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Ben Balser

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Ben Balser

About Me

Basic Information

  • About me

    Apple Certified Master Trainer since 2005. Teach for The Orchard Solutions, AATC's across the US, corporate/worship/higher ed/broadcast facilities. Retired IT Engineer 20+ years. Producer, consultant, educator, author, composer. Began composing at 5, filmmaking at 13.

Contact Information

Member since
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 12:15
Last online
1 hours 21 minutes ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Denver Riddle reinvents DaVinci Resolve?? ;)' in the forum.
    1 hour 21 minutes ago

    The physics of the universe doesn't upgrade. Color wheels are based on science. Not sure how they're outdated. They're still easier and more intuitive than the color board.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Check out what EOSHD.COM had to say about the speed of FCPX' in the forum.
    1 hour 23 minutes ago

    I think NLE's (besides FCPX) and spreadsheet apps are the only ones that have remained the same for the past two decades. Just sad to be so outdated and insist on not changing for the better...
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  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' FCPX For The 1st Time User In Under 10 Minutes' in the forum.
    9 hours 36 minutes ago

    FCPX For The 1st Time User In Under 10 Minutes, free.
    From what a Library is, to importing, organizing, editing, exporting, the "bare bone basics".
    Click here to see the video.
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  • Aivar Havi thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Flashing Video Transition - Free'.
    13 hours 59 minutes ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Connection Point Trick' in the forum.
    yesterday

    Really great trick. I'd never thought about hold frames in audio.
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  • Karsten Schlüter thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' FCPX And UNIX Links - The Geeked Out Version'.
    yesterday
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Need help, How to benefit using FCPX and my new external SSD drive?' in the forum.
    yesterday

    FCPX is like that, and 16 GB RAM upgrade would help. Would it solve the problem 100%? Maybe not, but the problem wouldn't be as bad, probably. You'd see some overall system performance improvements, also. I know, not much of an answer. "Yeah, sure, it might!"
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX And UNIX Links - The Geeked Out Version' in the forum.
    yesterday

    Thanks Ronny, I really appreciate the kind words and re-post. My new site will have a lot more coming, too. Slowly since I'm a one-man-band again, but lots to come. Hoping now to get it out on time without the corporate overhead and headaches.

    I've done this so many times in classes, I figured I'd just template it. Now when someone in my classes asks, "What do you mean soft and hard links?", I just launch the video and go grab coffee. HA!
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  • Ben Balser thanks user 'ronny courtens' in the forum message ' How symlinks and hard links really work'.
    yesterday
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'error -1' in the forum.
    yesterday

    Threaten it with a baseball bat! Naw, never works for me, never mind...
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Why is the MOV encoded video file many times bigger than original MP4?' in the forum.
    yesterday

    The .mov file is a ProRes file, that stores more data. It stores all the data for each and every frame. It holds up to generational transcoding very well. The original MP4 files are super highly compressed, only storing a small fraction of the data for each frame, using what is known as a Long-GOP compression format. Falls apart under generational transcoding quickly. If you keep the original MP4 files as archives, sure, you can simply use them again for another project. Nothing wrong with that.

    As for quality, you only get the quality your camera recorded, nothing "adds" data to that, that's it. But ProRes is easier for CPUs to deal with than the complex Long-GOP compression format.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Multichannel Secondary Storylines...' in the forum.
    yesterday

    Great stuff! Good job!
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  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' FCPX And UNIX Links - The Geeked Out Version' in the forum.
    yesterday

    FCPX And UNIX Links - The Geeked Out Version

    There are plenty of simplified explanations about FCPX and links, symlinks, hard links, etc. But thins video, 13 minutes long, explains more in-depth, how those "links" work in the UNIX filesystem. Very geeky, not for everyone.
    Click here to view it!
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'How to record sound when filming?' in the forum.
    2 days ago

