File-Based Workflow, a case study
Working with 5.1 audio in DS Nitris
How to get rid of flicker
How to set up folders so that all projects open with common setups
Folders installed with 64-bit DS 8.4
Fonts and DS
4:4:4 conforms
Laying back 16 audio channels with AJA

5.1 Audio into the DS-Nitris

(Added 11.01.2007 from List MH)

In your Capture tool, you can set the audio to 8 channels and then you can actually select how you want to bring each track in...mono, stereo pairs or one clip that has all tracks in it. You can capture either AES/EBU or Embedded. Both have been tested to work with Panasonic D5 and HDCam-SR. You may have to make a new 8-channel deck template by hitting [Alt]-[F8] to bring up the template editor.

It is a good idea to select mono to bring in each channel as an individual mono track so that you have more control on the timeline. Of course you'd have to set up the time line with 6 tracks and then patch the audio for the timeline for 6 tracks.

NB: If your HDCam-SR is 4:4:4 media, you will need the AJA board to handle 4:4:4. The normal Nitris BoB works fine with 4:2:2 media.

HOW TO GET RID OF FLICKER (DSlist_ba - 1.11.07)

This trick involves the Foundry’s Furnace_Kronos plug-in from www.thefoundry.co.uk.

Basically, all you have to do is apply the plug-in and retime the shot at
100% (no speed change), select the “Correct Luminance Change” option
and change the shutter time to beyond 35 (a shutter angle greater than 120 degrees).
What you are doing is retiming for a longer exposure per frame because of
the wider shutter angle. In the process, Kronos smoothes out the flicker.

The plug-in is expensive and render time is long, but it's a lot cheaper than a reshoot.

DT_Note: Kronos refers to a camera shutter angle as "shutter time." A time of 100 equals a 360 degree shutter angle.
The shutter time is what introduces the motion blur - a higher number equals more blur.
The shutter sample is your quality setting - the higher the number the smoother the motion blur.

How to set up Folders so they always open in your new projects:

  1. Make sure the file is in the right place (see below)
  2. Make sure it's called Folder.ini (not Folder.ini.txt or anything else)
  3. Edit it with Notepad (not WordPad)
  4. Ensure the structure of the contents is EXACTLY like the example below
  5. Make a new project
  6. You will have that folder structure within the project as if by magic



Name of first folder
Name of second folder
Name of third folder


Note that if you're trying to make nested folders, you pretty much have to do it in sequence:


The file must be placed in C:\program files\avid\ds_vX.x\preferences\[username]
where X.x is your version of DS and [username] is the user name you log onto your computer with.

Note that you have to put a Folder.ini into each and every user's Preferences folder if you want it to work for everyone.

Additionally, you can download this example and edit it.

Fonts and DS

Many times, when you are working with fonts on DS, Microsoft applications will show a font while DS does not.

Here is a fix:

If you have Microsoft Word on your DS system, you can simply copy from Word and paste into DS. The font will follow the text.

Microsoft's own Office applications do not follow Microsoft's guidelines for where to install typefaces. DS will "find" the correct typeface if it's pasted from an Office application.

From Adobe's website:

"In many Windows® applications, instead of every font appearing on the menu, fonts are grouped into style-linked sets, and only the name of the base style font for a set is shown in the menu. The italic and the bold weight fonts of the set (if any) are not shown in the font menu, but can still be accessed by selecting the base style font, and then using the italic and bold style buttons...."

Even beyond not seeing things like "Helvetica Bold" listed, you may see very different names. For example, "HelveticaNeueStd Black" shows up in the Graphics text tool as "Helvetica95Black." In the 3D DVE, the same font is listed as "HelveticaNeue-Black."

So you may have the font installed, but with some variation on the name. The link above contains some "translations" that clued me in to realizing Helvetica Neue Black was Helvetica 95 Black. Until I saw that article I thought the font installation was screwed up.

(Thanks to Tony Jover and Robert Reed)

Folders installed with Ds 8.4 running on XP-64

Command Maps
Customer Service

(Thanks to Tony Jover and Igor Ridanovic)

4:4:4 conforming

Q: Is there a way, other than rendering a 1-hour 4:4:4 timeline, to get a real-time split screen?"

