Learn More Contact Now

October 2005 Archives

After editing an entire show on one of the smallest laptops, i decided it was time to switch to a larger screen.

How about Apple's 30 inch LCD display. How about running it on a PC? Well, for under $1000 it is possible to build a PC and run the Apple 30 inch LCD in all its glory!

The card is a little pricey. I picked up an OEM version for $399. This meant the graphics card was the same cost as the entire computer. Keep in mind, this card is NOT listed as a supported graphics card for Avid Xpress Pro. However, it seemed to function flawlessly.

The trick is a 'build it yourself PC' with a good quality graphics card. I did my research and went with the NVDIA 7800 GT. It is a dual head card that is capable of driving the native 2560 x 1600 pixels on the Apple 30 inch screen. Only the bottom port worked with the Apple Cinema Display. Apparently only the bottom port contains something called DDL 'Dual Link'.

This page is relatively old.  Although, some of the concepts are still useful, this courseware was written for Final Cut Pro 4.0 HD.  You may want to check our free Final Cut Pro video tutorials.

Here are some training tutorials on some of the basics of Final Cut Pro. GeniusDV also offers intensive hands-on training courses for those looking to learn more about Final Cut Pro.

Final Cut Pro HD Tutorials
Setting up OS X for Final Cut Pro
The FCP Interface
Keeping Your Material Organized
Editing in the Timeline
How to Capture and Input Video
Three Point Editing
Using the Trimming Functions
Working with Audio
Final Cut Pro transitions
Using Mutiple Video Layers
Creating Titles
Creating a Moving Filmstrip
Using Alpha Mattes
Export Options for Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro User Preferences
Final Cut Pro System Settings
Video Editing Terms

The Final Cut Pro editing keyboard is a fanastic way to familiarize yourself with the Final Cut Pro Editing software. These keys are color coded based an similar functions within the Final Cut Pro editing software.

These are real authentic tactile keys that are molded to replace the standard Apple Pro keyboard. Unlike shortcut-stickers, these keys will not wear out.

The Final Cut Pro keyboard hooks up via a USB connection. If you are a freelancer, you can carry the keyboard with you to those facilities that do not have a Final Cut Pro keyboard.

Add a Professional Look to your Studio
Add a professional look to your studio by including the Final Cut Pro editing keyboard as part of its profile.

Great for Educators
This keyboard is also ideal for educators that are trying to teach students the core keyboard shortcuts.


Key configuration Final Cut Pro
Connection: USB
Dimensions (WxHxD): 440x40x120 mm.
Weight: 990 g.
Warranty: 1 year
Your Price $149

avid window copy.gif

I just discovered a very important feature in Avid Express Pro. It is called Loop Clip. What this does is allows the editor to view two separate clips back and forth without having to reload each clip. Reviewing footage is one of the most time-consuming parts of editing and finding the perfect clip. If you have two clips that are similar or even the same shot just a different take then this feature you cannot pass-up. I use it so much now that I mapped it to keyboard. Check out the full article about how Loop Selected Clips works and do not forget to sign up for one of our up and coming Avid Bundles.

*In addition to this tutorial, GeniusDV has an exellent tutorial on how Photoshop droplets works directly within Avid Xpress / Media Composer or your favorite non-linear editing software such as Final Cut Pro

One of the most powerful tools in the Photoshop arsenal is the ability to automate tasks for batch processing image files. When I photograph a job for a client, I run every photo through an automated script to adjust levels and sharpen the images a bit. You can use the same technique to automatically convert a folder full of images to Black and White, or Sepia-toned photos to use in a slide show or to insert into a movie project.

The example I'll describe will apply a twirl filter from the filter menu to a folder containing fireworks photos. Any process you can do to a single photo, you can save and apply to a folder full of images, including cropping, scaling, copying, rotating or even applying a custom logo overlay.

For all of you Final Cut Pro users out there who have been waiting for the release of Panasonic's HVX 200 HD camera, just like SD, you can monitor DVCPRO HD footage via firewire.

IMG_1722 (WinCE).jpg

Kicking out DVC Pro HD Footage to HD and SD preview monitors

1 Connect the firewire cable from the computer to the DVCPRO VTR.

2 To preview on an SD monitor (downconversion): Connect the SDI or composite video output on the VTR to an SD monitor.

To connect to an HD monitor: Run the HD-SDI video output from the DVC Pro VTR to the HD monitor.

3 Go to View > Video Playback > DVCPRO HD.

4 Go to View > External Video > All Frames.

font color.gif

Recently, I was working on a project for a customer and they wanted each letter to be a different color in a sentence. I first tried to manually type each letter and then change the font color and this was just too time-consuming. I found a much easier to type out the sentence and then change the color. Here's how:

1.Select the Horizontal Type tool in the toolbox.

2.In the Layers palette, select the layer containing the type.

3.In the document window, select the characters that you want to change.

4.In the options bar at the top of the work area, click the color swatch.

5.In the Color Picker dialog box, locate the color range you want using the triangle sliders on the color spectrum bar, and then click the desired color in the color field. The color you select appears in the top half of the color swatch. The original color remains in the bottom half.

6.Click OK. The new color replaces the original color in the options bar and in the selected characters. (You won't see the new color in the characters until you deselect them or select something else.)

sonicfire pro.gif

Recently I took the time to learn a new software program from Smartsound called Sonic Fire Pro. It has some great audio tools for editing the length of your audio track. The most significant feature that I use is the track cross-fading. If you have ever wanted your track to be an exact amount of time and tried to get it to that amount you know how difficult this can be to get it to sound right. Well Smartsound has your solution. Their software takes your audio track and tailors it to your desired length. Let say you have a 3: minute song and you need it to be 1:27. Not only will it cut it to this length but you will have a perfect beginning and ending and you will not be able to hear the cut. It will sound like it was supposed to be that length. If you have Avid and Sonic Fire Pro and have not yet used it check out this getting started tutorial to get you up and running.


