Simon Walker is an Adobe Certified Master Trainer, and trains industry professionals in the full range of Adobe Creative Cloud video tools. More info about Simon...




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Having time for coffee, and how I fell in love with SSD and ExFAT

Every time I prepare to train a class of editors, I seem to discover another interesting project that would be great to share with them, and include in the training files. And of course those files need to be transferred onto their computers, typically ahead of time.

Gone are the days when I could dump the training content onto a small USB stick first thing in the morning, and whiz around the computers, transferring files whilst the trainees arrived.

These days I have well over 20GB of sample files, tutorials and useful projects that can be referred to long after the class is over. Which means... getting to the training location the night before, or ridiculously early in the morning, just to have time to transfer all the files.

And more and more, trainees are turning up on the day with their own laptops, meaning elongated introductions and coffee time whilst I transfer files. This is why I've been using G-Tech ev drives (I'm getting around 130MB/s transfer speed), to reduce the transfer time.

Until now...

Several weeks ago I took delivery of the G-DRIVE SSD ev drive, and just stared unbelievingly at the transfer speed... 

Being able to transfer over 20GB of files in about a minute via USB3 onto a 2013 MacBook Pro Retina (in my tests it achieved almost 400 MB/s) makes the start of the training day significantly easier. Especially when you have up to 10 attendees, and you need to transfer material onto all their machines). 

Also, re-formatting the drive to ExFAT means that whether delegates turn up with a Windows or Mac machine, I don't have carry duplicate drives in various formats, just to be able to transfer files.

And these days, training Premiere Pro means training on both Windows and Mac simultaneously, with the same files, as PPro performs on both platforms almost identically (allthough there are a few things to consider when transferring a project between platforms).

I know I could save time by pre-loading material onto multiple drives and carrying these around with me everywhere I go, but as I travel extensively for work, it can be lots of fun* just watching whilst airport security slowly unpacks your bag and asks why you have so many drives in your hand-luggage.

(*not fun at all)

So, practically, how does this affect my day? Fewer drives means lighter bags and less shoulder pain, and quicker transfer speeds means faster transfer of files, so I now have time to actually chat to the trainees and find out what they'd really like to get out of the day (which means better training for them!).

Oh, and it means I get to actually have a coffee at the start of the day as well.


Premiere Pro Training at the World Cup

It's not often that these opportunities come along, so I was delighted to be asked to support the editors working for HBS, the host broadcaster at the International Broadcast Centre in Rio for the FIFA 2014 World Cup!

Along with fellow trainer Chris Roberts, we were responsible for providing training and workflow advice and support to the world cup editors for Adobe's range of professional video tools (Premiere Pro, Prelude, After Effects, SpeedGrade, Audition and Media Encoder).

The editors were selected because of their broadcast background and skills (not least their ability to be away from home for long periods of time!), and predominantly had FCP and AVID experience. So our task was to help them transfer their storytelling skills to the suite of Adobe applications used at the World Cup.

We also worked alongside key members of Adobe's Premiere Pro development team on site. David MacGavran, the Senior Engineering Manager, for Premiere Pro has written a great blog about his experience in Rio, and it was great to work with him and his colleagues.

I have to say a huge thanks to the staff and management at HBS, and a special mention goes out to the guys from MOOVIT, who provided essential engineering, support, coding and development on-site, including creating innovative systems to connect the EVS servers to all the Premiere Pro and After Effects edit suites, and a custom application to manage the launching of Premiere Pro project files for multiple users.

Here's a video interview Adobe filmed at the IBC Exhibition in September 2014, about my experience in Rio.

And here are some pics that hopefully give a flavour of what it was like at the International Broadcast Centre in Rio.

And yes... despite that fact that Chris and I had to provide training cover for every day during the Wolrd Cup, I did manage to escape to the beach... in this case Copacabana!



FMX 2014 Stuttgart

I'm delighted to say that I’ve been invited to run an Adobe and Red Giant editing and effects workshop at the FMX Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia, which runs from April 22-25 2014 in Stuttgart, Germany.

I'll be presenting tips and techniques for increasing editing and effects skill level and to help you work faster in Premiere Pro CC and SpeedGrade CC, along with showcasing the brand new Red Giant Universe and the new update to Magic Bullet Looks.

Details of my session are here:

You can find out more about the fantastic program of other sessions here:


Magic Bullet Looks 2.5 at NAB, Las Vegas

I'm delighted to say that I've been invited by Red Giant to help showcase the update to their industry standard colour grading plug-in Magic Bullet Looks at the Las Vegas NAB Show.

I'll be showing off the new features of the software, as well as talking about features of their other new release Universe. Here's the presentation schedule for NAB:

Red Giant are also giving away special prizes for people who visit the booth, so come along and say hi! Booth SL3729 (Plugin Pavilion, South Lower Hall)




Grading sessions at Inter BEE 2013: Tokyo

こんにちは! I'll be demonstrating colour correction and grading techniques at this year's Interbee show in Japan in November.

I'll be on the Flashback stand 8314 in Hall 8, demonstrating Red Giant's Magic Bullet Looks, showing tips and tricks, and showing how you can suggest a mood and evoke an emotion response from your viewer, all through the use of colour! So if you're in Toyko come along, it will be great to see you! 


BulletProof Sessions at IBC: Amsterdam

During IBC this year, I'll be running multiple sessions at the SuperMeet, demonstrating the features of Red Giant's newly released footage prep and metadata logging tool BulletProof. Come along.. they've given me free goodies to give away!

Here's some more info about BulletProof: 

I've also recorded multiple free training tutorials hosted on the Red Giant site, covering how to get started in all the main sections of BulletProof: Click here for tutorials


Free film-making seminars in July 2013: Boston, New York, Atlanta

In July, I'll be showing off Red Giant's new application BulletProof, as well as showing film-making and post production technicques to help you improve the quality of your video.

Here's the info about the sessions:

Colorist and Adobe Certified Master Trainer Simon Walker will explore how colour grading techniques are used in film, and will provide practical demonstrations on how to create moods, suggest genres, and to inform the audience of the motivations of on-screen protagonists, using Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Suite of plug-ins.

He will show practical ways to improve the look of digital video, polish and enhance motion graphics sequences, as well as showcasing strategies for reducing pixelation and noise, and production techniques for making your video look as good as possible.

He’ll also demonstrate how Red Giant PluralEyes saves vital production time by automatically synchronising audio and multi-camera video in seconds, as well as revealing the exciting brand new technology BulletProof, that simplifies the tedious everyday tasks that happen on set. Bridging the gap between camera and editor, BulletProof combines backup, organization, color and delivery tasks while handling footage from multiple cameras and media cards, and Simon will show how BulletProof is a complete offload, prep and delivery solution for camera footage. 


Here's the link to sign up for the sessions in Boston, New York and Atlanta:

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