Pinnacle Studio better than final cut?

Final Cut Pro X can be purchased for $299.99 from the app store. Pinnacle Studio, on the other hand, can be purchased for $12.99, and in my opinion it is just as good. On top of that, it’s easily accessible being right at your fingertips.

The other day my professor mentioned that most people will not purchase an app if it exceeds $1.99. Shocking, right? I probably wouldn’t either, but I think Pinnacle Studio is a good find for the extra few dollars especially for those of you interested in composing short videos. I have no idea exactly how much footage Pinnacle can handle, but it was able to handle my 45-60 second assignment without crashing. That definitely was a nice change from the previous app we used called Voddio.

For my short video assignment, I filmed all of my clips using FiLMIC Pro. I then trimmed my clips to my desired lengths and saved them to my camera roll. I want to note that FiLMIC can be stubborn when trying to trim clips. Despite that, one really cool thing about FilMIC Pro is that it is nonlinear, meaning that you can edit clips without destroying them. Once I trimmed my clips and saved them to my camera roll I imported them to Pinnacle Studio, and that’s where the real fun (editing) began.

Pinnacle Studio allows for three separate audio tracks and a video track. I really like how easy it was to move clips around and to detach audio. For example, if I wanted the audio from my interview I simply would drag the clip to the audio track. If I wanted the video to go along with it, I would drag the clip to the video line. I was also able to add supers, or lower thirds, to give my subject a title. Overall, the app was very easy to navigate and easy to learn.

So is it better than Final Cut? Final Cut is a great resource to use, but for the purposes of creating simple journalistic stories, Pinnacle is something I wouldn’t mind using outside of this class and maybe for future MUTV packages. One reason being, I can edit it from the comfort of my home on my iPad as opposed to driving to campus to use Final Cut, which is only located on the studio computers.

Want a fun challenge? Try spotting the five-shot sequence in my assignment! 

Owning An iPad Vs. Checking One Out

Today I am going to address the benefits of owning my own iPad in regards to my multimedia class verses having to check one out. Students who have to check out iPads only get them for 24 hours unless they request extended permission. Therefore, these students have to set aside a large amount of time in their busy busy schedules to do all parts of their project in 24, maybe 48, hours. That includes doing interviews, gathering sound, taking pictures, maybe some video, then turning around and editing on the same device and exporting it and finally uploading it to our blogs. It’s a lot of work and its very time consuming.

Because I own an iPad, I have a small advantage over these students. Unlike the other multimedia classes, after we gather everything on our iPad we can’t dump our work off on our computers and edit it a different day. Given that we have a week to work on these, but only 24 hours with the equipment, it almost creates a deadline within a deadline. If you have a big test to study for the next day and a couple busy days to follow, but your interviewee is only available the day before your test, you have to figure out how to get your assignment done despite your own hectic schedule. I personally think that takes away from producing quality assignments. However, with journalism time can be your friend and it can also be your enemy. I guess you could say it is preparation for the real world. Unfortunately though for the students who have to check out their iPads, when they return them, their work is removed for the next student who uses it.

For me, I went and gathered my pictures Tuesday, I did my interview Thursday, and I edited it and uploaded it Friday. I took the entire week to my benefit. I also used Nat sound that I gathered from the previous audio assignment, which I decided not to use for it. For students who have to check out their iPads, they couldn’t have done that. Granted, I still have to check out other accessories, such as mics, but it’s a lot more convenient to have an iPad, because I can work on my assignment when I have the time and I can also be more flexible with my sources schedules. All in all, props to the students checking them out because I don’t know how you’re doing it!

Audio Slideshow

Up next you ask? Audio Slideshows!

An audio slideshow is a simple form of multimedia storytelling. Further, it offers a symbiotic relationship between audio and photos. Instead of using video, an audio slideshow uses multiple photos to help convey an audio message. This is where visual referencing comes in to play. Your photos have to agree, or match up, with what you are hearing for your audio slideshow to make sense to the viewer. Photos should stay on the screen for roughly five seconds each. Your photos should also include a variety of different shots, such as wide shots, tight shots, and a portrait if it is relevant. 

