Posts Tagged ‘Video editing’

Ease Your Cross-Platform Workflow with MacDrive

Monday, January 17th, 2011

If you are a video editor, whether amateur or professional, no doubt you have encountered projects containing a wide variety of video assets. Sometimes these assets can come to you on PC-formatted hard drives or Mac-formatted hard drives. It’s your job, as the editor, to pull all of this material together into a cohesive whole. If you work on a PC and find yourself having to work with files stored on a Mac-formatted hard drive, might I suggest MacDrive from Media Four. After purchasing and installing the software, you will be able to view files on your PC from any Mac disc and/or drive. You can also partition and format for the Mac directly on your PC. And if you run Windows on your Mac, this software allows you to access the Windows files from within the Mac OS. It certainly makes workflow much easier if you have to work between platforms on a consistent basis.

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Setting Up an External Video Monitor in Premiere Pro CS4

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

This video tutorial covers two specific items pertaining to working within Adobe Premiere CS4 – 1) how to ensure that you are sending a signal from Premiere to an external monitor, and 2) how to ensure that the signal you are sending to an external monitor is an HD signal (if you are editing within an HD project).

If you are editing video within Premiere Pro CS4 and are unable to either 1) preview clips on an external monitor, or 2) preview those clips in HD, you will want to try the following (bear in mind that some of these settings might differ depending on your specific non-linear editing system and the video card you have installed):

  1. First, look at the menu options at the top of the window and click “Edit.”
  2. From there,  go down to “Preferences.”
  3. In the “Preferences” drop down menu, select “Player Settings.”
  4. When the Player Settings window appears, make sure that your particular video card is checked. I have the Matrox RT.X2 installed for video input/output. You might have something different. If necessary, consult with the documentation that came with your video card.



If you are working with an HD video project, you will need to go through the following steps to ensure that the signal going to your external monitor is an HD signal.

  1. Go to the menu options at the top of the screen and select “Sequence.”
  2. Click “Sequence Settings.”
  3. Under the “General” tab, click “Playback Settings.”
  4. When the “Playback Settings” dialog box appears, look for a tab that says “Video Output” (This option may differ slightly depending on the installed video capture card).
  5. Under “Video Output” there will be a drop-down menu that will allow you to specify the resolution of the out-going signal. Select the option that matches your project.



Again, you will need to consult with your video card documentation depending on the type of card you have installed, but these brief steps should help you get an external monitor up and running with Premiere Pro CS4.

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Finding the Right System for Video Editing

Friday, November 19th, 2010
Adobe Premiere Pro Icon

Image via Wikipedia

I came across the following question recently pertaining to the specs needed to run Premiere Pro CS4 and Photoshop CS4 efficiently:

Need a cheap laptop for adobe premiere pro cs4. will this one be okay? what specs will be best?
have been looking at a few on ebay. here is the specs for one of them.
Will it be powerful enough to use premiere and photoshop? thank you!

Dell Latitude D620
Intel Core2 CPU
T2700 @ 2.0Ghz
2.00 Ghz, 2.00 GB of RAM
100GB HD

If you are thinking about diving into video editing by purchasing a computer, there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want your system to run at peak performance. One – video files take up a lot of hard drive space, especially if you are working with HD files. Depending on the format of your raw footage, HD video files can take up as much space as 1GB per minute. So, you will need a computer with a lot of hard drive space. Most laptops in the $1500 and below price range usually come pre-installed with a 250GB hard drive. That may seem like a lot, but remember that you aren’t getting that full 250GB to use for media storage. Your OS, pre-installed software, and the software you choose to install will all eat up some of that 250GB. And if you plan on using this computer for more than just video editing, you will also need your hard drive for music, photos, documents, etc. My desktop system has four internal hard drives: one 300GB boot-up drive where I install all software and applications, one 150GB drive for all of my project files and scratch disks, and two 500GB drives for all media assets.

Second, video editing software like Premiere Pro CS4 require a lot of memory to run efficiently. If you read the system specs on the PremiereProCS4 box, the minimum memory requirements are 2GB, but if you plan on…

  1. editing a lot of HD footage
  2. running multiple applications at once
  3. working on long projects

you will need extra memory. My system has 16GB of memory.

Third, the processing speed of your computer will determine how quickly your system can access files it needs for editing. Think of your entire computer as a very large filing cabinet. Processing speed determines how quickly your computer can sort through everything in that filing cabinet and pull out exactly what you need, when you need it. A dual, or quad core processor will make a huge difference in system performance. Additional processors allow the computer to divide up the workload, so your system doesn’t get choked. It’s like having a team of people combing through that virtual filing cabinet, each one assigned to a particular task.

