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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
8 hours 22 minutes ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'New Pixelmator for Mac and iPad Updates' in the forum.
    8 hours 22 minutes ago

    They are a very dedicated bunch. Pixelmator is here to stay.
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' New Pixelmator for Mac and iPad Updates' in the forum.
    12 hours 36 minutes ago

    New Pixelmator for Mac and iPad Updates
    Tuesday, 16 December 2014.

    It’s an exciting day today. We have two (!) Pixelmator updates ready for you to download: Pixelmator for Mac 3.3.1 and Pixelmator for iPad 1.0.2. Things like this only happen before the Holiday Season.

    Pixelmator for Mac 3.3.1
    Pixelmator for Mac comes wrapped in some new and pretty neat features. You’ve been asking about them for some time, so we’re quite excited to announce that with Pixelmator for Mac 3.3.1, you now can:

    Pinch to zoom within a document window.
    Scroll your shapes, gradients, and styles collections within Shapes, Gradients, and Styles palettes.
    In addition to the new features, we’ve squashed some bugs and improved the Pixelmator performance. You can now properly see the document window bottom side, the Info bar now correctly displays X and Y coordinates, the Pixelmator folder now always appears in iCloud Drive, and much more.

    Pixelmator for iPad 1.0.2
    Pixelmator for iPad has got some love, too. We’ve made some great improvements with rotation, so it’s now so much easier to rotate objects, the brushes have been remastered to work better with styluses, and a whole lot more:

    We’ve made it way easier to rotate objects on the canvas.
    You can rotate even more precisely with the new Rotate slider in Format > Arrange.
    A new Opacity slider to adjust brush tip opacity.
    A new Brush Size slider to adjust the Retouch tool tip size.
    Remastered brushes to work better with styluses.
    A slew of fixes to preserve EXIF metadata:
    Image metadata is preserved when using Pixelmator Photo Editing Extension;
    Image metadata is preserved when opening and exporting images to Photo Library;
    Image metadata is preserved if image is opened from iCloud Drive.
    A bunch of fixes to improve Photo Editing Extension:
    Remastered Blur effect to work better;
    Minimized the extension app executable file size to lower memory footprint;
    Removed all unnecessary resources so the extension package is even smaller.
    The selection drawing performance is way better now.
    Sharpen effect performance is greatly improved.
    Sharpen/Soften retouching tools’ intensity is improved.
    Selection animation now restores correctly when switching between apps.
    Removed irrelevant warning about color profiles when exporting PNG or JPG files to Pixelmator iCloud Drive.
    Fixed several minor memory leaks.
    Improved app launch stability. Please upgrade to iOS 8.1.2, too. If you are still experiencing any issues, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
    Improved compatibility with Pixelmator for Mac shapes.
    Improved the Paint Selection tool performance.
    Fixed possible crashing issue related to the Paint Selection tool.
    Added Traditional Chinese localization.
    Enjoy the updates and have a wonderful Holiday Season.

    P.S. Some more exciting news! An awesomely delicious newsletter is getting ready for show.
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'BMCC 2.5k work Flow on FCPX' in the forum.
    20 hours 20 minutes ago

    I'd think ProRes HQ would be just fine for any purpose.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Convex background' in the forum.
    yesterday

    I'm building one with no plugins used, and will post it.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX 11' in the forum.
    yesterday

    Lichinho has it correct. The version numbering system is standard software engineering version numbering. In custom apps (enterprise/industrial level stuff) it is not unusual to see a version number such as 8.40.31. Whole number is major updates that effect the GUI, core functionality, etc. First decimal are feature adds, last decimal are bug fixes, "roughly". But yeah, the version numbering of FCP hasn't been messy or confused at all. Totally logical. Versions 8 and 9 were simply never released to the public (and never finished from what I'm told).
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Rumbles in the FCPX plugin community? Boris FX buy Imagineer makers of Mocha' in the forum.
    yesterday

    No, the official press statement on the BCC and Imagineering sites state Imagineering will still operate independently, but with an open door to BCC. The two groups of engineers will support each other and share technologies. But should expand and improve due to this. This type of merger happens often, and both products/companies stay as is for many years. I'm not worried.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Convex background' in the forum.
    yesterday

    Actually you CAN do this in Motion, using a 3D group and adding a camera. You could manually place the drop zones in 3D space and angle as needed. Bulge and Sphere both could be applied to the Group. But Bulge tends to warp the drop zones, and Sphere rounds it out, not back.

    [File Attachment: ScreenShot2014-12-17at8.24.21AM.png]
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  • Ronald de Lange thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Rotation Y And Y In FCPX'.
    3 days ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Rotation Y And Y In FCPX' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Yes it was, fixed now, try again.
    Read More...

