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March 2006 Archives

If you have every moved your Final Cut Pro Project into Soundtrack Pro to discover a few things did not transfer, don't worry, you didn't do anyting wrong. When you send a sequence from Final Cut Pro to Soundtrack Pro elements such as generators, slugs transitions and speed clips are not transfered? These elements are not rendered out to the base layer movie which is what is being imported into Soundtrack Pro.

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

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Streaming Music to cell phones is the next big thing. Now in terms of the technology to listen to streaming music on cell phones, the tools are getting better. I recently purchased a Samsung MM - A920 Sprint Power Vision phone (multimedia phone) and the quality that it has is amazing. I can listen to streaming music on the handset and it sounds fabulous. Accessing on-line music via RTSP works very well

To get streaming content to your cell phone you have to purchase the Sprint Power Vision service. The Sprint Power Vision service allows you to tap into a higher bandwidth tier to be able to view streaming media.

With the technology in place for those that want to provide content and those that want to listen to content, the stage is set for streaming music to cell phones. You can listen to streaming music via the Samsung MM - A920 and other phones on the Sprint Network through the handset speakers or via earphones. With this technology people can take their cell phones anywhere with them and stay connected with to their streaming music.

View Part 1 of "Streaming Music to Cell Phones: Next Big Thing - Part 2" to learn more about streaming to cell phones on the Sprint Network

Learn more about Sprint Power Vision multimedia phones and the Sprint Power Vision service.

Every now and again a client will ask for that cool looking effect with the wavelength moving to the beat. This request can easily be met with the Adobe Affect Effects Audio Waveform plug-in that ships with both After Fx's Pro and Standard editions.

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To create this effect the first thing you will need to do is create a new Solid by pressing Control + Y. Once your solid is created go to Effect > Render > Audio Waveform Effect. Make sure you tell the Audio Waveform effect which layer is your audio or your Waveform will be inactive.

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Now that your Waveform is moving to the beat you can adjust a variety of parameters that the plug-in has to offer such as inside & outside color, maximum height, and audio offset.

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Avid Express has many settings that can be very confusing. Here is an explination of your Display Settings.

DV Output Setting(not applicable to DV devices connected to an Avid Mojo):
1.Output to DV Device: Select this option if you are on a software-only system or if your system is connected to Avid Mojo but you have selected OHCI from the Device menu.
2.Format: This option is available only when you have Output to DV Device selected. Allows you to select the compressed format to be sent to the DV device.
3.Realtime Encoding: This option is available only when you have Output to DV Device selected and you are in an SD project. Also use this feature if you are on a software-only system. Allows you to enable or disable real-time effects.

Desktop Play Delay (not applicable to DV devices connected to an Avid Mojo)
1.Frames: Available only if you are on a software-only system or if you system is connected to an Avid Mojo but you have selected Device OHCI. Move the slider to increase or decrease the amount of frame offset.
Pre-filled Frames: Seconds of Video to Pre-Fill:
1. n seconds: Type the number of seconds by which to delay playback. By accepting a delay at the beginning of playback, you increase the likelihood that the system will play the material successfully. The maximum delay is 10 seconds.

Open GL Hardware:
1. Video boards installed on your system:Select the Open GL board for your video display. Selecting hardware gives you better performance.
2. Software Open GL:Select if you do not have an Open GL video board.

Enable Confidence View: Enable confidence view if you want to view incoming or outgoing media in the Composer monitor as you are capturing media or creating a digital cut.

Maximum Real Time Streams:
1.Stream Limit n: Select the number of video streams you want to display in the Record monitor at a time.

Many programs like Avid or Combustion usually have that serious "let's get down to business" dark grey interface as their default colors. Adobe After Fx's interface is a bit on the lighter site of grey but you can change that in your preferences if you go to Edit > Preferences > User Interface Colors.

Before

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After

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Time Display

Depending on what kind of project you are working on Time Display is very important. If you are working in a DV project then SMPTE wouldn't be a problem. But if you find yourself taking on a 16mm or 35mm film then it might be best to display Feet + Frames. After Effects gives you this option in project settings. Go to File > Project Settings

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Sister Companies Tiger Aspect and Tigress Productions in the UK produce everything from dramas to cartoons and has made their presence known all over the tele. In 2001, they opened a studio in Bethesda Maryland, strategically placing them in close proximity to networks such as The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, Bravo, Court TV for whom they have produced more than 190 hours of programming for since opening.

Their U.S office swithed to a MAC platform and uses Final Cut Studio to produce programs in SD and HD.

"The company made the decision to swtich to Final Cut based largley on price"

- Robert Zakin
Tiger/Tigress Supervising Editor

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With 20 years of experience editing short films and documentaries, Zakin sat down for the first time in front of a Final Cut Pro workstation. See what this veteran filmmaker has to say about his first FCP experience and about making the switch!

Streaming music to cell phones will be the next big thing. With the mass user base of cell phones in the U.S. and standards based technology being built into these devices, it makes perfect sense that streaming music on cell phones will be popular.

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In addition, cell phone networks such as Sprint are leading the way by allow streaming media to be viewed or listened to on their network openly. Most networks are closed including, Verizon's VCast streaming service which is a "walled garden" type of streaming environment, which means Verizon controls the streaming content that can be viewed by Verizon customers. Therefore it's not open. Sure most service providers have on-line media content that can be viewed using multimedia streaming phones with the purchase of add-on services including Sprint's Power Vision service.

However for the U.S., Cingular and Sprint provide the only open networks for mobile streaming, which means that anyone with a their own streaming server that supports 3G streaming music can provide content to Sprint customers. The Sprint Network is not a "walled garden" environment so listeners can tune into Streaming music content on cell phones by typing in the RSTP URL of the streaming channel of their choosing. So for example, if you want to have your own streaming music channel for Sprint mobile subscribers, you can do.

In our next and final part of "Streaming Music to Cell Phones: Next Big Thing", we will discuss the technology for listening to streaming music on your cell phone.

View Part 2 of "Streaming Music to Cell Phones: Next Big Thing - Part 2" to learn more about streaming to cell phones on the Sprint Network

Learn more about Sprint Power Vision multimedia cell phones and the Sprint Power Vision service.

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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The Matrox Pahelia series video cards offer a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) video output plug-in for Adobe After Effects. This plug-in will allow you to preview your work in After Effect through Composite or S-Video output on the fly. I own the Matrox Pahelia 128 Card and the video output feature for After Fx makes life so much easier.

Once you have the plug-in installed you can set your preferences by going to Edit > Preferences > Matrox WYSIWYG Plug-In.

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On a side note the WYSIWYG Plug-In will also work for Photoshop, Premiere, Combustion, 3DS Max and LightWave.

Visit Matrox for more information on the Parhelia Card as well as the WYSIWYG Plug-In for After Effects.

