When I got into digital video, Radius was one of the big names (in the sub-$50,000 realm). They had their VideoVision Studio and Telecast. This was back in early Windows 3.1 days. When Macs has NuBus, ADB and special Mac Monitor jacks. We used LocalTalk to push files back and forth across AppleTalk networks.
It was then that Randy Ubillos was heavy involved in writing a little video program for Mac called Adobe Premiere. It was the called the Swiss Army knife of video and it really was. It handled most anything and did things that but $100,000 systems (cough- Avid) to shame. Premiere loved the Radius hardware and with them, I was able to push the fastest NuBus Mac to the limits in making my Wilderness Adventures.
Time passed, and Premiere 4 no longer had Randy’s name first. Rumor was he was working on a new video editor. Key Grip was supposedly shown in a back room at one NAB and quickly snapped up my Apple. Add heat, stir and serve as Final Cut Pro. That program has grown and grown, as well as picked up a lot of other smaller (and bigger) apps in its coat tails. But it turns out that Randy Ubilos has been busy coding something new…
Unfortunately, I live just outside a small east coast town so I am not able to attend as many Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group meetings as I would like. But this past October 24th, Randy Ubillos was to be at the LAFCPUG meeting to talk about his latest little project, the oft discussed at length program iMovie 08.
Quite a departure of the iMovie 01 – 06 that had evolved into quite a capable little program.
Actually, it started as quite a capable little program! Even version one (from 1999) did two things that Final Cut Pro still does not really do: 1) constantly render anything renderable in the background while you work, and 2) record voice over (or anything really) directly into the timeline while you watch the timeline play back. Excellent for narration and commentary tracks! So iMovie has long been quite a capable little widget in this editor’s toolbox.
Now, despite what others have said about iMovie 08, and how it completely dispenses with the methodology of ‘ol, Randy is one to really pack features into a program that make sense, but are not easily discovered. For instance, in this earlier visit to LAFCPUG, discussing FCP-2, it is described:
First off was a nifty trick using the keyboard command Control-plus or minus to adjust the audio level while PLAYING the timeline. While not real time, it’s the closest thing to it. YOU can also set key frames within the audio track and using the range tool, select the area from key frame to key frame and adjust audio level again using the Control -plus or minus keys. Cool.
He showed us “Cutting Station Mode” (in the preferences) which if you haven’t played with it, eliminates many of the features of Final Cut keeping the interface very simple.
Another trick is the ability to recapture a selected clip in the timeline by just holding down the control key and selecting capture from the pop up menu. This eliminates searching for the clip in the browser.
Randy then took us into the much maligned FCP titler and opened up scrolling text. By putting an asterisk between the words while the text is centered, a column will appear in place of the asterisk and you can adjust that column using the gap width slider in the scrolling text window.
Randy then showed us a cool feature of 2.0 where by if you capture a long clip and bring it into the Viewer you can add several markers while IN the Viewer and those markers will appear in the browser, similar to that of the start stop detector. By double-clicking on a particular marker you will bring up that piece of the clip to view in the Viewer thus making you a nifty subclip which of course you can re-name anything you want.
I can’t wait to read what Randy will havum hadded revealed about iMovie 08 at the meeting. (that’s future past perfect tense- for what he did in the past, which is still the future to me) Maybe iMovie 08 has some really powerful tricks that have not yet been revealed that make it far more useful than we have yet been able to figure out.
Or maybe it really is a much more basic video chopping tool than iMovie 06 was.