Tuesday, July 24, 2012


July 24, 2012
Today, we'll start with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. This is Adobe's popular video editing software.

Video editing is the process of making changes to a single video clip or multiple video clips. This could be something as simple as shortening the length of a video clip, or this could be a more complex project that involves combining multiple video clips together, and adding other things such as sound, pictures, and titles.

Download the following video files so that you have clips to work with when you start doing the learning activities:

Windows users: dog01.wmv | dog02.wmv | dog03.wmv | dog04.wmv

Mac users: dog01.mp4 | dog02.mp4 | dog03.mp4 | dog04.mp4

Let's start off with this first video where I talk about how to create a new premiere pro project.

NOTE: If you find that the windows and panels in your Premiere Pro workspace are all messed up, you can reset it by choosing Window > Workspace > Reset Current Workspace. The workspace layout I'm using in the video tutorial is the Editing layout.

After you've watched the first video, let's move on to the next topic...

Once you have a Premiere Pro project, you can start importing the media files that you want to edit. These media files are the video, audio, image, and title clips that you want to use for your project. Watch this video to learn how to import files in Premiere Pro - Importing Files in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

After importing the files into your project, watch this quick video to learn how to preview your clips - Previewing Clips in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

And now that you have clips in your project that you can work with, let's learn about the timeline. The timeline is the part of the video editing software where you do the actual editing work. This is where you go to put clips together and to make adjustments to them. In this next video, we'll learn a little bit about the timeline -  An Introduction to the Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 Timeline.

July 26, 2012
In the previous session, you were introduced to the timeline. You've learned that the timeline is made up of multiple audio and video tracks. If you're wondering why we would need more than one audio and video track, watch this short video to see some examples: What are multiple audio and video tracks for?

Next, we'll learn how to add some video transitions and effects:
  • Adding Video Transitions
    A transition refers to the movement of the playhead from one clip to the next clip in the sequence. This video shows you how to add animated transitions to your clips. One example of an animated video transition is the cross dissolve. In a cross dissolve transition, the first clip gradually fades out, while the succeeding clip begins to fade in.
  • Adding Video Effects
  • Video effects are another creative tool that can help make your videos more interesting. Learn how to add video effects in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 by watching this video.
  • The Effect Controls Window
    The effect controls window allows you to change the properties of clips, as well as the properties of the effects and transitions that are applied to a clip. If you are unable to find the effect controls window, go to the menu bar and choose Window > Effect Controls.
  • Transforming Video Clips
    You can go to the effect controls window to change the properties of a clip such as the size, rotation, and position.
  • Creating a Picture in Picture (PiP) Effect
    This video shows you how to create a basic picture in picture effect.

July 31, 2012
Hi, everyone! For today's lesson, we'll start by discussing the concept of keyframing. Keyframing is a process that allows you to animate the effects that you apply to your clips. For example, if you wanted to make your clip move from one side of the screen to the other, then you can use keyframes to make that happen. Watch this introductory video to give you an idea of what keyframes can do. You'll see a few simple examples on the applications of keyframing - Introduction to Keyframing.

Once you've watched the video, you can now move on to learning how to apply keyframes to a video clip - Keyframing in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

Next, we move on to titles. Titles allow you to add text and shapes to your video project. Watch this video to learn how - Creating Titles in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

Here's another video about titles. This one teaches you how to create a rolling title. A rolling title is a title whose contents scroll vertically (similar to standard movie ending credits). Here's the link to the video - Rolling Titles in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

In this next student guide, we'll create a title clip and then animate it using keyframes:
Keyframing the Rotation Property PART 1
Keyframing the Rotation Property PART 2
Keyframing the Rotation Property PART 3

Aug 14, 2012
You can import audio files into your Premiere Pro project as well. There are many different ways that you can use audio to improve your video project. You can add background music, sound effects, and voice-over narration.

Importing audio clips follows the same process used in importing video clips. Go to File > Import, and then choose the audio files that you'd like to bring in to your project. Once imported, you'll see the clips inside the project window together with the video clips that you've already imported.

