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Alex: July 2011 Archives

resolve.jpg
At NAB this year, Blackmagic announced that they were developing a free version of their world-class DaVinci Resolve color correction software.  With today's release of DaVinci Resolve Lite, they've made good on their promise.Resolve Lite uses the same technology and interface as the commercial version, with a few minor restrictions.  

The restrictions–on video resolution, project complexity, physical control surfaces, and processing power–don't significantly interfere with the tasks or workflows that are essential to coloring, so Resolve Lite is a perfect product for learning and for smallish independent productions.

Now that the Resolve line is a real, practical possibility for even hobbyists and non-professional colorists, look forward to some GeniusDV tutorials to help you learn it!
The new version of Apple's Mac OSX is full of exciting new features, including robust new layers of security.  Unfortunately, the new features break many of the applications that we teach here at GeniusDV.  As of today, avoid updating to OSX Lion if you rely on any of these software packages:

  • Adobe's CS3, CS4, and CS5 applications are mostly compatible with Lion, and Adobe promises to fix the remaining bugs with an update soon.  After Effects seems to be fine, although third-party plugins may break.  Photoshop's bugs are minor, and mainly involve automation and droplets.  CS2 and earlier versions will not run at all, ever on Lion.
  • Avid Media Composer, Symphony, and ProTools are not compatible with Lion at this time.
  • The Boris FX plugins for Final Cut Studio and Avid are not compatible with Lion, and will block Apple Motion from launching.
  • Google SketchUp will run on Lion, but it exhibits several known bugs.  The bugs appear mainly to be minor annoyances, but a few may freeze SketchUp.
  • Autodesk's AutoCAD is not compatible with Lion at this time.
  • Microsoft Office 2008 and 2010 exhibit several known bugs, many of them serious, when running on Lion at this time.
For these "serious" software packages, we recommend waiting for the manufacturer's go-ahead before upgrading your machine.  For more esoteric (and less business-critical) apps, you might find RoaringApps' compatibility matrix helpful.
The other day, one of our editors noticed that his FCP7 workstation was putting Autosave files in the Trash.  It turns out that he had dragged his Autosave Vault folder out of his Documents folder to the Trash while Final Cut Pro 7 was still running–and FCP kept saving Autosaves to the old folder, even though it was now in the Trash.

This time, we were able to find his Autosaves and get his project back on track, but we felt awfully lucky that he hadn't emptied the Trash (and with it his fresh Autosaves).

To make sure your FCP7 paths are consistent, then, it's a good idea to close FCP before moving files directly in the Finder.  If you forget, just close FCP and reopen it to force FCP to pay attention to the actual paths you have set up in System Settings.
Screen shot 2011-07-14 at 3.35.31 PM.pngSometimes, Compressor jobs will fail with a cryptic "3X Crash Service Down" error.  Anecdotally, we've seen this happen most often with MPEG-2 compression jobs, but that may just be because our students frequently use Compressor to target DVDs.  Either way, we've never yet had to go farther than two troubleshooting steps to resolve the problem:

  • First, make sure that you're only logged in to one local account.  A Mac OS feature called Fast User Switching allows you to be running as multiple users at the same time.  This can be convenient, but it also interferes with Compressor's encoding engine.  Often, our students can resolve the 3X Crash Service Down error by logging out of all other users and resubmitting their Compressor jobs.
  • If that isn't enough to solve the problem, reset Compressor's encoding services.  From the Compressor menu, choose "Reset Background Processing." compressor-reset.pngIn the Reset Background Processing dialog box, click "Reset and cancel jobs."  Then, re-submit the job that generated the error message.

In the wake of yesterday's entry, our students and instructors pointed out some more bugs that crop up when you run Final Cut 7 with Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5 installed.  Here are a few quick workarounds for some of those bugs:

  • Send To Motion–As soon as Motion 5 is installed, FCP7's Send To Motion feature breaks, and with it the easy roundtripping that makes the FCP/Motion/FCP workflow so appealing.  FCP7 "Sends To" Motion 5, but it can't interpret Motion 5 project files.  To fix this problem (and make FCP7 "Send To" Motion 4), just move Motion 5 to any location outside of your Applications folder–for example, your Desktop.  You can always move Motion 5 back into your Applications folder after you're done working from FCP7.
  • Boris/Boris Title 3D–When you install FCPX, the App Store automatically moves your old Final Cut Studio software into a folder called Final Cut Studio.  This breaks some third-party plugins like Boris Title 3D.  To fix the problem, you can move Final Cut Pro (7) out of the Final Cut Studio folder into the main Applications folder.
  • 3-Way Color Corrector–We've heard a few reports that FCPX breaks some features of FCP7's 3-Way Color Corrector, especially the "Limit Effect" eyedropper.  We don't have a solution just yet, but we're working on it!
So you're curious about Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5, but you (smartly) want to keep your production facility on the old Final Cut Studio until Apple can work out the kinks.  Either now or later, you'll probably want to run FCPX/Motion 5 and the old Final Cut Studio in parallel on the same machine.  

We and our clients haven't run into any serious problems running both versions, but there is one gotcha.  After you install Motion 5, you may encounter an error the next time you try to launch FCP7:

This version of Final Cut Pro is incompatible with Motion 5 which is installed in a directory that previously contained Motion 4.  Please move Motion 5 to another directory and restart Final Cut Pro.
The solution is simple: just create a subfolder in your Applications folder, and drag the new Motion into that subfolder.  In the screenshots below, we've named the subfolder "Motion 5," but any name will do.
Screen shot 2011-07-11 at 1.39.29 PM.pngScreen shot 2011-07-11 at 1.40.01 PM.png
Screen shot 2011-07-11 at 1.40.10 PM.png
Once you've tucked the new Motion into a subfolder, Final Cut Pro 7 should launch just fine!
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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Alex in July 2011.

Alex: June 2011 is the previous archive.

Alex: August 2011 is the next archive.

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