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Ben Balser

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Ben Balser

About Me

Basic Information

  • About me

    Apple Certified Master Trainer and teach regularly for The Orchard Stores (AATC) in Louisiana, and as an independent / freelance trainer for AATC's, corporate, worship, High School, higher education and broadcast facilities across the US. Runs www.finalcutpro.guru when there is time. Retired IT Engineer of 25+ years. Producer, consultant, educator, author, composer. Began composing at 5, filmmaking at 13. Slowly moving towards composing exclusively, but still taking on a small few specialty post-production projects for now. Father, husband, then the “long strange story”, and we’ll stop there.

Contact Information

Member since
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 12:15
Last online
9 hours 24 minutes ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Missing MXF Presets' in the forum.
    10 hours 14 minutes ago

    There's no manual download for that Pro Video update, is there? Waiting to hear back once they check for it.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '"Overwrite to Primary Storyline" Greyed Out for New Audio in Music Video' in the forum.
    10 hours 15 minutes ago

    Yes, you can very easily drag-and-drop edit, from the Browser to the Timeline. I'm replacing (both dragging and Shift-R) with no issues. Overwrite with D works just fine, also. There is no simple Replace Edit command in the menus. Yeah, for some reason the Overwrite To Primary Storyline won't work for audio files. No clue why...
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  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' Missing MXF Presets' in the forum.
    14 hours 22 minutes ago

    I have a student, on Yosemite, latest version of everything, but in Compressor (thus in FCPX) the MXF presets are missing. Was that included with the 4.2 update, or what that added with one of those wacky Pro Video App Support updates, or whatever it was called?
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Mouse cursor not pointing correctly when lassoing?' in the forum.
    14 hours 39 minutes ago

    I had that a few days ago. But it was using a specific Stacks plugin in Rapidweaver. I'm also running beta OS X 10.11. I uninstalled the plugin and things were fine. What OS version are you running?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'how to delete media from imported media?' in the forum.
    14 hours 45 minutes ago

    Because a clip you're trying to delete is being used in some other Timeline.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Clips going blank on timeline, reappearing when I roll over them' in the forum.
    yesterday

    What does "hidden" mean, exactly? You mean no thumbnails in the film strip views? Just black clips? Or they disappear?
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'how to delete media from imported media?' in the forum.
    yesterday

    Are you copying between Libraries on the same hard drive, or on different hard drives?
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'fcpx to youtube help' in the forum.
    yesterday

    I just export ProRes and upload that QT file to YT and Vimeo, no issues.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Warp Stabilizer for FCPX...equivalent?' in the forum.
    yesterday

    There are certain types of shots that work with, and don't work with drones. We've been shooting with them for over four years now. You can't avoid some of the hard mechanical aspects of it. It just takes a LOT of practice, the right drone, the right cameras, and the right FVP system. Some things can't be fixed in post.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Business Startup Help' in the forum.
    yesterday

    Accepting really bad jobs is absolute the worst thing you can do. If they can't afford you, if it smells bad, if you're not comfortable, turn the sucker down. You'll not regret it.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Stabilizer not that smooth' in the forum.
    yesterday

    Lock & Load from Coremelt does a better job stabilizing than the control built-in to FCPX. I think there is a free trial version to test drive.
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  • Peter thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Stabilizer not that smooth'.
    yesterday
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Stabilizer not that smooth' in the forum.
    yesterday

    Yeah, some of those Stabilize parameters need tweaking. I can't say off the top of what head what exactly. But that original shot is a LOT of shake and movement. You're really pushing it.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'CinemaDNG Natively In FCPX?' in the forum.
    yesterday

    That's great, Ronney! Please do let us know what you find out! I'm very excited to hear!
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  • Ryan W thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Business Startup Help'.
    2 days ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Business Startup Help' in the forum.
    2 days ago

    Using your name for a business is NOT a bad idea. Who ever told you that, NEVER take advice from them again. I've been running Balser Productions, LLC for over a decade, and using my name never hurt me in any way. Plus what Karsten said; "Ford, etc". Just stick the word Productions, or Film, or Video, or Media, or something on it to indicate what you do.

    There's a formula for how to figure your rates:
    How much do you need/want to make annually?
    How many jobs do you realistically think you can get in that year?
    Divide your annual income with the number of jobs, and you have a solid baseline to work from.

