September 20, 2006
Avid Filmmakers Make the Cut at 31st Annual Toronto Film Festival
‘Amazing Grace,’ ‘Breaking and Entering’ and Spike Lee’s ‘When the Levees Broke’ are among Avid-edited films chosen for the festival
Avid Technology, Inc. today announced that a wide variety of Avid® customers from cutting-edge independent documentary filmmakers – like Sarah Price, director and editor of Summercamp – to Academy Award® winning feature film editors – such as Dody Dorn of A Good Year – will feature their projects at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
“I wouldn’t use anything but Avid to work on a low-budget documentary like ‘So Goes the Nation’,” said Editor Jeff Groth. “On these types of projects, I need a tool that will allow me to work quickly and accurately, not waste time rendering sequences and, most importantly, not lose my media. When dealing with so much footage (over 400 hours in this case) and a budget that doesn’t allow me to burn time searching for clips and rebuilding sequences, using something like Final Cut Pro would have been too volatile and risky. Avid is the way to go, it manages my media, works intuitively, and allows me to focus on the story.”
Bonneville Editor Anita Brandt-Burgoyne and her assistant editor Helen Hand echo Groth’s sentiments when it comes to working on Avid for various types of projects. “Avid is always the system of choice for me when I’m working on a film, whether it’s an indie or studio feature,” Brandt-Burgoyne said. “I’ve tried other tools like Final Cut but found it was much more complicated to perform many functions, and I really missed the trim tools that Avid offers. The Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer systems are much more intuitive – they work like an editor thinks and Avid’s interface is very easy to navigate.”
This year marks the 31st anniversary of the Toronto International Film Festival. The 10-day long event will showcase more than 350 films from 61 countries.
Read more for a list of projects created on Avid systems...
The lineup at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, which runs from September 7-16, includes numerous documentaries, short films and feature-length dramas created using Avid systems, such as:
- A Good Year – by Academy Award-winning editor Dody Dorn, created using Avid Media Composer® Adrenaline™ and Avid Film Composer® systems;
- American Hardcore - by director/editor Paul Rachman, created using Avid Xpress® Pro and Avid Symphony™ systems;
- Amazing Grace - by editor Rick Shaine, created using a Meridien™ based Media Composer system;
- Bonneville - by editor Anita Brandt-Burgoyne, created using Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer Adrenaline systems;
- Breaking and Entering – by director Anthony Minghella and edited by Lisa Gunning, created using Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer Adrenaline systems;
- Griffin and Phoenix - by editors Plummy Tucker and Tina Pacheco, created using Media Composer Adrenaline and Avid Unity™ systems;
- Infamous – by editor Camille Tonilo, created using a Meridien based Media Composer system;
- Little Children – by editor Leo Trombetta, created using a Meridien based Media Composer system;
- So Goes the Nation – by editor Jeff Groth, created using Avid Media Composer and Avid Unity systems;
- Summercamp – by director/editor Sarah Price and editor JoLynn Garness, created using Avid Xpress Pro and Avid Symphony systems;
- The Dog Problem – by editor Jeff Werner created using an Avid Film Composer system; and
- When the Levees Broke – by director Spike Lee and a team of editors, including Craig Gordon of rhinoedit, using Avid Media Composer and Avid Symphony Nitris® systems.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:23 PM
September 15, 2006
Avid and Supported Products
Once again Avid has released their support device list for all Avid Editor Products. This is a very important list of all of the decks and cameras that Avid has tested and qualifies for use with all Avid-editing products. The devices on this list are qualified for both Mac OSX and Windows XP Professional. These devices vary widely in their capabilities and limitations. Some devices may have limitations beyond those revealed in Avid's testing. In addition, device models are sometimes updated, which can affect test results and known issues.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:24 PM
Firewire Deck Control Problems with Avid or Final Cut Pro
Many of the deck control problems you may encounter may have something to do with the firewire connection. A faulty cable can also cause intermittent problems.
If have you have a high-end tape machine, chances are it may have a 9-pin serial R422 connection on the back. In this case, you would benefit from purchasing a simple adapter cable that will allow your Avid or Final Cut Pro system to take advantage of direct deck control using your Deck's 9 pin RSS 422 control.
If you are using a PC, all that is required is a simple cable that converts the RSS 422 (serial) - to RS 232 (serial). (Available here)
If your computer does not have a 9 pin serial port, or if you are using a Mac. You'll also need an USB to serial adapter.
Next, all you need to do is change your device control options to use RS 422 control instead of firewire. You will immediately notice that your device will control much better than it did with the firewire cable. You will still leave your firewire cable connection to your system for Video and Audio input. You will be using the RSS 422 connection from timecode and deck control.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:23 PM
One Hour of Footage Equals How Many Gigabytes?
5 minutes of DV footage equals approximates 1 gigabyte of storage. Digital Heaven has a free widget, VideoSpace v1.0, For OSX Tiger that will allow you to calculate how much disk space your Final Cut Pro or Avid Xpress video project will require before you begin. It's as simple as selecting the Codec that you will be using from a drop down menu of 17 options, selecting the framerate, and typing in the projected length of the program in HHMMSS format and Video Space will calculate the size of the file.
It can also work in reverse allowing you to enter in the storage capacity of optical storage media such as a DVD or CD and calculate the amount of video it can hold. Check out and Download Digital Heaven's VideoSPace right here.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:02 PM
Avid and Creative Movie Editing
Suspense, violence, and obsession are often key themes associated with director Brian De Palmas films (Scarface, Blow Out, Dressed to Kill), and his latest feature, The Black Dahlia, is no exception. Based on the James Ellroy novel, the film constructs a fictionalized, mysterious labyrinth surrounding one of the most sensationalized, unsolved murders in California history - that of Elizabeth Short, a young, glamorous, and would-be Hollywood starlet who came to be known simply as The Black Dahlia.
For added flexibility and efficiency, Pankow used a Macintosh G4 Powerbook laptop equipped with Avid Xpress Pro software, which allowed him to travel with the cut in progress to review and approve edits with creative team members, regardless of their location. Avid Xpress Pro was great for when Bill had to fly back to L.A. from Toronto to look at the digital intermediate, or to show what he had already cut to the director and try out new ideas with him, or to set it up on the mix stage in order to have a copy of the movie. The Avid Xpress Pro on the laptop saved a lot of time and made things very convenient, says Johnston.
The Avid Xpress Pro on the laptop saved a lot of time and made things very convenient.
- Lara Johnston, Assistant Editor, The Black Dahlia
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:01 PM
Creating a Subclip in Avid Express Pro
Subclipping is a very important part of the edting process. You create subclips to make shorter and more relivant clips to edit from.
Here are the steps to take to create a subclip:
1. Load your clip into the Source monitor.
2. Mark and in and out where you would like the clip to start and end.
3. Hold down the Alt key and click the source monitor and drag the subclip into the desired bin.
4. Name the sub-clip
You have now made a more manageable clip to edit from. The great thing about master clips is that because you have made a subclip from your master clip the subclip can be expanded in trim mode to reveal more footage.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:47 PM
Locking Your Items in Avid Express Pro
You have spent hours managing your media, making sub-clips, marking just the right in and out on your clips and then you delete the clip by accident. This horror can be avoided very easly in the Avid bin. Avid has a great way to lock your items in the bin, this is a highly underutilized feature of the Avid software. Locked items can still be edited and modified but locking them prevents deletion.
Here are the steps to lock your items in your bin:
You must first be in the Text View.
1. Display the Lock heading in the bin by going to the fast menu in lower left corner of the bin and go to headings and select the Lock heading.
2. Click the item you want to lock.
3.Navigate to Clip and click Lock BIn Selection
You can select multiple items with control click or shift click and lock them all at once.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:44 PM
Back to Basics 2: Avid Express Pro Effects
When you already have one effect applied to a transition in a sequence, you can apply an effect to multiple transitions at the same time.
How to apply an effect to multiple transitions in the Timeline:
1. If there is not already an effect on one of the transitions, add a transition effect.
2. Enter Effect mode, for example, by selecting Toolset > Effects Editing.
3. Click the existing transition effect to select it.
4. Click above the Timeline and begin dragging to activate a selection box. Continue to drag down and either to the left or right to include additional transitions in the selection.
5. Release the mouse button when you have lassoed all the transitions you want.
6. If the transitions where you want to apply the effect are not contiguous, Shift+click any transition to deselect it.
7. In the Effect Palette, double-click the icon for the effect that you want to apply to the transitions.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:42 PM
Back to Basics: Avid Express Pro
During my latest training session I found that getting back to basics is very important! I wrote several notes to myself about the simple stumbling blocks my last student had and thought I would share them to remind myself and anyone new to the Avid interface the important basics.
We had just finished creating his first sequence and he asked me, "How do I make another sequence?". This seemed very simple to me, since he just created a whole sequence, so I just assumed I was unclear in my explanation, but after looking at why he might be so confused, it made sense to me.
The timeline was already full with his current sequence and he did not understand that if he made a new sequence that it would not write over his current sequence. So to clarify, I reminded him of the sequence he had in the bin and then he made a new sequence by right clicking in the record monitor and clicking "Create New Sequence". A new sequence popped up in his bin and he started editing his new program. So this may seem very simple but it can be confusing if you are new to Avid.
Stay tuned for more Back to Basics with Avid Express Pro!
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:30 PM
Adding two effects to a clip in Avid Xpress Pro
Adding multiple effects within Avid Xpress Pro can be trickier than it seems. Most novice users will eventually figure out that if you hold down the alt-key, you can stack multiple effects on to of each other. This method may produce undesirable results, because holding down the alt-key will nest one effect inside another. Using this method may cause require a user to think backwards, because of the way effects are nested inside each other.
An alternate method is to use the 'red segment' arrow and double click on an effect icon within a video segment. This will open up the effect so you can see its nested background. You can then drop an additional effect onto the background layer. If you need additional effects you can repeat the process by double clicking on an effect segment within a nest. (V1.2).
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:55 PM
Differences in Avid Xpress HD vs Media Composer Adrenaline
The basic software interface and editing functions are practically identical. A novice Avid editor would never know the difference between Avid Xpress HD and Media Composer Adrenaline. Therefore, the same Avid editing class is applicable to both software products.
Both applications can run as software only. Just make sure you are running the software on one of Avid's qualified and recommended computer configurations.
The key functions that are only available in Media Composer are:
- A vector based paint system
- A 4 point motion tracker
- Timewarp and motion effects that can be graphed out
- SpectraMatte chroma keyer
- Film Composer toolset
My favorite features in the Media Composer software that are not available in Avid Xpress are the integrated paint system and the motion tracker. These two features really add a lot of power when it comes to compositing effects.
There are differences between the two software options, but they may not be obvious to the typical Avid editor. You can visit Avid Technology's website for complete technical specifications of Media Composer or Avid Xpress HD.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:48 PM
Shooting for Avid and FCP Editing
If you are a pro, or just getting into editing and vidoeography, you need to be aware of a very important part of shooting your footage. You need to shoot, or have your camera operators shoot, for the edit.
For example: If you are shooting an interview, you need to have at least 5-10 seconds after you hit record and 5-10 seconds before you stop recording where the interviewee is looking at the camera, or desired direction, so that your edits will be smooth.
This may sound so simple, but it is often not done by many camera operators; but more so the subjects are not told they need to do this. It makes it really hard to insert a nice 20-frame dissolve while your subject is not moving according to what you are shooting. This is great rule to always follow no matter what type of subject you are shooting. It makes it so much easier when you get back to your Avid or Final Cut machine and have nice clean cuts to start with. This will make your editing process go so much smoother and make for a much more professional production.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:38 PM
September 08, 2006
Moving Picture Electronic Services Exceeds Customer Expectations
Moving Picture Electronic Services is pleased to announce the completion of another year of exceeding customer expectations. Serving the film industry since 1987, Moving Picture has provided rental equipment ranging from Avid Meridian and Avid Adrenaline editing systems to state-of-the-art High Definition cameras and monitors, to sound an video assist packages, to walkie-talkies and communications gear.
