Tech Tips: Shortcuts

It’s supposed to be a challenge, that’s why they call it a shortcut. If it was easy it would just be the way.”

– Rubin, Road Trip

Shortcuts get us to our goal faster, but not always easier. When it comes to video editing, drag-and-drop editing is intuitive and simple. It’s also excruciatingly slow and repetitive. Why then don’t more of us learn to use keyboard shortcuts to get our projects done faster?

In the past, I’ve shown students how to edit with keyboard shortcuts with mixed results. Everyone understands that using the keyboard instead of the mouse will be faster, but when it comes time to put it into practice, they get frustrated by the new workflow and quickly abandon the keyboard for their mouse.

The problem is that, for the first couple of hours editing with shortcuts, they’re slower than they are when they drag and drop. They’re in a hurry. They want to be done already.

But here’s the thing…in order to break through to the next level, no matter the skill, we sometimes have to accept a small, temporary reduction in our abilities in order to unlearn bad habits and replace them with good ones.

The same goes for learning to edit with the keyboard. It will take an hour or two to get used to this new way of working, but investing that relatively small amount of time now will pay HUGE returns down the road.

The same could be said of your career development. If you’re a recent college grad, looking to break into a career in media, a small investment of time and effort could propel your career forward 5 years ahead of your peers. WMI’s JobLab is specifically designed to help recent graduates quickly make the transition from “looking” to “gainfully employed.”

If you want to edit faster, invest the time to learn keyboard shortcuts. If you want to get employed faster, try JobLab.

 

When I teach multimedia skills, whether it’s video, photo, audio, or web technologies, I always find myself wishing that I had more time. Every project is different and the nature of creativity means that there is no one right way to do it. At WMI, we try to throw you into the deep end and get you creating content quickly and learn by doing. Sometimes, I just don’t have the time to show you all the cool stuff you can do. So, I decided to start this blog as a way to help you keep learning outside of the classroom and to share with you some of the cool things that I see other people doing that I just can’t squeeze into a two hour class.

Tech Tips: Transitions

Transitions are tough. Whether it’s the transition from living at home to being away at school, starting a new career or job, or moving to a new city, it’s often difficult to move from one thing to another seamlessly and smoothly.

It’s the same in video editing. Sometimes you need a seamless way to get from one shot to another, or one scene to another.  When a straight cut just won’t work, a lot of us default to the dissolve. But this can get boring pretty quickly and, if we’re not careful (or if we’re just lazy), we could wind up with a video that’s reminiscent of bad 90’s wedding videos. Premiere Pro comes with an extensive selection of prebuilt transitions like wipes, slides, and zooms to help you with this, but let’s be honest…a lot of these canned effects are, well, pretty cheesy.  So, what are we supposed to do?

The stock transitions and effects in Premiere Pro might not always work for you out of the box, but if you can learn to combine effects and transitions, you can unlock a whole new level of creativity in your video editing.  Check out this great video tutorial showing you how to combine effects to make something bigger than the sum of its parts and learn how to make a simple but very cool zoom/blur transition that you can use in your projects.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niMcUQ0Bkxg

 

When I teach multimedia skills, whether it’s video, photo, audio, or web technologies, I always find myself wishing that I had more time. Every project is different and the nature of creativity means that there is no one right way to do it. At WMI, we try to throw you into the deep end and get you creating content quickly and learn by doing. Sometimes, I just don’t have the time to show you all the cool stuff you can do. So, I decided to start this blog as a way to help you keep learning outside of the classroom and to share with you some of the cool things that I see other people doing that I just can’t squeeze into a two hour class.