Smashworks Introduces Newest Tool: Long Shadows

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Our latest tool allows users the ability to choose any font they like and create fully custom, animated titles in minutes versus hours.

Take your titles to the next level - Long Shadows makes it simple and easy to transform your opening credits, title sequences, and more. Fully customizable, you’ll be able to adjust box size, shadow look and feel, and use any font. Flat shadows, text stroke, letter spacing and more can all be adjusted to the specifics needs of your next project.

Quick Facts:

  • Use ANY Font

  • Drag & Drop

  • Customize Font, Style, Color & Animation

  • Fast Rendering

  • 4K Ready

  • Great for Icons

  • No Plugins Required

Technical Requirements:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro 2017+

  • At least a trial version of After Effects installed.
    (Does not need to be active or running.)

What’s Included:

  • Quick Start Guide

  • Video Tutorial

  • Any Font Version 4k & HD (CC 2019+)

  • Google Font Version 4k & HD

  • 10 Google Fonts

Check it out HERE!

Why Smashworks is the Best Tool for Teachers to Add to Their Arsenal

Staying current is half the battle for being a creative teacher - here’s how to do it

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The young creatives of today have grown up with the Internet, and its countless resources, as an ever-present entity in their lives. Need a fact? Google it. Want to meet someone? Find them on social media. Want to learn a skill? YouTube it.

It’s this last example that can prove challenging for educators across the creative spectrum. With so much knowledge at their fingertips, how do you dispel the myth that students in creative fields don’t need a formal education, because they can just learn their trade on YouTube?

One way is to provide them with the latest, and easiest to use creative tools. Enter: Smashworks. Created by a young team of creatives themselves, Smashworks was born out of the necessity to streamline creation, and to share the ability with fellow creatives.

We create tools that keep production quality high, while minimizing time spent staring at a screen. Hand Painted, our inaugural product, was born out of thousands of hours of development, and creates visually pleasing, elevated aesthetics. Drag and drop, customize, choose an animation and you’re done. No plugins required. Take both your video titles and elements to the next level.

If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. And while it’s true that Smashworks can save you hundreds of hours of work, while keeping quality high, it can’t replace the imagination or creativity that it takes to be a creative. Adding our tools to your curriculum will enhance your abilities to connect with your students, and encourage their fledgling creative spirit.

Check out Hand Painted, and our other tools, here.


Our Top 5 Adobe Premiere Pro Hacks That Save Time

Tips and tricks to maximize your time and creativity.

Time to get more done. Photo: Carl Heyerdahl/Unsplash

Time to get more done. Photo: Carl Heyerdahl/Unsplash

There are certain “best practices” that make creating and editing a video project as streamlined as possible, but if you’re just getting started out, you may not know what those practices are yet.

At Smashworks, our team has been doing this sort of work for a while, and along the way, we’ve identified some key habits that take some of the pressure off creating.

Here are our tips and tricks:

1. Do the lead work to a shoot.

This is probably one of the most important things you can do to prevent headaches and confusion for not only yourself, but any sort of team you’re working with. By lead work, we mean pre-visualize your shoots. Create a storyboard, a shot list, and a schedule. Plan out your edit so you’re not scrambling on shoot day to put the pieces together.

2. Use pre-built assets whenever possible.

For our team, that means using the Smashworks tools we’ve created to significantly cut down on work time. Using pre-built assets will save you hours of work time, and energy that could be put toward conceptualizing another project, promoting your current work, or working on that passion project you’ve been daydreaming about.

3. Edit to music.

If you’ve got a song (or songs) in mind for your project, edit your footage to them, rather than putting all your footage together beforehand and trying to pair it with a song later. It’s all about working smart, not hard.

4. Duplicate! Duplicate! Duplicate!

Work non-destructively. Duplicating adds close to no additional file size and will only benefit your workflow. Each time you want to try something new with your edit, or make an alternate version, duplicate your sequence and save it as another version. Ex: Edit 01, Edit 02, Edit 03.

This makes it much easier to experiment and come up with creative alternatives, without risking losing your original cut.

