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July 2005 Archives

Final Cut Pro 5 has improved its titling capabilities by including New Boris Calligraphy 2. Video generators such as Title 3D, Title Crawl, Text Scrambler and Vector Shapes have all been improved since version 1 and allow for more flexibility.


The article "The New Boris Calligraphy Titling Tools in Final Cut Pro 5" discusses the useability of these generators, their limitations and how to use them.

Did you know that you can convert open project files in Soundtrack Pro into MP3 files. This detailed article discusses the procedure of converting multitrack and audio file documents. Enjoy!


"Converting Soundtrack Pro audio file projects to MP3"


Are you looking for a way to add great looking effects to your titles quickly and easily within the Avid Express Pro? Well look no further because we have a great tutorial on just that concept. This is a very detailed tutorial that will walk you through the steps needed to add great looking effects to you titles in Avid. The great thing is that once you learn how to make this effect you can transfer it to many other effects in the effect palette. I have applied this exact concept to many of the titles in my own show, from very simple fades to the swirl shown in the tutorial. Check it out and see one the reason why Genius DV is the leader in Avid training.

For all of you Avid and Final Cut Pro users out there in the market for a hot new camera, this years new HDV cameras are beginning to circulate throughout the industry and we're keeping our eye on who's using them!

Check out this review of the Sony HVR Z1U. It provides great detail into its strengths, weaknesses and the overall workflow of HDV itself.


The Sony HVR-Z1U HDV Camera

Yes, the viewer window can be used for more than just a source window. You can perform ripple edits in the viewer, roll editing, audio and slip editing.


Check out this article that discusses in great deatail the versatility of editing in the viewer as opposed to using the timeline. You may not edit the same way again! "Do It In The Viewer In Final Cut 5"

Avid Express Pro HD 5.x now includes the very powerful Marquee titling tool. Now that you have upgraded you may have run into a problem, you clicked on the Persist? button and now you cannot use the standard title tool.

This is very easy to fix and change settings anytime. In your project folder go to the Marquee title setting and open the dialogue box. The Create New Title Using setting allows you to choose which titling application you would like to use.
title tool.gif

If Marquee is checked then Avid will always default to Marquee. If you want to decide which tool to use make sure Ask Me is checked. To promote all of your title tool titles to Marquee - under the Promote title make sure the Yes button is turned on. Now you have the power to decide which titling tool to use and how they will create new titles.


Looking to buy a new deck or have an old one lying around and you want to hook it up to your Avid. Capturing is a very time consuming and critical part of your workflow and having a deck that will perform properly with Avid Express Pro will not only save you a lot of headaches but it will help streamline the editing process. Avid engineers have spent many hours testing decks to make sure they will work with Avid Express Pro and all other Avid editing products. Avid has just released the latest documantion for Supported Devices for Avid Editor Products. Check it out and make sure your deck will not give you problems now or in the future.

Have you been using motion for a while and have found that you have repeatedly used all of the object content such as various leaves, butterflies and aqua balls? Don't worry there's plenty more content that can be used, how about your own.


Why not use your own unique video footage and place sophisticated backdrops behind it like this article suggests by teaching you how to create an alpha mask in Motion 2. How to Create an Alpha Mask Using Motion 2.

If you set the root level of an Xsan volume as the scratch disk for Final Cut Pro, you're going to run into write protected issues. It is correct for this root level to be write protected and if you have multiple users they will probably recieve a warning message stating that the selected directory is write protected an cannot be used as a scratch disk.


Create folders that can be set up as multiple scratch-disks and create write privilages for each individual Final Cut Pro user. Apple advises against using the root level of an Xsan volume as a scratch disk for Final Cut Pro.

XML import and export has made the once troublesome act of opening a project that was created in the latest version of Final Cut Pro in an older version easy.


Check out this article that discusses in deatail the steps of how to easily open a Project created in Final Cut Pro 5 in Final Cut Pro 4. "Open FCP 5 projects in FCP 4.5 with XML Export/Import."

