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Jeff: August 2008 Archives

Creating a photo montage to the beat of music in Final Cut Pro can be much easier with a couple simple steps. The first step is to establish the beat of the music. Before doing this you will want to make sure your audio is ready for Final Cut. Once in your sequence you will want to set markers in the audio track to the beat of the music. By playing the music, and hitting the "M" key to the desired interval, you will create a template for your montage. If you have limited ability in this regard, another option is to load the audio into the Viewer, and apply the Markers visually, by looking at the wave form in the Audio Tab.


To avoid any issues with your audio, you will want to convert your audio files to AIFF. An easy way is to export using the Quicktime Conversion.  I had always done this in iTunes, but just discovered an easier way.

I locate the audio file I need in the finder, and drag it into the Viewer. If you don't know where it is, use the Spotlight to locate it. Once your audio file is in the Viewer, you will Export Using Quicktime Conversion. This is a good function to map to a key, because we are often exporting thru the Quicktime Conversion. When the Quicktime Conversion window pops up you will want to choose the location you want the converted to go to, and change the Format from Quicktime to AIFF.

When iTunes did the conversion it would put the converted file into the same folder the source was from. Using this method we can skip the step of moving the file from where it was saved to our Project Folder.


When using a still image in Final Cut Pro, consider down sizing the image based on the application. For example if you are using a 3456 x 2304 (8 Megapixel) photo in a DV sequence (720 x 480) then Final Cut needs to do the scaling. If you were doing a photo montage with 200 pictures, this would cause a serious slow down in performance, and you would have plenty of opportunities to stare into the spinning beach ball.

Depending on how much you are planning to zoom in on an image, you will choose the size to reduce to. If you are working in a DV sequence and not zooming in on the photo at all, or applying a subtitle Ken Burns effect setting the height to 700 will provide a 1050 x 700 image. which will work great. When working in an HD sequence size your pictures to a height of 1500, which will give you a 2250 x 1500 image. You can do the down sizing using iPhoto, Aperture, Photoshop, or many other applications. You can export 1 image, or an entire folder of images.

Not working with images larger than they need to be is certainly a easy way to increase your productivity with Final Cut Pro.
Keyframes can be added in the Motion Tab of the viewer, but do you realize what the Keyframe button in the Canvas does? The Keyframe button in the Canvas will apply multiple Keyframes. It is defaulted to apply a Keyframe to all of the attributes in the Basic Motion, Crop, & Distort categories within the Motion tab.

If you right (control) click on the Keyframe button in the Canvas, you can edit the types of Keyframes that are being applied when the button is used.


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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Jeff in August 2008.

Jeff: July 2008 is the previous archive.

Jeff: September 2008 is the next archive.

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