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Jan Ozer is a frequent contributor to industry magazines and Web sites on digital video-related topics and the author of the new Pinnacle Studio 8 Visual QuickStart Guide published by Peach Pit Press.

Articles By Jan Ozer
Jan Ozer | A step-by-step tutorial on creating a basic setup for in-studio greenscreen shoot, including tips on lighting, audio, teleprompting, monitoring, camera setup, exposure, and cleanup.
Posted 08 Feb 2012 By
Jan Ozer | If you're a streaming producer you have to know how to produce H.264 for both Flash distribution and for mobile devices. Fortunately, Adobe Media Encoder makes this simple with multiple presets for desktop and mobile players which I'll show you how to find and customize in this tutorial.
Posted 06 Feb 2012 By
Jan Ozer | When you compress video for the web, the video can darken and colors can become muted. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to correct color and adjust brightness and color saturation with Adobe Premiere Pro's Fast Color Corrector. If you're a Final Cut Pro 7 user, I'll also show you that Premiere Pro's tools work very similarly to those that you're used to and should be much easier to learn than those used in Final Cut Pro X.
Posted 02 Feb 2012 By
Jan Ozer | Over the years, I've gathered some thoughts on what it takes to produce and deliver a high-quality video experience and, to a degree, succeed as a video producer. While most of this will be old hat to grizzled veterans, perhaps some newbie will find these ramblings, and the associated resources that I point to, of use.
Posted 07 Dec 2011 By
Jan Ozer | I think that Final Cut Pro X will be a very successful program for Apple, but primarily as iMovie Pro, not the next version of Final Cut Pro. I don't argue with Apple's economic motivation for eschewing the pro market; it's the best way to maximize Apple's development resources. But I take serious issue with the notion that the Final Cut Pro X launch has been anything close to successful, at least for professional users. If anything, it's a downloadable New Coke.
Posted 27 Sep 2011 By
Jan Ozer | Any time you have a camera at an event these days—with the probable exception of weddings—you should think be thinking to yourself: "Why aren't I broadcasting live?" It's inexpensive and easy, but your client likely doesn't know that, and might be willing to pay a premium for the service.
Posted 12 Sep 2011 By
Jan Ozer | If you're a Final Cut Pro 7 editor who shoots with DSLRs, you've known you needed an FCP upgrade for some time now; little did you know Apple wasn't developing one. So the time has come to switch, either to FCPX, which is a completely different animal from FCP 7, or to an NLE from another vendor. In making this decision, you should consider multiple variables, including cost, the ability to continue working with older projects, the learning curve of the new editor, and the effectiveness of the various tools.
Posted 18 Jul 2011 By
Luisa Winters, Jan Ozer, and Shawn Lam | New Shawn Lam tutorial added: Author & Deliver in Multiple Formats with a Single Encore CS5.5 Workflow. Also featured: Jan Ozer on Roundtrip Pro Audio Editing, Luisa Winters on the new Merge Clips feature in Premiere Pro CS5.5, Jan Ozer on new capabilities of Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5, Luisa Winters on using Photoshop's Content Aware Fill with After Effects, Shawn Lam on Image Stabilization Using Adobe After Effects' new Warp Stabilizer.
Posted 20 Jun 2011 By , ,
Jan Ozer | I've always been a sucker for a cool special effect or transition, which is one of the reasons that I've enjoyed working with proDAD VitaScene over the years. With VitaScene V2, proDAD retains the same easy to use and highly configurable workflow found in the previous edition but adds a number of very cool effects and 64-bit operation.
Posted 10 Jun 2011 By
Jan Ozer | What can pro editors expect from Final Cut Pro X when it drops this month?
Posted 03 Jun 2011 By
Jan Ozer | EventDV contributing editor and video production expert Jan Ozer provides a look inside proDAD's powerful new effects and filters plug-in, VitaScene v2 Pro
Posted 02 May 2011 By
Jan Ozer | Which gets us to the question, how powerful a notebook do you need to produce multiple streams, or even a single high-quality stream? The answer depends upon a number of factors, including the software program you're using to produce the event.
Posted 21 Mar 2011 By
Jan Ozer | Whenever I shoot a live performance, I have an internal debate about which functions to perform manually and which to let the camera perform. Obviously, the panning and zooming is my job; the question is whether I also take on focus and/or exposure. I shot my fifth Nutcracker season just before Christmas, which adds up to about 20 shows total, and I actually reached some clarity on this debate.
Posted 07 Mar 2011 By
Jan Ozer | The Primera Bravo 4102 prints gorgeous discs at never-before-seen speeds. During my tests, it didn't produce a coaster after burning more than 200 discs. If you're looking for a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray Disc production system, this unit needs to be on your short list.
Posted 23 Feb 2011 By
Jan Ozer | If you're looking to add some sizzle to a current production, check out the NewBlueFX website. Even if Video Essentials IV isn't the bundle for you, there's a good chance you'll be able to find an effect that delivers the look you're searching for.
