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May 2008 Archives

To often I hear people say the output a movie out of Final Cut Pro, and Burn a DVD using iDVD. The common reason for doing so, is that it is more difficult to burn a DVD out of DVD Studio Pro. I disagree. If you drag directly from the Finder into the open Track in the Graphical view when DVD Studio Pro opens, set the track as the first play, and hit burn, it is a grand total of 3 clicks and seven seconds. DVD Studio Pro can be much more complex, but it can also be very simple.

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It is also important to realize that iDVD only does a single pass encode. DVD Studio Pro does a two pass encode, and will allow you to bring in pre encoded material. This will allow you to use Compressor to do the best quality encode, and then use DVD Studio Pro to author the DVD. It will still be just a three click process to produce a DVD using DVD Studio Pro.

The Extend tool in Final Cut Pro is often overlooked. As you develop your use of the keyboard short cuts in the Final Cut Studio, this is certainly one to remember. For those of you not familiar with the Extend tool it extends or retracts the end of the clip to the play head. After moving the play head to the new desired duration of the clip, as long as the end of the clip is highlighted, you only need to press the E key to bring the duration of the clip in sync with the play head.

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Good media management in Final Cut Pro is not difficult to maintain, but it is not really a function of Final Cut Pro. There will certainly be some people who will have issue with what i am about to write.

Having an organized project folder in the Finder is 50X more important than having everything in the File Browser. I'm actually going to repeat that; Having an organized project folder in the Finder is 50X more important than having everything in the File Browser.

Think of the File Browser and the Finder as one in the same. For those of you who use Motion you know that the Motion Filer Browser is a mirror of the Finder. Final Cut Pro has developed a bad reputation for media management as compared to Avid, but the reality is that it is not that Final Cut Pro doesn't manage media poorly, it really doesn't "manage" it at all.

Whenever you import a file into Final Cut Pro, it knows where it came from, and maintains the link. What happens all too often is that files get reorganized in the Finder after they have been imported into Final Cut, the link is broken, and in many cases the name in the Browser does not match the name in the Finder. Hello NIGHTMARE.

This takes us back to the issue at hand; editors who do not properly prepare a Project Folder before ever launching Final Cut. If you create a template of what your A typical Project Folder will look like, and always start with that, your life will become much easier.

The example to the left is what a list view in the Finder looks like of a decent Project Folder before any files have been added. By creating this Project Folder structure once and saving it with empty folders you will be able to start from it each time you start a project.

By preparing an organized Project Folder, you will keep yourself disciplined not to put files where they don't belong. Whenever you need something for a Final Cut Project You can go straight to the Finder.

Taking a still image and giving it subtle motion is often referred to as the Ken Burns effect. Ken Burns is one of the most famous documentary film makers of all time. When faced with not having any video footage of what he was documenting Ken Burns would move across a still image, creating the illusion of camera motion. This works very well with inanimate objects like a landscape. When using this effect on people it becomes immediately obvious that the individuals are still. Nevertheless it is a classic and often used technique.



When producing a photo montage with Final Cut Pro, the Ken Burns effect is the best way I know to give your production life. This can be a very simple and systematic process. By bringing in all of your photos at once, and getting them rearranged into the desired sequence, you just go thru the images from beginning to end applying the Ken Burns effect to each one.

 

What is AVCHD?, and what exactly is HDD? 

AVCHD is a combination of AVC (Advanced Video Coding) and MPG2.  Some of the newest cameras now support AVCHD which records to a hard drive.  You may see the term HDD, which simply refers to (Hard Disk Drive).

To simplify, this technology records High Defination Video within an MPEG-2 transport stream directly to a hard-drive.  In fact, the Sony HDR SR12 is completely tapless!  It contains a 120 gig hard drive, which is enough storage to record over 20 hours of high defination footage without stopping.  It also has the ability to take 10 megapixel still images.

 

Sony_HDR_SR12.jpgUser's of Final Cut Pro can use the Log and Transfer tool to bring these clips into their editing system.  You must have one an intel based MAC, and you must be running the latest version the Final Cut Studio software.  The conversion process is close to real-time, but it can be automated. 

Also, Final Cut Studio converts the video stream to Pro Res 422 which is approximately 4 times the original size of the file(s) that sit on the camera.  To make sure you have sufficient space on your hard drive before ingesting the media.

Unfortunately, users of Avid Media Composer will have to convert the footage using a third party software product.  I am hopeful Avid will adopt AVCHD technology in their Media Composer product line soon. As a professional alternative,  Media Composer supports P2 media in it's native format.

GeniusDV teaches the AVCHD workflow in it's Final Cut Studio 5 Day training class.

 

ExpressCard16GBLeft_130.jpg SanDisk has decided to get on board with the Sony XDCam and produce media for the very popular new cam. The speed and transfer times are identical to the Sony cards yet this offers up some competition to the Sony card. As of right now these cards are aprox. the same price as the Sony cards but I would assume that is going to change in the near future. The 16Gb card retails for $899.00 while the 8Gb cards is offered at $499.00. The great thing about the EX cards is the transfer rates. You can offload a 16 gb card in less than 3 minutes. That is about 60 minutes of footage transfered to off to your favorite hard drive in less than 3 minutes. You can import these clips directly into Final Cut Pro and edit them instantly! That makes the new Sony Xd cams worth upgrading to! Check out the complete line of SanDisk cards and check out the amazing features of this new media!

With Avid technology's recent annoucement of discontinuing Avid Xpress, users should read the latest Media Composer Upgrade fact about upgrading their software.

Avid is offering a one time upgrade option for Avid Xpress users to upgrade to Media Composer for only $495.00.  List price of Media Composer is $2495.00 so it's deffinately worth the upgrade price.

In case your wondering about the funtionality differences between Avid Xpress and Media Composer, here is a short list of some of the major items:

  • Improved Chroma Keyer using Specta-matte
  • Vector based paint system with keyframing capability
  • Motion Tracking
  • Customizable time warp (variable slow motion) controls
  • 9 camera multicam support
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This page is an archive of entries from May 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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