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Vital Tools for Post Production Pros | Jonny Elwyn

Vital Tools for post production pros

  • Important instruments for movie editors, colorists and DITs
  • Helpful timesaving plugins for Adobe Premiere and FCPX
  • Inside Assimilate’s latest software

As a movie editor getting access to all the greatest instruments to make your publish manufacturing life simpler is usually a daunting process. Not solely do it’s a must to keep updated with at the least one NLE’s core capabilities you additionally have to hold a psychological Swiss military knife of purposes handy, to deal with numerous elements of your submit manufacturing workflow.

On this publish I’ve introduced collectively a set of instruments that I feel shall be of actual profit to editors, colorists and DITs engaged on all types of tasks. A few of these I’ve tried and examined myself, others I’ve come throughout on-line and tucked away for the longer term, others have gotten in contact by way of the weblog.

This text consists of the next apps:

  • Assimilate SCRATCH Play Professional
  • Hedge for Mac & Home windows
  • Gpanel & PDF Viewer
  • Closed Caption Tools
  • Constructing a Hackintosh for Modifying
  • Filestage Evaluate and Approval
  • Plugins for FCPX Editors
  • Kollaborate Workflows

No matter their origin, these instruments may allow you to get your work carried out with a lot much less problem, time and complications and hopefully get you residence sooner!

Assimilate SCRATCH Play Professional

SCRATCH Play Professional is actually a stripped down model of the massively featured Assimilate SCRATCH 9 (take a look at my newbie’s information to that, right here) which suggests for those who’re conversant in SCRATCH you’ll be proper at residence, or if not through the use of Play Professional you’ve obtained a foothold within the different path.

Take a look at the brief video above to get a succinct overview of how highly effective this Participant actually is.

Key options embrace:

  • Play virtually any digital camera file format, together with uncooked information
  • Render out true Apple licensed Professional Res information on Home windows PC
  • Encode top quality, low file-size H.264 renders in as much as 8K decision and 10-bit
  • Encode H.265 with a licensed encoder from BeamR, in as much as 12-bit
  • Play information by way of SDI-Output
  • Export HDR-report, DIT-report, ALE, LUTs (in all sizes and depths) and CDLs

Of all of those options the Professional Res on Home windows encoding appears to be getting probably the most consideration.

Right here’s how colorist and Mixing Mild Founder, Patrick Inhofer described it in his most up-to-date publication (which you need to enroll for – it’s free!)

Sensible. A strong, cheap skilled media participant that serves as an introduction to the Scratch universe. AND – ProRes encoding on Home windows. Seize it earlier than Apple decides to tug the Home windows licensing once they work out Resolve and Premiere Customers are utilizing it to switch ageing MacPros serving this transcoding obligation.

At $20/month SCRATCH Play Professional is a further expense for those who’re simply utilizing it to view your information, however when you consider it extra like SCRATCH Encoder Professional then it’s just about a discount, particularly given the standard of the outputs Assimilate say they will ship for Professional Res, H.264 and H.265 information.

Obtain a free trial right here.

How one can use Assimilate SCRATCH Professional Play for the primary time

Assimilate SCRATCH Pro Player

One you’ve gotten a clip imported the Participant tab is the place the motion is

Like all Assimilate SCRATCH merchandise you’ll be able to obtain a free trial to offer it a go for your self, earlier than you lay out any money. (Click on right here to try this.)

There’s one factor to notice when putting in it, which confused me at first. Whenever you obtain the installer it seems prefer it’s putting in SCRATCH. The installer is known as SCRATCH, the icon known as SCRATCH however if you open it, you’re greeted with the message that you simply’ve opened SCRATCH Play Professional.

Following the construction of the tabbed workflow in SCRATCH, there are two tabs in SCRATCH Play Professional. One for importing and managing timelines of clips (Assemble) and one for enjoying and adjusting these clips (Participant).

You’ll be able to export clips out of Professional Participant from both tab with the Render and Publish features.

Import clips into scratch play pro

It appears apparent now however to import a clip you want to click on on the calmly pulsating blue ‘import clips’ within the centre of the display. In wanting round on the different controls I had initially missed this!