When you combine two images, touch up an area, or apply a filter, you often want a soft transition. The Feather command softens or blurs the edge of a selection, making changes you apply blend in more naturally with its surroundings. Feathering is centered on the selection edge and blurs both in and out from the boundary. You control the width of the feathering by setting its radius value in pixels.

1. If anything is currently selected, choose Select > Deselect.

2. In the Layers palette, select the desired layer or layer set.
3. Using a selection tool, select an area in the image.

4. Choose Select > Feather.

5. Type a value for Feather Radius, and click OK. For a very subtle softening, you can type a value less than one pixel (for example, .5). The larger the value, the larger the feathered or blurred transition.

6. Apply a filter, or move, cut, copy, paint, or fill the selection. Photoshop feathers the edge.


Avid Express Pro Academic now offers the industry's most flexible and complete HDV feature set for Windows-based systems. Plug in, capture, and go. Both 1080 and 720 HDV formats are handled natively. You get maximum quality in minimum time - with no intermediate formats and no transcoding. With Avid's unique Open Timeline, HDV plays nicely with DVCPRO HD, XDCAM, DV, and other HD and SD formats - all natively, all in real time. Check out this article on the latest version of Avid and how compatible it is with the new HDV formats.


The avid attic is a very important folder that holds history versions of your bins. The Attic folder will become your best friend to retrieve earlier versions of your sequences. If you wonder what happens on an auto or manual save your bins are saved to the attic. By default the maximum amount of files in the attic is 30 but you can change this from any number up to 500. To do this open your bin settings and choose the maximum amount to projects to your desired amount. To retrieve a bin from the attic folder follow these steps.

If you're looking to recover a previously saved sequence, you'll need to find the bin that contains your sequence.

1. Close all open bins and close the Avid application. Repeat, you must close all your bins before trying to recover an older bin from the attic.

2.  Find the Attic Folder on your C: drive or System Drive.

*The location of the Avid Attic depends on what version of Media Composer software you are running.  The best way to find it is to use your operating system's search feature.

 Currently in Media Composer version 6.0 the attic is located in the following directory path:

PC: c:/users/public/public documents/avid media composer/avid attic

MAC: System Drive/Users/Shared/AvidMediaComposer/avid attic

3. Within the attic folder, open the folder based on the name of your Avid Projects.

4. Inside, you'll see a list of all your bins.  Identify the bin by the date or if you know which particular bin you wish to retrieve.  Make a copy of the bin to another location that's outside the attic folder (i.e, the desktop).

5. Rename the copy and give it the .avb extension.

6.Navigate to the file menu within Avid Media Composer and choose Open bin.

Return to your Avid application and your start editing your newly restored bin.

Just in case all of you Final Cut Pro artists out there haven't heard, the evolution of Panasonic's popular AG-DVX 100 line cameras continues with the recent release of the DVX 100B. The 100B is a sleeker, improved version of the 100A touting over 20 new features that refine its usage all wrapped in a new Black Sapphire body color. Think of it as a revision and not so much as a reinvention that's meant to change the game like the High Definition 24P HVX 200 with P2 technology that's releasing this fall. Panasonic's definitely been listening to the people who use their cameras. Its scheduled to hit the shelves on Halloween Day. What a Treat!

Here are the answers.

Here is a short list of common Final Cut Pro problems. . If you need additional Final Cut Pro help, please do not hesitate to contact us, or visit the GeniusDV support forum.

After completing a project that called for you to customize your keyboard in FCP, you may want to reset your keyboard shortcuts to their default settings.


Restoring The Default Keyboard Shortcuts

1 Go to Tools > Keyboard Layout > Customize.

2 Unlock the keyboard layout by clicking on the Lock button located at the bottom left of the window, then choose Reset.

3 A dialog box will appear asking you if you want to reset, choose OK.

Creating stereo audio for a project is very easy within Final Cut Pro. Pretty much, any audio clip in the timeline can become stereo pairs.


Creating A Stereo Pair

1 Make sure the clips you will be making into a pair are sitting one over top of the other.

2 Within the timeline, select two mono clips by pressing the command key and clicking them.

3 Go to Modify > Stereo pair. If you have just just paired two clips of various lengths, the bottom clip will be adjusted to the length of the top clip (given there is enough media for bottom clip to do so). You will now be able to see the stereo pair indicators on the clips.

Take a look at this article discussing Final Cut Pro 5 and Soundtrack Pro!

For anyone desiring to start implementing streaming video via cell phones, There is a great website with excellent tutorials for doing this. It's called M-Learning. The site includes tutorials for exporting 3g files from Final Cut Pro or Express, Wirecast, Videocue Pro, QuickTime Pro and other applications.


View 3g Cell phone Tutorials

If you are an Avid Xpress user, you may find it frustrating navigating through all the settings in order to produce a good quality DVD.


You will need three software products to create a good quality DVD.

- Avid Xpress (DV or Pro)
- Sorenson Compressions Suite 4.1 or higher
- A DVD Authoring Program

The trick is to use Sorenson Squeeze to output the corrected field order from the Avid software. Here is a fantastic tutorial on making a DVD with Avid Xpress with Sorenson Squeeze.


If you own Avid Xpress Studio, it comes bundled with all the software products required to make good quality DVD's.


If you are experiencing the error "INVALID_PTR_ERR while attempting to compile and burn in DVD Studio Pro, chances are you're running out of memory. Try freeing up some space on the drive that houses the media and VT files, then give it a go.

Check out this method for extracting video from a DVD and importing it into Final Cut Pro.

Apple has created a way to add videos to your Video iPod and iTunes. If you have a video that can be opened in Quicktime Pro, iTunes or Final Cut Pro, you can easily convert your videos for your iPod and iTunes. You will need to be using QuickTime 7.0.3 and at least iTunes 4.8 but for the best experience and features with video in iTunes download and install iTunes 6.