    Then, decide if you're doing to charge by the job, by the day, or by the hour.

    The tricky part is that this type of work costs dramatically different rates in different parts of the Unites States. Shop around your own area for folks to do a production job for you, the same work you want to be hired to do. Have a friend or someone call them and ask what they'd charge for X,Y,Z.

    Or better yet, check out MeetUp dot com, find a digital filmmaking or videography group in your area. Join it, go to meetings, get to know others. Knowing and having good relationships with others in this industry locally is VITAL to being successful. You'll eventually be contracting or hiring some of those folks. And you'll eventually benefit from educational, experiential, and client reference exchanges.

    Personally, I have a problem with folks doing digital video calling it "film". No, you don't work with celluloid film, and most never have. You work with digital video, call it what it is. Geez... But that's just me.

    Also, I've set up several LLCs over the years, and it is super easy to do on your own. I'd say you're wasting money having a lawyer do it for you. Why? Because he's just filling out the same state forms you can download online and fill out yourself. Articles of Incorporation, list of officers, and a feee, that's about it. It is super simple, and there's no "tricky legalize" to it at all.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'CinemaDNG Natively In FCPX?' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    To add to Ronny's info, we use a BMD Production 4K and Pocket cameras, we shoot ProRes HQ, and it is plenty quality enough to grade in FCPX. I don't think we've ever taken any of it to Resolve.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX makes computer useless during timeline renders' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    I've check three laptops, none have gone over 40MB. 53GB is abnormally large, something isn't right.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Possible glitch with tracking motion using four corners' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    Check this article out that I did way back when.
    www.macprovideo.com/hub/motion/tracking-motion-5
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Rotating Shapes - Transition Package for Final Cut Pro X Free' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    Beautiful work! Thanks for this.
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX makes computer useless during timeline renders' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    So how much space were they taking up on your system drive?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Warp Stabilizer for FCPX...equivalent?' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    Vote here for Lock & Load!
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Clip plays slightly faster when put in the timeline' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    Exactly. That's why if you want really good quality slow motion, shoot at 60p, edit in 24p. When the clip is conformed to the Timeline, it will play all the original frames (no generated "fake" frames) at around 40% slow motion. Then slow it down more if desired with Optical Flow, and you can get some amazing results.

    So, in your Timeline, select a clip that seems to be playing at an incorrect speed. Cmd-R to show the Retiming Header. Is it set to 100%, or something else?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'CinemaDNG Natively In FCPX?' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    It's origins are from an open format, but BMD tweaks it for their own cameras, so it isn't really the same, exact CinemaDNG that others may be using. Lots of open formats are like that. Look at UNIX, open source, standard operating system. But Sun, Apple, IBM, SCO, etc, all took it and tweaked it to be their own proprietary flavors only they can use. So even though they are all UNIX systems, the same apps won't run on each of them. The apps have to be tweaked for each flavor of UNIX.

    Remember, to use RED natively, you have to install the RED Quicktime software, which RED develops and distributes themselves.

    I personally put the responsibility on BMD to write their own plugin for FCPX. Of course they want is all to use Resolve instead, since to get broadcast out of BMD software you are forced to purchase their hardware.

    A product manager explained to me years ago that Apple uses the plugin architecture as that makes updates go faster and more reliably. Since the camera maker is developing their own codec, they can make their own plugin, update it as they update the codec and camera firmware, faster, easier than Apple could. Apple would waste a ton of time checking with every camera maker, for every different flavor of every codec they develop, and write the plugin for it themselves. That's a TON of work for one company to do. So let the folks developing the codec make their own FCPX plugin. It has been this way since legacy FCP. And IMHO is a very logical and efficient way to handle it.

    So all of us BMD camera users should bombard BMD with emails requesting FCPX support, I'd say. Apple is not in the camera codec business, and shouldn't be.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX makes computer useless during timeline renders' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    TimeMachine should be set to a dedicated, secondary (external) drive. Don't point it to a drive used for anything else. You want a minimum of 15% free space on any drive, especially the system drive.

