Mar 2008

Learning After Effects

I often get asked.... how should I learn After Effects... the answer is slow and steady. After Effects is a tough puzzle that is well worth learning. After Effects is a relatively expensive piece of software with an enormous feature set. It is not a tool that you can just sit down with and pick up in a few hours. If you're going to spend that much money on a piece of software, do not try to figure out that piece of software on your own.

Learning After Effects requires you to spend some time with the program and follow a structured learning regimen. Some of our favorite After Effects learning tools include:


21 Years of Apple Evolution

When I look at what Apple has accomplished its been an interesting journey. The company has released a ton of great products (and also a few clunkers). I have found a great image that lets you see much of the product line laid out chronologically. After all, you can't get to the great Mighty Mouse without first passing the "hockey puck."

It really is pretty interesting to
see the "big" picture. Be sure to click on the graphic so you can zoom in and view.


Double the Size, Quadruple the Rest

Many video podcasters are embracing larger video podcast sizes. While the 320X240 size is well-suited for portable players like iPods, those viewing on laptops and televisions prefer the image clarity offered by larger sizes. But what’s the impact of using a 640X480 podcast?

  • File sizes are approximately four times larger.
    • Download times are approximately four times longer.
    • Hosting and delivery costs are approximately four times greater.

Don’t be discouraged, just be sure that you can afford to give people what they want and that they are willing to wait for that larger size. Some podcasters take the “easy” way out and offer both sizes. This strategy can work against you though as your show’s ranking on the iTunes charts can be negatively impactd as each version is tracked seperately.


What's Your Angle?

While it may seem a little cliché, another way to refine your show’s concept is to ask the standard Who, What, Where, When, and Why questions.

Who – Who is going to watch the show? Who is going to host the show?

What – What topics will the show cover? What genre or format will it use?

Where – Where will the show be recorded? A studio? On location?

When – When will the show come out? Weekly? Monthly?

Why – Why would a viewer subscribe to the show? Why would they come back for another episode?


Open Television Network Launches

Podcasters looking to monetize their content have a new option called the Open Television Network, powered by klickTab. The site has been under development for a long time and has now launched.

“klickTab is a unique service that lets you create single item, or channel feeds (aka podcasts) where there is a charge per item downloaded.

As a content owner, you create an account for yourself at  You can check out the process through the screencasts on that page, along with some resources on encoding, hosting and protecting content.

Once you have created an content owner merchant account, you then create the feeds (podcasts) and add items to those feeds. We provide you with an embed code that has the klickTab graphic and all necessary code behind it so that a viewer customer can click on the link, enter their email address and password and download the link to iTunes or Miro. In iTunes or Miro they can browse the previews (trailers) you provide, buy content items, manage them, view and/or synchronize to an iPod or stream to an Apple TV.”

You can find more details on their
site and in this article.