Useful Tools- Part 1

In the spirit of christmas I thought I’d share some of the useful tools I use every day to help me as I edit. Some of these are real lifesavers and can help you stay organized and efficient, reclaiming you loads of time and allowing you to focus on the creative edit without getting bogged down too much in the essential under the hood legwork.


Dropbox

I’ve been using Dropbox for a long time now, and it just keeps getting better and better. It’s a great way to sync your essential files between all your machines, to ensure all your work is constantly being backed up incrementally in the cloud, to share work for approvals, notes etc, and to allow seamless project sharing as part of a wider system. ( I used this on a recent film to allow us to use Unity style project sharing and flexibility within an FCP workflow- which I’ll outline in a separate post). Currently I pay for the 50GB package, and can’t imagine working without it- especially now they’ve released an update introducing easy selective sync, allowing you to specify the folders you wish to stay in sync on different machines. If you’re not using Dropbox, you should be- oh, and the 2GB package is free.

Post Haste

This is a neat little tool that allows you to create template folder structures for your projects that can be automatically generated at the start of a job, and customized to include template project files already named by Name, Project Number etc. It’s a great deal easier to stay organized when there is a logical starting point in place, and the template files can save lots of time too.


Loader

This FCP plugin is another great one. Whenever you need to import media into FCP, simply drag the files onto Loader. It will automatically copy the files to your chosen media location, moving audio files and graphics to separate folders, before importing related clips into the FCP browser. It’ll also convert any audio files on the fly to your projects defaults (usually 48Khz 16bit). The conversion is nifty- as it always pays to ensure you don’t mix your sample rates in FCP.
Used in conjuction with the previous tools, Loader can ensure that you never get the dreaded reconnect nightmare- when you realize that half of the temp music files you have used are on a machine 13,000 km away, and it can streamline multi remote-user environments too. It’s well worth having, and costs $79 USD

Sequence Liner

This tool is also for FCP users, when Dual System sound has been used along with jam sync so the TC is the same on Video and Audio. It helps get a bit closer to Avid’s brilliant AutoSync function, by taking a folder of Audio and one of Video and creating a timeline with them synced together. Once that’s done, all you need to do is merge the clips
and you’re away- although there are some bugs that remain in FCP with merged clips, so test your workflow fully. The app is free but as always, I encourage you to donate if it saves you time.

More to come in Part 2….

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~ by cutlertv on December 29, 2010.

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