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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

torontofilmfest06.jpgAvid 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

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

Differences in Avid Xpress HD vs Media Composer Adrenaline

avid_xpress_media_composer.jpgThe 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

August 29, 2006

Corrupt files and Avid Express Pro (Revisited)

quarantine.gif 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_xpress_pro.gifAvid 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

Mac Pro.JPGWhether 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?

9gig_drive.gifHave 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

July 27, 2006

Arrrr-vid Editing from the Pros: Pirates of the Caribbean 2

pirates.jpg 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.

Take a few minutes and read Craig and Stephen's story about how they got started and what keeps them going and don’t forget to check out the story of how Avid was utilized to tell this great story!

Posted by MovingPicture at 07:17 PM

Update to Avid 5.5 Now!

Avid Express Pro HD.jpg 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

Pan and zoom.jpgBeing 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:

  1. Using standard editing techniques, load a sequence and create a placeholder segment of the duration you want for your image.
  2. Enter Effect mode by selecting Toolset > Effects Editing.
    The Effects Editing toolset appears.
  3. In the Effect palette, click the Image category.
  4. 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.
  5. Click the Other Options button.
    A file selection dialog box opens.
  6. 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

Pro HD copy.gifIn 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

Superman and Lois Lane from Superman Returns, (c)2006 Warner Bros.Entertainment Inc.

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

June 22, 2006

Avid Bin Shortcuts

Avid Keyboard shortcuts.jpgKnowing 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:

  1. Ctrl + N
    Creates new bin
  2. Ctrl + A
    Selects all items in a bin or project
  3. Ctrl + W
    Closes the open window or dialog box
  4. Ctrl + P
    Prints active bin
  5. Ctrl + D
    Duplicates selected clip, sequence, or title
  6. Ctrl + I
    Opens Console window
  7. Shift + Ctrl + click Bin Menu
    Alternates Relink and Unlink commands in the Bin menu
  8. Alt + drag clips between bins
    Copies clips instead of moving them

Posted by MovingPicture at 01:25 PM

June 19, 2006

Avid and the Attic

Avid Express Pro attic.gif

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!

Avid and the Da Vinci Code.gif 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.

Get the full story on the Da Vinci Code and how Avid was there every step of the way!

"The Da Vinci Code" (Dan Brown)

Posted by MovingPicture at 05:26 PM

April 05, 2006

Avid Express Pro and Display Settings

video.gif 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

Avid color correction match color.gifUnderstanding 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

Avid Frame View .gifBy 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:

  1. Select the clip that you want to change by single clicking on it.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.
    Avid Frame view 2.gif

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

Avid Express Pro HD.gif 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

Up-rez in Final Cut Pro and After Effects

redgiantsoftware_1887_467581.jpgHave you been looking for ways to use your SD footage in a HD Production? Instant HD, by Red Giant Software, is a plug-in for Final Cut Pro Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Premiere that will allow you to up-convert NTSC or PAL SD to High Definition; but that's not all!

Here are some of the uses:

  1. Convert web cam and cellphone source material to SD video
  2. Scale SD video for pan and scan adjustments
  3. Can be used with Magic Bullet software to create high-end "film-look" masters
  4. Scale still images to HD

This plug-in only works with progressive, non-interlaced footage.

Posted by MovingPicture at 04:16 PM

The Playback of Various Aspect Ratios on a TV Set

185ondisc16x9.jpg There is alot of confusion out there among beginning producers concerning the playback of various aspect ratios. If your video appears stretched on television set, perhaps the video was shot in widescreen format and you are viewing on a television that only displays a 4:3 image. This article provides graphic examples of what Anamorphic and Non-Anamorphic video looks like when being delivered in various aspect ratios. At the bottom of each example is an explanation for the video's appearance. Take a look.

Posted by MovingPicture at 03:58 PM

Avid, Final Cut, After Effects and Digital Juice

Digital Juice.jpg 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:

  1. Click the deck button in the Capture tool.
  2. Click once on the Tape Name box.
  3. Either select an existing tape name or create a new one.
  4. Choose an option from the Timecode Source Menu.
  5. Play the material and click the record button.
  6. 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

Creating Crossfades in Soundtrack Pro

In order to create a crossfade between two clips in Soundrack Pro, first you must put the project into crossfade mode. Go to the Project Controls located just underneath the Toolbar area and click on the Crossfade button.