But let's let some of our customers speak on our behalf:
"Those guys quickly pull it all together. They really saved the day, coming through in the clutch. Because of their support and involvement we met the 2003 deadline for submission of our film into the Sundance film festival and went on to become nominated for the Grand Jury Prize"
Mark Moormann, Director
Tom Dowd and the Language of Music
Nominated: Grammy Best Long Form Music Video 2005
"For four years in a row we have counted on them to provide five Media Composers and Unity for our biggest corporate meeting of the year. Choosing them year after year for this time critical live production speaks to their abilities."
Accord Film and Video Services
"Renting from them 8 times in three years, there has never been a surprise -- they always deliver great support. Even after being shipped across the country the equipment always arrives working perfectly."
Hammond Communications Group
"Project after project, the technical support from their staff has always exceeded my expectations!!
Senior editor, Dolphin Entertainment (Miami Sands)
Nick has edited over 200 episodic one hour television shows on Avid Media Composers from us since 2001!
"Editing on location is always tricky, and when your schedule is tight there's no room for error. When we had to accelerate our post schedule for "The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada," because we were accepted into the Cannes Film Festival, they were able to accommodate every request I had and tech support all of our problems in a quick professional manner. I don't know if we would have gotten a print to the festival on time without them."
Larry Madaras, Assistant Editor,
"The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada"
Directed by Tommy Lee Jones
Thanks to Mark, Max, Doc, Nick, and Larry for their kind words. It's a pleasure to help them, and more, every year!
Posted by MovingPicture at 06:25 PM
August 29, 2006
Avid Customers Continue Dominance of Television’s Top Honors at 58th Annual Emmy Awards
Avid Technology, Inc. announced that customers using its industry-leading postproduction systems received more than 60 nominations across 12 Outstanding Picture Editing and Outstanding Program categories at the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy® Awards. Shows created with one or more Avid® systems were also winners in 11 of the 12 categories and represented a wide range of programming produced for cable and television networks. In addition, the majority of the Emmy nominated productions deployed collaborative workflows that included a broad range of Avid’s industry standard systems, including Media Composer®, Symphony® Nitris®, Avid DS Nitris, and Avid Unity™ MediaNetwork.
“Avid is my choice because its systems allow me to focus on storytelling, without disruptions caused by multiple work-arounds or lost media,” said Stephen Semel, Emmy nominee in Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For a Drama Series for Lost. “When I’m editing the show, I need to tell the best story I can, and that means using a creative tool that functions seamlessly, regardless of whether I’m working with SD or HD, or exchanging cuts between LA and Hawaii. The bottom line is that Avid systems let me meet my deadlines and give me the confidence that I've created the best possible version of the material. Avid is an essential part of my continuing passion for the craft of editing.”
Chas Smith, vice president and general manager of Avid’s Video division, said, “This year, we saw a rise in the number of nominations garnered by cable networks and smaller television networks, and it is a great validation for us that, whether it’s 24 on FOX, Weeds on Showtime, or Great Performances on PBS, content creators across the board choose Avid solutions. Our goal is to provide professionals with the tools that empower them to produce the industry’s best work – and it gives us great pride to see so many of our customers recognized at this year’s Emmy Awards.”
Avid-edited shows represented the vast majority of nominees in the Outstanding show categories for Comedy Series; Drama Series; Reality Program; Reality-Competition Program; and Variety, Music or Comedy Series as well as the Outstanding Picture Editing categories for a Drama Series; Comedy Series; Miniseries or Movie; Special, and for Nonfiction Programming (both Small Team and Large Team Entries). A detailed list of specific nominations that relate to the use of Avid systems can be found at:
The winners of the Creative Arts and Primetime Emmy Awards were announced on Saturday, August 19, and Sunday, August 27, respectively.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:57 PM
Corrupt files and Avid Express Pro (Revisited)
Corrupt files and Avid do not mix. The main culprit is turning your hard-drives on or off while your editing system is turned on. This has cost me dearly in the past but a different problem happened to me and it was a non-quarantined file that gave me the headaches this time! I went to open my media tool and some of the files that were in my bins and on my hard drives did not show up in my media tool. Through further investigation I found out that I had several media files that were corrupt due to my lack of allowing Avid Express to quarantine files when I was prompted to due so.
Read on to resolve this issue...
To resolve this issue: close Avid Express Pro and navigate to each hard drive and partition's OMFI Folder and delete the database files (msmFMID and msmMMOB) for every partition and empty the trash.
Relaunch the application- if upon scanning the databases an error message comes up and the option Quarantine File appears- select that and continue... Any media that is found to be corrupt will be marked with a + sign or the word BAD and will now appear at the top of the OMFI folder. I have also found it a good practice to go out and delete all quarantined media so it will not show its ugly face again.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:52 PM
Support for OS X 10.4.7 Tiger on Avid Xpress Pro
Avid Technology, recently released an update to their popular Avid Xpress Pro software. Avid Xpress Pro Version 5.5.3 fixes an issue with the software's security dongle. Previously, customers had to return their sentinel security dongles if they were of the 'DUO type'. A 'Super Pro' dongle was required with OS X 10.4.7.
Existing Avid Xpress Pro 5.X users may download the newest 5.5.3 version for free.
NOTE: Avid Xpress Pro is NOT currently compatible with the newest Intel Macintosh models. Look for a binary universal version that is compatible with the new intel Macs by the end of this year.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:46 PM
August 08, 2006
New Mac Pro from Apple the Fastest Mac Ever
Whether you run Avid Xpress Pro or Final Cut Pro, and you have just entered the market for a new computer, then you have to check out Apple's new successor to the Power Mac, the Mac Pro. With up to 4 million configurations possible, the Mac Pro can perform at speeds of up to 3GHz running on 2 Dual Core Intel Xeon processors.
It can also accommodate up to 2 Terabytes of storage, 16 GB of RAM, up to two SuperDrives or other optical drive (what's that? did somebody say "Blu-Ray"?), has four PCI Express slots and more I/O ports. You also have your choice of three graphics cards: the NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT (256MB), ATI Radeon X1900 XT (512MB), and the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 (512MB). You can also house as many as 4 of the 7300 GT graphics cards in this machine.
If you need us, we'll be at the Apple Store, drooling...
Posted by MovingPicture at 06:10 PM
How much storage do Mini-DV files take up?
Have you ever wondered how much storage is required for mini-dv footage? In today's world, it's not as much as you might think.
Mini-DV requires approximately 1 gigabyte of storage for every 5 minutes. This may sound like a lot. But consider this, the typical retail cost of a 250 gigabyte hard-drive costs around $150.00. This means for $150.00 you can hold roughly 1250 minutes of dv storage, or 20 hours of media.
Think about this. It may be cheaper to archive all of your DV media on a hard-drive instead of tape. Hour long DV tapes can cost as much as $10.00 per tape. To give you an idea of how far hard-disk technology has advanced, take a look at this old 9 gig hard-drive that used to cost as much as $10,000. This was the price 10 years ago!
We are now approaching the hard-drive capacity that could archive all words ever spoken by human beings. That's a scary thought. Read on for some extra facts about storage capacities.
A binary decision 1 bit
A single text character 1 byte
A typical text word 10 bytes
A typewritten page 2 kilobyte s ( KB s)
A short novel 1 megabyte ( MB )
The complete works of Shakespeare 5 megabytes
A collection of the works of Beethoven 20 gigabytes
A library floor of academic journals 100 gigabytes
An academic research library 2 terabytes
The print collections of the U.S. Library of Congress 10 terabytes
The National Climactic Data Center database 400 terabytes
All U.S. academic research libraries 2 petabytes
All printed material in the world 200 petabytes
All words ever spoken by human beings 5 exabytes
Posted by MovingPicture at 06:06 PM
August 03, 2006
Avid acquires music notation software maker Sibelius
Tewksbury, Mass.-based Avid Technology has announced the acquisition of London, England’s Sibelius Software in a deal valued at $23 million in cash. The deal puts on of the leading developers of music notation software into Avid’s expanding portfolio of products aimed at musicians and other audio pros.
Sibelius will continue to operate as a business unit of Digidesign, Avid’s audio division. The company will continue to develop and market its own line of software used for writing, playing and publishing music notation. What’s more, Avid indicated in a statement that it will produce “exclusive and targeted” products that combine Sibelius software, Digidesign Pro Tools and M-Audio keyboards, mics and other audio peripherals.
Posted by MovingPicture at 01:31 PM
July 27, 2006
Arrrr-vid Editing from the Pros: Pirates of the Caribbean 2
Now that the biggest hit of the summer is out, and appears to be the biggest film of all time so far, the editors of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest can relax and enjoy its success. Editors Craig Wood and Stephen Rivkin share storytelling gold. They used Avid Film composer, Avid Unity, 3.5 Tb of storage and a six person editing team to tell a great story.
There were significant time constraints at the end of postproduction, which presented a challenge on the project - the editors had less than six weeks to work with the director to finish the cut. This time period was tight as a result of shooting delays (due to last year’s active hurricane season, which impacted filming in the Caribbean) and the preparation of a day-and-date release, which cut into the time usually reserved for final editing in order to prepare prints in multiple languages for a same-day, worldwide opening.
Posted by MovingPicture at 07:17 PM
Update to Avid 5.5 Now!
If you have been waiting to upgrade to HD editing or if have 5.X now is the time. Avid has the latest version of Express Pro HD to fill your needs. Native DVCPRO HD and HDV editing means no time- and disk- consuming transcoding before you can begin working. Just plug in and go.
This new version also allows for 10-bit SD video processing for the highest quality SD output and for mixing SD and HD footage. Make sure you get the latest version of Avid Express Pro so that you can make the most of your editing!
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:14 PM
Avid Pan and Zoom
Being able to zoom in and out of hi-res pictures is a very important part of most productions. If you were to try and zoom into a 720X480 picture it would pixelate without much zoom. The Avid Pan & Zoom plug-in effect provides capabilities similar to a motion control camera using high quality digital processing. You import a high-resolution still image, and then move around the image with extensive keyframe control over the location of the field of view. The most important part of this plug-in is that you import the image after you apply the placeholder in your sequence.
Here is a rundown of how to apply the Pan and Zoom effect:
- Using standard editing techniques, load a sequence and create a placeholder segment of the duration you want for your image.
- Enter Effect mode by selecting Toolset > Effects Editing.
The Effects Editing toolset appears.
- In the Effect palette, click the Image category.
- Click the Avid Pan & Zoom icon, and drag it to the placeholder segment you created in step 1.
The Avid Pan & Zoom parameters appear in the Effect Editor.
- Click the Other Options button.
A file selection dialog box opens.
- Navigate to the file containing your image, and click OK.
The Avid editing application superimposes the image on the placeholder segment. The image appears in the Effect Preview monitor.
Now you can customize the settings of the Avid Pan and Zoom.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:04 PM
July 03, 2006
Avid and 720P Workflow
In today’s world of broadcast you need to be thinking ahead of the curve. The main issue today is that most stations that want HD also want the SD down convert, or, you may want to shoot in HD for archive purposes without and HD output.
If you are stepping up to HDV and you want the advantages of shooting progressive HD footage, then you have a few extra steps you need to take when editing in Avid if your output is standard definition. I now shoot with the new JVC HD-GY100U. This phenomenal camera takes high quality 720P pictures with vibrant color and clarity. You have the option of shooting in HD or DV, but I have opted to shoot in 720 30P. This makes for the highest quality image and allows me to archive all of my footage in HDV.
