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October 2006 Archives

Mac users of MPEG Streamclip can pre-process multiple files prior to encoding with their compression application (As of this writing the PC version of MPEG Streamclip doesn't provide this feature). To process multiple files go to the List pull-down menu and choose Batch List. When the Batch Window opens select the Add Files button.


Select the files that you would like to include in your Batch.


Click the Open button once your video files are selected.


Next Choose Export to QuickTime or Export to DV from the dialog window.


If you are getting ready to update to the latest Avid application and you are obtaining your updates through the web then Avid has some great recommendations to make your life easier. I am so glad to see this document, I have spent hours trying to fix or adjust my downloads, especially when it comes to the dongle updater. This document covers everything from proper download procedures; unzipping files, upgrade tips to purchasing upgrades. Please do not miss this article on updating your Avid software, it will save you time and headaches!

It wasn't until I took a Final Cut Pro class, that I was shown a trick on how to add multiple dissolves all at the same time using Final Cut Pro. I'll admit, I didn't think it was possible. Here are the steps.


Will the new 24 inch iMac run Avid Media Composer?


In a previous article, I attempted to load Avid Xpress onto a 20 inch iMac with limited success. The 20 inch model uses an ATI X1600 graphics card, and although I got it to work, the performance wasn't that great.

The new 24 inch iMac's come preconfigured with either than Nvidia 7300GT, or the 7600GT. I opted for the upgrade to the 7600GT. The Avid software seems to be much more user friendly with the Nvidia graphics chipset.

If you haven't seen the new 24 inch iMac, you are missing a thing of beauty. For just over $2000, you get a 24 inch Hi Def screen with a streamlined computer built right into the monitor. This makes the computer system extremely portable.

For Avid Xpress and Media Composer enthusiasts, you must wait for a universal version of the software to run correctly on the new intel based iMac's while running OS X. Unfortunately, the software will not run on an OS X machine using the new Intel chipset.

Since the new iMacs use an Intel based chipset, you can download a beta version of Apple's Bootcamp software and install a full copy of Windows XP on the machine. As a test, I wondered if Avid's latest version of Media Composer software would run correctly if I installed Windows XP Professional using Apple's bootcamp software.

I am happy to report, that this configuration seems to work. Better yet, it will even run the Avid Studio Toolkit applications without any errors. Yes, this even includes Pro Tools! All of the Open GL effect's ran flawlessly. I did some hard core rendering tests, and the rendering seemed to be quite speedy.

Keep in mind this is currently an unsupported configuration. However, if you are lucky enough to own one of these new 24 inch iMacs, you might consider loading the Avid Media Composer software onto it.


I am a huge Digital Juice fan. I use their products everyday in my productions and if you don't use them by now you need to check them out. A great offer from digital juice ends on OCT 31st and you will not want to miss out on it. I made sure I took advantage of this don't miss opportunity and you should too. If you are not familiar with StackTraxx music library then you need to get very familiar with it! StackTraxx is the cutting edge of royalty-free music libraries. Taking production music a step further, StackTraxx allows you to turn layers on or off creating original mixes or isolating individual tracks. These volumes are normally $249 ea but you can now get 10 for $249 or just mix and match and make the bundle! A Mix & Match Bundle consists of any 10 Jump Backs, Jump Backs HD, StackTraxx, Motion Design Elements or Juice Drops Volumes. Hurry offer ends Oct 31st!


A great motion effect that often goes forgotten is the Avid motion strobe effect. This is a great effect to use for high action shots or for shots that go with fast music. It is used a lot in music video production but I have started to use it more often in my own productions. It may seem like such a simple effect but when used properly it can a great interest in an otherwise boring shot. The great thing is you can apply the strobe motion to with a variable speed effect for a much more dramatic look. You've seen it, slow motion and strobes, they look great together. To apply this effect:

1. If you want to use only part of the source clip for the effect, mark IN and OUT points in the Source monitor.

2.In the Source monitor, click the Motion Effect button.

3.Select the Strobe Motion option.

4.Specify the update rate in frames for the Strobe Motion effect. For example, a rate of 5 causes every fifth frame to be held for five frames before updating in the Strobe Motion effect.

5. Complete the effect by doing one of the following:
Click Create to create the new clip and close the dialog box. Another dialog box asks you to select the bin for the effect.
Click Create and Render to render the clip - creating new media files and close the dialog box.

This Avid Effect will add much more excitment to your productions!

When using Final Cut Pro, I cannot stress enough to check the version of your operating system. As of this publication, Tiger 10.4 is supported to run Final Cut Pro 5.1. Do not haphazardly update your operating system every time a new update is released.
Visit www.finalcutpro.com and verify that the new OS X version is compatible with Final Cut Pro. I also recommend waiting a couple of weeks to make sure there are no problems with any new updates. It is not possible for the software engineers to test every feature within Final Cut Pro for every OS X update.

Configure the mouse

One of the first things you will want to do is configure the Mighty Mouse so it works with left and right clicking. Final Cut Pro contains many contextual menu elements that are available by (right) clicking the mouse. If you have the Apple Mighty Mouse, you may not realize there are actually four buttons that can be configured.



If you are new to editing or even a seasoned veteran being able to move through your footage and make your edits fast and efficiently is a very important part of your editing process. Using the JKL keys to move through your footage is a great way to view your shots. The great thing about JKL is those keys are right below I and O. So all you have to do is press I for you in and O for your out. A lot of editors use this technique for editing on a daily basis. Using this method you only use a small portion of the keyboard and save time over most other methods of editing. This may seem simple to most editors but if you are use to not using the keyboard this is a great place to start.

