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December 2006 Archives

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After Effects has had some serious export issues when using an Intel Mac based computer. GridIron Nucleo fixes this problem, but if you do not want to drop $150 to fix this problem I thought you would like a free native solution.
Closed all other Rosetta apps and processes, lowered the memory settings WAY down (max memory to 30%, Max RAM Cache to 15%). This should up your rendering to more than twice as fast on a G5 or Mac Pro running 6.5!

Here is a proven set up system:

1. Mac Pro 2 x Dual-core Xeon 2.66, MacOS 10.4.8
2. Final Cut Studio 5.1 on same machine
3. 3GB RAM, all Apple - 2x512 on one riser, 2x1GB on the other
4. Did NOT use Migration Assistant (no one who uses pro apps should)
5. Trash prefs and workspaces.

This is a great starting point to get After Effects to work on you system but you may have other conflicts with various programs.

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If there is one piece of advice I can give when capturing your media it is that you need to label your tapes and name them, in the capture tool, 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 by date or just numerically. 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. This is not a 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!

Don’t miss out on my up and coming Avid class in Seattle, seating is limited!

Editing brings many different challenges everyday. From color correction problems to audio issues, it always seems something needs to be fixed. Well a problem I ran into recently was some footage that I had obtained to edit for a client did not have enough handles to perform any kind of transition. In other words when the action was over he immediately pressed the stop button and only pushed the start button within maybe one second of the action beginning. The major problem with shooting like this is that he had many shots that I had to use to the very last frame and the nest shot I had to start within the first few frames. This leaves no frames to make your dissolves or fades. So first of all hopefully if you shoot your own footage or have an excellent cameraman this will not happen very often but when it does here is a quick solution. Open of the title tool and create a black title. Just make a square the size of the box and fill it with black. Save to a bin. Now you have a fade to black transition. All you have to do is determine the size of fade and apply directly above the transition. So, if you what a 30 frame fade then simply load the black title into the source monitor and mark an in and an out to equal 30 frames. In your time line find the edit point and place an in point 15 frames to the left of the edit point. Now overwrite the black title to the video track above your edit point. The next step is to make this title fade. Select the black title and enter into the effects edit mode. Now all you have to do is place a key frame 7 frames from the first key frame and 7 frames from the last key frame.
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Or you can use the fade effect button and set the same parameter. Now select your first and last key frames and make the foreground to equal zero. Select the second and third key frames and set the foreground to 100. Before you close the effects editor drag the effect icon into a bin so that you can use this effect without having to make again. You now have built a perfect 30 frame fade to black for any situation.

Having the abilty to control your keyframes is very important. The only true way to decide which setting is best for you is to experiment with the different options and see which one works best for you. Once you use the different options and see the results then you will become more familiar with the one the works best for you effect.

You can select from the following options for controlling parameter changes at keyframes:

1. Shelf : The parameter value does not change between keyframes and then changes abruptly to the new value. Some applications call this Hold.
Use Shelf to hold a parameter value for a fixed length of time. For example, you can use Shelf with the Position parameters to create a PIP that appears to "pop" to a new location at each keyframe.

2. Linear: The parameter value ramps smoothly between keyframes but then changes abruptly at each keyframe. The change in parameter value at a keyframe happens with no ease-in or ease-out.
Effects with standard keyframes make linear parameter changes (with the exception of Spline for motion paths and Acceleration for other parameters). With advanced keyframes, you can use the Linear interpolation option for some parameters and not for others, depending on the effect you want to achieve.

3: Spline: The parameter value changes smoothly at each keyframe, creating a simple ease-in or ease out effect. Spline is sometimes called Natural Spline or Cardinal Spline because the line representing the parameter value always goes precisely through each keyframe.
With two keyframes, the parameter value changes slowly at the beginning of the effect, speeds up the rate of change, and then slows down to come to rest gently at the end of the effect. Use three keyframes to create an arc.
Use the Spline interpolation option or the Bézier interpolation option for any parameter for which you want to avoid abrupt changes, such as Scaling or Border width.

4. Bézier : The Bézier interpolation option is similar to the Spline interpolation option, in that the parameter value changes smoothly at each keyframe. In addition, the Bézier interpolation option provides direction handles at each keyframe. You adjust the rate at which the parameter value changes by manipulating the direction handles.