The main problem I run into is that my final output needs to be SD. There are many ways around this issue but I have discovered the best one that works for me. If you edit in the 720P mode in Avid you cannot output to 30i, which is a huge issue once you are done editing your program. The GY100U has a built in down convert to SD but it stretches the image. So, I use that camera's SD down convert and make a copy of my raw footage into my Sony DSR-11. I then bring that footage into the Avid and use the reformat effect to return to the 16x9 format. Making this conversion has its own set of problems (no DV scene extraction, etc.). This takes one extra step but I still have my original footage in HD format for future use.
Posted by MovingPicture at 07:25 PM
Superman Returns with a Powerful New HD Workflow
It’s not easy being a superhero, even if you are the Man of Steel. In Superman Returns, Clark Kent (a.k.a. Superman) is not only forced to face fierce adversaries, but potential heartbreak as well. This latest chapter of the action-adventure saga follows Superman’s return to Earth after an absence of several years, as he discovers that the woman he loves, Lois Lane, has moved on without him and, to make matters worse, society no longer appreciates his superhuman powers. This fresh take on the Superman franchise is directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects) and stars newcomer Brandon Routh as Superman, along with Kate Bosworth, James Marsden, Frank Langella, and Kevin Spacey.
“Being able to easily provide a slap comp to an artist allowed them to see what the visual effects supervisor’s ideas were.”
- Guy Wiedmann, Visual Effects Editor, Superman Returns
With a story that includes settings from the depths of the oceans to the far reaches of outer space - all showcasing Superman’s extraordinary powers - visual effects were essential to the film’s plot, and a powerful editing setup was required to handle cutting duties on the film. As many as 11 Macintosh-based Film Composer XL systems connected to an Avid Unity MediaNetwork shared-storage solution were used for picture editing on location in Australia and in editing suites in Hollywood, while HD screenings were prepped on a Symphony Nitris system. All of the Avid systems were provided to the picture editorial team by North Hollywood-based Pivotal Post.For the whole Super Production Story, visit Avid's Superman Production Page
Posted by MovingPicture at 07:16 PM
Avid Xpress Pro 5.5 and New Avid Mojo SDI Now Shipping
Company meets demand for HD on the Mac, increased format support and connectivity for independent professionals
Tewksbury, Mass. – June 28, 2006 – Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced the worldwide availability of version 5.5 of its Avid Xpress® Pro software as well as the newest member in Avid’s line of Digital Nonlinear Accelerator™ products, Avid Mojo™ SDI. Avid Xpress Pro version 5.5 delivers HD capabilities for both Mac and Windows-based systems. Avid Mojo SDI, which works seamlessly with Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer® software, provides high-quality, advanced analog and digital SDI (Serial Digital Interface) I/O connections for professional video and audio projects.
Avid Xpress Pro 5.5
The Avid Xpress Pro 5.5 software offers professional video, audio, film, effects, and encoding tools – plus custom music creation software – for both Mac and PC platforms in a single box. The software supports native HDV and DVCPRO HD for acquisition, editing, and output; real-time effects and 2:3 pulldown insertion over FireWire®; and Avid DNxHD™ encoding to create effects, transitions, and titles with uncompromised image quality. Avid’s unique Open Timeline enables users to mix HDV, DVCPRO HD, and Avid DNxHD formats with SD and DV media in the same timeline in real-time, eliminating the time-consuming process of incorporating media from multiple sources into a single project.
Avid Mojo SDI
Avid Mojo SDI is a portable, advanced analog and digital SDI I/O device with high-quality professional video and audio connections supporting most professional decks and cameras. Connecting to any Mac or PC via FireWire, the Avid Mojo SDI Digital Nonlinear Accelerator offers the same analog connectivity of Avid Mojo, but adds SDI I/O and AES/EBU digital audio I/O to expand Avid Xpress Pro solutions to work with mastering-quality SD cameras and decks. It is available for both Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer software.
For more details, visit the Avid Press Center
Posted by MovingPicture at 07:05 PM
Avid Ships Avid DS Nitris 8.0
New version offers 4:4:4 HD-RGB format support for high-resolution workflows
June 28, 2006 -- Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced the worldwide availability of the Avid® DS Nitris™ 8.0 system, which offers a native 64-bit software architecture and dual-link I/O hardware to support high-resolution and digital intermediate (DI) workflows. The new version also ships with dual-boot capability, allowing editors to use either the DS or Symphony™ toolset with the Avid Nitris hardware. Avid also announced the availability of the Avid DS Assist Station™, a software-only version of the Avid DS 8.0 toolset that customers can deploy on lower-cost workstations to tackle specialized tasks such as rotoscoping, compositing, and conform checks.
New Features for Avid DS Nitris 8.0
With real-time, multi-stream, 10-bit HD performance, a deep creative toolset, and expanded hardware, Avid DS Nitris 8.0 is the ultimate editing and finishing system for SD, HD and 2K/4K DI work. Highlights of the new system include:
- Dual-link HD-SDI connectivity – offering new integrated I/O hardware that provides the necessary bandwidth for capturing and editing 4:4:4 HD-RGB formats, such as HDCAM SR.
- Dual-boot capability – expanding the flexibility of HD finishing options by allowing editors to run either Symphony or Avid DS software on the same system.
- Native 64-bit system and software support – leveraging the advantages of workstations that feature 64-bit processors for faster performance through access to greater physical memory, a critical component when working with high-bandwidth, high resolution files.
- Support for 720p50 sequences – providing European customers transitioning to HD with capture, conform, finishing, and mastering tools in the 720p50 standard.
- Support for Avid Unity ISIS™ – allowing the system to work with Avid’s newest shared-storage system to exchange and share media assets with other connected systems.
Get all the details at The Avid Press Room
Posted by MovingPicture at 06:55 PM
June 22, 2006
Avid Marquee Introduction
If you have been trying to figure out how to use the Avid Marquee Title tool and have pulled all of your hair out, then I have found a great introduction that you will find very helpful. Avid Marquee is a very powerful title tool with 3-D capabilities but it is not very intuitive. Avid has assembled this great video tutorial to get you up and running. Once you finish you will be up a rocking on a very powerful title application.
Posted by MovingPicture at 01:48 PM
HVX200 Microsite Brought to You by Panasonic
Whether you are a loyal Panasonic HVX200 fan or just curious as to which HD cam to spring for, Panasonic has a great new microsite at panasonic.com that is all things HVX. This is a great opportunity for all of you Final Cut Pro and Avid Xpress Pro users to see what other people are doing with the HVX and to witness how it is being applied in the real world. If you're into pro videography, news gathering, independent filmmaking, HD production, or education, this site gives great information on the practicality of the HVX in each discipline. There are also in-depth reviews of the operability of the HVX from working producers who are using the camera in the field on a daily basis. This site is a treasure trove of HVX information.
If you are a fan of the Panasonic line of cameras or just an independent filmmaker in general, you also need to check out DVXUser.com. This site has to be one of the most comprehensive and active places on the internet for the independent filmmaking community. Whether you are loyal to Cannon, JVC, Sony, this online community is talking about it. The examples of other peoples projects is reason enough to check out dvxuser.com.
Posted by MovingPicture at 01:31 PM
Avid Bin Shortcuts
Knowing the keyboard shortcuts for any given program will greatly increase your workflow speed. Over the next week I want to give you the most shortcuts that you will need to know for your Avid NLE to become a fast an efficient editor. The bin shortcuts are very important shortcuts to know and utilize. Here is the list of general bin shortcuts:
- Ctrl + N
Creates new bin
- Ctrl + A
Selects all items in a bin or project
- Ctrl + W
Closes the open window or dialog box
- Ctrl + P
Prints active bin
- Ctrl + D
Duplicates selected clip, sequence, or title
- Ctrl + I
Opens Console window
- Shift + Ctrl + click Bin Menu
Alternates Relink and Unlink commands in the Bin menu
- Alt + drag clips between bins
Copies clips instead of moving them
Posted by MovingPicture at 01:25 PM
Avid Audio Shortcuts
Knowing the keyboard shortcuts for any given program will greatly increase your workflow speed. Over the next week I want to give you the most shortcuts that you will need to know for your Avid NLE to become a fast an efficient editor. The audio shortcuts are some of the most underused shortcuts but very useful. This shortcuts are not only shortcuts but also very necessary for performing the task at hand.
- Alt + click Pan slider
Snaps to Mid in Audio Mixer tool
- Alt + click Volume slider
Snaps to 0 dB in Audio EQ and Audio tool
- Alt + click Audio Track Monitor button
Selects track for audio scrub monitoring
- Ctrl + click Audio Track Monitor button
Solos the audio track
- Alt + click Track Solo button
(Automation Gain tool) or Alt + numbers 1 through 8 at top of keyboard Mutes the selected track
- Alt + drag keyframe
Moves selected audio keyframe horizontally in Timeline
- Alt + click digital scrub parameters
Opens Audio Settings dialog box
Posted by MovingPicture at 01:18 PM
June 19, 2006
Avid and the Attic
Avid has a great way to save the day if you either mess up your project, if something becomes corrupt, or if you just need to go back to an older version of a sequence. This great tool is called the Avid attic.
The attic provides you with a history of versions of your bins. If you manually save or auto save your bins are backed up in the attic. The biggest misconception of the attic is that is will bring back deleted media. The attic does not make copies of your media; it just saves versions of your sequences and clips information. If you delete the raw media you cannot retrieve it in the attic.
The other thing you need to be aware of is the attic saves a default of 30 files; this is fine if your frequency of saves is 60 minutes or more but I like to save at least every 20 minutes so I like to bump my number to around 100. This allows me to go deep if I need to retrieve from a very old version. Just remember the attic is a great place to retrieve your lost clips and sequences but it will not bring back deleted media.
Posted by MovingPicture at 06:38 PM
May 24, 2006
Avid Express Pro used to crack The Da Vinci Code!
Editing a movie like The Da Vinci Code can be an overwhelming task. Mike Hill (Ron Howard's Editor since 1982) and Dan Hanley used their talents to edit one of the most anticipated movies of 2006. As usual Avid products were used to edit this gigantic project. They used five Film Composer XLs on a Unity system plus Avid Express Pro to check the dailies. To keep pace with the sheer volume of editorial tasks, including logging one million feet of film and handling approximately 700 visual effects shots - and to ensure a flawless on-time delivery, the editing team relied on a totally integrated digital editing setup. The Da Vinci Code opened on 23,000 screens on May 19th.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:26 PM
May 09, 2006
Avid Xpress Pro 5.5 for Mac OS X and Avid Mojo SDI
At NAB 2006, Avid announced Xpress 5.5 and Mojo SDI. Here are some of the enhancements that can be found in 5.5:
- HD and improved format support for OS X systems
- Realtime multicam support for OS X systems
- Tapeless workflow for OS X systems
- Direct ingest of XDCAM HD over Firwire
- New film and pulldown support for OS X systmes
- AVX 2 plug-in support for deep colorspace and advanced keyframing for OS X systems
- Full-screen SD and HD monitring using the host graphics card for both Mac and PC
- Enhanced performance with HDV splicing for Mac and PC systems
- Varicam support for both Mac and PC systems
The Avid Mojo SDI allows for SDI I/O and AES/EBU digital audio I/O. Here's what it can offer you:
- SDI video I/O
- Flexible digital and analog audio
- Simultaneous output of video and effects to client monitor and tape
- Audio punch-in
You'll find the Xpress Pro software for $1,695 and the Avid Mojo SDI for $2,495.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:46 PM
April 05, 2006
Avid Express Pro and Display Settings
Avid Express has many settings that can be very confusing. Here is an explanation of your Display Settings.
