Sermon GFX: How To Live Without Losing Your Joy

Here’s the graphics for a new series we are starting, How To Live Without Losing Your Joy. The graphics came from Vine Resources. They have some great stuff.

I’ve known this series was coming for awhile but I wasn’t able to put some creative time into it. I’ve been slammed with other video projects. It also changed title 3 or so times. The Joy Factor, The Joy Effect… I don’t know why my pastor picks such long wordy titles for sermon series.

Speaking of video projects we’re using a video for each of the sermons in the series. In fact I’m working on one today for this weekend. I’ll post it later this week when I’m finished.

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January 31, 2008. Graphic Design. Leave a comment.

Where is the line between inspired and plagiarism

Just wondering where the line is between being inspired by a video and copying it out right. When does one stop and the other begin? I don’t quite get the idea of this video instead of buying this from Igniter. I can tell you the time and resources put into creating the video are worth more than the $15 Igniter charges. I guess if they church really wants that person in the video. Hopefully they would have bought the Igniter video too. I’m making the assumption the church is copying Igniter and not the other way around.

But is it legally wrong to do something like this? I’ve found some good videos like the Happy video from Highway Video. It has some great lines but I think it’s too long, gets off track of where I’d like it to go, I could do better gfx and music and it ends on a negative note.

Or this True Joy video from Shepherd Productions. It’s a great idea but I think it’s too long and feel like it gets off topic. I’d like to take a good chunk of the content but edit it down. But it’s also similar to The Truth video (it’s about half way down the page).

When it comes to copyright, where is the line between inspired by and breaking the law. I don’t mind buying a video that inspires me only to remake it in my own direction. I don’t plan on reselling these videos but just using them for my church.

They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. You see it in fashion as runway designs make their way down to Wal-Mart. You see it in TV and movies as waves of similar shows and movies come out. You see it in advertising as certain design styles will ripple through.

I’m not a lawyer or an expert in this but from what I understand ideas are not protected but the execution of those ideas are. In the instances of these videos where I’d like to take 50% – 75% of the content and repackage it. Technically that sounds like a derivative of the work which would be covered under copy-write law.

How much of a work must be changed before it is considered a unique work? Sounds like a question for me to ask smarter people than I.

January 31, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Apple Gestures

With the interface of the iPhone and the newly launched Mac Book Air, the word gestures is popping up more and more in tech circles. I’ve known for a while on my laptop that I could use two fingers on the touch pad and scroll. But I just figured out that if I click with two fingers on the track pad it’s like right clicking or control clicking. You can also click by tapping on the trackpad but I like to leave this off in the system preferences.

Just thought I’d share something cool I learned. Kind of like about a year and a half after I got my car. It was used when I bought it. But I was changing a tire and I found that it had remote entry for it. I thought this was very cool but was did not seem appreciated by my wife.

January 29, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

ProVideoPlayer and ProPresenter Leopard Update

I have to say ProVideoPlayer (1.2.5) and ProPresenter (3.2.7) are working like champs on Leopard (10.5.1) and Quicktime 7.3. Starting the programs seems to take longer but this seems to be from the Network Module we have initializing. At least that is what the start up screen says. But the two programs seem to be seeing each other and connecting every time they open up. Not quite so on earlier versions.

ProPresenter was rock solid. We tried to recreate some of the issues we had before (crashes while setting up a song, re-ordering slides not sticking after a close and open) but everything worked as it should.

I really like the ability for ProVideoPlayer to adjust the spped, hue, sat, brightness and contrast of ProPresenter.

If you are a ProPresenter user or thinking about it they’ve posted some video tutorials and have started a forum with some great tech bulletins about avoiding certain OS (like 10.4.11) and QT (like 7.4) updates.

January 28, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Aviom Thoughts

We’ve been using an Aviom personal monitor system for almost 4 years now. Before that we were using a TDM system from Boling Engineering. Harry was one of our sound guys and made all kinds of stuff for us. So our band has been used to a quiet stage.

When we first installed the Aviom it was with an analog board. Just took 15 direct outs and 1 aux as a add anything special mix. Since then we’ve moved to a Yamaha M7CL digital board and have kept the same basic mindset.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of giving the band a rough mix or house mix on a stereo send. Then letting them make adjustments as a “More Me” mix idea. My main reasons for this have been:
-Is it too much for a musician to get a decent mix
-Give them a better mix so they can play better
-Take some of the mixing responsibility from them and let them focus more on their playing during practice than tweaking the monitor mix.

