Archive for July, 2012

Joomla at Microsoft for Windows

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Google Docs: Spreadsheet: Rows Misaligned (visible vs selectable)

Monday, July 30th, 2012


  • I have a large-ish spreadsheet in Google Docs.  Its rows have been getting increasingly misaligned.  Misalignment here means if I click on a visible row it actually selects a different row.


  • Zoom to unity i.e. 100%
    • To do that, do Ctrl-0 on Windows or Cmd-0 on Mac.  That’s digit zero (0) not letter (o).  Stupid ambiguous characters!

PC is better than Mac for Avid?

Friday, July 13th, 2012 (as of 2012-07-13, various people/posts)

  • A lot of people including myself are worried about Apple’s lack of support for pro gear. They haven’t updated since 2010 so there’s speculation on them pulling the plug on Mac Pro’s altogether. I know that when this Mac dies Im switching entirely to PC’s. All the post houses use PC’s in london and they rarely crash or lag…never seen a Mac Pro hooked up to a DX nitris…
  • If you want a qualified Avid PC, check out the 800.
    • {HP Z800}
  • You can also wait to see if/when Avid will approve the new HP Z820. That’s an actual modern system, with on-board USB3 etc.
  • As a house that runs Avid on both platforms, I can tell you from experience Avid is more stable/solid on PC.
  • no one for mac?   i’ve been working with avid exclusively on mac for 20+ years now – no problems at all.

RAID / NAS etc Ideas

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Some RAID ideas:

J-Cuts: Origin & Nature: Nice Explanation

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

I came across this, one of the nicest explanations ever:

    • J cut, sound precedes picture. Audio before video.
      • You’re still looking at a scene and the sound from the next scene begins before the cut.
    • The Graduate was one of the first features to use this technique extensively to transition between scenes.
      • Dustin Hoffman in his car on the freeway, sound of knocking on the door, cut to door opening at the girlfriends apartment.
    • The L cut is the other way around, you still hear the sound from the previous shot but you’re all ready looking at the next shot.
    • If you put a dissolve or other transition between the shots then it isn’t an L cut or a J cut anymore even though the sound may lead or follow picture.
    • In essence, they are a great way to extend, if not to fake, continuity when it isn’t really there.

Video with 10-Bit Channels

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

If I had a 10-bit video recording such as from the PIX 240, would I know what to do with it, in order to make full use of the 10-bit information?  This question is important, because it cannot be assumed that this is simply a case of inputting it into any arbitrary nonlinear editing system (NLE) – not all NLEs preserve the extra information – and even for those that do, the workflow and configuration must be set up appropriately.  And even having got that right, how can we verify all is working as expected?  Can the NLE’s own effects and waveform monitors etc. be trusted to preserve the extra bits?

Having discovered some sample 10-bit footage at (as reported at, I was prompted to do some experiments in a few NLEs.   I based the experiments on the following two DNxHD files, as recorded by a PIX 240, both 1920x1080p29.97 and around half a minute in duration.

  • = 8-bit
  • = 10-bit

The comparison was based on an area of sky at the top-left of frame (in each case), with its (limited) levels-range mapped to full video range, so as to make 8-bit quantization-banding appear.

Conclusions (as far as I can tell from experiments):

  • Adobe Premiere:
    • Propagates the 10-bit footage’s information, achieving better image quality than for the 8-bit footage.
      • However this only happens when correctly configured and then only for certain effects.
    • The Fast Color Corrector levels-mapping appears to introduce some kind of dithering.
      • Hence while the expected banding is visible for 8-bit footage, it is slightly “blurred” on the Waveform Monitor and the resulting image looks more ragged than banded.
      • Nevertheless, the 10-bit footage through this same process has no such banding at all, and resulting the image looks obviously better.
      • None of the cases at apply here since no blur effect was used.
    • The result of Fast Color Corrector levels-mapping on 10-bit footage result also looks slightly brighter than that on 8-bit footage – presumably a mapping-inconsistency in Premiere?
    • Some other non-obvious pitfalls exist when making such comparisons:
  • Sony Vegas 10
    • Ignores the extra information in the 10-bit footage, evem for Project Settings of 32-bit.
  • Avid Symphony 6
    • AMA appears to truncate to 8-bit, at least it seems so based on what appears in Avid’s Waveform monitor.
    • Import of the given DNxHD-220 to Avid-Import-DNxHD-220 appears to give same result.
    • I assume I am missing something here, some knowledge and/or step and/or monitoring method…