Posted 19 Jan 2011 By
Jan Ozer | Most editors know how to correct the color and brightness in their videos to have them match the reality of the shoot, or what they wish was the reality of the shoot. The next level is using color and brightness adjustments to create a certain look or feel, or to enhance the footage in different ways. If your focus is solely matching reality, and you're working with decently shot footage or better, you're likely in good hands with the various color and brightness adjustments available in your NLE. If you're looking to create a distinctive look or feel, or are working with problem footage, you should consider a tool like Red Giant's Magic Bullet Colorista II ($299), which provides a highly configurable toolset that goes beyond any effects native to your NLE.
Posted 12 Jan 2011 By
Jan Ozer | I've always produced for DVD exclusively in 29.97i, but as the market transitions from CRTs to plasma, LCD, and OLED displays, I definitely want to understand how my interlacedproductions look before I shoot, edit, and render at 29.97i.
Posted 21 Dec 2010 By
Jan Ozer | So there I was, testing the single CPU, six-core HP Z400, trying to figure out the cost/benefits of the system versus the dual-CPU, 12-core HP Z800. When I started testing Adobe Production Premium CS5, the Z400 proved faster in every test. While I love these man-bites-dog stories, you don't run them without lots of testing, and ultimately, the situation got sorted out. In the process, I learned something about CS5 that might save you some rendering time down the road, which I'll share herein. I'll also quickly detail when it makes sense to consider a dual-CPU system for CS5, and when a single CPU will do just as well.
Posted 06 Dec 2010 By
Jan Ozer | So there I was, struggling for an idea for a column, and Steve Nathans-Kelly mentioned that there was growing interest in distributing HD event videos to clients over the internet. Fortunately, this dovetailed well with some research that I recently performed, so here we are. If you're considering distributing some or all of your wedding or event-related content over the internet in HD, you need to ask yourself at least four questions.
Posted 13 Oct 2010 By
Jan Ozer | If you're shooting in 24p, you should deliver your projects in 24p. This sounds obvious and simple, but it can get surprisingly complex depending upon your choice of encoding and authoring tool. I just spent 2 weeks comparing MPEG-2 encoders, and I saw a surprising difference in quality and ability to deliver 24p footage that Apple's DVD Studio Pro could import and the quality Adobe Encore was able to achieve without re-encoding. In this column, I'll discuss those findings and detail the best workflows for producing 24p DVDs.
Posted 15 Sep 2010 By
Jan Ozer | With Network-Attached Storage (NAS) and hard disk prices dropping, it seems like a good idea to consider how a NAS device such as the QNAP TS-559 Pro could work for a videographer in a typical data-intensive environment. So here I do just that. The caveat is, however, that if you're looking for a comprehensive review of the TS-559 Pro, including an in-depth look at its advanced features, look elsewhere. Here, I'll first describe what NAS is, what its strong points are for videography studios, and how the TS-559 Pro worked for me for simple file backup roles.
Posted 31 Aug 2010 By
...but it will probably get you up to the plate for future at-bats, as Google's latest move in online video will demonstrate.
Posted 02 Aug 2010 By
Jan Ozer | The launch of Adobe CS5 brings to bear the obvious comparison with Final Cut Studio (FCS). Since life has been far too quiet lately, I decided to tackle this subject, but from the perspective of the totally new user, not the experienced user who would rather fight than switch. In other words, what would you say if a total newbie asked, "Which should I use, FCS 3 or Adobe CS5?"
Posted 24 Jun 2010 By
Jan Ozer | There's no doubt that if the iPad is a raging success, it will put pressure on many mainstream websites to support HTML5; otherwise, iPad users won't be able to view video or advertisements on their sites. Taking the iPad out of the picture for a moment, what's the short-term prognosis for HTML5?
Posted 07 May 2010 By
Jan Ozer | Video technology and postproduction expert Jan Ozer examines Adobe's new CS5 integrated suite from a variety of angles, including new features and interfaces, a run-down of theadvantages of the new Mercury engine, performance comparisons between CS4 and CS5, and configuration suggestions for video pros working with the new suite.
Posted 12 Apr 2010 By
Jan Ozer | There have definitely been times in the past where buying systems with multiple cores has involved betting on some future benefit rather than reaping an immediate reward. With the Z800, you can bet on the now since the 12-core system paid immediate dividends in nine out of 10 tests, with six of those tests showing performance improvements of 43% or higher.
Posted 05 Apr 2010 By
Jan Ozer | If you're starting to focus more on the art of the production and want to experiment with multiple lenses, variable-speed recording, and more storyboard-based productions, the JVC GY-HM700U should be on your short list.
Posted 06 Mar 2010 By
Jan Ozer | Apple's recent iPad announcement had a strong impact on three groups: broadcasters, technology enthusiasts, and just about anyone concerned with the survival of the newspaper industry. Since discussions in these areas provide a great view of the iPad's strengths and weaknesses, I thought that I would detail them here.
