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Final Cut Pro 7: December 2008 Archives

text.pngIt's been a few years since we covered Final Cut's text features, and -- while everything we said then is still true -- it's time to update our advice.  If you just want simple text for credits, burned-in subtitles, or simple credit rolls, the text generators we described in that article are your ticket. 

But now that Final Cut Studio ships with LiveType, you'd be foolish not to investigate LiveType's incredibly easy-to-use interface for creating visually stunning titles and supers.  We've got a tutorial on matteing video to your titles in LiveType, and working through that tutorial will give you a feel for how the LiveType interface works.  Once you've got your title the way you like it, simply save, and follow our quick tip to bring it back into Final Cut (or Avid, if you prefer).

If you're interested in further tutorials on LiveType, drop me an email, and we'll get some in the pipeline.  And of course, we offer full instruction on LiveType as part of our Final Cut training.

Final Cut has a lot of strengths, but it also has some awfully confusing error messages.  Luckily, the "Insufficient Content for Edit" error is pretty straightforward: you're trying to use more source clip than you have available.

This can occur in a few circumstances: adding a transition, making a 3-point edit, or performing a replace edit.  Read on for specific details about each situation.

spacesapple.pngIf you tried out our introduction to Mac OS' Spaces feature, and you liked Spaces, I've got a couple more tips that have helped me work more efficiently with Spaces.

The first is Kent Sutherland's free software, Warp.  When enabled, Warp allows you to move directly between Spaces simply by moving to the edge of the screen.  Your spaces are laid out just like they are in the Spaces preference pane -- normally in a square or rectangle.  So if you're in your #1 desktop, you can switch to your #2 desktop by moving to the right of your screen -- or to your #3 desktop by moving to the bottom of the screen. 

spacesapple.pngIf you're using the latest version of Mac OS X, your computer is capable of a feature called "Spaces."  And if you're like most of the FCP editors I know, you've never looked at that feature.  You're missing out.

Spaces puts an end to rearranging windows in order to see things, and it can save you a ton of Cmd+Tabs and awkward drag-and-drops.  It's especially useful when you're going back and forth between one full-screen app (like Final Cut) and other apps (Photoshop, LiveType, DVD Studio, etc.).
As you may be able to tell from my short and hurried posts of the past few days, I'm on the road on a tight schedule.  Today's tip is actually pretty cool, so I'll write it up in more detail and with screenshots sometime in the next few days -- in the meantime, here's a summary that might be enough for an "aha!" moment if it sounds familiar.

During one of our on-site Final Cut training courses today, an editor migrating from Avid asked whether you could add whole sets of filters to your "Favorite Filters" bin.  For example, say you like to get your trademark "Film Look" effect by combining a film grain filter, some kind of ragged-border matte, a levels adjustment and some kind of 3:2 pulldown thing.  You can't drag that "stack" of filters directly into your "Favorite Filters" bin, right?

You may be familiar with the Match Frame command -- it looks at the clip under your playhead, and loads the corresponding original source clip into your viewer.  If you're not familiar, you can get a quick idea by playing around with in it Final Cut (the keyboard shortcut is simply the letter "F"). 

This function can be useful in an incredible number of situations: for a quick example, if you place only the video track of a clip, then later decide that you need the audio too, you could go the intuitive way or the easy way.  You could dig for the original source, then spend 5 minutes trying to line up the audio tracks with your video ... or you could use Match Frame to bring up the original source clip, already marked with in and out points corresponding to the clip in your timeline. 

By default, Match Frame applies to the top layer of video in your timeline.  But what if you wanted to match to a clip lower in your stack of video clips -- or to an audio track?  The answer is simple, if a little unobvious: after you place your playhead, simply use the arrow tool to select the track you want to target.  The Match Frame command will give priority to your selection, and match to that track's original source.
Although most Final Cut users are familiar with the "Video Filters" that they can apply to their clips, fewer are comfortable working with the keyframes used to animate those filters over time.  For example, what if you wanted a clip to fade from color to black and white -- or to gradually blur (or unblur)?  Normally, you would either use keyframes or a duplicate copy of your source clip.  You can accomplish the same thing, though, with less mess by using familiar through edits and transitions.
color-correction.pngYou can find more color correction articles in our Color Correction & Manipulation series index.

I know we just kicked off another series yesterday, but variety is the spice of life: over the coming weeks, I'll be regaling you with a whole lot of how-to's around color correction.  Some will be more general, others -- like this one -- will be software-specific.

To break the ice, let's get acquainted with Final Cut's color correction workflow.  Since I'm not in the office right now with our sample footage, I've grabbed an awesome clip of sumo wrestlers off of Wikimedia Commons.  The clip is crap in more ways than one, but it could sure use a little color correction ...

Get the sample media (1.5M H.264 MOV)
I promise I'll come up with better sample clips next time

...then read on!
Holding down the Apple/Command key will allow you to select multiple files, and Final Cut Pro will respect the order you select the files. I learned this by mistake, but if playing poker has taught me anything, it's that sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.  After recently making a post on how to use the large icon view in the File Browser of Final Cut Pro to create a story edit, I discovered that the same can be accomplished in the Finder.

Final Cut Pro Auto Render
Final Cut Pro has a "feature" that I think you should address and turn-off. It is called Automatic Rendering and was designed to render your sequences while you are away from your computer. This really is not that big of an issue but if you leave it on Final Cut will automatically render your sequence after a specified time. This is very impractical, because if you set it up to auto-render every ten minutes it will get in your way, yet if you set it to auto-render every 45 minutes then it may just begin or not even be done when you get back from lunch. I recommend turning this "feature" off. If you have a lengthy render that needs to be preformed at lunch then just make sure your time-line is selected and type command+r and go to lunch. This gives you control of your renders.

Simply navigate: Final Cut Pro>User Preferences and under the General tab deselect Auto Render. This will turn off Auto rendering for all of your Final Cut Pro projects.

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

Final Cut Pro 7: November 2008 is the previous archive.

Final Cut Pro 7: January 2009 is the next archive.

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