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September 2010 Archives

The snapping feature in Final Cut Pro produces a sort-of magnetic property, for example when dragging clips from the browser down into the timeline, the clips automatically snap to other clips in the sequence.  The N key toggles snapping on & off as well as the snapping button above the timeline.  You can tell if the snapping is on by looking at the snapping button in the timeline button well; when the button is green, snapping is on.


The two most common fixes for issues with Final Cut Pro, are to throw away the plist file, or to throw away files from the Final Cut Pro User Data folder.  Both the plist file, and the Final Cut User Data folder are located at User>Library>Preferences. The files within the Final Cut Pro User Data folder that you need to delete, are the Prefs and Cache. If you have used the Final Cut Assistant to back up user settings, you could just throw away the entire Final Cut Pro User Data folder.  Now launch Final Cut Pro, and see if it is running properly.

If this does not fix the issues you are experiencing, you may also want to Repair your Disc Permissions. To do this you will need to go to the Disk Utility located at Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility. Once the Disk Utility is open, you will need to select the drive that Final Cut Pro is installed on, and then choose Repair Disk Permissions. This is a maintenance procedure that should be performed periodically. 

In many cases one of these two procedures will resolve any issue that you may experiencing.

There are a couple of ways to create a speed ramp effect using Final Cut Pro.  One way is to use the 'speed tool'.  This speed tool will allow you to ramp up / down the speed of a clip without changing it's duration.

As an alternative, you may want to view this changing speed tutorial for FCP that does not use the speed tool.

Check out this short tutorial on how to do this....

continue reading for a full text transcript of this Final Cut Pro tutorial.
When Installing Final Cut Studio there are a couple ways to save hard drive space, when doing the installation of the software. The most space can be saved by not installing the Audio Content. The next greatest savings of space is the Motion Content, and last of all, space can saved by not installing DVD Theme Elements. Final Cut Pro only takes 630mb of space when installed, and all of the Final Cut Studio applications together take up less than 2gb of space. 
To choose to not install certain space intensive options, all you need to do is uncheck the box next to the option. You will see the Space Required total adjust itself, as you uncheck these boxes. If you need the content, but don't have space on your internal hard drive, you can install the content in a separate location. For example, you may choose to install the content on an external hard drive to save space. By clicking on the destination folder, you can reassign the install location. This is also a solution for improving efficiency. Final Cut will read files quicker from a high speed external drive, and If you are on a shared sever based system, it would only make sense to have the content installed once on the sever, rather than on every local machine.

Check out this short video tutorial on how to create a spinning 3D cube using Avid FX (Boris FX) within Avid Media Composer.

Continue reading for a tutorial using screenshots.....
You can wrap text around a moving object by using a combination of motion paths and masks within Apple Motion.

I always recommend shooting with a tripod for for an effect like this, but if the camera is moving you'll need to track a mask to make the effect work correctly.  Check out this short video tutorial on how it's done with Apple Motion.

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

In Final Cut Pro, sometimes it is easier to drag the handles of selected clips within the Canvas rather than within the Motion Tab and adjusting the parameters.  You have to make sure you are in Image+Wireframe mode to use the Wireframe handles. To toggle between Image, Image + Wireframe, & Wireframe, use the W key.


To move a clip, select a clip from the Timeline and within the Tool palette, click on the Selection Tool and drag the layer to a new position, whether it's partly or completely outside the canvas.


You can use Avid FX (think Boris FX) in conjunction with Avid Media Composer to create stunning text effects.

Avid FX provides for a downstream mask key, which makes it incredibly easy to composite video inside a text layer.  Avid FX is also resolution independent which means you can create very large text objects that are larger than your video frame.

Check out this short Avid FX tutorial on how to do this.

For a text based tutorial of this same concept... continue reading....

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Knowing durations in Final Cut Pro is a common necessity.  From clips, to graphics, to transitions, we often need to know how long something is.  By highlighting something in the timeline and using the keyboard combination of CTRL+D, you will display the duration of the highlighted item.  To close the duration viewer, just hit return, whether you changed the duration or not.

duration.pngOther ways to go about getting a duration, are to right-click and choose duration, perform a match frame to display the duration in the Viewer, or mark the item, and display the duration in the Canvas.  In most cases it will be most effective to use the keyboard combination.

You can use QuickTime 7.0 to import an image sequence so you can bring a stop motion animation into Final Cut Pro.  This is also a great method for importing .tiff sequences from Maya into FCP.