    When working on fims, you'll use a slate. It has scene & take number, and other misc information. The slate person will hold the slate in front of the camera, and to help sync audio, speak in a loud voice the info on the slate. Then clap it. Some productions will do the same thing, but with the slate upside down at the end of the take. This can go a long way in helping you match up audio and video takes. If you have an iPhone or iPad, I strongly recommend the app "Slate" from PureBlend Software, which can log info that can XML into FCPX.
    itunes.apple.com/us/app/movieslate-clapp...hot/id320315888?mt=8

    I'd add that you should ALWAYS have someone monitoring the audio at it is recorded, on both the camera and audio recorder. And set, if possible, to monitor the post audio, the audio recorded, not a live feed from the mic. Some devices let you switch between the two.

    Watch audio meters, never let them peak.

    Always turn off automatic attenuation or automatic gain, ALWAYS.

    Mic quality can make or break you audio. My Canon 7D picks up amazing quality audio when actors are close enough, and the audio recorded we used on that shoot was hooked to a $5 lavaliere mic, which gave us totally useless audio quality.

    iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad make great live audio recorders and mixers if you have them available.

    Have actors project their voice. It should be the first thing any actor is taught in a legitimate acting class. Even if they whisper, there are techniques to get that voice OUT THERE! This will help you pick them up much better.

    Interviews are great, cause you can use lav's, and avoid tons of issues. But in dramatic and doc settings, folks are moving around, lavs can rub against clothing too much, you have to plan our the boom mic movement, like a choreographing a dance or fight scene.

    As for multicam, be sure your voices are WELL ABOVE any background/room noise, or you could have sync issues.

    And everything previously mentioned.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCP X (10.1.4), no video in shared QT movie' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    For screening, PR422 should give great results.

    in FCPX you can highlight a Library, and Event, or just a Project, and go to the File menu, and see "Delete Generated [Library/Event/Project] Files..." It is context sensitive. Delete ALL render files.

    Cache files, which I'd delete next if that doesn't work, are in the Library package. Right-click the Library in the Finder, select Open Package Contents. Inside of each Event folder is an Analysis folder for that specific Event. So you can manually dig in and clear those. Aside from Optical Flow, most of that can be rebuilt very quickly by FCPX.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCP X (10.1.4), no video in shared QT movie' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Did you ever try trashing all the cache files, especially all render files? I would have been very curious to know if that would've fixed the problematic Project timeline.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCP X (10.1.4), no video in shared QT movie' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Let's go through the normal steps, as abnormal as this issue may be. Yes, very strange indeed. Turn off background rendering, delete all cache files (especially renders and analysis files), trash prefs.

    But since you're using ProRes 4x4, which are HUGE files, I'd ask what the specs of your media drive are: capacity, free space, connection type.

    Next, I'd as where the External Media files are, since in a 24GB Library, that uses PR4x4, I'd expect the Library to be way more massive than that.

    Finally, I'd ask where the files originated, what made them PR4x4? Because if QTPlayer isn't showing images, there is something wrong with the files themselves, I'd guess.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'OT: Why a copy of 10.1.3 could be helpful' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    HHmmmm... very interesting, in deed. Thanks for posting this info.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'How to delete blade speed' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Unfortunately, no, you can't remove one individual speed segment cut like that. Wish you could. I've filled out the feedback form asking for it. Hope others do, also. All you can do it reset the whole clip's speed so it is back to normal. You lose all speed cuts at once, but there's not much else you can do. Besides set all speed segments to 100% and cut in a new spot, adding more cuts.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '10.1.5 PRE-RELEASE DISCUSSION' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    LPX has a huge user base. PT is used more in full production studios, but LPX is used in more project studios. It has had a very strong following for many years now, that's not going away.

