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March 2010 Archives

Here's a great tutorial in After Effects and how to create a wiggle expression.

fcp_icon.pngIn Final Cut Pro, you can locate or identify the master clip of any clip in your project by using the Reveal Master Clip command.  A master clip is the source clip in the Browser from which clips and subclips are defined.  What determines whether a clip is a master clip in Final Cut Pro?  A clip is a master clip if it represents the first use of that clip in the project.  So, for example, if you have a bunch of clips in your timeline, and you need to know what came next in a clip, but you've renamed all of your clips, you can reveal the master clip in the browser, and sort them by Media Start, then you would be able to see what came next in that clip.  You can use the keyboard shortcut Shift+F to select the master clip in the Browser.  OR...

To find a clip's master clip:  In the Browser or Timeline, select an affiliate clip.  If the Timeline is active but no clip is selected, the clip at the position of the playhead acts as the selected clip.  Choose View > Reveal Master Clip.  The master clip is automatically selected in the Browser, but the way the master clip is revealed depends on whether the Browser is in column view or icon view.

reveal_master_clip.pngContinue reading for more about the Reveal Master Clip Command...


We typically will slate our Final Cut Pro projects when they are not the final deliverable. A great workflow is to create the template in Motion, save it as a template, and then it becomes available in Final Cut Pro.

motion_project_template.gif
greg_minet.gifGreg Minet recently completed our Final Cut Pro class this past winter as part of his career enhancement as a Marketing Director for United Tel Com in Dodge City, Kansas.  When asked what he thought about the class, Greg said he "couldn't have found better training or an instructor than at GeniusDV.  It was very intense, so I really had to pay attention, yet it was open enough to ask questions.  My questions were always answered, and I really liked the camaraderie."

Along with being in charge of the advertising at United Tel Com, Greg also helps build commercials for their cable television system. Since his training, Greg has "watched the quality of my work rise tremendously.  Clients are really happy with the look they are getting, and the bosses are impressed!"  I asked Greg what the biggest new thing he learned in class was, and his reply, "possibly that I can do a lot more than I ever thought that I could do and my confidence in using the program."

more about Greg and his experience after the jump...


veescope_icon.gifVeeScope Live is a special effects software package that lets the user send a chroma keyed video straight to Final Cut Pro.  It displays real-time video scopes and audio meters, and lets you record directly to your computer's hard drive.  You can see all the video scopes, Vectorscope, RGB Parade, & Waveform Monitor,  at the same time in the Multi-scope window.  The project settings along with logging information can be transferred over to Final Cut Pro as well.

VeeScope Live supports a wide range of video formats such as, HDV, DVCPro, HD, and DV right from your camera's firewire port.

veescope2.gif With VeeScope Live there's no need to guess what the final shot will look like.  It's Live!

Within Final Cut Pro you can easily create basic composites that may save you time from having to use Apple Motion.  One great example is using Final Cut Pro to create a moving filmstrip effect.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to create a moving filmstrip using Final Cut Pro.
motion_icon.gifSummary: Motion's Optical Flow-based shot stabilization is easy to use and consistently gives good results.  Tracker-based shot stabilization is a good option for shots with complex motion.

Earlier this week, we published a video blog on stabilizing footage in Apple Motion by using a tracker.  Tracker-based stabilization is an excellent option for footage with complex motion in the frame – say, a shot with actual camera motion AND a moving subject AND camera shake.  By placing and refining the tracker, you can very specifically indicate what portion of the frame should be stabilized.

But it's just the tip of the iceberg: like all of Final Cut Studio, Motion provides tons more ways to accomplish the same task.  One of the best and most reliable is the optical flow-based stabilizer, which works similarly to Final Cut's Smoothcam filter.

Read on for an overview ...

When editing in Final Cut there are often instances where we need to edit into a space in the Timeline. If there is no audio, one option would be to close the gap and do an Insert edit. Another option would be to mark the space by hitting the X key, but that may require isolating specific tracks.

There are two other options you can include in your edit workflow.  First, after highlighting the space, mark the selection by using the Shift + A keys together. This will mark an In and Out point at the beginning and end of the space, and next you set a sync point in the Viewer before overwriting into the space. The other option is to right click in the space,  fill the space with a slug and perform a replace edit.

marking_space_final_cut_timeline.gif

You can easily stabilize an image with Apple Motion using a tracking behavior.   Check out this Motion Tutorial on how to do this.

Continue reading for the full transcript of this Apple Motion tutorial.
You can use the Quick View Window in Final Cut Pro in order to preview effects or composite images in real time without having to render them constantly.  Depending on the computing power of your Mac, the clips in your sequence may become sluggish as you change motion parameters and add effects.  Quick View will play slowly through the clips and cache the frames to your computer's RAM within the specified range.  After caching the frames, it plays the clips in real time.  Doing this avoids having to create a render file, which can add up and take up serious space on your hard drive if you don't manage them.  We came across someone recently who had 1.5 TB of render files...ouch!

To use the Quick View Window, go to the Tools Menu > Quick View or you can use the keyboard shortcut Option 8.  The Quick View opens up a window called the Tool Bench; it is a free floating window that you can move around to wherever you want.  Notice the View pull-down menu gives you a choice as to which Final Cut Pro window you want to output to Quick View.  Adjust the range slider and click the play button.

quick_view_window.gif You can also use this tool when you're zoomed in to an image to see how the final composition plays without changing the zoom level of the Canvas; and to preview filter changes on the fly, you can use the Quick View tab.  As you preview the effect, you can enable and disable individual filters in the Viewer Filters Tab to see which filters suit your clip and which do not.  You can even make changes to filter parameters as Quick View plays the clip.  This is really helpful in previewing filters that may require rendering or that don't play every frame in real time.

