Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bin possession

There are times when multiple people might want to open a bin without taking ownership possession of that bin.

As the assistant, I might need to grab a sequence out of a bin, which my editor goes into frequently, but if I have it open and he wants to get into the bin it is locked to him as a user.

The way around it is to hold down the option key on Mac [Alt on PC] while you open the bin from the project window. This will open it for you with a red lock, but it is available for ownership by the other person.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Change Lists

The change list tool in the Avid is unmatched by other systems. But because it is, in the end, just a program, it is very important that the picture department makes sure these lists are streamlined and makes sense. The simple truth is that I have heard from numerous sound departments that they get change lists that are unreadable. This should never be the case and can easily be avoided:

1) Know your sequences. And once you have set up your structure for picture and track, be careful not to start moving things around. For example, if you have a green screen in V2 and your background in V1, bring the GS layer down to V1 when making your lists. Just remember to always do this so that you don't get a change list that has you replace your background with your green screen.

2) Make sure the information is correct in the Assemble list boxes. The change list tool has an Assemble List box for both the old and new sequences. Make sure the information in both these areas are the same, and save your settings. For instance, if you check "Show Trans. FX" in the Old List, do so in the New as well.

3) Ignore Color Effects. In the Global settings, make sure you check "Ignore Color Effects." If you do not do this, these pesky effects can show up as changes if you have re-rendered a sequence, even though they are the same clip.

4) Beware of Key Frames. Another thing you want to look at before saving your Change List settings is the Optical area. Make sure you do not have "Key Frames" checked, or you will have trouble making a change list if there is a dissolve on a color effect. Taking this off will save you from some crashes.

5) Take off effects from your sequence. Yes, this is annoying busy work, but quite necessary. Effects on clips, like chroma keys, can get changed themselves without you necessarily change the actual clip. So by going through your sequence before making a list and taking the effects off, you save yourself from having a list that shows unnecessary changes.

6) Reel #. In an earlier post, I listed how the Reel box should be used (especially for doing changes between reels). Just make sure this information is checked in the Old and New areas as well as keeping the reel number consistent in the Reel Heading in your bins.

7) Adding Text. The current Avid Filmscribe gives you the ability to add/change text. Use this to help out the other departments. I will change the headings to make things clear (CL R1 v2 to v3 12/12/07 Picture) as well as bold changes that a editorial department should pay special attention to (like a VFX that causes a sync change internally). And please, put in the new LFOP of your reel in the heading of your Lists (Assemble and Change Lists).

8) Double check the list. Before you send the list out, you need to go through and double check your work. When you look at it, does it make sense? Are there changes present that should not be there?

The big thing is that you keep organized, plan ahead and double check what you send out. Picture Editorial is the gate to the other departments, and it is important that your turnover work is easy to follow and does not contain errors. You would want the same from them, right?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

VFX Naming

When naming VFX, there is a standard in place within many companies that makes things very smooth for all involved:

1) Make sure when naming shots, always use three numbers (Sc 8o would be 080).

2) Use the scene number to label your VFX shots for easy locating.

3) When naming multiple shots with in a scene, you should label each shot in increments of 10.
  • Let's say you have 5 shots in Scene 80, your shots, in sequence order, would be - 080x010, 080x020, 080x030, 080x040, o80x050.
4) If later, you spot new VFX within that same scene, and a new VFX is in between two existing VFX shots, you would go to the number 5.
  • You spot a new shot in between 080x020 and 080x030...the new shot would be 080x025. Let's say there is one more between 080x025 and 080x030, you could do on and so forth.
By naming your VFX shots in this way, you insure that your VFX numbers are labeled in sequential order, making life easier for all.