Another great range tool feature (Apple)

The range tool trick referenced here?

You can also use it to speed/up slow down a clip. Just select the portion you want to go slower or faster - just the specific area you want to adjust inside a clip.

If you choose any value under 30%? I'd suggest changing the View Quality (from the menu category) to Optical Flow (an method to create synthetic frames for smoother slow motion.)

FCPX tips like this will be in sessions at NAB/Post Production World


Find out if you've dropped frames (Premiere)

See the wrench on your Record monitor?

Go to it and check Dropped Frames indicator.

Now you can make smart decisions if Adobe Premiere Pro drops frames (is it serious? No, they'll all be there for output - but you may choose to render or degrade the playback resolution depending on if it drops frames/how many frames were dropped.

Adobe Sessions with tips like this will be at NAB/Post Production world


Avid Site EQs

I'm a big believer in EQing nearly everything; Speakers (goodbye everything under 80hz, as well as a rolloff above 3k), Music (reverse that - take out where speakers ranges are in the music), etc.

And in Avid, the EQs are real time. 

I tend to use the same ones over and over and over again. Sure, I could save them in a bin. But why not save them in Avid's own EQ bin - making future reuse faster/easier.

Open the following "bin" called Site_Effects (from the location below) and drag your EQ into it - for access as a preset built into the Avid tool.

Add to the site Eqs: 

(Windows) drive:\Program Files\Avid\Avid editing application\ SupportingFiles\Site_Effects 
(Macintosh) Macintosh HD/Applications/Avid editing application/ SupportingFiles/Site_Effects

Avid tips like this will be in sessions at NAB/Post Production World

Replace...from bin (Premiere)

Great little Premiere feature - the Replace clip feature.

A favorite variation is "Replace from bin." Meaning the Director or Producer is in the room and asks you to swap one shot for another? Select the shot on the timeline; select what you want to replace it with from a bin, right click and choose "Replace with Clip > From Bin".

Adobe Sessions with tips like this will be at NAB/Post Production world

Click for full size. Totally mappable via keyboard too

An Optional/Alternative way to add a track in Avid.

Ever have titles on V2 or V3 and be forced to move them up because you need to add another element?

If you hold down the Option/Alt key before you add a track...your system will ask you where you want that track, rather than just adding it above where you are.

Here are the supercool things this means:

  • Create a V15. Put all your titles there. Now any newer tracks come in underneath your titles
  • Create a track where you want to push everything upwards (such as the titles on V2). When you add a track where there already is one? You get asked if you want to Insert your new track (pushing everything upwards)
  • One warning - don't add a track at V25/A25; the system will think you've run out of tracks!

Avid tips like this will be in sessions at NAB/Post Production World

Scaling large images down quickly (Premiere)

The only real problem about the way Premiere handles images? It brings in all of their beautiful megapixels - but the scale is at 100% - meaning large pictures are HUGE - with their edges far outside of the frame area....

....unless you select them and choose Clip > Video Options > Scale to Frame size.

Then all of them are scaled down (making it easier to animate!)

Adobe Sessions with tips like this will be at NAB/Post Production world

Compression's Biggest enemy: Noise

Noise is your enemy.

The simplest concept in compression is the idea that you average four nearby pixels together - if they're really similar? You can replace them with one piece of data (rather than the original four.)

Noisy footage happens at the source for two reasons: poorly lit and a very compressed starting point (I'm looking at you DSLR h.264 files!). The worse the starting point, the more important it is to shoot right - else you have to deal with noise, meaning it'll be harder to compress your footage.

Make sure to view this in full. the noise on the left hand side makes this file far harder to compress.

Compression Tips like this can be found by attending sessions at Post Production World at NAB (this link includes links to non-PPW sessions)

Smart keyboard mapping. (Avid)

I'm a big believer in mapping your keyboard on an Avid. (Nothing new in this) But I believe in 'smart' mapping - the idea that the key you bind a function should have meaning (to you.)

This tip is not about mapping your keyboard...nor that you can map elements with the shift key held down.

Rather, this tip is based on the idea that you should only bind keys that make sense. I've taught bunches of people how to use Media Composer. When I walk into a facility I chuckle if someone has a sticker above the F Keys. Why? Because they had to write down what the key does, because it doesn't make sense.

Anything mapped should have a logical connection to it's function, another key's function or the way you work.

Right now, go look at your keyboard. Where is the Remove Effect button? Don't tell me it's on an F key.


My Remove Effect is underneath the Quick Transition button. Why? Because it's the only button on the keyboard that creates an effect. The Shifted version of it removes an effect.

The tip is really this: map your keyboard in a purposeful way.

