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Little Frog in High Def

COW Blogs : Little Frog in High Def


Tim Wilson over at the Creative Cow started this blog post as a comment on the blog post I made over there about upgrading to Leopard (a reprint of what I posted here). It really goes in depth about the dangers of upgrading, and how really there is no way that Apple and other third party vendors can possibly test every possible combination of hardware and software to ensure that no bugs sneak through the cracks. This is also very pertinent to the recent issue I had with Noise Industries FX Factory, and how it was missed. Many people every day report issues with their software and OS not working properly...and there are literally thousands of possible causes of these. It is just TOO easy to just cry foul and blame Apple for everything, for not "testing" properly. Well, read his blog posting. It's good.

Posted by: Shane Ross on Nov 30, 2007 at 1:34:07 am mac os, technology


My FULL review of the Matrox MXO and the new 2.0 drivers (which actually came out in April) is up here at the Creative Cow.

Posted by: Shane Ross on Nov 28, 2007 at 3:46:04 pm editing, final cut pro


There was an issue that cropped up when many of us upgraded FCP 6 to 6.0.2.  Suddenly the LOG AND TRANSFER option for P2 didn't work.  Initially I solved this by zapping PRAM, running Disk First Aid and repairing permissions and trashing FCP prefs. This unfortunately only worked ONCE. When I restarted, this didn't work at all. And this didn't work for everyone. I started a threat on <a href= target=_blank>the Apple forums</a> to track this issue.So in my testing I found the culprit to be the FxPlug plugins from FX Factory. As soon as I removed those, my import function returned. I even went so far as to get a new HD, install the OS fresh, update it. Install FCS 2 fresh, update it, and then install applications and plugins, testing the Import option after each one. It finally failed when I loaded FX Factory. SO...if you have this, or maybe other FxPlug plugins, try removing those and running FCP again. Uninstalling would be best (if possible), as one of the things I tried doing was removing ALL of the plugins from the Plugins folder, and it still failed. ONly when I ran the Uninstaller did it actually clear things up.Here is the whole rigamaroll I did THIS time to narrow it down, the troubleshooting steps used in getting P2 import working with FCP 6.0.2:Purchased a new 320GB SATA drive...only because I wanted to start fresh, and these were on sale for $50, and I had stuff on the other drive that I wanted to keep and didn't really want to copy it to another...WHATEVER...I got a new drive.  Larger than the other!I erased it and formatted it MacOS Extended.  Then I installed the G5 disks.  Then I ran the Tiger Upgrade Install CD, then used the System Update System Preference to bring everything up to the most current version.  Then I repaired permissions.Next, I installed Final Cut Studio 2.  Then I ran all the updates. This took a while, as I also went to Griffith Observatory with my family, and wasn't on hand to press the OK button or swap DVDs.Then I repaired permissions and restarted.I copied over some backed up P2 footage and launched FCP 6.0.2.  I opened Log and Transfer, navigated to a P2 folder and BOOM....there the clips were.  Worked fine.So now, I begin installing the extra software.  I will list it in order, and test after each install.1) Kona LH drivers, v42) Caldigit FASTA 4x driver3) Quicksilver (I am CRIPPLED without this)4) Adobe After Effects 6.55) Microsoft Office 20046) Photoshop CS (PS 8)Repaired Permissions.  And there was stuff that needed repairing.  Photoshop color profiles from the looks of it.7) Sorenson Squeeze 4.08) Shake 4.19) Magic Bullet - Colorista10) Magic Bullet - Editors 211) Digital Film Tools (DFT) 55mm12) Lyric PluginsRepaired Permissions - no repair necessary.13) FX Factory PluginsP2 IMPORT FAILED.  I then UNINSTALLED FX Factory (nice that they have an Uninstaller...need more of these) and tested again.  P2 import was successful.  So now I have narrowed it down to FX Factory...thus far.  Checking more plugins.14) Eureka Free and Eureka Plugins15) Sheffield Softwerks16) Marcus Plugins (Vignette, Face Light)17) CGM Film LE18) Film Grain Process (Paul Crisp I believe)19) Nattress Big Box 'o Tricks20) Nattress Set 121) Nattress Standards Converter22) Nattress Film Effects23) Nattress Free (seems like I like the Nattress plugins huh?)24) Zaxwerks 3D Flag Demo (testing other FxPlug plugins) Import worked fine.25) CHV FxPlug Bundle (also FxPlug)  Import worked fine.At this point I yanked out the new drive and put back the old one.  I ran the FX Factory Uninstaller.  And guess what?  I was able to import P2 using the Log and Transfer window!  I hope that this helps others in figuring out what is happening for them.  If you have FX Factory, uninstall it and see what happens.  If not, it might be some other FxPlug plugin.Apple is aware of this and is investigating.

