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If you are new to Avid Media Composer, here's a simple tutorial that demonstrates three basic fundamentals within Avid Media Composer.

  • Using the Match Frame Function
  • Creating a Freeze Frame
  • Adding a Video Transition

play_avid_tutorial.pngLearn how to create a freeze frame camera flash effect directly within Avid Media Composer.  This is an excellent tutorial that you may find useful within a 'highlight reel' or 'promo video'.

Here is the next scheduled hands-on Avid Media Composer training course at GeniusDV.

Course Course Dates Location
5 Day Avid Media Composer Class Oct 12-16 (2015) Orlando, FL
On-Site Media Composer Training Call for availablity Nationwide

ScreenFlow.pngProducing a good software training video can be a daunting task.  I’ve been producing online software training videos for roughly 10 years. To be exact, I’ve produced 279 training videos.

In the past, I've used the traditional editing systems (i.e, Final Cut Pro, Avid, Premiere, etc.) to edit my software training videos. Let me introduce you to an affordable software editing product called ScreenFlow.  ScreenFlow provides some unique features that are specific to editing  training tutorials and screencasts. 

screenflow.pngThe general process for creating a good training video includes:

  • Writing a script
  • Recording the screen
  • Gathering media assets
  • Audio Editing (Adjusting Levels, Removing Noise)
  • Video Editing
  • Final Export to QuickTime, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

In the past, a 2-3 minute software training video would take roughly 10 hours.  That includes exporting the final product to YouTube.

This process now takes half that time thanks to an incredible software product made by Telestream called ‘ScreenFlow’.  By far, ScreenFlow is the best screen recording software available for Mac. I was able to record full screen at 2880 x 1800 on a MacBook Pro Retina with no problems.

ScreenFlow Interface.pngScreenFlow is marketed as a fully featured video editing system, but it’s actually much more than that.  ScreenFlow provides amazing automated functions that are a dream come true for those who create and edit screencasts.  Tasks that would normally require multiple video layers and advanced knowledge of keyframing can be accomplished with just a few clicks using ScreenFlow.

 Here is a sample of functions specific to editing screencasts that will save you a huge amount of time.

  • A Callout Function allows you to zoom into specific ranges of the screen without having to zoom full screen.
  • Built in features for smoothing volume levels and removing background noise.
  • Built in controls for enlarging the mouse pointer and/or pointer highlights.
  • Ability to show keystrokes on-screen (a big time saver!)
  • Creating Freezframes and Slow Motion effects is a breeze
  • Ability to record the screen for iOS (iPad, iPhone) devices.
  • Built in export templates for direct export to YouTube, Vimeo, DropBox, etc.

One function specifically is a huge time saver.  It’s called a ‘Callout Function’. With high resolution screens, it can be a real challenge to show areas of the screen without disorienting the viewer.  The Callout Function allows you to keep the majority of your screencast full screen, while zooming into a specific area.

A Callout Function may not make sense until you see it in action.  The screenshot below shows a callout of the properties window within Apple Motion.

callout_function.pngIn a standard video editing system, this type of function would require multiple layers using keyframe controls.  In ScreenFlow you can accomplish this with just a few clicks all within one layer!

ScreenFlow also has functions that you would expect in every professional video editor such as:

  • Easy to use Trim Functions
  • Transition Effects
  • Picture in Picture
  • Title Tool
  • Video Filters
  • Chroma Keying
  • Media Manager

It also has the ability to record live camera feeds from your built in iSight camera, and built-in microphone.  However, these aren’t necessarily features that I use for my own videos.  If you choose you can also record from a higher end camera or audio device.

ScreenFlow can be purchased directly from www.Telestream.net or through the Apple Store. Telestream provides a fully functional trial version.  The only limitation of the trial version is that a watermark will appear for exported content. The trial does not expire!  Which means you can take your time to see if you like the software before purchasing.

I’ve used Screenflow to produce and edit close to 300 videos.  You can see the final products on YouTube at:  http://Youtube.com/gdvtutorials

If you’re looking for something more organized, I’ve combined the lessons into structured courses for learning Avid Media Composer, and Final Cut Pro.

So with all this being said, I’ve developed a hands-on ScreenFlow training course to help those who need training through the entire process of creating online courses or training videos.  Please call or contact www.GeniusDV.com if you are interested.

Check out this great tutorial for creating and animating 3D titles within Final Cut Pro X.

3D text.pngA couple of quick notes before you watch this tutorial:

  • Requires you are running a minimum of Final Cut Pro X 10.2.1 or higher.
  • I highly recommend that you purchase a copy of Apple Motion, so you can animated 3D titles directly wtihin Final Cut Pro X.
  • Playback and rendering performance will depend on your graphics card.  The more video ram on your graphics card - the better.
  • fcpx_training.pngThis is my first 4K tutorial uploaded to YouTube.  So, make sure you adjust the playback settings if you would like to watch the video in 4K.

Here are the next scheduled hands-on Final Cut Pro X training course at GeniusDV.

Course Course Dates Location
5 Day Final Cut Pro - Motion Class July 6-10 (2015) Orlando, FL
On-Site Final Cut Pro Training Call for availability


Professional video editors should be aware of a cardinal rule.  Do not upgrade your operating system unless you are 100% sure your video editing software is compatible with it. 

This is particularly true with products such as Avid Media Composer, and Pro Tools.  Also, pay attention to the compatibility of 3rd party software and plug-ins.  Just because your editing software may be compatible with a new OS, some of your software plug-ins may not be.

