• Welcome to The Spark
    The Spark is a blog curated by the staff of the Multimedia Project Studio (MPS) at Duke University. We are a small group of highly talented students and staff well-versed in the language of multimedia. The Spark is a resource for helpful tips, tutorials, specific concerns of the lab, and general inspiration.

Creating Cool Banners, Shields, and Shapes in Illustrator

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 12.21.50 AM

The finished product!

The finished product!


You’ve probably scene these fun, “retro” looking banners and shields on flyers and posters, but did you know there is an easy way to create them in Adobe Illustrator? You can also customize them in countless ways and add your own personal flourishes. It’s an easy way to give your documents some style without doing a lot of work!


Read More »

Posted in Illustrator, seriously cool, Tips & Tricks, Tutorial | Leave a comment

Moving to Pixelmator from Photoshop

Pixelmator is a powerful and inexpensive alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop.  Are you looking to make the transition from Photoshop to Pixelmator?  If so, here are some tips to get you started.

Pixelmator looks and behaves a lot like Photoshop.  Designing in Pixelmator is based on layers (discrete pieces of the picture stacked on top of the other) features many of the same tools, and has a lot of similar functions.  When you open the program, you’ll have a canvas just like in Photoshop.  To the left you’ll find a basic set of tools, and to the right you’ll find the layers pane and an effects browser.



Most of the tools are the same familiar ones from Photoshop, but let’s look at a few that are not so familiar:


1) Gradient tool — same as Photoshop, but the icon is very different.  Don’t confuse the gradient tool with the auto shape tool, which is the heart-shaped icon in the bottom right of the toolbar.

2) Sponge tool — the sponge tool lightens the image where you apply it, as if you had rubbed a damp sponge over a pained canvas.

3) Warp tool — clicking and holding on the icon reveals a number of related tools.  When you click on the canvas, these tools will (variously) stretch, compress, expand, contract, twirl, or smudge the image.

4 and 5) Dodge and burn tools — these are also found in Photoshop, but the change in icons might make them hard to find.  These tools can be used to change the exposure of an area of an image, either decreasing (dodge) or increasing (burn) the exposure.

6) Magic eraser — this is one of my favorite new tools.  The magic eraser automatically detects what’s in the background and erases it.  Just click on the area that you want to erase.  Click and drag the mouse to control the tolerance of the tool, or how much material it will erase.

Other tool notes:  

  • Pixelmator only has one kind of lasso:  the regular kind.  Unfortunately, it does not a magnetic lasso or polygonal lasso.
  • When using the magic wand, as with the magic eraser, you can click and drag to adjust the tolerance.  In my opinion, this an improvement over Photoshop, in which the tool had a fixed tolerance.  Pixelmator’s adjustable tolerance can remove the need to clean up an image or a selection after you’ve already used the magic wand.
  • Holding command + click quickly switches you out of whatever tool you have selected into the move tool.
  • Holding alt + click when you have the paintbrush or paint bucket selected quickly pulls up the eyedropper tool, allowing you to match colors without having the change tools.
  • Pixelmator does not have a separate path selection or direct selection tool.  If you want to manipulate an existing path, select the move tool and double click on a path to make the anchor points and Bezier handles appear.


Nearly all of the functions available in Pixelmator are accessed through panels.  The three panels discussed above automatically load when you start the program.  You can show or hide an array of other panels under the “View” menu, such as fonts, styles, and colors.  Let’s look at a few that are different from Photoshop.

Effects Browser — the effects browser is not found in Photoshop, but it combines the functions of the filters menu and the adjustments menu in Photoshop.  You will find options to change the color balance, brightness, and contrast of an image, but you will also find options to add distortion, blur, and stylized effects.

Styles — this panel is where all the options from Photoshops “blending options” menu now live.  Here, you can change fill and stroke colors, add shadow, and add reflection.  You can also create custom styles by clicking on the gear in the lower right-hand corner.


