Tip #3 – Measuring Effects

Xpress Pro doesn’t offer a center duration display, so to measure things you have to display “I/O” over the monitors. It turns out that this offers a subtle advantage when working in effects mode, which also doesn’t offer center duration.

I try to keep things as simple as possible when I make visual effects and when possible attempt to make the distance between keyframes an even number. It’s easier for the effects house to replicate my work if I make a fade 3 feet long, rather than, say 46 frames. But doing so isn’t as easy as it should be.

The trick is to display I/O above your record monitor. Then, when you are measuring an effect, make only one mark in the timeline. I/O will then show you the distance from the mark to the blue cursor position — and it will update as you drag your cursor around.

For example, if you want to make a three foot fade out in a super, put a mark out at the end of your fade, then put a keyframe roughly where you want to fade to begin. Click on the keyframe — as long as you have only one mark in the timeline, I/O shows you the distance to your mark. Now drag your keyframe around. As you drag, the distance to the mark updates, so you can put it exactly where you want.

Here are the cascading menu picks you’ll need in order to show I/O in feet and frames.

Selecting I/O Display

Note that you can do the same thing over the source monitor, but in Xpress you have to load a sequence into the source for the menus to offer these choices.

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