Power User Tips and Hidden Gems from the Very Fine Manual
By Steve Hullfish | September 25, 2008
OK, so you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! While the previous installments of Avid Hidden Gems have all been from memory - basically just some cool power user tips - today, I actually dove into the manual itself to: 1) find things that are completely new to me2) rediscover things that I'd forgotten3) remind myself about things that I use all the time, but others might not have discovered.
Balance color using Advanced Tab of Apple Color
By Steve Hullfish | September 22, 2008
This is another in what will become a series of two dozen color correction tutorials that will be in the revised edition of Focal Press' "Color Correction for Video." This episode shows how to balance a severely mis-white balanced camera chart using the Advanced Tab in the Primary Room of Apple's Color.Last week, I balanced the exact same image using the color wheels. Next week, I'll balance the same image using the Curves, which is similar top using the Advanced tab, except that you have more specific control (instead of just three tonal ranges) and it is more intuitive for those who like to visualize what they are doing.Other color correction tutorials will include setting up a JLCooper Eclipse CX color correction panel and doing corrections in Color with secondaries, the geometry room, the still store and the Color FX room. We'll also explore color correcting in FCP, Avid and Synthetic Aperture's Color Finesse inside of Adobe Premiere and After Effects. Make sure to sign up for the RSS feed so you don't miss an episode.
Hidden Power User Secrets for Avid Media Composer
By Steve Hullfish | September 22, 2008
Here are some more gems from the Avid Media Composer user's manual, though today includes at least two REALLY hidden gems, because they don't seem to be mentioned in the manuals at all (based on searches on the Help menu.)
Balancing color casts using the color wheels in Apple Color
By Steve Hullfish | September 15, 2008
This is the second in a series of more than two dozen color correction tutorials that will be part of the upcoming revised edition of "Color Correction for Video" from Focal Press. This tutorial shows how to use the color wheels to eliminate a color cast. Future tutorials will show how to do the same thing using Color's Advanced Tab's RGB sliders and Curves.The tutorial is an H.264 file about 4 minutes in length and 18 Megs.Other tutorials to come include secondary color correction tutorials, "creating looks," using the Color FX room in Color, color correction in Avid, color correction in Synthetic Aperture's Color Finesse (used as a plug-in in Adobe products and as a stand alone) and more. Make sure to add this as an RSS feed so you don't miss a single tutorial.If you have questions or need clarifications or have an idea for a tutorial you'd like to see, add a comment to this article.
6 more great Avid power user tips
By Steve Hullfish | September 11, 2008
This is a weekly series of tips culled from years of experience and hours of actually reading the manual - so you don't have to.This week's tips include a console command, Title Tool help, fast info and color correction tips.
A guided tour of Apple Color's Primary In Room
By Steve Hullfish | September 08, 2008
This is the first of 24 weekly color correction video tutorials from the revised edition (due in December) of "Color Correction for Video" which was the first color correction book ever published at the time. This tutorial is pretty basic and others are quite advanced. I'll try to release them in an order that builds on concepts from previous tutorials. Many of the tutorials will be based on Color, but others utilize Final Cut Pro, Avid and Color Finesse (as a plug-in for Adobe After Effects or Premiere). There may be some gaps in the information, since the video tutorials were designed to be viewed in conjunction with the book. Enjoy and make sure to sign up for the RSS feed so you don't miss any of the tutorials!
Tips for Avid Editors
By Steve Hullfish | September 04, 2008
One of the most useful things I ever did as I began to master the Avid user interface was - I know this will be hard to believe - read the manual. Actually I read EVERY word of EVERY manual. The folks at the Avid Technical Publications department can confirm this, because I sent them many pages of corrections for which they sent me an actual one-of-a-kind "Deputy Tech Pubs" badge. Geeky? Yes. Should YOU actually read the manuals? Of course not! That's what this series is intended to prevent!
