January meeting

We return to Film Oxford in Catherine Street for the New Year with two new talks and demonstrations. Thursday 15th January, 7:30pm.

Becoming a Google Business View Photographer by Guy Henstock

googleTrustedGuy will be speaking about Google Business View and his experience of becoming a Google Trusted Photographer, the steps required, the equipment necessary, the process of a shoot, the tools used to create a tour and the strict rules that Google impose.  He will also demonstrate how a tour can be imbedded in a website and his own Adobe Edge Animate solution for embedding multiple tours.


Video editing

Details to follow.

Christmas drinks – 11th December

We have brought forward our usual meeting date by one week for December so that we can meet for drinks before the busy Christmas period really gets underway.

Thursday 11th December, 7:30pm at The Royal Blenheim, 13 St Ebbes, Oxford, OX1 1PT.

The staff and members of our sponsors Film Oxford will be joining us. A totally social evening, we hope that you can come.

The Royal Blenheim
The pub has 10 hand pumps for real ales from White Horse brewery plus a variety of guest ales.

Meeting Report: November meeting

This month three of our members gave short talks and a demo. We also had three raffle winners!

Magic Lantern – John Twycross
John demonstrated the various facilities that can be enabled on a Canon camera by downloading the open source application Magic Lantern.

mlMagic Lantern can be downloaded from http://www.magiclantern.fm, it is a free software add-on that runs from the SD/CF card and adds a host of new features to Canon EOS cameras that weren’t included from the factory by Canon.

Most popularly known for its video features Magic Lantern also adds an array of features for stills photography. John showed amongst other features the so called ‘Intervalometer’ which allows you to take pictures or movies at fixed interval times. He also showed how Magic Lantern can enable fine control for ISO, shutter, Kelvin white balance and other image settings.

Magic Lantern’s features range from audio through video control to image overlays and display tweaks that adjust the live view on screen. The application is downloaded onto the SD/CF card which also records the cameras exposures and therefore is a temporary installation whilst the card is in place. Removing the card restores the camera back to its factory settings. Thank you to John who also pointed out that Magic Lantern mentions that similar functions are available for Nikon users at https://nikonhacker.com.

Low light photography – Roger Gilboy
Photographer Roger Gilboy talked about his approach to photography under low light conditions telling us that he is “no fan of flash”, preferring to “shoot in natural light”.

Roger discussed the factors affecting exposure, shutter speed, aperture and ISO rating commenting that no one factor could be considered on its own as the three work together. He showed excellent examples of how high shutter speeds can freeze movement whereas slow shutter speeds can be employed to create mood and motion.

Antique-sellerFurther examples (like this on the right) showed how low f-stops open the aperture to its fullest, causing low depth of field which can be used to isolate a subject on a shallow plane. High f-stops closing down the aperture result in deeper field of focus where much more of the image is sharp.

Finally Roger discussed the benefits and drawbacks of high ISO speeds which enable pictures to be captured in low light conditions but can introduce  noise if the highest settings are used. Originally used to signify film speed the ISO setting on a digital camera amplifies the the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor. Thank you Roger and congratulations on your two awards this year

tubeGetting the best out of YouTube – Dave Perry
Dave Perry made a welcome return to update us on the new features available at YouTube.

“Google change and update YouTube regularly” he said. A host of new capabilities have been added since Dave’s previous talk in April last year. In particular YouTube has been focusing on becoming very mobile friendly and adopting the wide screen format. Music is the most popular subject followed in popularity by entertainment with a very high volume of gaming. Electronics are the most significant subject in the marketing arena.

YouTube is the world’s largest video sharing service with over 100 hours of video being uploaded every minute and 6 billion hours of video watched every month. the default maximum duration for YouTube videos is 15 minutes and the average is 4.4 minutes. Dave pointed out that statistics show that long and very short videos are most unpopular.

Dave advised all who want to upload their own videos to YouTube should verify their account as this unlocks a lot of additional capabilities. Creating titles, tags and key words are vital to users finding your videos; Dave talked about ‘video-friendly keywords’ which help to drive views and engagement. Thanks Dave, another great update!

Dave’s slides are available to download from this link.

Raffle winners

UG-NovemberThis month we held our twice yearly free raffle. The first prize of one-year’s subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud was won by Laurence Wright congratulations Laurence, enjoy Creative Cloud. Runners up were Melville George and Daniel Gill.

