Well, I guess I’ve gotten vain enough to assume that I might know a thing or two about Avids and editing. So perhaps the world would be a better place if I shared my seemingly limitless knowledge (?). Occasional tips that relate to offline and online editing, Photoshop (my right hand), After Effects (my third hand) and managing media and other files. Throw in the occasional rant to let off some steam and you get the gist . Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Keeping in sync

002- Okay (I hear you say)…what the heck did that first post have to do with the Avid? Well, specifically? Nothing. And everything. But I get the point. So today’s tip is small, useful and almost entirely Avid related.

It involves the “add edit” button and the Match Frame edits that appear in the timeline that, if you’re anal retentive like me about keeping the timeline clean, bug the crap out of you. But long ago I’ve learned to embrace them as handy little things.

So, when you’re cutting and cutting and cutting and the video and audio are multiple tracks things can get rather complicated to keep track of. And keeping everything in sync is daunting…but critical. You don’t want to slide or trim a single track down somewhere close to the start or in the middle, keep cutting away for a while and then hundreds of decisions and adjustments later you discover that everything at some point went out of sync.

So what I like to do before I make any changes to the cut is to… well, first duplicate the cut. (Duh?) But then select all the tracks…move further down the timeline and choose a fairly simple group of clips and hit the “Add edit” button, which essentially scores a single line down all the tracks. In fact I like to do this a few times right there in the timeline. It doesn’t destroy anything, just makes a line.

Now when I do my edits, slipping this, sliding that, trimming this & that…I can go to the lines I made and see where things have shifted out of sync and by how much (if they’ve shifted at all). Then I can go back and nudge the other tracks up to get everything to fall back in sync again. No worries.

Then if I want I can select all the tracks and choose “remove edits” which I have mapped to my timeline bar, and everything is all clean and in sync.

Now I don’t use FCP but I imagine there’s a similar tool you can use to do the same thing: markers, perhaps? Even in the Avid I could use Locators but it’s not as fast to apply nor as fast to remove as adding a null edit point.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Organized from the start

001- Well here I am world. Post #1 (!) and what better place to start than at the beginning of any project. Being organized at the start is critical to keeping everything under control (corny, perhaps…but true). And I like to keep the housekeeping as simple and pain-free as possible. That’s why I have it down to a few simple steps.

When I first create an Avid project I immediately add to the same project folder a new folder I call INGREDIENTS where I keep all my other “stuff “. It’s where I put any files related to the job: Audio, Photoshop, scripts, etc. But lumping all these files in one place can be extraordinary confusing as projects start to bloat. So I keep subfolders within the Ingredients folder. Now it will vary from editor to editor but I usually have it broken down into commonly used categories: After Effects project files, fonts, graphics & logos, movie clips, music & other audio, references, and still images.

But hey, I’m waaaayyy too lazy to make these each time. So I keep a SET of pre-made folders off to the side (actually on a different drive). Then I just drag a copy of the whole clean set into my project folder.

Whenever I get something for a project, say a revised script – dropped into the Reference folder. New audio mix – dropped into the Audio folder.

And if I’m missing media for some reason a quick batch import finds these files in the same place even after I’ve restored the job and makes the process of fixing and finding painless.

{I go so far as to create an After Effects template project that includes the same folders in AE’s project window and including that template already in the After Effects sub-folders. That way when I bring stuff into After Effects it’s organized the same way}

What I like about this is it can become a standard in any office. No more guessing where Bill keeps the audio files for this or Sue keeps the imported quicktimes for that. All in one place. Get an assistant to do this and you’ll always know where they put files for you.

And this reaches beyond Avid & editing. Change the subfolders and it’s pretty much an instant and constant way to keep on top of any professional process.

Anyone else have something similar they’d like to add?

© ATTM 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Coming soon! This blog will post a weekly tip on Avid related editing. I encourage you to share your own here and perhaps nudge me to even better ways of editing on the Avid platform. Stay tuned!