To add audio clips to the timeline, just click and drag them from the project window down to any of the available audio tracks. If you want to mix different audio clips together, then you can place them on separate audio tracks. For example, you can have background music that plays simultaneously with some voice-over narration. To do this, you would place the background music clip on one audio track, and then then the voice-over narration audio clip will be on another audio track either above or below it. With audio clips, it doesn't really matter which clip is on a higher or lower audio track since we can't see audio anyway.

To learn how to adjust the volume of an audio clip, watch this video - Adjusting a clip's volume.

In this next video, I show you how to unlink audio and video clips that are attached to each other in the timeline. When you shoot some video footage, most cameras will have microphones that will record the audio during the scene as well. And when you transfer that footage onto your computer, the audio and video are usually linked to each other. When you bring these clips down to the timeline, they'll be attached to each other. The video goes onto the video track, while the audio goes onto the audio track. They're on separate tracks, but they're still attached to each other. When you reposition the video clip, the audio moves along with it. In some cases you might want to unlink them so that you can work on them separately in the timeline. Watch this video to learn how - Unlinking audio and video.

Aug 16, 2012
Keying refers to the process of removing the background of a video clip. This is usually done so that the background can be replaced with something else. Usually, footage for keying is shot in front of either a green or a blue background. These types of footage are referred to as green screen or blue screen footage. In this video, I show you how to remove a green screen background using the Ultra Key in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

Aug 23, 2012
Once you're done editing a video project, you'll want to convert it into a format that allows you to share your video more easily. You may want to upload it onto the web or save it onto a mobile device. What format you choose depends on how you want to share your video. This process of converting your video editing project into a specific video format is called exporting. Here's how you can export your video project in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

Sept 11, 2012
When you start a new premiere pro project, you'll be asked to create a sequence. When choosing the sequence settings, you should base it on the properties of the video files that you'll be working with. There are a couple of sequence presets to choose from - DV-NTSC, Digital SLR, HDV presets, etc... You also have the option to customize your own settings.

Choosing your sequence settings can get a bit confusing. So here's a video that talks about how to figure out which sequence settings to choose especially if you're not sure about the properties of the video clips that you'll be using for your editing project: http://youtu.be/53YDIzI9Rhg

DISTANCE LEARNING - CS179.11 A - SEM 01 SY 2012-13

July 24, 2012
Hi, everyone. So for this session, we will be starting with ActionScript. The learning resources below will teach you what ActionScript is, and how to add some ActionScript code to a Flash project - that's going to be what's covered in the video: What is ActionScript?

This next one is a text tutorial. You'll learn how to change the appearance of a move clip symbol using ActionScript code. Along the way, you'll learn a couple of key points:
  • what instance names are and how to assign them to symbol instances
  • what dot syntax is
  • what properties are

Here is the link to the tutorial:
Assigning AS3 instance names and modifying some AS3 movie clip properties

July 26, 2012
We'll start off today by learning about ActionScript 3 variables. We'll begin with this video where I show an example of a variable being used. There's some code in this example that we won't be taking up until we move further into the semester, so don't worry if you don't understand those yet. What I just want to show you in this video is one example of a variable being used.

Here is the link to the video:
An example of a variable being used in ActionScript 3

After watching the video, read this 3 part student guide that explains what variables are and how to create them:

Our next topic is all about functions in ActionScript 3. Let's start off with this video that uses an analogy to try to explain what a function is: ActionScript 3 Functions - An Analogy

After watching that introductory video on functions, move on to the next resources:
Writing Functions
Adding Function Parameters
Creating Optional Parameters in AS3
Local and Global Variables in AS3

July 31, 2012
First, we'll learn about expressions and operators.

An expression is something that evaluates into a single value. For example, the expression 10 + 5 evaluates to a value of 15. The expression 10 - 5 evaluates to a value of 5.

Expressions are made up of operands and operators. In the expression 10 + 5, the operands are 10 and 5, while the operator is the plus sign (+). The operands are the values being manipulated, modified or analyzed in the expression. The operator dictates how these values are to be manipulated, modified or analyzed. For example, the plus operator (+) dictates that the operands will be added. The multiplication operator (*) dictates that the operands be multiplied.

