Post Production

The Desktop Video Revolution – Part 1

How desktop technology revolutionised video production

The video production industry has radically changed over the past 20 years, a period of time that can be called “the desktop video revolution”.  As desktop computers evolved to become faster and cheaper, they gradually displaced the traditionally expensive “black boxes” that had governed video productions over the previous decades.

This 3-part video presentation spans more than 16 years, which makes it something of an epic when compared to a normal After Effects tutorial!


In part 1, I introduce the concept of the desktop video revolution, and draw comparisons with the desktop publishing revolution of the 1980s.

In part 2, I deconstruct the production process used on the very first video project I worked on as a professional, and talk about the technology used at every stage of production.  This is a snapshot of the latest and greatest production techniques available at the start of 1997.

In part 3, I deconstruct a TVC made in early 2013 – exactly 16 years after the production in part 2 – and compare the differences between the two projects.

In both cases we’re looking at “high end” TV commercials, made to the highest technical standards available at the time.  However as desktop technology evolved over the period of time between the two productions, the workflows used are significantly different, and represent a “revolution” in video production.

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Return to my ProVideo Coalition channel for more videos…

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Chris was born a geek, and was lucky enough to own a Commodore 64 at a time when the number of students at his primary school who owned a computer could be counted on one…