As you output your project to tape, or to DVD…whatever. Or before you encode it for the web or DVD…watch it all the way through. Even if you have seen it three dozen times, it would be very wise to watch your project before you do your final output, or an output that is going out to the network.


Well…one of the other editors here came to me with a big issue…one that I have never seen nor heard of before.

Last Friday he finished cutting his show…strung all the segments together, checked everything before the final render, then rendered. He did a quick glance through and things looked fine. He started the output (DVD-output to DVD Recorder via a Kona 3) then left. The assistants stopped the output when it was done, duplicated the DVD and sent it off to the network.

Come Monday…today…the editor in and finds that the network has complained that there were three black holes in the show. The editor goes to those spots and yup, there is nothing there but black. All three are stills (tiffs) with basic moves on them. When he matches frame, he sees the still, but there is black on the timeline. He is stumped, and comes to me to see what is going on.

I look at this and must admit that I too was stumped. I did a lot of fiddling…Made sure that the Canvas was set to RGB and not Alpha, but that wouldn’t be it because we saw everything else. The scale was right, opacity was 100%. I fiddled with that and BOOM, the clip appeared. Hmmm…I moved it back to 100% and it was still there…but with the typical light green render bar above it. Another hmmm.

I went to another one of the clips and de-activated it (control-b) then activated it again (control-b). Boom…the picture came online. It was a bad render…all three somehow rendered out black, and I haven’t a clue why. Re-rendered and all was well.

I bring this up to illustrate a point. The point is that you should watch your show as it outputs…so that you can catch stuff like this before it goes out and you end up with egg on your face.

I too was doing an output on Friday, and I too had a couple issues. About 20 min into a 45 min output I spotted a black hole that I forgot to add two stills into. I fixed that and started the output again. 24 min into the output and I encountered a clip where the filter hadn’t rendered properly. I adjusted it, and then started the output again. This was going to DVD so there was no starting where I left off. Third time…DARN IT. 36 min in and there was a small 2 second hole of nothing where I did a pull up but forgot to close the gap. Fixed it and then started again. FINALLY the output was done and clean…at 2:30 AM.

I picked up this habit of watching my outputs when I too did what the other editor did…sent something out that had a couple trouble spots. I didn’t watch the output, so I missed them. HUGE bro-ha ha from the network, and quite a chewing out by the post supervisor and producer. So I no longer just let things go…I watch. No matter how many times I have seen it and how boring it might be, I watch my outputs until they are done.

What does the above image have to do with all of this? Well, this is the subway station at Hollywood Highland at 2:45AM…when I realized that the subway stopped running and I needed to ride my bike ALL they way home.

EDIT: My buddy Tom has seen the exact same issue a couple years ago, as he posted here on the Cow

ANOTHER EDIT: I just did another output today, and again, while watching it, there were two mistakes that needed correction before it went out.