In the timeline area, move two audio clips so that they overlap on the same track. You will see that a crossfade has been created over the overlapping areas.


Move the mouse cursor over the crossfade area to activate it in order to tweak the fade. When you click and drag from the the dark center of the crossfade selection, you can drag either left or right to change the length of the fade and its starting point.


Dragging from the top of the selection will turn the cursor into an icon of a hand, siginifying that you can drag the crossfade to a new location. This option will not change the duration of the crossfade.

Dragging from either side of the selection will increase the duration of the crossfade in either direction by changing its start or end point.

Posted by MovingPicture at 03:27 PM

The AE List for After Effects

theaelist.jpgThe AE List is a non-commercial mailing list server for Adobe After Effects that was started by Rene Hedemyr back in 1997 when the AE AOL list shut down. The AE list like having teachers, experts, and professionals residing in your Inbox but before you subscribe your current email to the list I suggest you create a brand new account that will be dedicated to the list. There are hundreds of users asking questions, answering questions, and posting new software/plugin releases; so don be surprised if you box hits the 200 mark in a few days.

If you do not want to subscribe just yet preview the archives and I'm sure you will find something that will interest you.

Link > Check Out The AE List

Posted by MovingPicture at 03:21 PM

March 14, 2006

Making life easier for Producers - Moving Picture News

The following article is reprinted from Moving Picture's Winter edition of the Producer's Cheat Sheet™ newsletter. If you're not receiving it, send an email to David Wells

Apple's iWeb makes life easier for Producers
written by David Wells

In the past, many of you have struggled to find a way to send photos and video QuickTime files to clients on the web. Often it is not practical to email large picture and movie files to clients. Either your client has compatibility problems receiving the files and or their email account will not accept large files, and so on. What a pain!

If you were very tech savvy, and your client was also -- fat chance -- you could FTP (file transfer protocol) your photos and QuickTime movies to a server, but this is cumbersome and complicated, to say the least!

Read on to find out how to be more effective in communicating with your clients.

iWeb HeaderOn January 10th at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Steve Jobs unveiled iWeb, the newest addition to their iLife '06 suite of media management and sharing tools. This new program is Glenn Dogreally terrific and can be make your life as a producer much easier in a short period of time. Most of you are Mac users, so the new iWeb will come naturally to you. I created a half decent website for my dog in a couple of hours (online at - by the way Glenn is AVAILABLE for commercials, music videos and features!).

3 easy steps to an easier 'iLife' as a Producer:

Step 1: Establish a .Mac account, for just $99.95 per year for 1 gig of server space. You'll also receive 4 .Mac email addresses that you can use to protect yourself against unwanted email (except from Moving Picture of course!).

Step 2: Start using iWeb (part of the $79 iLife '06 package), and create a simple home page, maybe just your name set in nice type, a photo, whatever!

Step 3: Drag and drop location photos or QuickTime files, Publish call sheets, contact lists (cut and paste out of Word). Email your web pages URL to your client or crew and Voila! Instant gratification!

Advanced Features Useful for Producers:

  • People viewing your site can drag photos off of your pages and save them to their desktop. Double click on a small photo on your site and it expands to full size.
  • Password protect pages that need privacy.
  • Register a cool domain name (like at and have your domain name point to your .Mac site. (For help on implementing this advanced feature give us a call at Moving Picture.)
  • After uploading new photos, QuickTime files, or anything else to your .Mac site, .Mac prompts you with the option to automatically inform a list of people in your address book that your site or specific web page has changed.
  • Backup important files from your computer to your iDisk at .Mac.

Visit Apple's web site to learn more:

Good luck, and we hope this makes your life as a Producer a little easier!

