Import Keyboard Settings Into Premiere Pro CC (UPDATED for CC 2014) - First thing I did when I installed Premiere Pro CC is check my keyboard settings. I hoped Adobe had taken an extra step to automatically import (or enable an import feature) my keyboard settings from CS6. Nope, the lazy programming continues. The following tip from Peter Garaway at CreativeCOW got it working. The above didn’t ...
NLE Software – Different Is Not Better - I recently spent time using Adobe Premiere CS6 to edit a promotional piece. It joins the ranks of Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro 7 in my toolkit. Rather than bore you with all of the things it gave me trouble with (AAF, OMF, XML, EDL, and overall performance) I’ve drawn some conclusions about ...
Import RED Media Into Avid Media Composer Using ALE Files - There are a few ways of importing RED media into the Avid depending on your workflow and if the DIT is providing transcoded media. RED source files contain a lot of metadata which is useful during certain phases of post production. Because AAF and MXF media don’t retain this information once transcoded, an Avid Log ...
DaVinci Resolve Lite For Transcoding Avid MXF Media - A recent projet required the editorial department to transcode dailies using a set-generated LUT for the ARRI Alexa camera. The simplest method to transcode media, apply LUT, and prepare for cutting with Avid Media Composer is using DaVinci Resolve Lite. Grab your free copy from the DaVinci web site. Ensure the latest version is compatible ...
Mistakes To Avoid When Assembling Script Pages - The script supervisor working on your show will deliver pages every day which include the lined script, notes for each page, and other summary information. This is important documentation which the editor will use throughout post-production. There is a method to properly assemble these pages for the editor…you don’t just stuff them into a binder. ...
Conforming Two Sets Of Production Sound - A situation we experienced on Hotel Noir was the use of two four-track field recorders to capture production sound. Ideally, one recorder should be used with enough tracks to handle the required microphone inputs. As we processed dailies in the Avid, we selected a mixed-down audio track for our guide during the offline edit. A ...
Onlining RED With Avid Media Composer - If you’re shooting with RED and don’t need/want a traditional conform to the 4K RAW files, you can follow Oliver Peters’ excellent tutorial found here. He explains best practices for importing RED media for the offline edit and how to re-import and create a high-quality DNxHD 175X output. I’m in the middle of doing this ...
You Are Your NLE - The release of Final Cut Pro X has brought to light a certain distinction amongst picture editors. When Apple removed key features and changed the user interface, they received a wicked backlash. The biggest complaints weren’t with the UI but lack of OMF, XML, and EDL support. Without these it’s impossible to use FCPX in ...
Disabling Dashboard – Time Machine – Spotlight - These tips come courtesy of my assistant editor Monty Bass. We implemented them on our post-production Macs to save a few CPU cycles and remove extraneous application prompting. Disable Dashboard From a Terminal prompt, enter the following commands followed by [Enter]: defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES killall Dock Disable Time Machine Prompts From a ...
A Premiere (And Catharsis) For Bedrooms - One of the films I edited, Bedrooms, had its festival premiere at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival on August 20, 2010. The producers and crew went into overdrive to fill the 450+ seats at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The results paid off with a sold-out theater and Honorable Mention for Best Directing. The film was ...
Announcing South Bay Filmmakers At Meetup.com - Earlier this year (2009) I became organizer of a Meetup.com group. Renaming it South Bay Filmmakers (SBF) and re-launching in June, it has seen consistent membership growth and meeting attendance. If you live in LA’s South Bay region (Manhattan, Redondo, Hermosa Beach and surrounding areas) you know how much of a hassle it is attending ...
iPad used for screening dailies on-set - Last month I attended an event hosted by the LA Post Production Group. Speaking was Michael Cioni from LightIron Digital about file-based workflows (RED, Alexa, DSLR, etc.) and image resolution. What I took away from the presentation is the robustness of REDCODE for both resolution and color space, especially compared to DSLR’s (paltry in comparison) ...