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I have never taken the time to try the Extend Function to create a split edit until last week. This is a very useful tool that should not be overlooked. The extend edit function in Avid allow you to create a split edit without entering into Trim mode. Once you place your edit point you can slide the edit point to trim frames in your timeline. The great function of extend edit is that you do not lose sync and allows you to mark edit points on-the-fly. Check out one of our great up and coming Avid classes and sign up soon seats are going fast.

For those in need of doing real-time video and audio encoding to Windows Media or Real Media, the Niagara 4112RW is just the tool you need. The Niagara 4112RW provides a low cost entry into real-time encoding. The unit is a 1U rack-mount system with an Intel Pentium4 2 GHz processor.

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The system includes:

- Osprey-220 streaming capture card
- 1U rack-mount breakout panel for A/V inputs (BNC, S-Video, RCA, and XLR)
- Niagara SCX remote encoder management and control software
- Osprey SimulStream software
- RealProducer Plus Version 8.5
- Windows Media Encoder 7.1
- Windows 2000 Professional
- Optional Accordent PresenterPro software


Learn more about Viewcast's Niagara 4112RW for real-time encoding for video and audio in Windows Media and Real Media formats.

Learn more about Osprey SimulStream and Accordent PresenterPro software.

The AE list is a non-commercial mailing list server for Adobe After Effects that was started by Rene Hedemyr back in 1997 when the AE AOL list shut down. The AE list like having teachers, experts, and professionals residing in your Inbox but before you subscribe your current email to the list I suggest you create a brand new account that will be dedicated to the list. There are hundreds of users asking questions, answering questions, and posting new software/plugin releases; so don be surprised if you box hits the 200 mark in a few days.

If you do not want to subscribe just yet preview the archives and I'm sure you will find something that will interest you.

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Check Out The AE List

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When working with the Timecode Plugin from the Illusion Effects category of the Effects Palette, the Timecode Plugin displays a different value than the Information Section of the Composer Window and the Timecode window. This is by design.

Avid displays 60fps Progressive timecode in a 30-frame display within the Timecode window and the Information section of the Composer window. What is being displayed on the Timecode Plugin is the true 60-frame value.

For example:

If you park the timeline indicator on timecode: 01:00:00:01, the Timecode plugin will display 2 values depending on which frame you are parked on. It may display 01:00:00:01 or 01:00:00:02. When you advance one more frame, the Information display will show 01:00:00:02 but the plugin will show 01:00:00:03. This becomes more apparent when you roll the timeline position indicator closer to the end of one second.

If the Info windows display 01:00:00:29, the timecode plugin will show 01:00:00:58 or 01:00:00:59.

In order to create a crossfade between two clips in Soundrack Pro, first you must put the project into crossfade mode. Go to the Project Controls located just underneath the Toolbar area and click on the Crossfade button.

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In the timeline area, move two audio clips so that they overlap on the same track. You will see that a crossfade has been created over the overlapping areas.

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Move the mouse cursor over the crossfade area to activate it in order to tweak the fade. When you click and drag from the the dark center of the crossfade selection, you can drag either left or right to change the length of the fade and its starting point.

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Dragging from the top of the selection will turn the cursor into an icon of a hand, siginifying that you can drag the crossfade to a new location. This option will not change the duration of the crossfade.

Dragging from either side of the selection will increase the duration of the crossfade in either direction by changing its start or end point.

Trimming your layers in Adobe After Effects will entail better render times and neater timelines. There are two ways to trim layers in After Effects.

The first way to trim your layers is to click and drag your layer's In or Out point to the time you want your layer to begin or end.

The second is to put you time marker where you want your layer to begin and press Alt + [ and you layer will be trimmed from the in point. Put your time marker where you want layer to end and press Alt + ].

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If you simply just want to move your layer to where your time marker is try using the [ ] keys. [ will place the In point of your layer on the time marker and ] will place the Out point of your layer to the time marker.

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Being able to capture from a non-timecode source is a very real part of an editors day to day routines. The source may be VHS, CD, DAT or some other source that has no timecode. To capture this material you need to capture on-the-fly.
To capture from a non-timecode source:

1.Click the deck button in the Capture tool.
2.Click once on the Tape Name box.
3.Either select an existing tape name or create a new one.
4.Choose an option from the Timecode Source Menu.
5.Play the material and click the record button.
6.Click the record button when you are done.

This is a very simple way to ingest any material you need to edit. Just remember you cannot recapture this material with the form of timecode you selected you must manually ingest the material again if you lose it.

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If you are looking to make your productions professional and graphically entertaining than look no further than Digital Juice. Whether you use Avid, Final Cut Pro or After Effects Digital Juice has the solution you are looking for. They have just introduced Editor’s Toolkit 10 and the great new sound effects library.I use Digital Juice products on a daily basis, both in Avid Express Pro HD and After Effects. Editor’s Toolkits are complete animated graphics packages for video producers. The 10 thematic Toolkits contain thousands of graphical elements that are an essential part of any production. Many of these elements are organized into matched sets so that it is effortless to create a coordinated and professional look. Avid, FCP or After Effects editors can all benefit from Digital Juice.

In this tutorial we'll walk you through the process of creating text watermarks in Flash Video Studio for your Flash streaming videos.

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To add a text watermark to your video go to the Overlay Tab and then under Text Watermark click on the check box titled Have text watermark. In the text box type in the text that you would like displayed on your video. Once you have typed in your text you can customize it further. Adjust the Font or Size by choosing the appropriate pull-down menu or click on the buttons that you would like for Bold, Italics, Underline, and Justification.

To position your text watermark click the Position pull-down menu and select Upper Left, Upper Right, Lower Left, Lower Right, Center or Custom.

To adjust the text watermark duration, click on the More Settings button under the Text watermark section. Next, click on the Show pull-down menu and choose For the entire movie, For X seconds at the start of the movie or For X seconds at the end of the movie. You can input the For X seconds at the start of the movie or For X seconds at the end of the movie durations in the durations window. Next select the Fade in and out check box and put your duration length in the Transition window. Click close once your are finished.

View other Flash Video Studio tutorials:

How to Customize your Flash Media Player for Flash streaming videos

How to Add Image Watermarks to Flash streaming videos

Flash Video Studio has great features for adding watermarks to your Flash streaming videos. Flash Video Studio supports compression from AVI, QuickTime, WMV and MPEG formats. You can create image watermarks and text watermarks using this tool. In this tutorial we'll walk you through the image watermarking features. For image water marking with Flash Video Studio you can you use JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, and TIFF image file formats.

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To add an image watermark to your video go to the Overlay Tab and then under Image Watermark click on the check box titled Have image watermark. Next navigate to your image using the Browse button and once you select your graphic click Open. To position your image watermark click the Position pull-down menu and select Upper Left, Upper Right, Lower Left, Lower RIght, Center or Custom.

Next, create your transparency color by selecting the Set transparency color check box and click on the color box then select the color your want to be transparent and choose OK. Drag the Tolerance slider to adjust the transparency level. You can have your entire image displayed by de-selecting the Set transparent color check box.

