The Complete 2007 Un-filtered DS Wish List.

Below are all of the requests, suggestions, recommendations and demands as compiled from the DS List by Sean Stall. The narrowed down and prioritized version of the 2007 Wish Lists can be viewed by clicking here. (added 3.13.07)

Effects (possibly with plugin workarounds)

1. COMPLETELY REBUILT TRACKER (Planar would be $$), unlimited tracking points. [Perhaps Avid could license Motor? Or encourage Imagineer to port Motor as a plug?]

2. PARTICLES, much more than Wonderstuff, and the ability to use alpha or luma channels as spawning points for the particles.

3. AVX2 AND OFX SUPPORT. [Avid have traditionally refused to accept the concept of OFX]

4. TREE/EXPRESSION MASTER NODE (UI Widgets added to the master node (in encapsulated node trees) so you can wire sliders, checkboxes, color pickers, etc to parameters on the node tree inside. So just like Shake where a node is made up of internal nodes but you can create your own UI for your effect.)

5. EXPAND THE AVAILABLE EFFECT OPTIONS like built in lens flares, displacement effects, particles, etc. [Easily covered with plugins – Boris, Sapphire, Speed Six, Foundry all offer these]

6. Beyond the generic "a new tracker" wish, I would be happier now if the current tracker
(1) had expression points so you could pipe tracker data into other effects without manually copying/pasting
(2) could load a special multi-channel .fraw file so those of us using Monet could import track data without manually loading 8 separate .fraw files into the animation editor, and
(3) had a button to copy the current value of the reference trackers into that of the layer trackers

7. SUPPORT FOR AFTER EFFECTS PLUGINS. [Very unlikely that Avid would support this – see OFX comment]

8. CLONING NODES. I know you can use expressions to link every parameter in a node to another, but that can take a while, and it doesn’t include things (DVE as an example) like filter choices, motion blur on/off, etc. This would be really handy.

9. FORCE RGB PROCESSING. Composite nodes are YCC and when using RGB elements in a YCC sequence, it can cause issues with edges and what not.

10. UOV. What DS has always needed is a global "dope sheet" style keyframe editor for when you want to adjust keyframe timings without looking at the curves. All animated parameters (including rotoshapes) should be displayed and are easily multi-selectable,etc. [UOV – Universal Object View. A way of seeing all assets within a project in context, in a time-based view. Graphics objects are no different to captured media, so let's see them in a global view to enable their repositioning – likewise selectable keyframes, etc... the list is endless. This would be HUGE and would be UNIQUE TO DS. It would also require a tremendous development effort]


12. 'Stickies' A way to leave notes throughout the tree. They can be used for reminders to turn on motion blur before rendering, or explaining what certain areas are doing. It can be really helpful for single users, and especially if more than 1 person will be working on the project. Freelancers, etc. [The jover for this is to add a cache node and change its name to the relevant note.]


13. SUPPORT FOR PRO TOOLS AUDIO PLUGS. Or at least give better feedback and UI for the DS sound nodes. [Possible that Avid would support this, but support for the latest Steinberg VST standard would be more likely and would give access to some excellent plugs]

14. BEING ABLE TO SAVE AND IMPORT MIXER SETTINGS, per sequence, per audio container, per project.

Capture/Frame rate

15. NATIVE SUPPORT FOR FIREWIRE-BASED FORMATS (P2, HDV, DVCProHD) This is being addressed with Avid's inclusion of Media Composer with Version 10, but using MC as a "front end" adds significantly to the length of the workflow needed to support these formats.

16. MIXED FRAME RATE / COMPRESSION RATE Timeline (a la Quantel) [DS already supports mixed compression rates, so this is actually only a single request]


18. RECAPTURE THRESHOLD PARAMETER, so when I recapture a new version of something, I can tell it to skip clips with less than 'x' number of offline frames. This is help avoid having to load 60 tapes to digitize 2 additional frames at the end of pre-existing handles.

19. 'MIXED FRAME RATE EDITING', 23.98 _SD_ sequence support with on-the-fly pulldown removal on digitize and pulldown insertion on play out [This is a similar request to #3 above]

20. A P2 IMPORT FEATURE that creates clips (including audio) and preserves the timecode (see FCP). This is being addressed with Avid's inclusion of Media Composer with Version 10, but using MC as a "front end" adds significantly to the length of the workflow needed to support these formats.


22. SIMPLE DRAG/DROP IMPORT of Audio CDs, DVDs, Photoshop, Illustrator files with no helper applications needed.

22b. ILLUSTRATOR FILES should come in with proper colors, layer order and hole-cutting preserved without additional manipulation.

