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Apple Updates Audio Units – Logic Pro 7 Compatibility list, and notes two more Logic issues

Apple published the latest version of the Audio Units compatibility today, November 30. These Audio Units have been tested and passed the Audio Units Validation tool (in their current version) and have demonstrated compliance with Audio Units and OS X standards. Check out whether your favorite Audio Unit is listed.

Apple also issued two mor knowledge base articles:

Logic Express 7: SMPTE display does not update

Noting a problem with SMPTE time display in the Transport Window not updating. No workaround is offered.

Logic Pro 7: Automation jumps back to last value in touch mode when using Logic Control

Fader automation can revert to the last value when using the Logic Control in touch mode. Use touch mode with the track’s automation fader instead of the Logic Control to work around the problem.

BitrateCalc 1.0

While I’m no fan of DivX (only because they do a great MPEG-4 codec then put it in an AVI container and pair it with MP3 audio so it’s not a compliant MP4) I do love DVD but hate doing the math to know what data rate I need to fit everything on the DVD at the optimal quality.

Well, BitrateCalc will do just that:
enter the length of the video in hours, minutes and seconds, choose your media type, select your audio bitrate, and click the Calculate button. You’ll be told the maximum possible bitrate, size of the authoring overhead and bitrate. From there you’re on your own.

BitrateCalc comes from editor and mac software programmer Maury McCown who has a great news site (and serious cat fetish) and other software available. BitrateCalc is free.

XML2Text reaches final public beta

This is a great little tool that I’ve found to be totally essential in my workflow. Although Andreas Kiel, the driving force behind Spherico, intended it as a way of getting Final Cut Pro Marker information to DVD Studio Pro, for those who want to encode with something other than Compressor, it has other uses as well.

First off, it does a great job to get those Chapter Markers from Final Cut Pro Sequence Markers to a chapter import list for DVD Studio Pro.

But beyond that:

  • Get Clip level Markers out of a Sequence and lift them to Sequence level markers
  • Print a list of Markers from the sequence, with time stamp (Timecode)
  • Extract the text from Markers to use to build menus in Adobe Photoshop
  • List all Clips with Scene, Shot, log note, comment etc in a simpler list than a batch export without needing the original Sequence

and most intriguing of all

  • Create a merged tape of selects or used clips. Traditionally that would have lost original Timecode but XML2Text converts the clip data so that they do match the sequence timecode data and creates a batch list which can be used later to batch the complete tape or just some single clips from the merged tape. Even with a crash record to tape it will work, if you set the sequence TC start value to the value of the recording’s start of the tape before exporting to XML.

There’s detailed information on the XML2Text page at Spherico’s site. At 15 Euro I can’t recommend this highly enough. (That’s less than $20 US.) The final release will include a free XML2Text reader (only) so Final Cut Pro Sequence information can be shared with anyone on OS X without Final Cut Pro. Use DVG-M2T1231 as the coupon code at checkout to save 5 Euro courtesy of the Pro Apps Hub.

While you’re at the Spherico site, check out Playlist2FCP for bringing iTunes playlists to Final Cut Pro projects, retaining metadata and copying media (option) and XML2Title for speeding the process of subtitling within Final Cut Pro.

Conoa offers new versions of Conao 3D and Conoa EasyShapes

Conoa 3D (and it’s simpler sibling EasyShapes) both have new version with anti-aliased wireframe drawing added to the feature set. The Conoa plug-ins uniquely provide 3D shape rendering in 2D video editing and compositing hosts with no custom user interface.

Conoa EasyShapes (US$109) is uses simpler interface controls to render spheres, cubes and cylinders (with video mapped to the surfaces, of course) at a lower price. Conoa 3D (US $299) is a full-blown 3D rendering engine within the host application, even if it doesn’t support 3D! Conoa 3D offers an additonal 9 3D geometric primitives and a true raytracing renderer. The shapes are not customizable but you can choose materials, transparency, reflection, shaodws and map textures (video, stills) to any of the surfaces, without leaving the host. Shadows throw realistically onto shapes within the Conoa "world".

Check out the gallery to see if Conoa 3D or EasyShapes are something you can use to spice up your Final Cut Pro projects.

Eyeon Digital Fusion: Rain collisions in Digital Fusion

Chapter: Visual and Creative Effects

Topic: Simulating Nature

This video explains how to bounce virtual rain off of a matte clip. (image based)


Sony Vegas: Plugging In HDV: Plugin for Vegas 5 opens path for new Sony HD camcorders

Chapter: High Definition

Topic: HDV

Hot on the heels of the recent release of Sony ?s new consumer HDR-FX1 HDV camcorder, and the announcement of the pro-featured Sony HVR-Z1U HDV camcorder, software allowing the capture of their footage is set for release. One of the first out of the gate works with Sony Vegas 5. DMN?s Charlie White traveled to Sony ?s Madison, Wisconsin offices to get a first look at this soon-to-ship applet, and talked with Sony software engineering gurus about the new camcorders and their interaction with Sony Vegas software. On the minds of all: In which direction is the revolutionary HDV format headed?