Finally, you can select the duration of your image watermark. There are options to create an image watermark displayed for the entire video, for a designated time at the beginning of the video or a designated time at the end of your video. You even have the option to add a fade in and out to you video.

To adjust the Image Watermark duration, click on the More Settings button under the Image Watermark section. Next, click on the Show pull-down menu and choose For the entire movie, For X seconds at the start of the movie or For X seconds at the end of the movie. You can input the For X seconds at the start of the movie or For X seconds at the end of the movie durations in the durations window. Next select the Fade in and out check box and put your duration length in the Transition window. Click close once your are finished.

View other Flash Video Studio tutorials:

How to Customize your Flash Media Player for Flash Streaming videos

How to Add Text Watermarks to Flash streaming videos

The best way to work in Adobe After Effects is with a fluid like navigation through you timeline and layers. To achieve this you will need to know some helpful Hot/Quick Keys. Here are some that I use probably use every time I open the After Effects:

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First off there is Duplicating a layer which is Control + D but if you want to split the layer at your time marker's current frame Control + Shift + D. When I found the split layers shortcut I could stop smiling for weeks.

Push the Home Key and it will take you to the beginning of you timeline. Push the End key and your time marker will be sent to the end of the time line.

I and O, push the I key and the time marker will go to the In of your selected layer and if you press the O key it will take you to the end of that layer.

If you hold the Control Key and push the up or down arrow keys you can navigate through your layers.

Page up and Page down will move the time marker one frame at time forward or backward.

The print to video command in Final Cut Pro allows you to lay your entire edited timeline sequence, or a section of the timeline by setting in and out points, to tape. It's as simple as pressing record on the recording device, then playing the timeline. You can also set the camcorder or deck to immediately start recording during a Print to Video command.

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Set Up For Automatic Deck Recording While Performing A Print To Video Command

1 Go to File > Print To Video.

2 Within the Print To Video Window, choose the Automatically Start Recording option.

3 Click OK to start recording.

Every now and again there will be times where portions of your After Effects projects will needed to be used for other visual mediums. If you have created a short film or commercial you might want to incorporate a frame or two into your website or flyer. After Effects allows you to export frames to JPEG, TIFF, TARGA files as well as a other useful formats. After Effects will also give you the option to export a Photoshop file which will include all of the layers in a particular comp.

Put your time marker on the frame you want to export then make sure your quality and resolution settings are at the value you intend to export at. Head to Composition > Save Frame As > File. Name your file and press OK. When the Render Queue window appears adjust your settings and render your frame. If you want to export a Photoshop file go to Composition > Save Frame As > Photoshop Layers and press OK.

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Do remember that your exported frames are at 72 DPI RGB(Red-Green-Blue) which is great for the video and the web. Prints files tend to start 300 DPI and the color mode is CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black). So if your exporting files for print make sure you are already working with a high resolution assets or the only thing you'll be exporting for print will be thumbnails.

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Flowerfire's latest version of their log file analysis tool Sawmill 7.2.3 comes in different flavors. The application runs on Windows, Linux, Mac and Unix and supports 635 log file types which includes support for Windows Media Streaming Server, Helix Universal Server and QuickTime/Darwin Streaming Server log files.

Flowerfire's different versions of Sawmill 7.2.3 appear aimed at providing more solutions for a wider potential customer base. Sawmill Lite, Sawmill Professional and Sawmill Enterprise all provide various levels of features.

Here's a breakdown of the Sawmill tools:

Sawmill LITE features include:

- Report drill down (Zoom Filters)
- Clickstream Web Visitor Reports
- User Management Editor for admin and report user access
- Geographic Location reports to the City level via GeoIP
- Integrated Sawmill Database
- 635 supported log file formats
- Single log source (FTP or Local File)
- Single and 5 profile license packs (Upgrade path to Professional or Enterprise)

Sawmill Professional features include all of the Sawmill Lite features plus the following:

- Log Filter Editor (Import Filters) to filter the raw log data into the database
- Report Filter Editor (Output Filters) to filter the report being displayed without
changing the database.
- Report Editor for modifying the reports and the report menu allowing creation
and editing of the reports, the graphs, tables and report menu navigation.
- Sawmill Scheduler for automation of all report functions
- DNS resolution for log data IP addresses
- Multiple log sources including Cluster / Load Balanced environments via
HTTP, FTP, Local File or Command Line
- 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 5000, 10000 and unlimited profile license packs
(Upgrade path to Enterprise)

Sawmill Enterprise features all of the Sawmill Lite and Professional features plus:

- MySQL database server support
- WebNibbler Technolgy which provides advanced tracking of visitors
- Complete* GUI control via SALANG


Get more details on Sawmill Lite, Sawmill Professional , and Sawmill Enterprise for creating streaming reports from your log files.

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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I have found that there is alot of confustion out there among beginning producers concerning the playback of various aspect ratios. If your video appears stretched on television set, perhaps the video was shot in widescreen format and you are viewing on a television that only displays a 4:3 image. This article provides graphic examples of what Anamorphic and Non-Anamorphic video looks like when being delivered in various aspect ratios. At the bottom of each example is an explanation for the video's appearance. Take a look.

Holidays, Weddings, and your kid's first Birthday pictures are the most important ingredient in making the perfect tear jerking Photomontage. Creating a photomontage can literally take minuts in Adobe After Fx when using the Sequence layer option.

First collect the images you would like to feature in your project and import them into your project.

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Drag your images into your timeline and press Contol + A for select all. Now that your images are selected trim them to about two seconds as a start.

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With all of your layers selected go to Animation > Keyframe Assistant > Sequence Layers. When the Sequence Layers appears check the Overlap box and choose Cross Dissolve Front and Back Layers.

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Viola! A quick Photomontage for you to tweak and add too.

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For all of you After Effects Artists out there looking to pull a cleaner Key, Key Correct Pro by Red Giant Software is a set of 15 plug-ins that may be just what you're looking for. Key Correct compliments the keying tools that are found in After Effects by giving you more parameter controls to tweak those composites. This set can be used for better keying performance in wares such as Primatte Keyer, Ultimatte & Ultra.

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Features:

- Softens and Feathers Alpha Channels

- Color matches foreground objects with background image

- Lightens and outlines edges

- Works with 8 bit 16 bit projects for DV, HD and Film output.

If you have just started using DVD Studio Pro or any ware in the Final Cut Studio Line, you will be quick to find out that changing the location of media and re-naming files can get you into alot of trouble. If you have re-named a file that your project is currently pointing to or have moved it from its previous location, DVD Studio pro will not know where to find it the next time you launch the program and you will recieve a missing files error message. We've all done it. Here's what you do if this should happen to you.

