Monday, April 05, 2010

Intelligent Assistance @ BOSFCPUG

At the March Boston Final Cut Pro User Group meeting Intelligent Assistance founder Philip Hodgetts demoed some of their current products, as well as a new product they will be showing at NAB called Matchback Magic.

Philip is the king of meta data, I don’t think he’s meta data he didn’t like [Ouch! –Ed], and Intelligent Assistance’s tools help you work with meta data, and speed up and/or smooth the editing process. This is great if you like to log stuff meticulously, or have to because you’re working with so much footage. It’s also helpful if the camera you use saves meta data (he notes that it varies by manufacturer: Sony is one of the worst companies for using meta data; XDCAM is practically non-existent.)

He started out by asking if anyone uses the Adobe Speech transcription tool. A few hands went up. “Like it?” he asked. When the response was rather muted he nodded in agreement and said he hoped they fixed it in CS5! But they do offer Transriptize, a tool that takes exported transcription XML files and places them in markers in Final Cut Pro clips.

Another intriguing tool is First Cuts for FCP, which - if you log your material well enough - can take the clips and create a first draft automatically, complete with opening, appropriate B-roll and lower thirds.

Sync-n-link is a tool that helps sync media from different sources (say audio and video) but it does require professional time code, so won’t be useful if you’re doing dual-audio with a DSLR and a Zoom H4N.

Finally he demoed their new tool Matchback Magic which manages and fixes media linking and is particularly useful if you have a tendency to rename clip names and move things around.

Looking to the future of meta data, Philip did observe that the GPS data that some cameras now record (like the Sony HXR-NX5U) could be very useful for editing, and not just for keeping track of where things were shot when you’re trying to find clips. He suggested that it would be possible for an editing program to take the GPS information and match it to Google Maps to find location. “If it’s a Saturday afternoon and a church, it might be a wedding” he suggested, though I think that making that assumption will probably lead to some interesting results...

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