To to this, you'll need to find QuickTime Pro 7.0 or install it from your installation DVD.  If you have a copy of Final Cut Pro installed, it will automatically upgrade your version of Quicktime to the Pro version.

QuickTime Pro allows you to import image sequences, along with the ability to export the assembled movie back to a QuickTime movie format.

Continue reading for a full text transcript of this tutorial....
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You can create some incredible light ray effects with text by using BCC filters within Avid Media Composer.  Boris Continuum ships with the retail version of Avid Media Composer.  You can also purchase the Media Composer plug-ins separately if you are upgrading from a version that didn't include the third party plugins.

Check out this short tutorial using one of the BCC plugins to create some cool looking light rays.

Continue reading for a full text transcript of this video tutorial....

If you find these training tutorial useful, consider taking our Final Cut Pro training class.  We also offer a flat fee for Final Cut Pro onsite training.

Here you can access over 2 hours of some of the best Free Final Cut Pro tutorials available.  They are all original, and they are all free!  Trust us, there's no fluff or BS here.

You'll also so see free tutorials on Apple Motion, SoundTrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, and Compressor.

Feel free to link to this page for reference.

Final Cut Pro Tutorials for effects

Camera Flash effect with freeze frame Part 1
Photo Flash Frame Effect Part 2
Camera Flash Freeze effect using Apple Motion Part 3
Pleasantville tutorial
Wind Blur tutorial
Blur Face in Final Cut Pro
Transport Beam tutorial
Light Zoom filter tutorial
Ken Burns effect
Creating a Moving Filmstrip
Creating customized wipes in Final Cut Pro
Creating a running timer or counter in Final Cut Pro
Luma Key Effect
Speed Ramp Effect with curves in Final Cut Pro
Play a clip backwards in Final Cut Pro
Alpha Wipe Transition Effect
Rotated Motion Path in Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro Tutorials for editing
Using the Add-Edit tool versus the Blade tool in Final Cut Pro
Re-formatting 4:3 Media for a 16:9 Hi Def Sequence in Final Cut Pro
Importing AVCHD - H264 Media into Final Cut Pro
Multi-camera Editing tutorial for Final Cut Pro
Learn to use modifier keys with Final Cut Pro
Exporting (WMV) Windows Media Files from Final Cut Pro
Trimming Clips in Final Cut Pro
Importing Image Sequences or using Stop Motion in Final Cut Pro
Using Media Manager in Final Cut Pro
Reformatting 4x3 Media for Hi def in Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro / Boris 3D Tutorials
Creating 3D text using Boris Title 3D
Title Crawl effect with glow

Title 3D type on effect
Title 3D effect using the tracking parameter
Creating Glass text effect with Boris Title 3D

Apple Motion Tutorials

Cloning or Repairing an image using Apple Motion

Creating 3D extruded text in Apple Motion
Tracking a Mask in Apple Motion for Color Correction
Using Masks to re-fill a tequila bottle in Apple Motion
Creating a glowing title in Apple Motion
Human Torch effect in Apple Motion
3D reflection in water with Apple Motion
Creating Text on a Path with Apple Motion
Fogwriter effect with Apple Motion
Image stabilization with Apple Motion
Using Apple Motion Audio Behaviors
Using lights with Ken Burns effect
Creating Particles on a Path
Light Streak effect using Apple Motion
Wrapping text around an object in Apple Motion
Flying Stars using Character Map with Motion
Animated Masks and Tracking with Apple Motion (jump through fire)
Four Point tracking in Apple Motion (replacing television image)
Hold Out Matte using Final Cut Pro and Motion (glowing football player)
Exploding Text effect
3D lighting in Apple Motion
Sequencing Text effect in Apple Motion

Apple Color Tutorials
Creating the Pleasantville effect in Apple Color
Introduction to Color Interface
Using Tracking Data in Apple Color for Color Correction
Configuring Preferences in Apple Color
Using Secondary Color Correction to fix a bad shot in Apple Color

SoundTrack Pro Tutorials

Removing audio noise with FCP and SoundTrack Pro
Removing audio pops using SoundTrack Pro and Final Cut Pro
Time shift effect using SoundTrack Pro and Final Cut Pro

Compressor / DVD Studio Pro Tutorials

FCP to DVD Studio Pro workflow tutorial
Creating Droplets with Apple Compressor

Photoshop for Final Cut Pro Video Tutorials
Creating a glass bug with Photoshop
Using photoshop filters on video clip

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Here's a great short tutorial on how to clone areas of a video image to fix a problem.

Continue reading for a full transcript of this tutorial....
You can create an unlimited number of 'customized' wipes using the Gradient wipe effect transition within Final Cut Pro. Check out this short video tutorial on how it's done!