Use with caution: removing clips from Log and Transfer - If you imported media using Final Cut Pro’s Log and Transfer feature and want to remove those items from the window, use the Eject button associated with each clip. Using the Delete option will permanently delete the source media files – not what you want to do.
Who really cares about little local film festivals? - A few months ago I was honored with my first award in filmmaking when the Treasure Coast International Film Festival honored Ije The Journey for Best Editing. Once the excitement subsided I started to wonder the relevance of TCIFF within the realm of film festivals because it doesn’t have the name recognition of Sundance, Slamdance, ...
Moving your Mac Documents folder to Dropbox - Until Dropbox provides a feature to easily redirect your local folders to the cloud-based Dropbox, you need to use symlinks or consider abandoning the default Documents folder on your Mac. Being a purist, I wanted to keep using the entire Documents folder without symlinks for new subfolders I wished to place into Dropbox. This forum ...
Final Cut Studio 3 allows clean installs and loose serial numbers - Last week I purchased the upgrade version of Final Cut Studio 3 for use on a clean installation of OS X 10.6. Before proceeding I was curious to know what limitations would be enforced for the upgrade version. Could I perform a clean installation of FCS3? What sort of serial numbers would my retail upgrade ...
Replacing drives inside a Lacie BigDisk - I've got an old Lacie BigDisk lying around which was rendered useless when the internal Fujitsu drives failed to spin up. This morning I decided to re-populate the Lacie with two Maxtor PATA drives. The drives must be jumpered as Master and Slave. They mounted immediately but only as two distinct volumes, not spanned as ...
Brief guide to Final Cut Pro and Panasonic P2 - Earlier this week I worked with P2 footage from the Panasonic HVX200 camera. This is my first P2 project so I researched the format and workflow with Final Cut Pro version 6. Although we’re distributing for television, the D.P. informed me he was shooting 1080p24. It was during a test import of footage that I ...
Download links for Mac OS X Standalone updates - I’m in the midst of creating different volumes (or partitions if you will) to maintain specific versions of Mac OS X, Final Cut Pro, and Avid Media Composer. Part of the process is following the compatibility version matrix for Media Composer. In my situation, the matrix suggests 10.5.5 and QuickTime 7.5.5 for my copy of ...
Resolving Offline Media empty filenames (“”) - We’ve all had media go offline in our Final Cut Pro 6 projects. This is easily remedied assuming you have the media. What has always confounded me is when FCP is looking for an empty filename called “”. The Reconnect Files window does not allow you to view other metadata to reveal the file in ...
Impromptu performance test of GMax and G-RAID over FireWire 400 - This isn’t the most detailed or controlled test but on a whim I used InTech SpeedTools to benchmark two external drives attached to my MacBook Pro via FireWire 400: OWC/NewerTech Guardian Maximus (DIY kit) and the G-Tech G-RAID. Guardian Maximus (DIY) with 1 TB storage: RAID-1 Two 1 TB Western Digital drives 7200 RPM 32 ...
How to fix a suspended initialization with the Apple RAID card - Taking a break from CalDigit we decided to try the Apple RAID card on Finding Gauguin. Everything was working well until a crash or two (Final Cut Pro and/or faulty system memory) caused a fault with the RAID card. The Apple RAID Utility indicated the drives were OK (green status dots) but the Volumes and ...
Be warned: not all OS X 10.5 install discs are equal - Today I’m wiping our Mac Pro because DVD Studio Pro 4.2 stopped working. Re-installing DSP didn’t correct the problem and FCS Remover was of no help. Google and Apple Support didn’t provide a solution either. I wasn’t sure where the original OS X installation discs were located in the office so I grabbed my personal ...
Two RED features, two Final Cut Pro workflows - I’ve worked on two RED features this year. Bedrooms was shot in January and Finding Gauguin in August, one and two-camera shoots respectively. Both cut on Final Cut Pro. Although neither is through the finishing process the workflow was different for each. In theory the workflows should be identical but technology has a way of ...
