Archive Page 2

Learning Adobe Software: User Groups

Most professionals in the field would no doubt agree that Adobe leads in the field of multimedia software with its Creative Suite programs. There are of course competitors to Adobe, but as a comprehensive set of tools, Adobe can’t be beat.

There are many ways to learn to use these tools (and there is always more to learn). One great way is to learn from and network with other local Adobe users. Continue reading ‘Learning Adobe Software: User Groups’


Working with folders and files: Windows

This is the second in a series of posts about organizing media. This post and the first post discuss using your operating system (Windows or Macintosh) to organize and view media assets.

In Microsoft Windows, Windows Explorer allows you to view and manage folders and files. It provides several viewing options. (Note: the following screenshots are of Windows 7.  Click on a screenshot to see it full size.)

List view displays a list of files and their properties. A toolbar appears at the top of the window.

Change the view by clicking the file view icon on the right side of the toolbar (indicated above by a magenta ellipse), and a popup menu appears with View options. Icon views (thumbnails) are useful for image files.

Adjust options for the overall window layout by clicking on Organize in the toolbar and choosing Layout. If the Menu bar isn’t currently checked, choose Menu bar so that it will appear above the toolbar.

Continue reading ‘Working with folders and files: Windows’

Working with Folders and Files: Macintosh

This is the first in a series of posts about organizing media. The first two posts discuss using your operating system (Windows or Macintosh) to organize and view media assets.

The Macintosh Finder allows you to find and manage all your files and programs on the Mac. To get to the Finder, double-click any folder, or click in any blank area of your Mac’s desktop. The Finder menu bar will appear at the top of the screen.

Click on a menu heading to see the menu. Choose File > New Finder Window and a new Finder window will appear (click on the screenshot to see it at full size):

By default, a toolbar at the top includes icons that allow you to view folder items in different ways. (If you don’t see the view icons, choose View> Customize Toolbar or View>Show Toolbar from the Finder menu).

In thumbnail view, you can change the size of the thumbnails using the slider at the bottom of the window.  The path of the folder also appears at the bottom of the Finder window (it it doesn’t appear, choose View>Show Path Bar). Continue reading ‘Working with Folders and Files: Macintosh’

Backup your computer!

For some time now, I’ve had the nagging feeling that my rather sloppy, ad hoc approach to backing up my computers and drives could get me into trouble. For the most part I’ve been lucky so far but I know that one day a hard drive will crash. So I’m in the midst of doing major backups and developing a more systematic backup strategy. I’ll write more about the strategy and tools I’m using in another post coming soon.

In the meantime,  here is a story about a near-disaster saved by backups. The writer is a Mac user, but the lessons apply to Windows users as well.

MacBook Woe: A tale of a near Mac disaster, averted by good backups | Macworld.

Screencasting Solutions

Adobe Captivate 6

What is screencasting and why should I care?

Screencasting refers to recording and publishing desktop activity on your computer.  What used to be screen capturing (a screenshot of a desktop, or part of it) has evolved to include full motion video of desktop activity. Screencasts can be enhanced in various ways, including the addition of callouts and graphics, other images, video, and audio. Screencasting software is great for anyone who wants to create online tutorials, and especially for demonstrations of software.

There are several options for screen capturing and screencasting software, some of which are free (for example, check out Jing from Techsmith).

To do more advanced techniques, such as editing your screencasts or adding interactivity, you will probably have to pay something. Here are a few good options that aren’t free but may be affordable, depending on your budget: Continue reading ‘Screencasting Solutions’

Backing up Lightroom Catalogs

From Peter Krough’s blog:�

The DAM Show | Making the world safe for your photos » Blog Archive » Lightroom catalog backup.

via Backing up Lightroom Catalogs.

Music for videos: two recommended sources

After browsing around for good sources of music for online videos, I’ve come across two sites that I particularly like:

The Free Music Archive:

dig.ccmixter:  dig.ccmixter

Always check the requirements for each song you wish to use before uploading it.  For more information about using music in media projects, see the Creative Commons website:

Getting started with video editing: software and hardware choices

Getting started with video editing is a challenge, but not rocket science.  There are several things to consider, including the kinds of videos you want to produce, your budget, the power of your computer, and platform.

With regard to software, for people who are new to editing video,  iMovie (Macintosh platform) and Adobe Premiere Elements (Windows) make a lot of sense. They are both relatively inexpensive and easy to learn and use. And they will help you learn video editing concepts.

The hugely popular iPad is a relatively inexpensive way to access digital content, including video, and an IOS  version of iMovie runs on the iPad.  For some, this may be an easy and affordable way to start learning how to edit video, but the capabilities of the iPad for creating and editing video content are limited. Continue reading ‘Getting started with video editing: software and hardware choices’