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Toronto, Ontario


The portfolio of Adam Schoales, Toronto based video editor, geek, and tea drinker.


Adam Schoales : : Blog

Thoughts, process, and other ramblings.


Filtering by Category: Tutorial

Ripping Blurays on the Mac

Adam Schoales

There's a myriad of reasons for wanting to backup your bluray discs to your computer. For me it's so I can watch the films, in HD, with audio commentaries during my commute to work (iTunes Extras stream commentary tracks so if you're offline there's no way to listen, which to me is very stupid and Apple should just include the commentary as a secondary audio track). For others, it's to get rid of that stack of physical media their partner keeps complaining about (though, then it's not really a backup). While the legality of this process is perhaps dubious depending on where you live, the general consensus (here in Canada, anyway) is if you're backing up for personal use it's fine, just keep those rips off Pirate Bay.

This article is mostly for my own purposes, because every time I have to set up a new computer with the ability to rip bluray discs I have to search the web and go through about four different articles to piece all the information together, so I wanted to put it down all in one place to save myself some clicks. Most of the information is adapted from this excellent article by Jason Snell at his site Six Colors, but I've condensed it down to the steps I use, as well as filled in any gaps I noticed in the steps.

1. Download and install Handbrake

2. Download and install MakeMKV. Once installed, enter license key (it's free while in Beta). To quickly access the license key you can use this handy Tiny URL I built:

3. Install Homebrew if you haven't yet (you probably haven't). It's as simple as typing this into Terminal and letting it run its course (you may need to type your admin password a couple times):

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

4. With Homebrew installed, install DeCSS. Simply type the following command into Terminal (again, you may need to type your admin password a couple times):

brew install libdvdcss

5. Finally, with all the tools installed, run the following Terminal commands so that Handbrake and MakeMKV can talk to each other (did I mention admin passwords?):

mkdir -p ~/lib

ln -s /Applications/ ~/lib/libaacs.dylib

ln -s /Applications/ ~/lib/libbdplus.dylib

If you've done all the steps correctly you should be able to launch Handbrake, point it to the Bluray disc (point to the disc itself, don't open and point to the contents or it won't be able to read the disc) and backup your discs to your hearts content.

A quick note, while MakeMKV is free during beta, the license key expires every few weeks. If you go to rip a disc and suddenly Handbrake is telling you a valid source can’t be found chances are this is what happened. Boot up MakeMKV and it’ll let you know if your key has expired, and if it has head to and grab the latest key.

Editing and Removing Text Styles in Final Cut Pro and Motion

Adam Schoales

Over the last year I've been teaching myself to use Apple's incredibly powerful (and even more underrated) motion graphics tool Motion, and as a result found myself using it more and more. It's tight integration with Final Cut is just one of the many things I love about it, but perhaps the thing I'm using it most for is designing and animating text, or more specifically 3D text. 

However after about a year of playing with Motion and designing titles for various clients I’ve noticed that my “Style” dropdown had become cluttered. Really cluttered. I felt it was time to clean it up a bit, but for some reason there didn’t seem to be a way to delete these from within the apps themselves.

Motion Style Dropdown.jpg

Like any good editor I did a quick search through the manual, but found nothing. Then I tried Google, but nothing came up. So I headed over to one of the most valuable resources I know, the Final Cut Pro X Editors group on Facebook. Within a few minutes I had my answer. In fact, it pointed me to an incredibly helpful article that Larry Jordan (the man, the legend) had written back in 2015 (thanks for nothing, Google).

I had figured it involved digging into my library files, but finding the right location was tricky. Thankfully the article walked me though the exact path to follow. To save you some time, from the Finder hit CMD+SHIFT+G which will bring up the “Go To Folder” dialogue. From there simply type (or copy and paste)

~/Library/Application Support/Motion/Library/Text Styles

In this folder you’ll find all the text styles you’ve saved over the years: a “.molo” file and 2 .png previews. 

However if you’re like me and want to keep things a little more organized you can actually create subfolders in here. This is how the folks over at Movie Pop were able to put all their text styles in their own call-out. This is a great way to store styles specific to certain clients, or certain styles of projects (like epic trailer titles).

It should be noted, this will not contain any of the default styles that ship with Motion. It is possible to remove those by digging into the actual package contents of Final Cut Pro and Motion, if you want to, but do so at your own risk! It’s never wise to mess with default settings in applications.

It’d be great if in future versions of Motion (or Final Cut) the ability to re-order/edit/delete these title styles was built into the application itself, but it’s nice to know that it’s pretty easy to do manually yourself.

Got A Backup Plan?

Adam Schoales

It happens to the best of us. The hot new OS update comes out and we can’t wait to try it. We download it and, despite our better judgement, install it without first backing up our computer. Upon completion you discover a bunch of your important apps aren’t compatible, and your stuck with a fancy new OS but a bunch of broken apps. Or worse, the install goes hay-wire and you’ve bricked your computer. If only you had backed up first! 

If you're not backing up your computer, simply put, you need to be. I'm going to walk you through the process. Don't worry, it's much easier than you think!!

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Packaging with FCP X or How to Stripe Audio

Adam Schoales

Recently I had to do the final packaging of a show that we cut using Final Cut Pro X, or more specifically add our finished, mixed, and mastered audio files to a colour graded master video file. I was pretty well versed in this process using Final Cut Pro 7 back in the day, but had never actually had the occasion to do it with Final Cut Pro X. The problem I was having was that each audio file was supposed to correspond to a separate audio channel, which in the old days corresponded to the tracks in your NLE. But, as we all know, Final Cut Pro X has no tracks. So what are we to do?

Read on to discover how we can re-stripe our audio with Final Cut Pro X and the magic of Roles.

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Shot Notes X

Adam Schoales

I was recently contacted by a director friend of mine to help him help with an upcoming commercial shoot. He cuts his commercials in Final Cut Pro X, and knew that I also cut in FCP X and he wanted to try a different approach this time around. He had heard it was possible to do on set logging and match it up with your Final Cut Library using some third-party software and wanted to try it on this upcoming shoot as an experiment. I loved the idea and agreed.

Click through to read how Shot Notes X allowed me to save literally hours that would have been spent logging footage after shooting had wrapped.

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