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June 2010 Archives

The Color Corrector 3 Way is a great way to reset your white levels on a clip that was shot with poor white balance. You will find the Color Corrector 3 Way filter in Video Filters, in the Color Correction category. After applying the filter to a clip, and loading the clip into the viewer, you will open the Color Corrector 3 Way tab. To repair a bad white balance all you need to do is click the Select Auto-balance Color button. This will turn your cursor into an eye dropper when over top of the Canvas. All you need to do now is click on a portion of the clip in the Canvas that should be a perfect white. This will rebalance the white values within the clip. This can be a very quick and easy way to make a big improvement to a clip that was shot with a bad white balance.
logmein_icon.pngLogMeIn Ignition is an app made for iPad or iPhone that lets you remotely access one or more of your computers from anywhere, at anytime.  You can directly control your desktop, all your apps and all your files, with just a simple touch.  LogMeIn is not new to the remote access world, however, now with the availability to iPad, the entire screen of the remote computer can be fully viewed and users can get a lot done with minimum amount of zooming in and out; a difficult task on the previous iPhone versions.  The iPad app also displays different resolutions of the remote computer, making it easier to fit on the screen.  LogMeIn Ignition also supports the two-finger tap for right-clicking, which saves you from having to manually switch between click functions on the app's tool bar.  All you have to do is install the LogMeIn software on any Mac or PC that you want to control, and then log into it from LogMeIn Ignition on your mobile device.

So imagine you've left an important document on your computer at your office, and you needed to work on it at home for an early morning meeting; no worries, just log in remotely with your iPad and LogMeIn Ignition, and you're all set.  Even though it is one of the more expensive apps out there ($30), you now have access to all of your computers in one handy spot!

addmovie_icon.pngAddMovie is a free utility used for connecting several files into one single movie.  You can also use AddMovie to batch convert a collection of movies to another format.  It supports various input file formats, including QuickTime movies.  And you can extract movie frames, split movies at certain points, set the movie's poster frame, and extract sound track into an AIFF file.

There are several preferences available such as, choosing export format, making a "self contained" or reference movie, chapterizing, and automatic software update checks.  To edit preference settings for AddMovie, simply select Preferences from the AddMovie menu, or click the Options button.

addmovie_preferences.pngIt's really pretty easy to use AddMovie; just follow the steps:
  • Add Files:  drag files or folders from the Finder into the File List window's list box, or use the Browse button to navigate the file system for your selections.
  • AddMovie reads all the files that are supported by the QuickTime components installed on your system.
  • Reorder:  once you have added your files to the file list, you can re-arrange them to determine the position they will appear in the movie.  You re-arrange files in the list by dragging them to their desired location.  Files are added to the movie from top to bottom in the file list.
  • Add chapter titles:  If you are connecting the movies, and your output format is selected as QuickTime .mov files, then you have the option of chapterizing the movie.  Click the Options button to open the Preferences window.  Click on the Chapterize button, and AddMovie will let you choose default chapter titles, or you can edit the chapter titles that appear in the File list window.  To edit a chapter title, double-click on a title to edit.
  • Concatenate the files:  click the AddMovies button, and a dialog box will display asking for a name and location for the movie.  The appropriate extension for the file will be attached for you.
  • Export the files:  you can click the Export Movies button and each movie will be exported to the format you select in the Preferences window.
  • You can download the free utility from AddMovie's developer, Limit Point Software, website.
Apple Motion has an oscillating behavior that can bring life to a painted object.

This is a great method for creating an animation without having to manually add keyframes. The oscillation behavior can be applied to any parameter within an object.  In this example, I've chosen to oscillate the Y parameter for the brush angle.  Check out the rest of this Apple Motion Oscillation Tutorial.
The Final Cut Pro Browser will allow you to sort your bins, and their contents in many ways. By default the Browser sorts by name in an ascending order. To cause the alphabetical order to be displayed in descending order, click at the top of the column, in the header. This will redisplay the order of the contents of the Browser in a reversed order.

