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Preface

Preface

During the last 10 years, digital nonlinear editing (DNLE) systems have undergone tremendous development. All the core components that make up a DNLE have seen vast improvements. From 32MHz computers, we now have 3GHz computers. From $15 per megabyte of disk storage, we are now hovering close to one-third of one cent per megabyte. From 4Kbps AppleTalk networks to 800Mbps FireWire networks, we are in an ever-progressing phase of technological advancements.

One of the primary benefits of this technology path is that performance and power have risen sharply while costs have dropped considerably. Today, the power of an uncompressed Standard or High-Definition DNLE is—minimally—10 times more than just five years ago. Simultaneous to the hardware improvements, we've seen a significant growth in the power of DNLE software. DNLEs can now run on the host computer without any additional hardware add-in cards and are still capable of amazing performance. Digital video (DV) cameras have undergone tremendous development, and HD-DV cameras are now on the market for less than $4,000.

The prime benefit of these terrific tools and systems is that with standard computing platforms, readily available and affordable software, and powerful and compact cameras, individuals who might not have a filmmaking background can now easily acquire, edit, and produce content and can do so with relative ease. It's easy to burn these stories to DVD and share them. Posting content to a website allows filmmakers to reach a global audience.

Given all this change, is critical to become educated. What you are about to read was written by a long-time filmmaking and technology professional who is dedicated to educational and practical, hands-on approaches to using these toolsets. Herein you will find a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to working in a nonlinear environment and will be guided toward the various (and best) ways of accomplishing your goals.

Given time, you'll be a master of the software. What you choose to create and what makes it special is not a matter of any tool, but of your imagination.

Tom O'Hanian
Co-Inventor Avid Media, Film, Multicamera Systems
Providence, Rhode Island
July 2003

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