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November 2005 Archives

Being able to make your text exciting is very important if you are trying to make a point or even sell something. With After Effects you can apply over 300 text pre-sets with great ease. I outlined this in a previous entry so for the fine details refer to that entry. I came across two pre-sets that I have used for a very dramatic effect and thought everyone should try them:

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Be adventurous and try some of these or any of the other pre-sets.

There is a super time-saving tool available for calculating the file sizes of your streaming videos. Normally you would have to break out your conversion formulas but this tool, by Playstream, makes the process easy. The free downloadable and on-line tool is called the Streaming Calculator and is available at www.streamingcalculator.com

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The Streaming Calculator is able to calculate multiple data rates for those that stream in many different bit rates and it can also handle calculation of Surestream and Intelligent streams.

Other Links:

Purchase Streaming & Compression Tools from GeniusDV E-store

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Listen to the GeniusDV: Streaming Media Podcast

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Being able to accurately move clips in your timeline is a very important process of you editing workflow. Segment editing allows you to reposition segments in your timeline. I am sure most of you have used segment editing at one point so I want to focus on a specific technique. If you are trying to move a segment straight up or down to a different video track in your timeline but you do not want it to move left or right.segment edting.gif
This is very simple to do but most editors new to Avid do not know this technique. Select the Lift/Overwrite button (red) and click on the desired segment. Now hold down the control key (windows) and move your segment up or down and it will snap in that direction. To learn tips like this and much more sign up for one of our up and coming classes.

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It doesn't matter whether you choose to cut with Final Cut Pro, Avid or whatever you may use to tell your story or convey a message, you'll need good music to set it off! If you've been searching diligently for the right music for your project, Opuzz.com has a wide selection of royalty free music and loops with categories ranging from Blues to Japaneese in their World Music section. This site is deep with content and you can preview tracks before you buy so you know what you're getting. Check them out!

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I know I really beat this topic into the ground but it is very important to keep up on the latest supported devices for you Avid Editing Products. You may think the latest and greatest products should run on your Avid system without problem but this may not be the case. To be completely sure always refer to the document Avid offers you on an ongoing basis. This document is meant to provide a comprehensive list of input/output devices that have been tested and qualified for use with the Avid family of editor products. This document shall cover DV cameras, videotape decks, and transcoders from various manufacturers that are currently supported for use with Avid applications. This document will be updated as necessary to incorporate new devices that Avid qualifies in future releases of its editor applications. So stay tuned for everything you need to know about installing an Avid Mojo.

In addition to being able to rearrange clips in Final Cut Pro by dragging and pressing a modifier key, you can also rearrange clips in a sequence by entering a timecode value.

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1 Within the Timeline, choose the clips that you wish to move.

2 Enter a timecode value representing the postion where you want the clip(s) to be moved. For example if you want the clip to move forward 15 frames type 15. If you want the clip to move backward 15 frames type -15. It will seem akward at first, because when you start typing it is into thin air, but when you enter the numerical value, your typing will appear above the timeline sequence.

3 Press return after you have entered a value.

This method will work only if you have gaps before or after the clips you have selected, depending on which direction you will be moving them. You will receive a Clip Collision message if the clips you are moving are already nestled against other clips.

If you have a huge timeline sequence and have placed many markers along the way, a quick way to jump to the specific marker you are looking for is to right click in the Current Timeline Field, with a two button mouse, or control click with a one button mouse, in the Current Timcode Field. You can then choose the name of the marker in the menu that opens.

If you don't know how to give a marker a name, simply park directly over the marker, then go to Mark > Markers > Edit and type a name into the name field.

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See how to animate text in Adobe After Effects!

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For all of you Final Cut Pro users who are looking for something new to spice up a project, Sounddogs.com may be just what you're looking for! This site is full of sound effects, production Music, Samples and Loops and it's all royalty free.

There's alot of content here and you can sample each sound to see if its the right one for the job. Have fun!

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Have you ever played through a sequence and just realized you used a clip twice. This kind of a mistake, if not corrected before final output, can cost you a job. Avid has a great tool to help you avoid such kind of mistake, Dupe Detection. Dupe detection will keep track of the frames in your timeline and locate every instance that a frame is duplicated on any of the video tracks. You can also use dupe detection to make sure you have certain duplicated elements in your timeline that you want to have repeat. All you have to do is turn dupe detection on in your timeline. Navigate to your fast menu in the bottom left corner of your timeline and when the fly out menu opens select Dupe Detection from the list. Now you can rest assured you won’t have to worry about this mistake.