Photo Browser — also unique to Pixelmator, this panel allows you to search for images on your computer and pull them into your project.

Note that Pixelmator also has fonts, brushes, and shapes as separate panels rather than drop down menus, as Photoshop does.

Differences between Pixelmator and Photoshop

Layers – in Photoshop, you cannot alter a layer unless you have directly selected it in the layers pane.  In Pixelmator, clicking on an object in another layer causes you to automatically jump to that layer.  Some users may find this set up easier to use, but tenured Photoshop users may have trouble getting use to this feature.

History – Pixelmator, unfortunately, does not have a history panel.

Adjustments — in Photoshop, you can choose between adjusting a layer or adding a separate adjustment layer. Whereas an adjustment applies changes to a specific layer, an adjustment layer is a separate layer entirely that acts like a filter to change whatever it is placed over.  Thus, an adjustment layer does not permanently alter any existing material, can be adjusted after it has been applied, can be disabled, and affects all the layers beneath it, whereas a bare adjustment is permanent and unalterable and can be applied to a specific layer.  Pixelmator allows you to apply adjustments, but not adjustment layers.  One workaround is to create a layer and change the blending options to “darken,” “lighten,” “color burn,” “overlay,” etc. Painting or apply a wash of color on this layer will allow you to adjust the layers beneath it, though not with the same precision as a true adjustment layer.

Variable tolerance — as explained above, there are several tools (e.g. the magic wand and the magic eraser) for which you can change how strongly a tool is applied by clicking and dragging.  I see this, in most cases, as an improvement over Photoshop because it gives you much more control.  Several of the effects in the effects browser also operate in this way.

Flow — Pixelmator does not any form of flow control when painting.  When you paint in Photoshop, going over the same area twice will make the color deeper and less transparent depending on how high you set the flow.  It’s like adjusting how much ink comes out of a pen.  Pixelmator, on the other hand, applies the same amount of color per click regardless of how long the cursor is held over a spot.  This makes painting in Pixelmator more consistent and predictable, but it sacrifices some measure of control.

Puppet Warp – this was my favorite new feature in Photoshop CS5 and up, but alas, Pixelmator does not have it.  Puppet warp applies a mesh over your image, and by adding anchor points to this mesh you can realistically manipulate your image.  My guess is that the warp tools are meant to bridge this gap, and while they do a fair job, they still don’t give you the control that puppet warp offers.

Screen Tips — this is one feature in Pixelmator I’ve rather grown to like.  Whenever you do something in Pixelmator (e.g. copy, paste, add a layer, disable a mask), a screen tip pops up to let you know what you’ve done.  This might seem redundant, but it does help prevent that inevitable moment of horror when you’ve button mashed the keyboard by accident and you know you’ve one something but have no idea what.   It also means that you never have to guess whether something has successfully copied, modified, etc.  Also, when you hit undo, you’re told exactly what it is you’ve undone, which does compensate some for the absence of the history panel.

How does it stack up?

Overall, Pixelmator is an excellent program.  It has plenty of power for your average project and you really can’t beat the price: it’s a one-time cost of $29.99 for Pixelmator, versus $699 for Photoshop CS6 ($999 for CS6 Extended) or a recurring monthly fee of $19.99 for the Creative Cloud.

Pixelmator has a more simplified and intuitive interface than Photoshop.  This makes it more accessible to newcomers to the world of graphic design, while long-time Photoshop users may find that the set up requires some getting used to.  Notwithstanding, nearly everything you might need in Photoshop you can also find in Pixelmator.  There are a few areas in which Photoshop has a clear advantage, such as the presence of a history panel and the ability to apply adjustment layers.  Yet, Pixelmator is not without its own advantage, such as screen tips and an easy set of tools for warping an image.

In the MPS lab, we currently have both programs installed.  If you’re looking to try an alternative to Adobe, or if you want an affordable graphic design program for your home computer, give Pixelmator a try.  Pixelmator even allows you export files as Photoshop files (.psd), so you truly have nothing to lose by giving it a shot.