You can use Apple Motion to create animated text effects that follow a path.  Here's a quick tutorial on how to do this.  If you're new to Apple Motion, this tutorial is similar to creating a text path in Livetype.


Continue reading for a full transcript of this Apple Motion tutorial.

Check out this Apple Motion tutorial for creating the Ken Burns effect with some simple 3D lighting. If you are a Final Cut Pro user, you could create something similar, but Motion offers the added ability of adding 3D lighting.

Continue reading for the full transcript of this video tutorial.

It may be easier at times to use the Toggle Clip Keyframes button in Final Cut Pro rather than in the Filter or Motion Tab.  By using the Keyframe editor down in the Timeline, it will be easier to move your keyframes.  Simply click on the Toggle Clip Keyframes button located in the lower left corner of the Timeline.  The tracks within the Timeline open up to reveal a clip's keyframe area underneath each track. 

toggle_clip_keyframes_button.pngIf you try moving keyframes in the Motion Tab, you are likely to change the value of your keyframes as well as the position, which is something you don't want to do.  Rather by moving the keyframes in the Timeline, you will only be changing the position of the keyframe and not the value. When moving keyframes, you may pass over a keyframe of a different attribute, but not a keyframe of the same attribute.

toggle_clip_keyframes.gif
In today's world, there many different formats of video.  It can be a challenge mixing computer generated graphics with NTSC video.  That's because NTSC video uses rectangular pixels which doesn't match elements designed with square pixels. 

square_vs_non-square.gif

Popular programs such as Photoshop and After Effects work with square pixels.  In these programs, you can turn on a a feature that corrects for the difference, but you'll suffer a degradation in visual quality due to the interpolation.  Therefore, a professional designer would prefer to build everything with square pixels.

pixel_aspect_ratio_correction_warning.gif

This difference is roughly 10% (.9) vs (1.0), but it's enough for the seasoned video editor to immediately notice a difference.

nstc_aspect_photoshop.gifFinal Cut Pro has a great feature that allows you change individual clips from non-square to square pixels (or vice-versa).  Therefore it's possible to compensate for the pixel aspect ratio when combining non-square and square video elements into the same sequence.

To correct for pixel aspect ratio problems within Final Cut Pro, you can follow these steps:




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dropped_frames_warning.pngIf you're receiving a "Dropped Frames During Playback" message in Final Cut Pro, it could be due to the fact that your hard disk is too slow or that your video footage is using a codec that is just too much for your computer processor to handle.  For editing purposes, you can turn off the display of this message that appears when dropped frames occur.  Simply go to the Final Cut Pro User Preferences menu, and in the General Tab, deselect the "Report Dropped Frames During Playback" checkbox.  This should help improve Real-Time performance.

dropped_frames.pngDropped frames are frames that are inadvertently skipped during playback or output, either because the hard disk cannot keep up with the video data rate or because the computer processor cannot perform all of the applied effects in real-time.  You can also improve real-time performance by playing your sequence using the Unlimited RT mode instead of the Safe RT mode.

Here's a great tutorial on how to slow down a person's dialogue without changing their pitch by using Final Cut Pro and Sound Track Pro's Time Stretch function.

You can continue reading for a full transcript of this tutorial.
finalcut_icon.pngThis week's featured plug-in for Final Cut Pro comes from CrumplePop.  Flipper allows you to easily flip logos, text, photos, and video clips, all with a simple drag and drop operation.  You can check out their cool demo at CrumplePop's website.  Also available is ShrinkRay, a really cool tilt-shift effect, SplitScreen, Reflector, Notes, & HandDrawn, a pen & paper effect.

CrumplePop effects are a fun, quick, and easy way to add high-quality elements to any Final Cut Pro project.  CrumplePop effects are based on Master Templates, so you can just drag and drop a template onto your timeline, adjust some parameters, and the template does the rest.  Busy editors usually don't have the time to design custom graphic elements for each project.  Usually you want something that's fast, looks good, and doesn't require a trip outside of Final Cut.  Still, CrumplePop effects give you a lot of creative freedom; you can arrange elements however you like in any configuration.  The end product is yours.

CrumplePop also offers a free plug-in called Photo, which is an effect that lets you create high-quality Polaroid-style photos on your timeline.

crumplepop_photo.png

Recently, we used the Spotlight Effect in order to direct the viewer's attention to a specific part of a video frame.  Today, we'll take a look at how to use the Vector Shape Generator in Final Cut Pro to also bring the viewer's attention to an object by using an animated graphic. 



Step by step after the jump...


Here is a great video tutorial showing you how to import your AVCHD video into Final Cut Pro.
Today we're going to create a "spotlight" over a particular portion of an image in Final Cut Pro.  Have you ever noticed like in documentaries where they're trying to call your attention to someone in particular in the video?  Here's an example of what I'm talking about:



slug.pngThis technique uses a mask to put the "spotlight" on one of your subjects.  Assuming you already have your image in the Timeline, select the in point where you want the spotlight effect to appear on the screen.  Go to the Generators Menu in your Viewer and choose Slug.  Press the F12 key to Superimpose the slug on the V2 track.  Continue to the step by step after the jump...



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This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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