or your MacBook Pro’s DVI output and from there you can output to 2 displays. Caroline Injoyan, business development manager for Matrox Graphics Inc. said “Now Mac users can finally benefit from Matrox’s multi-monitor expertise, traditionally reserved for PC environments, by simply incorporating a GXM into their system setup.” The TripleHead2Go makes it so that your laptop has 3 screens (including the one on the laptop), and the DualHead2Go makes it so that your laptop can output to 2 displays (both external). They support resolutions of up to 3849×10241 and 2560×10241 respectively. The DualHead2Go costs $169 (USD) and the TripleHead2Go costs $299 (USD) from Sorry iBook and PowerBook owners, but both the DualHead2Go and the TripleHead2Go are for Intel Macs only.

1 Note that the maximum resolution that is supported is system dependent. Please see website for details.

Sketchfighter 4000

Written by: Chris Christensen

Categories: Reviews

sketchfighterOver the years Ambrosia Software has made a number of great games (and utilities) for the Macintosh and the company has done it again with its latest creation Sketchfighter 4000. Ambrosia describes the program this way:

Remember those super-cool space ships you doodled on graph paper in Middle School? Pen strokes furiously waging massive intergalactic battles in History class with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance? Well they have sprung to life in SketchFighter 4000 Alpha!

I know the sketches they are talking about although in my case I drew them on a chalk board and not in my school binder. It is magical to see these sketches come to life. I love the look of the program. I love that when you destroy an enemy it leaves a smudge on the screen as if you had erased the drawing incompletely. I have not mastered the game yet, but look forward to trying.