Posted 08 Feb 2010 By
Jan Ozer | If you're looking for a source for theme-specific transitions, check out proDAD Adorage, now up to its 11th transition package.
Posted 29 Jan 2010 By
Jan Ozer | If you're looking for a source for theme-specific transitions, check out proDAD Adorage, now up to its 11th transition package.
Posted 29 Jan 2010 By
Jan Ozer | What you need to know (or at least what Adobe will tell you now) about the new Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Production Premium "CSNext"
Posted 07 Dec 2009 By
Jan Ozer | Few things in life are as opaque as working with YouTube—a black box with irresistible appeal to most video producers. Trying to discern how to produce the absolute best quality has consumed boatloads of my time in the past. Recently, however, a concert event client asked me to post six videos to YouTube, and I dove in again. Here's what I found out
Posted 29 Nov 2009 By
Jan Ozer | I bought my first Linux computer last month, a tiny ASUS "netbook" that cost about $200. I had multiple reasons for the purchase, the most important of which was to understand the current state of the Linux software market. Prompting this interest were a number of factors: Google's announcement of its Chrome operating system, my avid dislike of Windows Vista, and Apple's reluctance to offer a notebook that costs under $999.
Posted 12 Nov 2009 / November 2008 Issue By
Jan Ozer | Although you may not have heard the term "online video platform" (OVP) before, you will soon, and OVP service providers are becoming increasingly important. Here I'll explain why, and I'll discuss factors to consider if you or a customer decide to choose one.
Posted 12 Oct 2009 / October 2009 Issue By
Jan Ozer | Although you may not have heard the term "online video platform" (OVP) before, you will soon, and OVP service providers are becoming increasingly important. Here I'll explain why, and I'll discuss factors to consider if you or a customer decide to choose one.
Posted 12 Oct 2009 By
Jan Ozer | H.264 is today's "it" codec because it was jointly created by the ISO and ITU, two standards bodies that together control the cell phone, television, and computer industries. Throw in the fact that Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft (for Silverlight) have all adopted H.264, and you've got a technology with lots of mojo.
Posted 01 Jul 2009 / August 2009 Issue By
Jan Ozer | As many of you have already discovered, creating videos for small to midsize businesses gives videographers a nice opportunity to branch out into new markets. Here are some tips on how to do it well.
Posted 18 May 2009 By
Jan Ozer | Whether you plan to use it as a collection of theme-specific transitions or an inexpensive platform for custom effects generation, at $79, Adorage is a cost-effective and worthwhile addition to your editing suite.
Posted 06 May 2009 By
Jan Ozer | Not to rant, but the QuickTime Reference Movie has better PR people than Peyton Manning, creating a legacy that the reality doesn't quite match.
Posted 30 Mar 2009 / April 2009 Issue By
Jan Ozer | In this first installment and episode of Streaming Video Peer Review, streaming video expert and Moving Picture columnist Jan Ozer analyzes an online corporate video by McKinsey & Company for background, lighting and exposure, audio, editing, and encoding.
Posted 23 Mar 2009 By
Jan Ozer | What are the 5 most common mistakes made by video producers when producing or preparing their video for streaming? In a sneak preview of his upcoming Streaming Media East seminar exclusively for EventDV readers, Jan Ozer explains these errors and tells you how to avoid them.
Posted 02 Mar 2009 / March 2009 Issue By
Jan Ozer | So, you've been shooting in high definition for a while now, and you are ready to start posting HD sample clips on the web that actually reflect the quality of the footage you're capturing in your camera and editing in your NLE. You have two options: Do it yourself or use a service. Here's what you'll need to know with each approach.
Posted 30 Jan 2009 / February 2009 Issue By
Jan Ozer | Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) Production Premium allows you to send Premiere Pro sequences to both the Adobe Media Encoder (AME) and Adobe Encore for rendering or authoring while continuing to edit in Premiere Pro. The bad news is this significantly increases CS4's memory requirements, and on a 32-bit operating system, this can mean longer rendering times, instability, or both. If you want CS4's features without the performance penalty, you should consider running CS4 on a 64-bit system.
Posted 12 Jan 2009 / February 2009 Issue By
Jan Ozer | Accelerating Encoding on Multicore Mac and Windows Workstations
Posted 29 Dec 2008 / January 2009 Issue By
Jan Ozer | Technology advancements come from all directions, some flowing from professional products to consumers, others flowing from consumer to pros. This column is about the second category—specifically, several enhancements in the $99 Adobe Premiere Elements 7 that professional editors would love to have in Premiere Pro.
Posted 15 Dec 2008 / January 2009 Issue By
Jan Ozer | With Sonicfire Pro 5, SmartSound has enhanced your ability to find different songs, but more importantly, it has dramatically improved your ability to customize songs to fit your video content. Specifically, the new Timing feature lets you choose a generic song from SmartSound's library and make it sound like it was custom-written for your commercial, tutorial, or other video project.
