NEWS - Nov. 16, 2020
WHAT a WEEK! Apple released macOS Big Sur and, more importantly, new Apple silicon computers; then, updated Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor. As if that wasn't significant enough, Blackmagic Design released DaVinci Resolve 17, a major upgrade to this increasingly powerful editing tool.

Of all this news, the most important for the long-term is Apple's move to its own chips, called SoC, or "System on a Chip." The rumors of the performance and capability of the new M1 chip are truly amazing - but rumors and reality are not always the same. My lead article for NEXT week will be an in-depth look at this new technology from a media creator's point of view, with recommendations on what to buy and when.

The question I want to answer is whether the Mac mini is sufficient for high-end media editing or whether we are better off waiting for the next round of releases. Stay tuned.

I'm sure many of you have read reports of plug-ins and software that are not yet compatible with Big Sur. Like all major operating system releases, developers have a lot of work to do to assure their software works with the new OS. This is why I always recommend waiting before you upgrade. This time is no different. Patience is a virtue - especially when upgrading deadline-driven systems.

NOTE: If you have 3rd-party plug-ins or hardware that you rely on for editing, please check with the developer to make sure it's compatible with But Sur before you upgrade. For instance, my mouse does not currently work with Big Sur. Here's my take on the latest version of the macOS.

In other news:

Blackmagic Design released DaVinci Resolve 17 with more than 100 new features and over 200 improvements to existing features. The color page features new HDR grading tools, redesigned primary controls, AI-based magic mask and more. Fairlight updates mouse and keyboard edit selection tools. Fusion is now integrated more tightly than ever. And, the free version of DaVinci Resolve now includes revolutionary multi-user collaboration tools. This means editors can have multiple users all working on the same project at the same time, for free. There is much more to learn.

BorisFX released Mocha Pro 2021. Mocha Pro is world-renowned for planar tracking, rotoscoping and object removal; and is essential to many visual effects and post-production workflows. New features include PowerMesh, tracking that changes as the surface shape shifts, AdjustTrack 2.0, and Python scripting.

EditShare and Blackbird have joined forces to give media professionals more options when it comes to collaborating and editing video in the cloud. The integrated solution combines EditShare’s EFS scalable storage, FLOW media management, and open APIs with Blackbird’s cloud video editing and publishing platform. Both companies are doing a live demo this Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 9 AM and 3 PM, EST.

Last Monday, I had a great deal of fun being interviewed by Kevin Eikenberry about my latest book: "Techniques of Visual Persuasion." We spoke for about 25 minutes about persuasion, leadership, my book and other cool subjects. (I'm sorry my audio is a bit hollow. I switched to Google Chrome at the last minute and didn't realize that it changed my mic.) This is a fun chat - you'll enjoy it.

Webinars are back - this week and next - with four sessions devoted to media compression. This week, I present an in-depth look at Apple Compressor. Next week, I'll do the same thing with Adobe Media Encoder. Regardless of which software you use, you'll learn a lot at either of these. Registration is always free!
I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

My second story this week looks at the latest features in Apple Final Cut Pro X, Motion and Compressor. Most of the changes are under-the-hood - supporting both Apple silicon and Big Sur. While not, perhaps, as sexy as a major new feature, this foundation upgrade means these take full advantage of the latest technology.

Other stories include filmmaking tips from Spike Lee, a look at the new Copy Project feature in FCP X 10.5, and cautionary advice on how to measure the speed of your storage. You'll find all these links in the Articles section below.

Well, our technology world just made a major shift: new hardware and new operating system means that some older gear no longer works, while newer gear has new features. And, as always, the question of what to buy keeps fluttering at the back of our minds. Remember, there's a reason they call being at the front of technology the "bleeding edge." There's no harm in waiting to learn more. 

Until next Monday, stay warm, stay safe and stay hopeful. And edit well.
» Apple Releases macOS 11 - Big Sur (News)
 » The new system is exciting, but media pros should wait to upgrade.

» Apple Updates FCP X, Motion & Compressor (News)
» Features include Big Sur & Apple silicon support, plus new icons and bug fixes.

» 10 Filmmaking Tips from Spike Lee (Commentary)
» Insightful thoughts from a leading filmmaker.

» A Caution on Measuring Storage Speed (Tutorial)
» Storage speeds vary widely, as this series of tests shows.

» New! Copy Projects & Libraries Faster in Final Cut Pro X (Tutorial)
» New feature with the 10.5 update - copy projects to a new library.
Media Compression in Apple Compressor
Apple Compressor got an upgrade to v.4.5. Larry Jordan explores what it can do! This session covers:

* Terms and Technology
* The Compressor interface
* Working with presets
* Create custom settings
* Automation and special effects
Ask Larry Anything!

* 10 software packages - more than 20 questions
* Maintenance & organization
* Editing & Effects
* Audio
* Output and compression

Everything you need to know - all in one place!
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