DV Output Setting (not applicable to DV devices connected to an Avid Mojo):
1. Output to DV Device: Select this option if you are on a software-only system or if your system is connected to Avid Mojo but you have selected OHCI from the Device menu.
2. Format: This option is available only when you have Output to DV Device selected. Allows you to select the compressed format to be sent to the DV device.
3. Realtime Encoding: This option is available only when you have Output to DV Device selected and you are in an SD project. Also use this feature if you are on a software-only system. Allows you to enable or disable real-time effects.
More settings after the read more!
Desktop Play Delay (not applicable to DV devices connected to an Avid Mojo)
1. Frames: Available only if you are on a software-only system or if you system is connected to an Avid Mojo but you have selected Device OHCI. Move the slider to increase or decrease the amount of frame offset.
Pre-filled Frames: Seconds of Video to Pre-Fill:
1. n seconds: Type the number of seconds by which to delay playback. By accepting a delay at the beginning of playback, you increase the likelihood that the system will play the material successfully. The maximum delay is 10 seconds.
Open GL Hardware:
1. Video boards installed on your system:Select the Open GL board for your video display. Selecting hardware gives you better performance.
2. Software Open GL:Select if you do not have an Open GL video board.
Enable Confidence View: Enable confidence view if you want to view incoming or outgoing media in the Composer monitor as you are capturing media or creating a digital cut.
Maximum Real Time Streams:
1.Stream Limit n: Select the number of video streams you want to display in the Record monitor at a time.
Posted by MovingPicture at 02:24 PM
Color Correction and Avid Express Pro
Understanding Color Match Control.
Both Color Correction groups include a Color Match control. This control allows you to quickly make a correction by selecting input and output colors from your images, or from the Windows Color dialog box. If you select the Eyedropper option in the Correction Mode Settings dialog box, you can also select colors from any other location within your Avid application, such as a custom color swatch saved in a bin.
When you use the Color Match control, the system replaces the input color value with the output color value and adjusts all the other color values in the image proportionally. The system also automatically adjusts the other controls in the group to reflect the change. You can set the combination of color channels or components the system uses to determine the match by making menu selections.
For example, if you want to replace the blue sky tone in one image with that in another to match the two shots, you can use the Color Match control to pick the two colors and automate the color adjustment. For more information, see Making a Correction with the Color Match Control and Selecting Match Type Options.
Because the Color Match control can display the RGB color values for any point in an image, it is useful as an information palette that allows you to check how far the colors in an area of an image depart from the color values you want to achieve.
Posted by MovingPicture at 02:19 PM
March 29, 2006
Changing Frame View in Avid Express Pro
By default, Avid's Frame view displays the first frame of each clip in the bin. You can, however, change the displayed frame with a frame that has meaning to you or a frame that actually identifies the clip.
To change the frame identifying the clip:
Select the clip that you want to change by single clicking on it.
Do one of the following:
Press and hold the K key on the keyboard (Pause), and press the L key (Play) to roll the footage within the frame forward at slow speed. To move backward through the footage, press and hold the K key and press the J key (Reverse Play).
Press the 3 key or the 4 key on the keyboard (Step Forward or Step Backward) to move from frame to frame.
When you see the frame that you want use, release the keys.
The Avid application saves the displayed frame as part of the bin configuration.
I find it very helpful to go through all of my clips and set them so that I have a frame that makes sense to me.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:58 PM
Avid Express Pro Memory Error
If you are running Avid Express Pro HD 5.1 or later, you need to pay attention. Recently I have been receiving an error message that says Unable to Allocate Memory. It appeared only to happen when I had a Tail Fade or a Head Fade. The screen would go black and say unable to allocate memory in the lower right hand corner. Well, apparently Avid has heard this from a lot of editors. Avid support center has released a 4-page document that explains how to fix this problem. So far it is working for me and hopefully it will work for you.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:51 PM
Avid, Final Cut, After Effects and Digital Juice
If you are looking to make your productions professional and graphically entertaining than look no further than Digital Juice. Whether you use Avid, Final Cut Pro or After Effects Digital Juice has the solution you are looking for. They have just introduced Editor’s Toolkit 10 and the great new sound effects library. I use Digital Juice products on a daily basis, both in Avid Express Pro HD and After Effects. Editor’s Toolkits are complete animated graphics packages for video producers. The 10 thematic Toolkits contain thousands of graphical elements that are an essential part of any production. Many of these elements are organized into matched sets so that it is effortless to create a coordinated and professional look. Avid, FCP, or After Effects editors can all benefit from Digital Juice.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:36 PM
Avid Express Pro and Capturing a non-timecode source
Being able to capture from a non-timecode source is a very real part of an editors day to day routine. The source may be VHS, CD, DAT or some other source that has no timecode. To capture this material you need to capture on-the-fly.To capture from a non-timecode source:
- Click the deck button in the Capture tool.
- Click once on the Tape Name box.
- Either select an existing tape name or create a new one.
- Choose an option from the Timecode Source Menu.
- Play the material and click the record button.
- Click the record button when you are done.
This is a very simple way to ingest any material you need to edit. Just remember you cannot recapture this material with the form of timecode you selected. You must manually ingest the material again if you lose it.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:32 PM
Avid Express Pro HD and 720p 59.94 Timecode Plugin
When working with the Timecode Plugin from the Illusion Effects category of the Effects Palette, the Timecode Plugin displays a different value than the Information Section of the Composer Window and the Timecode window. This is by design.
Avid displays 60fps Progressive timecode in a 30-frame display within the Timecode window and the Information section of the Composer window. What is being displayed on the Timecode Plugin is the true 60-frame value.
If you park the timeline indicator on timecode: 01:00:00:01, the Timecode plugin will display 2 values depending on which frame you are parked on. It may display 01:00:00:01 or 01:00:00:02. When you advance one more frame, the Information display will show 01:00:00:02 but the plugin will show 01:00:00:03. This becomes more apparent when you roll the timeline position indicator closer to the end of one second.
If the Info windows display 01:00:00:29, the timecode plugin will show 01:00:00:58 or 01:00:00:59.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:24 PM
Avid Express Pro and Split Edit
I have never taken the time to try the Extend Function to create a split edit until last week. This is a very useful tool that should not be overlooked. The extend edit function in Avid allow you to create a split edit without entering into Trim mode. Once you place your edit point you can slide the edit point to trim frames in your timeline. The great function of extend edit is that you do not lose sync and it allows you to mark edit points on-the-fly.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:15 PM
February 14, 2006
Producing HD television from a laptop
Art Donahue has achieved something that many television producers dream about: he has found a way to produce a half-hour news magazine show for SD and HD broadcast from his laptop computer. Using a Dell M70 and Avid Xpress Pro software for offline and online editing, Donahue set a television precedent in November 2005 when he cut and finished “New England’s National Forests” for the Boston-area nightly news magazine Chronicle. The episode, which was filmed in HDV and edited in HD, was simulcast in letterbox SD on Boston’s WCVB-TV5, as well as in 720p HD on WCVB’s companion HD channel.
“Not long ago you needed a $75,000 camera and a $150,000 edit room to deliver a broadcast-quality show,” says Donahue, who produces an episode of Chronicle in HD every five weeks. “Now you can use a $3,500 camera and a $2,000 laptop and produce an entire show in HDV. I never thought that production would get this inexpensive this quickly. It’s very exciting, and I hope it creates more opportunities for local production.”
Posted by MovingPicture at 01:23 PM
February 13, 2006
Avid plans to sync development for Intel Macs
Avid Technology has announced its plans to synchronize development for its Mac product line in preparation for Apple's introduction of Intel-based Macs next year. By synchronizing development for both Apple platforms, Avid's initial Mac HD release is now targeted for mid-2006 for Avid Xpress Pro and Media Composer Adrenaline systems running on PowerPC Macs. Following the arrival of Apple's Intel-based systems, Avid plans to deliver the same HD capabilities offered on PowerPC-based systems to Avid products running on the new Mac-Intel architecture. This development coincides with the company's plans to achieve overall synchronization between Mac and Windows platforms by mid-2006.via MacMerc.com
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:18 PM
NBC Relies on Avid Solutions for Torino Olympic Winter Games
Avid Technology, Inc. announced that NBC has invested in Avid video and Digidesign audio workflow solutions in preparation for the network’s broadcast of the XX Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. The solutions enable NBC to construct a comprehensive, state-of-the-art digital SD and HD production pipeline that greatly expands the video and audio workflow it implemented for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The deal also represents an unprecedented move in television history, as NBC will be the first U.S. network to broadcast the Olympic Winter Games in HD during primetime.
“This is the fourth consecutive Olympic Games where we’re using Avid solutions, and the third for graphics products that were formerly from Pinnacle but are now part of Avid. Each time we have adopted a bigger and more powerful workflow while also maintaining tremendous efficiency and reliability,” said David Mazza, Senior Vice President, Engineering, NBC Olympics. “For the 2006 Olympic Games, we will be deploying our largest shared-storage solution to date, and it will serve as the heart of our editing and graphics workflow that includes HD production and broadcasting for the first time on our main network feeds. It’s always a challenge to bring together a multitude of systems from several manufacturers, but Avid helps make the configuration seamless and cohesive. More importantly, with extremely time-sensitive production cycles for Olympics broadcasts, it’s imperative that we have the full functionality and support that Avid is able to deliver in this highly charged environment.”
Investment in Avid systems includes Avid Unity ISIS, HD editing and finishing, Avid DNxHD workflow, audio solutions, and broadcast graphics Tewksbury, MA – January 25, 2006 – Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced that NBC has invested in Avid® video and Digidesign® audio workflow solutions in preparation for the network’s broadcast of the XX Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. The solutions enable NBC to construct a comprehensive, state-of-the-art digital SD and HD production pipeline that greatly expands the video and audio workflow it implemented for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The deal also represents an unprecedented move in television history, as NBC will be the first U.S. network to broadcast the Olympic Winter Games in HD during primetime.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:14 PM
Avid takes on King Kong
When it comes to editing the big movies nothing can compare with King Kong and the power of Avid to handle it. King Kong is one beauty of a beast. With more than 3,200 final shots culled from 3 million feet of live-action footage and thousands of visual effects shots, taming this film in post was a gargantuan task, especially considering that it was shot and edited in just 18 months.
Nine Avid Media Composer Adrenaline systems, two Avid Unity MediaNetwork shared-storage solutions with 9.6 TB each, and an Avid Xpress Pro system were used by production company Big Primate Pictures for picture editing, while Weta Digital, the film’s visual effects house, used two Media Composer Adrenaline systems linked through the Avid Unity LANshare shared-storage solution with 4 TB for visual effects editing. Check out the rest of this story at Avid's site.
Posted by MovingPicture at 01:43 PM
February 10, 2006
Reveal File in Avid Express Pro
You capture all of your media into your bins and spend hours renaming files in your bins so they have meaning to you and those that will also be working on the project. This is a very important part of editing. The one major problem with this is that Avid does not rename these files on the actual hard drive. This can become very problematic if you are looking for that clip on your hard drive and it’s name is something totally different.
Well, Avid has a great solution and it is called Reveal File. In your bin highlight the clip you would like to find on one of your hard drives. Right click on it and select Reveal File. The only limitations to this are that is cannot be a sub-clip or a sequence. This will open Windows Explorer and highlight that clip. It may select just one of the audio clips or the video. You will notice a new window pops up and asks if you would like to reveal the next file. This will take you to the next corresponding file in that clip. If you have a V1, A1 and A2 then it will reveal all three clips after you tell it to reveal next file. Now you have found what you have been looking for.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:10 PM
February 07, 2006
Exporting to QuickTime DV-NTSC, MJPEG-A, MJPEG-B, or PhotoJPEG Prior to Encoding
If you have videos on your Non-linear editor that are destined for the web, exporting your videos as a QuickTime DV-NTSC, MJPEG-A, MJPEG-B, or PhotoJPEG prior to encoding will help you get great quality. DV-NTSC, MJPEG-A, MJPEG-B, and PhotoJPEG are all codecs found inside QuickTime on Non-linear editors such as Avid, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro.