So, you have made some pretty impressive DVDs with Studio Pro 3 and now you're ready to dive into 4. For all of you out there who are showing Hollywood what a high-end DVD is supposed to look like, if you are running Mac OS X v10.3 Panther, your text may appear to change size as you are typing in the Menu Editor. Simply exiting the Text Edit by clicking elsewhere will return your text to it's proper size. Just another software quirk ladies and gents, where would we be without them? If you edit your text in the Menu Inspector the font size change doesn't occur.

DVD Cases.jpg

If you're making the jump from an earlier version of DVD Studio Pro to version 4 you'll be able to author DVDs in standard or high def, plus, you will have the option of Distributed Encoding for faster encoding of large projects, more preview options and plenty more than we can fit into this article, not a bad deal.

Check out DVD Studio Pro 4!


Do you have MOJO baby? Well you might receive the fatal Flamethrower error. What is a Flamethrower doing inside your MOJO? Well this is an error that might drive you nuts if you do not know what is going on. The first thing you want to check is if your MOJO has a reference signal, the host light should be on. 2. Uninstall the flamethrower.sys driver (in Windows Device Manager, Avid Technology under Sound Video and Game Controllers, right click, properties, driver. Uninstall and reboot, allowing the driver to reload via the hardware wizard during the boot up process. 3. Quality firewire cables make a difference! Make sure your cables do not exceed 14.76 feet. In fact buy the shortest cables you can, some of my cables are only 1 foot long. 3. Mojo/DNA firmware MUST match the software release. If you turned off the Mojo/DNA improperly during an upgrade it might not get a proper firmware upgrade. Try reinstalling the software following the proper sequence per install guide. More than likely these will help cure any future errors with your MOJO! Don’t leave home without your MOJO!


Translating you Avid or Final Cut Pro sequences to other programs has never been easier. A company called Automatic Duck has the solutions you are looking for. They have a program that is simple to translate Avid sequences to FCP or just the reverse or with Pro Import AE for Adobe After Effects, your digital desktop has never been more powerful or compete. Translating a sequence from an Avid or Final Cut Pro editing system, or a project from Apple's Motion 1.0 takes just seconds, importing all your media and clips in one step. Effects are translated and recreated for you and your timeline becomes a composition in After Effects, ready for you to take your vision to the next level. I use Automatic Duck at least 3 to 4 times a week and it saves me hours of valuable time. Try it you will love it!

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If you are getting the audio error 'DM Port Error' You need to download the update to fix this problem. When the CPU Overload error occurs the playback will stop. This is not only very frustrating but can be very costly to your daily workflow. This error effects Avid Media Composer Adrenaline and Avid Express pro for Adreline. Make sure you download this version to fix any errors you might have in the future.

If you do not already have Soundtrack 1and you are thinking about going pulling the trigger on Pro, take a look at what Apple's second installment is all about! You can really accomplish some impressive audio with this program.

Soundtrack Pro image again.jpg

This article does a good job of laying out the functionality of the program with menus and also highlights some of bell and whistles that we've been hearing so much about! "What's all the fuss about Soundtrack Pro?"


In today’s world of HD and large hard drives required to store all your media, more than likely you will need drives in excess of 200 gigs. I work on a system that has 2 terabytes which includes several hard drives in the 250-300 gig range. This amount of storage is very necessary for my workflow and you may have a need for even more storage. I discovered the one flaw in having drives over 200 gigs. I opened a project to find some of my media offline. The media was on the hard drive and after banging my head against my desk I found a recommendation from the Avid support center and fixed my issue. Avid systems have a hard time keeping track of media over 200 gigs. You may see this error:: HP_Domain_Failed // Frequent media corruption // not rebuilding Media Databases // over-all performance slowdown // media management. If you have any drive over 200 gigs simply partition them down to 200 gigs or smaller and this will eliminate any errors in the future.

For all of you Avid and Final Cut Pro users who are also videographers and are looking for a tightly niched service to possibly sweeten your resume, make some extra cash or create an interesting documentary, how about learning to shoot underwater? The concept is very interesting and who knows, maybe there's a Jacque Cousteau in you just waiting to be unleashed!