    Ronny, as soon as I find someone to pay my way, and watch my kids, I'll be at IBC! LOL
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'CinemaDNG Natively In FCPX?' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    That may be up to Blackmagic Design. That support is a plug-in architecture which camera manufacturer's are able to write their own plugins. Just like with RED. BMD seems to be in the thick of the NLE wars, so they may have no interest in it. But yes, it would be nice. We have a couple of their cameras, and this is our only complaint here, lack of FCPX native support.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX makes computer useless during timeline renders' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    I'm assuming these are QT optimized files, right?
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'XAVC-L from Sony X70 - ODD import behavior' in the forum.
    5 days ago

    Why not create the Archive directly from the SD card? Why waste the extra copy time? There may be something going on there with the copy to the hard drive. I'm not sure.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX makes computer useless during timeline renders' in the forum.
    5 days ago

    OK, internal drive is close to full. 50 GB is your limit of free space to be safe on that. Once a drive has less than that amount of free space, it can slow down. Plus have a ton of other strange symptoms that don't normally make sense.

    4K on a laptop, that's pushing it. I've worked with 4K on occasion on mine, and with a T'bolt SSD drive, and I still had to use proxy media. I say make proxies and edit with that. And titles are intensive to render or export.

    I'd also do a few things just to verify everything is up to snuff.
    - Run Disk Utility to repair all drives.
    - Trash pref files for FCPX.
    - Run Disk Warrior to repair the directories on all drives.

    That's about all you can do.

    Also remember that the larger the drive, the faster it usually is. Look into a very large spinning disk USB 3.0 drive.

    I'll assume that 400 GB external is an SSD?

    Yeah, for 4K and HQ, I'm not surprised. Laptops don't have the most powerful GPUs. Not sure if there's anything you can do to make it faster, short of getting a T'bolt RAID, and that may not be worth the money.
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  • Manoucho thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' FCPX makes computer useless during timeline renders'.
    5 days ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX makes computer useless during timeline renders' in the forum.
    5 days ago

    I have a MBP about that same year, and I don't experience this. But, there are several factors that come in to play here. So, here's what we need to know.

    - Are Libraries and media on system drive, or on external drive?
    - If external drive, what type, size?
    - On all drives, what percentage is currently left as free space?
    - What format/codec are the clips you're editing?
    - OS X and FCPX versions?

    Personally I consider going from a Mac Mini to a laptop not an improvement. But then, machine specs are necessary to make a definitive conclusion.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Fusion for Mac Beta is available!' in the forum.
    5 days ago

    Hey, just FYI for those who prefer free open source stuff, there's Natron. Figured I'd throw it out there just for the heck of it.
    natron.inria.fr
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  • white max thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Fusion for Mac Beta is available!'.
    6 days ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Fusion for Mac Beta is available!' in the forum.
    6 days ago

    Got a link?
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  • Chip Gallo thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Logic Pro X 10.2 Update Released - Massive!'.
    6 days ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Final Cut Pro X Knowledge Base articles' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    There's no definitive collection of all of them, they are numerous, and get outdated with every version release. But I've put together what are the significant links. And this page will be growing over time with Apple specific KB and other support articles and pages.
    www.finalcutprox.guru/support/supportlinks/

    Be sure to check out the "FCPX Support Page" and the "FCPX Resources Page" links to get started. I have technical article (KB) links up for the most significant stuff now. Again, I'll be adding to it over time.

    When I ran an FCP user group in New Orleans, there was an RSS feed I had on our user group web site, that was for all the new FCP KB articles and news that Apple published. I doesn't work any longer, unfortunately. At least if it does, I'm not aware of the URL for it.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'mCinegraph...' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    There is a demo version available, too! Very cool. Yeah, someone axed me if it was easier and/or faster than Photoshop. Um, well, all I can say is, well, freakin' aye yes! WWWWAAAAYYYY faster and easier!
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'mCinegraph...' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    OK, I'm using it now, doing some experiments. Very amazing plugin! Fantastic! Going to have to grab some purposeful shots this evening. Did find a bug, reported it, but in general very impressive plugin!
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'mCinegraph...' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    Demo videos up, and this sucker look super fun!
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'New Logic Pro X update' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    Most recording studios aren't doing much noise reduction. iZotope Rx and Sound Soap are the defacto apps for doing that now. Maybe one day the LPX team will do more for videographers. But at this point, for noise reduction, it is either the built-in noise reduction inside FCPX, or iZotope or Sound Soap. Noise reduction isn't something we normally have to deal with in recording studios doing music and voice work. That's the only "video-oriented" feature missing at this point. Not sure what else you're referring to as other tools.