5. Edit in phases.

Tackling your projects in parts, or phases, will make it more manageable and help increase productivity. An example of this is going through and color/clip highlights in a raw footage sequence, then copy them into a dedicated 'highlights' sequence. From there, you only have to dig through your best footage as you drag the highlights into your final sequences where you handle all the editing. Labeling your footage different colors, depending on the likelihood of using the shot, is even better. This is a huge time saver and makes projects a lot easier to digest.


The Work/Life Balance: How Much Time do Creatives Really Spend Working?

We all know the millennial generation is being overworked – the question is, what can we do about it?

We all know the grind of a creative career - how do we make it more manageable? Photo: Marvin Meyer/Unsplash

We all know the grind of a creative career - how do we make it more manageable? Photo: Marvin Meyer/Unsplash

According to recent studies, the traditional 9-5 is quickly being ousted as the go-to format for work. In 2015, it was estimated that nearly one-third of all U.S. workers had participated in some type of freelance or temporary project. With more millennials entering the work force (as well as Gen Zers), it’s no surprise that work/life balance is shifting. Our generation is known for, thanks to the Internet, having the ability to work remotely, setting our own hours, and setting A LOT of those hours. We work way more than the generations before us. We’re overworked, and burnout is high. All evidence points to needing a solution, but what is it?

As the old adage goes, ‘Work smarter, not harder.’ We need to take matters into our own hands, and find tools that help us work smarter, not harder.

For creatives, one fix is finding assets and programs that assist in the time-consuming nature of our work. Products like Smashworks, which provides pre-built elements for video editors, and is a template that integrates right into Adobe Premiere Pro, cut down significantly on time spent editing.

Another fix is to be mindful of your time, and just how valuable it is. Learning the art of saying “no”, and being cognizant of your time (and others’) is a huge factor in work/ life balance. When you can effectively identify how long a project will take you, and budget your time accordingly, things will start to fall into place.

A third fix: cut down on comparison time. This often stems from social media use, which in and of itself is a time waster; when you’re using platforms to compare your work to other creatives, instead of focusing on your own, it can create ripple effects that could have a negative influence on your productivity levels.

Using technology to our advantage, instead of letting it dictate our lives, is the way of the future. It’s time to take time back into our hands.  

Top 4 Tools for Creatives

The essentials that every creative needs in their toolbox.

Every creative knows what it feels like to be up against a deadline. To feel like you’ve got so much work ahead of you, and so little time. After all, when you set your own schedule, sometimes things can get a little … blurred.

To combat deadlines, procrastination, and all of the other elements that make up a creative career, we stock our proverbial toolbox with these five tools. Below are our go-to resources for getting a job done fast, and done well.

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Film Convert

Film Convert is a creative’s one-stop shop for color needs. It’s an Adobe Premiere plug-in that provides users with presets, depending on their camera, that automatically apply film looks. If you’re looking to add film color and grain to your video, Film Convert makes it easy to get beautiful looks, and cuts down on the manual process of color grading your project. Achieve quality results, even on the tightest deadline.

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Lens Distortions

Lens Distortions sells a variety of products, including sound effects, for photographers, filmmakers, and visual artists. It’s got top-tier audio libraries for layering your sound design, and features audio sweeteners as well. Lens Distortions also provides audio packs for sound effects, helping to enhance your storyline.

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Artlist 

Picking the perfect soundtrack for your next project can be a bit of a daunting task – with all of the copyright rules and regulations that apply, finding a song that speaks to what you’re creating, as well as being free of royalties, can be a time-consuming search. That’s where Artlist comes in. It’s a stock music hub that features all kinds of quality, royalty-free music. Two of the main benefits of art-list is that they have an affordable yearly subscription model, and are always adding new music to their selection, keeping things fresh.  The next time you’re looking for the perfect addition to your project, make sure to stop at Artlist first.

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Smashworks

Developing tools that cut down on work time while increasing quality is the dricing force behind Smashworks. With each tool we develop, we hope to provide a solution to a problem most editors and creatives and editors are facing. Our inaugural product, Hand Painted, works with any font available, and integrates directly into Adobe Premiere, so you never have to leave the program. Choose from a variety of hand-painted textures, as well as our accompany Element Pack, which includes 50 elements to add visual interest to your next project.