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When you click a direction handle and drag it, you change the height and angle of the curve. The curve responds as if you were gently tugging it like a piece of string. The curve remains anchored to the keyframes on either side of the active keyframe.
Use the Bézier interpolation option (or the Spline interpolation option) for any parameter for which you want to avoid abrupt changes.

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Many organizations and individuals that have a Windows Media Streaming Server, QuickTime/Darwin Streaming Server or Real Helix Universal Server don't realize that they can actually get statistics from their content viewed from their streaming server. Individuals can use a tool called Sawmill to process the streaming server log files that come off the streaming server. Streaming Servers can process log files, which are files that can contain all the data surrounding viewing habits of those that tuned into Live or On-demand streams from your streaming server. The log files are tucked away inside of folders that sit on your Streaming Server. You can even process files from a web server if you have the log files.

What's nice about Sawmill is it runs on Mac and Windows platforms and provides all kinds of details about viewing habits. Using Sawmill you can actually go and fetch the log files using FTP to your streaming server or web server or you can locate thgem manually and pull them inside of the Sawmill application for processing.

Here's what Sawmill can help you find:

Number of viewers
Most Popular videos watched
IP addresses and domains of your viewers
Packet Loss on videos
Order of videos viewed
Length of time viewers watched and all kinds of other great stats
Viewing errors
Media players your viewers use


If you really want to learn how to use Sawmill take one of our 3-Day Video Streaming and Compression classes. We walk students through setting up profiles in Sawmill for their streaming server and finding the statistics that are important to most individuals.

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Once you start working with advanced keyframes you will need to become aware of what you are looking at. Commands you select in the Effect Editor window apply to the keyframes in the Effect Preview monitor. For example, if you select "Add Keyframes to Enabled Groups" from the Effect Editor shortcut menu and then deselect all groups, you cannot add any keyframes to the Effect Preview monitor. In this case, enable a group in the Effect Editor shortcut menu before you add keyframes or select another command from the shortcut menu.

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When you select a keyframe in the Effect Preview monitor, the system automatically selects the corresponding keyframe in the effect track and all keyframes directly under that keyframe. The following illustration shows the result of selecting a keyframe in the Effect Preview monitor.

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Dont' forget to sign up for my up and coming Seattle course.......seating is very limited!

The first thing you need to know is how do you promote your effects to advanced Keyframes. Many effects support advanced keyframes and if it is available for that particular effect the Promote to advanced keyframes button appears in the effect editor toolbar.

To promote an effect to advanced keyframes:

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In the Effect Editor toolbar, click the Promote to Advanced Keyframes button.
The Effect Editor displays the effect with keyframe tracks.

The following are some things to consider when you promote an effect to advanced keyframes:
You can choose whether or not a newly promoted effect first appears with no keyframes or with two keyframes, one at the start and one at the end of each parameter. You set this option in the Effect Editor entry of the Settings list.

Once you promote an effect to advanced keyframes, the Acceleration parameter category no longer appears. You manipulate acceleration (ease-in and ease-out) of the effect using the spline or Bézier interpolation options, which give you more control than the standard Acceleration parameter category.

Using advanced keyframes, you can change the order of nested effects by manipulating the Nesting Priority icons that appear in the Effect Editor.

For more Avid training do not forget to sign up for my up and coming Avid class is Seattle....seating is limited!

GeniusDV now offers Avid Xpress/Media Composer and After Effects training in the Seattle - Tacoma area. This will make it easier on our customers who live in the Northwest corner of the U.S.

The pimary instructor for GeniusDV in Seattle is Mickey Hough. Mickey shoots and edits one of the nations most popular fishing shows. It is slated to be one of the first shows broadcast entirely in High Defiination across all of North America (including Canada). The show makes extensive use of Avid Xpress HD, and Adobe After Effects.

This is a rare chance to learn from a seasoned professional who works on a 'real' show that is currently in production. This means you'll be able to to gain real-world knowledge that is 'outside' of any book or training manual.

Courses offered at this location are:
Adobe After Effects (5 Days)
Avid Xpress Editing, Effects (5 Days)

*Since Mickey is often busy producing 'The Angler's Experience' our course schedules are limited. However, he is also available for on-site Avid or After Effects training sessions.

The training is held at the Red Lion hotel near the Seattle-Tacoma International airport.

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If you are travelling outside the area, we reccomend that you stay at the same hotel for convenience.

