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.

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