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Chapter 7: Monitoring assets

Using the Source Monitor and Program Monitor

Online resources for the Source Monitor and Program Monitor

Andrew Devis gives an overview of editing and viewing assets in the Source monitor in this video tutorial on the Creative Cow website.

Source Monitor and Program Monitor overview

The Source Monitor plays back individual clips. In the Source Monitor, you prepare clips that you want to add to a sequence. You set In points and Out points, and specify the clip’s source tracks (audio or video). You can also insert clip markers and add clips to a sequence in a Timeline panel.

The Program Monitor plays back the sequence of clips that you are assembling. It’s your view of the active sequence in a Timeline panel. You can set sequence markers and specify sequence In points and Out points. Sequence In points and Out points define where frames are added or removed from the sequence.

Each monitor contains both a time ruler and controls to play back and cue the current frame of a source clip or sequence. Each monitor also contains an Export Frame button for creating a still from a single frame of video.

Setting display quality for the Source and Program Monitors

Some formats are difficult to display in full-motion playback, due to their high compression or high data rate. A lower resolution permits faster motion playback, but at the expense of display image quality. This tradeoff is most visible when viewing AVCHD and other H.264-codec based media. Below Full resolution, these formats have error correction turned off, and artifacts are common during playback. These artifacts, however, do not show up in exported media.

Providing separate playback and pause resolutions gives you more control over your monitoring experience. With high resolution footage, you can set playback resolution to a lower value (for example, 1/4) for smooth playback , and set the Pause resolution to Full. These settings allow you to check the quality of focus or edge details when playback is paused. Scrubbing puts the monitor in playback resolution, not pause resolution.

Not all resolutions are available for all sequence types. For Standard Definition sequences, such as DV, only Full and 1/2 are available. For many HD sequences up to 1,080 frame size, Full, 1/2, and 1/4 are available. For sequences with frame sizes larger than 1,080, such as RED, all the fractions are available.

Note: If your previews are rendered at a resolution below the sequence resolution, the playback resolution is actually a fraction of the preview resolution. For example, you can set your preview files to render at 1/2 the sequence frame size (1/2 resolution) and your playback resolution to 1/2 resolution. The rendered previews play back at 1/4 of original resolution (assuming that the resolution of the original media matched the sequence resolution).

Set the display quality for the Source Monitor and Program Monitor

Note: You can assign keyboard shortcuts to playback resolutions.

1 Do one of the following:

Right click the image in the Source Monitor or Program Monitor.

Click the panel menu icon in the Source Monitor or Program Monitor.

Click the Output button in the Source Monitor or Program Monitor.

Last updated 1/16/2012

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