Here's how to compress your videos:

1. Open your video in Quicktime Pro.

2. Chose Export

3. In the Export settings choose Movie to iPod (320 x 240)

4. Choose the location to save you video and select Save

Once your video is complete you can open iTunes and add the video to one of your Libraries and it will automatically be moved to the Video section. Lastly, you will need to sync your iPod with iTunes to get the video to your iPod. Apple's website has additional information about Synching your iPod with iTunes.

View an in-depth tutorial about creating iPod videos and synching your iPod.



Have you ever wanted to hear pieces of your audio while you drag the blue indicator bar through your timeline? Well, there is great feature in Avid call Digital Audio Scrub. This is a great way to locate audio cues in either your sequence or source clips. The first thing you need to do is select the tracks you want to scrub by Alt clicking the Speaker icon next to the track and this will turn it gold. Avid will try and scrub as many tracks as it can, as long as the track is on, but if you make them gold this will ensure you at least hear those tracks. Now press the Caps Lock key to activate Digital Scrub for full time-scrubbing or press hold down the shift key for part-time scrubbing.

You now are a scrub master!

With the high-end, yet more affordable, camera surge the industry is experiencing, as an editor, you have to be prepared to handle all sorts of footage being shot by all sorts of cameras. Whether its knowing where to rent the most affordable HD deck to turn out a project, all the way down to the basic knowledge of setting up for your project in FCP, its all important. With that being said, its usually the small things that give an editor the biggest headaches, like forgetting to adjust a setting!


How To Change Individual Sequence Settings

1 Select either your timeline sequence or a sequence in the Browser window.

2 Go to sequence > settings.

3 The Sequence Settings window opens and now you can adjust individual settings by clicking on tabs, then choosing OK.

You can purposely sever the connection between clips in your project and their associated media files on disk for the sake of Offline-Online editing. Make your clips offline so you can delete and recapture the media files at a higher data rate.


Making Clips Offline

1 Within the Browser, select the sequence or clip you want to take offline.

2 Go to Modify > Make offline.

3 Make a selection in the Make Offline dialog box, then choose OK. Your options here are to Leave Them on the Disk (clips are disconnected but still left on disk), Move Them to the Trash (Clips are disconnected and the media files are moved to the trash), and Delete Them from the Disk (clips are disconnected and ,you guessed it, deleted from the disk).

Some tips on managing media in Final Cut Pro.

alt key.gif

Everyone is looking for shortcuts in the editing process. Speeding up task such as resizing tracks or windows is one of those tasks that make your workflow easier but can take up unnecessary time. Well, here is list of a few keyboard shortcuts for your timeline that are great time savers in Avid Express Pro.

1. Alt + Ctrl + click in Timeline: Snaps to last frame of the nearest transition or mark; also snaps to any audio keyframes visible in audio tracks

2. Alt + click in Timeline: Enables lassoing of transitions and segments in Timeline

3. Ctrl + L or K: Enlarges or reduces highlighted track in Timeline

4. Ctrl + Y: Creates new video track

5. Ctrl + U: Creates new audio track

6. Ctrl + Shift + H: Hides tracks in the Timeline

7. Ctrl + click Track Monitor icon: Solos video or audio track

8. Ctrl + A: Selects all tracks

9. Alt+ Matchframe key: Places match-frame edit in Source pop-up monitor without marking IN point at frame

These are just a few shortcuts to get you started! Stay-tuned for more amazing time-saving shortcuts and do not forget to sign up for the next Avid class.

While building an extensive project, it is highly unlikely that any editor will use FCP solely to complete his or her project, hence the popularity of the Studio Suite marketing by industry players such as Avid and Apple. Perhaps you built your graphics within Motion or need to tweak some of the dialogue in Soundtrack Pro. Being able to open clip's media files in other applications, while in Final Cut Pro, to make adjustmets is a very convenient way to take advantage of Final Cut Studio integration.


Opening A Clip For Editing In An External Application

1 Select a clip within the Browser or Timeline, then go to View > Clip in Editor. The clip will then open up in the designated program Set In The External Editors Tab Of The System Settings Window. You must set this before you can utilize an external editor.

2 After you have made the revisions to the file and saved it, the changes will then be updated within FCP.

Discuss issues concerning Final Cut Studio and Avid in this DV Editing Forum.

To help the overall web user's viewing experience it is usually a good idea to normalize the audio in your streaming video. Here is what the setting looks like in Compression Master and Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite.

Compression Master


Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite


Normalizing the audio can bring the overall audio in your streaming video up or down. Here is how it works. It takes your highest audio level in your video source and if you have areas of the video where the audio is not loud enough, the quiet areas of the video are raised to same level as the higher areas so that the audio levels are consistent throughout the video. The same holds true in reverse for decreasing audio levels.

Normalizing the audio is valuable because it prevents the viewer from having to adjust audio levels up and down throughout your streaming video.

While in the midst of building a large timeline, one quick and easy way to see if you have already used a clip within your sequence is to see if you can match a sequence clip with the media file you have loaded into the Viewer before you use it.


1 With your sequence open in the timeline, Open a clip from the Browser into the Viewer window and park on a frame that you want to see if there is a duplicate of in the timeline.

2 You can either press F or go to View > Match Frame > Master Clip.

Take a look at this tutorial on Timeline Editing.

Compression Master is a MacIntosh based software, filling the void of products like Cleaner 6 for Mac. The software provides many features for video compression and supports the creation of video content to the following formats:

-Windows Media
-Real Media
-and 3GPP


Visit the Popwire website

This latest version of Compression Master 3.2 provides even better support for H.264 and an increased efficiency in for encoding on PowerMac G5's with dual processors. The latest version also sports a refined user interface.

