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Portal

Cantemo Portal™ (core Theme)

If you work with video then you’re probably on the lookout for new innovations and tools to help you manage your media better, software that helps you preserve and access your projects with ease and solutions that automate those repetitive tasks that otherwise fill up your day. I am. A lot of the people I’ve worked with over the course of my career are too. Which is why, in 2007, when Apple announced a new application called, Final Cut Server my attention was piqued. It piqued the attention of a lot of other folks too. But, in a remarkable turn of events for the company that never pre-announces products, we had to wait close to a year for Apple to release the shipping version.

When that day came it was very exciting. Here was an inexpensive tool that enabled highly-customised labelling of media and comprehensive search tools; low resolution proxy file creation for both browsing and offline editing; automated job creation and reporting; and a check-in/check-out feature for sharing projects and new collaboration opportunities. All of this was tightly integrated with Final Cut Pro and took advantage of both Apple ProRes and H.264. Final Cut Server represented a new dawn, particularly for editors and organisations that relied on Final Cut Pro. I was convinced. I embraced the solution and became a committed evangelist. If you worked with me during this time or met me through the Final Cut Server community, you know this. If you attended one of the classes I taught or presentations I delivered, you know this.

For a little more than three years this strategy worked really well. Then the times changed. There’s no easy way to say it, the plug was pulled. Now, I still know operations who are working with Final Cut Server and remain content for now, but as the ecosystem and supporting solutions evolve, the time will come when a new solution will be necessary. Final Cut Server is the past and we must all look to the future. But where to next?

One compelling answer is Cantemo Portal™. It’s a media asset management solution that offers so much more than Final Cut Server ever could. A number of my colleagues agree with me and we’ve been working on ways to migrate and replace services currently provided by Final Cut Server. None more so than moosystems who recently released CP Migration Tool and Meta Media™ Creative Technologies who have developed the popular MetaMAM™ theme and ScriptRunner™, a Final Cut Server script emulator.

The interest in Portal has been rather overwhelming and I was asked to write an article for fcp.co about my experiences. I’ve also been working with Cantemo on a series of videos to demonstrate specific functionality and workflows. The first focuses on the extensive integration with Final Cut Pro X:

I’m certain I’ll have a lot more to say about Portal, especially as we release more videos and I’m able to start speaking about some of the projects I’ve been involved with.

Softy

Despite being laid low with a rather tender sprained ankle, my experiments with Sapphire Edge have continued apace. The most recent result is a new collection of stylised looks, Softness Made Simple.

Deep Sapphire Edge Preset Look Halcyon Sapphire Edge Preset Look
Deep Bloom

The process of creating custom effects with Sapphire Edge is remarkably straightforward and if you’re every feeling stuck for inspiration the collection of presets Angie Taylor is currently curating for FX Central is a terrific resource.

Edgy

Just over a month ago, almost entirely out of the blue, I received an invitation from the venerable (and splendid) Angie Taylor to create some preset looks for Sapphire Edge. Whilst I’d used the software before publishing presets wasn’t something I’d previously considered, however if Angie could tell I very nearly bit her hand off she’s been gracious enough not to let on.

And so here we are after a few weeks work my first set of presets, all with a Film Noir-theme are now available on FX Central.

GenArts Sapphire Edge Noir Power presets

Split into two loose threads, you’ve got classic Film Noir and a more contemporary set of high contrast, urban gangster looks. They were a lot of fun to create and I hope they’re just as enjoyable to use.

Whadda Ya Hear Classic Sapphire Edge Preset Look You Wanna Play Enforcer Sapphire Edge Preset Look
Whadda Ya Hear Classic You Wanna Play Enforcer

Sapphire Edge v2 supports a number of host applications including, Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas. It’s designed to help editors create looks and effects quickly. With a growing library of presets you’re sure to find something that will keep you moving forward with your project.

Now all I need to do is decide on a core theme for next month!