Recently I had an issue with the Razor Tool in Premiere Pro CC. It was not cutting the video and its associated audio at the same time, which is normal functionality. I think I must have inadvertently done something to make the Razor Tool cut only the track it was over. It would only cut the track that I was clicking on with the Razor Tool. This is similar to its functionality when holding down the ALT key.
After some research I found how to set the Razor Tool back to default behavior. I also found how to deal with a video that had a segmented audio track, where the audio track needed to be re-linked to the video.
This video shows the issue I was having and how I resolved it, as well as how to link and unlink audio segments to a video track.
I recently bought a Wacom Intuos Pro small tablet. Because my laptop has a touch screen, there were a few configuration steps I needed to do to enable the pen. This blog is mostly for me in case I ever need to do a fresh install on my system and those steps will be readily available.
I also want to share why I finally decided to get a Wacom after thinking about it for a few years. I will also share some customization that can be done on the tablet and pen buttons.
I held off getting a Wacom because I felt that they were more for digital artists. Though I would like to get a bit more into drawing, I am no where near the point where I would need anything more than pencil and paper. Think stick figures.
Recently, I started watching Sara Dietschy’s vlogs (please check out her YouTube channel, especially the Casey Neistat-related videos) and she did a comparison of the Wacom Intuos medium-sized Intuos 5 tablet with the Intuos Pro small tablet:
I liked that the Intuos Pro small tablet could fit in a laptop backpack. Sara uses it for Photoshop, Premiere Pro for editing, and for AfterEffects, which are the programs I will use it for. Please note that Sara does not do digital art either, and that is something to keep in mind. If you are doing art on your computer, using something like Illustrator, Manga or Anime Studio, or any other digital art application, you may want to go with the bigger Wacom.
At this point I looked at a few YouTube videos about using the Wacom with Premiere and AfterEffects, which finalized my decision to get it. As of this writing, I have only had it for about four days and still need to learn how to actually use it. I don’t think the learning curve is going to be too bad, and once I get the hang of it I know I am going to love it.
As I mentioned above, when I first setup my Wacom I had a few minor issues that were very easy to correct.
The first was the software that came with the Intuos. A CD was included with the software on it, but I wanted to download and install it from the Wacom website to insure I had the latest version. There was a point where it asks for the Software Bundle download key, and that is on a sticker on the back of the CD envelope. Make sure you install the software bundle because it includes the Wacom Tablet Properties program that allows you to customize the tablet and pen buttons.
After installing the software, I noticed that the pen option was not showing up in the Wacom Tablet Properties program:
I believe this was happening because I have a laptop with a touch screen running Windows 10. I found a video by Adam Duff at LUCIDPIXUL with the steps to correct this. Please note that much of Adam’s video has to do with an issue he was having specifically in Photoshop. It is the last corrective action that he takes around the 7:23 mark that fixed my issue of the pen option not showing in properties. I will list those steps below as well.
The steps that I took based on Adam’s video were:
Right-click the start button and select search.
Using either standard search or Cortana, search for “pen and touch”. If you use standard search be sure to select that you want to search in Settings. Click on the Pen and Touch result.
From the Pen and Touch window, select Press and Hold and click settings:
Uncheck the checkbox for Enable Press and hold for right-clicking, then click OK.
Then from the Pen and Touch window, select the Flicks tab and uncheck the checkbox for Use flicks to perform common actions quickly and easily, then click OK.
After I did these steps, the pen option appeared in the Wacom Tablet Properties program:
Now I was ready to customize my tablet and pen buttons. The first video I looked at was posted on the Wacom YouTube channel, but was done by Photoshop experts Phlearn (please check out their YouTube Channel as well):
The Wacom/Phearn video covers customizing the buttons on the pen, as well as the buttons and scroll wheel on the tablet. My favorite has to be setting up the back button on the pen to be Undo:
From the Wacom Tablet Properties program, make sure that you are in the pen option, then click the dropdown associated to the pen’s back button:
Select keystroke from the dropdown menu:
The Define Keystroke will be displayed. With your cursor in the Keys box, do Ctrl+Z (hold control button down and tap Z). Then in the name field enter Undo. Click OK. Now when using your Wacom you can click the back button on the pen and it will perform the Undo function. I know this is one I will be using a lot.
The next video I want to share is by Pxlpainter and how they setup their Wacom for use with AfterEffects. One of the things I want to call out is around the 1:30 where he shows how to configure the settings for all applications, or do settings for a specific application. So you can have the buttons and scroll wheel customized a certain way for one program, like Premiere Pro, but have them configured a different way when you are in another program, like Photoshop or AfterEffects.
I will share my progress with the Wacom in future posts, including any tricks or custom configurations I come across.
I have been using Dreamweaver to write the posts for my site. I like much of its functionality, especially snippets. One piece of functionality I could not get to work was spell check. I looked at Help and checked online, and though it appeared I was doing everything right, spell check would not run.
Finally, I stumbled across the issue. Spell check did not seem to want to run in Live view. When I changed to Design view spell check ran fine.
Since I had so much trouble finding what the problem was, I decided to do a little YouTube video that stepped through the problem and its solution.
A few months ago I downloaded and subscribed to Adobe Creative Cloud. The main reason was to learn After Effects, which I have been interested in for years. I am barely scratching the surface, have so much more to learn, but I absolutely love it. This is the kind of stuff that I dreamed of doing as a kid – and an adult – and now will be able to do on a laptop.