As with most trendy publish instruments, whenever you usher in your first clip it can warn you if the properties of your clips don’t match the present timeline settings. Drop your clips onto one of many Assemble slots and the Participant tab, now has one thing to work with.

Scratch Play Pro metadata

Inside the Assemble for those who click on on file identify of a clip within the timeline, a pop-out window will seem supplying you with all the properties and metadata for that clip.

One factor I observed instantly within the Participant tab was how responsive the playback of the 6K RED uncooked clip I imported was. It was silky clean and seemed nice.

SCRATCH Play Pro controls

Click on to enlarge

The primary picture (above) on this part exhibits you what the complete Participant tab seems like, however here’s a composite of the 5 totally different toolsets that you need to use inside the app.

You’ve the power to do easy color grading by means of three traditional wheels, apply a LUT or work together with all the digital camera RAW settings.

On the prime of the app there are an extra 5 instruments; Scopes, PanZoom, Audio (meters), Enlarge and SnapShot…

SCRATCH Play Pro audio tools

For a greater take a look at the Scopes, take a look at the video on the prime of this part. I actually appreciated that the Audio meters will show as much as 16 channels and are available a big come out window, somewhat than being caught in a nook.

It’s potential that I used to be ‘doing it wrong’ however I couldn’t discover a strategy to scale the Scopes software to any measurement I needed (say, by clicking on the nook and dragging), though you’ll be able to management the size inside the scopes to 2x.

The Enlarge software provides you a digital photographer’s loupe and the SnapShot a approach to save out a nonetheless, say if you wish to examine the look of a file with a DP or shopper.

render from SCRATCH Play Pro

Relating to getting your information out of SCRATCH Play Professional you could have a number of choices, together with ALE, CDL, HDR studies and DIT stories with feedback.

In contrast to the complete SCRATCH app there isn’t a devoted render web page, however as an alternative you entry the settings via a pop up window from both tab.

You may also publish direct to SCRATCH Net, Vimeo, YouTube and Fb, in case you enter all of your login particulars and so on.

Once I get extra time I’m hoping I can examine the output of the H.264 information SCRATCH Play Professional produces compared to DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere Professional close to the file measurement, visible high quality and velocity of export.

Though I don’t have a Home windows machine, it might be fascinating to see how good the Professional Res information look as I do know earlier ‘unofficial’ options haven’t all the time held up.

Take a look at SCRATCH Play Professional for your self right here.

Hedge – Intuitive Again Up Software for Editors and DITs

Hedge for mac 2018

Relating to easy, straightforward to make use of, intuitive design Hedge has most apps beat. This is likely one of the causes it’s my favorite app to make use of when duplicating drives, archiving information or copying supply digital camera playing cards.

In case you are constructing that Home windows publish machine, you can too use Hedge with it, because it’s supported on Mac and Home windows (and even runs 11% quicker on a PC!)

I included Hedge in my spherical up of DIT Tools for 2018, again in January, which offers you a deeper rundown of a few of the integrations and supporting apps that you should use with it.

As Hedge is on a cycle of steady improvement, new options and enhancements come regularly. In 2017 they up to date the app 12 occasions (by my rely) and the newest model is 18.three (the third replace of 2018).

hedge with checkpoint functions

Listed here are some fast headlines on the newest updates that Hedge has shipped:

Hedge 18.three – Checkpoint for removing supply errors as a consequence of dodgy hardware or cables

Hedge 18.2 – Copy simply new information into present folders with duplicate detection

Hedge 18.1 – New workflow prospects with a number of locations plus quicker transfers on Home windows than Mac!

duplicate detection when copying files

Hedge additionally has a pleasant hybrid licensing mannequin, which they’re very open about:

Each Hedge license comes with a assured yr of free, steady updates, new options, and naturally help. After a yr, Hedge continues to work simply effective. You then determine if you wish to obtain any new updates and options, or at a later time. Or by no means.

Additionally, paying once more in full for an replace doesn’t make sense to us. That’s why renewing an expired license prices $69. Renew earlier than the yr is over, and also you get an early chook price of simply $49?—?a 30% low cost.