David Wells

Posted by MovingPicture at 05:51 PM

February 16, 2006

Frameline 47 uses MPEG-7 for Descriptive Data for Videos

features_notate.jpgThe future of the internet is all about having searchable video and Frameline 47 is the first tool using MPEG-7 for creating descriptive data for videos. Created by Versatile Delivery Systems Ltd., the software brings excitement to the market by using the MPEG-7 standard. The MPEG-7 standard is and works similar to other standards such as MPEG-2 and MP3 though MPEG-7 is not a standard for audio and video but for describing content. It's similar in that as a standards such as MPEG-2 and MP3 have been used, it's allowed companies to create products based on those standards such as DVD players, MP3 players, mobile devices and media players.

The MPEG-7 standard will create easy compatibility between different player clients, software and systems because everything will be speaking the same lanquage, the MPEG-7 language. What's exciting about the MPEG-7 standard is that it's nothing like the proprietary streaming architectures of the past such as Windows Media, RealMedia, and QuickTime.

Read on for an overview of Frameline's features.

Now let's give you an overview of features you can find in Frameline 47. The application is based on four main modes: File, Edit, Notate and Present. Here are some of the features found it each mode.

File Function Features
Encode Video files to Apple MPEG-4 H.264
Convert MPEG-4 based .mov files to the .mp4 file format
Search for specific Video Files within the Asset Folder

Edit Function Features
Automatically chop up video into segments
Manually chop-up video into segments
Create Groups of segments (Groups equate to Scenes, Segments to Shots).
Name Segments & Groups.
Mark Segments & Groups

Notate Function Features
Add descriptions that apply to an entire file.
Link separate Video File together with metadata
Import descriptive data tags to the file from any 'Collection'.
Add 'Word Description' tags to individual Segments and/or Groups.
Add 'Content Description' tags to individual Segments and/or Groups

Present Function Features
Watch Video Files full-screen
Filter files according to their Content Notation
Navigate through Video Files by Segments & Groups
View the names of Segments & Groups during playback

The software is currently only available in Public Beta form for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Visit the website to download the Frameline 47 application for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger

If you work on the Windows platform you can expect to see a Windows Version of the software sometime early this year. You can register for the Frameline 47 Public Beta for Windows here.

Posted by MovingPicture at 03:26 PM

Tools for Encoding Flash Streaming Content

Here's an overview of tools for encoding Flash Streaming content:

Sorenson Squeeze for Flash and Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite

sorensonbox.jpgKey Features:
*Alpha Channel Support with On2 VP6 codec
*On2 VP6 Pro Plugin Support for Mac (Plug-in must be purchased separately)
*Embedded Cue Points for Flash
*Free Sorenson FLV Player
*Improved, easy to edit Flash Player Skins templates for SWF and FLV
*Linked or Embedded FLV option for SWF files
*Global Metadata Entry on Source Files for Flash output

Learn more details about Sorenson Squeeze for Flash and Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite

Compression Master


Key Features:
*Encode videos to the Flash (SWF) format
*Encode videos to Flash Video (FLV) file format

Get more information about Compression Master

Flash Professional 8


Key Features:
*Flash Video Exporter Plug-in for QuickTime
*Advanced Encoding Options
*Embed Cue Points for FLV files
*Alpha Channel Support
*Stand-alone Video Encoder
*Includes the On2 VP6 Codec

Learn more about Flash Professional 8 features for encoding video content


Key Features:
*Turn Video into an Animation
*Includes the On2 VP6 Pro codec
*Output Video in a Custom Player Automatically
*Batch Encode Videos
*Customizable and Savable Settings and Options
*Apply Advanced Flash features without knowing Flash

Get more information about Flix Pro


Key Features:
*Export Flash from QuickTime enabled applications
*Includes the On2 VP6 Pro codec
*Export both FLV and SWF files
*Customizable Presets
*Output both Flash 8 and Flash MX FLV video
*Export SWF and FLV Audio

Learn how Flix Exporter works with Non-linear editing systems

Flash Video Studio


Key Features:
*Add Animated Logo, Image, and Text Watermark
*Add Customizable Movie Navigation Control
*Review Video effects in Real-time Preview
*Real-time Bandwidth and File Size Estimation
*Built in FTP Upload Tool
*Bath Publish and Upload Video Files

Find out what other things Flash Video Studio can do

Posted by MovingPicture at 03:17 PM

February 13, 2006

Toon Boom Users produce "Curious George"

Toon Boom Animation's ( Opus animation software was used in the creation of the 2D feature film Curious George . Produced by Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, the feature is an all-new adventure based upon the beloved tales of the inquisitive monkey.