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Locating Missing Assets In DVD Studio Pro

1 Select the asset that is declared missing in the Missing Files Windows.

2 Choose Locate and use the file location dialog to find the missing asset.

If you open a project without locating your missing assets first or if the assets become missing while your project is open, the missing assets will appear in red and the elements in which the assets are used will be disabled.

Reconnecting An Asset To A Project:

- Click File > Asset > Re-Link

- Within the assets tab, Control-click the name of the asset, then choose Relink in the shortcut menu.

Null Objects in Adobe After Fx are great for when you want to parent your layer to another to a object without the Object being present in the scene. A Null Object can perform all of the transport properties a normal layer performs in 2D or 3D. The only draw back to using Null Object is that effects can not be applied to them but hey that what Adjustment Layers are for.


To create a Null Object you can either right click your time line and got to New > Null Object:

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Or simply head to your Composition panel and go to Layer > New > Null Object:

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Have you been looking for ways to use your SD footage in a HD Production? Instant HD, by Red Giant Software, is a plug-in for Final Cut Pro Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Premiere that will allow you to up-convert NTSC or PAL SD to High Definition; but that's not all! Here are some of the uses:


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- Convert web cam and cellphone source material to SD video

- Scale SD video for pan and scan adjustments

- Can be used with Magic Bullet software to create high-end "film-look" masters

- Scale still images to HD

This plug-in only works with progressive, non-interlaced footage.

Flash Video Studio by IncrediTools is a key tool for easily customizing Flash streaming playback. The simplicity of this tool is tremendous as the software allows users through the Publish Tab to choose from several Flash player templates that come with Flash Video Studio. Once you choose your template you click on the Customize More button to get a list of options. Once you have selected Customize More Flash Video Studio allows users the ability enable/disable a movie slider, sound on/off button, volume button, video playback time, fast forward and rewind buttons.

Options to Customize Flash Playback in the Publish Tab

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Flash Player Control Bar

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Note: Notice that the Flash Player Control Bar listed above refelects the color options available under Customize Color


As if the control options listed so far was not enough, you can customize one step further by selecting your Flash player colors. Here's how it works. If your look at the Panel color above, the color serves as the main color for your Flash player and can be adjusted to another color of your choosing. Likewise, Screen, Highlight and Text colors can be adjusted.

If you're looking for a good tool to assist in authoring Flash streaming videos give Flash Video Studio a try. Visit us the rest of this week as we highlight other features of Flash Video Studio.

Get more information and details about Flash Video Studio for customizing your Flash Streaming video player.

One of the main keys to making After Effects work in you favor is organization. It is a good idea to create a work template that you will use over and over again every time you begin a project.

First create a folder on your Desktop and call it "AE Setup" (or a name that better fits your work flow. I called mine AE Focus). Within this folder make other folders you may need to organize any project. Here is what my folder looks like:

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Now head into After Effects and do the same thing. Save your After Effects file as AE Template into your AE Setup folder then take a moment to think of all the time you'll be saving since don't have to do that again.

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Now when you begin a project in Adobe After Fx open your AE Template file and immediately go to "Save As", re-title your project, and save it into your AE Setup folder.

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With the implantation of things like the MediaDoc320 and HUGE arrays, Avid systems have the ability to setup and operate with media storage sizes upwards of 1.7 terrabytes and higher. While the computer itself can support that much space, after 250+ gigs of storage has been taken up with media, the Avid begins to lose its way when dealing with Media DataBases. This can lead to the system losing media or incorrectly show media as Offline. Also, very often the Media Databases may not be successfully rebuilding themselves, the msm.MMOB and msm.FMID files located inside each of the OMFI MediaFiles Folder, which is causing speed and stability problems as users begin to fill up the drives with media.

Here is what is going on with your media, as you work within the Avid:

- Almost everything you are doing in Avid, from launching the Avid, saving any bins, leaving capture mode, or closing the application, is causing the system to read and write data to your media drives simultaneously.

- Each partition will have one OMFI MediaFiles Folder and/or one Avid Media Files Folder for MXF media.

- Each media files folder contains two database files msm.MMOB and msm.FMID, which keep track of all of the changes to media files; keeping them constantly linked to the master clips in your bins (pointer files living on another drive in your applications folder).

- Every time you launch the Avid, save any bins, leave capture mode, or close the application it is forcing those database files to index all of the files in that media files folder.

- By having 2 database files on one very large partition containing 500GB 1 TB, etc of media , the Avid is indexing the hundreds of thousands of files included on that partition . That, in turn, taxes the database files beyond a reasonable level and they begin to either lose track of media, or fail to complete their updates.

- Media Databases no longer update correctly, causing things like OMFI HP Domain INIT Failed errors as well as Media OffLine messages, among others.

- By creating more, yet smaller Drive Partitions, the Avid can more efficiently and reliably maintain its Media Database files, giving overall stability and speed back to the system.


So, it is best to partition between 250-300 gigs and this will tremendously help overall performance. Here are some instructions on how to drive strip in windows for better Avid performance. If you are running OS x then check out these instructions out to speed up your Avid.

The goal of Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth of Film-Truth Productions, was to give the loyal fans of musician Ben Taylor, son of the legendary Carly Simon and James Taylor, a behind the scenes look at how music is born and to reveal the inspiration behind the art of creating music. Perhaps it is because she is also a musician, playing the guitar and flute, that makes Witham feel right at home when she edits to music.

"Many people think about the music for a film when they're close to finishing up a rought cut, then they start laying in the track. But I'm comfortable with music. When I sit down at my Mac to edit something in Final Cut, music is a very important element for me in my cadence and my cutting - even if I don't use the track."

- Liz Witham
Fim-Truth Productions

See how this dynamic couple created a great documentary from their home studio in Martha's Vineyard.

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There are a number of ways to take advantage of using a camera in After Fx but the best way is with the Camera Tools. The camera tools are the Orbit Camera Tool, The Track XY Camera Tool and The Track Z Camera Tool. The Hot/Quick key to toggle through each tool is Control + C and the camera tools buttons will be grayed out until you make a new camera and the

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The Orbit Camera Tool is used to rotate your 3D view around your point of interest.

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The Track XY Camera Tool controls your camera's view horizontally and vertically.

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The Track Z Camera Tool is used for zooming in and out within your scene.

Be sure to know that the camera tools only work for 3D Layers, lights, and other cameras.

The majority of the projects that I work on in Adobe After Effects usually have the same render settings. When I'm done with a project I just want to render it and be done with it. Continually configuring the Render Settings and Output Module can become quite tedious if I'm using the same settings every time create a movie. Good thing for us Adobe AE has given us the Make Template option.

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When you have completed your project press Control + M for Make Movie and this will bring up the Render Queue. Configure your Render Settings and Output Module to accommodate your project. Then press the black arrow to the right of the words Render Settings. Make your way to the Make Template option and title your setting then push OK. Now when you go to render your next project all you have to do is open the Render Queue and push the black arrow to the right of Render Settings and select your setting. Do the same for Output Module and your golden.

