adding letterbox mask to a looooong sequence


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I know how to add the 16:9 mask to multiple segments (by using the Segment mode and selecting several segments at once, then double-clicking the letterbox mask). But if you have a very long segment (a half-hour film for example), containing a lot of edits, is there a way to Segment-select the entire thing so I can add a 16:9 mask all at once? I'm thinking there's probably a better way--on a different track perhaps? I'm stumped.

EDIT: I'm no longer stumped, if anyone's interested in the procedure. The thing is you have to:

1) drag the pointer to select (i.e., "lasso") adjoining segments (switches you into Segment mode).
2) select your 16:9 mask in the effects first, THEN hold the Alt button, then double-click the 16:9 mask effect to apply the mask to all the lassoed segments.
3) with the Effects Pallette open, double click on a segment to re-position the framing as required (using Re-size).

That's how I letterbox an entire show in Avid Xpress I guess. :)
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The other option is to set in and out points, collapse it into one clip, and then drop the letterbox onto that clip. That's how I letterbox long movies (or black out the edges when there's junk in the overscan areas).

Obviously you don't want to do that until you've got a final cut of the movie ready to be output to tape or DVD.
Or create a new video track above the others, add an edit point at the beginning and end of the new track, then drop the effect on that track's empty space.
Thanks guys. Ah...takes me back to the old days when I would be frantically posting my desperate queries at 2 am...and Krestofre's answers on Avid would save me from suicide.

I figured there had to be a way to add an entirely new track and drop the effect on that track. I tried it but it didn't seem to show up. But I didn't try very hard. Just ended up doing it by adding it directly on top of all my other effects.

But I do have one other question about this. Well, about Resizing actually. Obviously, when adding a 16:9 mask, it's often necessary to move the original footage up or down to be properly framed. No problem. Then I start playing with some "camera pans" where I keyframe a move. Still no problem. Then I try and change the "curve" to Spline using Advanced Keyframes, allowing for a smoother transition between these moves. And all of a sudden my footage with the move/advanced keyframes gets jittery. Like it's jerking from keyframe to keyframe. Just not smooth at all anywhere along the line. I even renedered it to see if that would help. Any reason why I would get jerky footage in Advanced Keyframes mode?
Hm ... not sure about that one. Honestly I don't use advanced keyframes in Avid. If I have to do something that complicated I figure I should just drop out to Combustion or Shake. :)

Anyway, I'll see if I can find some time this afternoon to run an advanced keyframe test and see if I get jumpy footage.
Thanks. I'll keep fiddling. Is that a picture of you? Looks like an actor--but I don't recognize him. And yes, this is a picture of me.
I tried an advanced keyframe move. I didn't have any shakey footage problem. This only happens when you're using splines?
Not even when I'm using Splines. As soon as I promote the segment to Advanced Keyframes, the footage isn't smooth. If I have a Resize effect that simply moves the image from A to B (between first and last keyframe)--and in normal mode it's fine. But if I promote it to Advanced Keyframes, even before changing the "curve" to Spline, the move from A to B isn't smooth. Just slightly jerky. I wonder if it's a video card issue, though every other effect I have ever played with in Avid works when rendered. I just can't imagine Advanced Keyframes taxes the system that much more.

Even rendered the footage is not smooth once the Advanced Keyframe effect is added. I've googled the problem and haven't found anyone else with this issue. Weird. And disappointing, cuz with the Advanced Keyframe function I can do that much more within Avid itself (I prefer doing my effects within Avid whenever possible).
Is it jerky if you export a Quicktime movie? Maybe it is something funny in Avid. What vid card are you using again?

I'm going to leave soon, but I'll check back on this over the weekend and see if I can be any help.
Not sure why you would want to use the select all segments method? Is there a specific reason you would do this instead of just creating a new Video track and drop the effect into that clean track, also there is no need for adding edits with this method either. I do this every day with 20 min to 2.5 hour play-outs.

It sounds like you are having some issues, what version of Xpress Pro are you on? There was a bug in pre 5.0 versions where you could not add an effect to a clean track without adding an edit, but this was a bug and was fixed in v5.0 and above.

mark.burton said:
There was a bug in pre 5.0 versions where you could not add an effect to a clean track without adding an edit, but this was a bug and was fixed in v5.0 and above.

LOL. I thought that was how it was supposed to work. Good to know it was a bug and I've been wasting my time. :)