Opus is designed to handle animated projects of any size or level of complexity. The PC- and Mac-based tool offers a user-configurable interface and provides artists with digital ink-and-paint capabilities along with an integrated workflow, scene planning capabilities, and sophisticated effects and compositing tools. The application allows for the output of content to film, TV, HDTV and the Web simultaneously.

A number of facilities contributed to the production of Curious George. Here in the US, Warner Bros., Project Firefly, July Films and Fat Cat all participated. In Canada, Yowza Animation and Mercury Filmworks contributed to the film. Asian facilities included: ToonCity, Wang Films and Sunwoo. And in France, Neomis Animation pitched in. All are Toon Boom users.

Matthew O'Callaghan directed the project, which is based on a screenplay by Ken Kaufman. Will Ferrell is the voice of The Man with the Yellow Hat. Dick Van Dyke, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy and Joan Plowright also provide voice talent. Original songs were written and performed by Jack Johnson.

Via: Post magazine

Posted by MovingPicture at 05:28 PM

615 MUSIC earns Emmy nomination for "Today Show" Track

NASHVILLE, TN - 615 Music's ( president/CEO Randy Wachtler was recently nominated for a National Daytime Emmy Award for an NBC track he created. Wachtler's "Live for Today" track was chosen as the theme for a multi-part series on NBC's Today Show and is nominated in the "Outstanding Original Song" category.

Sharing the nomination with Wachtler are co-writers Phil Vassar and Julie Vassar. The team worked closely with NBC's senior VP of marketing/East Coast, Frank Radice, on the idea for the theme.

"Frank came up with a great idea," recalls Wachtler. "Being a musician himself, he has one of the best ears of any producer I've worked with."

In May 2005, the popular NBC morning show produced a series of reports that chose lucky viewers and made it possible for them to realize their dreams. "Live for Today" was the upbeat and inspiring music selected from more than 100 submissions as the theme for the series and subsequently was chosen as the theme for the show.

The song was recorded by Phil Vassar on April 4, 2005 in the 615 Music studios and was unveiled in a live performance on May 2, 2005 by the Arista recording artist on the plaza outside the Today Show's Rockefeller Center studios.

Wachtler has a long history with the Today Show. In 2002, 615 Music developed and produced the theme music for the show's "Only on Today" campaign, and for the last three years, Wachtler has written the lighthearted music to accompany the popular "Where in the World is Matt Lauer?" travel series.

Via: Post Magazine

Posted by MovingPicture at 05:08 PM

MPEG-4 vs. H.264/AVC

mpegforum.jpgIn understanding MPEG-4 vs. H.264/AVC it's important to know that H.264/AVC are also both MPEG-4 as well. MPEG-4 actually consists of 22 Parts, many of which have not been implemented yet. MPEG-4 Part 2 was implemented in real world applications first and because of that, it has become widely known of as MPEG-4. It is most likely that MPEG-4 Part 2 came first because it was the least complex of many video profiles for MPEG-4 and people could start viewing what MPEG-4 content had to offer sooner. This is because MPEG-4 Part 2 doesn't require as much processor speed or memory as that of H.264/AVC because it's decoding algorithms are less complex. Now, let's talk about H.264/AVC.

H.264 and AVC are actually the same thing. They refer to another part of MPEG-4 called MPEG-4 Part 10. So you can take your pick at what you would like to call it. MPEG-4 Part 10 includes Advanced Video Coding and uses higher level profiles than that of MPEG-4 Part 2. This type of decoding is more complex and requires more computer processor speed and memory because it uses more complicated decoding than MPEG-4 Part 10.

Look forward to great things with H.264 as computers get better and memory costs decrease!