    One thing to bear in mind, I work with lots of higher education facilities around the country. They all but dropped FCP when X came out. Many stayed on 7 to see what would happen, or because there was no money to upgrade/switch. But over the life span of FCPX so far, even the ones who are switched to PPro are saying their students, overwhelmingly are walking on to campuses with FCPX on their laptops, and thus regretting switching to PPro so fast. The ones on 7 are in process or planning to go to X. So if all these kids are using FCPX on their laptops, rather than use PPro on the university's lab machines, guess where the future will go?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Media managment question' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Exactly why can't you use the 12TB RAID?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Chroma Keyer comparisons' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    I don't touch their stuff, I'm very happy with the quality, originality, and support I get from MotionVFX.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Chroma Keyer comparisons' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    Look in to mObject from MotionVFX, I use it almost daily now. I do some small 3D work in Modo, and mObject is awesome.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Problems syncing multicam shots' in the forum.
    6 days ago

    What version of FCPX?
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  • mavi thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Motion 5.1.2 timeline bug...'.
    7 days ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Problems syncing multicam shots' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    What codec/format are the shots? What camera were they shot on? Duration of each?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Motion 5.1.2 timeline bug...' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    Yes, known bug in Motion. Fill out the feedback page. I see it from time to time, and aside from quitting, and relaunching the project, not much you can do about it until they fix the bug. Good news is there is now a Motion specific product manager at Apple. So cross our fingers things will get done with Motion (though my sources suggest not hoping for too much, beyond minor tweaks and bug fixes).
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Corrupted Font Drop Down Menu' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    What OS and FCPX versions are you running?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Mac Pro 3,1 for FCPX' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    I think the 12 core would be overkill. You could spend the extra money on other things that would help out much more than more CPU cores.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '10.1.5 PRE-RELEASE DISCUSSION' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    - Expand Audio Components lets you trim any audio channel in your Multicam edit for a given angle cut.
    - Detach Audio will make audio a separate clip so you can move it "out of sync" so to speak, and re-time it after you've done an edit.
    - That said, you should have everything timed in the Angle Editor before doing an actual edit.

    But again, Roles and the Timeline Index pane make audio really quick and sweet for me. I'm going to guess there some audio tools in FCPX you're not that used to. I do mostly audio work, and find FCPX super easy and comfortable to do a great deal of complex work with. But, that's just me.

    Back to the Pre-Release discussion, I doubt we'll see a major upgrade until closer to NAB. Maybe not an NAB linked announcement, but that timing seems to be more along the traditional track record so far.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Editing clips to get the timing right with the music - HELP!' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    You're doing ripple edits, you want to do a roll edit. Hit "T" to get the trim tool. Click on the edit point. Use the < and > keys to manipulate it to where it needs to be. Nothing ripples, it all stays in place.
    help.apple.com/finalcutpro/mac/10.1/#ver1632d9ae

    Rippling either side of an edit point = lengthening or shortening the overall Storyline, throwing things out of sync possibly.

    Rolling, Slipping, Sliding do not effect timing of any other edits in the Timeline.
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  • Adam thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' How to do dimming - dimness - pointer?'.
    7 days ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '10.1.5 PRE-RELEASE DISCUSSION' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    Or they simply have a lot of "paying" work to get done. They do lots of production work that is not Ripple Training, and keep up a break-neck pace with it all. Skipping a week here and there is not unheard or, nor does it surprise me.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Sync audio and video' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    FCPX an handle your situation just fine. Just import your stuff, give it a shot and see.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Tutorials for FCP xX 10.1.4' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    www.macprovideo.com/hub/category/final-cut Has a ton of free written tutorials. There are tons of free stuff on YouTube (beware, there's a ton of misleading, poorly done garbage as well).

    Apple only publishes the "Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro X, Professional Post-Production" book by Brendan Boykin. It is a hands-on course, taking you step by step through learning FCPX. I consider it the best learning source for beginners around. I am an Apple Certified Trainer, but I make no money through sales of the book.

    And as said, Ripple Training is one of the top.