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Film editor Michael McCusker considers himself lucky to have landed his first full editing credit. McCusker earned this great job the old fashion way. He worked under James L. Brooks on the Simpson’s and for David Brenner, Independence Day and Day After tomorrow. He attributes his knowledge of Avid and the non-linear experience he has to his fast acceleration in the business.

“We got into the habit - David and I - of pushing the Avid as far as it could go using all of its features for sound and visual effects. We took advantage of the systems as much as possible,� McCusker explains.

Being able to adapt to all situations helps any editor throughout the editing process. The Avid editing system allows for adaptive changes and last minute fixes with ease. Check out the full story, Sweet Redemption: Walk the Line Unveils Ties that Bind and do not forget to sign up for the next Avid class to jump-start your editing career.

To perform a constant speed adjustment for a clip, simply select the clip within the sequence > press command J > then change your clips speed by typing in a value in the percent field.

Learn how to perform a variable speed change,Time Remapping, in Final Cut Pro!

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Have you ever tried to convert an mpg2 file into Avid Xpress or Final Cut Pro and discover that the audio doesn't carry over?

Fortunately, I found an excellent tool on the web for pre-processing videos. The application is called MPEG Streamclip and the software is freeware that is available from Squared 5. You can download MPEG Streamclip at http://www.squared5.com/ The software is a High-quality conveter for MPEG files, QuickTime and transport streams compatible with the new iPod.

Here's what I like about the software. You can use MPEG streamclip to open most formats and then convert to QuickTime, AVI, DV, MPEG2, MPEG4, H.264 files. If you work with multimedia you have got to get this tool. It really cool! You can de-interlace content, make adjustments to volume, contrast, brightness, and saturation.

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The application also has the ability to crop and trim videos and export still frames from video clips. I expect MPEG Streamclip to be one of my favorite tools.

Download MPEG Streamclip and test its capabilities

Recently, I had a challenging task of trying to find a free tool to convert QuickTime files to the MPEG2 format. It was a challenging task and I found it difficult to find a free and easy to use conversion tool to MPEG2. What I did find out is that it is easier just to purchase a good encoding tool to do the job. One of things that you pay for with the better encoding tools is ease of use and pre-built default settings for compression.

Compression Master, Procoder, and Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite are great applications to use for compressing MPEG2 content. One added benefit of using the Mac platform is if you are using Final Cut Pro or DVD Studio Pro it comes with Apple's Compressor software that can compress videos to the MPEG2 format.

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Take a look at Procoder for MPEG2 compression

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If you are new to Avid or a seasoned veteran you may or may not know how to create multiple version of a setting. Being able to create multiple settings in Avid Express Pro is essential to a fast workflow. I have many different settings for y timeline views and a couple of settings for my keyboard. If you find yourself always resetting some of your settings in Avid Express Pro here is a great way to change those settings with a click of the mouse.

1.Choose all settings from the project window.

2.Single-click the setting from the project window that you want to make a duplicate to highlight it.

3.Press Cntl+D to create a copy.

4.Double click the new setting to set it to your custom settings.

5.Now click the name next to your new setting and name it something that will help you remember it for easy retrieval.

6.Now all you need to do is activate these settings by clicking once in the check mark column on the left of the setting in the project window.

After you have made the necessary hardware connections such as: connecting a microphone to a preamplifier > connecting the preamplifier to an audio port inside your computer, you will need to configure the Voice Over tool to work with the hardware.

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Setting Audio Inputs within the Voice Over tool

1 Go to Tools > Voice Over.

2 Inside of the Source menu, select the proper audio interface.

3 Select the audio input in which your micophone is plugged into the preamplifier. This could be input 1, input 2 etc.

4 Set the sampler rate as same as the one that has been designated for the sequence you are working in.

Learn how to set up your own voiceover studio!

