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Back-To-Back Graphics in Media 100

COW Library : Media 100 Tutorials : Dave LaRonde : Back-To-Back Graphics in Media 100
Back-To-Back Graphics in Media 100


by Dave LaRonde
Senior Promotion Producer, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

©2001 Dave LaRonde. All Rights Reserved. Used at CreativeCow.net by kind permission of the author.


Article Focus:
In this article, broadcast editor Dave LaRonde looks at ways to use back to back graphics in Media 100 and explores ways to save valuable project disk space while using them. He quotes the oft quoted Law of Digital Media, which says: You can never have too much storage. It should also have a corollary: If you don't have lots of storage, anything you can do to save it is a good thing.

This law and its corollary come into play when creating back-to-back graphics on the Media 100. Take the following program with back-to-back graphics, for instance:






As you play this program, M100 gently informs you that you have two "Real-Time Titles and Effects to Render". Don't forget to have a good laugh at that bit of Media 100 Marketing Speak - if you have to render it, it isn't real time.



When M100 renders graphics, it in essence duplicates the video below the graphic as it composites the graphic onto the video, thus creating new video clips that run the length of the graphic. They appear in the graphics channel, but they're yellow and they have the same name as the original graphic, as you see in this next program:



Rendered clips cease to tax the M100 card, because you're really creating video clips that just happen to reside in the graphics channel. But they take up a lot more storage space than their unrendered brethren; twice as much, in fact. It gets worse: if you have a long program with many back-to-back graphics, you're also going to wait a long time while everything renders. This is not good.

What if you put about a second between each graphic, as shown here?



Your program plays properly, no rendering required. Why? M100 requires about a second between unrendered graphics to "recover" and play everything nicely. But if you really need back-to-back graphics, this solution is not good, either.

Are you stuck rendering everything out? No, you are not. Remember two things: M100 needs about a second between unrendered graphics, and rendered graphics are actually video clips... and they don't tax M100's "real time" capabilities.

In the next program , you'll see that the second and third graphics have been split at one second after each one begins.



We'll now render out those one-second graphics clips:



Voila! The back-to- back clips play as we intended. Media 100 now sees a proper one-second gap between unrendered clips. By rendering only the one-second clips, you use far less space and you don't have to wait forever while the entire program renders. This is good .

This nifty trick also works if you want to create a transition from one graphic to another. Using Adobe After Effects, for example, create a 20-frame dissolve from one graphic to another. Remember, you need at least a second between unrendered clips... so your alpha-channeled quicktime movies should be one second long. The 20-frame dissolves can take place anywhere within those quicktimes.

The resulting program looks curiously like the previous one, only with one-second-long quicktime movies taking the place of split graphics clips:



While Media 100 isn't a bad way to cut together video, the lack of multiple effects channels can force you use your ingenuity. So put this little trick into your arsenal and save yourself valuable time and storage space.


Here's the movie:




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