Stocking Stuffers for 2012

digitalfilms by Oliver Peters

The holidays are here and it’s time to look at some ideas for that virtual stocking hung by the visual effects fireplace. Here are a few suggestions to spruce up the ole editor’s toolkit.

EDL-X. As more people take the plunge with Apple Final Cut Pro X, they find that a number of add-ons and plug-ins are needed to round out their favorite workflows. One example is edit decision lists (EDLs) – omitted from FCP X, because the ProApps engineers felt that this “ancient”, 40-year-old standard was best handled by third party developers. The interchange of EDL data continues to be one of the most common methods of working with advanced color correction and DI systems. It’s a staple of the visual effects community, precisely because the format is generic and universal. Want to send a sequence with linked clips from FCP X to Baselight or SpeedGrade? Then you’ll need an EDL. To provide a solution, software developer XMiL created EDL-X, which translates FCP X XML files into industry-standard EDLs. You get a number of options for reel identification and character formatting, which lets you configure and review your EDL prior to output. And, this “one-ups” FCP X, too. For example, if you have embedded QuickTime reel IDs, then EDL-X will read these, even though FCP X won’t.

Pro Player. Why do we need another media player? Well, in case you haven’t noticed, Apple has continually “consumerized” QuickTime Player to the point that it’s pretty useless for professional users. Digital Heaven decided that pro users need a player that was better suited to review media clips. Besides being a good media player, the Pro Player application displays QuickTime file metadata, like timecode, reel ID, codecs and data rates. It includes NLE-style transport controls, a jump-back command (the clip backs up five seconds), looped playback, full screen viewing and more. It even sports a gestural jog and shuttle control by mousing over the top or bottom portion of the viewer window. Recently viewed files may be accessed through a filmstrip-style selection window. read more...

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