This error occurs when you either don't have a dongle attached or the driver cannot communicate with the dongle properly. The OS will install the incorrect drivers if the dongle is attached during installation necessitating a manual uninstall/reinstall of Avid.

You can manually remove the Sentinel System Driver from your system if your dongle will not be recognized. Sometimes the driver will become corrupted or you may have had the dongle connected to the sytem while the software was being installed.
Step 1. Remove the dongle from the system.

Step 2. Remove the SSD from your system using the Add/Remove programs Utility.

Step 3. Get the Sentinel System Driver install package
Directly from Sentinel atftp://anonftp.rainbow.com/support/SSD5411-32bit.exe

Step 4. Reinstall the SSD making sure the dongle is NOT connected to your system.

Step 5. Reconnect the dongle to your system and let the New Found Hardware Wizard find the dongle and driver on it's own.

If you experience this on a Mac:
1. Make sure that the Date/Time on your system is set correctly.

2. If the Date/Time are not set correctly, you need to uninstall and then re-install the Avid software again.

3. With the dongle connected, open Terminal and go to /System/Library/Extensions directory. Become super user and type in kextload Sentinel.kext. This should force the kext to load. Type kextstat to see a list of running kexts and look forcom.rainbow.iokit.sentinel.

4. Restart the system.

You can work more efficiently if you have all of your favorite filters and transitions in an area where they're easily accessible, as opposed to scrolling around in a menu to find them. We all have favorites that we return to from project to project and knowing how to create sub-bins for storage of these favorites is going to save you time.


Organizing Trasitions and Filters Into Sub-bins

1 Within the browser window, select the project's tab.

2 Create a new bin by going to File > New Bin and give it a unique name.

3 Within the browser, click on the Effects tab and drag it from the browser, then release it.

4 With the Effects Tab now open in its own separate window, drag the new bin you just made to the favorites folder located in the Effects window.

5 Drag your favorite filters and transitions into the new bin.

Read about the new MTV website "MTV-U" that is searching for fresh new video productions to showcase. If you've been looking for a stage on which to show your work, this may be it!

Flash Video Studio is a great tool for creating SWF and FLV flash videos for the web. I checked out the tool and it is easy to use and the cost is pretty inexpensive. The software allows the ability to create HTML that goes with your Flash Streaming videos along with the ability to customize frame sizes, frame rates, and keyframe frequency. If you need to add a watermark to your streaming videos, you can easily do that with this tool.


Check out Flash Video Studio

One cool element of Flash Video Studio is the ability to change to change between different Flash players for your Flash content along with the ability to customize the color and other features of the Flash player you choose. The tool is simple to use and great for those that do not want to take the time to learn Embed and Object Tags for added Flash Streaming videos on-line.

With the new QuickTime 7 Pro there are some changes as it relates to the software. One change is the way you delete Hint Tracks. For anyone that is using QuickTime streaming videos and putting them on a Streaming Server you will need to use hint tracks. Nevertheless, if you are posting your streaming videos as downloadable to a web server instead of real-time streaming you will not need the videos hinting. It only make the files larger so you should delete the hint tracks. Here is how to do it:


1. Open Your hinted video in QuickTime Pro 7.

2. Go the Window pull-down menu and choose Show Movies Properties

3. You will see the hint tracks listed as Hinted Video and Hinted Sound.

4. Click on both tracks and hit your delete button. Select delete when the dialog box
comes up and your done.

Now you can take your QuickTime Streaming videos and posting them as downloadable files on your streaming server or you can make changes to your video.

Bird nest.gif

Learning how to nest in After Effects is very important to your workflow. If you are not familiar with the term nesting here is a quick definition:
When creating an elaborate composition, you may find it easier to organize the layers that make up the composition by using a technique called nesting--putting one or more compositions into another composition. You can create many levels of nesting. Nesting will allow you to save many hours of matching scale and timing to other layers. To fully understand nesting you should go through this great tutorial on nesting and you will be able do complex tasks that not only look professional but save hours of time!


Sometimes after upgrading to the latest version of Avid Express Pro HD you may have found that you can no longer control your deck and the capture controls do not work. This happened to me with the latest version of Avid Express Pro HD 5.2. It appears to that this only happens with HD versions of the software. Although, this problem is specific to communicating from the CPU directly to the capture device, there have been cases when this method has rectified capture issues with a DNA device (Mojo or Adrenaline) as well. This can be resolved by registering the DVBuffers. (this file is a part of the DIO Runtime, which is installed with the Avid software, and is essential for Avid's communication with external capture devices).

To register the buffers:

Click Start, then click Run

In the command line, type : regsvr32 DVBuffers.ax

If you typed this line correctly, a popup window will display a message, DLLRegisterServer in DVBuffers.ax succeeded, (the message may vary from version to version.

If the line was typed incorrectly, the message will report that the registration failed.

You now have control!

We had discussed earlier about the benefits of customizing your workspace, track layouts to be exact, and how to save those changes. Adding short-cut buttons at the top of the Browser, Viewer, Canvas And Timeline can save you time by bypassing keyboard shortcuts.


Creating Shortcut Buttons

1 After making sure the window where you want the shortcuts to appear is visible, Select Tools > Button List.

2 Drag the icon representing the specific function you desire from the list to where you want it to appear (The button well located at the top of either the Browser, Viewer, Canvas or Timeline).


If you have watched television lately you probably noticed the popularity of the filmstrip used to insert several images. Creating this moving filmstrip in Avid is very simple if you follow some exact math parameters. We have a great tutorial on producing this filmstrip for your production. This tutorial covers the 3:00 second duration clips. If you desire a longer clip you must just keep in mind that all clips must be divisible by three. I have used the moving filmstrip in several commercials with great success! So you now have the power to make your own filmstrip and don’t be afraid to experiment with different backgrounds.

