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Jeff: 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.
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. 

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.

stereo_pair_final_cut_pro.png
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.

Soundtrack_Pro_Keyframing.png

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.
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.

poster_frame_compressor.png

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.

final_cut_pro_viewer_audio_waveform.png

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_timeline_audio_waveform.png


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.

final_cut_pro_effect_default.png

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.


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.


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.

final_cut_pro_media_manager.png

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.             
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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Jeff in June 2010.

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