Underwater videographer.jpg

Take a look at this article that covers the specifics of shooting underwater such as choosing a camera, camera housing, shot selection, holding a steady shot and much more. 'So You Want To Get Your Feet Wet'

Interesting footage is the best to cut, so discover your niche!


If you are trying to save from your After Effects and import into Avid and you have an Alpha channel then there are a few things you need to be aware of. First of all any DV setting will not preserve your alpha channel. Even if you save with the millions+ colors your QuickTime or other movie will not have an alpha. Also any Avid codec will not preserve alpha channels. I have found only one sure fire way to save my After Effects projects and still have alpha channels in my Avid. I save to QuickTime animation. This is the simplest way to get from After Effects to Avid without having to do an alpha matte in Avid of some other extra task. Always make sure that you select millions of colors+ with animation and your alpha channel will be preserved.

Earlier versions of DVD Studio Pro came with an MPEG-2 encoder that performed it's job well, but quickly became outdated by a far more versatile program. Compressor puts the ability to pre-configure and encode a wide variety of file formats at the tip of your fingers.

DVD Studio Pro image.jpg

In DVD Studio Pro 4, you can import media that has not been pre-encoded as MPEG-2 and DVDSP will handle the conversion. Isn't that handy!

Get your DVD Studio Pro Training here!

If you've been watching television lately, mainly the news magazine Access Hollywood type shows, you've probably noticed the extensive use of Motion templates and graphical elements! It's become routine to hear the History Channel using Soundtrack to create original music for their promos and also their use of the Panasonic DVX 100a to shoot their big time special 'Conquest of America' should be a testament to Independents everywhere! Truly, the power is now in our hands my friends!

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If you have Motion 2, Apple has made it worth your while to register it. When you register you will be eligible to download 3 extra filters.

Underawater: That right, you guessed it, its makes objects appear to be submerged in water.

Matte Magic: Softens matte edges.

Movement Blur (Not Motion Blur for objects): Creates a blur for moving subjects in footage.

You can register your copy of Motion 2 here and when you're finished, check out the behind the scenes footage of the History Channel's special 'Conquest Of America' shot with multiple Panasonic DVXs. Just click on the Video Gallery option and choose the behind the scenes footage.

Consolidationg allows you to create and save copies of the sequence’s media files to a target drive that you specify. This makes it relatively simple to move source files with you when you work on a different system. Using the consolidate feature has the advantage of copying only the amount of media necessary; you save only the sequences and clips used in the project. For example, it does not copy an entire 1-hour audio file to consolidate a single 10second clip. I use this feature on a daily basis and helps me save valuable hard drive space. It also allows you take media from differnet drives in your sequence and put them onto one hard drive. Consolidation is a great way to manage and control how much media you have on your hard drives (you only keep what you need).

Ok, you've gotten your feet wet with Final Cut Pro by cutting some rough footage and you've become comfortable with capturing video via Firewire, USB 2 and you're cutting sequences and laying down audio. Now it's time to explore improving your work space and easing the burden off of that menu jammed singled screen you've been using and adding a second monitor. I mean truly utilizing a second screen and not just having one for show.

dual monitors.jpg

Comfort and Use-ability is in the eye of the beholder, so how you choose to layout your menus and viewers is your own business, but try this suggestion on for size!
Perhaps you have a timeline that is very long and involved and you would be like to be able to read the more detailed names of the clips within the timeline as they appear in sequence. Try expanding the timeline across both screens. If you have run into trouble with the timeline snapping back to a single screen, try dragging by the edge of the window and not the lower-right corner.

Browse through these Free Tutorials.