Posted by: Shane Ross on Nov 26, 2007 at 11:38:19 am p2


I saved posting the airdate until the time was close.  Well, it is close.  And it will air THREE times very close to one you will be sure to catch it.<a href= target=_blank>Andrew Jackson.</a>Sunday, November 18  08:00 PMMonday, November 19 12:00 AM (that's right...MIDNIGHT)Saturday, November 24 05:00 PM Not sure if these are Eastern or Pacific times...there have been times when it was set to air at 8PM and I find that it is on a 8PM eastern, 5PM Pacific.  But then it re-aired later that night.Anyway, this is my third History Channel high def show cut with FCP...and since I have maybe 4 shows that air a year (specials...all of them specials) announcing when one airs is a big thing.  Now, when I get a SERIES, I can be more casual about it and say "catch this every Tuesday at 8:00 PM" and it won't be such a big deal because you see it all the time.  Well, it will still be a big deal, just not a quarterly event.ONE of these day's the network will publicize a show I work of these days.  Until then I have to shout it from the street corner..."HEY!  WATCH MY SHOW!  IT'S REALLY COOL!"When my SURGERY SAVED MY LIFE episode airs on Discovery Health (gah, they HAD to move it from the main Discovery channel for some reason)...I'll let you know.  That will be my...2nd show this year?  The third I am working on now.  MAN, I need a series.


I case you didn't know, the Hollywood writers are on strike. For those of you who are unclear exactly why (like me)

lays out very clearly why.


Posted by: Shane Ross on Nov 8, 2007 at 4:22:03 amComments (3) television


Here I sit in the online of my latest show, watching someone else do all the work.  This show, SURGERY SAVED MY LIFE ("Battleground Miami" is the episode title...on Discovery Health) was done the old fashioned way, an offline/online workflow.  We offlined on Avid Meridian v11s on G4's running OS9....all the media on a Unity.  Sure, it's old, but it still works and works well.  I had very few issues, and really enjoyed being back on an Avid.  Well, I cursed at it a few times when I had to do something that in FCP would be a shuffling footage and scenes...but overall I liked it.  So I did the offline cut at the production office, working with five other editors, all on different episodes.  When I locked picture (late last night) they took the bin with the locked sequence to a post facility that then onlined the cut on an Avid Symphony.  When this is done, we will output a digibeta, then take it to a DaVinci for color correction, the output a tape, then to a linear bay for titling...then output to another tape.   MAN...what a lot of steps.  I didn't have to do this with my last FCP shows...or even my last show I cut on an Avid.  We did the titling and color correction in the symphony.  Whew.  I mention this because the next show I will be working on...well, the one AFTER the next show I am on (I will be going to a company to help "fix" a series they are having issues with)...the next show with THIS company...will be shot on DVCPRO HD, Varicam and P2, for the History Channel...a series no less...and we are trying to pitch FCP to the main production company as I have already done three shows this way...but they are ballking and wanting us to use Avids.  So we are doing a workflow comparison for them.  I'll blog about that soon.ANYWAY...I have COMPLETELY digressed from what I wanted to talk about.  I wanted to talk about distancing yourself from the editing process to allow you to view your work more critically.Last week when we were working on the FINE cut (the step between Rough Cut and Locked Picture...the second pass at a show that you send to the network), I had finished my cut and we were about to watch the show to see how it looks as a whole, when my producer said to me, "Shane, come here....sit on the sofa.  Get away from the controls and sit back and relax, I'll control the machine.""But, I..." I try to protest."No, get back here and watch it.  Get away from the machine.  Watch it from my point of view.  NO!  Watch it from the perspective of someone who just turned on the TV and goes 'Hey, this looks interesting.'  Watch critically."Now, I never thought of doing this before.  Dunno why.  Because it is VERY true....when you watch it in your chair in front of the controls, you are still in your 'editor's mind.'  Noting things that aren't working, or wanting to stop the show and just fix this one small thing.  You are still seeing it from the point of something YOU put together.  Sitting back does put you in another frame of mind completely.  I was able to sit back and actually view it as though I was watching some show on TV.  That surprised me.  And it was really helpful, becuase instead of seeing it as I need to fix this one small edit, or music cue, I was paying attention to the story, following the people and the personalities and...well...enjoying the show.I wasn't allowed to take notes or anything.  I was to watch it and give my general impressions.  What worked for me, and what didn't...all based on my memory, based on what impacted me and stuck with me.  And when it was over, I can say that I did genuinely enjoy the show.  It was odd, but I was able to remove myself from the process and watch the show.  And it was eye opening.  I gave my impressions to the producer, he agreed with most of them, gave me his...and I went about the task of fixing what didn't work, or needed a little something more to get the point across.As I said, I had never thought about doing this before.  I think that my producer, also knowing how to edit (but having been away from the chair for quite some time) recognized what a difference it was watching in front of the machine, and back on the sofa.  Because you are closer to the work, still there and involved in the cut, you are more invested in it, and apt to defend the edit decisions.  But by stepping back and removing yourself from the process...distancing can watch the show with a more critical eye.Try it.

Posted by: Shane Ross on Nov 7, 2007 at 1:07:42 pm editing

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