31 January 2012
I just completed the new site for Newbury Fine Arts, a gallery on Newbury Street in Boston MA (USA). The site, as all y site, is very simply set up. HTML with spry databases as the only "advanced" feature to make keeping incoming updates in order more easily. The original version this replaces was 775 megabytes large and the update is under 50 megabytes. Since the client wants to eventually make updated themselves, I feel that a simple file structure with easily understood names of files and dossiers is essential. Esthetically, it follows a clean, white/grey pallet that doesn't compete with the artwork.
27 January 2012
You wouldn’t get into a car for the first time without instruction on how to use it or even bake a cake from scratch without looking in a cookbook and learning what you need to get started. A project involving a computer is no different. You don’t need to know how the car works to drive somewhere, but you do need to get directions when you drive somewhere new. A new project is like driving somewhere new. Getting the basics, like getting directions, is part of your job getting there efficiently.
Certain things are, I feel, a requirement to doing your job in today’s workplace. There is no excuse for not knowing how to use email or a word processor and the fundamentals of a spreadsheet. Beyond that, know your individual needs. If you are in need of a website, find out what that entails. Mastering many programs takes years of training and a talent for applying that training. I am not saying you need to become an expert, but the basic concepts are essential to getting your task done right.
It’s very simple these days. Instead of «googling» yourself, try simply asking for the solution to your question. At this point in time, you are not going to be the first to ask «How do I prepare to have a website made?». Youtube and other video hosts have literally tons of tutorials on just about anything. Buy a book or take a class. Apple, for example, offers free classes all the time on how to use the computer’s basic functions. The point is to do this before you hire someone, so you have a good idea what you are asking for and what it entails. If you need to send an ad to, let’s say, a magazine, find out what you need to provide and in what format to your designer or printer. You can find out from the magazine what the prices are for each size ad and decide what you can afford. Making 3 ads is going to cost more than the five minutes it takes to find out in advance what you need to start off. You will soon be able to convey your ideas to the professionals you hire to carry them out much more easily.
In the long and short run, you will not only know more about what you asking to be done, but also know how to do it efficiently and more affordably with a lot less aggravation and stress.
25 January 2012
After years of producing some really great and now essential software for video pros, Apple has abandoned them in favor of robust, but far from professional versions aimed more at consumers who need more professional features but lack the experience and training using those features entail.
The Final Cut Pro suite is of course what I’m talking about. Now basically dead, Final Cut X the much needed and anticipated FCP update wasn’t what anyone was looking for and won’t be... ever. Some cool ideas does not a professional software make. Soundtrack Pro is gone leaving Garage band and Motion was never all it was cracked to be, but a solid software (and still is) but solidly in the less than professional arena for many tasks.
This is water under the bridge and Apple has the right to do whatever it wants in term of what direction it develops it's software. The question for those of us who depended on using it is now... where to go?
Frankly.. Avid has always been a complicated and buggy pain in the ass for me. On the MAC end of things anyway. The only other affordable alternative seems to be Adobe’s suite of video products.. which in anticipation of Apple’s change of heart, seems have been upping it’s game in recent years and is ready to take on the challenge. I’ve used Premiere Pro more and more and there’s no replacement for After Effects. Integration with Photoshop and Illustrator seals the deal really. Encore is miles above Apple’s always lame DVD pro and produces really nice DVDs, in my opinion. The music software is good for fixing problems but not for producing music.. Sound track Pro still is better at that..but not really that much better as time goes on.
So off to Adobe for my next feature documentary I’m thinking. Sort of scary and not a little bit annoying... but it’s not like there’s a lot of choices in this area!