23. 3D LUT support. If DS is really going to be considered a DI tool, this is bare bones fundamental feature requirement.

24. PRINT/SAVE SOURCE LIST When digitizing from the timeline or recapturing from the bin, the source list window appears showing you all the clips/tape sources. There should be a button to PRINT a source list as well as a SAVE to file option that essentially gives you a neatly formatted pull list.

25. SMART CAPTURE When selecting Capture from Timeline with Options, there should be an additional option to Capture Clips with Visible Missing frames Only, perhaps called SMART CAPTURE, that would work nicely with handles selected. So if I select this SMART CAPTURE with say 10-frame handles, then only the clips that are missing media for frames actually visible in the sequence (ie NOT in missing from handles) would be flagged for capture—and those would be recaptured with the 10-frame handles I specified. (Similar perhaps to another item in the list, but maybe more clear)

26. SKIP REMAINING FILE IMPORTS When recapturing from timeline, could we please have a requester box with an option to “Skip ALL file imports” YES or NO *before* the DS starts parsing the timeline… huge time-waster if you’re just looking to load stuff from tape and haven’t gone through the timeline to weed out all the video mixdown slugs and quicktime movie references to files that you don’t have yet.



28. EXPORT OMF FOR MC - files, audio and video

29. MULTIPLE INSERTS TO TAPE instead of one at the time. [I assume this means batch-export-to-tape]

Color Corrector

30. BIG BALL SUPPORT in all Color Correction Modes (USB/JL Cooper)

31. REAL TIME SECONDARY Color Correction Wheels (steal from Symphony)

32. BASE THE HUE OFFSETS IN THE COLOR CORRECTOR ON GAMMA/GAIN/LIFT math and not by luma ranges math. [ I would assume this would require a pretty immense re-write, and would almost certainly make conforming from other products even MORE difficult than at present.]

33. GROUP THE MASTER COLOR CONTROLS ON ONE PAGE LIKE DAVINCI CONTROLS. So the 4 vector hue offsets and RGB gamma/gain/lift and master saturation on one page.

34. Better color grading interface with multiple realtime secondaries/selectives, grading history on clip (saving presets w/ snapshots), support for tactile surfaces, with parallel input & feedback on multiple parameter changes (no more "release control to update viewer".) [To avoid the “release control to update viewer” situation, right-click the control and select 'Interactive Update']


New Addition: The ability to Change Interface colors.

New Addition: Scopes in the 3 monitor layout (ala Symphony). That would make
life easy, esp. those edit suites that for some reason, skipped on bringing
in scopes...$$$


36. EXPAND A COMPOSTITE CONTAINER. Once a composite container is made, you can bring it back to just being a master clip (would that be "decomposing"?) [This has been asked for/talked about since around v3. I don't know if it's really difficult, or if the Project Lead never considered it important enough to implement]

37. CLIP COLOR SCHEME for clips that are partially online. Offline clips are red, maybe these could be a nice blue or yellow or something.

38. INSERT SEQUENCE AS REFERENCE. The ability to drag a sequence into the source viewer but cut/replace parts of it it onto the timeline as a reference sequence

39. VIEW INSIDE CONTAINER. I would like the option using a simple drop down to see inside a composite container so I can see what's inside it without switching modes. I don't like switching modes because I lose reference to my original edit and the other clips. I would like to back up and play from earlier on in the timeline to get a sense of timing but still be working with tree effects. [This can be achieved right now by using Sequence View]

40. MAINTAINING VISUAL REFERENCE TO THE MASTER TIMELINE in all modes would be awesome. This allows me to reference audio cues and other clips. Especially if I am combining track based effects with tree based effects. [UOV??]

41. Another solution would be a way of changing keyframe timing from the other modes on the master timeline. I often use the little colored bars with one key at the beginning and one at the end of just a single
parameter. Then precede or follow that bar with a static bar of the initial or final value. I then modify the length of bar with the keyframes. This way I don't have to open the keyframe editor an lose reference to my timeline. I can edit my key frames right on the timeline along to music etc. This also works great for track
effects. [By 'little colored bar' I assume we're talking about clip/track effects?]

42. FIND BIN ENHANCEMENT Hitting "find bin" without opening up a new window every time would be great.

43. The ability to OPEN MULTIPLE TIMELINES at the same time. [I could only imagine this would completely stop DS – a heavy timeline gets close to doing so anyway]

44. MACROS support.

45. CLIP COLOR A great MC feature that allows quick & really useful organization of stuff. Under User Preferences, allow user to select “Show offline media” and if selected all clips in timeline (not just audio) with missing media show up as RED. Also, right-clicking a clip either on the timeline or in a folder should allow you to SET CLIP COLOR with the same sort of color section as the locators. The sub-options here could be for “This Clip”, “All instances of This Clip”, or “This Source” . Hey, could we maybe even conform clip color from the AFEs as well?