32-bit software on 64-bit Windows - This morning I decided to read-up about running 32-bit software in 64-bit versions of Windows (XP, Vista, and 7). This article in the Microsoft KnowledgeBase describes it quite clearly for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The same should apply to Vista and Windows 7. In summary: All 16-bit applications (such as program installers for ...
Set your Mac’s default to Paste and Match Style - The arbitrary results of the Paste (Command V) command are a hassle. You may get text which matches the destination formatting or you might get Rich Text. Many times I need to paste/copy using a plain text editor to get the proper results. Some wise soul discovered you can override the traditional Paste function to ...
Internet Explorer 8 security settings may prohibit opening Access databases - Until a few days ago one of my clients was happily using a Microsoft Access database which resides on a Windows file server. As of yesterday he was unable to open it due to the error: This file is located outside your intranet or on an untrusted site. Microsoft Access will not open the file ...
CoreAudio “not responding” and driver download pages for OS X - I recently solved a problem on my OS X 10.5.7 installation where the coreaudio driver was in a constant “not responding” state and slowing down Final Cut Pro. Aside from rebooting, a permanent solution involved removal of the CoreAudio plug-in from the system (details here). Since I’m not using the Digidesign equipment which uses this ...
Resolve the TempMSysAccess error when compacting Microsoft Access databases - It seems that only rare and obscure software glitches come my way. Attempting to Compact and Repair a Microsoft Access 2002 database I received an error that “TempMSysAccess objects” already exists. In true Microsoft form there was no further explanation if the Compact/Repair operation had aborted-due-to-error or completed-with-warnings. The error refers to an internal table ...
Tape backup – don’t bet your life on it - The final presentation at last night’s Tapeless Workflow seminar at the Editors Guild was a discussion of tape backup. Yes, there were chuckles about the irony of a “tapeless workflow” which still requires tape media. Melrose Mac was touting the merits of LTO-4 tape backup and underscoring its importance for securing production insurance, however I ...
Resolving file type, file creator, and file path problems with Final Cut Pro - A few weeks ago our production’s Mac Pro suffered a RAID5 failure. Fortunately the data was recovered and we began to reinstall the system and core software, namely Final Cut Studio 2 (Final Cut Pro 6.05). As we sorted through our recovered data we noticed a number of problems with Final Cut Pro. Incorrect Type ...
History of (Kodak) motion picture film - Kodak presents a timeline of the stuff we’re phasing out as digital cinema proliferates. Yet, it’s an important reminder to know where the technology has been and the breakthroughs that were made at the time. My favorite: 1930-31: Experimental Kodachrome color motion picture film (2 color) tried by Fox Film Co. Kodak is still at ...
Fixing iTunes authorization for multiple computers - If your Mac gets a new logic board you’ll find that many of your software licenses must be re-applied or re-activated. For example, iTunes wouldn’t recognize my newly repaired MacBook Pro as being authorized. My former authorization was orphaned and iTunes doesn’t allow its removal. Being forced to re-authorize used another one of my five ...
Time code shortcuts in Final Cut Pro’s Viewer - The Viewer monitor has two time code fields: Duration and Playback. I’ve always clicked in those fields to modify them and thought it was tedious considering Final Cut Pro has so many keyboard shortcuts. I discovered a shortcut yesterday. Make the Viewer active. Press [Tab] once to enter the Duration field; press [Tab] a second ...
MediaSilo publishes encoding specifications - The folks at MediaSilo have posted compression specifications for uploading videos to their review and collaboration system. It’s refreshing to see a hosting service offer guidance on this topic rather than the typical catch-all “upload your MOV file and we’ll do the rest” because “we’ll do the rest” typically results in lousy video.
Enable the Tab auto-complete in DOS - Some of the Windows Server 2003 boxes I cross paths with were upgraded from Windows Server 2000. In each case the [Tab] character shortcut for auto-completing a command line didn’t work. Pressing [Tab] simply resulted in a tabbed cursor. Fortunately the [*] character works in a pinch. Typing cd c:doc* brings you into C:Documents and ...