Using this process allows you to then take your videos into encoding tools such as: Compression Master, Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite, ProCoder, Flix Pro, Cleaner and many others. These encoding applications will produce files small enough for the web delivery.
When exporting content with these codecs in QuickTime it's mostly about the quality settings. The higher the quality setting the longer your export will take and the better your quality. For example, the PhotoJPEG codec at the highest quality setting of 100% is actually a 4:4:4 codec but if you bring down the quality setting to 75% Quality it becomes a 4:2:2 codec which is even better sampling than DV at 4:1:1. MJPEG-A and MJPEG-B are also capabable of producing 4:2:2 quality.
Do you want to know more?
> Learn more information about the DV-NTSC, MJPEG-A, MJPEG-B, and PhotoJPEG QuickTime CODECS
> Learn how to export QuickTime using DV-NTSC, MJPEG-A, MJPEG-B, and PhotoJPEG CODECS
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:20 PM
Switching between Source/Record in Avid Express Pro
Being able to load a sequence into the source monitor is one of the great features of Avid. Taking certain elements from your sequence and applying them into your timeline is something you will find yourself doing if you work projects that require the use of the same media. The one problem you might find is how do you look at your sequence and it’s edits without loading them into your record monitor.
Avid has a great solution for this and it is called Toggle Source/Record in Timeline. The Toggle Source/Record in Timeline button allows you to view multitrack source material quickly in the Timeline for selecting and marking specific tracks. Use this all of the time to select specific portion of your sequence for editing into a new timeline. This is a great feature that you should learn to use to get the exact results you are looking for.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:07 PM
February 03, 2006
Flip4Mac WMV 2.0 - Windows Media Import and Export for Mac
The latest version of Flip4Mac WMV 2.0 - Windows Media Import and Export tools for Mac users are available for customers. These tools are designed to give users of QuickTime based applications additional options for import and exporting for Windows Media content.
Here's an overview of the Flip4Mac tools:
Flip4Mac WMV Import
Flip4Mac WMV Import allows you to import Windows Media video and audio for editing or conversion to other QuickTime formats. You can import directly into applications like Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express HD, QuickTime Pro and iMovie. You can also convert files from Windows Media to other QuickTime formats using applications like QuickTime Pro, Cleaner 6 and Sorenson Media Squeeze 4.3. With WMV Import, if you can play a Windows Media file, you can import it.
Flip4Mac WMV Studio
Import and export Windows Media files using expanded preset encoding profiles. Export Windows Media files directly from your editing system or media encoding application, including Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express HD, QuickTime Pro, iMovie, Sorenson Media Squeeze 4.3, AutoDesk Cleaner 6, Compressor 2 and more.
Flip4Mac WMV Studio Pro
Adds the ability to create your own standard definition, one-pass encoding profiles.
Flip4Mac WMV Studio Pro HD
Adds the ability to create high definition and two-pass encoding profiles.
Note: These tools are available as an upgrade to the free Windows Media Components Plugin for QuickTime.
Learn more about Telestream and their Flip4Mac products that allow you to import and export Windows Media files from QuickTime Pro, iMovie, Cleaner 6, Sorenson Squeeze 4.3, Compressor 2, Final Cut Express HD, Final Cut Pro.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:33 PM
Customize Players for your Flash Streaming Videos
If you need to customize players for your Flash streaming videos you can use Flix Power Players. This is a package of 135 players that work with the Flix Pro Software. The Flix Pro software is available for Mac and Windows operating systems and comes with a limited amount of players.
What is great about the Flix Power Players is that they are customizable and you can add your own logo or text on the player. Some players come with draggable progress bars in which you can drag the progress bar to move the video back and forth. The are many styles to choose from. There is a cost for the Flix Power Players.
What's nice about customizable players and pre-made players for Flash is that they can be easy to work with and add a significant improvement in the quality of your web page design. In addition to the Flix Power Players, Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite comes with several pre-made players. The latest version, Sorenson Squeeze 4.3, has some some newer player templates that can be used with Flash streaming videos.
> Customize your players for Flash streaming content by using the On2 Flix Power Players. This works with Flix Pro's automatic player output function.
> Download Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite 4.3 to learn how to choose various player templates for Flash streaming videos.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:19 PM
Upgrading from QuickTime 6 Pro to QuickTime 7 Pro
When planning to upgrade from QuickTime 6 Pro to QuickTime 7 Pro you need to know that you will need to purchase a new license key for QuickTime 7 Pro. However, the application will make authoring a lot easier and is worth the purchase. Unfortunately, The old license key that you purchased for QuickTime 6 Pro will not work with QuickTime 7 Pro.
Once you are up and running with QuickTime 7 Pro you should love it! The thing I like best is that increasing the frame size for movies becomes easier. Now for QuickTime movies, you can easily type in the width and height for the frame size you would like to adjust your movie to. You no longer have to try to adjust the frame size by adjusting the movie player window. This task many times took a long time to adjust in QuickTime 6 Pro and there is a significant time savings in QuickTime 7 Pro.
Overall, the Movie Properties window is nicely designed providing better viewing of adjustable parameters and easier accessibility through tab browsing to items such as Annotations, Statistics, Visual Settings and Other settings. Now there is a nice volume slider to adjust the volume levels. Deleting tracks and extracting tracks is also a snap with QuickTime 7 Pro. In addition, it's easier to see the total tracks, including hint tracks, without having to navigate to a drop down menu.
Additional QuickTime 7 Pro features:
- The application has capture features that QuickTime 6 Pro did not have.
- It has the ability to easily export videos for the Video iPod and iTunes, easily making your video content portable.
- The new user interface is brilliant and makes creating streaming content a more enjoyable experience.
Other related articles:
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:07 PM
January 23, 2006
Avid and More RAM
Some good sources for RAM are Kingston (www.kingston.com) and Crucial (www.crucial.com).
But before you go out and purchase RAM for you machine, make sure that it is compatible with your Avid system and then you can enjoy your new found speed!
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:31 PM
January 20, 2006
Sony Unveils at Sundance
Sony unveils its newest addition to the CineAlta family at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, The PDW-F350-XDCAM HD and its PDW-330 counterpart. This camcorder is a heavyweight boasting native 24p but also shooting at 25p, 30p, 50i and 60i. The XDCAM HD also allows for 'overcranking' and 'undercranking' for smoother fast and slow motion effects and also has time-lapse capabilites.
With all the benefits that file based recording offers, the XDCAM HD is being championed as a Indie Filmmaker's camcorder with its variable frame weight capablities, but engineered rugged enough for the demands of a news camera.
The camcorder wars continue to rage on and with the price of the Panasonic P2 chips being through the roof right now and the XDCAM HD utilizing removeable media that costs under $30, this is a serious alternative.
Posted by MovingPicture at 02:58 PM
January 19, 2006
Slamdance Video Podcast
The 2006 Slamdance Film Festival kicks off today in Park City, Utah featuring 20 competition feature films and 6 special screenings. Apple will be broadcasting the 'Slamdance Podcast' on iTunes and the video Podcast will provide screenings of many of the films being featured and festival highlights. Currently, there are 23 Podcast episodes.
For all of you Final Cut Pro and Avid users who are not familiar with the Slamdance Film Festival, its held every year at the same time as the Sundance Film Festival providing an alternative for filmmakers who operate with very limited budjets. Its been said by its patrons to offer a more accurate depiction of indie filmmaking. The festival is in its 12th year.
Here's a sample of some of the talent discovered at Slamdance: Directors Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), Chrisotpher Nolan (Momento) and Mark Foster (Monster's Ball).
Posted by MovingPicture at 02:29 PM
January 18, 2006
Adobe After Effects 7.0
It’s finally here! Adobe has just released After Effects 7.0 with some very worthwhile upgrades. After Effects is by far my favorite program. It has no limits and your imagination can run wild. Adobe® After Effects 7.0 software is loaded with improvements designed to help you create outstanding, original work.
A redesigned UI and a new Graph Editor help streamline your workflow, new presets and effects enhance your creativity, and 32-bit float High Dynamic Range (HDR) color support (Professional Edition only) helps you achieve greater precision. One of its greatest assets is the real-time open GL support. This allows you to experience real-time performance with advanced OpenGL 2.0 capabilities including support for blending modes as well as motion blur, anti-aliasing, track mattes, high-quality shadows and transparency, and accelerated rendering of common effects. Use OpenGL for accelerated final renders.
These are just a few of the new features you will find in the new After Effects 7.0. To find out more check out the Adobe website for a more in-depth look at After Effects 7.0.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:13 PM
January 17, 2006
Enlarging Selected Tracks in Avid Xpress Pro
At times, you may find it useful to enlarge the tracks that you are working in for a better view. Simply select the track or tracks that you wish to enlarge,
...and press Control L, for PC, or Command L, for a Mac, to enlarge the selected tracks. Press CTRL K or Command K to decrease the size of the tracks.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:40 PM
January 11, 2006
Loop Selected Clips in Avid Express Pro
The great thing about being an editor is having the ability to learn something new everyday. I discovered a new feature in Avid today that I think you’ll find very useful. It’s called Loop Selected Clips. An important part of the editing process is the ability to review footage and, more importantly, to compare takes in order to use the best shot, angle, or performance for the edit. Loop Selected Clips allows you to do just that. Here is a quick overview of how it works.
Select the clips in the bin that you wish to review. Then go the bin menu at the bottom left corner of the bin and select Loop Selected Clips. This function can also be mapped to a button or keyboard if needed. Once selected, the clips play back in order, one right after the other, in the source monitor and on the client monitor. If in-out marks are present in the source clip, the play back will be restricted to just that range, this is great for selecting a preferred reading or action for a given span across multiple takes.
Each clip will play in turn when the end of the clip or the Mark Out point has been reached. The user can also use the TAB key to advance to the next clip before the end of play or use SHIFT TAB to go back to a previous clip. This enables easy navigation and clip selection for finding that perfect shot among multiple sources.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:54 PM
Avid Express Pro, FCP and Firewire 800
We all want to add speed to our editing workflow and the new Firewire 800 is huge step in that direction. Avid and FCP ask a lot of your hard-drives and push all of the information through those small black cables. If you run Firewire 400 the transfer rate is 400 mbs, USB 2.0 is approx 480 mbs and the new Firewire 800 steps up to a blazing 800 mbs. Upgrading to the 800 is very inexpensive and very easy. All you need is a Firewire 800 card for around fifty dollars and most of the new 800 drives are close to the same price as the other formats.
The beauty of the new 800 drives is that they have 400 interfaces built right in so, if you have a huge collection of 400 drives, no need to worry. Just install your new 800 card in your computer, plug the 800 drive in and plug your 400 drive into the back of the 800 drive. With so many brands of hard drives on the market you need to look for a few specifics before you buy. Make sure that it can stay cool with internal fans. The new Maxtor One Touch ll, Firewire 800 edition, is great drive to look at if you are in the market to upgrade to 800. In tests running this drive hard for the last week it always feels cool to the touch. Check out all of the specs for this drive and next time you need more hard-drive space, step up to 800, you will not regret it.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:47 PM
January 09, 2006
Capturing and Avid Express Pro
The capture tool in Avid Express Pro displays various information about what you are about to capture. When it comes to media management do not forget to check the Target Drive area of the capture tool. This is key for making sure that you select the preferred drive and make sure you have enough space on that drive to capture the amount that you need.
