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November 2006 Archives

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If there is one piece of advice I can give when capturing your media is that you need to label your tapes and name them the exact name of that particular tape. If you have several tapes that might correlate with the same name just simply number them in order. The main reason for this comes into play with batch capture. If you delete your media to save hard drive space or more than likely it is lost when you least expect it, then no problem if you did your job. Avid uses the time code from your video cassette to navigate to the various frames. Every tape has the same time code so if you put in the wrong tape then your Avid system will go out a search those time codes on the tape in the deck, right or wrong and batch capture that media. So if you name your tapes correctly and insert the tape Avid asks for then there will be no worries of capturing the wrong media.

Just remember do not forget to name your tapes in your Avid the same name that your write on your tapes!

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Giving your text that extra look is a very important part of taking your work to the professional level. I frequently use some form of glowing title. You can add a glow very easily in the new Avid Marquee Title Tool which is now bundled with Express Pro HD. To simulate a glow follow these few steps.

1. Highlight the object you want to glow and choose windows then properties and shadow.

2. Adjust your shadow properties to match these.

-Show shadow need to be selected
-Type: Drop
-X offset: 0
-Y offset: 0
-Opacity: 50 or higher
-Softness: 50 or higher
-Shadow color: glow color

You can adjust your opacity and softness to your application. The opacity is really depending on the color you choose and the background color in which the graphic will live. Try this the next time you want to spice up your text and discover the power and ease of Avid Marquee.

24 audio items can be attached to a single video item in the timeline in Final Cut Pro or exist in a merged clip. With this being true, there are also some very complex sync relationships that can occur if you slip multiple audio items in relation to a given clip.

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Three Ways To Get A Clip Back Into Sync:

- Move the clip back into sync by changing its location within the sequence.

- Slip the item back into sync (the location stays the same, but the portion of the item that is used is changed by slide-trimming.

- Mark the entire clip (even all out of sync items) as being in sync, therefore redefining the clips sync relationship.

It is not by accident that we have talked about audio on several occasions. The next time you go to a film festival take note on how many features have sound issues. Of the myriad of things that need to come together when you embark on such an adventure, quality sound can truly be a beast!

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The outside elements always seem to get in the way of your productions. I am always fighting the wind. The first and foremost thing you should make sure you have good windsocks on all of your mics. Even the lavalieres need to be socked up! But no matter how hard you try you will always have some sort of wind issues. Avid has some great tools to help fix tow of the most common audio issues! If you're shooting on a windy day, you can resolve the rumble on the mic by using the Audio Suite 7Band EQ. Just take the high-pass filter and move the frequency to 100hz. With the Db slider, move the slider to the far left until the wind rumble disappears. Move the frequency around until you get the desired results. If you shot your video near electric cables or a light, you may hear a buzz on your tape. You can remove this with your 7Band EQ. Just take a notch filter and move the frequency to 60hz. If it still buzzes, widen the Q setting. Then, take that dB slider and remove the frequency until the buzz disappears.

These tips should help you get rid of unwanted background noises!

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HP computers and Avid go hand in hand. Avid spends a lot of time with the HP products so they work seamlessly with all Avid products. If you are using the HP XW8200 with SATA boot hard drives and have noticed slow playback then you may have a bios issue. To fix this you need to enter into the bios menu. First you need to restart your computer and wait for the blue and white HP screen during the boot process hit the F10 key. You will see the word Setup in white appear in the lower right hand corner of your monitor if done properly. If you miss it just hit Ctrl+Alt+Del during the boot process to restart the computer.

Once inside the BIOS select English then go to:

Storage (menu) -> Device Configuration (hit enter) -> SATA 0 (hit enter) -> Arrow down to Transfer Mode

If it set to something other than Ultra DMA 0, change it to Ultra DMA 0. Hit F10, then F10 again, then F10 again to save changes and exit.

This should if your sluggish issues.

You have painstakingly created your short film and have authored a masterful DVD on which to present it, so you think! Now its time to make sure the functionality of the DVD works the way you have envisioned in order to achieve the desired response from your target audience, WOW!

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After you have built your project and have created a VIDEO_TS folder, you can test your project on Apples DVD Player which will allow you to preview your project using the actual compiled files.

Emulating Your Project:

1 Open DVD Player

2 Chose File > Open VIDEO_TS Folder, find the VIDEO_TS folder, then click Choose.

3 Select the play option on the Controller and your project will start playing. If your project contains subtitles, you must click the Subtitle button on the Controller to see them.