DVD Studio Pro allows you to set a specific transition to all buttons in the main menu by selecting a default. This transition is what you see after you select a button in a menu to take you to another piece of video. You can designate your own transition or use a prebuilt transition.

Adding Button Transitions

1 In Menu Editor, the Outline tab or, the Graphical tab, select the menu for which you want to set a default transition for all buttons.

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2 Click on the Transitions Tab in the Inspector Window. The Inspector has now become the Menu Inspector due to the fact that you have a menu selected in your project.

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3 Choose from a set of standard transitions, or a video transition from within the Transition pop up menu. You even have a choice of not setting a transition.

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4 Tweak the transitions parameters.

Trapecode People is a useful site brought to you by the makers of Shine, Starglow, and other useful Adobe After Effects plug-ins. This site has some of the coolest and useful After Fx work files to download as well as updated info on Trapcode products.Check out the Trapcode - Rain project which was created by Peder Norrby himself (Founder of Trapcode). Check Out Trapecode People for Adobe After Effects.

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Adobe Studio Exchange is another online resource that allows you to download and share assets from your favorite Adobe software. This is very useful for After Effects because you can open and analyze actual work files for working with displacement maps, expressions, and useful tutorials. There are also a plethora of Photoshop and Illustrator assets which can also be imported into After Effects as well. Visit Adobe Studio Exchange for Adobe After Effects.
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If you are and Avid editor and you use Adobe After Effects you need Profound Effects Elastic Gasket. This allows you to use third-party Adobe After Effects plug-ins in Avid. The plug-ins appear right in your effects palette and you manipulate them just like the rest of your effects. I use Trapcode and Foundry products in After Effects, but now that I have Elastic Gasket, the process is now twice as fast. I can now add these effects in Avid without exporting to After Effects, rendering when I finish in After Effects, and then re-importing into Avid. It works great and I save a lot of time. Here is a rundown of a few of the features of Elastic Gasket:


  • Built-in composting with After Effects transfer modes

  • Supports alpha channels embedded from alternate tracks

  • Real-time (RT) mode support for some Avid editing systems Can treat fields as frames

  • Supports most of the After Effects 4.1 plug-in specification. Plug-ins designed specifically for later versions of After Effects might not operate

  • Custom effect controls

  • Composite window interactions

  • Temporal frame access

  • Use of Avid Treadmill controls

  • Interrelated parameter updating

For more on this great Avid plug-in check out the Profound Effect website and download your copy of Elastic Gasket!

So you've built, animated and rendered a beautiful detailed city in your favorite 3D application. Now all that is left is to import your JPEG, TARGA, or PNG files into good 'ole Adobe After Effects.

When I'm working in 3D Studio Max I prefer to render out PNG frames because they allow me to include an Alpha channel that Adobe AE will recognize. When you are ready to import your frames to After FX go to File > Import > File and an Import File window will appear. Make sure that the PNG Sequence box is checked and then click the first frame once then hit open.

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After Effects will import your graphic frames as if they were a piece of footage. Make sure you have the correct Pixel Aspect Ratio of your sequence by right clicking your file in the project window and going to Interpret Footage > Main > Other Options and select D1/DV NTSC (0.9) because leaving them as square pixels will distort your image.

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If you are running Avid Express Pro HD 5.1 or later, you need to pay attention. Recently I have been receiving an error message that says Unable to Allocate Memory. It appeared only to happen when I had a Tail Fade or a Head Fade. The screen would go black and say unable to allocate memory in the lower right hand corner. Well, apparently Avid has heard this from a lot of editors. Avid support center has released a 4-page document that explains how to fix this problem. So far it is working for me and hopefully it will work for you.

Unless you are running After Effects on decked out Super Boxx Workstation then it is a good idea to be aware of the best quality and draft quality settings when working. Since I work in After Effects Commadore 64 with about 20 kb of rom I only work in draft mode exclusively, just kidding.

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Working in Draft mode in After Effects will allow for faster production and is one of the best ways to reduce your ram consumption. Best quality mode is great for previewing your completed work or when you have lots of ram to throw around.

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Another ingredient to better previews is your resolution settings which are Full, Half, Third, and Quarter. Full is the highest quality, half is still is a step down but still viewable and the best resolution to get work done. Third is a lot worse and I think Quarter is just there to allow you to create previews that will inspire you to purchase a new computer.

One of the best Tutorial sites on the internet for Adobe After Effects has to be "ayato@web". The Japanese/English translate tutorial site was create by Ayato Fujii of Tokoname-shi, Aichi, Japan.

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Currently there are 52 awesome step by step method and technique tutorials all catering to Adobe After Effects. Some of the lessons include Type Effects, Logo Animation, and Expressions.

Ayato's translations from Japanese to English aren't the best at times but you'll still get what he is saying none the less. Ayato@web is definitely one site to bookmark whether you are a Novice or a Season Vet. Check out Ayato@web.

By default, Frame view displays the first frame of each clip in the bin. You can, however, change the displayed frame with a frame that has meaning to you or a frame that actually identifies the clip.
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To change the frame identifying the clip:
1. Select the clip that you want to change by single clicking on it.

2.Do one of the following:
Press and hold the K key on the keyboard (Pause), and press the L key (Play) to roll the footage within the frame forward at slow speed. To move backward through the footage, press and hold the K key and press the J key (Reverse Play).
Press the 3 key or the 4 key on the keyboard (Step Forward or Step Backward) to move from frame to frame.

3. When you see the frame that you want use, release the keys.
The Avid application saves the displayed frame as part of the bin configuration.
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I find it very helpful to go through all of my clips and set them so that I have a frame that makes sense to me.

If you’re looking for a quick way to get some keyframes on the timeline and begin your animation process then get to know your Motion Sketch option. Motion sketch allows you to create what is known as a motion path. A motion path is the key frames that After Fx records once you click the Start Capture button.

Window > Motion Sketch
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What is really cool about motion sketch is that After Fx will create position keyframes at the speed you move the mouse.

One of the really confusing issues about working with 16x9 in Final Cut Pro, is when you go to export a QuickTime movie and it comes out 4x3 instead of 16x9.

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When exporting a Final Cut Pro movie, the system will use the current sequence or clip settings. If you are working in DV-standard def, your footage was brought in at 720 x 480.

Final Cut Pro uses an anamorphic aspect correction feature to make it easy to edit in 16x9. The problem is, when you export a QuickTime movie you end up with a movie that is tall and skinny squeezed into the standard 4x3 player window.

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(*click on image for full-screen shot)

So, instead export your final movie using QuickTime Conversion, and then specify a size of 865 x 480. Then, you will have a QuickTime movie that plays within a 16x9 window.