Guardian Maximus 13-month redux - My Guardian Maximus (G-Max as Newer Tech refers to it) has been running strong since I bought it. A couple of Western Digital drives have failed but otherwise the RAID-1 has been solid. A recent drive failure led me to call Newer Tech and ask questions about how the G-Max handles rebuilding after a failure. ...
Dropping subclip suffixes in Final Cut Pro - One of my current film projects was shot on 35mm with sync sound. The dailies were transferred to DVCAM (standard def) and captured into Final Cut Pro via the ALE files provided by the transfer house. Since the footage was transferred in full camera rolls, I decided to subclip the video once it was imported. ...
Locate your Caldigit RAID adapter logs - Part way through shooting “Bedrooms” we had a CalDigit RAID card flake out on us. Fortunately no data was lost but the alarm beep wouldn’t stop. Through Melrose Mac, we got in touch with a tech at Caldigit who had us update software drivers and review settings. Apparently he was baffled about the beep with ...
RED’s 2K in real-time = we need a bigger boat - At the beginning of the shoot for Bedrooms we ran tests to determine if we could use RED’s latest drivers for Final Cut Pro and 2K raw media (R3D). RED’s whitepaper was optimistic and we felt our 8-core Mac Pro with RAID would suffice. Not so. We could not get smooth playback regardless of the ...
How to access Mac’s special characters like © - Day-to-day use of the Mac doesn’t require me to use special characters like ©, ™, and ® but when the need arises I need a reminder how to access them. It’s easy and this Apple Pro Tip shows how to do it.
Syncing dailies in Final Cut Pro - The project I’m working on is recording picture and sound onto separate devices. Actually, reference audio in the form of a mix-down is going to camera’s channel 1, and the actor’s mics are recorded to a four-track wave file. Because the camera audio won’t be used in the final mix we’ve had to sync our ...
Final Cut Pro cannot render video effects in certain ProRes (HD) sequences - During the edit of a 60-second spot using RED footage I used QuickTime proxy files. Although this meant continuous rendering of transitions and effects it was painless. Eventually I needed to conform the proxies to their 1080/24p ProRes 422 counterparts. I didn’t bother with Crimson because there were only about 20-30 cuts. With speed changes ...
How to re-activate Windows XP when it decides to reset itself - Today I was tussling with a client’s computer in an effort to remove malware. During the process Windows XP decided it was no longer activated and during a reboot demanded to be activated or I would be logged off. Windows Product Activation was either hosed and/or the malware prevented me from properly accessing the Internet. ...
Final Cut Pro and General Error 48 - We’ve had numerous issues with our Final Cut Pro 6.02 project. Playback which simply repeats the same frames, media won’t stay connected, edits that magically undo themselves. Some of these are likely bugs while others are related to the six-year old project file and media. In the hopes of righting whatever is wrong, we dumped ...
Keep your drives awake with Disksomnia - The ability of the Mac to put internal and external drives to sleep is excellent to reduce wear and lower power consumption. Unfortunately it’s not convenient while editing when your workflow is paused as drives spin up. I considered writing an AppleScript to automate the on/off of “put hard drives to sleep whenever possible” in ...
Using markers to create subclips in Final Cut Pro - Over the six years our film project has been in post-production a number of hard drives have gone to “bit heaven.” Clips had been logged and organized and once lost they weren’t replaced; instead, portions of a fully rendered QuickTime movie were used as placeholders. Eventually the lost media was recaptured from source tape. One ...
Compressor and QuickTime error -120 - Although some folks complain that Compressor is more trouble than it’s worth, I use it regularly to create self-contained QuickTime files and format conversions. No problems, really, until this evening. Encoding a QT video from the Animation codec to a custom H.264 file resulted in Compressor generating “QuickTime error -120.” My was Mac was recently ...
Data extraction from IMDb - One of my side projects is researching the relationships and work experience between film Directors, Editors, and their Assistants. Unfortunately, IMDb (and IMDb Pro) doesn’t have any reporting or data extraction functions to make this easy – everything is a time consuming and manual process. After much digging on Google I discovered an accurate search ...
