It’s Creepy Coffee Time!

I don’t drink coffee, but the women in my family do. This is what it feels like as an outsider.

Keep an eye on your coffee or she will

I made this on my phone a while ago, possibly using the built-in Android camera, but I don’t recall, and I just wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to make the file smaller in WordPress, and in Adobe Premiere and Photoshop. Nothing quite wanted to behave, so I tried posting full size. (Also nope*)


P.S. Does this mean animated GIFs could pop up at any time now that I’ve experimented? Of course. Or it could mean I drop the entire thing and follow something else shiny and easier to resize. Who knows?

* So the full size (just 5.82MB, width: 792px, height: 446px, frames: 148) seemed to be tanking my post editing pages. Ridiculous. Found this free tool online at (this one scales it down, there are crop and other options as well) to make it behave.

It’s Creepy Coffee Time! was originally published on Creative Uploads


What Does Prisma Have In Store For Us?

The iOS Prisma app (and presumably Android soon) now has a Store, represented by a tiny little storefront icon. Click on it to open the Store page and you will be greeted by a bunch of little icons.

Creative uploads Prisma app style filter store

There are a bunch of new “styles” though to be fair they include a lot of color swap type filters rather than the more artistically textured ones I like. But there are texture tricks here as well, like “Bubbles”, “Stones” and “Crystal”, which offers sharp edges and a blue cast. All these “New Releases” are still free, although I don’t know if they will figure out a way to start charging for them — I can’t imagine in this day and age that they won’t, at least for certain premium ones.

Below that is a “Popular In Your Country” section, which is self-explanatory and jibes with the international feel but localized content Prisma is pushing, especially in their social site, which forces you to turn on geolocation features to populate your feed with people near you.

Under there are “All The Old Styles” in case you missed something.

But my favorite feature is actually under the ribbon at the top of the page.

It takes you to a “My Styles”section where you can manage the styles you see in the app when processing photos.

Even better, you can tap any of the icons to see a collection of photos processed with that style, which lets you learn how it looks in different situations. This means that you can, as I like to urge you, pick the best style for your photo, and in fact shoot photos with the style in mind.

But it doesn’t stop there. With this update you can remove styles that you don’t care to use. What if you remove one that you want back? At the top of this ribbon page you can manage your style collection, adding and removing styles from the complete list of those available.

As a very early adopter I can tell you that it doesn’t have the “Palmolive” style that it launched with, for example, so the advertising styles seem temporary and I don’t know if they get renamed and come back — so far it doesn’t look like it.

All in all a pretty cool update, although I will say that I do not see the styles I added to the list on my iPad showing up in my Android app yet. I would imagine that is because you cannot yet “manage” the list in Android (which has not been updated as I write this; it always lags behind), not because the styles are incompatible.

As always I will note there are many fake copies of this app out there. The one I use is available through and is a universal free app. Don’t pay some scammer $10 for an iPad version.

.—– David

P.S. Can I say: I don’t feel insecure about giving Prisma my location info for the feed. My personal problem is that I do not like to take photos that I post publicly with location information embedded in them, and I do not know if allowing the app to see the info will in fact embed very specific coordinates in the image, or if it simply uses it to group my feed with the city I live in, and not, let’s say, center the map on my house.

I turn on location info when I’m on a trip because I don’t care about people knowing where I’ve been, but I don’t publicly advertise addresses where I sleep and work.

What Does Prisma Have In Store For Us? was originally published on Creative Uploads

Surf’s Up, Plan Ahead

New Prisma style out, called “Surf”. 

Why does it make me look so old here? Most be too much sun. 🙂

Actually, it has to do with how the Prisma styles work, emphasizing shadows more in some cases, and needing certain colors for better results. Most dramatically to me, fine details versus more coarse shapes makes some pictures great and others awful, which is why the photo you use is critical to a good result.

Here is a set with my dogs using “Surf” with the setting put at 67% to leave a little of the red in one dog’s fur.

And a version with Mondrian, one of my favorite styles, but only when matched with the right picture. This pairing doesn’t work for me.

Too many curved edges and fine color differences leave us with two disparate sections.

But the Mondrian style also netted this result with the other dog earlier this year, so it only demonstrates my point.

Play, experiment and learn where something fails so you can plan your photo for the filter style sometimes, instead of only hoping for good luck.


P.S. You bet this applies to anything you shoot, filter or not, angle, lighting, subject, timing… Planning can get you closer to stunning (as can a bit of judicious editing like bringing the style down, but also brightening, contrast adjustments and more.)

P.P.S. Of course some of my best photos were taken almost by accident or on the fly, so you never know. When you need consistent results plan ahead and enjoy the experiments when you can.

Surf’s Up, Plan Ahead was originally published on Creative Uploads

Adobe Encore Chapter Menu Creation Quick Guide

menu layout timeline and settings

I always had a hard time creating chapter selection menus in Adobe Encore until I started writing down what I was trying and where it failed.

Since there was often a gap between disc projects that needed it, I had to look up tutorials and try to find the one that helped me the last time. Nobody writes things down, ; they were always videos, and the Adobe help site was no help. They start in the middle, assuming you already know what’s being talked about or you’ve already done certain steps to arrive at the current section, but there is no flow or timeline to their material. It’s really strange to me. So are the themes but that’s another story.

