cs@videoproductiononline.com

Tips on Working from Home

Tips on Working from Home

https://www.minimatters.com/tips-on-working-from-home/

While many are starting to work from home on a broad scale because of the Coronavirus, here are a few tips based on our running consulting businesses and later a video production business, often from home offices.

Video Conferencing with Zoom, WebEx, Skype or Other Apps

To look and sound professional while using an app where you and your temporary home office are going to be shared with your colleagues, take these steps:

man working intently computer home office 300x200 Tips on Working from Home %page

  • Background. Pay attention to the space behind where you’re sitting, as that’s what people will see. This means straighten it up, make it look as tidy and as professional as possible.
  • Light your face. If you can, have a light source (lamp or window) in FRONT of your face, not behind it. If the light source is behind you, people aren’t going to be able to see you well.
  • Place camera at eye level. Otherwise, people are going to be looking up your nose and focusing on your double chin (LOL). But, seriously, it will look more like you’re looking straight at a person if the camera is placed at the right height. How to do this? Tilt your monitor or adjust your chair. If you have a laptop or tablet, stack a bunch of books under it to raise it up. Or, you may wish to buy an external camera that you plug into your computer. We have found Logitech webcams to be excellent. There’s also the Microsoft LifeCam series. (Side note, we have absolutely no financial interest in recommending any product or seller, but B&H is a great company for buying stuff like this and has excellent customer service. We spoke with B&H this weekend and some of these products are on backorder, but should be coming in shortly.)
  • Use audio only. Even though you’re using a platform with video capability, you can also use just the audio part. While video can strengthen feelings of connection, audio only can be useful if you are multitasking, have trouble sitting still, or don’t want to be on camera.
  • Pets and kids. Well, we all could waste scores of hours laughing about this one. The greatest of work-from-home video all time is this one. But you get the idea…best to keep them busy elsewhere while you’re having your work call.

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Conference Calls

woman working home office laptop smartphone coffee cat Tips on Working from Home %page

  • Practice. Practice using features such as the screen share. And if you’re leading a call, prepare your documents in advance and practice sharing them.
  • Be Prompt. If you are needed at the start of the call or are the one leading the call, you don’t want to make other wait and reduce the productivity of the whole team.
  • Identify yourself and speak clearly. When it’s your turn to speak and there are multiple people on the line, say “This is (your name)” and then make your comment.
  • Be positive. Because audio calls can lack some of the emotional connection we otherwise might feel, try your best to be positive in your words. People won’t be able to see you nodding your head in agreement, for example, so saying things like, “That’s a good point” can be even more important in an audio call.
  • Mute button. If you’re on an audio-only call with lots of people, it’s best to keep your phone on mute, except when you’re talking. Otherwise, everyone’s background noise can be very distracting and noisy.

How to Mail a Package without Leaving Your House

There’s FedEx, of course, but the US Postal Service also offers some great services for mailing from home.

  • Create mailing labels at home. Go to USPS.com. Through their “Click-N-Ship” option, you can create labels from your computer, pay, and print. You will need to create an account. Then you just put the label on your package and leave it for your letter carrier (you can drop it off at the post office). You can also schedule a pickup, track the package, etc.
  • Get Free Postal Supplies delivered to your door. Under the USPS tab called “Postal Store,” you can click on “Shipping and Supplies.” From there, you can click on “Free Shipping Supplies” and see all the boxes and products available. You can order them and the letter carrier will deliver them to your home. You can order a variety of boxes, labels, and stamps.
woman addressing small package for mailing from home office

Stay Healthy

In addition to following the official instructions from your local leaders, medical professionals, and CDC, these tips can also help.

  • Stand up, stretch, move around. It’s more likely you’ll be sedentary when there are no colleagues, coffee bar, etc. in your office. The Mayo Clinic has expert answers about the risks of too much sitting.
  • Take a walk outside (if your jurisdiction permits/advises it and without getting close to others). Fresh air and exercise can buoy the spirit.
  • Call a friend or relative just to chat. We all need emotional support during the Coronavirus crisis. Talking with someone you care about and who cares about you is a great way to build that support network. And try to stay positive, as stress itself can reduce our body’s ability to fight disease.

If you have other tips you’d like to share, please email them to us and we’ll update our blog post on this topic so others can benefit. Thanks, everyone.

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New Release 18.09: More Better Faster

New Release 18.09: More Better Faster

https://www.shotcut.org/blog/new-release-180913/

Version 18.09 is now available for DOWNLOAD!

UPDATE: Version 18.09 has been
re-released (build 18.09.16)
to fix major new bugs with the Rotate and Scale, Size and
Position
, Text, Chroma Key, Key Spill, and White Balance filters.