Finally, you can use your mouse wheel in Avid Express Pro. By default, every window within the application (project window, bins, timeline window, etc.) can be scrolled up and down by using the scroll wheel on the mouse. All that you need to do is highlight the bin you want to work with and scroll away. Modifier keys give the wheel more than just a scroll feature, such as scrolling the blue bar forwards and backwards. The Ctrl key will move +/- 1 frame while Ctrl/Alt will move 10 frames (or 8 frames, depending on project type - 1/3 of a second). The wheel can also be used in Trim Mode; simply click on left, right, or center and use the wheel to add and remove frames. You can also customize the mouse in your under the settings tab with the project window. This further enhances the use of the mouse and will be a big advantage to us that prefer the mouse.
mouse wheel.bmp

With the use of P2 technology on the rise, which is being utilized in the newly affordable Panasonic AG-HVX 200 HD P2 Camcorder that will be shipping this fall, are we really going to be tossing our tapes into the fireplace? How will workflow change? How much recording time on a given card? How often will you have to replace them? These are just some of the questions that Final Cut Pro and Avid users have been asking. These two articles address these questions and a whole lot more.

P2 card_lineup.jpg

Find out if you're ready to go the P2 route, or even if you have a choice! These mini raid drives are making a whole lot of noise in the video industry!

"Are We Looking at a Tapeless HD Future?"

P2 Information From Panasonic

Avid Color Correction for Broadcast legal pedestal (black) values

Have you ever noticed when you watch certain programs that some look washed out while the very next show has vibrant colors with deep blues and blacks and crisp whites. Well, if you are assembling a program that is going to be broadcast then you need to pay special attention to your scopes within the Avid Color correction tool. Some of you might have heard the term I.R.E. levels. The pedestal black is the 7.5 I.R.E. value and the peak whites are100 I.R.E. The Color correction tool allows you to clip the lows off at 7.5 and 100 I.R.E. The YC waveform and the Y waveform will show these luminance values. The one often-overlooked value is the pedestal black. This is the lowest value allowed by broadcast television. avid_clr_corr_cntrls.gif
Under the H.S.L. controls you will see a Avid shows that 16 for the low gives you 7.5 on your blacks but when you output to an external scope or a plug-in scope they will show that 16 in the Avid color correction tool is actually a 0 I.R.E. So, if you set your clip low level to 32 you can rest assured you are within safe limits for your broadcast program. The attached article is an excellent example of how to attack the legal limits, just make sure that you substitute a value of 32 for the clip low instead of 16 and your program will be as rich and colorful as you see in your Avid when it reaches broadcast television.

disk doctor.jpg

What happens when you turn off your external hard drive while you are working in Avid? Well, it's a risk you do not want to take! When I first began my career as an Avid editor I had many things to learn, but this lesson was the most costly!!! I did not go through the correct procedure of shutting down one of my fire wire external hard drives and my OMFI MediaFiles became corrupt. Unfortunately no one in my local area could recover any of my files. I had to send this hard drive away to Disk Doctors for a full recovery. The information and media was priceless so the $3000.00 cost of recovering the data was well worth it but painful at the same time. I can only recommend one way to turn off or remove external hard drives from your system and that is to quit Avid, shut down windows and only then can you turn off the hard drive. I know you are thinking 'what about the Safely Remove Hardware icon in my task bar'. This is not a sure fire method and can give you a false message that it is now safe. Just remember this rule: Turn on all of your external hard drives before you start your computer and turn them off after your computer is shut down or even in more simple terms if the computer is on do not touch your external hard drives!!!!!!

Did you know that if you want to continue to use Motion 1.0 or 1.01 you can't install Motion 2 on the same partition? So, if for some reason you want to keep version 1 active, install 2 on a separate partition.

Motion Forum.jpg

One possible reason for keeping Version 1 around and not opting to take the more economical route of upgrading is the fact that if you have projects that were created in Motion 1 that contain text and applied behaviors, they will look different when opened in Version 2. This is due To Motion 2's text improvements over 1.

If you're looking for a power PC notebook to cut on, check out this website!

Being able to change volume, pan and add effects can provide that extra flavor to your audio projects, making the automation process very important to understand. Here are some ways to perform automation:


- Within the Waveform Monitor and the Timeline, create and manipulate envelope points (the lines that run horizontally beneath tracks, outputs, and busses).

- If you have a control surface attached to your workstation, it is possible to record manipulation of the controls. This control surfaced would need to be configured to work directly with the commands of Soundtrack Pro.