FCC ruling may cause havoc for wireless mic users
By Steve Hullfish | July 24, 2008
Chances are good that if you own a production company, or freelance as a sound recordist, you've invested in a few pricey wireless mics. Most of these mics operate on the unused local bands in the VHF or UHF spectrum, However, with the move to digital television the FCC has reallocated some of that frequency range to emergency radio use and has begun testing the possibility of using some of the so called "TV white space" for use with proposed "unlicensed devices" such as wireless broadband services, wireless multimedia systems, and PDAs. Currently, these products operate in other radio frequency bands, such as 2.4 GHz. The FCC is looking at allowing the use of these unlicensed devices starting on February 17, 2009 when the switch to DTV occurs.
Are software scopes too good to be true?
By Steve Hullfish | July 11, 2008
So I'm finally continuing my earlier article on software versus hardware scopes, with a shootout of the top software scope sets. The scopes I'm using for the shoot out include the Hamlet VidScope and Adobe OnLocation on the PC, Divergent Media's ScopeBox on the Mac and the dedicated Tektronix WFM7120. I also added Synthetic Aperture's Test Gear, which is a scope set exclusively for After Effects.
Automatic Music Composition software for video editors
By Steve Hullfish | July 09, 2008
Ireland is a land of fantastic music and musicians. I've been to Doolin, in County Clare and heard brilliant traditional musicians there. And for those with more of a rocker sensibility, you've got Irish exports U2, Van Morrison and the Cranberries.The latest musical export from Ireland is a software application called Muse from a company called Abaltat, which means "ability" in Gaelic. This software supposedly analyzes a Quicktime movie and creates a custom musical composition based on the video content. I think most people would be highly skeptical that this software can actually compose a meaningful tune based on actually analyzing the true content of a video program. Its similar to the disbelief that any video editor has about the programs that I've heard of that will take your video footage and make a great edit from the raw bits and pieces.
standalone scopes vs. software scopes vs. built in scopes - What you need to know!
By Steve Hullfish | May 31, 2008
Let's face it: if I didn't start with a title like that, there's no way you'd read a story about waveform monitors. They're boring! They're not creative! They're all the same! They're not sexy. They're not RED.Scopes are important if you're doing real work that gets duplicated, broadcast or color corrected. They can be used "creatively." They can help you do better work. Without them, all that other cool gear is worthless.So WHY are scopes the "Rodney Dangerfield" of the production and post production world? Some of it is probably fear of not understanding them. Some is probably that they don't really seem to DO anything other than cost a lot of money. Some is probably because they have a lot of unrealized potential.
Wisdom from the masses
By Steve Hullfish | May 16, 2008
Wisdom from the masses - In depth on using web tools to collaborate between creatives.A few weeks ago there was a short but interesting thread on CML-pro (The Cinematographer's Mailing List) about how to collaborate with other creatives on a production team using web-based tools. The original poster wanted a solution - a "group scrapbook" - that would allow a small pre-production team to share images, photos and notes. Expanding on the idea a little further, it would be good to be able to communicate across the group, share schedules, comments and video.There were basically six good solutions presented by members of the list:
Efficiency through buttons - controlling the edit "Old School"
By Steve Hullfish | May 08, 2008
One of the reasons I got into this business in the first place was for the cool LCD displays, colored buttons, and various joysticks and fader bars. So it's kind of ironic that less than 10 years in to my tenure in the kind of on-line suites that I'd always loved, I chucked the whole lot for cutting on NLEs like the Avid. No flashing lights. No cool controllers. No feeling like some highly trained fighter pilot (though how many fighter pilots have meals catered in to their "suite?"). I've spent most of the last 16 years working at a computer screen feeling like an accountant instead of a fighter pilot (though now, cockpits are starting to look more like computer monitors).So it was with great joy that I unpacked my recently arrived JLCooper Eclipse controller. But it was more than simply the return of the buttons and various controllers I'd fallen in love with so many years ago. It was a blessing because of the return of EFFICIENCY. That's what external control devices give the editor and colorist.