To sort the contents based on the category of another column, all you need to do is click in the column header you want to sort by, and the contents of the Browser will be sorted by the category of that column. Same as the Name column, if you click the column header again, and you will reverse the order.

A perfect example of when you want to sort by another column category is when you are working with a producer that has come to the edit with a list of timecode of what they want to use. If you have given your clips individual names that when sorted alphabetically cause the Media Start column to be out of order, then you will need to sort the contents of the Browser based on the starting timecode, by clicking the Media Start column header. 

CrumplePop recently released Metal, a new titling tool to help you create awesome metallic titling effects in Final Cut Pro.  Metal is great for busy editors who want to save time, but still get high-quality metallic titles into their project just by typing text and rendering.  It works right on the Final Cut Pro timeline, without having to go into other titling applications.

metal.pngCrumplePop's Metal titles have that steely, diamond plate look, to give your project that mean, blockbuster look to them.  Text that looks like it was chiseled from heavy guage metal plate.  You can also use Metal with logos to give it that "dipped in steel" feel.  With Metal, you have four different choices such as, Steel, Copper, Chrome-plated steel, and Steel Diamond plate.  Also included is built-in transitions that allow you to explode the titles into and out of the frame, and keyframeable lens flares.  It even comes with "whoosh" sounds to accompany your titles.  Check out the demo at CrumplePop's website and give it a try!

There are times when you want to unlink two channels of stereo audio. The most common reason is that there were two different inputs at the time of recording, and that the audio was accidentally ingested as a Stereo Pair. Once a Stereo Pair of audio is in the timeline it appears as if the tracks are linked, because they are acting as one. Linking is actually the term when video is paired with audio. When two audio tracks are acting as one, this is called a Stereo Pair.

Avid Media Composer 5.0 implements some new editing features.  These features are very similar to the editing features within Final Cut Pro.


These new editing features allow the user to bypass the traditional trim and segment editing modes.  You can now trim and drag clips directly within the timeline without having to enter into a specific mode. There's also a new 'link selection toggle', which automatically selects a clip's corresponding audio when dragging a clip within the timeline.

These features can be toggled on/off, which means you can choose to stay with the legacy editing functions if you choose not to use these new features. 

If you choose to have all the new features enabled, the position if your mouse cursor is important in terms of which editing function is active.


In the long awaited release of Media Composer 5.0, you can now link directly to QuickTime files using Avid's AMA feature.

This is great news for users who use a workflow that combines software products from Final Cut Studio.  Avid Media Composer 5.0 also includes support for QuickTime files using the Pro Res Codec.

The process can't be much easier.  Just navigate to the file menu and choose 'Link to AMA volume'.


Wham! by choosing a folder, the native QuickTime clips automatically show up in an Avid Media Composer bin. No transcoding is required! 


This process is very similar to the workflow within Final Cut Pro.  The Avid is referencing the files from their original location.  Clips that are referenced directly outside of Avid's MXF folder structure will appear in bright yellow.

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borisfx_icon.gifBoris Continuum Complete brings over 200 filters to Mac & Windows versions of Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro CS5, CS4, and CS3.  Version 7 features 11 new filters including a 3-way color grade filter with built-in keying and masking tools, a new video noise reduction tool, a spline-based warp filter, an audio-driven keyframe generator, a new OpenGL particle engine, and still and video morph technology.  Each Boris Continuum Complete filter has been re-engineered for 64-bit operating systems and OpenGL acceleration. 

Boris Continuum Complete gives compositors and editors the most complete and useful plug-in suite ever.  Includes 3D objects, image restoration tools, time-based effects, and generators such as Snow, Rain, and Fire, lights such as Glint, Glare, and Glitter, wipe transitions, keys and mattes including Motion Key for automated foreground object removal, colors and blurs, and film, glow, and cartoon effects.
Keyframes are not referred to as keyframes in Soundtrack Pro, they are known as Envelope points. Envelope points have the ability to be positioned much more precise than keyframes. In Final Cut Pro for example, a frame is typically a 30th of a second, and I think we all known that a 30th of a second can be an eternity with audio.