46. NODE COLOR Along the lines of clip color, how about node colors, to help organize trees.

47. MULTI-CAM A decent multi-camera mode.

48. SCENE DETECTION would be great so we can get cuts back in timeline for Pan & Scan and CC sessions. [This function can be achieved with an edl, but Scene Detection would be useful anyway, for splitting up Masterclips when offlining]

49. FADE IN/OUT The ability to lasso a clip or container and hit a function key that fades the clip both in and out the same duration at the same time. Maybe a pop-up window asking for duration in frames.

50. ANIMATION EDITOR ENHANCEMENTS A smarter keyframing/animation editor interface that easily and quickly allows the user to see/manipulate all of the keyframes that are relevant at the time across multiple layers and nodes, and eliminate those that aren't. After Effects is pretty good at this. I would love to be able to select any number of nodes in a tree, and bring up an animation editor that shows only the curves for those nodes, and only curves that have user added keyframes in them. Also, it would be great if it were possible to optionally link dual curve parameters such as X and Y scale into a single curve for easier manipulation. [It was suggested on the DS-L that a simple (?) way of achieving this would be to make the left-hand list of parameters reflect the right-hand curve view. So if only animated curves are shown, so are only the animated parameters.]

Graphics improvements

51. ILLUSTRATOR IMPORT Full Color / Vector / Shape Support for Illustrator Import (Continuously Rasterize)

52. MOTION BLUR in Graphics

53. FULLY KEYFRAMEABLE SHAPES - that show up in the Animation Editor and everything

54. Much MORE ANIMATION OPTIONS in graphics (like handwriting, draw on, and kerning but involving scattering and all sorts of FCP type fx) and motion blur for moving objects.

55. EDGE ENHANCEMENTS Inner/outer (generally more) control of feathering/blur in graphics already?

56. EXPRESSIONS in graphics.

57. UNDERLINE function in graphics. [I can't believe this is only #79!] Fixed in Version 10.


58. ATTIC-esque Backup System

59. DECOMPOSE in DS, so that the source side color can work more like Symphony, with Masterclip/Subclip etc... but we can still digitize individual clips from the bin

60. SOURCE SIDE EFFECTS ENHANCEMENT Mirror the color model in Symphony so that I can apply a Masterclip effect, then change it to be clip specific without removing or altering from all the other clips.

61. MODIFY EFFECT Ability to modify clips to include/exclude tracks after logging

62. ARCHIVING ENHANCEMENTS Powerful, sophisticated archiving that allows for project revisions to be updated without re-archiving the entire project, to multiple tapes if necessary. Partial restores for the same purpose.

63. AUTO-INCREMENT, the ATTIC ALTERNATIVE Perhaps instead of an ATTIC (useful in MC but I always found a bit of a kludge), how about a User Preference setting near Auto-Save Interval that would allow us to optionally also choose “AUTO INCREMENT” and append a simple version number scheme to the auto save? This would append a “.0000” sort of thing to the Segment name, and at user specified intervals, the sequence would be saved as Sequence.0001.Segment, Sequence.0002.Segment, etc. You would also want a MAX NUMBER OF VERSIONS parameter, so you didn’t fill up your project with too many versions. Also, there should be an option, when archiving projects, that allows you select a number (N) for MAX NUMBER OF VERSIONS TO KEEP—then the archiving process can automatically delete all but your most recent (N) versions.

New Addition: SUBCLIP FLEXIBILITY Being able to trim beyond the finite ins and outs of subclips.

3D Native Compositing

64. REAL 3D COMPOSITING, including ability to import 3d shapes, cast shadows, adjust lighting, apply plug-ins in 3D Space (eg T_glow, surrounds an object in 3D space)

65. 3D COMPOSITING WORLD SPACE; import of models lights cameras null objects animations; particles, displacement, ray tracing etc.

66. A NEW 3D GRAPHICS TOOL, with tons of cool, but easily customized type animation presets and transitions. Like LiveType. Also, a one-button title fade up and fade out tool that also includes the shadows and borders please.