This release is packed with fixes and improvements in many areas!

More

Timeline
  • Added Ripple support for moving clips including Ripple All Tracks.
  • When Ripple is on and you move a clip to the right, it now
    ripples (pushes) all the clips to the right instead of making a transition
    (including the Ripple All Tracks option).

 

  • Added Ctrl+R keyboard shortcut to toggle Timeline Ripple,
    Ctrl+Alt+R to toggle Ripple All Tracks, and
    Ctrl+Shift+R to toggle both.
  • Improved Snapping behavior on the Timeline.
  • Added Ctrl+P keyboard shortcut to toggle Snapping.
  • Added Reset Track Height (Ctrl+0) to the Timeline menu.
Filters
  • Added a Timer video filter.
  • Added support for negative rotation to the Rotate and Scale filter.
  • Added Shake 1 Second – Scaled and Shake 1 Second – Unscaled presets
    to the Size and Position filter.
    Example of Size and Position Shake 1 Second - Scaled preset

 

Other
  • Added a Text clip to the Open Other dialog.
    This is a convenience item that creates a transparent Color clip with a
    Text filter.
  • Added Extract Sub-clip to Properties menu for audio/video clip.
  • Added Export presets for WebM VP8 and VP9 with alpha channel.

Better

Stability Fixes
  • Fixed a crash when quickly changing clip selections in the Timeline.
  • Improved closing Shotcut more reliably and the behavior of multiple shotcut
    processes.
  • Fixed Undo beyond Remove Track may crash.
  • Fixed a crash when moving a clip after undoing a transition.
  • Fixed a crash loading project after some sequence of inserting and removing tracks.
  • Fixed a crash loading an image with the wrong filename extension.
  • Fixed OS audio device changes may cause Shotcut to hang.
  • Fixed crash dragging simple keyframes beyond the edges of the clip.
  • The 32-bit Windows build can use more memory to reduce risk of crash:
    3 GiB on 32-bit Windows and 4 GiB on 64-bit Windows.
  • Fixed a crash applying an image transform filter to an image with alpha
    channel (PNG, SVG).
Bug Fixes
  • Improved behavior of opening WebP images.
  • Fixed advanced keyframes for the Size and Position filter.
  • Fixed inserted and then hidden video tracks become audio tracks after
    re-opening the project.
  • Fixed changing Video Mode from Automatic to something else with
    nothing opened.
  • Fixed moving a transition to another track leaves a hidden clip on the old track.
  • Fixed trimming the out point of a timeline clip may change the in point of
    the following clip.
  • Fixed Properties > Speed, Convert, Reverse, and
    More Information does not work sometimes after reloading a project.
  • Fixed reliability of changing size and position fields with keyframes
    in Size and Position and Text filters.
  • Fixed trimming outward with Ripple All Tracks moved clips on other tracks
    in the wrong direction.
  • Fixed audio waveforms still appear on muted tracks after adding a track.
  • Fixed dragging clips to the Timeline stops working.
Image Fidelity
  • Fixed edges of text with the Text filter may get cut off (clipped).
  • Fixed Size and Position and Rotate and Scale filters may leave black
    right and bottom edge of frame.
  • Fixed trimming a timeline clip with Fade In/Out Video filters
    with “Adjust opacity instead of fade with black” enabled.
  • Fixed Export may change the actual frame rate and cause timing errors.
  • Fixed reducing the Frame/sec in Export causes timing errors in the output.
  • Fixed image scaling interpolation method when not using a transform filter.
Changes
  • Removed the Compositing toggle icon from the Timeline track head. Now,
    it is located in the track Properties as Blend mode with a None option.
  • In the 3D Text filter, replaced the Droid fonts with Liberation due to an
    incompatible license.

Faster

Well, to be honest, there is not much speed improvement. Most of the improvement
comes from a fix to prevent an incomplete shutdown. In the case of the 32-bit
Windows build, since more memory can be accessed now, we have removed some of
(not all) multi-threading limits.

  • Improved the performance of changing filter parameters and scrubbing.
  • Limit the number of background thumbnail and waveform generation threads to 4.
  • Prevent trying to generate audio levels for waveforms for still images and
    other silent sources.

New Version 18.10 with Grid and Snapping

New Version 18.10 with Grid and Snapping

https://www.shotcut.org/blog/new-release-181008/

Version 18.10 is now available for DOWNLOAD!

This release is packed with fixes and improvements in many areas!

New Features!

  • Added support for Intel Quick Sync Video
    hardware-accelerated video encoders to the Windows build (in Export > Codec
    choose h264_qsv or hevc_qsv).
  • Added Grid and Safe Area overlays with a toggle/menu button to the player.
  • Added snapping to the grid and safe areas for the VUI rectangle control as
    used by Text, Size and Position, and more filters.