Posted 01 Dec 2008 / December 2008 Issue By
December 2008 EventDV Table of Contents
Jan Ozer | Most pro videographers are well-versed in animated backgrounds and other accoutrements for dressing up DVD deliverables, but as we move to HD delivery and update our skills accordingly, it's also important to update our knowledgebase of the HD tools available for polishing up our work. Here's a look at what's available now.
Posted 01 Nov 2008 / November 2008 Issue By
November 2008 EventDV Table of Contents
Jan Ozer | Most pro videographers are well-versed in animated backgrounds and other accoutrements for dressing up DVD deliverables, but as we move to HD delivery and update our skills accordingly, it's also important to update our knowledgebase of the HD tools available for polishing up our work. Here's a look at what's available now.
Posted 01 Nov 2008 By
Jan Ozer | One of the coolest new features in Adobe Encore CS4 is the ability to insert pop-up menus over video in Blu-ray Disc projects, a feature unique among authoring programs in Encore's class. In this tutorial, I'll describe how to implement that feature as I did in a simple project I produced in early fall.
Posted 01 Nov 2008 / November 2008 Issue By
Joe McManus | In this installment of Cut Lines, we'll look at cropping and rotating several images at once and how nesting your composition can make it easier to manipulate your images together.
Posted 01 Nov 2008 / November 2008 Issue By
Jan Ozer | While the Panny HPX170's P2 storage makes it an expensive choice for most event shooters, it boasts several new features that I hope will become standard in future camcorders
Posted 21 Oct 2008 / December 2008 Issue By
The best way to learn about H.264 video and how to use it and how not to use it is to study iTunes podcasts. I did, and here's what I found.
Posted 20 Oct 2008 / November 2008 Issue By
Jan Ozer | When producing and compressing corporate video for the web, set design can have a profound effect on both the perceived and actual quality of the video you deliver. This article describes what works and what doesn't, and lists approaches you can use in a variety of shooting scenarios.
Posted 01 Aug 2008 / August 2008 Issue By
August 2008 EventDV
Jan Ozer | I got flamed repeatedly after writing a blog post about Sony Vegas while I was at NAB. In essence, the post stated that it was easy for me to recognize the NLE's many strengths, but that didn't make me any more comfortable using it. These responses made me crystallize my thinking about why we choose the video editors we choose, and it came down to three reasons: "the complete product," "first love," and sheer, subjective preference.
Posted 01 Jul 2008 / July 2008 Issue By
Once you've chosen a codec, you have to choose an encoding tool. In this column, I'll outline the codec-specific and automation-related questions you should ask before using or buying an encoding tool, and then describe the three levels of encoding tools.
Posted 20 Jun 2008 / August 2008 Issue By
Jan Ozer | At this writing I'm just back from NAB, and wanted to let you know what's up with Blu-ray. I'll cover the recorder/printer market first, then move to software, then touch on replication.
Posted 01 Jun 2008 / June 2008 Issue By
Jan Ozer | Back in the DV days, life was simpler. Now you need to be conversant in LongGOP, MPEG-2, AVCHD, and AVC-I, and you must know the raster and display resolutions (not to mention bit depths) of all of the candidates to choose your HD format. If you believe that tape is on the way out, as I do, MXF should be on your radar screen. You should also make sure your NLE provides the optimal platform for editing MXF content.
Posted 01 May 2008 / May 2008 Issue By
Jan Ozer | Most computers moved to internal Serial ATA (SATA) drives a few years ago. With a theoretical transfer rate of about 3.0GB per second, SATA is more than sufficient for DV and HDV editing, and external SATA (eSATA) extends this speed to external drives.
Posted 20 Mar 2008 By
Jan Ozer | Before each shoot, I print a checklist of configuration items for each camcorder and each shot location. This forces me to consider how I want to set each option beforehand, and helps me verify that I've done so, especially when working with multiple shooters. Here are the items on my checklist and some thoughts to consider for each.
Posted 07 Mar 2008 By
In this video tutorial, EventDV Moving Picture columnist Jan Ozer explains how you can stabilize your video effectively and efficiently with proDAD Mercalli using a host of well-chosen presets and more.
Posted 21 Jan 2008 By , , ,
Jan Ozer | proDAD's Mercalli is a versatile and usable image stabilization plugin that produces excellent results on footage with a range of stability issues. In testing, it produced results that were clearly preferable to SteadyMove, and it proved much more usable than After Effects. So even if you have both of these options at your disposal, Mercalli is well worth a look, especially since it only costs $119.
Posted 09 Jan 2008 By
Jan Ozer | Streaming used to be a two-horse race—Windows Media and Real Video—but the streaming world has changed so much in the last few months that you need a scorecard to keep track of the players. Consider this your scorecard.
Posted 30 Nov 2007 By
Jan Ozer | If you buy the Microboards CX-1, you'll be more than happy with print quality and ecstatic with performance. We'd like to see the cost of consumables come down, but that's true of most inkjet-based systems. Microboards has been shipping this software combination with its automated print and burn units forever, so it's mature and proven.
