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September 2006 Archives


There is nothing worse than sitting around watching your computer work while you do nothing until it is done. Well, as we become more complex with our amount of layers and the detail of effects we can now perform our rendering times become longer and longer. With deadlines to meet and no extra time to spare cutting render times is a huge benefit to us all. One of the most common mistakes is to do a straight render from "in to out." This may be the fastest way for an editor to describe which effects to render, but the amount of render time will offset that. Selective rendering may require more effort up front, but your efforts will be rewarded with lower render times and less consumption of hard disk space with unused precomputes. But to really get a grasp of how to cut your render times check out this Tips and Tricks to see many different ways you can speed up your render times!

Have you ever watched a movie where as you are cut to the next scence, there is a white flash. This is a very popular effect used in many Hollywood feature films and it can be achieved by using the Dip To Color video transition.

Using The Dip To Color Transition to Create a Flash of White Between a Cut

1 Place the playhead on the cut in the timeline where you want to perform the Dip To Color Transition.

2 Go to Effects > Video Transitions > Dissolves > Dip To Color Dissolve.


3 You will see that a transition will have been placed where your playhead is located. Double click on the transition in the timeline to access the Transition Editor.

4 Within the Transition Editor, go to the Color Field and click on the square icon representing the default color, black, and choose white from the color menu. Click OK.

You can also download a free plugin to create a white camera flash.

As a bonus, check out this free tutorial on how to create a freeze frame camera flash effect.

If you want to help to maintain the highest quality resolution for your video during the capture process in FCP you might want to try capturing video and audio as separate files. When you capture video and audio separately, essentially what you are doing is dividing the workload between two scratch disks, maximixizing the performance of each scratch disk, allowing you to capture your video at the highest possible data rate!


Two sets of media source files will be saved on your hard disk, but the clips appear in your project as merged clips. It's not going to make your footage look like HDV but it helps!

If you are wondering how to do closed captioning in Final Cut Pro, here is a great discussion in the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group Forum that you may find informative. It discusses sepecific tools to perform closed captioning and is specific on where to find them. Work flow for closed captioning is also discussed and also the topic of if you should bother doing it yourself or out sourcing it. There is a lot of information here as well as a diversity of opinions on how to achieve quality closed captioning. I hope that it can help you in your persuit of a solid project.

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You have just edited your last piece in Final Cut Pro that will be used in your first DVD resume ever, and now it's time to export all of your material in the proper format to ensure the highest quality DVD possible. Follow these steps:

Go to File > Export Using Compressor. Select your file from within Compressor and place your setting to 'MPEG-2 60 Minute High Quality Encode' and then slide over to the right of the menu and choose 'all.' Two items will appear for each piece of video because sound and video will be exported separately.

These files are now ready to be brought into DVD Studio Pro. In DVD Studio Pro, click on 'File', 'Import' and 'Asset'. Highlight both the sound and video files for each piece of and choose 'Import'. These files should now show in DVD Studio Pro's assets window.

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Importing PSD files from Photoshop CS may result in an error saying: The layered Photoshop file was not saved with a composite image. The problem is caused by a setting within Photoshop CS. There are a few simple steps to resolve this issue:

1.Open Photoshop and go to the edit menu>preferences.
2.Under preferences choose File Handling.

Photoshop CS2 Preferences.gif

3.Under File Compatibility make sure Maximize PSD File Compatibility is set to Ask or Always. Click OK.
4.Now resave your document and re-import back into Avid.

GeniusDV has launched a new Avid and Final Cut Pro phone support service open to the general public who need immediate assistance with the industry’s leading video editing software.


'We are filling a gap in the professional video arena where individuals need immediate help with their Final Cut Pro or Avid editing systems. 'For many customers, their only avenue was to call the vendor directly during a set time-frame. GeniusDV now provides an alternative method that puts the customer in direct contact with a certified Final Cut Pro or Avid user.' says John Lynn co-owner of GeniusDV.

Phone support contracts for Avid or Final Cut Pro include the availability of a 24 hour live operator access that pages all available instructors, a LiveHelp web service, A dedicated private support forum that delivers an email with a personal response to your issue, a direct line to a certified instructor, and discounts for on-site support. In addition, GeniusDV has expanded it's phone support service to all existing customers who have taken a certified training course at no additional charge.

Being able to auto-sync clips can be a very handy feature when you have unlinked video from its audio source.


