Avid Tutorial - How to Set Default Font Sizes

By default, the font size in Avid Media Composer for both your Project window and for all of your bins is 11. If you're like me, you need a slightly larger font size so your eyes aren't strained. However, you don't want to go through the trouble of adjusting the font size for all of your bins one at a time. Fortunately, there is a way to set the default font size for all of your bins and the project window. Watch the video to find out.

  1. At the top of your Project window, find the Settings button and click it.
  2. Scroll down until you find the settings for Interface (or just type "i" on your keyboard to jump all the way down to all settings options that start with "i").
  3. Double click Interface to pull up the Interface window
  4. Make sure the boxes next to "Override all Bin font sizes" and "Override Project font size" are checked.
  5. Type in your desired font size for each.
  6. Click "Apply" in the bottom right corner of the Interface window.

That's it. What other Avid Media Composer tips do you have? Leave them in the Comments section.

Create Avid Shortcuts to Quickly Jump to Edit Points

I like to take advantage of short cut keys when I'm editing. It helps me to work faster and more efficiently. As I'm editing, I'm constantly jumping back and forth between edit points on my sequence. I would much rather use a keyboard shortcut for this, rather than using my mouse to place my playhead on a certain point in the timeline.

To do this in Avid I use the "A" and "S" keys. However, by default, Avid is set up to enter Trim Mode when you press either "A" or "S." 

A few years ago, I found this helpful tutorial that shows you how to map your Avid keyboard so that you can quickly jump between edit points without moving into Trim Mode.

Have any other Avid tips? Leave them in the Comments section below.

Recommended App for Film Scheduling

Image courtesy of  IndieWhip

Image courtesy of IndieWhip

I'm currently in pre-production on my next short film project Big and TallWe are scheduled to shoot later this month and I just finished the shot list and production schedule using the ShotLister app.

I don't know how many of you currently use, or have used this app, but I encourage you to take a look you haven't had the chance yet. I found it incredibly easy to use.

From the welcome screen, you can create a new project.

Once the project is created, you can start adding scenes, specifying the location, whether the scene is interior or exterior, the page of the script on which the scene takes place, how long the scene is, and which cast members are needed.

After the scene is created, you can then add specific shots within each scene, specifying which camera will be used (on a multicam shoot), the focal length, the gear needed (sticks, steadicam, dolly, etc.), which lens will be used, and any other notes you need to add.

When you are finished adding your shots, you can arrange them for your shooting day. Just tap and hold on each shot and drag it to reorder it.

Once all of your shots are ordered, tab over to the Shoot Day section and start adding individual scenes into your shooting day.

You can then specify how long each shot will take, add in time for set-ups, lunch, company moves, etc. You can also set your call time, sunrise/sunset times, and your wrap time. 

When you have added all your scenes into the shooting day, ShotLister will automatically tally the number of pages, shots, and camera setups you have scheduled for the day.

ShotLister is available for iOS and Android and costs $13.99. You can also purchase a Pro membership, which unlocks additional features, like the ability to import storyboards to your shot list.

What has your experience with ShotLister been like? Do you have any other app recommendations for filmmakers? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section.

Improve After Effects Performance With This Little Tip

If you do any compositing work in After Effects, you know how important it is to manage your project to ensure that the application continues to run at peak performance. After Effects definitely uses a lot of computer resources, and before you know it, the complexity of compositions, the number of applied effects, and the sheer volume of assets will start to slow down the software.

There are a number of things Adobe recommends to improve the performance of After Effects, and you should definitely read through their check list. However, here is a tip that will help you to quickly reduce the size of your compositions to eliminate unnecessary/unused frame space. After all, every little bit helps.

For the most part, whenever I'm in After Effects I'm working inside a 1920x1080 composition. When precomposing layers for use in my Render Comps, I'm usually working with elements that don't necessarily need to be 1920x1080. For example, just this week I was working on a project that required me to create a timer graphic that counted down to zero. I precomposed the graphic for use in my main composition, but I didn't need the timer precomp to be as large as 1920x1080.

So, in order to reduce the frame size of the precomp and tidy up the project a little, I quickly cropped the size of the comp by using the Region of Interest command. Here's how it works:

  • Load your composition in the preview monitor. The window will look like this:
  • Look at the toolbar along the bottom of the composition window. Notice the rectangular icon in between the preview quality drop down menu and the Active Camera drop down menu. It looks like a picture-in-picture icon. This is the Region of Interest toggle switch.
  • Click the icon and then highlight the area of your composition that you want to use.
  • Go to the top menu and click "Composition" then "Crop Comp to Region of Interest." The size of your composition will automatically shrink down to the size of the area you highlighted.

Using this method will help you keep your composition sizes (and therefore, the overall size of your project) down to a minimum, and free up valuable RAM.

Have any other After Effects tips? Leave them in the Comments section below.