- You can also automate by recording the changes you make to the Mixer, Effects tab, sliders and faders.

Read "Using Soundtrack Pro As a Digital Audio Editor!"

For all of you Avid and Final Cut Pro users out there who have not dabbled with Motion, the dashboard feature provides quick and easy manipulation of layers and objects within your project. A dashboard consists of all of the popular controls for an item or layer that you have selected and appears as a small, floating, light gray window to the side of your project.

Dashboard image.jpg

Select a different layer, add a new object from Motion's library, or import new items and place them in your project, the Dashboard will change to give you the essential controls for that particular item.

Check out this tutorial about "Using Color Mode" In Motion.

Having the ability to manipulate an object's X, Y And Z axis in a 3D environment is priceless. Motion 2 allows you to place an image on the back of an object that you have rotated.

3D object.jpg

If the image you are placing on the back is larger than the original image, it will be resized to fit the original image. To avoid automatic cropping of this back image, make sure you use an image that is either the same size of the original object or smaller. You can also adjust the size of the original object to fit the back image.

Get Motion training, including training for Apple's entire Final Cut Studio here.

If you have been in the video industry for only a short time, it is safe to say that you have already come to know the importance of multitasking and the need for a smooth workflow while in the grip of multiple deadlines. Experienced editors have taken the time to know the keyboard shortcuts to complex functions, have learned to estimate the time that a given project should take, and the ability to prioritize, schedule and delegate tasks if needed.


Experience firmly placed on a strong foundation of training can take you places.
See how you can Get Started!

If you have already invested in Apple's new Final Cut Studio and have a HDV camera, then you are already aware that during capture there is a slight difference in time between what you see in the capture window and the image displayed on the camera LCD. This is a normal occurrence, so don't worry.

HD camera.jpg

The delay is caused by HDV's Long-GOP(1) MPEG-2 format. In short, when Final Cut Pro is assessing this format's data structure, it must process the information several frames at a time before it can be displayed correctly.


If you are trying to set in and out points for clips you want to capture, the camera's time reference is your best bet for accuracy. It would still be a good idea to give yourself an extra second of pad on each side when you set ins and outs for Log and Capture, or Capture Now.

Check out this article about some of the Limitations of HDV.

It's just the nature of the beast for the introduction of more economically priced high end cameras such as the The Sony HVR Z1U, JVC's GY-HD100 and the Panasonic AG-HVX200 to push hardware requirements to a new level. Although the minimum Ram requirements for Motion 2 is 512MB, HDV source material requires more for smooth playback performance, so it is advantageous to have at least 2GB or more to work with.

Memory chips.jpg

Using HDV source material in a Motion 2 project can result in considerably slower playback than if you were using DV source material. Additional memory is a must for higher quality realtime playback with HDV files in Motion 2.

For those of you who have taken compositing to the next level and have invested in Apple's Shake, Final Cut Pro 5 has automated media sharing between the two by offering the menu command Send To Shake. By using a Shake script, FCP 5 exports the clips directly into Shake. Via placeholders, that same media can be can be outputted from Shake back into FCP.

Shake interface.jpg

If you have superimposed a series of clips inside of Final Cut Pro 5 and wanted to transform your work into a single composite inside of Shake, FCP would send the appropriate in and out point information and clip overlap details complete with edit decision information to Shake.

1 Select your clips within the FCP 5 project.

2 Select File > Send to Shake.

Learn more about Apple's Shake here!

Did you know that when you send a sequence from Final Cut Pro 5 to Soundtrack Pro elements such as generators, slugs transitions and speed clips are not transfered? These elements are not rendered out to the base layer movie which is what is being imported into Soundtrack Pro.

FCP Timeline image.jpg

The sequence that was sent to Soundtrack Pro's waveform editor will still contain these elements when you open it in Final Cut Pro. Those clips sent to the Multitrack Editor will not retain these elements when opened in Final Cut Pro due to the fact that the original has been replaced with the newly edited version.

Take a look at Soundtrack Pro, it's an absolutely awesome tool for an editor!

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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