Final Cut Pro X continues to cause migraines

Final Cut Pro X is freezing again as I attempt to re-do one clip, which I have thus far been unable to match to what I had achieved in the prior version. My editing is an unfollowable path. I get so deep into it, I couldn't tell you how I got to where I get in the end. Hopefully re-doing this particular clip (even if I can't get to where I got before the trouble started) from scratch, the one that seems to be causing all the problems, will work and I can save it out to a file recognizable by YouTube. The clip I copied in to compare it to just froze the whole project, though. And I had to 'force quit' FCP X once again. So fatigued with all this, days and days of it.

And the worst of it is that I went on-line with the 'error code' (which I do not remember now), and found advice in the Apple Support Communities to delete all the render files associated with the project that refuses to share its video to a .mov file. I downloaded the QuickTime codecs recommended. Deleted FCP X. Re-installed it. Re-opened my project. All was there, except when I go into the files with Finder, all my files, the text, the images, everything is gone. It's pretty much a total disaster.

Then I ran out of batteries - I'm using my 46" TV screen as a monitor - for the wireless trackpad, so used the ones from the wireless keyboard and plugged that into some contraption I got from BestBuy with some of their BestBuy money that is a dock that re-charges the re-chargeable battery pack it comes with, using up the usb port that I could plug the original ext HDD into that I began the project on to see if all the original files still exist there, or if they, too, have been trashed in my attempt to get this sorry program, FCP X, to do its job properly. And I can't find the USB hub I got at a small computer store that even my old and dear iMac didn't like and wouldn't read serious programs from.

I used FCE for nearly 5 years, and never had a whisper of a problem with it. But it won't open these FCP X 10.0.8 files. I think FCP X a colossal waste of money at this point. I have never in all the years I've used Apple products experienced anything like this.

___

 brendaclews.com
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Anansi Hides the Moon


direct link: Anansi Hides the Moon

A painting, 'Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones,' hanging on a wall. Sunlight moving through wind-waving branches falls through a window onto it. You can also see the shadows of the window itself. That morning I was absorbed watching the light and shadows dancing quietly over the painting and videotaped it. Then, on an evening walk I came across a light on a patio with a thick white gauzy curtain around it, and shot some footage with my iPhone video camera. Later, playing with the footage, I added the billowing curtain and its light next to the painting of doubles and shadows. Then I cut sections of a photograph of the painting out, animated them and added them to the film. Finally, pondering on what I had produced, I wrote a whimsical poem of the African trickster spider god, Anansi, and wove it in with handwritten notes.

It does have a serious theme - can you guess it?

Take a moment to look at the moon.

(An aside: the video as it shaped itself inspired the poem. I made the video and then wrote the poem over a few days, meditating on each tiny section to see what was emerging/wanting to be said. I swear Anansi, the trickster, was loose in my computer, though, since sections of the video kept inexplicably changing while I was working on the text. Eventually I had to use a video I'd made of the footage only for the trickiest text -the opening title- which had repeatedly, every time I tried to lay it on the timeline, caused bizarre things to happen to all the other tracks, like shortening them or making them speed up for small durations, but chaotically and if you fixed this, that went off. Nothing like this has ever happened when I've edited a video before. It was as if the components of the video had taken on a life of their own. I kept resorting to the earlier versions FCE saves in 'the vault' before using a 'fixed' file, the .mov file I uploaded to Vimeo a few days back. These trickster gods do keep us hopping!)

The painting, from chalk drawing to nearly finished, can be viewed here: Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones.
Flute music a very small section of 'Bodydrama at the Nave' by ARTSomerville.
This videopoem was featured at Moving Poems.


Anansi Hides the Moon

Anansi
the spider
dropped
in from
where
African
gods and
goddesses
hang out

Anansi
hid
the moon
behind a
curtain

The sun flickered

The parchment
figures, doubles,
doppelgangers
and clones
barely
noticed

The days
were
sun bright
and the city
was electric
light
at night

Sometimes
it's
like that
_

From Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones


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In-process- Anansi with Parchment Figures, Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones


In-process- Anansi with Parchment Figures, Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones from Brenda Clews on Vimeo.

This bit of fun needs a poem! I'm thinking something with Anansi, the trickster African spider god...

