Why Can’t the MC Make a Simple Fade?

It seems like fades in the Media Composer were designed to work properly only at the beginning and end of a sequence. If you cut a clip next to black and add a fade effect to it, you’ll get a proper fade. But if you make a cut from one shot to another and then add a fade to one of them (creating a cut to black and an immediate fade), you get a strange kind of dissolve.

Yes, I suppose that’s technically appropriate — a fade is a dissolve to or from black. But forcing me to be responsible for the black is unnecessary and confusing. If you apply a fade to a cut the MC wants to see handle for the fade, as if it was a dissolve. No handle — no fade, even though the handle has no relevance to the fade. Worse, if you don’t fade from Avid black the first frame of the fade will be dim but not fully black. This is true whether you’re using dip to/from color or the head fade/tail fade buttons. Film fades are even stranger — they really are dissolves.

The workaround, of course, is to first insert a frame or more of black and then apply your fade, but even that technique is awkward. You’ll initially get an error message saying the black is too short and the fade will begin life centered on the cut, which is never what you want.

This has caused problems on every feature film I’ve ever cut, because reels start and end with academy leaders, not black. A head leader typically has no handle for a dissolve.

You don’t have to do this in an EDL or in online, or on film — in all cases, black is invisibly inserted. Only in the Media Composer do we have to add black in this way.

We’ve been complaining about this for a decade or more. Isn’t it time it gets fixed?

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One Comment on “Why Can’t the MC Make a Simple Fade?”

  1. Liam Says:

    Hey Steve thought u may be interested in this article. hope all is well!

    http://www.tmz.com/2007/10/17/man-to-prince-you-stole-my-hard-drives/


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