If you have unlinked video from its audio source in the timeline and somehow moved it out of sync, a red overlay will appear on both clips signifying how many frames by which the two clip are out of sync. If you right click or control click on the red overlay depicted in either the video or audio track, there are two options that can save you alot of trouble: Move Into Sync and Slip Into Sync. If you choose Move Into Sync, the Audio and Video clips will physically re-align themselves to regain sync. If you choose the Slip Into Sync Option, the clips will regain their sync but not physically move back together. This option would be good if you could not afford a shift if the timeline.

Learn the basics of Final Cut Pro Audio here.

If you are still unable to preview out to a monitor in Final Cut Pro after you have made the correct hardware connections, you may have just overlooked a simple configuration in FCP. If you are referring to your capture preview being disabled, please refer to this thread entitled FCP HD Preview Disabled. If you are unable to preview out to an external monitor, continue reading.


1 Go to User Settings and under the summary tab, make sure that your Device Control is set properly. If you are using a firewire connection out to a DV Camera or Deck, Firewire NTSC is where this preset should be at.

2 Choose FireWire NTSC (720x480) for the Video Playback option within the Summary tab pane under Audio/Video Settings. Click OK.

3 Go to View in the top menu then to External Video and choose the All Frames selection. You should now be able to preview out to that NTSC monitor.

A tip for rearranging clips in FCP!

For even the most novice video editor, learning Adobe Photoshop is an absolutely necessity. Whether you're using Final Cut Pro, Avid, Premiere Pro, or Sony Vegas, the skill-set is the same.

For video professionals, we use Photoshop for a variety of tasks. Some frequent tasks include:

-Cutting out a graphics or logos and incorporating into a video production.
-Using Photoshop filters for moving video.
-Designing specialized logo's and titles to be keyed over video.
-Designing mattes or masks for to be used for video.


In this exercise, we'll focus on the basic task of cutting out a logo from someone’s business card to be used as a keyed element in a video project.

Have you ever imported a graphic file from Motion into your Final Cut Pro project and found yourself less than impressed with the quality of the graphic? Well, there's something you can do about that! Don't render first. Cut your Motion Project into Final Cut Pro just as if it were a clip and let Final Cut Pro do the rendering. You will find that your Motion graphic will key more cleanly over video.

graphics for video.jpg

1 Import Motion project into Final Cut Pro.

2 Cut the Motion clip into your Final Cut Pro show.

3 Render your timeline when you are ready to preview or output.

4 If you need to make changes, choose Open in Editor and inside of Motion you will be able to make changes to your project. When you close and save, you will be able to see the changes you made to the file in the Final Cut Pro timeline.

Digital Juice Television.jpg

Here at Genius DV we not only want to train you in how to use Avid, FCP and Adobe products we also want you to make great productions. Adding that professional look and feel to your productions is very important and Digital Juice is here to help you. I have used their products for more than two years now and I am glad to report they are some of the best tools you can have in achieving your goals! They have just launched a new service to help you make great productions. Its called Digital Juice Television. DJTV is a brand new Web-based Television Network dedicated to tips, tricks, tools, techniques and technology related to creating creative content. The Digital Juice Team updates the videos with new and fresh tips quite frequently, so don't forget to check back often. You can use these tools to take your Avid or FCP editing to the next level!

GeniusDV has recently expanded it's course offerings to include video streaming training. These two and five day courses walk students through integrating and operating their own dedicated streaming servers. These courses also cover how to set up a video or audio podcasts.


Derrick Freeman is GeniusDV's streaming specialist, and brings a wealth of knowledge to our specialized team of certified trainers for video applications. 'Video streaming technology is still in its infancy and we're expecting new technologies in the near future for distributing video content. GeniusDV is prepared to ride the wave to prepare training for these new technologies as they become more mainstream.', says Derrick Freeman.

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With the introduction of the JVC GY-HD100U, JVC set the High-Definition world on fire with this affordable yet revolutionary camcorder. I have used the HD-100U since April with great success and JVC has now improved on what I would say is the best camera for you money! The GY-HD110U looks identical to its predecessor with some very important upgrades. These upgrades include:

1. Black & white viewfinder display mode
2. Simultaneous use of both eyepiece viewfinder and tri-mode LCD display when powered by Anton Bauer or IDX battery system
3. Selectable mirror mode on vertically flipped LCD display
4. Adjustable setting of FOCUS ASSIST function
5. Choice of 3 image formats on composite out (letterbox, squeeze, side cut)
6. User-selectable ON/OFF DNR level menu setting
7. 13 segments audio level indicator
8. Manual audio control within FAS (Full auto shooting) mode
9. Audio limiter available in manual mode
10.Parallel power off management of DR-HD100 recorder

For more info check out JVCs pro-line of HD products.