So I use an great app called Stickies from that lets me put post-it style notes on my computer screens, save, store, delete and search them and send them across network or email, that’s another post, but here’s my sticky on how to do Encore chapter menus, annotated for clarity.

menu layout timeline and settings

Menu layout timeline and settings. Yellow highlights show key areas for scene selection menu creation

encore chapter menus (aka scene selection menus)

under menu>  create chapter index (that’s where you start it, AFTER YOU ARE READY)

First create menu with links, buttons, all the things you want on your scene selection menu. You do this in the layout window, so it’s visual and WYSIWYG.

I tend to uncheck Automatically route buttons as it frequently picks weird orders for me on certain button placements. This may be because I open a thumbnail menu and copy stuff to wedge more previews in to one page. We have big TVs nowadays, I think they can handle 6 or 8 thumbnails instead of three. (When you do that you may not want to animate them, lots of flashing and also disc size considerations.)

Make sure everything is placed correctly and doesn’t overlap, of course.

This is a good time to check your timeline and fine-tune the preview thumbnail, which is usually a second or so beyond the chapter point but can be dragged anywhere on the timeline. You should do that earlier but who does that? — so check it now. Open the timeline you are creating the chapter menu for, place the position line over the desired frame and right-click the chapter to Set Poster Frame. You can do this even after you create the menus; sometimes that is easier because the automatic choice can work; it’s a bear when you do dark fade ins though.)

I also add a Chapter point in the last few seconds of the show, usually right at the copyright-contact me title. This let’s you zip to the end and watch the video roll over to the menu. Great for testing when you don’t want to wait through the whole end credits. I usually DELETE that index thumbnail from the scene selection after creating the menus. It’s nice to skip to the end while watching, but you don’t use scene selection to watch the last five seconds unless it’s a Marvel movie.

Select the first thumbnail in the layout window (or text button entry) and under Button properties (Basic tab) click Set button text and name and “set name from link” to let the menus show the titles of your scenes (presuming you have done that prep work and named your scenes in Premiere when creating the Encore chapters. You did create Encore chapters right? Because regular chapters are ignored if they don’t say “Encore” Grrrr.).

Originally I would copy a menu and in properties deleted existing links; sometimes I start with a clean menu, but often I recycle previous projects and modify the style and links around a layout I liked.

Now with the first thumbnail or text button selected, under link, choose first chapter of  your desired timeline

Save your project now….

Menu>Create chapter index (Once I had left out a “previous” button and it automatically created it but not in the right style. So if you got no style, it will help, but not beautifully.)

Don’t choose MULTIPAGE, that’s for bluray popup menus.

Boom, Bunch of menus!

If they look good, congratulations. Test them.

If they don’t look right, well, disaster recovery:

Before I “create chapter index”, I save the project, so I have a backup in case it’s terrible and I want to delete and start again. For the same reason I also like to choose my final draft template scene selection menu, then in the Encore menu choose Edit>Duplicate so I have a backup of it as just a menu and can try again quicker than restoring my last save.

To reset and try again, you clear all the numbered menus in the list – EXCEPT “menuwhatever1” if you didn’t make a copy – rename it without the number and edit as needed. Then duplicate your “final draft” menu and try again. If you didn’t make a copy you will want to delete all the extra menus except the first, then in that you delete the thumbnail and text links for all the buttons after the first chapter, not the buttons themselves but the links in them.

Hope this saves you as much time as it does me. And yes I expect it will take you a couple of tries. That’s called “getting familiar with the process.”

— David

P.S. Discovered with joy I could reuse my chapter indexes when I converted my Blu-Ray project to DVD size (there are several methods but I just save a copy with a DVD in the filename and trade out the project medi by importing the DVD renders and replacing them in the timelines. (you can actually save the audio track if you are brave and it is EXACTLY THE SAME LENGTH).

Sadly thumbnails for half of one timeline were one quarter sized like the media (HD versus SD) for some reason*, but not the other. Fixed by reselecting the Poster Frames.Not too bad.

*This may have been an out of memory situation, where the thumbnails weren’t rerendered on import because my C drive was filled up even though the scratch disks are on different drives. Oh Adobe, you do like to make cache files everywhere and never clean up after yourself. It was cute when you were a teenager but give me a break.

P.P.S. Google “clear adobe cache files” and you will find useful pages like this: Managing the Media Cache Database. That one is for the Media encoder but there are similar management buttons under preferences in all their programs.

Adobe Encore Chapter Menu Creation Quick Guide was originally published on Creative Uploads

I Thought I Could Do Posts While Doing A Major Edit

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ….

Doing color correction on a multi-night four-camera shoot at the moment, and this guy is fantastic. Have visited his site many times over the years for photography and video editing insights.

This YouTube video of his finally made my understanding of the scopes in the reference monitor* gel, even though I have “used” them many times before.

Take the twenty minutes to watch this

But actually focus and you won’t have to keep revisiting the idea of using this to speed and improve the quality of your color correction.


P.S. Also this guy’s Premiere Pro – Adjusting Chroma – color or hue  (Jeff Sengstack, this is the intro to a lesson on which I should take the time and money to watch but in the meantime: +knowledge & back to work!

P.P.S. * In Creative cloud they moved the scopes to Windows> Lumetri Scopes.

Scopes on the premiere editing color correction layout

Scopes on the premiere editing color correction layout


I Thought I Could Do Posts While Doing A Major Edit was originally published on Creative Uploads