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October 2010 Archives

ben-lowell.pngBen Lowell completed our 5 day Final Cut Pro class this past summer as part of his career enhancement as a Camera Man and Filmmaker right here in Orlando, Florida.  When asked what he thought about his training here at GeniusDV, his reply was, "it was a well thought out, entertaining method of instruction.  It cut right through the jargon and focused on the execution."

Ben says the instructors at GeniusDV had a perfect mix of knowledge and showmanship and also thought the training location was convenient to a variety of venues; "I even made it to the post office during a lunch break!"  "One sweet deal" is how Ben described the overall value of services compared with the price paid. 

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Ben uses the applications every day at work, and the biggest new thing he learned at training was a logical workflow and better media management.  "I really enjoyed the training and think GeniusDV is one of the few companies out there that stands behind its promises. 

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The technical support and access given to the training staff by former students is truly remarkable.  I'd recommend this training for anyone that is interested in Final Cut Studio."

A great tool that will save you time and headaches in Final Cut Pro is the Ripple tool.  The Ripple Tool is found in the Tool Palette and is also right next to the Roll Tool.  The keyboard shortcut to the Ripple tool is RR. The Ripple Tool allows you to manipulate edit points within the timeline by allowing you to trim the in or the out of a clip forward or back depending on the media limits.  The ripple tool only allows for the edit of one side of the clip at a time, either the in or the out. The ripple tool automatically trims the clip, while closing the gap.  This saves you from having to delete the cut portion and then close the gap.  Ripple does it all in one step.


Check out this short video tutorial on how to create the 'Ken Burns' effect using the Pan and Zoom effect within Avid Media Composer.

You can continue reading for a full text based tutorial on this same concept.....
Hi8_tapes.pngIf you're like me, and you have a lot of HI-8 tapes from the 90's laying around, collecting dust, it's really easy to capture and store that media with Log & Capture in Final Cut Pro. If you are playing the HI-8 tape from a HI-8 camera you will need to run the analog signal through a transcoder of some sort to convert it to a digital signal. Canopus makes a great inexpensive converter. An easy way to accomplish this is by using a Digital8 camera. A Digital8 camera will play the HI-8 tape, and do the conversion automatically. You can also use the same Digital8 camera to convert your digital signal to analog for monitoring.

log_capture.pngOnce you have a digital signal going into your Mac, you can launch Final Cut Pro.  Go to the File menu and click on Log & Capture; you can also use the shortcut CMD+8.  This will open the Capture windowBe sure to note how much free space you have available and how many minutes you have to capture.

sony_pmw_ex.pngWorking with a Sony PMW EX camera, & Final Cut Pro brings about decisions that are based primarily on time and hard drive space. Depending on how much storage you have on your SxS cards, as well as your hard drive space will play into your decision on what way to take your media off of your SxS cards. The amount of time you have will also play a factor. 

Take for example the situation that you have filled one SxS card, you have started filling the second, and you will need the first one cleared to start recording to it again soon. If your Mac is close by, you can eject the full card from the camera, and transfer the BPAV folder from the SxS card to a folder on a hard drive. There are various ways to go about this transfer, but the quickest will be to use a PCI slot on a laptop. By placing the BPAV folder into a folder on your hard drive, you will be able to reformat the card, and use it again. When it comes time to ingest the media, you will be able to point either Log and Transfer (be sure to have the XDCAM EX plugin for Log and Transfer installed), or the Sony XDCAM Transfer at the folder you moved the BPAV folder into. Each BPAV folder should be put into it's own separate folder that is named so you will know the contents.

Another scenario is that you have plenty of SxS cards, and are able to record your entire shoot without having to reformat any SxS cards. In this solution, you can simply point the Log and Transfer, or XDCAM Transfer directly at the SxS card, and ingest from there. Again if you use the PCI slot on a laptop, you will have the fastest results.

Whether you are ingesting from the hard drive or directly off of the SxS card, you have another decision to make. If you bring in all usable material, and spend the time to name each clip, you will be able to duplicate the Quicktime files to use as the backup vs saving the BPAV folder. However if you only ingest your current needs, you will want to use the BPAV folder as the back up. Having a backup of Quicktime files with the same file names as the originals is a very efficient way to operate. 

If you anticipate using the media in another NLE, you may want to keep the raw media, so you can ingest for the specific needs of the system you are using. It is worth pointing out that Avid Media Composer 5.0 would allow you to use the ingested Quicktime media, but previous versions would need either the BPAV folder, or at a minimum the Quicktime media ingested for Final Cut Pro would need to be transcoded.

Check out this short Final Cut Pro tutorial using the Luma Key filter to create a to create a cool transition.

Continue reading for a full text based tutorial on this same concept...
Check out this short Media Composer tutorial using Marquee to animate a text object on a path.

