Posts Tagged ‘QuickTime’

Save stills from Final Cut Pro…

Here’s a quick way for anyone looking to save a number of stills from a Final Cut Pro project:

  1. Create a new sequence at the desired resolution and open it in the timeline
  2. For each still you want to output:
    1. Open the clip or sequence in the viewer
    2. Cue to the frame to export
    3. Mark in/out (type “IO”) on the frame
    4. Cut it into the timeline (press F9)
  3. Select all the clips in the timeline
  4. Add a “de-interlace” filter to them
  5. From the File menu, choose “Export > Using QuickTime Conversion”
  6. Change the format to “Image sequence”
  7. Click options
  8. Choose the desired file format
  9. Make sure the frame rate matches the frame rate of the sequence
  10. Click ok

Strange that there isn’t really a more convenient way, but there you go.

(For more tips and tricks, see my book Fix It In Post)

Posted: August 23rd, 2010
Categories: Tips & Tricks
Tags: , , , , , ,
Comments: No comments

Fix It In Post available for pre-order…

Fix It In Post coverMy latest book, “Fix It In Post” is available for pre-order now on Amazon.

Thanks to everyone who let me pick their brains over the course of the last few months.

The blurb:

“Finally!  A well-written software agnostic guide to fixing common problems in post ranging from shaky camera to film look!”

—Jerry Hofmann, Apple Certified Trainer; FCP Forum Leader, Creative Cow; Owner, JLH Productions

Fix It In Post provides an array of concise solutions to the wide variety of problems encountered in the post process. With an application-agnostic approach, it gives proven, step-by-step methods to solving the most frequent postproduction problems. Also included is access to a free companion website, featuring application-specific resolutions to the problems presented, with fixes for working in Apple’s Final Cut Studio suite, Avid’s Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro, as well as other applications.

Solutions are provided for common audio, video, digital, editorial, color, timing and compositing problems, such as, but not limited to:
* automated dialogue recording, adjusting sync, and creating surround sound
* turning SD into HD (and vice-versa) and restoration of damaged film and video
* removing duplicate frames, reducing noise, and anti-aliasing
* maintaining continuity, creating customized transitions, and troubleshooting timecodes
* removing vignettes, color casts, and lens flare
* speeding shots up, slowing shots down, and getting great-looking timelapse shots
* turning day into night, replacing skies and logos and changing camera motion

Fix It in Post: Solutions for Postproduction Problems

Snow Leopard to change default gamma…

From the release notes of the beta of Mac OS 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”):

Default Gamma Changes

To better meet the needs of digital content producers and consumers, the default display gamma has been changed from 1.8 to 2.2 in Snow Leopard.

This will be a welcome change to anyone who has run into cross-platform issues with gamma.

Posted: January 20th, 2009
Categories: News
Tags: , , ,
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Resizing Shots in Final Cut Studio: Basic Scaling with QuickTime Pro…

What if you’re not concerned about quality, and don’t have access to your Final Cut Pro system? Then turn to QuickTime Pro.

Anything you can view in QuickTime can be scaled to a different size. Unfortunately this method uses basic interpolation at best, and so the results will almost certainly be lacklustre. However, this can be a good choice to resize a lot of footage where quality is not an issue, and the more technically-minded can put Applescript to work to batch resize lots of clips without needing Compressor.

To scale footage in QuickTime Pro:

  1. Open the clip (or an image sequence).
  2. Select Window/Show Movie Properties.
  3. Select Video Track and click the Visual Settings tab.
  4. Type a new height or width (in pixels or percentage) under Scaled Size.
  5. Save or export the resized clip.


Tip: QuickTime Pro can also be used to scale image files or sequences

In the next part of the series, we’ll be looking at different cropping methods.

Posted: January 22nd, 2008
Categories: Articles, Tips & Tricks
Tags: , , ,
Comments: 2 comments

Is holographic storage the way forward?…

Last week I got up in a discussion with someone at NBC Universal about archiving. “We reckon the solution is holographic storage,” they said. They then went on to say that such systems have been in development by companies such as InPhase Technologies… for around 7 years now, and the PhD’s who have come up with the idea reckon it’s good for around 50 years.

Well, I’ve heard holographic storage mentioned a few times, but I remain skeptical that this is the right way to go for now. The obvious problem is that it’s unproven. I take issue with the prediction that it’s good for 50 years when it’s only been in development for 7. I have had DTF2 tapes that have developed faults within a 6-month period, and countless disk drives that have died within a shorter period. It’s for the same reason that we don’t yet use LTO4 technology here at Surreal Road yet- it looks good on paper, but not yet as proven as LTO3…

Even so, let’s assume that they live up to the hype. What you essentially have is an investment in a particular product. If the company that manufactures the readers/writers or the company that manufactures the media (or both) goes bust, you’re left with something that then becomes useless. And as far as I’m aware, holographic storage technology is not particularly lucrative right now. So that adds a huge risk to the investment. On the back of this is that the technology isn’t exactly widespread. You couldn’t for example, archive to a bunch of holographic disks and then send them off to someone to restore them at a later date.

Aside from all this even, there is a larger issue lurking under the surface: no-one is particularly sure what data to archive anyway (in the film/video world at least). Right now, it seems that the digital cinema master is the best bet, as it is the format least likely to change right now. But what of non-D-Cinema productions? For instance, if your final output is DVCAM, should you archive the DVCAM avi or Quicktime files?

Personally I always convert everything to still sequences and then save off the audio separately. This minimizes the impact of any data corruption, allows quick access to specific portions of the production (if you only need to restore a specific shot later on for instance). It goes without saying that I also aim to create two copies of everything and keep one off-site if possible. Using an image format such as DPX means that it should be readable by at least some software in 10 years time. I have also anticipated the need to do spot-checks on the data integrity every year, and am ready to transcode everything completely or copy to a new media at some unspecified point in the future. Back in the ’90s I was archiving to CD-R (and slightly later to DVD-R), until it got to a stage (around 4-5 years later) when the discs were starting to become unreadable (despite being kept in ideal conditions). At this point I transferred everything to a new format (at that time I was actually using a nifty little system to back up raw data to DV tapes via firewire), and have repeated this a couple of times since. Needless to say, I still have data hanging around that is 15 years old. I now rely on Internet-based storage almost exclusively for everything except large files (but that’s a discussion for another article).

Another problem is metadata. There’s no agreed specification for many types of metadata (at least, not yet). By this I of course mean things like the title of a project, the respective rights to the images and so on. This isn’t a huge problem, you can pretty much get away with saving any relevant detail in a text file or Excel spreadsheet for instance (although notice how frequently Microsoft change the Excel and Word document formats- will they still be good 10 years from now?), but it is something that should be standardised. There is also the issue of other metadata, such as project files and software settings. Final Cut Pro XML is absolutely the right way to go in this regard- provided that you are using FCP of course. And even then, the project data is only really useful if you backup all the source data along with it, and let’s face it, that can often seem like a waste of time.

Ultimately, holographic storage may provide a decent long-term archive medium. But without a robust, long-term data strategy to support it, what is the real benefit?