You select the target-drive from the pop-up menu and check your amount of free disk space from the Time-Remaining display. The Time-remaining display is an estimate based on your resolution settings, the number of tracks you have to be stored on the drive, and the free space available on the target drive. When you capture, paying close attention to detail will help you manage your projects in the long run.
Posted by MovingPicture at 06:16 PM
Avid audio tool, desired level for dialogue
Mixing audio levels in Avid Xpress, or Final Cut Pro can be confusing. If you are mixing for broadcast television keep your levels so they peak somewhere between +6 and +8 on the VU meter side.
If you are mixing for multimedia output, such as a streaming web movie, then you should try and mix your levels to the very top of the scale without exceeding 0 on the digital scale.
Keep in mind that that the Digital scale on the left of the Avid audio tool is only a reference, and is different for each manufacturer. The only important factor is the 0 at the top of the scale. Anything over zero will be useless digital noise. The default setting for Avid is -14 equals 0 VU.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:51 PM
Using Sync Lock in Avid Express Pro
The sync lock feature allows you to maintain sync among several tracks while adding, moving, trimming, or removing frames in a sequence. For example, if you insert an edit into one track that is sync locked to a second track, the system automatically inserts filler in the second track to maintain sync between the two.
You activate sync locking by clicking the Sync Lock button in the Track Selector panel to display the Sync Lock icon. You can also switch all sync locks on or off by clicking the Sync Lock All button.
Consider the following aspects of sync locking:
Edits performed in editing, Segment, or Effect mode override sync-locked tracks.
Sync locking applies to single-roller trims only because dual-roller trims do not break sync. For more information, see Maintaining Sync While Trimming.
You can sync lock any number of tracks in any combination. The tracks do not require matching timecode or common sources, and can include multiple video tracks as well as audio tracks.
Sync locking affects entire tracks. This means that parallel segments in other sync-locked tracks are affected when you add, move, trim, or remove material anywhere in the sequence.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:35 PM
Preserving In and Out points when Using Match Frame in Avid Xpress Pro
When you utilize the matchframe capability of Avid Xpress Pro, you are calling up the frame that the blue locator bar is currently parked over in the timeline, from the original clip, which may be burried deep within a bin under many other clips. Perhaps you are looking for different framing of the shot you that you currently have in your sequence. Match Frame keeps you form having to manually dig through a sea of clips to find the original file.
If you find yourself using a particular clip over and over again, keep in mind that each time you perform a Match Frame the previously set in and out points for the clip will be erased. There are two things you can do to prevent this from happening:
After you have set the in and out points for the clip that you have added into your sequence, go back and replace those points with locators.
You can also hold down the ALT key for a PC or Option key for a Mac and click on Match Frame icon to preserve your in and out points when you recall that clip. If you do not have the matchframe icon assigned to your timeline toolbar, simply go to Tools > Command Palette > Other > Match Frame and drag the icon to a button you least use in the timeline toolbar to replace it.
By utilizing the Command Palette, you can assign the Option key modifier to the Match Frame icon so that this process will be automated. Go to Tools > Command Palette > Other > Add Option Key and drag it to the Match Frame icon in your timeline. You will see a black dot at the foot of the icon to signify a modifier has been added.
Take a look at this interesting article that debunks some of the myths that are circulating around out there about HDTV!
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:16 PM
DVD and Deinterlacing
If you are creating content that will be distributed on DVD, then you need to pay very close attention. I just completed a two DVD set that caused more nightmares than was necessary. I use Avid Express Pro HD to edit and assemble my programs. Then, if any effects or composting is needed, I use After Effects to perform all of those tasks. Once you are satisfied with the completed program you need to make some sort of vehicle to get you program onto a DVD authoring software package. The best way to preserve quality is to make a QuickTime Reference.
A quick time reference uses the original files on your hard drives without compressing and with no loss of quality. These steps are all important but the one that I overlooked was de-interlacing. When I was done with transcoding and authoring my DVD I had jagged lines with any motion or hard edges. This was very frustrating and I went back and changed every step to try and rectify the problem. What it turned out to be was de-interlacing was not turned on in my authoring program. I use Adobe Encore but all authoring or compression software has a de-interlace setting. Make sure you turn on de-interlacing and you will be very satisfied with your productions.
Also check out this creative cow tutorial about deinterlacing.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:10 PM
January 03, 2006
Saving Color Correction Parameters in Avid Xpress Pro
When you are in the Color Corrction toolset and have finished making adjustments to a clip, you can save the color correction parameter to use later on a similar clip.
After you have finished color correcting the clip, control click for Mac or Option click for PC the C1 bucket to save the adjustment parameters.
Keep in mind that when you end your Avid Session these saved parameters will not be retained. Create a color correction bin and drag the icon from the C1 bucket to the bin to save it.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:08 PM
December 29, 2005
Creating a Picture in Picture Effect in Avid Xpress Pro
To create a PIP effect in Avid Xpress Pro, you must first have two video tracks with the desired footage placed over top of one another. You could perform the PIP effect with just one video track if you desired, but remember that the video in the track would then be placed on a black background. For this example, make sure you place the footage that you want to appear in the PIP effect on top of the footage that you wish to serve as the backdrop.
Open the Effects bin and under the Blend options select Picture-in-Picture.
Drag the PIP icon over the video clip in track 2. You will then see the effect in the Composer Window.
Click the Effects Mode icon and you will see a bounding box surround your PIP effect. Click in the middle of the bounding box to move it and use the handles to change its size. In the Effect Editor Palette you will be able to further manipulate the PIP effect.
Posted by MovingPicture at 02:25 PM
December 27, 2005
Flip4Mac Important for creating Windows Media Content
If you are using a Mac and want to do video compression for Windows Media streaming, you can use the Flip4Mac WMV Studio export component. What is nice about Flip4Mac WMV Studio is that it utilizes QuickTime. What this means is that QuickTime based applications such as: Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express HD, iMovie, Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite 4.1, Cleaner 6, QuickTime Pro and Compressor can export directly to Windows Media. You can also import Windows Media content to applications such as Cleaner 6 and Sorenson Squeeze 4.1. for encoding to other QuickTime formats.
Here are some of the features of Flip4Mac WMV Studio:
- Uses 1-pass CBR, 1-pass VBR , 2-pass CBR and 2-pass VBR compression
- Allows the creation of Meta data for Windows Media content
- Data rate can be limited
- Allows customization of video frame sizes
- Users can adjust Frames Per Second (FPS)
- Keyframe Every settings are adjustable
- Encodes to Windows Media 9
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:03 PM
December 22, 2005
Storing an Effect for Repeated Use in Avid Xpress Pro
Let's say that you have created the popular white flash effect for your Avid project via the Fade to Color Effect located in the Effects Pallete. For consistency, you may want to save the effect that you have already created for multiple use throughout the program. That way you wouldn't have to keep recreating the effect everytime you wanted to use it, you could just tweak the one you have already made or use it as is.
Storing an Effect
After you have tweaked the Fade to Color Effect in the Effect Editor and applied it to an edit point in your sequence, you will notice an icon representing that effect at the top of the Effect Editor Pallete.
Activate the Bin window by clicking in it and Press Control N for a PC or Command N for a Mac to create a new bin and name it Effects.
Simply drag the effect icon from the top of the Effect Editor into the new bin. Now at any point in your sequence when you need this pre-tweaked effect, all you have to do is drag this icon from the Effects bin you have made and place it into your sequence.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:42 PM
December 21, 2005
Avid Express Pro and Problem Transitions
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 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. 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 have to make again. You now have built a perfect 30 frame fade to black for any situation.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:14 PM
December 20, 2005
Use third-party After Effects Plug-ins inside of Avid Xpress Pro
What would it do for your workflow if you could use third-party After Effects plug-ins right inside of Avid Xpress Pro? That would save you the time of moving over a project from the Avid into After Effects and it would save you money if you did not already posses Adobe After Effects. Well such a workflow has now been made possible!
Elastic Gasket is an adapter that will allow you to utilize a list of supported third-party After Effects plug-ins without ever leaving your Avid editor. Version 2.0 is compatible with any Avid system that supports AVX 1.5 or later, and RT mode support. Windows based Avid Media Composer Adrenaline 1.0 or later and Avid Xpress Pro 4.0 or later.
The makers of Elastic Gasket suggests that you test the compatibility of a given version or plug-in feature with your Avid System via the demo version of the ware before making a purchase.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:30 PM
December 13, 2005
Ripping DVDs For Edit In Final Cut Pro and Avid Xpress Pro
There is alot of confusion circulating around the discussion forums on the topic of finding an efficient way to extract material from a DVD to import into Final Cut Pro for re-editing. After doing some research, I found such a ware that will allow you to read the dvd > set in and out points for the scenes that you want > and extract that video in a format that can be taken into Final Cut Pro and Avid. If you already have pre-existing VOB files, you can read them through DVDXDV and extract from them as well. Keep in mind that this ware is for Macs only.
DVDXDV Pro will allow you to extract high quality audio and video from a DVD to be used in Final Cut Pro and Avid. Their are two versions of this software, DVDXDVPro ($80), which is the more robust version of the program that will allow the reversal of the original interlaced field ordering of a DVD, widescreen resizing, 3:2 pulldown removal, and multi-channel audio export.
DVDXDV ($25) is being marketed more to the home video crowd and not the video professional. It will allow you to kick out a quicktime file with all audio in this version being exported as a stereo mix, it also allows for video cropping and resizing and field order reversing. There is also an 'Expert Settings' option in the Export dialog that will allow you to manipulate compression settings.
After downloading the trial version of DVDXDV Pro, my initial response was that it would be well worth the wait of shipping. You don't have access to an instant download of the ware if you should decide to purchase it, but I imported some extremely high quality audio and Video into Final Cut Pro and Avid from this ware!
If you find yourself needing to use material from premade non-encrypted dvds, you should really give DVDXDV Pro and DVDXDV serious consideration. If you have Quicktime 6 or later,click here to see a video sample of the process of how you get DVD material into Final Cut Pro. Download the free trial version and see if its right for you!
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:24 PM
December 07, 2005
Quicktime 7 and Device Connection Problems
For all of you Final Cut Pro and FC Express users out there who have updated to the latest version of Mac OS X and Quicktime and are experiencing connectivity issues between the NLE and a deck or camera, you may need to trash some of your Quicktime Reciepts. Here's how to do it!
Navigate to /Library/Reciepts/
Find the Quicktime Receipt files.
You are only selecting the ones that have version numbers included in their names such as these:
Keep in mind that your receipts may be different from these.
Drag these receipts to the Trash Can.
Go to Quicktime for Mac OS X then download and install the latest version of QuickTime.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:16 PM
November 16, 2005
The latest supported decks for Avid Express Pro
Avid editing products support a number of videotape decks from many manufacturers. The decks can support full edit capabilities, or only record or play functions. Avid provides deck control capabilities through either a direct serial connection or a V-LAN/VLX connection. Macintosh systems support serial decks. Windows systems support serial decks and DV cameras and decks (for systems with the DV/MPEG option) - 11.8_supported_decks_serial.htm. Avid engineers have spent many hours keeping up with and testing many different decks. Check out the full list of supported decks just remember if your deck is not listed it still might work with the generic deck settings that Avid provides.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:38 PM
Access Denied in Avid Express Pro HD
As editors in the NLE world we all must contend with computer problems. Instead of have great knowledge of our application software we must also be computer technicians of software and hardware. I came across the dreaded error
Exception: DISK_ACCESS_DENIED filename: C:\OMFI media files. This message usually means trouble. In the past this has meant that I had a corrupt hard drive or corrupt files in that hard drive. Well, this happened again to me earlier this week and I this time it appeared to not be a corrupt file but somehow, permission was changed on one of drives. If this happens to you you need to immediately check out this how to change your permissions article and hopefully your problem will be fixed because if you have a corrupt file life will not be easy until it is rooted out.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:10 PM
October 27, 2005
Sorenson Squeeze settings for Avid DVD
If you are an Avid Xpress user, you may find it frustrating navigating through all the settings in order to produce a good quality DVD.