    I'd not hold my breath for anther STP coming out of Apple, either.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'New Logic Pro X update' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    Problem is LPX and FCPX are two different dev teams, and who knows how often they talk to each other. A situation that isn't helping us end users at all. I tested the XML from one to the other and back, and yes, it is still very buggy. I'm going to assume there's stuff on both ends from both teams that needs fixing... dang shame it is this way. Apple definitely is not doing what needs to be done with this specific issue.

    As for Ripple doing LPX training, they'd need to find a career composer and audio engineer. macProVideo.com has the best online training. Ripple will have to do a LOT to top that. Also, these are by far the best way to learn LPX, period.

    www.peachpit.com/store/apple-pro-trainin...sional-9780134185736

    For very advanced engineering and recording,
    www.peachpit.com/store/apple-pro-trainin...-audio-9780134135816

    Both books are hands-on, self-paced, and the absolute best way to learn LPX, hands down.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCP 7 to FCP X' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    "7toX" correctly spelled. But yes, Tom is correct, this is what you need to look at.
    assistedediting.intelligentassistance.com/7toX/
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Transition of severals backgrounds with a fixe person in all of them' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    FCPX has a stabilizer built-in.
    help.apple.com/finalcutpro/mac/10.2/#/verbacf92b

    Motion has a stabilizing tracker.
    help.apple.com/motion/mac/5.2/#/motn18190529

    Online user manuals are fantastic things...
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  • Rand thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Logic Pro X 10.2 Update Released - Massive!'.
    1 week ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Audio sync problem!' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    What are the audio sampling rates of both clips? Are both 48kHz or are they different from each other? If they're different, this could cause audio drift over time.

    Also, what is the audio sample rate of the Project timeline?

    If you know you're going to do multicam, record all cameras with identical settings. I doubt .06 of a frame would throw audio off that bad that soon.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'New Logic Pro X update' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    I'm testing it now to see if it works any better. I hope it does. And there is a LPX forum here to post about LPX, too.

    Massive update, very cool new features, working will be much faster and easier now. If only FCPX would have an update this massive, that'd be cool.

    Yeah, I've given the new Alchemy a test run, and it is the classic old Alchemy that ruled the industry, PLUS so much more power. A much welcomed update to Alchemy (which was a great synth with a suck-ass UI). Leave it to Apple to make stuff work better.

    I started a thread on the actual LPX forum here, FYI.
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  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' Logic Pro X 10.2 Update Released - Massive!' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Apple just released Logic Pro X 10.2 update, and it is massive. The Alchemy synth and new loops are worth it alone, but the very long list of enhancements and updates is amazing.

    As for FCPXML, good news:
    - Project XML files exported from Logic to Final Cut Pro X now reliably maintain the correct sample rate.
    - When importing Final Cut Pro X Project XML, Logic now places audio clips that lack time position information in the Audio Bin.


    Check out the release notes.
    support.apple.com/en-us/HT203718

    For more on the Alchemy synth, check this out.
    www.apple.com/logic-pro/whats-new/

    A few of my favorite things:

    • Introduction of Alchemy
    • Share directly to Apple Music Connect (requires Apple Music Connect account)
    • Share and backup files to Gobbler (requires Gobbler third-party subscription)
    • Adds support for Force Touch trackpad
    • Create custom track icons with your own image files
    • 1,000 new Apple Loops from a variety of popular instruments and genres including EDM, Hip Hop, Indie, Disco, Funk, and Blues

    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Animated lower Thirds for Final cut pro' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Did you look in the free template section here on this forum?
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' mCinegraph...' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    mCinegraph...

    Yes, this is a posting from MotionVFX for a plugin called mCinegraph, that "paints" masks. Looks like some wild stuff, boys and girls.

    www.facebook.com/motionvfx/photos/a.4070...6463/?type=1&theater
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser added a video.
    1 week ago
    Radar Blip

    Fake movie trailer using Motion 5. Used mObject for floating 3D test, mLight for lighting the radar panel, mDust for the dust particles, the rest...

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