Using Final Cut Pro Media Manager to delete unused media can be a tricky process. The media manager within Final Cut Pro is an extremely powerful tool. It can also be very confusing if you have not used it before. This tutorial will focus on a common technique which can be used to delete unused media from a large clip.

Here is a special extended tutorial that will walk you through a common scenerio of deleting media that you do not need from a 'Long Clip'.

You can apply a mirror image effect to clips in Final Cut Pro simply by going to the Effects tab in the Browser Window > Going to the Perspective Folder and choosing the Mirror option. Double click on the clip in the sequence that you want to add the effect to in order to load it into the Viewer Window. Drag the Mirror Filter to the image in the Viewer Window and you will immediately see the effect applied to your clip. To manipulate the Mirror Filter, click on the Filter Tab in the Viewer Window and you will be able to see the changes you make to the image inside of the Canvas Window as long as the position indicator is parked over the clip in the timeline.


See how to paste clip attributes in Final Cut Pro!

Many of the deck control problems you may encounter may have something to do with the firewire connection. A faulty cable can also cause intermittent problems.

If have you have a high-end tape machine, chances are it may have a 9-pin serial R422 connection on the back. In this case, you would benefit from purchasing a simple adapter cable that will allow your Avid or Final Cut Pro system to take advantage of direct deck control using your Deck's 9 pin RS 422 control.

If you are using a PC, all that is required is a simple cable that converts the RS 422 (serial) - to RS 232 (serial).


If your computer does not have a 9 pin serial port, or if you are using a MAC. You'll also need an USB to serial adapter.


Next, all you need to do is change your device control options to use RS 422 control instead of firewire. You will immediately notice that your device will control much better than it did with the firewire cable. You will still leave your firewire cable connection to your system for Video and Audio input. You will be using the RS 422 connection from timecode and deck control.

jvc 50.jpg

Once again Avid has released their support device list for all Avid Editor Products. This is a very important list of all of the decks and cameras that Avid has tested and qualifies for use with all Avid-editing products. The devices on this list are qualified for both Mac OSX and Windows XP Professional. These devices vary widely in their capabilities and limitations. Some devices may have limitations beyond those revealed in Aid’s testing. In addition, device models are sometimes updated, which can affect test results and known issues. Check out our latest Avid classes!

Author: Derrick Freeman, Video Streaming Specialist

If you are an individual who is new to video encoding and compression you’ll want to purchase a copy of Sorenson’s Compression Suite available for Mac and PC Platforms. However, The product is much more appealing for the PC users. I wonder why? The Mac Version of Compression Suite allows users to encode video to QuickTime, MPEG4 and Flash. The PC version offers the ability to encode to Real, Windows Media, MPEG1, MPEG2, QuickTime, MPEG4 and Flash. 

What makes Compression Suite such a good buy is its reliability and efficiency in video encoding. The manufactures of this product have done an outstanding job. They stay current on the bug fixes and continue to enhance their product. Whenever I need quick and reliable video encoding for my streaming projects I turn to Sorenson Compression Suite. It just works! I consider the software the “Swiss army knife� of video encoding and compression.


Out of all the Video Compression tools that I used Compression Suite can get users encoding the quickest. Features such as Watch Folders, Movie Trimming, Video Filters, Audio Normalizing, and Video Cropping make it a superior tool. Compression Suite also includes the professional version of the Sorenson Video 3 Codec and allows special features such as 1-Pass and 2-Pass Variable Bit Rate Encoding in addition to already included presets for creating Downloadable and Streaming movies. Users have the ability to create custom presets settings that can be used over and over. The nicest element about this software is that once the custom settings are created, anyone can help assist in the encoded process without having to be an expert. 

Priced around $500 for the Mac and PC version users will quickly find that the software is very much worth every last dollar spent. Visit www.geniusdv.com for free on-line tutorials on Sorenson Compression Suite.

5 minutes of DV footage equals approximates 1 gigabyte of storage. Digital Heaven has a free widget, VideoSpace v1.0, For OSX Tiger that will allow you to calculate how much disk space your Final Cut Pro or Avid Xpress video project will require before you begin. It's as simple as selecting the Codec that you will be using from a drop down menu of 17 options, selecting the framerate, and typing in the projected length of the program in HHMMSS format and Video Space will calculate the size of the file.