    Also look to see if there is an FCPX Users Group in your area. If not, start your own. I ran one for over 8 years in New Orleans.
    www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/resources/co....html#usergroups-usa

    Lots of resources on the official Appel page.
    www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/resources/
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '10.1.5 PRE-RELEASE DISCUSSION' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    I don't find it difficult to access the slider in the Inspector. Yes, an opacity line in the Timeline would be nice, faster, but accessing in the Inspector I do not find slows me down at all. There is also Control-V to access the Opacity animation section in the timeline. Either way you use, I don't find it slow or cumbersome, really.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Text Moving With Video Effect?' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Either manually keyframing (hard way) or tracking (easy way). Motion has some decent tracking tools. TrackX from Coremelt is a killer tracker to do just this thing, inside of FCPX. Basically, you select a point in the video, and TrackX (or Motion) follows it, mapping it out frame by frame. Once the track is created, you can attach pretty much whatever you want to it.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Online training for FCPX and Compressor 4.1' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    And macProVideo.com, where I have a pretty nice Compressor course. Not to mention the tons of great HUB articles for free.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'How to do dimming - dimness - pointer?' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Very easy. Either 1- use a plugin that does that (easy to create if you know the basics of Motion),
    or 2- stock two copies of that clip on top of each other. Lower the opacity of the bottom clip. Place a mask on the top one, position it correctly, feather the edges.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Sync audio and video' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    FCPX has good audio sync. Just be sure to monitor your audio as it is recored (not the raw mic feed some units give) so you KNOW what is being recorded there in the field. And this goes for both the Zoom AND your camera! Make sure voices are much louder than background noise. Don't skimp on microphones, spend the money for a quality one.

    If you're voices are not louder than the background noise, you'll have to invest the money in 1- cleaning up the sound, 2- sync'ing crappy audio to video. So check and double check the sound when your on set to film.

    Get that covered, and audio sync in FCPX shouldn't be an issue. In fact, you should do some test shoots and walk through it very soon.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '10.1.5 PRE-RELEASE DISCUSSION' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    I doubt it, way too early.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Can't Get Sound To Be At A Good Level For All' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    You have to watch the audio meters, period. Vocals should average around -6 for what you're doing. Then you know if anyone has an issue, it's on their end.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Corrupted Font Drop Down Menu' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Yikes!
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Corrupted Font Drop Down Menu' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Uninstalling and reinstalling FCPX won't effect any plugins. Even if you use FCS Remover to do it right. But I don't think this is a reinstall-the-app solution, not right off the bat.

    Have you checked the font menus other apps? Is this specific to FCPX? Can you post a screen shot?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Deleting trial generators and transitions' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Two ways:

    1- Go to your Movies folder, to the Motion Templates folder. There you'll find folders for Titles, Effects, Generators, etc, and you can delete its folder inside of those. That is, IF it was a Motion designed template.

    2- If it was not a Motion designed template, an FxPlug/Quartz Composer/XCode created plugin, then you'll have to ask the developer how to perform an uninstall for it.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'How do you guys make your CV ?' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Very glad you brought that up, Karsten! That concept was originally called the Escalator Pitch back in the day. You'd write it, practice it, memorize it, be able to give it at the drop of a hat. It is probably the most effective sales pitch trick ever, and can be use to sell a product, a film, or yourself. It was to be less than 1 minutes long (30-45 seconds), the duration of an escalator ride up one floor. Over the years it became the elevator pitch. My father used to teach this to the salesmen in his region way back in the 60s and 70s. It is a fantastic tool to develop. As someone self-employed, I find it very helpful. I was on a panel at a conference once, it was how to sell your film, your script idea, or for an actor, yourself. We spent a good bit of time discussing the Escalator/Elevator Pitch. Super powerful when you get a good one done correctly.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Motion-Behaviours for AfterEffects ... wot?? :)' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Very interesting...
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  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' Power Glove on RobotChicken' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    And old Nintendo Power Glove (for those old guys here who may remember them), transformed into an awesome piece of animation equipment. I love this, innovation at its best.
    vimeo.com/116585007
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