Posted in Adobe Alternatives, New at the MPS, Photoshop, Tutorial | Leave a comment

Transitioning Between Programs: How to Edit Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

While some people purchase the iconic brand, known as apple, as a means of fitting in, others make the purchase for efficiency.  Mac’s OS X software may help to create a distinction between itself and Windows, but what is the use of a slick and speedy interface if the programs on the computer are inefficient?

Have you ever encountered a program with the most bizarre keyboard shortcut assignments?  If not, you may have seen a program with hardly any shortcuts at all.  Sometimes it seems that the most useful tasks can only be achieved by painstakingly clicking on the drop-down menu.  This is simply not efficient.

Shortcuts save time, effort and brainpower.  By training yourself to subconsciously remember a few key-combinations, you will no longer waste time and energy moving your mouse.  Some may call it laziness, but I call it efficiency!

Regardless of your reasons, you may eventually find yourself needing to add, remove, or change some of the shortcuts for your programs.  Given a mac, and a few seconds, this task is quite simple!

As an example, here is a scenario:  I have found myself transitioning from Adobe Photoshop to Pixelmator.  Below I have included a list of shortcuts for both Pixelmator and Photoshop CS6.

Pixelmator Shortcuts


Source: http://dashkards.com/pixelmator

Photoshop Shortcuts

Source: http://img.docstoccdn.com/thumb/orig/137088463.png

You may have noticed that the majority of shortcuts for both programs are the same hotkeys.  In fact, I find that Pixelmator did a great job at using shortcuts that are very similar to Photoshop’s.  The majority of Pixelmator’s tools use the same hotkeys as tools with the same functions found in Photoshop.  In addition, many important tasks found within the drop-down menus utilize the same shortcuts as well.  However, some shortcuts are lacking on Pixelmator’s end.  For example, I personally find myself using the Color Adjustments option (Image –> Color Adjustments…) quite often.  I noticed that Pixelmator does not have any preset shortcuts for this task (as can be seen below), so let us change that.



NOTICE: The process of changing shortcuts cannot be achieved on all programs.  In addition, shortcuts can only be created for options found within the drop-down menus.  Lastly, if you are using one Duke’s Multimedia Project Studio (MPS) macs, realize that your shortcut configurations will be erased after logging off of your account.


STEP 1: System Preferences

To begin, go ahead and open up System Preferences.

STEP 2: Keyboard

On the System Preferences main page, find and click on Keyboard (referring to the image above: Keyboard is located in the second row, and third column).

STEP 3: Keyboard Shortcuts

Once on the Keyboard page, notice the toggles towards the top.  There may be more than two buttons on your menu, depending on the OS X version.  For example, my personal computer includes four toggles: “Keyboard,” “Text,” “Shortcuts,” and “Input Sources.”  Regardless, click on the button that includes the word “Shortcuts.”

STEP 4: Application Shortcuts

You should now see a page similar to the one shown above.  Notice that there are two side-by-side display boxes.  Looking at the left-most box, click on “Application Shortcuts.”


STEP 5: Deleting Shortcuts

Depending on personal use, you may notice some shortcuts already listed in the box to the right.  To delete any of these shortcuts, you may select them and press the minus (-) sign underneath the white display box.

STEP 6: Adding Shortcuts Part 1

To add a shortcut, click on the plus (+) sign underneath the display box.  A box similar to the one seen below will pop-up.  In the application field, you can scroll to see which apps are eligible for shortcut modifications.  If you choose to keep “All Applications” selected, your added shortcut will affect all applications that have the exact menu title that you will enter.  Although not necessary, you may wish to select the specific program that you wish to change.

STEP 7: Adding Shortcuts Part 2

The next field which you are prompted to fill is the Menu Title.  This is the exact title of the task you wish to add a shortcut for.  Recall, that I found the title to be “Color Adjustments…” for my specific task.  After entering the Menu Title, enter a desired shortcut and click add.