If you are tackling a huge project and authoring several DVDs to form a set, you can save yourself a little time by using item descriptions across several projects to create similar menus. Item descriptions are text files that list all of the properties of an element and can be read by using Text Edit.

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How To Save An Item Description

1 Designate the item that you wish to save a description of.

2 Select File > Export > Item Description.

3 Name the file, then select the location where you wish to save the description. The file is then saved in that location.

Loading a Description

1 Select File > Import > Item Description.

2 Find the file, then choose import.

Remember, all of the assets associated with this description must also be present when loading this file into a project. If the assets are not present, you will receive an error message.

Post your questions about Avid and Final Cut Studio right here!

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The Consolidate feature allows you to create and save copies of the sequence's media files to a selected drive. This makes it relatively simple to move source files with you when you work on a different system. Using the Consolidate feature has the advantage of copying only the amount of media necessary; you save only the sequences and clips used in the project. For example, it does not copy an entire 1-hour audio file to consolidate a single 10-second clip.
Sequences: When you consolidate a sequence, the system copies only the portions of media files edited into the sequence, and creates new master clips for each clip in the sequence. The file name extension .new is attached to the master clips, along with incremental numbering beginning with .01. The sequence is not renamed but is automatically relinked to the new media files.
Subclips: When you consolidate a subclip or group of subclips, the system copies only the portion of the media files represented in the subclip, and creates a new master clip that is the duration of the subclip and a new subclip. The file name extension .new is attached, along with incremental numbering beginning with .01.
Master clips: When you consolidate a master clip, the system creates exact copies of the media files. If you link the original master clip to the new files, the system creates a master clip with the file name extension .old that remains linked to the old files. If you maintain the link between the original master clip and the old media files, the system creates a new master clip with the file name extension .new that is linked to the new files. The new clips are also numbered incrementally beginning with .01. Consolidating master clips does not save storage space because the system copies the same amount of media for each clip.

If you are encoding from muxed MPEG-2 videos on the Mac. You might run into some problems with using a muxed MPEG-2 file when using Sorenson Squeeze or other compression applications. The problem is the video and audio are married together instead of having their own audio and video tracks. The result that user might get is a Flash .SWF or .FLV with video only and no audio. Here's how to fix the problem so your Flash videos will have audio after encoding.

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Using MPEG Streamclip export a QuickTime movie using the Apple DV/DVCPro- NTSC codec. Make sure you adjust your Quality to 100% to get good quality.

Once your file is exported you will have a QuickTime file with separate audio and video tracks. Take your QuickTime file into Squeeze 4.3 or higher and encode. Your Flash .SWF or .FLV should now have audio.


Note: The MPEG-2 Component for QuickTime was installed on the computer I was using to perform this fix

Other Links:

Listen to the GeniusDV: Streaming Media Podcast

Purchase Video Compression and Streaming Tools in the GeniusDV E-store

Advancements in Prosumer camera technology have provided the producer with choices that just a short while ago were not available to the general public. Choose your poison: 4:3, 16:9, 24p, 24pa, the list goes on. If you are going to utilize subtitles in your next project there are special considerations when you add them to a track with its display set to one of the 16:9 options!

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Normal Text Subtitles and 16:9:

The subtitles that you create in DVD Studio Pro on a 16:9 track will appear stretched horizontally on a monitor that displays 16:9. Choose a narrow font to offset this distortion. If you play back a 16:9 track on a 4:3 monitor using letterbox or pan-scan method, the text will appear natural.

Normal Overlay Graphic Subtitles and 16:9

Overlay graphics on a 16:9 tracks must be anamorphic (horizontally compressed) to appear natural on a 16:9 monitor. This graphic will appear horizontally squeezed on a 4:3 monitor.

Located within the timeline pane, the keyframe editor allows you to see the values, placement and changes you make to keyframes, therefore creating an ideal environment for modification.

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Displaying Curves For Animated Parameters:

1 Select the animated layer or object.

2 Within the Keyframe Editor, choose Show pop-up menu, then choose Animated.

Modifying A Keyframe:

1 Choose the keyframe on the curve you wish to modify.

2 Drag either up or down along the Y axis to change the value of the keyframe or drag left to right along the X axis to change its position in time.

Check out this unique training opportunity for Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro and Motion!