With the introduction of those new fancy cameras that shoot true 16x9, I am often confronted with the challenge of explaining how to format the video properly for Avid Xpress or Media Composer.

Here is what an example of a true 16x9 video source clip will look like on a 4:3 screen. Notice it is stretched.


How to play a clip backwards or in reverse using Final Cut Pro.

Final Cut Pro allows you to change the speed of a clip directly from the timeline. You can use the speed change function to reverse a clip, by clicking on the (reverse) checkbox.


The process is simple. Control click on the clip segment within the Final Cut Pro sequence and select (speed) for the contextual menu. If you have a two button mouse, you can right click on the clip segment instead of holding down the control key. Using a two button mouse is a good idea, particularly if you are editing on a laptop.


If you wish to play a clip backwards at more than or less than full speed, there are a couple of tricks to make this happen, especially if you already have existing clips in the Final Cut Pro timeline. First, lock all of your tracks, except for the track that contains the clip you want to slow down. This an important step, because Final Cut Pro will attempt to keep everything in sync and may give you an error 'Unable to complete command. A conflict occurred during a trim operation.' Second, if you are going to slow a clip down, make sure there are no other clips to the immediate right. It is best to place your clip at the end of the timeline so there is room for it to expand outward. Then you can measure how much room you need for the clips original placement.

I moderate a Final Cut Pro training forum, and the question was posed... 'Can I create a Quicktime movie that is 320 x 480?' This would result in a QuickTime file that plays within a window that is tall and narrow.


At first... you would think this is not a problem. However... once I figured out what this person was trying to do, it didn't seem possible. At 320 x 480, this would create a QuickTime movie that is tall and skinny, which is very different than the standard multimedia size of 320 x 240.


There are many issues that you may run across when working with Final Cut Pro. Here are some reccomended fixes for:

Drop Frames
Corrupted Preferences
Corrupted Media
'Unexpectedly Quit Errors'
Installation Errors


With HD upon us, I have had a few discussions on format sizes and megapixels with a few clients lately and I thought it was time to create a quick chart. I have one client that wants to use some of the HD frames for print in his manuals that accompany the DVD. So to clarify the size differences I made a quick chart of some of the new HD formats and camera sizes:

Conversions are approximate:

1280X720=720 HD 1MP
1920X1080=1080 HD 2.1 MP
2544X1696= 4.3 MP DSLR
2880X2048= D16 Video 5.9 MP
3656X2664=Cineon/DPX 9.7MP
4368X2912= 12.7 MP DSLR
4096X3112= 4K Cinema 12.7 MP

So, as you can see the new HD cameras, 1080i and 720P, are only good for making very small prints. So if you plan on needing stills from these sources make sure they will be relatively small or make sure you have still photography snapping shots while you are shooting.


In the Movie Settings dialog under Sound click the Settings button.


Then select None for the audio codec because you don't want any audio compression to take place at this time. Select an audio sample rate of 44 kHz 16 bit and Stereo. Click OK.

Here are the settings you need to use to export your QuickTime Movie for compression for Web. Under the Video Section go into the Settings section. Now to clarify this tutorial the goal of this exercise is not to make a video that you will be able to take and place instantly on the web. The goal is to export a QuickTime video file from your non-linear editor that you can then take into your video compression application. You'll get much better results that way. One added benefit of this process is if you need to you can encode you videos again in the future using the better codecs.


Now go into the Video section and choose the Settings button and choose DV-NSTC, DV/DVCPro-NTSC, MJPEGA, MJPEGB or PhotoJPEG from the Pop-up menu at the top. Choose Best for the Quality setting. Under the Motion section make sure Key frame every, Limit data rate and Frames have nothing selected. After you make your selections click OK.

(Note: Some of the steps listed may be different based on your non-linear editor. The ultimate purpose of this tutorial is for those that a encoding videos for streaming in a video compression application.)

In your non-linear editor choose an in point and and out point for your video.


Then go to the File pull down menu and choose File then Export and Select QuickTime or Using QuickTime Conversion

Let's face it, Photoshop is an absolute necessity when it comes to working with your favorite non linear editing system. If you are not familiar with Photoshop in terms of how it works with video applications, the task can be daunting.

Costumers these days expect the seemingly impossible with digital photos, scanned images, and web content. They want all these elements to fit within their video production.

What are your options? Well, you can take a Photoshop for Video class. However, chances are the class will be a print class, which won't teach you the critical things about using Photoshop for video applications. In the video world, we are more concerned with aspect ratios, alpha channels, and the limitations of DV video (720 x 480). We don't care about CMYK color spaces, and we don't care about DPI. The only thing that really matters is how the final product looks on a standard television screen.

We want images that can be used as a glass bug. We want graphics that we can cut out and key over an image. We want the ability to add visual effects to our text objects. We want to take the logo from a clients stained business card and make it stand out within a video project. Finally, we want do this all of this very quickly. Sounds daunting, doesn't it?

Here are some key concepts of how to use Photoshop for Video. For this article, we will refer to two popular non linear editing programs, Avid Xpress, and Final Cut Pro. However, I am certain that these techniques will work with other editing programs as well. We will start by building a simple title and adding some layered effects to it.

Let's that you have already finished this week's show for a weekly outdoor sports program featuring a hunt during gun season and just as you are about to print to tape, you realize that in one of your many shots a hunter does not have on his required orange hat. Perhaps he took it off to scratch his head, but you don't want to project a negative image of your show in regard to hunting safety, so you decide to replace the shot.