Posted 26 Nov 2007 By
Jan Ozer | We all have high-profile products we use every day that help us keep the revenues flowing. Maybe it's Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro, Adobe Photoshop or Ulead PhotoImpact, or Microsoft Word, or . . . well, Microsoft Word. Beyond these, however, are other, less-heralded products that one day you learn you simply can't live without.
Posted 28 Sep 2007 By
Jan Ozer | I spent the summer with the Panasonic AG-HSC1U 3CCD AVCHD camcorder, a fun experience that imparted some serious lessons about tape vs. Flash-based storage, MPEG-2 vs. AVCHD, and what viewers really like about high-definition formats (as compared to what we camera evaluators like to measure).
Posted 13 Sep 2007 By
Jan Ozer | In this tutorial we'll overview Soundbooth's interface and then focus on how to accomplish common tasks like normalization, noise removal, audio compression, and more.
Posted 31 Aug 2007 By
Jan Ozer | The transitions and effects provided in Vitascene are highly distinctive and very applicable to a variety of events, including weddings, ballets, and other artistic productions. Many effects would apply equally well to business and training videos. All tested effects rendered to very high quality, and the common themes make it easy to create a consistent, polished look. As a plugin with Premiere Pro, Vitascene proved very easy to use.
Posted 29 Jun 2007 By
Jan Ozer | XLNT Idea's Nexis 100 AP CD/DVD Publisher costs hundreds less than most of its competitors, and offers a good blend of capacity, performance, print quality, and software usability. If you're considering an autoloading printer/recorder in the 50-disc capacity range, and you're not a Mac-based operation, the Nexis should definitely be on your short list.
Posted 08 Jun 2007 By
Jan Ozer | If you’re a Windows user, Vista is as inevitable as death and taxes. Maybe Vista will grow on me as I work with it on the new workstations that I review, but for now, I’ll be putting it off as ardently as the other two.
Posted 01 Jun 2007 By
Jan Ozer | You would think that with a gazillion iPods sold, the process of getting video onto an iPod would be very straightforward. But when you're delivering iPod video to top-dollar clients, it's important to get it right. In this column, I’ll identify some of the fundamental issues involved in converting video to iPod format, and discuss how to produce optimal quality results.
Posted 06 Apr 2007 By
Jan Ozer | A Canon-specific version of Focus' popular FS-4 Pro HD direct disk recorder, the FS-C is a feature-rich, high-capacity, high-performance unit that offers excellent control of Canon's new XH A1, extremely reliable HDV support, and seamless direct-to-edit operation with Windows and Mac NLEs.
Posted 28 Mar 2007 By
Jan Ozer | Ulead DVD MovieFactory ($79.99) is the best choice I've seen for video producers who need to deliver both Blu-ray and HD DVD for their clients now. HD DVD authoring is about what you'd expect in terms of DVD authoring from a consumer product, but Blu-ray is more limited. If you need menus on your Blu-ray discs, Roxio DVDit Pro HD is a better choice, but it costs a bunch more and has its own player-related issues.
Posted 25 Mar 2007 By
Jan Ozer | Not long ago, I briefly had the feeling that small-studio producers could actually drive HD market acceptance and perhaps even impact the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD marketing war. Then I bought another Blu-ray player and got a sudden dose of reality.
Posted 09 Mar 2007 By
Jan Ozer | ScribePC is ideal for networked, high-volume shops with DVD-only or mixed CD/DVD duplication and printing jobs, especially those needing to serialize or otherwise customize their disc labels, and those whose workflow may be improved by passing disc duplication hosting on to a dedicated PC. The only significant deficit is the lack of a Mac client, so if you're a Mac shop, this probably isn't for you.
Posted 05 Mar 2007 By
Jan Ozer | So you’ve decided to get your demo tapes and even some client deliverables online. Great. This article will help you choose a compression technology (or two), encode your videos, and decide how to distribute them from a website. Let’s get started.
Posted 02 Mar 2007 By
Jan Ozer | Recently, I had the opportunity to work with the Lowel DV Creator 44 Kit ($1,695 retail) for some interviews I was shooting for both DV and DVD distribution. It was a fun and interesting experience that I thought I would share.
Posted 07 Feb 2007 By
Jan Ozer | There’s a legal principle called “eminent domain” that essentially gives the government the right to seize private property for public use. It seriously needs to be considered for the low-bit rate, highly degraded, commercially unusable but richly valuable videos in YouTube, so the private interests who have legal claims to this content can’t snatch it away.
Posted 01 Feb 2007 By
Jan Ozer | While workstations aren't as fun as new HDV camcorders, it's atill a blast to fire them up and see what they've got. Here's how some of the new workstations and multicore processors stack up.
Posted 03 Jan 2007 By
Jan Ozer | In this tutorial, Jan Ozer demonstrates how to burn HD DVD discs that will play in an HD DVD player using standard DVD media and DVD burners.
Posted 11 Dec 2006 By
Jan Ozer | Unless you’re an After Effects wizard with plenty of time on your hands, you can achieve a quantum leap in production quality for just $399, courtesy of an Editor’s Toolkit from Digital Juice.