I'd like to handwrite the poem onto the video, if I can figure out how, but won't be able to animate it.

I'm working on a longer videopoem with more of this footage, close-ups and so on, but thought to see what a small section might look like. I'm finding editing in FCE laborious and difficult since the tracks won't run in unlimited RT or lower resolution and only play when fully rendered and that's taking upwards of 2-6 hours for each tiny change! Not sure why.

If I can get to a point where I can see what effects are producing what then maybe I can work by imagining how it might be turning out (since I can't get even a sense in low res if it won't play)?

While the clips are mostly shot with my Canon Vixia HFS100, the curtain hanging by an outdoor patio is an iPhone clip. I did go back a few nights later with the Canon, but in a Winter cold snap I was in a long, hooded black coat and huge Sorrel boots and held my camera over the fence and freaked the owner of the house who turned off the light and sent their dog out to bark at me. I may try again in a few nights, or not- the grainy iPhone clip has its own charm.


Background music, a tiny section of 'Bodydrama at The Nave,' by ARTSomerville: jamendo.com/​en/​album/​53543

Painting, still unfinished, is mine: picasaweb.google.com/​brenda.clews/​ParchmentFiguresDoublesDoppelgangersClones




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A Videopoem: Tones of Noir



direct link: Tones of Noir
music: Alex Bailey, 'Piano Improvisation No 7.'

Do poems wait to be born? A poem whittled out of thundering mist at Niagara Falls. The roar of the Falls, music, voice.


I wanted the voice to be as light as the mist, and as strange as a dream with noir elements. (Don't worry if you can't hear all the words -it's meant to be a bit ghostly, and you can read the words here.)

Tones of Noir

Numinosity
washes the sky.

Poems rise
out of thundering mist.

I think it is a crime.

She rushes by.

The water,
the power in falling.

Begin when it's in motion
and stop before it ends.

Mystical crystal spikes
of sun.

He waits.

We walk quickly
covering ourselves against the watcher.

_
Video I shot in Niagara Falls, Canada, a few days ago, edited in Final Cut Express, Video I shot in Niagara Falls, Canada, a few days ago, edited in Final Cut Express, and layered a few recordings of the poem I wrote for this piece.

Niagara Falls is magnificent!


Still from video:



_
I'm entering this in Big Tent Poetry's prompt this week. I read the prompt Wednesday night (had only 6 hours sleep since then, video poetry does that to me, sigh) and thought, hmnnn, enough? ...maybe.

::Smiling:: Thanks!



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'Art of Form' at SPAZ I O dell'arte Gallery


direct link to video: Theo's 'Art of Form' at SPAZ I O dell'arte

Theo Willemse's sculpture show, 'The Art of Form,' at SPAZ I O dell'arte in Toronto, September, 2010.

Theo Willemse: theowillemse.com

Videoed and edited by Brenda Clews: brendaclews.com

Music by Buz Hendricks: somewhereoffjazzstreet.com
The track is from his song, 'Night Voices,' on "Stories from Midnight Streets": jamendo.com/en/album/25297
_
For this video I culled images from nearly 60 clips taken over 2 days - the reception, and the much quieter next day. The show was magnificent and I hope this short video gives a sense of Theo's work in the wonderful gallery at SPAZ I O dell'arte. Besides the basic editing of multiple clips, I added quite a few filters, the latter to better accompany Buz's fabulous music. Enjoy this memento!



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Interstices


direct link: Interstices

A videopoem. I experiment with my own reflection (if I can see myself then I am a Descartian subject, though interspliced with a Deleusian thought-cast).

In the poem I reflect on our reflections of ourselves and how we can't see ourselves except in our art, which reflects us.

The words of the poem:

In the field of an'other,' reflecting on self-reflection. Who are we in our mirror-image? In a gallery of sculpture, do we become still? Stilled, turned-to-stone, despite time, age, change. Like those fizzures, splits, gaps, places of disintegration in the plaster, stone, metal carved and cast about me that occur in smooth moments of presence. Where our lives buckle, crumble, turn backwards to plunge on.

We are subjects who cannot behold ourselves.

We gaze upon ourselves
only
in our art.


