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Final Cut Pro 7: January 2008 Archives


If you are an owner of Final Cut Studio 2.0, a new plug-in category called 'Glow' is now available in the Final Cut Pro effects palette.  Now granted, there are all sorts of third party effects that have specific filters that create the 'burnt film effect', A company called CGM-online makes some plug-ins that contain a burning film effect.

However, this is an excellent work-around if you do not want to spend the money for a third party plug-in.



The Final Cut Pro generators typically do not extend past 2 minutes once in the timeline. Often editors duplicate the generators in the timline to obtain the desired length. There is a easy way to be able to extend generators. When a generator is first opened in the viewer the default in and out points are set 10 seconds apart, but if you change the value in the  duration window you can extend your clip out as far as the value entered in the duration window. If you already have brought a generator into the timeline, you can double click on it, load it into the viewer, and make the change to the duration.

Using iPhoto with Final Cut is an effective work flow for managing still images. You can drag right from the iPhoto interface right into your Final Cut Pro sequence. iPhoto also responds to the still / freeze duration in the Final Cut Pro User Preferences. A very effective configuration is to have the Viewer, Canvas, and Timeline on your primary screen, and the Browser, iPhoto, and Finder on the second screen. The Configuration of the second screen is important, because you want to be able to access all of the different interfaces without having to hide or move one to get to another. First position your Project tab all the way to the left, next tear the effects tab off and position it next to the project tab, then position iPhoto in the center of the screen, so there is some space on either side of the interface, last of all position the Finder all the way to the left leaving a little space of the left side and at the bottom. Configuring your second screen in this way will allow you access any of the interfaces without having to hide or move one or more of them. This configuration promotes using iPhoto as your still image bin(s) (the term Bins comes from days ago when editors kept the individual clips of film in Bins under their workstation). With iPhoto it is much easier to sort and access images than using the Browser. You can apply effects, crop, or make image adjustments in iPhoto before taking the image to Final Cut Pro, but rotation will not be recognized. I highly recommend this workflow. One thing to keep in mind is that the photos that come out of iPhoto are coming from the iPhoto Library, so if you move the project file to another machine that does not have that iPhoto Library, the images will go offline, and will need to be reconnected to the images in your project folder that you originally had imported into iPhoto.


In Final Cut Pro to get a 16 x 9 sequence to output in a 4 x 3 space can be a very frustrating task, but it doesn't need to be. There is a very easy way to do this that most people overlook. All you have to do is open a DV NTSC 48 kHz sequence, and then drag the 16 x 9 sequence from the Browser window into the the timeline of the DV NTSC 48 kHz sequence. Final Cut Pro will see the sequence as a clip and will ask you if you want to change the sequence settings to match the clip settings, answer NO.


UPDATE: I've got some bad news for Windows fans who were hoping Final Cut Pro would run on a Windows operating system.  With the introduction of Final Cut Pro X, it's unlikely you will ever see a version that will run natively in Windows.  Apple has rewritten FCP using more than just modern coding techniques like 64-bit programming.  The new Final Cut Pro X accesses functions and technology that is exclusive to Apple's Mac OS X operating system.

If you're committed to editing on a Windows machine, Adobe Premiere is the most direct alternative to Final Cut Pro.  Avid Media Composer also runs on Windows.  It's popular in high-end workflows, but more expensive and more difficult to learn.  We teach Adobe Premiere and Media Composer classes for both Windows and Mac.

The good news is that moving to the most popular editing software in the industry is cheaper and easier than ever.  Even an entry-level MacBook Air ($999 at time of writing) will run FCPX, albeit slowly—and the price of Final Cut Pro has plummeted to just $299 for a license on every Mac you own or use.  There's even a free, full-featured trial available for your Mac if you want to test drive Mac OS and Final Cut.

Capturing a live feed from your camera is as easy as capturing from tape. To do a live capture you connect your camera to your mac via firewire the same as you would if you were capturing from tape, and turn the camera on in camera mode. The Final Cut Pro Log and Capture will not recognize any timecode during a live capture, so you will have to set your device control at Non-Controllable Device. Selecting Capture Now will begin the live capture, and it will continue until the escape key is pressed. While the live capture is going on any camera movement will appear out of time, but when you playback the video it will be fine. During a live capture the camera does not need to be recording, but be careful that your camera is not set up to go to sleep. You can even change tapes as long as you don't disturb the firewire connection. One last thing to keep in mind is the Capture Now limit in the System Settings, you may want to turn it off or set it to the desired length of the capture.


Live Capture is great for doing long captures to be used for showing a time lapse. It is also perfect for a quick turnaround, not having to do a real time capture after you shoot. A perfect example would be recording a sporting event and being able to view or edit the game as soon as it was over.

When installing Plugins into Final Cut Pro you will want to make sure you put them in the base level of the computer versus an individual user, if you want them to be available to anyone using the machine. The route to get to the Plugins folder is starting at the HD, then Library / Application Support / Final Cut Pro System Support / & then Plugins. After installing plugins you will need to restart Final Cut to see them in the Effects tab.




Check out this short tutorial on how to install a third party Final Cut Pro plugin.


To create a glow behind a piece of video, you only need to apply a matching shape behind the piece of video you want to glow. The shape will need to have softness that extends outside past the edges of the video.

In this example I applied a glow to a piece of video that had been cut out with a travel matte. By coping the shape of the matte, adding softness to it, and changing the color to orange, I was able to create this effect.



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This page is a archive of entries in the Final Cut Pro 7 category from January 2008.

Final Cut Pro 7: December 2007 is the previous archive.

Final Cut Pro 7: February 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.