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If you are new to Avid Express Pro or a seasoned veteran, it is always a good idea to go back to the basics and review what is important. When you are editing in the timeline you often need to find the very beginning or the very ending of an edit point. There are two ways to go about this with the mouse and keyboard or just with keyboard shortcut. This is one of those very rare times when I prefer the mouse to the keyboard shortcut in Avid Express Pro. To use the mouse and keyboard you simply Cntrl+click near the transition and it will snap the head of the frame. If you want to find the tail of a frame simply Ctrl+Alt+click near the end of the transition. The second way to accurately find the head or tail is to use the keyboard shortcuts. Use Q to go to the in and W to find the tail of the transition. It appears the keyboard shortcut would be much faster and easier. This is true if you have only one video track or at least one video track selected. We all edit in a multiple track world so it will snap to the next edit point regardless of track. The great thing about using your mouse and keyboard is you can move your mouse to the exact location in the timeline and it will not be track sensitive. This may seem to be very simple but it is much more accurate and for once the mouse is mightier than the keyboard shortcut.

While in the midst of finding rythym and pace in a project, when marrying multilayered effects with attention grabbling shot angles, it can be beneficial for you to disable a single clip within a layer to see how the piece would work without it. You could even temporarily replace the clip with another without removing the original.

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Disabling a Sinlge Clip

1 Select the clip or clips you wish to disable within the sequence.

2 Uncheck the Clip Enable selection by going to Modify > Clip Enable. You can enable the clip by going to Modify >Clip Enable to check the selection.

Check out some HD Water Effects from Artbeats!

You can save time by making audio adjustments to a group of clips.

Adjusting The Volume of a Group of Clips

1 Select the group of audio clips in the timeline that you wish to adjust.

2 Go to Modify >Levels.

3 Adjust the audio levels by dragging the slider in the Gain Adjust window. You can choose to make the ajustments either Relative (volume is adjusted relative to the current level) or Absolute (All volume levels will be set to the level indicated).

Learn how to move a project from Adobe Premiere to Final Cut Pro.

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I believe that it is safe to say that we have all started down a definite path with a given project and at some point have decided to change direction. If you want to try something drastically different, I would create a duplicate sequence that you could go back to if it doesn't work out. If you've made a ton of changes to the audio via filters and keyframes that just aren't working out, their is a quick way to get back to sqaure one.

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Removing All Audio Filters and Keyframes from your Sequence

1 Select all of the audio clips in your sequence.

2 If you have a two button mouse, right click one of the selected audio clips and select Remove Attributes from the menu. If you are using a one button mouse, you will have to control click to get to this menu.

3 Within the Remove Attributes menu choose Levels, Pan and Filters, then click OK.

Learn how to superimpose in FCP.

Final Cut Pro makes yet another big screen appearance in the up coming feature"Little Manhattan," a comedy about a young boy's first love directed by Mark Levin. When Levin, former writer for "The Wonder Years" hired Alan Bell to be the editor of this feature, he was on a quest for quality and had the budget to get it. Alan had only used Final Cut once before for the feature "An Anarchist's Cook Book," but was quick to convince Levin that Final Cut Pro was the right tool to achieve the cinematic quality he had envisioned for this project.

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"When I said to Mark that I'd prefer to work in Final Cut Pro, his eyes lit up. He very much liked the idea of us being able to share HD dailies in his office."

- Alan Bell

Read the entire article and view the trailer for the love story that Final Cut Pro help to bring together, "Little Manhattan."

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Avid editing products support a number of videotape decks from many manufacturers. The decks can support full edit capabilities, or only record or play functions. Avid provides deck control capabilities through either a direct serial connection or a V-LAN/VLX connection. Macintosh systems support serial decks. Windows systems support serial decks and DV cameras and decks (for systems with the DV/MPEG option) - 11.8_supported_decks_serial.htm. Avid engineers have spent many hours keeping up with and testing many different decks. Check out the full list of supported decks just remember if your deck is not listed it still might work with the generic deck settings that Avid provides.

If you need to export many clips and sequences with various dimensions and codecs, the Batch Export function in FCP can save you plenty of time.

1 Select the clips, sequences or bins in the Browser that you want to export.

2 Go to File > Batch Export. The Export Queque window will now appear with the files you have selected located in a newly formed bin. Each bin that you create (Command B) has its own export settings properties and you can manipulate them by clicking on the Settings tab located at the bottom of the Export Queque.