In the picture here are (left to right) John Twycross, Dave Perry, Laurence Wright, Daniel Gill, Melville George and Roger Gilboy.

November meeting

On Thursday 20th November three Oxford Creatives will talk about their work. David Perry discusses Making the Most of YouTube.  Roger Gilboy will talk about Photography in Low Light and John Twycross will demonstrate how to install and run Magic Lantern. Mariana Mota will outline UX techniques for cross platform design.

We shall also be raffling another one-year’s free subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. This raffle will be open to all attending on the night – bring you business card!

Making the Most of YouTube – David Perry

David-Perry-white-bg“We all know the statistics about how YouTube is the world’s most-used video hosting platform and the second most-popular search tool after Google itself. But as new features are constantly added, YouTube has evolved way beyond its initial role as purely a way to share video clips into a powerful marketing and social media tool. This session reviews some ways to get the maximum value from video content that you (or your clients) share online, as well as looking at how everyone can now use YouTube to broadcast live.”

Roger Gilboy

Cast (baby) PompeiiRoger is an Oxford based photographer and filmmaker who has an exhibition at the Town Hall, Oxford of photographs taken in Afghanistan whilst developing and idea for a documentary film. His talk will be about taking photographs in low light using only natural or available light. Photographs such as the image here of a casting in Pompei which won Roger an award earlier this year.

John Twycross

John TwycrossJohn will demonstrate how to install and run Magic Lantern, a program that runs on Canon DSLR cameras and provides a range of useful features for photography and video production. Enhanced features include graphic overlays, audio meters, exposure control and raw video. This is open source free software available for download on http://www.magiclantern.fm/.

MarianaMariana Mota

Mariana Mota is lead UX and Interaction designer at software and web apps development company Oxford Computer Consultants. She co-organises UX Oxford. Mariana  will talk about UX techniques for cross platform design.


Micro Four-Thirds lenes and video production

Thursday October 16th – Jim Gwilliam will present a talk on Micro Four Third Lenses (or MFT or M43) that are used on some video and stills cameras (including the Blackmagic pocket cinema camera). The MFT system design specification does not provide space for a mirror box and a pentaprism, allowing smaller bodies to be designed, and a shorter flange focal distance and hence smaller lenses to be designed. Virtually any lens can be used on MFT camera bodies, as long as an adapter exists. The aim of MFT is to get DSLR like images without the bulky size of DSLR cameras.

Smaller and lighter cameras and camcorders can mean more creative freedom for camera operators and cinematographers. He will be bringing along a variety of lenses and adapters and explain how they are used and how they can be employed in video work to get the best results.

Second speaker to be announced (also on video production)


Meeting Report: Portfolio Show-off Night

The 8 creatives who showed their portfolios at September's Show-off Night

Last night’s “Portfolio Show-off Night” was an excellent event with 8 creatives showing  portfolios across the whole spectrum, from film and video making to book design, a free video HD film stock service, photography, environmental journalism, visual effects and animation.

The portfolios in order of presentation:

Sharon Woodward, Filmmaker, documentary ‘Symarip’. sharon@woodwardmedia.org, www.woodwardmedia.org.

Harry Pill, Multimedia producer, showreel and introduction to free video stock footage library. harry.pill@videvo.net, www.videvo.net.

David Fisher, Photographer, portfolio website. david@fisherstudios.co.uk, www.fisherstudios.co.uk.

David Murray, Photographic essay inspired by the Situationists. davidmurray1917@yahoo.com, thedadameinhofcolumn.wordpress.com.

Toby Matthews, Book designs for print and mobile apps. toby@tobymatthews.co.uk, www.tobymatthews.co.uk.

Zoe Broughton, Campaigner and protest filmmaker. Documentary ‘Wool against weapons’ and short video of Didcot Power Station cooling towers demolition. zoe@urchin.info.

Rod Harbinson, Environmental journalist. Short videos of street protests against Thai military coup. rod.harbinson@yahoo.com, www.youtube.com, www.spiritforest.org.

Ken Turner, Visual effects and animation supervisor. Showreel of visual effects and animations. ken@designimage.co.uk, www.designimage.co.uk.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this Portfolio Show-off Night. A very special thanks to Richard, Roger and Dariusz who managed the technology fantastically for presenters, thank you guys!

