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Sandy: November 2009 Archives

This weeks' plug-in features a cool confetti-like transition from NewBlueFX.  Confetti turns the first scene into bits of three-dimensional confetti that blows off the screen to reveal the second scene. 

NewBlue has a 3D Explosions pack of plug-ins that injects explosive energy into your videos with ease.  13 different transitions introduce creative new ways to blast a scene into pieces.  Here's another one called 3D Box Explode, which I thought was pretty cool too.

You do have to purchase the plug-ins, but you can also use the trial version before you decide.  I thought it was well worth the money, especially if you are doing a lot of montage work or weddings perhaps.  I also found that with this plug-ins pack, it was the easiest install I've come across yet.  Sometimes you have to go hunting for your plug-ins, or they're not where they're supposed to be; but with NewBlue, they popped right up and were easy to find.

Changing something as simple as a clip's opacity can be an effective tool for creating visual effects in Final Cut Pro.  Opacity meaning the level of a clip's transparency.  You can do this in two different places; as a function in the Motion Tab, and also directly in the Timeline.

Click on the Toggle Clip Overlays button located in the bottom left corner of the Timeline window.  The button looks like a mountain peak:

clip_overlays_image.gifTurning on the clip overlays enables you to easily control a clip's opacity directly within the Timeline.  After you click on the Toggle Clip Overlays button, a black line appears at the top of all the video clips within the Timeline window.  You can drag the black clip-overlay line until you achieve the desired opacity level. 

clip_overlay_adjusted.gifContinue reading and see some examples...

profile_marquis.gifThis week's student profile features a past Avid Media Composer student, who was recently excited to tell us about one of his latest success stories.  Meet Marquis Wilson.  Marquis is from Alvarado, Texas, and completed his training with GeniusDV back in 2008.  Marquis has a passion for video production in terms of helping individuals and companies market their products and services.  He wanted to share one of the greatest tools he learned from taking certified training at GeniusDV.

As a producer of live stage and sporting events, the need for more than one shooting angle is imperative.  Much time is consumed to digitize and file scenes, and then trying to surf through various clips for the right cuts.  Marquis says, "I am excited to say however, that using precious mega hours looking at camera angles on multiple video tracks is a thing of the past.  John Lynn at GeniusDV, introduced me to the MultiCamera Mode feature in AVID Media Composer.  I couldn't believe how easy it was.  I recently filmed and edited a ballet stage play using four cameras, (quad split).  No doubt in my mind, I was 75% quicker on the timeline simply because I could choose the best position from the source window where all of the shots from every angle were represented simultaneously."

keep reading for more of Marquis' tips...

rolling_pin.gifI know it seems pretty obvious, but someone asked me the other day, "What do you mean by handles?"  Handles in Final Cut Pro are basically the extra frames of unused video or audio that are on either side of the In & Out points in an edit.  Think of it like a rolling pin, where you have those 2 handles on either side of the actual part you use.  More of a shooting technique than an editing technique, but in a lot of cases you are performing both jobs; and if you're not, you want to make sure your camera person is doing this too.  Recording an amount of tape before the action starts and after the action ends is essential for creating those "handles".  A good rule of thumb is at least 5 seconds on either side.  You really need these especially when you're using cross dissolve transitions, or a fade in or out before or after your clip.  If you start recording right when the action starts, you won't have enough footage to "fade in from black".

Understanding Handles is important before getting too deep into trimming clips.  In order to extend a clip in the Timeline to a longer duration, you need to have that extra media available.  An easy way to check if you have enough media to trim is to double click on a clip that is in the Timeline.  You can see the available header and tail areas that you can use for trimming purposes by loading the clip into the Viewer.  This means you can extend the clip beyond its edited length within the sequence.  Once you have determined that a clip has enough material to trim, you can extend the clip by the duration of the available handles.


Note that the sprockets here means it is a clip from the Timeline.  Keep reading for another tip...

final_cut_assistant_image.gifFinal Cut Assistant is a freeware program available from Apple to help you make the most out of your Final Cut Pro system.  All the little annoying things you have to mess with in Final Cut Pro are all put together in a nice little package for you.  Functions included are listed here.


New Empty Project lets you avoid Untitled project files and unnamed sequences in your projects.  Use it everytime you start a project to name it.

Reset Final Cut Pro is like trashing your preferences.  Reset gets your user preferences back to their original state.

Restore from Backup allows you to choose from any of the available earlier versions of your User Settings.

The "Backup" that you are restoring is created when you "Save User Settings..." The Backup contains Window, Keyboard, Column, & Button Bar Layouts, as well as Favorites and User Preferences. This is much easier than saving each of these settings individually. The Backup is a .zip file located @ User/Backup/com.apple.FinalCutPro. The file name can be changed to a user's name for example. On a system where multiple editors use the the same OS user, this is a great way to maintain multiple User Settings. Personally I intend on coping the zip file to my iDisc so I always have access to my User settings.

 Thumbnail image for final_cut_assistant.gif

Back Up Now backs up your User Settings

Deactivate Final Cut Studio allows you to deactivate it in order to move it onto another computer.  It removes licensing information without actually uninstalling Final Cut Studio.

Configure OS X for Final Cut Pro:  This is huge; sets your screen saver to never, and sets the hard disks to sleep never

The rest of the functions within the menu are pretty self-explanatory.  Even though all of these functions are available thru the Finder, it's nice to have them all wrapped up in a bow for you.

Once downloaded, Final Cut Assistant has it's own little icon in the Menu Bar for activation.