If you wish to add more files to Batch Export Queque, simply drag the desired files from the browser window to a bin.

3 After you have set the individual export properties for each bin, click the Export tab at the bottom of the Queque.

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Learn how to reduce the memory needs of After Effects.

The StreamGuide provides a great on-line streaming resource for Video and Audio on the web. The StreamGuide provides a free, format neutral audio and video guide to streaming media. Sponsored by StreamGuys, the StreamGuide currently list over 620 on-line stations from 220 countries.

If you have an on-line channel streaming channel you can submit it to the StreamGuide.

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The StreamGuide is also ready for the next generation of streaming media on the web by providing a Podcast Directory where you can submit your audio and video podcasts.

Visit the StreamGuide Video and Audio Streaming Channels and Podcast Directory

When viewing your clips as thumbnails, sometimes the poster frame of the clips are not accurate dipictions of the action that occurs within the clip.

Changing The Poster Frame of a Clip

1 Open a clip in the viewer by double clicking it in the Browser.

2 Select the video scrub tool in the tool palette and scrub through the clip until you find the frame that you want.

3 Go to Mark > Set Poster Frame.

Learn more about the matchframe capabilities of Final Cut Pro.

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The XML interchange capability of FCP is way to describe projects in great detail such as which sequences, transitions, effects, color correction, and font colors were used. These details can be saved to disk in plain text format and edited.

Let's say that you have used a particular font color throughout an entire project that is very large. Strolling through the timeline and making all of those changes manually would take a long time, but XML interchange allows you to export the sequence > edit it in a program such as Microsoft Word > find the instances where that color parameter is used and change them all at once.

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Final Cut Pro was the weapon of choice for Walter Murch, who edited Jarhead in DVCPRO HD in Final Cut Pro 4.5. Armed with multiple G5s the editing began in L.A and progressed to Skywalker Ranch while crew members shared quicktime time files via Xsan Software.

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“The thing that makes Final Cut Pro a pro app is its ability to interact with other departments. Tape isn’t dead, but I prefer to work random access with QuickTime and digital files."

Editor Walter Murch

Read the entire story of how this editing crew used Final Cut Pro to save to save precious time in post in a major Hollywood film.

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This might not be an editing how-to or a guide to shortcuts but this has always bothered me and I finally figured out how to kill messenger. Windows Messenger is the Microsoft instant messaging program built into Windows XP. Windows Messenger is very annoying if you don’t use instant messaging. Microsoft has tightly integrated this program into many of its other programs including Outlook Express, Outlook and Remote Assistance. However there are ways to disable it from starting, remove it, or for the most part completely get rid of it. I recommend getting rid of it if you do not use it so that it does not come back to haunt you.

Removing Messenger from computers WITHOUT Service Pack 1 installed
Make sure your Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Windows Messenger and other programs are closed before doing this.
1) Click on Start, Run
2) Type the following (or cut and paste it) into the Run line
RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove
3) Click on OK

Removing Messenger from computers WITH Service Pack 1 or greater installed
1) Click on Start, Control Panel
2) Double click on Add or Remove Programs
3) Select Add/Remove Windows Components
4) Uncheck Windows Messenger
5) Click Next
6) Click Finish
7) Restart your computer

Attention all indie filmakers, reality television and documentary producers, Canon has entered the HD 24p battle for supremacy with their new 1080i Xl H1. Some of its features include:
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- Uncompressed 1080i/60i HD-SDI output at 1.485 Gbps, allowing for multi-format external HD recording.

- A new HD Lens

- New Digic DV II Image Processor (the same CPU technology found in Canon's still cameras}.

- Customization for NTSC and PAL recording.

See the Canon Xl H1 specs side by side with the Panasonic HVX 200 and check out this new HD camera dressed in black!