  • Sam Haywood thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Syncronising and deleting audio'.
    3 days ago
  • Alexandre Pereira thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Rounded video'.
    3 days ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Syncronising and deleting audio' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Also, right-click the clip in the Timeline, and select "Expand Audio Components" to edit each channel independently.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '2D animation in FCP?' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Yes, PSDs default to 60 seconds no matter what. Everything else should default to what is set in the Preferences, although there seems to be a bug for that in 10.1.4.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Problems when Importing Images' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Ronny,

    I just tested, and it is not a "PSD" thing. ALL still formats on my 10.1.4 system are totally ignoring the 4 second default duration I set for stills in Preferences. PSD, PDF, PNG, TIFF, JPEG, they all default to 10 seconds, except PSDs, which default to 60 seconds. This I will consider a bug, not how it is supposed to work.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '2D animation in FCP?' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    I just tested, and aside from 10.1.4 ignoring the 4 second still duration I set in Preferences, I have no limits like that on PDFs, PNGs, or PSDs.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Rounded video' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    With the video layer above the bicycle wheel layer:

    1. Right-click the video layer, from the pop-up menu select Add Image Mask.
    2. Hit "C" to select the Circle drawing tool. Hold the Shift key while drawing a circle roughly the size you need.
    3. F4 to the Shape Inspector, turn off outline, make it black.
    4. Shift-S for the normal Arrow tool, select the Image Mask layer, then drag the Circle layer into the Mask Source well in the Image Mask's Inspector pane.
    4. - Select the Circle Layer, adjust the corners and sides so that it fits inside the bicycle tire.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Import 4k R3D footage (not from a cam/ssd card) ?' in the forum.
    3 days ago

    Have you installed the "RED Apple Workflow" plugin?
    www.red.com/downloads?category=Software&release=final
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Tip: using roles can make you save... render time ?' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    [(Time To Render) + (Time To Export)] > (Time To Export)

    I base the statements you attribute to me not to my own personal experience, but on an article I assisted with. You can read it here.

    Part 1
    www.macprovideo.com/hub/final-cut/final-...o-x-performance-test

    Part 2
    www.macprovideo.com/hub/final-cut/final-...est-2-realtime-speed

    Take from those articles what you will. The variety of hardware configurations is unwieldily, thus universally consistent results are impossible. But the generalization I took away from my experience helping out with those tests, is that: 1- it depends on the codecs involved. 2- Rendering a timeline, plus the time to export, are always greater than the time to simply export without rendering. I've never said anything other than that.
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  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' Rotation Y And Y In FCPX' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    I did this really quick for a student. Seems FCPX is missing the X and Y parameters for rotation. All we have is Z. So I did this quick, easy effect. Simple Motion "Effect" template, group made to 3D group, and all three Rotation parameters published, as well as Scale. Even though FCPX does have Z and Scale in it already. Hope it can help others.
    Click here to download.
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'How do I add text that "sticks" to an object in a video?' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    Not to mention the learning curve...

    You can combine tracking in Motion with keyframing the Scale parameter to fake 3D space. But SliceX is very, very worth the investment.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Tip: using roles can make you save... render time ?' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    Just tested, not seeing that. Roles metadata is not written into render files, there's no need for it there. Render files are simply a flattened single file for the computer to read from, as opposed to multiples files in multiple locations, having to composing in real time on the fly. I highly doubt there's anything about Roles to effect render time. I'm not seeing it.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'How do I add text that "sticks" to an object in a video?' in the forum.
    4 days ago

    If there is enough contrast in usable areas, you could do it in Motion, but SliceX is the better tracker.
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' Video Shows PPro User Epic Fail' in the forum.
    5 days ago

    So, here is the definitive PROOF that we are all wasting our time using the FCPX built-in Placeholder generator.
    Man, this kid is hilarious how he contradicts himself horribly.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Pzexy20Mec&feature=youtu.be
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Mike Thornton's Video Tutorials on iZotope RX 4' in the forum.
    5 days ago

    Does not work "inside of", but definitely works "with".
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Problems with color dulling' in the forum.
    5 days ago

    What are your hardware specs?
    And do you have Playback Quality set to Better Quality or Better Playback? It is found in the Viewer Settings menu, top right of the Viewer.

    FCPX can degrade an image slightly during playback if the system has to do too much work to playback. When it stops, and you're looking at a single frame, you're seeing full quality. I'd export the Timeline and see how it looks exported. That's your final proof. But my guess is that you're seeing FCPX do some playback quality stuff to keep up with hardware strain somewhere.

    [File Attachment: ScreenShot2014-12-12at11.28.03PM.jpg]
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCP 10.1.3 won't update.' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    Have you first confirmed your Mac is logged in to the App Store?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Mike Thornton's Video Tutorials on iZotope RX 4' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    RX Connect, I know what it is, and it runs as an external editor. So it does in fact "work WITH" those apps. I suggest you contact iZotope and get the issue fixed.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCP 10.1.3 won't update.' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    Better yet, move the Final Cut Pro X application from the Applications folder, to the trash. Then launch the App Store, go to the Purchases section, you'll see to the right of Final Cut Pro X a button labeled "Install".

    If that doesn't work, you are not logged in to the App Store, and should be.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Mike Thornton's Video Tutorials on iZotope RX 4' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    It states that RX Connect works with Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro X as an external editor. That means, you set that in the app's preferences, and it round trips seamlessly. So yes, it does in fact work with Apple apps.