This implies you’re neither paying to realize each new function, nor are you locked out of the app in case your subscription lapses.

Hopefully they’ll immediate you a month earlier than the top of your yr, to remind you to snap up that low cost.

To attempt Hedge for your self, you’ll be able to obtain a free trial, or because of Paul and the workforce’s generosity over at Hedge, it can save you 10% on the price of your first buy with this hyperlink:

Click on right here to say your 10% low cost on Hedge

For an inventory of (hopefully) all reductions and promo codes on the weblog, verify right here.

Helpful Tools for Premiere Professional Editors

PDF Viewer Panel Review

PDF Viewer from is one in every of my favorite plugins with regards to modifying in Adobe Premiere Professional.

It’s extremely easy however extremely efficient, in that it lets you open PDFs inside Premiere and work with them with out having to modify forwards and backwards out of the app to verify one thing, nor to resize the NLE to accommodate two apps aspect by aspect in your display.

This may increasingly not sound like lots, however each time I’ve to verify towards shopper notes, a script or another doc, I exploit PDF Viewer and anytime I’m modifying someplace with out it, I’m immediately reminded of simply how a lot time it saves!

For an in-depth information to utilizing PDF Viewer, take a look at this earlier publish and the hyperlinks it factors to, particularly’s evaluate.

PDFViewer prices $20 from

For his or her second launch they’ve constructed an identical plugin referred to as Gpanel which integrates Google Docs and Google Sheets proper into your Premiere Professional interface.

This time nevertheless quite than a static PDF, you’ll be able to work together with these paperwork stay and as they’re saved within the cloud, working with collaborators in the identical room or all over the world.

Gpanel prices $39.99 from

On this 1 minute video you will get a tip on how you can concurrently collaborate with a producer to seek out selects in your transcriptions while engaged on the identical doc, reside within the edit.

HMMMMM, very fascinating, however I have already got a far easier answer. A single-button software switching script. No have to sacrifice a panel in Premeire, or have to modify them in Premiere.

— Taran “Danger” Van Hemert (@TaranVH) February 5, 2018

If for some cause you continue to need to change forwards and backwards you can do this hack from Linus Tech Ideas editor Taran Van Hemert.

SpeedScriber Premiere Professional Panel

In the event you want speedy automated transcription service then SpeedScriber from Digital Heaven is a superb choice. I’ve used it a couple of occasions for transcribing Skype interviews that I’ve executed for this weblog, together with this one with Sven Pape – This Man Edits.

The accuracy of SpeedScriber is fairly astounding.

Not solely does it do a magical job of turning your whole dialogue into textual content, it additionally does a exceptional job of appropriately sorting grammar, figuring out audio system and even appropriately capitalising the title of a movie mid-sentence!

It additionally deftly ignored umms, errs, ahhs and different undesirable vocal stutters.

Now you’ll need to have decently recorded audio to face the perfect probability of getting word-for-word accuracy. However, from my expertise, sound of the extent of high quality that any semi-professional filmmaker usually achieves of their audio recordings, can be greater than enough.

While usually a standalone app, SpeedScriber have additionally developed a plugin for Adobe Premiere Professional, bringing the transcription interface into the NLE.

This has the additional advantage of bringing in markers to your timeline and discovering parts of a transcription in single supply clips and so on. which you’ll be able to then edit into your timeline.

There are a couple of hoops to leap via to make these integrations work appropriately, however the impression of getting word-accurate transcriptions at your finger ideas greater than makes up for it.

SpeedScriber additionally has workflow integrations for Avid Media Composer and FCPX.

You pay per minute of uploaded materials, so ensure you do a ‘pre-edit’ of your supply file if you realize you’re not going to wish all of it transcribed.

The official website has a useful worth calculator, in a number of currencies, which will provide you with an concept of the prices concerned.

Take a look at SpeedScriber right here.