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JVC has long been one of the leaders in innovation. The teamed up with Fire-Store on their 5000 series to offer the first factory offered on board hard-disk recording. Well, they have done it again with the new GY-HD100. Not only is this a camera of the future but they teamed up again with Fire-Store and Anton-Bauer to offer a package that stands all on its own. The centerpiece of JVC's affordable HD approach is called ProHD, an HDV-compatible video system with professional specifications, including four-channel audio, time code, true 24p HD and dual media direct recording to HDV cassettes and hard disk. JVC utilizes widely available, non-proprietary technologies such as MPEG-2 compression, DV recording media and conventional hard disk drives to achieve its affordable HD solution. This non-proprietary technology really helps JVC to again be the leader in the new HD cameras. I current own the JVC GY-5000u with the Fire-Store and the Anton-Bauer Dionic 90's with the matching light. This is a great system and the HD100 is the next logical step I our productions. Check out the full review from Videography and see what you think.

If you can't hear your audio while working in Final Cut Pro, but can see the levels pulsating in the meter, you probably have the All Frames selection checked. If you go to View > External Video and select All Frames, you are choosing to kick out your video and audio through the firwire cable, therefore you would not be able hear your sequence through your computer speakers.

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Go to View > External Video > Off to hear your sequence through the computer speakers. Note, if you want to view your work on an external monitor, you will need to have All Frames selected and make the necessary speaker connections via VTR to hear your audio.

If you are wondering how to set up your own voiceover studio at home, then you need to read this article.

When you are providing links to Quicktime Streaming videos you will generally use Poster Movies which provide a link to play the QuickTime Movie in the Quicktime Player or in a Web Browser. If you are linking to another web page a Poster Movies will not be necessary.

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Poster Movies are 1 frame Quicktime Movies that are embedded in the web page and look like graphics. The Apple Movie Trailers website at http://www.apple.com/trailers/ has some great examples of Poster Movies.

Poster Movies are easy to create. Here is how to do it:

1. Create a JPEG image using a program like Photoshop, or any other image editing
program.

2. Open QuickTime Pro and Choose "Open File" from the QuickTime File pull-down menu
and navigate to your JPEG image to open it inside QuickTime.

3. From the File pull-down menu Choose "Save As" and Navigate to the folder where
you want to save your file and select the "Save as self-contained movie" radio button.

4. Your Poster Movie is Done

Note: Creating Poster Movies is a feature of QuickTime Pro

I recently did several compression tests for the Video iPod, aimed at helping people create good compression settings for preparing videos for iTunes and the Video iPod. If you are using iTunes 6, it appears to be more forgiving and allowing playback of more types of QuickTime videos than the Video iPod.

In my testing I compressed 19 videos for iTunes and the Video iPod and all 19 played back successfully inside using iTunes 6. Only 17 of the videos compressed played backed successfully on the Video iPod. The videos that did not play on the Video iPod used 2-pass VBR for the compression method. I compressed to H.264/AVC, MPEG-4, and QuickTime in my testing.

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Get settings for preparing content for the Video iPod in the GeniusDV Compression Forum

I posted a list of many of the settings used to successfully compress videos for the Video iPod, using QuickTime Pro and Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite on our website. They can be found in the GeniusDV Video Compression Forum.

A Special thanks to A MacIntosh Store for allowing me to test video on one their Video iPods

You can choose whether or not Final Cut Pro opens the last project you were working on or simply open a blank project upon launch. The default setting is to open the previous project you were working on, here's how to change the default setting. Just some more Final Cut Pro housekeeping!

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1 Go to Final Cut Pro > User Preferences, then click the tab labled General.

2 Find the "Open Last Project On Application Launch" checkbox and deselect it.

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I am currently working on several DVD’s that are very long and have some long sequences. I recently received a new error that I had not seen before Exception: 'FATAL_ERROR' An error occurred during export . At first I thought this was a problem with my computer so I re-booted and tried the lengthy export again. It happened again at the same time so I new it probably wasn’t the computer. It has to do with a maximum file export size. Both OMF and AVI have a maximum export file size of 2 gigs and when the 2 gig limit is reached then error displays itself. This turned out not to be the case with QuickTime exports. So the workaround is to either compress your media further or use the best method which is Quick time reference. The Quick time reference export does not lose any quality and is the perfect format for your DVD authoring software or Sorensen Squeeze. So, if you can avoid an OMF or AVI format, for export, than do so, if that is not possible this article will help you correct your problem.

You have been armed with many great post-production tips, ranging from how to perform various three point editing techniques in Final Cut Pro, , to creating menus in DVD Studio Pro, but do you remember the phrase "Garbage In Garbage Out?" The level of success you can acheive with the wares we discuss on a daily basis is largely dependent on the Production side of the equation.