Final Cut Assistant is quite effective and will no doubt become part of your everyday editing process.

Did you know you can duplicate any element within the Graphical View in DVD Studio Pro?  For example, within a menu you can duplicate a button, text object, or a drop zone and quickly make duplicates of it that just need to have their content changed to become independent.


Read on to use the duplicate function...
Today's feature is a free plug-in for Final Cut Pro that uses a wave to progressively distort a transition between clips.

Read on to find out more about this cool transition...

final_cut_pro_image.gifWhat I mean by Looping in Final Cut Pro, is during playback; when you turn looped playback on in Final Cut Pro, clips and sequences loop back to the beginning whenever the playhead reaches the end of the media.  The clip will play over and over again until you stop playback.  Seems like a silly little thing, but how quickly we forget some of those wonderful keyboard shortcuts.  To turn on looping you can go to the View menu to Loop Playback; but more efficiently use the shortcut Ctrl+L to turn looping on & off.


Be sure to check out our new schedule for Final Cut Pro classes in 2010.  Classes fill up fast, so call today to reserve your spot!

final_cut_pro_image.gifThere is more than one way of deleting items in the Timeline in Final Cut Pro, for example, selecting the item individually or in groups, or even selecting a range with In & Out points.  Knowing the right methods for the right situations can save you a lot of time.

In Final Cut Pro, we have 2 types of delete functions.  A Lift Delete, or a Ripple Delete.  Basically a Lift Delete will leave you with a gap in the sequence; a Ripple Delete closes the gap from the deletion by moving all subsequent clips to the left.  Performing a Lift Delete removes any selected items from the sequence and leaves a gap.  This is useful when you have a series of clips that are all synchronized to music and you don't want to move them.  But if you want to delete one or more clips from the middle of the sequence, the Lift Delete is the best option. 


Continue reading to the next section for performing a Ripple Delete...

handbrake_image.pngHandBrake is a great software program, not to mention it's free, that you can use to convert your own DVDs for the purpose of putting them on a hard drive or iPod.  It's available for Mac or Windows.  You can download HandBrake here.  Once you have it installed on your computer, it's pretty easy to start converting your DVDs.

Start by inserting your DVD into your computer.  If the Apple DVD player automatically starts up, just close it.  Now open HandBrake.  Select your DVD and click Open.

Today we'll discuss part 3 of the Multiclip Editing Series by showing you some keyboard shortcuts and remapping your numerical keypad for another way to switch and cut your multiclips.

To make your multiclip editing more efficient you can assign commands and customize your keyboard shortcuts in the Keyboard Layout Tool, and you can find a list of keyboard buttons to use specifically for multiclips.  Go to the Tools pull-down menu to Button List and type in Multiclip into the search field next to the magnifying glass; now you will see a list of available buttons you can use as shortcuts when editing multiclips. 

build_format_.gifDo you ever wonder why you're given the option in DVD Studio Pro to Build, Format, or Build/Format?  Most DVD authors will just automatically choose Build/Format for the ease of a single step.  Once your project is finished and you're ready to burn, the options depend on the situation.

The Build Process is basically only creating the VIDEO_TS folder.  You can choose the location where the VIDEO_TS folder is created.  If you want to emulate or test your project on your computer by using the DVD Player, using the build process only will save you time without having to format it and find out you have mistakes to fix.  Where the correct workflow is to first test your project in Simulator, then Build your project, then test the VIDEO_TS folder you built in your computer's DVD player, then format your project and test it in a tabletop DVD player and also make sure your disk plays on your computer, you could essentially do it all in one step.

The Format process takes a VIDEO_TS folder you already have created and writes it to a DVD recordable drive.  The Build/Format option simply combines these two tasks of creating the VIDEO_TS folder and writing it to a disk, in one step.  So why even bother with the two-step process, you ask?  Well there are a couple of advantages with performing the Build process by itself first.

dvd_player.gifOne advantage being the fact that you can preview your project by playing the VIDEO_TS folder on your Apple DVD Player, and avoid burning any mistakes onto a disk.  Well why can't I just preview my project in Simulator?  You can; however the Apple DVD Player will allow certain functions that Simulator will not, for example, fast-forwarding.  You will get a more realistic point of view by playing your project on the DVD player than in Simulator.  Another advantage to using the Build step separately is the ability to choose what VIDEO_TS folder you want to burn.

But for all practical purposes, most authors will use the Build/Format option for most projects.  Check out our upcoming schedule for 1-day DVD Studio Pro training to learn all the necessary skills for authoring a fully functional DVD!  

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matt_stevens_profile.gifMatt Stevens completed our 9 day Final Cut Studio Bundle this past summer as part of his career enhancement as an Audio/Visual Editor for Southcentral Foundation in Alaska.  When asked, Matt really liked his training here at GeniusDV, and feels like he learned a lot.  He thought the instructors were great and very helpful.

Matt's focus at Southcentral Foundation is making promotional videos to bring awareness to the people about their program, which is operating and managing health care and related services for 50,000 Alaska Native and American Indian people.

I asked Matt, "before you took the class, what were your biggest challenges when editing video?"  His reply was simply, "I pretty much went in blind, so everything I learned was helpful and informative.  I had no experience editing before and I am now fully capable in all editing processes."

You too can be one of the many students who come to GeniusDV for video editing training.  It doesn't matter if you have no experience at all, or if you have years of experience; GeniusDV can help even professional editors learn shortcuts, and new ways to integrate efficient workflows.  So give us a call today and check out our upcoming class schedule
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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Sandy in November 2009.

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