After you have cut out that clip within Final Cut Pro, a quick way to figure out the exact duraton of the gap in the show is to:

1 Option click the Auto Select Control for the track that contains the gap.


2 Place the position indicator in the gap and press x to mark the space (clip).


3 The duration of the gap can be found in the Timecode Duration field in the Canvas Window. This would be the left field.


If you want to make sure there are no gaps within your sequence, you can use the keyboard shortcut (Shift + G) to advance forward to the next gap, or (Option + G) to move backwards to a gap.

See how to utiize three-point editing to close a gap in your FCP timeline!

The mystery is solved when shooting in 16:9 and working in Final Cut Pro. In the old days, video production was simple. There was just one television format, and no-one had to worry about designing their production for a widescreen. Now, with the introduction to the 16x9 format, it can become confusing, especially when trying to mix the standard 4x3 format with 16x9 images.


Nothing is worse than walking into your local technology store and seeing a beautiful wide screen television with an image that is distorted. It defeats the entire purpose of purchasing a wide screen television. Worse yet, what if you want to shoot a project in true 16:9 but you want it to look correct on a standard television screen? Try explaining to someone that actual difference between a 16:9 image and a 4:3 image, and why it is distorted. That requires a lot of math, and often confuses people.

With Apple's Final Cut Pro, things have never been easier! The trick, is to shoot with a DV camera that has a firewire port. DV cameras record something extra along with the compressed video. The record time-stamp information and some additional meta-data that is embedded with the video. Final Cut Pro understands this information when you record directly from the DV port on a camera or tape machine. By shooting in a true 16x9 mode, if you were to play back your tape on a standard 4:3 television set, your image would look stretched.

Take a look at this example: You can clearly see that it looks slightly stretched out. This is how the clip would look if you recorded from a non-dv source, where Final Cut Pro is unable to interpret the meta-data.


If you right click (control click) on a clip and select 'item properties > format', A dialogue box will appear.


You will notice the anamorphic category setting is checked indicating a 16:9 video format. If you uncheck this selection, your video clip will become distorted as shown above.


They most common problems related to audio problems with Final Cut Pro is mismatched audio sample rates.

I highly recommend that you make sure all of your audio files within Final Cut Pro are set to the same sample rate. Mismatched sample rates and audio codecs within Final Cut Pro can cause a variety of problems. These problems include:

Timelines that drift out of sync
Audio pops
Audio Distortion
Sluggish Playback
Audio Level Problems

The most common culprits are audio CD files or mp3 files. If you are using mixed sample rates, the problem is almost crippling for Final Cut Pro 3.0 users. Final Cut Pro 4.5HD offers improved performance in dealing with mixed sample rates, but it is deffinately worth your time and effort to make sure all your imported audio files are the same sample rate.

The DV specification supports 32K, 44.1K, and 48K sample rates. Most professionals religiously shoot their footage using the 48K sample rate or (16 bit). Be careful! Many consumer video cameras have a default audio setting of 12 bit (32k audio). If you forget to change this, your best bet is to make a new dub of your DV tape and re-sample the audio at 48K.

If you have having audio or sync problems within Final Cut Pro, take a quick look in the Browser Window, and verify that every clip has a sample rate of exactly 48k. If not, this could be why you are having problems.


Since the most commonly used sample rate for DV is 48K, I recommend converting ALL of your audio files to 48K before using them within Final Cut Pro.

An easy way to convert audio CD's, or mp3 files to 48K .aiff files is to use iTunes.

Inserting an audio CD into the Macintosh should automatically launch iTunes. Next, go to the iTunes menu and select 'preferences'.


The next step is to configure iTunes to automatically convert any audio files within it’s library to 48k, using the aiff encoder. To change the default settings, click on the custom setting pull down menu. The good news is, once you have changed these settings, you will not need to change them again, unless you re-install or update iTunes.


Next, you need to specify where you want the new (converted) audio files to be stored. Click on the advanced button and change the location of the music folder to a new location. I prefer saving my converted audio files straight to the Apple desktop.


Then, all you need to do, is highlight the individual tracks that you want to convert and navigate to the Advanced menu, and select 'Convert Selection to AIFF' Then import the new converted files into Final Cut Pro.


Creating the 'Pleasantville' effect in Avid Xpress or Media Composer is a fairly simple task. In fact, a similar technique can be used in almost any other non-linear editing system. This video tutorial below shows how to create the Pleasantville effect using the SpectraMatte keyer. Unfortunately, SpectraMatte is only available on recent versions of Avid Media Composer.

If you have an older version of Media Composer or Avid Xpress Pr, you can follow these steps using the standard Chroma Keyer.

For learning purposes, find a short clip that has a dominate object that contains mostly one shade of color. In this example, the orange flower. 


Start by editing the same exact clip to V1 and V2 on the timeline as shown below. Make sure the starting and ending points and each clip match up exactly.


The next step is to navigate to the Avid Xpress DV Pro effects palette and place a color effect.
onto V1.


After you apply the color effect to V1, click on the effects editor button. The effect editor button is located in the upper left corner of the timeline window. It looks like a pair of seatbelts. *Make sure that the purple monitoring icon is placed on V1, so you can see that changes that you make to V1 while in the effect editor window.