Find out more about MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-4 Part 10, AVC, AAC, HE-AAC, MPEG-7, MPEG-21 and other items from the MPEG Industry Forum

Note: Simple Profile and Advanced Simple Profile are included in MPEG-4 Part 2. The least complex to decode being the Simple Profile. AVC Baseline Profile and AVC Main Profiles are found within MPEG-4 Part 10. The least complex to decode being the AVC Baseline Profile.

Posted by MovingPicture at 01:50 PM

Learn Video Streaming and Compression Basics

geniuslogo.jpgYou can learn Video Streaming and Compression Basics in a GeniusDV 1-Day Seminar in Orlando, Florida. Their next class is coming up on March 4. This class shows students how to compress their video to formats such as Windows Media, RealMedia, QuickTime, Flash, and MPEG-4. Learn about things such as 1-pass CBR, 2-pass CBR, 1-Pass VBR and 2-Pass VBR along with other compression essentials. The class takes the confusion out of understanding video streaming and compression and allows the least technical individuals to learn the tools and the process for getting video on the web.

The Video Streaming and Compression Seminar is a great introduction for Video Professionals, Multimedia Developers, Educators, Web Designers and Hobbyist that need to start adding video and audio content on-line.

Preview of the Outline for the Video Streaming and Compression Seminar
View Upcoming Training Dates for Video Streaming and Compression Class

Posted by MovingPicture at 01:47 PM

Avid takes on King Kong

kingkong.gifWhen 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.

"For a project of this scale, no other systems could have done it," says Avid editor Jabez Olssen about the multiple Avid editing and shared-storage systems used to cut director Peter Jackson’s three-hour remake of the 1933 classic. The makers of King Kong called upon all of Avid’s products to get this massive job completed in the time allotted. Working with Academy Award winning editor Jamie Selkirk (Lord of the Rings: Return of the King) on the film, Olssen and a team of more than 10 assistants relied on a massive deployment of Avid gear.

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 09, 2006

Convert Flash to Windows Media on a Mac using Snapz Pro X

If you're looking to convert a Flash embedded .SWF file to Windows Media you won't find many compression tools to help you do it. The best solution I have for this is to use a product called Snapz Pro X which allows you to do screen capture via a movie capture mode. The makers of the product, Ambrosia Software, has a free downloadable trial version on their website that you can take for a test drive.

If you capture your video via Snapz Pro X using movie capture mode you can save to, for example, the MJPEG-A codec and then convert that video to the Windows Media format using QuickTime Pro and Flip4Mac both which are not included in the Snapz Pro X product.


Here are the steps to convert and capture your video:

  1. Download and install the trial version of Snapz Pro X.
  2. Open your Flash video in its player.
  3. Start the capture using Movie Capture.
  4. Start playing your video in your Flash player.
  5. Stop the capture and save to MJPEG-A codec at the High Quality setting.
  6. Open your QuickTime video (with MJPEG-A codec) in QuickTime Pro and convert to Flip4Mac.

Note: If you need the audio for your video, you might have to do some adjustments to work around that. Snapz Pro X doesn't handle both video and audio capture well in most scenarios. A good solution would be to do a video only capture and then do an audio only capture and merge the two files together in QuickTime Pro.

The Snapz Pro X product is worth the buy. In addition to capturing in QuickTime formats it has many other additional features for screen capture of still image and video files.

> Snapz Pro X
> Flip4Mac WMV Studio
> Get QuickTime Pro

Posted by MovingPicture at 02:32 PM

February 07, 2006

RealMedia Video Compression using RealProducer Basic

order_realproducer_basic.gifYou can experiment with with using RealProducer Basic for video compression by downloading the free version of the product from RealNetworks. The RealProducer Basic software allows users to encode videos in RealVideo and RealAudio codecs and is geared for basic level users. There are some limitations using RealProducer Basic but you can encode video for up to three target audiences for Multiple Bit Rate streaming and get your videos on-line nicely. RealProducer Basic is great for those who don't need advanced compression features.

For individuals who need professional level features such as unlimited target audiences for Multiple Bit Rate streaming, Video Cropping, adjustments for Frame Size, Frames Per Second and Frame Rate there's another product called RealProducer Plus which would be perfect for you. It 's a great compression tool with some really nice features and it's reasonably priced.