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Avid Technology recently released an upgrade to the Avid Xpress Studio product line. Updates to this product include:

- Completely revised version of Avid DVD by Sonic – new interface, new easier-to-use templates and more.
- Resolved the conflict between Digidesign 002 and Avid Mojo in Pro Tools LE
- Support for QuickTime 7.0.3
- Compatibility updates for other applications to sync with Avid Xpress Pro v5.2.

In our opinion, the most important update to this package, is the new Avid DVD software. It has a new interface that is much easier to use than the previous version. Within minutes, I had no problem figuring out the basics and burning a high quality DVD.

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An Mpg2 file not required to be compatible with Avid DVD 5.21. This version allowed me to import quicktime files with using various codecs, or wmv files with ease. Unfortunately, for Avid users, you still must export your QuickTime movies using upper-field first, otherwise the video will appear to jitter during scenes with fast motion.

Another note: it was disappointing to find out that the downloadable update to this product did not include Avid DVD 5.21. You must purchase the Avid Xpress Studio 5.21 disk separately from Avid's online store. Fortunately it is only $50, and the disk will include all the other Avid Xpress Studio Updates which include:

Avid Xpress 5.21 HD, Protools LE, Avid 3D, and Avid FX. The $50.00 is worth having a separate install disk with all the updates.

I don't know about you but when I'm working in design software I need my tools, panels, and windows to be exactly where I left them whenever I last closed the application. After Effects allows you to do this by giving you the option to save your workspace.

First perform your workspace Feng Shui by comfortably placing your timeline, effects, and tools throughout the After Effects interface. Once you are happy with your window placement go to Window > Workspace > Save Workspace and name your new workspace.

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Now when you open up After Effects and you are unhappy with the previous person's layout; just go to Window > Workspace > Your Name and everything will snap into place the you like it.

When it comes to real-time streaming videos and using Windows Media, Real Video or QuickTime there are differences between 1-pass VBR compression, 2-pass CBR compression and 2-pass VBR compression within each architecture. CBR stands for Constant Bit Rate and VBR stands for Variable Bit Rate.

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If your're looking to do real-time streaming using Windows Media you should select 2-pass CBR. In Real Media choose 2-pass VBR for real-time streams and for QuickTime choose 1-pass VBR. Even though each of these methods of compression generally has a specific meaning, there is no uniform agreement on how each method should operate within each proprietary streaming architecture. Content encoded with each of these compression methods listed (1-pass VBR for QuickTime, 2-pass CBR for Windows Media and 2-pass VBR for Real Media) can go on a streaming server as longer as you are using for example 2-pass VBR for Real Media content. Don't try encoding with 2-pass VBR using QuickTime for real-time streaming because your videos won't stream properly. 2-pass VBR encoding for QuickTime would only be good for downloadable streaming videos.

The fact that each proprietary format has different ways that it utilzes 1-pass VBR, 2-pass CBR and 2-pass VBR is a downfall because it makes it confusing for those encoding content. It would be nice if the organizations which created each format made the compression methods consistent across each format.

Learn more about compression methods such as 1-pass VBR, 2-pass CBR and 2-pass VBR in our upcoming Video Streaming and Compression class.

With most of the projects that come across my desk they always seems to come a section where I need to find a specific point in the audio. There are a number of ways to preview your audio in Adobe After Effects. One of the easiest ways is to just click your audio file in the right in the project window.

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If you press the Period key on the number pad of your keyboard it will give you will receive a ten second audio preview. You can also press your Caps Lock key prevent anything to show in your Comp Window. Then press Shift + Zero (on the key pad) to create a ram preview. When the Caps Lock is on, your comp window will highlight red to remind you not freak out when you don't see video.

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Every now and again you'll have to get to the nitty gritty of your video and listen for distinct sound within frames. That is where audio scrubbing comes in handy. Hold down the Control/Option key then drag your time marker and your will hear a preview of your audio as it moves through the timeline.

Have you ever been out on a shoot and had to keyframe out a comment that was made by someone off screen? This used to be a common occurrence for me shooting guerrilla style for outdoor sports shows. Soundtrack Pro has a very nifty feature called "Set Ambient Noise Print" that will allow you to copy a section of your audio that is ambient noise and store it in a cache for later use in those areas you had to pot down . The good part is, if the segment you are trying to fill has a longer duration than the piece that you sampled, Soundtrack will automatically loop the ambient noise you stored. Obviously, you should use this sparingly, but its a great feature for those of us who shoot without a script.

Setting Ambient Noise Print

1 After you have brought your audio project into Soundtrack Pro, go to the waveform monitor and find a section of your audio that contains only ambient noise from the scene and select that segment by dragging the mouse point on screen.

2 Go to Process in the main menu and select Set Ambient Noise Print.

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Applying the Ambient Noise Print

1 Drag a selection for the portion of the audio file that you had potted down.

2 Go to Process > Apply Ambient Noise.

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You've just completed this huge dynamic animation in After Effects in which you imported a plethora of projects and assets. If After Fx is moving a little sluggish you might want to do a little spring cleaning to your project.

First thing you should do is Save and then Increment & Save just to be on the safe side.

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Go to File > Remove Unused Footage. This erases assets that aren't being implemented in the project.

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Go To File > Consolidate All Footage. This will erase duplicate assets in your project

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Or if you know what assets you want to keep, select them in the project window and Go To File > Reduce Project. This will remove all unselected assets in the project window.


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Preview your project once again and if you like what your see SAVE. This should puts some pep back in to After Effects.

With all the excitement about new standardized codecs for video compression, when it comes to available codecs for QuickTime compression, the Sorenson Video 3 Pro codec still does the job well. Unfortunately the Sorenson Video 3 Pro codec is not available natively in Quicktime Pro, Cleaner, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, iMovie and other applications. These applications come natively with the Sorenson Video 3 Basic codec, so the quality is not as good.

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The Sorenson Video 3 Pro codec is available from Sorenson Media at www.SorensonMedia.com as a stand-alone codec and also comes included in Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite. The codec has features such as: Advanced Quality Settings, Automatic Keyframe Adjustments, Password Protection, Watermarking and other features.

Learn more about the Sorenson Video 3 Pro codec

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With all the video portals and streaming video on the web, there are a great number of wonderful experiences. What's surprising is that there are also some experiences that lack good quality and good user experiences. I've experienced browsers crashing, content not playing back properly in web browsers, lack of support for Mac users, and in some cases not being able to view streaming videos at all.

As the Internet grows with more video content we must as designers author streaming content that not only looks good and accomplishes the goal of the media but it must also be easily usable for viewers. Web surfers look for the type of users experiences with video streaming that make them want to come back again and again, hopefully adding the video portal to their favorites.

In addition to designing and authoring streaming content properly, authors must take the time to test the playback of their streaming videos in different browsers and on different operating systems. This will ensure that know one is left out and that web viewers have a pleasurable experience.

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You can place text on and crawl text along straight or curved paths. A path is a text container that uses a straight or curved path as the baseline for the text. The text can crawl (scroll) along the path. You create and edit paths using the shape-drawing tools. As you can do with other container objects, you can move, scale, and rotate the path in three-dimensional space.