Screenshot of the new player grid button

  • Added Open Other to the main toolbar with a drop-down menu.
  • Added the ability to drag-n-drop folders from a file manager into Shotcut.
  • Added the ability to supply multiple file and folder name arguments to the
    shotcut command line executable.
  • Added the ability to make a temporary Custom Video Mode (leave Name blank).
  • Added Settings > Video Mode > Custom > Remove….
  • Added View > Layout > Remove….
  • Added Settings > Clear Recent on Exit checkbox to prevent saving data on a
    shared computer account.
  • Added command line option --clear-recent to enable Clear Recent on Exit
    and hide that option in the Settings menu.
  • Added a dialog when you click to check for an update that asks if you want to
    check for update automatically (at startup only) with the option to suppress the
    dialog indefinitely.

Fixes

  • Fixed audio preview distortion on Windows (regression in v18.09).
  • Fixed some AAC MP4 files start in the middle.
  • Fixed un-mute a track may not draw its waveforms.
  • Fixed whitespace in Text filter removed in Export.
  • Fixed crash adding clip to Timeline after removing all tracks.
  • Fixed simple keyframes go missing or not all the way to 00:00.
  • Fixed switching from simple to advanced keyframes in Text, Rotate and
    Scale
    , Timer, and Size and Position filters.
  • Fixed a possible crash when adding a transition by trimming.
  • Fixed crash on macOS after the app restarts itself when some Settings are
    changed.
  • Fixed moving a clip to the left where the right edge is not a blank.
  • Fixed some Timeline actions do not work correctly after a Ripple move.
  • Fixed undo/redo form trim-to-transition over a blank/gap.
  • Fixed Ripple moving a clip to the end of a track was not extending the
    hidden black background.
  • Hide the Text generator if Settings > GPU Effects is on (incompatible).
  • Fixed the Rotate and Scale filter preset not saving keyframes for the
    Scale parameter.
  • Fixed a crash opening multiple files at once either through File > Open or
    drag-n-drop from a file manager.
  • Fixed a crash closing a playlist-only project with Automatic Video Mode.
  • Fixed changing position or removing advanced keyframes for the Scale
    parameter of the Rotate and Scale filter distorting the aspect ratio of
    the image.
  • Fixed Timeline > Split not working if the current track is empty. (It
    should split the topmost clip under the playhead.)
  • Fixed clicking the reset button of the Center checkbox of the Crop
    filter does not re-enable the other controls.
  • Fixed the Timeline and Keyframes timeline rulers are incorrect after
    changing Settings > Video Mode.
  • Fixed a crash when the project frame rate is very low (< 6 fps).
  • Fixed a crash when switching keyframes on and off for position and size
    parameters in video filter such as Size and Position, Text, and Timer.
  • Fixed trimming multiple track filters hides them.
  • Fixed making a Text preset does not save the text (only all other parameters).

Changes and Improvements

  • Changed resolution restriction from a multiple of 8 to a multiple of 2.
  • Improved the layout of the filter chooser in Filters.
  • Changed Timeline fade controls to behave the same as Keyframes simple
    keyframes.
  • Changed the Noise generator from opening as a live source to a clip with a
    duration.
  • Changed drag-n-drop to Playlist to not automatically open the first file
    unless the project is empty.
  • Changed the Rotation parameter of the Mask filter to use degrees, and
    fixed its reset button.
  • Added more library dependencies to the Linux portable tar, AppImage, and snap
    builds including the SWH LADSPA plugins.
  • The minimum macOS version has changed to 10.12.

New Version 18.11: And Hardware Encoding For All

New Version 18.11: And Hardware Encoding For All

https://www.shotcut.org/blog/new-release-181113/

Version 18.11 is now available for DOWNLOAD!

This version brings hardware encoding to macOS and VA-API encoding for Linux.
Meanwhile, the experimental GPU Effects mode, which was always unstable and
unsupported is made a truly advanced option by hiding it. Now, one can only
enable it by manually changing the configuration file/registry. To make things
easier a New Project screen was added, most Export options are hidden behind an
Advanced button, hardware encoding gets a checkbox, and a signed macOS build is
provided.

Additional information about the new features is available here.

New

  • Added an Advanced mode to Export.
  • Added Use hardware encoder checkbox to Export.
  • Added VA-API hardware encoding for Linux.
  • Added videotoolbox hardware encoding for macOS.
  • Added New Project / Recent Projects screen.


