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Tsunami Riptide to the Rescue!

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and I was frantically trying to complete the editing of my brother’s wedding video which I’d promised for the holidays, when disaster struck – my edit system was taken down by a virus that circumvented my preventative measures! (Note to self: do not let the kids surf the web on edit machine).

I work with an older Safe Harbor Tsunami system at home using the Matrox RT.X2 hardware with Adobe Production Premium CS3. It works great for my DV and HDV production needs and has always been quite reliable for me, but I’m not real good about system backups.

I found myself in the midst of a huge multi-camera HD production, having neither the time nor energy to run the gauntlet of reinstalling Windows and the requisite updates, along with all my editing applications, in order to resume editing. I knew it would take an entire day to get everything operational again when starting from scratch!

Safe Harbor Computers, my employer, came to the rescue by offering the use of the store demo system so I could finish the project. The demo is a new Tsunami Riptide PC, running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OS with Adobe Production Premium CS5 and the Matrox MXO2 Mini with MAX hardware for I/O. Under the hood is an ASUS performance motherboard with an Intel Core i7 – 950 processor clocking in at 3.06Ghz, with 6GB of DDR3 1600 RAM. An nVidia Quadro FX 3800 by PNY display card powers the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine.

My edit system and the demo system share the same workstation case with front removable SATA drive trays, so I was able to swap my video drive right into the new machine easily. I was concerned about compatibility when moving my Premiere CS3/Matrox RT.X2 project to the CS5/Matrox MXO2 Mini system, but CS5 not only opened my project, but also kept all the Matrox Color Correction effects I’d applied earlier intact! It took a while for CS5 to index and conform the many hours of HDV clips and additional digital audio files, but once it was done converting, everything played back perfectly.

The project consisted of about 8 hours of 1080i HDV footage covering the entire day, with a 4-camera ceremony that included several additional layers of audio from digital recorders and heavy color correction to match the 4 cameras together. I edited the rest of that afternoon and evening on the system, picking up right where I had left off before “the incident”, and the following day pulled a 14-hour editing marathon to complete the editing process.

The resulting Premiere Pro CS5 project consisted of multiple sequences, each with hours of layered footage that I was copying and pasting between the sequences as I pieced it all together and tried different things. During the all-day edit session, the system never hiccupped or slowed down even once!

I ended up with a 2.5 hour final video length, which I then exported to H.264 for Blu-ray using a Matrox MAX hardware preset. I finalized the Blu-ray disc authoring and burning the next morning, and upon review, decided there was just TOO MUCH FOOTAGE!! I’m sure the bride and groom would appreciate having it all, but friends and family might not be so eager to relive EVERY moment, so I went back to the timeline and started cutting and trimming. I quickly knocked out a one-hour “Highlights” reel that would be more viewer-friendly, burned some DVD copies, and headed off to Grandma’s house for Christmas Eve dinner. Needless to say, reliving the wedding day with the entire family was the highlight of the evening’s events.

Thank you to Safe Harbor, Adobe and Matrox for helping me to pull off my own little “Christmas Miracle”!

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Tsunami Riptide to the Rescue!