Recently I ran across a problem of a corrupt user setting. I had never experienced this before and it took me a few days and banging my head on the desk to figure it out. I had upgraded to the latest Avid Software and had many playback issues, my keyboard settings would not stay the same and so on! My first thought was the new version of software was the culprit but as it turns out it was my user settings. The first and quickest way to solve this problem is to make a new setting. If you are the only user on your machine with one user setting this will be much easier. All you need to do is delete the old setting and create a new one. First make sure your Avid application is closed and then you can delete the old setting in Windows Explorer and go to C drive> Avid> Avid Users. This will take you to all of the users and you will be able to delete the old setting from here.

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Now re-launch Avid and create a new user setting and you are ready to go.


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In director Tony Scott's highly anticipated film Deja vu Denzel Washington plays a federal agent who travels back in time to save a woman from being murdered and falls in love with her in the process. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, this visually complex and dynamic film delivers all the action that fans have grown to expect from a Hollywood blockbuster. Viewers are kept on the edge of their seats as realities and timeframes cross over and merge and the main character catapults through the mind-bending plot.

Bond, who had been a beta tester for Media Composer software, says that Avid's newest software-only solution provides the entire toolset found in prior Media Composer systems as well as some new enhancements at a fraction of the cost.

Because Media Composer software was so affordable, we could expand our implementation and bring in more systems for greater efficiencies.
- J.C. Bond, Associate Editor, Deja vu

Read the full story at Avid customer site!

Whenever you select an object or an effect within your Motion project, the dashboard for that object or effect will appear by default to let you manipulate that element. The dashboard is like a floating dialog box that provides you a convenient way to modify layers as well as objects and effects. Different controls will appear depending on the element that you have chosen (Opacity, Blend Mode, Zoom, etc.).

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While the dashboard contains the most commonly used controls for elements, the inspector window contains every parameter that can effect an object or layer. The inspector window can transform, change color, adjust footage properties and filters, and create keyframes as well.

The Dashboard and the Inspector window will allow you to put the finishing touch on some very impressive graphics and animations.

The Real-Time Effects (RT) option in the RT pop-up menu of the timeline allows you to adjust the playback quality of real-time effects in Final Cut Pro.

 

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These options allow you to determine which is more important to you, wether it be visual playback quality or the abundance of effects that can be played back in real time.
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If you should choose Unrestricted real-time playback, you will maximize the number of effects that you can play back in real time but you also increase the likelihood that your sequence will drop frames during playback. If it is more important to you to view your sequence back at the highest quality, with no drop frames, then you should deselect the Unlimited RT option and select the High playback option.

 

The dreaded R word just won't go away! Rendering is the liver and onion sandwich that we all have to take a bite of, so in that case, lets make sure that we all understand the color coded render status bars in Final Cut Pro and what they signify.

First of all, if you're new to the editing game, rendering is the process of joining video and audio files with effects. Those effects could be transitions or filters which in turn create new files named render cache files, allowing you to play back those effects in the timeline. In contrast, if you had a timeline filled with sequences that use straight cuts, theoretically, you could view them without rendering.

Above the ruler in the timeline, there are two render status bars. The top one is for video and the bottom, you guessed it, is dedicated to the audio track.

Color Codes For What Does Or Does Not Require Rendering In The Timeline

Dark Gray: No rendering is needed.

Steel Gray: This has already been rendered.

Bright Green: This is a real-time effect, but will need to be rendered when you plan on outputting back to tape.

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Dark Green: This is a real-time effect that can be played back and kicked out to video at full quality without rendering

Yellow: This effect will play in real-time, but without certain parameters. An example would be a wipe that has a soft edge. You would see the wipe, but the edge would not be soft until it is rendered.

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Dark Yellow: The rendered effect's quality and frame rate have been reduced from the settings located in the Render Control Tab.

Orange: The effect has exceeded your systems ability for realtime playback, but are still enabled due to the selection of unlimited RT. The Unlimited RT option increases the chance of drop frames ocurring during sequence playback.

Blue: Signifies areas of playback where drop frames may result due to the presence of unsupported real-time enabler files.

Red: Realtime capablities have been exceeded and you must render before playback or export to tape.

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TYPE OF INPUT SUPPORTED

Before capturing media into Final Cut Pro, you need to assemble all of your source videotapes. Videotapes can consist of a variety of formats.

To avoid any confusion, Final Cut Pro makes it easy to configure the settings for your video format. Navigate to the Final Cut Pro Menu - Easy Setup.

