News for November 2010

Synaesthesia Beta 10 released for editors everywhere…

Beta 10 of Synaesthesia has been released.

As usual, there’s a bunch of stuff added and fixed. This release focuses particularly on making editing a little bit easier, with some “real-world” tools added.

What do I mean by “real-world”? Well, they were put in specifically to address a problem during some post-production I was involved with. A problem I’ve had to deal with many times in fact, and that I’ve never been able to address with any software at all.

The problem is this: let’s say you have an EDL from somewhere. For whatever reason, you need to swap the source and record timecodes (or copy one to the other). How can you do it? The low-tech solution (editing the EDL with Notepad) works, but due to the way EDLs are formatted, you have to edit them line by line. Yes, it works, but it is painful. I defy anyone to look at an EDL with more than 100 events and not wince at the prospect.

Enter Synaesthesia. Or more specifically, enter the new Transpose Time feature. Choose Modify > Transpose Timeā€¦ from the Sequence Breakdown, and you’ll get this shiny new dialog:

Transpose Time Dialog

This dialog allows you to set any timecode of an event to any other timecode. You can swap timecodes, set them all to be the same, set them to zero, and so on. You can choose whether to affect the entire sequence, or just selected events. Import an EDL, transpose it, and then export it. Very handy (and fast). And while we’re at it, you can now also add handles to sequences from within Synaesthesia.

As if that wasn’t enough, there are also a couple of other new features and some more bugs fixed. See the release notes for more information.

Download Synaesthesia Beta 10

Posted: November 22nd, 2010
Categories: Synaesthesia
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A problem of numbers…

Anyone working with digital intermediates will undoubtedly have experienced this situation.

You start off with a frame sequence, let’s say 090000.dpx through 180000.dpx. However, there are gaps in the sequence (maybe because these frames were captured using an EDL, or maybe they’ve been selectively exported from a more complete timeline). You process them in some processing application, but now you have something more like 0000.dpx through 7864.dpx.

Often it doesn’t matter how the modified files are named, such as if you are going to edit them into a timeline by eye, but sometimes you just really need the names to match and so you have to waste lots of time massaging all the filenames until they are just right.

I found myself in just that situation recently. We’d exported a bunch of frames from a timeline that needed some last-minute dust-busting. The quickest, most available option was to run through them all in After Effects. Great but then the problem was getting them back in. I imported the renders as a single, new reel, and then proceeded to cut and splice them back into the timeline shot by shot. That took around 2 hours. But we had time.

The next time we were in the same situation, I decided I would make like easy for myself. I essentially had a list of filenames I needed to use (from the original exported folder), so surely there had to be an easy way to automate renaming them. Well there wasn’t, so I made one.

One of the things that I’ve come to love about working with OS X is AppleScript. The process of writing some AppleScript, testingĀ and running it can be done (in this case) much more quickly than just doing everything manually. Granted, there’s a learning curve, but the other good thing is that even if you can’t program AppleScript yourself, you can benefit from someone else’s.

With that in mind, I’ve released the AppleScript I made on Google Code. If you find it useful, let me know.


Posted: November 15th, 2010
Categories: Tools
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