Anyway I’m going to run the idea by some of our musicians and see what they think.

January 28, 2008. Sound. Leave a comment.

First Try At Multi-Tracking

A few weeks ago we celebrated our Pastor’s 50th birthday. I don’t think we do enough celebrating as a church. So celebrating our Pastor’s Birthday was a great way to show our congregation some achievements of our pastor. He’s not one to parade his achievements and he does a lot on a national level that our church doesn’t know about.

He’s written several book, one of them being “Lessons I Learned From Destroying A Church”. It’s about his first church in Sweetwater, Texas that died. In honor of that the music team performed a version of “Hotel California” with the lyrics changed to “Sweetwater, Texas”.

It’s an electric drum kit with 6 feeds to the board that I recorded from a post fade aux, 3 electric guitars, bass and lead vox. I recorded it into our Digidesign 002. I did a quick mix down of it. Mainly added compression (I love Smack) and EQ (Pultec Bundle rocks). Some FX (Trillium Labs Verb) on the vox and drums and Maxim on the master fader.

I really enjoyed the brief post process on this. Makes me want to get to the point where we record 32 tracks out of our board. This would be great for virtual sound checks and training. If we ever get to the point of recording an album we’d be all set. 2 ADAT cards for the M7 and an M-Audio Lightbridge and I’m ready to go for under $2k. Here’s a link to the MP3.

January 26, 2008. Music. Leave a comment.

Leopard and ProPresenter & ProVideo Player

I finally took the time this week and updated our presentation computers to Leopard. The process was smooth.

I updated to the latest version of ProVideoPlayer and ProPresenter. As I’ve said before we have a network module that lets ProVideoPlayer control the background elements of ProPresenter. It was this module that kept me on older versions of PVP and PP3. Since I’ve updated not only does it allow the background to change and the speed of the clip, I can also change the Hue, Saturation, Brightness and Contrast of background videos in ProPresenter. It’s on a global basis, not an individual one. A very nice feature. I can use individual clips settings in ProVideo Player to over ride/ compensate for global changes.

The update also seems to fix some problems we were having with random quits as we prepared the weekends playlist in ProPresenter. Mainly when editing a slide we’d get some odd problems, slides wouldn’t move if rearranged or the program would quit.

The only problems I’m running into right now are:
-I do have one problem with the network module. It will show that it is connected in the network preference pane, but it doesn’t communicate. Deselecting the box and then double clicking seems to fix the problem.
-I haven’t gotten a DVD to play through ProPresenter. It’s not something we do. I don’t like the lag of the disk spinning up. I think video played back from the computer has the colors are de-saturated and the video looks soft going through the scaling process of the computer. But it’s a good backup if our DVD player dies on us.
-The printer we have in the sound booth isn’t printing correctly. It’s a cheap all in one (free after rebate). An Epson Stylus CX7400 that they say has leopard drivers.

Quick Leopard thoughts:
-I don’t like the transparent dock but I do like stacks.
-Spotlight is stinking fast
-Disk Utility takes a long time to repair permissions
-I like the idea of built in remote desktop built in. Allows me to setup playlists for the weekend from my office.
-Software update downloads software in the background and lets you know when it’s ready to install. I need to see when it checks for downloads b/c I don’t want it bogging down during a service.

I wanted to wipe the G5 as it’s our old media computer so it has a ton of software that we transfered over to the new one. But I didn’t see that option to do a erase and instal in my upgrade disk. I might have to use the system restore disks and then upgrade from there.

January 25, 2008. Tech Stuff, Uncategorized, Video. Leave a comment.

OS and Software Updates Pains

WARNING: This is more of a rant than anything else.

As I’ve said before I’m a Mac user. I’ve liked them since the days of OS9 when I realized I could edit video using Final Cut Pro 2 running on an iBook while I sat in Starbucks.

But I have a love/ hate relationship with the frequency of their updates. I went through the change from OS9 to OSX. That was a change that broke everything. Nothing from OS9 would work well in OSX. I’ve now made the change from PPC processors to Intel. Yet another change that required universal software for my apps to run at their best.

As more time goes by I accumulate more software that I use on a regular basis. It started with Final Cut 2.0. Then Photoshop 7/ Illustrator/ InDesign 2 in a pre-creative suite bundle. Then Macromedia Studio MX 2004. Then Protools 6. Then After Effects 6.5. Then add some plugins for ProTools and the Trapcode Suite to AE.