You must know how to properly light a subject, you must learn how to compose a shot and you have to learn how to mic people. Yes, there are techniques in Avid and Final Cut that can help when you haven been less than perferct in these areas, but we're not teaching you to be a hack, we want you to become a professional. We'll start slow.

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Emphasizing a medium closeup of a person on camera is a balance between background and lighting. You don't want a busy background, like a tree growing out of a subject's head and you must know light placement and how many lights to use. Receiving instruction in abstract terms and watching someone else do it alone will not make you a professional. Hands on application of these concepts will get you started in the right direction. In January, GeniusDV will be provding an outlet for those of you who want hands on video production training.

All of you Final Cut Pro users out there who work on an outdoor sports show and are constantly out in the field, you know the rigors of setting up to get that perfect shot, which may or may not take you all day to capture. From the logistics behind keeping your batteries charged when you're out in the middle of nowhere, to what kind of movement you can get away with in a tree stand when shooting a trophy White Tail, you really need to know what you're doing! This is especially holds true for those of you who are about to go on your first African Safari and plan on capturing it to tape.

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This article will inform you on what equipment you will need on your adventure, how to properly protect that equipment, what research you'll need to conduct before you go, which shots to get and much much more. take a look! How to prepare for that first Video Safari.

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If you have spent much time using locaters in Avid before the HD version you may find the way the locaters work very annoying. The default set-up in HD is every time you insert a locater the locater dialog box opens and asks you to type in your comment. This is great for organizational purposes but if you want to add them On-the-Fly this new feature is in your way. The great thing is once you are done you can go back to this dialog box and insert you comments. If you want to disable this feature and add locaters on-the-fly then here are the steps you need to take:

1. Map a locater to your keyboard
2. Right-click the Source or record monitors and select locators.
3. Choose Disable Locaters Popup from the Fast Menu.

Now you can play your sequence and add locaters on-the-fly.


You would be surprised how a procedure that may seem so elementary can trip up a beginning editor. During my travels in discussion forums, there have been several ocassions where someone has selected a large number of clips and wanted to deselect maybe two or three of them. Well, to those who may be wondering how to do this, it's a very simply process.

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Deselecting an Item in a Group Selection

1 Choose the Selection tool from within the tool box (the first tool in the shape of an arrow).

2 Command-click on the clip, in the row of selected clips, that you wish to deselect. That clip clip has now been deselected.

Learn how to close gaps in the timeline by using three point editing in FCP!

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On a 2.0GHz Power Mac G5 with 2GB of memory, Jonathan Lucas , editor of Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, uses Final Cut Pro to marry the stills and audio that make up this revolutionary film directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson. "Movies of this sophistication come around about every 10 years, if that," says Lucas who has been an assistant dirctor for films like "Troy," Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," and "102 Dalmatians" to name a few. Having never used Final Cut Pro before, within two weeks, Lucas says he was in full swing and working more efficiently than he ever could in other editing programs he has used. Check out the full article "Match Made in Final Cut Pro!"

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Here's a video with a sneak peak of Adobe After Effects 7.0. Click on the text that says Day Two, then click on the fourth picture from the left to see Steve Kilinsky of Adobe Systems give a brief presentation on Adobe After Effects 7.0. Check out the new Interface!

In order to get QuickTime Streaming videos to work on QuickTime Streaming Server, Darwin Streaming Server or Helix Streaming Server the movies must be hinted. Here's how to do it. Using QuickTime Pro, ProCoder, Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite, Compression Master or any other compression application, check the item the says Streaming or Hinted.

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The Hinted option for streaming generally shows up as the following in different applications:

- Movie to hinted movie

- Streaming (Hinted)

- Prepare ('Hint') for Streaming Server

- Hint - Prepare for Streaming

Once videos are hinted those QuickTime Movies can be uploaded to the Streaming Server for delivery. One item to note about QuickTime Streaming movies is that if you are creating downloadable streaming videos hinting is not needed. De-select the streaming option.

Note: Hinting is not required for other streaming formats such as: Windows Media, Real, and Flash

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about.this

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

October 2005 is the previous archive.

December 2005 is the next archive.

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