To create a path:
1. Draw the path using any of the shape-drawing tools.
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2. Select Object > Convert Shape to Path.


To convert a path into a shape:
1. Click the Edit tool, and then click the path.
2. Select Object > Convert Path to Shape.

After you create a path, you can use the Text tool to add text to it.

To add text to a path:
1. Click the Text tool, and then click above the path object.
An insertion point appears on the path.
2. Enter text as you normally would for any text object.

Now use your standard crawl settings to allow your text to follow your new path. Do not forget to sign up for one of our up and coming Avid bundles to further your career!

With help from the Dashboard tool, you can easily create masks to add depth and style to your graphics in Motion 2.

1 Select a clip in the Motion timeline on which you want to perform the mask.

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2 Go to Object > Add Image Mask. Press F6 to reveal the full Motion Timeline and you will see that an Image Mask object has been placed under the clip object that you have selected.

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3 Click once on the image Mask to select it and you will see that the Dashboard Tool has been changed to the proper controls for the image mask object, complete with an area for you to designate a mask source.

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4 Next, Import the clip that you wish to use as the mask source into Motion by way of the File Browser or just simply apply an element from the Motion Library. Keep in mind that whatever you import into Motion will be placed at the current position of the playhead, so highlight the main timeline and push the home key so the effect will begin on the first frame. You will see upon import of a new object that not only has it been placed in the Canvas but also in the Layer Tab of the Project Pane. Press COMMAND 4 to reveal the Project Pane and click on the Layers tab to reveal the mask source you have just imported.

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5 With the Image Mask object in the main Timeline still selected, drag the clip you will be using as the mask source from the Layers Tab in the Project Pane to the mask source area of the Dashboard. Play through your piece by pressing the home key to start at the first frame of your project, then hit the space bar to play.

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Tweak this effect in the Dashboard until it looks the way you had envisioned.

Pre-Comping in Adobe After Effects is nothing more than grouping multiple layers into one single layer. To create a pre-comp, select a number of layer and press Control + Shift + C.

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If your time has sixty layers of unorganized confusion then you might want to pre-comp especially if there are multiple users on the project. I've been handed to AE projects to continue from someone else's work who didn't pre-comp and it took hours to decipher what was going on. I’d rather do Chinese algebra in brail than to do that again.

You've created a coolest animation of a running robot with parenting but you want more than just one. Instead of flooding your timeline with hundreds of layers try Pre-comping. Pre-Comp the layers that make up your robot and duplicate your new layer as many times as you’d like.

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Are you in the market for high-capacity, fast, reliable storage for all of your media? Give the new Avid VideoRAID drives a hard look before you make you next drive purchase. Here are a few highlights that set the Avid drives apart from the rest:

1. Protects valuable content and maximizes productivity. In the event of a disk drive failure, Avid VideoRAID disk arrays continue to operate without loss of data and at full performance. Unlike other RAID solutions that may be unusable during a drive rebuild, Avid VideoRAID maintains full performance while rebuilding in the background.

2. Engineered for the pace of digital content creation. Ultra320 SCSI bandwidth and innovative striping technology ensure real-time playback of up to two streams of 1:1 HD, supported on as few as ten drives.

3. Affordable RAID technology. Utilizes high-capacity, cost-effective ATA drives for large amounts of protected storage at a low cost per gigabyte.

4.Optimized for Avid video editing systems. Avid VideoRAID disk arrays are fully tested and configured for guaranteed performance and reliability for Avid customers.

5. A three-year warranty on the drive mechanisms and the enclosure offer added security. To minimize downtime, during the warranty period replacements parts are supplied in advance and at no additional cost.

These drives area configured in a 5-drive tower or a ten drive rack mount with sizes from 1.5tb to an amazing 10tb per editing station. Avid has the drive solutions you are looking for to meet you SD and more importantly future HD needs!

Motion 2 will allow you to import images from Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop along with the associated alpha channels. First, you must decide how you want the layered Photoshop image to be imported. There are three choices: You can bring in the layered Photoshop image as a merged file, making a single object, import all layers, or chose a single layer for import.

If you import your Photoshop media via the Import Button located in the File Browser Window, the image is automatically collapsed into one object. If you wish to bring over your Photoshop files and maintain its indidividual layers, simply use the import command located under File > Import.

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I'm sure you've heard this a million times but it bears repeating "SAVE OFTEN!" There is nothing worse than something going wrong in a project and the program decides to go on break.

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After Effects give you a number of options to going about securing your progress. First up is your normal Control + S which is the hot/quick key for "Save". Control + Shift + S is “Save As� and if you really want to be on the safe side Control + Shift + Alt S is "Save and Increment". Save and increment is a great precaution to take just in case a file gets corrupt you’ll have previous versions of your project to start from. Starting from square one is never fun.

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StreamingMedia.com released a Research Report comparing MPEG4/H.264, Windows Media, RealVideo and Flash Codecs. The report, which is available for purchase, compares the the above mentioned formats at modem, 3GPP, 100, 300 and 500 kbps bitrates. The 118 page report is titled "Proprietary CODECs, 2006: Choosing and Using the Optimal Video Codec".

StreamingMedia.com provided paramaters for Apple. Microsoft and Real to encode 38 test clips grouped in sections for business, sports, entertainment, animation and pan and zoom content. The report ranks all codecs at all encoding configurations for each class of content, allowing producers to instantly see which technology delivers the best quality for their content at their intended distribution parameters.

The tested CODECs include:

Apple H.264 codec - Produced by Apple with QuickTime Pro
Windows Media - Produced by Microsoft with the Windows Media Encoder
On2 VP6 Pro codec - Produced with the On2 Flix Pro encoder
RealVideo - Produced by Real Networks with Real Producer 10

Learn more about the Research Report which compares Proprietary CODECs

Other Links:

Purchase Streaming & Compression Tools from GeniusDV E-store

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Listen to the GeniusDV: Streaming Media Podcast

With a $250.00 budget, an idea for an interesting movie, and a close friendship, 5 guys in their twenties set out to achieve the impossible and overcome the odds to make thier own feature film. The Film is "Think Tank" and is a classic example of art imitating life as the story follows 5 quirky guys from Cupertino California who dare to achieve greatness by dubbing themselves geniuses and starting a society of smart people in an effort to save their local pool hall hangout from a large business chain operator named "Lord Billiards."

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With Final Cut Pro and a Team of Mac Computers as their so called "Defacto Weapon of Choice," These guy where serious.

"The truth is we could never have pulled this off- not in our woldest dreams- if not for two crucial factors: our close friendship and our mac computers."

