Video Demo: Adobe OnLocation and Ultra

Here's a nice demo by Karl Soule of Adobe covering Adobe OnLocation and Ultra. Both tools have been added to Adobe's offering after the aquisition of Serious Magic.

Ultra is a tool for working with blue- or greenscreen video in a very straight forward way and it allows you to easily change backgrounds in a video and it even gives you a real time preview during the shot, amongst other things. Very cool.

OnLocation (previously called DV Rack) on the other hand provides you with an easy way of recording video directly to disk, for example on your laptop. No need for tapes anymore. I saw a demo of this at Adobe Live in London and the tool is really powerful once you take a few minutes to explore the many options its interface provides.
You can watch the recording by Karl Soule here.

My Book 'Hands-On-Guide to Flash Video' is (Almost) Out!

Some of you may know that I've been working on a book, together with my co-author and all round video meister Jan Ozer. The book is titled Hands-on-Guide to Flash Video and it's part of the Hands-on Guider Book Series by Focal Press.
Today I have received my first copy of the book (see pic) and it was a great feeling flipping through it (no, I did not read it!) and actually holding it in my hands - up until now it did not seem real at all and the process of writing and copy editing seems way back in the past (before christmas 2006).
I had a blast writing my chapters (about half of the book), especially since my co-writer was such a great sport and helped me out with great tips and guidance. Jan, you rock. This was my first major writing engagement (I'm more used to blogs and short articles) and I really hope that some of you will enjoy the book and learn a few things from Jan and myself.

The book (which you can preorder here) has quite a broad target audience and I think that most people will gain SOMETHING from it. I tried to keep the code part quite basic because I expect that a lot of readers will be new to Flash and not only to the Flash video side of things. On the flipside I think that seasoned Flashers can gain a lot of new knowledge from Jan's chapters as he takes a close look at codecs, shooting, lighting and encoding, to name but a few. But that's not to say that my chapters on Flash Media Server won't have anything to offer to experienced ActionScripters, too.

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Total Training: Get up to speed with Adobe Premiere 2

Being part of the Adobe Community Experts program carries some benefits (sorry for rubbing this in), one of them being the occasional freebie. Recently I received a free copy of Total Training's Premiere 2 DVD Course - Premiere (and video editing in general) is something I wanted to learn a bit better. Being a book kind of person I hadn't ever seen any of these training courses before and I got to say I was presently surprised. The package includes some 5 DVDs and approximately 17 hours of on-screen training.

There is a lot of detail to the exercises too. Take this for an example (if you already know a bit about Premiere 2): check out the preferences > general option in Premiere 2. There's a heck of a lot of stuff in here but the presenter walks you through each and every one of these options, making sure you understand them all. And this theme carries on right through the rest of the video lessons. I haven't been through the entire course yet but I'm sure it will take my Premiere skills to the next level.

I'm keen to check out the upcoming Flex2 course and I will make sure to post a review once it's out later this month.

Programming Flash Communication Server

The wait is over: the long awaited book 'Programming Flash Communication Server' has been released. You may already know that Brian Lesser is the main man behind this, backed up by a crew of Flashcom allstars such including Peldi, Robert Reinhardt, Justin Watkins and Joey Lott. Yes, wow.
I am not sure what else to tell you except GO AND BUY IT and once you have placed your order check out the book's website which features a sample chapter, articles and sources.
Congratulations to everyone involved!

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