Red - Lion Seattle - Tacoma
18220 International Blvd
Seattle, WA 98188
206-246-5535

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Advanced keyframes is one of the most underused abiltys of the Avid edting applications. I wanted to take the next few entries and let you in on what advanced keyframes are and how to use them. When you use advanced keyframes, separate timeline tracks, keyframe tracks, appear in the Effect Editor. These keyframe tracks allow you to manipulate keyframes in groups or to open a separate keyframe graph for each individual parameter.
One of the main benefits of using the advanced keyframe model is that it allows you to modify a parameter's keyframes independently from other parameters' keyframes. With standard keyframes, every keyframe affects every parameter.


Effect track: The keyframes in this track correspond to the keyframes in the Effect Preview monitor. If you select a keyframe in the effect track, the system automatically selects all of the keyframes at that point in time in the effect (all the keyframes directly under that keyframe in the Effect Editor window). This makes it easy to move, delete, or perform other operations on many keyframes at the same time.

Parameter group track: This track shows all the keyframes in the specific parameter group. If you select a keyframe in the parameter group track, the system automatically selects all the corresponding parameter keyframes in the group. Parameter groups can have subgroups. For example, in the previous illustration, Color and Blend Color are subgroups of Border.

Parameter track: This track shows the keyframes for the individual parameter. Parameter tracks are lighter in color than the parameter group tracks. You can open individual parameter tracks to fine-tune the parameter values in a keyframe graph.you can perform an operation on all three types of tracks, this guide refers to the track as a keyframe track. You do not have to use advanced keyframes in the Effect Editor. You can work using standard keyframes, in which each keyframe affects all parameters. In addition, advanced keyframe functions are available even when a keyframe graph is closed to show only the keyframe parameter track.

Stay tuned and I will explain to you how to use the advance keyframes in the next few entries.

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Setting up your equipment so that you get the desired output is critical to the workflow process. It nice to have the confidence that when you apply your color corrections to your productions that the rest of the world will see results that you have worked so hard to achieve. I wanted to let you in on how I set up all of monitors and cameras and I ran across a great article by Hal Landen of Videoguys. He goes into great detail on the proper set up of your color bars and how they should be used. Make sure you spend some time setting up your equipment so that the color is appropriate and your productions will have all the vivid color that you intended. Also don’t forget to sign up for one of our up and coming classes…..sitting is limited!

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Have you ever wondered what the different colored bars mean at the bottom of your timeline after playback ends. Well, those little bars are an indicator about the difficulties that your avid application is having during playback. This can help you determine the important parts to render or help you find problems tha may come up later during playback.

Red bars mark the ranges where the Avid editing application was unable to display frames.

Yellow bars mark the ranges that caused difficulty for the Avid editing application during playback because of processor limitations. No frames were dropped; this is only a warning.

Blue bars mark the location of frames that caused difficulty for the Avid editing application because of disk speed limitations. No frames were dropped; this is only a warning.

If you find that your playback information often includes blue bars, it is likely that replacing your media disks with faster drives will improve the Avid editing application's ability to play back effects in real time.

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As you all know Avid is a part of all most every major motion picture release. There are many reasons that most editors use Avid products but the one that seams to stand out the most is seamless integration. The Pursuit of Happiness was edited using Film Composer.The drama is inspired by the true story of Chris Gardner, a man forced by circumstances to live on the street and in shelters while competing for a job and a better future at the prestigious Dean Witter stock brokerage firm. Gardner, played by Will Smith, is also a single father caring for his five-year-old son.

In addition to the two Film Composer systems, there was, in effect, a third editing system on Pursuit: a 17-inch Powerbook laptop equipped with Avid Xpress Pro software and Avid Mojo hardware. Second assistant editor Brisson kept this system up to date by copying media from the FireWire drive that FotoKem delivered daily. Nearly every week during production, Winborne would take the Powerbook with him and fly to San Francisco to meet with the director. When Winborne returned from his San Francisco trips, his assistants would sync his laptop with the Avid Film Composer and Avid Unity MediaNetwork systems in Culver City.

I found it to be seamless
, Winborne says of the integration of media and files from his traveling editing room to the studio-based suite. The easy exchange of media and metadata between Avid systems was quick and flawless, so he could resume editing from any location instantly.

Once again Avid is the leading editor of the motion pictures!

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Using Match Frame in the Avid editing software is a part of my daily workflow. Being able to find the exact frame in my timeline and reload that frame back into the source menu is very important for many reasons. The most common us is applying a Motion Effect to an exact point in my sequence.