Posted 05 Nov 2006 By
Jan Ozer | When audio problems beyond your control arise on a shoot, it's nice to know your audio editor has features that can bail you out.
Posted 15 Sep 2006 By
Jan Ozer | Dual-monitor editing stations used to be exotic, expensive, and hard to set up and maintain. Today, with virtually all new graphics cards offering dual-output ports, flat-panel monitors priced well below $300, and rock-solid support in Windows XP and popular prosumer NLEs like Adobe Premiere Pro, building a dual-monitor station is both financially and technically within the reach of most event videographers.
Posted 05 Sep 2006 By
Jan Ozer | Sony's new Cinescore application ($199) goes head-to-head with SmartSound's Sonicfire Pro as a soundtracking tool for video producers. Cinescore's ever-growing library of royalty-free music is vast but often hard to search to find the track you want. Its customization options are extensive, but they feel more like an invitation to experiment and change your music than to fine-tune your selections, which I suspect is the goal for most of us.
Posted 05 Sep 2006 By
Jan Ozer | This column isn't about shooting my first pro wedding. Rather, it's about an idea that was planted in my head while editing the footage.
Posted 05 Sep 2006 By
Jan Ozer | Last month we reviewed the features and usability of the Canon XL H1, JVC GY-HD100, and Sony HDR-FX1/HVR-Z1U; this month our focus is on quality. In addition to testing JVC's 30P HDV footage against the 1080i produced by the Canon and Sony, I also took a preliminary look the latter two cameras' faux-progressive modes, Canon's 24F and Sony's Cineframe.
Posted 31 May 2006 By
Jan Ozer | Tips on working with progressive and faux-progressive HDV formats and HDV downsampling in Premiere Pro.
Posted 30 May 2006 By
Jan Ozer | Here are two tips on cleaning up noisy video images
Posted 26 May 2006 By
Jan Ozer | This first installment of a two-part series on HDV camcorders analyzes the features and usability of the three leading 3CCD models: the Sony FX1/Z1U, the JVC HD100, and the Canon XL H1. Next month we'll do quality comparisons based on three live event shoots and lab testing.
Posted 24 Apr 2006 By
Posted 27 Mar 2006 By
Jan Ozer | With the Production Studio Premium bundle, Adobe delivers new capabilities that maintain feature parity with most relevant competitors and new integration features throughout the suite that will streamline the workflow for Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects users. Throw in the more unified and streamlined interfaces in all the applications, and you've got a powerful, comprehensible, and affordable product offering that's well worth a look for most event videographers.
Posted 06 Mar 2006 By
Jan Ozer | There’s a lot that goes into the perfect DVD, but one of the most fundamental aspects is navigation, or how you control the way the viewer moves through the content on the DVD. In this tutorial, I identify which aspects of the user experience you can control, and how to do so in two leading prosumer authoring tools: Sonic Solutions’ DVDit Pro 6 and Apple’s DVD Studio Pro.
Posted 03 Feb 2006 By
Jan Ozer | In designing MediaStudio 8, Ulead obviously decided to pick their markets, not directly facing off against the 800-pound gorillas, but carving out unique pockets of utility, like proxy editing for those editing HDV on underpowered computers and the Smart Compositor for those needing some design assistance. Overall, the product is competent to above-average in most important features, and its friendly interface should be easy for editors navigating upwards from consumer programs, especially compared to the cryptic Pinnacle Liquid Edition and Avid Xpress DV.
Posted 01 Dec 2005 By
Jan Ozer | In the final segment of our four-part series comparing five leading software NLEs—Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Xpress Pro HD, Liquid Edition, and Vegas—we’ll wrap things up with a look at slideshow creation capabilities, and we’ll render our test projects and compare speed and quality. Finally, we’ll crunch the numbers and draw some conclusions.
Posted 14 Nov 2005 By
The profit-and-loss of a brief sojourn in the record company as concert videography, DVD author, and CD and DVD duplicator and packager.
Posted 08 Nov 2005 By
Jan Ozer | Sonic Solutions DVDit Pro 6 has something to offer nearly every class of user. Those moving up from consumer tools will find the program easy to learn and more flexible and powerful than their current tools. And those who’ve worked with other prosumer-level products will find DVDit much easier to use, and quickly realize that the capabilities enabled by the bundled eDVD are essential to producing compelling, competitive DVDs. All users will value the stability that DVDit brings to bear, and appreciate the newly redesigned interface, which is as intuitive as any we’ve seen for DVD authoring.
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Jan Ozer | In August we kicked off a four-part series comparing five leading NLEs--Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Xpress Pro, Pinnacle Liquid Edition, and Sony Vegas--based on key aspects of their performance in pro postproduction. Here we explore how they fare when editing what's arguably the hottest technology in videography today: HDV.