STEP 8: The End!

If done correctly, you will notice that your shortcut is not only listed within System Preferences (seen above), but also on the program drop-down menu (seen below).  If you do not see the shortcut, first try restarting the program.  If this does not resolve the issue, check to make sure that you have entered the Menu Title exactly as written in the drop-down menu.

Posted in Adobe Alternatives, Apple, Frequently Asked Questions, Tips & Tricks, Tutorial | Leave a comment

How to Make a Pie Graph in Adobe Illustrator

Looking for a way to display those survey results in an interesting way? Charts and graphs are a fantastic way to visualize your data. Different graphs serve different purposes. If you want to show a linear relationship between two variables, use the Line Graph tool or, conversely, if you want to show there is no relationship between two variables, use the Scatterplot Tool. Pie and bar graphs are the best way to display survey results. And all of this can be done with Adobe Illustrator.

How to Make a Pie Chart with Adobe Illustrator

First, open up Adobe Illustrator and select New Document.

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Next, on the left side bar, towards the bottom, you will see a bar graph icon. Hold down the mouse to expand the options, and select Pie Graph tool.

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Draw a square on the blank page, release your mouse and a circle like this will appear:

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Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 4.51.51 PM

Now is when you enter your data. It helps to use the top row to type the options and the row below that, the data.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 4.53.30 PM

When you are done, click the check button and you will see a graph like this:

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 4.53.55 PM

To make this more visually engaging, change up the colors by using the direct select tool. Select the box corresponding to a specific option in the key and change the color in the top bar. Select the corresponding slice of pie and change the color in the top bar.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 4.54.05 PMScreen Shot 2014-03-30 at 4.54.41 PM



To export as a JPEG or any other file to insert into a document, select FileàExport and choose your option.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Intersection of Social Media and Graphic Design

Social media has gradually made its way past the realm of personal relationships and into the professional world. It has become a powerful tool for busineses to reach new clients while continuing to build their network with existing clientele.

It also gives marketers an open space to showcase new products, display special promotions, and create shareable content to market their brand. Much of these concepts are also prominent when it comes to marketing an event on campus, raising awareness through a social media campaign, or even trying to get more people to join your club or organization.

Nearly 50% of companies have content marketing strategies.

However, as more and more companies, people, and groups begin to join social media, the space on our newsfeed is quickly becoming cluttered. It seems like everyone is fighting for a user’s limited attention and standing out takes a deliberate effort to create content that is interesting and unique while still efficiently getting a clear message across

By integrating graphic design programs with social media, your student group or business has greater potential to increase their reach across social networks and ultimately lead to an overall greater impact. For this post, we are going to use examples in Adobe InDesign, but many of the same concepts can be carried out through various programs.


Here are some tips to help you get started!

1. Size Matters

Each cover photos and profile picture requires a size specific to that social network. You can use the link below to determine exactly what size you should use, but be sure to leave a bit extra room around the edges so you don’t have any awkward borders on your photos. Furthermore, once you create one template for a specific campaign, you can continue to use the same basic foundation and simply change the size for each social network that you want to use. The main thing is keep from distorting your design.


Tip: To make an element larger without distorting the image, hold down Command & Alt while you drag the object outward from any of its edges

2. Clarity

Users expect the same high quality marketing material in print that they want to see online, which means that clarity is a must.

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 7.54.30 PM

When you are exporting pictures from InDesign, click File - Adobe PDF Presets - High Quality Print.

 Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 8.00.51 PM

Next, open the PDF file and click File and Save and change the format to JPEG and 250 pixels/inch.

3. Calls to Action

The word to remember is “engage.” You want to improve a customer’s experience on your page by including promotions, contact information, or even directly asking fans to like your page in a subtle and polite way. Remember that you still cannot have active links in your cover photos for most social networks so if you put a website link, keep it simple and always place a second link in the about section on your page or caption.