Final Cut Pro, keyboards, and reducing the strain - I’m grateful there are so many keyboard shortcuts in Final Cut Pro because moving my hand between the mouse and keyboard is terribly inefficient and slow. Unfortunately, functions I’m using on a regular basis don’t have keys mapped to them making it a hassle to mouse over. Customizing the keyboard is easy and although it’s ...
Idiosyncracies with anamorphic TIFF image export in Final Cut Pro 6 - Our project is shot in DV PAL which has a frame size of 720×576. However, we’re using the footage in anamorphic aspect ratio and discovering that exporting to other formats has interesting side effects. FCP handles the anamorphic aspect ratio as easily as clicking a checkbox. When exporting a QuickTime movie it will always have ...
Shot detection in Final Cut Pro - Final Cut Pro 6 has the ability to batch capture DV footage and separate clips by breaks in the time code. It’s far better to burn consistent time code before using a tape (striping or rewinding a bit) but if you’ve inherited media with inconsistent time code you may not realize how FCP handles certain ...
Adjusting hard disk sleep timers in Mac OS X - I’ve got a plethora of external hard disks attached to my MacBook Pro. One for my personal media files and Time Machine and another two for video editing. At some point the drives go into sleep mode which proves an aggravation in Final Cut Pro because they need to spin up after their slumber. The ...
Final Cut Pro projects won’t open when files are inaccessible - My user account debacle had another side effect. Opening a project in Final Cut Pro produced error “this project is unreadable or may be too new for this version of Final Cut.” A mild panic set in since I was running the latest version of Final Cut. Add to that none of my projects from ...
How to fix a freezing user account in Mac OS X 10.5 - For reasons unknown, my Mac’s user account spiraled out of control. A few moments after login the MacBook Pro’s fan kicked in, mouse pointer became erratic then unresponsive, and the spinning beach ball stayed for good. Only way out of this deadlock was a hard reboot. I only had a few moments to launch Activity ...
Accessing Mac HFS volumes in Windows - Today I found myself staring at a FireWire drive formatted under Mac OS X with not a Mac in sight but an urgent need to extract data from said drive. A bit of Googling revealed HFSExplorer, an excellent piece of software by Erik Larsson which reads Mac formatted volumes under Windows. This is a lightweight ...
Single FireWire bus on MacBook Pro and Mac Pro - From what I’ve been reading at CreativeCOW and elsewhere, the current generation of MacBook Pros and Mac Pros use a single FireWire bus for the 1394a and 1394b ports. Thus, attaching a FW400 and FW800 device simultaneously will cause both to operate at FW400 speeds. Putting this in the context of Final Cut Pro, it’s ...
Survive a power outage and save your edit - Editing with Final Cut Pro on a laptop has a distinct advantage during a power outage. The laptop’s battery kicks in and nothing is compromised. Unless, of course, you’re using an external hard drive. I was capturing footage the other day and pondered the thought of a battery backup system, not for my MBP, but ...
Guardian MAXimus reviewed - For longer than I care to admit, my entire collection of music and photos have lived on a single external hard disk attached to my MacBook Pro. In an effort to make a backup I used Mozy but recently it stopped working and Mozy’s tech support gave up on me. I looked long and hard ...
Final Cut Pro: why do people hate to document? - Coming from the IT world I’m accustomed to writing documentation. Perhaps none of my employers or clients read the documentation but it gives me the peace of mind to know the facts have been recorded for others. I discovered that my leanings toward documentation is a rarity. Most people blame time or budget constraints and ...
Final Cut Pro: keep your files organized - I recently started as an assistant editor on an independent feature. It’s one of those projects five years in the making but in the finishing stage of production: picture lock then onto visual effects and music and sound editing. There’s a teensy problem before we get there… Over time hard drives have crashed without any ...
Recreating Omaha beach with four guys, one camera, software, and a bunch of post-production time - Although sites like YouTube have democratized filmmaking, it doesn’t mean anyone can make good content. All the fancy tools in the world don’t matter if you’re missing creativity and the aptitude of using those tools. This video demonstrates how you can re-create the infamous D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach with a few people, compositing software, ...
