I had some editing to do the other day that, for one reason or another, I wanted to do on my Windows machine. I tried several open-source utilities, but none of them can cut the mustard like Adobe Premiere Pro can.
However, the only legitimate version I have is Premiere Pro CS3, vintage 2007, purchased for good money back then (which I’ve all made back, thanks to a three-day editing job I got for BBC interactive, literally a week after I bought it). Those were the days before Full HD video was commonplace, and way before anyone dared to mention the idea of 4K. But I digress.
So I tried to install Premiere under Windows 10, and to my surprise all worked rather well – until the registration part came and told me that this app could no longer be activated.
Here’s a list of handy keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Premiere Pro. I keep forgetting these little helpers every 6 months or so…
By no means an extensive or complete list, here are the ones that I like using:
SPACE – Playback at 100%
K – Stop
J – Play 100% backwards (multiple presses accelerates back)
L – Play 100% forwards (multiple presses accelerates forwards)
Left Cursor – step forward one frame
Right Cursor – step back one frame
V – Selection Tool
B – Ripple Edit Tool
N – Rolling Edit Tool
X – Rate Stretch Tool
C – Razor Tool
Import / Export
CMD/CTRL+M – Export Media
CMD+I – Import Media
Create your own Shortcuts
Premiere has a handy menu in which we can lookup existing shortcuts, as well as setup our own. There are so many functions, and not all of them have pre-defined shortcuts. Head over to Premiere Pro – Shortcuts and save whole sets of shortcut setups.
Needless to say, we can also change existing shortcuts to something more personal here.
Turntable animations show an object or a collection of objects from all sides. They’re usually rendered as a loopable image sequence. The above is such an example of Michael 7, assembled as a GIF image. He’ll keep spinning forever!
To export a single Shape Key as OBJ file, all we have to do is set the desired Shape Key to 1 (or whatever value we like) and use the File – Export dialogue to create an OBJ with the shape/morph applied.
However, if you have several dozen Shape Keys that need to be exported, repeating the above several dozen times can be tedious and error prone. Blender hasn’t got an built-in option for such a batch-export operation, but thanks to a lovely man named TLousky, we can use a handy Python Script to do the job.
Here it is, with minor amendments by yours truly:
Excellent… what exactly does it do?
This script will iterate over each Shape Key of the currently selected object, set each shape key to a value of 1, and export it to the desired path as OBJ file. Feel free to change the scale upon export if you like, and don’t forget to set a valid path for where you’d like your OBJs to be saved.
Awesome… how do we run this thing, Cap’m?
To run a script in Blender, open a Text Editor window (NOT the Python Console). I like using the Timeline Window for that. Click the New button to create a new text file. Now copy the entire code from above into the otherwise empty window inside Blender and hit the Run Script button at the bottom of the window.
Blender will go to work and do its thing. With a bit of luck, no error message will be displayed. Your destination folder should now contain the desired OBJ files.
I’ve explained how to do it all step-by-step in the above video.
Blender stores Morph Targets as Shape Keys. Those can be accessed and created in the palette that resembles the Flux Capacitor icon (it reads Data when you hover over it).
To store one object’s shape in another one as a Shape Key, do the following:
import both objects into Blender
SHIFT-select both objects
make sure that the object you’d like to store the Shape Key in is selected last
using the Specials Menu under Shape Keys, select “Join as shapes”
The Specials Menu is hiding under the little triangle, underneath the plus/minus icon. Note that your master object needs to have a Basis Shape Key defined (you can do that by clicking the plus icon in the same menu).
Now you can delete the second object from your scene and use the slider to morph your master object into your second object.
And finally, both objects need to have the exact same amount of vertex points, otherwise the operation isn’t going to work.
Photoshop has an interesting set of filters that let us turn ordinary images into fascinating Bokeh Effects. Those can be useful as a nice alternative for gradient backgrounds due to the elements of randomness they can bring, or for foreground effects akin to those created with plastic cameras.
I recently recorded a quick voiceover in Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5, but I ran into an issue for which the fix wasn’t exactly obvious. Here’s the problem:
When you mark a track to record some audio and start the recording, the full mix is being played back through your speakers (or headphones). This includes your own voice with a small delay which is useful in a studio setup, but not so much when you’re the only operator on the setup.
How can we turn it off? Turns out there is, as always, a solution to the puzzle.
Head over to Preferences – Audio and find an option that reads Mute input during timeline recording. Once checked, your own voice will still be recorded, but no longer played through the mix at the time of recording.
Opening several JPG or PNG images in Photoshop is the easiest thing in the world: just select several in the Windows Explorer or in the Mac Finder, right-click to choose Open, and Photoshop brings in each image as a new document.
But when we try the same with raw images, it won’t work: although Photoshop shows us the raw processing dialogue for all our chosen images, and lets us make individual changes, as soon as we hit Open at the bottom, only the current image is opened as a new document.
Sometimes we want to reproduce an image using a brush stroke. It’s a handy way to replicate a 2D object along a path for example. Using the standard brush for this though, we’ll find that we can only reproduce a single colour image. But what if we want to reproduce all colours in our image?