2002-04-28 04:30:44-05

Final Cut Pro

A couple of days ago, I picked up copies of Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro.

Since then, I have barely had any free time, as it has been filled entirely with figuring out the best way to get a good looking picture from my camcorder, and experimenting with the limits of the DVD spcs.

Final Cut pro is amazing software - I have learned such an amazing amount about video editing in the past few days, just by playing with this program. It's almost a constant stream of "Ah-Ha!" experiences as I wonder what a feature could possibly be used for, and a few minutes later everything becomes clear.
Here is an example. This display confused me. It looked cool, but I had no clue what useful purpose it could serve. Then I happened to run a test pattern through it, and everything became clear.

Currently, the best system I have been able to figure out for fixing up DV video is to start by running the following filters:
  • Deinterlace (flicker filter - high)
  • Anti-Alias (1)
  • Proc-Amp ( about -0.25, -0.25, 1.25, 0 )
  • NTSC safe (120)
While this produces a very good result, it takes a dual 800 G4 about 6 hours per hour of footage to filter.

DVD studio pro is also a very cool piece of software. Whereas iDVD takes the approach of automating everything, and not giving you any control over anything, DVD studio pro is at the opposite extreme - a collection of seperate tools for MPEG encoding, AC3 encoding, Subtitles, etc and one shell that combines them, giving you full absolute control over every aspect of the DVD.

Right now, my current DVD experiments lie in the area of the built in scripting system.
it is rather limited:
  • 5 registers
  • no memory
  • a 128 instruction limit per script (really 256, but only 128 usable for what I want)
  • no else blocks
  • no recursion
  • only == and != comparisons

I have a rather cool idea that I might just be able to pull off, by pusing the hardware to it's limits (bitmasks to pack variables, massive chaining of control scripts). I 'll have to pick up some DVD-RW disks for testing, so I dont chew through my supply of DVD-R disks.


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