You will need three software products to create a good quality DVD.
The trick is to use Sorenson Squeeze to output the corrected field order from the Avid software. Here is a fantastic tutorial on making a DVD with Avid Xpress with Sorenson Squeeze.
If you own Avid Xpress Studio, it comes bundled with all the software products required to make good quality DVD's.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:47 PM
Avid Express Pro and Digital Audio Scrub
Have you ever wanted to hear pieces of your audio while you drag the blue indicator bar through your timeline? Well, there is great feature in Avid call Digital Audio Scrub. This is a great way to locate audio cues in either your sequence or source clips. The first thing you need to do is select the tracks you want to scrub by Alt clicking the Speaker icon next to the track and this will turn it gold. Avid will try and scrub as many tracks as it can, as long as the track is on, but if you make them gold this will ensure you at least hear those tracks. Now press the Caps Lock key to activate Digital Scrub for full time-scrubbing or press hold down the shift key for part-time scrubbing.
You now are a scrub master!
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:44 PM
Avid Express Pro Shortcuts
Everyone is looking for shortcuts in the editing process. Speeding up task such as resizing tracks or windows is one of those tasks that make your workflow easier but can take up unnecessary time. Well, here is list of a few keyboard shortcuts for your timeline that are great time savers in Avid Express Pro.
- Alt + Ctrl + click in Timeline: Snaps to last frame of the nearest transition or mark; also snaps to any audio keyframes visible in audio tracks
- Alt + click in Timeline: Enables lassoing of transitions and segments in Timeline
- Ctrl + L or K: Enlarges or reduces highlighted track in Timeline
- Ctrl + Y: Creates new video track
- Ctrl + U: Creates new audio track
- Ctrl + Shift + H: Hides tracks in the Timeline
- Ctrl + click Track Monitor icon: Solos video or audio track
- Ctrl + A: Selects all tracks
- Alt+ Matchframe key: Places match-frame edit in Source pop-up monitor without marking IN point at frame
These are just a few shortcuts to get you started! Stay-tuned for more amazing time-saving shortcuts and do not forget to sign up for the next Avid class.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:43 PM
October 19, 2005
Avid Express Pro HD and Loss of Deck Control
Sometimes after upgrading to the latest version of Avid Express Pro HD you may have found that you can no longer control your deck and the capture controls do not work. This happened recently with the latest version of Avid Express Pro HD 5.2. It appears to that this only happens with HD versions of the software. Although, this problem is specific to communicating from the CPU directly to the capture device, there have been cases when this method has rectified capture issues with a DNA device (Mojo or Adrenaline) as well. This can be resolved by registering the DVBuffers. (this file is a part of the DIO Runtime, which is installed with the Avid software, and is essential for Avid's communication with external capture devices).
To register the buffers:
- Click Start, then click Run
In the command line, type : regsvr32 DVBuffers.ax
If you typed this line correctly, a popup window will display a message, DLLRegisterServer in DVBuffers.ax succeeded, (the message may vary from version to version.
If the line was typed incorrectly, the message will report that the registration failed.
You now have control!
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:43 PM
October 18, 2005
Avid Express Pro and the Moving Filmstrip
If you have watched television lately you probably noticed the popularity of the filmstrip used to insert several images. Creating this moving filmstrip in Avid is very simple if you follow some exact math parameters. GeniusDV has a great tutorial on producing this filmstrip for your production. This tutorial covers the 3:00 second duration clips. If you desire a longer clip you must just keep in mind that all clips must be divisible by three. I have used the moving filmstrip in several commercials with great success! So you now have the power to make your own filmstrip and don’t be afraid to experiment with different backgrounds.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:43 PM
Avid Express Pro HD and Frame Rate Conversions
There are times in a production when the footage only exists in one format and the user needs it in another. A common example is a 24p project being handed an establishing shot on digibeta. In this case, the footage is interlace, 60 fields at 30 frames per second, while the project type is progressive and 24 frames per second.
Using the Timewarp effect - part of the FluidMotion effects engine in Media Composer Adrenaline HD and Avid Xpress Pro HD - the user can create alternate frame rates and keep the original audio in sync.
Read on to find out how!
The Timewarp effect can be used to create all the frame rate conversions needed. The table below gives all the values needed to crate any frame rate.
- Create 30I NTSC project
- Capture shot to be converted
- Edit onto timeline (V and A)
- Apply the Timewarp effect from the effects palette
- Select FluidMotion from the Render Using menu
- From the Formats menu, select Interlace as input and Progressive as Output
- Open the Speed graph and enter 125 into value entry box at the bottom of the window.
The result will be a progressive clip of the same duration but now running 125% faster. When this clip is imported back into a 23.976p project, it will be slowed down by 25% due to the 1:21 frame relationship. This way, durations remain the same and the original audio remains in sync.
In order to get the clip back into a 23.976p project, export V only as a QuickTime reference and the audio as a WAVE file.
Import these two files back into a 23.976p project and sync the V-only clip with the A- only clip using AutoSync.The result is a sync VA clip in a 23.976 frame progressive format.When importing the QuickTime file into the 24p project in either Media Composer Adrenaline HD or Avid Xpress Pro HD, the user may see a message indicating that the source is interlace in a progressive project. Click OK and continue.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:36 PM
October 14, 2005
Workspaces in Avid Express Pro
Being able to save your favorite workspaces and link them to a user setting is a very important feature to speed up your work flow. I have my standard editing workspace, audio editing workspace and a capture workspace always one button away. Here is how to link user settings and workspaces:
To link user settings and a workspace:
- Create a new workspace setting and give it a custom name.
- Double-click a setting from the Settings scroll list that you want to link to the new workspace. For example, double-click Capture. Adjust the Capture setting to what you want.
- Give this Capture setting the same name you gave the workspace in step 1.
- Double-click another setting, for example, Media Creation. Select new options, and click OK.
- Give this setting the same name you gave the workspace in step 1.
- Double-click the workspace you just created.
The Workspace Settings dialog box opens.
- Click Activate Settings Linked By Name. For more information about options, see Workspace Settings.
- Click OK.
All the settings and the new workspace you created are activated when you activate this workspace.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:59 PM
DV Scene Detection
One of the most important features of many non linear editing systems is the ability to understand DV metadata that contains time of day marks. Both Avid Xpress and Final Cut Pro have this feature.
In Final Cut Pro it is called DV Start Stop Detect. In Avid Xpress it is called DV Scene Extraction. The end result for both programs is the same.
However, there are a few limitations to this technology. Here they are:
- There needs to be a change in time while the footage is being recorded. Hence, the camera operator must start and stop the camera between scenes.
- Footage must originate on DV. Beta-Cam, Digital Beta-Cam will not work.
- You must record your footage using a firewire cable directly into your editing system. Running the signal through a converter or using SDI will not work.
- The time-clock (time of day clock) must be correctly functioning in your DV camera.
One interesting note, if you make a Direct DV to DV copy using a firewire cable, the meta data (DV Start Stop information) will be maintained.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:49 PM
October 13, 2005
After Effects and Avid EMP
If you edit on Avid and also have After Effects you need to make sure you install the Avid External Monitor Preview (EMP) plug-in for After Effects. This allows you to view your After Effects project on an NTSC monitor. This is a huge benefit when you are creating your After Effects project because you can see exactly what it is going to look like when it is broadcast or played on a television.
The one thing you need to be aware of when installing the EMP is that you need to uninstall Avid first then install the EMP or else it will not work. Once you have installed the EMP you then can reinstall Avid. To turn on your external monitor you need to open After Effects and navigate to Edit > Preferences and then you will see the Avid plug-in at the bottom of the preferences. Open this up and click on the IEE-1394 preview. Now you can preview all of your After Effects projects on your NTSC monitor.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:12 PM
October 10, 2005
Avid and Final Cut Pro Plugins
Have you been searching for that perfect software plug-in so you can create that specialized effect?
There is a great website called toolfarm.com that contains a comprehensive list of plug-ins for various video editing software packages. You might want to add this site to one of your favorites.
Posted by MovingPicture at 06:14 PM
Cache settings in After Effects
If you are having troubles with your RAM previews being slow, then your cache, not cash, maybe set to low. Here is a rundown of how to up your cache.
To set Cache preferences:
- Choose Edit > Preferences > Cache (Windows) or After Effects > Preferences > Cache (Mac OS.)
- Set any of the options below:
- Enter an amount for Image Cache Size as a percent of the amount of installed RAM. (The default value is 60%; Adobe does not recommend values over 90%.) The amount you enter determines the maximum amount of memory After Effects uses for cached frames. The number of frames that RAM Preview displays is also limited by this setting: Increase it to get longer RAM Previews; decrease it if RAM Previews are jerky or halting because of virtual memory paging activity.
- Enter an amount for Maximum Memory Usage as a percent of the amount of installed RAM. (The default value is 120%; Adobe does not recommend values over 200%.) This setting limits the amount of memory After Effects can use. Increase the amount if insufficient memory errors occur. You can specify amounts greater than 100% because virtual memory is not limited to the amount of installed RAM.
To purge the cache:
Make sure that the Timeline window is selected, and choose Edit > Purge > Image Caches.
Now do you have enough cash(e)?
Posted by MovingPicture at 06:12 PM
October 05, 2005
Avid Express Pro Color Correction
Understanding how to use the different waveform monitors inside your Avid application is essential to proper color analysis. You first need to understand the difference between the YC waveform monitor and the Y waveform monitor and when to use them. The most common is the Y waveform monitor is used to analyze the blacks, whites and midtones. This is the most common scope to use to match scene brightness across your cuts and make sure that you are within the safe limits of broadcast. The YC waveform is best used to check your chrominance values. These are your chroma and luma waveforms but you should never use the YC waveform to detect luminance because it can be very difficult to detect luminance with the chroma wave in your sight. The blue-green waveform should not exceed 110 IRE for NTSC and never fall below -20 NTSC. Keep these tips in mind and you will be on your way to effective and accurate color corrections in Avid Express Pro.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:13 PM
September 29, 2005
Coloring your clips in Avid Express Pro
Assigning a color to your clips is a very useful tool. I have found this to be especially helpful when there is a clip in my timeline that I have maybe cut into two or more pieces. If you want to move this clip in your timeline and keep all of the pieces together, if they are the same color it makes it very easy to identify. This is only one reason to color your clips. Another might be you want to keep certain clips together by their color, for example: all of your outdoor midday clips you want one color and all of the evening shot another.
Here is how to color your clips:
Make sure you are in text view in your bin.
Click on the fast menu in the lower left corner and click on headings.
Under headings you will see color as a heading option. Click color and then OK at the bottom.
Now you will have a color heading in your text view that you can modify by hovering in that column and clicking once and opening the color dialogue box.
You can choose the few preset colors or any color from the color palette by choosing pick at the bottom.
Don’t forget to save this color text view so you can access it from any project.
... And you thought you left the Crayolas behind in elementary school!
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:57 PM
Avid Express Pro and Boston Legal
Avid is always up for the challenge to meet the high demands of movies and broadcast television editors. The new hot show Boston Legal placed high demands on its lead editor Philip Neel. Neel, a veteran television editor (Ally McBeal, Sisters), is challenged by taking each hour episode and packing it with seriousness and humor all with faced paced action and camera work. Neel and his editors extensively use Media Composers and Express Pro:
Having the Avid Express Pro really helps ensure that everyone keeps working and that we have much less downtime. It gives us a lot of flexibility. - Anne Uemura, Associate Producer, Boston Legal
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:54 PM
Avid Express Pro 5.X and HD Capture
Now that we have the ability to edit in either High Definition or Standard Definition we now have more settings to choose before we capture. The most important setting is the Video Resolution Setting. The great thing about Avid Express Pro is that you can combine SD and HD in the same timeline as long as the frame-rate is the same.