For this assignment we are still using Voddio. Oh the joy of Voddio. There are a few downfalls to this app that I would like to mention: 1) it likes to crash & 2) it doesn’t allow you to move your tracks around easily. 

Other than that, the app is fairly user friendly. It takes a lot of tedious work, but no matter what program or app you choose to create an audio clip, or audio slideshow, it will be time consuming and monotonous. Also, despite crashing, the app has not lost any of my work (knock on wood). Here is a tip: if you want to speed up the editing process take some extra time to plan how you want to lay out your story before you bring your files into your project. 

All in all, using mobile devices sure beats caring around big, bulky camera bags and recording devices. Maybe I am bias towards Apple, but I will take these limitations for the easy accessibility! 

Stay tuned for my audio slideshow to be posted soon. 

Another Snow Day…. and some Iphoneography

My professor once said, “the best camera you have is the one in your hands.”

There are many pros and cons to using an iPhone to take pictures. In contrast to a DSLR camera, when using an iPhone, or any iOS platform, there are three things you cannot control. Those include: ISO (how much light can stay in the picture), Aperture (how much light goes through the hole), and Shutter Speed.

With these limitations, the iPhone does not take great action photos. It does, however, take  awesome still life photography! Every photo of France that has been previously posted on my blog was taken with my iPhone.

When using iPhones you have to take light into consideration. Generally speaking, iPhones don’t work well in dark areas. One tip I found helpful was to shoot with light from the side because the iPhone sometimes processes shadows better than light.

Another tip I want to pass along is zoom with your feet, not your phone. When you use the zoom on your phone it simply makes your photo fuzzy and it isn’t very appealing to the eyes.

When taking award winning photography, composition is key. I like to follow the rule of thirds. If you look below at the picture I took this snowy afternoon you notice that the trees are not placed in the center of the photo. If that were the case, it might be pretty boring to look at. Instead, using the rule of thirds, I placed the trees in the outer edges of the frame. I also used the concept of layers, or idea of rows. Each tree makes up a different layer giving a sense of depth and the final layer consists of the houses and the snow covered street. Notice as you look at the photo your eye bounces between the layers. The street also acts as a leading line and directs your eyes to the snowy overcast. It makes the photo more captivating because it’s almost interactive. It gives your eyes somewhere to go, rather than being static looking at a subject that is stationed in the middle of the frame.

Winter

I like to use camera+ because with this app you can pull up grid lines on your phone to help with the composition, especially for amateur photographers, like myself. Stay tuned for my “Seeing Red” themed photos to be posted soon!

Sincerely,

Snowed-in.

Welcome to J2150!

Well, it’s time to get back into the swing of things! Especially after having an incredible winter break from school. I got to spend my break interning at KMBC 9 News and then ended it with a relaxing trip to Mexico. In between all that, however, I took an online class. No regrets, because its one less worry for me! Anyways… you could say I kept myself pretty busy.

But, I’m glad to be back because I think I have to be taking one of the coolest classes at Mizzou yet: Journalism 2150 a.k.a. Multimedia Journalism. This isn’t just any class though. I happen to be one of thirteen students who, after applying, got accepted to take a new experimental lab. In this lab we will be learning the iOS (Apple) platform. Journalism is continually taking on new forms thanks to the growing technology. So this class is intended to teach me useful skills that hopefully align with where journalism is headed. Those skills include: 

-How to do everything on a single platform

-How to use your phone to take award-winning photography

-How to find interesting sound everywhere

-How to tell stories on the Web in new and interesting ways

-How to tweet and blog with authority

-How to make GIFS and use them to illustrate news stories

With that being said, I will be blogging about this class in the coming weeks along with various other things. So get excited, because I am!