How To Be A DIT – Part 10

How To Be A DIT – Tutorials, Tools & Workflows

In the 10th instalment of my How To Be A DIT series I’ve put together an extensive round up of valuable insights from around the web for those looking to become Digital Image Technicians (DIT) or anyone else seeking to deepen their knowledge of the technical side of post-production.

To check out the rest of the How To Be A DIT series hit the entire DIT category here.

The hour long video kicking off this post is from the New York Post Alliance’s first seminar of 2014 with a panel of DITs and Assistant Editor’s talking about how the two sides of post fit together. Well worth a watch!

DIT on set post production

If you want a first-hand look at a working DIT’s on set workflow using Scratch Lab on a Microsoft Surface Pro then this interview with Colorist/DIT Lorne Miess is a great read and full of plenty of technical details.

What will happen is that when we need to figure out how we’re going to make a shot happen I can load an image from the set onto the Surface, and then create four or five different grades for the master shot. Michael can look through them and make an informed decision around what’s going to work best for his vision… When I was using other tablets, they were just still images on a non-calibrated screen. Using the Surface you can calibrate the display using Spectracal’s Calman Software, and I can bring either a clip to set or a series of stills and I can leave the Surface on-set while I take what I need via the USB stick.

For a very simple end-to-end overview of an intricate digital cinema then this page from an extensive post on the ASC website guides you through the Gravity project pipeline. If you like that, then check out my very lengthy making of Gravity round-up.

DIT Training and more from Light Iron Digital

Light Iron CEO Michael Cioni delivers this excellent talk on how Alexa XT 4:3 shooters can get the most out of their 3K sensor for a 4K workflow.  Scroll down to the DIT Workflows section below for even more on working with Alexa footage.

In this 6K DI Diary case-study you can learn how best to manage, move, manipulate and monitor 6K footage (a la the RED Dragon), which is 9 times larger than 2K footage. This relies on some seriously high-end hardware from Quantel (Pablo Rio systems) that can throughput 8GB a second! This post is huge, click through to check it out!

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New Features in Premiere Pro CC 2014

Learning Premiere Pro CC 2014 – New Features

The latest release of the Adobe Creative Cloud applications are now available for immediate download and as an editor I’ve already updated to Premiere Pro CC 2014.

But wait? Isn’t it a post production crime to upgrade in the middle of a project?

Yes, yes it is. But as you’ll soon discover the latest release installs side by side to the original CC versions, which means you can safely play with the new features, whilst keeping your current projects ticking along on the original CC version of the apps.

upgrading to adobe creative cloud 2014

I’ve blogged about 2 other things that you also might want to know about upgrading to the 2014 release of Premiere Pro CC over on Premium Beat, which if you’re in the habit of making FLV files you’ll definitely want to check out. In the video at the top of this post you can check out a very chirpy Al Mooney demonstrating some of the new features at the Las Vegas Supermeet. You can get more of the official Adobe news on PPCC 2014 here.

For a fuller run down of the new features in Premiere Pro CC 2014 then Josh from retooled.net has an excellent 25 minute video covering some of the major and minor updates. Strypes in Post has written up a great top 8 new features post over on his blog, and has some great instructional images on how to make the most of them.

Audio Pitch shift while scrubbing in premiere

Studio Daily also has a concise run down of the new features you might be interested in learning about in Premiere Pro, After Effects and Speedgrade. Lastly Scott Simmons original NAB post, when most of these features were announced, is well worth a revisit here on Pro Video Coalition.

Premiere Pro CC Tips and Tutorials

In this video Jeff Greenberg gives you 20 tips for Premiere Pro editors in about 20 minutes. Well worth a watch as you are guaranteed to learn something new!

Click through for the rest of this giant round up!

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Inside Edit Fest London 2014

The Best Quotes from Edit Fest London 2014

Edit Fest London 2014 I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the American Cinema Editor’s Edit Fest London at the very comfortable BFI on the South bank in London. It was a fantastic day and a brilliant opportunity to meet many more editors, not only from London but also from around the world.

