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March 2008 Archives

Final Cut Pro, Avid Adobe all run on Macs, and there is a often overlooked function of the Mac OS that can be very useful. By holding down the Control key while you use the scroll wheel of the mouse, you will zoom in on whatever is on screen. By simply scrolling back the other way while holding down the control key, you will zoom out. This is very helpful when attempting to view an online video a little larger than it has been displayed on a particular webpage. Often going to the only other option of full screen, will cause too much distortion. It is also very helpful for reading small print. Within an editing application the Control/Scroll function can be easier for quick zoom in and outs that Command + or -. I  use this function all the time.


In your Mac System Preferences under Mouse & Keyboard is where you find the controls for this function. The Control key is the default for this function, but you can change it if you prefer. By clicking the Options button it will allow you to choose how the screen image moves when zoomed in. I recommend the "Only when pointer reaches an edge" option. This option will cause the screen not to move around every time you move the mouse. It will only move when it needs to.
Knowing when to use Soundtrack Pro vs when to bring a sound effect directly into Final Cut Pro is an aquired skill. In most cases if you are only bringing in one to three effects,. it is easier to just bring the sound effect right into Final Cut. An great way to accomplish this is to set your Spotlight to just search for music, preview the different options in Finder, and then drag the desired effect right into Final Cut. You can drag the effect directly form Finder into your Sequence, but if you may want to bring it into the File Browser first. Soundtrack Pro is great for assembling multi track audio, but if you only need one asset from Soundtrack Pro, you may want to consider this work flow.


Adding Audio to your DVD Studio Pro Slideshows is both easy and versitile. You can add audio to the overall slideshow by dragging your audio file or files into the audio well in the Slideshow editor, or the Audio list in the Inspector. You can add multiple audio files to the same slideshow, but they have to be the smae format. If you are using the "Fit to Audio" parameter for slideshow duration, DVD Studio Pro will readjust the individual slide duration every time you add another audio file. In the inspector you can rearrange the order in which the individual audio files will play.


The Final Cu Pro Smooth Cam Filter is a very powerful tool, but to use it efficiently you need to follow a clip management procedure. When you analyize a clip you are actually analyzing the entire master clip. Since the analyization process can be rather time consuming, it is a good idea to export the portion of the master clip that you need to apply the smooth cam filter to, and then import the clip into your project. Now when you apply the smooth cam filter, you will only be applying it to the footage you intend to.

The process is to load the master clip into the viewer, set your in and out points, then export a Quicktime movie with the current settings, and you will have a clip that can be analyized much quicker.

When adding multiple effects with Avid Xpress or Media Composer it is important to understand how nesting works.  It is a common mistake to auto-nest effects in a backwards fashion. Many Avid novice's use the alt-key when stacking multiple effects on top of each other.  Using this method may produce undesirable results.

Remember, with Avid, any effect placed on a layer will affect all the layers below it.  Therefore, it is important to nest items in the correct order to avoid potential problems.  Here is a typical problem many Avid users encounter:

Creating a black and white picture-in-picture effect often produces these results.  What if you only want the pip to be black-and-white without affecting the background layer?

















Here are the steps to produce a black and white picture in picture effect without affecting the background layer.

GeniusDV has been awarded Google's Search Enterprise Superstar Award.  This award has been given to GeniusDV for creative uses of Google's search engine appliance. Google Superstar Award Winners receive a physical award made out of Legos, along with other Google goodies.

How does this award help our customers?

Our mission will be to help video production and service companies position themselves at the top of Google's search engine rankings for specific keywords within the video production industry. 

Here's the good news!  Other than your physical knowledge and hard work, there is little or no cost in achieving high quality rankings within Google's search engine.  Don't be scammed by companies charging hefty amounts of money to promote your site to #1. 

To give you an idea of what drives GeniusDV:  On an average weekday we receive over 2700 unique visitors.  That's roughly 72,000 unique visitors a month.  Those visitors type in over 43,000 different keywords to find the GeniusDV website. 




Bottom line, we'd like to offer a service to share how we did this with our customers.  Stay tuned for upcoming workshops and services to learn our search engine secrets.

If you are using the a Mighty Mouse on your Mac then make sure you unleash the power of the 4th button, at least make it perform how you want it to. I was trying to find a fast way to expose my desktop without closing down or minimizing all my open windows. The fastest way to do this is to utilize the power of your mouse. All you need to do is go to your settings and select mouse and keyboard. Select the mouse tab and choose Expose-keyboard for your side mouse buttons. Both buttons must be depressed together (basically squeezing the mouse) to actuate this command This will push all of your windows out of the way and expose your desktop! This may seem very simple but it is very powerful and saves a lot of time! For more information on configuring the Mighty Mouse
If you have a license of Telestream's Episode and you are using Compressor 3 you can have access to the Epsiode encoding templates right from within Compressor.  Here's how to install the Episode Plug-in for Compressor to get access to the templates.


