After 25 years as an editor, compositor, and VFX artist, frequent Creative COW poster and tutorial author Simon Ubsdell knows what he needs from a keyer -- and knew he wasn't getting good enough results from FCPX or Motion. Discussions in COW forums led him to create the highly regarded Hawaiki Keyer. Enthusiasm expressed by COW members for its latest release led us to ask Simon for a tour. If you're keying on a Mac, you're going to want to check this out.
[Editor's note: Seeing glowing recommendations for the recent release of Hawaiki Keyer 2.0 in various Creative COW forums led us to get in touch with its developer, Simon Ubsdell. A prolific contributor to the COW as both a forum poster and tutorial author, Simon's interest in developing software comes directly out of the challenges he has seen in his 25 years as film and video editor, compositor, and VFX artist. We asked Simon to tell us a little more about Hawaiki Keyer, and how it came to be.]
The great thing about the Creative COW’s Apple FCP X or Not: The Debate Forum is that there are no limits to any conversation ever, which means it’s the easiest thing in the universe to slip through a surprise wormhole from one subject to a completely different one. And that can be quite inspiring - you never know where a new idea or insight is going to come from.
Hawaiki Keyer started off somewhere in a thread that compared the relative merits of Adobe After Effects with Apple Motion, and then led to a discussion about the things that Apple did less well than they might, despite appearing to do them well at first glance. One such thing, in my view, was and is the Apple keyer, which led me to creating a Motion tutorial to prove that point, that showed how to build your own (arguably better) keyer from first principles: Step away from the Apple Keyer now! (And build a better one of your own.)
The tutorial led to more interesting discussion and analysis on the COW which in turn led to the idea forming in my mind that it would be fun to try and build a commercial keyer that set out to try and do all the things I’d always wanted a keyer to do from my years of compositing and visual effects.
Two years later, Hawaiki Keyer actually exists as more than just a crazy idea and it’s getting better all the time. Version 2.0 adds another load of interesting compositing features that are typically left to the professional compositors to build by hand but are rarely if ever found in commercial keying packages. And there’s still a lot more that we’re looking to add in the future.
Despite giving results that our users are really impressed with and that compare very favourably with competing software costing a lot more, we have kept the price of Hawaiki Keyer really low so that as many users as possible can enjoy the benefits.
Hawaiki Keyer 2.0 supports Apple FCPX and Motion, and Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro on Mac via FxFactory.
Hi, I'm Simon Ubsdell, Creative Director of TOKYO PRODUCTIONS, a UK-based boutique creative shop specializing in movie trailers, sales promos and TV Spots for the independent film sector both in the UK and across Europe.
I've been a film and video editor for over 25 years as well as being involved in motion graphics, sound design and mixing, music composition, visual effects and compositing, 3D modelling and animation, and colour grading, not to mention writing, directing and producing, and most recently, software development.
I am also a developer of plug-ins for the video post-production market having released a range of successful and acclaimed products both under the Tokyo brand and as Hawaiki with Robert Mackintosh.
In the first of what will be an ongoing series, "Title Animation: WELD" uses the particle system in Apple Motion, as well as support for EPS outlines, to create the photo-real impression of a title burned onto the screen with a blowtorch, complete with sparks and smoke. Part 1 covers the set-up ,including a stop in Adobe Illustrator, and Part 2 features the compositing, lighting, and filtering finesse to really make it pop.
An explosive shockwave. Think you've seen it all before? Not until Simon Ubsdell has shown you how to take advantage of unique tools in Apple Motion 5 to make your own. Simon's experience has been built over 25 years in motion graphics, sound design and mixing, music composition, visual effects and compositing, as well as writing, directing and producing. Follow him as he takes you deep inside keyframes, caustics, camera behaviors, and customizations, as well as sharing real-world tips for finding your way around Motion.
Volumetric lighting creates a dramatic look of real light in a 3D space, and works especially well for title animation, even with 2D text. It's a nifty magic trick, created with a finesse that some people don't associate with Apple Motion. You of course know better, and Simon Ubsdell is here to help you create the magic.
Apple Motion is capable of sophisticated motion graphics. The trick is unlocking its power. Join editor and motion graphics expert Simon Ubsdell to explore the possibilities opened up by a creative variation on the very powerful particle systems built into Motion 5, apply modes, parenting, behaviors, 3D space, and more.
After 25 years as an editor, compositor, and VFX artist, frequent Creative COW poster and tutorial author Simon Ubsdell knows what he needs from a keyer -- and knew he wasn't getting good enough results from FCPX or Motion. Discussions in COW forums led him to create the highly regarded Hawaiki Keyer for Mac users using Apple Final Cut Pro X, Apple Motion, and Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro on Mac as well. Enthusiasm expressed by COW members for its latest release led us to ask Simon for a tour of the even more advanced Hawaiki Keyer 3.0.
Creative COW stalwart, FCPX whiz, and longtime trailer editing expert Charlie Austin recently joined the folks at FCPWORKS and their FCP EXCHANGE workshop series for a deep dive into managing this particularly intensive form of editing with the newest Apple editing offering. Charlie comes at it with both a wit and precision that you won't want to miss.
After 25 years of working on other people's documentaries, commercials, feature films, filmmaker Michael Angelo's first original project is the inspirational story of the Treeman of Venice Beach, a singular creation of a singular man whose combination of costume, body paint, live foliage, and 10-foot stilts is gently beguiling and deeply inspirational. With over 1000 hours of footage in a crazy number of formats over a period of years, collaboration among a far-flung team of volunteers with varying degrees of expertise (including none at all), A DocumenTree seemed like the ideal project for Michael to jump into Final Cut Pro X. Michael's longtime experience in a variety of disciplines has nevertheless allowed him to come at the issues of media management, metadata, offline-online workflows, and a variety of complex technical issues in some unusual, and, dare we say it, organic ways.
Managing a shared storage environment for Apple FCPX is one thing. Now add 100+ students who are still learning the rules, and the challenges skyrocket. Fortunately, Andrew Gash's experience at Lakeland Florida's Kathleen High School has given him some great ideas for you that promise to make things as foolproof as possible, maximizing sanity and minimizing chaos. Even if your shared editing environment is in a post house or broadcast environment rather than a school, Andrew's advice is well worth heeding!
After the usual rabid anticipation, Apple released FCPX 10.2 with a wide range of new features that should excite any pro: new and improved keyframable masks, Library level Smart Collections, improved keyframing performance, 4-Up Scope viewer, the ability to save effects applied to clips.
One of the biggest "issues" people coming from other NLE's still seem to have with FCP X is how the Timeline works. Magnetism! No Tracks! Weird Snorkel Things! Storylines?! It's Crazytown! If you fall into this category, we have two suggestions for you. 1) Read this article by Creative COW's Charlie Austin. 2) Don't fight the timeline! Even experienced X-ers are going to have fun with this one.