Suits Varying Learning Styles
The product’s primary interface is a 312-page PDF file with over 132 linked video files, including over an hour of screencam-based tutorials detailing Final Cut Pro-specific functions like producing H.264 video or converting 16:9 footage to 4:3 in Compressor. Other videos illustrate technology alternatives like the quality difference between using Compressor’s Best (Optical Flow) and Better deinterlacing Modes or encoding with H.264’s Main or Baseline profiles (and how that impacts playability on low powered computers).
Commenting on the mixed-media approach, product reviewer Todd Gillespie, a television producer with UC-Santa Barbara and EventDV contributing editor, stated "one of the greatest strengths of this mixed-media tutorial is that it can accommodate different learning styles. Whether you are more visually oriented and get great help in watching the video tutorials, or if you learn better by reading along with the PDF, you will benefit from the information included on this DVD."
Details Critical Streaming-Related Operations
The DVD is a Final Cut specific subset of Ozer’s initial product, Critical Skills for Streaming Producers, which also included tutorials for Adobe’s Production Premium CS3 ($249). Final Pro specific tutorials in the current DVD include:
Addresses Complete Streaming Production Workflow
- Producing a custom preset in Final Cut Pro.
- Changing a preset in Final Cut Pro.
- Creating a Compressor preset.
- Producing a file in Compressor.
- The Final Cut Pro/Compressor encoding workflow
- Understanding the Final Cut Pro to Compressor handoff
- Producing H.264 video with Compressor
- Converting 16:9 videos to 4:3 output
- Producing Flash Video with the Adobe Flash QuickTime Export Component
- Producing Flash Video with On2 Flix Exporter
- Producing Windows WMV-9/VC-1 Video with the Flip4Mac QuickTime Export Component.
- Color Correction in Final Cut Pro.
- Audio cleanup and noise reduction in SoundTrack Pro.
Since streaming video is the classic Garbage In/Garbage Out medium, Critical Skills also devotes three chapters to set design, lighting and shooting for streaming. Regarding these sections, reviewer Gillespie commented, "Ozer really shines with his tutorials on 3-point lighting and camera composition and techniques. These tutorials alone are worth the purchase of the DVD. There are very few resources that give great and helpful lighting and camera-framing information in such an easily understandable form."
The final chapter compares Compressor’s SD and HD output quality of H.264, VP6 and WMV-9/VC-1 files with video files produced by third party Mac encoding products Sorenson Squeeze and Telestream Episode Pro. This lets streaming producers know when they can improve compressed quality using a third party tools and how the available Macintosh encoding tools compare.
Overall, Jeff Hanley, Manager of Multimedia at KLA-Tencor’s Corporate Learning Center, commented "Jan Ozer uses streaming media technology to teach streaming media. It’s one of the most thorough and up-to-date resources I’ve ever seen. The content goes many layers deep to explain fundamentals, and still explores brand new developments. It is a great training tool that allows users to tailor their "just in time" learning, and to fill in any gaps in their knowledge."
To purchase Critical Skills for Final Cut Studio Streaming Media Producers, or to view some free demonstration content, click here.