This update adds lots of improvements to queue management and greater performance and stability when dealing with large batches. We also fixed a couple of issues where the queue could stop processing if one of the files failed.
In addition, the ability to choose whether or not a file should be automatically revised is now back, based on user feedback.
We were made aware that due to an issue in the software update mechanism in version 1.1.5, some users may not be prompted to update when running the older version. If you do not see an update prompt, please download the new version manually.
We've just released Pro Media Tools 1.3.4, a minor update to our suite of media management tools.
If your video is supposed to have a matte on it, Video Check can determine if it is the correct aspect ratio. It can flag up frames where the matte is missing or the wrong size.
Other Video Check improvements include a reduction in flash frame false positives and the fact that detected problems are now listed by timecode instead of frame number.
We've improved support for extreme gamma shifts, added timecode displays for each video plus many other UI tweaks.
The app will also now display an error if you try to compare a black or almost entirely black frame, prompting you to select a different one where a gamma shift can be detected.
We've added new Quick Tasks to help you automate disabling or removing audio tracks in batches. We've also added a timecode field to help you navigate through a movie.
The release notes imply this only adds MXF support to FCPX, Motion and Compressor, however it is actually much broader than this. It adds MXF reading to any application on the system that uses the QuickTime APIs.
You can test this by taking an MXF file on your system (such as from an Avid_MediaFiles folder), right-clicking and choosing to open in QuickTime Player 7. This will work in any app that uses the QuickTime 7 APIs and does not require the latest version of OS X.
There are however some limitations:
This update will appear for anyone with Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 or Compressor 4 installed on your system. If you don't have these apps and still want the MXF functionality, I recommend buying Compressor from the App Store for $50.
Sometimes it is necessary to protect video content against unauthorized redistribution. Here's an overview of the main ways of doing this.
This involves placing text or a logo over the video to show the name of the company owning the content.
Some companies offer invisible watermarking by tagging content with a fingerprint. One such example would be Digimarc Guardian.
You would tag the movie and give it to the end user, then if it appears on a file-sharing website you can download it and read the tag to find out which user shared it.
This uses web technologies to allow content protection without the need for a plugin. It is frequently misunderstood as a protection mechanism in itself, but in actuality it is just a means of linking HTML5 web video with existing third-party protection systems, so a lot of the pros and cons of plugins still apply.
Streaming a file can make it difficult for users to download it, and for someone people this is all that is needed. This can be achieved with proprietary technologies like Adobe Media Server or HTML5 technologies like HTTP Live Streaming.
So which is best? That entirely depends on the content you are trying to protect.
Yesterday we released CinePlay 1.1.4 for Mac, a minor update to our professional video player.
Many of the changes in this version are the result of customer feedback including:
Fast-forwarding / rewinding can now go up to 16x speed, pressing Shift+Left/Right Arrow moves 1 second forward or back and Cmd+Left/Right Arrow switches between files in a playlist. If no playlist is currently open it goes to either the start or end of the movie.
Instead of having to click on the timecode to enter a new timecode position to navigate to, you can now simply start typing the numbers over the video and the timecode position dialog will automatically appear.
The Info dialog now shows the timecode start position for each timecode track in the movie and improves the way audio codecs are displayed.
Dragging the playhead now shows a popup with the current timecode. We've also enlarged the video timecode overlay based on user feedback.
This is a small subset; there are several additional changes listed in the changelog.
Avid Media Composer features a little-known Console window that allows you to enter commands to tune performance, improve debugging and enable hidden features. Many of the commands are aimed at plugin developers but here is a list of several that are generally useful.
To access the Console, go to Tools > Console. Note that many commands will need to be re-applied the next time you launch Media Composer.
By default Avid will only recognize locally-attached hard disks. You can switch off this limitation to enable editing over a network share. Note: do not let others access the project at the same time.
AllDrives 1 - Switches it on
AllDrives 2 - Switches it off
Displays a list of installed AMA plugins and their version numbers. Plugins can also be enabled, disabled and removed through our Plugin Manager app.
Specifies how many seconds of audio to cache before starting playback. If you are getting ADM_COREAUDIO_UNDERRUN or similar errors, you may benefit from increasing this number. You can also decrease it on a fast computer to reduce the time taken to begin playback.
audiopreread [number in seconds]
When importing an image via the Import dialog the length can only be specified in seconds. This command allows you to specify it down to a frame.
Cmd_setimportslidelength [number in frames]
This applies a rudimentary conform feature by overriding a movie's frame rate with the rate of the project. This can also be done with QT Edit.
