Using Pro Tools for sound design?  Here’s a great behind the scenes look at Monsters Inc

We’ve got another fantastic behind the scenes video from Michael Coleman at SoundWorks Collection, and this time it’s an in-depth look at the sound design for Pixar’s return to the Monsters, Inc. universe, Monsters University. If you’ve never thought about what goes into creating sound for an animation, there is a terrific breakdown of a scene from the film. Click through to check it out:

Source: Watch a Complete Sound Design Breakdown for a Scene from Pixar’s ‘Monsters University’


Interested in knowing more about Sound Design using Pro Tools or other software such as Adobe Audition?   Why not come and see us in 2.32 or contact us here.

Manage your Media – Where did I put that file?

You’re in the middle of a project when you realise you really need that file.  You know, the original one.  I think it was a JPEG. No, a PNG.  Maybe it was called Untitled1.  Or Untitled_1.

It happens so easily. You have thousands of photographs from various different memory cards all called something like IMG_0000098.

Maybe you have a ton of exported video clips all called something like or perhaps you forget to create a new folder as you exported a 5 minute image sequence all over your desktop.  Sound familiar?

Here at Creative Skills we see lots of students contending not only with the assignment but also with the task of finding the right files when the pressure is on.  Organising your media assets is essential to help you complete your projects without the stress of trying to find that one file you need that may or not be a jpeg or png and called untitled1

Thankfully there are various applications and tools out there to help you do this.  Here are just a few things you can do to help yourself get organised:


  • Use some of the basic organisational tools such as Finder and Windows Explorer that are part of your Mac or PC operating system. These allow you to sort your files in a number of different ways as well as use advanced features such as tagging, smart folders, and indexing.  For Macs see a range of advice here  or if you are a PC user take a look here.


  • Use a free Media Management apps such as iTunes or Adobe Bridge.  These are more tailored to the types of files you will be using for your projects such as video, images and sound files and have more advanced functions i.e. Bridge allows you to batch rename your files and see metadata recorded with your images.


  • Often the creative software you use to create your projects has built-in tools to help you manage your media.  For example, Lightroom works in the same way as iTunes to create a catalogue of your images regardless of their physical location on your drives.  You can also add keywords and geotagging and use collections to allow the same images to be accessed easily across different projects.  Working with video?  In Avid Media Composer, try using the Media Tool, Consolidate and Transcode functions as well as its vast metadata capability.  Premiere Pro has its own Metadata workspace while its accompanying program Prelude allows batch-renaming, backups and comments similar to Avid.








Job in Film Production anyone?

Here you will find a wide range of international film vacancies with details of experience and skills required for each role.

Many of these roles ask for a knowledge of Avid, Premiere Pro and other related software. Need a refresher? Need to enhance your skills? Why not book a tutorial with Creative Skills. It’s as simple as emailing us here.

Flash – FAQ & Tutorials

It’s been a busy week with lots of interest in Flash.  Below are a few links and tutorials that cover some of the most frequently-asked questions we receive about Flash.

Importing Illustrator and Photoshop files into Flash

Using Guides & Rulers to organise your layout

Creating Rollovers and Hit areas for your buttons


How do I turn one of my graphics into a Button?

Select the graphic on the Stage and press F8 or go to Modify > Convert to Symbol.  Choose Button from the drop-down and give it a name starting with “btn_”

Select the button again and in the Properties tab give it an instance name as well.  This is important for coding later (see below).


Where do I write the action script code?

To bring up the Actions panel go to Window > Actions.  Once active you can then drag the panel’s tab into the sidebar to dock it for easy access.


What code do I need to link my button to a  specific frame in my timeline?

First, select the button on the stage.  While you are learning Flash use the Code Snippets tab in the actions panel to help you.  When you select this it brings up a list of categories.  Choose Actionscript 3.0 > Timeline Navigation > Click to go to Frame and Stop.  The code should look something like this:

mybutton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, fl_ClickToGoToAndStopAtFrame_4);

function fl_ClickToGoToAndStopAtFrame_4(event:MouseEvent):void

Replace the “5” in the last bracket with the frame number you want your button to link to.



My button isn’t working – what’s wrong?

This could be for several reasons.  Try the following troubleshooting tips:

Wrong/Missing Instance Name – Check the ‘instance name’ of your button.  Because you can re-use the same button several times in a Flash project, you have to give each button an instance.

Select your button on the stage and then go to the properties tab top right – replace the <instance name> with something appropriate.  Re-enter your action script code for that button so that it picks up this new information.

Pointing to wrong frame –  If you want your button to link to a specific point in your timeline check that the correct frame is written in the brackets in the action script.

When you create button code from the Code Snippets it auto defaults to frame 5 so you may need to change this.  e.g. to move to frame 8 and stop would be:   gotoAndStop (8)

If you are linking to a label you have created you will need to write the name of the label in speech marks instead of a frame number e.g. gotoAndStop (“off”)

My Movie Clip won’t play!!

MovieClips have wrong/no instance name – If you want the button to link to a movie clip you need to tell Flash which movie clip.  Your movie clips should be called something like mc_data1.

Like your buttons you also need to give each movie clip an instance name. Select your movie clip and in the properties create an appropriate instance name.

It is this instance name which we need to use in the Actionscript code not the mc_ title.

e.g.  to play frame 8 of a movie clip entitled mc_data1 and with an instance name of data1 the code should look like this:

mybutton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, fl_ClickToGoToAndPlayFrame_8);

function fl_ClickToGoToAndPlayFrame_8(event:MouseEvent):void


MovieClip has not been added to the Stage – Your button won’t play a movie clip unless you have actually added it to the stage.

Select the same layer as the button you will use to play the movie clip. Go to your Library and left-click and drag your movie clip to the stage. It will appear as a small circle with a cross-hair in it.

Double-clicking on this small circle takes you inside your movie clip timeline but shows the rest of your stage in the background (very handy for data overlays!)





Using masks to clean up green screen in Premiere Pro CC.

Whatever happened to garbage mattes in Premiere Pro?  For many like myself this question has kept us awake at night…  If you’ve watched any online tutorials about green screen keying in Premiere Pro you will probably have come across garbage mattes and how they can be used to remove unwanted areas at the edges of your footage. However, since the latest CC updates these garbage mattes have been..well..garbaged.  So what to do? Here’s the new (and much better) solution.  Enjoy.