RealProducer Basic and RealProducer Plus products are available for Linux and Windows platforms.

Here's a list of supported formats:

Uncompressed AVI, uncompressed MOV, uncompressed WAV; any compressed or uncompressed file types supported by DirectShow (e.g. compressed AVI, MPEG1, MPEG2*, MPEG4, AU and AIFF); any compressed or uncompressed file types supported by QuickTime (e.g. compressed QT, MPEG1, MPEG2*, MPEG4, AU and AIFF)

Information Links:
> Download RealProducer Basic for Windows and Linux
> Learn more about Real Producer Plus features and how it can be used for On-Demand Compression and Live Webcasting

Posted by MovingPicture at 03:33 PM

Exporting to QuickTime DV-NTSC, MJPEG-A, MJPEG-B, or PhotoJPEG Prior to Encoding

mjpega.jpgIf 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

Uploading Streaming Video or Audio Files Using Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver works great for authoring web content but it also works well for uploading your streaming video and audio files.

Here's what you need to do to FTP (upload) your streaming files using Dreamweaver:

  1. First create a folder for your streaming videos.

  2. Open Dreamweaver and Choose New Site from the Site pull-down menu.


  3. Once the Site dialog is open select the Local Info category and click on the Advanced Tab and give your Site a name (This can be any name you choose to use for identifying your FTP site).

  4. Next, click on the folder icon under Local Root Folder and navigate to the folder you specified as the folder for your streaming videos.

  5. Now click on the Remote Info category under the Advanced Tab and select FTP for Access. Type in your FTP Host information i.e is an example of what you might type in for an IP address.

  6. Type in your User and Password to the FTP location on your Streaming Server and Select test to check your connection to the Streaming Server.

  7. If you have problems connecting select the check box for Passive FTP.

    If your test goes well click the OK button and then choose Done on the Edit Sites dialog window.

  8. Choose Site files under the Site Pull-down Window and click on the Connect button which looks like two cables connecting. Your computer should connect to the Streaming Server. Lastly, drag your video or audio files from your local folder (on your desktop) to your remote folder (on your Streaming Server) and your done.

Note: The above tutorial is using Dreamweaver MX. Some functions in Dreamweaver 8 are different but many are the same.

Posted by MovingPicture at 03:16 PM

A Fix For Choppiness in DVD Video

Just recently, a question was raised to instructor John Lynn at GeniusDV concerning a DVD made from video captured from a VHS tape by way of a Canopus device. The problem was that when the producer burned the captured material to DVD, their was considerable chopiness and pixel distortion in areas where their were fast movement. Here is the response to the question, which we think you'll find very useful if you have been experiencing the same issue.

'I've recently discovered that when you burn your DVD, make sure you encode your mpg2 file using a progressive frame output. This might fix your problem '

Read more for the steps to follow...

Follow these steps:

Open your Quicktime movie into Apple Compressor.


Export it out of Apple Compressor as an mpg2 file but make sure choose (progressive frame) output.


Then import the mpg2 file into iDVD or DVD Studio Pro.

-- John Lynn

Posted by MovingPicture at 03:04 PM

Using Markers in Adobe After Effects

One of the best and easiest ways to navigate through a project’s timeline in Adobe After Effects is with markers. With markers you can jump to an exact point within your project by pushing a specific number key when using a Comp Marker or mark a certain point on a layer by using a Layer Marker.


Comp Markers
In After Effects you are only allowed to create ten (0-9) comp markers per comp; so use them wisely. To create a comp marker press the shift key plus a number from your keyboard. (Do make a note that pushing the shift key plus a number from the keypad doesn’t work, believe me I tried.)

Layer Markers
Layer markers are a little different. You can have as many of these as you want. To create a layer marker simply select the layer you want to make a marker on and press the asterisk key on the keypad. (Not the keyboard, yeah I tried that one too!) Also you can double click a layer marker and write a comment. This is great when there are multiple users on a project.

To snap to markers hold the shift key while moving the Time Marker to a desired markers.

Posted by MovingPicture at 02:58 PM

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