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By Ashley Kennedy | Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mask Tracking Made Easy — in Video Post Tips Weekly

mask tracking in video

The video frame is a big, wide world. Often there’s a lot going on in there, and not all subjects within the frame can be treated equally.

What if you want to brighten up a face—but you want the rest of the environment to remain in relative darkness? And what if that face is moving? And for added difficulty, what if it’s also coming toward you and rotating?

You can see what issues arise if you treat the entire frame equally. Instead, you’ve got to hone in and grab control of the pixels that define the face, brighten up that area, and then track its movement over the duration of the shot—while leaving everything else alone.

Fortunately, with masking and tracking technology, you’re able to do this relatively easily. So in this week’s Video Post Tips Weekly, we’ll demonstrate mask tracking in Premiere Pro CC (both the 2014 and 2014.1 versions) and Avid Media Composer. And while tracking isn’t available in FCP X, I’ll show you how to apply a simple mask and use keyframes to achieve similar results.

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Management Tips: The Myth of Creative Genius

The myth of creative genius at work

At some point, every leader thinks, “My team needs a little more creativity!” Then they start looking for a “creative genius” to promote or hire. This isn’t completely illogical, but it’s definitely unproductive.

In this week’s Management Tips, we’ll address the myth of creative genius—the notion that only a few lucky souls out there are truly creative and that we can benefit from this fact if we can only find them.

By Jacqueline McDonald | Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Boost Your Conversion Rate Optimization — in 5 Steps

2014_10_15_Funnel

Which call to action resonates more? Where are users getting lost and leaving? What color should your button be? Conversion rate optimization (CRO) helps answer these questions to give you actionable insights—and have immediate impact on your bottom line.

Follow these five steps to make sure your conversion-rate strategy is successful and scalable.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Painting Away 'Clarity Halos' in Camera Raw

2014_10_14_Deke

“Clarity halos” are what Deke calls it when the Clarity value in Camera Raw or Lightroom is increased beyond its normal threshold—resulting in unnaturally bright halos around edges or areas of rapid luminance transition in your photography.

Deke may have coined the name for this phenomenon, butas he points out, it’s a fairly common and recognizable problem—one he’ll show you how to solve in this week’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques.

By Joseph Lowery | Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Crafting Artisanal Web Apps with Laravel

2014_10_14_Laravel

Is your PHP development bogged down in the past, mired in manual-derived basic syntax, and endlessly recreating the same core tasks?

Well, my Sisyphean friend, step away from that inelegant coding boulder and consider Laravel, a modern PHP framework.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to a few of the key aspects that make Laravel a standout framework which many web application developers consider more than just a breath of fresh air: It’s a PHP coder’s hyperbaric chamber.

By Jess Stratton | Monday, October 13, 2014

Use Online Groceries to Care for Far-Away Family Members

buy online groceries for far-away family

This week on Monday Productivity Pointers, I’m going to give you ideas and inspiration for using online services like grocery delivery to help you care for family members who live far away.

By Curt Frye | Monday, October 13, 2014

Enhance Excel Lookup Using INDEX and MATCH

index_match05

Business users of Microsoft Excel take advantage of many of the program’s built-in functions. One of the most popular tools is the VLOOKUP function, which lets you search an Excel worksheet as if it were a database table.

By Ashley Kennedy | Sunday, October 12, 2014

Filmmaking Under Fire: Making Movies in Syria with lynda.com

2014_10_13_SyrianFilm

Film editor Danniel Daoud was screening a cut for his director recently when missiles began striking less than 2 kilometers away. Danniel turned up the volume of his speakers to drown out the incredible blasts.

“I moved the audio sliders up so the directors wouldn’t hear the sounds—so they are not scared,” said Danniel*. “I tell them it is more safe inside than in the streets. This is what parents do for their children, as well.”

Danniel lives in Syria—a country currently entrenched in international crisis and civil war. Not only must he live among threats of physical violence, but as a creative professional, he must also deal with stifling restrictions imposed upon his country by other countries because of Syria’s complex ties to war and terrorism.

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