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July 2007 Archives


The Episode encoding tool lets you analyze the frames of your encoded video file. In the Job Batch you can select the applied preset of an already encoded video and hold down the Control key and choose Open in Preview from the contextual menu.


When the Preview window opens you will see three tabs Source, Preview and Encoded. Choose the Encoded tab and you will see the result of the encoded video plus a graph of all the encoded frames.

When it comes to learning shortcut's for Final Cut Pro, there are hundreds of them. If you are new to the software, it is going to take some time to learn keyboard shortcuts.


I'll focus on a couple of important 'keyboard shortcuts' that are easy to understand, and immediately useful.

Creating a 'speed ramp' effect with Avid Xpress can be a little tricky. Especially since you must create all speed changes directly within the Source Window.


This tutorial will walk you through on how to change the speed of a clip at a certain point, and then return to its original speed. Before, you begin I reccomend that you create an entirely new Avid sequence and practice this exercise using a single clip.

Mapping your Avid keyboard is a critical step in becoming efficient with the Avid software. Important commands such as match frame, replace edit, and fit-to-fill are crucial commands when becoming an efficient editor.


Did you also know you can map any menu command to a keyboard shortuct with Avid Xpress or Media Composer? This is very useful for menu commands such as:

- Turning on-off the Audio Waveforms (Sample Plot)
- Creating Freeze Frames
- Displaying Media Relatives
- Full Screen Playback
- Activating Customized Workspaces

Every menu command can be mapped to a single key by using Avid's command palette.

Imagine if you are working on your Mac using Final Cut Pro or Avid as you receive the dreaded error message 'Disk Not Readable on this computer' What do you do?


I reccommend that you keep a program called 'Disk Warrior' from AlSoft in your arsenal of troubleshooting tools. It will fix most disk directory problems. It will also fix most many OS X problems. You can download a full version directly from Alsoft's website.

If by surprise you are receiving either red or green lines througout your video in the canvas, you have probably pressed Control and Z by accident. When you see these zebra lines, Final Cut Pro is checking the luminance levels of your video, this is called Range Checking.

Along with these stripes you will also receive one of three symbols at the top of the current clip located in the Canvas Window. A checkmark in a green circle signifies that luminance levels for the current frame are safe and below 90 percent. There are usually no zebra lines present when this lone checkmark is present.


The next symbol is a checkmark in a green cirle with an arrow pointing upwards. This signifies that some of the luma levels are between 90 and 100 percent and you will see the suspect areas shrouded in green zebra stripes. This is also an acceptable level.


The next symbol is a yellow warning icon, which means your levels are over 100 percent. This icon is accompanied with red stripes over the problem areas.


Press Control Z to activate this function and press them again to deactivate it.

When you begin work on a Final Cut Pro Project, the first thing you should do is give your project a name and save it so that the autosave function can work. Autosave will not work until you have named and saved your project first. If your machine should happen to crash or if FCP should happen to unexpectedly shut down, you can always restore the last autosaved version of your project.


Restoring an Autosaved Project

1 Click on a project tab in either the Browser Window or the timeline to make it active.

2 Go to File > Restore Project and an autosave dialog box will appear.

3 Choose the autosaved project from within the autosave box, then click OK to restore the latest autosaved version of that project. Make sure you save this restored file immediately by pressing Command S or going to File > Save.


There was a new codec implemented at the release of Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite 4.5. The codec is called the Apple AVC Codec and you will see many improvements when using this codec. One area where you will see significant improvements is for encoding video for the video iPod. All users should be using the Apple AVC Codec for iPod Video in Sorenson Squeeze 4.5. If you're encoding video that you want to keep at 29.97 or 30 frames per second with high quality then you need to use this codec. If fixes some of the noise that might be introduced using other H.264/AVC codecs at 29.97 and 30 frames per second.

To get the highest quality use the Multi-pass mode which uses 5-6 passes when encoding video.

Once nice feature of QuickTime Player 7.2 is that it provides viewing in Full Screen Mode. Previously this feature wasn't available for the 7.1 version of the software so this provides a nice incentive to upgrade. Another interesting change to the application is that the Show Movie Info window is now referred to as the Show Movie Inspector.

Final Cut Pro 6.0 introduces a new remarkable fx-plug filter called smooth cam. Smooth is an amazing filter that stabalizes a shot without a bunch of complicated settings and adjustments.