Constructing a Hackintosh for Movie Modifying

I switched from MAC to DELL PC workstations three years in the past.
Lots of filmmakers requested for the specs on the system
I edited the primary function movie utilizing solely the native RED 6K information.
No off-lining. No transcoding. No ready.
Right here you go:

— Vashi Nedomansky (@vashikoo) July eight, 2018

One essential software for any editor is the precise hardware they’re chopping on. Now I’m not going to wade into the Mac vs PC debate (I began on Home windows, now all on Mac), nor whether or not Apple is admittedly servicing skilled customers now or sooner or later, however I assumed I’d share these assets that profile some methods utilized by submit professionals.

The primary system within the tweet above, is what editor Vashi Nedomansky used to edit the technologically difficult 6 Under, which I’ve coated in depth right here. Whereas his comply with up tweet (under) outlines his present spec, which is fairly outrageous.

I’ve since upgraded to:
DELL 7920 Twin Intel Xeon Gold three.0GHz (24-cores)
192GB RAM 2666MHz DDR4
Nvidia P6000 24GB video card
I feel I am future-proofed for some time…

— Vashi Nedomansky (@vashikoo) July eight, 2018

On this wonderful (as standard) episode of Michael Kammes’ 5 Issues, he builds his very personal Hackintosh, designed to ship skilled efficiency while solely costing about $2,500.

You’ll be able to learn all about Michael’s efforts, investigations and conclusions on this supporting weblog publish, which incorporates efficiency comparisons to a few of Apple’s prime hardware.

Building a hackintosh for film editing

On the finish of all of it, the conclusion that Michael involves is an fascinating one, and a helpful phrase of warning to these planning their very own foray into dabbling with constructing their very own (self-supported) hardware. Particularly should you’re planning on it being your major machine for skilled work.

So, “was it worth it?”

As a full-time tech nerd and part-time artistic – sure. It’s the primary time I’ve constructed a pc from scratch in over a decade, and I discovered extra concerning the underpinnings of the Mac OS than I in any other case would have.

However does this value financial savings outweigh the peace of thoughts of a totally supported, warrantied and attractive wanting piece of Apple gear?

For somebody who’s a full-time artistic skilled – I’m gonna say no.

You want a system that works, one you could apply updates when wanted, and simply add further hardware and software program. Time is cash, and the much less time you possibly can spend troubleshooting the higher.

Understanding Distant Modifying

Talking of Michael Kammes and tech geekery, I assumed I would come with his presentation from LumaForge’s Quicker Collectively suite at NAB 2018, on modifying remotely.

He defines modifying remotely as “being able to do offline creative editorial from home” (or anyplace). He walks by way of three present choices for tackling a process like this:

  • Cloud Based mostly Modifying (modifying in a browser)
  • Distant Modifying (Proxies streamed by way of the Cloud)
  • PCoIP

Michael covers the professionals and cons of every and the know-how required in every. Nicely value a watch if you wish to have some intelligent options up your sleeve.

Tools for Creating Closed Captions

When you’re wanting for a free and dependable option to create Closed Captions, in quite a lot of output codecs, then the brand new free device Closed Caption Creator, might be your only option.

The online-based software lets you import supply information (together with plain textual content) after which edit them to make sure the captions and timing are right. You can even then export these to number of codecs together with:

  • SCC (US Broadcast format)
  • SRT SubRip (Fashionable on-line format for HTML video gamers)
  • STL (European Broadcast format)
  • SUB/SBV (Legacy format)
  • TTML
  • WebVTT (Net Video Textual content Tracks format)

You’ll be able to study extra about Closed Caption Creator and the codecs it helps right here, as if you land on the homepage of the official website, you land ‘in the app.’

The YouTube playlist above, additionally consists of all of their introductory movies and tutorials for creating captions in Premiere Professional, YouTube and stay occasions.

tools for creating closed captions online

Jose Antunes has a really detailed publish on the app and it’s creator Nathaniel Deshpand which you’ll be able to learn right here. Apparently he ends the article with some hints as to the way forward for the endeavour;

[Nathaniel’s company has since] signed a deal to develop the above talked about command line software to assist automate closed caption processes for third social gathering purposes.

It’s a improvement, continues Nathaniel Deshpande, ”which we’re actually enthusiastic about. The software can be prepared for different corporations commercially in September of this yr.”

