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John: November 2008 Archives

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.



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.


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.

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This page is a archive of recent entries written by John in November 2008.

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