Posted 15 Sep 2005 By
We’ve already reviewed the FX1 and found it to be a darling of a camcorder, as has the most of the rest of the world. Since you can expect the same audio/video quality from the Z1U, the $1,400 price disparity raises the inevitable question: when should you spend the extra dough and buy the professional version? In addition to producing outstanding quality in both DV and HDV modes, key advantages of the Z1U include DVCAM support, professional audio support, and new image adjustment capabilities like skin detail, black stretch, hypergain, and enhanced color correction.
Posted 04 Aug 2005 / Chrystal Corporate Profile [January 1999] Issue By
In this first of four installments of the Battle of the Software NLEs, we'll compare five leading tools--Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Xpress Pro, Pinnacle Liquid Edition, and Sony Vegas--as they performed in three operations essential to pro video editing: Overlay, Chromakey, and Color Correction.
Posted 01 Aug 2005 By
Jan Ozer | While the theory of panning and zooming within HDV video holds reasonably true in practice, that doesn’t mean it’s actually practical.
Posted 29 Jul 2005 By
Posted 01 Jun 2005 / Eastman Software Positioning Paper [Sep 1999] Issue By
Most of us assemble our edit bays piecemeal, upgrading equipment as we go to streamline our capture, editing, and authoring tasks. Given budget and time constraints, and the ever-present need to budget time, which postproduction pieces--faster CPUs, DDRs, added RAM, DVD burners--pay the biggest dividends fastest? Here we access cost savings over time to guide yoru configuration choices.
Posted 20 Apr 2005 / September 1999 [Volume 8, Issue 9] Issue By
Posted 18 Apr 2005 / September 1999 [Volume 8, Issue 9] Issue By
Jan Ozer|One thing I've learned over years of delivering video to clients: packaging matters. That's never been more true than on a recent project that yielded a four-disc set, and made me take inventory of all the DVD packages currently available to finish the job right.
Posted 28 Feb 2005 By
Jan Ozer|After testing Sony's HDR-FX1, I'm an HDV believer. It's not the second coming of DV, but it can be extremely useful in a number of circumstances, including when you need to down-sample the results to SD formats.
Posted 15 Feb 2005 By
Jan Ozer|I enjoy doing video-based presentations and training, but the long days often get brutal, and the lessons learned by me and my fellow presenters are often harsh.
Posted 15 Feb 2005 / October 2005 Issue By
Jan Ozer|Planning a new 3-CCD DV camcorder purchase? Wondering which one best suits your videography needs? You’re in luck—EventDV’s first camcorder shootout compares three new 3-CCD models built with videographers in mind. They’re all leading contenders for the current pro/prosumer crown: Canon’s XL2, Panasonic’s AG-DVC60, and Sony’s HDV-capable HDR-FX1. Read on for the tale of the tape.
Posted 20 Jan 2005 / July 1999 [Volume 8, Issue 7] Issue By
Jan Ozer|Though true HD systems are rare, there are several native, end-to-end HDV editing solutions available, including Pinnacle Edition and Ulead MediaStudio Pro, with support in Premiere Pro and Vegas coming in late 2004.
Posted 01 Dec 2004 / May 1998 [Volume 7, Issue 6] Issue By
Unlike subtitles produced for DVDs, closed captions must fulfill specific requirements to meet official accessibility regulations.
Posted 19 Nov 2004 / April 1998 [Volume 7,Iissue 5] Issue By
Jan Ozer|Here I cover the next five wows of my Ten Wow Theory with shooting and editing
Posted 29 Sep 2004 / March 1998 [Volume 7, Issue 4] Issue By
Jan Ozer|Shooting on a budget almost always means less than ideal lighting. To present your subjects in the best light, you’ll need to know what equipment to buy and how to use it, how to work without it when necessary, and how to adapt your lighting strategies to the idiosyncrasies of your shooting site. What constitutes “good lighting,” and how can you get it without breaking the bank? And how can you make sure it follows you wherever you shoot?
Posted 08 Sep 2004 / March 1998 [Volume 7, Issue 3] Issue By
Jan Ozer| When you’re doing professional shoots, you’ve got two alternatives for capturing higher-quality audio: get really, really close to your subject, or get an external microphone. Assuming that close proximity is not always an option, with all the mics, connections, and strategies available, what do you need to know to do on-site sound right?
Posted 05 Aug 2004 / February 1998 [Volume 7, Issue 2] Issue By
Jan Ozer|With all my video work, I take a “Ten Wow” strategy, and try to think of ways to earn 10 "wows" of praise. On a recent project, which included an event shoot, editing, and DVD authoring, I divided the ten evenly; five for shooting and editing, and five for DVD production. I’ll deal with the second five here.
Posted 02 Aug 2004 By
Jan Ozer|To produce professional video on a budget, you need to master various visual and technical arts. But you also need to become a master of illusion, especially if you’re working as a crew of one. Here we explore the art of the single-camera shoot, and insert-editing techniques that will ensure that you have all the angles covered.