Watch this video to see an example of expressions being used in ActionScript 3 - Expressions and Operators (Video Introduction). Then read this student guide that enumerates many of the different kinds of expressions and operators that can be used in ActionScript 3 - Expressions and Operators in ActionScript 3

Our next topic will be about if statements.

If statements allow you to write some code that will only be processed when certain conditions are met. In other words, simply writing the code doesn't guarantee that those lines will run. Certain conditions have to be met first before the code is executed. It's kind of like a stop light. If the light is green, then you have the go signal to move. If the light is red, then you stop. With if statements, if the condition is true (light is green), then execute the code. If the condition is false (light is red), then don't execute the code.

Here's an example:
if(score >= 75)
     trace("Congratulations! You passed.");

In this example, the trace statement will only run, if the condition is met(in other words, if the condition turns out to be TRUE). The condition specified here is whether the score is greater than or equal to 75. If it is, then go ahead and run the trace statement. If not, then don't do anything.

So in english, this example would basically translate to: IF the score is greater than or equal to 75, then say "Congratulations! You passed.".

Watch this video to learn all about if statements in ActionScript 3 - If Statements - Intro to ActionScript 3.

Then in this next tutorial, we'll learn about the this keyword - The AS3 this keyword and how to randomize the size of a MovieClip instance on the stage.

Lastly, we'll learn all about ActionScript 3 event handling. This part is very important, so please pay extra attention to this part. Also, make sure that you've already read the tutorial on Assigning AS3 instance names and modifying some AS3 movie clip properties and the tutorials on functions before you start reading this. Those tutorials are from some of the previous sessions.

Again, this is very important so make sure you spend some time on this.

Here are the links to the student guide on ActionScript 3 event handling:
Part 1: Introduction to AS3 event handling
Part 2: How to create an AS3 event listener
Part 3: The AS3 event object

We also have an activity on this, so please log on to our moodle page and look for the activity called Simple Button Events.

August 9, 2012
Here are the students guides for today's session:
Classes and Object in ActionScript 3
Properties and Methods in ActionScript 3

August 14, 2012

Topics for today are:
  • the AS3 Timer class
  • the ENTER_FRAME event

We'll start with the Timer class. Here are the learning activities:
Introduction to the Flash ActionScript 3.0 Timer Class
Creating a Simple Countdown Timer in Flash Using ActionScript 3

Up next is the ENTER_FRAME event.

In our introductory lesson on event handling, we used mouse events as examples. Recall the MouseEvent.CLICK event - this event occurs whenever you click on a button or movie clip (movie clips are also clickable). So here, the event is pretty obvious - when the user clicks, then the CLICK event occurs.

But with the ENTER_FRAME event, it isn't very obvious, because this event gets dispatched even though there seems to be nothing that's happening in the Flash movie. You can just be watching an empty Flash movie, and not clicking on anything or pressing any keyboard keys, but behind the scenes, the ENTER_FRAME event is happening. And not only that, the ENTER_FRAME event happens repeatedly at a constant rate. With a mouse click, the event only happens every time the user clicks on a button or movie clip. This doesn't happen at a steady rate. It's very arbitrary. It just depends on when the user decides to click on something, which we can't always predict.

As for the ENTER_FRAME event, this event gets dispatched at the same rate as the frame rate of your Flash movie. So if you have a frame rate of 30fps, then the ENTER_FRAME event gets dispatched 30 times every one second. And just to reiterate, it gets dispatched even if nothing is happening in the Flash movie. As long as the movie is open, then the ENTER_FRAME event gets dispatched. Nothing else has to happen. And the Flash movie can even be completely empty! Kinda weird, right?

Try this. Create a new ActionScript 3 document and add this code on the first keyframe:
this.addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, onEnter);

function onEnter(e:Event):void

When you test the movie, Flash will just keep displaying the "Hello!" message in the output window repeatedly. If you're frame rate is 24fps, then this means that Flash will say "Hello!" in the output window 24 times for every second that the movie is running. And it won't stop until you close the movie.