4. Slap on your Logo

Your social media presence is an extension of your brand and every piece of content that you post is a representation of that brand. Thus, it’s essential to include your logo whenever possible without making your content tacky or overbearing.

The beauty of creating funny, witty, or inspiration content is its inherent shareability, allowing your users to do much of the marketing work for you. However, this only helps if content can be easily attributed back to your business or organization. Therefore, be sure to put your logo on not only your cover photos and profile picture, but also on the  posts that you share.


Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 8.27.32 PM

To add your logo on top of an image or another design, you will often need to change it’s white background to clear. To do this, select the image, then click Object - Clipping Path - Options.

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 8.31.16 PM 

Then, once the Options menu opens, change the Type to “Detect Edges.” Also, select the option “Include Inside Edges” if you want all areas that are currently white to become clear.

Posted in Adobe, InDesign, Tips & Tricks | Leave a comment


2014-03-14 17.21.51

If you’ve been watching the Spark you’ve seen posts about several changes this week to the MPS but it’s time to announce our biggest one, A 3D PRINTER!

Now before I go any further, an important note.  The 3D Printer is being hosted inside of the MPS but is not part of the MPS.  This is an important distinction as the MPS is an operationalized space and 3D printing is experimental.  The DukeMakers will be volunteering 3D days a week to staff the room for walk ins and orientations.  Beyond that the service is self-serve and self-support.  We have provided much wisdom and documentation on Duke’s wiki, which anyone is welcome to comment or modify.  In addition to the printer, we have also added a 3D scanner anyone is welcome to use.

Use of the printer is first come / first serve with a sign up sheet located on site.  The service officially kicks off at 9am Monday and there will be a staff member on site most of the day.  We do welcome office hours to talk about the program and thoughts all day Wednesday.  To help with 3D, we have installed SketchUp 2014 on all MPS machines for people to use.

Posted in Announcements, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Student Worker iMac at MPS East

As I’m sure you’ve seen in some of the other recent posts, we’re doing some remodeling around the MPS this spring.  One of our additions is an iMac for the student worker desk at MPS East.  Students now have a space to work while they are on duty!

2014-03-11 13.25.15

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Audio Room Changes

Things will look a little different in the MPS when students return from spring break.  One of the big changes was the audio booth.  Previously there were two systems in the same room.  You would record on one iMac and then carry your data out to the other iMac in the room to edit it.

We changed things up a bit.  The room is now powered by one iMac and we are using extenders to drive a second keyboard, mouse and monitor located in the booths window.  This should give everyone the convenience of working from the same system without having to drag data around.

2014-03-12 16.52.45

2014-03-12 16.52.34

Posted in Announcements, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creating a Vector Drawing on iDraw (an alternative to Adobe Illustrator)

There are many alternatives to Adobe products here in the MPS lab, so today I am going to teach you how to create a vector by tracing an image on iDraw (an alternative to Adobe Illustrator). This process be very helpful for creating logos and texts. Vectors retain an excellent quality as you increase their size, which makes them great for shapes/logos and texts. I do not recommend creating vectors with photos – the image quality will be lost.

As an example of how to use iDraw, I decided to trace the Duke blue devil logo. This is the design that I began with:

Original blue devil logo


When you open up iDraw, you have the option to Create a New Document, Open and Existing Document, or Open a Recent Document. In this case, I created a new document.

The next screen prompts you to choose the type of document – Blank, Gradient, Grid, Graph Paper, Notebook, etc. This is helpful for drawing your vectors. The type of background does not necessarily determine the background of your vector. For creating a logo/design, I recommend the Grid, Graph Paper, or Blueprint format. For creating texts, those formats or the Notebook format may be the most helpful depending on your end goal.

There is also a prompt for the width and height of your drawing space, which iDraw automatically puts an 8.5 by 11 (a standard letter). Feel free to adjust that according to your project needs and goals. It’s always easier to have too much space than not enough.

To import an image that you would like to trace into a vector (i.e. the blue devil logo), simply copy the image and paste it into iDraw. (so easy!)

