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November 2008 Archives

Getting clips and or images in the correct order before bringing them into your sequence can be easily achieved using the File Browser in Final Cut Pro. There are a couple of important steps to follow, but if the process is followed correctly the result is efficiency. 
Being able to easily find media files, like Quicktime movies or photos, is an important step in an effective Final Cut Pro editing workflow. Adding data (metadata) that describes a file will allow the Spotlight feature to find the file, even if you don't remember what you named it or where you stored it. The Spotlight is a great tool to quickly find the file you need.


Being able to output with Apple Compressor, and upload in one step is a very useful function. I am guilty of not knowing what Remote meant when I would create a destination for my Compressor projects. Recently I got caught needing to compress a HD Quicktime movie to Mpeg4, and get it loaded up to the internet. The issue was I had to leave for the airport 10 minutes ago. With Compressor I was able to upload it to my iDisk. I started the compression with the iDisc as the destination, and left for the airport. While I was waiting to board my plane I hopped on the internet, downloaded the mpeg4 movie off of my iDisc, put it into an iWeb page, and published it to the web. Being able to output to my iDisk really saved me.


A great workflow is to ingest media as a whole i.e. an entire tape, and the export subclips to create stand alone media. Instead of beating up your tape deck, ingest the entire tape, and use subclips in Final Cut Pro to create self contained media.


avid_keyboard.jpgHead's up for those who upgraded from Avid Xpress Pro to Media Composer.  If you are lucky enough to own one of those fancy Avid Xpress Pro keyboards with the colorful keys, you may notice that some of the keys don't translate perfectly to the Media Composer default keyboard layout.

media_composer_keys.gifFortunately, a company called 'logickeyboard', provides an upgrade path by providing a whole new set of  keycaps that you can simply pop out and replace. Replacing the keycaps is much cheaper than purchasing a new keyboard.



At GeniusDV we take pride when we find students who are using contemporary workflows that utilize both technology and forward thinking. Tom Whaley is a perfect example of that type of student. Tom has been in the industry for almost 40 years, and has seen many changes. Tom's willingness to adapt has kept him current and cutting edge.

previous_next_edit_buttons.gifIf you are a seasoned video editor, one of the first keyboard shortcuts that you'll look for is the 'Go to Previous Edit', and 'Go to Next Edit'.  In Avid Media Composer and Avid Xpress it's a bit confusing, because the these shortcuts buttons don't seem to function as specified. 


If you're using the standard default settings, these keys are mapped to the 'A' and 'S' keys on the keyboard.

Clicking on either of these buttons also sends the system into 'trim mode'.  This can be a bit confusing at first.  Yes, it's true the playhead indicator goes to the 'next/previous edit' but you'll constantly find yourself having to exit 'trim mode'.

trim_mode.gifFortunately, there is a work around.  The fix is to remap the 'Go to Previous Edit' and 'Go to Next Edit' buttons with the 'Fast Foward/Rewind Buttons'.

Navigate to the 'Tools Menu > Command Palette' and look for the 'Rewind and Fast Foward' buttons. Assign the 'Rewind and Fast Forward' buttons to the  'A' and 'S' keys.  If you're unfamiliar with how to remap your keyboard, visit the Avid Media Composer Settings tutorial.

fast_foward_rewind_keys.gifNext, you'll need to adjust one additional setting to configure how the 'Rewind and Fast Forward buttons' function.  Find the Avid Project window and click on the Settings tab.  Within the Avid project settings, double click on the 'composer settings'.

composer_settings_fast_rewind.gifClick on the FF/REW tab.  Check the 'Stop and Head Frames', and 'Ignore Track Selectors'.




 That's it.  The 'A' and 'S' keys should now function as you would expect them to.







canon_eos_5d_mkii_a.gifThe video production industry is about to take another huge shift in terms of how we shoot video.

Take a look at the new Canon EOS 5D MK II camera.  It's much more than a high end still camera.  It has the ability to shoot full 1080i HD video.

Take a look at a sample of this camera's high deffination video in action from from director Michael Reichman.  He was able to test the camera for a day and has some great information on the Canon EOS 5D MK II high deffination capability.


Instead of opening a sequence in the time line if you are attempting to use a portion of it in another sequence, you can open a sequence in the viewer. From the File Browser you can drag it to the viewer or option double click on a sequence, and it will open in the viewer. Any portion of the sequence that you bring in to another sequence will come in as a nest, so it makes more sense to use this function if you are looking to select a composition from a sequence. Otherwise it is a better idea to just open the a sequence in the timeline and either copy and paste or do a match frame.

media_composer_software_box.jpgIt's well worth mentioning that the latest version of Avid Technology's Media Composer software now supports real-time processing based on CPU and GPU resources.  This is a dramatic improvement over previous versions in terms of how the software processed effects.  This ehancement has been introduced in version 3.05.

GPU stands for 'Graphics Processing unit', and was introduced by the NVIDIA corporation. By assigning tasks to a GPU, the Media Composer software can now process more effects in real-time.

I ran a quick test using NVIDIA's Quadro 3500 Graphics card with 256 megs of ram. I was able to run 10 layers of real-time without a performance hit.  Of course, this card is classified under NVIDIA's High-End Products. 

avid_timeline.gifThe minimum graphics card to run Avid Media Composer 3.05 is the Quadro FX 560.  Bottom line, a faster graphics card with more video ram will give you an improvement in real-time processing.

For optimal performance, make sure you use the certified NVIDIA drivers for the Avid Media Composer software.

In case you missed it, Avid Xpress has been discontinued, and you can still upgrade to Media Composer from Avid Xpress. It is well worth the upgrade price.  There is a downloadable upgrade, and an upgrade that ships on a DVD.  It is best to order the upgrade that ships with a DVD because you'll also receive an additional suite of components. 

The additional suite of components includes:  Boris Continuum Complete, Sorenson Squeeze, Avid DVD, Avid FX, and Sonicfire Pro. Avid DVD is basically a bundled version of Roxio's DVDit 6 Pro., and Avid FX is equivalent to Boris FX Red 4.3.  No doubt about it, this is an incredible deal.

Without question the best way to produce chapter markers in DVD Studio Pro, is to add them to your project in Final Cut Pro. The number one reason is because you will guarantee they will be where you want them to be.

Using a graphic to indicate which button is highlighted creates a very professional looking menu.  It is also very professional to have the button text animate onto the menu. When creating the genealogical history video for the O'Toole job, it would be quite appropriate to have a shamrock appear next to the active button.

advanced-button-highlight.gifTo do this you simply create an overlay with a shamrock in every position you will want it to appear on your menu. When creating your buttons, you make sure that each button range includes a shamrock. Only the shamrock associated with the active button will be visible.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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