Posted 21 Jul 2004 / January 1998 [Volume 7, Issue 1] Issue By
Jan Ozer | If you're already using Vegas 4, version 5 is a no-brainer upgrade. If your video productions are music-intensive, and you're not already using Vegas, you should be. Vegas can do virtually everything that Premiere Pro can do, and a whole lot more, but you'll get there faster and easier in Premiere Pro. Though vastly improved, DVD Architect still trails DVD Workshop and Encore in overall functionality.
Posted 16 Jul 2004 / January 1998 [Volume 7, Issue 1] Issue By
Many of the questions I get from readers and see on Web forums relate to confusion about the formats and file types used in the video production process.
Posted 13 Jul 2004 / January 1998 [Volume 7, Issue 1] Issue By
Jan Ozer| Compositing isn't as tough as you might think. With the right tools and some basic skills, creating video overlay effects and even "virtual sets" is easier than ever.
Posted 02 Jun 2004 / Enterprise Search Demo Center Issue By
Jan Ozer | While a reasonably effective professional NLE, EDIUS feels a generation behind polished programs like Pinnacle Liquid Edition, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Apple Final Cut Pro. Though there are some performance bright spots--speedy rendering, a rich effects palette, and an excellent titling utility--there are also fundamental workflow problems.
Posted 01 Jun 2004 / Enterprise Search Demo Center Issue By
Is DVD Workshop 2 a worthy successor to its Editor’s Choice-winning forerunner? Happily, the answer is an unqualified yes, primarily because of the design flexibility and enhancements incorporated into the new version.
Posted 12 Apr 2004 / December 2005 Issue By
Jan Ozer | A shootout between streaming codecs reveals that Real, Microsoft, and Sorenson have the edge over MPEG-4.
Posted 12 Apr 2004 / December 2005 Issue By
Jan Ozer | There's increasing reason to believe that, to paraphrase an old Southern expression, the MPEG-4 dog just won't hunt. It hasn't yet, and it probably never will, at least in any serious commercial way.
Posted 12 Apr 2004 / December 2005 Issue By
Making sense of the latest digital video camera offerings
Posted 19 Feb 2004 / October 2005 Issue By
Sony’s new DCR-VX2100 is a modest but likeable upgrade to the venerable VX2000 that’s positioned squarely in the sweet spot of mainstream prosumer camera usage.
Posted 19 Feb 2004 / October 2005 Issue By
All streaming video—whether from Apple (QuickTime), Microsoft (Windows Media), or RealNetworks (Real)—looks great when encoded at sufficiently high bit rates. The problem is getting it to your computer where it can play smoothly.
Posted 16 Dec 2003 / July/August 2005 Issue By
synopsis: If you analyze Premiere across the complete range of relevant features, it’s a strong performer, particularly in critical areas like timeline editing and rendering. This is especially true when you consider the cast of Adobe products that surround Premiere. Some, like After Effects, buttress Premiere’s weaknesses in chromakeying and other special effects. Others, like Photoshop and Encore, are must-have production tools. For many producers, Adobe’s ability to bundle and aggressively price these tools gives Premiere an edge that no other editor can match.
Posted 01 Dec 2003 / July/August 2005 Issue By
Jan Ozer | With landmark recent releases from Adobe, Apple, Avid, Pinnacle, and Sony Pictures, today’s video-editing scene boasts a surfeit of showstoppers. But which one is truly today’s premier prosumer NLE?
Posted 01 Dec 2003 / July/August 2005 Issue By
Posted 08 Aug 2003 / March 2005 Issue By
synopsis: Saddled with the most challenging interface of any tool in its class, Pinnacle Edition is off-putting at first, to say the least. But stick with it and you’ll reap the rewards—that same interface is extraordinarily flexible, powerful, and inspiring. Overall, workflow is fast and efficient, and the software boasts versatile color correction, great stability, and the most ingenious use of hyperthreaded processing we’ve seen to date. All hail the new prosumer video editing king, at least for now. Bring on Premiere Pro.
Posted 08 Aug 2003 / March 2005 Issue By
Posted 01 Jul 2003 / January/February 2005 Issue By
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Posted 01 Apr 2003 / October 2004 Issue By
Posted 01 Feb 2003 / July/August 2004 Issue By
Posted 01 Feb 2003 / July/August 2004 Issue By
Jan Ozer | In case you're not aware, Intel recently launched a new processor line, code-named Nehalem. I had a chance to play with one of the first workstations available with the new processor, a 3.2gHz dual-processor, quad-core Z800 workstation that absolutely knocked the socks off the fastest computer that I have ever tested. If you recently bought a non-Nehalem-based computer, you're going to absolutely rue the decision.
Jan Ozer | In case you're not aware, Intel recently launched a new processor line, code-named Nehalem. I had a chance to play with one of the first workstations available with the new processor, a 3.2gHz dual-processor, quad-core Z800 workstation that absolutely knocked the socks off the fastest computer that I have ever tested. If you recently bought a non-Nehalem-based computer, you're going to absolutely rue the decision.
Posted 01 May 2009 / May 2009 Issue By