Final Cut Pro X and so much more!

Like many people, my job/career is constantly evolving. Being the Director of People Development for a large corporation has multiple responsibilities: Our Sharepoint Portal, our Learning Management System (LMS), training content design/development/implementation, oversight of our training network, and more.

Recently we have expanded our vision for training our front-line employees and our leadership to include recorded tutorials and other video enhancements. This will give us greater control over content management, and it will also allow us to be more flexible, yet consistent, in our delivery options.

This has pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and learn several new skills over the past week or so. Not that I have mastered anything… I am not kidding myself. But I have learned so much, so fast, that it is mind boggling.

One thing that has helped me tremendously has been a set of free tutorials by Izzy Hyman on Final Cut Pro X. I will have more to say about that later, but this free and comprehensive set of tutorials allowed me to get up and running in Final Cut Pro X in one day!

Let me start at the beginning. We reorganized our Portal content for our Trainers with a new interface, and at the same time we upgraded our LMS to a newer version. This created a need for some “training” on the new design and functionality. However, our trainers are located all across the country (and the world for that matter). My boss suggested a GoToMeeting where I would do screen sharing and walk them through the process, which is a viable solution, but I wanted something more direct and sustainable. I knew we would  never get everyone together for a single meeting, and even though I could record the meeting, it would be choppy, distracted and ineffective. I opted to create my own tutorial in Camtasia to be shared privately on YouTube. I had never used Camtasia, but is proved to be surprisingly powerful and intuitive. The results were not bad for a first cut, and it was well received. However, this opened the door for a lot of new and exciting possibilities.

I started getting requests from my peers for more things, with more capabilities. You know how it goes, “can you do this?” “what about this?” “wouldn’t it be great if we could do this?” So, I have been expanding our capabilities now by moving my MacBook Air to work with my 23″ Apple Cinema Display to go along side my work computer (Windows 7). This has given me far greater productivity and has enhanced my product tremendously. As a by-product, it justified the purchase of a Thunderbolt Apple Cinema Display for the home. 🙂

I have since expanded from Camtasia on my work computer to Camtasia, ScreenFlow and Final Cut Pro X on my Mac. Incredibly I found I could run Camtasia on my Mac on one screen along with Camtasia on another screen using my VMware Fusion install of Windows 7. This allows me to record our Dispatcher Board on one screen while capturing our handset emulator on another, both in real time. I know that doesn’t make any sense to you, but it is amazing to me. And it will be a game changer for our training and our company.

From there, I have been able to superimpose those screen capture clips onto an actual video sequence showing real time interaction of our employees, the Dispatch Board and their handheld device. Brilliant! However, I needed Final Cut Pro X to accomplish this. That’s where Izzy Hyman comes in…

I knew I needed more capabilities than what Camtasia and ScreenFlow could offer me going forward, and I also knew Final Cut Pro X was the way to go. But I was extremely intimidated and overwhelmed when I first pulled it up. I knew what I wanted to do, but I had no idea how to accomplish it. So I went looking, and thankfully I stumbled upon Izzy Hyman’s tutorial videos, a free set of 26 tutorial videos that were just what I needed. I watched them all, and I found them to be extremely helpful, informative and even entertaining. I was itching to get started on my project, but I could not tear myself away from these tutorial videos. Each one I watched taught me so much, and I needed everything he shared.

Once I finished the tutorial videos, I pulled up my project and started to work. I was amazed at how much I had retained and how easily I moved through the process. I was able to watch the videos on a Friday evening and a Saturday morning, and by Saturday evening, my project was done 🙂

Now, I have no illusion this is a great product… the quality of the initial 5 minute clip was not that good, but it serves as a proof of concept to my company that we can accomplish some things going forward. I was able to superimpose 2 separate screen shots at a time over the initial video, AND use the Ken Burns effect to zoom into parts of one screen. I learned about favorites, key word tagging, trimming and so much more. It makes me eager to work on a real project now, and not just a beta test.

Thanks Izzy! You rock!

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