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Author: Troy Dreier
p>Customize the Bins
Every Xpress Pro user has to use bins, Russo says, but few use them effectively. Custom bins can help you instantly sort through your videos—showing all your clips that are online or all that are offline, for example—and are much faster than changing column views.

You can create as many custom bins as you want, and you can use the bin feature in every application in the Avid product line, from Symphony to Xpress. You'll see four different bin views; the one called Text is the most customizable and the most powerful for creating tailored bins.

Russo suggests that you create a custom bin of your headings and add a comment section. Then, an editor can sort through the clip list using MediaLog and put an "X" by the clips that need to be digitized. Afterwards, you can sort to see only the marked clips and digitize them.


Create Custom Timeline Views
Like bins, timelines are a standard Xpress tool that everyone uses, but few use effectively. You can create custom timeline views, Russo says, to maximize the space on your display: create an expanded arrangement for your desktop, where you have a large screen, and a compact view for your laptop.

You can save your custom views and even take them with you. Your timeline settings are a part of your user folder, which is typically stored in your Documents folder. Just pop that folder onto a flash drive and take it with you. Then, even when you're working on a new machine, you'll get your familiar arrangement.

Consider creating an audio timeline view, for when you're focusing on audio editing. Expand the audio tracks so that you can see the waveforms clearly, Russo suggests, then save that view. Now, when you need to focus on audio in a clip, you can instantly switch the view, then switch back when you're done.


Correct Your Colors
Xpress Pro's color corrector is one of its biggest assets, says Russo, since it's identical to the color corrector in Symphony and was an expensive tool to create. Open it up and you'll find two tabs, one labeled HSL for "hue, saturation, luminance" and one for curves. Beginning with color correction can be frightening to some, Russo says, so start by using the auto settings. To learn more about color correction, try the free online tutorials at learn.avid.com.


Stack Your Effects
One of Xpress Pro's biggest timesavers is the ability to stack effects and clips. You don't need to add an effect to every clip in your stack or collapse the stack down first: just add an effect to the top of the stack and it will apply to everything underneath it. If the effect doesn't look as good as you'd hoped, you can remove it just as easily.

You can put the stacking power to good use with the legalizer effect. The legalizer makes sure that your video's colors are safe for broadcast, by bringing hotspots down to the next legal color. Top off a stack with the legalizer effect just before going to tape.

» Level Intermediate

Added: 2009-01-29
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