DMA Central


Digital Media Academy Alumni Creates Smule Productions

Doug Larsen is a multimedia professional hailing from Ohio. Doug spent a year on the road as a producer for the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. When Doug was hired he had just graduated from University of Miami and his polished chops were really in the departments of songwriting and keyboards. He had no formal training in the areas of digital video production. Oh, how the times have changed.

Doug is one cool cat.

He’s also a very lucky cat.

When Doug was hired on with the Lennon Bus a couple years ago we picked him up at the very end of our tour season. This is typically in the late fall and it’s also the time period the crew spends training on all of the latest and greatest hardware and software from our many sponsors. At this point in time the Lennon Bus and Digital Media Academy had a fairly new relationship and one of our first experiences together was to train on Final Cut Pro, Motion, Logic Pro, and After Effects and become certified in these programs in just under 20 days while we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in San Francisco.

It seems like an insane task and it was, but we all made it through. Not only did we survive but we came out with endless knowledge of the programs and freshly printed certificates to go with it.

Doug learned a lot in those 20 days. We all did.

Since then Doug has entered in two contest for Smule. He was a finalist for the “I Am T-Pain App” contest and he is currently a contender for Smule’s latest contest.

I love these videos. Not only because they are hilarious, creative, and well crafted, but they also come from a friend of mine whom I was able to watch go through the process of learning how to utilize digital media to fully express his ideas. Doug is a great songwriter, but he is also a great music video director and he may of never had explored that avenue had it not been for the DMA training we went through to polish our chops.

Help Doug by watching this video and voting for him!

Friday Night Grind: SMULE ReMix – Legendary Johnson

And be sure to check out this video that Doug did for the “I Am T-Pain App” contest. It’s a great video and it gives some insight to living on the Lennon Bus. Enjoy!
I\'m On A Bus

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Final Cut Studio Integration: Post Production Immersion

Final Cut Studio 2

Every summer for the past several years, I have taught the Final Cut Studio Integration course for Digital Media Academy on the Stanford University campus. It is always an incredible week, and I’m already looking forward to this summer’s class.

It is a 5-day class in which we touch upon all the major applications in Final Cut Studio, and there for all the major aspects of post-production: Final Cut Pro for editing; Color for color correction; Soundtrack Pro for audio sweetening, sound design, and creating music; Motion for creating motion graphics and effects; DVD Studio Pro for designing and authoring DVDs; and finally Compressor for delivery video for broadcast, web, DVD, and phones.

The class is designed for students who already have a working knowledge of Final Cut Pro, and now want to extend their craft by learning the rest of the applications in Final Cut Studio. In the class every student creates their own project which they move through the post production pipeline: color correcting their edited video, enhancing the audio, adding titling and effects, and finally creating a professional DVD menu to showcase their work.

If you have been using Final Cut Pro – or plan to be learning it soon in another class – and you want to learn how to leverage the full power of Final Cut Studio – check out this class. It’s a challenging, demanding class – but it’s also a great deal of fun and very rewarding.

Check it out here.

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Apple Motion Special Effects Tip with Instructor Mark Spencer

 Mark teaches Motion Training Courses (FCS 101) at Digital Media Academy,  is a Bay Area editor, and has written several books on Motion. Mark has also taught the Final Cut Studio Integration course at DMA.  Mark’s website is an amazing resource for tips and inspiration in using Final Cut Studio.  

Mark Spencer gave us a Motion tip at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco where DMA teamed up with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus to offer hands-on computer workshops. This video was shot on the bus. Check it out!

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Learning Apple Final Cut Pro, Logic and Motion : How do I remember?

Written by Seamus Harte of the John Lennon Bus

A lot of the time when I’m out and about on the streets of these United States curious folks come up to me and ask, “Hey Seamus, remember this past December when you stayed at a bed and breakfast in San Francisco and trained with DMA instructors for 3 weeks to get your certifications up to date with all the Apple Pro Applications you use on board the Lennon Bus?”, and I say, “Yes! How could I forget the best month of my life!!” and they say “Yes, how could you!!” and I say, “I don’t know, that’s what I just said” and they say “Right!!”, and then they go on with, “so I was wondering…How did you possibly manage to stuff all that information in your head in such a short period of time?” so that is when I tell them this…  I used gFlash Pro.

gFlash Pro is an iPhone Application that allows you to create and review digital flash cards so you can study and quiz yourself wherever you are. It’s rockin’ a stellar 4 star rating on the iTunes App Store. It allows you to create a Google Spreadsheet using Google Documents and then access that information on your iPhone through gFlash Pro in the format of a flash card.