I’ve written up 5 Lessons from Edit Fest London over on Premiumbeat.com which you should check out too. In this post I’m simply going to type up some of the best quotes that I scribbled down during the day, which I made as accurately as I could so nobody sue me.

Edit Fest London – Editors on Editing

Game of thrones editor Tim Porter

The first discussion panel was Small Screen, Big Picture – with a fistful of television editors (although many also cut features) discussing their craft. On the panel were Mags Arnold, Stephen Ellis ACE, Mark Everson and Tim Porter, and it was moderated by John Wilson ACE.

Editors are often brought in quite late, and should be brought in more in pre-production to help shape the story.” – Documentary editor Stephen Ellis ACE (SE)

Focus on the people, not the action: “The real narrative is what happens if a huge event becomes an emotional fulcrum in your life.” (SE) Sometimes what’s most interesting in a story is not the events that happened themselves, but the change in the people they happened to.

Game of Thrones editor Tim Porter showed a clip from episode 8 of season 4, which involved a duel between two characters with a surprising and gory twist which he described as “The most fun I had at work last year!

Mags Arnold described her break into the industry whilst working as a first assistant editor under Mick Audsley on High Fidelity and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin saying that she would “speak up at screenings and so on” (i.e. don’t be shy and be respectfully opinionated) and went on to cut her first film, My Little Eye on FCP v1.

There is always one week that happens in documentary editing where there isn’t a film. And you’re pulling your hair out. And then something clicks – even if it’s just one scene – and then everything’s fine.” – SE

Most of my breaks came from people being ill, or people seeing something and giving me an opportunity. It’s about even.” – Mark Everson Click through for much more!

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FCPX 10.1.2 – New Features And Workflows

FCPX 10.1.2 – New Features And Workflows

Apple updated Final Cut Pro X to version 10.1.2 this week, representing the 12th update in 3 years, with FCPX having originally launched in June 2011. If you’ve been editing with FCPX for years, or still tentatively watching from the sidelines, this post should get you up to speed on the changes, new features and improvements in FCPX 10.1.2

In the video tutorial above FinalCutPro.net trainer Jasper Thayer talks through some of the new features in the latest release. His first tip is possibly one of the most important!

First thing that you’ll notice is that FCPX requires you to update your Library files in order to work with your Libraries in this new version. Keep in mind that you can not open your Libraries in older versions of FCPX after they’ve been updated to work in version 10.1.2.

If you like to read your way through a list of the new features, with plenty of images too, then Mark Spencer from Ripple Training has written up a great post over on fcp.co.

New plugins in FCPX 10.1.2For possibly the most exhaustive run down of every new feature, addition, hidden bit of code and possible future update that no-one else has spotted, you can’t really beat Alex Golner’s epic (and constantly updated) post on Alex4D.com.

Alex has also found all the new plugins and effects that ship with FCPX 10.1.2, which he’s helpfully screen-grabbed too.

For a one-stop-shop on all things FCPX 10.1.2, hurry over to Alex’s site!

Philip Hodgetts also has a great write up of the new features in FCPX 10.1.2 and how they relate to some of Philip’s company’s very useful FCPX applications. Check them out on intelligentassistance.com.

With Final Cut Pro X 10.1.2 media management has matured. Store your Original, Optimized or Proxy media anywhere you – the user – want it to be. Now you can store all media in one location, and Libraries will become (optionally) much smaller without any media inside.

Last but not least Richard Taylor’s fcpx.tv has a giant (and historic) list of resources for FCPX 10.1.2 and below, which means that whatever version you’re currently on, you’ll find something useful!

Media Management Tutorials in FCPX 10.1.2

The chaps from Ripple Training – Mark Spencer and Steve Martin, share three free tutorials explaining the new media management features and workflows in FCPX 10.1.2. In this first video they explain how FCPX handles your media, and how libraries, events, media and projects all work together. Continue reading for more tutorials and tips!

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DaVinci Resolve 11 Free Download!