Some other quick suggestions: Set Expert Render to Shift-R - because, frankly, we still think of it as rendering. Put the Segment modes (yellow/red arrows) underneath the Splice in/Overwrite because they share similar colors.

Avid tips like this will be in sessions at NAB/Post Production World

Did you know you can have audio track keyframes? (Premiere)

This is one of those 'totally cool' features that I'm always surprised that most people don't know about.

Adobe Premiere Pro has clip keyframes and it also has keyframes for the track.

Look! There are keyframes on the track now!

Two Quick thoughts
These are GREAT for swapping different music in/out (you just use replace - the keyframes are on the track, so music stays ducked!)
But if you make timing changes on your tracks (such as trimming/removing/adding frames) these keyframes won't slide to stay in place.)

Adobe Sessions with tips like this will be at NAB/Post Production world

Automatically lower Music (Avid)

There's nothing worse in an Avid than importing music, forgetting to adjust it's gain downward...and hitting play, only to be deafened by the music.

Unless you know this trick:

Import Dialog box

Import Dialog box

The Import Dialog box has a TAB marked audio. Adjust the "Apply attenuation" gain during import.

All your imported audio will now be gained downwards by -20db - meaning, no more music pain!

Avid tips like this will be in sessions at NAB/Post Production World! Come join us!

Any color you want (Avid Tracks)

One of the unique/cool things about Media Composer is that you can colorize tracks.

This trick might be at one of the Avid sessions at Post Production World @ NAB

During the offline Edit, I want (need) my tracks to have a variety of colors - this makes it visually clear what a track is for. For example, all my main audio tracks (Interviews/key characters) bright, room tone tracks in pink, Video effect tracks in Green (greenscreen, get it?)

Not useful during an online edit (I prefer neutrals while I color correct.) but killer in the 'story' mode of editing.

Which timeline is easier to read? The one on the Left or the Right?

So much easier!

So much easier!

Who can visually read this?

Who can visually read this?

The problem is this: the Avid Palette for the last five years only shows pastel colors.

Unless you know the following trick:

Holding down the opt/alt key before you to go to the track palette opens up the full system colors - giving you every color you might want/need.

Avid tips like this will be in sessions at NAB/Post Production World

You might NOT want the list view (Apple)

When I first started using FCPX, I made a major mistake. I switched it from Frame view to a Text view. After all, my entire editorial career has been working from the list view.


I was totally wrong.
I used list views to change the name of clips and organize them that way (and especially to pay attention to their metadata.)
Except, of course nowadays, everything is overshot - meaning that It may not be worth it to fill out all that information.

FCPX handles frame view better, because it skimming through a finding a moment is a clip,  as it helps you find a clip visually. The other big secret (the first being stay in frame view) is to change your zoom (Cmd + or - ) so that you can see 5 seconds. It's a perfect zoom level for skimming and selecting interview clips!

FCPX tips like this will be in sessions at NAB/Post Production World

Build your photo montage to music quickly (Premiere)

Everyone sooner or later is asked to build a photo montage. Here's how to build them quick in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Drop your music in, play back and press the M key for markers on the music during the beat. Then use the Automate to Sequence button at the bottom of the project panel.

Click to view. Switch from sequentially to "at unnumbered markers"

Advanced Adobe Premiere Pro tips

I love tips sessions - they're always about 'Can I find something really new and powerful that this group doesn't know.' And my goal always is to find at least five items for every person in the room.

Since Tips sessions are custom to the room - there are no notes; if you look at your notes and have questions email them or leave them in the comments.

The rule is cool/quick/smart about which items I pick. Sure, it might be nice to have insight to the how/why of setting up Adobe Premiere Pro sequences - but that's really a blog post. For example, it's about the idea that you can render faster if someone shows you how to create previews at half resolution.

The problem with tip sessions is tips one the one above (which I didn't show) is unique to the crowd. I usually come in with a dozen or so cool tips and let the crowd tell me where they're frustrated/lost with the software.


I didn't do the above tip during the session, so I wrote it out below.

If you create a sequence preview and switch it's editing mode to custom, you can halve the vertical and horizontal resolutions of your previews in Adobe Premiere Pro. This is only useful if you export Media at the default setting (use previews off.) If you turn this on, you'll screw up your exports. Keep "Use Previews" off if you want to use this technique.

Take your Preview size and set it to half - so 1920 becomes 960, 1080 becomes 540 - 960x540. If you're working in 720, that's 640x360.

Since we're calculating only 1/4 of the area - your previews will be 4x faster in Adobe Premiere Pro - and this tip works (at least) all the way back from version 5.

This tip will quadruple the speed of your previews in Adobe Premiere Pro

This only works for preview - never ever for exporting.