Now, once you are in the effects editor mode. Drag the (sat) slider to -100. This should make the clip that is on V1 turn to black and white. The composer window should now display the clip as a black and white video image

. make_black_white.gif

Go back to the effects tab within the project window and apply the croma key effect to V2

. avid_croma_key_filter.gif

Enter into effects mode on V2. *Make sure the purple monitoring icon is placed on V2 so you can see the changes that you make in the effects editor window. Before moving forward, your timeline should like like the example below.


Now, here is the tricky part. Within the effects editor, you need to specify the color that you want to key out. In this case, the orange color. You can click in the key color box and drag your cursor to the composer window to pick the color you want by using the eyedropper. This will give you a good start to matching the color.


Make sure you click on (invert key) to see the black and white image underneath V2. *The controls are extremely finicky. It will take some experimenting to find the correct value. Normally, it is a fine mix between the Hue, Gain and Softness controls. Once you get the correct mix, the effect can be spectacular.
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We have talked at length about adding that extra touch to your DVDs by adding some family pictures to the mix via slideshow in DVD Studio Pro, but what good is a slideshow without the appropriate music behnind it?

Film image.jpg

Depending on the type of slide show you are creating, you can add single or multiple pieces of music to your slideshow or assign a specific piece of audio to a single slide. This is striclty a creative decision. If you are using a series of stills along with an audio file, it would be easier to just designate multiple or just one audio file to play for the entire length of the slideshow. If creativley, your slideshow calls for each slide to have its own audio, such as voiceover, having a single audio file for each slide will be key in syncing them up correctly, but If you have already layed down an overall music file for the entire slideshow, like Chariots of Fire for instance, you will not be able to perform this function.

Adding Audio With The Slideshow Editor:

1 Within the Assets Tab, choose the audio file you wish to use.

2 Drag the audio file over to the Slideshow Editor and assign it to a slide by releasing the mouse button while over top of it.

You can also use the Slide Inspector to Specify Audio for your slideshow.

- Make active the slide that you want to add audio to, then in the Audio File Pop Up Menu, within the Slide Inpector, designate the audio for that slide.

The Microsoft Windows XP operating system limits every program to 2 gigabytes
(GB) of address space. It reserves the remaining 2 gigabytes of address space for its
own use. Avid provides a utility for setting the boot-time mechanism to extend the process
address space. Setting your Avid editing system to access a larger virtual address space might
improve working with HD projects without running out of memory.
Use the following procedure to extend your usable address space.

1. Double-click Program Files\Avid\Utilities\3GB\Install3G.bat.
The following window opens.

2. Choose one of the following:
If you want to always use the extended memory every time you boot
the system, type D.
If you want the option to choose between the extended memory and the
original default setting whenever you reboot, type M.

3. Restart your system.

This should help with memory allocation and keep you from recieving the memory errors.

Having the ability to create a slideshow of all those beuatiful pictures that you took at the last family outing just may be what adds that extra something to that Vacation DVD you're starting to peice together. Within DVD Studio Pro, you can treat still images just as you would video, that means you can drag pictures to the assets tab and to the Slideshow Editor. To save time, you can also select a group of pictures and drag them directly to the Menu Editor.


Creating A Slideshow In Your Project

As you get to know DVD Studio Pro, just as all of the other software that is included in the Final Cut Studio Package, there are many ways to accomplish a single goal. Choose one of these methods.

1 Select Project > Add to Project > Slideshow or
- Press Command K.
- Or, select the tab labeled slideshow and drag your stills to the Slideshow Editor.

2 A slideshow element will show in the Outline and Graphical tabs. Open the slideshow by double clicking it in the Slideshow editor.

3 Give your slideshow a name in the Slideshow Inspector.

4 Select your group of stills in the assets tab, then drag the files to the Slideshow Editor. The group of pics you have just placed will be aligned in alphabetical order, but can be easily rearranged.


The Matrox MXO is a must have device for those who are working with HDV within Final Cut Pro. HDV is a compressed form of HD and is highly compressed using a mpg compression scheme. Since HDV compresses video uses mpg, it requires additional processing to output the media from Final Cut Pro.


One of the frustrating things Final Cut Pro users eventually figure out, is there isn't a way to immediately output your finished sequence back to tape. You must perform a 'print to video' function and wait for Final Cut Pro to conform your HDV video. If you decide to make changes to your sequence, you must repeat the entire process over again. Depending on your computer's processing speed, this can be a timely process.

This is where the Matrox MXO comes to the rescue. It eliminates the lengthy conforming process. It's as simple as configuring your audio-video settings within Final Cut Pro and selecting one of the special Matrox MXO presets to match your sequence settings.


The Matrox MXO is a small external device that connects to a second video port on your graphics card. The engineers at Matrox have figured out a way to convert the DVI signal from the second port on the graphics card to a true genlocked video signal. This means you can output HDV in real-time to a wide variety of HD or Analog formats.

On the back of the Matrox MXO are outputs for Composite, Component, and SDI outputs. S-Video output is also supported through an adapter cable that ships with the retail box. Therefore, you'll need to make sure your tape machine supports one of these inputs. Keep in mind there is no firewire output directly from the Matrox MXO box.


Another great feature is the SDI output supports up to 8 channel of embedded audio.

Furthermore the Matrox MXO provides three choices for the aspect ratio that you are sending to your tape machine. These are:

Letterbox - for correct letterbox display on a standard 4:3 screen
Anamorphic - for widescreen television sets at true 16:9
Center Cut - for standard 4:3 screens without a letterbox


The real beauty of this box, is the ability to output your Final Cut Pro sequence to SD or HD on the fly without having to transcode your video. If you are working with HDV the box is performing a down-res or up-res of your HDV footage. Full HD uses a picture size of 1920 x 1080 with a color sampling of 4:2:2. HDV records at 1280x720 or 1440x1080 using a color sampling of 4:1:1.

