Weekly Status: June 22, 2018


To keep myself accountable, I have chosen to post about my creative progress each week.  Although you may not be invested in the details of my progress (or lack thereof), I hope you can take from my updates some ideas on developing your own personal accountability method.



I’m getting into a good rhythm with my blog posts.  Now into my 3rd week I made five more posts and have decided this is the right number that gives me enough time to complete my other responsibilities with enough time left over to work on my other interests.  Going forward I have adjusted my target to 5 posts each week.

Next week’s target: Post 5 of 7 days


I worked a little more on my novel but not as much as I wanted.  I’m finding it difficult to sit down and do the work as I become distracted with other projects.  I read an interesting bit of advice about writing time this week.  (I cannot recall where or who originally said it, so if you know could you post a comment so I can give the author credit!  Edit:  I found the article I ready on The Art of Blogging.  The quote is by Raymond Chandler and included in the article Don’t Think, Just Write! by Cristian Mihai)  The gist is that during your set writing time you need to write.  If you aren’t writing you shouldn’t be doing anything else.  Period.  Your alternative to writing during this time is thinking about your writing or staring at the wall.  I’m going to give it a try this weekend.

Next week’s target:  3 hours brainstorming and outlining


I didn’t work on photography at all this week.  For now, I’m leaving this creative category as a “nice to have” and will play around with tutorials and practicing on my own photos when the impulse strikes me.

Next week’s target:  Playing around for for as much time as I want


I began reworking one of the complex views in my project.  I originally had it as a dynamic tableview but have since determined that it should really be a static tableview and insert dynamic tableviews within certain sections of the static table view as needed.  I’m sure if you are not into coding all you probably read was “blah, blah, blah-blah, and blah!”

Next week’s target:  Complete the change to a static tableview


I completed the script for my Motion project.  The best part about writing the script rather than jumping in head first to build the project was coming up with alternative ideas on how to present the full concept.  Near the end, I originally thought the animal shelter would rise from the ground, but as I finished up the script I came up with what I think will be a better way to show the shelter moving from idea to reality.  Now comes the fun part—getting my hands dirty in Motion!

Next week’s target:  Map out the entire project in Motion.

What projects are you passionate about this week?  Are you finding time and success in your creative adventures?

Motion: Testing Ideas

As I mentioned in my Friday post, I am working on a Motion project for the senior pet rescue where my wife works and where I volunteer.  I am still drafting the final script, but in the meantime, I am doing some test work in Motion.

A frequent part of the action will be characters moving on and off screen.  I am anticipating simple characters with few animated parts but I want their movement to be more realistic and less “riding on a skateboard” as they move around screen.

To accomplish this I added a wave motion path to my character with a very low amplitude and frequency.  I snapped the alignment of my character to the path keeping the character’s vertical axis perpendicular to the wave path.  This resulted in a subtle rock forward and backward as of the character moved.  The more I rewatch, the more I realize the action needs some tweaking, but overall I’m happy how it turned out so far.  Plus, it should be easy to replicate with slight variations for each new character.

For the idea clouds, I used a particle generator.  Again, I need to do some more tweaking to make the initial flow from the character’s head smoother.  I also want to add a second generator flipping the idea cloud so the trail of small bubbles points left or right depending on which side of the head the cloud emerges.  I’m not sure if I can figure it out, but I’d love to have the clouds pop rather than drift off the top of the screen.

Finally, the final idea cloud follows a motion path before coming to rest in the upper left portion of the screen.  Right now, the path is too long and complex as compared to the particle flow which makes the final cloud immediately stand out form the generated ones.  If I can simplify the flow and path to naturally follow the generated idea clouds, I hope it appear to drift off the expected path as the cloud generator stops.

I have loads more work to create my full vision, so I’ll keep posting more of my tests and any completed sequences as I push forward on this project.

Are you an expert with Motion?  I’d love to hear any tips or ideas you may have that will make this project better.

Something New: Video Color Correction


Photo by Pixabay on Pixabay.com

Today’s post is the first in a series about something new I’ve learned this week.

I’ve been a frequent visitor to Izzy Video for over a year now and relatively recently became a full fledged Mastery Group Member. One of my renewed creative pursuits is videography and editing.

Color Correction

I spent last week taking Izzy’s latest course on Color Correction in Final Cut Pro.  Even if you have been working with Final Cut Pro for a while, using and understanding all the color correction filters, effects and features may be something you have skipped over or haven’t had time to learn.

The new color correction course is awesome.  Izzy demonstrates the basic color correction techniques before plunging into more advanced topics including blending, masking and setting up your own presets that can be used on different clips or even completely separate projects.  I love Izzy’s training style.  He doesn’t just show you how to use the tools but weaves the whys and whens of an experienced editor so you can also understand the thought process in play with each color adjustment.

If you have been looking to add Color a Correction skills to your digital editing bag of tricks, I highly recommend checking out this course. Even if you don’t use Final Cut Pro, many of the skills will likely cross over to other editing software.  I even learned a few things that I am certain can translate to photo editing, too.

How I Found Izzy

I’ve been creating the annual fundraising video for the animal rescue where my wife works for the past couple of years.  I used Final Cut Express years ago and various versions of iMovie more recently.  For last year’s video, I made the leap to professional software.  I wanted finer control and added flexibility so I could produce a more professional and engaging final product.

Although I’ve had a decent amount of experience with digital editing, I needed a quick course to familiarize myself with Final Cut Pro.  That’s when I discovered Izzy Video.

Izzy offers a free Basic Final Cut Pro course covering everything from understanding the interface to exporting your final project in thirty-six video clips spanning over two and a half hours.  The intro course got me up to speed enough to complete my project while showing me there was so much more to learn.

If you have a chance to jump over to Izzy’s site, check out all his course offerings and his blog.  Occasionally he will offer a new course that includes both prerecorded clips as well as a couple live workshops where you can complete the project along side Izzy while having your questions answered live.  If you cannot make the live sessions, he provides recorded versions so you can follow long on your own schedule.  I loved his Intro to Motion Course and hope he offers an Advanced Motion course soon.

If you want to learn more about Final Cut, Motion or digital editing in general, I encourage you check out Izzy Video.  If you have other sources for digital editing training, I’d love to read your recommendations in the comments section.

If you are interested in the senior pet rescue I mentioned above, please visit Young At Heart Senior Pet Adoptions at  www.adoptaseniorpet.com.  The video I produced last year, There’s No Place Like Home, can be found on Young At Heart’s YouTube page


I have no relationship with and have not been compensated in any way from Izzy Video. I just love the work he is doing.