Using in-browser editing within Adobe Muse

Written for CreativeBloq.com.

If you haven’t already heard, the new Adobe Creative Cloud subscription contains a powerful drag and drop website builder known as Muse CC. For graphic designers and front end developers, the appeal of Muse is a familiar Adobe canvas where custom layouts and graphics are resized, optimized and then exported to clean HTML for the web in just one click.

In just a few short years, Adobe has steadily beefed up the functionality of Muse to include parallax scrolling animation, numerous rollover and lightbox options, intuitive design tools, and an extremely useful feature known as in-browser editing. This feature allows anyone with the site’s FTP credentials to login to a web-based layout editor (even on a mobile device), make changes and publish them in minutes.

Adobe Muse and the new editing feature are best utilized within static sites for small businesses, organizations, agencies, creative and restaurants. By using in-browser editing, it’s surprisingly easy for anyone to make small changes to page elements like menu items, pricing, hours and specials.

In its current release, in-browser editing will allow you to edit headers, text boxes, images, hyperlinks and tool tips. Adobe has indicated that the ability to edit text styles, animations and rearrange elements is on the way, but for now any changes to your site’s text will reflect the character style assigned in the initial Muse layout. It’s important to keep in mind that adding too much content within in-browser editing can rearrange your layout and bump elements down the page, potentially compromising your design, so organize your page accordingly.

Designing for others

If you plan to design a site for someone else to update with in-browser editing, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Keep your text boxes neat. Create a new text box for every element in the page (avoid large blocks) and keep text styles the same within your boxes.
  2. Leave space below page elements that may be edited to avoid the ‘bumping’ issue mentioned earlier.
  3. Consider creating a specific ‘announcements’ area where a page manager has a designated location to publish time-sensitive content like special deals or weekly events.

Read more…

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Making a Surf Edit: Takeaway Tips From a Homegrown Video Production

From Fstoppers.com

How many of us picked up our first camera because it was a way to make a buck? For most videographers, the hustle of media production work gradually evolved from a passion for filming into a business formula based on our strengths, reputation, and market necessity, but fun was the kickstarter.

One of the most important practices for any aspiring photographer or videographer is to conceptualize and execute personal projects. It follows that visual creativity is a product of your own experience, and time behind the camera makes you a better shot. But just as important, personal projects are rewarding, and they become the work that others remember and appreciate the most. Fun is what inspired the creation of a recent hurricane storm surf edit we called “Don’t Worry, Mom. We’re Fine.” The title is a nod to surfers everywhere whose mothers (like my own) called for periodic weather reports and their explicit instructions to avoid the water under any circumstances.

Dodging the wind and rain, missing out on the best waves of the year, second-guessing (insert your favorite camera manufacturers)’s legendary “weather-sealing,” borrowing gear and unsuccessfully keeping lenses, sensors, quads, and lithium-ion from the elements were all challenging. But fun? Absolutely.

Here are a few suggestions from one of my favorite personal projects of 2015.

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1. Do a little preplanning.
For my team, this involved checking the weather and surf reports, coordinating and posting our locations on social media, and keeping in touch with the talented local surfers who were on the pulse of the best waves. This paid dividends. Unlike previous efforts, our subjects knew our location. These sponsored surfers had a vested interested in lining up their rides with our cameras and were excited to be filmed riding South Carolina’s best waves of the year.

2. Find help.
The power of collaboration is truly amazing. In my experience, working with others always yields better results and generally makes production easier. In this case, having a production assistant and a local resident with a high-rise Jeep to navigate the flooded streets were invaluable. Bouncing from location to location with a local, we were free to plan shots and manage gear in the pouring rain without worrying about logistics. And simply having a second shooter allows you to capture twice as much footage, which, in a hectic and time-sensitive environment, is clutch for the final edit.

3. Improvise.
Setting out to film Hurricane Joaquin, we knew South Carolina was about to get hit with the greatest surf of the year. Our intention was to document the swells and capture our friends getting the rides of their lives. But the reality was pouring rain, grey skies, hurricane-force winds, long periods between set waves, and very little cover.

We dealt with lens spots, water intrusion, and fogged glass. We soaked though a countless number of beach towels. Salt spray, sand, and pouring rain create pretty much the worst combination for sensitive and temperamental camera equipment. By the second day, we were hustling gear and batteries from a nearby house and working under a pop-up tent that periodically dumped buckets of rain. It was challenging and frustrating to lose some amazing clips due to sensor spots, water, and condensation. But at week’s end, we were pleasantly surprised by what we captured.

4. Tell a story.

One of the most important elements of videography is storytelling. It wasn’t until after filming the week’s torrential weather and massive waves that our theme became apparent. Good footage is great, critical even. But without narrative, soundbites, and some thoughtful styling, your hard-earned footage may not stand on its own. Whatever the job, do your best to bring a human element into the production. It’s a law of social media: you’ve got to show your personal side for others to find it enjoyable.

5. Don’t worry about the gear.
Many people spend a lot of time talking about gear, but the truth is that the quality of your gear probably shouldn’t be a major concern starting out. Do the best you can with what you’ve got. (You can also check out my guide to getting into DSLR video on a tight budget.) Shooting during foul weather requires you to take some precautions. We didn’t. Conditions and budget forced us to make do with the best gear we had. In this case, that was a pop-up tent, some beach towels, and a lot of running around. Full disclosure: “Don’t Worry, Mom” was filmed with the Panasonic GH4, Canon C100, Nikon D800, and DJI Phantom 3 Pro.

The takeaway is that outside-the-box projects are ultimately the most fun and rewarding and are what people remember. For me, this happened to showcase one of my favorite hobbies, surfing, in the context of some really extreme weather. After the excitement of publishing our humble edit had settled, sharing the video with the people that made it possible and seeing their reactions was really satisfying. In the end, a homegrown surf edit was a complete professional afterthought. But, again, you can’t put a price on fun.

7 Tips for Finding Your Niche as a Videographer

For most creative professionals, finding that happy balance between passion, talent and opportunity is a lifelong undertaking. Figuring out that proverbial niche as a videographer may take just as long (or at least feel like it).

Ten years ago, I had no idea that freelance graphic design and a strong interest in documenting travel, waves and concerts would ultimately lead to a fun and rewarding video production business. And I’m not flying across the world shooting surf documentaries (maybe next year), but instead, I’m growing a sustainable video business that could eventually take me there.

As a budget DSLR shooter with no film school background, the biggest challenge starting out was simply finding paid opportunities to use my camera. As the New York Times points out, even those with a four-year background in film school are having a tough time after graduating.

It’s easy to know what you love to shoot. For me, personal projects are always the most fun and rewarding, but not necessarily what pays the bills.

he path to that opportunity was a long and winding road full of challenges, hard knocks, self-doubt and ultimately, self discovery. Although my first media position at a local firm left a lot to be desired, in retrospect that structure was critical to my own independent growth. Moving forward, I was ready to acknowledge and take on the responsibility, expense, and workload of managing my own business, and I genuinely enjoy it today.

So how can you discover your own niche as a videographer?

For me it’s been a lot of learning and creating at every opportunity. The following suggestions are by no means a business plan, but simple lessons that I’ve learned along the way. Regardless of how you get there, the most important rule is to stick with it and keep learning! Read more at CreativeLive.com…

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