IgnoreQTRate 1 - Switches it on
IgnoreQTRate 0 - Switches it off
Multicam playback is very taxing on a computer because it requires the playback of multiple video and audio streams at once. To help improve this you can increase the number of frames Avid caches before playback starts.
multicampreload [number of frames]
Renames media files using the clip names specified in the bin. So 001V01.C4BV01.C9E214DBCCD3C.mxf becomes MyClip.V1.MyMovie.mxf.
Warning: This can potentially unlink precomputes (render files) and cause issues if you have to export an EDL or otherwise send the project to someone else. Not recommended in a shared environment.
Allows precomputes (render files) to be loaded into a monitor for playback and editing. You'll need to make precomputes visible in the bin before you can do this, by going to Bin > Set Bin Display and ticking Rendered Effects.
subsys monpane debug
This sets the interval at which to detect timecode breaks, in frames. Setting it to a high number might miss some timecode breaks; setting it to a low number might cause false positives. The default is 6.
TCBreakTolerance [a number between 2 and 12]
Outputs video as Progressive Segmented Frames (PSF) instead of pure Progressive. Useful for compatibility with certain displays that don't support Progressive at higher resolutions or frame rates.
TogglePSF 1 - Switches PSF on
TogglePSF 0 - Switches Progressive on
There are many tools for batch renaming, including Finder in OS X 10.10 Yosemite, however most of these tools are not built with film and TV workflows in mind and therefore don't understand or operate well with image sequences.
Batch Renamer in Pro Media Tools has several features that make it invaluable for image sequence workflows.
Did you render the correct portion of the clip? Did you copy every file you intended to? Batch Renamer allows you to check for missing frame numbers to help spot such issues.
If you need to remove a shot, delete its frames and then use the Close Number Gaps option to renumber the other frames to fill in the gap.
Did you render out with the wrong start frame? Choose Offset Frame Numbers to add or subtract a number of frames from each file. Alternatively, drag the files in the window to get them in the desired order manually then choose Reorder Frames.
If you rendered out with the wrong frame padding (leading zeroes) it's easy to change this in Batch Renamer.
Need a VFX shot to play backwards without re-rendering it? Choose the Reverse Frame Numbers option.
Batch Renamer is just one tool in the Pro Media Tools suite. Other popular tools include QT Edit, for batch-editing the properties of QuickTime movies (changing metadata, timecode, managing tracks) and Video Check, for locating faults in a video (flash frames, long frames, audio peaks).
Pro Maintenance Tools 2.0.27 is a minor update to our suite of tools to maintain, optimize and troubleshoot your editing system.
Project Repair now analyzes the structure of an Adobe Premiere project before repairing to try to predict the likelihood of success. If it knows the project is unsalvageable it will be able to provide a more helpful error message. It's especially useful at letting you know when the project file was truncated in the middle of saving so only half of the data is there (yes, this can happen - we recommend Pro Versioner as a way of rescuing your data).
Pro Maintenance Tools is an essential toolkit for media professionals that is used by freelancers and major studios alike. To find out more, view the feature list, read the user manual, watch the overview video or download the free 15-day trial.
We've just released Pro Media Tools 1.3.3, a minor update to our suite of media management and processing tools.
We've updated Video Check to more reliably detect subtle flash frames (e.g. a partial frame or a second frame that is almost identical to the first), as well as increasing the default flash frame sensitivity for first-time users of the app.
We've overhauled Gamma Shift Detector to use a different detection method which can more reliably detect pixel-based gamma shifts.
We temporarily disabled the Instances feature in the last Video Check update to make the app more reliable while we were waiting for our new architecture to be implemented. Now that this is in place we've re-enabled the feature which has resulted in a significant performance boost.
This is a small highlight of the changes; you can read the full list here.
We've just launched a major new version of Kollaborate Server, our in-house cloud workflow platform.
Kollaborate Encoder is an add-on that encodes incompatible videos uploaded via the web interface on a separate server. Encoding is fast because the encoder runs on your internal network and has direct access to your Kollaborate Server storage location.
Your Kollaborate Server license includes one Kollaborate Encoder license, although an unlimited number are supported and Kollaborate Server will automatically send jobs to the server with the lowest number of items in its queue. Currently there is no way to purchase additional licenses but this will be coming soon.
Kollaborate Encoder is considered beta so we recommend exercising caution when using it in a production environment and we welcome all feedback.
Kollaborate Server 1.2 also features the changes from Kollaborate 1.2, including:
Favorite a file or comment to refer back to later. This is useful for creating to-do lists.
Custom departments and positions can be added on a per-project basis, allowing you to create private storage areas only a few users can see.
Aliases have been redesigned and can now be linked to all past and future revisions of a file or just a particular revision.
Kollaborate Server is an in-house cloud workflow platform that connects with Digital Rebellion products to allow you to share files and collaborate with colleagues and clients on your project. For those who prefer a simpler setup, a cloud version is also available.