It can also work in reverse allowing you to enter in the storage capacity of optical storage media such as a DVD or CD and calculate the amount of video it can hold. Check out and Download Digital Heaven's VideoSPace right here.

Black D.jpg

Suspense, violence, and obsession are often key themes associated with director Brian De Palmas films (Scarface, Blow Out, Dressed to Kill), and his latest feature, The Black Dahlia, is no exception. Based on the James Ellroy novel, the film constructs a fictionalized, mysterious labyrinth surrounding one of the most sensationalized, unsolved murders in California history - that of Elizabeth Short, a young, glamorous, and would-be Hollywood starlet who came to be known simply as The Black Dahlia.
For added flexibility and efficiency, Pankow used a Macintosh G4 Powerbook laptop equipped with Avid Xpress Pro software, which allowed him to travel with the cut in progress to review and approve edits with creative team members, regardless of their location. Avid Xpress Pro was great for when Bill had to fly back to L.A. from Toronto to look at the digital intermediate, or to show what he had already cut to the director and try out new ideas with him, or to set it up on the mix stage in order to have a copy of the movie. The Avid Xpress Pro on the laptop saved a lot of time and made things very convenient, says Johnston.

The Avid Xpress Pro on the laptop saved a lot of time and made things very convenient.
- Lara Johnston, Assistant Editor, The Black Dahlia

Check out the offical The Black Dahlia site for the full details.

Is the new Apple 24 inch iMAC, the ultimate computer for Final Cut Pro, or Avid Xpress non-linear editing?

If you haven't heard the news yet, you need to check out the latest iMAC now being offered by Apple Computer. Apple now offers a 24 inch iMAC, with a full HD capable LCD display. It's native digital resolution is 1900 x 1200.


In the new 24 inch model, Apple has beefed up the size of the Display, and the graphics card that comes built in. The 24-inch model includes the NVidia GeForce 7300 GT graphics processor with 128MB of GDDR3 SDRAM using PCI Express. Or you can get the optional NVidia GeForce 7600 GT graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR3 SDRAM using PCI Express.

The new Nvidia graphics card(s) also give Avid users new hope that the graphics card installed in the new 24 inch iMAC will work correctly when using the iMAC with Windows XP.

Most importantly, Apple has added firewire 800 support on the back of the 24 inch iMAC. This is a huge addition to the video editing professional. This now allows Final Cut Pro users to connect external firewire 800 drives to their iMAC, which will allow for the added bandwidth needed for editing hi-def video.

Although we do not have one to test, we don't see how you can go wrong with Apple's top-of-the line iMAC.

We have previously discussed a form of three-point editing in relation to a technique referred to as backtiming a clip, an edit that is used when the end of a clip is more important than its beginning. Three point editing is also efficient for when you need to fill a gap within the timeline.

Gap in Timeline.jpg

As an example, lets say that you have been waiting for your client to supply you with the proper pre-existing, whole screen graphic that you are to use in a thirty-second spot, but you have alaready built the rest of the timeline and just need to fill in that gap.

Editing A Clip Into A Gap In The Timeline

1 First of all, make sure that you lock your audio tracks so they won't be effected by the changes you are about to make.

2 Load the clip into the viewer by double clicking it.

3 Create an in point for the clip that you have loaded into the viewer.

4 Move the playhead in the timeline to the middle of the gap and press the X key to set the in and out points for the gap.

5 Perform an overwrite edit to insert the clip into the empty space inside of the timeline. The gap has now been filled.

Avid Subclipping.gif

Subclipping is a very important part of the edting process. You create subclips to make shorter and more relivant clips to edit from. Here are the steps to take to create a subclip:

1. Load your clip into the Source monitor.
2. Mark and in and out where you would like the clip to start and end.
3. Hold down the Alt key and click the source monitor and drag the subclip into the desired bin.
4. Name the sub-clip

You have now made a more manageable clip to edit from. The great thing about master clips is that because you have made a subclip from your master clip the subclip can be expanded in trim mode to reveal more footage.

If you are working with multiple audio tracks within a Final Cut Pro sequence, you can solo an individual audio track without having to turn off all the other tracks within a FCP sequence.


In the lower left corner of the Final Cut Pro timeline, click on the small speaker icon. This will open a hidden palette where you can solo a track, or a series of tracks. To solo a track, click on a pair of headphones.

Upon placing a new clip into your sequence, Final Cut Pro will check to see if the field dominance of the new clip matches that of the sequence. If the clip does not match the field dominance of the sequence, FCP will automatically apply the Shift Fields Filter to the clip so that it will match.