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You will see common settings for DV, HDV and HD formats. *If you don't see your format listed, click on the 'Show All' button. This will list all the supported formats that you can bring into Final Cut Pro.

This tutorial assumes you will be capturing into Final Cut Pro via a firewire cable. All of the steps are exactly the same, regardless of what format of videotape you have. However, you need to be aware that if you are capturing material that is not of DV format, an additional capture card will be needed in your computer.

This tutorial also assumes that you will be controlling your camera (in terms of shuttling through tape) through a firewire cable connection. Many consumer and professional decks do not include firewire as a controllable option. Final Cut Pro does support RS 422 controllable tape machines. To use this option, you will need to purchase a USB to serial adapter, and also a serial to RS 422 cable.

For a list of common capture cards, visit Apple's web site at www.FinalCutPro.com.

Storyboard editing is a real effective way to quickly add clips in order to your timeline. I found this to be very useful in the last show I put together.

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I had never tried this form of editing before and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it works under the right circumstances. If you have all the clips you need and they follow some form of order than storyboard editing might be for you. Here is a quick rundown on how to Storyboard edit. First enter the Frame View in your bin (not storyboard view). Now mark in and outs for the each clip in the bin, by loading them into the source monitor. Once you have all the clips marked then arrange them from left to right in the order you would like them to be in your timeline. Avid will read your order as left to right and top to bottom. Drag a lasso around all of your clips to highlight them all. Now drag one of the clips into your timeline and “presto� you now have a sequence that is ready to edit.

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Translating you Avid or Final Cut Pro sequences to other programs has never been easier. A company called Automatic Duck has the solutions you are looking for. They have a program that is simple to translate Avid sequences to FCP or just the reverse or with Pro Import AE for Adobe After Effects, your digital desktop has never been more powerful or compete. Translating a sequence from an Avid or Final Cut Pro editing system, or a project from Apple's Motion 1.0 takes just seconds, importing all your media and clips in one step. Effects are translated and recreated for you and your timeline becomes a composition in After Effects, ready for you to take your vision to the next level. I use Automatic Duck at least 3 to 4 times a week and it saves me hours of valuable time. Try it you will love it!

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Reducing a composition’s memory requirements is a great way to speed up the editing process. Here are a few great tips to help speed up your After Effects performance.

Once you identify the layers that use memory-intensive features, you can employ several strategies to reduce the memory load:

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

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

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

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

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

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The Avid dupe detection is a great tool to use to see if you have used the same media twice in your sequence. This can either be a huge mistake that you will want to correct before final output or you may have done it on purpose. Avid has a great tool to help you avoid such kind of mistake, Dupe Detection. Dupe detection will keep track of the frames in your timeline and locate every instance that a frame is duplicated on any of the video tracks. You can also use dupe detection to make sure you have certain duplicated elements in your timeline that you want to have repeat. All you have to do is turn dupe detection on in your timeline. Navigate to your fast menu in the bottom left corner of your timeline and when the fly out menu opens select Dupe Detection. Now you can rest assured you won’t have to worry about this mistake or make sure that your duplications are in the right place.

Before you begin editing, you should be aware of certain audio and video settings that may affect your Final Cut Pro editing system.

Within Final Cut Pro, navigate to the Final Cut Pro | Audio / Video Settings menu.

This will bring up the audio / video settings dialogue box.

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SUMMARY TAB

The summary tab in Final Cut Pro will display a basic breakdown of all your audio / video settings.

The default settings are shown below. The summary tab displays a general overview of the current configuration.

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CHANGING THE DEFAULT PRESET

There are four default presets that are locked. You cannot edit a locked preset. Final Cut Pro will automatically create a duplicate preset if you attempt to edit a preset that is locked.

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An alpha matte defines areas of the screen to be dropped out from the visible picture. In fact, when you design a any title within Final Cut Pro it is treated as an alpha matte. The title is automatically keyed over a video image below it.

This characteristic of titles that allow you to automatically see a video image underneath them is referred to an image having an alpha channel.

The alpha channel represents the transparent area of the image. The matte represents the solid part of the image.

A great feature of Final Cut Pro is the ability to change what is placed into the matte. This is done by creating a new video track and placing a clip directly above a title. By changing the composite mode of the new clip, you can fill your text with a video image.

When you are finished with this exercise you should have something that looks similar to this.

The 'Jamaica' title is filled with the water from the pool. The track layout in the timeline window is shown below.