If you were to use another Final Cut Pro editor's system, especially someone who has been cutting for a significant length of time, you would more than likely find that that person's workspace is set up quite differently than yours. I have met very few editors who do their work in the same way. Everyone has their own philosophy and have configured the FCP workspace to their own specifications.


With that being said, you can save custom track layouts that can be applied to any sequence located in the timeline.

Saving Custom Track Layouts

1 After you have made your adjustments to the tracks, select the Save Track Layout option from the Track Layout pop up menu. This menu is located to the right of the Track Height Control located in the timeline.

2 Choose a location in which you will save your customized layout and select save within the Save dialog box.

Looking for a Final Cut Pro, Avid or After Effects Keyboard, then check out this site!

sony hdv.gif

There are times in a production when the footage only exists in one format and the user needs it in another. A common example is a 24p project being handed an establishing shot on digibeta. In this case, the footage is interlace, 60 fields at 30 frames per second, while the project type is progressive and 24 frames per second.

Using the Timewarp effect - part of the FluidMotion effects engine in Media Composer Adrenaline HD and Avid Xpress Pro HD - the user can create alternate frame rates and keep the original audio in sync.

The Timewarp effect can be used to create all the frame rate conversions needed. The table below gives all the values needed to crate any frame rate.

1.Create 30I NTSC project
2.Capture shot to be converted
3.Edit onto timeline (V and A)
4.Apply the Timewarp effect from the effects palette
5.Select FluidMotion from the Render Using menu
6.From the Formats menu, select Interlace as input and Progressive as Output
7.Open the Speed graph and enter 125 into value entry box at the bottom of the window.

The result will be a progressive clip of the same duration but now running 125% faster. When this clip is imported back into a 23.976p project, it will be slowed down by 25% due to the 1:21 frame relationship. This way, durations remain the same and the original audio remains in sync.

In order to get the clip back into a 23.976p project, export V only as a QuickTime reference and the audio as a WAVE file.

Import these two files back into a 23.976p project and sync the V-only clip with the A- only clip using AutoSync.The result is a sync VA clip in a 23.976 frame progressive format.

When importing the QuickTime file into the 24p project in either Media Composer Adrenaline HD or Avid Xpress Pro HD, the user may see a message indicating that the source is interlace in a progressive project. Click OK and continue.

If you need to make an edit that is exact in its length, a very efficient way to do so is to use timecode to designate that exact duration for a clip while in the Browser Window.


Setting A Clip Duration Via Timecode Within The Browser Window

1 From within the Browser window, click on the clip to select it.

2 Select either the In or Out column and type in your desired timecode value into the timecode field. A value placed in the In point column, lets say 3 second, will make an in point three seconds into the clip. That same value placed into the out point column will create an out point 3 seconds into the clip.

If this is your first time trying this method of creating edit points by manipulating timecode values, it is very important to be mindful of the duration of the clip that you are setting ins and outs for. If the clip is 7 seconds and 17 frames long and you type in a timecode value of 8 seconds for your In point, then FCP will set that point at 7 seconds and 16 frames, therefore preventing you from creating a clip with a zero duration. This is known as the Out point inclusive rule.

Here are some things that you may not have known about DV Scene Selection in Final Cut Pro.


Being able to save your favorite workspaces and link them to a user setting is a very important feature to speed up your work flow. I have my standard editing workspace, audio editing workspace and a capture workspace always one button away. Here is how to link user settings and workspaces:

To link user settings and a workspace:
1.Create a new workspace setting and give it a custom name.

2.Double-click a setting from the Settings scroll list that you want to link to the new workspace. For example, double-click Capture. Adjust the Capture setting to what you want.

3.Give this Capture setting the same name you gave the workspace in step 1.

4.Double-click another setting, for example, Media Creation. Select new options, and click OK.

5.Give this setting the same name you gave the workspace in step 1.

6.Double-click the workspace you just created.

The Workspace Settings dialog box opens.

7.Click Activate Settings Linked By Name. For more information about options, see Workspace Settings.

8.Click OK.
All the settings and the new workspace you created are activated when you activate this workspace.


If you edit on Avid and also have After Effects you need to make sure you install the Avid External Monitor Preview (EMP) plug-in for After Effects. This allows you to view your After Effects project on an NTSC monitor. This is a huge benefit when you are creating your After Effects project because you can see exactly what it is going to look like when it is broadcast or played on a television. The one thing you need to be aware of when installing the EMP is that you need to uninstall Avid first then install the EMP or else it will not work. Once you have installed the EMP you then can reinstall Avid. To turn on your external monitor you need to open After Effects and navigate to Edit>preferences and then you will see the Avid plug-in at the bottom of the preferences. Open this up and click on the IEE-1394 preview. Now you can preview all of your After Effects projects on you NTSC monitor.

The latest codecs in Windows Media player look great as it relates to downloadable and real-time streaming videos. One problem for those that are using the Mac platform is they do not get to take advantage of those codec quality improvements. That is because Windows Media player for the Mac has not been upgraded along with the version for Windows.

Here is something that will help you. Telestream has a Flip4Mac Windows Media plug-in that works with QuickTime and allows the ability to playback Windows Media streaming content in the QuickTime Player. The quality is excellent and Mac users can begin to enjoy Windows Media content in a new way.


The cost for the plug-in is inexpensive and worth the $9.99 it costs. Telestream makes other great tools in addition to the Windows Media plug-in for QuickTime Player. There are also Windows Media Import and Exports components if you need to import and edit Windows Media content or if you need to export Windows Media content for streaming for the web. These tools work with QuickTime compatible applications

Take a look at the Windows Media tools for the Mac

Have you ever had a need to convert a PowerPoint presentation to video? With some high-end self advancing PowerPoint presentations and some regular manual-advancing presentations this might be something that you need to do. If this is the case, take a look at PowerPoint Video Converter. It is pretty easy to use. Open the application select the PowerPoint presentation you want to convert to video. Then click start. The tool even has a way to specify an auto play setting allowing the presentation to play through without you clicking anything. You can also specify a frame size.