The configurations I used within each application:

  • Sony Vegas 10:
    • Project Properties
      • 1920x1080p29.97. Not automatically readable by Vegas from the DNxHD format.
      • Pixel Format: 32-bit floating point (video levels)
    • Waveform Monitor via: Video Scopes > Waveform
    • Sky-range mapped to full range via: Sony Levels FX
  • Adobe Premiere CS 5.5:
    • Computer had a non Mercury Engine compatible GPU hence software-only graphics / effects processing.
    • Waveform Monitor via: Reference Monitor > YC Waveform
    • Sky-range mapped to full range via: Fast Color Corrector > Input Levels
      • (Prior to that tried various “Levels” effects but they did not work properly in this context)
    • Sequence Setting: Maximum Bit Depth (else levels-resolution was truncated to 8-bit)
  • Avid Symphony (hence presumably also Media Composer) 6

Seagate Barracuda ES.2.SATA ST3500320NS: Firmware Update How?

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

My RAID has 8x disks: ST3500320NS, which are Seagate Barracuda ES.2.SATA.  One of the disks failed.  An attempt to replace it with a purchased disk failed, because that disk had Firmware version SN04 while the remainder of the disks had Firmware version SN05.

So how easy is it to flash the “offending” new drive with the required Firmware version?  Web-search:

On Seagate’s site:

  • I couldn’t find any downloads for SN05, only for a later version.
  • Others have had the same problem.
  • One person suggested using Instant Chat.
  • I tried that but it is apparently no longer available.
  • I sent an email to their tech support to request SN05 (and explaining why I needed it).

QuickTime is THE Broadcast Standard (not MXF or AVI)

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

  • {In one of the videos it is stated that QuickTime is the main standard used in broadcasting, and that MXF is not so much, mainly due to the fact that it has been interpreted in different ways by different manufacturers, becoming incompatible among some of them.  That’s my experience also.}

  • Quicktime is well-supported by editing software, is Mac OS and Windows compatible, and supports ProRes and DNxHD. Also Quicktime is well-established in the post industry and has good metadata handling. Though AVI is  a relevant consumer file type, it is – rarely used in professional production.

  • QT was never meant to be a wrapper for acquisition or file transfer between post production applications. It is way too inconsistent. There is a mind numbing combination of color levels, gammas and bit depths replete with defaults and overrides that make QT a bloody mess.
  • Not true. The blackmagic codecs, pro-res, cineform, AJA and other codecs have no such issues when passing material from NLEs to other applications.

PIX 240 Sample Files

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

I like the look of the PIX 240 10-bit video recorder.  However I want some sample recordings to play with, to play with them, discover/confirm the appropriate workflow and to see how well they work with my various applications (NLEs etc).

Sample footage is indeed available, at:

By the way, I got that link by originally going to the website of a London (UK) supplier:

Boris FX Export Issues

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Boris Red is great, but “I learnt the hard way” not use Boris standalone.  From now on I will only use it as a plugin to an NLE, performing the import/export via that instead.  In Red 4, it was possible in Windows to e.g. import DNxHD or Cineform and then export QuickTime>Cineform.  However in Red 5.2 at least, it seems that QuickTime import and export capabilities have been removed.

In more detail:

  • Naively, I tried using Boris Red 5.0 in standalone mode, to import a file, apply an enhancement effect then export to an intermediate file (that I could import back to my NLE).  But it failed.  Different variations on my export attempts failed in different ways, sometimes crashing, sometimes an error message, sometimes a weird image in the result
  • So I updated to Red 5.2, hoping that the problem might be fixed in that version.  However the problem remained, and now there was a further obstacle – Red version 5.2 for Windows removed the ability to export to QuickTime.  At first I thought it was perhaps a case of QuickTime version incompatibility. But no, it appears that this export feature has been deliberately removed from Red, following issues between Red and QuickTime in their newly-shared 64-bit world…
  • In desperation I tried Uncompressed.  Cumbersome in the least and, in the case of external USB2 drives, slow.  However even that attempt failed, with a Boris crash.
  • Finally I gave up and simply applied Red as a plugin to my most flexible available NLE, namely Sony Vegas.


Avid MC6 Workflows (Offline, Adobe CS5.5) Tutorials

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Avid Tutorials

Boris FX / AvidFX: ChromaKey etc Tutorial

Sunday, July 1st, 2012