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Avid: April 2008 Archives

avid alpha import.gif
Importing a picture or a Quick Time into your Avid editing system requires that you change some of the import settings. When you import alpha from an Avid QuickTime codec, select Alpha > Use Existing in the Import Settings dialog box. When alpha is imported from a non-Avid QuickTime codec, select Alpha > Invert Existing. This is because the Avid QuickTime codec inverts the alpha during the movie’s creation, saving time on import into your editing applications while not significantly adding to the creation time in a third-party program. This step will save you time and will also preserve the intended alpha setting. 

If you are an Avid Xpress user and you plan on upgrading to Media Composer you'll find a new feature called TimeWarp.  The TimeWarp feature in Avid Xpress was limited in terms of its functionality.


The TimeWarp feature allows you to play video as variable speeds within the same clip.  Here is a short tutorial on how to use it.

For those of you who have not yet upgraded to Media Composer, you can create something similar by using the traditional motion effect within Avid Xpress to create a speed ramp.

Finally a way to output realtimeHD with your Avid editing system! The new Mojo DX is the latest edition to the Avid editing hardware accelerator! Make sure you check out the full specifications and make this latest release supports Leopard and Windows Vista! f you are editing with HD footage or plan on it in the very near future then this is the best way to get you Avid system into the future! Here is a list of the all the features included in the Composer MOJO DX. 
  • New I/O hardware for SD and HD, with SD/HD SDI I/O and HDMI monitoring
  • Support for Mac OSX Leopard and Windows Vista
  • Additional HD codec support, such as Sony XDCAM-EX (using the Sony Clip Browser software), Panasonic AVC-I, JVC 23.976p & 25p HDV
  • Real-time playback of non-full-raster HD codecs through video output
  • Improved timeline responsiveness
  • Improved real-time effect performance with optimized CPU/GPU acceleration
  • Improved render performance with optimized multi-threading on multi-core CPU's
  • MetaFuze tool, for quickly merging single-frame files (such as DPX and TIF) from film scanning or CGI systems into a single media clip (Windows only)
  • Real-time multi-window timecode burn-in tool
  • SubCap subtitling tool

Have you ever wondered how much space is required for DV, HDV or HD media?  This can be a tricky question, because DV and HD is based on a fixed compression scheme and HDV is based on variable MPEG compression.

Keep in mind that HDV offers approximately 3 times better quality that DV.

DV uses 3.5 MB/sec

HDV uses 3.3 MB/sec

DVCPro HD (1080i 60) uses 13.9 MB/sec

So how is it possible that HDV uses less space than DV?  Well, this isn't always true, because it depends on the footage you are compressing.  HDV uses MPEG compression which is a variable compression format.  In general HDV takes up a smaller footprint than DV.  I find this to be quite amazing.  There are some drawbacks in that HDV requires a lot more processor power and longer render times than standard DV. 

file_size_for_hd.gifRemember, this file size of HDV depends on the complexity of the footage. 




If you plan on working with full HD, notice the file size is roughly 4 times the size of DV or HDV.  That's a lot of bandwidth.  If you plan on working in full HD, make sure you have a high-speed drive array with a lot of storage.

There are certain things about Avid Xpress or Media Composer that may drive you nuts.  One of those things is Media Composer does not allow you to add filler at an end of a sequence.  Wouldn't it be nice if you could tell Media Composer to always display 30 seconds of filler, even if you are zoomed all the way out?  This would give you an idea of how much additional content you need to fill.

Well, here is a fantastic trick on how to configure your timeline when you are doing spot work so you are always dealing with a fixed timeline. 


Did you know it's possible to add clip comments directly to clips within the Avid Timeline?  This is important for a few reasons.

comments_within_avid_clip.gif#1 The comments will stay embedded within the clip, so if you move the clip, the comments will stay with it.

#2 If you edit a title directly from the timeline, the clip name doesn't change.  You can add a clip comment to reflect the real-name of the title template, instead of having to deal with a generic name.



To add comments to clips within Avid Xpress or Avid Media Composer follow these steps:


Avid Media Composer on Leopard.gif

UPDATE: After this article was written, Media Composer 2.8.3 will no longer allow you to install the software on Leopard.  This means you'll need to download Media Composer 2.8.1 or 2.8.0 in order for the installer to work.

You have heard the rumors and read the blogs that Avid Media Composer will not work on the awesome Mac Leopard OS.

Well, we here at GeniusDV have found otherwise. There are a few quirks to installing Media Composer and a quick trick that allows the task bar to remain open. First and foremost you need to make sure that you download the latest version of Leopard OS but do not allow the latest version of Quicktime to be installed. There is no uninstall for Quicktime on Mac and you will be in big trouble with the Avid software if you do not have the correct version.

As you are installing Media Composer you will find that there are several error messages that you will encounter that make it appear your software is not being installed properly. Just make sure that every error message that you come across you accept them or click ok. The installation will continue and you will eventually be directed to the pace website to install the correct plugin to continue your install. Once you have gone through these steps you will have one more corrections to make once you launch your software.
Avid Full Screen Playback.gif
Once the software is up and running you will find that your task bar is on top is hidden until you hover over it. This is very aggravating because it will switch between the OS task bar and the Avid task bar. To fix this you need to navigate to Toolset in the task bar and select Fullscreen Playback. You only need to do this once and every time you launch Media Composer after that you will not have the issue again. So far I have not found once glitch in the software running on Leopard, but stay tuned for any updated information just in case.
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This page is a archive of entries in the Avid category from April 2008.

Avid: March 2008 is the previous archive.

Avid: May 2008 is the next archive.

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