Download a trial of PowerPoint to Video Converter

The PowerPoint to Video Converter software is great because it allows the ability to save a video file to uncompressed AVI which allows for easy compression in a Video Compression application. This will be a good first step in helping you create PowerPoint videos that need to be added to CD-rom, DVD or the Web.

One of the most important features of many non linear editing systems is the ability to understand DV metadata that contains time of day marks. Both Avid Xpress and Final Cut Pro have this feature.


In Final Cut Pro it is called DV Start Stop Detect. In Avid Xpress it is called DV Scene Extraction. The end result for both programs is the same.

However, there are a few limitations to this technology. Here they are:

There needs to be a change in time while the footage is being recorded. Hence, the camera operator must start and stop the camera between scenes.

Footage must originate on DV. Beta-Cam, Digital Beta-Cam will not work.

You must record your footage using a firewire cable directly into your editing system. Running the signal through a converter or using SDI will not work.

The time-clock (time of day clock) must be correctly functioning in your DV camera.

One interesting note, if you make a Direct DV to DV copy using a firewire cable, the meta data (DV Start Stop information) will be maintained.


If you edit on Avid and also have After Effects you need to make sure you install the Avid External Monitor Preview (EMP) plug-in for After Effects. This allows you to view your After Effects project on an NTSC monitor. This is a huge benefit when you are creating your After Effects project because you can see exactly what it is going to look like when it is broadcast or played on a television. The one thing you need to be aware of when installing the EMP is that you need to uninstall Avid first then install the EMP or else it will not work. Once you have installed the EMP you then can reinstall Avid. To turn on your external monitor you need to open After Effects and navigate to Edit>preferences and then you will see the Avid plug-in at the bottom of the preferences. Open this up and click on the IEE-1394 preview. Now you can preview all of your After Effects projects on you NTSC monitor.

If you plan on taking your creativity to the highest level then now doubt you will eventually need more effects for your projects in After Effects. I use several additional plug-INS in most of my projects but one of the hottest plug-ins right now is Trapcodes Shine. You have more than likely seen this used over and over in many different applications and the uses for shine are endless. It gives the illusion that light is coming from behind your subject or text. You can also animate this plug-in for a motion type effect. You can download this plug-in for After Effects from the Trapcode web site and read several tutorials on different ways to use Shine.
Trish & Chris Meyer compare the different light ray tools in an article in DV Magazine May 2002; Shine proves being the fastest and a must have!

After you have used Final Cut Pro for a while, you will start to understand the importance of being able to customize your keyboard on a project to project basis as you find yourself needing certain shortcuts regularly to perform a particular task.


Saving Keyboard Layouts

1 Go to Tools > Keyboard Layout > Save Keyboard Layout.

2 Within the dialog box, give your layout a name and specify where you want to save it. Click Save.

Loading A Customized Layout

1 Go to Tools > Keyboard Layout > Load Keyboard Layout.

2 Within the dialog box, find the name of your customized layout and select it, then select Choose. Remember, upon importing a customized keyboard layout, you are replacing all pre-existing ones

If you are interested in learning HTML, ASP , Javascript or SMIL to add your streaming videos or interactive content on-line, Here is a website to help you.



On the website there is information about Object Tags, Embed Tags, Video and Audio Media. When you visit the website you can interact with hands on tutorials that help you understand the web authoring process. To add streaming videos and audio to the Internet you must learn how to work with HTML or other Mark-up Languages and this site does a great job of teaching that.

There is a cool on-line demo to check out the video compression quality of the Sorenson Media CODECs.


The tool is nice because it shows you what the video looks like with and without compression using CODECS such as: MPEG4, Sorenson Spark Pro and the Sorenson Video Pro 3. You can see examples of 2-pass VBR, Image Processing, Cropping and other features.

View the Sorenson Media CODEC demos

Although the majority of the logging capabilities of Final Cut Pro are located in the Log and Capture window, you can always add more information via the browser window after you have captured the desired material. With this being said and with all of the proper hardware connections having been made, here are some of the most popular ways to log and capture material within Final Cut Pro.


Batch Capturing allows you to review the material that you have shot via a camcorder or VTR and set in and out points for multiple scenes that you wish to capture within the log and capture window. You can name those scenes, then go back and capture all of those scenes one after the other hands free by selecting the Batch button. This method is useful if capturing the entire tape is not an option and if you need multiple select scenes. You could run into problems with a batch capture if the tape you are ingesting has many timecode breaks.

Another popular Log and Capture method is logging a clip, then immediately capturing that single clip. You would capture each clip in this manner. This technique can take a while and would be useful when you are aware that there are many timecode breaks within the tape you want to ingest.

With drive space permitting, you could also capture an entire tape as one huge clip, then use markers to break it up into individuals scenes after capture. If you have recorded the footage toggling the record but off and on between takes, you could also use the DV Start/Stop Detect function to break it into individual scenes.


Adobe After Effects 6.5 includes nearly three hundred preset text animations that you can apply from the Effects & Presets palette to instantly create complex text animations. You can view the available presets in the Animation Presets folder in the Effects & Presets palette. To apply a text preset: Drag an animation preset from the Effects & Presets palette to a text layer in the Composition window or Timeline window. I use these text presets on a daily basis and the great thing about them is that they are fully adjustable. In your timeline you can easily adjust the range. If you would like the animation to be quicker then simply move the two keyframes closer or maybe you want them to last longer then just move them farther apart. To learn more of these exciting tricks sign up for our up and coming After Effects classes.