Portfolio Show-off Night

On September 18th at 7:30pm we are back at Catherine Street and our usual date of third Thursday in the month.

We are inviting you to bring along your portfolio or a piece of recent work that you are proud of and would like to show to the group.

This can be digital or physical – a website that you have built or been a part of building, a video you have made or contributed to. Print designers bring along your latest document or other product. Photographers bring a set of prints or show us your website.

We are looking to give you creatives 6 minute slots to show your portfolios.

This is not a night of critique it is a night to celebrate your creativity and restart on a high after the summer!

Meeting Report: Creative Cloud Event Oxford

The Creative Cloud Event Oxford, an in-depth review of the new features in Adobe’s Creative Cloud 2014 release, formed our July meeting. Over 90 creatives filled the Seminar Room at Said Business School on this very warm evening of Monday July 14th.

Creative Cloud Event Oxford

Adobe specialists Niels Stevens and Tony Harmer presented an in depth whistle-stop tour of the new features in Creative Cloud 2014 for film makers, photographers, artists and designers.

Tony Harmer started the night with Adobe Mobile Sketching showing Sketch, Line, Ideas, Photoshop Touch, Photoshop Mix and Lightroom for iPad and iPhone. In Illustrator Tony showed  improvements to Pen Tool, Live shapes, Live corners, the Rebuilt Pencil Tool, CSS Properties Panel, SVG options and Custom toolboxes. Moving on to Edge Animate Tony showed a simple animation and a basic interactivity demo.

Continuing his high-speed tour Tony then moved on to Photoshop, showing the Focus Area selection, Refine Edge, improvements to 3D and 3D printing, Perspective Warp and Smarter Guides. Opening InDesign he showed the inclusion of .oam files from Edge Animate and Exporting to EPUB fixed layout before finally talking about Typekit support in all Creative Cloud 2014 applications.

“All the recorded clips of this year’s World Cup that were shown on the BBC were edited exclusively in Premiere” and there are currently over 2.3 million paid Creative Cloud subscriptions worldwide said Niels Stevens as he talked through the new features in the video tools in Creative Cloud 2014. He also told us that Premiere was featured as a part of the new film Last Showing starring Robert Englund (see the Premier UI 1m 16s in this clip).

In Premiere Pro Niels showed the new Live Text templates and Typekit integration, masking and tracking features for video editors to blur out faces, logos, license plates, or anything else throughout a scene; and to add a feathered mask that automatically moves with the action. Enhanced graphics performance in Mercury Playback Engine, streamlined voiceover recording, faster editing workflow and faster rendering with mercury playback engine. He talked about automatically backing up of Premiere Pro projects to the Cloud. Finally Niels demonstrated master clip effect changes rippling down through every part of the clip in a sequence.

Thank you to Adobe, Niels and Tony for a tremendous tour of the capabilities of Creative Cloud 2014.

Creative-Cloud-Event-Oxford-winner-John-Lobreglio-smallCreative Cloud raffle
Winner of the event raffle, John Lobreglio, was presented by Niels Stevens with a one-year free subscription to Creative Cloud.

Next meeting: Our next meeting is in September as we take August off to enjoy the summer. On Thursday 18th September we return to Film Oxford on Catherine Street for another Portfolio Show-off Night. This is the night where we invite you to share your portfolio with us all and show off your creativity. This is not a critique night it is an exhibition, a night to show what you do. Digital or physical, complete or work in progress, bring your work along and spend up to six minutes showing to everyone – no need to book, just turn up on the night. Meanwhile, enjoy the summer!

Meeting Report: Responsive Web Design and PhoneGap with Liz Myers

Thanks for all the Gelato Liz!   For our June meeting developer Liz Myers stood in at the last minute for Matt Gifford. Many, many thanks Liz.

Liz has been developing her app @2ScoopsApp which alerts users to the best gelato in shops in London, Paris, Rome and New York. The app works on geo location of the user’s phone and shows the details of gelato retailers, opening hours and contact details along with comments on the store and its products.

Originally from Minnesota, Liz worked in publishing for Microsoft where she switched to mobile development where she ‘got the bug’ before moving on to work for Blackberry. Liz is now an Adobe Community Professional and she outlined some of the announcements Adobe had made the previous night, particularly mentioning the Creative Cloud Photographer’s package and the student’s reduced rate for Cloud membership.