Screenshot of the New Project view, Advanced button for Export, and Use hardware encoder checkbox

  • Added 10 Pixel Grid and 20 Pixel Grid options to the player grid button menu.
  • Added Spot Remover video filter.
  • Added View > Scopes > Video Waveform.
  • Added Settings > Video Mode > Non-Broadcast > Square 1080p 30 fps and 60 fps.
  • Added Ut Video presets to Export.
  • Added signed app bundle for macOS.
  • Added SDK for macOS.

Fixes

  • Fixed support for macOS 10.10 and 10.11.
  • Fixed clearing export preset search collapses categories.
  • Fixed searching export presets in categories.
  • Fixed initial rectangle size for Size and Position filter.
  • Fixed reopening Timeline changes zoom level.
  • Fixed exit sometimes hangs.
  • Fixed some filters’ presets do not save any values:
    • Key Spill: Advanced
    • Chroma Key: Advanced
    • Reduce Noise
  • Fixed A/V synchronization on some files.
  • Fixed seeking on audio files with album art.
  • Fixed saving multiple lines of text in preset for Text generator.
  • Fixed crash when undoing split and transition on Timeline.
  • Fixed filters not applied correctly when using Export > From > Each Playlist Item.
  • Improved reliability of Audio/Video Device capture.
  • Fixed Color generator did not signal colorspace.
  • Fixed transfer characteristic conversion and full range output in Export.
    (Add mlt_image_format=rgb24, color_range=jpeg, and pix_fmt=yuvj420p in
    Other for full range output.)

Changes

  • Made GPU Effects hidden and discouraged.
  • Added support for project folder to Stabilize and Overlay HTML filters.
  • Increased Scale maximum to 500% for Rotate and Scale filter.
  • Improved support for DDS, ICO, and WebP images.
  • Bundle more library dependencies on Linux.
  • Converted macOS build to standard app bundle layout.

New Version 19.01: HTML Templates, Chroma Hold, &amp; Swirl

New Version 19.01: HTML Templates, Chroma Hold, &amp; Swirl

https://www.shotcut.org/blog/new-release-190124/

Version 19.01 is now available for DOWNLOAD!

Much of this release was based on contributions in the form of code, presets,
title templates, feedback, bug reports, and testing nightly builds or the beta.
Also, recently, we added a
Contribute
page to the Web site.

New Features

  • Added Center Playhead option to the Timeline and Keyframes menus.
  • Added Slow Zoom __, Hold __ presets to the Size and Position filter.
  • Added a Chroma Hold video filter.


Screenshot of the New Chroma Hold filter

 

  • Added a Swirl (HTML) video filter.

 

  • Added a simple Templates framework to the Overlay HTML filter (see
    path Shotcutshareshotcutqmlfilterswebvfxtemplates to add your own)
    with the following templates:

    • Blank HTML
    • Blue Middle Bar
    • Creative Commons Music
    • Blank with Web Animations
    • Simple Scroll

Fixes

  • Fixed launch crash on Linux by excluding libdrm libraries.
  • Fixed audio level changed by the Mask : From File filter.
  • Fixed Text filter may have glitches with Export > Parallel processing
    (regression in v18.12.x).
  • Fixed missing file detected when Stabilize filter added without clicking
    Analyze.
  • Fixed external monitoring on Linux screen.
  • Fixed unable to detect hardware encoders with spaces in the installation
    folder path.
  • Fixed changing Speed can move a clip.
  • Fixed changing Speed has no effect when the system region and language
    decimal separators are different.
  • Fixed filter duration not adjusted when trimming a transition.
  • Fixed ripple trim when clip has a transition.
  • Fixed removing a transition by trimming adds some frames.
  • Fixed aspect ratio for File > Export Frame with non-square pixel video.
  • Fixed handling relative paths to external resources in the Overlay HTML
    editor.
  • Fixed a crash opening a project after removing the bottom video track.
  • Fixed the lossless/H.264 preset to be completely lossless.
  • Fixed dropping a file from a file manager whose name has special/extended
    characters (e.g. [, ]).
  • Fixed the state of the enabled checkbox for the Overlay HTML filter and
    when using a color picker.
  • Fixed distortion after changing the Keyframe Type of a keyframe for the
    Scale parameter in the Rotate and Scale filter.
  • Fixed right-clicking a keyframe to open context menu may change its position.
  • Fixed distortion when a Mirror filter is placed before a Size and
    Position
    or Rotate and Scale filter.
  • Fixed Levels filter in locales with comma for decimal point.

Changes and Improvements

  • Upgraded FFmpeg to v4.1
  • Improved Color Grading filter by letting all parameters go from -100% to 100%.
  • Added an automatic retry without Parallel processing when Export job fails.
  • Set the Save as type list on the Export File dialog on Windows when a
    preset defines a filename extension.