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You need to become very familiar with the Fade Effect button in you Avid editing application. I use this several times on each program that I edit and it not only makes for uniform edits but saves you a lot of time.

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I use it so much that I mapped the fade FX button to my keyboard, Shift+F. Once you make your title or clip you can apply this to any line that you want to fade in, out or both, just position the indicator in the title segment and select the track your title is on. Now either click the fade FX button or press the keys that you have mapped it to. In the dialog box, enter the number of frames for the fade up and fade down that you desire. The real cool thing is that you can apply this to multiple titles or clips at once. All you need to do is enter the segment editing mode and Shift click the desired segments and follow the procedure above. This has been on of the biggest timesavers I have found yet in my editing workflow and I think once you start using it you will agree!

GeniusDV provides consulting for the following television shows.

Angler's logo

Check out the latest show schedule for The Angler's Experience. This show implements some state of art technology, including the use of under-water DV cameras, and a unique hard-drive system that attaches directly to the digital video camera. Firestore technology is a must-have for a fishing show. Mickey Hough, the shows primary shooter and editor has found his training at GeniusDV proved to be invaluable for putting this national television show together.

Florida Sportsman

GeniusDV also provides consulting for the Florida Sportsman fishing show. Our support services have proved invaluable when needed by chief editor Paul Farnsworth.  The show utilizes the latest version of Avid Xpress Pro.  Believe it or not, most of the editing is done on a traveling Dell Laptop.  Portability has proven to be an incredible time-saving tool when putting the show together.

Kentucky Afield Television

Kentucky Afield Television starts its new season this spring with some new faces behind the camera. Scott Moore and Brian Volland are the latest members of the Kentucky Afield Television team, dedicated to bringing viewers the best of Kentucky's great outdoors. GeniusDV has provided training for the show's editors. The show implements the Sony XDCAM technology along with Avid Xpress Pro.

 

wildgame innovations

Wildgame Innovations recently hired GeniusDV to implement a new state-of-the-art Avid Xpress system for their new television show called 'Giant Whitetails'. The training and support they have received has proven to be an incredible resource in maintaining the shows quality.

Cabelas Television

GeniusDV provides ongoing Final Cut Pro training and support for one of the world's most renowned global outfitters. Cabela's corporation features exotic hunting shows from around the world on national television. They implement the latest in Digital Video (Sony XDCam) in conjunction with a Final Cut Pro training

 

If you are new to using the Avid Xpress software, you will certainly encounter a job where you will need to create a DVD.

One of the most overlooked features of Avid Xpress or Media Composer is the media tool. The media tool makes it extremely easy to view media across all of the hard drives connected to the system.

Here is an unbiased comparison of Final Cut Pro HD versus Avid Xpress Pro HD. If any part of this comparison is inaccurate, please email us with suggested corrections. As you know, these software products are becoming increasingly complex and no one can claim to know everything about the software.

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Please keep in mind, that Final Cut Pro no longer ships as a single product. You must purchase the entire Final Cut Studio bundle. Avid Technology has something similar called Avid Xpress Studio. To be fair, I will only be comparing Final Cut Pro vs. Avid Xpress Pro, without mentioning the features of any of the asscociated studio programs. With plugins, and other associated software, just about anything is possible and it would make this comparison a moot point.

Also keep in mind, that I learned Avid first, so there is always a tendency to adopt the software you are most familiar with. I obviously haven't listed every single feature in the chart. I have concentrated on items that are relatively unique when Avid Xpress Pro and Final Cut Pro are compared against each other.

Have you become acquainted with this alert message while in Soundtrack Pro:

Disk Limit: Soundtrack Pro is dropping audio because you computer's hard disk cannot deliver all of the audio in time. Try removing long files or quitting applications.

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This error message occurs when you have exceeded your system disk's ability to deliver in real time on account of the amount of data to be streamed from your drive. Keep these suggestions in mind if you encounter such an alert.

1 Remember, if you have multiple programs running simultaneously you are taking away from the pool of bandwith that can be available to Soundtrack Pro, so you may want to shut down other programs.

2 Six programs at 10 minutes each is easier on your hard drive than one large 60 minute clip, so remember to break it up if possible.

3 If you are using a laptop, it could help to have a faster external drive as opposed to using the internal drive.

Real time performance is not crucial to the act of exporting, so if you are receiving this message you can still kick out mixes, but audio will still be dropped. Choose Soundtrack Pro > Preferences > and choose the General Tab to access the Show Alerts menu and uncheck the overload message alert. Remember, if you're cranking past your disk's capabilities, turning off this alert does not change the fact that you will have dropped audio.