From encrypted DVD to Final Cut Pro - An editor-friend of mine asked the best way to extract content from DVD media for use in Final Cut Pro. I didn’t have a full solution at the time but now I do. The required software is readily available (read: free): Mac the Ripper MPEG Streamclip Use Mac the Ripper (MTR) to decrypt the DVD ...
Install Windows MSI files using RunAs and no Registry hacks - The tedium of a Windows user account without Administrator privilege is almost unbearable. Installing software and other updates would require logout/in as Administrator and, while not difficult, is a hassle. Microsoft introduced the RunAs command from the Command Prompt and the graphical user interface to overcome this. Right-click a program, choose Run As…, and enter ...
Final Cut Pro: fixing the white Canvas - I figured I’d get some logging done and discovered that scrubbing through my sequence didn’t play it in the Canvas. Instead, the Canvas was white with a black X in the upper right. The solution seems to be selecting the third pop-up menu and selecting RGB instead of Alpha. I’m guessing Alpha may have been ...
Final Cut Pro: converting MP3 files to AIFF for render-free editing - Apple’s tech support article describes it the best. FCP cannot playback an MP3 file in real-time due to the compression. As a newbie this seems strange since the DV codec requires decompression as well but I guess the assumption is that MP3 files aren’t appropriate for video projects so they didn’t optimize it for RT. ...
PHPlist, Drupal, and magic_quotes - If you’re attempting to run an installation of PHPlist alongside Drupal you’ll find PHPlist complains about settings for magic quotes. I can’t vouch for the completeness of this fix but it gets rid of the errors without breaking anything else. Assuming you installed the lists folder in the root of your Drupal site, you’ll find ...
Final Cut Pro 6: importing Hi8 analog video using FireWire - I was in need of editing some DV footage so I attached my old Sony Digital8 camcorder to my MacBook Pro using the FireWire (iLink) cable. Fortunately my camera will pass analog video through the FireWire port but sans timecode. By default, FCP provides for deck control when capturing footage via FireWire but that ability ...
Final Cut Pro on a laptop with external drives - Final Cut Producer recently posted suggestions for using Final Cut Pro on a laptop using external hard drives for storing media. I thought it was worth saving and throwing back a comment or two. USB hard drives (version 1.x and 2.x) cannot be powered by the USB bus – there isn’t enough power pushed down ...
BlueHarvest automatically removes PITA Mac files from your “not a Mac” - A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away there was Macintosh OS 9. In an effort to make file management easy Apple created a filesystem that used two physical files for each user document. The primary file in the pair was called the “data fork” and contained the actual document contents. The second ...
The Writer is Always Wrong - I’m a regular reader of Tom Calhoun’s blog The Adventurer’s Club which is a self-described “cornucopia of pop culture tidbits.” I’m most fascinated by the posts where action figures are involved but Tom’s posts have moved on. Yesterday’s post got me laughing about “The Five Laws of Show Biz.” The Muppets tell us how it ...
Reviewed: miniStack v2 from Newer Technology - When I ditched my Windows box I lost my centralized location for sharing music and photos with the computersMacs in my house. I was going to convert my PC’s hard drive (250 GB) for use with an external Firewire drive enclosure and share it via my PowerBook but I discovered the old ADS Technology enclosure ...
Quickly delete your exim queue of unwanted messages - On Friday I was greeted with a nice note from my hosting provider that “my CPU utilization had exceed 80% for six hours (a two days).” That was a head-scratcher since nothing is (normally) running on the server to drive up the CPU. After some quick digging what I discovered was akin to a cholesterol-clogged ...
Keyboard confusion for Macs running Windows - Say you’re like me and run two computers: Mac and Windows.  I run them through a KVM switch with a Mac keyboard but maybe you’ve got a shiny new Mac running Boot Camp and Windows XP.  Have you tried using your Mac keyboard under Windows and found the keys just don’t match up?  Here’s an ...