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Old June 25th, 2004, 12:09 PM   #1
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Editing ergonomics

I am moving into a new editing suite. As part of the move I get a new editing desk (but NOT one of the $1600-2000 ones). I am a little confused about how the ergonomics of editing may or may not differ from those of everyday computer use.

My current set-up:
An old Steelcase desk (36"x60" top). On the desk are the keyboard and mouse, a 23" LCD monitor and 9" Sony trinitron TV (as NTSC monitor) and whatever camera I'm using as a deck. At some point in time I might actually get a real deck. CPU is beside the desk and external drives are on top of the CPU.

With this set-up the monitors are slightly below eye-line so I am looking slightly down on the screen (well, the 23" is so big it sort of fills my eyeline anyway). I haven't had a problem but usually only edit a few hours at a time.

In looking at the design of true editing desks they all have the monitors mounted higher, on some of them it looks like you would have to be looking up slightly at the monitors.

So, where should the monitors be placed? What constitutes good editing ergonomics?

Thanks.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 12:12 PM   #2
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I don't know what the "standard" is (or if there is even such a
thing). I think the best answer would be: whatever works for
you.

One of the great editors out there: Walter Murch does editing
while standing. Yes, his Avid is raised so he can stand at a desk.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 12:31 PM   #3
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I agree with Rob, whatever works for you. Just sit at your current desk for 6 or 8 hours, and figure out what pains you the most. A good chair would be a start, which is why Walter Murch probably stands ;)

You would want to keep things at a comfortable level, to keep you from twisting, or looking up, down, stretching, whatever. You'll want plenty of surface space, so that you have most everything within reach... especially the Jolt cola, or cafinated beverage of choice. Just be sure that you aren't so cluttered that you spill it.

I have seen some edit desks that have a rack mount unit built in, which appeals to me. There is also another one that isolates your PC, and keeps it cool as well as dust free and quiet. That really appeals to me, as I have a very loud fan... sounds like a jet turbine. No joke there.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 12:48 PM   #4
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Keith: I believe it had something to do with him feeling fitter
than when he was sitting allday.

Also do check out our show your setup thread right in this
very forum! I see there are some dead links in there, but a
bunch still work.

I find the chair and space the most important myself. A lot of
workspaces (including my current one here myself) are too
cluttered or too small for my taste. I want large tables with
enough room to put some pen a paper and whatnot.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 01:05 PM   #5
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The reason Murch stands is that he treats editing something like 'dancing'. By standing he 'feels' the edit and uses it to determine the best cut point.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 03:24 PM   #6
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I can't stand the editing tables where the monitor is raised. Makes my neck hurt. We had tables built...big long one, about 9 feet long, with room to spread out tapes papers, etc, and a client if one is there. Then another table same length but lower. It fits behind the taller one, and the 3 - 20" monitors sit on it, so the centers are just below eye level.
What I'd really like is one of those $1200 chairs. And a massage therapist that comes in twice a day.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 03:30 PM   #7
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Bill- What monitors are you using?
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Old June 25th, 2004, 03:39 PM   #8
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The two computer monitors are NEC Multisyncs, and the NTSC is a Sony PVM20M4U (or something like that). The NECs came with the Avid package and have been amazingly good for their fairly low price. If I had it to do over again I'd probably get a bigger one for the bin monitor, but 20" is acceptable.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 03:53 PM   #9
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I have the NEC 2000... These the same maybe? The reason I ask, is I got mine 2nd hand, and I can't find a manual for the thing.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 04:00 PM   #10
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Ours say "NEC Multisync FE2111 SB"
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Old June 25th, 2004, 04:58 PM   #11
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Bill- Could you drop me an e-mail with the name of the supplier you got them from? I hate to take this thread way OT.
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Old June 25th, 2004, 09:05 PM   #12
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Don't want to take this thread off topic, either, but you can find manuals for NEC monitors (and Mitsubish, since they are both together) at this link: http://www.necmitsubishi.com/support...User%20Manuals.

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Old June 26th, 2004, 01:35 AM   #13
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pricewatch.com, reselleratings.com, and newegg.com would be good places to check for buying a computer monitor?

Anyways...

1- Most people recommend placing the computer monitor slightly below your line of sight. This is so your eyes dry out slower since less eye area is exposed (which means less evaporation). How far below is debatable- I don't think I find much difference.

2- High refresh rates on CRTs is good. In windows, right click your desktop, go into properties --> (monitor settings) --> advanced --> monitor (depends on graphics driver).

3- Low glare on your monitors are good. Make sure light sources don't bounce off em. One suggestion is to place monitors perpendicular to windows.

Unfortunately you will see your reflection in the monitor. You might reduce this by having lighting from above light your keyboard + desk but avoiding your clothing.

3b- Make sure the contrast between your monitor and your background isn't too great. You may find that your eyes do not handle high contrast well. This is if you work in a dark room when color correcting.

4- Some people I know how problems with carpal tunnel syndrome. What seems to work well is the trackball or mouse you like the best and support for your wrist.

If you do extensive typing then maybe an ergonomic keyboard may help. It's really whatever works for you.

5- People on the lafcpup.org forum (FCP users group) like the Ikea Jerker.
http://www.ikea.ca/webapp/wcs/stores...rentCats=10121


That's all I can think of right now. I haven't tried all of the ideas above.
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Old June 28th, 2004, 04:22 PM   #14
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I ended up getting a fairly standard computer desk at Office Depot. I originally was looking at something to match the new editing suite (which is built out of logs) but ended up with something that matches the G5 (tempered glass and metal). It is only a little smaller than what I'm using now but I'll use the keyboard drawer to gain back much of the space. It only cost a little over $60 (clearance) so it was hard to pass up. While I was at it I picked up a pair of mobile file carts that will hold the printer and other accessories - freeing up more desk space.

I would have loved to get a Martin and Ziegler or Anthro or Biomorph but couldn't justify it this time around.

Thanks for your tips.
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