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To use the Match Frame feature:

1. Move to the frame in your sequence that you want to match.
2.Make sure you select the correct track for the frame that you want to match in the Track Selector panel.
3. Click the Fast Menu button, and drag to tear off the Tool palette.
4. Click the Match Frame button on the Tool palette.

This loads and marks the source clip in the Source monitor or a Source monitor.

I use this button so often in my daily workflow that I mapped it to my F6 button on my keyboard. Match Frame is a very powerful tool in the Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer.

Video capture and video playback in Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 are extremely valuable.

Video Capture

Capture

First, the ability to capture video right in the Squeeze application to DV.mov or DV.avi files is very important to workflow. Windows will capture to DV.avi files and Macs will capture to DV.mov files. For many that use AVID and Final Cut Pro systems they can save precious workflow time by going directly into Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 for web video, mobile video, Podcasts, or other video compression tasks. Individuals will need a video deck or DV camera connected by firewire to capture videos into Sorenson Squeeze. Once videos are captured users can import their videos into Squeeze and apply compression presets and filters as they normally would with video they import into the application.

Video Playback

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Time remapping, clips being played at variable speeds within a sequence, has become commonplace in television and film. Just think about it, every commercial promoting a car, countless music videos, In the post Matrix world what was once unique and curiously sleek has become a nut and bolt in every editor's tool box. But, I must admit, I still like it!

Time remapping gives you the ability to create smooth shifts between various speeds such as a punch being thrown at fast speed in a Steven Chow film and the impact being slowed down to emphasize the overwhelming force at which it was thrown. Skip the external compositor, because you can do it right within your edited sequences in Final Cut Pro.

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These speed changes can be created in Four areas of the Final Cut Pro workspace; The Timeline, Motion Bar, Time Graph, and the Motion tab in the Viewer.

Tips

- Within the Timeline you can manipulate speed changes by utilizing theTime remap tool which will create a clip outline indicating which frame is being remapped to a specific time.

- On the Motion Bar, keyframes will appear that will allow for their selection and the ability to move forwards and backwards of the keyframes therefore, manipulating speed.

- The Time Graph allows you to add additional key frames, tweak, and to remove them while in the Keyframe editor in the timeline.

- The Motion Tab In The Viewer will display your speed manipulations for a clip via the time remap setting.

Author: Derrick Freeman
Video Streaming and Compression Specialist for GeniusDV

I'm been working on some benchmarks for Flip4Mac's speed export settings. Flip4Mac users can actually find the export speed adjustment setting by clicking the Advanced button under the Video tab inside Flip4Mac.

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When the dialog window opens users will see 5 options located within the Complexity pull-down menu under Coding Method. The available options are Live Fast, Live Normal , Offline Fast, Offline Normal, Offline Slow.

Here are how the settings work.

Did you know that Final Cut Pro sometimes misinterprets alpha channel data by expecting you to have a straight channel when you could possibly have a premultiplied alpha? If you have been unahppy with the alpha channel you get when you put a Motion project into a FCP timeline, you may want to start by investigating here:

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1 Choose the imported Motion project file in your browser.

2 Select Modify>Alpha Type Black.

After performing the editing for a student run news program for a couple of years in college, one thing was very evident to me, correcting audio problems can be a beast!. I couldn't tell you how many times I received distorted video on a news segment that would have otherwise been very good. Here is just something to think of the next time you are contemplating audio in FCP.

If you are capturing from a pre-mixed master tape, then all of the audio should have already been adjusted to levels that coincide with the tone media at the beginning of the tape. When you use the gain slider in FCP's floating audio meter to level your audio in accordance to the reference tone, you should be as right as rain.

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If you have received a tape directly from the field, even if it has bars and tone at the beginning of it, it is very likely that the audio on that tape will vary from shot to shot. In this case you would also need the Gain Slider to prevent your audio from being hot. Don't be afraid to adjust from clip to clip to tame wild audio.

LiveType allows you to bring dramatic effect to your text by allowing you to insert images and even video clips inside of them.

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1 Click on the track that contains the text that you want to fill with an image.

2 Go to the Attributes tab, click it, then click on the Matte Pane.

3 Under Matte to, select the choice for Movie or Image, then browse to the clip or image you want to use, then click ok. Your selection can now be seen inside of the text.

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about.this

This page is an archive of entries from December 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2006 is the previous archive.

January 2007 is the next archive.

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