Maxing out a computer with hard drive, memory, and processing speed will not be cheap, so the decision depends on how you ultimately plan on using the computer. What type of videos do you need to edit? What format will you be working in? What is the purpose of the videos you plan on editing? I have a pretty hefty system, but that’s because I edit professionally for corporate clients. Like any house-hold job or construction project, knowing the scope of the work will help you decide what tools you need. Each tool is different. Each has its purpose and each has its limitations. You just have to find the right tool for the right job.

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iPhone App Review – ReelDirector

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Ever since I purchased the iPhone 4, I’ve been shooting home movies with the built-in 720p video camera. I enjoy the convenience of having a high quality video camera with me at all times, without having to carry around an extra device, like my Kodak Zi8. The iPhone 4 video camera makes it easy to shoot and share videos right from your phone. You can even trim the length of clips, if you just want to share a short clip. But what about video editing on your iPhone?

Well, as they say, there’s an app for that. In fact, filmmakers are now experimenting with producing short films entirely on their iPhones. I don’t know that I’ll be creating any narrative shorts with my iPhone, but the thought of having a video editing app did intrigue me, so I went over to the app store to read about the available options.

Of course, Apple is really pushing iMovie, but I was skeptical when I started reading the user reviews (pretty negative). I also considered Splice, but finally settled on ReelDirector. I used it for the first time last night to edit a short video of my son playing on the playground near our house. There are a few reasons why I chose ReelDirector:

  • VARIETY – ReelDirector offers several different video transitions that you can add to your video. You can also create titles in a variety of different fonts and sizes, and place them almost anywhere on the screen.
  • SIZE – ReelDirector is only about 10MB in size. iMovie takes up about 30MB.
  • QUALITY – As of this writing, Splice cannot export finished videos in HD, but ReelDirector and iMovie can.
  • PRICE – ReelDirector is about $1 cheaper than iMovie.
  • SPLIT – In ReelDirector, in addition to trimming the length of a clip, you have the option of splitting one clip into two, which can be very handy.

Note that there are pros and cons to the video editing apps currently available. ReelDirector may have more features and greater flexibility than iMovie, but render times are incredibly long by comparison. Plus, you can’t preview an edited video in ReelDirector without rendering. In iMovie, you can. I’ll post more of my thoughts on the app as I continue to use it. For now, here is a great side-by-side comparison of ReelDirector and iMovie.

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The Video Won’t Be Done in Time

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Before the project even begins, you realize that you are under a tight deadline. The client needs the video to be completed quickly, and you commit. You are confident in your ability to meet your client’s timetable. Unfortunately, you don’t get very far into post-production before realizing that it will be impossible to get the video finished before the deadline. What happens now? Last year I wrote an article entitled, “Deliver What You Promise,” which stressed the importance of fully evaluating the size and scope of a video project before committing. However, this hypothetical situation is different. In this situation, you are already knee-deep in the project and no longer have the option to turn it down. What can you do?

  1. Be honest with the client – This item is listed #1 for a reason. It is imperative that you call your client immediately and tell them what’s going on. They will certainly be disappointed that the project isn’t progressing as planned, but your client will respect you much more for being honest than they will if you waited until the very last minute to tell them of the problem. So, keep your client in the loop. Tell them what you’re seeing from your end. Tell them what you’re up against.
  2. Find out if the deadline can be pushed – Sometimes a client will pad out the schedule, knowing that certain unforeseen problems could arise. Therefore, if your deadline is the 15th, you might actually have until the 22nd. Talk to your client. Find out when the actual make-or-break point is.
  3. Break up the project into smaller, more manageable sizes – This is the moment when you start farming out portions of the project to other editors in your area. Look through your contact list. Examine your network of video professionals. Is there anyone on that list who could help by editing certain portions of the project while you edit other segments?
  4. Offer your client a discount on the work – Sometimes you might have to take a hit on your hourly rate in order to maintain a good relationship with your client. So, take responsibility. Face up to the fact that you over-promised and be willing to finish the video at no extra cost to your client. Or, offer them a discount, either on the current project, or a future project (assuming this is a repeat client).

These situations are never easy, and it causes major stress for both you and your client. However, there is always a solution to the problems that seem insurmountable.

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