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Label users, beware!

Beware of a nasty bug in CS6:

If you import the footage in such a way that a bin or a number of bins is created upon import, and you label your clips on the timeline, you might be in for a nasty surprise at some point.

If you choose to move your files from the bins, or sometimes even simply select them by the innocent “Reveal in Project” command or so much as click on them, you are going to loose labels in the timeline for selected footage in the given folder. *Pooof*, gone. Like this. Without any possibility of undoing it. If you have not saved your project for some time, you face either loosing the labels, or loosing the changes since your last save, because I tell you, these labels are not coming back!

Now, if you are lucky to have a saved project with your labels still applied, don’t breathe with relief yet, because they are not safe! First follow the following steps to the letter:

  1. Save the broken project under a different name
  2. If your Premiere window is maximized, click the maximize icon and set the window size as you like, just so that it is not maximized.
  3. Open the old project.

This bug propagates across projects! If you have Premiere opened in the maximized window – as most of us usually do – then the moment you open your project, the labels will evaporate as well. But if for some reason you do not have your window maximized (it might be larger than one screen, but it must not have the maximized icon turned on), you are safe for the time being. The labels will remain on the timeline until you trigger the bug again by selecting your files or moving them.

I have no idea why, but having your window non-maximized gives you a chance to save your work. This is the weirdest bug I have ever seen, and it is a nasty one.

The solution is to either import media in such a way that no folder is created, or to move them to another folder immediately after import. It does nothing to save your existing projects, but it will protect you in the future.

I stand corrected…

In an excellent recent article on Pro Video Coallition Alexis van Hurkman explained how the terminology which I use in my Power Window filter, and in my Lift, Gamma, Gain tutorial is incorrect. The control called “Lift” should in fact be called “Offset”, based on the way it works.

Similarly, the formula which I used to calculate the resulting pixel value in the filter is also a bit different than the approved ASC CDL standard. In my case I decided to apply the power function (gamma) to the input value of the pixel, and the CDL order applies gamma as the last operation, affecting the result of the offset and gain corrections. Come to think about it, it makes a bit more sense than the way it is implemented now, especially for the footage which was shot in log space. If you set your black (offset) and white (gain) levels, you don’t want them to move, when you change the midtones (gamma).

Perhaps for the compatibility sake I should add another (sigh…) control where the user would be able to choose between color calculations, but after giving it some thought, I will definitely correct the order of operations in the next release of Power Window plugin.