To apply an envelope point, you must first open the envelopes associated with a particular track. To do this you click the disclosure triangle in the upper left corner. Once the envelopes are open you simply double click at the position that you desire an envelope point. To adjust the value you can either drag it manually, right click on the point and choose Set Value, or go to the Details tab in the Left Pane and input the value. Right clicking on a point, or working in the Details tab will also allow you to copy the value from either the previous or next point to the selected point. 

To remove a point, first select the point by clicking on it, and then hit the delete key.
Avid Technology is now shipping Media Composer 5.0.  If you are running an earlier version, I highly recommend upgrading your Media Composer software.

  • Work natively with QT movies (including Apple Pro Res 4:2:2)
  • Support for Matrox Mini Hardware
  • Real-Time Animatte effects
  • New Drag and Drop Functionality
  • Support for consumer AVCHD cameras
  • You can now mix and match different frames sizes, resolutions and aspect ratios in the same timeline.
  • Improved Drag-Drop functionality.
There are many other improvements and features not mentioned here.  Visit www.avid.com for additional information. 

Apple Compressor will allow you to set the poster frame of whatever you are running thru Compressor. A poster frame is the frame that is displayed when your movie is viewed in the Finder. This can be very useful when trying to identify one video that looks like another, or starts with a fade up from black.


To set the poster frame, in the Preview window move the playhead to the frame that is to become the poster frame. Next go to the Modify Marker Settings pop up menu in the Preview window, and select Set poster frame. That’s all there is to it. 

One thing to keep in mind is that when in Column view in the Finder the poster frame will display in the tiny icon in front of the file name, but not in the Preview when the icon is selected.
When video editing in Final Cut Pro, it is the audio that drives the pace of the project. In many cases it is easier to see the audio, than to listen to it. In the Viewer we can go to the audio tab (either stereo or mono), and see the waveform. This will for example let us set an in point right before the audio picks up.


If you need to see the audio waveform in the timeline, you can turn this on in one of three ways. The first, and most effective is the keyboard command. OPTION>COMMAND>W will toggle the audio waveforms on and off in the timeline. There is also a popup menu located in the lower left of the Timeline, that you can choose to Show Audio Waveforms. Last of all you can go into the User Preferences, and make the change in the Timeline Options tab. If you want the Audio Waveforms to always be on when you start a new sequence, you will want to check the Show Audio Waveforms box under Timeline Options in the Final Cut Pro User Preferences.


Final Cut Pro by default has each filter set up to apply with specific predetermined attributes. You can change these attributes, so when the filter is applied, it already has the desired attributes. 

To change a filters default attributes, it is very simple. First find the filter you desire in the Effects tab in the Browser, and then either hit return, or double click it to load it into the Viewer. Once in the Viewer from the Effects tab, you can make changes to the filter that will be remembered by Final Cut the next time the Filter is used.


Another option is to create a favorite of a filter with specific attributes, but if you have a particular way you like to use a filter, changing the default is certainly a great option.  You can use this same workflow to change the defaults on transitions, and video generators as well.

Google SketchUp is a great tool for all your modeling needs.  Components and groups are the building blocks of SketchUp and editing groups and components in SketchUp is simple enough.  Just select your object, right click your mouse and select either edit group or edit component, but the trick is......
                      complicated screen.gif
quicktime_icon.pngThere are two ways to export a Quicktime movie from Final Cut Pro, as a self-contained movie or as a reference file.

A reference movie is a smaller file that contains references to the captured media but does not contain the actual video media itself. The advantages of exporting a QuickTime movie without self-contained media are:

  • The export time of a reference movie is almost instantaneous.
  • The footprint of the QT movie will be very small, because it will reference the original video media files already on your local system.
  • The only export time required is for the associated audio content. A Quicktime reference movie will still collect all the audio content, but will reference all the video content.
*Caution: If you were to send this reference file to someone, in order for them to play it back, you would also have had to send all of the original movie files along with it.