This brings me to my next point.  If you purchase a brand new computer from Apple,  it will probably have the most recent operating system installed on it. This means if your version of video editing software doesn't work on the latest version of Mac OS 'Yosemite', you won't be able to run your software.

Please note: The hardware in a brand new Mac may prevent you from downgrading beyond the previous operating system.  So currently, that brand new Mac you just bought may only allow you to downgrade to Mavericks, and not Mountain Lion.

Fortunately, there is a way to re-download a copy of Mavericks.  You can even choose to partition your hard-drive so you can keep the Yosemite OS, along with Mavericks.  You can then boot between them.

To  perform a downgrade to Mavericks (Mac OS X 10.9) from Yosemite (10.10) you will need the following:

  • *A copy of the Mavericks installer (you can find this under the purchases tab within the App store)
  • A thumb drive or external drive that can be re-formatted
  • Some patience

Okay, ready?  Here are the steps.  You may want to print the steps out.

  • Navigate to the Apple menu in the upper left corner, and select the App Store.


The App Store window will appear. 

  • Click on the purchases tab at the top of the App Store window.


This will list all available purchases that are attached to your Apple ID.  If you are a previous owner of an earlier MAC with an older operating system, you will be able to re-download it.


*There one catch:  If you are not a previous Mac owner with a system that contained an earlier operating system, you will not see an option to download.   If this is the case, you will need to call in a favor to a friend or a local Apple service center to provide you with an installer.

  • Click on the download button for the MAC OS version that you want to revert to.  In this case, you can see I have options for Mavericks, Mountain Lion and Lion.

After you click on the download button, you will see the following warning that says 'OS X 10.10 is already installed on this computer, are you sure you want to download OS X 10.9?".


  • Click continue to download the OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) installer.

After the donlowad is complete, the installer will be located in your Applications folder.  For the time being, make sure the installer stays there.  Do not move it.


  • Launch the Apple disk utility.

This disk utility is located at: Mac HD / Applications / Utilities


  • Select an external thumbdrive or external drive and click on the erase tab.


*Make sure you select the correct external device!  You are going to erase all the data on this device to create a boot drive.

  • Choose Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) for the format

QUICK NOTE: If you are not seeing your drive(s) or devices on your desktop.  I recommend that you show those items for easy reference.  To do that:  Click on the finder menu and choose preferences.


  • Check the boxes for Hard Disks and External Devices.


You should now see all your hard drive devices on your MAC OS X deskop area.

  • After your external drive is formatted, make sure it has a name of 'Untitled'.  Don't worry, you can rename it later.

rename thumbdrive.png

  • Launch the Apple Terminal Console

The Terminal console is located within the Applications / Utilities folder on your Macintosh HD.


  • When the terminal window opens.  Copy the following command and paste it into the terminal prompt.

sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Mavericks.app --nointeraction

  • Enter in your password for your Mac OS Login Name.

*IMPORTANT: For this to work, you must have an MAC OS X user password set, You cannot have an empty password.  I say this, because I personally prefer not having passwords on my video editing systems. A password can be changed or configured within the users & groups category inside your system preferences.

Create Boot Disk.png

Make sure you give this process at least 30 minutes.  Wait until the terminal says Copy Complete.

  • Reboot the MAC and immediately hold down the option key.
  • Continue holding down the option key until you see the screen below (this may take a few minutes)


  • Click on the up arrow to 'Install OS X Mavericks'

The OS X Utilities windows will appear.  From here you can do a complete re-install of Mavericks onto your original system drive.  However, in doing so, you will have to peform a complete format or your original operating system.


If formatting your original operating system isn't an option,  you can use the disk utility to partition your drive so you can have multiple operating systems on the same MAC HD. 

  • Within the Disk Utility, highlight the system drive, and click on the Partition Tab.
  • Click on the 'plus' icon in the lower left corner of the Partition Layout area.


To switch between operating systems, hold down the option key each time you reboot your machine.  You will then be able to choose between either Yosemite, or Mavericks.

I hope you've found this tutorial useful.  Please consider GeniusDV for future digital training consulting or training services.

About GeniusDV Courses

GeniusDV offers training courses for Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro X, SketchUp, ScreenFlow and Video Production.

GeniusDV is unique. We do not employ staff instructors. Our instructors are full-time professionals that make special arrangements to teach our courses. Our instructors do this out of pure passion for teaching others. GeniusDV’s support does not expire. This means you’ll be able to stay in touch with your instructor and/or the company owner.

Hands-on Nationwide Training

  • Flat Pricing at your location - one fee. (no limit to # of individuals that may attend)
  • We are flexible in scheduling the days and course time(s) you need the training.
  • Training is customized to your company's workflow.
  • We can provide laptops (portable classroom) to ensure a hands-on experience.
  • We offer ongoing email/phone support. (never expires!)
  • Access to online training videos is provided with your course.
  • A Courseware set is provided for company library.

Hands-on Structured Classes in (ORL, FL)

  • We will never cancel a class. (even if you’re the only individual enrolled)
  • We offer ongoing email/phone support. (never expires!)
  • Access to online training videos are provided with your course.
  • Course retakes are free of charge.
  • Courseware and practice media is provided for each individual.
  • Class enrollment is limited to 6 individuals
  • Classes are scheduled in Orlando, FL. (9am -5pm)
Adobe Premiere Training / After Effects (ORL, FL)
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    Avid Training
  • Enrollment Cost: $95.00
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    SketchUp - Layout Training
  • Over 3 Hours of Video Lessons
  • 63 SketchUp Hatch Materials
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