    [File Attachment: ScreenShot2014-12-10at10.45.55PM.png]
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '2D to 3D convertor' in the forum.
    7 days ago

    Possibly Dashwood.
    Read More...

  • Cory Shubert thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' FCPX update 10.1.4 slowed my computer down...'.
    1 week ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX 10.1.4 - range export from timeline - render stops' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    And maybe try trashing all the render files, too.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX update 10.1.4 slowed my computer down...' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Trash prefs (hold Opt+Cntrl when starting FCPX).
    Trash all render files.
    Repair permissions.
    Run Disk Warrior if you have it.
    Usual suspects...
    Read More...

  • David Pick thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' User license question'.
    1 week ago
  • Manoucho thanks user 'BenB' in the forum message ' Workflow tip for keeping track of changes on timeline ?'.
    1 week ago
  • Ben Balser replied to the topic '2TB SSD Upgrades for Late 2013 Mac Pro' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    I've been using a 2TB system drive for years. I do audio work, too. Lots of music work. Native Instruments plugins eat up space. iTunes, Aperture, all those libraries eat up space. Office documents for several business that span over a decade, etc. When I updated to the late 2014 MP, I have to move most of that to the RAID. Then jump through the hoops to tell all my apps where that stuff was. A 2TB drive was a LOT easier to deal with. Yes, some of us have that must stuff, and justifiably, on a system drive. The only logical, realistic reason to not have it on a system drive, is lack of space. I'm looking forward to a 2TB system drive again. Way easier to deal with for my situation.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'User license question' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    You are allowed to install it on all of the Mac's that are under your control, that are logged in to your iTunes/App Store account.

    Create an account for yourself as a user, log in to the App Store while logged in as that user, install. I've done this on the family iMac, and no one has access to FCPX or my stuff but me. My user account, my App Store account.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX update 10.1.4 slowed my computer down...' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    You'll also get better performance if you leave all Libraries and media on the T'bolt drives, never put them on the internal system drive.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Workflow tip for keeping track of changes on timeline ?' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Yes, forgot that existed! Bravo!
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX update 10.1.4 slowed my computer down...' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Are you working off of your system drive? Could be you reached its bandwidth limit. An external media drive is strongly recommended for Libraries and media. Is this an iMac? What year model is it?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Workflow tip for keeping track of changes on timeline ?' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Yeah, those are difficult situations.

    I'd just note the timecode of where you made changes. Maybe use To-Do markers, like I said. The ability to export a marker list, specifying which markers, would really help.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Animating box mask template' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Many of us hate and distrust the monthly subscription model. For a broadcast station or ad agency, who makes purchases of content every month, it is great. For the rest of us, it is a scam, slowly draining us of many more dollars then we'd normally pay over the long haul.

    1 year of PPro on a subscription can be more than simply purchasing FCPX outright.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX viewer distorted and discolored...Help!!!!!!' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    1- What is set in; Preferences > Playback > Player Background?
    2- What is the Opacity set to in the Inspector > Video > Compositing?
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Is there a way to change playback speed without actually retiming clips?' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Has always been, the more time you edit on the keyboard, the faster you get through your work.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Relink Custom Titles on new Machine' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Most people don't see the ".localized" in the Finder windows. I don't.

    But you may also want to open that template in Motion, update it to the latest Motion version. I've had that fix a couple of "older" templates before.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Workflow tip for keeping track of changes on timeline ?' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    If I need to inform someone of changes I'm making from one version to another, I'd simply make To-Do makers on those clips.

    But that brings up a question; why are you making so many revisions AFTER sending it out to your sound guy? Our studio, and most I know of and work with, don't send sound or effects out until we lock the edit. Once we hit edit lock, nothing changes, except in drastic situations caused by sound/effect/graphics work afterwards. Seems your doing a LOT of extra work updating edits after the audio work is done. Leave the audio work for last.
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  • Ben Balser created a new topic ' OWC Announces First 1TB and 2TB SSD Upgrades for 2013 Mac Pro' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    OWC Announces First 1TB and 2TB SSD Upgrades for 2013 Mac Pro

    It is super expensive! I'll wait for prices to come down, but, I really could use a 2TB system drive for sure. Dang high SSD prices...

    eshop.macsales.com/preorder/OWC-Aura-SSD-for-Mac-Pro/
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Animating box mask template' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Crumple Pop and especially MotionVFX are very worth the time to check out.
    There may be a few free ones of great quality on the free templates section here at FCP.co.
    Read More...

  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'FCPX update 10.1.4 slowed my computer down...' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    What Mac model & specs?
    What OS X version?

    Mine is actually the exact same, just launches a tiny bit faster.
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  • Ben Balser replied to the topic 'Workflow tip for keeping track of changes on timeline ?' in the forum.
    1 week ago

    Versioning, I do it all the time. Simply use Project Snapshots. That's what they are there for.

    When you Duplicate a Project as a Snapshot, you have a version frozen in time, with the date and time added to the name. Then you just keep working on your original. You can also make a Smart Collection that filters for Snapshots, to keep track of them easily.
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