On the install disk image for Episode there's a folder called Plug-ins. 

Media Composer Box.jpgAvid Technology announces today that it is merging Avid Xpress Pro with Media Composer.  Existing Avid Xpress owners will be able to upgrade to Media Composer.  Avid Xpress Pro will still be available until the end of the quarter, with continued support until March 2013.  This represents Avid Technology's "New Thinking" for 2008.

Existing Avid Xpress customers will have the opportunity to upgrade for $495.00. 

Avid is also dropping the price of Media Composer to $2495.00 US MSRP.

Media Composer contains some key enhancments over Avid Xpress that many users will now be able to appreciate.



When an asset is imported into DVD Studio Pro without chapter markers, there is an easier way to add them to a Track, than adding each one individually, and then naming it in the inspector. You can import a Marker List in DVD Studio Pro, that is simply a text file. It is much easier to type in all of the specific timecodes where each marker is to be placed and the title of the marker, than it is to go back and forth within the DVD Studio Pro interface.

To import a marker list you simply right click on the area above the timeline where markers appear, choose Import Marker List, and then navigate to where you stored the text file. Once you click Import after selecting the text file that is your Marker List, the markers will automatically place themselves into the Track. One thing to be careful of is that DVD Studio Pro will bump the markers to the next GOP structure (GOP standing for group of pictures. Typically a GOP structure is between 3 and 9 frames) , and that may or may not be acceptable. If the marker is in a position that is unacceptable you can move it to the beginning of the GOP structure. If neither the beginning nor end of the GOP structure will work. . . . you have a problem. To get markers to appear exactly where you want them, you will need to embed them into your asset.


Inserting a clip from one position to another within a sequence usually involves having to delete a clip and close a gap. By dragging a clip into the Insert pop up menu in the Canvas you can insert the clip to the playhead position, but it leaves the original clip, and then you have to delete it and close the gap. By performing a swap edit you insert the clip at the playhead and shift all clips form the playhead towards the original clip position, into the space the original clip was in. Another way to look at a Swap Edit is to think of it as a rearrange edit.

To perform a Swap Edit you need to left/control click and drag the clip you are moving towards the position you are going to be inserting it into, then press the option key to initialize the swap function. When you have the clip in the correct position you need to release the mouse before the option key. It is very important that you move the clip from it's original position before you depress the option key, otherwise you will be inserting the original clip into the edit point. The original clip will still be in it's original position as well, and the entire sequence from that point will have shifted down the length of the clip, so be careful.


If you are a Final Cut Pro or Avid user, you may be wondering about which software provides the best video encoding options.  If you are serious about encoding videos for the web, you'll want to invest in some video compression software.  Some of the more popular video encoders include: Apple Compressor, Sorenson Squeeze, Episode, and Procoder.

Derrick Freeman, from GeniusDV provides an exlcusive interview with Web Video Universe on how the pros and cons of these compression products.

Here is a cool trick to avoid having to re-render certain effects within Final Cut Pro. 

Each time you render an effect within Final Cut Pro a physical render file is created on one of your hard-drives.  Unless you've changed your render-files scratch disk, the default location would be:

Mac HD / Users / Username / Documents / Final Cut Pro Documents / Render Files / Name of Project 


You can take the physical rendered file and re-import it back into your timeline or Browser window.  This is basically the same concept of exporting a flattened movie and re-importing back into Final Cut Pro.


*One word of warning:

I recommend that you copy the render file to your capture scratch folder before importing it into your timeline or browser window to avoid media management issues.
Old habits die hard, so don't get into the habit of targeting a button to a track, and then having to assign the track to end jump back to the menu the button is on in DVD Studio Pro. If you drag your movie to a track, and then target the button to the track you placed the movie into, the track has not received a command for what to do when it is finished playing. You are responsible for assigning the end jump of the track. Usually you set the track to end jump back to the menu the button that started it came from, but if you forget to do so when the track reaches the end it will just stick on the last frame of video, and until you press the menu button nothing will happen.

This can be avoided by simply creating a button and dragging the movie form the Assets over the button and select the "Create Track, Connect to Track" from the pop up menu. This eliminates many possible mistakes, like accidentally targeting the wrong track, forgetting to target any track, or not setting an end jump. Using this technique targets the Track, and sets the end jump. It is certainly the most efficient way to develop menus.
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This page is an archive of entries from March 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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