Learn to use the power of Apple's Final Cut Studio through this Unique Training Experience!

Which product is for you?

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First, you must remember that Apple does not Ship Final Cut Pro as a stand alone software product. It comes bundled with Final Cut Studio. So when comparing the features, you really need to look at all the items that ship with each package.

Managing Media in Final Cut Pro can be a tricky process. When managing media it comes down to two primary issues. The first issue is the amount of storage required for digital video, and the second issue revolves around the physical number of files. It can be much easier to deal with one large file, than thousands of small files.

You have reach an old page with a list of some of our 'older' text based tutorials.  For a full list of FREE video tutorials please visit:

Final Cut Pro Video Tutorials

Avid Media Composer Tutorials

If you are new to the arena of video editing, eventually the question will arise. Which software is better, Final Cut Pro or Avid? The question can be a complex one. Each application has an army of loyal enthusiasts. Although, I won't take sides on this issue, here are some items to consider.

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This is a continuation for Avid Express/Composer definitions. I have compiled what I feel are some misunderstood terms to help you communicate with your peers. I hope that these terms and the entry before this will be of help to you. I will continue to add more definitions so stay tuned for more!

Kerning: The space between text characters in print or media.

Luminance: The measure of the intensity of the combined color (white) portion of the video.

Nonlinear editing: A type of editing where you do not have to edit from start to end. This includes all the types of computer editing and there is no physical order in which the shots must be assembled. This is the modern way of editing and can be used for traditional film cutting once captured digitally.

Postroll: A preset period of time during a preview when a clip will continue to play past the out point before stopping.

Preroll: The process of rewinding tapes to a predetermined cue point so the tape stabilizes before it reached the desired edit (in) point.

Progressive media: Media composed of single frames; each is scanned as one pass.

Replace edit: An edit in which a segment in the sequence is overwritten or replaced with source material of the same duration.

Hopefully this will give you a little more vocabulary knowledge to either impress your peers or at least understand what they are talking about. Stay tuned!

Creating the 'Pleasantville Effect' in Final Cut Pro If you are new to Final Cut Pro, and were wondering how in the world to create the 'Pleasantville Effect', here is a quick tutorial on how it is done.

If you are designing a graphic within Photoshop to be keyed over video with the Avid software, make sure you build your graphic on a transparent background.

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These days, understanding Adobe Photoshop is almost a necessity when it comes to editing on a non-linear editing system. Even with all the new title tools available, there are still many practical effects that may require Photoshop. One practical and very easy effect to create is a glass bug. You see them all the time in the lower right corner of the screen. It's a great way to add your companies signature or logo but without interfering with the visual piece since it is transparent.

You can also use the magic wand tool to erase your background area in order to create the glass bug.  Here are the steps:

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Converting Sample Rates with Avid Xpress or Media Composer

If you are receiving any of the following error messages it is probably because you are using mismatched sample rates within you Avid Xpress project.

AdmAdm Overrun error
AMDConsumer error
Audio Underrun
Video Underrun

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I know when I first started editing and got into this great business, there were a lot of terms being thrown around that I did not understand. Having an understanding of some key words in the video and film world will help you communicate much better with your peers and co-workers. I will spend the next few entries defining a few key terms you may not hear enough to understand but when they do come up you will want to know what they mean.

Anti-aliasing: A computerized process of digitally smoothing out jagged lines around a graphic or title. This is especially important with large text and high contrast graphics.

Codec: This is simply either a compressing or decompressing of data to fit into package of either software or hardware. Some examples of codec are QuickTime, OMFI, MXF and so on.

Field: This is concerning interlaced video. A field is half the scan lines of each frame of interlaced video. Standard NTSC video contains 60 fields in the 30 frame per second. So their exists two fields per frame of video. You will mostly find that most systems use the odd numbered lines to make up one field and the even numbered lines for the other.

Video Gain: This refers to the amount of white in a video picture.

Gamma: This is the measurement of the midpoint in the luminance range of an image. Used in color adjustment to control proportions of brighter and darker areas in an image.

IRE: This is a very important unit of measurement if your productions go to broadcast. IRE is used to measure the video waveform for your video levels. You do not want to exceed 235 IRE in your broadcast productions.