This processed can be done in the background. After clips are analyzed, you can seamlessly adjust the smooth cam parameters without rendering.

Usually, when you hear of setting markers in Final Cut Pro, you are simply marking a single frame to signify that something should happen at this point in your sequence, such as a soundeffect or the beginning of a music track. Did you also know that you can set a duration for a marker, enabling it stretch across multiple frames? You can set a marker duration for notation that an area is marked for a change in color correction or that audio needs to be tweaked in a certain area.


Creating A Duration For a Marker

1 Create a marker at the head of the area that you wish to mark by placing the playhead at that position and pressing the M key on your keyboard.

2 After you have created the marker, move the playhead to the right of the marker, where you wish for the duration to end.

3 Go to Mark > Markers > Extend and it will stretch the mareker to the playhead position.

If you are a Final Cut Studio 2.0 owner, don't forget that you still have the power of using LiveType.

Livetype is often overlooked, because all of the LiveFonts, objects and backgrounds are now readily available in Apple's Motion 3.0

It is important that LiveType handles text differently than Apple Motion. Perhaps in a future release, Motion will incorporate all of LiveType's features.


For the time being, here is an easy tutorial on how to use Livetype to create a streaming glow effect.

You can copy and paste the video and audio attributes of a clip such as: any applied filters, speed changes, basic motion and more, to other clips within a sequence.

Copying And Pasting Clip Attributes

1 Select a clip in your sequence that has a filter applied to it.

2 Copy the clip.

3 Select the clips that you want to appy the filter attribute to.

4 Go to Edit > Paste Attributes or Right/Control click and choose Paste Attributes

5 Take note of if the filter you are wanting to paste is a video or audio filter, then select the filter option from the Paste Attributes dialog box . Click OK.



The Episode and Episode Pro software is loaded with features and one of the unique benefits is the ability to encode Bumpers and Trailers to videos. The Bumpers are videos which can be commercials, announcements, or other videos that are to be viewed before the main video plays. Trailers are videos with can also be commercials, TV program closes or other videos that are played back after the main video plays.

Learn more about adding Bumpers and Trailers and other cool features of Episode and Episode Pro in the upcoming 1-day Episode Pro training class in Orlando Florida.

With the popularity of Apple Macintosh, you may find the need to have a hard drive that can be used with both PC's and MAC's.


The latest version of Mac OS X can read standard PC hard-drives that are formatted as NTFS or FAT 32. However, there are a couple of catches:

  • If you have a hard-drive that is formatted as NTFS which stands for (New Technology File Ssytem), Mac OS X can only read the partition. It cannot write to it.
  • If you have a hard-drive that is formatted as FAT 32, Windows XP only allows a maximum partition size of 32 Gigs. This can be particularly annoying if you are working with large drives, such as a 1 TB drive. You'd end up with over 30 partitions on your desktop.
  • The largest file size for a Fat 32 partition is only 4GB.  This can really cause a problem for video editing systems, since files can easily exceed that.

The trick is to use your drive manfacturer's disk-formatting software which will allow you to format your drive as one large partition. Formatting your drive as one large FAT 32 partition is the easiest way to make a drive so it can be used with both PC's and Mac's.

If you cannot find the manufacture's software, look into downloading a shareware program called CompuApps SwissKnife.  It will allow you to create one giant FAT 32 partition for your hard drive.

Another option is to purchase third-party software that allows PC's to read Mac formatted drives. This requires that you install the software on your PC in order to read Macintosh formatted hard-drives.  I recommend a company called Mac Drive which will allow you to read/write to an Windows NTFS partition on a PC.

With the introduction of the intel based iMac's and Mac Pro systems, you may have the opportunity to use your Avid software in conjunction with many of the video editing applications that are available for Macintosh.

This is particularly true for authoring DVD's. I have yet to find an easier DVD authoring program than Apple's iDVD. For sounds effects, and sound design I prefer Apple's SoundTrack Pro.

Better yet, if you are lucky enough to have Apple's Final Cut Studio, you can use the best of both worlds! For myself, I prefer to edit my content with Avid Media Composer, but then I'll use DVD Studio Pro for my DVD authoring. I also use Apple Motion and LiveType for effects and compositing.

You can even import Motion or LiveType project files directly into an Avid bin window without ever having to export the file from Motion or LiveType.


Better yet, the Avid software will build a real-time moving matte for you, which will enable you to make keyframe adjustments in terms of your objects position. Here's how it all works.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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