Latest post Sun, Nov 9 2008 8:22 PM by Job ter Burg. 1 replies.
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  • Mon, Mar 17 2008 12:46 AM

    Preparing Graphics for Import into an Avid System

    For some, there is a lot of confusion as to how to prepare your graphics for import into an Avid system. Because each version's options differ slightly, this document will focus on the theory behind the options instead, using a real-life example to illustrate the workflow.

    Let's say your client wants you to use a logo from their Web site in the video you are cutting. They give you the URL (in this example, and tell you that all they want is the logo on that page, but not the text that goes along with it.

    1. Upon visiting that page, you'll notice that the text is actually part of the graphic. The first thing you'll need to do is download the graphic (right-click on the graphic if you're on a PC, control-click on Mac) and save it to your hard drive.
    2. Open the graphic in a graphics program. For this example, we'll use Adobe Photoshop as the graphics program since it's the most common one, but any professional graphics program should work just as well.
    3. When you open the graphic, you'll see that it is 527 x 496 pixels in size. Avid systems work at a resolution of 720 x 486 non-square (rectangular) pixels. Most graphics programs, however, work with square pixels, so a 720 x 486 file from Photoshop actually looks stretched once it's imported into an Avid system. To correct this, you need to make the file 720 x 540 in Photoshop; the Avid system will re-map the pixels so that the end result will look normal to the human eye.
    4. Before you import the file into the Avid system, however, you'll need to crop the image to remove the text, so that all that's left is the "Fool Factory" logo. This will give you a graphic that is approximately 527 x 240, depending on how much you crop out.
    5. Remember, you still need to end up with a graphic that is 720 x 540 in size, either by resizing the logo or by enlarging the canvas and filling the new area in with black. If you need the logo to be larger, don't resize it in the Avid system; resize it in Photoshop. Because Photoshop is made to interpolate pixels, you will get better results. However you do it, the end result must be 720 x 540.
    6. Once the file is the right size, save it as either a .TIF or .PCT file (both of these file formats support alpha channels and are uncompressed, as opposed to smaller but more compressed file formats).
    7. Launch your Avid system, open your desired project, select a bin and choose Import from the File menu. Choose 'Graphic' as your File Type and navigate to the graphic you want.
    8. Before selecting OK, open the Options window. You'll want to choose '601Non-Square' for your Aspect Ratio. For color levels, 'RGB' is usually what you want. This will crunch the colors down to Broadcast-safe levels, which is important when making your master. If you choose '601' for the color levels, the Avid will leave the levels alone, which means that if the graphic has illegal NTSC colors, they will remain that way in your media. This is useful in specific situations (you may need superblack for making a proper luma key, for example) but in general it can cause you unnecessary trouble.
    9. Since this is a computer-generated graphic, choose 'No Fields' (non-interlaced) for the field order
    10. Choose the appropriate alpha channel setting (this will depend on your file; the Invert command in Photoshop is useful when making alpha channels since it creates them in a manner opposite to Avid systems).
    11. Once that is done, import the graphic into your bin. It should look exactly as it was created, and now you can edit it into the timeline and make your client happy.

  • Sun, Nov 9 2008 8:22 PM In reply to

    Re: Preparing Graphics for Import into an Avid System

    I always wondered whether the method above (and/or the Avid itself) take into account the following, as explained by the BBC:

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
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