If you need to adjust the Shift Fields Filter, use the direction control after you have applied the filter to a clip and have loaded it back into the Viewer Window, by going to the filters tab in the Viewer Window. If the clip you are making the adjustements for has an upper field dominance and your sequence is set to lower, set the direction control parameter to +1. If the clip is lower and the sequence is upper, set the control to -1.


The Shift Fields Filter is located under the Effects tab in the Browser Window inside of the Video Folder. To determine if your sequence setting is set to lower or higher field dominance, look under Sequence > Settings. The default is Lower (Even).

If you are new to color correction, read about the effects of using multiple color correction filters together!

Avid Bin.jpg

You have spent hours managing your media, making sub-clips, marking just the right in and out on your clips and then you delete the clip by accident. This horror can be avoided very easly in the Avid bin. Avid has a great way to lock your items in the bin, this is a highly underutilized feature of the Avid software. Locked items can still be edited and modified but locking them prevents deletion. Here are the steps to lock your items in your bin:

You must first be in the Text View.

1. Display the Lock heading in the bin by going to the fast menu in lower left corner of the bin and go to headings and select the Lock heading.

2. Click the item you want to lock.

3.Navigate to Clip and click Lock BIn Selection

You can select multiple items with control click or shift click and lock them all at once.

The undo feature in Final Cut Pro is an extremely helpful way to back out of a series of minor changes that maybe you decided not to implement for a given project. If you were wanting to try out some radical changes to your sequence, I would recommend duplicating your sequence before making the changes and not rely so heavily on the undo button.

By default, the undo feature of FCP is set to ten levels of undo, but can go all the way up to ninety-nine. Why you would leave it set to the default value of ten is a mystery to me. To change this value:


1 Go to Final Cut Pro > User Preferences.

2 The levels of undo option will be at the top left of the dialog box that opens. Set a new value, then click OK button at the bottom.

Learn how to take a project that was started in Adobe Premiere and move it to Final Cut Pro for completion.

When you already have one effect applied to a transition in a sequence, you can apply an effect to multiple transitions at the same time.


How to apply an effect to multiple transitions in the Timeline:

1.If there is not already an effect on one of the transitions, add a transition effect.

2.Enter Effect mode, for example, by selecting Toolset > Effects Editing.

3.Click the existing transition effect to select it.

4.Click above the Timeline and begin dragging to activate a selection box. Continue to drag down and either to the left or right to include additional transitions in the selection.

5.Release the mouse button when you have lassoed all the transitions you want.

6.If the transitions where you want to apply the effect are not contiguous, Shift+click any transition to deselect it.

7.In the Effect Palette, double-click the icon for the effect that you want to apply to the transitions.

Do not forget to sign up for one of up and coming Avid classes!

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During my latest training session I found that getting back to basics is very important! I wrote several notes to myself about the simple stumbling blocks my last student had and thought I would share them to remind myself and anyone new to the Avid interface the important basics.

We had just got done creating his first sequence and he asked me how do I make another sequence. This seemed very simple to me and he just created a whole sequence so I just assumed I was unclear in my explanation, but after looking at why he might be so confused it made sense. The timeline was already full with his current sequence and he did not understand that if he made a new sequence that it would not write over his current sequence. So to clarify I reminded him of the sequence he had in the bin and then he made a new sequence by right clicking in the record monitor and clicking create new sequence. A new sequence popped up in his bin and he started editing his new program. So this may seem very simple but it can be confusing if you are new to Avid.

Stay tuned for more Back to Basics with Avid Express Pro and do not forget to sign up for one of our up and coming classes!


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.

The basic software interface and editing functions are practically identical. A novice Avid editor would never know the difference between Avid Xpress HD and Media Composer Adrenaline. Therefore, the same Avid editing class is applicable to both software products.


Both applications can run as software only. Just make sure you are running the software on one of Avid's qualified and recommended computer configurations.

The key functions that are only available in Media Composer are:

A vector based paint system
A 4 point motion tracker
Timewarp and motion effects that can be graphed out
SpectraMatte chroma keyer
Film Composer toolset

My favorite features in the Media Composer software that are not available in Avid Xpress are the integrated paint system and the motion tracker. These two features really add a lot of power when it comes to compositing effects.

There are differences between the two software options, but they may not be obvious to the typical Avid editor. You can visit Avid Technology's website for complete technical specifications of Media Composer or Avid Xpress HD.

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