67. I'd like to see the 2D and 3D tools written so that it is one proper feature set instead of 2 unrelated ones.
- OGL accelerated when possible for previewing.
- Always continuously vector
- motion blur
- animateable shape points (in 3D)
- customizable edge extrusions with large library of presets (like Zaksworks Invigorator)
- proper cameras that access 3D tracking data


68. CLOSER CONFORM abilities with FCP/Avid [We'll have to see how much Avid's management has REALLY changed for this one to work. Historically they have never been interested in making any of their products play nicely with FCP. To quote: “We don't support FCP”.
Ignorant, yes. Stupid, yes. Lacking in foresight, yes. A good way to lose future sales, yes. Nevertheless, that's how their approach has always been]

69. EDL CONFORM Some kind of utility that would allow for a closer conform that EDLs when onlining a 24fps project from a 30fps offline.

70. TOTAL CONFORM [I think this one was mine – hey, I can dream]

71. PLAY NICER WITH COMPOSER/XPRESS. Direct import/opening of Avid Composer/Xpress bins. No AFE, No Medialog. Just open 'em and use 'em. Export DS bins so that they can be used in Composer/Xpress. Same with FCP. This would make DS a more attractive conforming tool.

72. CONFORM LOG TO TIMELINE When an AFE is conformed on the timeline, and the error log appears, the options are currently SAVE (as html) or OK. Please add a “TO TIMELINE” button that would parse the notes adding locators to the timeline with the text of each message intact. You could even add a section in User Preferences to not only make this a default behavior, but also add the ability to color code (user-definable) different kinds of errors… IE blue locators for Keyer effects, red locators for missing file references, etc.

73. CONFORM OF MC LOCATORS Yes, it would be great to just open Avid Bins (.avb) natively, but whether we get this or not, could we please conform the MC Locators either via AFE or by reading them out of the .avb? Lots of offline editors and assistants use those for notes to us and apparently just saving their locators as a text file and sending it on is way too difficult for them. Perhaps another User Setting – “Conform MC locators” either checked or not.

74. PROPER CONFORM OF DISSOLVES, DIP TO COLOR, FADES, ETC. FROM MC I have posted this using the support tool as a software bug, never heard anything, please don’t flame me, but I’m really p’d off that here we are in v8 QFE3 and we’re still not conforming a friggin’ dissolve properly! MC dissolves etc. do *not* include the zero or one hundred percent values of the effect timing curve in their duration, as the DS does. This means that *all* such effects conformed from MC have incorrect timings. On longer durations it’s not very noticeable, but when you get to about ten frames or less, we always FIX them because the result can be quite different especially on very short DIP TO COLOR effects. For example, the DS conforms a 2-frame dissolve from MC, but it looks like a cut. Here’s why: the incorrectly-conformed timing value in DS for frame 1 is zero and for frame 2 is one hundred. No dissolve there, it’s essentially “first frame is this shot, second frame is the other shot, no blending”. But in MC, since the zero and one-hundred points are *outside* the effect, the correct timing values are 33.33 for frame one and 66.66 for frame two. This will match what the MC editor did, and it’s a simple bit of math that works for *all* dissolves, dips, fades, etc. [Agreed 100%. I've made this point myself to the devs many years ago, but was told it wasn't as simple to fix as it appeared – I cannot imagine why]

75. 24FPS TO 23.98FPS BYPASS When conforming an AFE from any MC-family app (Xpress, MC, Symph) 24fps project into a 23.98fps DS timeline, allow user to select “24 FPS TO 23.98 FPS” YES or NO as a requester box when the sequence is dropped on the timeline. This would allow the DS software to *bypass* converting all the 24-based numbers into 23.98 numbers and thereby avoid *screwing up* all the function-curved timewarps, container clip placement, etc from MC. I know this would really be a workaround to an MC problem, and the DS is just being accurate since the MC AFE ID’s itself as 24… but it seems this would be quicker than tediously tweaking tons of timewarps.

Management issues

76. Proper marketing for DS. This seems to be being addressed with Avid's "New Thinking" campaign.

77. Aggressive training program to convert the unwashed masses

78. A more affordable upgrade path.

79. Unity support. The DS needs to be able to work at full resolution with a Unity in 64-bit so that media may be shared both across platforms and within a workgroup. //This has been addressed in Version 10 with Unity MdeiaNetwork. And apparently ISIS as well. From Avid:

80. CLEAR and ACCURATE documentation? [Not sure I can go along with this one. I've always felt DS documentation to be excellent, well-written, and concise. I've had input on more than one occasion with the documentation for new features (such as Fluid Motion for example). Can we be more specific?]

81. a really good demo project (a la the 'fisherman' from v.5) [Agreed, and I can't see why it can't be there – that same project would work just as well on v8.0 as on any other version]

82. Custom keycaps would be a cheap fix that would NOT require developer time. [Or stickers that could go onto any keys?]

Revised: Nov 29, 2008 9:54 am