I will post on my progress, share any cool tips I come across, and share some of the videos I do. I will also share links to books and videos that I learn from.
I really like this book. Very easy to follow, covers major concepts, and there are downloadable work files for every chapter.
The first thing I am trying to learn is sign replacement. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am a huge fan of director Gareth Edwards, the director of Godzilla. Mr. Edwards was an effects artist and he did his first film “Monsters” on a micro budget. In the DVD “making of” featurette, he talked about how doing simple sign replacements via After Effects was a great way to add production value. It was also much easier and cheaper than creating actual signs. I thought that was a really cool idea.
My first attempt was to replace a poster for The Purge: Anarchy in a bus stop display with another poster. I decided to replace it with a fan art poster for the classic Simpsons musical “Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off” by DJ Clulow.
A Word on the Simpons Apes Poster: I came across the image online and thought it was amazing. It is from one of my favorite episodes and I thought the artist just nailed it. I found out that it was done by DJ Clulow and I immediately bought a print from DJ’s Etsy. When I thought I might post my progress videos on YouTube, I reached out to DJ first who kindly gave me permission to use the poster in them. Please be sure to checkout all of DJ’s work at www.crabbysquid.com.
To replace the poster in the bus stop I used the multi-point tracking method covered in Adobe After Effects Classroom in a Book. The Purge: Anarchy poster was actually perfect for this, because it has a very bright background. That contrasted well with its black frame. My understanding is that this kind of sharp contrast helps After Effects maintain the points once set.
Here is the video of the bus stop sign replacement. It includes the original footage followed by the Apes poster composited into it:
Next, I wanted to do a sign replacement panning shot. For this I used the 3D camera tracking method in After Effects. Adobe After Effects Classroom in a Book had some great info in it, but I found watching YouTube videos on how to do this the most helpful. Here are two of the videos I watched:
The first video is about replacing an image on a computer screen. I modified my steps a little for the poster, such as the ratio/dimesions for the image I was using. Note that the version of After Effects used in this video is CS6, but I found the steps worked in my CC 2014 version just fine:
The second video has a lot of tips for cleaning up the 3D points to get better tracking. Also, though I did not use it for my video, it includes a way to create your own sign from within After Effects. That is something I will definitely do in the future.
Here is my video using the 3D camera tracking. Again, I replaced the poster for The Purge: Anarchy (Nothing against The Purge: Anarchy at all. In this case it was next to the poster for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes so that’s where Simpons Apes had to go. What a great double feature that would be!).
I think this was good, but the rotoscoping of the Now Showing sign definitely needs work. The edges are not sharp and has almost a fluttering, flashing effect to it. I think the reason for this is that I used the rotoscope brush. I think, but I am not sure, that the rotoscope brush may be better for selecting people or free moving objects. For the Now Showing sign it might be better to do something where I have more defined edges (maybe the pen tool??). This is definitely something I am still figuring out, but when I do, I will post an updated video.
Thanks again to artist DJ Clulow. The Simpsons Apes poster can be purchased on DJ’s Etsy. If you are an “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” fan, there is also an awesome poster for “The Dayman Cometh”.
I recently upgraded to the new Adobe Creative Cloud 2014. One of the things I noticed is that the 2014 version did not overwrite/replace the existing version. Though some settings did appear to carry over from one version to another, the custom snippets I created for Dreamweaver did not.
I use Dreamweaver mostly for composing the posts on my website, which is running WordPress. Since I use certain commands and HTML code in my posts repeatedly, I created about 10 snippets for them.
Some of the snippets are very simple, like inserting a double line break:
Others are a little more complex, like one that wraps a highlighted URL with the HTML to launch it is a new browers window:
I could not find a way from within Dreamweaver ACC2014 to import the snippets easily from the previous version (there may be a way that I missed, but I didn’t come across it.).
When I looked in the original Dreamweaver CC version directory:
\Adobe Dreamweaver CC\Configuration\Snippets Please Note: I am using Windows 8.1, so if you are using a different version of Windows, are on a Mac, or installed Dreamweaver to a custom directory your path may be different.
The default snippet folders were there, but not the custom ones I created:
I then did a search for snippets files on my system. Their extension is .csn.
The search found them in a hidden folder:
\username\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Dreamweaver CC\Configuration Please Note: You may need to change your settings to view hidden folders. To do this on Windows 8.1.: Open a Folder/Select the View Tab/From Options Select Change folder and search options/The Folder Options window appears/Select the View Tab/Go to the section called Hidden Files and Folders/Select Show hidden files, folders and drivers/Click OK
My custom snippets were in their own folder (which I called WP since they are for doing posts on my WordPress site). I copied the folder to my desktop.
I then opened the location where the default snippets are located for the new 2014 version of Dreamweaver:
\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2014\Configuration\Snippets
Once that was done I launched Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2014 and viewed the snippets. My custom WP directory appeared with the snippets:
I did notice that the keyboard shortcut keys did not carry over. These are the hotkeys that I had programmed to run the snippets (for example, CTRL+ALT+R runs the double line break snippet).
This is where I was very glad that when I created the snippets I had included what their keyboard shortcut keys were as part of their titles:
Though I had to go through and assign the shortcuts to the snippets again, I at least knew what I had originally assigned them as.
If I discover an easier way to import snippets or maintain assigned shortcut keys I will update this post. Hopefully this was helpful to anyone upgrading to ACC 2014.