Similar to Adobe Photoshop, iDraw works in layers. Before you begin to draw, create a new layer by right clicking on the right hand side of the screen near the “Layers” section. The layer that is closest to the top of the screen is the layer that appears on top in your drawing board.

Creating a new layer

Creating a new layer

New layer

New layer


To begin, I traced and filled in the Duke “D” with the line (creating straight lines), arc (creating arcs), and brush (freestyle drawing) tools located in the Toolbar on the left side of the screen. The thickness of the brush tool can be adjusted on the top left through “width.” “Smoothing” is a percentage that reduces the pixel-quality of the vector in the brush mode by smoothing it into lines/arcs. The higher the percentage, the smoother that the drawing will be. I recommend using around 20-25%.

I initially traced the Duke D in black and later changed it to be blue (so that it can be seen more easily). However, you can trace your image in whatever color you would like from the beginning.

Toolbar - left

Toolbar – left

Tracing the D

Tracing the D

After drawing the Duke D, I changed the color of the vector by going into the “selection mode” (cursor on the toolbar on the left) and highlighting all of the lines. Then, I changed the color under “appearance” on the toolbar on the left.

Changing colors

Changing colors

Duke D filled in

Duke D filled in

Next, I created two new layers to trace the white portions of the Devil and the inside of the D behind the Devil.

Tracing the Devil

Tracing the Devil

For more precise drawing and tracing, you can zoom in by clicking the magnifying glass on the toolbar on the left side.


Zoomed in tracing

You can hide other layers by unchecking the other layers. This enables you to see one (or a select few) layers at a time.

Hiding other layers

Hiding other layers

If you want to rearrange/move part or all of a tracing, select the potion you want to move by highlighting it and move your cursor into the desired position. Below, I relocated the Devil’s eye.

Move tool

Move tool

Then, I highlighted the Devil in the selection tool and changed its color to white.

Changing color/ selection tool

Changing color/ selection tool

If it is an intricate design, it is a good idea to use the “lock” feature. Highlight the image in the selection tool and right click. Choose “Lock” to prevent all of the tiny vectors you drew from accidentally moving while you work.

Locking vectors

Locking vectors

When you are finished with your vector drawing, uncheck the image you initially traced (hide it) to see how your new vector looks.

Uncheck original drawing

Uncheck original drawing

If it looks the way you want it to, delete the ORIGINAL layer (the image you traced) by right clicking that layer.

Delete original layer

Delete original layer

Save your project!!! File –> Save as..



To export the vector, go to File –> Export. Choose the format that best suits your work. I recommend saving as an SVG or PNG, as those formats can easily be adjusted to different sizes without losing quality.

Exporting your vector

Exporting your vector

This is the end product. GO DUKE!

Duke Logo! Final Product

Duke Logo! Final Product

Posted in New at the MPS, Tutorial | Leave a comment

How to Properly Save and Transfer Projects in iMovie, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro

There’s probably no worse feeling in the world than to work on a video project, or any project for that matter, for 4 hours and then in one technical glitch, lose all of your progress. Unfortunately, this has probably happened for many of you at least once. Luckily, if you take the right steps, you could minimize the damage next time something this catastrophic happens. I am going to list out a few rules that you should follow in general to keep your files safe, and then focus on the different video editing software available in the MPS and their file structures because different programs approach saving files differently.

Rule 1: Don’t save anything you might want to keep onto the desktop of MPS computers without having backup

Although there’s a nice message posted warning you about this, it’s always good to remember that anything saved on the computer’s desktop will be erased upon logout. Now, you may sometimes think that you’re probably not going to use the file in the future or you’ll just move it when you’re done, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The fastest alternative to the desktop would be to store in your Storage allotment, in your Documents. Before you logout, skim over the files that are on the desktop, and make sure that you’re ok with those files being deleted.