A self-contained movie contains both the video and audio media within the single clip and is required if you plan on playing back your Quicktime movie on a different computer.

Exporting A Self Contained Quicktime Movie
1 With a sequence loaded into the timeline go to File > Export > QuickTime Movie.
2 Choose a location to save the file.
3 Choose to include Audio only, Video only or Audio and Video, then click Save. See how to export a 16X9 QuickTime Movie From Final Cut Pro.


When you need a Slideshow in your DVD, and don’t have the time or budget to produce a photo montage video in Final Cut Pro, a DVD Studio Pro Studio Pro Slideshow is a great solution. Creating a slideshow in DVD Studio is very easy to do.

If you have all the pictures in a folder, you can just drop the folder on a menu button in DVD Studio Pro, and the Slideshow will be created and linked from the button to the Slideshow, and back to the menu. This may be all you need to do if you just want a Slideshow without music, that plays each slide at the DVD Studio Pro default of 5 seconds per slide. Chances are you will be willing to spend the extra 20 seconds it takes to set your slideshow to music. If you have a desired length that you would like each slide to be on screen, just select all the slides, and enter the desired duration window. To add audio to your Slideshow, you need only drop an audio file on the audio well in the Slideshow editor. If the desired duration of the slides multiplied by the number of slides is longer than the duration of the audio, you can set the Slideshow to loop the audio in the Slideshow Settings. In the Slideshow Settings you can also set the Slideshow to Fit to Audio. This will automatically figure out how long to play each slide to make the Slideshow play every slide evenly, and last the duration of the audio. If you add multiple audio files to a Slideshow it will calculate the slide duration based on the total duration of all the audio added to the audio well. 

UPS.pngIf lighting struck your studio, what would happen to your editing system? Many editors protect their editing system with a surge protector, which will keep the electrical surge of the lighting strike from entering your editing system. This is an absolute must, but plain-vanilla surge protectors–especially the cheap kind–wear down over time.  Be sure your surge protector is UL-listed, mail in your warranty card, and if you use a consumer-grade surge protector, you'd be wise to find one with a light, alarm, or cut-off that kicks in to warn you when the surge protector has worn out.

Remember that lightning surges can enter your system through any physical metal connection to the outside world, including any Ethernet, antenna, co-ax, or phone cables as well as power cables.  Many surge protectors shield some or all of these types of connection, so bear them in mind as you tally up your surge protector needs.

The other question you have to ask yourself is can I keep working if the power goes out, or at least get my current work saved, and my system properly shut down?

Using a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is a very responsible decision for protecting your editing system, as well as your work. A UPS puts a substantial battery between your system and the outside world, so any excess surge sinks straight into the battery without passing through to your system.  The UPS will not only act as a very effective surge protector, but it will also provide emergency power to your system for as long as the battery lasts.  That will allow you to continue working, or at least get your current work saved, and your system shut down.

Most UPS units have a number of outlets to plug in equipment, and all provide some degree of surge protection as well as back up power for a short time after the power goes out. If you are not currently using a UPS, you should highly consider getting ahold of one. Price varies with battery size and maximum voltage, but entry-level models are available at your local big-box discounter for under $100, which is more than reasonable based on the protection they provide.

Creating crawling text in Final Cut Pro is very easy.  I recommend using the Boris - Title Crawl over the 'legacy' title-crawl within the Final Cut Pro generators menu.


The viewer window will go blank after you select 'title crawl'.  Click on the Controls tab to adjust the parameters of the title.  Then change the animation style to either 'crawl' or 'roll'.

I also recommend turning on the 1:2:1 Deflicker option which will smooth out the playback motion during the crawl.


Type your text within the Boris text box and press the apply button when are you done.