Hopefully this will give you a little more vocabulary knowledge to either impress your peers or at least understand what they are talking about. Stay tuned for more!

Here is a simple tutorial on how to create a gleam of light that travels through a title.
The first step is to navigate to the clip menu, and select new title. The title tool window will appear.

light_source_in_title.gif


For those of you who compress video using Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite you can actually export your compression settings for a specific compression setting.

Here's how to do it.

Exportbutton

Open the compression setting that you desire to export the settings for. At the bottom of the compression setting click the Export button.

This tutorial is not for the light hearted. I have included as many screenshots of the Avid Xpress software as possible. If you are having a difficult time mastering this effect, I reccomend that you take a certified Avid Training course. In particular, take a look at the Photoshop for Video graphics course, Avid Xpress 210.

I will also mention, that this tutorial is only going to work with certain effects. For this particular example, I will use the 'swirl' effect that is located in the illusion plug-ins folder.

Swirl-1.gif

Many seasoned Avid editors are used to holding down the (alt, or option) key to auto-nest effects on top of exisiting effects. The problem with this method, is that it will not work with titles, or keyable graphics. The end result will look like this:

titleswirl-2.gif

If you are experiencing a sync problem with Final Cut Pro, 90 percent of the time it is because you are mixing audio sample rates, and Final Cut Pro is having a difficult time in resolving them to match.

First, verify that every clip within your browser window is exactly 48Khz.

If you see any sample rates that are not 48Khz, and your sequence is a DV-NTSC 48Khz sequence, then your sequence will may drift out of sync as Final Cut Pro tries to resolve different sample rates.

A real warning sign, is if you see a sample rate that is very close to 48,000 like 47.998, or 48.086. Since these are not standard DV sample rates, Final Cut Pro encountered a problem while recording the audio. You will need to re-record and re-edit this clips to your sequence.

sample-rate.gif

If you are using Final Cut Pro 3.0, you will deffinately want to convert all of your audio CD's or MP3's to 48Khz. DO NOT leave them as 44.1Khz files. You can use iTunes of QuickTime Pro to convert your audio files to 48Khz before using them in Final Cut Pro.


The worse culprit is mp3 files that have really strange sample rates like 256,000 or 128,000. These will deffinately cause problems, especially if you are using Final Cut Pro 3.0

One of the new features in Final Cut Pro 4.0 is the support of Audio Units, but I still continue to convert all of my audio files to 48Khz. Using Audio units supposedly eliminates the need to convert sample rates, but I am still suspicous of mixing them.

One other common problem I have discovered, is that on some older G4 models. 1Ghz machines and below had two different firewire ports that talk to the same controller. This means if you have your camera or deck hooked up to one port, and your firewire drive hooked up to the other port, there can be a conflict. To fix this, loop all of your firewire devices so you are only using one firewire port.

Apparantly, this was fixed in the G4 1.25 and later models.

Finally, I have recently come across users that have upgraded to Panther 10.3.1 using Final Cut Pro 4.1.1 reporting that their sequences are drifting out of sync. This may be a temporary incompatibility issue, or just a fluke. For the time being I reccomend using Final Cut Pro 4.1.1 with OS X 10.2.8

There are many different ways to export a movie file from Avid Xpress. Fortunately, it isn't that difficult. I reccomended keeping the original source media as clean as possible. Avid's build in 'Create DVD' function that was present in Avid Xpress DV 3.5 has dissapeared. It wasn't as reliable as everyone hoped, so here are some suggestions on how to create a DVD on your own.

Navigate to the project window, and double click on the export settings. This will bring up an export dialouge box.

Avid-Export.gif

Immediately after Final Cut Pro is launched a splash screen will appear showing the licensing information, and the current version of software that you are running.

launchingfcp.gif

The very first time Final Cut Pro is launched, a 'choose setup' dialogue box will appear. This box will only appear once for each individual MAC OS X user. However, the setup parameters in Final Cut Pro can always be changed afterwards.

choose-Setup.gif

For users in North America, the most common setup is DV-NTSC. For European users, change the setup to DV-PAL.

The primary scratch disk will be set to the MAC HD, which you can change later. The user mode should be set to standard. This means all of the features in Final Cut Pro will be available to you.

Each time Final Cut Pro is launched it will search to find a firewire compatible device. If no connection is found, a dialogue box will appear.

externalAV.gif

If you do not plan on capturing immediately, you can click the continue button.

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