Continue reading for a full scripted tutorial with screenshots......
Watch this short tutorial on for creating and animated a basic light within Avid Media Composer's Marquee Title tool.

Continue reading for a full transcript of this video tutorial.....

Learn how to blur out an object or a person's face using Avid Media composer without having to generate tracking data.

Continue reading for a full transcript of this video tutorial.....

Here is a short tutorial on how to use basic compositing techniques to create a 'glass title' using Final Cut Pro and Boris - Title 3D. 

Continue reading for step by step instructions with screen shots.....
You can downloading a free Final Cut Pro plugin to producer a counter from Too Much Too soon.

Check out this short tutorial on the steps to create your countdown or counter.

If you are not sure how to install third party plugin's for Final Cut Pro, check out this short tutorial on using the Wind Blur effect.

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

When it comes to User Preferences in Final Cut Pro, some editors might agree that one of the most important preferences is changing the number of Levels of Undo.  Levels of Undo is defaulted at only 10.  There's no reason to leave that default set at 10.  The maximum levels of undo is 99.  Every editor should always make sure to set it at a maximum of 99.  The Undo feature, or my favorite shortcut CMD+Z, is a great way to back out of a series of minor changes that maybe you decided not to use for a particular sequence.  To change the Levels of Undo, navigate to the Final Cut Pro User Preferences.


The Levels of Undo option will be at the top left of the dialog box that opens.  Set a new value (like 99), and click OK

levels_of_undo.pngMay I suggest however, that if you did want to try out some radical changes to your sequence, save it first before making the changes and not have to rely so heavily on the undo button.  That way if you don't like the effects you can always revert back to what you had before by using the Revert function.


In Final Cut Pro you can customize the keyboard layout. Often editors will save their layouts by their own name. When another editor starts to use a particular Final Cut system they switch to their personal layout. If you don't have a layout, and want to reset Final Cut Pro to the default keyboard layout you can do so by following these steps:

Go to the Tools Menu > Keyboard Layout > Default Layout - U.S.


And that's it!  Super easy. 

Another consideration is that when you do save your own keyboard layout, you can save it to your iDisk, so you have it wherever you have an internet connection.

Ever thought about taking a Final Cut Pro class to become a more efficient editor or to learn new effects, tips and tricks?  Now's the time!  We currently have spaces available in our 4 day, 5 day, and 8 day Final Cut Pro training classes.  Just give us a call or contact us through our website to find out which class is best for you!

In Final Cut Pro it is very likely that you will need to perform a split edit from time to time. Also referred to as J & L cuts due to the shape the edit takes in the timeline. A perfect example of a split cut is when you start to hear the audio of an incoming clip before while the video of the outgoing clip is finishing.

There are many ways to perform a split edit. To be able to trim the audio or video without trimming the other, you will have to disable linking. Remember that the option key can be a big help when you need to disable linking.

In Final Cut Pro it is frequent that we will use the function of pasting attributes to copy the values of attributes from one clip to another.  When there are multiple attribute values on one clip, it means the clip has been keyframed. When you paste attributes from a keyframed clip onto a clip of a different length, you must choose whether or not to scale attribute times.

For example let's say you have applied two keyframes on a 3 second clip that caused the clip to scale up from 0 scale to 20 scale over the first 15 frames of the 3 second clip. After copying the clip you want to paste the Basic Motion attributes onto a 6 second clip. By checking the Scale Attribute Times box, the duration between the 0 scale and 100 scale will be 30 frames. However if you leave the box unchecked the duration between 0 scale and 100 scale will remain 15 frames. 

When pasting attributes from clips that have no keyframes, it makes no difference whether or not you check the box.

Here is a great explanation about using modifier keys in Final Cut Pro

Learn the 'basics' in setting up a multi-camera edit for Final Cut Pro.  

Continue reading for a text based tutorial based on this same concept.

A quick and easy fix to remove an unwanted artifact or portion of a video image is to track and clone an object using the Avid Media Composer's paint effect.  Tracking can be a complex process, but it can also be a simple process for very practical things.  This is one quick example that uses a single tracking point.

Continue reading for a tutorial that uses screenshots for removing the guys logo on this shirt.

SoundTrack Pro has some great built in features for removing audio drop-outs or pops from individual clips.  You can send clips directly from Final Cut Pro without having to export and re-import the media.

Check out this short tutorial on how to do this.

Continue reading for a full transcript of this tutorial....
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This page is an archive of entries from September 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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