Caption Converter is one other device you can use, as a $199 paid app from FXFactory, if it’s essential to import, convert, edit, translate and export Closed Caption information from one model to a different.

So for instance you possibly can import an SRT subtitle file and export it as an iTunesTimedText file.

I’ve not dived into these two apps in a lot element, so I’m unsure what Caption Converter presents for $199 additional dollars that Closed Caption Creator doesn’t – though there appear to be variations round formatting, side-by-side translations and extra.

Test it out at

Creating Closed Captions in FCPX

It’s value mentioning that FCPX 10.Four.1 comes with Closed Captioning performance built-in. On this brief tutorial Mark Spencer from Ripple Coaching guides you thru the whole course of.

For extra FCPX Coaching from Mark take a look at Ripple Coaching’s wonderful FCPX tutorials right here.

Filestage Evaluate and Approval

Filestage Features

The workforce behind Filestage received in contact to talk about their assessment and approval service for publish manufacturing professionals who’re working in groups at bigger corporations (somewhat than freelancers).

Taking a look at their options listing (above) they will do all of the belongings you’d anticipate from this type of service. Among the best options seems to be that shopper’s can remark with out registering, which is all the time a sticking level with getting the one that truly has to make use of the service to get probably the most profit from it, to make use of it.

They are saying quite than specializing in managing plenty of information, they’re specializing in enhancing the evaluation and approval processes that corporations and groups all need to undergo as a undertaking strikes from conception to supply.

On the minute they’re barely costlier than comparable choices from corporations like and Wipster, however are aiming to convey out a freelancer grade tier sooner or later.

That stated, they’ve some spectacular manufacturers on their buyer record in order that they have to be doing one thing proper for bigger businesses and manufacturing corporations.

video review and approval

I’ve beforehand written concerning the numerous choices on the subject of video assessment and approval in these earlier posts too:

Helpful Tools for FCPX Editors

command post for fcpx

The FCPX third social gathering app eco-system is a vibrant one and this listing is on no account meant to be an exhaustive one, extra like some helpful instruments I don’t assume I’ve talked about earlier than.

If you would like extra third social gathering apps, take a look at Steve Martin’s 40 minute presentation on this earlier submit on FCPX workflows for TV and have movies.

Command Post is an excellent instance of an open supply device that a group has created and developed and generously given away for free. For FCPX editors it’s a ‘must-have’ addition to your NLE which fills in some necessary gaps and superchargers your workflow prospects.

For instance, via Command Post you possibly can add help for Tangent color grading panels (see my current assessment of the brand new Wave2 right here), Elgato Stream Deck controllers, and even the Mac Contact Bar;

Should you’re operating macOS Sierra 10.12.1 or above, you can also make use of CommandPost’s superior Contact Bar options.

There’s each a Digital Contact Bar, which shows a Contact Bar in your pc display, and the power so as to add customized gadgets to each the digital and bodily Contact Bar.

However rather more than that, Command Post is concentrated on enhancing FCPX with options like:

  •  Timecode Overlays in Viewer
  • Batch Exporting from Browser & Timeline
  • Scrolling & Locked Timeline
  • Movable Markers
  • Watch Folders
  • Shade Board controls on the MacBook Professional Contact Bar (or utilizing Duet)
  • Shared Clipboard & Clipboard Historical past
  • Cellular Notifications (Prowl, Pushover & iMessage)
  • Allow Rendering Throughout Playback

Artic Whiteness – Higher FCPX Library Administration

Within the FCPX eco-system Artic Whiteness is a central participant for anybody trying to enhance their private or collaborative workflows. Their latest software is Last Minimize Library Opener, which allows useful library sharing between a number of FCPX editors.

This collaborative strategy was first prompt by FCPX editor Mike Matzdorff who labored on construct this app with Arctic Whiteness. On this brief explainer video Mike walks you thru easy methods to use it intimately.

Mike has additionally written the e-book on setting your self up for success when modifying Hollywood function movies in FCPX (test it out right here). Bounce right here for much more skilled degree information on FCPX workflows from Mike.

A single workstation license prices about $23/€19.90.

Artic Whiteness’s core app, Ultimate Reduce Library Supervisor is available in two variations. A lite free model in addition to a paid model with extra superior options and performance.

