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Sandy: October 2010 Archives

ben-lowell.pngBen Lowell completed our 5 day Final Cut Pro class this past summer as part of his career enhancement as a Camera Man and Filmmaker right here in Orlando, Florida.  When asked what he thought about his training here at GeniusDV, his reply was, "it was a well thought out, entertaining method of instruction.  It cut right through the jargon and focused on the execution."

Ben says the instructors at GeniusDV had a perfect mix of knowledge and showmanship and also thought the training location was convenient to a variety of venues; "I even made it to the post office during a lunch break!"  "One sweet deal" is how Ben described the overall value of services compared with the price paid. 

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Ben uses the applications every day at work, and the biggest new thing he learned at training was a logical workflow and better media management.  "I really enjoyed the training and think GeniusDV is one of the few companies out there that stands behind its promises. 

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The technical support and access given to the training staff by former students is truly remarkable.  I'd recommend this training for anyone that is interested in Final Cut Studio."

A great tool that will save you time and headaches in Final Cut Pro is the Ripple tool.  The Ripple Tool is found in the Tool Palette and is also right next to the Roll Tool.  The keyboard shortcut to the Ripple tool is RR. The Ripple Tool allows you to manipulate edit points within the timeline by allowing you to trim the in or the out of a clip forward or back depending on the media limits.  The ripple tool only allows for the edit of one side of the clip at a time, either the in or the out. The ripple tool automatically trims the clip, while closing the gap.  This saves you from having to delete the cut portion and then close the gap.  Ripple does it all in one step.


Hi8_tapes.pngIf you're like me, and you have a lot of HI-8 tapes from the 90's laying around, collecting dust, it's really easy to capture and store that media with Log & Capture in Final Cut Pro. If you are playing the HI-8 tape from a HI-8 camera you will need to run the analog signal through a transcoder of some sort to convert it to a digital signal. Canopus makes a great inexpensive converter. An easy way to accomplish this is by using a Digital8 camera. A Digital8 camera will play the HI-8 tape, and do the conversion automatically. You can also use the same Digital8 camera to convert your digital signal to analog for monitoring.

log_capture.pngOnce you have a digital signal going into your Mac, you can launch Final Cut Pro.  Go to the File menu and click on Log & Capture; you can also use the shortcut CMD+8.  This will open the Capture windowBe sure to note how much free space you have available and how many minutes you have to capture.

Here is a quick tutorial on naming clips in Log and Transfer in Final Cut Pro.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to use the Map Graphics in iMovie for a project in Final Cut Pro.

Let's face it, the older we get, the shakier our hands and arms get. If you don't have the luxury of a handheld camera support or stablizer, no worries; just use SmoothCam.

SmoothCam is a filter that intelligently reduces unwanted camera movement from your shots. You can apply the SmoothCam filter directly in the Browser or to clips in the timeline. The SmoothCam filter, like all filters, in Final Cut Pro can be found in both the Effects menu and Effects tab of the Browser. Select the clip in the timeline, then choose Video Filters >Video> SmoothCam.


The zoom function allows you to zoom in and out of a sequence, the viewer, or the canvas. There is more than one way to do this. First of all there is a Zoom slider bar at the bottom of the Timeline; then you have the Zoom Tool found on the tool palette which can be turned on by pressing the Z key to zoom in and out of a sequence. But, I find the easiest zoom function comes from another one of those great keyboard shortcuts, Command plus(+) and Command minus(-). To become an efficient editor adding keyboard commands to your workflow is a must. Getting into the habit of using Command + or - will then free up your Z key to map another function you use time after time, such as, mapping the Open Playhead function to your Z key.


tripod.pngToo often the post production workflow is more extensive than it has to be. In many cases this can be avoided. If you have prepared for your project, you may know what shots will need what effects in post.

For example if you were shooting a highway with cars going by, and there was a billboard in the shot. If you were to put video in the billboard from a handheld shot, you would have to adjust the video to move with any motion from the handheld shot, and this can be very labor intensive. The artistry that many shooters can achieve going handheld is not up for debate. If you know that there is an effect, or graphic that will be easier to produce if the background is not moving, that is when you are better served by using a tripod.
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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Sandy in October 2010.

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