It is a good time for people that view QuickTime streaming video content on the web to start upgrading their QuickTime software to the latest version, QuickTime 7. One of the greatest elements about this version update of the media player is the addition of the H.264 CODEC into the player. This will allow the viewing of H.264 streaming content.

Also, Quicktime 7 also has automatic bandwidth detection similar to Intelligent Streaming for Windows Media and Surestream for Real Media. Content providers will be able to embed profiles for different bit rates/data rates and the QuickTime 7 player will delivery a streaming video suitable for your internet connection. This is a great feature!


There is also a complete re-design of the media player that sports a new look and numerous additional features. The new QuickTime 7 player is definitely worth checking out.

Download QuickTime 7 by visiting Apple's website


Avid Express Pro 5.2 HD is now available for download. This PC-based release brings support for native High Definition Video (HDV) editing, adding the HDV format to Avid's Open Timeline which can now easily mix and match DV, DV50, uncompressed SD, DVCPRO HD, Avid DNxHD and HDV in real-time. As we progress forward into the HD world Avid pushes the envelope so that us, as editors, are ready to take on the world of tomorrow. If you already have Express Pro HD go here to download the latest version or go here to upgrade from SD to 5.2 HD.

This is our final part in the series, Advantages of Using a Streaming Hosting Company. Today we will talk about Content Delivery Networks. A Content Delivery Network is one of the key reasons for using a Stream Hosting Company. The advantage is it can reduce the amount of network hops (Internet networks) it takes before viewers can see your streaming content.

If you host your own streaming server on, for example, a Road Runner business class service, it might take anywhere from 20 to 24 hops before viewers can see your videos. Passing through several networks is a bad thing and can also cause packet loss and decrease the overall quality of the streaming experience for viewers. It might also require you to prepare your content at lower bit rates/data rates. Content Delivery Networks (CDN's) solve this problem because instead of streaming videos coming from one location to the viewer, videos are uploaded to a streaming server and copied to "edge servers" for delivery.


Learn about Limelight Networks' Content Delivery Network

An edge server is a streaming server in close proximity to your potential viewer. For example, If you are using a Content Delivery Network and someone is viewing your streaming content from Atlanta, Georgia, then they are viewing streaming videos from an "edge server" closest to Atlanta. Many times if you are using a Content Delivery Network your viewers are only one 1 network hop away from your streaming content. This improves the quality of the streaming experience to your users.

You have just been handed the finished graphic that you will use in your thirty second spot for a Lexus dealership and now its time to superimpose it over the video where a couple is handed their keys, then drive off into the sunset.


Superimposing A Graphic

1 Either set your in and out points within the sequence or simply park the playhead over the video you wish to superimpose over, before you make your edit.

2 Set the in point in the viewer, when usinig something other than a static image, to mark where the superimposed clip should start.

3 Make the edit by clicking on the superimpose button within the canvas or dragging the clip from the viewer to the superimpose overlay within the canvas window. You could also press the F12 key, assuming that it has not been remapped.

How about learning After Effects to compliment Final Cut Studio.

Whether your goal is to create quality voiceovers for your own indpendent films cut with Avid or Final Cut Pro, commercial spots, or to showcase your talents in hope of landing a few freelance gigs, setting up your own voiceover studio requires cautious planning and research.


Will the space you have designated for your studio suffice? Will it be located in an apartment and if so, is it secure from outside noises? Do you own a computer with a decent soundcard and what sort of microphone should you use? These are just a few questions you need to be asking before you make such an investment. This article will help you answer these questions and get you going in the right direction. Take a look at Equipping Your Home Voiceover Studio.

Another good reason to use a Streaming Hosting Company is because they have access to streaming servers, where your video and audio content can be stored and made available for streaming. Why spend money that you don't have to spend or why place videos on your web server when you can host your videos on a streaming server which can provide the following benefits:

- User doesn't receive a copy of the content on their computer

- Detailed reports can be made from streaming content

- Streaming servers can communicate with Media players to provide a better experience.

- Allows for content protection (pay per view models)

- Allows for live streaming of content in real-time

- Can deliver long format streaming video and audio easily

- and Allows for random access of long form content


Learn about VitalStream's Streaming Hosting Services

The set-up of a streaming server is not a difficult task to perform if you have a good network administrator which already understands networks. Where Streaming Hosting companies are beneficial is with providing unlimited bandwidth and many times access to a Content Delivery Network that improves your users' viewing experience. We will talk about Content Delivery networks for streaming video and audio in our final installment of the Advantages of Using a Stream Hosting Company.

Have you been searching for that perfect software plug-in so you can create that specialized effect?


There is a great website called toolfarm.com that contains a comprehensive list of plug-ins for various video editing software packages. You might want to add this site to one of your favorites.

There are a number of text generators that can be utilized within Final Cut Pro such as: Lower third, Outline Text, Crawl, Scrolling Text, Text, and Typewriter.


Locating The Text Generators

1 To access these generators, click either the video or audio tab located within the Viewer widow, locate the icon that is in the shape of the letter A on a filmstrip background, click on it, then choose text to make your selection from the pop-up menu.

2 Within the viewer, click the Controls tab and begin typing your text within the text field. Remember, each generator has its own unique controls, such as Kerning and Leading etc, so when you are planning your project, be mindful of the controls that are associated with the generater you plan on using.

After you have written and manipulated your text, you can add it to your sequence as you would a video clip.

Adding Text To Your Sequence

1 Make sure you have specified the track in which you want to place the text clip. If you were to make a V2 track to place your text in, the content in V1 would then become the backdrop for that text.

2 Click the Video tab in the Viewer window and set your In and Out points within the text clip.

3 Drag the text clip either to the designated timeline track or to the Canvas window to place it into your sequence.

Check out this overview of the Boris Calligraphy Titling Tools In Final Cut Pro 5.