The Matrox MXO will either up-res HDV, DVCPRO HD or Dynamic RT segments to full output resolution or down-res your HD sequence to SD

Final Cut Pro users can now edit their entire show in HDV, and then output to the format of their choice. This way, you can immediately output a standard def version of your sequence for today's audience. Then if your client requests an HD copy, simply play back your sequence to HD.


*It is important to note, that the Matrox MXO will provide a full HD or SD output of your HDV sequence. It does not directly output HDV.

The Matrox MXO also operates in a presentation mode, which encodes the output of your desktop so a broadcast quality output. Presentation mode can be used with applications such as Keynote, Powerpoint, or even a web browser. It will allow you to record the presentation using the video outputs on the back of the Matrox MXO. The computer's audio is also routed to all the MXO audio outputs.


Other interesting features of the Matrox MXO are:

  • *A Mastering mode that is supported with After Effects.This means you can play back full screen composites directly from After Effects.

  • An Anti-Flicker filter for output of your desktop

  • The ability to output your screen to an NSTC, or HD video signal.

  • Full Screen Video Output from QuickTime Pro.
  • rt_quicktime_playback.gif

    System Requirements:

    Mac OS X 10.4.7 or later
    One available USB 2.0 port
    Display card with DVI-I connector. Must be able to display 1920x1200 @ 60 Hz.
    512 MB of RAM

    To configure and install the Matrox MXO takes less than 5 minutes. The product is very straight forward in terms of its operational features.


    The Matrox MXO is a great value and a must have for anyone using the HDV format. It is also a great solution for anyone who needs to output real-time video directly from the Final Cut Pro without having to use firewire output. For iMac or Mac Book Pro users, because of the lack of pci expansion slots, this is a must have device.

    The retail price is $995.00. This is an excellent price to performance ratio, considering all the time you will save from being able to instantly output your HDV sequences.

    Although Motion comes with an array of particle system presets such as rain, smoke, clouds, etc; it's an absolute must to know how to create something that is completely original to add that personal touch to a project!


    The creation of a particles system begins with designing your own particles that you wish to emit. You can use any image, shape, text, or movie that is supported by Motion as a source for a cell. With that in mind, still images are the easiest to create and make the fastest emitters. After you have created your own personal design elements, select an object as your source for a new particle emitter and use the dashboard to manipulate Birth Rate, Life, and the scale of the emission.

    GeniusDV writes new and valuable content 365 days a year. Our current archive includes over 1000 entires of valuable tutorials, tips and tricks. This includes an entire .html version of Final Cut Pro courseware, and other step by step tutorials for Avid Xpress and Final Cut Pro. All these tutorials are free!

    For a copy of some of our more popular tutorials, sign up for our mailing list and we will email you instructions on how to subscribe to our feed. In addition will be sending out a monthly newsletter with printed copies of our more popular content.

    To get you started here are two very popular 'time tested' tutorials for both Avid and Final Cut Pro.

    Pleasantville Effect for Final Cut Pro
    Plesantville Effect for Avid

    Moving Filmstrip for Final Cut Pro
    Moving Filmstrip for Avid

    In case your wondering, RSS is an excellent way to receive our content without having to visit our website.

    RSS feeds represent the next generation of receiving web content. You can receive your favorite news items or tutorials straight to your desktop without having to visit your favorite web sites. Better yet, the latest version of Apple Safari supports the ability to read RSS news feeds. Also, Inernet explorer 7.0 now supports an integrated RSS reader.

    If you are unfamiliar with RSS feed technology, you here is a good link to information on how RSS feeds work.

    If you do not have the latest version of Apple Safari, or Internet explorer 7.0, you can download free RSS readers.

    Here are the feeds:
    http://www.geniusdv.com/index.xml (our entire site)
    http://www.geniusdv.com/weblog/archives/final_cut_pro.xml (Final Cut Pro)
    http://www.geniusdv.com/weblog/archives/avid_xpress_media_composer.xml (Avid - Media Composer)
    http://www.geniusdv.com/weblog/archives/video_streaming.xml (Video Streaming)

    Just paste this feed into any RSS news-reader and your ready to go!

    If you have latest version of Apple Safari (included in OS 10.4.X then you already have integrated RSS reading technology built into the browser. You can even set up your screen saver to update itself based on latest content.

    You can also download the latest version of Internet Explorer 7.0 to read syndiated news feeds.

    In both applications, you will find the news-reading functionality located in the upper right corner of the screen. As long as your favorite site incorporates RSS news-feeds you can use them.
    You can even configure your browser to update the content automatically without ever having to visit the actual site!

    If you don't want to use the built in functionality of I.E. 7.0 or Safari with OS X 10.4.X. Here are two third party suggested news-readers you can try out:

    PC: http://www.download.com/RSS-Tools/3150-9227-0.html

    MAC: http://www.newsfirerss.com/

    If you have footage that has been shot on a blue screen, a green backdrop, or a low angle shot where the subjects backdrop is the sky, you can use filters within Motion to key out the blue or green color. This allow you to do some pretty impressive effects.


