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.

Friday, July 23, 2010


021 - From time to time here on the program I like to address some reader mail that comes my way. Here’s one from Stephan. Stephan writes, “[Hey, Editing God]. What do you think of the Avid’s new smart tool?”

Well, first I’d like to say that it’s always great to get feedback (always better to get the positive kind). I love my fans especially you; the one reading this right now. Love you the most – I really, really mean it.

Smart tool, eh? Well Stephan, that’s a darn good question. However this is a TIPS and TRICKS blog so I don’t have to answer that one. Bye!

“What!” you say? You DEMAND an opinion?!? Well, it’s not like I have an opinion for everything, y’know. Wait a minute. In fact I DO! Okay…lemme try this one.

Avid’s new smart tool: on the surface it is a fundamental change to the long cherished way of handling media in the Avid timeline. It’s is always a dangerous thing to tamper with the universally understood mechanisms in any system (witness OSX changing command N to mean new-Window instead of new-Folder –wow, what anger Apple received over that one!). Despite this Avid bravely dove in and tried to fix a long-standing issue with dragging, trimming and rubberbanding. Namely the issue of too many freak’n mouse clicks to perform the operation.

Truth is I’m still getting used to it. And I will say that I find myself occasionally suppressing the need to punch something when the timeline is fighting my finger-memory. But I ask myself – what if it was this way from the very beginning? Would it still be annoying or would I have adapted to that and resisted any change to deviate? I have to admit it would be the latter. So I think the new smart tool is welcome addition.

Lest anyone think that I’d paid by Avid to kiss their royal behinds allow me to retort. The tool is very clever and well conceived. However, I think when implementing it they should have included an optional preference setting. There’s another example that comes to mind: Superbins. Personally I don’t like ‘em. And I have two huge/wide monitors with loads of real estate which I take up with multiple open bins on top of other open bins. So I don’t need Superbins. I don’t want Superbins. But if I had to edit on a laptop I think I’d gain a whole new appreciation for their existence. Avid wisely made them an OPTION. Like my clients I’m a big fan of options. So the Smart tool loses a star for not being an optional implementation (unless I missed a preference somewhere).

It also loses a ½ star for not allowing me to have settings I can quick-key. Imagine if I could hit shift-F4 and get the combination of the smart tool I want. Or being able to map that to a button. I’d really love to have that because right now I find myself CONSTANTLY turning the individual buttons on & off. Wasn’t the point to avoid that? Minus another ½ star for the fact that the Smart tool resets itself seemingly all the time. That annoys the crap out of me. And why does it have those icons? And why won’t they name an edit suite after me?!? And why don’t they make planes out of the same stuff that the black box is made out of!!! Wait, I think I lost track.

The overreaching point of today’s blog is --- a bunch of points. I do find issues with my Media Composer that I wish they would fix. I’m not a fan of any software to the point that I think its perfect the way it is. I like change. And I don’t use this platform to bitch about the Media Composer (much) but to hopefully share some of the things I’ve learned as an editor.

But I have been trying to think of a way that I could “suggest” a few alterations to the software and at the same time point a few fans of this blog toward an appropriate venue for my rants (of which this blog is not). So for next while, until I run out of rants, at the end of each blog I’ll include a link that points straight through the suggestions forum on the Avid site to latest suggestions for the Media Composer. I’d appreciate it if you’d weigh in and tell me if I’m right, wrong or (more than likely) misinformed. I figure the more voices the more likely the change…hopefully for the better.

Thank you Stephan and every other listener out there. Rock on. Fish-out.


Wish like a Fish: an explanation

Wish like a Fish: Effects- Part 1

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