Library Supervisor let’s you handle all features of your FCPX Libraries together with seeing at a look the place it’s information are situated, disk area used, whether or not media is internally or externally referenced and rather more.

The paid for options included superior search into Libraries permitting you to seek out occasion names, venture names, notes, feedback, media key phrases, media file names and extra. You can too duplicate, delete and transfer libraries or reclaim very important onerous drive area by clearing out render information, proxies and optimised media (amongst different issues).

To have entry to all the options Last Reduce Library Supervisor has to supply, will set you again about $35 or €29.70 (with a 10% low cost)

360 Plugin Pack for FCPX

FCPX editor and pundit Alex Golner has a helpful pack of 360°/VR results plugins which you’ll be able to attempt to purchase by way of

The 20 plugins embrace results corresponding to:

  • Spotlight an space
  • Blur and stylise results
  • Repeat photographs and titles round 360 sphere
  • Tiny Planet impact
  • Four-up show for ‘flat’ video modifying

There are additionally some free results included, similar to 360° Reorient, Tilt and Course and a 360° Adjustment layer.

If 360° video is your bread and butter then this shall be a useful addition to your software package. You’ll be able to learn much more about working with VR and 360 video on this earlier publish.

Alex’s second paid for pack is for 120 FCPX Animation Transitions so as to add “instant character to logos, text, graphic elements and even video clips by springing, bouncing, sliding and skidding them onto and off the screen.” Which if you would like to have the ability to shortly make your graphics transfer with out continually key-framing, might are available very useful.

At simply $49 for 120 plugins that’s 40 cents an impact, and can also be obtainable via

Provided that Alex has been gifting away tons of helpful plugins for years, perhaps we should always all purchase a replica of certainly one of these to say thanks!

To obtain a great deal of Alex’s free plugins and results go to

Extra Freebies for FCPX

New free device that imports a number of subtitle codecs into Last Minimize Professional 10.Four.1 – as ITT closed captions or titles you possibly can burn into video at export. Direct obtain: Donations welcome, thanks Spherico! Extra instruments: #fcpx

— Alex Gollner (@Alex4D) April 22, 2018

For those who’re after a pair extra freebies for FCPX then these free animated titles are for you.

off the tracks fcpx movie promo code

The (lengthy awaited?) Off The Tracks documentary chronicling the discharge and improvement of Ultimate Minimize Professional X is now out there to stream by way of iTunes et al. and to have fun that reality, you may as well obtain the three free title results used within the movie from has a promo code that will help you save a couple of bucks off the price of shopping for the film, which you’ll find right here.

You can even get 6 free animated title reveals from right here.

Improved Kollaborate Workflows

Kollaborate is a long-standing video evaluation and approval platform, which I included in my publish from 2016 evaluating the primary contenders, who’ve lately added some nice new automated workflow options to their platform.

Simply as a fast recap, Kollaborate presents all of the belongings you’d anticipate together with

  • Video evaluate and approval annotations
  • Actual-time synced viewing periods
  • File color coding based mostly on standing
  • Automated file administration based mostly on approval standing
  • NLE integrations for FCPX and Adobe Premiere Professional
  • Self-hosting choices

Digital Riot even have a ton of actually helpful submit manufacturing apps together with issues like Post Haste, Cine Play and their suite of Professional Upkeep Tools.

On this detailed walk-through you possibly can see find out how to use the brand new File Workflows options in Kollaborate. These assist you to do issues like colour-code and transfer a file to a selected folder when it hits a selected approval standing.

An instance of this is perhaps establishing a sequence of kollaborate workflows in order that an edit strikes by means of a selected workforce for approval, after which as soon as all of the tagged workforce members have authorised it, it may be routinely despatched to the shopper (or subsequent layer of administration/division) for their approval.

In case you are repeating the identical collection of steps regularly (which you probably are) then taking the time to arrange these workflow-chains will find yourself incrementally saving you an enormous period of time.

Equally you’ll be able to arrange particular workflows that set off the minute that a file is uploaded to your Kollaborate account, saving you much more time general.

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