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June 2008 Archives

cut_and_paste.gifHave you have ever run into problems cutting something from your sequence and not being able to paste it in the track you want to?  To copy from one track and paste to another, you need to turn off the Auto Select control for the tracks below the track you wish to paste to. For example, if you copied a clip from V1, and you wanted to paste it into V3, you would need to turn of the Auto select controls in V1 and V2. This will force Final Cut to paste into the first available track. Another way to go about this is to Option click on the Auto Select control of the track you wish to paste to. This will cause the track you Option clicked to become the only one turned on. Keep in mind if you are copying a linked clip, FCP will paste either to the same track they came from if the auto select for that track is not turned off. In other words you need to assign a destination track for both Video and Audio before you paste.

Have you ever run into a situation where you can't seem to find a particular clip within an Avid sequence?  Well, you can assign various colors to clips as a nifty way to quickly find cips within an Avid sequence.

To do this: click on the 'text' tab within an Avid bin.  Then navigate to the bin menu and select 'headings'.  Activate the 'color' heading. 

changing_clips_colors.gifNow, click underneath the 'color' heading within your Avid bin and assign individual clips their own unique color.  You can also asign a group of clips a specific color by highlighting them and using the 'edit' menu.











After you've assigned colors to individual clips, you can tell Media Composer to display those same colors for matching clips within an Avid sequence.  To do this:  Navigate to the timeline menu and choose:  clip color > source.

changing_clips_color_in_timeline.gifThis provides a great method of tracking down and finding cilps within an Avid sequence.


Google has release 'Vidnic' which allows Mac OS X user's to easily upload movies directly to YouTube.  Vidnic works with OS X, and allows users to record video using the 'iSight' camera and upload them directly to the internet.  You can also add metadata, such as a title, tag, and a description.

Viewership for internet related video is up 64%.   This is partly because of the popularity of sites like YouTube that make video readily and easily available.


By Bob Hunt

It is so easy to create a really cool black and white video project, film or fun project for you tube or friends and family. I always tell creative videographers to think outside the box, no matter who, what or where you are shooting, look before you even pick up your video camera. Create the scene you want with lights, shadows and most of all the white-balance on your video camera.

bw-video_image.pngLet's take for instance shooting a day scene in some shade and sunlight, the look is black and white, grainy with a film look. First set up your scene, either in the shade or in the sun and then start to white-balance your video camera, but think outside the box. If shooting in the shade, try white-balance on something gray in the sun, and vice-versa. Also use different colors to white-balance your video camera. I tend to spend a lot of time white-balancing my video camera just to see the effects I can get. Here's a little something a bit trickier, but well worth the time and effort. Try using your gain to create the grainy look, iris down to not blow out the video, plus set the shutter up to 30-50%, now if your not experienced enough with this type of set up, I suggest you experiment, but if you can create it, you can either set camera up to sepia, or do black and white in post.

This will not only create some awesome video, but it will get your creative juices flowing to start using all the functions of your video camera and really start creating some awesome video production projects. Good Luck and keep shooting!


The media management tool in Final Cut Pro can be quite confusing.  One VERY important thing to note is that the Media Management tool will not work with clips that do not contain time-code. 

To verfiy this, take a look at the Media Start Columnto make sure each clip has actual time-code values other than 00:00:00:00.  This is a real drag if you plan on using clips that inherently do not have timecode.  (i.e. background animations, music from CD's, and multimedia movies),


As you can see in this screenshot, these particular clips do not have timecode information.  Therefore the Media Manager will not work correctly with these clips.

Fortunately, there is a trick to add time-code back into the clips. 

You can use one of two methods.

#1  Edit all your clips to a sequence.  Set the sequence start time, and then export a self-contained QuickTime movie.  Then re-import the movie into Final Cut Pro.  The clip(s) will now work correctly within the Media Manager.  *Do not export using QuickTime Conversion, because it will not preserve the FCP sequence timecode. 

#2 For the die-hard tech geeks, you can use the QuickTime Developer tool to create a timecode track and manually change or add time-code information to each individual QuickTime movie.

After you've confirmed that all your clips have actual embedded timecode information, the Media Management tool will work correctly.


Okay, it's time to go geektoid on you!  There is a cool feature within Final Cut Pro that integrates a new feature in Mac OS 10.5.X (Leopard).  Here's how it works.

mark_clip.gifWhile running Final Cut Pro, navigate to the help menu and you'll see a blue search box.  Type in a specific phrase.  In this example 'mark'. Park over the list of choices and Final Cut Pro will automatically open up the appropriate menu for you and it will point to it.  Better yet, you can click on the search term and it will actually perform the function!









This is a great feature if you are an educator or trainer.  For the rest of us, it's just another geeky function.










Do you white-balance your video camera? Do you use automatic or Manual? Either way it should be the first thing you do when getting ready for your video production project. Most consumer video cameras have an auto-white balance feature which will automatically set up the video camera to the lighting where you are performing the video production.

Sony Camera.jpg
You should also have either outdoor, indoor and night settings or manual while balance on your video camera as well. I strongly suggest using manual and setting the white balance to the area on which you are shooting. For most, something white in 50% of the camera will suffice, some say 80%, many zoom in and focus on the white and then perform the white balance. White balancing your video camera will give you true color, but depending on your shoot, you may want to consider tricking the camera with a white balance for some very cool effects. Make sure you try these tips before using them on a paid-shoot. You can get some crazy stuff going on and if your video camera is not set up properly, like the viewfinder color, you could spend hours in post trying to fix it, or re-shooting.