DaVinci Resolve 11 Now Available in Public Beta

DaVinci Resolve 11

DaVinci Resolve 11 is now available to download as a free public beta. Version 11 of everyone’s favourite free colour grading software was announced at NAB and only a few months later you can now get a hold of it for free for yourself! Download it here.

I blogged about all the new features in DaVinci Resolve 11 back in April, so check out this post – DaVinci Resolve 11 New Features – for a full run down of the nearly 140 new features, as well as more videos like this one from Alexis Van Hurkman taking you through both the colour grading and editing capabilities.

In this excellent half hour demo from the Las Vegas Supermeet, Alexis showcases just how powerful the editing capabilities are within Resolve 11. He also took the time to demonstrate how easy the collaborative workflow is between editor and colourist. Well worth a watch!

The Best New Features in DaVinci Resolve 11

Colourist Rob Bessette was fortunate enough to have access to Resolve 11 during the private beta test period and so he’s had a head start on the rest of us in whittling down his favourite new features, which he has helpfully put together in a short blog post here.

“I’m a big fan of the qualifier tab in Resolve.  It’s an incredibly powerful tool.  Quite frankly, I feel it’s a little under appreciated  and people tend to gravitate towards the fancier tracking tab.  To me, tracking is a last resort.  I almost always try to key before I track (obviously the situation has to be pertinent to the correction at hand).  If there are any options that I can have the will tighten up the accuracy of my HSL key then I’m going to be one happy camper.”

New features in Resolve 11 Color Correction Handbook Alexis Van Hurkman, who has not only re-written the 852 page manual (!) for DaVinci Resolve – which you can now find in the Applications > DaVinci Resolve folder, rather than as a separate download from the Blackmagic Design site – but he’s also written several books on colour grading that you really should check out too. If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, he has created some excellent video tutorials, available from Ripple Training, which he will be completely overhauling for Resolve 11, so keep your eyes peeled for those too. All the while working as a professional colorist. All of that is simply an introduction to say that you should check out his blog post about the new release of Resolve 11 and why he’s excited by the latest update.

One of the main themes of Resolve 11 is vastly expanded editing tools; you now have a video editor living directly alongside your grading environment, in which you can cut from scratch and immediately switch to grading with a single mouse-click. Or, if you’re like me, you can go back and forth between cutting and grading continuously, making grading tweaks to scenes right in the middle of your edit, creating quick matches when insert shots don’t look right, or creating that day-for-night look you need to make a particular scene work.

Davinci Resolve 11 first impressions

Lastly if you want a video walk through of some of the best of these new features, then London based colorist Dan Moran has a 15 minute tutorial over on Mixing Light.com, a subscription based colour grading training site. Dan covers the new UI changes, dual monitors, using the new colour matching tool, render caching and much more, sharing plenty of great tips along the way. If you really want to see Dan’s insights but don’t want to pay, you can grab a 24 hour test drive with full access to the site for free!

Other colorists are equally happy with the new Resolve 11 too. In this tweet colorist Josh Petok mentions the alpha output on OFX nodes, which you can use for green screen keys. It’s also worth reading through the full conversation from Rob Bessette’s tweet below (click the date stamp) about why that new little icon will be so handy!

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Lightworks on Mac – Free Download!

Lightworks now available on Mac!

Lightworks film editing application now on mac

If you’ve been following the development of EditShare’s Lightworks – a cross platform editing application with a legendary feature film history, then you’ll know that it’s been available on Windows and Linux for sometime. I for one have been eagerly awaiting the Mac version for quite some time, and now it’s finally here.

Lightworks Version 12 on Mac

Getting to grips with Lightworks on macIf you’ve just downloaded Lightworks and you’re itching to get started, then this 10 minute quick start guide will get you up and running in a jiffy. If you’re after a more detailed read for a sense of the overall flow of how Lightworks functions then Rick Young’s first impressions is the place to go.