The first thing you need to do is determine the format that you are going to capture. You then need to decide if you are going to capture in OMF or MXF format. The formats are wrappers for your media files, your choice will not affect quality but you need to be aware of the programs you may need to open these files in. A good rule of thumb is OMF for all of your SD and MXF for HD. To switch between these formats you need to go to your settings tab in the project window and double-click media creation. Now select the media type tab and this is where you can choose your format. This is just an intro to what your different types of formats and what they are about. Sign up for one of GeniusDV's Avid Express Pro combos to become an expert in Avid Express Pro.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:42 PM
Anamorphic and Non-Anamorphic DVDs
Many of the questions being raised by beginner editors in discussion forums, referring to Anamorphic and Non-Anamorphic video, arise from the fact that they don't have a clear understanding of some of the big terms that are being thrown around today. Words like: Non-Anamorphic (Letterboxed), Anamorphic, and possibly just as equally as important, they do not know how to distinguish between them.
Before you make that DVD you're thinking about, Check out this visual representation of Anamorphic and Non-Anamorphic video being played back on various televisions that are 4:3 and 16:9. It will definitely give you clarity as to the appearance you are looking for.
We've all walked into Best Buy and seen an Anamorphic image being improperly played back on a 4:3 screen, not a good way to sell tv sets. Check out the tutorial Anamorphic VS. Non-Anamorphic DVD.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:41 PM
September 23, 2005
Avid Express Pro HD Version 5.1.7
Avid has just released the latest version of Express Pro HD. The latest update fixes many minor issues but mainly focuses on Panasonic P2 changes. These changes include: better P2 card reading support, most 3rd party audio cards are now supported, updating user profile settings now offers a message box to tell you what has been updated, and many errors have been addressed.
To read everything that has been updated check out this Avid read-me for a detailed list. Now go out and get updated.
Posted by MovingPicture at 03:00 PM
September 21, 2005
Aspect Ratios and the DVX 100a
With the introduction of such economical, yet cutting edge camera technology that is available to the young Avid and Final Cut Pro User, never before has there been so many choices of workflow that you have to consider before taking that first shot. Are you shooting in 24pa, squeezed 16:9, true 16:9, letterbox, HD, HDV, and possibly the question that supercedes all the others is, 'Who is your target audience?' Well, lets take a look at that particular question.
Without getting into the logistics behind tranfering DV to film, let's say that your project will mainly be seen by people while in their homes, sitting in front of their television sets. Given, some are biting the bullet and investing in 16:9 sets or televisions that can switch between anamorphic and standard, there are still many who tune into ER on Thursday nights with a 1985 19' Sylvania. The point I'm trying to make is that with the wide array of hardware to capture and review footage in circulation, you may have questions?
Here is a conversation between industry professional discussing shooting 4:3 vs 16:9 via the Panasonic DVX-100a. This is good stuff!
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:01 PM
Storyboard Editing in Avid Express Pro
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. 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.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:56 PM
September 15, 2005
Avid Express Pro Capturing
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 in Avid 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!
Posted by MovingPicture at 06:25 PM
September 14, 2005
Avid Express Pro Shortcuts
To become an effective and efficient editor you must learn as many shortcuts as possible. One favorite and most used shortcut is the Fade Effect. Not only do I use this effect to fade but I created a keyboard shortcut for it because I use it so much. I have many titles throughout my shows and about 90 percent of them need to fade up and then down. The fastest way to accomplish this is the first edit all of your titles into the timeline and then select multiple titles by using the segment mode. Here is the breakdown:
- Edit your titles, graphics, clips, ect. into your timeline.
- To fade multiple titles at once, with the same values, enter either segment mode., and press the shift key while selecting your desired segments.
- Click the Fade Effect button from the Tool Palette Fast Menu or use your keyboard shortcut once you have created one.
- In the Fade Effect dialog box, enter the number of frames to fade up, down or both.
- Click OK and you are done.
Now go out and fade away!
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:47 PM
Resizing Audio Waveforms in Avid Xpress
Have you ever had the issue where your audio waveforms (or sample plot) are to large or small within the Avid Xpress timeline? There is an easy way to resize the waveforms, without changing the volume.
All you need to do is hold down the following keys to resize the audio waveform sample-plot. This is extremely useful when looking and imported music from an audio CD. The waveform is usually going to be too tall, and needs to be resized to be usable.
PC: Ctrl,ALT (+,-) keys on the keyboard
Mac: Command, Option (+,-) keys on the keyboard
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:42 PM
September 12, 2005
High Definition in the U.K.
As we all know HD is the wave of the here and now. Some shows that have been running in SD for years are now facing the HD dilemma. One of the longest late night shows in the U.K., Later...With Jools Holland, has been a tape based show for the past 13 years and in 2004 went away from a linear based system to HD. This was a huge step considering they skipped SD digital.
Once again Avid made this transition easy according to the show's ACE edtior:
HD was not as scary as I thought it would be... it's a fantastic visual concept and the pictures are almost too good.Read the whole story and get ready for HD coming soon to your world!
- Perry Bellisario, Founder, Ace Post Production
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:46 PM
Photoshop Droplets and Avid Express Pro
Do you have a favorite task that you perform on all of your photos before you import them to video? Lets say you want all of you images to be 720X486 or you want them all to be saturated by an additional 10 percent. Well any task you can think of in Photoshop can be applied in one swoop using Photoshop Droplets.
Over at Genius DV, they have the tutorial to help you apply droplets to all of your photos or graphics. Don't forget to sign up for one of their up and coming classes to help you further your career in the film and video industry!
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:42 PM
Whether you are cutting in Avid or Final Cut Pro, you should approach your audio work with a plan. When adjusting audio, prioritize your work by starting with the tracks that are meant to be heard above all other tracks, such as narration, and work your way down the list.
Keep these guidlines in mind when working with DIGITAL AUDIO:
- The volume of the combined tracks should not exceed 0 db.
- Set primary tracks well below 0 db (-12 db - -6 db) to compensate for your other audio tracks.
- Set music track to -15 db or -18 db. Be mindful of your mixed levels. You may be able to either bump your music levels up or bring some levels down in order not to exceed 0 db.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:39 PM
September 09, 2005
Avid and Mac OS X Tiger
Are you ready to feed your Tiger? Avid now has full applications of Express Pro and Media Composer for Macintosh OS X Tiger. Avid has been supporting the Mac systems since 1989 on the Mac 6 and has continued to support and push the levels of performance for the Macintosh. The latest version even includes a 3-D titling provided by Marquee. If you are ready to step-up to the latest version of Avid for your Tiger then hurry to the latest Avid update!
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:29 PM
Media Relatives and Avid Express Pro
Confused on which clips you have or have not used in your sequence? Then I have a friend for you. Selecting Media Relatives is a great tool that Avid incorporated to allow you to figure out which clips you have used in your sequence. This is very helpful to not only speed up your workflow but to also keep you from inadvertently using the same clip twice. Here is a quick run down of how to use this feature:
- Open the bin that contains the chosen clip or sequence.
- Open any other bins that might contain the media relatives that you want to find.
- Resize and position the bins so that you can see their contents. Text view is best for viewing as many objects as possible.
- Click the chosen clip or sequence, and select Bin > Select Media Relatives. The system highlights all related objects in all open bins.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:25 PM
September 07, 2005
Adjusting your Play Delay in Avid Express Pro
Are you annoyed that your external NTSC montior has a playback delay? I lived with this for about six months before I found this obvious cure! Here is the pill for delay sickness:
- In the Project window, click the Settings tab.
The Settings scroll list appears.
- Double-click Video Display.
The Video Display Settings dialog box opens.
- 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.
- Click OK.
You can always tweak this for different devices, so have no fear and adjust to your output needs.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:51 PM
Converting Title Tool Title Templates to Marquee
You have spent many hours saving your Avid Title Tool templates and you now want to access them in Marquee. Well, as usual, Avid has a way. Converting your templates will take a little time but it is worth it. Here is a breakdown of the process:
- In the Title tool, click the Templates pop-up menu, and select Edit Template.
- Select the template you want to convert, and then click Open.
- Click Yes.
- In Marquee, in the Templates Library window, right-click the folder in which you want to save the template, and select New Template.
- Type a name for the new template, and then click OK.
Posted by MovingPicture at 04:44 PM
September 02, 2005
Speed up your workflow in Avid Express Pro
A fast and efficient editor is what we all strive to become. If you have ever had an effect that you wanted to apply to multiple segements in your timeline you know how repetitive and time-consuming it can be to apply them one at a time. The most common effect to apply in Avid Express Pro would have to be color-correction. Well, here is a quick and easy way to apply your favorite effect to multiple segments in one easy swoop:
To apply an effect to multiple segments on the same video layer:
- Click above the Timeline and to the left of the leftmost segment that you want to select, and begin dragging to the right and down to activate a selection box.
- Continue to drag the selection box to the right until you lasso the rightness segment that you want to select.
- Release the mouse button.
- If the segments where you want to apply the effect are not contiguous, Shift+click a segment to deselect it. You can also Shift+click to add one or more segments.
- Open the Effect Palette.
- Double-click the effect's icon that you want to apply to the segments.
Now go out and have fun with all of your extra time!
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:40 PM
Saving Custom Bin Views in Avid express Pro
Avid Express Pro allows you to be creative without boundaries. You also have the power to make the Avid interface look and act the way that works in for your style or workflow. Being able to save a custom bin view is very useful and very easy to do. In Text view, you can create and save customized bin views that you can easily access from theBin View pop-up menu.
To save a custom bin view from the Text tab:
- Open a bin and click the Text tab.
- Add or hide columns according to preference. The bin view name changes to italic.
- Click the Bin View pop-up menu, and select Save As.The View Name dialog box opens.
- Type a name for the custom view and click OK.
As you make changes to your custom view you can overwrite the current saved view by holding down the .alt key and selecting the replacement of your current view or even overwrite another custom view.
Posted by MovingPicture at 05:36 PM
August 30, 2005
Launch Error with Avid Express Pro HD V 5.16
If you recently downloaded the latest version of Avid Express Pro HD V 5.16 you may have run into a big problem! With Avid Xpress Pro v5.1.6 you may receive an Exception:Win32_Mixer_Open_Error on launch while initializing audio. This is caused by the limited support of audio cards in this version. If you are experiencing this issue there has been made available a pre-release version of the upcoming Avid Xpress Pro v5.1.7 that addresses this issue. Some of you may not want to download the pre-release so just uninstall 5.16 and re-install 5.15.
Posted by DigitalBill at 05:14 PM
Corrupt files and Avid Express Pro
Corrupt files and Avid do not mix. The main culprit is turning your hard-drives on or off while your editing system is turned on. This has cost me dearly in the past but a different problem happened to me and it was a non-quarantined file that gave me the headaches this time! I went to open my media tool and some of the files that were in my bins and on my hard drives did not show up in my media tool. Through further investigation I found out that I had several media files that were corrupt due to my lack of allowing Avid Express to quarantine files when I was prompted to due so. To resolve this issue: close Avid Express Pro and navigate to each hard drive and partition's OMFI Folder and delete the database files (msmFMID and msmMMOB) for every partition and empty the trash. Relaunch the application- if upon scanning the databases an error message comes up and the option Quarantine File appears- select that and continue...any media that is found to be corrupt will be marked with a + sign or the word BAD and will now appear at the top of the OMFI folder. I have also found it a good practice to go out and delete all quarantined media so it will not show its ugly face again.
Posted by DigitalBill at 05:13 PM