A: No, When working in 4:4:4 DS uses the AJA Hardware not the Nitris Hardware. (If you have the Dual-Link option installed. If not, then DS can still work in 4:4:4 but not output it to tape, monitors, etc...)
Switching a sequence to 4:4:4 effectively bypasses the Nitris BOB.

I think it would be faster to conform a show by spot checking the edits and the clips than it would be to wait for a 4:4:4 Render + a 1 hour split screen playback.

Q: Can you use the 422 cable that is hanging off the back of the AJA card, or do you have to use the one from the com port?

A: Com port.

Q: Are DPX files the best way to incorporate the DS into a file-based multi-platform workflow?"

A: Depends on your "workflow:"
DPX is a widely used film format. But DPX is limited to 10Bit.
VFX programs use various file types like: Tiff (DS Supported) or OpenEXR (Which DS doesn't support...yet) because they allow for greater Bit Depth. 16Bit, 32Bit, etc...
Targa files for example are limited by their 8Bit depth so try to stay away from .TGA if color matters (which it should in 4:4:4 conform).

If your starting from a DS 4:4:4 10Bit sequence then DPX is probably your best option with current software.

To get split-screen real-time:

  1. Set Seq pref's to 4.2.2/YUV/36
  2. Run the split screen in real time be happy -OR- tweak as needed
  3. Set Seq pref's back to 4.4.4 RGB
  4. Output

Output issues with 4:4:4 and the Sony srw5500

To record 4:4:4 video, you must have a valid setting for the Frame Convert. It needs to be a comparable rate. For example, if you want the deck to be 29.97Psf 4:4:4 then the frame convert has to be set to 4:2:2 29.97 or which ever other option is not dimmed in the menu.

Case Study: Savage Pictures

System specs:
HP XW8400 Quad, 8 gigs of ram, Xena I/O card, 5.6 TB Video Raid storage, WinXP 64-bit Dual Boot

  1. Conform, finish and assemble edit your 4:4:4 picture only master to HDCAM SR in DS
  2. Switch over to Symphony Nitris
  3. Create a project which matches the project settings in DS, frame rate, etc.
  4. Import your finished audio
  5. Create an audio only sequence in Symphony which identically matches the timecode from your DS sequence
  6. Set the Symphony audio output to 16 channels and HD/SDI. Create the necessary groups. In our case Group 1 was channels 1-8 and Group 2 was 5-12.
  7. Make sure the audio inputs are looking for SDI on the HDCAM SR machine as well
  8. Go into the audio menu on the SR machine and enable all 12 tracks for insert editing. Once the Symphony begins the digital cut, tracks 9-12 will be disabled. This is where it gets a bit tricky. Give yourself at least 10 seconds of pre-roll prior to the digital cut. Once the deck pre-rolls and begins it's countdown, take the SR machine out of remote and arm tracks 9-12 as quickly as possible, then re-engage the remote. Once the deck hits the record point on the sequence, you will see all of the tracks light up with audio. One pass. All of the necessary tracks. The video is irrelevant and the sync is dead on. We had no problems.

This saved us enormous amounts of time as we had several copies of the film to create. So, until DS adds more audio outputs, we will do all of our feature laybacks requiring more than 8 tracks of audio with this method. Hopefully some of you will find this helpful as well!

16 audio channels

Anthony writes from Australia:

We use an AJA Xena with it's own software (Machina) for 9 channel audio re-stripes from wav files. We simply enable the panel controls while remote is selected and use the audio insert all channels button during the pre-roll (no need to go in and out of remote). I manage to do that within 5 sec. In a similar vein we use the same method for assemble edits as the Machina has insert only.

Dermot Shane writes:

With DS version 10 the HP xw8600 and the AJA solution, the AJA I/O answer is do an assemble edit, arming ch 9-> 12 manualy, and route ch 1->4 to Ch 9-> 12 on both the DS and the deck, then go back and insert Ch 1->8 on the second pass

Revised: Jun 1, 2009 7:14 am