Turning to developing her app Liz pointed out the importance of using use cases as the key to design, deciding in this case that ‘find’, ‘enjoy, ‘share’ were some of the key uses of the @2ScoopsApp in addition to deciding the likely people who would be users, on what type of device and under what circumstances. In addition Liz commented on the importance of connecting the app to incoming Twitter feeds regarding the stores. Whilst displaying images and details of the products the app plays Italian voices to describe them in order to enhance the genesis of the gelatos.

Commenting on the development of the app’s code Liz stressed the importance of ‘test early, test often’. Liz suggested using jQuery Mobile for app development, stressing the importance of always using the latest stable version. In her development work Liz uses the Adobe Edge tools as they are tightly coupled with PhoneGap. In particular Liz mentioned the ease of multiple device testing using Edge Inspect which instantly propagates and displays on multiple mobile devices connected to the same mobile network the effects of code changes.


QR code to download and install the app

Liz showed her @2ScoopsApp and how through PhoneGap a user can scan a QR code to download and install the app. Thank you to Monica Messaggi Kaya who has posted on her blog a more detailed and technical report of Liz’s talk and demonstration. Liz’s blog at
myersdesign.com has much greater detail regarding @2ScoopsApp which is due to go into production live before the end of the summer.


Roger Knight, winner of the Creative Cloud raffle prize.

The final activity of the evening was to draw the raffle for a one-year free subscription to Creative Cloud. This was won by Roger Knight, congratulations Roger.






Creative Cloud Event Oxford

On July 14th we change venues to Said Business School, Park End Street, Oxford as Adobe specialists Niels Stevens and Tony Harmer are coming for a special 2-hour presentation on the new features of the Creative Cloud for film makers, photographers, artists and designers.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see the latest features in the new release of Adobe Creative Cloud 2014, including Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, Dreamweaver, Premiere, After Effects, Speedgrade and more. Learn about what’s new in this 2014 release that will help you do everything you do more efficiently using the latest innovations and modern standards. Get answers to your questions and get inspired by film makers, photographers, artists and designers who are creating amazing work.

This event is part of Create Now 2014 world tour, to find more Creative Cloud events to attend around the world, go to: http://adobe.com/go/worldtour14

Please RSVP via Eventbright for this special event (rather than just on Meet-up) http://tiny.cc/mlcphx

7:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Registration, Check-In, Food, Networking
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM – Presentations by Niels Stevens and Tony Harmer
9:30 PM – 10:00 PM –  Q&A, Raffle & Wrap-Up

Adobe will be providing prizes including a FREE One-year Creative Cloud Membership. You must be present to win.

Please use the car park at Worcester Square (opposite Nandos), Oxford Railway Station or Gloucester Green.

Food and Beverage
We shall be providing beer and nibbles, please arrive by 7pm.

Niels Stevens
Niels has 20 years consultancy experience in the Post Production industry. He started out in the content creation reseller business, specialising in sales and training for Audio post production systems, and spent 4 years at AVID as Senior Pre-Sales Consultant, looking after most of the major Broadcast Accounts in EMEA, and specialising in storage networks, media asset management, and editing / finishing / dubbing workflows.

He joined Adobe in 2010 as the UK Business Development Manager for the Creative Cloud Video products. He came on board at an exciting time, as the profile of Adobe’s Video applications became a renewed priority and continues to rise steadily in professional markets

Tony Harmer
TonyPrior to joining Adobe full-time in 2014, Tony Harmer has worked in the creative industry for over 30 years on a range of design, illustration and web/screen projects. An Adobe Certified Expert and Instructor in several products (holding more than 160 certifications and one of only a small number to achieve status as a Creative Suite Master) Tony has delivered training all over the UK and Europe.

Tony was the chapter leader for the London InDesign User Group for seven years and presented frequently on InDesign—even helping to influence the decision to integrate forms into the product—as well as demoing Illustrator, Photoshop and Creative Cloud topics for Adobe.

Additionally Tony has delivered training on HTML & CSS web standards topics, and has written frequently for magazines and blogs, but more than anything still just loves to sit and draw with pens, pencils, the iPad and his Wacom Cintiq.