Archive for October, 2007

Premiere Pro 3.1 Update is loose

Posted in Technology on October 25, 2007 by evanbutson

So, those of you running Premiere Pro CS3 should have noticed by now that the auto-update function has downloaded the 3.1 patch for Premiere, the big thing here is native support for Panasonic P2 MXF files, which is great, also for those of you who run Project Trims, the bug that would cause .wav files to be corrupted in a trim has also been fixed. Other than that its a pretty mild update, unlikely to cause any major issues if updating mid project. To get a complete list of what the update includes you can read it here.

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Sony’s New Solid State HD Camera

Posted in Technology on October 9, 2007 by evanbutson

So I just got a good look at the new Soild State HD camera from Sony, the PMW-EX1, and I have to say I like it, its like they sat down with a Panasonic HVX 200 and listed all the things it does badly or annoyingly and then made sure their camera doesnt do that. Basically like the Panny it is a HD camera (it actually carries the CineAlta badge) that records to solid state media rather than tape (there is no tape drive at all unlike the Panny, so it is HD all the way) it can shoot pretty much every variant of HD from HDV to 720p to 1080p at variable frame rates (up to 30 fps at 24fps for 1080 and up to 60 fps at 24 fps for 720), and utilities MPEG 2 compression to shoot either HDV or higher data rate HD clips. You can find a few good reveiews on the web already about this camera but here is my list of reasons why I would like one:

-Uncompressed 4:2:2 Outbut via BNC in either HD or SD
-True 1080P CMOS sensors means it can shoot true 1080p not some kind of interperlated HD from smaller sensors
-True manual focus
-Some really nice interface enhancements like Depth of Field view
-Rotating handgrip
-Their clip management software actually seems to work and is useful unlike Pannys
-Clip review button located on the body imeditaly plays back your last shot without having to switch modes

Project Archiving – Techniques

Posted in Misc on October 8, 2007 by evanbutson

A few people have asked me what process I suggest for archiving finished projects so I thought I would list the steps I use for every job I work on.

First off, it pays to be organised, as such I have a folder structure I use for every new project I start, I have a copy of it in My Documents and everytime I start a new project I make a copy of that folder structure and rename it to the name of the new project, I then make sure that ANY media that is used in the project I am working on, goes into the relevant subfolder for that job, that way I know that no matter what when it comes time to backup I have ALL the elements I need in he Archive for that job. My folder structure is available on the Goodies page of my site or you could just click on this FOLDER STRUCTURE to download, this is by no means perfect and is setup for the way I work, so adjust the folder to your liking, the basic principle though is that as all projects use the same folders you always know where to look for different files for that job and when it comes time to archive, you dont have to remember what media you used and what versions etc, what FONT and so forth.

OK, so assuming you have always placed all the media you are using in the job into the relevent subfolder for that job and you have finished your edit and are ready to archive what to do.

Step 1: Delete any timelines or requences in your project that are not relevant (the project trimmer in Premiere uses what ever is in any timeline as a list of what media to keep). Run the project trimmer and set handles to 25 frames (trust me for the small amount of extra space this takes it really helps for re-edits)

Step 2: Once the project trimmer is finished open the project to make sure the trim was successful. Then copy the trimmed folder Premiere has created into your Folder for that project.

Step 3: Delete the temp files, media cache files and autosave files etc that Prem has created for both the Trimmed project and the original project, these will be recreated if you ever need to access the project again.

Step 4: Delete the original video clips as we no longer need them

Step 5: Now unless you have copied a LOT of stills or audio tracks into this project I usualy like to keep the originals as well as those copied into thr trim folder, makes versioning easier and usually the audio and stills dont take up that much more space. Also I like to keep the original Premiere Project files as well as the trimmed one that way if I ever need to batch digitize from the original tapes I can.

Step 6: Download and instal a copy of WinRAR, its like Winzip but it compresses a little better and allows you to make split archives.

Step 7: If you finished edit will compress down to less than 8 gig then thats it, run Winzip or WinRAR on the folder and all the contents will be zipped up into a single file ready for burning, if it is too big for one disc then,

Step 8: Run WinRAR and choose to create a RAR file, use BEST compression and choose to split volumes and enter the number 8500,000,000 this wil create perfect sized chunks to fill a dual layer DVD.

Step 9: Load up Nero or whatever you burn with and choose to burn a UDF DVD (this will allow you to burn files larger than 2 gig) and burn away. I like to check verify for these burns and I also only burn at 2x no matter how fast the discs can burn.

Step 10: Now this is if you are super conciouse of keeping your data safe. Make a copy of the archived files onto an external hard drive and then send the discs off site. Enter the disc number into your database and number the folder the RAR files are in on the hard drive the same number, that way if you need to pull the files you can just search for the disc number, and then pull that number off the HD. If the HD fails which HD’s can sometmes do, you still have the DVD backups as a second level of protection, that being said I have yet to have a DVD image fail on me, that has been properly stored and burnt.

And thats it, if you ever need to pull the job and make changes, you can usually just de-compress the trimmed project folder and that will have all the media of the finished edit, but if you need to make bigger changes you still have all the PSD files, audio etc in the zipped folder, as well as the original edit if you need to re-digitize additional media from the camera master tapes.

File Formats and CODECs – E-Seminar

Posted in Connect Recordings on October 5, 2007 by evanbutson

Here’s the link to my latest Adobe E-Seminar on File Formats and CODECs click on the link to watch the presentation recorded earlier today.

File Formats and CODECSs – E-Seminar

My next E-Seminar

Posted in Upcoming Connects on October 1, 2007 by evanbutson

Just a quick note to remind you that my next E-Seminar or CONNECT session is on this Friday at midday. If you havn’t already registered just go to the Video E-Seminar Registration Page and register for the E-Seminar you want to attend. These are all free sessions and not only do you get to hear me ramble on for the better part of an hour but at the end you can ask questions and get additional hints, tips and tricks. This weeks session will be on File Formats and CODECs, an admittedly dry subject, but also a very important one, I will go through everything from acquisition CODECs through to the best CODECs to edit in and finally the different delivery CODECs and why you would use them. As always I love the challenge of questions, so by all means, come ready with questions in hand about anything (doesn’t have to just be about CODECs). Also, I can’t recommend highly enough the other E-Seminars, I have been sitting in on a few of the sessions on technologies and software that I don’t use as often in my day to day work, and have been learning a great deal. They are so easy to watch, just sit back and have your lunch while you watch the best of the best (or the best of the rest in my case;)

Adobe Media Player – BETA

Posted in Technology on October 1, 2007 by evanbutson

OK, so Adobe have just launched the BETA of the Adobe Media Player, all I can say is I think anybody who creates video content should jump on over to Adobe Labs and download the BETA. I really think this software is the last piece of the puzzle for creating and delivering content online, that you can actually make money from. Basically, it is a Television Station in a box, with the ability to brand your content (including adding your branding to the interface) and deliver it online via FLASH in a quick and easy way that is so easy to use for the end user, theres no complicated RSS links etc that people have to learn about. Personally if I owned a TV station right now, I would be selling my license, because it wont be long before normal boring free to air TV goes the way of the dinosaur, that is if it already hasn’t.