Now close the movie and then change your document's frame rate down to 1fps. Then test the movie again. You'll still see the message displayed repeatedly, but this time, it will be much slower. Since your frame rate is down to 1 frame per second, then this means that the ENTER_FRAME event listener function gets called only once per second.

Now close the movie, and don't forget to bring your frame rate back up. You can just set it to around 24 fps.

So when would I want to use an ENTER_FRAME event listener?

This event is useful if you want to create an event listener function that runs constantly. It really could be about anything. It could be a function that constantly updates a text field. It could be a function that contains an if statement so you could constantly check whether a certain condition is being met or not. It could be anything you need. As long as it's something that you want Flash to do repeatedly while the movie is running, then you might want to consider an ENTER_FRAME event listener as one of your options.

To give you a more concrete example, here is a video tutorial that makes use of the ENTER_FRAME event to create some code-driven animation. This is probably one of the most common uses for the ENTER_FRAME event. Instead of using tweens, the animation is done using code - Using the AS3 EnterFrame Event to
Create Animation in Flash

August 28, 2012

Today's topic: working with text fields using ActionScript 3.

Here are the links to the student guides:

AS3 TextFields - The Basics
Working with AS3 Input Text Fields
Formatting Text in AS3
ActionScript 3 String to Number Conversion
ActionScript 3 Number to String Conversion
Enabling the User to Submit the Contents Inside an Input Text Field
[PART 1] Working with External Text in Flash ActionScript 3 - Loading the Text
[PART 2] Working with External Text in Flash ActionScript 3 - Formatting the Text
[PART 3] Working with External Text in Flash ActionScript 3 - Scrolling the Text

September 4, 2012

For this day's session, we will learn how to control sound using ActionScript 3. Here are the links to the student guides:

Student Guide: Introduction to Working with Sound in AS3
Student Guide: Playing Sound from the Library and Making a Sound Clip Loop in AS3
Student Guide: Pausing Sound in ActionScript 3.0
Student Guide: Creating a Simple Volume Bar in Flash
Student Guide: Adjusting Volume in ActionScript 3.0

September 18, 2012

This week's lessons are about Arrays and For Loops in ActionScript 3:

Arrays in ActionScript 3
For Loops in ActionScript 3
Creating a Simple Quiz in Flash Using AS3
Creating Multiple TextFields and Positioning Them Using Arrays and for Loops in Flash ActionScript 3.0
Retreiving the Index Value of an Item in an Array in Flash AS3

Monday, July 2, 2012

Photoshop CS5 Color Correction and Photo Retouching Video Tutorials Collection

Photoshop has some really awesome features that will allow you to color correct and retouch your photographs. You've got different healing tools that will let you remove stains, blemishes, and other unwanted objects. You also have adjustment layers that allow you to make changes to the color composition of an image. You can adjust brightness values, shadows, and color saturation to name a few.

Below, you will find some Photoshop CS5 color correction and photo retouching video tutorials that will demonstrate just some of the capabilities that Photoshop has to offer. These videos are excerpts from the following training courses, which you might be interested in viewing. Click on the links to learn more:

These training courses make up hours and hours of information that will teach you many of Photoshop's amazing color correction and photo retouching features. If you want to view these courses in full, you can sign up for a free 7-day trial to get complete access to all the videos in these training courses.

Here are some sample videos:

Correcting the small photographic details - Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

Making structural improvements - Photoshop CS5: Fashion Retouching Projects

Correcting an overly backlit photograph - Photoshop CS5: Creative Effects

Creating an edgy muted and contrast look - Photoshop CS5: Creative Effects

Adding color without increasing contrast - Photoshop CS5: Creative Effects

Enhancing a photograph with HDR for black-and-white conversion - Photoshop CS5: Creative Effects

Applying soft focus to skin - Photoshop CS5: Creative Effects

If you enjoyed these Photoshop CS5 color correction and photo retouching video tutorials, then sign up for a free 7-day trial to get complete access to all the videos from these courses: