Thursday, May 28, 2009

In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch

Walter Murch. In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing. 2nd Ed. Los Angeles: Silman-James Press, 2001.

The number of movies digitally edited movies grew until it was about equal with the number of films mechanically edited in 1995. The proportion of films digitally edited continued growing after then. The first film digitally edited to win the Oscar for Best Editing was in 1996. Most Oscars for editing since then have gone to films digitally edited.

Editing the film for “Apocalypse Now” took one year. Mixing its sound took another year. 1,250,000 feet, or 230 hours, of film had been shot. This led to a 95 to 1 ratio of film shot to film seen in the movie. Most movies generally have a 20 to 1 ratio of film shot to film seen. The number of cuts per editor per day on “Apocalypse Now” was 1.47.Most films average about eight cuts per editor per day. For every cut made, about 15 others were made, undone, and removed from the film. The time required to make a cut is less than ten seconds. Thus, an editor’s job mostly involves evaluating more than actual editing.

In the US, film editing is said to involve a “cut” whereas Great Britain and Australia call editing that the films are “joined”.

An edited sequence requires the brain to reevaluate a scene from a different context, which is difference from the brain’s normal continuous space-time view. Good editing allows the brain to accept this disruption from its normal perspective. Editing that jumps, or are mentally jarring in its content presentation, can be disturbing to a viewer.

European directors tend to have longer takes. Longer takes, though, increase the odds of something going wrong during the take, thus causing the entire scene to be re-filmed.

How discontinuity is presented when a movie is edited can create an emotional reaction. There is no guarantee the same viewer will have the same reaction as another viewer. Indeed, what may appear as a discontinuity indicating reverence to one may appear to another as comedic.

Editing involves cutting out the bad parts. It requires determining what makes something bad that should not appear in a movie.

There are 24 frames of film per second. When viewing a film determining what gets into a movie and what a final or first frame of a cut should be, the film edit is usually making 24 decisions a second.

Generally, editing strives to achieve three-dimensional continuity. Murch places this goal as the least important of six goals e has for editing. Yet it often is what is taught first in film editing classes.

Murch’s six editing goals are 1.) achieving the desired emotion, 2.) advancing the story, 3.) continuing a proper rhythm, 4.) acknowledging the “eye trace” from the audience’s focus of interest as to location and movement, 5.) achieving two-dimensional plurality, and 6.) respecting three-dimensional continuity.

An editor has to consider how the makers of a film desire an audience to feel and then edits to help create that emotion.

Murch considers the importance of his six goals being achieved as emotion at 51%, story advancement at 23%, “eye trace” at 7%. “three-dimensional” screen plane at 5%, and three-dimensional action space at 4%. If one aspect has to sacrificed in favor of another, the more important factors should be preserved before the lesser important factors. Often, though, all six objectives can be met. Often, emotion, story, and rhythm are interconnected.

Murch advises editors to consider how a movie will look on a screen. It is easy to forget this while viewing it on an editor’s screen. Murch places proportionally correct paper dolls by his screen to remind him that people will be watching this screen size.

An editor has an emotionally more objective view in watching a film than does the director. The director may have had particular emotional feelings (i.e. distress over an actor’s mood) or other particular feelings (i.e. cost or time involved in filming a scene) that biases a director towards or against different shots. An editor needs to avoid unnecessarily considering the conditions of the shot. An editor needs to consider the results of the shoot.

A film editor often has to coax the director’s vision of the film out of the director. Often, it is like a hidden dream that the director has yet to articulate. The editor must challenge the hidden dream with alternative scenarios until the desired vision is revealed.

Often a movie will have several film directors, each with the same authority. This is often due to time considerations. Speed is a trade-off for continuity.

A $25 million movie costs $250,000 a month in interest costs. Two editors working so a movie can be released a month earlier will save about the same amount of money as it costs to pay the editors.

Murch uses photograph still from each scene to help identify a sequence when discussing it with a director. The photos have set-up numbers and frame and series numbers attached to them.

It is important to keep mentally fresh while reviewing numerous possibilities to choose in making cuts in a movie.

The Moviola editing machine started being used in the 1930s. Today, digital editing machines such as Avid and Lightworks are used.

Using a KEM linear system caused greater review of material while searching for other parts of the material. This allows more consideration of options at other decision making points. Murch often found material he initially viewed and thought was unusable that was what was needed, upon later consideration.

Avid and Lightworks have the advantages of being non-linear, like Moviola, while speedily using large amounts of material, like KEM.

Murch recommends looking at material at least twice. He makes initial observations, reviews them with the director’s notes, and reconsiders the material while considering subsequent progress.

To color correct. Murch advises placing the answer point in question over a light box with the correct color temperature and syncing the color. Murch notes this allows seeing tonalities much better.

Murch doesn’t totally trust test card reviews from test audiences. The process skews the responses. The process skews their responses. He notes often a scene that audiences didn’t like is removed with the film. He observes that sometimes a removed scene that audiences didn’t like may have been find but the audience didn’t comprehend how it fit. Instead, he prefers learning their views a few days later.

Murch suggest that film cuts work when they remind people how things suddenly shift in their dreams. We spend a third of our life sleeping and living with dream segments.

A person blinks at the instant the person comprehends a point or where a point is completed or where an idea ends. In film, this is where a cut should occur.

William Stokoe notes that sign language is communicated in a narrative with a varying vision field. It is communicated in a fashion similar to film editing.

Since blinking related to a person’s emotions, blinking rates provide clues to inner thoughts. Murch notes bad actors blink at the wrong time because their thoughts are on matters other than their character’s emotions. Editing should note the film’s pacing which included when a good actor blinks.

Editing should note the reactions of a person hearing the dialogue. Cutting to a reaction shot before a dialogue is complete causes a viewer to consider the worth of what is being said. Keeping a view on a speaker after a dialogue is complete allows a viewer to watch the speaker’s expression and judge the speaker’s truthfulness. Cuts an be made to free a viewer to observe and consider something else. The choice of where to cut should be one that follows the film’s story.

People usually blink from 4 to 40 times a minute. Similarly, an action scene may average about 25 cuts a minute while a casual dialogue scene may average six cuts a minute.

Murch recommends watching how an audience blinks while watching a film. Blinking in unison shows they are thinking in union along with the film. Scattered blinking shows the audience has lost interest.

Good editing gives a movie a proper pacing that allows an audience to feel they are vested in the story.

Early editing, until around 1925, involved a rewind bench, viewing film with a magnifying glass, and editing by cutting with scissors and putting film together with paper clips. The film would later be cemented together by another person, a technician. Editors knew then that the length from one’s nose to the end of an outstretched hand represented the length of about three seconds in a movie. The majority of editors then were women.

The Moviola was initially considered as too expensive. Plus, it’s main advantage that it could examine frames individually was not widely viewed as that important. The addition of sound to film suddenly made Moviolas essential to most editors. Other brands of editing machines included the Steenbeck and the KEM (German manufactured), the Prevost (Italian manufactured), and the Moritone (French manufactured). This type of editing dominated until the end of the 20th century. Electronic editing on computers became popular in the 1990s. Now, almost all films are edited on computers.

Avid is the most popular editing system. Final Cut Pro works only on Macs and Lightworks works only on Windows. All three systems create a unique address for every digitized frame in a film. Each system creates an edit decision list and makes the film compatible for use in either theatrical or conventional projection.

Steven Spielberg, David Lynch, and Alan Parker choose Moviola over computerized editing. Spielberg bought 12 Moviolas plus spare parts and has trained technician to repair them.

If n is the number of shows for a scene, and c is the minimum number of differing manners a scene can be assembled, with e being a constant number 2.71828…, then c+(e x n!) – 1. Thus, a scene of 25 shots can be edited in 4 followed by 25 zeros minus one ways. This is how many choices confront a film editor.

Computerized editing, as opposed to mechanical editing, is quicker, less costly, requires less workers, allows better access to material, allows better reviewing of material (which is important to directors), keeps previous editing decisions in case one wishes to review a prior edit, handles the film much better (machines can scratch, burn, and tear film), is physically easier to cut film, and is easier to include special effects.

Murch notes having too much access to film can be a problem for an editor if an editor hasn’t yet decided what to do with so much film. It is good to move quickly through film yet one should know where one is going.

A problem of film editing is the difficulty in seeing details while viewing a smaller image compared to what is seen on the screen.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

To Space and Back by Mark Goddard

Mark Goddard. To Space and Back. New York: iUniverse, Inc., 2008.

The author was born Charles Havey Goddard in 1936. This autobiography present a self-described life that has been “almost” good which failed to achieve a better status due to quitting, including abandoning an acting career, marriage, and his Catholic religion. Yet he brought his life around and is now a college graduate who is happily teaching students.

Goddard joined the Dramatic Society during his junior year at Holy Cross College. He decided to spend a year seeing if he could have an acting career. He entered the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1957.

Goddard wanted to follow in the footsteps of his idol, James Dean. He stayed in the same hotel and went to the same barber as did James Dean. He even met Dean’s agent, who explained that every actor must create a unique career. Goddard stopped trying to be James Dean and started becoming himself.

Goddard found a job as a summer stock theatre apprentice in Sarasota. He worked on lighting and set construction as well as acting. He later got a job with a summer stock theater in Massachusetts, yet he felt he had had few good acting opportunities. He turned to alcohol to relieve his frustration.

Goddard traveled to Hollywood and use connections he had made previously in life to find an agent and obtain work on the TV series “The Rifleman”. Since the show starred Chuck Connors, and the author then went by the name Chuck Goddard, and since both were represented by the William Morris Agency who didn’t like the similarity of the names, Goddard changed his acting name to Mark Goddard.

During early filming, he lied about being a good horseman, which became evident during filming when he couldn’t get the horse to behave as did the other riders.

Aaron Spelling liked his work and invited him to test for a TV series he was created, “Johnny Ringo”. During his audition, he attempted an over the shoulder gun catch trick that failed and instead splattered a coffee cup. Still, he got the roll. Yet, he was then drafted into the Army. This blow to his acting career led him towards depression. He was hospitalized in a military section 8 hospital. Although he admits his conditions for hospitalization were part real and part acting, he was given an honorable general discharge. He was then able to return to be on “Johnny Ringo”.

A voice specialist taught Goddard to use a more general American accent and to drop his Boston accent. He also learned to ride a horse.

Goddard befriended the producer Aaron Spelling. They spent weekends together. The studio publicity staff arranged for Goddard to go on dates for publicity’s sake. He was photographed out with Connie Stevens and Sandra Dee. During a publicity tour, he was arrested in Boston, for real, when he went out in public in costume with his gun, which led to front page publicity when the network hadn’t planned.

Goddard next performed on a TV series “The Dectective”. He feared for his future when it was cancelled. Yet, his next show, “Lost in Space” brought him much fame. He first turned down the role as he wasn’t a fan of science fiction. He assumed filming the pilot would be a one time job. The pilot took 21 days to film and enjoyed the work, Yet, he didn’t want to be in the series when CBS bought it. Yet, as he learned in life, one should make the best of things and make them work as well as possible.

Guy Williams and June Lockhart were signed to be the stars of the series. CBS and the producer Irwin Allen thought a series about a family in space needed more conflict. Jonathan Harris was brought on as a villain trouble maker. This created some resentment from the stars who felt they were suddenly upstaged by an added character.

“Lost in Space: aired from 1956 to 1968, An episode where characters turned into vegetables was listed by “TV Guide” as one of the 100 most memorable shows ever. Goddard feared having appeared on the series would finish his acting career. He appeared on a few shows in guest appearances, but that wasn’t enough for him. He took on a job working for a loan shark for awhile. His acting career was revived when he receive a role on the soap opera “One Life to Live”.

Goddard experienced the pressure of live television while being on “One Life to Live”. He felt “the sweats”, which is an actor’s term for perspiring in fear of making a mistake. He dealt with acting with about 20 pages of dialogue a day, five days a week. He admits his hands shook. Yet, he knew his acting in a villainous role was resonating when people in public began assuming he was that character. He was berated on the street and a waitress refused to serve him.

Once, Goddard and some of the actors got tipsy ordering drinks before a shoot. They did fine except for one actor inverted a line “hold your horses, don’t be jumping to conclusions” which instead came out “hold your conclusions, don’t be jumping on your horses.”

Goddard spent two years on “General Hospital”. He then reevaluated his life. He was divorced with no girlfriend, his children were drown and had left home, and he had saved no money. He decided to return to college. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bridgewater State College. He now teachers school in Massachusetts.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Avid Handbook by Greg Staten and Steve Bayes

Greg Stanten and Steve Bayes. The Avid Handbook. 5th Ed. Boston: Focal Press, 2009.

The most recent major change in editing is that editors work often with both high definition and standard film. DNA and DX based hardware is gaining prominence with Avid Broadcast while Video Board and Meridien are decreasing in use.

Media Composer, which used to cost $100,000 16 years ago, now is available as software for $2,495.

Greg Staten recommends Media Composer for its extensive trim toolset.

The authors state a quote that best describes the film editing process is Ray Bradbury’s advice to “throw up in the morning, clean up in the afternoon”. In editing, throw all that is needed into a timeline. Then work from there.

There are two general ways to edit. One is to place a clip into the source monitor, designate marks, select edit locations, and add wanted material to the timeline. Another method is to choose clip(s) from a bin and then drag them where one wants them placed. The authors recommend learning both methods.

An edit point can be found by hitting Play on the Source Monitor, or by moving the position indicator left or right. Freeze frame step keys can move by 1 or 10 frames, either forwards or backwards. Or, the position indicator can be moved and the picture viewed by using the Digital Audio Scrub, hold the Caps Locks key until Digital Audio Scrub is activated, and keep the Shift key depressed to keep it activated. This allows for hearing the sound. The authors recommend using the Shift key rather than the Cap Locks key.

Three keys (often J,K, and L or sometimes D,F, and G) can be designated as Play, Pause, and Forward keys. Pressing the keys additional times increase the speed. These keys are good for finding unwanted sounds.Time codes come in Media Composer. To create a time code onto a clip in an activated source monitor, type and enter a time code using the Fn key. Semicolons don’t have to be typed. Be certain the display indicates the time code. By choosing a video or clip, the information display should show the time code, key number, ink number, etc. Use TC1 in menu to change any of this information.

To search the time code in clips in a bin, open the bin with a Start or an End time code column, and select Bin > Custom Sift which will open the Sift dialogue, enter the entire desired time code, and use Apply or OK for the sift.

Composer provides a Center Duration which indicates the duration of the active monitor. It also shows the In and Out length, length from the mark to the position indicator, and the length from the position indicator to the end.

Media Composer added versions through version 12.0 whereupon it went to Media Composer Adrenaline 1.0. In 2008, Media Composer 3.0 and Symphony 3.0 were available.

In and Out makrs can be made in either the Source or the Record monitor.

Make two Outs and make one In when using Outpoint as the sync references.

Lightworks digital film editing and Media Composer allows for indicating an Out by parking onto a desired frame.

In and Out marks can be dragged to new locations using the Alt/Option key.

A phantom mark can be made prior to deciding whether to make a mark. This can be an inconvenience later if real and phantom marks are confused.

After marking an In, Go to Out goes to the last frame. After marking an Out, Go to In goes to the first frame. Play to Out plays from In to the last frame edited. Play In or Out plays either from the In to the mark or from the mark to the Out. If there are no marks, the position indicator is used as the In location.

In and Out can be moved by a specific frame count or using + at the appropriate side of the offset number, and then Enter. Add one frame to the desired count mark. Use lowercase f to move by frames. Use digits to move by time.

By using the numeric keyboard’s Enter key, Media Composer will move to the saved frame offset placed previously using the numeric keypad.

Using the Alt/Option key with the Mark In to Out will mark the shortest duration of all tracks.

Ctl/Command and mouse click snaps to the closest head edit. Ctl + Alt/Command and Option and mouse click snaps to the closest end edit.

The FF fast forwards and the RCW key rewinds to edits.

Splice and Overwrite can replace existing footage.

Sync Point Overwrite is accomplished in Edit, then use Special > Sync Point Editing, right click Composer monitor, and select Sync Point Editing. Another method is to mark the duration sought in either the Source or Record monitor, select the appropriate sync point for the edits, and use Overwrite.

The Replace edit replaces a segment with another. If the previous and the new sound have different lengths, the tail will have to be trimmed. Replace edit maintains the previously placed split.

A clip loads into a popup monitor by double clicking the clip while using the Alt/Option key.

Clips can be moved from a bin to the time line at a desired location and edited. To Overwrite, instead of Splice Editing, choose Lift/Overwrite. To return to Splice, either turn Lift/Overwrite to off or choose Extract/Splice.

Drag and drop editing requires clicking the mouse prior to adding a modifier and holding the modifier down until releasing the mouse.

3.0 allows for dragging a video-only clip or an audio-only clip onto the Timeline. Previous versions do not allow this.

Several clips can be dragged into the Timeline. They will appear in the same order as they are in the bin.

An In and Out can be marked in a bin by using the I or C key for the IN or the O or R for the Out.

Segments can be lassoed. Segments may be moved either horizontally and/or vertically through tracks in 3.0. Prior to 3.0, only contiguous segments could be moved on a single track and contiguous segment groups could be moved horizontally, except audio segments which moved vertically. Not that empty space filler moves within a moved segment.

Extract and Lift can be used to remove material.

Top is the same as Mark Clip, Mark out, and Extract. Tail is the same as Mark Clip, Mark In, and Extract. Top and Tail are on Command Palette’s Edit tab.

To Zoon in or out on a Timeline, use Ctl/Command +1.

To jump around a Timeline, the Focus H key creates a toggle. To Jump In, use Ctl/Command + M and lasso a desired location. To Jump Back, use Ctl/Command + J.

To Trim, show the position indicator where editing, use the Trim mode button, lasso around the edit point (but do not lasso an entire shot as another mode will be activated), click the Timecode, and select Edit Review.

To add or remove from a track is to switch between A-side, B-side, and both sides trim. This can be done with using two monitors, using Trim Side buttons, or using Cycle Trim buttons.

A keyboard can be customized to have different keys perform commands assigned to them.

Audio can be on or off using the audio track key.

It is possible to put custom columns with entered data in a bin.

To sift through clips, use Bin > Custom Sift. Use Bin > Show > Unsiften to see a bin’s captured entire contents.

It is recommended that one only has functions that are needed on display.

It is possible to create a custom view for both the entire interface and for the timeline.

A workspace can be created. Find what you are often using and add it to a workspace. Create settings, name them, and link preset tools to the created link. To link a setting to a workspace, create a timeline just for this use, name and save it, open the desired tools, duplicate a workspace in the use setting windows with Ctrl/Command + D, select Activate Setting Linked by Name and Manually Update This Workspace, click Save Workspace Now, click the empty space, open both the keyboard setting and the Command Palette, grab the button in the Move tab, and put it as desired.

It is recommended to back up work and to do so to different disks. Saving to a FireWire or USB drive is also recommended.

An Avid system should use an uninterruptable power source. The authors recommend using a third move volt – amps than what the manufacturer recommends.

Use MXF if working with high definition film.

It is recommended to keep at least 5% or probably closer to 10% of a partition empty in case media file corruption occurs from the file becoming too large.

Consolidate to move media from several into one drive and to get rid of unwanted material.

Media is consolidated by selecting the drive(s), determining handle length, and unchecking “skip media files already on the target drive”. Use “delete original media files when done” to delete original media.

Master clips can be consolidated for convenience. Avoid overfilling a partition.

To Consolidate master clips, select the drive(s), select “skip media files already on the target drive” and select “relink selected clips to target drive before skipping”. An editor usually will not delete original media at this point. Use Consolidate fix mix Captive mistakes.

It is recommended to makr which media is used within the columns one has customized.

To determine if a shot has been used, use Find Media Relatives by opening the Media Tool, show projects, open the relevant sequence bins, put desired sequences into one bin, choose all sequences and select “Find Media Relatives” in the sequence bin, select Reverse Selection in the Media Tool, highlight unused media, and then Delete.

The video signal that shows a picture is called the active picture or active region. The synchronized area of lines aligned by an electron gun is called the horizontal blanking region. Synchronization voltage aligns video line’s timing. Blanking voltage is used in the blanking region.

Blanking is 0 volts in NTSC and PAC. Video white is 714 millivoters (mV) in NTSC and 700 mV in PAL. A sync pulse is -286 mV in NTSC and -300 mV in PAL. From sync to peak point, there is a 1 volt range to the entire signal.

Color is captured non-linearly or on a gamma response curve, or gamma, due to greater sensitivity of changes in darker area than lighter areas. Thus a signed must be gamma-corrected.

The luna signal combines red, green, and blue signals to create the correct colors.

Composite video is the analog video that is broadcast. It is easier to see fine detail in changing brightness than fine detail in changing colors.

Encoded color in NTSC is a carrier wave frequency of 3.58 MHz and in PAL a carrier wave frequency of 4.48 MHz. The encoded signal is called chroma.

The mostly low frequency luma and the high frequency chroma signals must be brought together into a peak composite amplitude at 131 IRE for NTSC or 1000 mV for PAL. Maximum chroma is 75% of the allowable peak at a peak composition amplitude of 100 IRE for NTSC or 700 mV for PAL.

American black and white TV film runs at 30 frames per second (fps) to match the 60 Hz of alternating current. European black and white TV film runs at 25 fps due to 50 Hz of alternating current. Adding color changed the dot patterns and required a slower rate of 29.97 fps in the U.S. European PAL format developed corrected this problem and kept the European rate at 25 fps.

S-video keeps luma and chroma as separate signals instead of combining them.

The change of camera images into voltage to produce a video signal is called sampling. The sampling rate must be enough to avoid aliasing, which are errors that reduce detail.

Avid handles the differences between 625 line DV and 525 line video. Yet Quick Time movies can present difficulties.

HD broadcasting uses a tri-level sync that eliminates the DC component.

Progressive video can be stored into two fields using Progressive Segmented Frame in digital tapes. It can also be stored as Progressive frame as one unit on Avid.

Avid can match SD and HD materials with the same frame rate. Avid media Composer can use HDV, DVCP Ro HD, and XOCAN. HD/EX Nitris hardware, though will not work. Mojo Dx and Nitris DX hardware can handle all these. Adrenaline DN xcel HD hardware supports HDV at 1440 width, XDCAM HD and XDCAM EX,

Avid permits exporting and important at either 601/709 levels for using frame(s) to subtly change any reimported video using superblack and at 2GB levels (when making significant changes and then reimporting) or exporting a frame to the Web.

Avid can handle straight alpha animation but not animation using premultiplied alphas. Avid Symphony Nitris can import animation as well as video that is in a sequential file format and can store each frame as a separate file.

File field order permits indicating the field ordering of a file to be imported.

Many editors find they often use the same setting when exporting so they create templates that save their desired settings.

OMFI metadata can be exported using embedded media in Avid.

Exporting a film to Quick Time should use the Sorenson Squeeze.

The Avid compressor/decompressor codec is a .qtx file that can create a Quick Time formatted film.

Field rendering of complicated video will preserve details and show smoother motions. When moving audio to a Digidesign Pro Tools, the quicker but less flexible option is to put the audio media files into a composition lyly OMFI file. Another slower but more flexible option is to put it into an audio-only OMFI file.

The authors recommend being creative in real time and then improving quality by rendering. The editor and client should view options and make quick revisions.

Avid Media Composer 3.0 has a multithread Avid Component Processing Library (ACPL) that can process effects on both CPU and GPU as well as decompress video streams in order to add effects onto one core. It may be possible to apply five real time HD effects or ten SD effects. When recreating effects, note the top track’s material receives priority.

Things usually look better visually when fewer layers are used. Usually rendering is done only on non-real time effect tracks.

Modifying the Export Render in Expert Render allows viewing and choosing effects to select and deselect them.

Using Spline readjusts movement into the smoothest path.

Bezier is a Spline that can be adjusted symmetrically, asymmetrically, or independently. Alt/Option changes the adjustment.

3.0 permits keyframes to be copied and posted within set parameters as well as over several parameters at the same time. Use Shift to choose the keyframes. Ctrl/Command copies them. Find the desired location for pasting and use the Ctl/Command + U to paste there.

3.0 has a Remove Redundant Effects command that removes unnecessary keyframes by finding those that don’t change the parameter’s value.

Timewarps are done using the Effects Palette.

It is recommended to use the Film with 3:2 Pulldown in Formats when viewing 24 fps film that was moved from 29.97 fps film. It is noted the motion in the film may look jerky.

When using Duplicated Fields and the motion is as desired, use the Remove the 3:2 Pulldown on Format and select a motion type with a higher quality.

Interpolated fields can make motion appear smoother, yet it will appear softer and it is slower to render. Interpolated fields is usually better to use than VTR-Style, which is more jittery even though the picture may appear sharper and the motion smoother. If images appear to jerk, one can use a Blended Interpolated and Blender VTR.

Fluid Motion has the sharpest and smoothest view. Stray pixels can be corrected by drawing around them, frame by frame, and using an eyedropper and painting tool.

Timewarp Freeze Frames allow for producing freeze fames. This does not allow for making any changes. A Timewarp Freeze Frame is created by choosing the frame desired to be frozen from the Timeline (which may require turning off higher track(s)), Mark Clip this Frame, from the Source Monitor use Match Frame to add the motion effect, load the frame’s source flip using Match Frame, the source clip is overridden on top of the freeze frame (which may need to be trimmed to the wanted length), use Timewarp on the edited clip, open the Motion Effect Editor, then Enter, use Blended Interpolated if needed, open Speed graph, place 0 for the active keyframe’s speed and on the Motion Effect Editor, and trim if needed.

To change a frame after the Timewarp Freeze Frame has frozen it, Enter the Timewarp Freeze Frame, open Motion Effect Editor, open the Speed graph, put 100 for the active keyframe motion, put the position indicator on the desired frame, add a keyframe, place the new keyframe using the Anchor button, delete the effect’s first keyframe, select a new keyframe, and make its’ speed as 0.

A template can be placed onto a single parameter.

A template can be saved with only the video segment effects by dragging the effect template while holding the Alt/Option into a bin. This effect with Source can be edited into a sequence. A template with no source, created by holding Alt/Option while saving it, cannot be used to provide a similar title move to another title.

Add Edits can split a section to allow an effect to be manipulated with keyframes. They cannot be recombined with a dissolve. This is often done for a color correction.

Nesting places vide tracks inside an effect.

Auto-Nesting is done by selecting the desired clip in a Timeline using a segment arrow and from the Effect Palette double-clicking Alt/Option. Another method is to select several clips using the segment arrow, from the Effect Palette double click Alt/Option, the effect applies itself to al clips, and adjusting the effect makes the same changes to all the clips.

An effect segment can be nested into one effect with vertical layers. To uncollapse an effect segment, go into the collapsed effect, mark an In and Out to the desired segment, turn off the video tracks except for an empty V1, select Copy to Clipboard, and paste the clipboard contents into Source. A layered segment can be a subsequence by selecting Alt/Option from Media Composer or Symphony and Pasting to Source. Place the sequence on top of the collapsed effect, Timeline, or dragging it to a bin. Another method is to create as many new video tracks as there are in the collapsed effect, show all tracks by using segment arrows to double click the nest in Timeline, and use the red selection arrow with Control (Windows) or Command (Mac) to drag the segments into the empty tracks.

A Video Mixdown, created from the Special menu, has no timecode and is used for finishing or for something to be reused, such as an opening to a regular program.

Chroma allows background control. A chosen color can be keyed out. This works on a component tape format and will work on DV or HDV.

The Spectra Matta key creates fine details such as smoke and glass, spill suppression, and matte manipulation parameters.

The 3D Warp Chroma key creates a 3D manipulation of what is keyed.

The RGB Keyer key color corrects.

The Spectra Matte Keyer has a bypass to toggle an effect on and off. An eyedropper can be used to test colors. Matte Analysis shows the alpha channel, the Spectra Graph, and the Spectra Graph Brightness. Chroma Control can tweak Tolerance (range of hues), Key Sat Line (beginning saturation), Key Saturatoin (saturation when keying begins), Inner Softness (Keyed region falloff), Outer Softness, Alpha Offset, and Opacity.

Luma Contain can tweak luminance, transparencies, and suppress shadows.

Spill removes pixels from a designated range.

DVE Controls are used to scale, position, or crop a set of 20 DVE parameters. This is the same as the PIP effect.

The Spectra Matte Keyer can be set to specific key values by using Bypass, using the Eyedropper to pick a color from the Color Preview box, close Bypass, Open Spectra Graph, open Key Color parameter group, and increase Tolerance.

The matter can be adjusted by disabling the Spectra Graph parameter, opening Show Alpha, make alpha channel a key Sat Line and/or Softness adjustments, disable Show Alpha, and as needed, tweak.

The foreground spill can be suppressed by opening the Spill parameters (which may require disabling Show Alpha and Spectra Graph), if Spill Saturation needs to be increased use the Key Saturation parameter, increase the Spill Angle Offset to remove the spill, and check for quality.

To add a blur to the Matte edge, one way is to use Erode, which blurs the matte’s inside edge. This is done by opening Matte Processing, make certain Erode is selected on the Blur menu, increase the Matte Blue parameters (which often is a slight increase), Render the effect, and check.

Painting on a frame can be done with Paint and AniMatte. Keyframes can be used to change the paint effects in subsequent frames. This is good for short projects. DS Nitris finishing is better for longer projects.

Titles can be created on DSK or Meridien.

Marque allows for 3D type graphic manipulation using texture, light sources, and extended type.

When preparing for online use, the authors recommend using uncompressed media of standard definition (SD) finishing. Almost all the time for online, use 48 kHz audio samples at 16 bits per sample.

A source summary, or list of every type-based source, can be found by typing “dumpsourcesummary” in Console. Settings need to be captured for Timecode. Control Track, and Batch Tab Standard Timecode is the quickest capture method of something that was online. To capture batch tab settings, use optimize for batch speed and use switch o emptiest drive when the current drive is full.

When accessing deck settings, preroll sets a default which usually is for five seconds, although one second lock occurs with Song DVW-A500, Sony HDV-F500, Sony HDW-2000, and Panasonic AJ-HD3700. Fast cue switches to FF/REW. Offline editing usually uses Duplicate Field rendering. A third high quality third monitor is needed to see the reference video from online material.

To delete offline video media and keep the audio offline medial, create a new bin Purge Offline Media, copy the offline Sequence into the bin, active a new bin, choose Bin > Set Bin Display, choose Rendered Effects in the upper section, and Show Reference Clips in the lower section, deselect Sources; Groups in the upper section and “show clips created by user” in the lower section, hit OK, use Ctl + A, hit Delete, select “delete associated media file(s): in the upper section, deselect Audio and any online resolutios in the lower section, and hit OK.

To delete unrelated video and audio files, choose Tools > Media Tool in the Media Tool Display, choose the online media digitized drive and any other original clip projects and the current project, hit OK, choose Purge Offline Media bin, hit Ctl + A, choose Bin > Select Media Relation, select Reverse Selection from the Medial Tool Fast, hit Deselect, choose checkboxes for the desired video, audio, and precomposite tracks, and select OK.

To keep available the offline edit, more free space can be generated by clearing excess media through Media Relatives by choosing Tools > Media Tool in Media Tool Display, select the offline’s digitized media drive master clips, precompute clips, and sometimes other projects from which clips originate, choose OK, choose the final offline version(s), select Bin > Select Media Relatives, select Reverse Selection from Media Tool Fast menu, hit Delete, select checkboxes for available video, audio, or precompute tracks and hit OK.

To create additional storage space by consolidating the sequence, choose the final offline sequence, select Clip > Consolidate/Transcode, choose “delete original media files when done”, deselect “skip media files already on target drive”, use Video Target Drives to choose a target disk, select a handle length, and select Consolidate.

To prepare to capture by using the online project, copy the bin with the final offline sequence into the final project, use Avid Symphony Nitris, open the offline project, and create three bins for Offline MOS, Recomposed clips, and Offline final.

To create a video-only version of the sequence, open the offline bin and the MOS bin, duplicate the offline sequence and put the duplicate in the offline MOS bin, close the original sequence’s bin, rename the duplicated sequence, load this sequence into the Record monitor, choose all audio tracks, deselect all video tracks, and hit Delete to remove the audio.

To decompose the MOS version, choose the duplicated sequence in the bin, select Clip > Decompose, deselect “offline media only”, choose “captured clips only”, deselect “all clips in a group edit” where available, choose a handle length (usually five to ten frames), deselect “Extend handle, beyond Master Clip edges”, hit OK, and after a dialog box appears, hit OK.

If desired, decomposed clips can be modified clips by choosing all new clips that emerged from decomposing, select Clip > Modify, select “set tracks”, enable the correct audio tracks (often A1 and A2), and hit OK.

If it is desired to flag that different clips have the same tape name, load the decomposed sequence into the Record monitor, use dumpsourcesummary to srot tape names, when finding duplicate names highlight the bin with the decomposed sequences, choose Bin > Heading, press All/None twice, select both Tape and Project columns, save this as Tape/Project while holding the Shift key, choose the Tape column heading and the Project column heading, press Ctr/Command + E, search and flag duplicate tape names.

The source ownership of clips can be assigned with the Modify command, or more quickly by opening the Decomposed Clips bin, move all the decomposed clips in the Online MOS bin, and move them to the Decomposed Clips bin, display the Start, End, Tracks, and Tape headings, save this as ALE, choose all the bin’s clips, select File > Export, open the Export setting, select Avid Log Exchange, choose Save As and nae it ALE Export, save the exported file to drive, close the Decomposed Clips bin, choose the ALE bin view, select File > Export, choose the newly create ALE file, and hit OK.

To load the sequence to new clips, choose the Online MOS bin, use Ctl + A, choose Clip > Relink, select “relink all nonmaster clips to select online items”, and “allow relinking to offline items” and deselect “create new sequences”.

If you wish to calculate the space required for a recapture, choose all the clips in the Online Mos bin, make sure the sequence is not chosen, press Ctl + 1, which shows the duration of the compressed clips, round up this number to the nearest minute, and check this against a Resolution Storage Requirements table. (The book has one on p. 244).

To recapture a batch, choose a Timecode (usually standard)choose the optimal batch speed on the Batch tab, set an appropriate value to the preroll, set to the correct format of media format and resolution, confirm the media and video resolutions are appropriate, confirm connecting program delivery requirement rates, confirm the media format is appropriate, and insert the source. New clips can be digitized by selecting either Tools > Capture or Bins > Go to Capture Mode, choose all clips to be captured, and then select Clip > Batch Capture. If this does not capture all the clips, choose Capture Tool, press Ctl + =, choose the General tab, change the Preroll method to Standard Control Track, hit OK, choose the uncaptured clips, and select Clip > Batch Capture.

Use the Time Base Correction control to capture from an analog source. After a vide has been recaptured, the audio will need to be reintegrated into the sequence. If the mix was delivered as a file or on tape, capture on import the audio mix, duplicate the MOS sequence to put the duplicate into the Online Final bin, rename the Online Final, load the final sequence into the Record monitor and the audio mix to the Source monitor, sync the sequence and audio timecode, place an In and Out to remove extraneous material, and place the audio into a final MOS sequence.

If the mix was delivered as an audio media collection, duplicate the MOS sequence and place a duplicate in the Online Final bin, rename the Online Final sequence, load the final sequence into the Record monitor, open the Offline Version bin, load the offline sequence into the Source monitor, choose Clip Color > Offline from Timeline, press Toggle Source/Record, confirm no audio media are offline, choose Clip > Relink, choose “relink offline nonmaster clip to any offline items” and deselect “relink only to media from the current project”, choose “All Available Drive”, and hit OK, park at both sequences’ heads, deselect all online video tracks, select all offline audio tracks in the Source monitor, and overwrite the audio into the offline sequence.

To relink to an alternate version, choose the alternate version sequence(s) in the bin, choose Bin > Relink, choose “relink offline nonmaster clips to any online items”, from Relink Method choose Specific Resolution, choose from Relink option “is equal to”, choose the resolution as captured, choose “unlink lower-quality media”, hit OK, choose Clip > Decompose, choose “offline media only and digitized clips” and hit OK.

To change a sequence’s format used when the current project format is not compatible with the sequence’s frame rate, create and open a project in the final online format, copy a bin with the desired sequence, open the bin, choose the sequence in the bin, select Clip > Modify, select Set Format, select the wanted format from Format, and hit OK.

SD can be conformed to HD in Media Compose. Create the online project, copy the offline sequence bin, confirm the project format, decompose the offline sequence, and follow the conversion procedures. Differing types of online and offline conformities will have different procedures.

Using the Color Correction Tool to make desired color changes and then use Alt/Option saves the correct version in a bucket. A bucket’s correction can be resued by dragged the bucket to a bin.

Audio problems can be checked by examining audio meters, then sample rate, and cabling.

The SSCI ID must be unique to a chain.

Systems Restore in Windows XP stores system configurations.

Corrupted or missing files may require Avid software to be reinstalled.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Avid Editing by Sam Kauffman

Sam Kauffman. Avid Editing. (Fourth Edition). Boston: Focal Press, 2009.

A film editor should work with the script alongside of what needs to be edited.

Files needed for editing can be moved from a DVD onto a computer.

There are different opinions as to what editors do. Some see them there to remove footage that makes a film drag, some see editors as following the dictates of the director and editing together all the best takes, and others see it as a creative mission in its own right.

Editors often need to consider which takes are filmed in the best photogenic manner as well as to what the proper pacing of a film should be.

Computer-based non-linear editing systems, including the Avid, began being used in the 1990s and are the most frequently used system today. Prior to this, analog editing machines were used the most.

Editing can be done using a computer keyboard. White it is easy to use, it has numerous abilities. Avid has 1,500 pages of instructions. Avid allows editing of sound, music, and titles onto visual film.

Avid, unlike Final Cut, can operate on PCs, MACs, laptops, and workstations.

To load Avid, enter the disc, double click the DBD, open README.pdg, and make certain the computer can handle the downloading. Then open Other Installers, hit to load EDL Manager. 4 GB of system memory must be on the computer as well as Fire Wire or iLink, and captive boards with video and audio format 160 GB of drive will be required, Storing on an external Fire Wire is recommended.

A dongle must be inserted into a USB port to use Avid. A good speaker system is essential.

A client monitor, used to view digital video footage, allows the view to be altered. This cost from $1,500, which can get a good monitor, to $25,000.

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or at least a surge protector should be placed into a computer for back-up should electricity fail.

External interfaces, such as Nitris CX and Mojo DX allow a captive to use a camera’s signals. This is good if editing needs to be done with a camera must be elsewhere.

Videotape is time coded, with about 30 frames per second.

Editing is done from a shot, or master clip.

Different folders, which can be film, audio, etc. are put into bins. Scenes cut together form a sequence. Cuts are chosen from an assembly of clips. A rough cut sequence plans the proper scenes into their correct length. Changes and cuts are made until a final cut is completed. Titles and effects are then added to create a picture lock. Music and sound effects are then added.

The Project Window indicates what bins are available. The Record Monitor shows what editing has been created.

The L key plays a clip forward, K pauses, and J reverses. The space bar stops a clip. I sets to the beginning of a clip. O sets to where a clip ends.

The Splice button inserts material. The Overwrite button erases material with new material.

Editing is an aesthetic, to which there are no rules. The author recommends an editor be familiar with a script, know the motivations of a character, and determine which shots best convey those motivations. Things to consider are artistic composition, including dramatic performance, lighting, camera work, blocking, sound, etc.

The Hold the Command (Control) Key produces the shot’s first frame. The Hold the Option and Command (Control-Alt) key produces the shot’s last frame. The left and right arrow keys move over one frame towards (left arrow key) or one frame backward (right arrow key).

The Timeline has a Fast menu of More Detail and Less Detail.

The Scroll bar has a slider taking one to different Timeline sections.

To view the track in a larger size, use the command Control L (Windows) or Command L (Mac). To reduce the size, use Control K (Windows) or Command K (Mac).

Track monitor icons indicating tracks are to the right of the track selectors.

The Mark Clip command, located on the T keyboard key, can make the In and OUT desired in a clip.

The author suggests making a duplicate of all work. This way earlier versions of work can be referenced and reconsidered.

The keyboard letter Z is the Lift button. This removes the clip. Command (Mac)/Control (Windows) Z reverses the Extract. Extracting the audio removes all video within that clip. Undo corrects any problems caused from Extract mistakes or decision changes. Extract can be used to shorten clips as needed.

An edit requires three marks, an IN and OUT on the desired sequence and an IN as to where on the timeline the sequence should be placed.

The author recommends noting that every splice or overwrite requires three marks: IN and OUT the sources you wish edited and IN on where it is to be placed.

A section can be placed inside a clipboard by marking the IN and OUT on the timeline of the desired section and then press Lift, Extract, or the Clipboard icons.

Command Z (Mac) / Control Z (Windows undoes the previous command. It can be hit multiple times to undo multiple commands.

Trim Mode is used to lengthen or slow a sequence. Click near the cut point. Click the Trim Mode key, which is found under the Splice/Overwrite command in the Timeline toolbox using the U key. Both the ending and the beginning of both scenes near the cut point appear.

Trim Mode is more quickly reached by clicking the gray above the tracks to the left of the desired transition. Desired tracks can be dragged down.

Exiting Trim Mode requires pressing Trim Mode, press either the left or right arrow key, and check onto the time code track.

The Trim frame keys edit one frame. The double arrow keys trim by ten frames.

A split edit, called an L-cut, can be made in Dual Roller Trim Mode. Separate trims can be made on video and sound.

Command-drag (Mac) / Control-drag (Windows) changes a split edit back into a straight cut.

The Review Transition key allows watching and trimming while watching.

To trim the other side, clicking the Time Mode Display’s other side moves the rollers to the other side.

Clicking onto the rollers allows one to drag a roller into other directions.

If the audio and visual are out of sync, the problems can be resolved in Single Roller Trim Mode and either hit the arrow keys or drag the roller.

A bin’s Brief View, providing the name given to the clip, timecode, start, and the length of the clip. Test View provides a chosen clip.

Columns can be arranged as desired. Sort arranges columns either numerically or alphabetically.

Another sequence can be chosen from the Clip memo.

Unusable material can be deleted by checking both “delete master card” and “delete associated media files”. It will still exist on original source material but not on Avid.

If storage space is needed, click only “delete associated media files” to remove unwanted material from the media drive. If the material is later needed, it can be recaptured.

There are numerous kinds of settings.

Editing needs to consider continuity, how the eye traces shots, screen directions, and pacing. It has to flow the story properly.

Picture and sound can be imported from some cameras to the computer. The Panasonic HVX200 camera is used by many, especially TV stations, independent filmmakers, and film schools. What is filmed goes onto a P2 memory card. The card can be transferred to Avid. A compatible format and frame setting must be used. The author recommends using a 720p/30PN camera setting and a 720p129.97 Avid project setting.

The author notes a 1080:130 camera setting creates video-looking larger films that are good for TV documentaries and sports shows.

Te author recommends moving media form a P2 card into the drive and editing from there. P2 sottware is needed.

The camera’s media switch has to be set to P2 and the P2 card has to still be in the camera to import media from it. USB 2.0 (Windows) or FireWire (Mac) connects to Avid. Use OTHER FUNCTIONSS>PC MODE, select USB Device (Windows)/1393 (Mac), press the mode button, hold it until a screen USB/1394 device Connect blue screen emerges, then (Windows) In my Computer to Removable Disc or (Mac) the P2 card comes up as “No Name”. Use Media Composure, place and name a new project in New Project, use a new active bin, find Removable Disc (Windows) or No Name (MAC), and click OK. This bring the P2 card as master clips. Backup the media before editing it.

If the P2 driver has not yet been loaded into a computer, put the PC card into the PCMICA slot.

Material can be backed-up onto a portable FireStore recorder.

The Sony XDCAM EX camera films in high quality HDV and has a 5x5 memory card. This camera can connect straight to a computer, using a USB 2.0 cable and using Sony Clip Browser Software. Many sounds are added after the visuals have been selected. Sound files can be entered in a picture lock from MP3 files, CDs, or iTunes.

To place new sounds into a clip, select either the New Audio Track from the Clip Menu or use (Windows) Control U or (Mac) Commend (u).

The sound attached to a video usually is placed into A1 of the U1 track. Stereo sync sound is in A2. Any sounds put onto these tracks also erase the sounds there were on them. Many additional sounds that are not to erase what is on A1 and A2 are placed into A3 and A4.

If one wishes to renew just one of several sound tracks on use Control (Windows) / Control (Mac) onto the desired track’s monitor. Clicking the Track Monitor returns to all tracks.

The K key pauses. The L key moves forward in slow motion. The J key moves backward.

Using Cap Locks or holding the shift key, the sound can be clicked or dragged forward or backward. To remove an unwanted sound, use Option (Alt) key and click the A3 speaker icon. Then Option (Alt), click on A4 to scrub. To delete, deselect desired tracks and delete only form the track where sound is to be removed. Use the Delete key and confirm with OK. TO undo a delete, sue Command/Control Z.

Output settings are used to change volume levels. On Project, click Settings, double click Audio Projects, click Output table, and slid the Output Gain slider to determine the desired volume. Once decided, the dialog box should be closed.

The volume of clips can be changed with the Audio Mixes Toy. To change the volume, select Source Manager and use the slider.

Hold the Alt (Windows)/ Option (Mac) key and click the slider button to go to OdB.

Panning determines how much sound emerges from each speaker. Use Alt-click (Windows) / Option-click (Mac) onto the Pan button to go to the middle, MiD.

To pan or change a volume level, choose where on a clip to IN and OUT. Click the desired track button or gang button to choose several desired tracks. Adjust the volume slider or the pan slider as desired. On the Audio Mixer Tool Fast menu, either drag Set Level On Track-In/Out or use Set Pan On Track-In/Out.

To change on an entire track, delete the IN and OUT marks. Use the Set Level or Set Pan Track-Global.

Using Audio Data (Media Computer) on Xpress and its tools, the decibel level can be set.

Auto Gain Main changes levels within a clip. This is known as volume rubber banding. This is used most frequently to change music levels. Keyframes may be set manually or by using sliders.

To use manually, go to the Timeline Fast Menu. Choose Audio Data, then choose Audio Gain, then choose the desired tracks. Use Timeline’s blue position Indicator to determine where audio will be changed. Use the “ key on Media Computer’s keyboard or the N key on X press. Use the blue position indicator as desired on Timeline. Another keyframe emerges by hitting the key frame key. The mouse can be sued to change the second key frame’s hand pointer. Dragging the key frame into Timeline produces a volume ramp. Play and listen.

A keyframe is moved by using the Alt (Windows) / Option (Mac) key. Click the keyframe to the desired place and drag it to the new sport.

A keyframe can be deleted by mouse pointing to the keyframe to be deleted and then pressing the Delete key.

Keyframes can be placed automatically by indicating the beginning of a desired track on Timeline, select Auto Mode from the Audio Mixed Tool, press record, change the track slide with the mouse until stopping by hitting the Record button. The “s” box is for solo and the “m” box is to mute a track.

Waveframes visually indicate the audio amplitude or signal strength.

Using the Dual-Roller Time Mode, bits desired to be cut can be removed.

Equalization frequencies can be changed. Sliders are used to either emphasize / boost or de-emphasize / cut certain frequencies. The horizontal sliders manipulate the parametric curve. The Audio Loop button creates a continuous loop is desired to work within that loop. The IN button on the EQ turns off the effect.

EQ effects can be selected from the EQ Fast Menu. The effect can be altered using the template’s slider to save an effect set, click and drag it and the EQ icon to the desired location. Name the bin. Using the A4 (OVU on analog) normal talking usually falls within -25 dB to -12 dB. The loudest sound is usually at -4 dB.

Using the -20 dB reference level, normal sounds are at -30dB to -18 dB, loud sounds no more than -4 dB, and quieter sounds are at -40 dB to -30 dB.

Clicking the Extract/Splice button creates Segment Mode. Shots can be dragged and their order rearranged.

Transitions can be lassoed in Trim Mode. Segments are lassoed in Segment Mode.

Trimming can occur in two directions with a single roller.

The watch point is where the Review Transition button is clicked while in Trim Mode.

Power editing uses Slip and Slide on Trim Mode. Slip changes the IN and OUT by the same amounts simultaneously. This is done by using Choose Select Slip Time in Dual Roller Trim Mode.

Slide moves a clip along a Timeline. This is done using the Shift + Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key, lassoing the desired clip, enter Dual Roller Tim Mode, right click the desired clip segment, and choose Select Slide Trim. To exist, either click the TC1 track or press Trim Mode/

Trimming on the fly, or J-K-L trimming, trims on just one side of a transition. Lasso the desired transition, enter Single Roller Trim Mode on the desired transition side, hold the K key while pressing J or L to move forward or backward along a clip, and release the K key at the end of the trim. This type trimming can also be done on Dual Roller Time Mode.

Replace on the Fast Menu replaces one sequence with another.

Single Mark Editing requires making one mark and using the position indicator to make the other two marks. This can be used for Splice, Overwrite, or Replace. This is done on Settings, double clicking Compact, clicking the Edit tab, choosing Single Mark Editing, and clicking OK.

Backup work on a USB Flash drive, also known as a travel drive.

Avid saves sequences and bins.

Titles are created by selecting Title Tool from the Clip menu and then choosing New Title. Shift T opens the Title Tool.

Clicking the V toggle turns the background to black. Placing the cursor into the Bg box and then cursor through the colors creates a choice of background colors.

To write titles, activate the T to open the Test Tool. Click where the title is to begin. Type the desired text. Generally 48 Bold is the default. The font can be changed using the font button. A different font point size can be selected. Bold can be changed to normal. Deep shadow or depth shadow can be added to titles by using the Shadow Toll on the Selection Tool.

Titles must be saved in a bin and saved with Save Title. Otherwise, they will be lost.

Many titles last for about three seconds. By marking an IN for 60 frames and then an OUT, the title can fade in and out.

Title lengths can be trimmed or extended on Dual Roller Trim Mode.

The fade effect is created by using the Fade Effect button in the Fast menu with a Title Tool. Be certain the title is in the correct Timeline position.

Title colors can be changed. From Select Tool clock the Fill Window. Using Color Picker drag to the desired color and either click the video frame or click the eye dropper. It is possible to blend so colors in title change.

Title Tool has a Save As so the same style sheet will apply to later titles.

Select Soften Shadow changes a title’s shadow from a range of 4 to 40.

The Shadow Depth Selection box colors the shadow. Placing a color, such as light red or light yellow, onto a title without a shadow creates a glow.

The Title Tool has tools to create lines, circles, boxes, and arrows.

The Transparency tool allows setting the Hi, or how opaque or transparent the title is over the visual.

The Video Placement Tool moves the entire frame. It is a mistake to think it moves just objects.

Correcting a mistake on a title can be made using Fixing Titles on the Effect Folder.

Tool Alignment in the Title Tool provides numerous alignments.

The Line Tool allows creating lines and arrows.

To create rolling titles, check the V toggle in the Title Tool, choose New Title from the Clip Menu. Then click Roll button, then click Text Tool, change any font and point sizes if so desired, click Center Text, then type text. At the end of a line, use the return key. When finished, choose close from the File menu, save the target disk and bin, and click OK. The title should not be saved with Fast Save. Select the IN and OUT where these titles go on the Timeline.

Multiple titles can be used with Render In/Out.

The speed of the rolling titles can be changed in Dual Roller Time Mode by dragging the roller left to increase the speed and right to slow it down. Use IN and Out marks to the Source Monitor.

Crawling titles are created using Crawl on the Selector Tool.

Media Composer offers several Marque title effects.

The author recommends to avoid using effects when they detract from strong action scenes.

Transition effects occur at the cut point.

Segment effects occur through an entire clip or segment.

Numerous effects are available on the Effect Palette on the Time Table. To delete an effect, put the position indicator over the effect icon and hit Remove Effect.

The parameters of effects can be altered using the Effect Mode button.

A create keyframe can be moved with the Alt key (Windows) / Options key (Mac) and dragging to the desired location. The Delete key deletes a key frame.

Sound effects should be placed in the Effect Editor into a renamed bit, thus creating a template.

The Dissolve key creates dissolves and is found on both the Timeline toolbar and the Fast Menu.

To create a freeze frame, select the show to be frozen, select the Match Frame command on the Source Monitor, hold the Freeze Frame Scroll, choose a length in the Clip menu, mark and IN and OUT in the Source Monitor, mark and IN and OUT on the Timeline, and put in the frame.

Use Using Interpolated Field when freeze framing something containing bits of motion.

The Motion Effect command on the Source Monitor toolbar allows for developing slow motion, fast motion, reverse motion, and a strobe effect. The default speed for special effects is 15 frames per second. It is possible to select other speeds.

The author recommends using Both Fields when creating two field motion effects. Using Interpolated Field is good if there is a lot of motion in the shot. Duplicated Field creates a lower quality visual and is recommended only when that is the intended look. UTR-Style sharpens images and may work well when there is a lot of motion.

For creating single effects, use the blue position indicator to activate and then click Timeline’s effect icon. Render can also be accessed on the Clip menu. Choose media drive from the dialog box and then hit OK.

For creating Multiple Effect, select an IN for the first effect’s IN and the last effect’s OUT, use Render In/Out from the clip menu, designate a target disk, and then hit OK.

The author notes it may take up to five minutes for effects to be rendered. He recommends saving time by creating several possible desired effects and then rendering them all simultaneously.

A title cab be changed, including making corrections, by selecting the Effect Mode button on the Timeline indicator. Then select Effect Editor and then select Title Tool. The changes made are automatic.

Paint is useful for painting over something on a film. Among times this is used is when disguising the face of a person or character requiring anonymity. Paint is accepted from the drawing tool from Effect Editor.

Clone can be used to erase something and replace it with another image.

Scratch Removal takes information from a previous frame and places it in a selected frame. This is mostly used to remove a scratch, white dust, or video dropout. From Record Monitor, choose Scratch Removal, then Effect Editor, then cursor and draw where something is sought to be removed.

To get two images appear, use Picture in Picture. This is found on the Effect
Effect. Use Border and drag the Width slider to determine the desired picture. Colors can be changed with the Color Wheel or by using sliders. Be certain the desired beginning and end of the desired changes are made. Otherwise, selecting a new keyframe will remove the previous keyframe. Picture in Picture can be used to change the box size and to reposition pictures.

Keyframes can be superimposed on top of each other. Parameter settings can be copied and pasted.

The Position parameter allows for moving a frame along an X and Y axis. Scaling allows for adjusting the box size.

Placing pictures on top of each other, using the Remote to Advanced keyframe button in Effect Editor, can try for a 3D effect by using Promote to 3D Warp, which will produce Picture to Picture to the 3D Warp in Media Composer and 3DPIP in Xpress Pro. Keyframes must be placed prior to this. Effects can be combined for desired effects.

The Color Correction Tool in Toolset allows changing colors. A Dual Split screen allows comparing the color change with the original.

Using the Waveform Monitor allows seeing a clip’s brightness, also known as luminance. The clip’s color, also known as the chrominance, can be analyzed on Vectorscope. HSL mode allows for correcting the hue, saturation, and luminance. Using Hue offset on the Color Correction Tool, one can find a better visual. Controls is used to change the intensity or saturation of colors. Curves can be used by the author warns it is difficult to use.

There is an Automatic Color Correction Tool that can decide the best color and brightness automatically. The author states it is correct about three fourths of the time.

The Auto Contrast button makes its own adjustments to contrast. The author states it works very well, about 98% of the time. He recommends using Auto Contrast before using Auto Balance as Auto Balance doesn’t have such a high degree of accuracy.

Changes to contrast can be done with using sliders on Grain or Setup. Fine tuning can be achieved using left or right arrows.

Color correction settings can be saved for use on other clips. Click and drag the settings to a bin. To use in another clip, drag from that bin to the clip on Timeline. A quicker method is to place the setting into the color bucket’s template settings. Alt click (Windows) / Option click (Mac) onto C1, C2, etc. Clicking onto the desired Cx will apply that setting to another clip when working in that clip.

The author suggests that using the Controls tab is done mostly for controlling color saturation.

Mach Color on Curves can take an eyedropper from the Reference window shot, clock and drag to the correct place onto the color sought to be improved, and then hit Match Color button.

When something is out of sync, the author suggestions determining why it is out of sync. Common sync problems are single roller trimming on a track that was supposed to be, but isn’t, on another track; material spliced to one track but not another; and using material from an external source where it is placed on one track but not another.

If the audio and visual fall out of sync, go to sync break indicators on Timeline. This indicator appears only on sound and visual captured together. Added material that is out of sync will have to be deterred and corrected separately.

The author recommends putting locators of tracks every five minutes. This minimizes a later search for something that has fallen out of sync.

Sync locks work in both Trim mode and in Lift and Extract.

Note that putting things in sync can cause things to be cut off, which could be wanted dialogue or music. Dragging the rollers can extend the shot.

To import a file, create an Imported Files bin, select Import on the File menu, then use Select to Files to Import. Choose whether this is a graphic, audio, etc. file. If the Import box can’t determine the type of file it is, select All Files (Windows) / Any Documents (Mac). Find the desired file on the Directory menu and then check Import files to import the file.

Note that Avid works as a digital TV set does, not as a computer does. Imported files may need to be altered to accommodate this. Decide whether to maintain the imported file and to correct to Avid 60/1709.

Interlaced images that are imported should have a field order set for them. An NTSC project should use Even (Lower Field First). A PAL 601 should use Off (Upper Field First). HD files should use Odd (Upper Field First). PAL DV should use Even.

The default for importing a single frame is 10 seconds.

An image with an opaque layer and a transparent layer can be set up using the alpha channel. Graphic programs can be created using Photoshop.

Importing a Quick Time movie is done selecting 607-709 non-sequel; RGB.Non-Interlaced; Ignore Alpha, then Import dialog box in Select files to choose the drive and resolution, and then Open.

When exporting, duplicate what is being exported into a new bin. This is not necessary if only a frame is being used. The video tract should be placed on the highest level if more than one V1 is being exported. Place the IN and OUT on the Timeline for what is being exported.

To export a frame or still, put an IN on the desired frame, choose Export As… from Export in the File menu, name the file, determine where it is being exported, and Save. Export Settings can be used to change the WIDTH x HEIGHT on Choose to Fit. Use RGB for a graphic. Even (Lower Field First) for SD, Odd (Upper Field First) for HD, and then Save.

The author notes Quick Time is the most common video export choice.

Exporting a High Resolution movie, use save as Source on Export Settings to export the same resolution as it was captured.

Select Use Avid DV Codec if exporting something captured in DV25 before being exported to Avid FV Codec.

Note when exporting to You Tube that You Tube has 100 MB limit. Export to You Tube as a Quick Time reference movie, imported into Sorenson Squeeze on Media Composer. An alternative is to have Avid compress the video. The author recommends using the Sorenson Squeeze.

To move Quick Time reference movie into Sorenson Squeeze to create a MGEP file, go to the Input screen, choose Import File, then Open, select 16:9 aspect ratio, go to Audience Presets, choose Wed>Streaming>MPEG>Mb (select a desired Mb) according to size filed, hit the Apply button, choose Publish Preset, hit the Apply button and then the SQUEEZE button.

An MPEG file can be created with an IN and OUT on the Timeline for the selected clip using Export on the File menu, select Export As…, the Fast-Export Quick Time NTSC/PAC from Export Settings, then Options on Export, deselect the Use Marks and Use Enabled track in order to use the whole clip, Width x Height should be 480 x 360, choose RGB, choose Single Field, choose 4:3 (or 16:9) squeeze pixel, then choose Format Options, then Movie Settings, then Compression type menu on Settings. The author recommends MGPEG-4 Video. Then select a file size and quality on the Compression Quality slider.

Use Best quality for a clip under five minutes. This quality will make the file too large for a clip over five minutes. Select Medium for files that long.

To export a Quick Time Reference Movie, choose Export from the File menu, go to Export As…, select Quick Time Reference then Export Setting, and Save.

Pro Tools HD is an excellent but expensive audio mixer and sound manipulator. Pro Tools LE with a DV Toolkit W is good and less expensive.

To export rendered track to Pro Tools, convert audio as desired (usually 118 KHz), open the File menu, use Send To…, select Quick Time-Embed Audio, choose the external designation, and then hit OK. The .omf file is placed into the Avid Media Files for later or, if using a Fire Wire drive, the Fire Wire’s OMFl Media Files. Choose New Session, and open the .omf file into Tools.

Standard definition material can be made to look nicer by putting it into high definition. Of course, filming in high definition produces the best quality.

High definition uses a 16:9 aspect ratio, interlaced screens, 720 x 480 pixels, 29.97 frames per second, and 3456,000 pixels per frame.

720p uses progressive scanning, 1280 x 720 pixels, 29,97 frames per second, and 921,600 pixels per frame.

1080a uses interlaced screening, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 59.94 frames per cent, and 2,073,600 pixels per frame.

1080p uses progressive scanning, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 59.94 frames per second, and 2,073,600 pixels per frame.

The Sony and Canon HDV 15-fra,e GOP (group of pictures) cameras better capture motion than the 6 frame GOP JVC camera.

720p HD records at 59.94 frames per second (fps) yet Avid allows for viewing at 23.976 fps.

Note that motion picture films operate at 23.976 fps, even though it is often described as being 24 fps.

Almost all prime time TV shows use Avid.

HD tape uses either MojoDX, Adrenaline HD, or NitroDx hardware. The deck has to be on, the Local-Remote switch on Remove, the computer on, use Avid Media Composer software, choose New Project on Select a Project and give it a name, choose HD format on Format, choose a Raser Type, name a bin and see it is open, double click Media Creation on Setting in the Project window, choose Select the Captive, select the correct DNxHD codec, choose Apply to All, select Capture from Toolset, see conrrect track buttons are chosen, choose Video then choose the correct Video and Audio, select the proper DNxHD codex in Resolution, choose to store on an external drive, select the correct deck in Decks, insert the HD tape, name it, select it, then hit OK.

Using Video Quality improves the playback performance. Green mode is what is usually needed to tape it.

SD material can be placed into a HD project and its Timeline by selecting 30i in Format and choosing SD resolution in the Capture Tool.

It is possible to down convert high definition to standard definition. Many stations and theaters can’t handle HD. To do this, choose Consolidate/Transcode in Clip, then Transcode in Consolidate/Transcode, then the target drive for placing the new media, select Target Video Resolution, then Transcode.

Transcode can be used to return master clip media back to original form. Using a duplicate SD in a new bin, select the original HD forma in Project in Format, choose the SD sequence from the newly created HD Sequence, choose Relink from Clip, then Relink Method from Select Highest Quality, and then deselect the appropriate boxes.

To transcode a HD sequence to SD, choose Format from Project, choose the proper HD frame rate, open the desired SD Sequence bin, choose Consolidate/Transcode from Clip, choose Transcode, select a target media for holding the new sequence material, select an SD Taregt Video Resolution, go to Create New Sequence and Convert Video, select a Handle length, and hit Transcode.

Avid puts HD into 16:9 aspect ratio. This can be changed to 4:3 Letterbox Version by using the Switch from 16:9 to 4:3 Source Record Monitors, create a V2 (or V3 is something else is on it) track, move the icon on the Monitor track box to V2, select Reformat on the Effect Palette, and drag the 16:9 Letterbox icon to the V2 track.

The Pan and Scan Effect can be produced by selecting booth V1 and V2 tracks, choose Reformat on the Effect Palette, drag the Pan and Scan effect icon to the empty video track, open Effect Editor in Timeline, select the Aspect Ratio, select 16:9 Anamorphic in Source, select 1.33 (4:3) in Target, open Pictures, and then choose the Subdivide Effect.

To cross convert HDV to HD, choose the correct camera format, select standard on Raster Type, open the desired bin with the HDV sequence, choose Consolidate/Transcode on Clip, select Transcode, choose a target drive for holding the new media, and choose the correct Target Video Resolution.

Avid has Script Integration on Media Composer as well as on Xpress. A screen, along with script supervisor notes of camera angles and the amounts the cover allows an editor to see every camera setup, compare then, and determine which takes are preferred.

Script integration can use one monitor or two. To use two monitors, use dual display (do not use monitors), drag the Script window to the second monitor, choose Settings>Bin, and deselect Enable Super Bin. Remember to name clips.

To put a FinalDraft script into Avid, open Final Draft, then Save As from File, choose Format, then Avid Script Based Editing, and then Save.

The Cut command is used to remove any script dialog desired to be deleted.

To link a Clip to a Script, lasso the desired script section using the cursor, choose the desired clip from the Clips bin, and drag the icon from the bin into the script section.

Takes can be added in Text View by choosing Headings in the Bin menu, use Take heading and click it, hit OK, go to the Take column, click it, and drag it to be beside the Name column/

The slate’s appearance can be changed by pressing the step-ten-framers forward key, which is the 2 key. The 1 key moves backwards. The J-K-L keys are not operative here.

To correct take lines, choose either the Start Mark or End Mark, press down the ctl (Windows) / Command (Mac) key and drag the mark where it should be, and lift off the key to place it there.

A slate can be moved by dragging it with a mouse.

Takes and slates can be deleted with the Delete key.

A Clip loads to the Source Monitor by double clicking the take line.

The Tab key permits jumping ahead in the take.

Script marks can be placed using Add Script Marks on the Other tab, then use the Button to Button Reassignment box, drag Add Script Mark to where desired on the Source Monitor.

Script Sync uses voice recognition software to create script marks. Choose the appropriate of nine languages, select choices as required, click Select Dialog, click the desired dialog, indicate the number of indented spaces into the Dialog Indent box, hit OK, return to the dialog box, and hit OK.

Page numbers can be added using Add Page. Scene numbers can be added using Add Scene. Type the correct number of pages or scenes and then hit OK.

There is an Off-Screen button for off-screen dialog.

If an editor wishes to color code takes, usually to indicate which are preferred, lasso the take and choose Set Color on Script.

To output to tape, use the Audio Tools in Tools, click and hold the pH box, choose Select Tone Media, select the tone length that matches SMPTG bars and the dB, and hit OK.

To crash record to tape, choose the desired tracks, mark the sequence’s IN and OUT, select the Render In to Out from Clip, remove the IN and OUT tracks, use the Video Quality button on Timeline, note that green creates the best quality, insert the tape, position indicator the sequence’s start, place the Remote / Local at Local, pace the camera’s switch to VTR, press Record, play sequence, then Stop.

Digital Cut Tool can be used to crash record. Connect Avid to the camera or the desk (which is turned on), launch the software, the desk should be on Remote, choose Select on the Timeline, choose Digital Cut, choose the Entire Sequence, Stop on Dropped Frames and Add Black at Tail boxes, type the desired amount of time, select Ignore Time and Crash Record, click Record, inset the tape when so prompted, and choose Mounted.

The Avid edit controller can be used to make alterations to the tape. Pre-striped tape, which costs more, can be used.

The Sequence Timecode can be changed using Get Clip Information in File and typing a new time for the Starting TC then hitting OK.

To open the Digital Cut Too, switch the deck to Remote, use Avid softward, connect appropriately (1394 for FireWire or DNA11394 for Mojo, Mojo SDI, or Adrenaline), toggle if using Mojo DX or Nitris DX, choose green to Video Quality, connect appropriately (Tools>Video Output then either SD or HD if using Avid hardwarde; or Output Component Composite, or S-Video or SD while Component YPbPr or HD Component RGD use HD, choose Digital Cut Tool Clip, choose the appropriate choice from Output Mode (choose RT DV25 or DV25 for FireWire, RT DNA or DNxHD if using Avid hardware, choose Entire Sequence box, then Stop on Dropped Frames, choose Add Black at Tail, type the appropriate number for length, choose Select Sequence Time, then Record, insert tape, use Mounted and Stop when needed.

Select Export to Device>HDV to store HDV sequence on HDV tape.

The recapturing of low resolution picture into high resolution picture is also known as uprez.

Precomputes that are not needed can be deleted using Media Tool from Tools, choosing All Drives and Current Project in Media Tools Display, choosing only Select Precompute Clips, using the sequence bin, determining that sequences to be kept are highlighted or shift-clicked to highlight them if not, selecting Select Media Relatives from Bin Fast, selecting Reverse Selection from the Fast menu, and hitting Delete and then OK.

To prepare to recapture a sequence, make a new bin, use command D or ctrl-D to duplicate the final sequence in its current bin and move a duplicate to the new bin, name the duplicate bin, delete audio tracks using the Delete key from Record Monitor on Online Sequence, and close all bins except the one that was just created.

The sequence can be recaptured.

Decomposing a sequence organizes clips as desired, select the desired sequence in Online, select Decompose from Clip, deselect Offline, choose a Handle Length (60 frames is the default). Then hit OK, choose Capture Tool in Tool, choose only V and TC, select the appropriate choice in Video, choose the final resolution, select the target drive, choose the clips from the Online bin, choose Batch Capture from Bin, and capture all desired videos.

If Avid fails to find a clip’s timecode, fast forward until reaching the correct timecode.

To put the audio tracks back, get the sequence from the Source Monitor, mark the IN and OUT in the Source Monitor, make the IN on the Online Sequence in Timeline, use Command U or Ctl-U to produce audio tracks, choose audio tracks while deselecting video tracks on Timeline, and choose Splice.

Titles in lower resolution media may need to be captured separately when media is transferred to the higher resolution. Choose the title sought to be replaced b marking the IN and OUT on Timeline and selecting Create Unrendered Title Media on Clip.

A sequence can be put onto DVD, although it can take several hours. From Avid, click the desired sequence, select Send To…>DVD Quick Time Reference on File, check appropriate settings on Export Setting Summary, hit save, and after Send To: Quick Reference appears, hit OK.

Sorensen Squeeze can be used to create a progressive DVD. Select the format (DVD-NTSC-16x9_(g) on DVD in Audience Presents, select the Advanced button, choose Elementary in Stream then Field Encoding in Progressive, select 29.97 in Frame Rate, and put 6 in the 1 Frames box in GOP Strudture, hit OK, then use Filter Presents, deslect Deinterlace in Auto Crop Deinterlace, use Publish Presets, hit Apply, and then hit SQUEEZE IT.

Sorensen Squeeze can also make a Blue Ray Disc. Select the correct Audience Preset, choose Apply Set the Publish Preset in Fliter Preset and hit SQUEEZE IT.

Film costs more than video. Film has to be laboratory processed. Flying spot processing systems cost over $500,000. Transport film on rollers, which prevents harming the film.

NTSC video operates at 29.94 frames per second (fps). It use to run at 30 fps until adding color slowed it. Film similarly ran at 24 fps until color slowed it to 23.976 fps. Most projectors operate at 24 fps.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Conscious Creation by Dee Wallace

Dee Wallace. Conscious Creation: Directing Energy to Get the Life You Want. New York: iUniverse, 2008.

Actor and acting teacher Dee Wallace encourages people to create and then obtain their victorious goals. This is useful in making life happier, in healing when sick, and in becoming a better actor.

She advises concentrating on success. If one sets one’s life towards worry, life is directed and then heads toward that worry instead of overcoming it.

The author observed, while filming the movie “E.T.”, that she felt other people were directing her creativity. Like the movie, she felt a need to find her home, family, and love. She became a better actor when she realized she controlled her creativity. When one lovingly channels energy towards improving one’s natural abilities, one will create and achieve one’s own success.

The author found by staring an acting studio that she loved her work and her students. Actors learn to seek out what blocks exist in their lives that cause them to hold back showing their best talents. When they find and heal these blocks, their acting and their lives improve.

Wallace credits Charles Conrad for providing her much useful acting advice. He taught her to use one’s own energy.

As E.T. found friends and love on Earth, causing the universe to come to help E.T., the author states we are all part of a knowledge universe. As quantum physics shows all parts of the universe contain universal knowledge, people can direct their energies towards universal forces that can respond and help.

This transmitting of positive energy improves one’s own energy which improves one’s health, emotions, abilities (including acting), and lives.

This transmission of energy was observed in how a sizable number of monkeys had learned how to improve the taste of food by washing it, the whole population of monkey knew to do this, including monkeys who had no contact with other food washing monkeys.

The universe is all One Energy. One needs to project good vibes, show gratitude, and know how to forgive. One needs to learn to become one’s own Creative Force.