When setting up an indoor shoot with lighting, try turning off the set up lights and turning on the fluorescent lights and white balancing on white, then turn off the fluorescent lights, turn your set up lights on and see what kind of picture you get in your video camera. Now try it again, but white balance on other things besides white, like orange, or blue, or red, or anything else, you should see a dramatic effect in the camera, helping you create a different mood for the video production. Once you get some nice colors, consider turning off some of your set up lights, for instance, a somber mood with low lighting and a bit of orange creates cool video, all lights on and true white balance gives you the hard edge look.

Don't think you have to white balance on white, try using a lot of different colors and angles with lighting to create video you can wow your clients with.

For more tips and tricks regarding video production techniques like these, take a look at GeniusDV's two day video production course.  Coming soon, white balance for a black and white video production.

In LiveType you can matte a movie or image to an object. This includes objects that have animation. By matting a movie to one of the objects in the Particle category especially, you create an effect that looks like you spent serious time and effort. The reality is this operation takes about twenty seconds.
After applying an object to your LiveType project, you will need to go into the Matte option of the Attributes tab. Selecting the Movie or image option in the Matte to pull down menu, will allow you to choose what you want to matte to the object. You may want to adjust the duration of the object to either control the speed of the effect, or include more of a movie.

Another work flow is to apply an object to your LiveType project, adjust the duration, and take it into Final Cut Pro.  Once in Final Cut Pro you can composite the LiveType project to a movie or image, and have certain flexibilities you wouldn’t have in LiveType.


Thumbnail image for matte_object.gif

Have you ever noticed when you render motion effects in Final Cut Pro that the quality isn't always up to par? You may also notice a 'stutter effect' when zooming in and out of clip elements.

It is important that you take notice of your sequence settings. The default sequence settings for DV-NSTC are set to Render 8-bit YUV. I recommend rendering your sequence with High Precision YUV. For your motion effects I recommend change your sequence settings to 'best' for motion filtering quality.

To do this: right click on your sequence, and choose 'settings' from the contextual menu. This will bring forward the Sequence settings dialog box. Click on the 'video processing' tab. Choose the High Precision YUV rendering setting and 'best' for motion filtering quality.

*The only drawback with these settings, is the longer rendering time. Therefore, you may want to wait until your sequence is completely finished and then re-render everything with High Precision YUV, and 'best' for the motion filtering quality.
Recording audio key frames during play back is as simple as turning on a button. You will want to know your audio very well before attempting to perform this operation. You may even want to set some markers to help you know when to raise or lower your levels. If you wish to raise and lower your audio levels while in playing your sequence, the first thing you need to do is open the Audio Mixer from the Tools menu (option + 6).  The next step is to turn on the Audio Keyframe Record fnction, by clicking the Record Audio Keyframes (Shift + Apple + K) button in the upper right corner of the Audio Mixer. Place your cursor on the slider of the track you wish to adjust the level, and press the spacebar to start playing your sequence. As your sequence plays drag the slider up and down to the desired levels. Once you stop the playback the audio keyframes will be applied to the track. To apply changes to both channels of audio within the same audio track, you will want to make sure they are a stereo pair. To apply keyframes to all audio tracks at the same time, you will need to nest the tracks together and then apply the keyframes to the nest.


Thumbnail image for audio_keyframes_sequence.gif

Yes, it's possible to create chapters (similar to regular chapters on a DVD) to videos in your iphone.  The trick is to save a standard QuickTime movie with embedded Chapter markers.  If you're not sure how to embed chapter markers into a sequence, click on the link. 

Do not use the standard iPhone export setting within QuickTime Conversion because it will not allow you to save the embedded chapter markers.


Take the QuickTime movie you've exported into Apple Compressor.  Don't worry, Apple Compressor will maintain the meta-data for the chapter markers. 








Within Apple Compressor use the H.264 Preset for iPod and iPhone video.  That's it!  You'll now have embedded chapter points within your video clip on the iPhone.




media_composer_mac.gifAvid Technology announced today that it is shipping new version's of Avid Media Composer.  This version of Media Composer 3.0 is the first qualified version to work Mac OS Leopard (10.5.X), and Windows Vista.

This is one of Avid's the next generation editing platforms to conform with the latest operating systems.  New pricing and upgrades are available for older versions of the software.


To give your mattes more definition, you can add an outline in LiveType after adding a movie or image to your matte. In the Matte category of the attributes tab you can composite a movie or image into your whatever you have highlighted in the timeline. A matte in LiveType can be any glyph, graphic, or object. Many editors don't realize that you can place an item into your LiveType project, and matte to it. The object you place into your LiveType project needs to be on an alpha channel to be able to matte to it's shape. Keeping in mind if there is no alpha channel showing thru the object, it will be one solid matte.


iDVD allows you to create chapters, but is limited to where you can place the actual chapter points.  Did you know that you can use Final Cut Pro to create specific chapter points that will automatically turn into iDVD chapters.

To do this, all you need to do is add markers directly within a Final Cut Pro sequence.  Press the 'M' key to add a marker point at the place you'd like to have a DVD chapter.  Make sure the marker is placed within the actual Final Cut Pro sequence, and NOT within the actual clip. You don't need to add a marker at the very beginning.


add_marker.gifNext, press the 'M' again to bring forward the Edit Marker dialog box.  Within the Edit Marker box, press the 'Add Chapter Marker' button to add the required meta-data into the marker point.  This is so iDVD knows to create a physical chapter point from the marker.

Next, all you need to do is export your sequence as a QuickTime movie.  Navigate to the File menu and select 'Export -> QuickTime Movie'  The save dialog box will appear. Change the 'markers' menu to include chapter markers. 


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This page is an archive of entries from June 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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