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.
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.
"Create this frosted glass title effect for use in FCP X and amaze your friends," says longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell. "Nothing hugely fancy but a set of standard tricks you should find useful." Along the way, you'll work with clones, grouping, blurs, masking, levels, rigs, the Cellular generator, Glass Distortion, and the Extrude filter, along the typical plethora of Apple Motion workflow tweaks to provide maximum finesse with minimal effort. From there, you'll see how to add the title effect to FCPX, where you can customize and reuse to your heart's content.
Quit stacking up layers in the timeline in Apple FCPX to create your bullet lists! They're kludgy, tough to layout, tough to make changes, and just plain unnecessary. There's a better way, and Bret Williams from BretFX is here to show you how to use the custom title to animate and time your bullet lists in FCPX, using hold frames to time your bullet points to audio. You can create, animate, and design your bullet points all within a single title on the timeline, making spacing, styling, and animation a breeze. Universally change or edit the font, spacing, position, and more!
Join Bret Williams from BretFX for look at some best practices when incrementing project versions in Apple Final Cut Pro X. Learn when and how to use snapshots, duplicates, and compound clips to quickly, safely and efficiently address project versioning and client changes in a fictional show called Outdoor Explorer. Bret will show you how to create smart collections and use them to organize project versions and snapshots, as well as showing what it means to "reference a new parent clip" to duplicate a compound clip and replace it automatically.
Learn how to use precisely the region or portion of the clip you want in the drop zone, adjust it after the fact by using compound clips, avoid the dreaded freeze frame, synchronize audio, and adjust the pan and scale of the media in the drop zone with on screen controls. Bret Williams of BretFX makes it easy, fast, and precise for everything you want to do, including syncing audio, color correction, and more!
Join longtime editor, VFX artist, plug-in developer, Creative COW leader Bret Williams of BretFX to learn how the FCPX Custom text tool allows you to animate text in Final Cut Pro X without using keyframes or plugins. With the often overlooked custom text tool you can easily create great text animation with just a couple of clicks. Change opacity, position, rotation, scale, duration, spread, blur and easing all without creating a single keyframe!
Create this clean and simple title template for FCP X and sharpen up your Motion skills! Join longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell for a look at combining masks and other advanced compositing and animation tricks in Motion that you can use for fast, elegant FCPX titles.