    Just recently, for an outdoor sports show, I took some footage that I had shot of an Osprey flying against a blue sky and cut a sequence within Final Cut Pro. Within this sequence, I made the first couple of seconds a still frame of the bird that eventually progressed into the Osprey flying. I later brought that footage into Motion, where I keyed out the blue sky, added a pencil art filter over the top of it, tweaked the color of the ink, composited it over some animated footage of a book with its pages open and made the bird fly off of one of the pages.

    Keying a blue screen Image:

    1 Import the image that has been shot against a blue backdrop.

    2 Within the layers tab, place your blue screen image over your desired backdrop.

    3 Select Filters > Keying from within the Library.

    4 Drag the Primatte RT keying filter to the blue screen image in the Layers tab or Canvas. Your blue backdrop has now been removed.


    If you are editing 720p material and are looking for a new deck to input and output your HDV material look no further than the JVC BR-HD50U. I just recently purchased this deck and I am very satisfied. It has a built in output/cross-converter, enables output not only of 720p signals, but also 1080i, 480/576p and 480/576i signals. Plus, thanks to switchable HDV and DV recording mode functionality along with DVCAM playback, you'll have no problems adding this recorder/player to your existing editing system. The BR-HD50U can record HDV format 720/30p/25p/24p, 480/60p or 576/50p video and DV format 480/60i and 480/24p video. A big 8-digit LED display on the front panel displays time code, user bits and VTR status. The built-in time code generator provides preset, rec run and regen time codes. The DV 20x search function (100x max. in the FF or REW mode) and the HD 8.5x forward search function (6.5x in reverse), provides super-fast access to any desired point on the tape. On-screen menus, Systematic, easy-to-understand menu screens simplify setting and operation procedures. Menu setting can be done using either the buttons on the front panel.

    I highly recommend this deck and I am fully satisfied with it's functions. If you need to understand the full HDV workflow then checkout this article.

    If you have started to work with HD material and you need to export your work to another application (After Effects, Encore, etc.) then here a few guidelines for exporting your work via Quick Time.

    First and foremost your HD projects cannot be exported as a Quick Time reference. You can only export as a straight Quick Time movie. Inside your Quick Time settings you need to choose Custom. Click on Format Options and make sure your settings are set to:


    Compression: Animation
    Depth: Millions of Colors or Millions of Colors+ (+ is if you require an alpha channel)
    Quality: Best
    Frame Rate: Match the frame rate of your project

    These settings will give you the highest quality, uncompressed results.

    So you have gotten the hang of Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro and Motion and are ready to take advantage of the integration that these tools provide. Now you want to jazz up your DVD by supplementing some Motion Assets to your creation. Here's a bit of information you may find helpful.

    I would recommend that you always use Compressor to convert your files to the MPEG 2 format before you import them as assets into DVD Studio Pro, but you can configure DVD Studio Pro to perform the conversion for you at the appropriate time.


    When you import an asset from Motion (in a supported format) that is not DVD-compliant into DVD Studio Pro, the embedded Quicktime MPEG Encoder converts them to be DVD compliant. Within the encoding pane under DVD Studio Pro preferences, there are controls that determine whether the encoding for such files begin immediately in the background, or waits until you build the final project.

    Setting Encoding Preferences:

    1 Choose preferences in DVD Studio Pro.

    2 Choose the encoding icon.

    3 Choose encoding mode: Background Encoding lets encoding begin as soon as you import the asset allowing you to CONTINUE WORKING. Encode On Build will not start until you complete the project and build the Video_TS files.

    4 Click apply.

    Although DVD Studio Pro comes equipped with some pretty impressive templates to choose from, you can jazz-up and personalize your project by using multiple layered Photoshop files as backgrounds and overlays.

    Photoshop background.jpg

    Choosing A Menu Background From a Layered Photoshop File:

    1 Select an existing menu or create a new one.

    2 Within the menu inspector, select the general tab.

    3 You can assign the PSD as the background by selecting it from the background asset pop-up menu within the inspector or by dragging it into the menu editor and selecting set background in the Drop Palette. The PSD file's layer names will appear in the background area of the general tab.

    4 Select the checkboxes that are located next tot he layers that make up the background.

    Having a firm grasp of Photoshop is beneficial for any video editor, especially if you work in an environment where you don't have the benefit of a graphics department. Check out this two day Photoshop For Video Class!


    For individuals that want to fix the Click to Run Active X in this Web page issue here's what you'll need to do if you are authoring QuickTime content. The above dialog is seen if you are using Object tags and your web page doesn't already have the JavaScript fix which makes sure that your viewers will not be prompted to click on a dialog window or tooltip which displays the Click to Run Active X in this Web Page.

    Here's how the fix works. If you are using the latest version of Dreamweaver which is 8.0.2. Open your web page and you will see a dialog box like the one above. Click Yes to fix your web page. Clicking Yes installs JavaScript code into your web page. There is then a folder inserted inside your site root folder for your web site.


    However, this fix mentioned above will not fix web pages authored with QuickTime content. You have to do a little more work.

    Navigate to the Scripts folder inside your site root folder for your web site.

    You can add two types of markers in Soundtrack Pro, Beat Markers, which are purple in color and green Time Markers. There are also Final Cut Pro scoring markers that will appear as orange and a red end of score marker. These markers can illustrate where a certain sound begins and ends so it can be matched to a particular piece of video, signify an area that still needs work, or mark important sections of your score.

    Soundtrack Pro again.jpg

    Inserting A Marker

    - To insert a Beat Marker, just place the playhead at the point in the timeline where the marker will appear and select Project > Insert Beat Marker or you can simply press the B key.