Rule 2: Always have a backup saved

Even if you think your files are safe, sitting on a MPS computer or on your hard drive, you can never be too careful. While the chances are slim, you certainly want to have a backup saved when someone spills a drink on the computer or you accidentally drop your hard drive. When working on MPS computers, it’s best to have your own hard drive where you can backup files because 1) it allows you to work at different stations if the one you worked on is unavailable and 2) protects you from unknown harm that may come to the computer while you are away.

There are clearly many other guidelines to follow to protect your work (save often being an obvious one), but for now I’ll move onto how to properly save and transfer files when working in iMovie, Final Cut Pro, and Premiere Pro.

So you’ve been working on a movie project for a couple hours and need a break. All your files have been saved on one MPS computer, and you plan on coming back to the same computer after your break. When you do come back, however, someone else is using your station. What do you do? Well, if you had properly transferred your project to a hard drive, you could easily go to another computer and continue working there. I’ll show you how you can do this in each of the three main video editing programs installed on MPS stations.

iMovie and Final Cut Pro: If you’ve created an iMovie or Final Cut Pro project on an MPS computer. you’ll find the files in your Movies folder under your NetID.

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As you can see, there are two folders, an iMovie Projects and an iMovie Events folder (or Final Cut Projects and Final Cut Events). The one mistake many people make when transferring their project to their hard drives is that they only copy the one file in their iMovie Projects folder or the CurrentVersion.fcpproject file to their hard drive, thinking that that file is enough. That file, however, is actually just a reference that iMovie and Final Cut Pro use to locate the important parts of your projects: the actual video clips. When transferring your project to your hard drive, make sure to copy both the Projects and Events folders to the same location. Make sure that both folders are on the same level, in other words, don’t put one folder inside the other. If you’ve copied both folders, you can simply move to another computer, plug in your hard drive, and use iMovie or Final Cut Pro (depending on what program you used to start the project) to open the project from your hard drive.

Premiere Pro: Premiere Pro works a little differently from iMovie and Final Cut Pro in how it stores your project. First, it’s easier to set the save location in Premiere Pro as it asks you where you would like to save your project when you make a new project.

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I personally like to click ‘Browse’ and set the save location to my hard drive, so I don’t have to worry about transferring the entire project when I’m done working. If you saved your project to the default location, the only thing you have to copy over is the ProjectName.prproj file found under Documents\Adobe\Premiere Pro\6.0.

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The one thing you have to be careful about, however, is also copying over your footage/clips that you’ve been working with. If you’ve imported footage from a camera to the MPS computer, you’ll have to copy those onto your hard drive as well since Premiere won’t be able to find those clips if you’re on another computer. I recommend you import footage or anything else going into your project straight onto the hard drive, then importing into Premiere from there because if you have to copy those files onto your hard drive, then you’ll have to relink media after moving computers. Relinking media can be done simply by right clicking on the missing media, Link Media, then find your file.

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 6.35.38 PM










So that’s a quick and dirty rundown on project transferring in iMovie, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro.

Posted in Adobe, Apple, Final Cut, iDVD, Premiere | Comments closed
  • What is the MPS?

    The Multimedia Project Studios are a series of high-end computer labs located at Duke University. We feature cutting edge equipment and industry standard software and are staffed by a corps of student Multimedia Consultants who are available to help you out with your project on a one-on-one basis, but are not able to do production work on your behalf.
    MPS Lab Locations & Hours
    MPS East
    115 Lilly Library
    The MPS in Lilly is open whenever the library is open. Check their site for hours, which can change during holidays and academic breaks.

    MPS West
    006 Bostock
    The MPS in Bostock is open whenever the library is open. Check their site for hours, which can change during holidays and academic breaks.

    Staffed Hours for Both Locations

    Winter, summer, and other break hours will vary, according to student consultant availability. To check consultants' availability, view our Live Schedule.

    Sunday - Thursday: noon to midnight
    Friday: noon to six
    Be sure to check our Live Schedule to see who will be on staff and our staff page to meet our talented consultants.