Brian Petersen
Writer/Director of "Think Tank"

Paying editors along the way in G5's, Cinema Displays and FCP software, instead of dollars, their script was gaining traction by grabbing the attention of producers from the hit movie "Napoleon Dynamite" and even scoring an editor who had worked on the film. These guys were showing everyone that they meant business and they could portray the characters in the film better than anyone else. Take a look at the inspiring article about the movie "Think Tank," because it is a true indicator of what you can truly achieve with dedication and FCP in your own living room!

One of my favorite features in Adobe After Effects has to be the replace footage feature. Many times there are changes that need to be made to a layer and deleting the layer is not the way to go. Lucky for us all we’ve have to do is hold the Alt key and drag the new footage over the old footage. The beautiful part about replacing layer is that all the attributes like transform properties and effects are still intact when the footage is replace.

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Creating A Solid

A great hot/quick key to know is Control + Y. This will create a new solid. If your press Control + Shift + Y you will be able to modify any single selected solid layer.

A MP3 to After Effects is what chocolate is to a dog. Ok maybe not that deep but a MP3 will ruin the sound in your project. Usually because they create this crackling popping noise within your audio that subtracts from what ever it is you are trying to create. For best results stick to AIFF or WAV files. QuickTime Pro has the ability to convert your MP3s to a format AE can properly work with.

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Ever want to see the waveform of you audio? Tap LL on your keyboard to get a better visual of those peaks and valleys.

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With the upgrade to Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite 4.3 users have the ability to customize their Flash Media Players. Sorenson Squeeze Compession Suite 4.3 comes with new pre-made Flash Media Players in SWF format. The Flash Media Player templates add a nice touch to providing Flash Video content on-line.

Users that are familiar with Flash or those interested in learning it can customize the Sorenson Squeeze Flash templates by adding their own graphics to them. If you have upgaded to Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite 4.3 you can look in the Templates folder inside the Squeeze application folder to find the .FLA files. Just open those in Flash to customize and then read through the SWF Template Documentation.pdf also located in the Templates folder to customized or create your own Flash Media Player. When you are finished save to .SWF so your templates can be used in Sorenson Squeeze.

View this tutorial for Getting Started with Sorenson Squeeze 4 (Mac users)

View this tutorial for Getting Started with Sorenson Squeeze 4 (PC users)

Back in say After Fx 5.5 applying text was like applying an effect. You had to create a solid, right click on your layer, go to effects, and choose basic or path text.

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AE 6.0 & 6.5 has provided us with a better option. Now all you have to do is press Control + T to bring up your text to and click on the comp window you want to add the text to.

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Viola, instant text layer!

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After Effects will name your layer what ever you typed in the comp window.

The question of how to perform the Ken Burns effect in Final Cut Pro with an image that was prepared in Photoshop was proposed to GeniusDV trainer/owner John Lynn in the community forum.

"All you need to do, is import the image directly into Final Cut Pro. Final Cut Pro will maintain the original resolution of the file. JPEG's work better because the file size is smaller, but most file types will work.

You can then use the motion tab to zoom back into the photo at 100%. You can then move around in the photograph, and perform a Ken Burns style motion effect.

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The maximum resolution Final Cut Pro can handle is 4000 x 3000.

Remember, DV resolution is only 720 x 480, so anything larger than this will look pretty darn good if you zoom into it."

John Lynn


Check out the GeniusDV Final Cut Pro community forum.

Transform properties in Adobe After fx will probably be the foundation of just about any project. There are five transform properties and nine times out of ten you'll use at least one of them in your animation. The transform properties are Anchor Point, Position, Scale, Rotation, and Opacity. The way I was taught to remember them was through STRAP. STRAP is an acronym which makes up the hot/quick keys that will to bring up a transform property.

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S = Scale
T = Opacity
R = Rotation
A = Anchor Point
P = Position

If you want to open additional properties try holding the Shift Key once you select your first property.

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The time to start filming in HD is now! HD production is very inexpensive from the cameras, hard drives and of course Avid Express Pro HD. It was only a couple of years ago that you needed a $50,000 camera and an editing suite over $100,000 just to produce a broadcast quality HD program. Now you can spend $4000-$8000 on a camera and produce an HD show on a laptop running Avid Express HD.

I couldn’t do this kind of work on a laptop computer without Avid Xpress Pro.
- Art Donahue, Producer, Chronicle

Now that makes HD a reality. The main question I hear about HD is why film in HD now if you do not have a station to air in HD. Well, that is where the Avid comes in. Avid easily down converts all of your HD material to SD without effort. Now you can archive all of your material in HD and the day you have an avenue to show HD you can output the show in both formats. The other side benefit to shooting is HD is even after you down-convert to SD the picture looks much better than if shot in SD. Check out what Art Donahue has to say about shooting in HD for the Boston based Chronicle.

The ability to troubleshoot and problem-solve is a priceless commodity for an editor. If you are having problems with Final Cut Pro the simplest project can turn into a vivid nightmare, but hold on, there are some things you can do to minimize these headaches. Like taking percautions such as not letting your hard disks get more than 85% full, avoiding browser nests that are too deep and not having too many sequences open simultaneously. Check out this tutorial "Troubleshooting Final Cut Pro Problems by Larry Jordan."

Lately, I have read many problems dealing with capturing and outputting with FCP. Many of the capture and output problems have been due to older model systems with slower drives or conflicts rising from mixed sample rates. Here is a great tutorial that goes in-depth into what you should be on the look out for if you are experiencing chronic Capture and Output problems with your Final Cut Pro System.

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To get the best out of After Effects 6.5 a 2 button/Scroll wheel mouse is essential. I've pulled my hair out many a days with a one button mouse working in After fx because I thought the mouse looked cool but using it was far from efficient.

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With A 3 Button Mouse You Can:

- Scroll vertically through your Layers, Comps, and Footage. This especially works well when your working on those huge corporate broadcast projects or working with all those pictures in that family reunion montage you've been tweaking out for the last six months.

- Hold the Shift key and now you can scroll horizontally! Now that's a hot key to remember.

- Holding the Alt key while scrolling in the timeline will result in some Zoom action.

My favorite part you ask? It would definitely be the fact that the window I want to scroll over or zoom in doesn't have to be active. I can just hover over the timeline or my footage and navigated to what I'm looking for.

One of the coolest plug-ins for Adobe After fx has to be Trapcode's Sound Keys plug-in. Sound Keys creates keyframes that puts a little extra kick to those audio-driven animations. But if buying a new plug-in isn't in the budget right now there is another option.

Way back in After Effects 6.0, Adobe added their "Convert Audio to Keyframes" keyframe generator which roughly does the same job as Sound Keys. Sound Keys has a few more options and extracts keyframes from frequency ranges instead of just the overall amplitude but Adobe's generator has its place.

Converting an Audio Layer to Keyframes

1. Select the audio layer you want to convert to keyframes

2. Animation > Key Frame Assistant > Convert Audio To Keyframes

convertaudio.jpg

3. Press the "U" key to admire your new Left Channel, Right Channel, & Both Channel keyframes.

AudioTimeline.jpg

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