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Articles by Simon Ubsdell

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Art of the Edit
Always Be Editing: Sculptors & Bricklayers Revisited

Always Be Editing: Sculptors & Bricklayers Revisited

Do you edit like a sculptor, or like a bricklayer? It seems a simple enough question, but as longtime editor, post house owner, and VFX software developer Simon Ubsdell shows, the implications for how this affects the way you edit can be profound. His advice, regardless of where you land on the spectrum? Always be editing.


Simon Ubsdell
Blackmagic Design Fusion
Blackmagic Design Fusion Expressions & Macros Made Easy

Blackmagic Design Fusion Expressions & Macros Made Easy

In this two-part guide to some of Blackmagic Design Fusion's most powerful compositing and effects features, visual effects veteran Simon Ubsdell offers an easy-to-follow introduction to using basic expressions and creating macros in Fusion -- with some very useful tips for After Effects users along the way. In Part 1, you'll create a chromatic aberration effect with these techniques, and in Part 2, you'll work with bounce/spring, orbit and "look at" expressions. No matter what your level of experience (or inexperience!) with After Effects or Fusion, you're in for quite a ride!

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Apple Final Cut Pro X
Hawaiki Keyer 3.0 Upgrader Tutorial

Hawaiki Keyer 3.0 Upgrader Tutorial

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.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Blackmagic Design Fusion
Advanced Keying in Blackmagic Design Fusion

Advanced Keying in Blackmagic Design Fusion

Following his well-received exploration of the power of customized keying inside Blackmagic Design Fusion, Simon Ubsdell goes even further into his look at the liberation from the inevitable limitations of other people's keyers by building your own inside Fusion. Along the way, you'll learn about Channel Booleans and many other insights that you'll be able to use in all of your Fusion projects.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Apple FCPX Debates
FCPX Workflow: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All

FCPX Workflow: One Smart Collection To Rule Them All

The first key to workflow wizardry is to exploit an application's strengths. In exploring the nuances of FCPX, famed workflow wizard Simon Ubsdell opens up some of the secrets around one of its most uniquely powerful, but sorely underused tools: Smart Collections. This isn't about replacing your existing project management (although it can). It's about leveraging some of the ridiculously awesome power of the Smart Collection to make your work flow far more easily than you might have imagined.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Blackmagic Design Fusion
Blackmagic Design Fusion: Building Your Own Keyer

Blackmagic Design Fusion: Building Your Own Keyer

In his latest tutorial for Blackmagic Design Fusion, Simon Ubsdell points out that you can of course simply use Fusion's built-in keyer, and quickly get a good result, but here he shows how combining visual effects nodes to build your own keyer helps you understand the processes to refine trouble keys. Even if you'd prefer not to build your own, you will gain practical insights into channel operations and other techniques to help you unlock Fusion's unique visual effects power.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Blackmagic Design Fusion
Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 Intro Tutorial: Fusion Reactor

Blackmagic Design Fusion 8 Intro Tutorial: Fusion Reactor

Blackmagic Design Fusion has long been known as an incredibly powerful node-based 3D compositing and VFX environment, responsible for some of the most indelible cinematic imagery of our time. Tokyo Productions Creative Director Simon Ubsdell has been a Fusion fan and user for years, and here provides a dramatic introduction to Fusion's interface and toolset, as well as a closer look at the motion graphics prowess in Fusion that you may not have been expecting!

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Apple Motion
Apple Motion 5: Crystal Spheres

Apple Motion 5: Crystal Spheres

Apple Motion 5 has many powerful compositing and graphics features, but its 3D feature set is, alas, limited. (For those keeping score, it's only 2.5D). Simon Ubsdell applies his his VFX and motion graphics expertise to cleverly working around those limitations by exploiting the best of Motion's behaviors, filters, lights, cameras, blend modes, refractions, and more -- along with everything you'll need to customize the effect to your liking, and to deepen your own Motion skills.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Apple Motion
Apple Motion 5: Science Fiction-Style Glitchy Interference

Apple Motion 5: Science Fiction-Style Glitchy Interference

You've seen the effect: video noise and glitchy interference, now a staple of contemporary sci-fi visuals. Simon Ubsdell shows you how to build it yourself inside Apple Motion 5, with no plug-ins or third-party software!

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Apple Motion
Apple Motion 5 Volumetric Fog Tutorial

Apple Motion 5 Volumetric Fog Tutorial

Building on his popular "Volumetric Lighting" tutorial, Simon Ubsdell raises the game once more with this Apple Motion 5 tutorial that adds lights, fog, and text into a true 3D environment. As usual, it's packed with extra tips and tricks to help turn every Motion artist into an expert.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Apple Final Cut Pro X
Hawaiki Keyer 2.0: A Tutorial Introduction

Hawaiki Keyer 2.0: A Tutorial Introduction

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.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Apple Motion
Apple Motion 5 Light Streaks Tutorial

Apple Motion 5 Light Streaks Tutorial

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.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Apple Motion
Apple Motion 5: Volumetric Lighting

Apple Motion 5: Volumetric Lighting

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.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Apple Motion
Apple Motion 5: Shockwave

Apple Motion 5: Shockwave

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.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Apple Motion
Apple Motion 5 Title Tutorial: Weld

Apple Motion 5 Title Tutorial: Weld

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.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
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