That's it!  You now have crawling text within the Viewer window.  You can then take your crawling title to the next level by watching this short Final Cut Pro video tutorial.

In Final Cut Pro when you finish with a project, and you desire to be able to go back to it in the future, but don’t want to store all of the media associated with the project, what do you do? The answer is the Final Cut Pro Media Manager.


Upon completion of your project, you simply highlight the sequence, or sequences you wish to back up. After highlighting you will right click and select Media Manager. When the Media Manager window comes up, you will have a few decisions to make. In most cases when backing up a project, you will choose to Copy the media, which will create clips that represent all the media used in the selected Sequences. What is nice about the Media Manager is that if there are multiple  references of almost the same clip in the timeline, or different sequences, the Media Manager will only make one clip that contains all the necessary media. For example if you have a 5 second clip in the timeline, and in another sequence you have another 5 second clip that uses the last three seconds of the first clip, the Media Manager will create one 7 second clip that both clips will reference.  Another decision you will have to make is whether or not to include handles on the Media Managed clips. It is probably a good idea to give your clips a little handle. There will certainly be more flexibility in the future, if you include handles when you Media Manage. At the top of the Media Manager you will see two green meters. The top one represents the total size of the source clips that the clips to be Media Managed come from. The lower green meter represents how much space will be used once the media is Media Managed.  

In the project section there is a "Duplicate selected items and place into a new project" checkbox.  By checking this box, Final Cut will create a new project, that will include the sequences that were Media Managed, as well as a Media folder with all the Media Managed clips. By default Final Cut will create a Project Folder and place both the Project file and Media folder within it. If you choose not to check the box, you will need to relink your sequences to the new media.

The last step is to set the destination of the Managed Media. After choosing a Media Destination, you will click OK, and then name the Media Managed project if you checked the box in the Project section.             
cleanmymac_icon.pngCleanMyMac is an advanced all-in-one utility that helps keep your Mac clean and in good condition.  With just two simple clicks you can delete useless files that basically pile up and waste your valuable disk space.  CleanMyMac allows smooth system performance combining features of lots of different utilities all in one application; utilities such as Clean Caches, Application Uninstallation, Clean Unneeded Languages, Killing Trash Left from Buried Applications, and so many more.  Save gigs of space on your hard drive and enhance your computer speed.
cleanmymac.pngApplications running on your Mac leave numerous support files, which don't go to Trash once you've removed the app.  CleanMyMac will locate and erase all "leftovers" from your system files to enable you to easily install and uninstall new programs whenever you need to.  And the more junk files stored on your computer, just makes it work slower, so give it a try and clean up your Mac, you'll be glad you did!

Back on my plug-ins kick this week.  SupaWipe produces some extraordinary object transitions for Final Cut Pro without having to use keyframes.  These fresh new wipes can give your productions a little more zip.  Effects that would normally take time keying and working in many layers are now in a neat little package.  As well as the wipe, two object images can be on screen at once.  Both can have their own independent controls such as scale, rotation, etc which can give the editor a diverse artistic capability.

lucas_plugins_icon.pngToday's free plug-ins for Final Cut Pro comes from Luca's Plugins.  Luca's Plugins comes with filters, generators and transitions, including Vignette Combo, Image Adjust, Old TV Mask, Flicker Wipe, Intermittent Flash transition, and more.  This free bundle of plugins can be routinely used and has line and frame generators, sophisticated video effects, image and color temperature adjustment tools, and new stylized transitions.

lucas_plugins_parameters.pngNote that after downloading the bundle, you will have to move the folder from your Downloads to your Application Support, following this path:

HD > Library > Application Support > Final Cut Pro System Support > PlugIns

and then make sure to restart Final Cut Pro.  By not following this path, you might not be able to see the transitions in the Effects Tab, nor will any other users on your computer be able to use them.  You can refer to this article regarding where to install Final Cut Pro plug-ins.  Check out Luca's website to get a detailed description of each plug-in as well as video samples of each.

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

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