Another good reason to use a Streaming Hosting Company is because they can usually provide streaming reports which give feedback on the activity on your streaming server. This helps you find our different types of information such as:

- How many times a video or audio file is viewed

- Number of visitor sessions

- Number of visitors and ip addresses for your visitors

- Error codes if there are problems

- Media Player versions that viewers are using

- Operating system of your visitors

- Countries that vistiors are from

- and Clickstreams (or paths of visitors sessions)


Learn about Vchange's Streaming Hosting Services

Having access to streaming reports can be of great value for you and your clients if they have streaming content on a streaming server and it also can help your technical people that manage your streaming content. A Stream Hosting company can easily provide a service like this because it can be time consuming gathering the data. You can also do it on yourself by purchasing software and having the time to process the information.


Understanding how to use the different waveform monitors inside your Avid application is essential to proper color analysis. You first need to understand the difference between the YC waveform monitor and the Y waveform monitor and when to use them. The most common is the Y waveform monitor is used to analyze the blacks, whites and midtones. This is most common scope to use to match scene brightness across your cuts and make sure that you are within the safe limits of broadcast. The YC waveform is best used to check your chrominance values. These are your chroma and luma waveforms but you should never use the YC waveform to detect luminance because it can be very difficult to detect luminance with the chroma wave in your sight. The blue-green waveform shout not exceed 110 IRE for NTSC and never fall below -20 NTSC. Keep these tips in mind and you will be on to effective and accurate color corrections in Avid Express Pro.

With the increased need to add videos to the web and the expensive cost to purchase, set-up and maintain streaming servers, a new type of company has emerged. It is called a Stream Hosting company and they specialize in hosting video and audio content on Streaming Servers, providing Streaming Reports and maintaining Content Delivery Networks to host streaming videos.


Learn about StreamGuys Streaming Hosting Services

An additional advantage of using a Streaming Hosting company is that they can provide the upfront cost for bandwidth by purchasing it in advance so businesses, educational institutions and other organizations do not have to. These companies can also provide an unlimited amount of bandwidth for streaming videos. In addition to cost, using a Stream Hosting company can be inexpensive in comparison to purchasing your own streaming servers and having someone to set it up and maintain it. The cost for Stream Hosting services is mainly based on video storage amounts and the amount of bandwidth used. The reason why these costs are able to be kept low is because Stream Hosting companies generally have many clients so the cost gets distributed amount them.

In this 4 part series about Streaming Hosting companies we will talk more about Streaming Servers, Streaming Reports and Content Delivery Networks.


Reducing a composition's memory requirements
Once you identify the layers that use memory-intensive features, you can employ several strategies to reduce the memory load:

1. Collapse transformations of nested compositions where possible. Collapsing transformations calculates the transform property changes once for all nested compositions instead of calculating at every level in the composition hierarchy. This saves memory and improves performance. This technique cannot be used if the nested composition uses a mask or effect.

2. Render compositions in draft mode. Although draft quality is not sufficient for final output, it produces a movie that is good enough for previewing your project.

3. Reduce the number of changes you can undo with the Undo command by choosing Edit > Preferences > General (Windows) or After Effects > Preferences > General (Mac OS) and typing a lower number for Levels of Undo.

4. Free up RAM currently used to cache images by choosing Edit > Purge > Image Caches. You can also free up RAM currently used to store undo changes by choosing Edit > Purge > Undo.

If these tips do not help then maybe more RAM is in your future?

GeniusDV has launched a Video Streaming Forum available at

Video Streaming Forum - www.geniusdv.com/avid-fcp/

Visit the forum so you can post your questions about Video Streaming and Compression. Simply sign up for a log-in account and you can start posting you questions. Fill free to post question about compressing video for Windows Media, QuickTime, Real or Flash content.


If you're trying to post your videos on the web and your using AVID or Final Cut Pro this Streaming Forum can help you.

After you have finished consctructing your DVD menu in photoshop or within Motion 1 or 2, or set a piece of video as your background, its time to decide what that menu will do once it has reached its end. Do you set it to loop or do you end and begin on a common frame (a good still menu option)? Its a good thing to keep in mind, while building your menus with video, that looping may appear smoother if you faded down your video at the end and picked music that had a natural ending. In Any case, you always want to choose a clean ending point for your music. If you have decided to go with a still menu, you could also make the last frame that your menu ends on the same as the begining frame, so that when the loop occurs the menu would appear continuous.


How To Loop A Menu

- Within the inspector window, choose the General tab.

- Select the Loop option from the At End pop-up menu.

While being a producer for a weekly television show, where 90% of the time things came together at the last minute, I found that the quickest way for me to lay down my completed timeline to tape, from within Avid Xpress Pro, was to press record on the VTR and press the spacebar to play my sequence. Well, you can essentially do the same within Final Cut Pro. Final Cut Pro will allow you to activate the external video ouput function and press record on your VTR or camcorder, then play your timeline to lay it to tape.


Recording From The Timeline

- After you have made the proper hardware connections, enable external video monitoring within FCP.

- Make sure to place the playhead where you want the recording to begin within the timeline.

- Press Record on you VTR or camera and give it time to rev up.

- Within Final Cut Pro, go to Mark > Play and select how you want the timeline to play back: Your choices would be to play to the out point, play from in to out, etc.

- Stop the recording device when your sequence has finished playing.

Get training on the entire Final Cut Studio bundle right here!

Receive FREE Tutorials by email:


    Avid Media Composer Training
  • Enrollment Cost: $50.00
  • 84 Media Composer Lectures
  • Includes Practice Media
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Official Certificate of Completion
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Click to Enroll for 10% off!
    Final cut Pro X Training
  • Enrollment Cost: $20.00
  • 60 Final Cut Pro X Lectures
  • Includes Practice Media
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Official Certificate of Completion
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Click to Enroll


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

September 2005 is the previous archive.

November 2005 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.