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Little Frog in High Def

Adventures in Editing
Little Frog In High Def


Archive for November, 2010

A show has locked picture. A show that I started a looooooong time ago…Feb 2010. Now, I haven’t been working on it all that time…I worked on it for two months, then it went on hiatus for a couple months for a variety of reasons. Then I started up on it again in Sept…a week here, another week there. But now it has locked picture and we are ready to online. (I’ll be able to tell you what show as soon as I deliver it.)

The show was started on Avid Media Composer 2.8, but due to some issues in importing and linking P2 footage, we upgraded to Avid MC4 a couple weeks into the show, and used Avid Media Access (AMA) to better access and import the footage. The upgrade mid project was pretty smooth. Everything was shot on P2 and imported full resolution into the Avid…spread across a couple hard drives…one of them was a USB drive, and I suffered no stuttering or dropped frame issues, something that always happens in FCP. I have no theory why that is…just interesting to note.

Now, why do I want to go to COLOR to color correct? Well, more control over the colors, and because I can save more than 8 grades…and the saved grades have a good visual representation. I would be able to do this much faster. Even with the prep time it’d take me to get from Avid to FCP. I have more finesse with the footage, access to vignettes that are fast (the tricks to get these effects in MC take time).  Color correcting in Color is very fast.

To get the sequence from Avid MC to FCP, I use Automatic Duck Pro Import 2.0.

Well, getting the footage to FCP wasn’t as easy as I thought. First off, a lot of the footage was brought into the system via AMA…and NOT consolidated. Just referenced. And by doing that I cannot export an AAF for audio NOR for Automatic Duck.  On top of that, the last two Acts consisted of footage shot with a Panasonic HPX-3000…in the AVCIntra format.  Where Automatic Duck can wrap the DVCPRO HD 720p 23.98 footage (the majority of the footage) into QT wrappers with ZERO quality loss, there is no AVCIntra Avid codec, so the files came over as somthing the Duck couldn’t deal with.  So I had to transcode those order for it to work properly.

After I did the quick prep, I was able to get the sequence from Avid to FCP without a hitch. I recall trying Automatic Duck when it first came out (YEARS ago…5, 6?) and there was a lot it couldn’t deal with.  But now…speed changes, freeze frames, mixed codecs…it is solid.   I will have to recreate a few effects (paint effects used as transitions, animatte in a couple locations), but will be pretty painless.

I then sent it to Color.

I’m in the middle of the color correct now, and it is going pretty quickly.  90 min show…should take two days.  With the one day prep that is three days.  Then the 4th day to make the credits and lower thirds and re-create the transition effects, add the mixed audio and output the show.  And I’m sure that if I did the color correction in MC4, it would take me an extra day to color correct and prep for output…and I don’t think I could have made it half as good as I could with Color.

Soon I will be getting RESOLVE and the Avid MC plugin…and be able to take my Avid projects directly into a world class color correction app.  Can’t wait to be able to do that.

This great tutorial for a cool effect comes from the GeniusDV site. They offer tips and tricks for FCP as well as Avid Media Composer.  Nice!

I have been contacted by many of you that the RSS feed from my blog has been compromised by some Acura spam-bot. Well, in a way, it has. I used to use BLOGGER to host by blog, but a little over 6 months ago I switched to WordPress. I made this announcement, but apparently that doesn’t change squat about RSS feeds.

I was stupid and cancelled that blogger account. I didn’t think anything would come of it, but now it has been taken over by a spammer… That was the old address. The new one is That points right to my WordPress and CURRENT location. So, if you are getting these spams, you should remove my blog from your RSS feed, and redo it with the new location.

Thank you, and sorry for the spam. All my fault.

Sorry for the LONG delay in posting anything. Tough finding things to post about. I will have more soon, I am just in the middle of a project, not done yet, so I can’t post a tip that I’ll be using on that. And not much earth shattering in terms of workflow or tips have come across my desk. Although I owe a few reviews…I’ll be doing those soon.

But I digress.

The tip I am about to give I can’t take credit for. It is from an email in my INBOX from the AVID-L Yahoo group. It was a neat and amazing trick, so I kept the email. And I think it’s time to pass it on. It was given by “Red Truck” of Red Truck Productions (

Let’s say you have this drive full of Avid media…but lack a project file that points to that media. How do you access it? Sure, you can go into the Media Tool and find ALL of the media on every drive in the system…but how about just the SPECIFIC media on that drive. There are ways to narrow it down in the Media Tool, but the tip I have will get you access to that media in seconds, with a two step process.

Step 1: Make an empty bin. Done with the click of a button.

Step 2: Open the drive, then the Avid Media Files folder, then the MXF folder, the the numbered folder (usually “1”). Now drag the MMOB.mdb index file from that folder into the bin you made.

BAM! It populates with footage…all the media in that folder.

Now, I know this is easy with a Mac, as it doesn’t have that background plate behind the app that the PC version does (that I hope soon comes to the Mac version). You can see the folder behind Media Composer. Not sure if this works on a PC, as I don’t have one….but I know that many an Avid editor was whistling at that tip.