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February 2010 Archives

Check out this Apple Motion tutorial on how to create an audio driven animation.  This is a fantastic way to add audio interaction to particles, emitters, or waveforms based on beat detection within your audio file.

Continue reading for the full text transcript that goes along with this Motion tutorial...
ikeys_icon.pngOk, so we all love our Final Cut Pro keyboard shortcuts, but is there really anyone who can remember all 840 of them?  No worries, there's a new iPhone application out there called iKeys To Go.  iKeys To Go is a great personal shortcut assistant that puts the complete list of Final Cut Pro 7 commands into the palm of your hand!  You can search for a specific command to find its shortcut or you can sort them by command, groups, or menus.  For example, let's say you go to Menus, then to the Edit Menu, pick a command, such as Remove Attributes.  It will give you the command, the shortcut, and the definition.  It will also allow you to create a Favorites List, so while you're editing, you can have your iPhone or iPod Touch right next to you and it will help you speed up your edit session because it will make you remember your shortcuts; the more shortcuts you know, the more efficient editor you become.
ikeys_screen.pngiKeys To Go is not only great for beginners, but even advanced editors because I'll bet there's shortcut keys you didn't even know that exist!  Because it has all the commands in one place, it's a really great way to learn the commands and functions of Final Cut Pro without having to scan thru manual pages or help screens.  You'll find your knowledge of Final Cut Pro grow by leaps and bounds.  Available from the App Store for only $2.99, how could you not buy it!  iKeys To Go also currently has shortcut applications for Photoshop, iPhoto, & Word, and is planning to come out with shortcut apps for Motion, After Effects, & Aperature soon.

Remember, if you really want to become an efficient editor, GeniusDV has a terrific 5-day Final Cut Pro class that can help beginners to professionals, so check out our schedule and call today to reserve your spot!

Check out this Apple Motion tutorial on how to create a human torch.

In Motion, creating the base layer for a basic "Human Torch" effect from a subject shot on green screen is fairly straightforward – plus, it illustrates several core concepts of compositing.  There are a lot of steps in this tutorial, but each one calls on several principles that are useful on their own.

We go over the first parts of this tutorial in the video tutorial above -- if you're interested in using this approach to the effect, I suggest taking a look at the rest of this article for more ideas and suggestions.
P2flow_icon.pngThis week's featured plug-in for Final Cut Pro helps to integrate seamlessly the editing of all P2 metadata.  P2 Flow works also for Compressor and other applications through a unique set of workflow features.  It takes advantage of the native MXF Import QT that allows to access the native P2 MXF media without the need to convert the files.

P2flow_preferences.pngChanges are saved in the original P2 XML and fully comply with the P2 metadata specifications from Panasonic.  All P2 metadata is available in your Final Cut Pro project including User Clip Name and even Memo List items.  P2 Flow allows a choice between a native MXF and Final Cut Pro's standard Log and Transfer workflow.

You can demo this great plug-in from P2 Flow's website and try out this metadata editor, player, and logging application for the Panasonic P2 format.

Here's a great Final Cut Pro video tutorial on how to hand-track a blur filter to cover up a person's face or object.

The particular effect is designed for a quick work-around for those who need to track a person's face, or perhaps a license plate of a car.  It's down and dirty, but yet does the job.  For automatic motion tracking, you can certainly use Apple Motion.  However, I think you'd find it's probably easier to create the effect manually within Final Cut Pro.

Please comment and/or provide your rating for this video.  This will help us improve future content.

Continue reading to view the entire transcript of this Final Cut Pro tutorial.....
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Here's a great Final Cut Pro tutorial on using the Boris Title Crawl feature to create a giant crawling title that has a see through effect.

If you want to quickly create crawling text in your video, rather than using LiveType, you can use the Title Crawl function right within Final Cut Pro.  The Title Crawl feature generates a single line of text that moves horizontally across the screen, kind of like a ticker tape display.  You can adjust the spacing of the text and the location of the text as it crawls across the screen.

We find the Title Crawl feature within the Text Generators menu under Boris.  Drag the Boris Title Crawl generator into the Timeline and set your duration.  Double click the generator on the Timeline to load it into the Viewer.  You can then click on the Controls Tab in the Viewer window to see the different parameters you can use to control your text.

Continue reading.....

Here's a video tutorial on how to create a motion effect in Final Cut Pro that bounces back and forth at a particular point in time.
sketchup_icon.gifProbably one of the more infamous tools of Google's Sketchup is the Push/Pull tool.  By using the Push/Pull tool you are basically pulling your flat surfaces into 3D and adding or subtracting volume to your models.  In any direction, you can pull outward on surfaces or inward on them.  When pulling surfaces the tool will always pull and push in a direction that is perpendicular to the surface.

push_pull_tool.gifJust click on the Push/Pull tool, and click on the face you want to extrude.  If you want to be accurate, you simply start an action then type a value for it, and hit the enter key.  So if you want your building to be 10 feet tall, start to pull your building up, and type in 10' enter.  Sketchup automatically snaps to exactly 10 feet.  You don't have to open up a dialog box or click somewhere to enter the value; just type in the units and hit enter; this is true with any of the tools in Sketchup.

GeniusDV has an amazing 2-day Google Sketchup class that can teach you to create everything from the basics to the most sophisticated 3D models.  Check out our schedule and call us today to book your next class. 