    - To insert a Time Marker, place the playhead where you want it to appear, then choose project > insert Time Marker or simply press the M key.

    Many web developers and individuals that author streaming content are having to deal with fixing an issue with Objects Tags. Authorers have historically needed to add OBJECT tags to the web page codec to ensure proper viewing of content in web browsers. However, the latest update for Internet Explorer 6 has broken the OBJECT tags fix and displays a dialog windows which says "Click to Run Active X on this Webpage" or some users will see a tooltip displayed. With Microsoft's latest update for Internet Explorer, users will need to add some Javascript code to fix their web pages.


    GeniusDV's had a chance to interview Ron Northtrip of Ronald Northtrip Software on the GeniusDV: Streaming Media Podcast to talk more about this issue and how to fix your web pages if you are having problems:

    Items discussed in the Podcast are:

  • How to fix the Click to Run Active X on this webpage with Dreamweaver 8.0.2
  • How to fix the Click to Run Active X on this webpage with hand code
  • How to fix the Click to Run Active X on this webpage with IEWebFix
  • Why webpages are now showing errors
  • What type of streaming content the problem is showing up on
  • How to easily fix an entire website

    Get the GeniusDV: Streaming Media Podcast which discusses the Click to Run Active X in this webpage problem.

    Tutorial: Using Dreamweaver 8.0.2 to fix Object tags to display properly in Internet Explorer 6

  • The Media Manager allows you to create a copy of your project without media, therefore reducing the transfer time dramatically. With that being said, your fellow remote collaborators also need the same media files on their systems in order to access the projects you send. By using either the copy or recompress options within the Media Manager to make copies of the media files that are needed by your fellow collaborators, you are not actually creating any new media.

    e-mail icon.jpg

    Creating an Offline Sequence Within a New Project File:

    1 Select a sequence within the Browser.

    2 Within the Media Manager select Make Offline.

    3 Choose the sequence preset that matches the media on the destination workstation you are sending to.

    4 Click OK in the Medial Manager.

    5 Choose a name for the new project file, then select OK

    6. Within your email, attach the project, or upload via FTP or web server.

    For anyone that doesn't already know it Flip4Mac is a great tool for easily encoding Windows Media content in Quicktime based applications. One of the keys to getting good quality with Flip4Mac is understanding the field dominance of your source. This is referred to with many tools as Lower Field First, Upper Field First and Progressive. Mac users that have Compressor can easily find out the Field Dominance of their source. Anyone who has the full version of Final Cut Pro actually should have Compressor because it comes with the Final Cut Pro application.

    To determine your field dominance (sometimes called field order). Open Compressor and drag a video clip to the batch.


    Click once on your source file and the Inspector Window will show information about the video file. Notice how Birds.avi is selected above.


    Look in Compressor inside the Inspector window where Native Field Dominance is displayed to determine you field dominance. It will say Progressive, Lower or Upper. This is your field dominance.

    Occasionally, you will have to manually change the Alpha-Channel of a clip due to a misintepretation of an Alpha-Channel by FCP upon import of a file. For example, what should be transparent in a clip may be translated as black.


    Changing an Imported Clip's Alpha-Channel

    1 Within the Browser Window, select a clip then go to Edit > Item Properties >Format.

    2 Either control click, if you have a one button mouse, or right click, with a two button mouse, the Alpha row in the menu. Don't click on the word Alpha, but somewhere along further in the row.

    3 Choose an Alpha-Channel type from the menu. You can also control click or right click the Reverse Alpha row to reverse the alpha channel. You may have to try one or two settings before you find the right one, but that's part of editing.....Problem Solving!

    In DVD Studio Pro it is possible to create duplicate elements from within the Outline and Graphical tabs. As an example, if you had already built a chapter index menu and wanted to create duplicates of it, you could do so rather quickly and would only have to change the connections of the duplicates in order to make them functional.

    CD image.jpg

    Duplicating Elements:

    1 Select the item or items you wish to duplicate.

    2 Perform one of these tasks:
    - Select Edit > duplicate.
    - Control-click the element, then choose the duplicate option from the shortcut menu.
    - If you have selected multiple elements, control-click in an area of the tab that is empty, then choose duplicate from the shortcut menu.
    - Press Command-D.

    The new element will appear last in the section.

    Author - Derrick Freeman, Video Streaming Specialist

    Tutorials included:

  • Batch Encoding
  • Normalizing Audio
  • Stitching Multiple Videos Together
  • Setting Trim Points
  • Adding Fades Ins to your video
  • Adjusting your Video Levels (Contrast, Brightness, Hue)

    1. Batch Encoding


    Open Procoder and select the Source tab.


    Choose the Add button to select sources that you would like to encode. You can choose multiple sources. Your source media will appear in the Source List.

  • If you are receiving a clip collision message in Final Cut, you are probably attempting to move a clip into a space that is currently occupied by another clip, therefore you would be colliding with an adjacent clip.

    The fix is to temporarily lock all the tracks below the area you want to trim.

    Check out this tutorial demontrating the basics of Timeline Editing.


    Motion truly has some impressive elements that you can manipulate into complex DVD menus within DVD Studio Pro or just to give that extra edge to a pre-made template. If you are placing markers in a Motion 1 or 2 project, then importing it into DVD Studio Pro, you may be surprised to find that your markers have been moved within DVD SP!