The thing that can be slightly disconcerting when you first open Lightworks is how little you are presented with. But start opening a few clips and bins and soon you’ll be able to organise a much more familiar looking layout. Plus the tips from the Shark are pretty handy!

Lightworks on Mac

Finally, if you want to watch a much more detailed, 10 part tutorial series taking you through every stage of the Lightworks workflow, then check out this previous post which will provide you with that, and much more besides!

New Features in Lightworks 12

There are a few new features in version 12b of Lightworks, which you can get a very detailed look at in this first 18 minute tutorial that focuses on the new capabilities in the Content Manager. The next two shorter tutorials take you through the search tool and some handy Content Manager group shortcuts. Click through for 11 more Lightworks tutorials!

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Twitter Tips for Avid Editors Part 3

Even more Twitter Tips for Avid Editors

In this third instalment of my growing series of Twitter based tips for Avid editors, from Avid editors you can learn a lot of very useful things. The best way to get the most out of each Tweet is to hit the date stamp and read the full conversation, for example the tweet above launched a conversation 19 tweets long…

One of the editors who has featured here most often is Josh Short – originally tweeting under the handle @shortedits, he has recently renamed his Twitter handle to @editvideofaster – in line with a brand new website he is in the process of building, called www.editvideofaster.com. It’s being added to but I’m sure Josh will have great content so be sure to check back regularly.

Also check out Twitter Tips for Avid Editors Part One & Part Two plus the Avid category (62 posts and counting) on the right hand side of this blog, including my series of posts called ‘Diary of An Avid Switcher‘ – which I shall hopefully be continuing soon, so stay tuned for that!

Editing Tips For Avid Editors

Click through for loads more Avid Media Composer Tips

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Colour Grading Tutorials and Resources for DaVinci Resolve and more

Grading Tutorials for DaVinci Resolve and more

If you want to grow as a colorist then tutorials like this one from colorist Matt Scott will help you improve your art, craft and technique. That and everything else in this post! In this tutorial Matt talks through creating a film look in Edius 7 Pro, but you can easily transplant the ideas to DaVinci Resolve or your NLE of choice.

In this short tutorial from Denver Riddle he covers the topic of shot to shot matching, working in FCPX.

In this two-part tutorial from filmmaker Tom Antos you can get a good look of how to grade a war film in Premiere Pro, making use of Red Giant’s Colorista.

Download Free Grading Test Shots

Another very helpful thing Matt has to offer is a download’s section stuffed with great looking, free, original camera raw footage that you can take a crack at grading for yourself, including the shot he grades in the tutorial above. Head over to Matt’s site to download everything from R3D 2k at 300fps to R3D RAW 4k and 5k.

DaVinci Resolve 10 Tutorials

In this excellent tutorial colorist Rob Bessette breaks down how he created a couple of different looks for a recent pool commercial. For more of a taster of the kind of commercial work Rob does – check out his reel below. If you like Rob’s tutorials you can get more of them over on subscription site Mixing Light.com Click through for loads more tutorials!

Posted in Adobe Premiere Pro, Colour Grading, Creativity, DaVinci Resolve, FCP-X, Free download, RED, Tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Sound Design and Sound Editing Training

Free Sound Design and Sound Editing Training

If you’ve ever wondered what a sound designer, sound editor and sound re-recording mixer does on a feature film then these free resources should give you a solid idea of what’s involved.

In this free webinar with sound designer Tom Ozanich you can learn a lot about how he mixes the final sound on a feature film or game cinematic. Tom has worked on the sound post production for films like Jupiter Ascending, Ender’s Game, Prisoners, Kill Bill Vol.2, American Beauty and many more…

In this series of articles and videos Clinton Harn takes you through all of the essential gear and techniques you need to improve your sound recording abilities. In these two videos below, Clinton shares some tips on dialogue recording location sound in cars. Check out the full series of articles on the Zacuto site.

Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures

In this excellent series of tutorials, dialogue editor John Purcell takes you through the essential aspects of being a dialogue editor for feature film work. He covers topics like getting organised, basic transitions, telephone splits, managing your time and noise reduction. If you’re after a book on dialogue editing you probably can’t do much better than John’s own book Dialogue Editing For Motion Pictures – check it out on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. Click through for 12 more tutorials!

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Inside A Professional Edit Suite

Inside A Professional Edit Suite

If you’ve ever wondered what a professional edit suite looks like then this round up of photos, videos and edit suite design tips should give you a great insiders look! And if you want to be able to look even closer, check out this popular round up of editor’s timelines.

Here, the first few photos come from Ron Howard’s edit suite on his current film In The Heart of The Sea.

Not all edit suites as are as comfortable looking as Ron Howard’s – here’s Darren Aronofsky cutting Noah, standing up in his (seemingly) make-shift suite.

In these last two images you can check out documentary editor’s Shane Ross and Steve Audette’s edit suite set ups. Check out the next section of this post for Shane’s write up of his suite.


PBS Frontline documentary editor Steve Audette, kindly took the time to email a detailed breakdown of the gear in his suite. Speaking of Steve, if you’ve not seen his excellent lecture on documentary editing, then you’ve been seriously missing out.

Behind my head on the wall are important documents for durations and deadlines. Also you can see the “ten commandments of typography”and a motivational graphic of the 7 minute workout. Maybe I need to spend more time with that one.

Wacom Cintiq 13 inchTo continue left to right.  My desk has my laptop with a small Wacom Cintiq for fine Photoshop or After Effects work as needed; stuff I do close up and with a delicate hand. Mostly all this work is all on my Big Mac Pro (silver tower: 10.8.5 – 2×2.4ghz 6 core Xenon with 32 gig ram) but the laptop is there to do second shift work as needed. The laptop also where FinalDraft scripts are kept. 

Above the laptop is a plasma client monitor – I have two in my room this one is for me, the other is down way out of picture. Then my bin monitor and my composer monitor these are old NEC 24 inch that need replacing as they have ghost images. Below the bin monitor is the router (which I hardly use now with file based media) a telephone, a track ball and keyboard. 

Makie Studio MonitorsUp in the top corner there, you can see the Makie HR824 monitor. Not Blue Sky monitors by any means but they work ok. The bass trap on the wall behind me is matched with a few others in the room, but I am not sure they really work – still has too much bass. What do you expect with parallel walls. the speakers are also not set up for mixing so my producer/director has a heavy right mix and I have a heavy left mix. We cope and look forward to the mix. 

Tucked under my client monitor is an 01v mixing board. Again, I hardly use that now as I do all initial mixing in the Avid Media Composer for both rough cuts and fine cuts. Final mixing goes to the protools system upstairs. Back in the day I would work with 8 direct outs of audio and compress the narration channel and main interview channel on the O1v, now I do thaplumb bobt in the Media Composer using RTAS tools. So all that is left for this board is to record  narration – soon I will move to a USB solution and the board is gone. More space for coffee cups. (Funny but the elevated shelf for the computer monitors was set by the height of a BetaSP tape – when was the last time I saw one of those.)

Finally up in the upper right of the photo, there is the Plumb Bob. Homage to telling the straight line of a story and not wavering to the pull of some sequence off the narrative. Keep the line, like the Plumb Bob straight and true. 

If you have any questions ask me on Twitter or Facebook. Now back to my nap…

Anatomy of an Edit Suite

In this excellent three part video series, editor Walt Biscardi builds on one of his most popular blog posts ‘Anatomy of an edit suite‘ by updating things and going into a bit more detail on all the core components of a professional edit suite, including the chair, desk, mice and tablets, monitors, standing desks etc. Walt has also written up an post on designing a suite around an iMac, which is worth a look too.

Anatomy of an edit suite

Editor Shane Ross has also helpfully written up a detailed description of how he transformed his suite from one based around at 2008 Mac Pro to one based around a 2012 non-retina Macbook Pro – making the most of all those Thunderbolt peripherals to expand his edit suite. Click through for more edit suite design resources

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