In Final Cut Pro we have video generators, text objects, and other Production elements that we can manipulate. Often these elements take a while to get to the point we use them. We then may have to do it all over again in the next project, or we open 3 projects to get the different elements we need for our current project.

project_elements.gifAnother option is to create a master Production Elements project, and keep it open all the time. This way you won't have to be constantly recreating the different elements for your projects. Anytime you need one of these production elements you simply select the Production Elements project tab and bring it into your project. Many of these elements may need a little adjustment. For example a text element may need different text, but the color, shadow, size, and font are all set.

You can also add a folder in the Finder, and keep frequently used files, like your studio logo, or your clients logos, in the Production Elements project. They will simply be pointing at the folder.
Have you ever wondered why sometimes your Status indicators are different colors within the Assets Tab in DVD Studio Pro, or even what those status codes mean? 

DVD_Studio_Pro_status_indicators.gifRemember that the Assets Tab is a storage place of all the assets that are currently imported into your project.  That is where you normally import externally created assets into the project for use in making the disc's items.

Basically, those Status indicator "dots" can be one of three colors:
  • Yellow:  means the asset has not yet been encoded 
  • Green:  means the asset has been encoded, and is ready to use
  • Red:  means there is an issue with the asset 
When there is an issue, it could be a number of things. Most likely the asset was moved, deleted, or renamed on the hard drive, or another possibility is that there was an issue during the encode.

It is best to pre-encode video assets before they are imported into DVD Studio Pro.  During the encoding process, they are split into separate video and audio files.  The video portion usually gets encoded into an MPEG-2 file, and the audio portion is usually an uncompressed PCM file, such as AIFF or WAV.

In some cases, you might have imported an unencoded QuickTime file.  (hence, the yellow status indicator) This allows you to continue to work with the asset as you create your project, and then either encode on Build, before creating the disc files, or encode in the background while you work.

So next time you're working in DVD Studio Pro, and you notice those status indicator dots are different colors and can't remember what they mean, think of them like a traffic light:  green meaning, GO, it's ok to go ahead; red meaning, STOP, there's a problem;  and yellow meaning CAUTION, something else needs to be done. 

GeniusDV has a great 1-day class of DVD Studio Pro training offered as part of our 5-day Final Cut Pro class.  But you can take DVD Studio Pro by itself; call us to schedule your authoring class today.

In case you've taken notice. Avid's new Spectra Matte keyer allows for incredibly accurate keys with minimal adjustment.  You can even create the 'Pleasantville Effect' using the SpectraMatte keyer.



Going from Final Cut Pro to DVD Studio Pro using Compressor is the workflow that gets the best results with Final Cut Studio. Once your project is complete in Final Cut Pro, export a Quicktime reference movie. By reference I refer to unchecking the Make movie self contained box, and exporting the Movie. I like creating a reference movie anyway, because it gives me a copy of my project that is easy to access, but doesn't take up much space on my hard drive.

Here's an awesome video tutorial that will show you how to create flying text in Motion.

Be sure to rate our video tutorials on YouTube, so that we can continue to improve our tutorial content for you.

You can also check out this tutorial on Creating Live Font Master Templates in Motion.
fxfactory_icon.gifNoise Industries has done it again!  One of my all-time favorite Final Cut Pro plug-ins companies has just released a new version of their ever-popular FxFactory, and now included is the PulpFx Abstract plug-in from Aquafadas.

Aquafadas creates cool slideshows based on a picture folder.  You too can now create amazing slideshows with PulpFx Abstract, a new set of generators that lets you easily animate stills.  From the atmospheric "Black Reflections" to funky "Light Slice", you'll love the perfect abstract look for your animated slideshows with intuitive parameters for a fast track to extra pizazz.

pulpfx_abstract3.gifJust go to Noise Industries' website and download your free demo to try it out.  And don't forget to check out our Final Cut Pro 5-day class schedule and call us today to reserve your spot in our next class.

motion_icon.gifMotion does a good job of hiding its 3D capabilities when you're working primarily in 2D.  But there's a dark side to that simplicity: you'll find that Motion provides two completely different tools to accomplish some of the same tasks in 2D and 3D.  For example, you can adjust the position, rotation, and scale of a 2D layer using the regular Select/Transform tool (the arrow tool) -- which gives you the grey circle-and-crosshair with the rotation "lollipop" that appears when you click on any regular 2D layer in your Canvas.

Even without using Motion's full 3D capabilities, though, you can manipulate those same 2D layers using the same transformation tools that apply in 3D space.  To make it even more confusing, the tool has the same name: the Select/Transform tool!  The 3D Transform Tool is the second tool from the left at the top of your Canvas window: it looks like a little atom alongside a little arrow.


There are many different ways to trim a clip in Final Cut Pro. Certainly one of the most popular is to leave the playhead in one position and drag to trim the clip to the playhead. When we do this we see the image changing in the Canvas as well as the new timecode value. Another popular way to trim is to simply enter a new duration value, and we can accomplish this by right clicking on a clip in the Timeline, and choosing to adjust the duration value .
dvdsp_icon.gifCreating a Multi-language DVD is a lot easier than you think.  If you have a video project where you need to offer the audio in many different languages, basically you can accomplish this by assigning menu buttons to point at each one of your audio tracks.  In the example below, I've already imported the aif files of the different language audio tracks into my DVD Studio Pro project.

dvdsp_assets.gifKeeping in mind that when bringing a video file into DVD Studio Pro, it will bring in the attached audio file with it, or an audio file that has the same name as the video file.  But to exaggerate the example I'm using, I've created a separate English audio file, however, in most cases, your English version will be produced with the video.  So, now, first of all, we will drag our video file up into the Graphical View.  Next drag the English audio file on top of the video in the Graphical View.  Your track should look like this, so far:

dvdsp_track.gifAfter the jump is more step by step...

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