Video: Brenda Clews (person/voice in clip, editor of video, poet, ya know the etc.): http://brendaclews.com

Sculpture: Theo Willemse's show, 'The Art of Form' at SPAZ I O dell'arte in September in Toronto: http://theowillemse.com

Music: Le Pandorien, 'Spirale noire op 2,' from his album, "Pandora Moon": http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/44226

A different sort of gallery hop!

_

Stills from the video, showing a little of the process of making it:





The video is displayed in two screens. Both screens show exactly the same video clip. This is the screen on the right. The Final Cut Express filters are: Swing, Color Offset and RGB Balance.



This is the screen on the right, without any filters. This is what I started with.



This is the screen on the left. The Final Cut Express filters are: Noise Dissolve, Indent, Posterize, Vectorize Color, Band Slide, Swing, and Band Slide - 2. It is cropped tighter than the screen on the right.



This is the screen on the left, without any filters. This is what I started with. It is cropped tighter than the screen on the right.

Click on images for larger sizes - you can also go to Picasa to see them together.




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Learning from instructional videos on YouTube

Been watching YouTube instructional videos on rendering in FCP. I think I get it. Why it's taking so long is that I have brought together different types of files - audio, text, stills, as well as my video footage. What I should have done was batch edit everything to a single file type, which, if possible, I can't at present test this out (as my video's been rendering for almost 24 hours and I'm not interrupting it near the end!), would mean no rendering at all. Wow. Yes, taking courses would help with learning the video editing software but this I cannot afford at present. Other ways of learning, by trial and error, reading the manual (at 1200 pages!), watching instructional videos (yes, some great ones at YouTube, very helpful) can get you there, if in a zig zag slower fashion. Mostly, with the 'just do it' 'trial and error' method, is that when you hit a snag or a problem you go looking for answers.

The Internet is a vast storehouse of information, isn't it. How did we ever live without it?

I use FCE (Final Cut Express), the cheap version of Apple's video editing software. It's $199. versus $1,199. for FCP (Final Cut Pro, in Canadian prices). Besides sometimes having to use a drop down menu rather than having a button handy on screen, I haven't found anything missing in FCE compared to the FCP version. Apple has been good to us home users. FCE is a full system that more than meets most of our video editing needs.

About all I've found is that FCE only ships with one extra program, Live Type, and that's probably pared down; whereas I believe FCP ships with a whole bunch of programs. Also FCP is stronger, more of a power tool, faster. Which isn't an issue with me as a homeuser. My clips are short and the videos I make are mostly under 10 minutes.

Tonight I watched instructional videos on rendering in FCP. When my FCE finally finishes rendering the video I'm working on, I'm sure I'll find that everything the pros were talking about is possible in my version.



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State of Video Rendering Tonight


(click for larger)
My state of rendering tonight - 26 layers, right now at 50% so I can see if it'll work. It takes nearly 3 hours each time to render so that I can watch it. I edited the prosepoem posted earlier for possible inclusion, as an audio recording, but I don't know if I'll add it or not. Jose Travieso's piano solo is so amazing, I don't want to disturb it with spoken words. If I do add the prosepoem, it'll be at the very end, and will push the video to about 9 minutes. As a boring art video, probably an extra minute or so won't matter, but I'll see. I just spent a few hours making a mini movie of two layers so that I could import it into this video and crop it to cover a thermostat, a crop that changes with all the colour variations of the video through its duration so you'll never know the thermostat was there. It is I who has to be satisfied, ultimately. I don't expect much feedback on this video, or high view counts.

Instead, I focus on making the best video I can given my level of expertise, my aesthetic standards and the material I have chosen to work with.

Creating takes time, and I accept that video-making, especially for someone like me who creates the palettes of the moving image as one would a painting, is a long and careful process. 


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Rendering, rendering...

Rendering, oh my life is rendering... what you see here only a small bit -  2 hours before I can watch it 'to see.' I hover over my work like a worrisome hen. And only at 50% resolution (any higher resolution and I'd be waiting days for every little bit to render).