    DVDSP Interface.jpg

    Make sure that when you are setting markers within your Motion project that you set them at least a half second apart or DVD Studio Pro will shift them for you during import. It's a DVD thing!


    I have been pulling my hair out for the past week trying to figure out how to play my 720p HD Avid timeline back into my JVC BR-HD50 deck. Everything I have read, everyone I have talked to says the only way to get your HD project back out on to tape is to run through an Avid Adrenaline. Well, knowing whenever there is a will there is always a way, I stumbled across something in the clip menu! It is called Export to HDV device. This is an amazing feature that I wish was highly publicized. All you do is edit your program into your timeline, make sure your deck or camera is hooked up and ready to go, enable all of your tracks, mark an in and out and go to Clip>Export to HDV Device. The Export to HDV Device dialog box lets you create a transport stream file. You cannot use the standard Digital Cut tool to output HDV. You must use a separate IEEE 1394 card to output the transport stream file back to the HDV device. You can export an entire sequence or the marked section between IN and OUT points. Follow these directions and watch the magic begin!
    To export the HDV material to an HDV device:

    1.Select the sequence or marked section.

    2.Select Clip > Export to HDV Device
    The Export to HDV Device dialog box opens.


    Select options as described in Export to HDV Device Settings, and click OK.
    The transport stream file is created or saved, if you used an existing transport stream.

    I have also included a basic workflow for an HDV project:

    1.Select one of the following Avid project types depending on the format in which your HDV camera records:
    1080i/59.94 HDV
    1080i/50 HDV
    720p/29.97 HDV
    2.Do one of the following:
    Capture HDV material.
    Import an HDV file.
    The media is brought in as one video track and two 48-kHz audio tracks.

    3.Edit the material.

    4.Select the sequence.

    5.Output the sequence back to the HDV device using the Export to HDV Device dialog box.

    You can also export the file in other formats or use Windows Media 9 for export to a third-party HD-DVD authoring system

    Rather than searching frame by frame using playback controls or the J, K, L keys in Final Cut Pro, use timecode to move to a specific frame while in the viewer. You would then select which edit tool you wish to use and click the In and Out button to make the change.


    Using Timecode To Reset In and Out Points:

    1 Choose a clip then proceed to open it in the Viewer.

    2 Enter the timecode value were the new in and out points will be in the timecode field just above the timeline area, then press return. OR, you can press Shift-I or Shift-O to move the playhead to the in and out points, then enter the timecode value to move the In or Out point.

    3 Choose an edit tool in the tool palette.

    4 Press I or O and the canvas and timeline will show the changes.

    Many of the quirks that tend to accumulate after prolonged use of Final Cut Pro can be eliminate by deleting the User Preferences. Check your scratch disk settings after you perform this.


    Deleting The User Preferences

    1 Launch the Finder Utility and navigate to /Library/Preferences.

    2 Delete "com.apple.finalcutpro.plist" from the Preferences folder.

    3 Delete the "Final Cut Pro User Data" folder from the preferences folder.

    You will find that your best work in Motion will be inspired by your own unique ability to throw things off kilter a bit by adding your own special flavor. Meaning, learning to combine and tweak unique behavior settings along with keyframe animation to achieve an effect that the programmers would have never thought to add as a template. Templates are great and we all use them but, nothing can beat your own style and creativity and that's what sells your skills to others.

    Key frames baby.jpg

    Keframing is a alot more powerful than just having something fly in from one side of the screen and exit from the other. Keyframing filters can give your project the depth and texture that says 'My Style.' Expand your keframing prowess!

    Recording Keyframes

    1 Make sure the Record button is on.

    2 Click the Play button in transport controls.

    3 Move the object around the canvas area as desired.

    You will see a path of keyframes have been generated, simulating the path of your movement of the object.


    If you have tried to playback you avid timeline on an external monitor you may have noticed your audio and video do not sync up together. The Avid application uses a combination of hardware to provide for full audio and video playback capabilities that could present playback sync issues. With a camera or transcoder connected to your system and a sequence playing in the Timeline, the Composer (desktop) monitor plays back video and audio ahead of the DV device. You can compensate for this by delaying the playback on the Composer monitor by adjusting the number of frames as an offset so that the video and audio play simultaneously to the camera or transcoder and the Composer monitor.

    To adjust the offset:

    1.In the Project window, click the Settings tab.

    2.Double-click Video Display.

    The Video Display Settings dialog box opens.
    3.Click the Desktop Play Delay slider and drag it to increase or decrease the amount of frame offset.
    You might need to readjust the frames a few times to find the correct offset.

    4.Click OK.

    It is safe to say that nearly all digital video and audio output cards, including firewire, present inherent processing delays to signals outputting from the computer, an effect known as Latency. If you are just getting into the video editing world, then you should be acquainted with this term. Latency is when external video and audio coming from the built-in FireWire port or some third party interface appears to be several frames behind the video you are watching on your computer screen.


    Changing the Frame Offset can help compensate for this delay, but keep in mind that the frame offset is active only when sequence real-time effects are handled by Final Cut Pro.

    Setting The Frame Offset Between The Workstation Display And External A/V:

    1 Select Final Cut Pro > System Settings.

    2 Select Playback Control tab.

    3 Enter an amount in whole frames between 0-30 in the Frame Offset number field. The default is 4. Set This value according to how many frames your External A/V is off from your workstation display.

    4 Choose Ok.

    5 Compare the offset between your computer display and your external monitor.

    Take advantage of these Free Avid and Final Cut Pro Tutorials!

    Receive FREE Tutorials by email:


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