About Me

  • Adam Behringer

    Seattle, Washington USA

    Adam is the founder of BEEDOCS, an artisan software company that makes great timeline software for Mac OS X.

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New Movie: Transparent Backgrounds

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Video still timeline with transparent background

In our latest movie, Elise Hunt presents an easy way to layer your timeline on top of multi-media backgrounds using the latest release of Bee Docs Timeline 3D and Apple's Keynote.

As always, we would love your feedback and we can not wait to see how you put the new feature into practice!

Click here to visit our movie page

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Kennesaw State University Pre-Graduation Video

Monday, May 18, 2009

Since we posted Dale Suffridge’s Kennesaw State University Video last week, we have received at lot of positive feedback and questions about how the video was put together.

I asked Dale if he could provide some technical details on how he made the video and he was kind enough to write the following article for you! Please enjoy this behind-the-scenes peek at an creative use of Bee Docs Timeline and be sure to thank Dale if you learn something from his article.

The Creation of the Kennesaw State University Pre-Graduation Video

by Dale Suffridge

Dale Suffridge

Our department was approached about creating a video that would run on the HD projection screen over the stage for the hour leading up to each graduation for Kennesaw State University (KSU). We had been impressed with the new Timeline 3D software and thought that this would be a perfect large-scale use for it.

Showing an historic timeline of how KSU got to where it is today seemed a perfect and engaging fit for a diverse graduation crowd. However, we also needed to include current facts about each graduating college within the university. So I knew that I would use Timeline as the base and “break out” of the timeline to cover the current facts whenever we shared a relevant historical fact regarding that particular college in the Timeline.

The final look was achieved using a combination of Timeline, Photoshop and Final Cut Pro.

First I created and exported the Timeline using the Cherry Pie theme. I then screen-captured the red gradient background, bottom timeline bar and burgundy info box (all blank) for use within Photoshop and Final Cut Pro (FCP). Note: To get the burgundy info box to be large enough and blank, I created one that had a period at the top and then multiple line breaks and a period at the bottom. In Photoshop I used the clone stamp to take away the periods and the year and leave a blank info box.

In Photoshop, I created all the elements that I would need to recreate and manipulate the Timeline-look within FCP for the “break out” moments. These included:

  • All the burgundy “fact” boxes. I trimmed around the edges to keep the rounded-corner shape of the info box and I exported all info boxes as transparent PNGs for use within FCP.

  • And the timeline “pole” that would rise and fall from the bottom timeline bar connecting to the info boxes.

After I shot the HD footage of campus for the video portions, I brought it all together in FCP. Then it became a simple video editing project within FCP.

First I created a video opening and video segments for each individual college that would have it’s own “break out” portion. Then I recreated the Timeline look for the opening by using the elements created in Photoshop.

For the movement of the elements I utilized the “Motion Parameters” and keyframes within FCP. The fact boxes folding in and out upon themselves was achieved by key-framing the upper and lower right corners within the Distort section. And the pole ascending and descending was a basic "Center" motion path key-framing.

The transitions for breakouts of the various college were enhanced by creating a text layer of a keyword (or words) connecting the Timeline fact to the breakout college’s title bar. These text layers were then motion key-framed across the screen from the fact box into the title bar using a “Center” keyframe (and “Scale” was also key-framed if necessary to make the word fit). I added a “Scale” key-framing to the text layer to make the word(s) appear to move closer and then farther away as they travelled. And to achieve the glow as the text moved across the screen, I also incorporated the “Dazzle” filter that was key-framed to go from 0% mix to 100%, and then back to 0%.

If you notice during the breakout segments, the pole connects to the timeline at approximately the current time on the calendar. I would love to say that this was a forethought. But alas, it was a happy accident.

If you have any other questions, or if my convoluted explanation simply caused confusion, please feel free to contact me at dsuffrid at kennesaw.edu. Cheers.

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Bee Docs on Twitter

Friday, May 15, 2009

We have found that Twitter is a great tool to see what people are saying about Bee Docs Timeline and timeline charting in general. We have also been having fun leaving some tweets of our own.

Elise Hunt (@elisekarolina), our Community Development Lead, has been using her Twitter feed to feature outstanding projects that our customers have created using Bee Docs Timeline.

For example, Elise recently featured this beautiful graduation video from Dale Suffridge of Kennesaw State University.

Still image of Kennesaw State University graduation video

My own Twitter feed can be found at @AdamBehringer. I sometimes tweet about what I am developing, sometimes random stuff... I am trying to limit the blog on our website to official announcements so the Twitter feed is a more casual way for me to keep in touch.

Please add us to your follow list if you are so inclined and be sure to send us examples of your best timeline projects so that we can feature your work too!

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