Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Macbook buying guide

Some things you should consider when buying a Macbook. iMacs remain decent value, but the new Macbooks are rather overpriced.

1st: its a big purchase, so research for yourself - Google 'macbook buying guide' for lots of more detailed guides.

The latest Macbooks are overpriced, and the trackbar is a rather foolish addition. IMO.
Apple lists several refurbed models, which are one option, but eBay and other sites for 2nd hand Macs are a good choice. You could simply ask in local Apple retailers too - try repair shops.

Obviously you should consider issues with guarantee (or lack of) when buying 2nd hand. If you can add AppleCare (extended warranty) its arguably worth it: expensive, but peace of mind.

I'm going to focus on Macbooks, but most of my points below apply equally to desktop iMacs.

Friday, 25 November 2016


You have access to multiple tripods. Below, I've included Amazon links for product details plus, in most cases, video reviews/setup guides - use YouTube sidebars to find more, and, as ever, please do pass on any tips or useful resources as a comment and I'll update this.


Pan Handle 67"
5min review/setup; 6min review/setup

Pistol Grip 70"
15min review/setup; 8min review/setup;



You have loan access to multiple cameras:

A58 with 2 lenses



Friday, 11 November 2016

FONT downloading

When making design choices, you should consider looking beyond the pre-installed system fonts for use in Photoshop, Final Cut etc.

There are many font download sites out there - all blocked here, bar one, unblocked exclusively for Media students: FontPalace.

Please follow this simple process if you want to install a new font:
  1. Search for and download your font (as a .ttf file) - see screenshots below.
  2. Note the name and direct link (not simply the site URL), and email these + the .ttf file as an attachment to me
  3. Add details in the Word doc on the MediaStudies drive, including the font name, the Mac number and the URL. Copy the .ttf file to the fonts downloaded folder
  4. Double click the /ttf file. A popup will ask if you want to add this font to the Font Book; you may see a warning about limitations with italics, numbers or upper case, simply informing you if the font file lacks certain options.
  5. To access the font in any open programme, you should quit it (CMD+Q) and reopen.
  6. If you later delete the font, update the Word doc, and email me.
Like most such sites (part of the reason they're often blocked in schools) fontpalace is full of links for so-called 'crapware', unnecessary software. So take care to hit the right download button - you'll be surrounded by brighter, bigger green download buttons; the one you're after is a lighter green.
ABOVE: I searched for a font I've used in a few video and image projects, navigating to the 'Eddie' font. There are Windows and Mac download links - which take you to a new window where you have to click download again to start the download:
ABOVE: a captcha has to be ticked (more than 1 may be required), and its that lighter green 'download eddie font' button you need to click; the brighter, larger button is for software you really don't want or need.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

iMovie to Final Cut

You can move basic iMovie editing projects over to Final Cut:

Its really not hard to find such answers these days!
From Apple Help.