Continue reading for a full text based Marquee tutorial on this same concept.
Check out this short Final Cut Pro tutorial on how to create a cool effect using the Boris title 3D title tool.

Continue reading for a full text transcript of this tutorial.
Thumbnail image for MPEG_Streamclip.gifIn Final Cut Pro if you go to the Log and Transfer to ingest video that was shot Standard Definition on your AVCHD camera, you should prepare for disappointment. 

Log and Transfer does not support the SD recordings, and can not transcode the media. Mpeg Streamclip will do a good job converting the .mpg files to Quicktime. 

After opening Mpeg Streamclip you will open the .mpg file, and then export to whatever Quicktime settings you need to be able to match your Final Cut Pro settings.


Here's a short tutorial on how to create a cool 'type-on' effect using the build in Boris Title 3D plug-in within Final Cut Pro.

You can continue reading for a full text based tutorial on this same effect.....
Learn how to play and edit clips directly from a Media Composer bin without having to load them into the source window.  This can save time if you have to quickly edit a bunch of clips to a sequence.

Continue reading for a full text based transcript of this tutorial....
Here is a quick tutorial on naming clips in Log and Transfer in Final Cut Pro.

Here's a short video tutorial on how to create a slideshow using Avid Media Composer.  You'll learn how to mark in-out points for a bunch of clips all at the same time.

You can view a text based tutorial on this same concept by reading further.....
Here's a short tutorial on how to pre-manage your media within Final Cut Pro.

Continue reading for advanced Media Manager techniques...
You can using the nesting feature in Avid Media Composer to create a picture in picture with two different sides of content.  Check out this short video tutorial on how to do this.

Continue reading if you would like to view a 'text based' version of this same tutorial.
Here is a quick tutorial on how to use the Map Graphics in iMovie for a project in Final Cut Pro.

SketchUp 8 has a new feature - Add Location   
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Here's a short tutorial on how to create a speed ramp effect using Avid Media Composer.  You'll also learn how to slow down the audio using Media Composer's set of audiosuite tools.

Continue reading for a full text based version of a similar tutorial using Avid Xpress with an audiosuite plugin called 'time compression expansion'.

Let's face it, the older we get, the shakier our hands and arms get. If you don't have the luxury of a handheld camera support or stablizer, no worries; just use SmoothCam.

SmoothCam is a filter that intelligently reduces unwanted camera movement from your shots. You can apply the SmoothCam filter directly in the Browser or to clips in the timeline. The SmoothCam filter, like all filters, in Final Cut Pro can be found in both the Effects menu and Effects tab of the Browser. Select the clip in the timeline, then choose Video Filters >Video> SmoothCam.


The zoom function allows you to zoom in and out of a sequence, the viewer, or the canvas. There is more than one way to do this. First of all there is a Zoom slider bar at the bottom of the Timeline; then you have the Zoom Tool found on the tool palette which can be turned on by pressing the Z key to zoom in and out of a sequence. But, I find the easiest zoom function comes from another one of those great keyboard shortcuts, Command plus(+) and Command minus(-). To become an efficient editor adding keyboard commands to your workflow is a must. Getting into the habit of using Command + or - will then free up your Z key to map another function you use time after time, such as, mapping the Open Playhead function to your Z key.


In DVD Studio Pro we often create chapter index's to give the viewer the ability to jump to a specific spot in the video. With a chapter index (also known as scene selection) DVD Studio Pro will jump the the selected point and play the remaining portion of the track from that point. In a demo reel we typically want to give the viewer an opportunity to view all of the various examples of our work, or view one at a time. Since a chapter marker will play from the chapter point to the end of the track, we can't use chapter markers to play the individual examples. Instead we will use stories. Stories act like play lists, and only play the desired chapters.


After placing all of the videos that will be part of your demo into a track, you will place a chapter marker at the beginning of each video within the track. Next right click on the track in the Graphical view, and choose Add, then Story. Once the Story is created, highlight it and duplicate it as many times as you need to, so that there is one story for each video. Each story will have a list of the track markers in the Story Editor, and whatever marker you drag over to the Story Marker side of the Story Editor will play when that Story is activated. By assigning one marker to each story, and targeting each story with a button from the menu, you will be able to play individual video's without having to play the entire track.
tripod.pngToo often the post production workflow is more extensive than it has to be. In many cases this can be avoided. If you have prepared for your project, you may know what shots will need what effects in post.

For example if you were shooting a highway with cars going by, and there was a billboard in the shot. If you were to put video in the billboard from a handheld shot, you would have to adjust the video to move with any motion from the handheld shot, and this can be very labor intensive. The artistry that many shooters can achieve going handheld is not up for debate. If you know that there is an effect, or graphic that will be easier to produce if the background is not moving, that is when you are better served by using a tripod.
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This page is an archive of entries from October 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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