Whenever using extra lighting on human subjects, give your talent warning before powering up. I had an interviewee who decided to look directly at the fixture the instant I switched on the light; luckily it was only a 250-watt lamp, and a few moments of discomfort was all the poor fellow suffered. Had it been a 1000-watt quartz fixture…
East Rochester, New York
I recently purchased the Videonics Edit Suite editor. While reading the instruction manual, I became a little overwhelmed at the steps you have to go through to fine-tune the edit deck’s frame offset. There is an easier way–simply push the “Display” button found on most camcorders or editing decks. This will display your time code or counter information right on your monitor. Have the edit controller bring you to the beginning of a scene. Once the edit controller stops the record deck, simply read the time value off the screen and compare it to the actual “cut in” point on the edit controller’s display. From there you can make your calculations and set up your edit controller for frame-accurate editing.
San Diego, California
Here’s an optimization tip for those using the Quadrant Q-Motion 100 ISA video capture card. It features full-motion video capture and playback at full resolution (640×480 pixels) at 60 fields per second. However, if you’re using it on anything less than a Pentium system with an optimized AV drive and SCSI controller card, you’re going to need some help.
First, make sure and disable any screen savers. Next, go into CONFIG.SYS and place “REM” (remark) before the “SMARTDRV” line–you won’t need it while editing video. If you’re using Windows 3.1, enter Control Panel, click on the “Enhanced 386” icon, click on “Virtual Memory,” lower the cache size and activate the 32-bit file access.
If you’re running Windows 95, you should enter “Control Panel,” click on “File System” and under the “Hard Disk Settings” box disable the read-ahead optimization system. Then click on the “Troubleshooting” icon and disable write-behind caching for all drives.
These tips should improve the digital video access time, enhancing the capture and playback quality of your Q-Motion 100.
San Diego, California
Black & White
If you’re getting black and white animations while importing in Cineworks, one thing to check is that your system has been properly de-fragmented and/or checked with ScanDisk.
Defragmenting and running ScanDisk play a crucial role in Cineworks for it to work properly. For instance, if you know that you’re going to be cutting and pasting a lot (say you are trying for the perfect music bed or the narrator is speaking to fast for the animation), be prepared to get booted out of the system for fragmenting your main video drive too much.
Also, when editing, it’s a good idea to save your work after every edit. This becomes extra crucial if you get booted out–the system does not automatically save your work–or if you don’t like the edit you just made.
Paw Paw, Michigan
I’ve been producing video for about three years in a very special field–bullfights. I have more than 100 bullfights taped, so I must have a very good archive in order to search for a specific bullfight when its required. It’s very common that people return and ask for a copy.
Here’s what I do. At the very beginning of the event, I press the “Date” display on the camera and shoot some people for about five seconds. Of course, this five second shot will not be in the final edit, it’s only been recorded as a reference which shows the date and time of the event.
By doing this, you avoid pressing the date display during the event, something that gives your video that amateur look.
Merida Yucatan, Mexico