Adobe Premiere Pro: Using the Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope in Premiere Pro

Chapter: Video and Computer Technology

Topic: Monitoring Video

In this Total Training tutorial, presenter Jacob Rosenberg will show you how to take advantage of the new Monitor window features in Premiere Pro, including how to use the Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope directly from the Monitor Window



While myDVDEdit is still only at a beta 0.8 version, I thought we’d report this now in case someone needs it now. myDVDEdit lets you go back into the structure of the DVD and make changes. The goal of the developer of myDVDEdit, Jérôme Cabanis, is to create a tool that helps use all understand and modify the content of the DVD without going back to DVD Studio Pro. (It will certainly work with DVDs authored with another application as long as copy protection has not been applied.)

It lets you get into the structure of the DVD at the deepest level through a (relatively) simple Graphical User Interface. It’s on a very rapid development path and the author is very open to suggestions for what it needs to become a complete tool. (Another reason for adding it to the news now.)

There’s a good overview of the product, translated from the French of the author at Editor’s Bin. Frankly that page is such a good overview of the DVD Structure it’s going in the Hub Articles index. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand how a DVD is structured after it’s “built” by DVD Studio Pro.

myDVDEdit is currently (and probably will remain) freeware and similar in concept to TFDVDEDIT, although at a very much more basic and incomplete level.

Motion 1.0.1 Now Available

A 1.0.1 release is generally a "bug fix" release. Apple has put the details on what has been fixed, known issues and some clarifications of how Motion behaves in the Late Breaking News installed with the update or avaliable from Apple and downloadable through the Hub software to your desktop. This has to be a welcome update for Motion. The update is available now through Software Update on the machine with Motion installed, or from Apple’s website. The update also updates some of the Content Extras.

Known fixes are for:

  • Drop Shadow On computers with ATI Radeon graphics cards
  • Keyframe Editor no longer causes Motion to quit after the object has been deselected
  • If using a dual-monitor setup, the View pop-up menu will no longer appear on your second monitor when using the default Standard layout
  • Fixed Width and Fixed Height parameters in the Media Tab of the Inspector now function for PDF files
  • CinéWave hardware installed on a computer is now recognized by Motion
  • Masks can now be selected with the up or down arrow even if they are the bottom-most layer.
  • Motion Blur is now rendered when exported with “Use current project settings” checkbox turned on (the default).
  • You can now select a LiveFont with System Fonts set in the Text Inspector and a Collection other than All Fonts is used.
  • Boris After Effects filters can be added as a favorite without subsequent filters causing Motion to Quit.
  • Shapes are anti-aliased after performing a Split Edit on a shape object in the Timeline.
  • QuickTime Export now includes audio if you start from later in the Timeline than frame 0
  • The render time estimate is now more accurate
  • Various problems with third-party Plug-ins have been fixed (DV Matte). Boris Motion Tracking filters are still not supported.

The list of "Known Isssues with Workarounds" and Known Issues (with no workarounds) will be welcome by those who work with Motion every day. Knowing what is a problem is a much more pleasant experience than having surprises jump out.

Also check out the "Documentation Errata" for clarification on Grand Tour and Help entries.

Blackmagic Design releases HDLink Utility v1.5

HDLink is a US$695 converter that connects HD SDI video to a DVi-D LCD monitor for true HDTV resolution video monitoring, assuming the monitor has 1920 x 1200 display! It converts a monitor like Apple’s Cinema Displays (23" or larger) to a (relatively) inexpensive HD video monitor. Although Final Cut Pro HD has the Digital Desktop feature, there is no color conversion or compensation so Digital Desktop isn’t suitable for production quality monitoring or any color correction.

HDLink does provide colorspace conversion for a more accurate representation of the video on the LCD monitor. Colorspace lookup tables are customizable (although only 2D conversion is supported at this time, not 3D colorspace lookup tables).

This update to HDLink will automatically upload new firmware to USB connected HDLink devices and adds new features.

Settings and 10 bit color loopup tables can now be saved to the host computer for sharing to other HDLink converters for consistent display throughout a facility.

  • Anamorphic 16:9 Standard Definition is now supported. The display size can be doubled if the LCD resolution is high enough.
  • Lift, Gain and Gamma controls now provide for numeric entry as well as
    New Color Control

    increment and decrement buttons for fine adjustment.

  • HDLink v4.7 includes all new features and is available now to all registered users from the Blackmagic Design web site at no charge. Check for download.

The update is a free download from Blackmagic Design (about half way down the page). HDLink and the HDLink Utility are supported on Macintosh OS X and Windows XP.