What I'm working on has taken days, and will take days to render when it's finished, something like 30 hours, and the videopoem is sooooo boring! Oh, not the music. The solo piano of Jose Travieso is incredible. I decided not to interrupt his ecstatic playing with voice but to have words you can't quite read float over the screen. Of course I'll tell you what they are when I upload the video, if, if that day ever comes! The footage of me dancercizing in the living room leaves a lot to be desired, for sure. Originally I liked the funk of the ordinariness of it. My house shorts, dog-walking Summer clothes, baggy, unglamorous. But it all bores me now. My apartment is small and overstuffed. I've layered way too many filters. I am finickity, perfectionist, long, long hours without stopping. What is this strange obsession to finish what is dull?

click image for larger


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Stills from 'Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones'

An unplanned video -are they ever any other way?- thought I'd set the camera up while painting, yes at night, I know, silly, only I got talking, you know how it is. Thought it way too dark to consider for anything, but a filter on FinalCut Express, which is what I use to edit video, brought the light out. It's nearly 7½ minutes long, was over 8GB in a Quicktime .mov, but with a bit of fiddling, and I hope the quality is alright when it's finished uploading, I got it down to 1.6GB -under the 2GB limit at YouTube.

It's a 6 hour upload, I know, marathon. Should be up by tomorrow. A few stills... (click for larger)

Later now and it's up:
Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones






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A Poetic of Light/Une poétique de la lumière

This meditative video poem is dedicated to all of you. With thanks...



Poetic of Light/ Poétique de la lumière uploaded by Brenda Clews to YouTube.


The poetry is addressed to the lover, the soul mate, you, the viewer.

My videopoem is finished. After a week of nearly nonstop work, most nights till 3 or 4 am and up again at 7 or 8am and working right through, I am happy with it. For your enjoyment, I have uploaded both the final version with poetry, and the silent version too.

I searched through my writing for nearly a whole day to find what might work. I decided on 
'White Fire,' a meditation on soul mates since I had been vaguely dancing with that poem in mind on the day that I taped this, and had printed it on fine paper and threw the pages in the air and danced on them during the videoing of my dance session last June.

White Fire now has a web page at my Art & Writings website, where you may read the prosepoem in its entirety. In the video I have only used a few quotes on the creation of the universe out of light. I wrote this prose poem nearly a decade ago, and at that time I was invited to read it on the radio and it nearly became a performance with 8 dancers and musicians!

The celestial and ecstatic piano is from "Spring" in the album, '
Piano Paintings' by the brilliant Russian composer and pianist, Lena Selyanina. It holds a Creative Commons license and may be listened to, and downloaded freely, at Jamendo (it's also available on the Internet Archives, and as a torrent on Mininova). Lena came by my website, since I had left a note at her site on Jamendo that the music in my videopoem, Venus Enroute, is hers, and wrote: "I am impressed by your art and happy that you have found inspiration from my music. I am looking forward to see how the Spring dance will evolve....with warm greetings from Helsinki, Finland, Lena." How wonderful.

One of the challenges I set myself in this videopoem was to create a self-contained movie. I have, therefore, included the text of the prosepoetry being recited 
in the movie itself. You will see that I have worked very hard to produce this video in a way that the text becomes a design element in the video itself.

Except at the end, where I felt darkness was most effective.


I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I have enjoyed making it.

Earlier version without words: Poetic of Light/Poétique de la lumière (a poetry without words) at Vimeo.


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DVE Course trailer assignment



Looks innocent. Yet this little 2 minute 'trailer' for my Digital Video Editing course took, well, an all-nighter and then some. First I spent many hours cutting it up into tiny 'best shots' sub-clips, 35 in all. Then I took some still photos of backgrounds to try. Then I started to put it all together. I think I got into bed at 6am for about 2 hours. And it wasn't finished.

In class last Monday, where we got an extension of 2 weeks, whew, I realized that what I was doing was a 'mini' version of the story, and that's not what's required in the 'trailer' assignment.

So, begin again... (or finish this and begin again)

Final Cut Pro (in class) and Express (what I work in at home) is drag and drop, and ooh la! I think trying to line up a snippet of a scene with the layers I like to work with and with dissolves in and out would take minutes rather than an hour if it were all done with a time line, with numbers. But I am told once I get used to the drag & drop interface that I'll find it very easy to work with. I haven't crossed that threshold yet, still being stuck somewhere on the learning curve like Sisyphus.
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