Now the software I use on a daily or weekly basis is: Final Cut Studio 1, Adobe Creative Suite CS3 (Master Collection but I don’t use Premiere, Encore or their audio app), ProTools 7.3 with plug ins, Trapcode Suite, iWork 08, ProPresenter and ProVideoPlayer. Not to mention a dozen or so apps/ utilities that I use on a regular basis.

So along comes Leopard and I’m still waiting for ProTools to update and CS3 to be 100% confirmed. Our Konica C6500 work printer does not have Leopard drivers either. Apple launches QuickTime 7.4 and it’s broken AE renders over 10 minutes.

I want some of the new features of updates but I don’t want to pain and hassles that might come with it. I heard it said that you should stop updating any part of the OS (including QuickTime) once a new version of the software comes out. In other words since I’m running Final Cut Studio 1, I should stop my OS updates on whatever the current OS/ QuickTime version was the day before FCS 2 came out.

Anyway I’ve tried to be safe with my updates. I updated my laptop mainly b/c I thought QT 7.4 was necessary to update iTunes so I could get the new update for my iPhone. I haven’t noticed any problems so far and the only AE renders I’ve had have been quick. But I usually try to hold off at least a few weeks on the MacPro as it’s the main workstation.

But this week I updated the iMac that runs ProPresenter 3 to Leopard and the G5 Power Mac that runs ProVideoPlayer to Leopard. After reading the Renewed Vision forums I’m hoping it solves some of our problems. I’ll make another post about PP3 and PVP on Leopard as well as any Leopard thoughts I might have.

January 25, 2008. Tech Stuff. Leave a comment.

iLove iLife 08

Maybe love is too strong of a word but I’ve been blown away by iLife 08.

To me it sounds funny to say it but this is the first time I’ve really gotten into iLife. I’ve been using Apple computers in 2001 on os9. Before iTunes and any other part of iLife were around. As they released the pieces of iLife, besides iTunes, I never really used. iPhoto at the beginning didn’t handle RAW files which my DSLR shot. I already knew Final Cut and DVD Studio Pro so why would I want to mess with iMovie or iDVD. iWeb is the newest edition but I’ve been using Dreamweaver for the church web page.

I’ve known and used the pro apps so why would I want/ need to use consumer grade products? Well I never had a good reason until now. I’ve taken a new look at iLife because:
-Need to turn picture montages around quickly.
-Equip other ministries at church to do basic video editing.

I first started with iPhoto for picture montages. I really like how it organizes your photos based on “events”. iPhoto gives me a very visual way of organizing my photos and quickly and easily organize and find my videos. The only down side that I’ve found is backing up the iPhoto library. I use ChronoSync for my backups. iPhoto stores all your photos and other files in one huge file. But it’s a package so you have to right click on the library and choose show contents.

iMovie 08 is a new application from the ground up. You can search on the web and find a huge backlash about this change. I know FCP inside and out but I always had the hardest time getting into any previous version of iMovie. But 08 has got to be the simplest editing program I’ve ever seen. I found it ver intuitive. Then add the ability to export the project to Final Cut Pro (minus transitions and Ken Burns). It’s a winner in my book. I have been able to show several people how to quickly make a video and free me up to do something else. If I need to fine tune a video I can export the project and open it in FCP. You can keep iMovie HD on your system. This is great because it has some big features missing from the 08 version. Features like effects and a timeline to edit to.

With it’s more intuitive interface I can see myself using it for picture montages to get the pan and scan Ken Burns effect. Even though I’ve gotten pic montages down to a science in AE. Picked up some great tips from Andrew Kramer at Video CoPilot

I haven’t really dug into iDVD or iWeb. iDVD seems simple enough yet you can produce some very polished looking DVDs. I haven’t compared the quality of it’s encoding process to Compressor. iWeb has some nice looking templates but seems limited if you’re not publishing to a .mac account. I think you can publish to a local folder and then publish to your own site using a FTP application.

January 24, 2008. Music, Tech Stuff, Video. 3 comments.

TED Talks

I maybe late to the party but I just found TED Talks. I’ve seen various clips in the past from TED but just found out you can subscribe to their feed or video podcast in iTunes.

There is the idea that creative break through can come when your mind is engaged on a different project. When you make a previously unseen connection between two things that seem irrelevant to each other. So one thing I try to do is learn about things outside of my immediate circle. These TED talks are a great way to expand your mental horizon to new ideas. Ideas that might help you break through the next problem you have.

January 23, 2008. Personal Growth, Tech Stuff. Leave a comment.

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