So this is how I personally put that process to work.

I created separate Google Spreadsheets for each of the courses we took during the 3 week period:

FCP 300: Advanced Techniques in Final Cut Pro 6
Logic 101: An Introduction to Logic Pro
Logic 301: Advanced Techniques in Logic Pro
Motion 101: A Comprehensive Study of Motion 3

Within the individual spreadsheets I input all of the review questions for each course. I input the question in column A and the answer in column B. I repeated this process until I had input all of the review questions for each course. I then shared the document with all gWhiz Mobile Users allowing it to be used by anyone that has access to gFlash Pro to brush up their knowledge of the programs.

The instructors that worked with us from DMA (Digital Media Academy) were amazing. They took us deep into the programs and really showed us how to utilize the tools to their fullest potential. Having the ability to review all of these lessons in the palm of my hand is an amazing feature of the iPhone. I constantly quiz myself while I’m on the bus and moving from place to place to make sure I am always at the top of my Pro Applications game.

I’ve made my set of flash cards available for everyone to use on gFlash Pro. You can get gFlash on your iPhone by visiting the iTunes store and downloading the application. Once you have the application on your phone simply touch the icon “Download”. Once this is selected you will be prompted to select the source you wish to download from. I have made my flash cards available from the gWhiz Catalog so select “Download” on that option.

You can then select over hundreds of different card sets to study from. I have listed mine as below:

DMA/LENNON BUS: Logic Pro Level 2
DMA/LENNON BUS: Motion 101

I hope this helps some of you brush up on your Pro Application user skills. Remember if you are getting ready to take a certification test these suckers will be your new best friend.

Thanks for checkin’ it out.

- uncle seamus jr.

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Designer Templates for Final Cut Pro and Motion

Students, customers, and colleagues have been asking me for years to design templates for Motion and Final Cut Pro. I always resisted, because I didn’t want to do it unless I could do something that would really stand out.

Over the past several months I have been working with Ripple Training and a professional design team to do just that.

I am very proud to announce the immediate availability of the Ripple Training Designer Templates for Final Cut Studio. These professionally designed templates, which work in either Final Cut Pro or Motion, allow you to create top-caliber show opens, title sequences, and bumpers for just about any project. Not only are they beautifully designed; each template also comes in four different color palettes so you can match the style of your show without needing to modify the template. Plus, every template comes in 13 different formats, including HD, SD, and DV; NTSC and PAL; and multiple frame rates and resolutions. So you’ll be able to match the template to the media format you are using, whether it’s Red, DVCPRO HD, HDV, XDCAM HD, XDCAM EX, Uncompressed 8-bit, DV-CAM, or mini-DV.

Of course, if you want to modify the template, you can – and these templates come with over 2 hours of instructional videos that provide tips and tricks for modifying and getting the most out of the templates, whether you use Final Cut Pro, Motion, or both.

We are offering this template package at an extraordinary introductory price for a limited time. To see the templates in action, watch parts of the instructional videos, and get all the details, check them out here.

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Motion Tips and Tricks by Mark Spencer

I love teaching at DMA – there’s nothing like direct student interaction for communicating concepts and seeing students discover the possibilities of Final Cut Studio and begin to ratchet up their creativity. If you want to experience one of the amazing face to face courses I teach for DMA I suggest you register for the Final Cut Studio Integration course. However, I’m only reaching about 15 students at a time.

I’ve been either a guest or a host on MacBreak Studio, a video podcast that covers tips, tricks, and workflow ideas around Final Cut Studio, for the past year now – my focus is mostly on Motion, but the other hosts, cover all Final Cut Studio related topics. You can see all past episodes on the web here, or you can find them on iTunes, here. Check them out and let me know what you think.

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